APTLD 77



Useful Tips

Visas

To visit Australia you will need to apply for your visa before you leave home. Generally APTLD77 participants will not have a problem gaining a visa into Australia.

The email address aptld77@auda.org.au has been set up for APTLD members to request a copy of the Invitation Letter to accompany the visa application. Note that if not a member or invited guest, your request will have to be verified  by the host and APTLD for eligibility.

When requesting a Letter of Invitation from auDA please provide the following information along with a scanned copy of the passport information page: 

The address for general visa information and application to enter Australia is here

To find information on obtaining your visa please visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you are visiting Australia for a holiday, sightseeing, social or recreational reasons, options include the  Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)Visitor Visa and eVisitor. These visa options can allow for stays of up to three, six or twelve months.

…and now, some other useful tips, in alphabetical order

Beaches

Around 10-20 overseas travellers drown in Australia each year. Most of these drownings occur at ocean beaches, where statistics put visitors at significantly higher risk than locals. Check the Beach Safety website.

Beach goers should swim between the red and yellow flags which designate patrolled areas. Beaches are not patrolled 24 hours a day or even during all daylight hours. In most cases the local volunteer surf lifesavers or professional lifeguards are only available during certain hours, and at some beaches only on weekends, and often only during summer. Exact times are generally shown at entrances to most beaches. If the flags aren't up, then there's no one patrolling and you shouldn't swim. If you do choose to swim, be aware of the risks, check conditions, stay within your depth, and don't swim alone.

Customs

Prior to landing in Australia you'll be handed an immigration form to fill out, as well as Customs and Agriculture Declaration forms. Australia has strict quarantine laws and you must declare all goods of animal or plant origin, and you can't bring fresh fruit or vegetables into the country. If you're unsure about any items, it's best to declare them.

For more information, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Emergencies

The number 000 (called 'triple zero' or 'triple oh') can be dialled from any telephone in Australia free of charge. This number will connect you with emergency operators for the police, fire brigade, and ambulance service.

Getting around Melbourne and Victoria

Most visitors base themselves in the city centre, the buzzing commercial heart of Melbourne that's also home to museums, theatres, restaurants, bars, and shops. Melbourne's grid layout makes it an easy city to navigate, with most attractions within walking distance. Transport options include train, tram, bus or bike. The Night Network also operates on weekends with afterhours transport to many locations.

To travel  on Melbourne’s public transport you will need a Myki card. These smart cards can be bought online, at larger train stations and retail outlets, such as 7-Elevens. They can be easily topped up at those locations too. Plan your trip with Public Transport Victoria's journey planner.

International quarantine

Australia's quarantine regulations require incoming travelers to declare any food, plant material and animal products they are bringing to Australia. If you are in doubt about whether or not you can bring an item into Australia, declare it on your Incoming Passenger Card, or dispose of it in the quarantine disposal bins at the airport.

For details about what you can and can’t bring to Australia, visit the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website

If you've been snacking on the flight, discard any leftovers in the arrival area quarantine bins, or on the way to collect your luggage.

For further information about restricted items and customs regulations, visit the Australian Border Force website.

Sun protection

Australia is called the sunburnt country for a reason. It can take as little as 15 minutes to get sunburnt in Australia on a sunny day. You should wear sunscreen (SPF 30+), clothing, and a hat to shade the sun.

Tourist Refund Scheme

The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) enables travellers to claim a refund of the goods and services tax (GST) and wine equalisation tax (WET) paid on some goods bought in Australia. Refunds can be claimed in the International Departures area at Melbourne International Airport. Make sure you allow sufficient time to make your claim before your flight.

Visit the Australian Border Force website for details about what can subject to TRS.

WiFi Hotspots in Melbourne

Select 'VicFreeWiFi' service at all Melbourne CBD train stations, the Bourke St Mall, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne Museum, and South Wharf Promenade at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The service requires no login, passwords or other personal data, and is ad-free.

Federation Square, by the Yarra River in Melbourne city also has free WiFi. Find a comfortable spot in the square and connect your device. Public libraries, museums and other community hubs offer free WiFi access too.

You'll find wireless internet hotspots around the city at many cafes, bars and restaurants. Pick up a list of locations from Melbourne Visitor Centre.

Wireless (3/4G)

GPRS and 3G wireless Internet connections are available through all cellular phone networks. Australia has cellular networks operated by TelstraOptus and Vodafone, and each of the networks have many resellers.
It should be noted that while most phone providers will give good coverage in metropolitan and most regional areas, Telstra's mobile network is generally regarded as to having superior coverage, particularly in less built up areas. However, their rates are often significantly higher.

There are no restrictions on overseas residents getting an Australian prepaid SIM card. In fact, it is extremely easy to go into Woolworths/Safeway (Australia's largest grocery chain) and buy a SIM card over the counter, either for $2 with no pre-loaded value or $30 with $30 pre-loaded.. Take your passport for identification in case it is required.

2G is being phased out in Australia so make sure your phone works with one of the three networks.


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