Apply for An ETA in Advance
Americans must apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) when traveling to Australia, which provides authorization to enter Australia and is electronically linked to your passport. Learn more →
Narrow Your Focus
Australia and New Zealand are way larger than people may expect. Instead of trying to see both of these countries in just a few weeks, focus on two or three places to tackle.
Research the Weather
In Australia, the seasons vary between the north and south of the country. If you plan on exploring both halves, do your research and pack appropriately for all weather.
Make sure you use the correct outlet adapter – it’s different than Europe and America. The plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins shaped live a "V" and some may contain a third flat pin in the center.
Don’t Bring Back Plants
Both countries are very strict with its bio-security regulations. If you plan on taking fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, plants, seeds or feathers in or out of the country and don’t declare them, you could face a hefty fine.
Find the i-Sites
In Australia and New Zealand, every town will have its own i-Site, or place where you can find maps, brochures and essential details about that city.
i-Site Australia →
i-Site New Zealand →
Be Respectful of the Native Culture
A marae, malaʻe, meʻae and malae is a communal or sacred place that serves religious and social purposes in Polynesian societies. If you plan on visiting a marae, look up their cultural rules, such as taking your shoes off and not sitting anywhere where you’d place food. Look up these rules before entering.
- Both places have Uber, but if you use the public transit in Australia, grab an Opal Card which is a tap-on/tap-off system with fares being more expensive during rush hour. Get an Opal Card here →
- Cars drive on the left.
- Intercity buses and ferries are a great way to travel around New Zealand. Learn more about Intercity Buses & Ferries →
- Biking with a helmet is mandatory in New Zealand, and biking on motorways is illegal.
- Australia is one of the pricier countries you can travel to, so be prepared.
- All change in Australia is rounded to the nearest five cents, so you won’t find any pennies there.
- New Zealand is not a bartering country, so expect the price to be as shown.
- In Australia, credit cards are accepted most places and there are usually plenty of ATMS.
- No one expects a tip, though they are appreciated for good service. If you decide to tip, leave no more than 10%.
- In Australian restaurants, you usually pay at the front instead of the bill being brought to your table.
- Don’t forget the sunblock! The ozone layer is thinner in Australia.
- Always swim between the flags on the beach to avoid any dangerous wildlife.
- If you’re a smoker, Australia might not be for you. Cigarette packs can be $27 or more.
- Internet can be slow and expensive so consider buying a hotspot.