Whether you are looking for natural wonders, exotic wildlife and beautiful man-made creations, Australia has it. The prospect of visiting Australia can be exciting; what with visions of kangaroos running (or hopping about) and koalas climbing and nestling themselves against the limbs of trees. The thought of jumping off a diving cliff or swimming in its azure waters can be really exciting.
OZ also offers great real estate properties for people intending to invest on a home – whether to live in or lease out. After all, once you have felt what it’s like in Australia, you would surely want to stay here for life. This is one of the reasons why many Chinese investors-slash-tourists travel to Australia all year round.
But with all the excitement, don’t forget to be prepared with all the essentials when visiting the Land Down Under. If you are planning on visiting Australia, here are some of the things you need to add on your checklist.
Only Australian and New Zealand citizens are allowed to visit Australia without a visa; everybody else needs to get one. Since you will only be visiting, it makes sense to get a Temporary Visa. Now there are several temporary visas available to choose from.
The Visitor Visa (subclass 600) allows you to travel to the country to visit family and friends or to tour the country (whether accompanied by registered travel agents or not). This Visa subclass can also be used if you’re visiting Australia for a business meeting or to attend a conference. The length of stay for each visa varies. The visa validity depends; it could be for three months, six months or even twelve months.
If you are thinking of investing in Australia or you have family here that you want to visit frequently over the next few years, you might want to apply for the Frequent Traveller Visa, which allows you entry to the country for up to 10 years. The maximum duration of stay per visit using this visa is three months. You can only apply for this visa online and it has a more expensive application fee of AUD $1,000.
The basic application fee for other types of temporary visa application can go as low as AUD $140 to as high as AUD $1,020. If you want to get your visa faster, you can request for priority consideration using the Fast Track service of the Department of Home Affairs. This request must be done at the same time as you apply for your visa. This requires an additional fee of AUD $1,000, on top of the base application charge.
Other travel visas such as Electronic Travel Authority Visa and eVisitor visa (subclass 601 and 651, respectively) are not applicable to Chinese passport holders.
For more information on applying for a visa to visit Australia, please check our Temporary Visa information guide.
Once you have already acquired your visa, you will now have to prepare for your visit. If you’re coming to Australia for business, then chances are you will only be bringing clothes, gadgets and probably documents. But if you are planning to see friends and family, you might be thinking of bringing some gifts along. However, before packing, make sure the items you are bringing are allowed to be brought to Australia; else they just might end up in trash.
There are some items that you absolutely cannot bring into the country, while there are some items that need to be inspected first before they are allowed entry into the country. The following are example of items that you absolutely cannot bring with you:
- Pirated or fake goods
- Electric shock devices
- Illegal porn
- Soil and other dirt (if you have items that have dirt in them, such as muddy boots, they must be properly cleaned first, or they will be treated by the authorities at additional cost to you)
- Food (vegetables, fruit, meat, etc.)
The following are example of items that you can bring with you, but there are limitations:
- Substances (such as hormones, steroids, etc.)
- Wooden items
- Leather and fur products
Some of these items have weight or count limit, while others will require treatment first (such as wooden items and leather products) to make sure that they do not bring pests or diseases to the country. You can also request for permits to bring these items through the Department of Agriculture.
For more information for what you can bring to Australia, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs’ list of what you can bring.
There is practically no limit to how much cash you can have in your pocket when entering Australia. It would of course be prudent to not have too much cash on hand and instead use your international credit or debit cards. Australia accepts major cards with the Mastercard, Visa, UnionPay, Bankard, American Express, Diners Club and JCB.
If you are bringing in cash of more than $10,000, it is necessary to declare this upon arrival. However, China is restricting cash outflows for travels abroad to a maximum of USD$5,000 per person. If you need to bring more cash, you can split it up between your friends and family that you will be traveling with.
Also, keep in mind that China also monitors how much you withdraw internationally. You can withdraw a maximum of USD$15,000 annually across all your cards. If you want to learn more about bringing money from China, please refer to our section on Transferring Money from China to Australia.
When visiting Australia, don’t pass up the opportunity to tour the country’s top attractions. These attractions, apart from Australia’s lifestyle, are some of the reasons why many foreigners move here after visiting the country. Some of the best places to visit are:
- The Sydney Opera House in New South Wales;
- The Great Barrier Reef off of Queensland;
- The Uluru (aka the Ayers Rock) in the Northern Territory;
- The Melbourne Museum in Victoria;
- The Kangaroo Island in South Australia;
- The Sunset Coast in Western Australia;
- The National Botanic Gardens in Australia Capital Territory.
See our post on the top destinations in Australia for a more in depth guide.
If you are thinking of moving here, it would be best to survey the area where you want to purchase a property, too. See the lifestyle first hand, and check the nearest Chinese neighborhoods if you must. These can help you get a feel of what it’s like if you move to Aussie. You can even appreciate the stunning architectural styles of Australia’s homes.
After visiting Australia, you might even feel that you would want to move to Australia. In which case, if you need assistance in purchasing real estate property in Australia, check our Foreign Investor’s Guide to Real Estate Property in Australia.