Planning a trip to Australia?

Here's what you need to know before you head down under

4 minute read

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Australia is a unique and diverse country in every way - in culture, population, climate, geography, and history

  • Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
  • National Language: English
  • Time difference: Mainland Australia is typically 8 to 10 hours ahead of UK time
  • Flight time:  18 hours direct from London Heathrow to Perth, Western Australia, or 21-24 hours with a stopover. 

When you’re buying travel insurance for Australia it’s important to make sure it covers medical expenses, repatriation to the UK, cancellation of your holiday, and lost baggage. These are some of the most common reasons people claim on their policy, but it’s important to make sure your cover is tailored to your individual needs and circumstances.

Australia is a unique country in every way – from its culture and history through to its geography and climate. A fantastic destination, it’s important to arrange travel insurance before you leave to make sure you’re protected no matter what happens.

Did you know that Australia was inhabited by indigenous people for roughly 50,000 years before Captain Arthur Phillip arrived with his fleet of British convicts in 1788? It has changed a lot since then, officially becoming a country in 1901.


Is a wonderful alternative to the city life with a rich heritage and some of Australia’s best wilderness areas. Cool and quiet Tassie is a great escape destination.

Do I need travel insurance for Australia?

Despite being one of the safest countries in the world, you still need travel insurance for trips from the UK to Australia. At home, you’ll probably be used to accessing healthcare services for free, but this isn’t always the case when you’re travelling abroad. 

The UK and Australia have a reciprocal healthcare arrangement in place to give Brits a basic level of healthcare while they’re visiting. However, this isn’t an adequate replacement for health insurance as it comes with a number of limitations. 

Anything that isn’t considered “urgent care” isn’t included, nor are doctors’ visits or ambulance journeys. You may also need to provide evidence that you’re a resident of the UK. 

If you’re in Australia and have a medical emergency, dial 000. You should also contact your insurer as soon as possible. 

Even though it’s consistently placed in the top 15 safest places to live in the Global Peace Index, there are still a few risks when visiting Australia.

Snakes, spiders, sharks and jellyfish are common across the country, while the hot temperatures can be a problem for unprepared visitors. Keep water with you and make sure you stay hydrated at all times. To stay safe in the sun, be sure to wear a high-factor sun cream even on cloudy days and reapply after going into the water. 

When you’re at the beach, make sure you read any signs that are displayed as these will help you stay safe. It’s good to do a bit of research and see what you need to be careful of in the areas you’re visiting and what the various signs mean if you see them.

As with any trip, the unexpected can happen – such as losing your luggage, falling ill, having items stolen or your flights being cancelled. Travel insurance gives you the peace of mind from knowing you’re covered for just about any eventuality.
Without travel insurance in Australia you will be liable to pay for medical bills, other costs resulting from any accidents and the cost of rearranging any cancelled flights or accommodation.

What does our travel insurance cover? 

Our travel insurance for Australia offers:
Up to £10 million of emergency medical cover
Compensation of up to £10,000 if you have to cancel your trip
Cover for groups of up to 10 people on one policy
Cover for travellers over the age of 65.

If you’re a frequent traveller, you may want to think about multi-trip cover. Do you have pre-existing medical conditions or any specific things you want to insure? If so, you’ll probably need a customised policy. See the section below for more details.

Optional extras can be added to protect you against theft of bags and their contents, valuables and money. If you’ve got an action-packed trip planned, check the activities covered in our policies to make sure yours are included.

Just be mindful if you’re looking to get a job during your trip to Australia that work-related incidents are not covered. 

Get a travel insurance quote online for your trip to Australia and customise it to suit you.

Do you cover pre-existing medical conditions?

Yes, but only if we approve it on your policy. Tell us the details of any pre-existing medical condition for anyone you’re looking to cover. Your policy schedule will then confirm what conditions you’ve informed us about and whether cover is available. 

There are certain conditions we can’t cover, which we’ll show you online or tell you about on the phone before you take out a policy. If you’re waiting for test results or have a condition that is under investigation, we won’t be able to provide a quote unless they’re known to be directly related to a currently diagnosed condition.

Entering Australia

Along with arranging travel insurance, when visiting Australia you also need to apply for a visa before you can enter the country. If you’re staying less than three months in any 12-month period you can apply for an eVisitor visa, which is free. There are various other options if you plan to visit for longer or want to work during your visit.

Find out more about visa options for Australia.

Getting around Australia

Before they go, many people don't realise the sheer size of Australia – it’s almost as large as continental USA. For example, travelling from Sydney to Perth (East Coast to West Coast) will take a six to seven-hour flight. When planning a visit to Australia, make sure you’re realistic about how much time you have and which cities and regions you'd like to visit. 

Its year-round tropical climate, amazing coastal beaches and lush rainforests mean Queensland has it all. If you're looking to explore the tropics, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef should be top of your list.

New South Wales
As well as the iconic sights of Sydney, New South Wales has a gorgeous coast, rugged mountains and traditional outback towns. Don't miss the Harbour Bridge Climb in Sydney, Bondi Beach, a visit to suburb Manly and the famous nightlife. 

Victoria is Australia's cultural capital, with hip, artsy Melbourne its most popular attraction. Studded with restaurants and cafes (Melbourne is famous for its coffee and award-winning baristas), it's also regularly dubbed the shopping capital of Australia. The Mornington Peninsula region hosts some of the best wine regions too. 

South Australia
South Australia is home to the cosmopolitan city of Adelaide and has some of the best-known wine regions in the world. The Barossa valley northeast of Adelaide is renowned for its Shiraz, while to the southwest lies Kangaroo Island, a must for nature buffs.

Western Australia
Western Australia has its own set of charms, including spectacular beaches and outback destinations. Perth is a vibrant city with a buzzing music and arts scene, while Broome, in the Kimberley Region, is a Bucket List spot you shouldn't miss. 

Northern Territory
Quintessentially Australian and studded with amazing landscapes, the Northern Territory is often at the top of many travel wish lists. Don't miss the iconic sights, including Katherine Gorge, Kakadu, the Olgas and of course, Uluru (Ayers Rock).
With some of Australia’s best wilderness areas, the isolated island of Tasmania is a laid-back mix of cool and quiet, with trendy markets and galleries in Hobart, and stunning nature reserves to explore. It’s also home to the iconic Tasmanian Devil.  

Wherever you’re planning to visit in Australia, make sure you’re fully protected with travel insurance. Travelling to Australia is an exciting experience but before you go it’s worth checking the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

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