Last updated: 28 Oct 2020



With plenty of sunshine, Australia is an enticing land of vast beaches, pulsating cities and huge expanses of bush land. It has an alluring sense of space and plenty of diversity from region to region.

From sun & beaches to tropical rainforests, from the Outback to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia offers it all and has a diversity of people. Don’t forget a visit to the Sydney Opera House. Brisbane is Australia's third-largest city, and zipping between its sights via its main arterial waterway is a sublime pleasure in itself.

Adventure sports abound in Queensland, where you can sail, white-water raft, paraglide, and delve into the natural underwater wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef, awash with turquoise tints and sealife.

Sydney has a host of quality beaches on its doorstep, including the world-famous Bondi Beach and Manly. Sydney itself is the dynamic hub of the southern hemisphere, and one of the most stunning cities in the world, surrounded by World Heritage areas.

Tasmania’s harbours distinct wildlife, and many of the species are endangered or extinct elsewhere; the infamous Tasmanian devil, the spotted-tail and the eastern quoll are the three biggest carnivorous marsupials in the world.
Capital:  Canberra (CBN)
Currency:  Australian Dollar (AUD)
Language:  English (other languages are spoken by minorities, including several Aboriginal languages)
Dialling code from SA:  + 261
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +8 – UTC / GMT + 10 (6 – 8 hours ahead of South Africa)
Public Holidays 2020: 

Jan 1, 26, 27; Apr 10, 13, 25, 27; Dec 25, 26, 28 (Each state / territory may have additional holidays)

Daylight Savings Time: First Sunday October – Last Sunday April (region dependent)
For more information on Time Zones and Daylight Savings Time visit
Side of the Road: Left
Best Time to go: Year – Round. Hot and sunny climate, with certain regions experiencing tropical weather. 
Best For: Cultural exploration, Beach activities, Diving, National Parks.
Plugs: 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Three-pin plugs are in use, although these differ from UK three-pin plugs. Outlets for 110 volts for small appliances are found in most hotels.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. Should you be visiting a remote area, emergency medical services may take a long time to reach you, therefore basic first aid / medical supplies should be carried
Customs: Normal social courtesies
Local Offences / Laws: Smoking is forbidden in many public spaces
Travel Warnings / Tips: Bush fires are frequent in the summer. During summer the ocean waters become infested with box jellyfish – visitors should pay attention to signs on beach and the instructions of life guards. There may be limited use of credit cards and ATM’s in small towns. Visitors should pay attention to signs warning of crocodile attacks. 
Duty Free: The following items may be imported into Australia by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 50 cigarettes or 50g of tobacco or cigars.
• 2.25L of alcoholic drinks.
• Articles for personal hygiene and clothing, not including perfume or fur apparel.
• Other goods to a value of A$900 (A$450 if under 18).
Prohibited Imports: There are very strict regulations against the import of non-prescribed drugs, weapons, firearms, wildlife, domestic animals and foodstuffs (including meat, poultry and dairy; plants or parts of plants [including fruit, nuts and seeds]; animal products [including wool, skins and eggs] and any equipment used with domestic animals) and other potential sources of disease and pestilence (such as vaccines or viruses). There are severe penalties for drug trafficking. For further details on customs regulations, contact the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service ( You can obtain customs information booklets from the Australian High Commission or Embassy.
Prohibited Exports: The export of protected wildlife and associated products is strictly controlled, including the export of coral, turtle shell, snake or reptile skin, orchids, caviar, ivory products, hunting trophies and traditional medicinal products. If you plan to export any heritage-listed goods, including works of art, stamps, coins, archaeological objects, minerals and specimens, you need to apply for a special permit. The export of Australian native animals and plants is either prohibited or restricted. Also prohibited are firearms, pornography and narcotics.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory:

  • You can only travel to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or are a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia.
  • Travellers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia will need to have an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner.
  • All travellers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.​
  • You are exempt from Australia’s travel restrictions if you have a connecting flight from the same airport within eight hours of arrival and you do not leave the airport. You must request a travel exemption if you plan to leave the airport or if you will be at the airport for longer than eight hours. Refer:

Further updates available here:

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

(Visa Section)
The Australian High Commission
292 Orient Street, (Cnr. Schoeman Street)
Arcadia, Pretoria 0083
Private Bag X150
Pretoria 0001.
Tel: 012 423 6000 (no telephone enquiries accepted)
Fax: 012 342 4222
Website: /

All visa applications to Australia are managed by VFS.
Tel: (012) 425 3022
Hours: 08:00-12:30 & 13:30-16:00 Monday - Friday

PRETORIA: 337 Veal Street, Lobby 2, Ground Floor, Brooklyn Pretoria
JOHANNESBURG: 1st Floor, Rivonia Village, Cnr Rivonia Boulevard & Mutual Road, Rivonia
CAPE TOWN: 7th Floor, 2 Long Street Cape Town
DURBAN: Unit 101A, 1st Floor, 91-123 Cowley Road, Essenwood
PORT ELIZABETH: Biometric Collection: 1st Floor, Moffett on Main, Lifestyle Centre, c/o 17th Ave & Main Road, Walmer (Please note that the Australian Biometrics Collection Centre in Port Elizabeth does not accept visa applications.)


Visa Requirements

  • Visas are required by SA passport holders
  • Visas are required by all passport holders except New Zealand
  • A transit visa is required if staying longer than 8 hours.


Requirements - supporting documents which may be required include:

  • A certified copy of the identity page (showing photo and personal details) of a valid passport and other pages which provide evidence of travel to any other countries - Note: your passport must have at least six months left before the expiry date.
  • A recent passport photograph (not more than 6 months old) of yourself
  • Evidence of payment of the Visa Application Charge
  • Evidence that you have sufficient funds for your intended stay (recent personal bank statements, pay slips, audited accounts, taxation records or credit card limit).
  • If you are visiting relatives or friends, a letter of invitation from your relative or friend in Australia. If your relative or friend is paying for your visit, evidence that they have the necessary funds
  • Your itinerary for your stay in Australia.
  • Evidence of your medical/travel insurance (if requested)
  • Medical examination or tests (if requested)
  • A letter from your employer confirming your leave or evidence of enrolment at school, college or university
  • Other information to show that you have an incentive and authority to return to your country of residence, such as property or other significant assets in your home country
  • If you are not staying at a friend/relative’s house, a hotel reservation is required.

Please note that ALL applicants, regardless of nationality, who are in South Africa at the time of making a visa application to enter Australia will be required to provide their biometrics along with their application, unless otherwise excluded or exempted from doing so under Australian Government policy. This is applicable whether applying online or in person. 

Biometric data is collected through a quick, discreet and a non-intrusive process that captures a facial image using a digital camera and a 10-digit fingerprint scan on a dry scanner machine. This process will be familiar to applicants who have travelled to other countries requiring biometric data collection. Australian visa applicants will need to attend in person any one of the  Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs) to provide their biometrics. 

Child Visa - see more:

Effective 1 April 2020, all new applications for these following visa subclasses: 

  • Child (Subclass 101)
  • Adoption (Subclass 102)
  • Orphan Relative (Subclass 117)

will need to be posted to:

Department of Home Affairs Child and Other Family Processing Centre
Locked Bag 7

or, the application should be delivered by courier service to:

Department of Home Affairs Child and Other Family Processing Centre
Wellington Central
836 Wellington Street WEST PERTH WA 6005

Applicants will still be required to provide their biometrics upon receipt of a requirement letter from the Department.

Health requirements

  • Applicants 75 years of age and over
  • Applicants entering a hospital or a classroom
  • Evidence of polio vaccination If you have spent 28 days or longer since 5 May 2014, in any of the countries listed by the Department.
  • Australian panel Doctors: Medical examinations conducted overseas are generally only acceptable if conducted by Panel doctors. Find out more:

Important: Please take your valid passport with you to your medical examination. This is the only formal proof of identity accepted.


Medical Clinic
Dr Rosendorff and Partners
Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, Suite 1201 12th Floor, Corner of DF Malan Street and Rua Bartholemeu Dias Plain, Foreshore, Cape Town 8001 ​
Telephone: +27 21 424 2003
Fax: +27 21 424 2023

Intercare Tyger Valley Medical and Dental centre
Level 3, 43 Old Oak Road, Tyger Valley, Cape Town 7536
Telephone: +27 21 943 3500, 595 2515
Fax: +27 21 595 1770, 943 3501
Dr E M Van Der Spuy
Dr R C Marais


ShipMed Medical Services (Pty) Ltd
Medical and Radiology examinations
The Ear Nose and Throat Centre, Entabeni Hospital
Telephone: +27 31 261 8291
Fax: +27 31 261 4644
Dr Robert Dungan
Dr David Ogg


Rosebank Medical & Dental Centre
(opposite Rosebank Clinic)
11 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank
Telephone: +27 11 788 1344/5104
Fax: +27 11 880 3615  5104
Dr Hugh Cobb
Dr J Klotnick


Medical Clinic
Bay Medical Centre, 1 Eighth Avenue, Summerstand, Port Elizabeth
Telephone: +27 41 583 2121
Fax: +27 41 583 4282
Dr Louis Pieter Visser

Medical and Radiology Clinic
Hatmed, Hatfield Gables North, 454 Hilda Street, Hatfield, Pretoria 0028
Telephone: +27 12 362 7180
Fax: +27 12 362 7181
Dr Erwin Lingenfelder
Dr Johan Momberg

Medical Clinic
Centrum Medicinum 1, 11 Ella Street, Willows, Bloemfontein 9320
Telephone: +27 51 444 1240, 444 1565
Fax: +27 51 444 1424
Dr J L Fouche


Visa Processing Time

The current processing times for visitor visas is 30 days. The Australian High Commission recommends clients lodge their visa application well ahead of their proposed travel dates and only finalise any travel arrangements after the visa process has been completed.
Delays may be experienced due to the high volumnes of applications. The High Commission advises applicants to lodge their visa applications as early as possible. They will not be liable for any financial loss incurred by clients whose visa application was finalised later than expected or where an application is unsuccessful.

Visa Validity

Generally 3 months.

Visa Cost

  • Tourist Visa - AUD145 (check the rate of exchange on the day)
  • Temporary Business Visa, short stay - AUD145 (check the rate of exchange on the day)

If applying through VFS, additional service charge will apply. Visit

It is advisable that you do not make final travel arrangements until your visa has been granted

SA Representative

Also accredited to New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands,
Pacific Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Kiribati
South African High Commission
Tel: (0061-2) 6272 7300
Fax: (0061-2) 6273 1033(Consular)

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever (Dependant on Country of Origin/Stopover)
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitus B, Tetanus, Polio