Last updated: 6 Jul 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
Fax: 012 342 4222

The Immigration Office at the Australian High Commission in Pretoria no longer takes telephone enquiries. Agents and clients who need to get in touch with the Department are directed to do so via the Web Enquiry Form which can be found on: 


From 24th of June 2019, all visa applications to Australia will be 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

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Visa Processing Time

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Visa Validity

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Visa Cost

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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