Queensland has two international airports in Brisbane and Cairns and is serviced by a number of airlines from North America.
Qantas offers daily direct non-stops flights from Los Angeles to Brisbane making it the quickest way from the West Coast of America into Australia.
Flying time for LAX is just 13 hours.
Once in Australia, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and a number of smaller regional carriers will get you around.
Ensure you wear appropriate footwear such as sturdy boots and socks in outback and rainforest areas. Reef walking also requires sturdy footwear.
Warm clothing is necessary in some hinterland and outback regions, as temperatures drop to below 0ºC at night (winter months June - August).
The Australian sun is extremely strong, especially between 10am and 3pm.
It is recommended to wear a broad-brimmed hat and a shirt with collar and sleeves, apply broad-spectrum SPF 30+ (or higher) sunscreen and wear sunglasses.
Avoid the sun between 10am and 3pm (including cloudy days) and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
In Australia the currency is Australian Dollars (AUD). They also accept American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates. Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports.
In Australia there is a goods and services tax on purchases (10%) but you may claim this and the Wine Equalization Tax when departing Australia shores.
Contacting Emergency Services
For URGENT HELP from any Queensland Emergency Service - ambulance, fire brigade or police - dial 000 (triple zero).
Only dial 000 for an emergency that is life threatening or to report a serious offence in progress.
Calling 000 connects you to an operator who will ask you which emergency service you need, and from where you are calling. After answering these simple questions you immediately will be connected to the emergency service you require.
Tipping is not common in Australia. When eating out, shopping or taking taxis, the prices are inclusive of tax or GST as they call it. Of course, tipping is appreciated for exceptional service.
Traveling to the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef is only a 13 hour flight to Brisbane from Los Angeles, then another couple of hours to Cairns or Hamilton Island!
And once you're there, getting around is incredibly fun!
Light aircraft, helicopters and seaplanes offer island transfers and scenic flights.
Hire a charter yacht or catch a ferry service to island resorts and the Great Barrier Reef.
Small Luxury Cruising
Sit back and relax on a luxury vessel and visit both the iconic islands like Whitehaven as well as some of the island secrets only the local crew are able to share.
Customs & Quarantine
When arriving in Australia, you must declare all food, plant and animal items. Seemingly harmless plant, food, wood or seeds can introduce deadly pests or disease. Prohibited products may include meat, nuts, live plants and fruit.
Trade in endangered and threatened wildlife and native Australian wildlife is strictly regulated. Products made from hard corals, giant clamshells, reptiles or whales may be prohibited or restricted.
You will need a valid full ten year passport that will still be valid for at least six months after your scheduled return. Next, you'll need to obtain a Visa - you can apply for your visa at Department of Immigration and Citizenship. If you're from the United States of America or Canada then you are eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). You can apply for an ETA online at Electronic Travel Authority System. If you're planning to do some paid work while you're in Australia, you'll need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa.
You should also check with Customs or Smart Traveller in regards to Yellow Fever vaccination. If you have been through certain parts of Africa six days prior to landing in Australia you will need to be vaccinated. Just tick the appropriate response on the Incoming Passenger Card you are issued on your incoming flight.
If you're planning to visit Australia and are not eligible for an ETA, you'll need to apply for a standard Tourist Visa.
Working Holiday Maker Visa
Planning to venture Australia and hoping to do some paid work? To do this you'll need to obtain a Working Holiday Maker (WHM) Visa. If you're between 18 and 30 and from the United States of America and Canada you'll be able to apply for your WHM Visa. If you're from Chile and have a tertiary education you can apply for a Work and Holiday Visa. It's a little different from the WHM but a similar concept applies. Once you have your Working Holiday Maker Visa, it's time to research the job market. JobSearch advertises jobs in tourism, retail, transport, engineering, finance, building and IT. While JobSearch does not deal with enquiries from overseas, you can register after arrival when you have a permanent Australian address.
Second Holiday Maker Visa
The Second Holiday Maker Visa is available if you choose to work for three months in regional Australia doing seasonal work. Seasonal work includes picking fruit, being a harvest hand or working in vineyards. However, if you choose to apply for your WHM Visa you must do this outside of Australia and still be under the ripe age of 30.
Warm summers and mild winters are what you can expect in this subtropical destination.
Summer is from October to April with the following average temperatures:
Max temperature 84°F
Min temperature 70°F
Water temp 84°F
Winter is from May to September with the following average temperatures:
Max temperature 70°F
Min temperature 50°F
Water temp 66°F
So come on, pack your swimsuit, a sweater for those cool evenings and maybe an umbrella for the occasional afternoon shower…but that's it.
You won't need to bring too much and that'll leave just enough space in your suitcase for you to squeeze in those gifts and souvenirs, and maybe the item or two that you bought yourself.