Here are our recommendations for traveling to Australia and New Zealand. We’ve structured the article into various sections to make it easier to find the information you need.
Packing Your Suitcase
No matter when you plan to travel to Australia and New Zealand, if you’re going to explore parts of both countries, you’ll need both warm and lightweight clothing.
In New Zealand and the southern parts of Australia, you’ll need warm clothing, but on the northern and eastern coasts of Australia, you’ll need summer clothing due to the tropical climate.
One thing to keep in mind is not to overpack, especially if you’re planning a trip with multiple segments to visit many places. Packing light makes your internal flights and road trips more convenient, so you won’t have to carry heavy bags at every stop.
In your suitcase, swimwear and/or bikinis are a must since you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy paradisiacal beaches and, most importantly, snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. The rest, as with any other trip, depends on your personal preferences, but comfortable and versatile footwear is essential.
In any case, it’s a good idea to review our tips on packing a lightweight suitcase. You can always buy what you need locally if you have an emergency or find yourself in need of something more elegant. Carrying a jacket around for 40,000 kilometers just in case you get invited to dinner with the queen is not fun. If that ever happens, you’ll easily find a place to buy or rent one.
No special treatments or vaccinations are required to visit these two countries. Nevertheless, it’s recommended to check the travel advice on the website of your country’s Ministry of Health.
You’ll need to obtain authorization to enter Australia, which is a kind of visa applied for online, free of charge, and called EVisitor. You can apply for it on the Australian EVisitor application website.
Just be careful because, like in the United States, there are people out there trying to charge for something that’s offered for free. Of course, make sure your passport is valid for at least six months when you arrive. If you’re a Spanish citizen visiting New Zealand, you don’t need a visa, but be sure to check the requirements for other countries at the respective embassies.
Food and Medicines
Customs in both countries are particularly strict about food and medications. Don’t make the mistake of carrying any food (or organic items) to avoid wasting time at the border. However, you can bring a few snacks, like typical candies and small packages of cookies that you can keep in your bag for emergencies.
if you need to carry prescription medications, such as for asthma, diabetes, or similar conditions, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor. Ask your doctor to provide a document in English stating that you need to carry these medications. It’s also helpful to have the medication’s instructions in English, which you can likely find easily on the internet.
You can contract a mobile phone plan with internet access from an Australian or New Zealand company to stay connected at all times. In our case, we did this with Optus in Australia. Nevertheless, you can choose from various providers at the airport.
Cards and Cash
If you plan to rent a car in addition to hotel reservations, it’s useful to obtain a prepaid card offered for free by some banks. They come in handy because, as you probably know, car rentals require a significant deposit (depending on the type of car). Without such a card, your credit card may end up maxed out and not available for other expenses like shopping, dining, etc.
We found it very useful, and we recommend it. You can also carry some cash for small payments, though it’s not really necessary. These two countries are very accustomed to card usage, even for small purchases. Nonetheless, it’s not a bad idea to have some cash on hand for shopping at local markets (although most of them also accept card payments).
In Australia and New Zealand, the average cost of accommodation is not cheap, but you usually get spacious rooms, often with a small kitchen. Depending on your preference, there are options for all budgets, from hostels with shared rooms for surfers to five-star hotels and campgrounds with small bungalows or spaces for camper vans.
IWe contacted a local agency that guided us and provided accommodation as needed, based on the price range we specified. In New Zealand, we rented a campervan and stayed in campgrounds on our way to the places we wanted to visit.
We hope that these recommendations for traveling to Australia and New Zealand will be helpful for your trip, and that you can explore this wonderful part of the world with peace of mind.
Don’t forget to read our travel diaries from our 37-day journey through the Land of Oz and the Hobbit’s Land.