Australia - Consular Information Sheet
April 6, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Australia is a highly developed
stable democracy with a federal-state system. Tourist facilities
are widely available. The Australian Tourist Commission, which
has a wide range of information of interest to travelers, can
be contacted via the Internet at www.australia.com.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens may travel to Australia
on a valid U.S. passport and, if eligible, on an Electronic Travel
Authority (ETA) which replaces a visa and allows a stay of up
to three months. The ETA is free of charge and is available from
airlines and many travel agents. More information about the ETA
and entry requirements may be obtained from the
Embassy of Australia 1601 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington,
D.C. 20036, telephone (202) 797-3000, via the Australian Embassy
home page on the Internet at http://www.austemb.org or from the
Australian Consulate General in Los Angeles, tel (310) 229-4840.
CRIME INFORMATION: Australia's crime rate is low. However,
foreign visitors from the U.S. or elsewhere are sometimes targets
for pick-pockets, purse snatchers and petty thieves. Automobile
burglaries and theft of personal belongings also occur. The loss
or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately
to the local police, and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet
Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a more trouble-free
journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington D.C., 20402 or via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Good medical care is available. Serious
medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation
to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and
hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas
may face extreme difficulties. Check with your own insurance company
to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provisions
for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made
to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed
later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include
coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains
in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies
abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in
the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available
via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Australia is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance:
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good
Visitors are reminded that all traffic operates on the left
side of the road, and that all vehicles use right-hand drive.
Visitors should use caution when crossing streets and when driving.
When crossing roads, pedestrians are reminded to look carefully
in all directions. Seat belts are mandatory. Speed limits and
laws regarding driving while intoxicated are rigorously enforced.
Roads and streets are frequently more narrow and less graded than
U.S. highways. Outside the major metropolitan areas, most highways
are two-lane roads with significant distances between destinations.
Drivers are urged to exercise caution while passing or merging
with adjacent traffic. When driving in rural areas, particularly
in the Northern Territory where there are no speed limits, drivers
should be cautious of free-roaming animals and "road-trains" (several
semi-truck trailers hooked together). It is dangerous to pass
road-trains, and it is advisable to pull over and allow on-coming
road-trains to pass to avoid being sideswiped. A number of fatalities
have occurred in the Northern Territory when vehicles, driven
at high rates of speed, have skidded and overturned after hitting
the loose gravel shoulder of the road. U.S. drivers, especially
those inexperienced with 4-wheel drive vehicles, should exercise
common-sense judgment when driving in outback Australia.
For specific information concerning the rental and operation
of motor vehicles in Australia, contact the
Australian Tourist Commission via the Internet at http://www.australia.com.
AVIATION OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Australia's civil aviation
authority as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation
safety standards for oversight of Australia's air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit
Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S.
Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air
carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Australian customs officials encourage
the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet
for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial
samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet
Headquarters, located at the
U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the
Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet
in the United States. For additional information call (212) 354-4480,
send an e-mail to email@example.com, or contact their web site
applies very strict quarantine standards to a number of products
and to animals and pets. See http://www.affa.gov.au/outputs/quarantine.html
for more information.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than for similar offenses in the United States. Persons violating
Australia's laws, even unknowingly, may be arrested, imprisoned
and deported. Criminal penalties for possession, use, or trafficking
of illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and fines.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Australia is located in an area
of low seismic activity. Although the probability of a major earthquake
occurring during an individual trip is remote, earthquakes can
and will continue to happen. General
information regarding disaster preparedness is available via
the Internet at http://travel.state.gov/crisismg.html, and from
the U.S. Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) home page at http://www.fema.gov.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information
on international adoption of children and international parental
child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
2000 SUMMER OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES: The 2000 Summer
Olympic Games will be held in Sydney from September 15 to October
1, 2000. The 2000 Summer Paralympic Games will be held in Sydney
from October 18-29, 2000. Monitor the home pages of the Department
of State and the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulates in Australia
for information about consular services available during the Games.
For more general information on both events, see the Internet
home pages for the
Sydney Olympic Organizing Committee at http://www.olympics.com/eng/,
International Olympic Committee at http://www.olympic.org/future/sydney,
U.S. Olympic Committee at http://www.olympic-usa.org.
Registration/U.S. Embassy and Consulate Locations: U.S. citizens
living in or visiting Australia are encouraged to register at
the U.S. Embassy or at the nearest U.S. Consulate and to obtain
updated information on travel and security within the country.
U.S. Embassy in Canberra is located on Moonah Place, Yarralumla,
A.C.T. 2600, telephone (61)(2) 6214-5600, fax (61)(2) 6273-3191,
home page http://www.usis-australia.gov. NOTE: Registration, passports,
and other routine citizen services for Canberra and the rest of
the Australian Capital Territory (A.C.T.) are provided by the
U.S. Consulate in Sydney (see contact information below).
Consulate General in Sydney serves New South Wales, Queensland,
and the Australian Capital Territory and is located on Level 59,
MLC Centre, 19-29 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000, telephone (61)(2)
9373-9200, fax (61)(2) 9373-9184, home page http://www.usconsydney.org.
U.S. Consulate General in Melbourne serves Victoria, Tasmania,
South Australia, and the Northern Territory and is located at
553 St. Kilda Road, P.O. Box 6722, Melbourne Vic 3004, telephone
(61)(3) 9526-5900, fax (61)(3) 9525-0769, home page http://www.usis-australia.gov/melbourne/.
U.S. Consulate General in Perth serves Western Australia and
is located on Level 13, 16 St. Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000,
telephone (61)(8) 9231-9400, fax (61)(8) 9231-9444, home page
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated September
14, 1999 to add information to the section on Traffic Safety and
Road Conditions, to add sections on Children's Issues and Disaster
Preparedness, and to delete the section on Y2K Information.