Before You Go
New Zealand citizens do not need a pre-arranged visa to travel to Australia. Upon arrival, the visa is issued, though a character test will be conducted prior to this. Citizens from all other countries will require a visa to gain entry into Australia. The following visas can be granted: ETA (Electronic Travel Authority), eVisitor, and e676 (Electronic Tourist Visa). Along with your visa and passport, you will also need a signed and completed Incoming Passenger Card, along with character and health declarations.
As a short-term tourist or a business traveller, you can be issued an ETA provided:
You have a passport that is ETA-eligible
You have no intention of working in Australia
You have no intention of staying in Australia for a period of more than three months
You have no criminal record and you are in good health
You will have to carry your ticket along when you travel. If you have bought an e-ticket, you should carry the itinerary receipt issued to you for both domestic and international flights.
You need to have a valid passport to be allowed entry into Australia. There is no minimum validity requirement as far as your passport is concerned. But travellers en-route to Australia who pass through immigration in the transit country may require a minimum six-month passport validity. It is generally recommended that you have a minimum passport validity of 6 months.
Travellers who enter Australia within six days of staying at or transiting through any region infected by yellow fever, will need to be vaccinated against this disease. Apart form this, there are no other immunization requirements for international tourists. However, it is recommended that travellers are vaccinated against influenza, MMR and tetanus-diphtheria.
Best time to visit Whitsundays
Whitsundays enjoy warm and cheerful climate throughout the year. The best time to visit the islands would be from May through to November. The winter months are between June and August, but the weather rarely falls below 22 degree Celsius in the winter.
What to pack
The best advice would be to travel light, and carry casual clothes in line with the activities you plan to indulge in. Beach towels, beachwear, sunglasses, hats/caps, and sunscreen are recommended. Jackets and light sweaters can be packed if you are visiting in the winter months. Carry a first-aid box for emergency, your prescription medicines (if any) and insect repellent for trips to national parks.
When travelling overseas to any country, it is always a good idea to photo copy all of your relevant documents including your passport, credit cards, travellers cheques and itinerary. One copy is best left back in your home country with a family member or close friend so that either you or authorities can call in case of and emergency. It is also a good idea to keep a copy on you, as a quick reference to any lost or stolen documents. Taking photos of personal items is also advisable for insurance purposes. For your travelling convenience, mydestination.com/whitsundays offers a fully interactive trip planner for you to organise your entire holiday, which is also available on the mydestintion.com mobile phone app.
The best places to visit
There are so many wonderful attractions, each special in their own way, that the list of best places is an exhaustive one! Some of the several places worth a visit include the beautiful resort island that is Hamilton Island, vibrant and cosmopolitan Airlie Beach, the luxurious Hayman Island and Bowen for its parklands, famous Whitehaven beach and of course, the amazing Great Barrier Reef!