A Guide to Surfing in Byron Bay, Australia

Surfers worldwide know Byron Bay as a surfing hotspot. If you’re interested in surfing in Byron Bay, you’ve found the perfect guide.

From the best surf beaches in Byron Bay to the biggest cliches around surfing in the area – here’s your guide to surfing in Byron Bay in Australia.

See also: Your Ultimate Byron Bay Travel Guide

Best surf beaches in Byron Bay

The beaches Belongil Beach, Main Beach and Clark Beach are perfect for beginners.

The most famous is The Pass, but it is not recommended for your first surf session.

If you are already experienced and looking for a challenge, but you don’t want to miss the colorful magic of the place, we can recommend Tallow Beach. Due to its very strong current, the beach can be dangerous for beginners, but a welcome adrenaline rush for professionals! You might even catch a glimpse of some dolphins!


The furthest north beach of Byron Bay, Belongil might become your favourite. It’s usually much less crowded than other beaches. A short 10 minute walk up from Main Beach.

Fun beach break with numerous peaks. Usually a solid right-hand bank which often barrels.

The Wreck

One of the most popular areas in Byron is due to a ship wreck poking out of the water. It’s also great for snorkelling!

Super recognizable by the rudder sticking out of the water. On the right swell, you’ll see a super hollow left off the rudder, or a punchy right hander off the submerged boilers.

Main Beach

The beautiful Main Beach of Byron Bay is the perfect place to take a refreshing dip! With its lifeguard patrol, it’s definitely the safest spot for swimming and surfing.

This section of beach has loads of peaks, which are perfect for all levels on a smaller swell. However, when the swell gets bigger, these peaks can become really hollow and challenging, especially during cyclone swells.


Wategos is a sand-bottomed surf spot loved by loggers for its fun right-handers that are great for all levels. When a bigger swell rolls in, the outer banks start to break as well.

The Pass

The most popular section of the beach in Byron is due to the right hand point break. The lookout rock is also a great spot to watch the waves and whale migration too.

The most celebrated surf spot is definitely the one that offers a lengthy, curling right-hand point break over a sandy bottom. When swells are smaller, it’s great for all levels of surfers – even beginners. But when conditions are more treacherous, be on the lookout for dangerous rip currents. Also be prepared for large crowds, as this spot gets super busy!

Broken Head

Broken Head is another delightful beach within ten minutes driving distance from town. It’s well worth a visit when heading up to Byron or down the coast.


If you’re looking for a more low-key beach experience, Tallows is the perfect spot. With less people around, you can enjoy the peace and quiet or even head to the nudist section down to the right!

On the other side of the Cape, Tallows Beach is a much wilder beach and absolutely amazing. Not suitable for beginners, beware of rips, heavy hold downs and the men in grey suits!

Surf conditions in Byron Bay

The general surfing conditions during the seasons are:

The hottest sea temperatures in Byron Bay peak around February 5 and lowest around August 16, in the range of 18 to 21 ° C (64 to 70 ° F).

Throughout the year, warm sea temperatures in Byron Bay climb to their highest at the beginning of February. Even then, a rash vest and boardshorts should be good for surfing at any time of the year.

The lowest water temperatures in mid-August require something like a 3/2 mm long wetsuit.

Byron Bay has a mild temperate climate with warm summers and mild winters. Winters are not cold with daily maximums usually reaching a comfortable 19.4° C and a minimum of 11° C.

Summer can be hot, with a daily average of 27 ºC. Summer evenings can be wet, cooling the day so for a comfortable night temperature.

Clichés about surfing in Byron Bay and what is true

About surfing in Byron Bay, you may have heard some discouraging clichés like “it’s supposed to be full with sharks, with brutal locals and extremely crowded lineups.”

But what’s the real deal? Can you still have a relaxed time?

Cliché number 1: There are many shark attacks in Byron Bay

Not true! Although Australia is the habitat of many shark species, statistics show that most attacks occur in the state of New South Wales – with only 122 being recorded between 1990 and 2016.

What’s more, Byron Bay accounts for 12 of these incidents over 26 years, making the risk very low. Much more likely are car accidents or being struck by lightning.

Locals don’t worry about sharks at all, but criticize shark repellent measures installed at busy surf spots such as drumlines and nets – as they endanger many marine life forms.

Instead it’s all about the “Blue Bottles” – relatively harmless small jellyfish that can sting quite a bit.

Cliché number 2: The surf spots in Byron Bay are overcrowded

The Pass is definitely one of the most popular surf spots on the East Coast of Australia because the waves are fantastic and it’s easily accessible. There’s always a lot going on there and on weekends the crowds can get pretty big.

But usually this is the only spot in Byron Bay that’s really crowded. If you venture away from the pass, you’ll find that the lineups get a lot quieter! Check out some of the other spots on the list above and ask locals (for example, in surf shops) for tips.

Cliché number 3: The locals in Byron Bay are brutal

Unfortunately, this is partly true! Aggressive locals can sometimes be found at the pass who do not shy away from “full contact”!

Even locals warn to avoid this spot themselves. The sobering realization, “Surf Rage” really exists.

“Rage surfers” also exist at the Wreck. Be careful on the Outside and aware that you are taking a risk despite knowing surf etiquette. At all other Byron Bay spots the vibe is much friendlier.

Top Things to do in Darwin, Australia

Darwin is a small yet cosmopolitan city. People from more than 50 nations make up its population of 110,000. It is on the Timor Sea (a branch of the Indian Ocean) in north-central Australia. Darwin is the tropical capital city of the Northern Territory.

Darwin is notable amongst the capital cities in Australia for its relaxed lifestyle and unique multiculturalism, where people from over 50 different cultures live and work side by side.

The regular Asian-style markets that form an instrinsic part of the everyday Darwin landscape for local residents see food, music, language, and culture from just about every Asian nation, alongside crocodile hunters, local Aboriginal artists, musicians of every genre, sports fishing operators, sunset sails, and families with children playing on the beach.

Thanks to this diverse mix, there are many things to do in Darwin.

See also Darwin’s Popular Roadkill Cafe

Top places to visit in Darwin, Australia
View of Darwin Waterfront, which is a popular area for locals and tourists in Northern Territory of Australia – depositphotos.com

A brief history of Darwin

Darwin’s unique cosmopolitan makeup has been recognised as an “multicultural icon of national significance” by the Australian National Tust. Darwin’s tropical climate has two major seasons, the ‘dry’, from about May to October, and the ‘wet’, from November to April. Major cyclones have occurred approximately once every three decades. Much of the city was destroyed by Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

Darwin is also the only Australian capital city to have come under substantial attack during a war. On 19 February, 1942, Japanese planes made two major air raids on Darwin from the aircraft carrier fleet that had attacked Pearl Harbor less than 3 months earlier. These were the first of 64 air attacks experienced by the city during World War II, the last being on 12 November, 1943. (Other areas in northern Queensland and northern Western Australia were also bombed by Japanese aircraft.)

Natural sights of Darwin, Australia

Among the top things to do in Darwin are visiting the many beautiful natural sights.

Berry Springs 

The perfect swimming spot is only 45 minutes from Darwin city. Berry Springs Nature Park has shaded picnic and barbecue areas and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for local birds and wildlife. Bring along your goggles to explore the underwater world in the crystal clear pools.

Territory Wildlife Park

The Territory Wildlife Park is a popular attraction, home to monsoon and paperbark forests and a wetlands walk. You can stand nose-to-nose with a 3.7 metre saltwater crocodile on a walk through the aquarium tunnel. Don’t miss the twice-daily birds of prey show or animal encounters presentation. 

Bicentennial Park

This scenic stretch of parkland along The Esplanade overlooks Darwin Harbour. It’s a great place to kick a footy, soak up some rays or have a picnic while watching the sun set. 

George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens

A stone’s throw from the city centre are 42 hectares of gardens that showcase local flora and that of other tropical habitats around the world. Explore monsoon forests, coastal foredunes and open woodlands on a stroll through the botanic gardens.

Places to visit in Darwin, Australia
George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens

Lake Alexander

An ideal spot for swimming all year round, Lake Alexander is popular for picnics and barbecues. Spend the day by the water, have a game of volleyball and tire the kids out on the playground. 

Casuarina Coastal Reserve

The Reserve encompasses 1500 hectares, including 8 km of sandy beaches bordered by dramatic cliffs. Stretch your legs on one of the walking paths or grab a table and settle in for a barbecue under a shady Casuarina tree.

Charles Darwin National Park

Shell middens in the area indicate that it has been used by Aboriginal people for thousands of years. The Larrakia people are the traditional owners of the land. During World War II, this area was part of a network of military sites that formed Australia’s front line of defence, and as a result there are many bunkers and storage facilities remaining.

Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park is in the Northern Territory (Australia), 69 km south of Darwin – it makes for a great day trip from Darwin!

For visitors, Litchfield National Park’s main attractions are permanent spring fed waterfalls (Florence, Tolmer and Wangi); the clear pools of water they cascade into; cascades at Buley Rockhole; magnetic termite mounds; and a wildlife cruise along the majestic Reynolds River.

During the hot dry season the park is a magnet for people looking for a refreshing swim. Crocodiles do not seem to be as much a threat in Litchfield as they are in other Darwin top end parks, such as Kakadu National Park.

Other features of the park include the termite mounds and the “Lost City”, an area of bizarre sandstone block and pillar formations which have been sculpted by wind and rain over thousands of years.

The Northern Territory supports a wide diversity of native animals including birds, insects, reptiles, marsupials and mammals. This tropical environment is prolific with barramundi and produces the most exciting sportfishing in Australia.

There is no entry fee for the National Park. Camping fees are charged per person per night.

The National Park has a network of sealed and unsealed roads. The northern end can be visited by 2WD on bitumen roads. To visit the southern end, it is necessary to have a 4WD due to several river crossings and the variable nature of the road conditions. Note that during the wet season (Dec-Mar) access by road may be not be possible as the 4WD tracks are closed due to flooding.

Historical sights in Darwin

Darwin is also packed with history, here’s where to get your history fix in Darwin.

World War II Oil Storage Tunnels

Hidden deep beneath the city is one of the most interesting historical sites in Darwin. The World War II Oil Storage Tunnels were built during World War II due to the vulnerability of standard storage tanks to aerial attacks. Delays and the failure to properly seal the tunnels from water meant that they were never used for their initial purpose. Two of the tunnels are open to the public and feature an awesome collection of photographs of life in Darwin during World War II. 

East Point reserve

East Point Reserve, just north of the city, is filled with walking trails and cycling paths. The area is also home to Darwin’s East Point Military Museum. Here you can check out WWII relics and watch footage of the Darwin bombing. Go near dawn or dusk to see Agile Wallabies. 

Darwin Wharf Precinct

At 9.58AM on February 19, 1942, the wharf was a target for Japanese bombs, which claimed the lives of many service personnel and waterside workers. Many of the historical landmarks remain and can be explored today. 

Darwin Wharf Precinct
Australia, homes on recreation area with lagoon on Waterfront precinct in Darwin – depositphotos.com

Fannie Bay Gaol

Fannie Bay Gaol operated as Darwin’s major prison for almost 100 years from 1883. Two maximum security wings were added during the 1950s and the gallows were used for executions until 1952. The building’s grim and oppressive history can be felt as you walk through.

Australian Aviation Heritage Centre

The Australian Aviation Heritage Centre, houses an impressive collection of the Territory’s aviation history and reminds us of Darwin’s frontier role in World War II. To fully appreciate all the centre has to offer, allow yourself at least an hour and a half. Take advantage of the guided tours, video presentation and range of souvenirs. entry fees apply. 

Burnett House at Myilly Point

Architect B.C.G. Burnett designed homes adapted to the climatic conditions of the Top End, which included the use of lightweight materials and natural ventilation. It is worth leaving your visit to Myilly Point until Sunday afternoon, when you can take High Tea in the shady tropical gardens at Burnett House.

Browns Mart

Browns Mart is a stone building that was opened in 1885 as the store ‘Solomon’s Emporium’. It played many roles over the years, but today has become a cultural and historic icon of the city that is regularly used for theatre and performances.

Adelaide River War Cemetery

During World War II, Adelaide River township was the site of a large military base. The war cemetery created there is now the final resting place for 434 military personnel and civilians involved in the war effort. The cemetery is set in lush surrounds alongside the Adelaide River with beautifully tended gardens providing a peaceful backdrop for remembering the fallen.

Lyons Cottage

Lyons Cottage, overlooking Darwin Harbour on The Esplanade, was built in 1925 to house staff working on the submarine cable that connected Australia with Britain. Also known as British Australia Telegraph (BAT) House, Lyons Cottage survived the Japanese bombing raids of 1942 and 1943 and escaped structural damage from Cyclone Tracy in 1974. The Cottage today houses a collection of Aboriginal and European photographic displays.

The Old Court House and Police 

Built in 1884 for the South Australian Government, these colonial style buildings made from local stone have housed criminals, the Navy and today the NT Administrator’s Offices. Restored after damage by Cyclone Tracy, these buildings are a stark reminder of the Darwin of yesteryear.

Australia Entry Restrictions: How to Avoid Getting Denied Entry

There are numerous Australia entry restrictions that travelers need to be aware of before getting on their flight to Australia.

There are a number of laws that can cause entry restrictions when it comes to entering Australia. Once a person is denied entry to the country, they are less likely to be able to enter under any circumstances, ever again.

Thus, it’s important to understand why a traveler might be denied entry into Australia. That way, they can avoid the most common pitfalls and give themselves the best possible chance of easily getting a visa to Australia and entering the country without any problems.

Sydney Opera House, Australia
Walking past the Sydney Opera House.

What are the current Australia entry restrictions?

It’s important to understand the common Australia entry restrictions, here’s how to avoid getting denied entry into the country.

Tell the truth on formal paperwork

Visitors applying for a visa to Australia need to tell the truth at all times. Even if this means disclosing details they would rather not share, it is better for them to do so than for the government to find out that they lied on official paperwork.

It’s important that travelers make sure they don’t inadvertently give wrong information, too. For instance, all of the pieces of data on their visa application need to perfectly match the information on their passport. A data discrepancy can cause delays or even a denied visa.

Obtain the best visa

Travelers need to apply for and enter Australia on the best visa for their needs. This can be confusing, because Australia offers a lot of different visas for a lot of different purposes. However, there are services that can help match visitors with the best visa for their needs.

Find more info and help to get the online Australia ETA visa.

Travelers also need to fully fill out their visa application, leaving nothing incomplete. This includes submitting all required documents for their visa, and additional documentation if it is requested and required by the Australian government.

Different visas require different documentation, and it’s up to each traveler to make sure they submit the correct paperwork. Travelers who are unclear on what is required should contact the government before they apply for their visa.

Check out our guide on the different Australian visa types.

Australia Entry Restrictions
Make sure to get the right visa before entering Australia.

Don’t bring (or declare!) restricted substances and items

Australia does not allow items that are dangerous to enter the country. Similarly, they do not permit certain agricultural items that may transmit disease or carry pests, to enter the country.

Travelers should not attempt to bring these items into Australia. If they do, they should declare them and not attempt to hide them. This allows Australian customs officers to confiscate anything that might be dangerous or not permitted.

Travelers who do not declare these kinds of items may be denied entry to Australia at the border, even if they have a visa.

Some items that are not permitted are:

  • Firearms
  • Other weapons
  • Steroids
  • Drugs
  • Some types of food
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • Protected wildlife
  • Indigenous or historical items

Expect baggage searches

While many travelers will enter and leave Australia without having their baggage formally checked, others will need to submit to luggage searches before they can enter the country. These may be performed randomly, or officials may be looking for some item in particular.

No matter the reason or the baggage search, it’s important to submit to it with good grace. Travelers may not like having their baggage searched, but it is the right of the Australian government to do so.

Travelers who protest baggage searches may lose their right to enter the country. Being chosen for a baggage screening does not reflect on an individual’s character, grooming, or other personal characteristics. A little bit of patience usually sees the search completed and the traveler moving on.

Stay calm with government officials

Visitors should remain calm whenever they are dealing with Australian government officials. They may find questions, searches, and more to be inconvenient and annoying, but these are essential for keeping travel to Australia safe and both travelers and citizens alike secure.

A traveler who loses their temper with a government official may find it more difficult to enter Australia, if they are permitted entry at all. An outburst or an act of violence can get a visitor banned from Australia or make it much harder for them to get into the country.

An outburst at a consulate or an embassy visit, such as those required to obtain some visas to Australia, can have similar results. Overall, travelers should keep their emotions under control at all times.

Have tickets for destinations outside of Australia

Australia is unlikely to grant visas for visitors who they believe will not abide by the terms of that visa. Similarly, officials at the airport are less likely to allow someone to enter Australia if they believe that the person will not leave when their visa is up.

One of the best ways to prove that a traveler has the intention of honoring the terms of their visa is for them to have a ticket for a destination outside of Australia. The ticket needs to depart Australia within the time period allowed on their particular visa.

A ticket like this shows a person’s intent to travel away from Australia before their visa expires. It is an act of good faith, showing that the visitor knows the terms of their visa and means to abide by them.

Travelers who have previously overstayed a visa in Australia will need to be able to explain this overstay. There are a few circumstances where these transgressions are considered legitimate and can be overlooked. Other overstays may result in denial of entry in the future.

Things to do in Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide, Australia

Follow COVID-19 rules and procedures

The Australian borders are currently closed due to COVID-19. Travelers who do not have specific permission to Australia will not be permitted to enter the country. This permission must be granted before the traveler departs for Australia.

Upon entry to Australia, most travelers will need to quarantine for 14 days in a government-approved quarantine facility. These are hotels where they will be shown to a room. Food will be brought several times a day, but they will not be permitted to leave the room until their quarantine is complete.

See also Travelling in a Pandemic: Crucial Safe Travel Tips and Review: LCP Medical Face Masks for Traveling

Visit Australia soon

Travelers who are permitted entry to Australia can enjoy it now. Once they know they can enter the country, they should visit as soon as possible because Australia has a lot to offer!

Check out the below posts for some Australian travel inspiration:

The Best Places to Visit in Australia

Visitors who are planning a trip to Australia might feel overwhelmed because there is so much to see. After all, Australia is vast and showcases multiple cultures and subcultures within its borders.

While different travelers have different priorities, some destinations offer something for nearly everyone. Here are the top places to visit in Australia where most visitors will learn a lot and have a great time.

Visit Natvisa for some travel tips and also read our guide on getting an ETA for Australia.

See also Watch Out for Australian Big Things

The top places to visit in Australia

Byron Bay

Byron Bay was at the heart of Australia’s hippie movement. This relaxed beach town is also the easternmost point of Australia and a hub for many adventure activities like skydiving, scuba diving, surfing (it’s listed as one of the best surfing destinations in the world), and more.

More sedate travelers can enjoy excursions like whale watching or activities like yoga. As Byron Bay becomes more and more popular, trendy bars and restaurants are popping up in the area, too.

Byron Bay hosts a number of festivals and exhibitions throughout the year. Travelers can look at the calendar so they know what to expect when they go or when to plan their next trip.

Surfing holidays in Byron Bay, Australia
Surfing in Byron Bay, Australia

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru is the famous red rock that rises, seemingly out of nowhere, in the Australian outback. While nearly everyone has seen a photo of it, it’s worth a visit in person because it’s much grander and more majestic in real life.

Note that climbing Uluru is not permitted, as it is a UNESCO world heritage site and the rock itself is sacred to indigenous cultures in the area. However, there are other rock formations in the area – such as those in the rest of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, where travelers can do more exploring.

There are also museums in the area that showcase indigenous culture. Humans have inhabited the area for at least 10,000 years and it is both exciting and educational to learn more about them.

See also Why Uluru is the Heart of Australia

Places to visit in Australia
Uluru red rocks in Australia


Travelers who love urban life should not leave Australia without visiting Sydney. This vibing metropolis has something for everyone, from an active nightlife to posh restaurants, shopping experiences, whale watching and more.

Visitors who have seen the iconic Sydney opera house can get a tour of it in person, or they can even see an opera there if they come at the right time. Other attractions in the city include Manly Beach, the Federation Cliff Walk, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Bondi Beach, Paddington Markets, Taronga Zoo, Darling Harbor, Sydney Harbour Islands and more.

The most daring travelers will want to take a guided climb of the harbor bridge. Strapped into a harness, they will follow a guide up the side of the bridge for a breathtaking view of the entire city. It’s an experience no visitor will ever, ever forget.

See also A Self-Guided Walking Tour in Sydney

Sydney Harbour, Australia
Sydney Harbour, Australia

The Gold Coast

While it is enough of a tourist trap that some publications don’t suggest going there at all, the Gold Coast has a certain appeal. It is something like Las Vegas in the United States, complete with glitz and glam, and it even has casinos.

The truth is, the Gold Coast hosts some of the best beaches (and beach weather!) in Australia. It also has nightclubs, bars, and enough theme parks for any palate.

People who don’t like everything shiny should head to nearby Springbrook National Park for a serious rainforest experience, or visit Mount Tamborine to taste wine and cheese and see the work of artisans and craftspeople. There are also plenty of great places to visit near the Gold Coast.

How to apply for an ETA for Australia
Aerial view of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Alice Springs

Travelers who want a real experience of the Australian outback should visit Alice Springs. It’s 900 miles away from anything else and is a great place to learn about aboriginal history, the settlement of Australia, and more.

Alice Springs offers some odd events, like an annual “regatta” that takes place in a sandy wash close to town. There’s always something going on and, even when it’s a little strange, it’s also quite a bit of fun.

Travelers who want to explore other places in the outback, like King’s Canyon or Uluru, can use Alice Springs as their base camp and head out from there. They can set up everything from camel treks to dinner with Crocodile Dundee, so there’s something for everyone!

Places to visit in Australia
Alice Springs

Port Douglas, the Daintree Rainforest, and the Great Barrier Reef

Port Douglas is a tiny village by the sea that is worth visiting on it’s own just to get away from it all. While some people choose Cairns because it’s bigger, Port Douglas makes a great hub for exploring this area.

Both the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The reef is the largest one in the world, and offers superb opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, and more. Protecting the reef is key, as no one wants it to disappear.

The Daintree Rainforest is an ancient ecosystem that has been preserved through careful planning and conservation. Visitors can go hiking, paddleboarding, zip lining, and more, all through curated experiences that also help preserve the land. Beyond that, the Rainforest is home to Cape Tribulation, considered a top white-sand beach in Australia.

Daintree Rainforest in Australia
Daintree Rainforest


Beyond its allure as a separate island from the rest of Australia, Tasmania has a lot to offer travelers. Almost half of it is reserved as National Park or otherwise protected territory, so there’s a lot of natural, open space and many ways to experience it.

From impressive waterfalls to expansive forests and from breathtaking beaches to spectacular crags, the natural wonders in Tasmania can’t be found anywhere else in the world. There’s hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities, all performed in this impressive natural habitat.

Tasmania has culture, too. Hobart is the main city on the island, and it offers unique dining opportunities (like barbeques), distilleries specializing in whiskey and gin, and beer brewed only on the island. The city hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, so there’s always something fun for travelers to do when they’re done exploring in nature.

Places to visit in Australia
Visit Tasmania in Australia

Plan a trip to Australia soon

Visiting Australia is a fun time and, for some travelers, will make their dreams come true. No matter their reason for traveling, they can start planning now to visit Australia soon!

Check out the below posts for more tips and places to visit in Australia:

What is the ETA for Australia?

The ETA, or Electronic Travel Authority, for Australia is a document that grants travelers from certain countries permission to enter Australia.

It is electronically linked to the visitor’s passport, and is designed for short-term stays in the country.

An ETA allows the Australian government to track who is in the country at any given time. This allows them to make every effort to ensure that the country is safe, that the people in the country at any given time are responsible, and may help them contact travelers in case of an emergency.

Who is eligible for an ETA for Australia?

People seeking to enter Australia on an ETA need to be coming for one of two purposes:

  • Tourism, including sightseeing, short-term visits to family and friends, and similar activities
  • Business visitor activities, including negotiating a contract, going to a conference, or making business inquiries

This visa does not permit the holder to hold a job of any kind, including working for themselves. It is also not suitable for people who want to attend a long-term academic program or who are looking to emigrate to Australia.

In addition, people applying online for an ETA for Australia need to hold a passport from one of the following countries:

  • Malaysia
  • The Republic of South Korea
  • Brunei – Darussalam
  • Hong Kong
  • United States
  • Singapore
  • Canada
  • Japan

Travelers from countries that are not on this list will need to apply for their ETA in-person at an Australian visa office, an airline, or a travel agent. Visitors from countries that are not eligible for the ETA will need to apply for another way to enter Australia.

How to apply for an ETA for Australia
Aerial view of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia – depositphotos.com

How to get an ETA for Australia

The easiest way to get an ETA for Australia is to apply for it online at natvisa.com. Most travelers from the above countries will be eligible for this application process, though some may need to go through a visa office, a travel agent, or an airline to get their ETA.

Travelers should create an account, then begin filling out their ETA application. They will need to make absolutely sure that every detail they enter on the application matches the data on their passport exactly. If they make a mistake, they may not be granted an ETA or they may need to reapply with accurate information.

Visitors who want an ETA must currently be physically located outside of Australia. People inside the country cannot apply for this type of travel permission, though under certain circumstances they may be able to apply to extend a current ETA.

What travelers need to get an Australian ETA

Before travelers apply for their ETA for Australia, they will need to make sure they have:

  • A valid email address. This is where they will receive notification of an approved ETA, as well as get other correspondence from the Australian government about their travels, etc.
  • A valid credit card. This will only be used to pay the application fee for the Australian ETA. The website accepts Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, American Express, or JCB.
  • A valid passport, with validity extending at least six months beyond the date the person plans to arrive in Australia.

What the ETA Application asks for

Travelers will be asked to complete a number of questions. They will need to get the following information from their passport:

  • The passport number
  • The country where the passport was issued
  • Their family name and all given names
  • Their nationality
  • Their date of birth
  • The date their passport was issued
  • The date their passport expires
  • The issuing authority for their passport

The application will also ask them when they plan to enter Australia, how long they plan to stay, what they want to do in the country, and a few more details.

If the applicant plans to enter the country for a business inquiry, they will need to provide information about who they are meeting with, what conference they are attending, etc.

Travelers who need to apply for their ETA in person should bring the information listed above with them, and be ready to fill out the same application data.

*Note that, because of COVID-19, Australia is no longer permitting travelers to apply for an ETA via their online process. Instead, they can apply through an airline, an Australian visa office, or a travel agent. Some travelers may be able to apply for an ETA via the Australian travel app, which is in the pilot stages.

ETA application for Australia
View of the Opera House and the Central Business District from Kirribilli in Sydney, Australia – depositphotos.com

The conditions of the Australian ETA

Travelers who want to enter Australia on an ETA will need to be aware of the conditions under which the authorization is offered.

Visitors are responsible for knowing that:

  • The Australian ETA is valid for 12 months. Travelers can enter and leave Australia as many times as they need to within that period. If the visitor’s passport expires before 12 months, the ETA will only be valid as long as the passport is valid.
  • Their Australian ETA is valid for stays of up to three months. Visitors who need to stay in the country for more than three months may leave and come back into the country, as long as their ETA is still valid.
  • Visitors entering Australia on an ETA must not sign up for academic programs lasting longer than three months. If they want to study for longer than that, they can apply for another type of travel permission.
  • Everyone who enters Australia must not have tuberculosis.
  • Travelers who apply for an ETA for Australia must not have criminal convictions that have netted them more than 12 months of incarceration. These 12 months can be combined over more than one sentencing. Note that the Australian government cares about how long the sentence was, not whether it was actually served.
  • It is every visitor’s responsibility to know what they are and are not permitted to do in Australia on an ETA.

Visit Australia now

If visiting Australia is on your bucket list, you can start the process by applying for an ETA now.

Before you know it, you will have your travel permission in hand and will be able to visit Australia and make your dreams come true.

Check out the below posts for some Australian travel inspiration:

The Best American-Style Barbeque In Australia

Are you a lover of meat?

Does it make you salivate with the thought of slow-roasted beef or
dripping pork ribs?

This list is bound to make you very hungry and happy then!

We took the time to put together a list of restaurants in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and
Adelaide where you can get the best American barbeque.

They specialize in a range of southern
BBQ items from pulled pork, spareribs to fall apart brisket that will give a run for their money to
any BBQ restaurant in the American South.

Here are our favorite American-Style BBQ in Australia

Barbecue Bluebonnet and Loretta’s – Melbourne

The décor is what you would describe as American junkyard chic in this barbeque joint, tucked into the corner of a pub, worn plank doors serve as tables and rusty old power pole bits act as light fittings.

The food, meanwhile is epic. Various smoked meats are texturally perfect, and the meat comes in100g portion like most barbeque places.

The meat is not cheap, but with huge portions of the best sides in town, such as beetroot, barley and dill salad, giant deep-fried McClure’s pickles, miso-sweet Brussels sprouts, or apple, red cabbage and kohlrabi slaw.

Bring friends, when you have a large group to split and conquer, it works best here.

American BBQ Low and Slow – Adelaide

From their food truck days, Low and Slow has come a long way now they are based in the buzzy Port Adelaide.

Their menu includes ribs that have developed a cult, plus beef brisket, pulled pork and the standout in our eyes: hot wings with blue cheese sauce.

They are cooking beef like pros here. So if you’re unable to choose, order a banquet. You’ll get to try all the meats and a variety of down-home Southern sides at $35 per person.

Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint – Melbourne

The true American vibe of Fancy Hank’s nails is better than almost any venue in Melbourne.

Most people will be here for a great barbeque, and we can tell these guys to nail it after testing a lot of smokehouses around town. You can also get specialty cocktail tops and cocktail jugs.

The other drawcard here is the abundance of outdoor space on the open rooftop or on the huge balcony overlooking the markets, among the greenery of the courtyard.

Vic’s Market Meat – Sydney

At the Sydney Fish Market, fourth-generation butcher Anthony Puharich has opened a two-part venture (butcher shoppe and sandwich shoppe).

In rich smoky shreds, cut with a vinegary coleslaw, their pulled pork sandwich falls apart while the brisket is fatty and tender.

Not into gluten? They also provide options for smoked meat and side salads, so you can feel at least five percent healthy while ordering.

Old Faithful Bar & BBQ – Perth

Step into Old Faithful’s rustic interior and get ready for some quality American BBQ.

All the meats here are prepared and smoked in-house; rubbed with an expert blend of spices that try to taste the buds. Pick up some of their belly from the pig, ribs, beef brisket, or tasty chicken wings.

A must-have is their watermelon salad with jalapeño and lime cream. Is there room for dessert yet? Old Faithful got s’mores, a stout banana cream pie, and a honeycomb mudcake.

The Winston – Tasmania

The Winston is also where Hobart’s best barbeque is to be found.

In Baltimore, co-owner Caroline Kiehne was born and raised and her influence is evident in the diner-style menu.

All excellent are the pit beef sandwiches, Buffalo wings and baby back ribs. From jalapeno poppers to pecan pie and Maryland-spiced blue swimmer crab, daily specials vary. It’s done exceptionally well with serious comfort food.

Up In Smoke -Melbourne

We always start with dessert, specifically the banana cream pie at Footscray’s American barbeque restaurant. Once you’ve had that, it’s all about the barbeque, a $20,000 barbeque that sits behind a glass window like a jewel.

The menu is full of by burgers, salads, sandwiches and tasty snackettes, and the smoked meats come out to play when the clock hits 6pm. A happy pile of sweet pulled pork, a pleasantly hefty jalapeno-and-cheddar sausage and shimmering beef brisket slices with a hint of smoke and a nice layer of fat.

So, say goodbye to your onion that is charred.

Sure, Australia has our own very distinct barbeque traditions, but Aussies are coming around to the Southern style of doing things all over the country so make sure you check out some of these places when you visit Australia!

Karijini National Park cage enter

Insider travel tip Karijini National Park, Australia


The Karijini National Park is my favorite insider travel tip for Australia!

You’ll find it in Western Australia and around 300 km south of Port Hedland and east of the city Tom Price. The highways between Port Hedland and Tom Price are tarved, but the street (Banjima Drive) to the Park itself is a dirt road.

The gorges are very typical and famous for the Karijini Park and with it, the highlights. At the eastern end of the Banjima Drive you’ll find the Dales Gorge with it’s Fortescue Falls and the Circular Pool. Here you’ll find water all year round. Here you’ll also find the Fern Pool, a very spirituel place for the Aborigines. You can have a quiet swim here, but please respect this spirituel place and don’t jump from the rocks.

Close by is also a really beautiful lookout… the Oxer Lookout. Here you’ll see 4 gorges meeting each other at one point. That spot es especially nice at sundawn. The gorges are called Hancock Gorge, Joffre Gorge, Red Gorge and Weano Gorge and they will offer you some great experience and adventure!

The Joffre Gorge and the Hancock Gorge have the famous Miracle Mile. You should just do this walk if you are really fit and if you are not afraid of heights etc. Here you have to pass 20 meter high walls with just a bit of space to put your feet on and you have to jump into a pool which is about 10 below you. Very important: if you want to do this walk, you have to get informations from the rangers!

The Weano Gorge is also a great experience, but a bit easier and you don’t need any further informations. Walk into the gorge and keep right then to enter the part to the Handrail Pool. You might have to walk through knee deep water (or higher) and it will also get smaller. Later there will be just a meter to walk through. Then you’ll get to a big natural pool with high walls around it.

There are just two chances to keep on going. First is to jump into the water, but I would suggest to use the metal handrail, as you don’t know how the deep water is and I’m sure you don’t want to break you legs at this part of the world. 🙂 When you are in the water there is only one way to keep on going… to swim through the pool to the other end.

There you can keep on for another… I would say 100 – 200 adventourus meters! Definitely worth it!

Another great adventures track through a gorge takes you to the Kermit Pool. But before you have to pass the Spider Walk!

Guess why it’s called like that? No, wrong. Ok, you’ll find many spiders, but that’s not why it’s called like it.

At some points, the walls get so close, that you can only pass it like a spider, with your legs and hands left and right and the water beneath you.

Really great!

To start the spider walk you have to climb into the Hancock Gorge, then follow the stream to the left. You’ll might even to swim at a few passages, so beware to take some water proof bags with you for your cameras. Then you’ll find the Amphitheatre, where you can rest a bit, but please, don’t forget to take your rubbish with you again. If you now keep on walking, and you should, the spider passage will have to be managed. It’s easier then it sounds. Right afterwards, surrounded by 20 meter high walls, you’ll reach the Kermit Pool.

Take a nice bath, but check the water pegel and rocks beneath the water, before you might jump into it.



Your weekly Adventure Agenda: Explore Australia from home


We’re going out. Outback.

This week, we’re taking our lockdown daydreams all the way Down Under. Travel Australia with 360° virtual tours, an interactive scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef with everyone’s favourite nonagenarian (David Attenborough), and – to keep your spirits up – a Whitsunday Island Iced Tea.

No passport required, just passion. (And Wi-Fi). #PauseTheAdventure

Dive with David

There’s only one thing that could improve a virtual dive on the Great Barrier Reef, and that’s having Sir David as your dive buddy. Learn about life beneath the waves from the world’s greatest storyteller on this interactive journey. Plus, a cameo from Obama! Mind. Blown.

Explore in 360

Try before you fly! Thanks to Tourism Australia (and some pretty epic drone footage) you can virtually explore some of Australia’s greatest wonders in 360. The series includes the Whitsundays, Great Ocean Road, Great Barrier Reef and Biddlecomb Cascade.

Crush on these guys

Find inspiration for your own Australia road trip by following our favourite Aussie adventurers @saltytravellers (Monique, Jasper and their dog Bowie). Advisory warning, will lead to a serious travel crush. Plus, you know, dogs who travel. Scroll while knocking back the below…

Mix this Whitsunday Island Iced Tea

The spirit is strong with this one!
Add 1/3 oz rum, 1/3 oz gin, 1/3 oz tequila, 1/3 oz vodka, 1/3 oz Cointreau, 2/3 oz lemon juice, 1/3 oz sugar syrup and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into an ice filled glass. Top with cola and garnish with a lemon wedge. Finally, imagine you’re on an island in the Whitsundays. #lovewhitsundays

Rock out here

Along with ACDC, Australia is home to some pretty ancient rockers. Take for example, Uluru, at 600 million-years-old! Learn about the Red Centre’s sacred sites and their cultural significance from their traditional owners with these 360° videos of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Hot like Hemsworth

Tourism Australia recently hosted a weekend of live stream events. Missed it? Watch them here. Videos include a workout with Chris Hemsworth’s trainers, sunrise yoga with Elements of Byron Bay, and a BBQ cook-along with Aussie MasterChef favourites Hayden Quinn.

Make a change

For many of us, time at home channel surfing has made us reset and think about the future. Maybe that future involves living the dream and training to become a surf instructor at the Mojosurf Academy? Or at the very least, it should involve watching this awesome video.

Cook with Maggie

Join national treasure and co-host of The Great Australian Bake Off, Maggie Beer, for free lockdown cooking classes from her home in Barossa. Learn how to cook delish homespun dishes (with the added benefit of having a nosey around a celeb’s kitchen).

See the Opera House

Fancy a night in at the museum? From virtual tours of the Sydney Opera House to online exhibits from the Australian National Surfing Museum, get lost in the cultural rabbit hole of Google Art & Culture’s virtual museums, galleries and tours.

For more inspiration, visit our Australia destination guide. Or call for a chat. We’re WFH, but it’s business as usual for trip planning and cyber hugs.