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Trip Planner | Australia: best places, food, experiences and Covid protocols

Travellers to Australia need to complete the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD). You can start a DPD up to seven days before your flight, and submit it online.

April 30, 2022 / 11:10 AM IST
Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary while in Brisbane, Australia. (Representational image: David Clode via Unsplash)

Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary while in Brisbane, Australia. (Representational image: David Clode via Unsplash)

Covid protocols for international travellers

A valid vaccination certificate from a recognised health authority  is required to enter Australia. Also present your Covid-19 vaccination certificate to the airline staff when checking in for your flight.

All passengers on all flights should complete the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) before travelling to Australia. You can start a DPD seven days before the flight, but it must be submitted before departure for Australia. You can submit it online at

Australian state and territories can apply their own travel restrictions. Check the requirements specific to the state or territory you are entering.

Unvaccinated inbound travellers may be required to quarantine on arrival in Australia at their own expense and be subject to passenger caps.

For latest updates, check:


Must see: Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Blue Mountains, Echo Point Lookout at the Three Sisters, Vivid Sydney, Carriageworks Farmers Market, Art Gallery of New South Wales, White Rabbit Gallery

Must do: Surfing at Bondi Beach, BridgeClimb Sydney, Ride the world’s steepest railway at Scenic World, Visit Taronga Zoo, Aboriginal Heritage walk at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Visit Royal Botanical Garden

Must eat: Fine dining at Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House, Singaporean and Malaysian street style food at Spice Alley, Dine at Peter Gilmore’s Quay, Desserts and high tea at KOI Dessert Bar

While in Sydney, Australia, go surfing at Bondi Beach. (Image: Alex King via Unsplash) Bondi Beach. (Image: Alex King via Unsplash)


Must see: Watch a cricket match at the Adelaide Oval, visit the Art Gallery of South Australia, National Wine Centre of Australia, d'Arenberg Cube at McLaren Vale, Adelaide's Chinatown, Adelaide Central Market

Must do: RoofClimb Adelaide Oval, visit and dine at Adelaide Central Market, visit Adelaide Zoo, visit Morialta Conservation Park, visit Adelaide Himeji Garden, visit Adelaide Botanic Garden, Wine tasting at Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale

Must eat: Asian street style food at Chinatown, Calamari arancini rice balls at Ruby Red Flamingo, Homemade tagliatelle with blue swimmer crab at Osteria Oggi, Charred Peri-Peri chicken and lamb kofta with sesame dressing and eggplant with Szechuan oil and falafel at Africola

Don't miss wine tasting at Barossa Valley while you are in Adelaide, Australia. (Image: Thomas Schaefer via Unsplash) In Barossa Valley, Adelaide. (Image: Thomas Schaefer via Unsplash)


Must see: Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Salamanca Arts Centre, Willie Smith’s Artisan and Produce Market, Live performances at Theatre Royal

Must do: Ferry ride to Bruny Island, hike to the summit of Kunanyi/Mount Wellington, visit Tasmanian devils at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Kayak along Hobart's harbour

Must eat: Fine dining seafood at Upper Deck restaurant, Classic fish and chips, scallops, crab sticks, calamari and prawn cutlets at Flippers, Breakfast at Machine Laundry Cafe

Cascade Brewery, Hobart, Australia. (Image: Nico Smit via Unsplash) Cascade Brewery, Hobart. (Image: Nico Smit via Unsplash)


Must see: Optus Stadium, Kings Park and Botanical Garden, Perth Mint, The Swan Bell Tower, Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA), The Blue Room Theatre, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), Ballet and opera performances at His Majesty's Theatre

Must do: Ferry ride to Rottnest Island, Click a selfie with the adorable quokka, Go Cultural Aboriginal Tours at Karrgatup (Kings Park), Skydive over Perth City

Must eat: Crispy spanakopita at Brika, Crispy skinned Peking and roast duck at Good Fortune Duck House, Wood roast mushroom and chargrilled sourdough at The Shorehouse, Fresh oysters at Cottesloe Beach Hotel’s The Beach Club

Perth, Western Australia. (Image: Harry Cunningham via Unsplash) Perth. (Image: Harry Cunningham via Unsplash)


Must see: Melbourne Cup Carnival, AC/DC lane, Hoiser Street, NGV International, Melbourne Zoo, Phillip Island Penguin Parade, 12 apostles

Must do: Visit to the MCG, Queen Victoria Market, Emporium Melbourne, CBD Tram Ride, Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs, drive along the Great Ocean Road, shopping at the Farmer's market

Must eat: Domaine Chandon (wine tasting) in Yarra Valley, Vanilla slice at Café Sorrento, Matilda 145 Domain, Coffee at St Ali, Smith & Daughters, Rooftop Bar at QT

Twelve Apostles, Melbourne. (Image: Victor H via Unsplahs) Twelve Apostles. (Image: Victor H via Unsplash)

Gold Coast

Must see: World renowned surfing beaches Surfers Paradise and Burleigh Heads, Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park, Gallery Walk at Mt Tamborine, Broadwater’s of Gold Coast.

Must do: Breakfast with the Koalas at Currumbin Widlife Sanctuary, Jet boating, hot air ballooning, Aquaduck city tour, whale watching (June to October), YOT Club sunset cruise, jet ski Safaris, skydiving over Surfers Paradise, Skypoint Adventure Climb, take surfing lessons, visit the night markets at Miami Marketta (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) and Surfers Paradise beachfront markets (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday), shop with a personal stylist at Pacific Fair Shopping, discounted shopping at Harbour town, Rum, Gin and Liquor Distillery and Brewery Tours, Alpaca farm at Oreilly’s vineyard, Glamping at Cedar Creek Lodges.

Must eat: Rooftop bars at Burleigh Pavillion, The Collective – Palm Beach, Justin’s Rooftop at Justin Lane, The Island Rooftop, The Exhibitionist Bar, HOTA, Nineteen at the Star, Rick shores -Burleigh heads, Hyde Paradiso – Surfers Paradise, The Tropic Burleigh Heads, Miami Marketta, Kiyomi – The Star Gold Coast, Cucina Vivo- The Star Gold Coast, Masala Shanti – Mt Tamborine.

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia. (Image: Nico Smit via Unsplash) Surfers Paradise. (Image: Nico Smit via Unsplash)


Must see: Howard Smith Wharves, Mt South Bank, Coo-tha, Fortitude Valley, James Street, Burnett lane, Eagle lane, Gresham lane, Albert lane, Winn lane, Bakery lane, California lane, Fish lane.

Must do: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Story Bridge Adventure Climb,  Day trip to Tangalooma Island Resort (Moreton Bay), kayaking on Brisbane River, Vintage Picnic by the river, Wheel of Brisbane, Brisbane laneway walking tour, food tours, drive to Sunshine Coast, glamping at Sanctuary by Sirromet Winery, The Vino bus winery tour.

Must eat: Eat Street Northshore, City Winery, Felons Brewery, Bianca – Fortitude Valley, Hellenika – The Calile, Rooftop and cocktail bars – Luna, Hibiscus Room, Dr Gimlet, Cindy Chows, Valley Hops Brewing, Iris rooftop.

Brisbane, Australia. (Image: Romain Terpreau via Unsplash) (Image: Romain Terpreau via Unsplash)

What more to do in Australia

Ride a luxury train through Australia: Known as one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, this 2,979-kilometre voyage will take you across the country from Darwin to Adelaide (or vice versa).

Sunbathe with kangaroos in Lucky Bay: Resident roos are known to regularly sun themselves at a handful of Australian beaches, the most famous of which is Lucky Bay in Western Australia’s Cape Le Grand National Park. Other beaches popular with kangaroos are Cape Hillsborough in Queensland and Pebbly Beach in New South Wales.

Cruise the Kimberley: One of the best ways to see the Kimberley (one of the last true wilderness areas on Earth) is by cruise ship.

Drive the Great Ocean Road: Hire a car in Melbourne and get ready for a road trip filled with some pretty incredible scenery (this is, after all, one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives).

Visit Lord Howe Island: As one of only 400 visitors at any one time on the World Heritage-listed, you're guaranteed a peaceful slice of paradise when you visit (two-hour flight from Sydney & Brisbane)

Hot air balloon ride over Canberra

Visit the Tiwi Islands: Almost 90% of residents are of Aboriginal descent and there is a thriving Aboriginal art culture which you can experience on a range of tours showcasing textiles, weavings and paintings.

See the Quokkas on Rottnest Island.

Snorkel or Dive the Great Barrier Reef.

Meet Wildlife on Kangaroo Island: It is one of the best places in Australia to see wild native animals like koalas, kangaroos, sea lions and seals.

Waterhole hopping in the Northern Territory

Resident roos are known to regularly sun themselves at a handful of Australian beaches, the most famous of which is Lucky Bay in Western Australia’s Cape Le Grand National Park. (Representational image: Christopher Burns via Unsplash) (Representational image: Christopher Burns via Unsplash)
Preeti Verma Lal is a Goa-based freelance writer/photographer.