11 April 2009 by Anna Staford
Because Australia is surrounded on all sides by water, the only way to access the mainland is by boat or plane. All the state capitals have major airports, many have major ports and this is invariably the first stopping place for International travellers. The best time to visit Australia is between May and October. The Southern coastline is a popular destination for many tourists. If you are a skier you can hit the slopes of the Victoria Alps in June through September. If you want to catch the spectacular colors of winter at Kakadu National Park, plan to visit during the wet season.
Serviced by over 50 International Airlines, you can catch flights to Australia from virtually anywhere in the world. Quantas is an easily recognized airline that flies in and out of Australia weekly. Flights between Australia and Europe encompass over 24 hours. Flights from Los Angeles, California to Sydney take about 14 hours.
Keep in mind the time difference and plan accordingly, whether you want to schedule stopovers to catch up on much-needed sleep, or travel virtually non-stop with changeovers if required to get there faster. Air fares are expensive, so keep your eyes open for good deals being offered during the slower times of travel. Prior to landing you will be handed documents to fill out. These documents and your passport will be required at the Entry Control Point.
Customs Quarantine and Entry Control Points
At the Entry Control Point you will be asked to declare anything you are bringing in, and fresh food will be thrown away as Australia has strict custom requirements when it comes to bringing things into their country.
With these restrictions heavily enforced, Australia has managed to stay free of certain diseases and insect pests found elsewhere. No fruits, vegetables, meat or other food products are allowed to be brought in unless they are made in a factory and found on the list of approved imports. You will not be penalized if illegal substances are found, but they will be tossed out or destroyed. If you attempt to smuggle in any of these illegal substances, you will be heavily fined and quite possibly even tossed in jail.