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Western Australia

 

 

 

A knowledgeable travel professional, with their extensive knowledge and contacts in the industry, can provide support before your trip, monitor your progress en route and provide post travel assistance. Because we coordinate air, land, rail and sea transportation, your trip can proceed seamlessly to your hotel/resort, activities and excursions. Rather than than doing your own time consuming research, let us use our extensive knowledge to help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure the quality of trip you’ve been looking for.

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Perth and Surrounding Areas

Perth is Australia’s only capital city where you can enjoy the beach lifestyle, relax in natural bushland, sample world-class local wines and watch an ocean sunset within just 30 minutes of the city. Below are some great activities to explore in and around Perth:
  • Kings Park: A short walk or a free bus ride from the city center brings you to one of the largest inner city parks in the world – Kings Park.
  • Swim, kayak or cruise with dolphins: In the spectacular Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, near Rockingham, you can have unforgettable close encounters of the marine kind.
  • Watch and Indian Ocean sunset: Take your pick from 19 pristine metropolitan beaches, and find your own patch of white sand where you can relax and enjoy one of Perth’s famous Indian Ocean sunsets
  • Explore the culture: Start your day of cultural indulgence at Perth’s Cultural Centre in Northbridge – home to the Art Gallery of WA, WA Museum, State Library, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, State Theatre and Heath Ledger Theatre. From here, follow the City Public Art Walk in search of a series of art installations.
  • Discover the port city of Fremantle: The best preserved 19th century port street scape in the world provides a striking stage for a vibrant cafe, shopping, arts and cultural events scene.
  • Relax on Rottnest Island: There are 63 beautiful beaches and bays and not a single car on Perth’s tiny island playground of Rottnest Island.
  • Get out of town: Within one hour’s drive from Perth city center, there’s a huge choice of destinations for day-trippers. Treat your taste buds to in WA’s oldest wine region – the Swan Valley. Get nearer to nature in one of Australia’s first conservation areas – John Forrest National Park. See the scenery that lured colonists to establish WA’s first inland settlement in York. Or explore the vibrant seaside city of Mandurah.

 

Coral Coast

You’ll be in awe of World Heritage-listed Shark Bay and Ningaloo Reef – the largest fringing reef on Earth and one of the few places in the world where you can swim with the largest fish in the sea, the gentle whale shark. Shark Bay’s rare plant and animal life will also appeal to nature lovers and is best uncovered with a Wula Guda Nyinda Eco Adventures experience, which will teach you the traditions of one of the world’s oldest cultures.

You’ll love meeting Monkey Mia’s famous dolphins or wandering the fascinating natural formations of the Pinnacles Desert moonscape. For the ultimate coastal adventure, take a hike along Kalbarri’s dramatic landscapes. If you’re after a thrill, get your adrenalin pumping with a surf on one of the many beaches, or just relax and soak up the serenity from picturesque lookouts scattered across the region.


Broome and Northwest

A land of breathtaking contrasts and over one million square kilometers, this is a journey of discovery you will never forget. Be as indulgent or laid back as you wish as you explore this extraordinary outback

Find adventure in the ancient gorges of Karijini National Park. Take a flight over the curious Bungle Bungle Range or a boat cruise alongside Western Australia’s highest waterfalls – King George Waterfalls. Tackle the legendary Gibb River Road, be awe-struck by some of the oldest artworks on Earth, witness the illusion of the Staircase to the Moon, or take in a Cable Beach sunset from the saddle of a camel.


Golden Outback

With the red earth of the outback, Australia’s whitest sands at Lucky Bay, and technicolor fields of native wildflowers, you’ll love the brilliant spectrum of colors of our Golden Outback region. Discover rare and beautiful wildflowers found nowhere else on earth, step into the world’s largest outdoor art gallery—created by world-renowned artist Antony Gormley, or try something more daring: surf one of Australia’s biggest waves at Wave Rock or climb Mount Augustus, a monolith that’s twice the size of Uluru. You’ll also find a collection of ancient rock paintings not far from its base—just one of our many remarkable indigenous experiences.

Unearth another side of the landscape and embark on the road trip of a lifetime by hiring a four-wheel drive and hitting the red dirt highways. Drive yourself along the Golden Quest Discovery Trail for a unique off-road adventure through our Goldfields. As you travel from Coolgardie through to Laverton you’ll get a taste of outback life. For a surreal evening, set up camp out under the stars—you’ll witness impressive formations you’ve never seen before.


Margaret River and Southwest

Encounter one of the most bio-diverse regions on Earth when you can indulge in world-class wine, gourmet food and awesome surf, stunning walk trails and pristine beaches. Go whale watching, explore ancient caves and stroll through forests of timber giants.

Blessed with mild weather and abundant sunshine, adventurers will be blown away by breathtaking scenery and out-of-this-world walking trails, where almost 80 percent of the plant species are found nowhere else on Earth.


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Western Australia Travel Information and Tips

Passport, Visa and Customs

Passport

Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a visa to enter Australia. New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas, at your nearest Australian Consulate. You can also apply for certain types of visas online.

There are important things you should know before applying for, or being granted, an Australian visa. These include applying for the right type of visa, application requirements, your obligations while in Australia and the importance of complying with visa conditions.

Tourist Visa

A tourist visa is for people visiting Australia for a holiday, sightseeing, social or recreational reasons, to visit relatives, friends or for other short-term non-work purposes. There are a number of tourist visas available for people wishing to visit Australia as a tourist. Visit the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for eligibility requirements. Legato Travel can issue these visa’s, furthering streamlining your vacation planning.

Customs and Quarantine

Australia’s customs laws prevent you from bringing drugs, steroids, weapons, firearms and protected wildlife into Australia. Some common items such as fresh or packaged food, fruit, eggs, meat, plants, seeds, skins and feathers are also prohibited. There is no limit on currency but you will need to declare amounts over $10000. For more detailed information go to the Australian Government Customs and Border Protection website and Department of Agriculture.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship is responsible for issuing visas to people who want to visit, work, study or live in Australia. It is responsible for the management of lawful and orderly entry and stay of people in Australia, including through effective border security. It provides information and application forms for migration to Australia, and information about settling in Australia, Australian citizenship, and multicultural affairs.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service manages the security and integrity of Australia’s borders. It works closely with other government and international agencies, in particular the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Department of Defense, to detect and deter unlawful movement of goods and people across the border.

The Department of Agriculture manages quarantine controls at Australian borders to minimize the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering the country.

Weather and Seasons

Weather

Australia experiences temperate weather for most of the year but the climate can vary due to the size of our continent. The northern states typically experience warm weather much of the time, with the southern states experiencing cooler winters. Australia is also one of the driest continents on earth with an average annual rainfall of less than 600 millimeters. Like all countries in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring.

Seasons

Australia is a country for all seasons. You can do practically anything here, at any time of year.  There are four seasons across most of the country and a wet and dry season in our tropical north.

Summer in Australia, from December to February, is a great time to get outdoors. Swim Sydney’s beaches or hike Tasmania’s Overland Track.  March to May heralds Australia’s autumn, a season of fiery foliage in Canberra and the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne.  Australia’s winter, from June to August, offers snow skiing in the Australian Alps. Alternatively, take a winter sun holiday. Snorkel in the temperate Great Barrier Reef or 4WD through South Australia’s Simpson Desert. Spring in Australia, from September to November is the time to watch for whales and wildflowers as you explore the wineries of Western Australia’s Margaret River region.

In tropical Australia, the dry season from May to October has clear blue skies and sunny days. It’s the time to experience Darwin’s vibrant outdoor markets, movies and festivals.  December to March is the wet season, which is hot and humid with daily rainstorms. See waterfalls thunder through Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks or fly over Katherine Gorge when its water levels are highest.

Safety

Australia is generally a safe destination with travelers enjoying unhindered travel experiences in terms of their personal safety and security. Our stable political system, well-maintained roads, low crime rate and high standard of health make it a safe and easy country to explore.

With common-sense, you can safely enjoy Australia’s unique landscapes – from the vast outback to wild ocean beaches and pristine wilderness. However, as with all travel at home or away, you should observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions.

Here you will find practical information out about the health facilities and services available and website links for more detailed information.

Travel Insurance & Medical Services

A travel insurance policy that covers you for theft, loss, accidents and medical problems before you leave home is highly recommended. If you plan on doing any adventure activities like scuba diving, bushwalking or traveling in remote areas, check that your policy fully covers these activities. Remember to bring your insurance policy details and emergency contact numbers and with you. Contact Legato Travel for questions about travel insurance and purchase your policy.

Vaccinations & Medications

No special immunizations or vaccinations are required to visit Australia unless you have come from, or have visited a yellow fever infected country within six days of your arrival. However, regulations and medical advice can change at short notice, so check with your doctor and the relevant Australian Government websites before you leave home.

Medicine brought into Australia for personal use is subject to controls and must be declared on your arrival. It is recommended you bring a prescription or letter from your doctor outlining your medical condition and the medicine you are carrying. If you need to obtain prescription medicine while you are here, the prescription must be written by a doctor in Australia.

Accessible Travel

Much time and effort has been spent in recent years to ensure that traveling with a disability won’t stop you enjoying all that Australia has to offer. If you have a medical condition or special needs, you will find plenty of services available. Speak to your travel agent about your specific requirements or visit the websites below to help you prepare before you leave home.

Emergency Services

000 is the number for all emergency services in Australia. An operator will connect you to police, ambulance or the fire brigade. You should only call 000 in an emergency.

Sun protection

The Australian sun is very strong and can burn your skin in as little as 15 minutes in summer, so it is important to protect yourself all year round, even if it is a cloudy day.

Surf & Water Safety

Most of Australia’s population lives close to the coastline and the beach has long occupied a special place in the Australian identity. Australians love the water, and every day thousands of people flock to Australia’s coastline to swim, surf, relax and have fun. But our beautiful beaches can hold hidden dangers in the form of strong currents and beach conditions can change dramatically for those who are not used to them.

Popular beaches are usually patrolled by volunteer lifesavers from October to April and red and yellow flags mark the safest area for swimming. Be safe and always swim between these flags and always swim with other people.

If you intend to go diving, check with a dive operator in the locality or contact the Diving Industry Association in the state that you are visiting for information on site conditions, safety regulations, licenses, permits and diver rating requirements.

Traveling in remote locations

Australia’s outback tracks are among the best four-wheel-drive journeys in the world, but driving in Australia’s remote and rugged areas requires thorough preparation. Before embarking on an unescorted outback journey, check road conditions, ensure your vehicle is properly equipped and that you have a good map, extra provisions and an emergency plan. Make sure you inform someone of your expected arrival. Distances between towns in Australia are often hundreds of kilometers apart, so plan your trip accordingly. Be aware that mobile phones may have limited coverage in remote areas. If your vehicle breaks down in a remote area, always stay with your vehicle. This is the single most important rule of survival. Some roads should not be traveled unless part of a well-organized convoy.

If bushwalking or hiking check the length and difficulty of the walk and consider using a local guide for long or challenging walks. Check the Parks Australia website for the latest information on track conditions and hazards.

Travel Tips

Money

Australia’s currency is Australian Dollars (AUD) and currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates. Try this handy currency converter.

Goods and Services Tax

Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent. You may be able to claim a refund of the GST paid on goods bought here if you have spent AUD$300 or more in one store, no more than 30 days before departing Australia. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure area of international terminals.

Shopping

You’ll find large department stores, arcades, malls, gift and souvenir shops across Australia. Trading hours vary across the country but shops in tourist and city areas are generally open until 6pm, with the exception of late night shopping on either Thursdays or Fridays in different states. In Australia you are covered by Australia’s consumer protection laws which require businesses to treat you fairly.

Tipping and bargaining

Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill. In up market restaurants, it is usual to tip waiters up to ten per cent of the bill for good service. However, tipping is always your choice. It is not custom to bargain in Australia.

Emergency assistance

The emergency number for police, ambulance and or fire brigade is 000.

Language

Australia’s official language is English. However, being a multicultural nation with a significant migrant population, we also enjoy a tremendous diversity of languages and cultures.

Electrical power points

Our electrical current is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from some other countries, so you may need an adapter.

Communication

Australia’s country code is 61. Local calls from public pay phones are untimed and charged at AUD$.050. Mobile, long distance and overseas calls are usually timed.Mobile phone network coverage is available across Australia, however coverage may be limited in some remote areas. Internet access is widely available at internet cafes, accommodation and libraries.

Postal services

Post offices are usually open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, with some city post offices open on Saturday morning. Travelers can arrange to collect mail at post offices throughout Australia.

Getting Around

Air

Flying is the best way to cover large distances in a short time. You’ll spend less time traveling and more time on the ground savoring Australia’s can’t-miss landscapes and laid-back lifestyle. Australia’s domestic airlines – Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Rex and their subsidiaries – serve all state capital cities and regional cities. Competition amongst domestic airlines means that great fares are available.

Drive

Australia has a vast network of well-maintained roads and some of the most beautiful touring routes in the world. Travel from Sydney to Brisbane past sleepy seaside towns and lush hinterland. Experience Australia’s Red Centre in an epic drive across the desert. Or follow Victoria’s Great Ocean Road as it hugs our spectacular south-east coast. You’ll find car rental companies at major airports, central city locations, suburbs and resorts. So hire a car, four wheel drive, caravans or motorbike and hit the highway.

Driving Laws

  • Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road, with the steering wheel on the right-hand side of the car. The maximum speed limit in cities and towns is 60km/h and 50km/h  in some suburban areas. On country roads and highways, the maximum speed is usually 110km/h. For your safety, drink-driving laws apply, and drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times. Motor cyclists and cyclists must wear helmets. An international visitor may drive in Australia on a valid overseas driver’s license for the same class of vehicle. You should carry both your home license and international license when driving.

Bus/Coach

Coach and bus travel in Australia is comfortable, easy and economical. Coaches generally have air conditioning, reading lights, adjustable seats and videos. Services are frequent, affordable and efficient. Australia’s national coach operator, Greyhound, offer passes to fit every budget.

Rail

Train travel is a convenient, affordable and scenic way to explore Australia. Interstate and intra-state rail services connect our cities and regional centers, while cross-country train trips offer a unique insight into Australia’s size and diversity.  Traveling options range from budget to luxury, and a range of rail passes can reduce your costs if you plan to see large sections of the country.

Australia also has epic rail journeys such as The Ghan and Indian-Pacific, which sweep across the continent, offering comfort and a sense bygone romance. The Indian-Pacific travels between Sydney to Perth, stopping for whistle-stop tours of Broken Hill, Adelaide and gold-rich Kalgoorlie. The legendary Ghan travels between Adelaide and Darwin, taking in Australia’s Red Centre and the tropical Top End.

Public Transport

All of Australia’s capital cities are served by a wide variety of public transport, including trains, buses, ferries, monorail, light rail and trams.  Taxis charge according to their meter.

Ferries

The Spirit of Tasmania runs a passenger and vehicle ferry service between Melbourne and Tasmania nightly. Extra services are running during summer peak times.  Sealink ferries connect South Australia and Kangaroo Island several times a day.  Ferries connect suburbs in our capital cities – they criss-cross Sydney Harbour, the Swan River in Perth and the Brisbane River in Brisbane.

Walks

Walking is a great way to get around our cities, so get ready to pound our wide, easy-on-the-feet pedestrian streets. You can also  tackle some of the longest tracks and trails in the world in Australia – impressive journeys of a thousand kilometers or more that can take several weeks to complete.