If you're traveling to Australia from overseas, we've put together some handy information to help make your journey a smooth one.
What are the visa requirements for Australia?
Under Australia's universal visa system, all visitors to Australia must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia. The only exceptions are New Zealand passport holders, who will normally be granted a Special Category visa on arrival, provided they meet health and character requirements, and permanent residents of Norfolk Island, who may be granted a Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa on arrival.
There are many visa options available to people wishing to visit Australia. For Speakers,your Speaker Liaison has further information on visa options and can provide fact sheets and guidance. Should you require a Letter of Invitation for your visa application, your Speaker Liaison will also be able to assist. Please note that Letters of Invitation will not be provided for Delegates.
Further information on Australian visa and immigration requirements can be found at Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Australian summers are hot. The Tasmanian sun is particularly strong, even when compared with the rest of Australia. If you are not accustomed to it you can be sunburned in 15 minutes. Get a hat. You will need to wear sunscreen, and remain hydrated. At a rough guide, you will need to drink at least 2 litres of water per day during summer.
Australia has some of the strongest quarantine laws in the world. You cannot bring fresh fruit, meats, animal products and many other items into the country.
For more information, see Australian customs and quarantine information.
Tasmania, being an island, also has some additional quarantine rules which can be found here. There are things you can bring to Australia that you cannot bring to Tasmania.
What to bring to linux.conf.au
- Laptop, phone, camera, chargers etc - most people bring a laptop, tablet etc. Free WiFi is available. Many Delegates enjoy hacking, coding and developing together at linux.conf.au.
- Sunscreen, sunglasses and a water bottle - Hobart, although coastal, can have high summer temperatures. The conference venue is at Sandy Bay with a beach nearby, feel free to bring swimming gear.
- Clothes and toiletries - the conference venue is a short bus ride away from Hobart CBD, so you'll be OK if you forget anything. Remember to bring any medication you may need. Please note that you cannot fill a prescription for schedule 4 or higher drugs that was issued in any other state of Australia in Tasmania.
- Identification and, if international, your passport- for registration purposes, we may need to see identification, and if you're a student, we'll need to see your student card. Hobart has plenty of beer, and in accordance with liquor laws, you may be asked for ID to be served alcohol.
- Cash or card - you will likely have some incidental expenses during the conference. There's an ATM at the conference venue, and most nearby venues take card.
- An appetite - Hobart has a magnificent range of eateries and restaurants all within walking distance.
Mobile Phone and SIM Cards
The main providers of Phone service are Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
Pre-paid SIM card are available at local supermarkets, like the Coles supermarket nearby in Sandy Bay - Openstreetmap Link
There's a thread on the chat mailing list with more information and recommendations.
Australian and Tasmanian Laws
Australia has very strict drink driving laws. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration is 0.05 and this is strictly policed. There are mobile, random drug testing units that test for alcohol, THC, methamphetamine, and MDMA. For more information see Alcohol and Drug Foundation. It is an offence to refuse to take a drug test.
The legal age for purchasing or consuming alcohol in Australia is 18 years.
Same sex couples
While same sex marriage is not legal in Australia, society and most businesses are very tolerant and welcoming of same sex partners.
The Conference Code of Conduct is designed to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment.
See Emergency Contacts page.