Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

1. Allow Extra Time for Travelling Between Terminals. In both Sydney and Brisbane airports, you must change terminals if you are catching an onward domestic flight. Be aware of the fact that you must pay in most cases to travel between these terminals and that you may have to build in up to 40 extra minutes to make this transfer. This is especially important to remember if you have a large group of students and you have a tight connection.

Sydney: The T-Bus is a shuttle bus service between International (T1) and Domestic (T2) Terminals which costs $5.50 AUD (one way, per person). The journey can take up to 10 minutes and you may have to wait up to 30 minutes for the next bus, depending on what time of day you are travelling. You may also take the Airport Link for $5 AUD (one way, per person) for transferring between T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic Terminals. The journey takes about 2 minutes with frequent departures.

Brisbane: You can take the Airport Link train between terminals – the journey takes about 2 minutes with departures every 15 minutes during peak hours, but less frequently at other times of the day. If you are connecting to the SAME airline, and can show your tickets, then the transfer is free; however, if you are changing airlines (i.e. Qantas to Virgin Blue domestic) then it is $5 per person, one way. The T-Bus shuttle bus service also operates between the international and domestic terminals. The cost is $5 AUD per person, one way.

2. Be Aware of Accessible Alcohol to Students. In Australia, the legal drinking age is 18. Therefore, if you are travelling with a student group to Australia, some 18-year-old high school students will be able to legally purchase alcohol not only on the plane (often given out complimentary), but on the ground in Australia as well. This is especially important to remember in the airport, where it is quite easy for students to slip away and purchase alcohol from the duty-free shops.

3. Declare ALL Food. Australia is an island, and has therefore been isolated from many species and diseases over the centuries. Quarantine works hard to prevent the entry of foreign organisms that may have a harmful effect on Australia’s native vegetation, wildlife and farming products. Therefore, be sure to declare ALL the food items that you are bringing in. Keep in mind that even an undeclared candy bar in your pocket or an apple in your bag can carry a fine. It is always better to over-declare (i.e. chewing gum) than to under declare.

4. Remember Your Visa and Check Your Passport Expiry. An Australian entry visa, also known as an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) is required for all visitors to Australia, excluding visitors from New Zealand. This ETA is easily obtained by the travel agent who issues your ticket, or can be done yourself online, see: It is important to know that most countries require international travellers to have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the completion of your trip.

5. Tipping Not Necessary! In Australia, tipping is not customary. Waiters and waitresses, along with others in the hospitality, tourism and service industries, are paid a reasonable wage. Tipping is not expected unless you are exceptionally pleased with your service. In this case, a 10% tip or less can be given, or simply leaving the change can be acceptable.

Laurie Pritchard is founder and managing director of Small World Journeys, Australia. Laurie has years of experience working for some of the most progressive teenager travel companies, including being international coordinator for Adventures Cross Country, program director and guide for ‘The World Outdoors’ as well as helping ‘at risk’ youth for Outward Bound.

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By rahul