Local laws and customs
The Australian authorities will take action against anyone who imports or is found to be trafficking illegal drugs. Prosecution can lead to a lengthy jail sentence and deportation.
The legality of using e-cigarettes in Australia differs between states. Liquid nicotine is classed as a poison and banned from sale nationwide, however some states allow importation for personal use and the use of e-cigarettes without nicotine. You should seek local advice on what restrictions are in place at your destination.
Australia has an established tradition of tolerance towards homosexuality, but there are still isolated incidents of homophobic crimes. Take care when visiting rural communities. Before travelling read this advice page for LGBT travellers. The Visit Gay Australia website is a useful travel planning resource and you can find more detail on LGBT issues on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.
Australian federal law prohibits the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages, although some states/territories accept foreign civil partnerships and same-sex marriages as evidence of the existence of a ‘de facto’ relationship. UK civil partnership and same-sex marriage documentation isn’t as widely accepted in Australia as in the UK.
Australia has strict quarantine rules in order to keep out pests and diseases that could affect plant, animal and human health. All luggage is x-rayed on arrival. Any items of concern are further inspected, treated and if necessary confiscated and destroyed. Breaches of quarantine regulations can result in large fines.
You will be given an incoming passenger card on the plane, on which you must declare any food or goods of plant or animal origin, including nuts, dried fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, biscuits, cakes and confectionery, teas, coffees and milk-based drinks and sporting equipment (including camping gear). A full list can be found on the Department of Agriculture website.
You will also be asked to declare whether you have ‘visited a rural area, or been in contact with, or near, farm animals outside Australia in the past 30 days’.
Different tax rules and rates apply to residents and non-residents. Working holidaymakers are usually regarded as non-resident for tax purposes; this means they don’t qualify for any tax-free personal allowance on their earnings. Further advice on residency for tax purposes and income tax rates is available from the Australian Taxation Office website.