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Travel insurance for Australia

Australia is a popular holiday location for Brits who are drawn by the amazing weather, friendly locals and abundance of culture and natural beauty spots.

While it’s not a legal requirement, it worth considering travel insurance when you’re going so far from home.

If you’re ready to get started, you can compare quotes to find cover. Or, read on for more about travelling in Australia.

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Do I need travel insurance for Australia?

Travel insurance isn’t a requirement to enter Australia, but it’s worth considering. For starters, getting there involves long-haul flights, often with multiple stops. This means there’s more opportunity for things to go wrong, such as lost baggage.

Travel isn’t just time-consuming, it’s also expensive. Buying travel insurance as soon as you book your trip means you’re protected if your holiday is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

UK nationals get basic, subsidised essential and urgent medical treatment through Medicare thanks to a reciprocal agreement with Australia. But there are exclusions to this, like ambulance travel, which can be expensive. Travel insurance ensures you’re covered for any medical treatment you may need, and even if you need to be brought back to the UK.

You might also need specific insurance for popular activities such as scuba diving, bungee jumping or shark diving.

Choosing the right travel insurance for your trip to Australia

It’s important to have the right travel insurance in place. It needs to be tailored towards exactly where you’re going and what you’ll do when you’re there.

When you get a quote, we'll ask you to select any extra cover you need, for example, winter sports:

Tick box selection of extra cover for travel insurance


  • Winter sports or ski travel insurance is a must if you’re planning on skiing or snowboarding while Down Under.
  • Cruise travel insurance covers activities and scenarios for a cruise holiday, such as missed port departures and excursions.
  • One-way travel insurance from the UK to Australia is designed for people moving abroad, or those who don’t have a return ticket. It covers the outward journey only.
  • Multi trip insurance covers you for multiple trips over a 12-month period – good for regular globetrotters.
  • Family travel insurance typically covers up to 2 adults who live at the same location as well as at least one child. Many insurers cover up to 8 children on one policy.
  • Backpackers’ travel insurance covers you for longer trips and multiple locations.
  • Activity travel insurance: If you’re planning any adventurous activities, make sure they’re covered on your chosen travel insurance policy. The list of activities covered varies depending on the policy.
  • Extreme sports cover is necessary if you’re planning on taking part in more dangerous sports and activities. If you’re looking for this kind of cover, speak to a specialist as it’s not something we compare.

What Australia travel insurance covers

When you’re looking for travel insurance for your trip to Australia, choose a policy that covers: 


Most travel insurance policies will cover:

  • Medical expenses and repatriation: If you fall ill or have an accident, your travel insurance covers your emergency medical bills. A decent insurance policy should include medical expenses of at least £2 million, and should also help with repatriation (getting you home) if you need it. Considering how far from home you’ll be, this could be essential.
  • Flight cancellation: In case you have to cancel your flight for reasons that are outside your control, rather than because you changed your mind. For a trip to Australia, it’s best to choose a policy that also covers missed connections.
  • Lost, stolen or damaged luggage and passports: If your luggage is damaged, lost or stolen, you’ll need help replacing your clothes, toiletries and gadgets. Make sure the baggage cover is high enough to meet your needs, based on what you’re planning to take.
  • Cancellation or curtailment: If your holiday is cancelled, delayed or curtailed (cut short) unexpectedly, your travel insurance should cover your costs.

Most policies come with exclusions too. In most cases you won't be covered for:

  • Certain adventure activities and sports:Many adventurous activities and sports aren’t covered by standard travel insurance. Check the details of your chosen policy carefully before buying.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions you failed to declare: Let your insurer know if you have any medical conditions – even if you’re undergoing tests for something as yet undiagnosed. 
  • Natural disasters: Bushfires, cyclones and flooding aren’t unusual in Australia, and they often aren’t covered by travel insurance.
  • Travelling against government advice: If you travel anywhere the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against travelling to, you aren't covered on your travel insurance.
  • Incidents relating to drug or alcohol use: If something happens while you’re under the influence, be aware that your insurer most likely won’t pay out any claims. 

What our travel insurance expert says

''Australia is vast and varied, so the cover you need from your travel insurance depends on what kind of trip you've planned. This could be skiing and snowboarding, water sports, city breaks or even remote outback retreats. 

Plan what you’re going to do and where you’re going to go on your trip, and make sure your chosen travel insurance policy covers it."

Australia travel tips

Here's what you need to know about Australia at a glance:

  • Money: The currency is the Australian dollar, and debit/credit cards are accepted all over Australia. But it's best to take a combination of cash, credit cards and/or prepaid cards that anyone can top up while you're away. Make sure you contact your bank before you travel, to avoid any restrictions while you’re away.
  • Official language: English. Many variations of indigenous languages are spoken throughout the country too.
  • Capital: Canberra
  • Time difference: Australia has 3 time zones: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), and Australian Western Standard Time (AWST).
  • British embassy: You can find British consulates in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
  • Climate: Australia is a big country with many climates, including tropical in the north-east, desert in the west, and temperate in the south-east. Temperatures range from below 0°C at night, to anything above 30°C in the day.
  • Safety: Australia can be affected by bushfires, severe floods, cyclones and dust storms, so pay attention to weather warnings from local authorities. There are several dangerous animal and insect species to be aware of. The FCDO also warns that the likelihood of terrorist attacks in Australia is high.
  • Driving in Australia: Drive on the left and make sure you have an international driving permit. Australia is a large country, and the distance between towns can be big. Make sure you have plenty of water with you, and check road conditions. Be aware that there are lots of unsealed roads in more remote areas that hire car insurance often don't cover.
  • Mobile phone coverage: This is good in cities and large towns but can be limited elsewhere, and completely non-existent in remote areas.
  • Other information: Australia has strict rules around what food, animal products and plant products – including anything wooden – you can take into the country. Check the rules on the Australian Department of Agriculture website before you take anything with you.

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