Queensland — Visas and Vaccinations
Brisbane, Cairns, and Gold Coast all are international entry points that require a visa to enter Australia. The Electronic Travel Authority sub-class is now available online for US tourists who are visiting for less than three months, making the entire visa process quick. Visit http://travel.state.gov/ for more info about traveling to Queensland.
Health and Safety
Queensland’s dynamic and thriving beach culture means tourists will be out in the sun for long periods of time. Be sure to wear protective clothing and sunscreen. When swimming, wear a long-sleeve ‘rashie’ (swim shirt) to avoid a painful burn later.
Along Queensland’s beaches, red and yellow flags indicate safe swimming areas for rip tides, currents and lifeguards. Most beaches have dedicated hours that lifeguards are on duty. Be wary when swimming in the ocean off northern Queensland in the warmer months. Stingers such as the box jellyfish have enough poison in their long tentacles to cause fatalities and many beaches have special netted areas. In addition, saltwater crocodiles have been a problem in the river mouth of North Queensland. Blue ringed octopus, stone fish and angel fish are also creatures to avoid when traveling the Great Barrier Reef.