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10 Epic Places an Australian Passport Can Take You

Iceland's dramatic landscape
Iceland's dramatic landscape | © nathan618 / Pixabay
Let’s spin the globe and see where an Australian passport can take you — from Japan to Jamaica.

According to the Henley Passport Index, the Australian passport is currently ranked sixth (tied with Greece) in terms of travel freedom. There are 183 countries that allow Australian passport holders to enter without a visa, or where a visa on arrival is easily obtained. Here are 10 of the most epic places an Australian passport can take you.

Canada

Nicknamed the Great White North, Canada is characterised by its friendly people, snowy mountains, glacial-fed lakes and cosmopolitan cities. As the world’s second largest country, there are a lot of epic locations to visit in Canada. On the west coast, a visit to Canada isn’t complete without checking out Vancouver, one of the world’s most liveable cities. Then there’s the breathtaking landscapes and ski towns of the Canadian Rockies; seeing the Northern Lights in Yellowknife; taking a fall road trip through the Maritime provinces; and experiencing the European charm of French-speaking cities, Montreal and Quebec. Fortunately, Australians have plenty of time to explore Canada, as visas aren’t required for up to six months of travel.

Duration of visa-free stay: A visa is not required for six months. However, if arriving by air, Australian passport holders will need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), which costs $7CAD ($5.40 US/£4.00).

Taken at the peak of color during the morning sunrise at Moraine lake in Banff National park © James Wheeler / Shutterstock

Jamaica

Jamaica is a Caribbean island that’s home to an enticing combination of mountains, rain forests, British colonial architecture and beautiful beaches. Every year, over 2.5 million people visit Jamaica to hike the Blue Mountains, eat the world’s best jerk chicken in Portland, swim in the Luminous Lagoon and check out the Bob Marley Museum. Montego Bay is Jamaica’s tourism epicentre and is home to many beachfront resorts, an amusement park, diving and snorkelling hotspots and golf courses.

Duration of visa-free stay: A visa is not required if visiting as a tourist for up to six months.

Beaches Resort, Jamaica © Beaches Resort

Iceland

When you think of epic destinations around the world, Iceland doesn’t always immediately spring to mind, but it should. Its dramatic and photogenic landscape includes towering waterfalls, hot springs, black sand beaches, glaciers and geysers. Some of the most beautiful places to visit in Iceland are Vatnajökull, Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the World Heritage-listed Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park. It may be located on the opposite side of the world to Australia, but the lengthy plane journey is definitely worth it.

Duration of visa-free stay: Iceland is a part of the Schengen Area, so a visa is not required for 90 days. Visit the Australian government’s Smart Traveller website for up-to-date Schengen information.

Iceland's dramatic landscape © nathan618 / Pixabay

Mauritius

Mauritius is an Indian Ocean island located off the African coast. Although it may be known for its beaches, Mauritius is also where travellers will unexpectedly find epic golf courses, great local markets, fantastic annual festivals and the multi-coloured sand of Chamarel. Mauritius cuisine is unique in that it has French, Indian, African and Asian influences. Sugar cane is also the nation’s biggest export, so your sweet tooth will be satisfied in Mauritius.

Duration of visa-free stay: A visa is not required for 90 days.

An aerial view of magnificent Mauritius ©John O'Nolan / Unsplash

Peru

Peru is a country filled with archaeological, historical and ecological landmarks. Top things to do in Peru include hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu; enjoying a boat cruise on Lake Titicaca (the world’s highest navigable lake); and visiting Huacachina (the heavily-photographed oasis resort). Spend time in World Heritage-listed Cusco, Arequipa (unofficially Peru’s most beautiful city) and the capital of Lima as well.

Duration of visa-free stay: A visa is not required for 183 days.

Machu Picchu Peru, South America. © Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock

South Africa

Located on Africa’s southern tip, South Africa is a destination that has something for everyone. There’s Kruger National Park, one of the world’s most well-known safari parks and an optimal place to spot the Big Five. Then there’s the vineyards of Stellenbosch and the famous Garden Route coastal drive. Cape Town is also consistently rated as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, with its natural surroundings. Its top attractions include Table Mountain, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, and Camp’s Bay.

Duration of visa-free stay: A visa is not required for 90 days.

Prepare for epic hikes and views in Cape Town © South African Tourism

New Zealand

Although New Zealand is Australia’s neighbour, the two countries have completely different landscapes and cultures. Whereas Australia is defined by its beaches and red desert centre, New Zealand is home to fjords, glaciers and snow capped mountains. So hop across the pond and check out epic New Zealand. See the native glow worms at Waitomo Caves, visit Cathedral Cove, get your adrenaline-pumping in Queenstown and hike through Abel Tasman National Park.

Duration of visa-free stay: Thanks to the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, Australian passport holders have freedom of movement in New Zealand, which means you can stay for as long as you like.

Queenstown, New Zealand © Mati Nitibhon / Shutterstock

Israel

Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is highly regarded in many religions as the Holy Land. Its capital city, Jerusalem is both historically and religiously significant. Tel Aviv has emerged in recent years as a hip, diverse and welcoming city that’s home to 16 beaches, fun nightlife (happy hour is a big part of the Tel Aviv culture) and delectable food markets. Other places to experience in Israel include the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa, Nazareth and Bethlehem’s holy sites, the Dead Sea and the port city of Jaffa.

Duration of visa-free stay: A visa is not required for 90 days.

Roofs of Old City with Holy Sepulcher Church Dome, Jerusalem, Israel © Rostislav Ageev / Shutterstock

Malta

Malta has stepped into the spotlight recently, and it’s easy to see why so many people are attracted to this small European island nation. Located between Sicily and the African coast, Malta’s culture is an intoxicating mixture of Arabian, Italian, British and North African influences. Top Maltese attractions include Valletta, the fortified capital city; Gozo Island; the Blue Lagoon and Blue Grotto; and Popeye Village, which is popular with families.

Duration of visa-free stay: Malta is also a part of the Schengen area, so a visa is not required for 90 days.

Valletta, Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2018 © Visit Malta

Japan

Japan may be one of the world’s most modern countries, but it also has a fascinating (and oftentimes tumultuous) history. Fortunately, a Japanese vacation can effortlessly include outdoor adventures, city exploring and historical attractions. Start in fast-paced Tokyo, where all senses will be tantalised. Then choose your adventure. Will it involve Mount Fuji, the historic cities of Kyoto and Nara, or a visit to the Japanese Alps?

Duration of visa-free stay: A visa is not required for 90 days.

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa Tokyo, Japan. © Phattana Stock / Shutterstock