Us Aussies have a pretty powerful passport (not as good as the Germans though), and we can enter hundreds of countries without any visa preparation. But there are some countries where we need to do a little extra work…

Of course, the rewards are ALWAYS worth it once you’ve landed in a new and exciting place and exit those terminal doors. But before that point, you’ll need to contact your Travel Agent or consult an online tool (such as Visas Direct) to get the ball rolling on your visa application.

Here are five countries (besides China, North Korea and Eritrea) where you’ll need to do a little extra planning and prep work…




While our Kiwi brothers and sisters can waltz into Brazil without so much as a second thought, we must go through that whole visa application process if we want to get shake our thangs with those boisterous Brazilians. It takes up to 15 working days to process a tourist visa and there’s no priority service.

Did you know? New Zealanders need a visa to enter South Africa, whilst we don’t?




Anyone that’s been a Travel Agent longer than a few months knows about this one, but most of the general Australian public don’t, and many newbies don’t either. Yes, you do need to get a visa before being allowed to set food in vibrant Vietnam.

Did you know? One agent had to cop a nasty neg after putting a client on a Vietnam Airlines flight to BKK from MEL. What that agent didn’t realise was that the flight had an extra flight from SGN to HAN (and then onwards to BKK), which meant the client had to clear immigration to catch this domestic flight. As they didn’t have a Vietnam visa organised beforehand, they weren’t allowed to board in Melbourne – OUCH!




Despite being so close to our shores, Nauru – the world’s smallest country – won’t allow you to enter without a pre-arranged visa. That is, unless you’re a refugee sent over by the Australian Government on detention…




Closed off, run by a dictator, with an extremely difficult visa policy, you’d think this would be enough to deter Australians from visiting Turkmenistan, but still many do – or at least try to.

Aussies keen on discovering this little-known country (which is bound to be ultra rewarding) in Central Asia need a letter of invitation and an approved guide.




Aussies are pretty welcome in the Middle East. Even getting a VOA in Iran is totally easy and hassle free. But Saudi Arabia is different, and (non-Muslim) Australians hoping to enter this oil-rich nation will need a business visa.

Did you know? Australians that have evidence in their passports of having been to Israel will also be refused entry in Saudi Arabia.

Have you ever rocked up to an airport without the appropriate visa? Tell us about your experience in the comments below…