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Travel Tip Tuesday with Emirates Cabin Crew

With more than 20,000 thousand Australian Visa’s issued to Irish people in 2023 and many more family and friends taking the opportunity to visit the land down under, it’s no wonder that Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are in Emirates’ top ten list of most popular destinations right now1

With hundreds of Australians working with Emirates as cabin crew, we asked Ashleigh Mehmed from Melbourne in Australia to share her top tips and insights for Irish people considering emigrating to or visiting this Southern Hemisphere continent.  

  • Visa requirements: The first step for anyone planning a trip to Australia is to checkout its Department of Home Affairs website for all entry and eligibility requirements. Whether travelling for work or for pleasure, you must have a visa to enter Australia. There are different types of visas so it’s important to apply for the one that matches your plans.  Don’t assume you can work, even part-time, if travelling on holiday or student visa and give yourself plenty of time to make the application. In addition, make sure your passport has a minimum validity of six months. Passport cards will not be accepted cautions Ashleigh.  
  • Climate and weather:  If you’re planning to travel between states, be prepared for the diverse climate of Australia.  You might depart one region in winter and land in another on the same day with the autumn leaves crunching underfoot.  So while Aussies are cosying up with hot cocoa in Melbourne’s cool winter, Brisbane is still soaking up the warmth of late autumn sunshine. And here’s the kicker: just when summer hits Ireland, Australia is bundling up for winter! So, whether you’re chasing summer sun or embracing winter chill, pack according to the weather conditions of your chosen destinations.   
  • Cost of living: Research the cost of living in different Australian cities to manage your budget – and your expectations. The average price of a medium, basic coffee is about $5 across the country2, which is around €3 – not bad value at all.  When it comes to accommodation, the median rental price of a one-bedroom apartment in Sydney3 is $750 – marginally less expensive than Dublin prices. Like Ireland, prices vary considerably between states, cities and town so make sure you consider factors such as accommodation, transport, daily expenses and the cost of going out to help you make an informed decision about not just where you want to live, but where you can comfortably afford to live while still enjoying all that Australia has to offer.   
  • Healthcare and insurance: Ireland and Australia have a reciprocal health care agreement (RHCA) where residents from Ireland who hold a valid visa are eligible for ‘medically necessary’ treatment as a public patient, including both inpatient and outpatient care and subsidised prescription drugs through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. 
  • Cultural adaptation: With so many Irish living in Australia, it can be very easy to stay within your comfort zone and seek out familiar faces and accents from home.  And while Ashleigh says she has lots of Irish friends, she encourages them all to embrace the cultural diversity of Australia and to be open to new experiences, and new people.  “Generally speaking, we Aussies are very easy going and get on really well with the Irish,says Ashleigh  “We are known for our ‘no worries’ attitude and when travelling, I think part of the fun is meeting new people and visiting incredible places, expanding cultural horizons and social circles.”  
  • Networking and community: While Ashleigh says it’s important to make new connections, there’s equally a lot to be said for building a strong support network by connecting with fellow Irish expatriates and clubs in Australia.  Many Irish discover a new sense of home and community by joining GAA clubs down under.  There’s a comforting familiarity about a GAA Club 10,000 miles away, but also something new and exciting, particularly when playing with the sun on your back.  

So now that you are familiar with what to do, Ashleigh has compiled a list of some of the best places to visit and see, whether you’re exploring sunny Sydney or embarking on an adventure in Adelaide there’s something for everyone. 


  • The most culturally diverse of all Australian cities. Melbourne is a close second.  
  • It wouldn’t be a trip to Sydney without visiting the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Climb the iconic bridge for panoramic views of the city skyline and harbour. 
  • Relax on the golden sands of Bondi Beach or explore the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee. 
  • Discover Sydney’s cultural landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Garden, and Taronga Zoo. 


  • Wander through the laneways of Melbourne Central Business District to discover hidden cafes, street art, and boutique shops. 
  • Famous for our coffee culture  
  • Drive along The Great Ocean Road: a stunning coastal route that stretches for hours between Torquay (the surf capital of Victoria) and Allansford. The views are breath-taking and there are many famous stops along the way, such as The Twelve Apostles. 
  • See the fairy penguins come out in the evenings at St Kilda beach. Although if you would like a guaranteed sighting, visit Phillip Island (two hours from the CBD) and see the largest little penguin colony in the world venture out into the peninsula each night for free. 
  • Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Queen Victoria Market, the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere. 
  • Catch a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) or if sports are not your thing, explore the diverse exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria. 


  • Soak up the sun and relax on the beach. Ashleigh recommends going to Cottesloe or Scarborough, which are two of her favourite spots. 
  • Take a ferry to Rottnest Island to meet the friendly quokkas and enjoy snorkelling in crystal-clear waters. 
  • Explore the historic streets of Fremantle and visit the Fremantle Markets for local crafts and gourmet treats. 


  • For food lovers, explore the Adelaide Central Market for fresh, in season produce and local delights. 
  • To immerse yourself in the lush greenery of Adelaide, head to the Adelaide Botanic Garden for a peaceful retreat. 
  • For those who seek adventure, take a scenic drive to the Adelaide Hills for stunning views and charming villages. 


  • An hour and twenty-minute drive from Brisbane is The Gold Coast. Arguably one of Australia’s biggest tourists / local vacation destinations due to its surf culture, beaches and theme parks. There are many amazing theme parks boasting water slides, thrill rides, movie characters, etc.  
  • For the animal lovers visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to cuddle koalas and hand-feed kangaroos. 
  • For water sport enthusiasts, a day trip to Moreton Island for snorkelling, sandboarding, and dolphin watching is a must.  

“Every part of Australia is quite unique and there are endless attractions and experiences awaiting Irish travellers as they seek new adventures abroad,” said Ashleigh. 

Getting to Australia is easier than ever before and Emirates operates two flights daily from Dublin to five points across Australia, via Dubai. Travellers flying to Australia with Emirates can enjoy the best experience in the sky with an unmatched culinary experience, regionally inspired multi-course menus developed by a team of award-winning chefs complemented by a wide selection of premium beverages. Customers can sit back and relax with up to 6,500 channels of carefully curated global entertainment content featuring movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, games, audiobooks and more with ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system.  And you might even meet Ashleigh onboard who says she’ll be very happy to offer even more tips about Australia’s hidden gems.

  www.emirates.com for more  

1 Most popular destination from Dublin on the Emirates network 2023/2024 

2 Coffee Prices in Australia as of 2023 | Friendly Finance 

3 Sydney Property Market, House Prices, Investment Data & Suburb Profiles – realestate.com.au 

Emer Roche
Emer Roche
Emer has over 10 years experience working for Irish magazines, supplements, websites and creative agencies. She’s written features for U Magazine, Image Magazine and theheyday.ie, across a range of subjects such as women’s interest, travel, culture, news and interviews. She also has a portfolio of commercial writing for creative agencies, such as RTE.ie and Originate Creative. Emer is a Dublin native with part of her heart in Ardmore, County Waterford. She lives in Dublin 7 with her husband, two kids, dog and cat.

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