Frequently asked questions


These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are meant to address queries that our potential clients may have as they look to visit Australia with family and friends. There is a lot of information that can be found on the Internet about Australia, golf, and travel. However we hope that through our services you will find value in cutting through the noise.

Our specialty is avoiding locations with high tourism pressure because we want to deliver Aussie authenticity and an overall high return on the investment of your time! The length of your holiday is finite and you should use that time to soak up as much experience and memories as possible- leaving the mundane planning and details to our experts.

Nearly one-third of US travelers are likely disappointed with or indifferent to their destination experience. Delivering the right experience means we match to your needs, stay within budget and use accommodations which are often not the common places usually found on the internet. Our direct relationships and in-country experience differentiate the service that our staff provides from those that may offer Australia as an augmentation or as a side project.

What is the dress code for golf courses in Australia?

While public courses in Australia are more relaxed with their dress code requirements, we typically find that dressing as if planning to play at one of the more exclusive clubs is the best route.

As a visitor to Australia and the golf course, you are asked to maintain a standard of dress in keeping with the character and standing of the Club.

  • Men: Traditional golf attire consists of a collared shirt, tailored slacks or knee length shorts.
  • Ladies: Tailored skirts are permitted. Shorter socks are permitted everywhere, but it is best that they be plain white and cover the ankles if playing at some of the more exclusive locations. If wearing long socks, they should be worn just below the knee.

Across most courses metal and ceramic spikes are not permitted. Soft spikes only.

What are the policies around using cell phones at the golf clubs in Australia?

This will differ from course to course, but as a general rule mobile phones are to be taken on the golf course and used in case of an emergency only.

Most clubs will allow phone calls to be made in the locker room or in car park.

Phones should be on silent upon entering the grounds.

Can I store my golf bag in Sydney Airport?

Many clients will fly into Sydney for a few days prior to moving down to the Sandbelt in Melbourne. Storing golf clubs at the SYD airport is very easy. It costs $22 per day (updated 2019/20) and there are several locations. For more information you can also email at

Baggage Storage Team @ Sydney Airport

    • Terminal 1 Arrivals Level
    • +61 2 9667 0926
    • Opening hours 6:00 AM – 9:30 PM
    • Terminal 2 Virgin
    • +61 419 611 123
    • Opening hours 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Terminal 3 Qantas Terminal
    • +61 419 611 123
    • Opening hours 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM

What is the tipping policy in Australia?

Unlike in the USA, tipping is not commonplace nor is it expected in Australia.

Tipping is reserved for receiving excellent service in a top restaurant and has become in recent years a little more recognized within the service industry. If you feel the need to tip, 10% of the bill is common and much appreciated.

Caddies in Australia

Caddies are not found as often on Australia golf courses as they are in the USA. Most of the locations one will have access to a caddie will be within the Melbourne Sandbelt courses and New South Wales (Sydney).

However, if using a caddie please keep in mind it is their job and the gratuity should be appropriate to the level of service and the club itself. For a $500 AUD round of golf perhaps $75 - $100 AUD would be appropriate.

Trollies, or trundlers, are the most common way to take clubs even in the Sandbelt. Electric carts are not allowed on many of the courses without a medical certificate. The exception to this is in the more resort-oriented locations of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, and to a degree in Sydney as well, where electric carts are more frequently found.

What is the most common mistake made in planning a trip to Australia?

Mistaking Australia for a small island, where everything is in close proximity and easy to navigate, is one of the most common mistakes made by people who DIY their trip. Many visitors end up trying to squeeze too much in, and wind up racing from one end of the country to the other in a mad dash to cross huge stretches of land.

From East Coast to West Coast, Australia is roughly the same size as the United States – the distance from Sydney to Perth covers about as many miles as the drive from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles. Most major cities are spread out along the East Coast, leaving a lot of empty space in the “Red Center” of the country. Planes are the easiest form of transportation from place to place, unless you have a few days to spend in transit from Point A to Point B.

Leverage Best of Australia Golf team to help sort through what you want to see and do while in Australia, and leave the bookings and logistics to us! We are the experts and will provide honest feedback and advice as to your plans. In exchange for this we hope you will honor our time and use our services to book your trip. You will not pay more to use our service, as we provide retail prices and have contracts with partners in Australia.

My friend visited Australia and told me where to go. Why do I need a travel agent?

Businesses are bought and sold in Australia, as they are anywhere. And with an ownership/outfitter change sometimes what was once great is no longer up to standard. Thus, perhaps the most common mistake for those who visit Australia for the first time is blindly repeating the tours and activities of an acquaintance who has been there in the past.

Although you may trust that person implicitly, are they an expert? Do they admit, or even understand, the opportunity cost of better activities? Is their trip the same one you are looking for? Where did they get their recommendation in the first place?

Using trusted people around us is a great way to gain information; however it also has the chance to become a large game of telephone tag. One person's recommendation is transferred down the line and ultimately taken as gospel, without understanding the facts and current situation in the country.

Our team is more than happy to take input, research and feedback in order to incorporate your wishes into the trip. After all, this is your time! However, we also ask that you trust us when the quality of a tour has gone south, or the price is out of alignment to the quality, or an accommodation has not been kept up to our expectations.

Can I rent a car to get around?

In Australia, we have a close relationship with Hertz rental and can arrange for your own vehicle if you'd like to travel at your leisure.

Be advised that Australians drive on the left side of the road, and cities such as Melbourne and Sydney can be a confusing mix of one-way streets, pedestrian crossings and train stops. While in big cities, we can arrange for private transfers, or recommend public transport and walking, to get around. Our preferred accommodations are purposely located within walking distance of main attractions, and most tour companies offer pick-up and drop-off from your accommodation.

Because the distances between major cities are vast - for example, it takes 8+ hours to drive from Melbourne to Sydney - flying is the easiest and most direct way to get around.

That said, anyone planning to spend time in Tasmania may look forward to the chance to drive there, as the island has a small population, quiet two-lane highways and few traffic points.

Timing, convenience and your own driving confidence are all taken into account, as our team constructs the best use of your time while in Australia.

Why do you use Air New Zealand versus other major airlines?

Best of Australia has been an Air New Zealand partner for many years due to its quality service and safety record.

As US-based carriers continue to eliminate loyalty benefits, it may make sense even for the most loyal flyers to book with us and Air New Zealand - or their Star Alliance partner, United Airlines - because points can be more easily used for domestic flights, and the service for an international flight is truly the level we expect for travel.

Within Australia, we book with the national airline, Qantas. Qantas also has a proud history of providing world-renowned service to passengers, and offers flights between all major Australian cities.

How long does it take to get to Australia?

Long haul flights from the mainland United States may land directly in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane; or, they may stopover in Auckland, before continuing on to your final destination in Australia.

Typical U.S. departure flights run:

  • 5 flights a day from Los Angeles (15 hours)
  • 2 flights a day from San Francisco (15 hours)
  • 1 flight a day from New York - with one domestic stop (22 hours)
  • 6 flights a week from Dallas (17 hours)

These flights will leave late at night and land mid-morning (9:30am - 11:am) + 1 day. Thus, when leaving the United States on a Friday night for example, most passengers will have a meal/ watch a movie and sleep for most of the flight- landing on Sunday morning at 10:30am.

What are the classes of service on Air New Zealand?

Long haul flights with Air New Zealand are split into 3 classes of service:

What are some of the biggest surprises in terms of travel for the first-time visitor to Australia?

The varied terrain and beauty of the country speaks for itself, but in the United States many of us often forget about a time when travel did not consist of the stress associated with modern urban centers (navigating rush hour traffic, the hassle of long TSA lines, etc.)

  • Many who visit Australia for the first time are surprised at how similar it compares, in terms of modern lifestyle, to the United States. Though it may seem to be the ends-of-the-earth, it's certainly not a remote, back-woods nation!

  • The country's identity has been shaped by it's massive size and vast distances between population centers. Over 85% of Australians live near the coast, and you'll find that the locals treat big cities - such as Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns - as cosmopolitan outposts, hundreds of miles from their neighbors.

  • For golfers looking for an “iced tea” after a round... there is none. Australians, like the British, take their tea seriously and with ceremony. They do not put ice in their tea!

  • Australian courses are mostly private and limit the number of international players per day; you will need a letter of introduction from your home club in order to make a reservation at the bigger courses.

Doesn't a travel agent add significant cost? With the internet can't I find less expensive flights and accommodations?

This question comes down to two main points:

1) The Best of Australia provides a service to clients who value our expertise and relationships in Australia.

In exchange for the time and thought we devote to the creation of a detailed and custom itinerary (taking into account unique needs and desires) our clients commit to using our services to secure their reservations (accommodations, rental cars, activities, tee times, airfare, etc.)

  • Value: People are busy with their daily lives. Rather than delving into the details of the Australian holiday our clients set the "strategy" and convey their needs. Our team works through the details and provides sage advice. The result is a more efficient use of our client's spare time and an increase in the probability of a more enjoyable trip.

2) The Best of Australia buys at negotiated rates and passes significant savings, often below retail rates, to our clients.

In exchange for selling their accommodations, airline, rental car, etc. our company receives "wholesale" pricing. We then provide line-by-line retail pricing to our clients and run our business on the difference between the two numbers. In the end clients will not pay anything out of pocket above what they would normally pay by making direct reservations themselves. So it's sort of a no-brainer to use our service, right?!

Note! Sometimes clients will find a low-cost price on a property that we do not use... or wish to use airline points on an airline with which we do not have a relationship. That is a-ok with us! There are plenty of low-cost rental car companies that will also probably rent a car in Australia with 83k miles on the speedometer. Yet, you may be able to find better prices outside of the partners we have vetted!

Our partners are chosen for different reasons. Some represent a balance of cost/value while others represent super-luxury. All however maintain good business practices and offer reliable service, convenience, comfort. We also have personally stayed and visited the properties on a regular basis to ensure they are up to The Best of Australia standard.

Do I need the team at The Best of Australia Golf to have a good time in Australia?

No. If you have the time to research and book your own trip you can have a good experience in Australia. It's a wonderful country and there are many readily available activities to experience that can be booked off an internet page. You may also leave the country wondering if you could have had an even better time. Keep in mind that the information you read online is not customized for you and is available globally. Thus, your experience may be tailored more toward a common denominator and less authentic than if you had trusted advice.

A trip to Australia may not be insignificant in cost nor time allotted to the trip. Our team's job is to increase your chances of having a better time than if you had planned the trip alone. Our direct relationships with golf course professionals are especially helpful when making sure you have as many bucket-list rounds of golf as you want on your trip.

We strive to deliver an itinerary that is more focused on an authentic Aussie experience, without losing sight of the balance we need to strike to customize budget, time and tastes for each client.

How do I know if Best of Australia offers trusted advice and understands what they are doing?

Call or email us! We can list the number of times we've visited the country, played the courses and stayed in the accommodation we're now recommending to you - but the easiest way to vet our services is to bring us your initial thoughts and a budget for your trip.

We will continue to post references on our web pages, Facebook, etc. but we have been in business for over 25 years and would not be a viable entity if we could not deliver.

There are a lot of travel agencies out there, what separates you?

Our team consists of a mix of people from Kiwis to Americans... but all are well-traveled and visit Australia on a regular basis (at least annually for everyone on our golf team) in order to consistently vet accommodations and maintain direct relationships and experiences. When we craft an itinerary we are doing so from our own first-hand experience.

There are some agencies for which Australia is a small piece of the portfolio, if not just a page on a website. For our team, Australia commands our full attention, it is our primary focus. We multiply our expertise because, at any given point, someone on our staff is either in-country or planning a familiarization/site inspection. This allows us to stay on top of the latest properties, while ensuring that those we recommend remain up to par with the expectations of our clients.

Why do I need Best of Australia Golf to book a tee time in Australia?

You don't! With enough time and patience you can book tee times yourself. However, planning golf around a larger trip can be a hassle and requires a lot of specific knowledge in the country. Your time is finite.

Ultimately we feel that our service provides a higher quality trip than what one may do over the internet because online research is likely going to end up sending travelers to places targeted for tourists. The advantage our team has is that we have been in business for over 25 years and talk all the time with proprietors of smaller and more authentic Australian properties. In terms of golf, there are lesser known, but still excellent courses to play during your stay, that are located close to B&Bs, boutique hotels and country homes that we use.

What are the people in Australia like?

The 24.6 million people who call themselves Australians come from a truly multicultural mix of European, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian and South Pacific descent. The indigenous peoples, Aborigines, represent roughly 500 different tribes and comprise about 2.4% of the population. A growing blend of Aboriginal custom and tradition exists today, and can be viewed and experienced throughout the country. Australian's proudly call themselves "Aussies," a term that reflects their laid-back and casual attitude.

Feedback from our clients and from personal experience is that Aussies tend to be friendly, helpful, direct and see things in a very practical manner. Many are active in helping in terms of community and country. Aussie Pride is a common trait, and you'll find the locals are quick to tease and engage you in a light-hearted conversation about everything and anything. "Aussie slang" is a short-hand lingo used often, which they love explain to outsiders.

It's amazing that for such an isolated country, Australia has a history of results on the world stage: dominant in many sports, politically stable, environmentally progressive, with world-class wines, music, movies and science.

We strongly urge when you visit Australia to consider the experience as a whole and not to see the country from the window of a hotel that looks like the same room you could have in any other city. It will separate your time and create more lasting memories.

What are a few facts about Australia that I may want to know?

  1. Modern Australia was 'discovered' by Captain Cook in 1xxx and originally used as an English penal colony.

  2. Australia has some of the world's most venomous snakes, spiders and sea life - but don't worry,

  3. Australia is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world; almost 80% of its animal species are endemic to the island - including the platypus, tasmanian devil, Johnstone's crocodile, koala bear and wombat.

  4. Australia is the driest continent, besides Antarctica - which may be why 90% of the population lives near the coast!

  5. Australia and New Zealand have a friendly rivalry. They both claim and fight over the origin of favorite things, from pavlova (a meringue desert) to the flat white coffee and 80's music group Crowded House.

  6. Sydney is the biggest city in Australia, but the capital is Canberra.

  7. Australia was the second country to give women the right to vote (in 1894).

  8. The country is home to 19 UNESCO-recognized World Heritage Sites, such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Queensland tropical rainforests, and the Sydney Opera House.

  9. Aboriginal culture is considered one of the oldest living cultures in the world - Aborigines are estimated to have lived in Australia for almost 50,000 years.

  10. Australians are major sports fans and play everything from cricket to their own national sport, Aussie Rules Football.

What are the passport and visa requirements to visit Australia?

All visitors to Australia require a valid passport. A valid US passport should be valid for at least three months after your departure from Australia. U.S. Passport holders must apply for an ETA - Electronic Travel Authorization visa - prior to arrival in Australia. You must also show proof of an onward/ exit flight.

This is a good link for visa information if you have additional questions.

Some clients will ask our team to include rounds of golf in New Zealand in addition to visiting New Zealand. U.S. Passport holders are automatically given a 3-month travel visa on entry to New Zealand.