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If you are in Australia
Call 1300 555 135
If you are overseas
Call +61 2 6261 3305
text +61 421 269 080
A volcano erupted on White Island, New Zealand on 9 December 2019. Follow the instructions of local authorities. Updates are available from the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.
Call 1300 555 135
Call +61 2 6261 3305
text +61 421 269 080
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Although stable for some years, there are still ongoing security risks. The situation could get worse with little warning.
People have protested against the Australian Government outside the Australian Embassy. They could protest again.
Australians have been harassed because of their nationality.
Localised unrest happens in Timor-Leste, including street gang fighting and political demonstrations.
Minor disputes can escalate into violence without warning.
To stay safe:
Move to a safe place if:
In Dili, be careful around Tasi Tolu, Comoro and other crowded areas.
Criminals sometimes target foreigners for petty crime such as theft. Although uncommon, there have been attacks in Dili, on nearby beaches and in rural areas.
Crime risks increase at night, and if you're travelling alone.
Smash-and-grab theft of property from vehicles happens.
Intruders have broken into homes where foreigners are known to be.
There is a history of gang-related violence, robbery, arson and vandalism in major towns, especially Dili.
Rocks are sometimes thrown at vehicles and property. This mostly happens during the early evening and at night.
To stay safe:
Sexual harassment of foreigners is common. This usually affects women. However, men can also be targeted.
Harassment can include:
Violence against local women is widespread.
Sexual assault can happen at any time.
People have reported assaults in areas such as:
To stay safe:
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Tropical cyclones are rare. Severe storms usually happen during the wet season, from November to April.
Heavy rain can cause flooding, landslides and damage to roads. It can also affect services.
If a natural disaster or severe weather happens:
Stay up to date on weather conditions and forecasts, natural disaster watches and warnings. Plan accordingly.
To check local and regional weather and disaster sites, visit:
If you're travelling during the wet season or after a natural disaster, ask your tour operator if services are affected.
For real-time information on earthquakes, see the US Geological Service.
To receive tsunami alerts, register with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
Follow the advice of your accommodation provider and local authorities.
If you're near the coast, move to high ground straight away if advised, or if you:
Don't wait for official warnings such as alarms or sirens. Once on high ground, monitor local media.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Timor-Leste. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating:
While cases of malaria are not common, other mosquito-borne diseases can be found in Timor-Leste.
Protect yourself from disease:
If you're travelling to rural areas, discuss malaria-prevention medication with your doctor before you travel.
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
Rabies is fatal if left untreated. It's a viral disease found in dogs, monkeys, bats and other mammals.
There have not been any cases of rabies confirmed in Timor-Leste. However, rabies is found on neighbouring islands. Doctors at Dili Hospital have treated suspected rabies cases.
To stay safe:
Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases are common. These include:
To protect yourself from illness:
Tuberculosis is widespread. Healthcare workers are especially at risk of being exposed to the disease.
If you're a healthcare worker, get tested for tuberculosis before you travel and after you leave.
Get medical advice if you have a fever or have diarrhoea.
In the past, local authorities have advised that fish sold on the roadside has been contaminated with formaldehyde.
Follow local warnings and advice.
Medical facilities are limited.
Most emergency cases are treated at Dili National Hospital, which has limited facilities.
Dental facilities are extremely limited.
A limited supply of basic medications is available.
There is no hyperbaric chamber in Timor-Leste. If you're going to dive, make sure you have a current medical clearance and you're covered by insurance.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
There are serious penalties for drug offences.
Don't interfere in local political processes or take part in political activity. If you do, you'll face fines, detention, or deportation.
Timor-Leste doesn't recognise de facto or same-sex relationships.
Social and cultural attitudes towards same-sex relationships are conservative.
Avoid public displays of affection. They aren't socially acceptable.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Timor-Leste has conservative standards of behaviour and dress. Dress modestly in public places, churches or markets.
Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Religious days are closely observed. Show respect to local customs.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
You can get a 30-day visa when you arrive, if you're both:
visiting as a tourist, and
arriving via Nicolau Lobato International Airport or Dili Seaport
You have to pay for a visa on arrival in US dollars. There are no money exchange facilities at the airport.
If you enter at another location or by land, you need to get a visa before you arrive.
If you can give a valid reason for extending your stay past 30 days, immigration authorities may let you extend your visa.
Apply to the Immigration Department at Vila Verde in Dili to extend your visa.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The official currency is the US Dollar (USD).
USD banknotes issued before 2000 are not accepted.
Declare all amounts higher than $US5000 or equivalent when you arrive and depart. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
You need approval from the Central Bank of Timor-Leste (CBTL) to import or export more than $US10,000.
It's illegal to import above certain limits of currencies other than USD without a permit from the CBTL.
If you import more than $US2000 worth of Australian dollars in a calendar month, you need approval.
Contact the Central Bank of Timor-Leste for details:
Most places won't take credit cards, including hotels, shops and restaurants. Bring enough USD in cash to meet your needs.
Ask your bank if your Australian credit or debit cards will work in Timor-Leste.
You might not be able to change Australian dollars for USD.
If you're travelling to West Timor or other parts of Indonesia, read our travel advice for Indonesia.
You need permission to visit some places that have special religious or cultural importance.
Check with local authorities before you visit.
Check local reactions to your presence and activities and adjust accordingly.
To drive in Timor-Leste, you need both:
Get your IDP before you leave Australia.
Driving without an IDP could invalidate your travel and vehicle insurance.
After 3 months, you'll need to get a local licence.
Driving conditions are dangerous because of:
In rural areas, dangers include:
You're 3 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in Timor-Leste than in Australia.
Large crowds can form quickly after traffic accidents. The situation can become violent with little warning.
Main routes are often single-lane mountain roads. They can worsen quickly and become blocked. This can happen in the rainy season from November to April.
Outside Dili, Australian officials travelling for work don't drive at night other than in exceptional situations.
Outside Dili, there are limited emergency response resources.
Check security and road conditions with local authorities before you travel.
Make sure you have adequate insurance cover before driving in Timor-Leste.
If you drive:
If you're in an accident, report it to the local police.
Traffic disruptions and blocks on major thoroughfares can happen.
Police can set up checkpoints anywhere. Makeshift barricades are sometimes used as unauthorised roadblocks.
Police may close roads in Dili during large events, such as commemorative ceremonies or major sporting events.
Check if your travel insurance policy covers you when riding a motorbike.
Always wear a helmet.
Many taxis are in poor condition. Driving standards are often poor.
It's safer to arrange limousines or hire cars through your hotel.
Avoid using taxis, especially if you're a woman.
Many buses, 'microlets' and trucks used as public transport are not well maintained.
Poor driving standards add to the risk.
Travel by boat can be dangerous.
Not all vessels are seaworthy.
Passenger limits are sometimes exceeded. Don't get on or stay on an overloaded vessel.
Before booking sea travel, confirm that maintenance and safety standards are maintained.
There may not be enough life jackets on board. Make sure any vessel you board is carrying safety equipment, including enough life jackets for all crew, passengers and children.
Some cruise lines stop over in Timor-Leste.
Piracy happens in South-East Asian waters.
The International Maritime Bureau publishes piracy reports.
Avoid trouble spots and take safety precautions.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Timor-Leste's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
People have reported crocodile attacks, especially in the eastern districts and along the southern coast.
Crocodiles have been sighted on beaches and inland waterways at:
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 331 0340
Call 331 1044
Call 110 or go to the hospital.
Call 331 1380
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Emergency services officers may speak limited English.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Dili.
Rua Martires da Patria
Phone: (+67 0) 332 2111
Fax: (+67 0) 332 2247
Facebook: Australia in Timor-Leste
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.