Advice levelsWhat does this mean?
- Palau has a low crime rate, but petty crime occurs. Protect your valuables.
- Palau experiences tropical storms. These can disrupt services. Know your hotel or cruise ship's evacuation plan. Find your nearest shelter.
- Palau is at risk of tsunamis. Know the warning signs and move immediately to higher ground. Don't wait for official alerts.
Full travel advice: Safety
- Insect-borne diseases, including dengue, are present in Palau. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Use insect repellent.
- Palau has had recent cases of Zika virus. If you're pregnant, discuss your travel plans with your doctor.
- Hepatitis B is endemic in Palau. Know and follow health advice, including vaccinations, to reduce your risk of exposure.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common in the Palau. Take precautions.
- Hospital and medical facilities are limited. If you're seriously ill or injured, you'll need medical evacuation, probably to Guam. Ensure your travel insurance covers this.
Full travel advice: Health
- It's illegal to bring and use sunscreen products that contain chemical ingredients that are harmful to the coral reefs. Only use ‘reef safe’ sunscreen products, which are available in stores in Palau.
- Follow local alcohol laws. The legal drinking age is 21. It's illegal to drink alcohol in public places.
- It's illegal to disturb or take historical items, including from sunken vessels.
- Counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Buying, selling or having these is illegal. Don't buy or accept pirated or counterfeit goods.
- Palau has conservative dress and behaviour standards. Take care not to offend.
- Same-sex relationships are legal, but cultural attitudes can be conservative. Avoid public displays of affection.
Full travel advice: Local laws
- All travellers, except those under 12 or travelling through the Palau-Taiwan travel bubble, must submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. The final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to departure. The vaccine must be approved or authorised for emergency use by either the US Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organisation. Palau also accepts the Medigen vaccine authorised by Taiwan’s health authorities. Travellers must submit proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test taken within three days prior to departure to the airline. If applicable, travellers must also provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19.
- All travellers must undergo five days Restriction of Movement (ROM) and a COVID-19 test upon arrival and after five days in Palau. Travellers are required to follow Mitigation Orders on arrival.
- Further information on the Government of Palau's entry requirements are available on Palau’s Ministry of Health and Human Services Facebook page.
- There is unexploded ordnance in Palau left from World War II, especially Peleliu and Angaur. Be careful when diving or exploring caves.
- Palau has saltwater crocodiles. Often there are no warning signs. Ask locals about safe places to swim.
- Rental cars and limited number of taxis available. Local taxis have fixed fares, ask for the fare list.
Full travel advice: Travel
- The Consular Services Charter details what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
- The Australian Embassy in Palau can provide consular assistance to Australians in Palau.
- Consular services may be limited due to local measures in place to curb the spread of COVID-19
Full travel advice: Local contacts
The crime rate is low.
Petty crime can happen.
To protect yourself from theft:
- be aware of your personal safety
- protect your valuables
- don't buy or accept counterfeit goods
Civil unrest and political tension
Demonstrations and protests
Civil unrest is rare. However, demonstrations and large public gatherings can turn violent.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Tours and adventure activities
Tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards.
If you plan to do a tour or adventure activity:
- check if your travel insurance policy covers it
- ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
- always use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
Diving, swimming and caving
There is unexploded ordnance in Palau left from World War II, particularly in Peleliu and Angaur.
Be careful when diving or exploring caves.
Saltwater crocodiles live in parts of Palau. You may not be able to see them. Ask local authorities before entering the water in mangrove areas.
If you plan to visit the 'Jellyfish Lakes', you:
- can only free dive or use a snorkel in the lake on Eil Malk Island
- can't scuba dive
Climate and natural disasters
Palau can experience severe weather and tropical storms.
If a tropical storm or natural disaster is approaching:
- closely monitor the media
- keep in contact with friends and family.
If there's a tropical storm:
- it might disrupt services
- adequate shelter may not be available
- flights could be delayed or suspended
- available flights may fill quickly
- it could affect access to seaports.
To stay safe during severe weather:
- know the evacuation plan for your hotel or cruise ship
- identify your local shelter
- secure your passport in a safe, waterproof place
- monitor local weather reports
- take official warnings seriously
- follow the advice of local authorities.
Check these websites for updates and alerts:
Some areas of Palau are at risk from large and destructive tsunamis.
Receive tsunami alerts by registering with:
If you're near the coast, move immediately to high ground if advised by local authorities, or if you:
- feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up
- feel a weak, rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
- see a sudden rise or fall in sea level
- hear loud and unusual noises from the sea
Don't wait for official warnings, such as alarms or sirens. Once on high ground, check 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.
- what activities and care your policy covers
- that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
- have a basic health check-up
- ask if your travel plans may affect your health
- plan any vaccinations you need
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 Palau. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
- what the medication is
- how much you'll take
- that it's for personal use
COVID-19 remains a risk in Palau.
For information on Palau’s COVID−19 vaccination program, refer to the Palau Ministry of Health and Human Services’ Facebook page. You should consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
Hepatitis B is endemic in Palau. Know and follow health advice, including vaccination, to reduce your risk of exposure.
STIs are common in the Palau. Take precautions.
Dengue outbreaks can occur.
Zika virus has been reported recently.
If you're pregnant, the Australian Department of Health recommends you:
- discuss travel plans with your doctor
- consider putting off travel to Zika virus-affected areas
Find out about Zika virus-affected countries on the Department of Health website.
To protect yourself from disease:
- make sure your accommodation is insect proof
- use insect repellent
- wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
- monitor local media for health news
Hospital and medical facilities are limited.
A hyperbaric chamber is located in the hospital in Koror. Many popular dive sites are far away from Koror.
If you're seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to a place with better facilities, such as Guam. Medical evacuation can be very expensive. Flights are limited.
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.
Penalties for drug offences are strict.
A mandatory sentence of 25 years applies for possessing illegal 'hard drugs'. Hard drugs include heroin, cocaine and synthetics.
It's illegal to bring and use sunscreen products that contain chemical ingredients that are harmful to the coral reefs. Sunscreens that contain harmful chemicals are prohibited by the Palauan government. Importation and distribution of ‘reef toxic’ sunscreens will carry fines up to USD1,000. Only use ‘reef safe’ sunscreen products, which are available in stores in Palau.
The legal drinking age is 21 years. Drinking in public places is illegal.
It's illegal to disturb or take historical items, including from sunken vessels.
Counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Buying, selling or owning these goods is illegal.
If you're travelling through Guam, counterfeits are also illegal there.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Palau recognises dual nationality.
Dress and behaviour standards are conservative.
Take care not to offend.
Same-sex relationships are legal, but cultural attitudes can be conservative. Avoid public displays of affection.
You can get a visitor visa for up to 30 days on arrival. You'll need an onward or return ticket.
Palau doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Australia.
Entry and exit conditions can change. Contact the Palau Bureau of Immigration for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Or you can contact:
Ministry of State
Phone: (+680) 767 2490
Travel via the United States
If you travel through the US, including Guam and Hawaii, you must meet US entry or transit requirements. Check visa requirements with a US embassy or consulate.
Entry to Palau
All travellers, except those under 12 or travelling through the Palau-Taiwan travel bubble, must submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. The final vaccination dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to departure to the Republic. The vaccine must be approved or authorised for emergency use by either the US Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organisation. Palau also accepts the Medigen vaccine authorised by Taiwan’s health authorities. Travellers must submit proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test taken within three days prior to departure to the airline. If applicable, travellers must also provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19.
All travellers will undergo five days Restriction of Movement (ROM) and a COVID-19 test upon arrival and after five days in Palau. Travellers are required to follow Mitigation Orders on arrival.
Further information on the Government of Palau's entry requirements are available on Palau’s Ministry of Health and Human Services Facebook page.
Staying in Palau
If you're in Palau, follow the advice of local authorities and stay in touch with family and friends so they know you're safe and well.
Travel with children
If you're travelling with a child, carry evidence of your relationship.
If you're the sole parent travelling with your child, you'll need a notarised letter. If you're travelling with a child who isn't yours, you'll also need one. This letter needs to include:
- consent signed by the non-travelling parents or guardians
- details on who the child can travel with
- the dates and places of travel
When you leave, you'll need to pay:
- departure tax
- environmental protection fee
Pay in cash at the airport.
Travel via sea vessels
If you arrive by sea, you must get an entry permit.
Contact Palau Port Control before you arrive:
Phone: (+680) 488 4224
VHF Channel: 16
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7:30am to 4:30pm
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. You may 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.
Lost or stolen 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 local currency is the US Dollar (USD).
ATMs are available in larger centres and at the airport.
Some local shops accept credit cards.
To drive in Palau for up to 30 days, you need both:
- an International Driving Permit (IDP)
- a valid Australian driver's licence
You must get your IDP before you arrive. After 30 days, you'll need a local licence.
After rain, sealed roads on Koror usually stay in fair condition.
Many roads on Palau's other islands are unsealed. After rain, you may only be able to access them with a 4WD vehicle.
To reduce your risks when driving, be aware:
- many roads are narrow and don't have footpaths
- road shoulders are limited
- the national speed limit is 40km/h
- overtaking slow vehicles is illegal
Make sure your travel insurance covers you when riding a motorbike.
Always wear a helmet.
Use licensed taxis and hire-car services. Rental cars and a limited number of taxis are available. Arrange one through your hotel.
Local taxis aren't metered. Fares between locations are fixed. Ask for the fare list.
Public transport options are limited.
A bus service operates on a limited schedule on Koror.
Inter-island ferries and water taxis are common.
Always use a life jacket, even if others don't.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Palau's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
- family and friends
- travel agent
- insurance provider
Fire and rescue services
Call 911 or contact the police at your nearest police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
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, please contact the Australian Embassy in Koror. To make an appointment contact us by phone or email, as the Embassy is currently operating from temporary premises.
Australian Embassy, Koror
The Australian Embassy in Koror provides notarial services only. For Australian passport services please contact the Australian Embassy, Pohnpei.
Australian Embassy, Pohnpei
H & E Building
PO Box S, Federated States Of Micronesia
Phone: +691 320 5448
Fax: +691 320 5449
Facebook: Australia in Micronesia
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
24-hour Consular Emergency Centre
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
- +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
- 1300 555 135 in Australia