Fire and rescue services
Call 911 or contact the police at your nearest police station.
Exercise normal safety precautions in Palau.
Exercise normal safety precautions in Palau.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
The crime rate is low.
Petty crime can happen.
To protect yourself from theft:
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
Civil unrest is rare. However, demonstrations and large public gatherings can turn violent.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards.
If you plan to do a tour or adventure activity:
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
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 Lake', you:
Palau can experience severe weather and tropical storms.
If a tropical storm or natural disaster is approaching:
If there's a tropical storm:
To stay safe during severe weather:
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:
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 thousands 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.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of someone you know, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
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 medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
Hepatitis B is endemic in Palau. Know and follow health advice, including vaccination, to reduce your risk of exposure.
STIs are common in Palau. Take precautions.
Dengue outbreaks can occur.
To protect yourself from disease:
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.
From 29 May, bringing, importing, advertising, selling, and using e-cigarettes and vapes in Palau will be illegal. Do not bring e-cigarettes or vapes to Palau. Individuals violating the law could face a fine of $US1,000. Businesses or persons importing, distributing, or selling the products could face a fine of $US20,000.
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 $US1,000. 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.
It’s illegal to buy, sell or own counterfeit or pirated goods.
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.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
You can get a visitor visa for up to 30 days on arrival. You'll need an onward or return ticket. You can submit your Palau Entry Form online within 72 hours of arrival.
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.
Phone: (+680) 488 2498
Phone: (+680) 488 2678
Or you can contact:
Ministry of State
Phone: (+680) 767 2490
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.
You're required to submit a health declaration form when entering Palau. A hard copy form is provided on board your plane or on arrival or can be completed electronically.
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:
When you leave, you'll need to pay:
Pay in cash at the airport.
You must get an entry permit before arriving in Palau. You'll be required to submit documentation before your arrival. You may face significant penalties if you enter Palau without authorisation.
For more information and requirements relevant to your vessel, contact Palau Port Control:
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.
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:
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
The Australian Embassy in Koror provides limited notarial services and passport services.
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.