Guide to Bhutan Tour from Australia

Embark on an unforgettable journey from Australia to Bhutan and explore the mystical kingdom nestled in the Himalayas. Discover the best routes for flights from Australia to Bhutan, navigate the Bhutan visa process for Australian citizens, and learn about the cost of a Bhutan trip from Australia. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant Bhutan festivals, the serene landscapes on Bhutan trekking tours, or the rich cultural experiences, this guide ensures you’re well-prepared for an adventure of a lifetime. Tailor your itinerary to experience the best time to visit Bhutan from Australia, and understand the unique minimum daily package requirements to make the most of your visit to this extraordinary destination.

At Amen Bhutan Tours and Treks, we pride ourselves on being the best company for organizing your Bhutan tour from Australia. Our expertly crafted itineraries are designed to provide an unparalleled experience, blending cultural richness with breathtaking landscapes. With seamless travel arrangements, comprehensive visa assistance, and a deep understanding of the minimum daily requirements, we ensure your journey from Australia to the heart of the Himalayas is nothing short of spectacular. Choose us for your Bhutan adventure and experience the utmost in service and authenticity.

[block](,15,16)

 


Travel Routes

For Australians planning a tour to Bhutan, navigating the travel routes involves a few steps due to the lack of direct flights. Here’s how you can reach Bhutan from Australia:

Major Connecting Cities: Typically, travelers from Australia need to first fly to one of the major Asian transit hubs. The most common cities used for connections are Bangkok (Thailand), Singapore, and Kathmandu (Nepal). These cities have direct flights to and from multiple Australian capitals such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Airlines Offering Flights: From these transit cities, you will take a flight to Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport. The flights to Paro are operated exclusively by Bhutan’s national carriers, Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines. These airlines have a limited number of flights, making it essential to book well in advance.

Flight Availability: It's important to coordinate your flight schedules carefully. Since flights to Bhutan are not daily, planning your departure from Australia to coincide with the available flights from your transit city is crucial. This often means you might need to plan for an overnight stay in the transit city.

Travel Time: Total travel time will vary depending on your city of departure in Australia, chosen transit city, layover times, and the specific flight times to Paro. Typically, the journey can take anywhere from 20 to 30 hours including transit times.

Entry Requirements: Upon arrival in Paro, all visitors must present their visa clearance letter, which you must obtain prior to your departure through your tour operator as part of Bhutan’s regulated travel policy.

Understanding these travel routes and requirements will help ensure a smooth and well-planned journey to Bhutan from Australia.


Visa Information

When planning a tour to Bhutan from Australia, understanding the visa process is crucial. Bhutan has a unique visa system designed to regulate tourism and protect its cultural heritage. Here’s a detailed overview of the visa process for Australian citizens:

Visa Requirement: All Australian tourists must have a visa to enter Bhutan. Independent travel is not allowed; you must book your trip through a registered Bhutanese tour operator or an international partner.

Visa Application Process:

  • Tour Booking: First, you need to book your trip through an authorized tour operator, like Amen Bhutan Tours and Treks. Your itinerary, accommodations, and travel details must be arranged and confirmed by the tour operator.
  • Payment: After booking your tour, you must pay the full cost of your trip, including the daily minimum package fee. This payment typically goes through your tour operator.
  • Visa Application by Tour Operator: Your tour operator will then apply for your visa. The application is submitted along with a copy of your passport to the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

Visa Fee: The visa fee is USD 40. This fee is usually included in the total cost of your tour package.

Visa Approval: Once approved, the visa is issued by the Department of Immigration in Bhutan. Your tour operator will receive a visa clearance letter, which they should forward to you.

Traveling to Bhutan: You must present the visa clearance letter upon arrival in Bhutan, typically at Paro International Airport. The actual visa will then be stamped into your passport by immigration authorities.

Duration and Validity: The visa is typically valid for the duration of your planned stay in Bhutan as per your booked itinerary.

Extensions: If you want to extend your stay beyond the dates initially planned, your tour operator must apply for an extension on your behalf.

This system ensures that all travel within Bhutan is accounted for and that tourists receive the highest standard of service, contributing positively to Bhutan's economy and cultural preservation.


Best Travel Times

When planning your Bhutan tour from Australia, choosing the right time to visit can greatly enhance your travel experience. Bhutan offers distinct seasonal variations that can influence the activities available and the overall enjoyment of your trip. Here’s a guide to the best times to visit Bhutan:

Spring (March to May): Spring is one of the best times to visit Bhutan due to the pleasant weather and the blooming of vibrant flowers across the valley landscapes. The temperature is comfortably warm during the day and cool at night. This season is ideal for trekking and for enjoying the stunning natural beauty of Bhutan’s flora in full bloom. Major festivals, such as the Paro Tshechu, are held in spring, offering tourists a chance to witness Bhutan’s rich cultural traditions.

Autumn (September to November): Autumn is another excellent time to visit, characterized by clear, sunny days and moderate temperatures. This season offers some of the best conditions for trekking and mountain views, with skies often clear enough to offer breathtaking views of the Himalayas. Significant festivals like the Thimphu Tshechu and the Black-Necked Crane Festival occur during these months, providing unique cultural insights and photographic opportunities.

Summer (June to August): Summer in Bhutan is the monsoon season, which can lead to heavy rains, especially in the southern regions. While trekking might be more challenging due to the wet conditions, the landscapes are lush and waterfalls are at their most spectacular. This is considered off-peak season, so visitors can benefit from fewer crowds and lower prices.

Winter (December to February): Winter can be cold, but it also brings its charm with snowfall in the higher altitudes creating picturesque winter scenes. It is a great time for cultural tours as it is less crowded, and you can experience the serene and tranquil side of Bhutanese life. The Punakha Dromche and Tshechu take place during this season, showcasing glorious mask dances and traditional music.

Selecting the best time to visit depends on what you want to experience in Bhutan. Whether it’s the vibrant festivals of spring and autumn, the lush landscapes of summer, or the peaceful ambiance of winter, Bhutan offers unique experiences all year round.


Cost Considerations

Planning a tour to Bhutan from Australia involves understanding several key cost considerations, due to Bhutan's unique approach to tourism. Here’s what Australian travelers need to know about the expenses involved in visiting this Himalayan kingdom:

Minimum Daily Package: Bhutan requires all tourists to pay a minimum daily package rate, which is set by the Bhutanese government. This rate includes all accommodations, meals, transportation within the country, a licensed Bhutanese tour guide, and all internal taxes and charges.

  • High Season (March, April, May, September, October, November): USD 250 per person per day.
  • Low Season (December, January, February, June, July, August): USD 200 per person per day.

For groups of two persons, there's usually a small surcharge per day, and for solo travelers, the surcharge is slightly higher.

Visa Fee: The visa fee for Bhutan is USD 40 per person. This fee is typically included in the quote provided by your tour operator when booking your trip.

Flights: Flights are one of the major expenses for Australians traveling to Bhutan. Since there are no direct flights from Australia to Bhutan, you must book flights to a nearby city such as Bangkok, Kathmandu, or Delhi, which range in cost depending on the season and how early you book. From there, you will take a connecting flight to Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport. Return flights from these transit cities to Paro can range from USD 400 to USD 700.

Personal Expenses: While the minimum daily package covers most necessities, personal expenses such as souvenirs, additional snacks or drinks outside of meals, and tips for guides and drivers are extra. Tipping is not mandatory but is appreciated and typically ranges from USD 5 to USD 10 per day for the guide and half of that for the driver.

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is highly recommended for international travel, including trips to Bhutan. Ensure your policy covers medical expenses, trip cancellations, and other potential losses. The cost of travel insurance varies based on the coverage amount, trip length, and your age.

Trekking and Special Activities: If your itinerary includes trekking or other special activities like rafting or biking, there may be additional rental fees for equipment or extra charges for arranging such activities.

Seasonal Fluctuations: Travel costs can also fluctuate based on the season. Visiting during the high season means higher costs due to increased demand for flights and accommodations, while the low season can be more budget-friendly.

By understanding these cost considerations, travelers from Australia can better prepare and budget for a comprehensive and enjoyable visit to Bhutan.


Packing Essentials

Packing for a trip to Bhutan from Australia involves preparing for a variety of activities and weather conditions, given the country's diverse climate and cultural norms. Here’s a comprehensive packing list to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and respectful visit:

[block](,17,18)

 

Clothing

  • Layered Clothing: Bhutan’s weather can vary significantly depending on the altitude and time of year. Pack layers such as t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and a good quality jacket.
  • Waterproof Jacket: Essential for the rainy season and unexpected showers.
  • Warm Clothing: Include a fleece or woolen sweaters and thermal underclothes for colder months, especially from November to March.
  • Hiking Boots: Durable and comfortable for trekking. Ensure they are well broken-in to avoid blisters.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: For lighter walks and when exploring towns.
  • Hat and Gloves: For higher altitudes and colder weather, especially in winter.
  • Sun Hat and Sunglasses: To protect against the sun at high altitudes.

Essentials

  • Sunscreen and Lip Balm: High SPF to protect against intense sun exposure.
  • Insect Repellent: Especially useful during the warmer months.
  • Personal Hygiene Items: Include travel-sized toiletries, as these might be hard to find in Bhutan.
  • Medication: Bring any prescribed medications as well as general over-the-counter medicines for headaches, altitude sickness, and stomach upsets.

Documents

  • Passport and Visa Documentation: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your date of entry. Keep a copy of your Bhutan visa clearance letter, which is mandatory to present upon arrival.
  • Travel Insurance Details: Carry a copy of your travel insurance policy.

Gadgets

  • Camera: Bhutan’s landscapes are stunning; don’t forget your camera, extra batteries, and memory cards.
  • Mobile Phone and Charger: While connectivity might be limited in remote areas, it’s useful for photos and emergencies.
  • Adapters: Bhutan uses the Type D, F, and G plug sockets, so bring suitable adapters.

Miscellaneous

  • Daypack: For carrying essentials during day trips and hikes.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: To stay hydrated and reduce plastic usage.
  • Books or E-Reader: For leisure during downtime.
  • Snacks: Energy bars, trail mix, and other non-perishable snacks can be handy during treks or long travel days.

Cultural Sensitivity Items

  • Modest Clothing: Bhutanese dress conservatively. Women should bring scarves or shawls to cover shoulders and knees, particularly when visiting religious sites. Men should wear long trousers and shirts with sleeves.

Packing smartly can significantly enhance your comfort and enjoyment during your Bhutan tour, helping you to engage respectfully and responsibly with the local culture and environment.


Cultural Insights

Bhutan, often referred to as the Last Shangri-La, is a country where cultural preservation and tradition are deeply embedded in every aspect of life. Understanding Bhutanese culture is essential for any Australian planning a visit. Here are some key cultural insights to enhance your experience and ensure respectful interaction:

Buddhism as a Way of Life: Buddhism influences every facet of Bhutanese society. Monasteries, stupas, and prayer flags are common sights, and many of the country’s festivals and rituals are religious in nature. Respecting these religious symbols and practices is crucial when visiting.

Gross National Happiness: Bhutan is famous for its unique development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which prioritizes the well-being of its citizens over material wealth. The concept is reflected in the country's focus on sustainable development, preservation of cultural values, and conservation of the natural environment.

Traditional Dress: The national dress is an important part of Bhutanese identity. Men wear the ‘gho’, a knee-length robe tied at the waist, and women wear the ‘kira’, an ankle-length dress accompanied by a light outer jacket known as a ‘tego’. Visitors are not required to wear traditional dress but should dress conservatively, especially when visiting religious sites.

Language: Dzongkha is the official language of Bhutan. While English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, learning a few basic phrases in Dzongkha can be a respectful gesture and enhance interaction with locals.

Festivals: Bhutan’s calendar is replete with colorful festivals, most notably the Tshechus held in various dzongs (fortresses) across the country. These festivals feature mask dances, music, and religious allegorical plays that attract both Bhutanese and tourists. Participating in or observing these festivals can provide deep insight into Bhutanese culture.

Cuisine: Bhutanese cuisine is known for its spiciness, with chili often considered more of a vegetable than a spice. Common dishes include ‘ema datshi’ (chili and cheese), ‘red rice’, and ‘momos’ (dumplings). Trying the local cuisine is a must-do for visitors.

Archery: Archery is the national sport of Bhutan, and tournaments and matches are common during local festivities and public holidays. These events are often lively, with plenty of good-natured banter and cultural display.

Community Life: Community life is central in Bhutan. Most Bhutanese live in small rural villages, and traditional values such as family cohesion, respect for the elderly, and communal responsibility are highly cherished.

Art and Craftsmanship: Bhutan is known for its exquisite craftsmanship in textiles, wood carving, and thangka paintings. These crafts are not only beautiful but also hold spiritual significance. Appreciating and purchasing these crafts can support local artisans and help sustain traditional arts.

By embracing these cultural insights, visitors from Australia can engage more meaningfully with Bhutan and its people, ensuring a visit that is respectful, enriching, and memorable.


Adventure and Trekking

Bhutan, with its pristine and rugged landscapes, offers a haven for adventure enthusiasts and trekkers from around the world, including Australia. The country's unique geographical features, ranging from dense forests and scenic valleys to towering peaks, make it an ideal destination for a variety of outdoor activities. Here’s what you need to know about adventure and trekking in Bhutan:

[block](,5,6,7)

 

Diverse Trekking Options: Bhutan offers a range of trekking experiences, from relatively easy treks suitable for beginners to challenging routes for seasoned trekkers. Some popular treks include:

  • Jomolhari Trek: Known for its breathtaking views of Mount Jomolhari, this challenging trek reaches altitudes over 4,900 meters and offers opportunities to spot diverse wildlife.
  • Druk Path Trek: Connecting the valleys of Paro and Thimphu, this moderate trek provides a mix of beautiful landscape views, alpine lakes, and ancient dzongs.
  • Snowman Trek: One of the world’s toughest treks, it traverses through multiple high passes and offers spectacular views of the Himalayas. It’s recommended for very experienced trekkers due to its high altitude and demanding nature.

Guided Tours: Due to the government's tourism policies, all treks must be arranged through registered tour operators. Guided tours include a knowledgeable local guide, porters, and all necessary logistics, ensuring a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.

Best Seasons for Trekking: The best times to go trekking in Bhutan are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). During these months, the weather is generally stable, and the skies are clear, providing excellent conditions for trekking and optimal mountain views.

Preparation and Fitness: Trekking in Bhutan can involve long days with significant elevation gains, so a good fitness level is crucial. Preparation should include cardiovascular training, strength exercises, and some hiking practice, preferably on varied terrain.

Essential Gear: Proper trekking gear is vital for a comfortable and successful trek. Essentials include:

  • High-quality hiking boots
  • Layered clothing for variable temperatures
  • A durable backpack
  • Sleeping bag suitable for freezing temperatures
  • Walking poles
  • Water purification tablets or a water filter
  • A comprehensive first-aid kit

Respecting Nature: Bhutan’s approach to tourism and conservation emphasizes environmental respect and sustainability. Trekkers are expected to follow leave-no-trace principles to minimize their impact on the natural surroundings.

Cultural Sensitivity: While trekking, you may pass through remote villages and sacred sites. Showing respect for local customs and religious practices is important. Always ask permission before taking photographs of people or religious icons.

Adventure Sports: Beyond trekking, Bhutan also offers opportunities for other adventure activities like river rafting, mountain biking, and rock climbing, providing diverse ways to experience the country’s stunning landscapes.

Embarking on an adventure or trek in Bhutan not only challenges you physically but also allows you to connect deeply with nature and the unique cultural backdrop of this Himalayan kingdom.


Health and Safety

When planning a trip to Bhutan from Australia, prioritizing health and safety is essential to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some important health and safety considerations for travelers:

[block](,19,20)

 

Vaccinations and Health Precautions

  • Routine Vaccinations: Ensure that all routine vaccinations are up to date. This includes vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and your yearly flu shot.
  • Recommended Vaccinations: Depending on the nature of your trip, your doctor may recommend additional vaccinations for Hepatitis A and Typhoid, both of which can be contracted through contaminated food or water.
  • Altitude Sickness: Some treks and tours in Bhutan can reach high altitudes. To prevent altitude sickness, acclimatize gradually, stay hydrated, and consider medication if previously affected by altitude.

Medical Facilities: Bhutan has basic medical facilities in major towns, but remote areas have limited medical services. It’s crucial to carry a well-stocked first aid kit and ensure you have adequate travel health insurance that covers emergency evacuation.

Travel Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses, including evacuation, is highly recommended. Ensure that the policy covers activities you plan to engage in, such as trekking or adventure sports.

Water and Food Safety: Drink only bottled or boiled water, as tap water is not safe to drink. Avoid ice cubes and raw or undercooked food, particularly in street food settings, to prevent gastrointestinal illnesses.

Personal Safety

  • Bhutan is generally a safe country with low crime rates. However, it's always prudent to observe standard safety precautions—avoid carrying large sums of money and keep valuables secure.
  • Road travel can be hazardous due to mountainous terrain and varying road conditions. Always use seat belts and avoid road travel at night.

Weather Considerations

  • Be prepared for sudden weather changes, especially if trekking. Carry appropriate gear for cold and wet weather conditions.
  • During the monsoon season (June to August), landslides and flooding can make travel challenging and potentially dangerous. Keep informed about the weather and plan accordingly.

Emergency Contacts: Have a list of emergency contacts, including local emergency services, the nearest embassy or consulate, and your tour operator. The emergency number in Bhutan for police, fire, and ambulance is 113.

Local Laws and Customs: Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs. For instance, the sale and purchase of tobacco are heavily regulated, and smoking in public places is banned.

By taking these health and safety measures, you can minimize risks and focus on enjoying the rich cultural and natural beauty of Bhutan.


Embarking on a tour to Bhutan from Australia offers a unique opportunity to explore one of the world's most secluded and culturally rich destinations. From the breathtaking Himalayan landscapes and spiritual monasteries to vibrant festivals and traditional Bhutanese cuisine, each aspect of Bhutan promises a memorable experience. As you plan your journey, remember to arrange travel through a reliable tour operator, familiarize yourself with visa requirements, and prepare for the adventure with the right travel and health precautions. With thoughtful planning and an open heart, your Bhutanese adventure will not only be a journey through a beautiful country but also an insightful expedition into a culture that cherishes happiness and harmony.


FAQs of Guide to Bhutan Tour from Australia

Q: How do I travel from Australia to Bhutan?

A: There are no direct flights from Australia to Bhutan. Most travelers fly to transit hubs like Bangkok, Singapore, or Kathmandu, and then connect with Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines for their flight to Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport.


Q: What are the visa requirements for Australians visiting Bhutan?

A: All Australians need a visa to enter Bhutan. Visas are arranged by your tour operator and cannot be obtained independently. The process involves booking a tour, after which the tour operator will apply for your visa. The visa fee is USD 40, usually included in the tour package cost.


Q: When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

A: The best times to visit Bhutan are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). These seasons offer pleasant weather and numerous festivals, providing a rich cultural experience.


Q: What is the minimum daily package?

A: Bhutan requires all tourists to pay a minimum daily package rate, which includes accommodation, all meals, a licensed Bhutanese tour guide, and all internal transport. The rate is USD 250 per person per day during high season and USD 200 per person per day during low season.


Q: What should I pack for a trip to Bhutan?

A: Pack layers suitable for variable weather conditions, including warm clothing and a waterproof jacket. Also, include comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots, a day pack, a water bottle, sunscreen, and personal medical supplies. It’s important to dress conservatively, especially when visiting religious sites.


Q: Are there any health concerns I should be aware of?

A: While there are no mandatory vaccinations for Bhutan, it is recommended to have up-to-date routine vaccinations. Depending on your activities, consider vaccinations for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Also, prepare for altitude sickness if you plan to trek.


Q: Is it safe to travel to Bhutan?

A: Bhutan is known for its safety and low crime rate. However, it’s important to observe standard travel safety precautions and be cautious on mountain roads, especially if driving or cycling.


Q: Can I use my credit cards and ATMs in Bhutan?

A: Credit card acceptance is limited mostly to larger hotels and some shops in tourist areas. ATMs are available but may not always be reliable. It's advisable to carry some cash.


Q: What are some must-visit places in Bhutan?

A: Key attractions include the Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Paro Taktsang), Punakha Dzong, Thimphu (the capital city), and Bumthang, known for its ancient temples and spiritual significance.


Q: How do I respect Bhutanese culture during my visit?

A: Show respect for local customs and religious practices. Dress modestly, ask permission before taking photos of people or religious sites, and avoid public displays of affection. Always follow your guide’s advice on cultural etiquette.


If you are looking for tour packages in Bhutan please click here

If you need any further information, please contact us, Email: at [email protected] ,  Phone (Whatsapp or Viber) +975-1755-663

Drop us a message

Amen Bhutan
Mr. Amen Bhutan