As with any country, importing goods into Australia comes with a whole range of restrictions and prohibitions. Many of the items falling into either category are obvious for most people – weapons, drugs, dangerous substances – and you're probably already aware that you may need to look into the details further if you want to take these sorts of things into Australia.
Because of the unique and delicate ecosystem in Australia, the country places extra restrictions on certain other goods. This helps to ensure the flora and fauna are able to thrive without threats, but it can make it confusing when you're trying to understand what's restricted. Here are some of the things you might be surprised to find on the restricted list.
Along with many foods, and particularly those in the dairy category, cheese is a restricted import item and needs to be checked by customs. To pass, it must be produced by a proper commercial brand, so you won't be able to transport cheese from a small boutique operation. It also needs to have been made in a country that doesn't have a problem with foot and mouth disease.
Canned pet food
People often forget about pet food when they're considering what constitutes a meat product. This is especially so if it's canned, but it must be declared and checked.
Dried leaves, herbs, and fruit peel are all restricted food items, which covers every type of tea you can get, both herbal and otherwise. Plant material can be host to damaging organisms, so it needs to be checked.
As it's a plant material, wood can host bacteria, fungi and other organisms that could potentially cause havoc on Australian wildlife. It's often forgotten, particularly with intricately carved ornaments and other decorative objects.
This sounds like a strange inclusion, but golf clubs are only restricted if they've been used. Because they can pick up and hang onto soil, there's a risk of them harbouring alien organisms that could make their way into Australia. The same goes for any other items that could do the same, including other sports equipment, camping gear and garden tools.
Many drums are made with synthetic heads, but some ethnic versions use animal skin as a covering. This still counts as an animal product, placing it on the restricted list. If the drum's body is made of wood, it's restricted on two counts.