Reconsider your need to travel to Pakistan due to the volatile security situation and high threat of terrorist attack, kidnapping and sectarian violence.
Do not travel to the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas of Northern Pakistan (FATA), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (excluding Chitral district) and Balochistan due to the extremely dangerous security environment and the ongoing counter-insurgency operation in FATA. See
Safety and security.
- If you need to go to Chitral district, travel only by commercial aircraft as the road passes through 'do not travel' areas. See
Safety and security.
Do not travel to border areas with India due to the volatile security situation and heightened security arrangements along the border. Within this region, risks are somewhat lower in the cities of Lahore, Wagah, Kasur, Narowal and Sialkot, to which the general advice to 'reconsider your need to travel' applies. See
Safety and security.
- If you need to go to Karachi, consider additional security precautions. While the situation has improved noticeably, in recent years there has been a high death toll from political and sectarian violence in the city. See
Safety and security.
- The number of terror attacks in Pakistan has fallen in recent years but attacks have become more lethal. On 13 July 2018, over 150 people were killed in a suicide attack in Balochistan. On 14 March 2018, an explosion near a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Lahore resulted in numerous fatalities and injuries. See
Safety and security.
- Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere and at any time in Pakistan. Places frequented by foreigners are at particularly high threat of attack. Areas where people congregate after Friday prayers could also be targeted. Plan your movements carefully and be vigilant at all times. See
Safety and security.
- There is a high threat of kidnapping across the whole of Pakistan but particularly in Karachi, Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the FATA. If, despite our advice, you travel to such areas, seek professional security advice and adopt effective personal security measures. See
Safety and security.
- Security at the Australian High Commission in Islamabad is at a high level and under constant review. Staff have been advised to minimise their use of restaurants and not linger in shopping areas. See
Safety and security.
- The security situation in Pakistan could deteriorate with little warning. You are responsible for ensuring you can depart Pakistan at short notice and that your travel documentation (including visa) remains current. See
Entry and exit.
- Forced marriages are illegal. See
Entry and exit
You'll need a visa to enter Pakistan. Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the
Pakistan High Commission for up-to-date information.
To exit Pakistan, you must have a valid visa, a Pakistani national identity card or a valid Pakistani passport. If you are travelling on an Australian passport and your visa has expired, you won't be allowed to board your flight, even if you're a dual national. You could also face heavy penalties, including fines and detention.
Take care not to overstay your visa. If your visa has expired, contact the Ministry of Interior to get an exit visa.
If you are arriving from or have transited a country where
yellow fever is endemic, you may be required to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate to enter Pakistan. Read
Yellow fever for information on re-entry to Australia following exposure to yellow fever.
Yellow fever risk and certification requirements (by country, WHO)
If children are unaccompanied or travelling with only one parent or a guardian, local immigration authorities may ask for documents to prove that the children have consent to travel or proof of parental responsibility. This is particularly the case if the children are of Pakistani origin.
Travelling with children
If you are travelling with prescription medicines, carry a signed, dated letter from your doctor listing all the medications you are carrying to show to customs officials if requested. See
If you stay in Pakistan for longer than four weeks, you'll need documented evidence of having received a polio vaccine within 12 months prior to your departure from Pakistan. If you don't have this, you may be required to be vaccinated prior to departure from Pakistan.
Some provinces and cities require visitors to register with local authorities on arrival. Check and follow local registration procedures.
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you intend to return to Australia.
Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.
Be aware of attempts to get access to your passport by deception. If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact an
Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate for advice.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.
If you are a dual national and hold a Pakistani passport, seek advice about how it should be used. See
Dual nationals. Use your Australian passport to depart from and return to Australia.
The local currency is the Pakistan Rupee (PKR). USD and Euros are the most readily convertible currencies. ATMs are widely available in urban areas though fraud occurs. Credit cards are accepted in international hotels and some shops in major centres. Pakistan is primarily a cash based society so arrange for sufficient local currency to meet your needs.
Safety and security
A significant number of terrorist groups hostile to Western interests operate in Pakistan.
The number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan has fallen in recent years but they have become more lethal. Counter-terrorism operations occur regularly across the country but the threat of attack remains very high. Terrorist attacks could occur anywhere and at any time.
Many terrorist attacks in Pakistan have involved multiple, consecutive explosions. At times where there are heightened threats of terrorist incidents, or immediately after an incident, security officials may cut mobile phone service in affected areas until the threat has passed.
A Pakistan Army counter-insurgency operation is ongoing in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) of northern Pakistan, resulting in military action and a large number of internally-displaced persons. Retaliatory attacks by militants mean security forces across Pakistan are on high alert. Restrictions on movement can be imposed at short notice.
Recent mass-casualty terror attacks in Pakistan include:
- On 25 July 2018, 22 people were killed and 28 injured in a suicide attack in Quetta, Balochistan.
- On 13 July 2018, over 150 people were killed and more than 127 injured in a suicide attack in Mastung, Balochistan.
- On 13 July 2018, four people were killed and 32 injured in an explosive attack in Bannu, KPK.
- On 10 July 2018, 14 people were killed and 65 injured in a suicide attack in Yaka Tooy area of Peshawar, KPK.
- On 3 May 2018, two people were killed and 14 injured in a suicide attack in Attock, Punjab.
- On 27 April 2018, three people were killed and 34 injured in a hand grenade attack in Dande Sidgai, North Waziristan.
- On 24 April 2018, 8 people were killed and 23 injured in an attack in Quetta.
- On 14 March 2018, an explosion near a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Lahore resulted in numerous fatalities and injured.
- On 3 February 2018, 11 soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in a suicide attack near an army camp in Swat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
There have also been a range of smaller attacks, including in the 'Reconsider your need to travel' areas. Motivations for such attacks vary and are not always clear.
In the past, terror attacks have also targeted:
- civil aviation facilities
- humanitarian workers
- foreign aid agencies
- premises and symbols associated with the Pakistani Government
- Pakistani military and security forces
- judicial buildings such as courts
- public transport and transport infrastructure, including trains and airports
- police stations and checkpoints
- religious sites and processions, especially at times of religious festivals.
Possible targets for future attacks also include:
- places frequented by foreigners such as tourist areas, clubs, restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets
- embassies, high commissions and other diplomatic interests
- educational facilities including universities and international schools
- international hotels
- places of worship, such as mosques, shrines and churches
- shopping centres, banks, hospitals, markets (markaz) and bazaars
- airports and aviation interests (including foreign flagged airliners)
- CD and video shops
- convention centres, outdoor sporting and recreation events, demonstrations, and other crowded places
- and identifiably Western interests, premises and symbols, including businesses and non-government organisations (NGOs).
Militants may mount attacks in the lead-up to and on occasions of national or commemorative significance, such as Pakistan National Day (23 March), the storming of the Red Mosque in Islamabad by government troops (which occurred in July 2007) and Independence Day (14 August).
Due to the very high threat of terrorist attack in Pakistan, the Australian High Commission in Islamabad and Australian officials in Pakistan adopt enhanced security measures at all times. The Australian Government has a 'no children at post' policy for Islamabad. Staff have been advised to minimise their use of restaurants, not linger in shopping areas and minimise walking in Islamabad. The Australian Consulates in Karachi and Lahore have been closed until further notice for security reasons.
For the same reasons, British High Commission and US Embassy staff are frequently restricted in their movements within Islamabad. These restrictions are often applied at short notice. Areas placed 'out of bounds' typically include markets, shopping centres, restaurants and hotels.
If, despite the risks, you travel to Pakistan:
- exercise a very high level of caution at all times
- avoid public gatherings, crowded places, places of worship, locations frequented by foreigners and other possible targets for terror attack
- in planning your activities, consider the level of security provided at venues and en route
- consult closely with local business partners and academic institutions before any travel to Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi for business or academic reasons and take appropriate security precautions
- wherever you go, have a clear exit plan in case there is a security incident
- if there is an attack, leave the affected area immediately, if it is safe to do so
- avoid the affected area in the aftermath of an attack because of the risk of secondary attacks
- follow the advice of local authorities
- monitor media and other sources for any new or emerging threats and the
British High Commission (Islamabad) and
US Embassy (Islamabad) websites for updates on restrictions on movement that apply to their staff
- check flight status and airport operations before each of your flights
- consider leaving Pakistan if you're concerned for your safety and it is safe to do so.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. More information:
Terrorist Threat Worldwide
There is a high threat of kidnapping across the whole of Pakistan but particularly in Karachi, Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). On 25 May 2017, two Chinese nationals were kidnapped and later killed, in Quetta, Balochistan.
There is a continued threat of kidnappings of foreign nationals from locations across Pakistan.
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it does not make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
If, despite the risks, you decide to travel to an area where there is a threat of kidnapping:
- seek professional security advice
- adopt effective personal security measures.
Civil unrest and political tension
The security situation in Pakistan is volatile and could deteriorate at short notice.
Political organisations are staging demonstrations across Pakistan following the verdict in a high profile blasphemy case. Some are blocking roads between major cities.
Demonstrations, political events, rallies, processions and large-scale public gatherings are common and can turn violent with little warning. Mobile phone networks may be suspended in response.
International events and political developments in the region or elsewhere may also prompt demonstrations or violent protests in any part of Pakistan. Perceived western interests can become targets of violence.
Political, sectarian and gang violence occurs frequently in Karachi, with a high death toll. Pakistani police and para-military rangers conduct intermittent counter-terrorism operations in the city, resulting in a heightened level of public security across a wide part of the city. Reprisal attacks by militants or criminals may occur anywhere. There are also regular demonstrations, rallies and large public gatherings in Karachi, which can turn violent.
Cross-border tensions contribute to heightened security risks in the regions bordering Afghanistan and India. The Pakistani military has ongoing operations in border areas with Afghanistan. With the exception of the official border crossings, foreigners are prohibited from travelling within 50 kilometres of the border with Afghanistan in Gilgit Baltistan. Attacks against government, security and military interests in Balochistan are likely, as are attacks against oil, natural gas, power and communications infrastructure and transport, including the railway network.
Heightened security arrangements are also in place in areas of Pakistan bordering India, reflecting the volatile security situation. There have been a number of recent attacks across the Line of Control in Kashmir. Foreigners are prohibited from travelling within 15 kilometres of the Kashmir Line of Control and the entire border with India, except for official border crossings. The situation is somewhat more stable in the border region cities of Lahore, Wagah, Kasur, Narowal and Sialkot.
- Avoid all demonstrations, political events, rallies, processions and large-scale public gatherings.
- Avoid areas where people congregate after Friday prayers.
- Monitor the media and other sources for news of planned or possible unrest. Avoid affected areas.
- If you are in an area affected by demonstrations, find a safe location, remain indoors and seek local advice.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
Do not travel to the FATA in northern Pakistan.
Do not travel to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (excluding Chitral district).
- If you must go to Chitral district, travel by commercial aircraft and not by road.
Do not travel to Balochistan.
Do not travel to areas close to the Pakistan-India border (excluding Lahore, Wagah, Kasur, Narowal and Sialkot).
- If you are in an area close to the Pakistan-India border, consider leaving.
Reconsider your need to travel to all other parts of Pakistan.
Violent crime, including armed robbery, carjacking and kidnapping, occurs in many parts of Pakistan, particularly in major cities. There has been an increase in the number of incidents before major religious holidays.
There have been recent incidents in various cities in Pakistan (including Islamabad) of individuals impersonating police officers, including with fake police identification cards.
Petty theft, including pick-pocketing, is common.
While banned in most areas, firing guns into the air, or celebratory gunfire, is common across Pakistan especially for major holidays, celebrations and sporting victories. On 1 January 2017, 20 people were killed by celebratory gunfire in Karachi.
- Be alert to your surroundings and pay attention to your safety and security at all times.
- Carry only what you need. Leave other valuables in a secure location.
- Don't tempt thieves. Avoid wearing expensive watches, jewellery and cameras.
- Keep vehicle doors locked, windows up and valuables out of sight, including when moving.
- Secure your accommodation against intruders.
- Be cautious of celebratory gunfire, especially around major holidays and celebrations, including celebrations following sporting victories.
Road travel in Pakistan is hazardous. Motor vehicle accident fatalities are almost three times higher than in Australia and road accidents are a common cause of death and injury. Hazards include poor road conditions and driving standards.
Severe flooding of major waterways occurs regularly in Pakistan, causing widespread damage to transport infrastructure.
Dense fog in northern Pakistan during the winter months can disrupt road travel as motorways may close until the fog lifts.
- Check you have adequate insurance cover before driving in Pakistan.
- Familiarise yourself with local traffic laws and practices before driving
- Avoid road travel after dark, where possible
- Seek local advice and monitor local media and weather reports for information on your proposed route before you travel. See
Road safety and driving
You can drive in Pakistan with a valid Australian driver's licence and an International Driving Permit (IDP). You must obtain your IDP before departing Australia.
Check with your travel insurer whether your policy covers you when using a motorcycle, quad bike or similar vehicle. Your policy may not cover you for accidents that occur while using these vehicles. Wear, and ensure your passenger wears, a correctly fastened and approved helmet.
Don't use taxis, particularly those hailed on the street, due to security concerns. Use only transport services provided by accredited tour operators and hotels. Australian High Commission Staff are not permitted to use taxis or other ride sharing services.
Avoid using public transport, including buses and trains, due to frequent accidents and security concerns. Use only transport services provided by accredited tour operators and hotels.
Pakistan's civil aviation facilities have been targeted by terrorists.
- In June 2014, a group of terrorists attacked the cargo-handling section of Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, resulting in a prolonged battle and up to 30 deaths (including all the terrorists).
- In June 2014, gunmen fired at a passenger airliner as it was approaching Peshawar Airport to land, killing one passenger and injuring two crew members.
Security at airports has been increased but similar attacks could occur in the future. Dense fog, especially in northern Pakistan during the winter months, can also disrupt air travel as airports may close until the fog lifts.
- Check flight status and airport operations prior to travelling.
- Contact your travel agent and airline regarding temporary disruptions or suspension of transport services.
- Be alert to security developments.
- Allow additional time to pass through airport security checkpoints.
The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the
Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Pakistan.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
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 severe in Pakistan and include the death penalty. Possession of even small quantities of drugs for recreational purposes can result in lengthy jail sentences, large fines and deportation.
Carrying or using drugs
There have been instances where Australian parents of Pakistani origin return to Pakistan and one parent decides not to return to Australia, withholding the passports of the children from the other parent who wishes to return to Australia.
If you're planning travel with children and these circumstances may apply:
- carefully consider the risk of not being able to return to Australia with your children before you leave Australia
- consult a lawyer to identify, and resolve as appropriate, any possible child custody or other family law issues before you travel to Pakistan
- make sure you know your legal rights and limitations on those rights.
The death penalty may be imposed for crimes including terrorism, murder, rape, blasphemy and unlawful assembly. Although rare, corporal punishment may be imposed for some offences including robbery, public drunkenness and consumption of alcohol by a Muslim.
Other activities that are illegal in Pakistan include:
- Homosexual acts - more information:
- unmarried heterosexual couples living together
- importing alcohol
- importing pork products
- photographing airports, military or government buildings or installations
- attempting to convert a Muslim
- encouraging a Muslim to abandon their religion
Kite flying has been banned in some provinces due to injuries and deaths caused by tainted or fortified kite strings used in kite fighting competitions. (It is not uncommon for competitors to coat kite strings with metal, crushed glass or chemicals to help cut opponents' kite strings.) The sale of kite flying equipment and the use of premises to fly kites has also been banned. Do not bring kites with you, or fly kites, in Pakistan.
Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:
- bribery of foreign public officials
- child pornography
- child sex tourism
- female genital mutilation
- forced marriage
- money laundering
If you or your father were born in Pakistan, you may be deemed a Pakistani national even if you don't hold a Pakistani passport. This may limit the ability of the Australian Government to provide you with consular assistance if you are arrested or detained.
There are strong Islamic codes of dress and behaviour in Pakistan. Women may be targets of harassment, particularly if they are unaccompanied.
- Take care not to offend.
- If in doubt, seek local advice.
- Avoid wearing short-sleeved garments or shorts.
- Avoid physical contact between men and women in public.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is expected to occur between early May and early June 2019. During Ramadan, take extra care to respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. In particular, avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public and in the presence of people who are fasting.
Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. Make sure your policy includes adequate coverage for any pre-existing conditions.
Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.
- what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
- that you are covered for the whole time you will be away.
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
- At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
- Get vaccinated before you travel.
Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to and find out if any quantity restrictions or certification requirements apply. Consult your doctor about alternatives well in advance of travel
Take enough legal prescription medicine with you to last for the duration of your stay so you remain in good health. Carry copies of your prescription and a dated letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only.
There has been a recent outbreak of drug-resistant typhoid fever. Take precautionary measures. Speak to your doctor about vaccinations. Exercise good hygiene practices and take care to avoid anyone who is sick or has recently been sick.
Malaria is common in Pakistan, except in areas above 2000m. Chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistant strains are reported.
Other insect-borne diseases (including dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever) are present in Pakistan with outbreaks occurring from time to time.
Protect yourself against insect-borne diseases:
- ensure your accommodation is insect proof
- take measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent and wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing
- consider vaccination against Japanese encephalitis before you travel
- consider taking malaria prevention medication
- seek medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
HIV/AIDS is prevalent. Exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.
Poliovirus (Poliomyelitis) is endemic. In August 2017 the
WHO reiterated its assessment that wild poliovirus was a 'public health emergency of international concern' and has extended its
temporary recommendations. These recommendations may affect your travel to Pakistan. Before departure, ensure you are up to date with vaccinations against polio, including a booster dose, as per the
Australian Immunisation Handbook.
If you're staying for longer than four weeks, you'll need to carry documented evidence of having received a dose of polio vaccine within 12 months prior to departure from Pakistan. If you don't have this, you may be need to be vaccinated prior to leaving Pakistan.
Poliomyelitis (Department of Health)
Other infectious diseases
Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including hepatitis, tuberculosis and measles) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Cases of cholera have been reported periodically in Sindh. Reports of skin infections, acute diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections usually increase following flooding.
Some bottled water in Pakistan may be contaminated. The
Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources produces regular reports listing safe and unsafe bottled water brand names. Reports are available under the publications and information tab.
- Use good hygiene practices including frequent handwashing.
- Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water listed as 'safe' by the
Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources.
- Avoid ice cubes.
- Avoid raw and undercooked food.
- Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering diarrhoea.
Facilities at a small number of clinics and hospitals in major cities approach Western standards but, in most towns, and in rural and remote areas, medical facilities are extremely limited.
Hospitals in Pakistan usually require up-front payment, confirmation of insurance cover or guarantee of payment before they will admit you.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to a destination with appropriate facilities. Depending on the immediacy, severity and circumstances of the case, a medivac could cost more than AUD100,000.
Pakistan experiences floods, landslides, cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis and avalanches. The
Pakistan Meteorological Department provides weather information and warnings for Pakistan.
If a natural disaster occurs:
Flooding and landslides
During the monsoon season (July to September), flooding and landslides can occur with little warning throughout the country. In the past, floods have affected millions of people, resulting in many deaths. During these periods, fresh drinking water and food can be in short supply. The high risk of contracting a water-borne disease continues after the floods recede. Services and transport are often affected.
Cyclones and severe weather
Cyclones can occur in coastal areas of Pakistan.
Earthquakes and tsunamis
Pakistan is in an active seismic zone and experiences earthquakes.
Pakistan is at risk of tsunamis. Be alert to warnings as a tsunami could arrive very soon after a nearby tremor or earthquake occurring.
Move immediately to high ground if advised by local authorities or if you experience any of the following:
- feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or 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.
Do not wait for official warnings. Once on high ground, monitor local media and weather services.
Some mountainous areas of Pakistan are subject to winter avalanches.
Where to get help
Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Emergency phone numbers
- Fire: phone 16
- Medical emergency: phone 115 or go to the nearest hospital
- Crime: phone 15 or visit the nearest police station
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Tourism services and products
For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
The Australian High Commission in Islamabad sometimes needs to close to the public temporarily, at short notice, if security concerns arise near the High Commission. Always telephone before going to the High Commission.
Australian High Commission, Islamabad
Constitution Avenue and Ispahani Road
Diplomatic Enclave No. 1
Phone: +92 51 835 5500
Fax: +92 51 282 0112
Australia in Pakistan
High Commission website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
The Pakistani Government restricts access to the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad, where the High Commission is located, for security reasons. You can only access the enclave if you have first scheduled an appointment with the High Commission. If you have an appointment, you can access the enclave by using the Diplomatic Shuttle Service (DSS), by private vehicle or on foot.
- The DSS office and bus station is located on the corner of Third Avenue (Quaid-e-Azam University Road) and Murree Road. Bus tickets are available for sale at this office. Arrive at the shuttle bus station at least one hour before your scheduled appointment to allow time for security checks. More information: DSS (phone 051 260 1521 or 051 260 1524).
- If you wish to enter the enclave by private vehicle or on foot, you'll need to get entry clearance from the Diplomatic Protection Department in advance. This can be arranged through the Australian
High Commission for appointments at the Australian High Commission. Once you've received entry clearance, you can enter the enclave by vehicle or on foot from either the Foreign Office gate entrance on Constitution Avenue, or from the Shams gate entrance on Ispahani Road.
In a consular emergency, if you're unable to contact the High Commission, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.