Ambulance Cover While Travelling Australia

🚨 Ambulance Cover Australia Wide for Travelling (State-by-state)

Share It!

Something to consider when planning your trip is whether or not you and your family will have ambulance cover Australia wide while travelling from state to state.

Medicare does not cover the cost of emergency transport or ambulance services to hospitals. Ambulance cover and costs are different in every state and territory, so it pays to know what your home state covers you for as you’re travelling Australia.

Having to call an ambulance is not something we plan, but unfortunately things happen and emergency services can be necessary. The last thing you want to have to worry about in the event of injury or illness is the huge cost of calling an ambulance if you’re outside of your home state.

Since there is no Australia-wide rule when it comes to ambulance services, I’ve spent the time researching the rules and guidelines, state-by-state and pulled all of the information together for you. All information was correct at time of writing.

Please do your own due diligence and contact your own state’s Ambulance Service and Health Care Fund (if applicable) to confirm if you will be covered for travelling Australia. I would heavily advise getting the information emailed to you as a back up.

Make sure you’re covered for:

  • Emergency Ambulance Services
  • Non-emergency Ambulance Services
  • On-site medical care
  • Transport to the hospital

NOTE: You don’t need to join up with every state that you plan to travel through. Signing up with an Ambulance Cover service in your home state should cover you countrywide (but always check with your provider).

RELATED POSTS:
Centrelink on the Road →
Caravan First Aid Kit List →

We are a participant in the Caravan RV Camping, Adventure Awaits and eBay Partner Programs, affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to ebay.com and other affiliated sites. We may earn a commission from your purchases at no extra cost to you. For more information, see our disclosures here.

Ambulance Cover Australia

Which states automatically provide Ambulance Cover for their permanent residents?

YES / NONotes
QLD✔️Automatic & free for permanent residents
NSWPrivate Health Insurance required
ACTPrivate Health Insurance required
VICAmbulance Victoria Membership required
SASA Ambulance Cover required
TAS✔️• Full cover when travelling in VIC, NSW & NT
• Partial cover in WA & ACT
• No cover in SA & QLD
WAPrivate Health Insurance required
NTSt John Ambulance cover required

Ambulance Cover in QLD

Any person whose primary place of residence is Queensland, plus their dependents (up to the age of 25 and are full-time students), are automatically covered for emergency ambulance treatment (pre-hospital and transport Australia-wide).

Permanent Queensland residents are automatically covered for ambulance services Australia-wide under the Queensland Community Ambulance Cover scheme.

How to pay an ambulance invoice from another state:

If you receive an invoice for ambulance treatment/ transport provided to you or your child/ dependent by another state or territory, you need to forward the invoice to the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) for payment.

In addition, you need to provide proof that Queensland was your primary place of residence at the time of the service.

ADULT PROOF OF RESIDENCY

Provide a copy of one (1) of the following:

  • Current Photo ID which includes the Queensland address (e.g. Driver’s License)
  • Bank or Financial Institution Statement showing the Queensland address and the name of the institution
  • Current Queensland issued Centrelink Pension Concession Card
  • Current Queensland issued Centrelink Health Care Card
  • Statutory Declaration, which states Queensland as the patient’s principal place of residence at the time of the service
  • Current Electoral Roll Registration to vote in Queensland

CHILD/ DEPENDENT PROOF OF RESIDENCY

The guardian of the child/ dependent must provide a copy of one (1) of the documents listed above, plus provide a copy of one (1) of the following (proof that the child/ dependent is in your care):

  • Current Medicare Card with the child’s name
  • Child’s Birth Certificate
  • Current Student ID Card
  • Statutory Declaration, stating Queensland as the patient’s primary place of residence at the time of the service

All information was sourced from the Queensland Government website and was correct at the time of print. For more information see Interstate Ambulance Treatment and Transport Information for Queensland Residents.

Aus Line Break

Ambulance Cover in NSW

Ambulance costs for New South Wales residents is only covered at a rate of 49%, meaning that you need to pick up the bill for the other 51% (unless you’ve got Private Health Cover).

Ambulance cover is NOT automatically provided for residents of NSW.
You will need to have Private Health Insurance with Ambulance Cover.

It pays to have Private Health Cover as a NSW resident, but make sure that your policy actually covers Ambulance Services.

Ambulance

Cost of an Ambulance in NSW (without insurance):

NSW ambulance charges are calculated on a call out fee, plus a ‘per-kilometre’ fee. Kilometres are based on the round trip from the Ambulance Station to the pick up address, then to the destination (hospital) and back to the Ambulance Station.

EmergencyNon-emergencyFixed Wing/ Helicopter
Call-out$415$327$415
Variable rate (p/km)$3.74$2.02$3.74
Maximum charge$6,797$6,797$6,797

The cost for non-NSW residents to call an ambulance in NSW (without cover) is at a call-out rate of $813, plus a ‘per-kilometre’ rate of $7.34 with no maximum charge.

NSW Ambulance fee exemptions:

  • Private Health Insurance (with Ambulance Cover in the policy)
  • Health Care Card holders
  • Pension Concession Card holders
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card holders
  • Part of a school or group contribution
  • Workers compensation, motor accident or third party insurance claim. However, workers compensation provider will be charged with full rates (contracted services will have to pay)
  • The Lifetime Care and Support Authority

All information was sourced from the NSW Ambulance website and was correct at the time of print. For more information see Ambulance Coverage if you are a NSW resident.

Aus Line Break

Ambulance Cover in ACT

Residents of the Australian Capital Territory who receive any ambulance service need to pay the fee. Even if someone else calls an ambulance on behalf of you, you will still be up for the bill.

Ambulance cover is NOT automatically provided for residents of ACT.
You will need to have Private Health Insurance with Ambulance Cover.

The cost is either just for the ambulance transport OR it’s for the ambulance transport, plus medical treatment.

Cost of an Ambulance in ACT (without insurance):

Emergency Ambulance Service
(treatment & transport)
$1,032
(+ $14/km for every km travelled outside the ACT)
Emergency Ambulance Service
(treatment not including transport)
$715

Medical treatment includes:

a) Medical examination and assessment
b) Receiving medical advice
c) Receiving first aid
d) Medical procedures
e) Receiving medication

ACT Ambulance fee exemptions:

  • Private Health Insurance (check that you’re covered for all ambulance services – emergency, non-emergency, treatment and transport)
  • Pension & Health Care Card holders (may only be covered within ACT)
  • People involved in a motor vehicle accident on an ACT road

All information was sourced from the ACT Emergency Services Agency website and was correct at the time of print. For more information see ACT Ambulance Fees and Charges.

Aus Line Break

Ambulance Cover in VIC

Ambulance cover in Victoria is not free, but they do have a very well-priced Ambulance Membership system, which would be money well spent.

Ambulance cover is provided for residents of VIC through an Ambulance Victoria Membership (at your own cost).

The Ambulance Victoria Membership will cover you for treatment and transport Australia-wide.

VIC Ambulance Cover Membership fees:

QuarterlyAnnually
Single$12.49$49.94
Family$24.97$99.88

Membership covers:

  • Emergency road ambulance transport
  • MICA (Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance) attendance and treatment
  • Emergency and non-emergency air ambulance
  • Ambulance treatment when no transport is required
  • Non-emergency patient transport (for clinically necessary, pre-approved cases only)
  • Emergency ambulance treatment and transport while travelling interstate

If you are a Victorian resident and you don’t have the Ambulance Cover Membership, be prepared to pay the following costs for treatment and transportation Australia-wide.

Cost of an Ambulance in VIC (without membership/ insurance):

MetropolitanRegional & Rural
Emergency Road Transport$1,306$1,927
Non-emergency Road Transport$353 (Stretcher)
$116 (Clinical Car)
$596
Treatment Without Transport$563$563
Air Transport$2,316 – $3,132 (Fixed Wing)
$11,650 – $27,732 (Rotary)
$2,316 – $3,132 (Fixed Wing)
$11,650 – $27,732 (Rotary)

This information was sourced from the Health VIC website and the Ambulance Victoria website. All information was correct at the time of print.

Aus Line Break

Ambulance Cover in SA

South Australians will need to have their own ambulance cover, with different levels available for singles, families and pensioners. It is recommended that you take out the additional interstate coverage to make sure that you’ve got ambulance cover for travelling Australia.

Ambulance cover is provided for residents of SA through an Ambulance Cover system (at your own cost).

If you do have Private Health Insurance, contact them and make sure that you’re covered for emergency, non-emergency and transport ambulance services. Quite often, the health insurance only covers emergency situations.

Ambulance Cover While Travelling Australia

SA Ambulance Cover fees:

Annual Standard CoverAnnual Standard + Interstate Cover
Family$183$216.25
Single$92$108.70
Pensioner Family$110$143.25
Pensioner Single$55.50$72.20

Standard + Interstate Membership covers:

  • All ambulance attendance within South Australia
  • All ambulance attendance Australia-wide

Please note that for non-emergency transfers, you may need to have an additional ‘Extras’ cover. Contact the SA Ambulance Service for more information on that.


All information was sourced from the SA Ambulance Service website and was correct at the time of print. For more information see SA Ambulance Cover.

Aus Line Break

Ambulance Cover in TAS

Residents of Tasmania are covered within the state (and a few other states) by a government ambulance scheme, as long as there is proof that you were a Tasmanian resident at the time of the service.

Ambulance cover is only provided for Tasmanian residents in VIC, NSW and NT.
Partial cover is provided in ACT and WA, while no care is available in SA or QLD.

Private Australia-wide Ambulance Cover is recommended.

There are a few instances where you may receive an ambulance invoice, such as a motor vehicle, workplace or public liability incident. Generally, payment is often waived by sending a certified copy of your driver’s licence along with the invoice to Ambulance Tasmania. Head to Ambulance Tasmania Fees and Accounts for more detailed information for those circumstances.

For TAS Residents Visiting…
South Australia &
Queensland
• NOT covered in SA or QLD
• Private Ambulance Cover is required
Victoria• Covered for all ambulance services, except non-emergency transport
New South Wales• Covered for Emergency Road Ambulance services
• Covered for Emergency Air Ambulance services
• Any other ambulance costs will not be covered
Australian Capital Territory & Western Australia• Covered for Emergency Road Ambulance services
• Any other ambulance costs will not be covered
Northern Territory• Covered for Emergency Road Ambulance services
• Covered for Non-emergency Ambulance Transport
• Any other ambulance costs will not be covered

Depending on which state/s you plan to travel to, it might be well worth taking out your own private Australia-wide ambulance cover.


All information was sourced from the Tasmanian Government Department of Health website and was correct at the time of print. For more information see Ambulance Tasmania.

Aus Line Break
Packing Up to Travel Australia (Planner)

Packing Up to Travel Australia

The ultimate pre-travel planner for anyone hitting the road for a big trip!

  • 41-page Planner
  • Checklists
  • Decision-making prompts
  • Travel set-up planning
  • Budget estimates & more
  • DIGITAL & PRINTABLE
Aus Line Break

Ambulance Cover in WA

Ambulance services are provided in Western Australia by the St John Ambulance Service (at a cost to the user). The Metro (Perth) area is a ‘user pays’ system, while residents in the Country (regional areas) can take out St John Ambulance Cover.

WA residents will need to get their own Private Health Insurance with Ambulance Cover for travelling Australia.
Rural WA residents can take out St John Ambulance Cover for rural cover within WA only.

The St John membership may cover you in other states, if there is a reciprocal arrangement in place. But realistically, to ensure ambulance cover while travelling Australia, you will need to take out Private Health Insurance for both emergency and non-emergency care.

Metro (Perth) residents and those who intend on travelling outside of Western Australia are advised to take out Private Health Insurance with full ambulance cover.

Ambulance Cover While Travelling Australia
Cost of an Ambulance in WA Metro (without insurance)
Life Threatening$1072
Urgent$1072
Non-urgent$576
Patient Transfer Vehicle$576

WA Pension Discounts:

  • For Centrelink pensioners, 65-years and over – free ambulance transport when medically necessary
  • Non-pensioners over 65-years-old – may be entitled to a 50% discount
  • Disability, Single Parent or Carer pensioners, 65-years and under – my be entitled to a 50% discount

The pricing below depends on which sub centre your area belongs to.

Country Ambulance Cover membership fees
Single (Annual)
> one person per membership
Family (Annual)
> 2 adults + any children under 18 years
$61 – $80$101 – $133

All information was sourced from the St John WA website and was correct at the time of print. For more information see WA Country Ambulance Cover.

Aus Line Break

Ambulance Cover in NT

The Northern Territory Government funds St John Ambulance to provide road ambulances and patient transport. To be covered for full ambulance services within the territory and Australia-wide, you’ll need to take out an NT St John Ambulance subscription.

NT residents will need to take out a St John Ambulance subscription to ensure Australia-wide ambulance cover.

NT St John Ambulance subscription fees:

1 Year2 Years3 Years
Individual$121$198$262
Family$143$262$369

NT St John Ambulance holiday cover

St John Ambulance offers a short-term ‘Holiday Cover’ membership for interstate and international visitors coming into the Northern Territory.

  • Valid for 21 days
  • Family cover – maximum of 5 immediate family members
NT St John Ambulance holiday cover
Individual$27.50
Family$44.00

Cost of an Ambulance in NT (without subscription):

Keep in mind that if you don’t have a Northern Territory St John Ambulance subscription or Private Health Insurance, you will be up for the following ambulance costs in the case of an emergency.

Emergency Call Out
(first 10 km)
Per Kilometre
(> 10 km)
Life Threatening Emergency$897$5.80 p/km
Non-life Threatening Emergency$407$5.80 p/km
Non-emergency Call Out$407$5.80 p/km

NT Concession Card holders:

  • May be entitled to free ambulance transport within NT
  • Card details must be valid at time of transport
  • St John NT has agreements with ACT, NSW, TAS and WA for reciprocal ambulance care
  • Not covered with QLD or SA

All information was sourced from the St John NT website and was correct at the time of print. For more information see St John NT Ambulance Cover.


Hopefully this article has helped you nut out what type of Australia wide ambulance cover you will need for travelling interstate.

Aus Line Break

Travel Accessories

Aus Line Break

Travel Planning Tools

Travel Checklists
Planners & Guides
Budget Spreadsheets

Pin It!

Ambulance Cover While Travelling Australia PIN
Ambulance Cover While Travelling Australia PIN

Share It!

8 thoughts on “🚨 Ambulance Cover Australia Wide for Travelling (State-by-state)”

  1. Ugh, this is always a painful thought…the whole Ambulance costs! You are right, no one ever thinks they will need first aid ever so I doubt the thought of Ambulance cover and costs even enters their mind. But if you are traveling & road tripping it is always good to know where hospitals are and if it would be necessary for an ambulance.
    On a lighter note (and not to joke about something very serious) but growing we were kind of poor so my dad used to tell me that in no certain circumstances was I to ever to the hospital unless I bleeding from a major open wound…I can see him now, “$6668 for an ambulance ride?!?!? Oh heck no, you can walk to the hospital, just carry some water!”

    1. That’s right, you don’t think you need it, until you need it. As with most things travel prep, it’s always better to be prepared than have regrets. Haha I can see your Dad’s angle! We used to joke with the kids when they were younger, “Be careful, hospitals are closed on the weekends,” because they always manage to get hurt/ sick on a Saturday night.

  2. Al of your guides are always so helpful and practical! We have wanted to go to Australia and caravan the whole thing for a couple of months. Being able to get emergency services is so important for peace of mind while you’re in the bush!

  3. Healthcare costs including the need for ambulances is something we always look at when travelling. And you are right, you don’t want to worry about cost when it is an emergency. Interesting to see the difference in coverage in the different areas around Australia. Good to know there is private coverage that covers you for a long road trip.

    1. Absolutely. No one ever plans for an emergency, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. It’s interesting to see how vast the prices are from state-to-state for coverage.

  4. Those are some pretty exorbitant prices to get hit with if traveling in Australia and need transport to the hospital. I am from the US but will be sure to get travel medical insurance when I am able to visit.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top