Tourist visas for Australia are necessary for citizens of every country in the world except for New Zealand.
ETA (Visitor) (Subclass 976)
You won’t receive a sticker in your passport - instead, your passport number will be registered with the Australian customs officials. It’s sort of like getting your name on the door at a private party.
The first advantage is that you get instant notification telling you whether or not your visa was approved. The other advantage is that the electronic visa costs only $20 AUD instead of $70 AUD for the paper visa.
The disadvantage of the electronic visa, and this is a big disadvantage, is that you can only stay in Australia for 3 months at a time (although you can come and go multiple times over a 12 month period).
The second disadvantage won’t apply to most: no formal studying of any kind is allowed.
Regular Tourist Visa (Subclass 676)
The biggest advantage of this traditional “sticker in your passport” visa is that you can stay in Australia for 12 continuous months.
The second advantage is that you can study formally for up to 3 months.
The disadvantages of this traditional visa are minor: you need to wait for up to 10 days to see if you are approved. The second disadvantage is that the visa costs $70 AUD, as opposed to $20 AUD for the electronic visa.
Financial Entry Requirements
Whichever visa you choose - the ETA or the traditional tourist visa - you’ll need to show you have enough money in your bank account to support yourself. Immigration officials will expect you have about $1000 AUD for each month you plan to be in the country.