©© Audrey Bendus and Arthur Chapman

Is Kava Legal in Australia?

In short yes kava is legal in all states of Australia except the Northern Territory.

A programme called the "kava pilot" was started by the Australian government to improve ties between Australia and Pacific Island neighbours. The kava pilot consists of 2 stages; Phase 1 & Phase 2.

According to the Offics of Drug Control The purpose of the kava pilot is to:

  • Provide greater access to kava in Australia without compromising public health and safety
  • Understand the social, cultural, economic and health effects of increased availability of kava
  • Respect state and territory governments' regulatory role
  • Increase trade opportunities

Phase 1

The initial stage of the kava pilot started in December 2019. During this phase, passengers who are 18 years and older are permitted to bring up to 4kg of kava (in powder form) with them into Australia as part of their accompanied baggage.

The monitoring and evaluation of the kava pilot's effects will continue for a period of two years starting from December 1, 2021.

Phase 2

The Australian Government implemented a second phase of the pilot program to increase the amount of kava allowed to be imported in Australia.

This measure allowed for the commercial importation of kava from December 2021.
(Source: https://www.odc.gov.au/about-us/reviews-and-reforms/kava-pilot-phases-1-and-2)

If you have visited Fiji in the past you would have noticed the friendlyness of the Fijian people. This could be a direct result of the shear amount of kava that is consumed in Fiji. 


Fijians' deep respect for tradition is evident in their practice of drinking yaqona (kava). When visiting a Fijian village or home, especially on weekends, it is common to witness a family gathered on the floor around a large wooden bowl filled with a murky liquid. They drink this liquid from half a coconut shell. At that point, you will always be invited to join in by being asked, "Mai dua na bilo?" (Would you like to try a cup?).

Kava a true reflection of human fellowship.

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