Short-term visas are also called "Schengen-visa" as they allow a stay up to 90 days in a 180-day timeframe in the Schengen area. A short-term visa is needed for any stay shorter than 90 days. If you intend to stay for longer than 90 days, you would have to apply for a long-term visa (also called "national visa").
Where to apply for short-term visa in Australia
The Austrian Embassy in Canberra is responsible for issuing Schengen Visas on behalf of Germany in all States and Territories of Australia. As a consequence, visa applicants with residence in Australia will have to launch their application for a Schengen-Visa (intended stay of up to 90 days in a 6 months period; e.g. tourist or business visa) personally at Vfs global or the Austrian embassy in Canberra. Please look here for more information about visa applications:
Australian citizens do not need a visa for the Schengen area, which includes Germany, for an intended stay of up to 90 days in a 180 day period as long as
- their passports are valid for at least 3 months beyond the intended length of stay in the Schengen zone and
- they do not engage in any type of gainful employment
Holders of UN Travel Document / Titre de Voyage
Holders of UN Travel documents, issued by the Australian Government according to the UN Conventions for refugees (Convention of 28 July 1951) and stateless persons (Convention of 28 September 1954), mentioned on the front page, can enter Germany without a visa for an intended stay of up to 90 days, as long as at the time of entry into Germany their travel document is still valid for at least 4 months and they do not engage in any type of gainful employment.
Holders of Document of Identity / Certificate of Identity
Holders of other Australian travel documents (Document of Identity or Certificate of Identity) need a visa according to the citizenship mentioned in the document.