Practical Australian Travel Tips
Prepare for your Australian trip with these practical tips. Learn about currency, how to call home, keep safe, shop responsibly and travel with a disability. Then you’re ready to go.
Australia’s currency is Australian Dollars (AUD) and currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates.
Goods and Services Tax
Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent. You may be able to claim a refund of the GST paid on goods bought here if you have spent AUD$300 or more in one store, no more than 30 days before departing Australia. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure area of international terminals.
You’ll find large department stores, arcades, malls, gift and souvenir across Australia. Trading hours vary across the country but shops in tourist and city areas are generally open until 6pm, with the exception of late night shopping on either Thursdays or Fridays in different states. In Australia you are covered by Australia’s consumer protection laws which require businesses to treat you fairly.
Tipping and bargaining
Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill. In up market restaurants, it is usual to tip waiters up to ten per cent of the bill for good service. However, tipping is always your choice. It is not custom to bargain in Australia.
The emergency number for police, ambulance and or fire brigade is 000.
Surf and water safety
Australia’s popular beaches are usually patrolled by volunteer lifesavers from October to April and red and yellow flags mark the safest area for swimming.
Australia’s official language is English. However, being a multicultural nation with a significant migrant population, there is a tremendous diversity of languages and cultures.
Electrical power points
Australia’s electrical current is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from some other countries, so you may need an adaptor.
Australia’s country code is 61. Local calls from public pay phones are untimed and charged at AUD$.050. Mobile, long distance and overseas calls are usually timed. Mobile phone network coverage is available across Australia, however coverage may be limited in some remote areas. Internet access is widely available at internet cafes, accommodation and libraries.
Post offices are usually open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, with some city post offices open on Saturday morning. Travelers can arrange to collect mail at post offices throughout Australia.
If you have a disability and are planning to explore Australia, there is a host of services and special deals to meet your needs. Thorough preparation is essential to a successful trip, so speak to your travel team agent about your specific requirements 1-800-788-0829.
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