Prepare for your trip to Australia with these practical tips, including currency, taxes, cultural practices and travelling with a disability.
What is the language of Australia?
Australia’s official language is English. However, Australia is a multicultural nation with a significant migrant population, so it's common to hear a diverse range of languages in Australia's cities and towns.
What is the currency in Australia?
Australia’s national currency is Australian dollars (AUD), which comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations.
What is Goods and Services Tax?
Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent. You may be able to claim a refund for the GST paid on goods if you have spent AUD$300 or more with a single business, no more than 60 days before departing Australia. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure area of international terminals.
Is tipping customary in Australia?
Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill, and tipping is always your choice. In upmarket restaurants, it is common to tip waiters 10 per cent of the bill for good service.
What is the legal drinking age in Australia?
The legal drinking age in all states and territories of Australia is 18 years old. You will need to provide proof of age, either with a driver's licence or passport.
Can I bargain or haggle prices in Australia?
It is not customary to bargain in Australia.
What is the emergency number in Australia?
The emergency number for police, ambulance and fire brigade is 000.
Is it safe to swim in Australia’s waters?
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. For information about marine stingers and crocodile safety in Far North Queensland, visit the Queensland Government website.
What kind of electrical plugs are used in Australia?
You may need an adapter in order to plug your appliances into the power sockets: the adapter required for Australia is Type 1 Australia plug. The plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins, forming an inverted ‘V’ shape, and occasionally a third pin in the centre. The electrical current in Australia is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz.
What is the international dialing code for Australia?
The international dialing code for Australia is 61. Each region also has an area code, including Central East (New South Wales, Australia Capital Territory) with area code 02; South East (Victoria, Tasmania) with area code 03; Mobile telephones (Australia-wide) with area code 04; North East (Queensland) with area code 07; and Central and West (Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory) with area code 08. When calling from outside Australia, leave out the leading ‘0’ from the area code or mobile phone number.
The outgoing IDD (international direct dialing) code from within Australia is 0011.
Mobile phone network coverage is available across Australia, however coverage may be limited in some remote areas. Internet access and free WiFi is widely available at internet cafes, accommodation and libraries.
How can I send mail from Australia?
Post offices are usually open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, with some city post offices open on Saturday morning. Travellers can arrange to collect mail at post offices throughout Australia.
What services are there in Australia for travelling with a disability?
If you have a disability and are planning to travel throughout Australia, there are many services and special deals to meet your needs. Thorough preparation is essential for a successful trip, so you should speak to your travel agent about your specific requirements. More information on accessible tourism in Australia is available at the Smart Traveller website.
Where can I buy Australian currency?
Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. Australian banks offer the same range of services typical in other western nations, and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are widespread, although facilities may be limited in remote towns and the outback. EFTPOS is also widely available in most Australian shops allowing you to pay for purchases with your credit or debit card. Fees may be charged on transactions, particularly if withdrawing from an international account.
What are Australia’s largest banks?
Australia’s four largest banks are: NAB (National Australia Bank), ANZ (Australia New Zealand Bank), Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation. There are many smaller banks too, including ING Direct, AMP Banking and HSBC Australia. Banking hours are usually 9.30am-4pm Monday to Thursday and until 5pm on Friday. Some branches open on Saturday mornings until 1pm.
Can I send or receive money overseas from Australia?
You can send or receive money overseas from Australia by international money transfer (telegraphic transfer), online or through a bank. It is best to organise a variety of ways to access your money from overseas, such as credit cards, cash, debit cards or cash cards, before you leave home.
Can I use credit cards and traveller’s cheques in Australia?
Credit cards such as American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, UnionPay and JCB are accepted in Australia. VISA or MasterCard can be used everywhere credit cards are accepted. American Express and Diners Club are accepted at major supermarkets and department store chains and many tourist destinations. A good tip is to carry multiple credit cards and a little cash. Merchants may impose credit card surcharges in some places.
Traveller's cheques are not widely accepted in Australia. If you do purchase traveller’s cheques, it is best to buy them in Australian dollars as smaller shops, restaurants and other businesses are unlikely to know what the exchange rate is if you present a cheque in a different currency such as US dollars or British pounds.
How much money can I bring into Australia?
There is no limit to the amount of currency you can bring in or out of Australia, however, if you plan to arrive in Australia with more than AUD$10,000 in cash (Australian dollars or foreign equivalent), you must declare it to Australian Customs at the airport when you land. Find out more and obtain a reporting form on the AUSTRAC website.
You may also be required to fill in a Bearer Negotiable Instruments (BNI) form if you're carrying promissory notes, traveller's cheques, personal cheques, money orders or bearer bonds. For further information, visit the Australian Government website.
How can I convert my currency into Australian Dollars (AUD)?
XE Currency Converter will help you convert your own currency at the current exchange rates.