Australian Travel Tips
On these pages we have listed some general Australia travel tips including on:
Plus many more
The national Australian emergency number is 000 and this is used for all emergency services including The Police, Fire Service and Ambulance Service.
It is a good idea to store an "In Case of Emergency" number in the address book of your mobile phone.
This can be shortened to ICE, an acronym that many paramedics look for if they need to contact someone about a person involved in an accident.
In Australia the nominal mains electrical voltage is 230 Volts.
As plug sockets require the Australian Standard plug pin arrangement, travel adaptors can be purchased within Australia, overseas and usually at airports.
Australia has a modern telecommunications and mobile telephone network which includes 2G, 3G and 3G HSDPA (depending on carrier) services to some parts of the population.
"International Roaming" may be available so check with your mobile company to see if this service can be activated whilst you are in Australia.
The Apple iphone 3G is available in Australia and can be unlocked from any network if requested.
Phone companies operating in Australia include Vodafone, Optus, Telstra, 3 and Virgin.
Australia has the country code 61 and the following area codes:
(0)2 New South Wales Australian Capital Territory and parts of north Victoria
(0)3 Most of Victoria, Tasmania and some of the south of New South Wales
(0)8 South Australia, The Northern Territory and Western Australia.
For example if within Australia and you wish to phone interstate to e.g. Sydney then prefix number with 02 so 02 XXXX XXXX.
If you are overseas and wish to phone e.g. Sydney then prefix number with the International Direct Dial prefix (IDD) and 61 2.
The IDD is dependant on the origin and destination country combination so check with your telephone provider.
So e.g. to telephone from the UK the full number would be 0011 61 2 XXXX XXXX
Australia has three time zones, Western, Central and Eastern.
Nominally (not taking into account daylight saving) the Western Time Zone is 8 hours ahead of GMT, the Central TZ is 9.5 hours ahead of GMT and the Eastern TZ is 10 hours ahead of GMT.
As vaccination requirements are subject to change, always check with your own doctor for the latest vaccination requirements when you are considering visiting any overseas country.
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The basic unit of currency is the Australian Dollar $ (AUD) which is sub-divided into cents (c).
Coins are available in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, 1$ and 2$ denominations
Bank notes are in 5$, 10$, 20$, 50$ and 100$ denominations.
The bank notes are manufactured from polymer film (an Australian innovation now increasingly being exported throughout the world) and are subsequently more tolerant of water and more durable than paper money.
Check the currency converter for latest exchange rates
There is an extensive network of Cash (ATM's) and Electronic Point Of Sale (EFTPOS) machines throughout Australia. Credit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express, are widely accepted in the major population centres.
The use of the Maestro debit card system is also becoming increasingly popular.
Driving license requirements differ throughout the various states and territories in Australia.
For the full licensing and driving requirements of the states and territories you intend to drive through, please see the following links:
As a guide, to hire a car, most hire companies will ask to see a valid un-restricted driving license and if this is in English this will usually be accepted.
However holders of licences which are not in English should first obtain a valid International Driving Permit before they leave their home country.
A valid International Driving Permit (IDP) lets you drive a motor vehicle overseas when it is accompanied by a valid driving licence from your own country.
It is also advisable for even holders of driving license in English to also obtain a valid International Driving Permit. When driving, you will need your car registration documents and insurance policy. Australia requires a "1949 Convention IDP"
All drivers in Australia are required to obey the rules and licensing requirements and regulations governing driving for the particular state or territory they are travelling in (please see links above). And don't forget, drive on the left.
In Australia the metric system is used so all distances are in Kilometres (Km's), speed is in Kilometres per hour and petrol is sold in litres.
Some Climate Essentials
As the climate varies, what you wear really depends exactly when and where you travel in Australia.
For example in Winter you can ski in e.g. the Snowy Mountains whereas if you head north to e.g. Queensland or Darwin you can experience tropical conditions.
However, you should consider packing sunglasses, a good sun hat or two, sun cream, insect repellent, an umbrella or waterproof (yes it does rain in Australia). Even in Summer the temperatures can drop and particularly at night, close to the ocean there may be cooling breezes so make sure you have something warm to put on.