Travelling in Australia is relatively easy, and planning ahead will help you make the most of your holiday.
FIND THE RIGHT ANSWERPlanning your Australian trip
Traveling to Australia will naturally give rise to queries, concerns and doubts, so we’re here to put your mind at ease. Which trip is right for me? What do I do about visas? How much do I tip? For questions frequent and otherwise, this is the spot.
Before you go FAQs
Prepare for your trip to Australia with these practical tips.
Visa and Customs FAQs
Learn about the Australian visa and customs regulations.
While you’re here FAQs
Understand how to get around with ease while you’re here.
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 has a significant migrant population, so it’s common to hear a diverse range of languages in Australia’s cities and towns.
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.
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 electrical current in Australia is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz.
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.
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 one of our Travel Designers about your specific requirements.
Best time to travel
When is the best time to visit Australia? Anytime of year is the best time to visit and it really depends on the climate you desire.
What is Australian weather like? Australian seasons are opposite to the Northern hemisphere. There are four seasons across most of the country. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring. Plus and a wet and dry season in the tropical north.
Currency, banking & tipping
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.
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.
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.
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 supermarket 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.
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 at www.austrac.gov.au/travellers.
Mobile and mail
What is the international dialing code for Australia? The international dialing code for Australia is 61. 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.
Visa, customs & quarantine
Do I need a visa to enter Australia? Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a valid Australian visa to enter the country. New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas, at your nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate. For more information visit https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder
What type of tourist visa should I apply for? There are a variety of visas available to travellers to Australia. The type of visa you should apply for depends on the length of your stay, your passport and the purpose of your visit. For more information visit https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder
What items am I prohibited from bringing into Australia? Australia’s customs laws prevent you from bringing drugs, steroids, weapons, firearms and protected wildlife into Australia. Some common items such as fresh or packaged food, fruit, eggs, meat, plants, seeds, skins and feathers are also prohibited. For more information visit https://www.abf.gov.au/entering-and-leaving-australia/can-you-bring-it-in
While you're here
When you land on the ground, here’s some information that will help make your trip the best it can possibly be.
Australia is a big country, is it easy to get around? It is safe and reliable to make your way around Australia with several transport options to consider.
Getting around by plane: Flying is the best way to cover Australia’s large distances in a short time. Competition between domestic airlines means that some great value fares are available, especially if you book in advance.
Getting around by bus: Coach and bus travel in Australia is comfortable, efficient and reasonably priced. Long-distance coaches generally have air conditioning, reading lights, adjustable seats and free wifi.
Getting around by car:Australia has a vast network of well-maintained roads and some of the most beautiful in the world.
Getting around by train:Train travel is a convenient, affordable and scenic way to explore Australia.
Do I need an international driver’s licence to drive in Australia? Yes. If you wish to drive in Australia, you must hold a valid international driving permit accompanied by the driver licence issued in the country you live in.
What side of the road do Australians drive on? Australians drive on the left side of two-way roads.
Can I hire a car in Australia? Car rental can be extremely cost effective when planning to travel around Australia by road. When renting a car in Australia, there are requirements which are common across the car rental industry, including holding a valid driver’s licence, a credit card as a form of security, and a passport for ID. For more information contact one of our friendly Travel Designers.
Is it illegal not to wear a seatbelt? Yes. All drivers and passengers in the car must also wear seatbelts. Children under age 7 must be in a child restraint appropriate for the child’s size and weight.
Are there speed limits in Australia? Speed limits are strictly enforced in Australia.
What are the rules on drinking alcohol and driving? Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and Australia has very serious penalties if you are caught doing so.
Can I use my mobile phone while driving? No, you are not permitted to use a handheld mobile phone when driving. This includes making or receiving calls, texting, playing games or browsing the web.
Are there rest areas on Australia’s roads? Rest areas are located every 80-100 kilometres (49-62 miles) on main highways and roads for people to pull over and rest when needed.
Do I need to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle and bicycle? If you are riding a motorcycle, moped, motor scooter or bicycle, you are required to wear a helmet.
Swimming in Australia
Is it safe to swim at Australian beaches? The safest Australian for swimming are the beaches patrolled by Lifeguards and Surf Lifesavers so always research the local patrolled beach closest to where you are staying.
Be sun-smart and ‘Slip Slop Slap’! Always wear sunscreen, coverup with a rash guard and make sure you have a hat (even on overcast days).
AUSTRALIA IS BIG AND DIVERSEAustralian Map
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