Passports and Visas
All passengers require a machine-readable passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip, with appropriate visas. You should carry your passport with you at all times to ensure against its loss or theft in hotels. Check with the Australian Consulate to determine if any visas are needed. Securing required documents is the responsibility of the traveler. This information is a guide only and it is essential that you check all current passport and visa rules with your travel agent before departure.
The Australian dollar is the local currency. Notes are in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars; coins have 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations. You can change US dollars at banks and currency exchange agencies for the best rates, hotels and some shops can also change them for you, but the rate will likely be much higher. ATMs are also an efficient way to get money in the local currency.
Australia has 240 V at 50 Hz, with a type I socket. America's electrical currents are 120 V at 60 Hz, with a type A or B socket, so you'll need a converter and an adapter.
Wireless and wired Internet access is widely available throughout Australia. Many of the hotels we use offer this service free or at a small charge. There are also Internet cafés in main cities that allow you access, usually for a small charge.
Phoning home from another country can be expensive. All hotels will add a service charge to the cost of any phone calls you make from your room. This charge can be very high. It is always cheaper for you to use public telephones (payphones) if your cell phone is not set for international calls. Your Travel Director can explain how to dial internationally if you are unsure.
You'll be able to find whatever you're looking for, from trendy boutiques to little mom-and-pop establishments. Some typical Australian souvenirs include opals and opal jewelry, pearls and pearl jewelry, gold, a boomerang, Aboriginal art, kangaroo and koala plush toys, wool sweaters, Outback hats and clothes, and beach items.
We suggest the following tipping rates: Taxis 10-15% of the fare on the meter, Restaurants and bars 10-15% of the total bill. If a service charge has already been added there is no need to tip as much or at all.
Public transportation within cities in Australia is safe and easy to navigate. Your options include trains, buses, monorail and taxis. Because of the large distances between cities, flying or taking a train is recommended.
Generally, casual jeans or slacks, shirts, sweaters, a jacket and comfortable walking shoes are all you'll need. If you plan on an evening at a nicer venue, dressier clothes may be called for. For vacations including the Outback, be sure to bring clothes for hot weather. And don't forget your swimming suit, sun screen and sunglasses.