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Australia Travel Information

Visa's and ETA's

Travellers to Australia need a valid passport or similar certificate of identification. Everyone, except travellers with Australian or New Zealand passports, requires a visa or an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to enter Australia. New Zealand passport holders apply for a visa upon arrival in Australia. All other passport holders must hold a visa'or ETA'before traveling to Australia.

Passports

All visitors to Australia must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country.

Customs

There are strict laws prohibiting or restricting the entry of drugs, steroids, weapons, firearms, protected wildlife and associated products. If you are unsure about anything declare it to Customs upon arrival.

Emergency Phone Numbers

Call 000 for fire, police and ambulance assistance throughout Australia (from mobile phones it's 112). For non-emergency police attendance call 131 444.

Credit Cards

American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are the most commonly accepted credit cards. Banks and ATMs (automated teller machines) are numerous in major regional centers. Credit cards may need to be enabled for international access so contact your credit card provider.

Banks

Monday to Thursday 09.00 to 4.00pm
Friday 09.00 to 5.00pm
Saturday 09.00am to 1.00pm (National Banks Only)

Currency

Australian currency (AUD) is decimal, with the dollar as the basic unit (100 cents equals one dollar). Notes are in $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5 denominations and coins are in $2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c denominations. Currency exchange facilities can be found at most banks, currency exchange specialists in central business district and in the international/domestic terminals.

Tipping

Tipping is not widespread in Australia, but if you receive great service in a restaurant the recommended tip is 10 per cent of the bill.

Opening hours

Store hours vary, but are generally Monday to Wednesday, 9am to 5.30pm. Thursday and Friday are late-night shopping, when most shops stay open until 7pm or 9pm. At the weekend, many traders open their doors, although you might not get inside until 11am on a Sunday. In summer, most shops outside the city centre stay open longer during daylight-saving months (November to March).

Time Zones

Within Australia there are three time zones:

o Eastern Standard Time (EST) operates in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland.
o Central Standard Time (CST) is 30 minutes behind EST and operates in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
o Western Standard Time is two hours behind EST and operates in Western Australia.
o South Australia time is calculated as Greenwich Mean Time plus 9.5 hours. Daylight saving operates in South Australia from the end of October to the end of March. Clocks are advanced one hour during this period.

Medications

Medicinal products brought into Australia are subject to strict controls and should be declared on arrival. It is advisable to have a letter or prescription from your doctor describing your medical condition and the medication.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are not required unless you have come from, or visited a yellow fever infected country or zone within six days before arrival. No other health certificate is required to enter Australia.

Electricity

The electrical current in Australia is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from some other countries so you may need an adaptor. If your appliances are 110V, you may need a voltage converter. Universal outlets for 240V or 110V shavers are usually found in leading hotels.

Public Holidays 2009

New Years Day – Thursday 01st January
Australia Day – Tuesday 26th January
Good Friday - Friday 02nd April
Easter Saturday – Saturday 03rd April
Easter Sunday - Sunday 04th April
Easter Monday - Monday 05th April
ANZAC Day – Monday 26th April
Queens Birthday - Monday 14th June
Christmas Day – Monday 27th December
Boxing Day – Tuesday 28th December

Mobile phones

Mobile phones are available for rent, or bring your mobile phone with you. Australia's mobile network operates on the 900 and 1800 bands for GSM and 800 for CDMA. Contact your telecommunications carrier for activating international roaming while you are visiting Australia.

Email and Internet

Internet and email access is readily available at countless Internet cafes, hotels, hostels and libraries. Australia uses RJ-45 telephone plugs and Telstra EXI-160 four-pin plugs.

   

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