All taxis in Australia have meters and surcharges will apply depending on the time of the day you are travelling. Pick-ups from airports may incur a surcharge. Taxis may also be flagged depending on the traffic conditions. When the “taxi light” is on it means the taxi is available. When carrying passengers the light is switched off.
Ubers and other shared economy transport platforms are prevalent in all major centers in Australia.
Trains, buses, ferries and in some cities, trams, are often the best way to explore an Australian destination. Pre-paid travel cards are usually required before travelling and can be purchased at major public transport stations or most newsagents. There is no universal travel card across Australian cities.
Australia is a large country and its climate is as diverse as its people. There are four seasons across most of the country and a wet and dry season in tropical north. All temperatures in Australia are noted in degrees celsius.
Health & Safety
It is recommended that groups purchase travel insurance to cover for theft, loss, accidents and medical problems. If you plan on doing adventure activities such as scuba diving, check your policy to ensure you are fully covered.
If you require medical attention while visiting, it is good to know standard procedures in Australia. Medicare is the public health system and Australian hospitals provide world-class medical facilities and standards of care. Australia has reciprocal health care agreements with a number of other countries which entitle travelers to some subsidized health services. Check your eligibility here. The phone number for emergency services in Australia is 000. The operator will connect you to either police, ambulance or fire brigade. Only call 000 in an emergency.
No special immunisations or vaccinations are required to visit Australia unless you have come from, or have visited, a yellow fever infected country within six days of your arrival. Current COVID-19 health requirements apply in Australia.
The primary language spoken in Australia is English. However as a multicultural nation with a significant migrant population, it is common to hear many other languages throughout the country.
Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a visa to enter Australia and must apply for this visa before leaving home. Passport holders from the USA and Canada are entitled to apply to the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which allows people to visit Australia for short term tourism or business purposes of up to three months. You should apply for your ETA at least two weeks before you travel. You will not receive a stamp or label in your passport; instead you will be provided with a confirmation for your records.
When you lodge your application, you will be given a Transaction Reference Number (TRN). Keep a record of this so you can follow the progress of your application.
You must have a valid passport and expiration of your passport should not occur within 6 months of your scheduled return to the United States. It is advisable that you make a copy of your travel documents (passport and airline itinerary) and contact information to leave at home with a relative, friend or assistant at work.
Australia’s national currency is the Australian dollar 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. Most establishments in Australia accept credit card payments.
Bargaining & tipping
It is not customary to bargain or haggle prices 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. Please note that 10% GST is included in the marked price of items in store – it is not added at the cash register.
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