Facts to know before your holiday to Australia
You will need a valid passport or similar acceptable travel document to visit Australia. It must be valid for longer than your period of stay and it is advisable to be valid for a period of six months after leaving Australia.
All UK and EU passport holders, including children, require a visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter Australia. An ETA is an electronically stored authority to travel to Australia for a short stay and replaces the visa label or stamp in a passport. If you are taking a holiday to Australia or visiting on business and travelling with us, we can issue a visitor ETA free of charge within minutes. All we need is a black and white photocopy of the information page in your passport.
Because of Australia’s natural and unique floral and fauna, you are required to help protect the fragile environment. When visiting, you must declare on your Incoming Passenger Card if you are carrying any food, plant material or animal products including meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables, wooden articles, seeds and nuts.
Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road. The maximum speed limit in cities and towns is 60km/hour. Some suburban areas have 50km/hour zones. On country roads and highways the maximum speed limit is usually 110km/hour.For your safety, drink-driving laws apply and drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times.
Motorcycle riders and cyclists must wear helmets. An international visitor may drive in Australia on a valid overseas driver’s licence for the same class of vehicle.
Australia’s seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring begins in September, summer in December, autumn in March and winter in June. On your holiday to Australia, you will find that the climate is generally pleasant without extremes in temperatures.
Broadly, there are two climatic zones, however because of the country’s sheer size there are variations within these zones. About 40% of Australia is in the tropical zone - north, above the Tropic of Capricorn. Here there are two seasons, the summer ‘wet’ and winter ‘dry’. The remaining areas in the temperate zone experience all four seasons.
When visiting Australia, you will need to be aware that the country has three time zones - Eastern Standard Time (EST) for the Eastern States, Central Standard Time (CST) for the Northern Territory and South Australia, and Western Standard Time (WST) for Western Australia. CST is half an hour behind EST and WST is two hours behind EST.
The Australian currency is decimal, with the dollar as the basic unit. Notes come in 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 dollar denominations, whilst coins come in 2 and 1 dollar denominations and 50, 20, 10 and 5 cent denominations.
The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates. Goods and Services Tax Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10%. You may be able to claim a refund of the GST paid on goods bought when visiting Australia if you have spent 300 dollars or more in one store, no more than 30 days before your departure. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure areas of international airport terminals.
If you need the police, ambulance or fire services, the emergency number is 000. Electrical Power Points 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 when taking a holiday to Australia.
Australia’s country code is 61. Local calls from public payphones are untimed and charged at 50 cents. Mobile, long distance and overseas calls are usually timed. Mobile (cell) phone network coverage is available across Australia however may be limited in some remote areas.
For further advice and helpful information visit www.australia.com