Genaral Info
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General information for travellers

The following information can help with your travel plans:

red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Australia in Brief (brief look at the features of Australia)
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Business people
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Climate information
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Communications equipment
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Currency (money matters)
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Currency exchange
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Customs Service
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Disabled visitors
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Driving laws
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Emergency situations
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Health information
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Health insurance
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Immigration - visas
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Media visits
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Quarantine
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Shopping in Australia
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Taxation
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Tourism
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Visa/immigration
red_bull.gif (978 bytes) Visa/taxation



For information on Australian weather, contact the Bureau of Meteorology website.

Communications equipment

Before you arrive in Australia, you are advised to check if your communications equipment (for example, mobile and cordless phone, fax machine, wireless microphone, laptop computer) is safe to operate in Australia.

Technical differences in power voltage or radio frequencies can endanger health and safety and cause interference problems. Power voltage is 240 volts/50Hz.

Information: Australian Communications Authority website.


Australian currency is decimal. Notes come in $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5 denominations. Coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 denominations.

Currency exchange

Exchange facilities are available for all incoming and outgoing flights at all international airports in Australia. Foreign currency or traveller's cheques can be changed at most banks. To calculate your funds in Australian dollars, see the Currency Converter.


Information is available from Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates, or you can call Customs on + 61 2 6275 6666 or (inside Australia) 1300 363 263. Information is also available from the ACS website.

Dangerous goods

Fireworks, flammable liquids, corrosives and gas cylinders are not permitted on aircraft. For information, contact your airline.

Disabled visitors

Hotels, airlines, attractions and major transport carriers usually provide access for people with disabilities. It is advisable to check with all service provider prior to your visit to ensure they can meet your needs.

Driving laws

Australians drive on the left side of the road. Strict drink-driving laws apply. Seat belts must be worn by drivers and passengers.


Calls to Ambulance, Fire and Police, dial 000 (Digital mobiles, call 000 or 112).

Health insurance

The cost of medical and hospital care in Australia can be very expensive; it is highly advisable that all overseas visitors take out some form of health insurance cover, including ambulance cover.

While Australia holds reciprocal health care agreements with the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, Malta, New Zealand and Ireland, these agreements do not cover all health services, and time restrictions apply in some cases.

Visitors from these countries are therefore advised to take out some form of health insurance cover.

Internet information is available from the Department of Health and Aged Care and Health Insurance Commission.


Intending media visitors to Australia can access the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's International Media Centre The Australian Tourist Commission also has a media site which provides up-to-the-minute information, images and background on Australia.


Information is available from Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) by phone + 61 2 9364 7222 or fax + 61 2 9364 7340

Shopping in Australia

Australia has a wide range of goods for sale in a variety of shops and duty-free stores. You should shop around because prices are competitive. In Australia, you are covered by consumer protection laws. If you have a consumer problem, contact Consumer Affairs at Treasury for advice - phone + 61 2 6263 3997 or see the Treasury website


Since 1 July 2000, a 10% tax on the purchase of goods and services (GST) has been applied in Australia.

Taxation/Refunds for visitors

Since 1 July 2000, you may be able to get a refund of the GST on the goods you have bought in Australia and are taking out with you. Conditions apply. Look for the information brochures when you arrive or contact the Australian Customs Service on phone + 61 2 6275 6666 (from outside Australia) or 1300 363 263 (within Australia). Email [email protected].


For detailed travel advice on tourism in Australia, contact the Australian Tourist Commission by phone + 61 2 9360 1111, fax + 61 2 9331 6469, or at the ATC website. The ATC also has a tourism industry website which includes news, statistics, co-operative marketing activities, contacts and links.


Visa information is available from Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates, and from travel agents. Inside Australia, phone 131 881. Internet information is available from the DIMA website.


If your visa entitles you to seek employment or commerce business in Australia, and you intend to do so, then you must register for taxation purposes. Information: Australian Taxation Office website, phone + 61 2 6216 1111, or contact your local Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

Arrival Customs Genaral Info Departure

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Last modified: 04/05/04