We are pleased to offer you some useful tips and practical information on travelling in Australia. Once you book your holiday you will get the Fleewinter guide for Australia, with all of our top tips and favourite finds in it.
Ensure you visit your GP six weeks before travel for general advice on travel risks and vaccinations. Make sure you take out comprehensive travel insurance with a good accident policy and that you know your blood group. If you are not covered under the reciprocal healthcare arrangements which exist between Australia and the UK, costs of treatment can be high.
The standard of healthcare in Australia is very good. Under the reciprocal healthcare arrangements, British citizens resident in the UK and travelling on a British passport are entitled to limited subsidised health services from Medicare for medically necessary treatment while visiting Australia. This does not cover pre-existing conditions, or treatment that does not require prompt attention. Other exclusions under the reciprocal agreement include pharmaceuticals when not a hospital in-patient, use of ambulance services and medical evacuations, which are very expensive.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 000 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Tap water is safe to drink in Australia.
Australia’s national currency is Australian dollars (AUD), 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.
Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. Australian banks offer the same range of services typical in other western nations, and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are widespread, although facilities may be limited in remote towns and the Outback. EFTPOS is also widely available in most Australian shops allowing you to pay for purchases with your credit or debit card. Fees may be charged on transactions, particularly if withdrawing from an international account.
Costs are generally higher than in the UK although in more remote locations you will find prices are a bit lower than in Sydney or Melbourne.
Australia is generally a very safe country to travel around. It pays to follow basic guidelines to keep your belongings safe however such as keeping valuables out of sight, not leaving bags unattended and parking your vehicle in well-lit busy areas where possible.
Australia’s popular beaches are usually patrolled by volunteer lifesavers from October to April and red and yellow flags mark the safest area for swimming. Currents are stronger than in Europe and please be mindful of this.
The emergency number for police, ambulance and fire brigade is 000.
Australia has very strict biosecurity procedures at airports and ports to prevent the introduction of unwanted pests and diseases. On the flight into Australia you will be asked to complete a passenger arrival card which lists items that you are required to declare or dispose of. Some common items are food, animal or plant products and any equipment that has been used for outdoor or farming activities such as footwear, camping gear or sports equipment. There are bins in the airport to dispose of any products that are not permitted, or if you are in doubt, declare the item on the form and a biosecurity officer will make an assessment. Outdoor equipment such as hiking boots should be cleaned of all visible mud and plant seeds before you arrive as they will be inspected. It is always better to declare an item if you are unsure as there are sniffer dogs in the arrivals hall and bags are put through scanners to detect offending items. Fines are payable if you fail to disclose biosecurity risk goods.
You may need an adapter in order to plug your appliances into the power sockets: the adapter required for Australia is Type 1 Australia plug. The plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins, forming an inverted ‘V’ shape, and occasionally a third pin in the centre. The electrical current in Australia is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz.
The international dialing code for Australia is 61. Each region also has an area code, including Central East (New South Wales, Australia Capital Territory) with area code 02; South East (Victoria, Tasmania) with area code 03; Mobile telephones (Australia-wide) with area code 04; North East (Queensland) with area code 07; and Central and West (Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory) with area code 08. When calling from outside Australia, leave out the leading ‘0’ from the area code or mobile phone number.
Mobile phone network coverage is available across Australia, however coverage may be limited in some remote areas.
Internet access and free WiFi is widely available at internet cafes, accommodation and libraries.