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Electricity

Electrical current is 240/250 volts, 50Hz. Three-pin flat blade plugs are used but are different to those in most other countries, so an adapter is normally required.

Language

English is the official language of Australia.

Tipping

There are no mandatory gratuities in restaurant service charges of any kind in Australia, and tips are not expected anywhere, although it is becoming more common in expensive restaurants in the bigger cities to leave some money for good service.

Safety Information

The crime rate in Australia is low, however travellers should be aware that tourists could be targeted by petty criminals. Be vigilant about personal possessions and travel documents, particularly in popular tourist destinations such as along the Gold Coast. There has been an increase in incidents of spiked drinks and women in particular should be cautious in nightspots; many victims were also sexually assaulted. Tropical cyclones normally occur between November and April in some parts of Australia, usually in Western Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory. There is a serious risk of bush fires in summer, especially in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and ACT. During the summer months, usually between October and May, the shallow coastal waters of northern Australia and Queensland become infested with marine stingers, commonly known as box jellyfish, whose sting is highly dangerous and can be deadly. Visitors should pay attention to signs on beaches and follow the instructions of local lifeguards.

Local Customs

Generally an informal attitude, in dress and behaviour, prevails in most social and business situations. Sport, particularly rugby and cricket, is almost a religion.

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Communications

The international access code for Australia is +61. The outgoing code is 0011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 001144 for the United Kingdom). The area code for both Canberra and Sydney is (0)2. Local calls from public payphones are unlimited and cost a standard rate, while international and long distance calls are charged according to the time spent on the phone. Mobile phone operators use GSM and CDMA networks (area code (0)4); mobile phones are available for rent. Internet cafes are widely available.

Duty Free

Travellers to Australia over 18 years do not have to pay customs duty on 2.25 litres of alcohol; 250 cigarettes or 250g cigars or other tobacco products. Gifts are included in the A$900 duty-free allowance. Fresh produce and animal/plant products are prohibited.


Travel guide by (c) Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information in this travel guide is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevant authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.

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