Australia General Information

Time Zones
Antique Clock - Port Arthur Historic Site © Tourism Tasmania and Garry MooreThere are three time zones in Australia. Eastern Standard Time (EST) operates in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, VictoriaTasmania and Queensland. Central Standard Time (CST) operates in South Australia and Northern Territory. Western Standard Time (WST) operates in Western Australia. CST is half an hour behind EST, while WST is two hours behind EST.

Daylight Saving
Some Australian states and territories have daylight saving during the summer months. In New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia daylight saving runs from the end of October through to the end of March. In Tasmania, daylight saving runs from the beginning of October through to the end of March. Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland do not have daylight saving.

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. If your appliances are 110V, you may need a voltage converter. Universal outlets for 240V or 110V shavers are usually found in leading hotels.

Driving Licenses
Tourists may drive in Australia on a valid overseas driver's licence for the same class of vehicle. An International Driver's Permit is not sufficient by itself and must be accompanied by a valid driver's licence. The licence must be carried when driving, and, if it is not in English, the driver must carry a translation with the permit.

Embassies, High Commissions
Contact details for any foreign Embassy, High Commission or Consulate located in Australia may be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This site also lists the overseas contact details for all Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates.


Tipping is not the general custom in Australia, and all times is entirely optional. A Goods and Service Tax (GST) of 10% of the total bill is added to accounts by hotels and restaurants.

Australian currency ($A) is decimal with the dollar as the basic unit (100 cents equals one dollar). Notes come in $100, $50, $20, $10, and $5 denominations. Coins come in $2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c denominations. Prices are rounded to the nearest 5c.

Currency Exchange
Exchange facilities are available at international airports. Changing foreign currency or traveller's cheques can be done at most banks.

Credit Cards
The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and JCB.

Banks and various locations have ATMs (Automated Teller Machines). Credit cards may need to be enabled for international access - contact your credit card provider.