Welcome to Holiday Essentials

A helping hand in your holiday plans

Free travel tips and travel reviews for a stress free holidays!

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Daylight Saving in Australia


Take note of the daylight saving time in Australia. Daylight saving period for most Australian states such as Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and South Australia starts from beginning of October to beginning of April. Daylight saving period in Western Australia starts from end of October to end of March. Northern Territory and Queensland don’t have Daylight Saving. If you are visiting Australia during daylight saving period, listened to the news or asking the locals about when the clock needs to be wind forward. You would not want to miss any flights or appointments unnecessarily.

Car Hire in Australia

If you decide to rent a car in Australia, a valid overseas driver’s licence is required. Australians drive on the left hand side of the road and seat belts must be put on at all times. The maximum speed limit in cities and towns is 60km/h and 110km/h for country roads and highways. Overseas drivers are advised to carry both the home licence and international licence when driving.

Electricity connection in Australia

Visitors to Australia must check if their electrical appliances can handle the voltage of 230V 50Hz. For European and other travellers, a plug adapter which has two angled flat blades and a third vertical flat blade for grounding will be sufficient. Likewise, US, Canadian and travellers from countries that uses 60Hz voltage need to check if they need a power adapter or a step down transformer for their electrical appliances.

Customs requirements in Australia

One of the main industries in Australia is agriculture and need to be free from diseases and insects that may destroy the crops as much as possible. Hence there is a strict customs requirement when it comes to bringing in animal and vegetable derived products into the country. No fresh fruits, vegetables, meat or other food products are allowed. Most manufactured, packaged food such as chocolates is usually acceptable. You should always declare your food items to the customs even if it falls under permitted food items.

Australian currency

Australia’s currency is made up of coins and plastic notes. The coins are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 & $2. The notes are all different colours & sizes. The $1 and $2 are gold, while the rest of the coins are silver.

Cash dispensing machines or Automatic Teller Machines in Australia

Cash dispensing machines or Automatic Teller Machines are widely available in most Australian towns. A surcharge may be levied when you draw cash from the cash machine. The fee varies between institutions and locations. The charges are displayed on the cash machine either on-screen or on a visible sticker.

Foreign currency exchange in Australia

Foreign currency exchange are widely available at dedicated currency exchange outlets and banks. Most exchange outlets levy a transaction charge. Banks usually charge a flat commission of $5 to $8. Shop around for the best exchange rate as there many foreign exchange outlets available for you to compare.

Trading hours in Australia

The common trading hours in Australia are 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday. In larger cities like Sydney, shops in the suburbs stays open until 9pm on Thursday and shops in city centres close at 9pm on Friday. Supermarkets are generally open till 9pm from Monday to Friday.

Sales tax refunds in Australia

If you buy items over $300 at one place at one time you can obtain a refund of the GST if you take the items out of Australia within 30 days. Pack the items in hand luggage, and present the item(s) and the receipt at the TRS, after immigration and security when leaving Australia. Also allow an extra 15 minutes before departure. The refund payment can be made by either cheque, credit to an Australian bank account, or payment to a credit card. There is no refund available for services.

Beaches in Australia

The beaches in Australia may looks inviting, however, care must be taken when deciding to take a dip in the water. Beach goers should only swim when the red and yellow flags in designated patrolled areas are up. Beaches are not patrolled 24-hours a day and if you do choose to swim when the flags aren’t up, be aware of the risks, stay within your depth and don't swim alone.

Crime rates in Australia

The crime rates in Australia especially in the cities are comparable with other first world countries. Crimes like bag snatching, pick pocketing can happen and as such, travellers should always be aware of their surrounding and not leave your bag unattended. Do not go to areas you are unfamiliar with especially if it has a notorious reputation.

Tipping in Australia

Tipping in Australia is not compulsory as a 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be included in the total figure of your restaurant bill.

Emergency number in Australia

In Australia, theemergency call number is 000. This number is a free call from any phone,including mobile and cell phones. 000 can connect you to thepolice, fire brigade or ambulance.

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