Currency: The Australian dollar (AUD, $/A$) is the official currency of Australia. It is divided into 100 cents. You can check the latest exchange rates here.
Time: Expats should note that Australia is divided into three time zones. Eastern is GMT +10, Central is GMT +9.5, and Western is GMT +8. All states observe daylight saving time during the summer months, except the Northern Territory and Queensland.
Electricity: The electrical current in Australia is 240/250 volts, 50Hz and three-pin flat blade plugs are used. But these are different to those used in other countries and expats should bring an adaptor.
Safety: Australia’s crime rate is low, but expats should still exercise the same amount of caution in the big cities as they would anywhere else in the world.
Between the months of November and April tropical cyclones can occur in Western Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory. During the summer months the risk of runaway bushfires is high and a 'no open flames policy' is in place in most cities, especially in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and ACT. Summer months (October to May) also see the waters off Queensland become infested with marine stingers, or box jellyfish, whose sting can be fatal.
Communications: Expats living in Australia should note that the outgoing code is 0011 followed by the relevant country code (eg 001144 for the United Kingdom), the international access code for Australia is +61, and area/city codes are in use. Local calls cost a standard rate and international and long-distance calls are charged according to the length of the call. Australia uses GSM and CDMA networks for mobile phone operators and mobile phones are easily available for rental. High speed broadband ADSL internet is available through a number of providers.
Embassy contact details
- Embassy of Australia, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 797 3000
- Australian High Commission, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7379 4334
- Australian High Commission, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 236 0841
- Australian High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 423 6000
- Australian Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 664 5300
- Australian High Commission, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 (0)4 473 6411
Foreign Embassies in Australia
- Embassy of the United States, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6214 5600
- British High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 6666
- Canadian High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 4000.
- South African High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6273 2424-7
- Embassy of Ireland, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6273 3022
- New Zealand High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 4211