International Visitors

Published by Tourism Officer on

Passport Australia

All About Passports & Visas

Travellers to Australia need a valid passport.

Visas are required by all visitors travelling to Australia, except for New Zealand passport holders.

If you are planning a holiday or a short business trip to Australia, you will need to apply for either a visa or an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority). An ETA will let you spend up to three months in Australia.

Contact the Australian Embassy in your country or visit

Website: Electronic Travel Authority

All About Customs

As an island of immense ecological diversity, Australia employs strict customs regulations to preserve its unique habitat, and to protect all who live and travel here.

Organic items such as plants, food, furs, timber, and anything contaminated with dirt or sand will be carefully scrutinised and restricted or possibly prohibited.

Limitations also apply to other items brought into the country, such as tobacco products, alcohol and other personal possessions.

Contact the Australian Customs Service:
Phone: +61 (0)2 6275 6666
Website: Australian Customs Service

Driving in Australia

All About Driving in New South Wales

Australia recognises international driving licences, provided the information contained on the licence clearly indicates the types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country.

For visitors from non-English speaking countries, it is probably best to obtain an International Driving Permit – that is, a translation of what is on your licence. This enables Australian police and rental companies to compare the licence with the permit, and see what types of vehicles the licensee is allowed to drive.

Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road. Routes are generally well signposted and the majority of roads are well maintained.

Speed limits and distances are expressed in kilometres (km) and a speed limit of 50km/h is enforced in residential and commercial traffic areas, unless otherwise indicated. On highways and freeways the speed limit is usually 100km/h, unless otherwise indicated.

Drink driving is considered a serious offence and is heavily policed. In some states, for example New South Wales, those with overseas licences are subject to special blood alcohol limits (0.02 in comparison with the normal limit of 0.05). Any driver may be directed by the police to provide a breath specimen to measure intoxication. Refusal to provide a breath sample may result in arrest.

All About Time

Sydney operates on Eastern Standard Time (EST). Daylight saving is observed in New South Wales during the warmer months.

GMT + 10 hours in Australian winter
GMT + 11 hours in Australian summer

All About Credit Cards

Credit cards are accepted at the majority of retail outlets, restaurants and hotels. The most commonly accepted cards are Mastercard and Visa.

Major hotels will also accept American Express and Diners’ Club, but these are less likely to be accepted by smaller retailers.

Please note that when booking or hailing a taxi it is advisable to discuss methods of payment as not all taxi companies accept credit cards.

Australian Money

All About Tipping

Tipping is rarely expected in Australia. Exceptional service may be rewarded in restaurants, by rounding up by around 5 to 10%.

It is also acceptable to round up a dollar or two for taxi service.
Electrical Appliances
Australia operates with a triple pronged 240/250 volts AC 50HZ system. Universal outlets for 110 volts (shavers only) are standard in hotels, apartments and motels.

Metric Conversion

Temperature:
To convert degrees Celsius to Fahrenheit multiply by 1.8 and add 32
To convert degrees Fahrenheit to Celsius subtract 32 and divide by 1.8

Distance:
To convert kilometres to miles multiply by 0.62
To convert miles to kilometres multiply by 1.61

Weight:
To convert pounds to kilograms multiply by 0.45
To convert kilograms to pounds multiply by 2.20

Volume:
To convert imperial gallons to litres multiply by 4.55
To convert litres to imperial gallons multiply by 0.22
To convert US gallons to litres multiply by 3.79
To convert litres to US gallons multiply by 0.26