Non-Australian citizens (excluding New Zealand citizens) require a valid visa to enter Australia. New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home. For more information go to the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.
Travellers are strongly advised to take out travel insurance that includes medical cover. Australia has reciprocal health care agreements with some countries. For emergencies that require police, ambulance and fire brigade, dial 000 (dial 112 on mobile phones).
The Australian dollar (AUD) is a decimal currency with units in dollars and cents (100 cents to the dollar), which comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations. Currency conversions can be made at most banks, Canberra Airport and some hotels in Canberra. For the latest exchange rates, consult your bank or foreign exchange provider.
Banks in Canberra are generally open 9.30am to 4.00pm Monday to Thursday, 9.30am to 5.00pm on Friday. Most banks have 24-hour automatic teller machines. ATMs are also located in many petrol stations, some convenience stores, shopping centres and licensed clubs. Some banks may charge you a transaction fee, particularly if withdrawing from an international account.
The most common credit cards include Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, American Express, JCB and UnionPay. Consult your bank before travel to ensure your card is suitable for use in Australia.
While appreciated, tipping is not expected in Australia. If you receive excellent service, particularly in a restaurant, the recommended amount is 10 percent of the bill.
The international dialling code for Australia is 61. Canberra’s telephone area code is 02 if calling from within Australia or +61 2 when calling from overseas, leave out the ‘0’ from the area code or mobile phone number.
Canberra has mobile phone coverage for 3G and 4G plus smart phones and tablets. If you’re visiting from overseas, consult your local service provider before leaving home about international roaming charges and access or SIM card options. SIM cards can be purchased at the Canberra Airport or it’s best to pop into the store of one of the phone providers.
Free Wi-Fi is available at the Canberra Airport terminal, the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre (CRVC), in many Canberra hotels and across the city centre.
The Australian domestic standard voltage is AC 240 volts, 50 Hertz cycle. The standard electrical plug is a three-prong type. Suitable adapters are available from travel goods stores, airports and some electrical retail stores.
Canberra's water comes from snowmelt and rain falling in pristine wilderness in nearby Namadgi National Park. It is treated to national drinking water standards and is safe to drink from taps and drinking fountains. Canberra's rivers and lakes are regularly monitored and assessed for water quality.
Retail hours and shopping
Canberra’s major shopping centres include Canberra Centre, Westfield Belconnen, Westfield Woden, Canberra Outlet Centre, Majura Park Shopping Centre. Boutique shopping precincts include Braddon, Manuka and Kingston.
Monday to Thursday: 9.00am to 5.30pm
Friday: 9.00am to 9.00pm
Saturday: 9.00am to 5.00pm
Sunday: 10.00am to 4.00pm
Note: Hours vary at smaller boutique stores and smaller shopping centres
Canberra and Region Visitors Centre
For information relating to your stay in the national capital, head to the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre at its lakeside location at Regatta Point. Have a chat to the friendly staff and volunteers. They’re a wealth of local knowledge and will give you the insights you need to get the most out of your visit.
Public Holidays - 2022
|New Year’s Day||Saturday 1 January 2022|
|New Year’s Day Public Holiday||Monday 3 January 2022*|
|Australia Day||Wednesday 26 January 2022|
|Canberra Day||Monday 14 March 2022|
|Good Friday||Friday 15 April 2022|
|Easter Saturday||Saturday 16 April 2022|
|Easter Sunday||Sunday 17 April 2022|
|Easter Monday||Monday 18 April 2022|
|ANZAC Day||Monday 25 April 2022|
|Reconciliation Day||Monday 30 May 2022|
|Queen’s Birthday||Monday 13 June 2022|
|Labour Day||Monday 3 October 2022|
|Christmas Day||Sunday 25 December 2022|
|Boxing Day||Monday 26 December 2022|
|Christmas Day Public Holiday Tuesday||27 December 2022**|
Note: All public holiday dates are accurate at the time of publication.
*As 1 January (New Year’s Day) falls on a Saturday in 2022, the following Monday is observed as the public holiday.
**As 25 December (Christmas Day) falls on a Sunday in 2022, the following Tuesday is observed as the public holiday.