Travel Tips

Travel Tips

Visa requirements

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.

Medical/Emergencies

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).

Currency

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.

Banking

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.

Credit Cards

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.

Tipping

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.

Telephone

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. 

Wi-Fi access

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. 

Voltage

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.

Drinking water

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.

Key Dates

Public Holidays - 2020

New Year’s Day

Wednesday 1 January 2020

Australia Day

Monday 27 January 2020*

Canberra Day

Monday 9 March 2020

Good Friday

Friday 10 April 2020

Easter Saturday

Saturday 11 April 2020

Easter Sunday

Sunday 12 April 2020

Easter Monday

Monday 13 April 2020

ANZAC Day

Saturday 25 April 2020

Declared public holiday

Monday 27 April 2020**

Reconciliation Day

Monday 1 June 2020

Queen’s Birthday

Monday 8 June 2020

Labour Day

Monday 5 October 2020

Christmas Day

Friday 25 December 2020

Boxing Day

Saturday 26 December 2020 & Monday 28 December 2020***

Note: All public holiday dates are accurate at the time of publication.

*As 26 January (Australia Day) falls on a Sunday in 2020, the following Monday is observed as the public holiday.

**Monday, 27 April 2020 has been declared a public holiday for all Canberrans by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety. The 27 April 2020 public holiday is in addition to the ANZAC Day public holiday on 25 April 2020.

***As 26 December (Boxing Day) falls on a Saturday in 2020, there is an additional public holiday on the Monday.