Travelling to Perth Useful Business Information
Business hours are generally 9:00 am to 5:00 pm for government offices and post offices.
Banks open between 9am and 4:00 pm.
Shopping is available 7 days a week, stores open 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays and Saturdays and slightly shorter hours on Sundays. Extended shopping hours, stores open until 9:00 pm, on either Thursday or Friday evenings.
Currency is the Australian Dollar [100 cents = $1]. Notes come in $100, $50, $20, $10, and $5 denominations.
Coins come in 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, $1 and $2 denominations. Currency can be exchanged at airports, major banks and hotels.
ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines): Most ATMs will allow customers to withdraw money from their credit/debit accounts if their card displays an international symbol such as the Visa, Maestro or Cirrus logo.
Travellers’ cheques in Australian dollars are recommended. These should be cashed at banks, as it may be difficult elsewhere. Banks may charge a small fee for cashing travellers’ cheques.
Disabled travellers are well catered for by tourism operators. The key to ensuring the best possible assistance from airlines, hotels or other operators is to advise them of your customers’ exact needs as far in advance as possible.
Electricity is 240v with a two- or three-pronged point. Generally, visitors can use their own electrical appliances in Australia but they will need to take a plug adaptor (available from electrical retailers and airport shops) and a voltage adaptor if required. Major hotels have universal sockets for electric shavers.
Gay and lesbian tourists are very welcome in Australia. A peak body called Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia (GALTA) represents gay and lesbian operated businesses, rural hideaway, Outback operators and luxury resorts around Australia.
Golf is able to be played year round due to the Australian climate. There are almost 1,500 courses around the country. The courses are a mix of private, resort and public/municipally owned. Many are of international standard. Play is usually possible seven days a week and visitors should book a tee-off time to avoid disappointment. Equipment can be hired at most clubs. For spectators, the Australian professional golf circuit runs from mid November to early March.
Hitch-hiking is illegal and strongly discouraged throughout Australia. Public transport and private coach companies operate services to connect most cities and towns.
Public transport in Perth www.transperth.wa.gov.au
Internet and email access is readily available at many Internet cafes, hotels, hostels and libraries.
Medical treatment is of a high standard. Visitors from the UK, New Zealand, Italy, Malta, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden are covered by Australia’s Medicare insurance program under a reciprocal agreement, but this is for emergency medical care only and should not replace a visitor’s own travel insurance.
Visitors will encounter few health hazards when traveling in any part of Australia. Standards of hygiene are high, particularly in food preparation. Doctors and dentists are highly trained and hospitals are well equipped. In the event of illness the hotel can call a doctor or refer one, or visitors can ask their country’s Embassy, High Commission or Consulate for a list of approved doctors.
Mobile phones Visitors can use their own handset on Australia’s mobile network, which operates on 2G, 3G and 4G. Customers should contact their telecommunications carrier for details.
National public holidays
01 January New Year’s Day
26 January Australia Day
During March or April (exact dates change) Good Friday and Easter Monday
25 April ANZAC Day
25 December Christmas Day
26 December Boxing Day (except South Australia)
Sun protection is crucial in Australia Visitors are surprised by the intensity of the sun. Even when the weather isn’t particularly hot the UV rays in Australia cause the skin to burn. In fact, the strongest UV rays can occur on overcast days. Visitors should apply a good quality sunscreen, wear a hat, sunglasses and a shirt with long sleeves and a collar. Avoiding the sun from 10am to 2pm (11am to 3pm daylight savings time) when the UV rays are at their strongest is highly recommended. The Cancer Council’s website www.cancer.org.au has detailed SunSmart information.
Surf and water safety is important no matter where visitors are swimming and how confident they are in the water. Visitors should only swim ‘between the red and yellow flags’ at beaches so they are in view of the lifesavers on patrol.
Taxes in Australia include the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10%, which is included in the prices displayed. GST is payable on tourism services such as accommodation, day tours, guides, ground transportation (including coach, rail and cruise), translators and meals. The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) enables tourists to claim a refund of the goods and services tax (GST) and wine equalisation tax (WET) that they pay on goods bought in Australia.
Taxis are clearly marked and available in all major cities and towns and can be boarded from a taxi rank/stand (at transport terminals, major hotels and shopping centers), hailed in the street, or booked in advance. Vacant cabs have a light and sign on the roof. There is a minimum ‘flag down’ charge, and a charge for the distance travelled. Additional charges for luggage and telephone bookings apply. The account shows on the meter. Tipping the driver is at the passenger’s discretion.
Tipping is optional A 10% tip for good service is appreciated, but always discretionary. On public holidays (and sometimes on Sundays) restaurants and cafes will usually add a surcharge to the bill.
Water is safe to drink from the tap almost everywhere.