Travel information

What you need to know for your trip to Australia

 

Visa applications - general information

The following information is provided by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection. We recommend that all overseas participants to the Australian Public Sector Anti- Corruption Conference read this carefully.

On 23 March 2013, the department implemented changes to the types of visas available to persons wishing to travel to Australia to attend, participate at, or compete in events being held in Australia.

Under Australia's universal visa system, all visitors to Australia must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia (other than New Zealand passport holders who will normally be granted a Special Category visa on arrival, provided they meet health and character requirements; and permanent residents of Norfolk Island who may be granted a Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa on arrival). 

There are many visa options available to people wishing to visit Australia. The appropriate visa option will depend, amongst other things, on the person's purpose for visiting Australia.

Participants, attendees and speakers that will not be working, performing or otherwise be paid to contribute at the conference may be eligible for the following visa options:

Visitor (subclass 600) (Business stream) visa. For more information see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/visitor-600

Electronic Travel Authority – ETA (subclass 601). For eligible passport holders. For more information see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/electronic-travel-authority-601#tab-content-1

eVisitor (subclass 651) (Business Stream) visa. For eligible passport holders. For more information see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/evisitor-651

Attendees, speakers and exhibitors that will be working, or otherwise be paid to contribute at the Conference may be eligible for the following visa option:

Temporary Work (subclass 400) (Short Stay Specialist) visa. For where there is no inviting Australian organisation. For more information see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/temporary-work-400

IMPORTANT:

We recommend that applicants applying for a paper-based visa lodge their application at least six to eight weeks before their intended travel date to Australia. All travellers to Australia must have a valid visa before boarding their plane. Travellers to Australia cannot apply for a visa on arrival.

Visa letter of invitation

A letter of invitation for your visa is available to download from your online registration profile. Once you have paid your registration fees in full and the payment has cleared, log in to your profile with your email address and password and scroll down to the bottom of your profile. A visa letter option will show. Once you click on the icon, you will be prompted to enter your passport details. Once completed the visa letter will become available to download.

Time zones

Australia is divided into three separate time zones: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), and Australian Western Standard Time (AWST).

  • AEST is equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 10 hours (UTC +10). This covers the following states (which includes Melbourne): Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

  • ACST is equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus nine and a half hours (UTC +9½). This covers the following states: South Australia and the Northern Territory.

  • AWST is equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus eight hours (UTC +8). This covers the state of Western Australia.

Electrical plugs

You may need an adapter in order to plug your appliances into the power sockets: the adapter required for Australia is Type one Australia plug. The plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins, forming an inverted 'V' shape, and occasionally a third pin in the centre. The electrical current in Australia is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz.

Sending mail

Post offices are usually open 9 am-5 pm, Monday to Friday, with some city post offices open on Saturday morning. Travellers can arrange to collect mail at post offices throughout Australia.

Left-hand traffic

In Australia cars, trams, bikes and other vehicles travel on the left-hand side of the road. Pedestrians also walk on the left-hand side of a path or a corridor in general. Look to your RIGHT first then left to check incoming traffic when crossing a street or road. Same rules apply when you are making turns when driving. The steering wheel of an Australian car is on the right-hand side.

Currency

Australia's national currency is Australian Dollars (AUD), 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.

Credit cards such as American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, UnionPay and JCB are accepted in Australia. Visa or MasterCard can be used everywhere credit cards are accepted. American Express and Diners Club are accepted at major supermarket and department store chains and many tourist destinations.

Traveller's cheques are not widely accepted in Australia. If you do purchase traveller's cheques, it is best to buy them in Australian dollars as smaller shops, restaurants and other businesses are unlikely to know what the exchange rate is if you present a cheque in a different currency such as US dollars or British pounds.

Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent. You may be able to claim a refund for the GST paid on goods if you have spent AUD $300 or more with a single business, no more than 60 days before departing Australia. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure are of international terminals.

Weather

Australia's seasons are at opposite times to those in the northern hemisphere. September to November is spring, and during November Melbourne experiences average maximum temperatures of around 19.7 degrees Celsius (or 67.46 degrees Fahrenheit) and average minimum temperatures of 9.6 degrees Celsius (or 49.28 degrees Fahrenheit). Melbourne typically experiences around 60 mm average rainfall in November.

Tipping

Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill, and tipping is always your choice. In upmarket restaurants, it is common to leave a tip to waiters of 10 per cent of the bill for good service.

Some restaurants and cafes will add a 10 per cent surcharge to prices on weekends and bank holidays. This is supposed to cover a slightly higher minimum wage for working these days. Some will also charge an extra one and a half to three per cent for card payments. These extra charges will be clearly stated on the menu or at the cash register.

International dialling codes

The international dialling code for Australia is 61.
Each region also has an area code, including:

  • Central East (New South Wales, Australia Capital Territory) with area code 02

  • South East (Victoria, Tasmania) with area code 03

  • North East (Queensland) with area code 07

  • Central and West (Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory) with area code 08

  • Mobile telephones (Australia-wide) with area code 04.

When calling from outside Australia, leave out the leading '0' from the area code or mobile phone number:

  • The outgoing IDD (international direct dialling) code from within Australia is 0011.

  • Mobile phone network coverage is available across Australia, however coverage may be limited in some remote areas.

  • Internet access and free WiFi is widely available at internet cafes, accommodation and libraries.

  • The emergency number in Australia is 000.