Culture in Australia
The laidback culture in Australia is a big draw for many visitors to the country, and we recommend all campers embrace the lifestyle to get the most out of your Australian tour. Below is some advice on what you can expect from your holiday.
Australia has three time zones: Eastern Standard Time (EST) for the eastern states, Central Standard Time (CST) for the Northern Territory and South Australia and Western Standard Time (WST) for Western Australia. CST is half an hour behind EST and WST is two hours behind EST. EST is ten hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Australia’s currency is Australian Dollars (AUD) and currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates.
Goods and Services Tax
Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent. You may be able to claim a refund of the GST paid on goods bought here if you have spent AUD$300 or more in one store, no more than 30 days before departing Australia. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure area of international terminals.
You’ll find large department stores, arcades, malls, gift and souvenir shops across Australia. Trading hours vary across the country but shops in tourist and city areas are generally open until 6pm, with the exception of late night shopping on either Thursdays or Fridays in different states. In Australia you are covered by Australia's consumer protection laws which require businesses to treat you fairly.
Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill. In up-market restaurants, it is usual to tip waiters up to ten per cent of the bill for good service. However, tipping is always your choice.
To protect people from the effects of second-hand smoke, smoking in all hospitality venues, including bars, restaurants, cafés and casinos is prohibited in Australia. If you smoke, please remember to smoke outside.