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Frequently Asked Questions - Australia & New Zealand

Posted by Kate on April 11, 2019

 

What is common practice for tipping?

Tipping is not expected in either New Zealand or Australia.  At a restaurant you could round the bill up if the service was good, or leave more if you feel it has been exceptional (10% is considered a great tip).  Tipping is not expected for private tours, however should you feel that the service has been particularly special and they have gone out of their way to help, then a tip of $50-$100 would be appreciated. For bellhops/hotel porters and maids, it is not as common to tip them as it is in the US (due to higher hourly rate). But if you have great service, it is always appreciated.

 

What are the limitations on luggage?

For most Australian and New Zealand domestic flights, you have a limit of 1 carry on (up to 7kgs/15lbs) and 1 checked bag (up to 23kgs/50lbs) per person. You can purchase more luggage online using your flight confirmation before you travel or pay directly at the airport.

 

What is the temperature like?

December to March is considered summer in New Zealand and Australia. It can be a great time to travel in some areas but can also be extremely high temperatures in places like Far North Queensland, Australia.  The winter months are June to August and have a great mild temperature in some areas but will be a snowy real ‘winter’ in some areas. See blog post on seasons.

 

What is the best way to withdraw money/use credit cards?

ATM’s are common place everywhere and probably the best way to access cash. You can use credit cards for almost everything, even coffee these days! Although it’s always good to keep some cash for more remote locations and certain markets.

 

What do I need to bring to convert my phone and camera plugs to fit the power sockets?

Yes, for Australia and New Zealand you will need the same converter for appliances/chargers. You can easily purchase them at the airport if you need to.  The adapter required is Type 1 Australia plug, they have two flat metal pins, forming an inverted ‘V’ shape, and occasionally a third pin in the centre. The electrical current is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz.

 

What should I pack?

Our recommendation is to always pack layers, preferably natural fibres (cotton and wool) so that you can remove or add layers as the day progresses.  We also recommend that you bring a jacket to protect from the wind and showers. Please bring a good sunscreen and a hat – the sun in this part of the world is strong and you can burn even on overcast or not particularly hot days. 

 

Can I bring my mobile phone?

You have the option of bringing your current mobile phone with SIM card or purchasing a SIM card when arriving. For a full list of options and details, see our blog post.  

 

Are all meals included in the tours?

Yes, most meals are included in the full day tours. On some half day tours, morning or afternoon tea is provided. Full details will be on the vouchers and Inclusions list when you receive your document package.

 

Can I bring medication into the country?

Yes, you can bring prescription and non-prescription medicines (including special dietary products) and medical items into Australia and New Zealand. Please carry with you evidence (Doctor’s note) about your medicines and medical items. Usually you are not allowed anything over a three months supply.

 

What Visa’s do we need?

Australia: All international visitors (except NZ passport holders) require a visa and a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended departure date.

New Zealand: All international visitors (except Australian Passport holders) require an NZeTA and a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended departure date.  Visitors from some countries may also need to apply for a New Zealand Visitor Visa.

See more details on Visa Blog Post

 

What is the dress code in restaurants?

Generally the dress code in both New Zealand and Australia is very relaxed, casual and comfortable, although sometimes people do like to ‘dress’ a little more for dinner.  The dress code for restaurants is generally smart casual. Jackets are not usually required for gentlemen but if you feel more comfortable wearing a sports jacket, then you would not be out of place. In New Zealand, some of the lodges require men to wear jackets, we will mention this on your itinerary.

 

What do I dial in case of emergency?

    000 in Australia

    111 in New Zealand

 

Do we need to be worried about bugs/insects?

In some areas of the rainforest or nature reserves, they will be more prevalent. It is best to carry bug spray or lotion with you when going on tours or exploring. You can purchase at the local pharmacy/chemist when you arrive. When visiting Uluru, it is good to bring or purchase a fly net for your face.  

 

How does driving rental/hire cars work?

You are able to drive in Australia or New Zealand if you have a valid full driver's license from your home country. You must be 21 years or over, and have held a current licence for at least 3 years. Drivers over 75 will be asked to provide a Doctor's Certificate certifying they are fit to drive. Drivers must present a licence issued in English, or a foreign Driver’s Licence in English (or an accompanying certified English translation, provided by a Consulate or other authorised body), or a current International Driving Permit. Please also remember to drive on the left!

 

Do hire cars come with GPS?

Yes, most hire car rentals you book through us will come with a GPS Navigation System. We also provide printed driving directions in your documents in case the GPS is out of range.  

 

Are the beaches safe for swimming?

When swimming at the beaches be aware of strong currents called rips. Always swim between the red and yellow flags, which indicate the section patrolled by Surf Lifesavers. Never swim alone, at night, or under the influence of alcohol.

 

Is there sales tax on goods and services?

Sales tax in Australia and New Zealand is INCLUDED in marked prices (10% Australia and 15% New Zealand). Therefore if sunscreen says $7.00, it will be exactly $7.00 at checkout.

 

What is a flat white?

Australia and New Zealand take coffee very seriously! The flat white is similar to a latte but with a little bit less froth. The main options in cafes are Flat White, Latte, Cappuccino, Long Black and Short Black. For more details on food and drink lingo, see our full blog post