The Australian dollar (AUD) is the official currency of Australia. In this article, you will find more information about this currency and the countryʼs various payment methods. This will help you to prepare for your trip and ensure that there are no surprises. Another step you should take before departure is to apply for a visa. The Australia visa can easily be paid for in pounds.
The Australian dollar (AUD)
The Australian dollar is the official currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, which includes Christmas Island, the Coconut Islands, the Heard and McDonald Islands, the Norfolk Islands and the Australian Antarctic Territory, as well as the independent Pacific States of Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu. There are currently coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 Australian dollars in circulation. Notes of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Australian dollars are also in use. The exchange rate against our currency is fairly stable. In general, £1 is worth around 1.85 AUD.
The eVisitor visa Australia can be paid in pounds
For a holiday, business trip or a transit of longer than 8 hours in Australia, travellers from the European Union need a visa such as the eVisitor visa. The eVisitor visa is an electronic travel authorisation for Australia which must be applied for before departure. On this website, you can apply for an eVisitor visa for £14.95 per person. This fee can be easily paid in pounds and without transaction fees. After filling in the application form and paying the fee, the application is processed within 5 days and the visa is mailed to you. The eVisitor visa for Australia is valid for one year from the moment it is granted. During this period of validity, you may make an unlimited number of trips to Australia (of up to 3 months each).
Exchanging pounds for Australian dollars
If you need to exchange money, it is advisable to exchange an amount large enough to cover daily expenses. However, make sure you do not have too much money in your pocket. Money can be exchanged at the airport or at banks or licensed exchange offices in major cities and towns all over Australia. You can also exchange pounds for Australian dollars in the UK, but you will usually have to pay commission on this. Check the exchange rate in advance to compare where you can best exchange money.
Withdrawing money in Australia
To withdraw money in Australia, you must first make sure that your payment card is not blocked for use outside Europe for security reasons. Once this option is activated, and you are aware of any commissions, you can decide whether it is more convenient to pay with your payment card or withdraw cash in Australia. The major Australian banks have branches and cash machines in all cities. They accept cards from other banks and are connected to international networks. It is also possible to withdraw cash at supermarkets, petrol stations, cafés, restaurants and shops.
For long stays, especially if you are travelling to Australia with a Working Holiday visa, you should consider opening an account at a local bank. This is an easy procedure for foreign visitors. To open an account and receive a bank card, you will need a valid passport and, in some cases, a postal address.
Payment methods and tipping in Australia
Australia is an expensive country compared to other destinations, and accommodation is not cheap. The budget for a night in a hostel is around 30 AUD per person, while a night in a luxury hotel starts at 200 AUD per night per person. A simple meal costs around 15 AUD, and a menu in a restaurant costs around 40 AUD per person.
Apart from cash to pay for transport and small daily purchases, it is strongly recommended having several credit or debit cards with you. Most credit cards, such as Visa or MasterCard, are accepted in all eating and drinking establishments and shops in Australia.
Tipping in restaurants, cafés, taxis or hotels is not compulsory. However, if you are satisfied with the service, it is recommended to tip 10% of the total amount in restaurants and taxis, about 2 AUD for bell boys and about 5 AUD per person for tour guides.