Americans living in or visiting Australia are encouraged to register at the nearest U.S. Consulate to obtain updated information on travel and security within the country.
Yarralumla, ACT 2600
Telephone: (02) 6214-5600
Outside of Office Hours, contact: (02) 4422-2201
Outside of Australia: (301) 985-8663
553 St. Kilda Road
Melbourne, VIC 3004
Telephone: (03) 9526 5900
U.S. Consulate in Perth
16 St. George’s Terrace
Perth, WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 6144-5100
Level 10, MLC Centre
19-29 Martin Place
Sydney, NSW 2000
The seasons are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere-when it's summer in the north, it's winter south of the equator (Australian winters are fairly mild, but a bit rainy). Our favorite months are October and April, though September-May is all right in most parts of the country. December and January are the hottest months, July and August the coldest (Melbourne and Sydney, in particular, can be rather cold and drizzly then). The Great Barrier Reef is best visited September-December, but it can also be seen May-August (it's a bit cooler then; cyclones can disrupt sightseeing plans January-April). Take a sweater, no matter when or where you're going.
To make international calls from Australia, first dial 0011 and then the country code (U.S. or Canada 1, U.K. 44, Ireland 353, New Zealand 64). Next dial the area code and number. For example, if you wanted to call the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., you would dial 0011-1-202-588-7800. For other country codes, call tel. 1222 or look in the back of the Australian White Pages.
Dial one of the following access codes to your country: United States: AT&T Direct (tel. 1800/881 011), Sprint (tel. 1800/881 877), MCI (tel. 1800/881 100), Worldcom (tel. 1800/881 212), or Verizon (tel. 1800/881 152); Canada: tel. 1800/881 150; United Kingdom: BT (tel. 1800/881 440, or 1800/881 441 for automated service only) or Mercury (tel. 1800/881 417); Ireland: tel. 1800/881 353; New Zealand: tel. 1800/881 640. If your country is not listed here, dial Telstra's Country Direct service (tel. 1800/801 800) to find out how to get connected to an operator in your country.
Dial the two-digit area code, followed by the number you are calling. Australia's area codes are New South Wales and the ACT (02); Victoria and Tasmania (03); Queensland (07); and South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory (08). Long-distance calls within Australia are usually cheaper at night and on weekends. You do not have to dial the area code if calling long-distance within the same state, for example from Brisbane to Cairns.
The electric current used in Australia is 240 volts AC, 50 hertz. Sockets take two or three flat, not rounded, prongs. North Americans and Europeans will need to buy a converter before they leave home (don't wait until you get to Australia, because Australian stores are only likely to stock converters for Aussie appliances to fit American and European outlets). Some large hotels have 110V outlets for electric shavers or dual voltage, and some will lend converters; but don't count on it in smaller, less expensive hotels, motels, or B&Bs. Power does not start automatically when you plug in an appliance; you need to flick the switch located beside the socket to the "on" position.
You should consider the benefits of travel insurance as part of your Australia travel planning. Most travelers look for travel tips that discuss the importance of travel insurance and travel insurance through Travel Guard can provide important coverage for your trip.
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*Non-insurance services provided by Travel Guard.