On top of my Advice from the Locals – Australia blog and my Tips for Traveling in Sydney blog, the information below is relevant for all of Australia. I thought that since it is information that I learned along the way, it could certainly help you in the future.
Tips for Shopping in Australia
Not all ATMs are usable for foreign cards, in fact some ATMs in Australia are card-less. We found WESPAC ATMS to work the best, look for this logo:
Swimwear is not cheaper in Australia. I found it surprising that swimwear and swim gear is actually not cheaper in Australia, but food from the grocery store was cheaper. (However, specialty foods are pretty relative to Canadian foods for example a loaf of Gluten Free Canyon Bakehouse in Canada is around $10, whereas the same quality of bread in Australia is around $7.) Check out Tips for eating in Australia below.
Taxes are included on the price tag. You will quickly learn that all taxes are included in the sale price, so you do not have to try to calculate that extra percentage in your head or have a surprise at the register, bonus!
Tips for eating and drinking in Australia
No need to Tip in Australia. It is not common for people to tip in Australia because the minimum wage is much higher. So you do not need to tip your waiters or waitresses, however, if you feel the strong urge to do so, no one is going to turn you down!
Drinks out at the bar or club can be Expensive! There are many cute cafes and bars around town, we found the drinks to be quite expensive ($12-18), especially around tourist areas, of course. Local spots can have slightly cheaper or more international average rates ($5-12).
Kangaroo has become a very common meat to eat. It contains much more nutrients than beef or chicken. Its quite a lean meat and can be put on anything from salads to pasta or on its own as a steak!
Vegemite, a popular Australian spread generally enjoyed on toast. It is made from Yeast, Salt, Malt Extract, Vegetable Extract, Niacin, Thiamine; it has quite a strong smell similar to a really salty soy sauce. (I could not try it do to my allergies, but my friends thought it was not bad). It is best served on a hot piece of toast with a bit of butter. It is not recommended to try for the first time by the spoonful!
Wine is much cheaper in Australia, especially when you buy a bottle from a liquor store, but the imported hard alcohols are taxed very highly and quite a bit more expensive. If you are celebrating, try to remember to pick up a bottle from duty free! If you are big into wine, check out Hunter Valley Wine Tours or Orange Wine Tours.
Packaging is specific. All packages produced in or made specifically for Australian consumers highlight the allergens in the ingredients. This makes it super easy to see what may affect you!
City and state laws differ (Part 1); different states and even different cities have different rules for drinking. We noticed in Cairns that certain alcohol can only be purchased after certain times of the day even though the stores are open and selling other alocohlic products.
Sunscreen. SUnsCEen, SUNSCREEN! It is so easy to burn even on days which don’t seem as hot or on days when you spend most of the time in the water. The sun in stronger in Australia, but luckily it is pretty easy to find sunscreen at the nearest convenience or groceries store.
City and state laws differ (Part 2); when we went to the Australian Reptile Park in Woy Woy we quickly learned that you are not allowed to hold a Koala in NSW, but in Queensland you can.
Check Out Tips for Traveling in Sydney
Follow all Advice From the Locals!