Market visits are vital for understanding the market, gaining and retaining customers or developing relationships. This is never more important than the Australian market.
When visiting Australia, organising meetings and getting the attention of executives, it is important to understand when timing is or is not optimal. Australians are known to work hard but also value their leisure time. As such, there are a number of times during the year when business activity tends to slowdown. During these periods, it is often more difficult to get the attention of executives and decision makers.
Public Holidays - It is useful to be aware of public holidays and avoid trying to organise a meeting on a national holiday. There are around 10-11 public holidays per annum in Australia. National public holidays are New Year's Day, Australia Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. All other public holidays differ from state to state. Public holidays
December / January - Business activity tends to slow down towards mid- to late-December and does not pick up again until after Australia Day (26 January). Many companies and non-essential Government departments may also close down between Christmas and the first week of January.
School holidays - The standard holiday leave entitlement for employees in Australia is four or five weeks per year. Holidays are often taken to coincide with school holiday periods. There are differences in holiday dates between the Public (Government) schools and the Private (Independent) schools. Private schools tend to have longer school holidays. School term dates
End of financial year - Most government and businesses' financial years end on 30 June. Many of these organisations may be focused on completing activities prior to this date. As such, depending on the organisation, getting the attention of executives in the lead up to financial year end may be more challenging.
Visas. All travellers must obtain a visa or travel authority before travelling to Australia. Business Migration & Visas for Australia
Customs & Quarantine. To help protect Australia's agricultural industries, environment and human health status, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources officers screen incoming air and sea passengers, baggage, mail and cargo using x-ray machines, detector dogs, physical inspection, questioning and profiling. Prior to arrival, a Travel History Card and an Incoming Passenger Card must be completed truthfully. You must declare for inspection all food, plant material and animal products on arrival in Australia to ensure they are free of pests and diseases. Travelling to Australia Advice and declaration.
Travelling with Medicines. Medicines brought into and taken out of Australia may be subject to import and export controls respectively. Check what rules and requirements apply when you’re travelling with medicines or medical devices. Travelling with Medicines - Therapeutic Goods Administration
Tourist Refund Scheme. The Tourist Refund Scheme enables you to claim a refund, subject to certain conditions, of the goods and services tax (GST) and wine equalisation tax (WET) that you pay on goods you buy in Australia that are subsequently taken out of the country.
Currency. Australian Dollar. The dollar is divided into 100 cents of which there are coins in circulation for 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c as well as the $1 and $2 coins. Common notes in circulation include $5, $10, $50 and $100 denominations.
Australia has three separate time zones:
- Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): East Coast - Queensland (Brisbane), New South Wales (Sydney), Victoria (Melbourne), Tasmania (Hobart), Australian Capital Territory. AEST is equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 10 hours (UTC +10).
- Australian Central Standard Time (ACST): Central Australia - South Australia (Adelaide), Northern Territory (Darwin), Broken Hill. ACST is equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 9.5 hours (UTC +9.5).
- Australian Western Standard Time (AWST): Western Australia (Perth). AWST is equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 8 hours (UTC +8).
Daylight Saving Time (DST). In summer months from October to April, clocks are advanced one hour in some states and the ACT. Daylight saving occurs in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory. Daylight saving does not occur in Queensland, the Northern Territory or Western Australia.
Telephone Codes. The country code is 61. There are four state/regional STD area codes: 02 for NSW & ACT, 03 for Victoria and Tasmania, 07 for Queensland, 08 for South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia. 04 is reserved nationally as the prefix for ALL mobile phones regardless of the customer's base location.
As with many countries, when calling from outside Australia, leave out the leading '0' from the STD area code or from the "O4xx" of the mobile telephone number.
Weather. Given its large size and location, Australia's climate and weather conditions vary. Winters are relatively mild with narrow temperature variations between seasons. Despite being a relatively dry continent, heavy rainfall can be experienced. Bureau of Meteorology Weather conditions & forecasts
- Summer: December to February
- Autumn: March to May
- Winter: June to August
- Spring: September to November
Events & Conferences.
- Business Events
- Events - Tourism Australia
- Australian Sport Calendar - The Australasian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Business News Sites
Tipping. Customers may typically tip up to ten per cent of the bill for good service, however it's not as expected as in some other countries.
Electrical current. 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz. A three-pin power outlet adaptor will be required.
Emergency Calls. Australia’s primary emergency number for Police/Fire/Ambulance is Triple Zero: 000 from any fixed or mobile phone and certain VoIP services. 112 is also available from all GSM or 3G/4G mobile phones and is automatically transferred to the country's emergency number. Whilst some mobile phones sold in Australia might redirect other national emergency numbers, such as 9-1-1 and 9-9-9, to Triple Zero (000) based on their configuration, this should not be relied upon and it does not work on the fixed line network.