Frequently Asked Questions
Cancellations and Charges
Driving in Australia
Making a Reservation
Money and Credit Cards
Meals and Dining
Preparing for your Tour
Shopping in Australia
Smoking in Australia
Airport arrival information
Cancellations and Charges
I need to change the date of my tour. Is this possible?
Changing the date of your booked tour is possible. Bear in mind that changing to a new date may mean that some arrangements might not be available or that the costs for new dates might change. We will of course give the best advice on this at the time to help with your decision.
What happens if I have to cancel my booked tour?
You can cancel your tour at any time for any reason however please be aware that cancellations fees and costs may apply. Our full terms and conditions can be viewed here. We strongly advise that you purchase travel insurance that will cover you for cancellation and interruption costs. Consult a local professional travel insurance expert and provide for this advice.
What is the luggage allowance on domestic flights?
Most airlines in Australia have a luggage allowance of 23kg depending on the destination. Additional bags can be carried for an additional fee.
Driving in Australia
What are winter driving conditions like?
Driving in winter in Australia is for the most part no different to any other time. Some regions and roads can experience snow falls and conditions on these roads are clearly signposted and when necessary the roads are closed. Main highways usually re-open within a few hours of a heavy snowfall and/or are cleared by road crews. Adjust your driving to suit the conditions. Take a little more care where there is potential for ice and avoid night time or early morning driving if possible. Ice and road conditions are generally signposted. Driving in winter can be very enjoyable. Quiet roads and clear days make for some of the best scenery.
What is the speed limit in Australia?
Open road speed limits in Australia are between 80 - 100 kph (kilometres per hour) or 110kph and it will be clearly signposted where this limit applies. In urban areas the limit is usually between 40 - 50kph and again this will be clearly signposted. Speed cameras are common around Australia and can be either mounted at specific locations or within mobile camera units and within police cars. If you speed there is a pretty good chance you will be caught.
What are road conditions like in Australia?
Australian roads are generally very well maintained and well signposted. Finding your way outside of large cities is very straightforward and our directions and maps assist you everywhere. Outside of the cities there are motorways or large carriageways linking key locations. The speed limit on most motorways in Australia is 100kph or 110kph and is clearly signposted.
Which side of the road do you drive on in Australia?
In Australia we drive on the left hand side of the road.
What does fuel cost in Australia and how much should I budget for my tour?
Petrol in Australia costs around AU$1.10-$1.40 per litre. On average you should budget AU$30 per day e.g. a 10 day self drive tour will cost around AU$300 in fuel. This does of course vary immensely depending on how much you choose to drive but this will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
What is the minimum age to drive a rental vehicle in Australia?
The usual minimum age to rent or drive a rental vehicle in Australia is 25 however we have a special arrangement with Europcar which allows drivers from 21 years old. They must hold a current valid full licence (not provisional).
What sort of driving licence do I need to drive in Australia?
To drive in Australia you just need to have a current and valid driving licence that is printed in English. Most driving licences now have dual information. Valid means that you are entitled to drive the car type you are renting (eg: if you just have a motorbike licence issued in the UK then you cannot drive a car in Australia). You do not need to get an international driving licence if your licence is current, valid and printed in English.
Making a Reservation
How much deposit do I need to pay?
At the time of booking we ask for a deposit payment of 10% of the quoted tour cost or AU$200 per person, whichever is higher. Occasionally some items such as domestic airfares may also need paying for at the time of the deposit. These are items which are usually paid for immediately by us and so we collect this in advance too. The deposit amount will be calculated automatically and displayed on the payment page.
What information do I need to provide?
The booking form asks you for the information we need such as names, address, phone number etc. We also ask for your flight details if you have those arranged already (if not you can still book and supply those later). There is a section on the form which allows you to add special requests such as dietary requirements or preferred bedding configurations or anything else you want to let us know. A deposit payment is required via our secure credit card system. This is administered by eWay and our bank (Commonwealth Bank of Australia) and is extremely safe and secure. Your credit card details are not stored by us.
How do I make a reservation?
If you have found a tour you like you can then simply click the "Book Now" tab on the tour menu. Follow the instructions and complete the details requested. The booking process requires a deposit to be made through our secure credit card system (Visa and MasterCard only). Alternatively you can contact us and tell us exactly what you want and we will take care of the rest.
What exchange rate do I apply to convert to my home currency?
Because you are purchasing goods or services in Australia then the price quoted is in Australian dollars. The exchange rate you pay for your tour will be the rate applied by your bank or credit card provider.
Are there additional charges for using a credit card to pay?
No there are no additional charges for using a credit card. Our tours are priced in Australian Dollars and so if you choose to pay in this currency your credit card supplier may charge you a currency conversion fee, much like if you went to a bank and purchased foreign currency. We do however also give you the option to pay in a selection of other currencies. For example if your credit card is issued in the US and you paid in US$ then there should be no currency conversion fee applied by your credit card company. The currency conversion rates we use are supplied by our bank here in Australia.
Can I use more than one credit card to pay for my tour?
Yes, you can use as many different credit cards as you wish. The system processes each card individually and allocates to your account so splitting costs between fellow travellers is easy.
Can I make part or split payments on the tour balance?
Yes, you can decide how much you wish to pay on the balance of the tour or if you are travelling in a party then making the appropriate payment for your share is easy. When you get to the payments page you can simply edit the amount in the white box before clicking through to the payment processing page.
I don't have a credit card. How can I pay?
If you don't have a credit card or prefer not to use one then contact us and we can supply all the information you need to make a direct credit to our bank account.
Can I pay in another currency?
Unfortunately not. The charge will be processed in AU$ then your credit card company or bank may charge you a currency conversion fee.
Is the payment system safe and secure?
Yes, the payment system we use is one of the safest and most secure there is. The system we use is administered entirely by eWay, and our bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. When you click through to the payment system the transaction is completed within a secure (https) page and the information entered is only seen by eWay and our bank.
When do I need to pay the balance for my tour?
The balance for your tour is due 45 days prior to the start date or if you have made a reservation inside 45 days it is due upon you receiving a confirmation document for your tour. The balance due date is displayed on the costs page of your itinerary.
How do I make a payment?
We accept Visa and MasterCard and this is processed via our secure credit card processing system. This system is administered entirely by our bank (Commonwealth Bank of Australia) and eWay . When completing the booking form the final stage is the payment process. From there just follow the instructions. When a successful transaction is made the screen will display a reference number and a receipt will be emailed to you. We are notified automatically of all payments.
Money and Credit Cards
What is the best way to withdraw funds whilst travelling in Australia?
You can convert your own currency to Australian Dollars at all international airports within Australia. Outside of the international airports you have several options to access your money whilst you are travelling in Australia:
- - ATM (Automatic Teller Machine). You will need a 4 or 6 digit pin number for your card to access your cash via an ATM. It's a good idea to contact your bank to confirm your card will work in Australia and to check if they have an arrangement with an Australian bank to assist in reducing your withdrawal fees. For example, Bank of America has an arrangement with Westpac in Australia, so using a Westpac ATM will help keep your fees down. There may be other arrangements in place with other Australian banks if you don’t bank with Bank of America.
- - Visit a currency exchange shop
- - Visit a bank teller
Where should I convert money to Australian dollars?
Converting money to Australian dollars is best done at any of our large bank chains. There is one in almost every town but beware that most only open Monday - Friday. The rate offered by banks does not vary at different locations so changing money at the airport banks is the same rate as changing at a downtown city location.
What currency can I use in Australia?
Only Australian dollars are legal tender in Australia. Some stores and services may choose to also provide pricing in other currencies but be aware that the final transaction must be in Australian dollars. Check carefully conversion rates offered.
Meals and Dining
What can I expect to pay for a meal in Australia?
A local restaurant meal can cost between AU$20 and AU$35 for a main course on average. A good pub meal will be around AU$18-20 for a main course. Drinks cost between AU$7 and AU$15 for a glass of wine (depending on the wine quality) and a beer between AU$5 and AU$12 again depending on the variety. A bottle of wine will cost anything from AU$30 upwards in a restaurant or cafe.
What sort of food is available in Australia?
Almost every kind of cuisine to suit all tastes can be found somewhere in Australia. The larger cities have the biggest range as you might expect and you can find everything from Vietnamese to French to good old fish n chips. If you have specific requirements such as Vegan or gluten free many restaurants can easily cater for you - just ask. Of course Australia also has a reputation for fantastic cuisine of its own so make sure you try this. One of the best ways to get a restaurant recommendation is to ask a local or your accommodation host. They will know what and where are the current top spots.
I received an error code 5 when making a payment?
Error code 5 is displayed when your credit card company or bank has declined the transaction. This is usually because your credit card company has imposed security parameters on your transactions to help prevent fraud. For example it may consider spending a large amount of money over the Internet with a foreign company unusual and block this. This is a great security measure and can be easily rectified. All you need to do is call your credit card issuer and advise that you wish to make a purchase using your card for a specific amount and they will adjust the security settings. Its also a good idea to let them know if you intend using the card while you are in Australia in case it gets blocked while you are here.
Preparing for your Tour
Should I purchase some cash before arriving into Australia?
It is a good idea to purchase a small amount of Australian dollars before you arrive so that you don't need to spend time in the airport or at a bank on your first day. You don't need lots though, just enough to but small items such as a cup of coffee or lunch. Exchanging cash is very easy throughout Australia. Go to any of the large banks for the best rates and these will be consistent throughout the country. Australia has one of the highest credit card usages in the world and so paying for virtually anything in this method is possible and probably the best and safest way when travelling.
What is the electricity voltage in Australia?
Australia operates on 240 volts (50hz). Appliances that operate on other voltages will need a transformer. Check with the manufacturer. You will also need an adaptor to suit Australian sockets for other appliances. See a picture of an AU socket below.
What sort of clothing should I pack for my tour?
Australia is an informal country and few places insist on strict dress codes. Comfort and practicality is the key. With this in mind, most restaurants and pubs have dress codes that include covered shoes and shoulders (for men). Pack clothes that travel well and can be added and removed in layers to adjust to the conditions. A rain/wind proof jacket may be required depending on where you are travelling to. Our weather conditions change regularly even in the height of summer. Most of the walking tracks and paths you will be on are well marked and well maintained so comfortable walking shoes or sneakers are more than adequate. Don't forget to pack a hat to protect you from our sun - the UV is particularly strong in Australia.
Is breakdown cover included with my rental car?
Yes all the rental cars we arrange for you include full roadside assistance (breakdown cover). So if the car develops a problem help is just a phone call away. If the car cannot be repaired quickly a replacement vehicle is delivered as soon as possible.
Are the rental cars manual or automatic gearboxes?
Most of the rental car fleets are automatic gearboxes. A manual car category is available with some fleets but these tend to be the smaller cars only.
What sort of fuel do the rental cars use?
Most of the rental car fleets operate petrol vehicles for small cars and saloons with the larger SUV/4WD's, people movers and vans running on diesel.
What is included with my rental car?
Our tours include the rental costs for your car for the duration of your tour and airport fees where applicable, additional driver fees (any number of additional drivers at no extra charge), GST (taxes) and insurance. Our costs automatically include full collision and damage waiver fees which limit your liability to a maximum of AU$355. We can also arrange other levels of insurance cover if required. Note that some items such as windscreens and tyres are not covered and you may be offered additional insurance to cover those on collection of the vehicle.
Shopping in Australia
If I purchase something in Australia does the guarantee or warranty still apply?
Yes, all purchases in Australia are covered by our Consumer Protection Laws. So for example if you were to purchase a camera while here in Australia and it proved faulty once you returned home the supplier here is still responsible to either repair or replace if inside the terms of the warranty or guarantee. Of course you may have expenses in returning the item here.
Can I claim tax back on purchases within Australia?
The short answer is no - goods and services purchased while you are here in Australia are liable for all local taxes (all prices in Australia must by law include taxes). Only stores which have a duty free agreement will be able to sell you items without duty applied and then these are likely to be sent to airports or directly to your home overseas to collect. Usually this is only possible on larger or higher value items.
Smoking in Australia
What is the smoking policy in Australia?
Smoking is prohibited by law in all cafes, bars, restaurants and other public buildings. Smoking is also not permitted inside rental cars. Very few accommodations allow smoking inside their rooms (some older hotels may have dedicated floors but these are also being phased out). Some properties are also entirely smoke free in their entire grounds. If this presents a problem to you then please let us know.
Do I need to tip in Australia?
Tipping is not customary or expected in Australia however if you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always greatly appreciated.
Does the tour cost include insurance?
No the cost of the tour does not include any kind of insurance. As the supplier of the services we cannot also provide you with insurance for those services. We recommend you purchase your travel insurance locally.
Do I need travel insurance for my tour?
We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. There are many factors that could cause you to cancel or amend your trip and so ensuring you have cover for extra costs or cancellation fees imposed should this happen is wise. For example if you purchase a travel insurance policy which has cancellation and interruption cover and your flight to Australia is cancelled or delayed then any costs incurred in rearranging your tour or fees imposed for late cancellations should be covered. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time you book your tour and flight. This will make dealing with your claim should this be necessary that much easier when you return home.
Are there any other costs I need to plan for on my tour?
Our self drive tours include all local government taxes and all costs for included accommodations, car rental, activities and other items that are clearly identified in your tour. Items that are not included are:
- Meals (unless indicated as included)
Are there any sales taxes I need to add when I buy anything?
Sales tax is included in all quoted costs on this website and in all retail shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels. The price indicated should be the price you pay. On public holidays some cafes and restaurants impose a surcharge to cover additional wages that are paid to staff and employees by legislation.
Do I need a visa to visit Australia?
Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a visa to enter Australia. New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas, at your nearest Australian Consulate. You can also apply for certain types of visas online. There are important things you should know before applying for, or being granted, an Australian visa. These include applying for the right type of visa, application requirements, your obligations while in Australia and the importance of complying with visa conditions. For more detailed information visit the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website. NOTE - travelling via Australia - nearly all visitors to Australia require a visa to enter, even if you only transit. It is the responsibility of the travel agent or airline to advise you of this requirement but please make sure you ask about this if you know you are travelling via Australia.
What sort of weather can I expect on my tour?
You can see average maximum temperatures and rainfall on our weather page. Note these are averages though and if anything is certain the weather is not. Tours are rarely affected by weather and can be enjoyed in any conditions.