Currency, Banks and Foreign Exchange
Australia has a decimal system with 100 cents to the dollar (AUD$). Coins have values of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and AUD$1 and AUD$2; notes have values of AUD$5, AUD$10, AUD$20, AUD$50 and AUD$100.
In general, Australia’s banking hours are Monday to Thursday 9.30am-4pm and Friday 9.30am-5pm. All the major banks, such as Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth and National, have offices in most capital cities. Many of the smaller towns in regional Australia offer banking facilities from the local post office or newsagent. In Australia, all main banks are equipped to exchange foreign currency. You can also exchange foreign currency any day or night at the airport, or during normal business hours at most Thomas Cook or American Express outlets.
Bank cash-dispenser machines, known here as Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are widespread, as is the use of Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS). Credit cards are widely accepted.
Tipping is not as widespread in Australia, as it is in USA or Europe. It is usual to pay a ten per cent (10%) gratuity on top of the price of a restaurant meal, if the diner feels the service warrants the additional payment.
In taxis, it is accepted to ’round-up’ the fare to the nearest dollar, but not obligatory. Bar staff, hospitality workers, etc are usually only tipped to reward outstanding service and at the discretion of the tipper.