Check out these useful travel tips to ensure your visit to Perth is safe and thoroughly enjoyable.
While travelling around Perth and Western Australia, keep a note of the following emergency contact numbers. For a comprehensive list of hospitals in Western Australia visit the Department of Health website.
Emergency contact numbers
- Fire / Police / Ambulance: 000
- Fire / Police / Ambulance from GSM mobile phone: 112
- Automobile Association of Australia: 13 11 11
Non-emergency contact numbers
- Police: 131 444
- Ambulance: +61 8 9334 1234 (non-emergency transport)
- Fire Services of WA: 1800 199 084 (general enquiries)
- State Emergency Services: 1300 130 039
- Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs: 13 18 81
Health and safety
Unfortunately, some travellers have their holiday cut short due to illness or accident. If you take prescribed medication make sure you will have enough for the duration of your visit and remember to also have a script renewal from your doctor. When travelling in remote areas always carry adequate supplies of water and a comprehensive first aid kit. Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as encephalitis and Ross River fever so use an appropriate insect repellent and cover arms and legs with loose clothing particularly at dawn and dusk.
Personal safety tips
While Australia is considered to be a very safe country, obviously it is still wise to avoid dangerous situations. Information relevant to the risks that may be present in the area you are visiting is usually available from the local visitor information centre. Here are some safety tips to help you enjoy your visit:
- Avoid dark public spaces when alone
- Avoid hitchhiking and never hitchhike alone
- Always let someone know where you are and where you are going
- Take care when using automated teller machines (ATM's) and secure your cash quickly
- Keep valuables out of sight and secure while travelling
- Always use protection when having sexual intercourse
- Drink alcohol in moderation
Fire and cyclone safety
Western Australia's hot and dry conditions create a risk of bushfires. The cyclone season extends from 1 November to 30 April. When a cyclone approaches, you should listen to your radio for cyclone information. Safety information is available from Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (FESA).
Travellers should always wear a wide brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt, sunglasses and at least an SPF 15+ sunscreen when outdoors and drink plenty of water. It is recommended that you drink at least two litres each day. Be sure to wear sun protective clothing, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses and seek shade to protect your skin from skin cancer and other sun damage. Take extra care when outdoors between 10.00am and 3.00pm when UV radiation is most intense.
Safety at the Beach
- Always swim or surf at a beach patrolled by lifesavers
- Swim between the red and yellow flags, they mark the safest areas to swim
- Always swim under supervision, or with a friend
- Read and obey the signs
- If you are unsure of conditions, ask a lifesaver
- Don't swim directly after a meal
- Don't swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Don't run and dive in the water
- Conditions change regularly; check before you enter the water
- If you get into trouble in the water, don't panic - signal for help, float and wait for assistance
- Float with a rip current or undertow, do not swim against it
School and public holidays
WA school and public holidays mostly commemorate landmark Australian historic events, or religious celebrations, with an average of ten public holidays per year. Should a State holiday fall on a weekend, the extra day's holiday is taken the first working day following.
Public Holidays in Western Australia 2019 - 2021
|New Year's Day||Tuesday 1 January||Wednesday 1 January||Friday 1 January|
|Australia Day||Monday 28 January*||Monday 27 January*||Tuesday 26 January|
|Labour Day||Monday 4 March||Monday 2 March||Monday 1 March|
|Good Friday||Friday 19 April||Friday 10 April||Friday 2 April|
|Easter Monday||Monday 22 April||Monday 13 April||Monday 5 April|
|ANZAC Day||Thursday 25 April||Monday 27 April*||Monday 26 April*|
|WA Day||Monday 3 June||Monday 1 June||Monday 7 June|
|Queen's Birthday||Monday 30 September||Monday 28 September||Monday 27 September|
|Christmas Day||Wednesday 25 December||Friday 25 December||Monday 27 December|
|Boxing Day||Thursday 26 December||Monday 28 December*||Tuesday 28 December|
*When Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall on a Saturday or Sunday the following Monday or Tuesday is a Public Holiday.
School Holidays in Western Australia 2019 and 2020
|Autumn School Holidays||13 April - 28 April||10 April - 27 April|
|Winter School Holidays||6 July - 21 July||4 July - 19 July|
|Spring School Holidays||28 September - 13 October||26 September - 11 October|
|Summer School Holidays||20 December - 2 February||18 December - 31 January|
National Park passes
National park passes are required for entry to the national parks and marine parks of Western Australia. A range of passes are available to suit your holiday requirements.
This pass covers entry into one or more parks on any one day. Passes are available from rangers within the parks. In some parks, a system of self-registration applies. Fees: $10 per car (up to eight legally seated people), $5 per motorcycle, $4 per passenger on commercial tour vehicles and buses.
Holiday Park Pass
If you are on holiday and want to visit a number of national parks, this pass entitles you to as many visits to as many parks as you wish for any four-week period. Fees: $35 per vehicle (up to eight people)
Annual All Parks Pass
This pass entitles you to visit any park throughout Western Australia as many times as you wish for a period of 12 months. Fees: $75 per vehicle (up to 8 people)
Travelling with pets
Please note that dogs and cats cannot be taken into any of Western Australia's national parks, nature reserves and marine parks. Some caravan parks do not accept pets either. Be sure to contact caravan parks in advance to find pet-friendly accommodation. For further information regarding national park passes, call The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) on +61 8 9334 0333 or visit the Explore Parks WA website.
While Australia is a friendly and welcoming nation, visitors from some countries are required to secure visas, on or before arrival, to ensure smooth entry into the country. These visas are managed and monitored by Customs and Immigration officers' at all international entry ports. Customs officers are easily identifiable and can assist with a range of issues, including customs clearance of goods and luggage, quarantine and travel health concerns. For further information on how Customs can assist you, visit Department of Immigration.
Duty free, tax concessions and customs clearance
Most international travellers appreciate the opportunity for duty-free shopping. And visitors to Western Australian will enjoy a range of duty-free shopping benefits for goods including perfumes, cosmetics, alcohol, cigarettes, consumer goods and many other items. Age restrictions and limits do apply, so check before you finalise purchases. If you’re an overseas guest, pick up a brochure on the Tourist Refund Scheme – you could qualify for even more savings on your shopping through tax refunds.
Quarantine – protecting our state
Western Australia's remoteness has provided the State with a natural barrier against many pests and diseases. To help keep Western Australia disease-free there are strict quarantine laws regarding importing and transporting plants and food stuffs.
While they may seem harmless, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables, plants, flowers, honey, animals and introduced birds pose real threats to the Western Australian environment. Even used fruit and vegetable containers should be presented and scanned by Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services (AQIS) to ensure they are clean, and present no risk. The best rule to follow is, 'if in doubt, declare it'. State-based AQIS officers are friendly, welcoming and professionally trained and generally return more than 90 per cent of declared items to visitors. They want you to have a great holiday in Western Australia.Be warned, heavy penalties apply to those people not declaring items identified as a risk.
Currency and tipping
Australia has a decimal currency system. Notes are a high quality polymer-based synthetic and come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.Coin denominations are 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, as well as $1 and $2. Prices under 5 cents are rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cent - that is, 3 and 4 cent totals are rounded up to nearest 5 cent, while 1 and 2 cent totals are rounded down to nearest 5 cent denomination.
Banks are open from 9.30am to 4.00pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5.00pm on Fridays. Some suburban banks are open on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. Automatic Teller Machines are plentiful and readily available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Banks provide a full range of financial services including currency exchange, all at nominal rates. Electronic fund transfer machines (EFTPOS) are commonly used at most retail outlets, as well as by taxis, restaurants and hotels, and can be used to access many types of bank accounts and credit cards.
Tipping and currency conversion.
Tipping is generally not expected within Australia, however it is acceptable to leave a small amount should you feel you have received exceptional service. Find out how much your currency is worth at today's exchange rate.
There are three time zones in Australia:
Daylight Savings Time
Australian States except Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland have daylight saving. Also known as Summer time, Daylight Saving Time occurs when the time on local clocks is advanced forward by one hour at the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, and returned back by one hour at the end, during the summer months of December, January and February. The exact dates can be obtained from the relevant Australian State governments.
- Western Standard Time (AWST - GMT + 8:00) in Western Australia
- Central Standard Time (ACST - GMT + 9:30) in South Australia and Northern Territory; and
- Eastern Standard Time (AEST - GMT +10:00) which operates in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland.
Most businesses operate Monday through Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm. All shops are regarded as general retail shops unless they fall under any one of the other categories including: small retail shops, special retail shops, filling - service stations or motor vehicle shops. Extended shopping hours apply for the Christmas period. Find out more.
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