English is the primary spoken language on the Gold Coast. Translation services and multi-lingual tour guides are readily available and Telstra’s Foreign Language Service offers phone assistance in a variety of languages. Telstra’s translation services can be accessed on the following telephone numbers:
||1800 726 001
||1800 677 008
||1800 189 129
||1800 429 432
||1800 649 013
||1800 773 421
||1800 678 876
||1800 726 002
||1800 136 691
The Gold Coast is most popular for its mild sub-tropical climate that features an estimated 8 hours of sunshine, 300 days a year. Average temperatures are as follows:
| September to November
|| 15-25°C (59-77°F)
| December to February
|| 20-28°C (68-83°F)
|| March to May
|| 16-25°C (61-77°F)
|| June to August
|| 11-21°C (52-70°F)
For weather forecast visit bom.gov.au
CURRENCY, BANKING AND FOREIGN EXCHANGE
Australian Dollar: 100c = $AUD1
Coin denominations: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, $2
Note denominations: $5, $10, $20, $50, $100
Currency exchange facilities are available at all international airports and key tourist centres such as Surfers Paradise. Travellers’ cheques can also be cashed at banks and major hotels. ATMs are widely available. Major credit cards are accepted at most shops, hotels and restaurants with American Express, MasterCard and Visa the most common. Banks are open from 9.30am to 4.00pm Monday to Thursday and from 9.30am to 5.00pm on Friday. Bureau de Change facilities have more flexible hours and are generally open at night and on weekends. For further information visit xe.com/ucc
PASSPORTS AND VISAS
All visitors entering Australia need a valid passport and an Australian visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) if not an Australian citizen.
The type of visa required will depend on the length of stay and purpose of visit. A business visa will usually serve those planning to visit Australia for a business event. The type of passport the applicant holds determines whether that applicant can apply online or by using a paper-based application.
Applicants who are eligible to apply online can usually apply for an eVisitor (Business Stream) visa.
If you do not hold a passport approved for online application, ‘label’ visas can be obtained from Australian embassies, high commission offices or consulates.
Assistance is available to organisers through the Event Coordinators Network at the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. For further information visit
PLACES OF WORSHIP
The Gold Coast caters to a multicultural community with churches, temples, mosques and prayer rooms for all major religious denominations.
240/250 volts AC 50HZ universal outlets for 110 volts (shavers only) are standard in hotels, apartments and motels. Adapters can be purchased from international hotels.
For emergency ambulance, police and fire services dial 000 (from a fixed line) or 112 (from a mobile phone).
Australians drive on the left hand side. A 50km/h speed limit applies in most residential areas, going up to 100-110km/h on open highways. Drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts and strict drink driving laws are enforced. For further information visit tmr.qld.gov.au
DIALLING CODES AND COMMUNICATIONS
The international country code for Australia is +61. Pre-paid telephone cards are available for use with mobile and fixed line phones. Mobile telephones can be hired. Fast-speed broadband and dial-up internet access can be found at internet cafés and larger hotels. Wi-fi hotspots have been established in central business areas. For further information visit optus.com.au or telstra.com.au
Eastern Standard Time (EST): GMT + 10 hours. Daylight Saving is not observed in Queensland.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Most hotels, shopping centres, venues and attractions are wheelchair-accessible or have facilities to assist people with mobility issues, but advance notice of special needs will ensure the best assistance. The Gold Coast City Council’s online directory provides specific details on a wide range of visitor venues. For further information visit goldcoast.qld.gov.au/goldcoastaccess
DUTY FREE AND CUSTOMS
All goods and services purchased in Australia are subject to a 10 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST). Travellers may be eligible for a refund of the GST on departure, through the Tourist Refund Scheme.
Incoming visitors may bring in limited quantities of duty free alcohol, tobacco and other goods. Permits are available for business travellers carrying commercial goods, such as samples, display items for international exhibitions and professional film and television equipment.
Australian Customs enforces strict controls on the import of food, plant and animal products to prevent the introduction of exotic pests and disease. Travellers are asked to respect these requirements in order to ensure that Australia’s unique wildlife, plants and primary industries are protected. For further information visit customs.gov.au