Australia Communication

Phone

The country code for international calls to Australia is 61. If you are dialling within Australia the area code must begin with a '0'. If you are dialling internationally, there is no leading '0'.

Australia has three nationwide mobile phone networks based on the GSM standard operated by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. There are also four UMTS networks, two of which are nationwide (Telstra, Optus). You can buy a cheap prepaid mobile phone in Australia with a SIM for around $40 in most retail outlets, supermarkets, and post offices, or a SIM for your existing phone at around $2-$3.

Local calls are about $0. 20 on most fixed lines and $0. 50 per minute on all Telstra public phones. SMS from Telstra public phones costs $0. 20.

Cellular coverage is non-existent outside of major highways and towns and you should take some precautions in case of emergency. It is a good idea to advise a person you know and trust of your route and advise them to alert authorities if you do not contact them within a reasonable amount of time after your scheduled arrival at your destination.

Area Code List:

01 = Special numbers (satellite phones, dial-up Internet)

02 = Central East (New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and north-eastern fringe of Victoria)

03 = South East (Southern NSW, Victoria and Tasmania)

04 = Mobile phones Australia-wide (higher call charges apply).

07 = North East (Queensland)

08 = Central & West (Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and far Western New South Wales)

Language

Australia has no official language, however, English has always been national language. Australian English is a major variety of the language with a distinctive accent and lexicon, and differs slightly from other varieties of English in grammar and spelling. Still, Australians are familiar enough with the differences to know what you mean. Visitors who do not speak basic English will find communicating with Australians difficult, and should do some advance planning.

Australians usually do not speak a second language fluently unless they are part of a family who immigrated recently. As Australia has a large number of immigrants, there are a number of minority languages spoken by a sizable number of Australians such as Arabic, Chinese, German, Italian, Polish and Greek. It is fairly rare to find signs in a second language, except in urban areas with a high population of Asian immigrants and students, where signs and restaurant menus in Vietnamese and Chinese are a common sight; and also around Cairns in tropical Queensland where some signs (but not road signs) are written in Japanese, due to the large number of Japanese tourists.

In addition, there are over a hundred Aboriginal languages still known and spoken by Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people living in rural Aboriginal communities continue to speak their respective languages. These languages are all different, and you won't see an Aboriginal phrasebook in the travel bookshops. Almost all Aboriginal people speak English as well, although some elders may not be fluent.

Internet

Australia offers many Internet access options for travellers. Most of major cities and the Gold Coast has a Internet cafés that normally cost $4-$5 per hour. , and visitor centers, railway stations, airports, most restaurants, fast food restaurants and coffee shops offer free WIFI hotspot. Be aware that many internet companies cap usage, finding an unlocked Wi-Fi connection is uncommon.