Australians are a casual and informal bunch although perhaps somewhat brusque on first meeting. You will unlikely upset anyone here, yet there are some dos and don'ts worth noting, such as avoiding mocking their penal colony history.
The barbecue, or ‘barbie', is a cultural institution and you will likely be invited to one if you meet with any locals, while the concept of bring-your-own restaurants is popular. Tipping is not a big deal in Australia. However, high-scale restaurants will apply service charges.
Australia has the Australian dollar (AUS$) with plastic-impregnated notes up to AUS$100. There are currency exchange booths at the airport and in the town, while banks will also change cash and travelers checks.
ATMs are all over the city and suburbs and they accept major foreign debit and credit cards to withdraw Australian dollars. Shops, restaurants and hotels accept credit cards, too. You will find Perth cheaper than other major Australian cities for hotels and eating, and it is good value as a world destination.
Perth has some of the best weather in the country, with long, dry summers and great sunshine. It does get scorching hot in the summer months of January and February, however, with the mercury regularly passing 100°F, and only dipping as low as the 70s (°F) in the winter (June through August). May through September is the wet season and can get particularly miserable in June.
Getting around town is straightforward as there is an excellent rail system that covers downtown and most of the suburbs that matter. In addition, travel between the main stops in the city center stations is free to SmartRider card holdersfor example, from City West to Claisebrook.
Transperth buses are the best bet for getting about at large and buses run throughout the day, as often as every few minutes on the main routes during daylight hours. There are two main bus stations in downtown and a special free service, CAT (Central Area Transport). Meter taxis have ranks all over the city and are fast and efficient.
Perth's international and domestic airports are both served by taxis. There is also a shuttle bus from Perth International Airport (PER) to town and back (Perth Airport City Shuttle), which runs 24 hours a day and also goes to and from the domestic airport. The domestic airport is also served by public buses 37 and 39.
Public transport in Perth runs on a zoning system and is cheap for rail and bus travel. Taxis are a good deal during the week, but charge double price over the weekends and at night.
Population: 1.5 million
Location: Perth is one of the world's most isolated state capitals.
Spoken languages: English
Electrical: 240 Volts, 50 Hertz
Phone/calling code: +61 8
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