1. When is the best time of the year to visit Australia to play golf?
This will depend on which parts of Australia you intend visiting. If you are coming to Victoria (Melbourne Sandbelt and Mornington Peninsula) or NSW (Sydney) then September to May is the best time. If your trip is in the northern state of Queensland (Gold Coast/Sunshine Coast and Tropical North Queensland) then May to September is best (outside of these months it can be very warm and rainy).
2. Are all credit cards accepted in Australia?
Credit cards are accepted at most retail outlets, including some market stalls. Visa and Mastercard (and the Australian/NZ Bankcard) are the most commonly accepted. American Express and Diners’ Club are less likely to be accepted at smaller businesses. The US Discover Card is not used at all in Australia.
3. Is there a Sales Tax in Australia?
The Goods and Sales Tax is 10%. Normally the price displayed includes this tax – it is not added at the register.
4. Do I need travel insurance?
It is highly recommended that you take out travel insurance before travelling, and this includes coming to Australia.
5. What is the water quality like in Australia?
The tap water in Australia is safe to drink, though in some areas it might not taste the best.
6. What do I do if I need a doctor?
You can generally walk into any General Practitioner’s surgery and get treatment. Some GPs may prefer if you ring ahead. The fee for a normal consultation is around A$40. The 24 Hour Emergency Numbers for Fire, Police and Ambulance is 000.
7. Which side of the road do cars drive in Australia and how fast can you drive?
The left hand side of the road is the norm! Steering wheels within cars are on the right hand side. General maximum speed limits are 50 km/h (30 miles per hour) in residential streets, 60 km/h to 80 km/h (37 miles to 50 miles per hour) on main roads, and 100 km/h to 110 km/h (62 miles to 70 miles per hour) on freeways and open roads.
8. Do I need an international license to drive in Australia?
You can legally drive in Australia for up to 12 months if you have either a current driver’s license from your home country or an International Driving Permit.
9. What’s the public transport situation in Australia?
Each capital city in Australia is well serviced by public transport (e.g. trams, trains, or buses). In relation to getting to golf courses, a hire car or escorted transfer is generally the best way to go. Public transport is best suited to general sightseeing.
10. Does Australia have daylight saving?
All states of Australia (with the exception of Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory) observe one (1) hour of daylight saving during summer months. This is generally from 31 October to 31 March. During these times golfers can play from as early as 6:00 a.m. until as late as 8:30 p.m.
11. What clothes should we bring?
Dress is informal and relaxed on most occasions. Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants and night-spots. Men are generally not expected to wear a jacket and tie, except in a few of the more exclusive formal bars and restaurants in major cities. In summer a light jacket or sweater should be included in your luggage should the weather turn cooler or you visit higher altitudes. You can expect some rain, so include a light rainproof jacket or coat. If visiting between May and September, pack warm winter garments and layer your clothing.
12. How much should I tip in Australia?
Tipping is not commonplace or expected in Australia, however excellent service is becoming increasingly recognized within the service and tourism industry. If you feel the need to tip, 10% of the bill is common.
13. Do I need a passport or visa to enter Australia?
All visitors to Australia must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country. Most visitors who intend to stay for less than three months do not require a visa. If you want to stay longer than three months, or your country of origin does not have a visa waiver agreement with Australia, then you will need to apply for a Visitor’s Visa.
14. What is Australia’s smoking policy?
To protect people from the health effects of second-hand smoke, smoking in all hospitality venues, including bars, restaurants, cafes, and casinos, is prohibited in Australia. If you smoke, please remember to smoke outside.
15. How many Australian golf courses are ranked in the World Top 100?
This varies according to which golf magazine is publishing the list. Consistent inclusions are Royal Melbourne Golf Club (ranked from 5 to 9), Kingston Heath Golf Club (ranked 25), Royal Adelaide Golf Club (ranked 40), New South Wales Golf Club (ranked 43) and Barnbougle Dunes Golf Links (ranked 49). Other courses that have been rated in the past include Victoria Golf Club, Commonwealth Golf Club, The Australian Golf Club, and Huntingdale Golf Club.
16. Should we bring our own golf clubs?
Most golfers feel more comfortable playing with their own set of golf clubs, however GTA can arrange a full set of executive hire clubs to use in Australia. At a minimum we suggest that you bring your own soft-spike golf shoes. Experience suggests that new or hired shoes which do not fit correctly do not produce happy golfers! To protect Australia’s quarantine status please ensure shoes and golf clubs are cleaned (free of dirt and grass) prior to your arrival.
17. How do we carry our golf clubs on Australian golf courses?
There are a variety of options. Caddies are not normally used in Australia but can sometimes be arranged for the Melbourne Sandbelt courses. Pull trollies are the most common form of bag carrying on the Melbourne Sandbelt. Motorised carts are not generally allowed on the Melbourne Sandbelt unless the golfer can provide a medical certificate. Motorised carts are very popular on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast resort courses as well as in Perth and Sydney.
18. What are the dress regulations on Australian golf courses?
This varies according to the golf course in question. Most golf courses have adopted a non-metal spike policy for golf shoes. Additionally, generally accepted golfing attire is required. The one common variation to this is in the wearing of socks. Many golfers from the United States are used to wearing short, anklet socks. Short socks are generally NOT acceptable in the more conservative private golf clubs. Long, white socks or club logoed socks are generally acceptable. GTA will advise you of full details of dress regulations at the time of booking.
19. My golf club has reciprocal rights with a number of golf clubs in Australia. How does GTA handle this?
The easiest way of handling this (and one that the golf clubs generally require) is that you approach them directly and make the appropriate bookings. You will need to produce a letter of introduction from your golf club to verify your membership.