Australian dollar (A$)
Budget: less than $150
- Dorm bed: $25−35
- Double room in pub/budget hotel: $80
- Budget pizza or pasta main course: up to $15
- Darwin bus ride: $3
- Double room in midrange hotel/motel: $100–200
- Main course with glass of wine in a midrange restaurant: up to $32
- Small-car hire per day: from $40
- Short taxi ride: $25
Top End: more than $250
- Double room in top-end hotel: from $200
- Main course with glass of wine in top-end restaurant: $45
- 4WD hire per day: from $100
Gentle haggling is fairly common in Darwin's markets and secondhand shops, but it's not the done thing in most Indigenous art centres, where prices are fixed. It's common practice to ask for a discount on expensive items when paying cash (not that you are guaranteed to get one). In most other instances you are expected to pay the stated price.
Australia's currency is the Australian dollar, comprising 100 cents. There are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 coins and $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Unless otherwise stated, prices listed are in Australian dollars.
ATMs & Eftpos
There are 24-hour ATMs in most substantial towns in the NT (including Yulara at Uluru and Jabiru and Cooinda in Kakadu National Park). All accept cards from other Australian banks and most are linked to international networks. Most Stuart Hwy roadhouses also have ATMs.
Most service stations and supermarkets have Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (Eftpos) facilities allowing you to make purchases and even draw out cash with your credit or debit card.
Credit & Debit Cards
Credit cards (especially Visa and MasterCard) are widely accepted throughout central Australia. A credit card is essential if you want to hire a car and can also be used for cash advances at banks and from ATMs (depending on the card). Diners and AmEx cards are not widely accepted.
A debit card allows you to draw money directly from your home bank account using ATMs, banks or Eftpos machines. Any card connected to the international banking network – Cirrus, Maestro, Plus and Eurocard – should work with your PIN (Personal Identification Number). Expect substantial fees.
Companies such as Travelex offer debit cards (Travelex calls them 'Cash Passport' cards) with set withdrawal fees and a balance you can top-up from your personal bank account while on the road.
For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.
Tipping is far from ingrained in Australian society and most people in the outback don't bother. The only place where tipping is considered normal is restaurants, where 10% of the bill is reasonable for good service. Taxi drivers also appreciate you rounding up the fare.