Currency, transport and apps
What you need to know…
There are a few public holidays in Perth and on these days most shopping centres and workplaces will be closed for business. Keep this in mind when you book a day to arrive in Australia.
- New Years Day (1 January)
- Australia Day (26 January)
- Labour Day (First Monday in March)
- Good Friday / Easter Monday (will be over a weekend in March / April)
- ANZAC Day (25 April)
- WA Day (First Monday in June)
- Queen’s Birthday (Last Monday in September)
- Christmas Day (25 December)
- Boxing Day (26 December)
Currency is very important and you need to know what each coin or note means. Here are the coins and notes that we use in Australia.
There are lots of banks in Western Australia where you can open an Australian bank account, and they are usually open between 9.30am to 4pm. Most banks are connected to Maestro or Cirrus so you can access your international funds. To open up a bank account you will need to take your passport, CoE, OSHC card, birth certificate and any other forms of ID you have to the bank you choose. You can use the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) to withdraw your money quickly and easily and they are open 24 hours. You can use EFTPOS to pay for goods at petrol stations, shopping centres and departments stores so you don’t have to use cash all the time.
It is really easy to use Public transport in Perth. You can check bus and train timetables online or at the bus stop. To use the bus all you need is a student ID card which is also called a Smartrider, you will get one of these at orientation.
Your Smartrider card is a pre-paid card you use to pay for your public transport at a discounted student rate in WA. To use your card just swipe it at the machine when you get on and off the bus. You can add money to your card at train stations, online and at some newsagents. You can use the Free Transit Zone Service for buses and trains within the Perth City boundary. Check out this website to see what areas apply.
Websites/Apps to use
It can be a bit difficult to find your way around Perth to begin with, but these apps can make your life a bit easier! From public transport, to finding places to eat, these are the apps you need now:
Experience WA: This is free from Tourism WA which tells you what is happening when and where the best places are to visit.
Free Wi-Fi Finder: Whether you’re looking for a quiet space to study or just wanting to chat to friends and family back home, Free Wi-Fi Finder can help you find nearby locations offering free wi-fi access. The app allows you to filter results based on location type, such as cafés and libraries, and save your favourite locations for future reference.
Transperth App: Pre-plan your whole journey and make sure you aren’t late for class with this app. You can see where you are in Perth and quickly access timetables and bus/train routes, you can also get your Smartrider balance!
SwanTaxis: For when you need a taxi fast or need to pre-plan your journey this free app is a great one to have.
Skype: If you don’t already have this app, it’s a great way to video chat your friends and family back home and it free!
Uber: Uber is a ridesharing app for fast, reliable rides in minutes – day or night. There’s no need to park or wait for a taxi or bus. With Uber, you just tap to request a ride, and it’s easy to pay with credit card