Most major banks can be found in Tropical North Queensland and many offer currency exchange. Electronic banking machines are located throughout and operate 24 hours a day.
Most establishments accept traveller's cheques and credit cards while foreign currency can be exchanged at various outlets around the city and airport. Australia's currency denominations include $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 notes and 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, $2 coins. Suitable identification may be required for financial transactions.
Australia's electricity supply runs at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), however many hotels and resorts provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) but these are generally for electric razors only. For all other devices, you will require an adaptor/convertor. Power outlets accept only flat two or three pin plugs, depending on whether they are fitted with an earth connection.
The region is home to all emergency services including police, fire and ambulance. Cairns is home to the major hospital able to administer advanced or specialised medical care and most hotels and resorts have in-house doctors available on call. Travel insurance is recommended.
For information on how to get to North Queensland, see our getting there page.
North Queensland experiences a wet or 'green' season over the summer months bringing dramatic rainfall and occasionally, electrical storms however it is this rainfall that sustains the beautiful flora and fauna of the tropical rainforests. This rainfall doesn't interfere with snorkelling, diving or any other popular tourist attractions but occasionally low pressure zones can develop into a cyclone. The regional tourism, however, is well prepared for such an event.
It is also during this season that stingers present themselves so in order to protect swimmers against dangerous jellyfish stings, large swimming enclosures are put in place at the popular beaches. Patrolled by qualified lifesavers that can provide information on the spot, these beaches are safe. The stingers only visit coastal beaches during a defined and limited season and do not interfere with Great Barrier Reef activities.
Visitors are advised to wear hats and sunscreen and drink plenty of water to avoid sunburn and dehydration. Bring loose comfortable clothing, swimwear, walking shoes and sunglasses and a light jacket for cooler evenings in winter.
Tropical North Queensland has a short and eventful past.
Read more North Queensland History