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What does Australia use for currency?

Australia is an unmissable travel destination offering experiences you’ll never find elsewhere in the world.

Are you looking to find out what currency does Australia use, how much money to take and how much things cost? This guide tells you everything you need to know about travel money in Australia and how best to buy Australian dollars.

Australian currency

So what does Australia use for currency? It’s the Australian dollar, the symbol is $ and it has the abbreviation AUD.

The history of the Australian Dollar

The Australian Dollar was introduced in 1966, to replace the Australian Pound which was based on British currency.

It was introduced to decimalise the money system, as pounds, shillings and pence were notoriously confusing. Other countries were beginning to adopt simpler currencies such as the Australian Dollar, where a dollar is made up of 100 cents.

Australian coins

The smallest coin denomination is now 5 cents. Smaller coins of 1c and 2c have been discontinued.

Australian coins are now:

  • 5 cents
  • 10 cents
  • 20 cents
  • 50 cents
  • $1
  • $2

All cent coins are silver in colour while dollars are gold coloured.

Australian bank notes

Bank notes come in these denominations:

  • $5
  • $10 (blue)
  • $20 (red)
  • $50 (yellow)
  • $100 (green)

The Australian Mint is in the process of redesigning the $5 note, which will no longer feature the British monarch. Instead, it will focus on traditional indigenous imagery.

What countries use the Australian Dollar?

Outside the Australian mainland and Tasmania, the dollar is also used in its territories, such as Christmas Island and Norfolk Island.

Australian notes and coins are also used as legal tender in the Micronesian islands of Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu.

Australian dollar to pound

Now that you know what currency is used in Australia, you’ll want to know what it’s worth. As of July 2023, one Australian Dollar is roughly equivalent to 50 UK pence, so two dollars is worth around one pound. Of course, this fluctuates with the value of both currencies.

For the current rate see our Buy Currency page.

How far will my Australian Dollars go?

You will notice that certain things cost more in Australia compared with the UK, particularly eating out, shopping and buying food at the supermarket.

On average, the cost of living in Australia is broadly on a par with the UK.

The policy on tipping in Australia is similar to the UK. If you are pleased with the service you’ve received, people will always appreciate a tip. It’s also standard practice to round up a taxi fare or restaurant bill, and leave some cash as a thank you. However, some places might actually reject tips depending on the business.

It’s not as hard as you think to keep an eye on your spending while travelling. To help your money go a little bit further on your next visit to Australia, read our guide to travelling Australia on a budget - you’ll be saving dollars before you know it.

Buy Australian dollars before your trip

You will always get the best exchange rates by pre-ordering your travel money. At Travelex it’s easy to buy Australian dollars online, or you can click and collect from one of our UK stores.

Another option is the Travelex Money Card - an easy and safe way to manage your holiday money. Load the card with money, then use it across Australia wherever Mastercard prepaid is accepted.

Can I use my card in Australia?

Most outlets in Australia will accept payment with a UK debit or credit card, and you can use them in most ATMs. Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted, but it can be a little more challenging to use Amex or Diners Club.

The Travelex Money Card is also widely accepted. You can top up your card with a range of currencies including Australian Dollars - and spend anything you don’t use on your next trip.

How much money should I bring to Australia?

It’s never easy to know how much to take to any travel destination. How much money you need will depend on your plans and the level of luxury you expect. One way to start is to decide how much you can afford, then setting a daily budget to keep track.

If you do need additional money on your trip, just pay us a visit. You’ll find us in many key locations across Australia – check out our store locator for details.

Buy Australian Dollars and get ready to spend!

So now you know all about the currency of Australia. There’s lots to do to get ready for your big trip down under, so get yourself organised and buy your Australian Dollars today for a great price.

To find out more about the things to see and do on your trip to Oz, don’t miss our Australian travel guide and our advice on how to travel Australia on a budget.

If you forget to purchase AUD before your trip, you can always get AUD from Travelex on arrival at various airports and stores in Australia.