Know when to tip—and not to tip—in Australia

Posted by Fodor's Editors on February 08, 2011 at 2:00:00 AM EST | Post a Comment
Australians don't expect tips and hotels and restaurants don't usually add service charges. That said, a small tip for good service is common practice and appreciated. Room service and housemaids are only tipped for special services. Taxi drivers don't expect a tip, but leaving small change will win you a smile. Guides, tour bus drivers, and chauffeurs don't expect tips either, though they're grateful if someone in the group takes up a collection for them. No tipping is necessary—indeed, it would cause confusion—in hair salons or for theater ushers.
Posted in Travel Tips Tagged: Australia

Member Comments (8)  Post a Comment

  • Susan7 on Aug 15, 12 at 11:31 PM

    I think you need further qualifications here. While a small percentage of Australians don't tip at all (often older Australians), in major cities in upmarket restaurants most people tip 10% for good service.

  • Cate_W Fodor's editor on Feb 9, 11 at 11:56 AM

    Tip is corrected above, thanks again everyone.

  • Cate_W Fodor's editor on Feb 9, 11 at 10:00 AM

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention everyone. There's definitely something wrong here and we're in the process of correcting this tip now.

  • tt7 on Feb 9, 11 at 01:30 AM

    One more vote for "not correct". We rarely, if ever, leave a tip in a cafe or restaurant - it's not expected.

  • peterSale on Feb 8, 11 at 10:33 PM

    I agree with Nelsonian. It is more of a hope than an expectation. If it is on the bill, then you are being conned. There is no extra service charge or tax. Our GST (goods and services tax) is not charged separately. It is and must by law be included in the stated price. For example, there is no,"$25 plus tax". Only airlines charge and extra tax or fee. But that is an entire different debate and is changing.
    Follow this thread in the forums.

  • Southam on Feb 8, 11 at 03:49 PM

    My experiences fly in the face of these tipping suggestions. Once I had a tip returned by restaurant staff even though they had been particularly helpful. It's my understanding that some, perhaps many, restaurants are unionized so the service is built into the tab. There may be a premium on the menu, for instance, for holidays when wages are higher.
    As well, Australian travellers -- which is most of the population -- are notorious for resisting the tip culture in other countries.

  • love_travel_Aus on Feb 8, 11 at 03:24 PM

    Nelsonian is correct in that tipping is not expected here in Australia. People might choose to tip after a meal but it is not mandatory nor seriously expected and the amount that might be offered is usually small and not a set percentage.
    I cannot remember ever tipping for maid service in a hotel here and I am not alone in this.

  • nelsonian on Feb 8, 11 at 01:16 PM

    This is not correct. Tipping is NOT expected in hotels, restaurants or anywhere else for that matter in Australia or New Zealand. DO NOT TIP at all.

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