Tipping in Australia: A Painless Guide for Tourists

With its diverse landscapes, fabulous weather, and vibrant cities, Australia is a wonderful place to visit.

You can look forward to an incredible experience when you come to Australia, and you will find the people friendly and welcoming.

If you are planning to visit, one thing you should do is learn about the etiquette of tipping in Australia.

Tipping is still an emerging practice in many parts of Australia, so there are no set rules in place.

However, tipping is not mandatory here, and any gratuities are entirely at your discretion.

Do You Tip in Australia?

In some parts of Australia, tipping is still an emerging practice.

Sometimes, tipping in Australia is frowned upon, as employers feel their staff may focus more on the best tippers rather than providing everyone with great service. However, the practice of tipping is an emerging one and there are no set rules in place.

Often, you will just have to work out whether or not to tip as you go along because of this. Some people may accept your tip, but there are others who may turn it down. Some hospitality workers may not be allowed to accept tips.

Tipping Customs to Keep in Mind

There are no set rules with tipping – some people will accept tips while others may not.

You should keep in mind that tipping is not expected or mandatory in Australia, and some people may refuse tips.

So, you will need to work out whether or not to tip as you go along based on the service you receive and the provider.

Some factors to remember are: 

  • Tipping is not mandatory or even expected in Australia
  • You can offer a tip based on the service you receive
  • Workers in Australia are on higher wages than in many other countries, so mandatory tipping is not necessary
  • Some workers in Australia will not accept a tip, and some may be offended

Tipping in Australia: Useful Phrases to Know

While Australians speak English, many often use slang terms and phrases.

Australia is an English-speaking country, so you won’t need to learn another language to get by. However, it is useful to familiarize yourself with some common slang terms used in Australia. This includes: 

  • Hello: G’day
  • How are you? How ya going?
  • Drinks: Bevvies
  • Sandwiches: Sangers
  • Food: Tucker

Tipping Restaurants in Australia

Tipping in Australia

No tip is expected in restaurants, but you may want to tip if the service was exceptional.

Staff in restaurants in Australia tend to receive a decent hourly rate. Tipping is not expected and not always accepted.

If you go for a meal and the service was great, you may want to tip the employee. However, it could go either way as to whether the tip will be accepted or not. Here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • Check if there is a service charge already added to your bill. If there is, you should not leave any extra
  • If there is no service charge added and you wish to leave a tip, aim for 10% of the bill
  • Do not be offended if your tip is politely refused
  • You do not tip in fast-food restaurants and casual eateries where you pay upfront

Tipping Tour Guides in Australia

Tipping is more common with tour guides in Australia, and many will appreciate tips.

Australia is a vast place with many wonderful places to explore. In order to make the most of your trip, booking a tour is a great option.

If you do decide to take a tour, you may be wondering whether to tip the tour guide. If you feel they did a good job, you can tip the tour guide, and most will appreciate the gesture.

Some points to keep in mind with regard to tipping tour guides include: 

  • Tour guides do not expect tips and tipping is not mandatory
  • Most tour guides will gladly accept tips if they are offered
  • If you go on a group tour, tipping is often by way of a whip-round
  • On a private tour, consider 10% of the tour price as a tip

Tipping in Hotels or Guesthouses in Australia

You give small tips for certain services at hotels in Australia.

If you are staying at a small guesthouse, tipping is not necessary. When you are staying at a hotel, you may find it appropriate to tip a small amount for certain services.

The amount you tip is down to personal choice as well as the type of service being provided. Here are some examples: 

  • For porter services, you can offer one or two Australian dollars per bag
  • If you order room service, you can offer a few dollars by way of gratuity
  • Tipping the doorman is not necessary, but if you feel they have provided an excellent service, you can tip a couple of dollars
  • Likewise, you do not have to tip the concierge, but you can give a couple of dollars if you feel they have gone above and beyond to assist

Tipping Taxis, Shuttles and Coaches in Australia

You do not have to tip drivers in Australia, but most will appreciate a small gratuity.

As with other places in Australia, you do not have to tip drivers of ground transportation. However, drivers of taxis and shuttles do appreciate small gratuities when they are offered.

Keep the following points in mind when it comes to tipping drivers: 

  • If you are using a shuttle to and from the airport, you can tip a couple of dollars if the driver helps with baggage
  • In taxis, you may want to consider a tip of 10% of the fare
  • Many people simply round up the fare in taxis or tell the driver to keep the change

Tipping in Bars and Pubs in Australia

You do not have to tip when going for drinks in Australia bars and pubs.

If you want to enjoy a drink, there are plenty of bars and pubs to choose from in every part of Australia. When you are going for a drink, there is no need to offer a tip.

Having said that, you may want to show your gratitude for service by telling the bar staff to have a drink on you. In addition, you may want to consider a tip if you have set up a bar tab.

Some key points to remember are: 

  • If you set up a bar tab, consider tipping up to 10% of the total amount. However, this is not expected, it is totally your choice
  • When buying drinks at the bar, you can tell the bartender to get one for themselves by way of a tip
  • Although not common, some bars and pubs may have tip jars so you can put a few coins into there

Tipping Barbers, Spas and Hair Salons in Australia

While tipping is not expected at spas and salons, it will most likely be accepted and appreciated.

Like other service and hospitality industry workers, those at spas and salons in Australia tend to earn a decent living.

Tipping is not expected in these places. However, most people will accept any gratuity offered and will appreciate it.

A few pointers in relation to tipping in spas and salons include: 

  • You can base your tip on the level of service you receive at the spa or salon
  • You may wish to tip the hair washer at the salon a few dollars
  • Tipping at spas and salons is uncommon, so even smaller tips are appreciated