Expat FAQ

Do you have a general question on expatriation? FAQs give you answers to the most frequent questions: Entertainment.

How should I tip in Australia & New Zealand?

Tipping is complicated, and is only made more so when traveling somewhere new. Standards are different almost everywhere you go, and different establishments often have different tipping expectations.

Tipping is not common in Australia and New Zeland. Australian workers in the tourism and other service industries are paid sufficiently and the supplemental income from tips are not necessary. Tips can be an incentive for good service. The term "tip" is also the name used for a garbage dump and for advice on gambling (e.g. which horse to back at the races), rather than having anything to do with gratuities.

Service tends to be more casual than in many other countries. There is a generally relaxed atmosphere and people are usually treated as equals.

Some restaurants may charge a 10 percent surcharge or service charge for large groups. Such extra charges expressed as a percentage of the bill are illegal under S53c of the Trade Practices Act. Some restaurants now add a dollar amount instead - this is legal as long as you are made aware of it before placing your order.

When & What to Tip

Tipping usually depends on where you are. Tipping is much more common in popular tourist destination area. For instance, within the downtown areas of Sydney and Melbourne and visitor-oriented districts such as The Rocks and Darling Harbour in Sydney and Southbank and Docklands in Melbourne, or in downtown Auckland.

People are more likely to tip in areas that are more upscale, or if they are with a large group. A tip usually does not exceed 10 percent.

Bar staff and cafes do not expect tipping, but may accept tips of loose change. This may just be rounding up the bill to the nearest dollar, or leaving change in a tip jar.


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