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International Phone Calls

International Phone Calls Australia: Your Guide to Seamless Communication

Making an international phone call to or from Australia involves understanding the country’s telecommunications system and regulations. As a modern and technologically advanced nation, Australia provides a broad range of options for international communication, ensuring people stay connected across distances. The standard procedure requires dialing Australia’s country code, which is +61, followed by the Australian number without the leading zero. For those calling from Australia to other countries, prefixing the dialed number with the exit code ‘0011’ is necessary.

A phone with an Australian flag on the screen, connected to an international call

International phone calls to Australia can be executed through various providers, each with different rate plans and services. Mainstream mobile operators and landline companies often include international call options in their packages. However, the costs can vary significantly depending on the time of day and the specific country being called. It is essential for individuals and businesses to be aware of these variables to manage communication budgets effectively.

In addition to traditional voice calls, the rise of internet-based communication platforms has transformed the landscape of international calling. These online services, accessible through smartphones, tablets, and computers, often provide a more cost-effective alternative to conventional international calling. Such platforms can facilitate voice and video calls at reduced rates or even for free, when connected to Wi-Fi or using data packages, thereby making international communication more accessible for Australians and those reaching out to them from abroad.

Understanding International Dialing Codes

A phone with a dial pad displaying the international dialing code for Australia

Correctly dialing international numbers requires familiarity with various codes and considerations specific to each country.

Country and Exit Codes

For international calls, two critical components are the country code and the exit code. The exit code allows callers to dial out of their country, and the country code directs the call to the desired destination nation. For example, the exit code for the United States is 011, and Australia’s country code is +61.

Australia’s Area Codes

Australia comprises multiple regions, each with its area code. Major cities have the following area codes:

  • Sydney (New South Wales): 02
  • Melbourne (Victoria): 03
  • Brisbane (Queensland): 07
  • Perth (Western Australia): 08
  • Adelaide (South Australia): 08
  • Hobart (Tasmania): 03
  • Canberra (Australian Capital Territory): 02
  • Darwin (Northern Territory): 08
  • Gold Coast (Queensland): 07

Calling Australia from Various Countries

To call Australia, dialing sequences from select countries are as follows:

  • USA/Canada: Exit Code (011) + Australia’s Country Code (61) + Area Code + Local Number
  • UK: Exit Code (00) + 61 + Area Code + Local Number
  • New Zealand: Exit Code (00) + 61 + Area Code + Local Number

VoIP and Internet Alternatives

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Google Voice offer alternatives to traditional calls. They often reduce costs and bypass traditional country and area codes, utilizing the internet for calls.

Time Zones Considerations

Time zones are crucial when making international calls. Australia spans multiple time zones, for instance:

  • Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne: GMT+10
  • Adelaide: GMT+9:30
  • Brisbane: GMT+10
  • Perth: GMT+8

Scheduling calls should consider these variances to ensure the recipient is available.

Types of Phones and Calls

Various types of phones, including landlines and mobiles, are shown with international call connections to Australia

The landscape of international communication has evolved, presenting varied options for connecting with others across long distances. Australians now have access to multiple types of phones and methods for making both local and international calls, each with its own set of considerations regarding cost, quality, and convenience.

Landlines Versus Mobile Phones

Traditional landline phones are still in use for their reliability and stable connection. However, mobile phones have largely overshadowed landlines due to their convenience and advancements in cellular technology. International calls from landlines typically incur higher charges than calls from mobile phones, where providers offer various international plans. Both cell phones and landlines have phone numbers associated with the geographical area of the user.

Online Calling Apps

The rise of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Google Voice has revolutionized making international calls. These apps allow users to make calls over the internet, often at significantly lower costs than traditional phone calls. They are accessible from various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Calling Credits and Costs

To make international calls, users can purchase calling credit from their providers, whether for a traditional mobile phone plan or a VoIP service. The cost of calling credit varies widely, with options for pre-paid or subscription-based models. The rates are affected by the destination and duration of the call.

Microphones and Accessories

The quality of international calls can be enhanced with the use of dedicated microphones and accessories. External microphones can improve clarity and reduce background noise. Headsets and speakerphones are also popular, especially for hands-free communication or calls that involve multiple participants.

Local and International Numbers

A local phone number offers callers the ability to reach a recipient within a particular region at a standard rate. Conversely, an international phone number allows callers from other countries to reach a user in Australia, often resulting in higher costs. Some VoIP services offer the option to acquire a local number even in a foreign country, enabling more cost-effective international communication.

Practical Guide to Calling Australia

A phone with an international calling code displayed, a map of Australia in the background, and a world globe on the side

Making an international call to Australia requires knowledge of the country’s dialing format and an understanding of local phone number variations. This guide provides the essential steps and addresses common issues one might encounter.

Step-by-Step Dialing Instructions

To call Australia from another country, follow these steps:

  1. Dial the country’s exit code: This code allows you to exit your country’s phone network. For example, the exit code for the United States is 011.
  2. Dial Australia’s country code: The country code for Australia is +61.
  3. Dial the area code: Exclude the initial zero from the area code if there is one. For example, Sydney’s area code is 02, so you would dial 2.
  4. Dial the local phone number: Enter the local seven to eight-digit phone number.


To dial a Sydney number 12345678 from the United States:

  • Exit code: 011
  • Country code: 61
  • Area code: 2 (without the zero)
  • Phone number: 12345678
Full number dialed: 011-61-2-12345678

Handling Australian Phone Number Variations

Australian phone numbers consist of a trunk code and a local phone number. Recognize the following:

  • Landlines: Typically have a one-digit area code followed by an eight-digit local number.
  • Mobiles: Do not use area codes. They start with a four followed by an eight-digit number.

When calling a mobile phone in Australia, simply omit the area code step and proceed with the country code and the mobile number.

Common Issues and Solutions

Dropped Calls: If calls are consistently dropping, check your phone’s signal strength and try dialing from another location or device.

Incorrect Number Format: Ensure you’re not including the trunk code ‘0’ when dialing the area code. Also, verify that the number format matches either the landline or mobile structure.

Technical Difficulties: If you experience other technical issues, consult with your phone carrier for assistance or check if international calls are enabled on your plan.

By following these instructions and being mindful of the potential issues, your calls to Australia should connect without major difficulties.

Regional Nuances in Australia

A phone with a world map backdrop, displaying international calling codes for different regions of Australia

In considering international phone calls to Australia, it is crucial to understand the regional nuances associated with the country’s area codes and the distribution of these codes across states, territories, and major cities.

State and Territory Area Variations

Australia is divided into multiple states and territories, each with its own distinctive area code. Calls to different regions require knowledge of these codes:

  • New South Wales (NSW): The area code is 02. This includes Sydney, Albury-Wodonga, Newcastle, Wollongong, Gosford, Wagga Wagga, and other regional centers.
  • Victoria (VIC): With the area code 03, key locations include Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Mildura, and Warrnambool.
  • Queensland (QLD): The area code 07 covers Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Townsville, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Mackay, Bundaberg, and Hervey Bay.
  • Western Australia (WA): Home to Perth, Albany, Mandurah, Bunbury, Rockingham, using area code 08.
  • South Australia (SA): Also uses 08, including Adelaide, Port Lincoln, Mount Gambier.
  • Tasmania (TAS): The area code for Tasmania, including Hobart and Launceston, is 03.
  • Northern Territory (NT): Darwin and Alice Springs have the area code 08.
  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT): Canberra uses 02.

Note: The country code for Australia is +61, which must be dialed before any area code when calling from outside Australia.

Suburban and Regional Considerations

When calling Australian cities and suburbs, it is essential to know the specific area code for the region:

  • Sydney: As the most populous city in Australia, it falls under the New South Wales area code 02.
  • Melbourne and Adelaide: Both cities are major cultural and economic centers, utilizing 03 for Melbourne and 08 for Adelaide.
  • Brisbane and the Gold Coast: They are known for tourism and are reachable via 07 area code.
  • Hobart: The capital of Tasmania uses area code 03.
  • Darwin: As the capital of the Northern Territory, Darwin follows 08.

For regional areas, each state’s area code is consistent; however, local numbers may vary. For example, in Queensland, both the Sunshine Coast and Cairns share the 07 area code but have different local numbers.

Smaller cities and regional towns such as Ballarat (VIC), Cairns (QLD), Maitland (NSW), and Warrnambool (VIC) maintain the state-specific area codes.

When dialing any of these locations from abroad, callers must append the local area code (without the leading ‘0’) to the country code +61. Therefore, calling Melbourne from overseas involves dialing +61 3, followed by the local eight-digit phone number.

How can I make free international calls to Australia?

One can make free international calls to Australia using internet-based services like Skype, Viber, or FaceTime. However, both parties need an internet connection and the same app installed.

What apps are available for making international calls to Australia?

A variety of apps such as WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype, and Google Duo allow users to make international calls to Australia. They require internet access and function on smartphones, tablets, and computers.

How do I dial an Australian mobile number from the UK?

To dial an Australian mobile number from the UK, enter the international access code (00), Australia’s country code (61), and then the mobile number without the leading zero. For example: 00-61-4XX-XXX-XXX.

Can I call Australia from the US using WhatsApp for free?

Yes, calls to Australia from the US via WhatsApp are free, but they require both the caller and recipient to have an internet connection and the WhatsApp app installed on their devices.

What costs are involved when making a phone call to Australia?

Costs for calling Australia vary depending on the caller’s phone service provider, plan, the time of day, and whether the call is to a landline or mobile. Some providers offer international packages or reduced rates.