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TTFromSommersTown

Help Tipping Info for Australia and New Zealand

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First let me say that this forum is the most kind and helpful one on Cruise Critic.

 

I was born in England and for over 30 years lived there before emigrating to Canada where I have lived for over 20 years. When I am England on holiday I tip as the English do and when I am in Canada I tip as the Canadian do.

 

I will be in Sydney for a few days before going to New Zealand to visit relations and then returning to Sydney. I then will be taking a 34 day cruise on the Maasdam. The cruise will visit New Zealand, Tonga, Alofi, Fiji, New Caledonia, South Australia and Tasmania.


I would like your help with tipping so that I can conform to the the Australian/New Zealand way.

 

In England it is normal to tip the following.

1) Taxis, between 5 and 10%. Often just rounding up to the nearest pound so on very short journeys may be a greater percentage.

2) Airport shuttles to Hotel/ Cruise Ships, 1 or 2 pounds

3) Bars, nothing unless the bartender was very good or you are a long time customer.

4) Cafe's (MacDonald's type) nothing or a few pence if rounding up the bill.

5) Good quality restaurants/hotel restaurant,  up to 10% if service is very good. 

6) Tours, 5 for a half day up to 10 pounds for full day. Includes both tour guide and driver. May be more if tour is exceptional.

Please let me know what changes you recommend from the above English way. I understand that Australia and New Zealand may be slightly different so all comments are welcome. 

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

Edited by TTFromSommersTown
Added 6).

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Please don't tip in Australia and New Zealand - people will start to expect it.  It's not customary to tip here as most workers get paid a reasonable amount - and don't rely on tips for income like America does.

 

 

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Of any of the cases given, the only one where I normally tip, if paying cash, is the taxi.

 

Typically it is a round up in the notes. So, $57 fare hand over $60, for example.

 

Taxi drivers have a bad job and are often underpaid for the hours worked. 

 

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Don't tip at all.

 

It is not necessary, it is usually not expected, and where it is expected it is usually undeserved.

 

Just out of curiosity, does Canada follow the same remuneration practices in regards to service staff that the US does?

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31 minutes ago, SinbadThePorter said:

Just out of curiosity, does Canada follow the same remuneration practices in regards to service staff that the US does?

Sure does. When I was there last a restaurant bill  would have a space where you check to select 12%, 15% or 18% tip. Then GST is added (menu prices don't include GST) plus, if my memory is correct, alcohol tax.

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Hi, you don't have to tip in Australia however there are some occasions when we will add money or tip.

 

Taxis we will round up usually to the nearest $5 or $10 if the driver has been helpful.

 

Some restaurants in Sydney will have a place on the bill for a tip, you just write in an amount if you want to. Other restaurants and some bars will have a jar near the cash register where you can put some money in. Again it is not necessary but if the service has been very good we will tip. 

 

Have never tipped on excursions or shuttles usually as they are prepaid.

 

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24 minutes ago, lyndarra said:

Sure does. When I was there last a restaurant bill  would have a space where you check to select 12%, 15% or 18% tip. Then GST is added (menu prices don't include GST) plus, if my memory is correct, alcohol tax.

When we were in Honolulu post cruise in June, the boxes on the restaurant bill for tips were...15%, 20%, 25%.  Greedy.

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16 minutes ago, NSWP said:

When we were in Honolulu post cruise in June, the boxes on the restaurant bill for tips were...15%, 20%, 25%.  Greedy.

That is getting up there. On our US/Canada tour I asked an American fellow traveler what he would tip. He said the maximum, 20%. He said the usual, at the time was 10-15%. What will it come to, customers negotiating wages with staff so that the employer doesn't have to pay staff at all? OK, that's a bit extreme.

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1 hour ago, lyndarra said:

Sure does.

 

I was wondering if Canada does the same thing as in the US and require service staff to work for $2/hr plus tips.

Edited by SinbadThePorter

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2 hours ago, BoopTennis said:

What about for tours/excursions taken? Tip there?

Tour guides and drivers are paid well for tours in Australia. One regular poster on this board is a guide/driver at Uluru (Ayers Rock). He quotes their income as 'in excess of $100,000 pa'.

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14 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

Tour guides and drivers are paid well for tours in Australia. One regular poster on this board is a guide/driver at Uluru (Ayers Rock). He quotes their income as 'in excess of $100,000 pa'.

 

That is true, tour coach drivers there generally earn on the $100,000 per year mark.

 

Even bus drivers and guides in the city are making good money with set minimum wages, allowances and penalty rates still applying.

 

In Sydney a coach driver taking a cruise ship excursion I would expect to be on at least $35 per hour on a weekday, $48 per hour on a Saturday and $65 per hour on a Sunday. If it is a public holiday then its likely to be around $82 per hour.

 

It takes a lot of experience just to even get a job driving coaches with all the background checks you need. MOT approval, police background checks, working with children clearance. Clean driving record and regular fitness reviews and random drug tests.

 

I have seen people write on here that they pay their cleaners more than $35 per hour and I don't remember who they were but I am sure they do not pay them that for 12 hours per day which is the maximum legal driving shift you can have in most of Australia and I can guarantee most drivers are working close to those hours per day.

 

Ayers Rock is a bit different as is you can be paid for a longer than 12 hour shift where you are paid for fatigue breaks. For example if you need to be up for a sunrise tour and up for a sunset tour for a shift that covers 16 hours or more then you need to find 4 hours of break time in the day and log it. You get paid for the full day regardless of breaks out there.

 

To sum things up Australia is a non-tipping country. We have done well to get to this stage and it would be awesome if it would stay this way. If people start bringing their tipping culture here then it is only going to destroy our culture of decent wages. 

 

Personally I would prefer all tourists who visit Australia to not tip anyone at all no matter how much little the loose change is. Simply do not do it.

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1 hour ago, SinbadThePorter said:

 

I was wondering if Canada does the same thing as in the US and require service staff to work for $2/hr plus tips.

 

Can't speak for Canada, but I suggest you are a bit out on wages levels in USA. There is a Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 ph throughout USA, indexed to inflation. Local regions/states can set there own, but only if they are higher than the Federal min.

That said, workers on min wage working hospitality rely on tips to supplement the minimum.

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It would be interesting to find out if foreign tourists doing coach tours within Australia have gratuities added onto the fare for coach drivers/tour directors?   My guess is they do, the money probably going to the company to subsidise the coach crew's generous wages.

 

I have been on a few coach tours in OZ, like WA, NT, Tasmania and also NZ,  we have always 'passed the hat around' for tips to driver and/or tour director/guide.  They get that money direct.

Edited by NSWP

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2 hours ago, lyndarra said:

That is getting up there. On our US/Canada tour I asked an American fellow traveler what he would tip. He said the maximum, 20%. He said the usual, at the time was 10-15%. What will it come to, customers negotiating wages with staff so that the employer doesn't have to pay staff at all? OK, that's a bit extreme.

It was the same 15, 20, 25% in Laguna  Beach (near LA) pre Panama Canal cruise a couple of years ago.

Edited by NSWP

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2 hours ago, TTFromSommersTown said:

Thanks everyone for your kind help.

 

I look forward to my visit later this year and meeting a few folks over a pint in the local pub.

You are most welcome, enjoy.

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36 minutes ago, mr walker said:

 

Can't speak for Canada, but I suggest you are a bit out on wages levels in USA. There is a Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 ph throughout USA, indexed to inflation. Local regions/states can set there own, but only if they are higher than the Federal min.

That said, workers on min wage working hospitality rely on tips to supplement the minimum.

 

There is a minimum wage, but it does not work the same as in Australia or for all staff. 

 

For wait staff, there is a minimum of around $2.15, with the assumption that tips will bring it up to the $7.50 figure (which is the minimum taxed amount). 

 

 

https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.html

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3 minutes ago, Docker123 said:

 

There is a minimum wage, but it does not work the same as in Australia or for all staff. 

 

For wait staff, there is a minimum of around $2.15, with the assumption that tips will bring it up to the $7.50 figure (which is the minimum taxed amount). 

 

 

https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.html

OK, understood - thanks. Interested that the highest min wages are for DC, much of California & Seattle 🙂

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37 minutes ago, Docker123 said:

 

There is a minimum wage, but it does not work the same as in Australia or for all staff. 

 

For wait staff, there is a minimum of around $2.15, with the assumption that tips will bring it up to the $7.50 figure (which is the minimum taxed amount). 

 

 

https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.html

Hence the very good service you generally get in the US of A, they want the tips to be paid to subsidise their meagre wages.  The restaurant owners don't miss out though, restaurant food prices in USA are quite high.  Honolulu prices were over the top, mainly because most food stuffs have to come from the mainland.  Pint of milk in ABC store at Waikiki, US$4.95. 😮  Burger and chips at Denny's  US$15 plus gratuity of 15,20 or 25% take your pick.😮 Magnum ice cream at Arizona Memorial café - US$6. 😮

Edited by NSWP

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5 hours ago, TTFromSommersTown said:

Thanks everyone for your kind help.

 

I look forward to my visit later this year and meeting a few folks over a pint in the local pub.

If you're in NSW it'll be over a schooner (16oz) or a middy (10oz). In Victoria it'll be a pot (10oz?). Not sure about Queensland, possibly over a can of XXXX because they can't spell or pronounce beer.

The only time I order a pint is when I have draught Guinness. Otherwise its pints and halves in UK.

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Pretty much what has been said about Australia also applies to NZ.  I’ve copied below a comment I wrote yesterday for an American traveller.  

Have a wonderful trip.  

 

COPIED POST:

 

I can quite honestly say that I’ve never tipped in NZ and don’t intend to anytime soon.  

 

I always tip in the States as it’s part of your culture, but it’s not a practice I like or want to see become commonplace in NZ, so I stand firm against it becoming the norm here by not tipping.  

 

That’s not to say that you won’t come across situations where it seems like it might be expected.  This will mainly be at touristy activities and in touristy towns (eg Queenstown) where they are so used to getting tips from overseas tourists that it’s sadly starting to become expected (for example, you might see a place on the bill where you can add a tip if you want).  While I (and probably the majority of kiwis not in the tourism industry) will hope you don’t tip, the server will probably be hoping you do.  

 

Here’s the thing, no one can tell you what you should do, as only you can decide whether to support the immediate picture or the bigger one.  However, can I suggest that if the pull to tip is so strong, you’ll be overcome by guilt if you don’t tip, perhaps compromise by just tipping a little bit (eg a few dollars) or even better, tell the server they were awesome and you’ll be leaving a good review. 

 

Lastly, because NZ is mostly a cashless society with people paying for everything by card, you will not find many restaurants bringing you the bill in a folder for you to leave cash at the table.  At most restaurants, you walk up to the till at the end of your meal to pay.  I will usually glance briefly at the total to see it’s right and if there’s a bit for tip (again, becoming more common in touristy areas), I conveniently act like I haven’t seen it and hand over my card to pay.  

You will not get a server in NZ pointing out the tip part and reminding you to add to it.  If you do - definitely DO NOT tip them.  

 

I hope that helps.  

 
 

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3 hours ago, NSWP said:

It would be interesting to find out if foreign tourists doing coach tours within Australia have gratuities added onto the fare for coach drivers/tour directors?   My guess is they do, the money probably going to the company to subsidise the coach crew's generous wages.

 

I have been on a few coach tours in OZ, like WA, NT, Tasmania and also NZ,  we have always 'passed the hat around' for tips to driver and/or tour director/guide.  They get that money direct.

They do not have gratuities added in.

 

For example a Uluru Sunrise tour and Kata Tjuta sells for $145. If for argument sake they sold out the entire 65 seat coach at that price then it is $9,425 in fares. A driver is likely to do more than one tour per day. Quite often 3 and a few charters. Therefore the driver could be driving people who have paid out in total more than $30,000 in fares per day. Out of that the driver is likely to get $380 or day give or take. I think working off commission would be much fairer!

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