Australia power adapters - what plugs are used in Australia?

Australian power outlet

What adapter do I need for Australia?

The type of plug adapter, converter or charger that's needed when visiting Australia all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to power with an Australian power outlet. If you don't know what voltage your device can use then read the section about how to tell the voltage of your device first.

  • If you're from America and visiting Australia then you will need to use a power adapter to fit a US plug in an Australian power outlet. As the voltage is different in Australia you also need to pack a power converter if your device isn't dual voltage and ensure that your it is compatible with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device is 230 volts or is dual voltage and your plug fits in an Australian power outlet then it should work in Australia.
  • If your device can run on 230 volts or is dual voltage but the plug won't fit in an Australian power outlet then you'll need a suitable plug adapter for Australia such a Type I plug adapter [3]. Be aware that a plug adapter for Australia (or power adapter) will change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Australia, but can't change the voltage from 230 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 230 volts and isn't dual voltage then you'll also need a power converter for Australia to convert the voltage from 230 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You'll still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Australia if your power converter doesn't include the correct Type I plug adapter.
  • If you need to power one or more USB devices such as a tablet or a mobile phone then a USB travel power adapter will be more suited and it should be dual voltage, but ensure that you bring a USB travel adapter which has a Type I plug adapter otherwise you will also need to use a suitable plug adapter for Australia.

Warning: If your device won't handle 230 volts used in Australia you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device. Prior to using your device in Australia check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Background

If packing for a holiday it's helpful to know in advance if you can power all your common electrical devices like mobile phones and tablets when you're there. But, without knowing which wall socket to expect you are likely to bring the wrong power charger, therefore leaving you having to buy a potentially overpriced charger when you're there which might be incompatible and damage your device. Various combinations of frequencies and standards can all be confusing when planning to visit another country especially to the first time traveller. With only a handful of different types of plug sockets being used in the world this guide tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your device in Australia. This page has links to step-by-step instructions telling you which power adapters you'll need to charge your devices when travelling to Australia by using their 230 volt 50Hz I Type Australian wall outlet. Most power sockets differ depending on which area you are visiting therefore we suggest reading the power adapters page for a full list of regions and countries. We recommend reading the Australia Wikipedia page [1] for further details.

Australia power adapters

What is the best power adapter for Australia?

The best power adapter for Australia will be a Type I plug adapter [3] which is suitable for powering any 230 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for Australia?

What is a power adapter for Australian power outlet?

Power adapters are compact, cheap and lightweight plastic adapters which allow an electrical socket in Australia to accept a different type of power plug from an appliance from another region.

Will a power adapter change the voltage from an Australian power outlet?

A power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt Australian power outlet and can't convert the power to a different voltage. If you need to safely use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance you will also need a more expensive step down power converter.

Do I need a plug adapter in Australia?

If the power outlet in your home country isn't the same as the shape of the plug outlet in Australia then you will need a power adapter.

Do I need a power adapter for Australia if I'm visiting from America?

American plugs won't physically fit in an Australian power outlet therefore you will need to use a power adapter for Australia, and because the voltage is 230 volts you will also need to use a power converter for Australia if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage to prevent overheating or damage.

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter for an Australian power outlet enables visitors from a different location to use their electrical devices in Australia by changing the shape of the power plug from one type to another.

Where can I buy a power adapter for Australia?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for Australia?

Power adapters are typically available in most major airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

On arrival power adapters can be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Australia power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Australia?

The type of plug socket used in Australia is type I. You can identify this power socket by the 3 slots forming a triangle configuration with a single vertical pin at the bottom and the top pair of slots sloping upward for the live, neutral and earth.

What plug sockets are used in Australia?

What is the voltage from an Australian power outlet?

The typical voltage from an Australian power outlet is 230 volts.

Do US plugs work in Australia?

No; an American plug won't work in Australia because it won't fit into an Australian power outlet without the use of a plug adapter. The voltage is 230 volts therefore please use a power converter for Australia if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage and check that your device or appliance can work with a 50hz power outlet.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Australia?

Use a step down power converter should you wish to use a 110 volt or 120 volt appliance in an Australian power outlet.

Is the voltage in Australia the same as the US?

The voltage in Australia is 230 volts, however Americans use 120 volts. If your American charger or appliance won't handle dual voltage then you will need use a suitable power converter for an Australian power outlet which allows a 120 volt American device to work with a 230 volt outlet.

Is an Australian power outlet the same as the US?

A US plug won't fit in an Australian power outlet therefore use a plug adapter for Australia. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage you will need to use a power converter for Australia and ensure that it works with a 50hz outlet.

What is the electrical frequency used in an Australian power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from an Australian power outlet is 50 Hz.

Australia chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

Why use a travel USB charger for Australia?

  • Most travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you should only need to bring one charger to charge multiple devices. Rather than bring 4 separate power chargers you only need to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 separate devices which cuts down on the weight and size of your luggage.
  • All travel USB power chargers include interchangeable plug heads for various countries making them ideal if visiting different countries across Oceania which are likely to use a different standard to Australia.
  • A good USB charger is compact, rugged and lightweight - perfect for the rigors of travel rather than risking bringing a domestic charger which could be impossible to replace in Australia.
  • USB chargers can accept both the 230 volts used in Australia power outlets plus different voltage standards in other countries.
  • There is a possibility that hotels in Australia only have a single wall outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports allows you to share the single power supply with family or other traveler instead of waiting to charge each device one by one.
  • Because of their flexible nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of travelling to an unknown country as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere around the world.
  • Power outlets found in airport departure gates are often sparse and the demand for charging multiple devices during departure can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is perect.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a good travel charger allows for unexpected surges to prevent damage to any devices connected to it. Trying to repair an overloaded cell phone or tablet in Australia might prove inconvenient and costly.
  • Larger USB chargers also incorporate a power outlet strip to allow you to power low wattage domestic appliances such as laptops, but these will be unsuitable for high powered appliances such as hair dryers or clothes irons. See our section on using travel appliances with an Australian power outlet for helpful advice on the best power adapter to use with an Australian power outlet for high powered devices.
  • Certain cell phones and tablets might pull more than the usual 500 mA (milliamps) produced from a normal 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Premium USB chargers will support fast charging incase any of your devices need additional power.
  • On back at home travel USB power chargers can still be used by charging multiple cell phones overnight using only a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Australia?

The is the most compact option for travellers from around the world who only have USB devices, but for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs the following power adapters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power strips offer surge protection which is necessary when visiting regions with unstable power supplies. These travel adapters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering Europe, North America, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, China and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel adaptor has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular compact power converter for travellers originating from North America going to Australia using type B plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from North America using type B plugs and is a much more cost effective alternative to the BESTEK with only 1 less AC outlet at almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers a more generous 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for a majority of travellers from around the world visiting Australia.

Power converters for Australia

What is a power converter for an Australian power outlet?

Power converters for Australia enable you to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electric device with a 230 volt Australian power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter [6] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to slot into a power outlet found in Australia, but a heavy and bulkier power converter [7] will transform the voltage of 230 volts from an Australian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt device.

Do I need a power converter for Australia?

If travelling to Australia from a different region check that the device will accept a 230 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter [8] is needed if you are visiting Australia from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance is incompatible with 230 volts. Read our WikiConnections world power outlets guide to find out the voltage is used in your country.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already own either a single voltage device that works with 230 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, devices which are designed to work with a lower voltage such as 120 volts and used with 230 volts run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device.
  • You won't need a converter if you are attempting to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet as these are normally dual voltage and designed for international use, however you should always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • When powering appliances which draw more power or generate heat (for example hair straighteners and clothes irons) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter [9] which allows it to be used with a 230 volt Australian power outlet.
  • Buying a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance could be more cost effective and practical than investing in a heavier high wattage power converter in order to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read these comprehensive guides on travelling with clothes irons, curling irons, hairdryers and flat irons with Australian power outlets , along with advice for some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter if I'm visiting Australia from America?

The voltage from a electric outlet in Australia is different to a US supply so bring a step down power converter [8] if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage.

What kind of converter do I need for Australia?

You will need a step down power converter [8] to use any 100-120 volt appliance with a 230 volt Australian power outlet.

What voltage does Australia use?

Australia uses 230 volts in their power outlets.

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [8] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with an 230 volt Australian power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Australia before plugging that into an Australian power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with an 230 volt Australian power outlet.
What is the difference between a converter and a transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a converter and a transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.
Is my device single voltage or dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair straighteners 2

Is my device single voltage or dual voltage?

The easiest method to tell if your appliance is dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the supplied power plug or on the appliance itself, normally near to where the power cord goes. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your device and could also state on the box or in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a large range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V.

What can I connect to an Australian power outlet?

Travel appliances which can connect to an Australian power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to an Australian power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with an Australian power outlet

Mobile phones that can be connected to the Australian power outlet

Apple iPhones which can connect to an Australian power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that can connect to an Australian power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with an Australian power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with an Australian power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting Australia, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [10].

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia - wikipedia web page about Australia.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type I plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type I power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  6. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter
  7. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  8. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  9. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets