Which travel adapter do you need when using a curling iron in Australia?

Australian power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can work in Australia:

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need to use a power adapter for Australia but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with an 230 volt Australian power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Australia, therefore please check that the power converter includes an appropriate power adapter for Australia otherwise you will still need to bring a seperate power adapter. Be aware that your domestic curling iron might not be suited for travelling and you risk potential damage in a suitcase. [5] [AD]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your curling iron. Before using your curling iron in Australia check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Australia

Will my curling iron work in Australia?

This depends on if your curling iron can handle the 230 volt power outlets used in Australia. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron is designed to operate using 230 volts and you have the appropriate plug adapter then you should be able to use the curling iron in Australia. If not then you will need to consider buying either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter, read our guide on can you use a power converter to use a domestic curling iron in Australia for help deciding which option is more suitable. [5] [AD]

Australia power outlets and plug sockets

What is the electrical frequency used in Australia?

The frequency in an Australian power outlet is 50Hz. [6]

What mains voltage is used in Australia?

Power outlets in Australia are 230 volts.

Which travel adapter do you need to bring for using a curling iron in Australia?

The type of power outlet used in Australia is type I. This plug outlet, technically called a type I power outlet, can be identified by the 3 thin slots for the live, neutral and earth. A Type I power adapter will allow you to use a 230 volt curling iron in Australia - read the step-by-step guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Australia. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to check if you have to bring a power converter.  [4] [7] [AD]

Which travel adapter do you need to bring for using a curling iron in Australia?

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron will handle a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle of your curling iron. The location might depend on the make or model of your curling iron, it could also be written in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage curling irons might change automatically but other models will have a button or switch which allows you to change between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are in.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage curling iron. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Australia then you should be able to use your curling iron with an Australian power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage curling iron which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 230 volts used in an Australian power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Australia.
  • A larger voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in Australia or any other country.

Travelling to Australia with a curling iron

Can curling irons go in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered curling iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA recommends that you should check that the airline which is flying you to Australia will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible by airport security, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cables tightly around curling irons). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against drops and knocks during transit.   [8] [9] [10] [AD]

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Australia?

It is preferable to packing a dual voltage curling iron rather than packing your existing domestic curling iron to Australia as it is safer to assume that it will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with an Australian power outlet, as long as you bring the correct power adapter for Australia.

It is also worth bearing in mind that bringing your expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk because of potential damage or loss in your check in luggage by airline baggage handlers. The cost and inconvenience of repairing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in Australia could overshadow the costs of purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] beforehand to bring along with you. If you intend to pack your own curling iron in your suitcase it is recommended to either slide it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which will also allow the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without risk of burning.  [9] [AD]

Power converters for Australia

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and heavy power converter converts the voltage of 230 volts from an Australian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron, however a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet found in Australia. [5] [AD]

Do I need a power converter to use a curling iron in Australia?

The correct model of power converter (or voltage transformer) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Australia. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring their own curling iron, however it might be considerably less expensive to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it is to purchase a power converter. A power converter is also significantly bulkier and heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suited for travelling compared to a travel curling iron. [5] [AD]

How to use a curling iron in Australia using a type I power adapter

Instructions on how to power your curling iron in Australia with a 3 pronged Type I power adapter.

  1. Please check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet - if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Travel curling irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in Australia - consult the user guide for more information on how to do this.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type I plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet which is used in Australia. The Type I plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries into a power outlet found in Australia simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Start by taking the Type I plug adapter and plugging it into the Australian power outlet. This plug supply (sometimes known as a Type I power outlet [3]) can be recognised by 3 thin slots for the live, neutral and earth. Be aware that the neutral and live pins are reversed compared to Argentinian power outlets, please check that your Type I travel adaptor is compatible in Australia.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type I plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Australian power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron can now be turned on.
How to use a curling iron in Australia using a type I power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia entry about Australia
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type I power outlet
  4. Type I plug adapter - Type I plug adapters use three short flat blades in a V format with the top blade acting as a grounding pin, estimated cost between $10 to $15 USD (£5-£10 GBP / around C$15).
  5. 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, under $100 USD (£100-£110 GBP / C$80-C$90).
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  9. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, under $15 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$20-C$25).
  10. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, between $45 to $50 USD (around £35 GBP / under C$80).