There are always techniques to learn about each country’s telephone system. Australia’s system consists of timed long-distance calls, but local calls of unlimited duration. Public telephones exist, although not in abundance.
When making calls, look for 1-800... numbers. These calls are free. However, the owner of the number can choose the area from which he is willing to accept such calls.
Quite often the 1-800 numbers can be used only within the same state as the party being called, and occasionally the effective area is even more limited. 1-300... numbers and six-digit numbers starting with 13 are charged as local calls, as long as you are calling from within Australia (but are extremely expensive or unusable if you attempt to call them from overseas)..
Telephone cards are available and it is desirable to have one because telephones do not necessarily accept both coins and cards. As for international calls, the way to make these is to purchase one of the variety of cards available for the purpose. One first telephones the office of the company issuing the card. Then one taps in the code number on the card. Then one dials the number required. The most important thing with these cards is to ensure that you can telephone the office of the company by making a local telephone call. This means that there must be either a 1- 300 number given or a local number for the city from which you are making the call. Check this point before purchasing the card. It will affect the cost of the call very considerably.
Most cards offer the option of using a free 1-800 number, but you should understand that, although the 1-800 call is free, your international call will be charged at a considerably higher per minute charge than if you pay yourself for the call to the company. All this sounds complex, but the instruction is simple. Always use a local telephone number to contact the card company, so make sure that such a number is available before purchasing the card.
There are also kiosks provided for international telephone calls in some Internet shops. It should be noted that some establishments have private coin-operated telephones for the use of their customers or guests. With these telephones, local calls are usually timed and 1-800 numbers are sometimes unacceptable. These are not good telephones from which to make international card calls. It is better to go out and look for an ordinary public telephone.