Every traveler should know that plugs with parallel flat prongs are required for outlets in North and South America while those with round pins and a grounding prong are perfect for Europe and other countries. But for travelers to Australia, this rule of thumb doesn’t apply so efficiently. Basically, travel adaptors in Australia aren’t as interchangeable or adaptable as they were with the rest of the world because of their unique V-shaped prongs. The grounded version has the same vee formation of the main prongs with a third one below in a vertical position.
Type I Electrical Sockets in the Commonwealth
Specifically, most power outlets in Australia are the AS-3112 type with a grounding prong. It looks so much like the standard outlets for the Chinese CPCS-CCC and the Argentine IRAM. Moreover, the outlets produce around 220 to 240 volts of electricity on average. Any appliance that runs on this voltage input or anything that’s compatible with multiple electrical inputs only needs a travel adaptor. Otherwise, travelers would need an additional transformer or power converter for North American devices and appliances that usually run on 110 to 120 volts only.
Devices with 100 to 240 Volts Input/Output Capacity
Most laptops, cellphone chargers, digital cameras, and PDAs can switch automatically from low to high voltage or from 50 Hz to 60 Hz, and vice-versa. Travelers only need a travel adapter to recharge these types of equipment in their hotel room. Meanwhile, North American hand-held devices like hairdryers, curling irons, shavers, and flat irons mostly operate on 110 to 120 volts of power. When you know your equipment was bought in the United States or in Canada, you should bring along a transformer to let you use them without short-circuiting them.
Reading the Electrical Info on the Plug
Labels with their electrical info are often seen stuck on the bottom of appliances or on their sides. Information such as 120V 60Hz 2.5A means that the equipment can only be used with a socket that outputs 120 volts. Meanwhile, label info that looks like this: 120/220V 50/60Hz 200W can mean the equipment is compatible with both high and low voltage outputs in different regions. Then, a sign that says 100-240V 50/60Hz 65W is a reassurance that your equipment can be used with any type of socket in any country without fear of destroying the appliance.
Most travel adapters are available as universal types for Australia and New Zealand. They either have retractable prongs or interchangeable heads that fit to various sockets. In truth, grounding pins aren’t necessary at all.