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American Express -- The foreign exchange office at 645 Hay St. Mall (tel. 1300/139 060) is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm, closed Sunday.

Business Hours -- Banks are open Mon through Thu 9:30am to 4pm and until 5pm Fri, though some branches open Sat mornings. Shopping hours have finally moved into the 21st century. Most retail shops open 8am to 9pm Mon to Fri and 8am to 5pm Sat. They can also open Sun and holidays in Perth, Fremantle, Northbridge, and Subiaco. Note that not all stores open from 6pm onward.

Currency Exchange -- Go to the American Express office or Travelex, Murray St Mall, 267 Murray St, (tel. 08/9322 6277; Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-3:30pm, Sun noon-4pm). Check www.travelex.com.au for other locations.

Dentists -- LifeCare Dental (tel. 08/9221 2777, or 08/9383 1620 emergencies) is on the Upper Walkway Level, Forrest Chase shopping complex, 419 Wellington St., opposite Perth Railway Station. Open daily 8am to 8pm.

Doctors -- Central City Medical Centre is on the Perth Railway Station concourse, 378 Wellington St. (tel. 08/9225 1188. Open daily 8am to 6pm.

Embassies & Consulates -- The United States Consulate-General is at 16 St. Georges Terrace (tel. 08/9202 1224). The Canadian Consulate is at 267 St. Georges Terrace (tel. 08/9322 7930). The British Consular Agency is at Level 26, 77 St. Georges Terrace (tel. 08/9224 4700).

Emergencies -- Dial tel. 000 for fire, ambulance, or police for emergencies only. This is a free call; no coins are needed from a public phone.

Hospitals -- Royal Perth Hospital, in the city center, has a public emergency/casualty ward (tel. 08/9224 2244). Enter from Victoria Square, off the eastern end of Murray Street.

Luggage Storage & Lockers -- The Perth YHA Backpackers Hostel, 300 Wellington St. (tel. 08/9287 3333) stores luggage, and there are lockers at both international and domestic terminals at the airport.

Pharmacies -- Amcal Pharmacy Forrest Chase (tel. 08/9221 1691), on the upper level of the Forrest Chase shopping center, 425 Wellington St., is open Mon through Thu 8am to 7pm, until 9pm Fri, Sat 8:30am to 6pm, and Sun 10am to 6pm. Most pharmacies will make local deliveries -- try either Friendlies or Amcal Chemist branches, listed in the telephone directory.

Police -- Dial tel. 000 in a life-threatening emergency. Otherwise call tel. 13 14 44 to be connected to the nearest station. Perth Police Station, 60 Beaufort St. (tel. 08/9223 3715), and Fremantle Police Station, 45 Henderson St. (tel. 08/9430 1222), are open 24 hours.

Safety -- Perth is safe, but steer clear of the back streets of Northbridge and the city center malls late at night -- where groups of teenagers may congregate -- even if you are not alone.

Time Zone -- Western Australian time (WS) is Greenwich Mean Time plus 8 hours. Standard time is 2 hours behind Sydney and Melbourne, but 3 hours behind Oct to March. Call tel. 1194 for the exact local time.

Weather -- Call tel. 1196 for a recorded local weather forecast, or check www.bom.gov.au/weather/wa/forecasts/perth.shtml.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.