Suggestions for buying a cell phone while in Australia for two weeks?

I will be visiting Australia for a couple of weeks. We like to have local phones when we visit a different country so that we can have local phone numbers and be able to check email or some websites while on the road. Can anyone suggest the best approach? We want to have working phones when we arrive since... show more I will be visiting Australia for a couple of weeks. We like to have local phones when we visit a different country so that we can have local phone numbers and be able to check email or some websites while on the road.

Can anyone suggest the best approach? We want to have working phones when we arrive since we've had trouble locating SIM cards at times, and we'd like to be able to call the hotel when we arrive rather than have to look for SIM cards in the airport.

In the past (in other countries) we've taken old GSM phones and bought prepaid SIM cards before leaving. Will that work in Australia? Do they use GSM and SIM cards?

Also, if anyone can suggest which pre-paid services are inexpensive, that would be helpful too. We'll be in Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns, so we'll need access in those areas. Smart phones would be best.

Thanks!
Update: Nice attitude Tentophile. How about dropping the attitude and posting something helpful? I don't want to use a pay phone when I'll be arriving without Australian coins and don't want to be ripped off exchanging money at the airport. I prefer to arrive with a working phone -- I don't really care if... show more Nice attitude Tentophile. How about dropping the attitude and posting something helpful? I don't want to use a pay phone when I'll be arriving without Australian coins and don't want to be ripped off exchanging money at the airport. I prefer to arrive with a working phone -- I don't really care if you find that a useful goal. As a seasoned traveler, I've had many crisis occur upon arrival and like to be prepared.

Besides, there's no question I want a phone -- it's not something I will "decide later."

WTF?
Update 2: Thanks Barnaby. Are these smart phones?
Update 3: Sorry Rona, I just get annoyed at people who think it's their place to tell you you're doing things wrong. I've been doing this for 20 years and I know what I'm doing and why I'm doing things my way. Also, I'm in Reno and you can't at $AUD here -- not at a bank; not at an airport kiosk.... show more Sorry Rona, I just get annoyed at people who think it's their place to tell you you're doing things wrong. I've been doing this for 20 years and I know what I'm doing and why I'm doing things my way.

Also, I'm in Reno and you can't at $AUD here -- not at a bank; not at an airport kiosk. I've tried. Sacramento, SF, or LV, sure. Reno? No.

Thanks for the other information.

Sheila,

Thanks for the info on the Kiosk. That might be very helpful. Our credit union has great rates for foreign exchange, so that's not an issue. If I can't get a SIM card here in time, I know I can get one there. And thanks for the link on GSM phones!
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