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Local Information

 

Transport from the Airport
Taxis are readily available at Sydney Airport and the journey to the city's central business district takes 20-30 minutes (longer during peak hours). The Airport Link rail service operates from approximately 0500 to midnight, seven days a week. It runs between the domestic and international terminals and all City Circle railway stations.

 

Public Transport around Sydney
Sydney's public transport network allows easy travel around the city - it includes buses, water ferries, monorail and light rail. Taxis can be hailed from the street or engaged at taxi ranks throughout the city.

 

There are frequent monorail and light rail services linking Darling Harbour with the city and a regular ferry services (15 minutes each trip) between Darling Harbour and Circular Quay (downtown).

 

Banks
Banks in Australia are open from 0930 to 1700 Monday to Thursday, and 0930 to 1700 on Fridays. Most banks are closed on weekends, although some banks in major cities open for limited hours on Saturday. Currency exchange facilities are available at the airport and most major hotels. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are available at a wide variety of outlets, and in most city streets.

 

Currency
Decimal currency is used in Australia - units are dollars and cents. Current exchange rates can be obtained from your bank. All major credit cards are widely accepted in Australia.

 

Credit Card Payments

Most businesses (hotels, restaurants, shops, etc.) charge an additional 2% - 4% for payments by credit cards.

 

Language
English is spoken throughout Australia and is the official language for the Conference.

 

Electricity
The electrical supply is 240 volts, 50Hz. The connection for appliances is a flat, 3-pin plug of unique design. Most hotels provide 110 volt outlets for shavers.

 

Climate
In Sydney, late October is the end of spring and you can look forward to temperatures of approximately 25 Celsius during the daytime and 15 Celsius in the evening.

 

Shopping
Most shops open from 0900 to 1700 during the week, with extended hours shopping on Thursdays to 2100. On Saturdays and Sundays, most shops are open between 0900 and 1700.

 

Taxes
A Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% applies to all consumer goods, and is included in retail prices.

Tipping
Service charges are not added to accounts by hotels and restaurants - tipping is your choice. You may tip hotel porters and restaurant staff (up to 10% of the bill) if you wish to acknowledged exceptional service.

 

Mobile Phones
Australia operates on a digital network, therefore analogue mobile or cell phones cannot be used. Mobile phones can be hired at Sydney Airport or telecommunication outlets.