A new city can be exciting and sometimes confusing. But with these important tips, you’ll be able to save time and enjoy your Sydney experience.
1. TRAVELLING TO/FROM SYDNEY
Sydney Airport is Australia’s international gateway, serviced by all the major passenger airlines. It offers more than 600 scheduled services per week, including direct or one-stop services from major hub cities. The city centre is a convenient 8 km (5 miles) from the airport, accessible by train or taxi.
Unless you’re an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you’ll need a visa to enter Australia for your event. For the most up-to-date information about how to apply for a visa, visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website. Make sure you apply well before your trip!
3. INCOMING PASSENGER CARDS
You’ll probably need to complete and present a passenger card when you enter and leave Australia. Your airline crew will give you this card to complete before you land.
Australia is a clean, green nation, and free of many common diseases. You don’t need any specific vaccinations to enter Australia, but if you’re travelling from a yellow fever-infected country, you will need to present a yellow fever certificate.
5. AUSTRALIAN QUARANTINE INSPECTIONS
Australia is an island that is protected from a number of diseases. To keep it this way, our quarantine process is extremely strict. Bags can be x-rayed, searched and checked by sniffer dogs. You will be given a list of what you can and can’t bring into the country.
Australian money comes in both notes and coins. The notes are: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The coins are: 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and $1 and $2. You’ll find currency exchange facilities at the international airport, throughout the city centre, and at most banks and Australia Post offices.
7. CREDIT CARDS AND ATMS
All major credit cards (including Visa, Mastercard, American Express) are widely accepted in Australia. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are available throughout the city and accept most common cards.
In Sydney, and throughout Australia, the electrical supply is 240 volts, 50Hz. International adaptors are readily available at chemists (drug stores) and electrical supply stores. Most hotels provide 110-volt outlets for shavers.
9. SYDNEY CLIMATE
Sydney enjoys a pleasant and temperate year-round climate, with more than 340 sunny days a year! To pack appropriately, we recommend you learn more about local forecasts in the area you’re planning to visit.
10. SYDNEY SEASONS
Summer – December to February
Autumn – March to May
Winter – June to August
Spring – September to November
11. TIME ZONES
Sydney is one of the first cities to wake up each day. We’re 10-11 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), depending on the time of year.
English is Australia’s main community language, and Auslan is our sign language. Sydney is also one of the world’s most multicultural cities, and many residents use other languages too.
13. GETTING AROUND
Sydney is a walking city, so bring some comfortable shoes! Most places you’ll need to go are easily accessible by foot, but if you’d prefer a different mode of transport, the city’s extensive public transport network is always nearby. It includes trains, buses, ferries and taxi services.
14. AUSTRALIAN GOODS AND SERVICES TAX (GST)
A Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% is included in the ticketed purchase price of almost all consumer goods and services in Australia. If you have any questions relating to the GST, please contact the Australian Tax Office directly.
15. THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Living is serious business in Sydney. Our city is united by water and we make the most of it. Our harbour is alive with activity, with events and festivals all year round, and a thriving arts, music, theatre and dining culture. You can enjoy many things at little or no cost. Find out more
16. EATING OUT
Sydney is one of the most eclectic food capitals in the world, with diverse, fresh and creative cuisines to be savoured. Our restaurants span the full spectrum when it comes to catering for different tastes and budgets. Check out this great guide to some of the local favourites.
17. TAX-FREE SHOPPING
Sydney International Airport offers international visitors duty-free shopping for a large range of luxury brands. You may also be eligible for a refund of the GST paid on goods you purchase during your time in Sydney. Find out more about applying for the Tourist Refund Scheme.
Sydney doesn’t operate on a tipping culture. You may tip to show your appreciation for good service, but it’s not a requirement anywhere. As a guide, a tip of 10% in restaurants and taxis would be an indication that you were very happy with the service you received.