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Sydney

The mighty Harbour Bridge at sunset

Practical Info about Sydney

Time

GMT +10 (GMT +11 from the first Sunday in October to the first Saturday in April).

Electricity

Electrical current is 240/250 volts, 50Hz. Three-pin flat blade plugs are used but are different to those in most other countries, so an adapter is normally required.

Currency

The unit of currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD), which is divided into 100 cents. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are freely available throughout the country. Banks and bureaux de change exchange most foreign currencies. Banking hours are generally 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.

Communication

The international dialling code for Australia is +61. Australian mobile phone companies operate on GSM networks, so some foreign phones may not be compatible with the local networks. Mobile phones are available for rent and internet cafes are widely available.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 000 (112 on cellphones)

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Australia Day 27 Jan 26 Jan
Western Australia - Labour Day 3 Mar 2 Mar
Capital Territory - Canberra Day 10 Mar 9 Mar
South Australia - Adelaide Cup Day 10 Mar 9 Mar
Tasmania - Eight Hours Day 10 Mar 9 Mar
Victoria - Labour Day 11 Mar 10 Mar
Good Friday 18 Apr 3 Apr
Easter Saturday 19 Apr 4 Apr
Easter Monday 21 Apr 6 Apr
Anzac Day 25 Apr 25 Apr
Northern Territory - May Day 5 May 4 May
Western Australia Day 2 Jun 1 Jun
Queens Birthday 9 Jun 8 Jun
New South Wales - Bank Holiday 4 Aug 3 Aug
Brisbane - Royal Queensland Show 13 Aug 12 Aug
Capital Territory - Family and Community Day 29 Sep 28 Sep
Western Australia - Queens Birthday 29 Sep 28 Sep
Capital Territory - Labour Day 6 Oct 5 Oct
New South Wales - Labour Day 6 Oct 5 Oct
Queensland - Labour Day 6 Oct 5 Oct
South Australia - Labour Day 6 Oct 5 Oct
Victoria - Melbourne Cup Day 4 Nov 3 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 Dec 26 Dec

Climate

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The summer season (November to March) is the most popular time to visit Sydney, with temperatures regularly hitting the mid-90s Fahrenheit (35°C). November and March are favoured by visitors wanting sunshine without the searing heat. Winter days can also be warm, regularly in the 70-80 degree Fahrenheit range (21-27°C), but can also be damp and chilly. Winter nights are likely to be cold.

Getting around the city

Sydney has a good network of buses, trains and ferries that make getting around the city and the surrounds easy. The bus network is the most extensive and cheapest mode of public transport, but can be slow due to traffic jams. There are also several hop-on hop-off Explorer buses for tourists that take in the major sights and surrounding beaches. The underground city centre train loop is the fastest way to get around, but many of the tourist areas, including Darling Harbour, Bondi Beach and Manly, can only be reached by further ferry or bus connections. The best and most pleasurable way to get around is by ferry - the main terminal is at Circular Quay. There is also a 10-minute monorail loop from the city centre to Darling Harbour and back, and a Metro Light Rail 'tram' system between Central Station and Wentworth Park in Pyrmont. In addition, metered taxis are plentiful and fairly economical. Hiring a car for short visits is not recommended due to heavy congestion (in peak hours) and limited parking in the city centre.

Kingsford Smith (Sydney) Airport

www.syd.com.au

Getting to the city

The Airport Rail Link is the fastest and most convenient way to reach the city centre and the suburbs. Trains run every 10 minutes and the journey to the centre takes 13 minutes, from where connections can be made for all suburban services. The International rail station is located directly below T1 International Terminal and is reached from inside the terminal on the arrivals level; the Domestic rail station is between the domestic terminals. Public bus 400 runs between the airport and Bondi Junction. Shuttle bus companies provide direct transport to and from the airport and must be pre-booked; hotel buses are also available.

Car rental

All the main car hire companies are represented at the airport.

Airport taxi's

There are supervised taxi ranks outside the terminal; regular taxis and maxi taxis (for groups) are available from here. The taxi fare to the city centre should be about A$44 to A$55, excluding tolls.

Transfer between terminals

The Airport Rail Link connects the international (T1) and domestic terminals (T2 and T3), and the T-Bus provides a frequent service between T1 and T2. The Domestic terminals are walking distance apart.

Facilities

There are a wide variety of shops, bars and restaurants throughout the terminals, as well as shower facilities, internet kiosks, designated smoking areas, cell phone rental and duty-free shopping. Foreign exchange and ATMs are available throughout the airport. Medical facilities and baggage storage are also available in T1. Business services in Terminals 1 and 2 offer meeting rooms, fax and internet.

Parking

Both the domestic and international terminals have easily accessible parking areas. Rates start at A$8 for the first 30 minutes. The cheapest rate for a full day of parking is A$45 in P3. Discounts are available for booking online in advance.

Internet

Wifi is available throughout the terminals but it is not free.