General information

Electricity
Australia runs on 240V, 50hz current. Make sure the transformers, chargers, and electronic gear you bring with you can handle 240v. Plugs in Australia are different from those in the UK, USA, Europe, Asia and South-east Asia. Plug adapters can easily be purchased at electronic stores. If you need to purchase a transformer for your appliance, it might be advisable to buy it before you depart for Australia.

The plugs used here are different from those used in the UK and USA. Plug adapters are pretty easy to purchase here at electronic stores.

Entry and visas 
You will need a current passport to enter Australia, valid for at least six months after your date of return.

All visitors to Australia must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia (other than New Zealand passport holders who will normally be granted a Special Category visa on arrival, provided they meet health and character requirements). The passport you hold determines whether you can apply online for a visa, or if you need to lodge another type of visa application.

Some visitors (particularly from Africa and the Middle East) may require a letter from the ATAA concerning conference attendance.  It that is requested let us know, we will assist.

Please visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship  (http://www.border.gov.au/)

Languages

English is Australia’s official language. But Sydney is one of the world’s most multicultural cities, with more than 1.2 million residents who speak a different language at home. So you’re sure to find someone who speaks your ‘lingo’ (that’s Australian for language).

Travel Insurance

A good travel insurance policy covering theft, loss and medical problems is essential. Some policies specifically exclude designated ‘dangerous activities’ such as scuba diving, skiing and even bushwalking. Make sure the policy you choose fully covers you for your activity of choice.

Time Zones

Australia has three time zones:
Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT+10): New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland
Central Standard Time (CST) (GMT+09:30): South Australia and the Northern Territory
Western Standard Time (WST) (GMT+8): Western Australia

Daylight Savings
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of winding clocks forward one hour during the warmer months of the year. New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia do this from the beginning of October to the beginning of April. The Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia do not have daylight saving.

GMT offsets during daylight saving:  EST (GMT+10): Queensland
Daylight Saving EST (GMT+11): New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania

Visitors’ information centres

Sydney Visitor Centres make planning your holiday easy. Located at the corner of Argyle and Playfair Streets in The Rocks, it offers one-stop-shop convenience for visitor information, providing comprehensive details on tours, accommodation and entertainment, in and around Sydney at the time of your visit. It is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm daily.

The New South Wales Travel Centre is situated at 11 York Street, just above Wynyard Station. It is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday.

The CitiRail Host Centre is opposite No. 5 jetty at Circular Quay. It is open from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.

There is an information kiosk in Martin Place, near Castlereagh Street, that is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

There are information booths at the top of Sydney Tower and at Darling Harbour, both open seven days a week.

Weather

October is the middle of spring in Sydney. The weather at this time of year is increasingly warm and sunny. Throughout October, the average daytime temperature in Sydney has risen to around 18°C while high temperatures are also heating up, at an average of 22°C on the warmest days. Temperatures do drop at night, but the average minimum average temperatures never feel too cold, and tend to hover around 14°C in October. You may need a jacket for evenings in Sydney though.

Just like the rest of the year, there’s plenty of sunshine to be seen in October. The average amount of sunshine that Sydney should expect this month is 9 hours each day, with a 21% chance of a sunny day. Always use SPF30+ sunscreen (or higher); apply it 30 minutes before going into the sun and repeat applications regularly.

If the warm, sunny weather makes you want to hit the beach in Sydney, swimming is a viable option in October.