Useful Information

Presented below is some useful information for your trip to APATCC 2019. If there is anything you are still unsure about, pleaseĀ contact us.

Most stores in central CBD Sydney will be open until 7.00pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Thursday has extended hours until 9.00pm in most stores. Weekends are usually 9.00 or 10.00am to 4.00pm. Please note some businesses will not open until 10.00am. Supermarkets are open much later with large chains usually open 7.00am to 11.00pm. During the week, banks open at 9:00 or 9:30am and close at 4:00pm, except on Fridays, when they are open from about 9:00am to roughly 5:00pm. Most banks are closed on weekends and public holidays. Automatic Teller Machines run 24 hours and are located throughout Sydney. Currency exchange facilities can be found at various locations in the city, as well as at airports, banks, and larger hotels.

Australian drivers drive on the left-hand side of the road. A 50 km/h speed limit applies in most residential areas. Open highways 100-110 km/h. View speed limit signs. Seat belts mandatory. Strict drink driving laws apply. Bring your current driver's licence if you want to hire a vehicle.

The major international car rental companies all have offices in Sydney. In addition, there are local companies that offer car rental at reduced prices. A major local car rental company whose rates are worth checking out is Bayswater Car Rental.

Credit cards are generally widely accepted, and in particular Visa, MasterCard and often American Express will be accepted by most restaurants and cafes and hotels.

Decimal currency is used in Australia; currency units are dollars (AUD) and cents. Australian notes are: $100, $50, $20, $10, $5. Coins are: $2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c.

You can look up currency exchange rates online.

The electrical supply is 240 volts, at 50 Hz. Outlets are of the Australian AS 3112 standard (Type I plugs), with two angled flat blades and a third vertical flat blade for grounding. Most larger city hotels provide 110 volt plugs for shavers. Power points and plugs look like those pictured below.

Australian power plug and socket

Dial 000 from a fixed line or 112 from a mobile phone. Police, ambulance, fire.

Australia has a high standard of hygiene; doctors and dentists are highly trained, and hospitals are well-equipped. In the event of illness, hotel staff can arrange a doctor for you. On arrival in Australia, individuals who have stayed overnight or longer in a yellow fever risk country within the last 6 days will be asked to declare this on their IPC and show an International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever. Individuals arriving in Australia from a yellow fever risk country that do not hold a vaccination certificate will still be permitted to enter Australia without one. On arrival in Australia, biosecurity officers will reinforce the seriousness of the disease and provide the individual with a Yellow Fever Action Card. The card provides instructions on what to do if the individual develops any signs or symptoms of yellow fever.

It is strongly recommended that delegates take out adequate travel and health insurance prior to commencement of travel.

If you need assistance obtaining a visa, register and pay through the website. You will automatically receive a confirmation email that will contain a link to a PDF invitation letter. Invitation letters will not be issued to people who have NOT registered. If your visa application is unsuccessful, a full refund less a AU$44 administration fee will be provided if 7 days' notice is provided before the conference. We are liaising with the International Event Coordinator Network (IECN) of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, to facilitate visa applications. Please present your registration confirmation letter and PDF visa letter when lodging your visa application at the Australian immigration office in your country. We are regularly providing a list of paid delegates to the IECN office in Australia.


Attendance at some social events may be restricted in numbers. It is strongly recommended that you book for these functions with your registration to avoid disappointment. Preference will be given in sequence as payments are received.

Every international visitor requires a valid passport to enter Australia. Anybody from a country eligible for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) can apply for one online: this will let you stay in Australia for up to three months. Anybody from a country ineligible for an ETA needs to apply for a visa from an Australian visa office, embassy, or Consulate. Details and eligibility are at the Department of Home Affairs.

Sydney has an extensive network of buses, trains and ferries. There are a wide variety of fare packages. You can get a free smartcard (Opal) ticket to load funds for use on trains, buses, ferries and light rail. Opal cards can be purchased from major railway stations, bus transit shops, and selected newsagencies and newsstands.

Australia is free from many plant and animal diseases prevalent in other countries. Very strict quarantine rules apply to the importation of animals and plants. Quarantine officers screen all flights, passengers, baggage, mail and cargo coming into Australia. More information can be found at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Australia applies a 10% tax called Goods and Service Tax (GST) to most goods and services sold. Tax is included in advertised prices, unless specified otherwise.

Australia also has a Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS), which enables a traveller to claim a GST refund on purchases of $300 or more. The purchases must be made in one store, within sixty days of leaving Australia, and must be worn or carried out of Australia. They should be presented, along with their original tax invoice, to a customs official no later than 30 minutes before your flight out of Australia (90 minutes is recommended due to the lines).

Boats outside Sydney Opera House

During APATCC 2019, Sydney will be ten hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (i.e. GMT+10), for further information click here.

Tipping is not as widespread or regulated in Australia as it is in some other parts of the world. Although it is less common to tip in Australia than it is in the USA, many people still choose to give tips for good service. Some people choose to give a fixed percentage of the total bill, whilst others give what change they have. Generally, service charges are not added to hotel or restaurant bills, leaving the value of the tip completely up to the tipper.

September/October is spring in Sydney. The average temperature ranges from about 12–22 °C (52–72 °F). For more information, visit the Bureau of Meteorology.