Australia’s largest and most famous city, Sydney is home to beautiful beaches, iconic
buildings, historic landmarks, award-winning restaurants, and a uniquely vibrant
culture. From the breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour to the serene tranquility
of Hyde Park
, Sydney has something for everyone.
Arriving In Sydney
The Kingsford Smith Airport is the main international and domestic airport. It is
about 10 kilometres (6 miles) south-west of the Central Business District and Sydney
Harbour. For direct bus transport from the airport to
or catch the train
for a 13 minute trip to Central Station.
Things to See and Do
If it’s your first visit to Sydney, the first place you'll want to visit is
. Although it's
one of the most photographed locations in the world, nothing can compare to seeing the harbour, the Sydney Harbour
Bridge and the
Sydney Opera House
with your own eyes. Take a stroll along Circular Quay and soak up the atmosphere, or catch
a ferry to
or Watsons Bay and enjoy the beauty of the harbour and its surroundings. As well as being a
main transport hub, Circular Quay
has some of Sydney’s best restaurants, including
. Or pick from a wide range of other dining options
at Circular Quay
Sydney has restaurants in all price ranges offering all types of
menus to suit any taste. You'll find restaurants here that offer vegetarian and
vegan and to suit organic, gluten free, halal and kosher diets. If you want Asian,
Mediterranean, African, South American, Western or good old Australian cuisine then
you need look no further. Or search for a restaurant online using sites like
, which provide comprehensive eating out guides.
Only a ten minute stroll from the Sydney Town Hall,
is the perfect place to entertain the whole family, enjoy
a delicious harbourside meal, or experience Sydney’s energetic nightlife. Darling
Harbour is also where you’ll find the Chinese Gardens of Friendship, the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
and WILD LIFE Sydney.
For a bird’s eye view of Sydney, head to the summit of
Sydney Tower Eye
. From here, you'll enjoy views stretching across the city
centre, out to the Pacific Ocean and west to the Blue Mountains. Thrill-seekers
should try the Sydney Skywalk experience, a moving, glass-floored viewing platform
at the top of
Sydney Tower Eye
. Also at the top, the
Sydney Tower Buffet
offers banquet-style dining with 360 degree views
of the city as you enjoy a relaxing meal. Take advantage of the special offer where
kids eat free on selected days all year round for lunch and dinner. In the heart
of the CBD in Sydney is the
Queen Victoria Building
, another must-see attraction. Dating back to the
1890s, this grand and beautiful building is now one of the city's premier shopping
Most Sydney tourist attractions are either within the central business district,
close to the CBD, or at points around the harbour. The exceptions are Bondi and
Manly - surf beach suburbs situated south and north of Sydney Heads. If you've only
got a week or a few days in Sydney, your time would be best spent by taking a walk around the wider CBD area, visiting
or spending time on the harbour.
The harbour is Sydney and on a warm day, with a clear blue sky, there is no better
place on earth.
Best Ways To Get Around
An efficient network of transport options makes travelling to attractions in Sydney and regional NSW affordable and enjoyable. The Sydney public transport system, provided by Transport for NSW, consists of trains, buses, ferries and light rail. Use the trip planner at transportnsw.info to plan your travel.
The Opal card is an easy, convenient way of paying for your travel on public transport in Sydney. It's the only card you'll need to get around on all public transport including trains, ferries, buses and light rail. For more information, visit www.opal.com.au
TripView displays Sydney train, bus, ferry and light rail timetables, showing your next services. By TripView Pty Ltd.
Wheelchair Accessible Transport
All ferries, trains and new buses in NSW are wheelchair accessible, providing easy access for prams and other mobility devices. You can ask for assistance boarding or leaving transport. Visit Transport for NSW’s accessible travel web page for more information.
Sydney's main terminus for local and regional trains and buses is Central Station at Railway Square, close to Chinatown.
Intercity and Country NSW Trains
Trains depart Central Station for many NSW destinations, including the South Coast, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, Central Coast, North Coast, Country NSW and Outback NSW. Travelling long distances is easy and affordable on regional train and coach services. NSW TrainsLink +61 13 22 32
Sydney Airport is one of the oldest continually operated airports in the world and the busiest airport in Australia. It is located about 8 kilometres south of Sydney's city centre in the suburb of Mascot.
Three passenger terminals at Sydney Airport are:
T1: International Terminal is used for international flights. It is open every day from 3am to 11:30pm. Customs are opened for departures passenger processing at 4am daily.
T2: Domestic Terminal is used by domestic and regional airlines including Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Tiger Airways. T2 Domestic Terminal is open every day from 4am to 11pm.
T3: Qantas Domestic Terminal is used for Qantas domestic flights. It is open every day from 4:45am to 10pm.
Looking for help at Sydney Airport? You'll find help desks in both the arrival and departure halls of T1 while a commissionaire's desk located in T3 is available to passengers needing wheelchair or other assistance.
For international passengers, trolleys are located in the baggage reclaim hall following Customs processing, and are free of charge.
Transport services such as buses, taxis, car hire, rail and shuttle bus services are conveniently located at Sydney Airport.
Regional Bus Services
Private bus companies run daily services along the coast and to the Blue Mountains from Eddy Avenue, outside Central Station.
Regional Air Services
Several airlines from Sydney Airport service destinations in the NSW regions. There are charter services, too.
Taxis and water taxis are a convenient way to get around Sydney.
Car rentals in Sydney
You’ll find a range of car rental options in Sydney, including car, 4WD, campervan and classic car hire.
A bicycle is a great way to get around. Cyclists use kerbside bike lanes and are permitted on most of Sydney's multi-lane roads. For more information go to: www.sydneycycleways.net
Live Traffic NSW App
Receive up to the minute news of road incidents and conditions that may affect your journey in Sydney and the NSW regions.
Download the Live Traffic NSW App from the App Store
Download the Live Traffic NSW App from Google Play
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 except Christmas Day and Good
Friday. The New South Wales Travel Centre is situated at 11 York Street, just above
. 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
English is Australia's national language and is spoken by all. Multilingual interpreters
are available at international entry points, major hotels and department stores.
Foreign Language Services are available via a range of free call numbers for specific
languages. Further details are available at www.telstra.com.au
(search for "Multicultural Numbers' in the Search bar).
To reflect the lifestyle, dress is usually relaxed and casual. Jackets and ties
are not normally required in restaurants and bars. Some establishments have dress
standards such as no jeans, thongs or sneakers. Business suits are acceptable for
work, dining out and special social functions. Lightweight clothing is recommended
in summer, with hat and sunglasses for protection from the sun. In winter, a jacket,
sweater and umbrella are suggested.
Sydney's climate is temperate meaning that you can expect warm summers coupled with
cool winters, with neither experiencing too great an extreme to be uncomfortable.
Sydney's temperatures are quite different when comparing the coastal areas with
the Western suburbs; variations of 2 to 5 degrees warmer in the West compared to
the coast are not uncommon. The yearly average maximum temperature for Sydney as
a whole is approximately 21.7°C (71.1°F), with the minimum average of 13.8°C (56.8°F)
reinforcing the general comfort level the climate provides.
Australia is a tolerant society where many forms of religion are practiced. Sydney
is a multicultural community and is home to many churches, temples, mosques and
prayer rooms which cater to a wide variety of religions.
Banking, Currency and Credit Cards
Banking hours in New South Wales are generally between 9.30am and 4.00pm Monday
to Friday. Some banks and credit societies are open on Saturdays for limited hours.
There are numerous Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) where funds can be accessed
24 hours a day throughout Sydney and many regional areas.
The currency is Australian Dollars (AUD or A$), a decimal system of dollars and
cents. Coins have values of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and $1 and $2, and notes denominations
are $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Typical exchange rates (as at 4 February 2014. Click
here for an on-line currency converter):
1 AUD = 0.89 USD
1 AUD = 1.07 NZD
1 AUD = 0.66 EUR
1 AUD = 0.54 GBP
1 AUD = 93.24 JPY
Exchange facilities are available at Sydney International Airport, city banks and
currency exchange kiosks. International class hotels will also exchange major currencies
for guests. The most frequently accepted credit cards are Visa, MasterCard, American
Express and Diners Club.
Health And Travel Insurance
Australian health standards are very high. Sydney, like most of Australia, presents
no significant health hazards to foreign visitors. Tap water is safe to drink, restaurants
and eating places are required by law to maintain high standards of food hygiene,
and the city is very clean. Sydney has many world-class hospitals with modern facilities.
Doctors and specialists are available through private consultation. Traveller medical
insurance is strongly recommended as Australia's Medicare system does not cover
visitors, except where reciprocal agreements exist for immediately medically necessary
treatment under their public health scheme (New Zealand, United Kingdom, Republic
of Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Malta and Italy).
For further information, visit
and access Visitors to Australia.
In a very limited number of cases, a health assessment may be required before the
granting of a visa. For more information, see
In Australia cars are right-hand drive and travel on the left-hand side of the road.
Australian states and territories use two "default" speed limits. These apply automatically
in the absence of 'posted' speed restriction signage. The two default speed limits
within built-up areas, 50 kilometres per hour (31 mph), except for the Northern
Territory which remains at 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph)
outside built-up areas, 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph); two exceptions are
Western Australia and the Northern Territory at 110 kilometres per hour (68 mph).
For information on driving licence requirements in New South Wales please refer
Australia is divided into three time zones:
Western Standard: UTC/GMT + 8 hours - this
applies to the whole of Western Australia including Perth, and is the same time
zone as Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Taipei.
Central Standard: UTC/GMT - 9.5 hours - this
applies to South Australia and Northern Territory.
Eastern Standard: UTC/GMT + 10 hours - this
applies to Queensland. New South Wales. Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and
Like most Australian states, daylight saving hours apply to New South Wales. Clocks
advance forward by one hour between the first Sunday in October and the first Sunday
in April the following year. Details of time zones can be obtained from
Although a good percentage of Sydney’s entertainment venues, retail outlets and
accommodation venues are wheelchair friendly, it is recommended to telephone ahead
to confirm a venue’s facilities.
Taxes And Tipping
A general Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent applies on goods and services
purchased in Australia. This is included in the ticket price displayed in retail
outlets. Travellers to Australia may reclaim the GST under the Tourist Refund Scheme
on departure - see www.customs.gov.au
more information (select Travellers).
A Passenger Movement Charge (previously called "Departure Tax") is included in your
airline ticket price. Please check with your travel agent or airline for any further
There is no tradition of tipping in Australia: it is therefore not expected and
service is given with a smile. However, where the service has been particularly
good, you may tip if you wish. A 10% tip in restaurants and hotel bars is normal
for good service. Bar staff in pubs are happy with loose change. Taxi drivers do
not expect tips, but it is usual to `round-up' the fare to the nearest dollar or
two - a little more if you have plenty of luggage or the driver has been particularly
Smoking is actively discouraged. Smoking is prohibited inside all Australian airports,
on all buses, trains, ferries and other forms of public transport, and tourist coaches.
In New South Wales smoking is not allowed in any cinema, theatre, gallery, government
or private office building or department stores and shops. smoking is banned at
public (outdoor) playgrounds within 10 m of children's play equipment, in open areas
of public swimming pools, at major sports grounds, within 4 m of any building open
to the public and at public transport stops (including outdoor parts of railway
stations, bus stops, light rail stops and taxi ranks). The display of tobacco products,
packages and smoking implements at point of sale has also been banned.
The standard voltage of supply in Australia is 240 volts AC (50 hertz) with 10%
tolerance. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from many countries,
including Asia, so visitors may need an adaptor socket. Most hotels and motels provide
110-volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only. For all other
equipment, an adaptor/converter is necessary.
Internet And Email
There are many public internet facilities located around the city and regional centres.
Most hotels offer in-room high-speed internet connections.
Public phones are located around Sydney and in regional areas. Most use pre-paid
phone cards which are available from post offices, newsagents and other outlets.
Telephone cards offering cost effective calling rates are freely available from
most newsagents and convenience stores and can be used from any phone. The international
dialing code from Australia is 0011 followed by the country code.
- Emergency: 000
- Directory assistance: 1223
Popular shopping precincts in Sydney are open seven days a week, from 9am to 5.30pm
except on Thursdays when many shops are open until about 9pm. Some specialty shops
in major shopping centres open later in the morning but will stay open until 6pm
or 7pm Monday to Friday, with 9am-5pm trading on weekends. Supermarkets in these
centres may open for 24 hours or from very early in the morning until very late
at night. Most shops close for public holidays.
Post Office Hours
Australia Post has a wide network of post offices open from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday