Information for international visitors

Banking and money

Banks: As a general guide, banks across the city are open for business Monday to Friday 9.30am-4pm. Some banks in local shopping centres are also open Saturday and Sunday (with varying opening hours).

Automatic teller machines (ATMs): ATMs are located throughout the city and will recognise cards issued by most banks.

Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club are accepted across the city by most outlets.

Currency exchange:  Sydney Airport offers currency exchange facilities within the airport.  Throughout Sydney CBD you'll find numerous bureaux de change. Most banks also offer currency exchange services.

Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100

Coins: 5¢, 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1 and $2

Pricing: Australian prices occasionally end in a variant of 1¢ or 2¢. Where this occurs, at the cash register the price is rounded to the nearest 5¢.


October is the middle of spring in Sydney. The weather at this time of year is increasingly warm and sunny with the average daytime temperature around 18 (64°F)- 22°C (72°F). Temperatures do drop at night, you may need a jacket for evenings. Just like the rest of the year, there's plenty of sunshine to be seen in October in Sydney, with an occasional chance of rain, however any spells of rain should clear up quickly and leave a mild climate once again.

Ultraviolet (UV) Index: Visitors to Sydney should look out for the UV index in local weather reports, which describes the daily solar UV radiation intensity. Protect yourself from sunburn by using SPF30+ sunscreen, which is readily available throughout Australia at supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies, and wearing sun-smart clothing, including a hat and sunglasses.


Mains supply in Australia is 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz with three-pin plugs used across the country. The Australian three-pin electrical socket differs from those found in most countries, and international travellers may require an adaptor socket. Standard outlets for 100-volt small appliances can be found in most hotel rooms.

Adaptors can be bought from all good travel stores, chemists and department stores located in and around the Sydney CBD.

Emergency services

In a life-threatening or time-critical emergency, dial Emergency Services on 000. The Triple Zero service is an operator-assisted service that connects callers to the most relevant emergency service organisation (police, fire brigade or ambulance). Calls to Triple Zero are free and can be made from all telephones (landline, mobile phones and payphones). When you dial 000 services, the most important thing to remember is to stay focused, stay relevant and stay on the line.

Goods and services tax

The goods and services tax (GST) is a broad-based 10 per cent tax included in the shelf price of most Australian goods and services. The Tourist Refund Scheme allows international travellers to claim a GST refund (subject to certain conditions) on some goods purchased in Australia. The refund applies only to items worn or goods taken on board as hand luggage when leaving the country.

Health and medical services

Australia has a high-standard healthcare system offering a mix of public and private services. Sydney offers various public and private hosptitals. St Vincent's Hospital is located in the inner city suburb of Darlinghurst, at 390 Victoria street.
Private medical practitioners can be easily located through the Yellow Pages website or telephone book. By international standards, Australian health services are not overly expensive, and many international travellers will find their country has reciprocal healthcare agreements with Australia. As a general guide, these agreements provide for any ill-health episode requiring prompt medical attention. Comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended.


English is the official language of Australia but many foreign languages are used by minorities in local communities, including Arabic, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese and Chinese dialects. Translation and interpreter services can be accessed 24 hours a day by calling 13 14 50.

Passport and visas

All international travellers must present a valid and approved travel document (generally a passport) as evidence of their identity and nationality to allow entry into Australia. In addition, all international travellers (with the exception of most New Zealand passport holders) must also obtain a valid visa before travelling to Australia.

As a general guide, travellers are encouraged to apply for their Australian visa well in advance of their planned departure date.

Find the right visa for you here

eVisitor visa

Passport holders from certain countries can apply for a visa online through the Australian Government’s eVisitor system. The eVisitor allows visitors to travel to Australia for short-term business or tourism purposes for up to three months. eVisitor applications are free.

Find out more about the eVisitor visa at

Electronic Travel Authority

Passport holders from a range of other countries (including the US) can apply for a visa online through the Australian Government’s Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) system. Alternatively, passport holders outside of Australia can apply for ETA through a travel agent, airline office, specialist service provider or Australian visa office. The ETA allows people to visit Australia for short-term tourism or business purposes of up to three months. An ETA is available to passport holders from more than 30 countries, regions and locations.

Find out more about the ETA at

Note: The eVisitor and ETA systems provide the electronic equivalent of a visa for the short-term traveller, replacing the traditional passport visa label or stamp. Most applications are processed within a day.

For conference organisers and delegates, specialised visa advice is available through the Australian Government’s International Event Coordinator Network (IECN). Located across the country, IECN staff work with event organisers to provide free advice and visa- processing assistance for international travellers invited to speak at, perform in, or attend an event in Australia.

Check the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for eligibility requirements at


Located in the state of New South Wales (NSW), on the east coast of Australia, Sydney is the most populous city in Australia, with the metropolis surrounding the world's largest natural harbour. Sprawling about 70 km (43.5 mi) Greater Sydney has an estimated population of 5 million people. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". NSW is the most populated state of Australia with over 6.2 million people. 

Sydney is Australia’s oldest settlement city, and is the leading destination for tourists, almost 32.5 million people visited the NSW capital in 2013-14.

The Sydney area has been inhabited by indigenous Australians for at least 30,000 years.

Post offices

There are several Australia Post offices located around the Sydney CBD. The closest Australia Post offices to the ICC Sydney are located at:

  • Pyrmont Post Office, Shop 1, 183 Harris Street, Pyrmont. (12 minute walk from ICC Sydney)
  • QVB Market Street Post Office, 44 Market Street, Sydney (13 minute walk from ICC Sydney)

Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Stamps can often be purchased at newsagents. You may also be able to purchase stamps at your Hotel reception.

Transport in Sydney

Sydney has an extensive public transport system, covering trains, light rail, buses, trams and ferries. You can use First Stop Transport to get tips for making your trip as smooth as possible, to access transport resources, and to locate further information. The self-assessment sections will help you to check your understanding of how it all works. For more information on how to get to and from the airport, hire a car or getting around Sydney, please refer to Getting there and around.

Telephone assistance

Most public telephones have International Direct Dialing and Subscriber Trunk Dialing. Phone cards for public phones and recharge cards for mobile phones can be bought from most newsagents, supermarkets and convenience stores. Many public phones also accept coins and credit cards. The international dialing code is 0011, followed by the country code and number.

Directory assistance: 1223

The international dialing code for Sydney is +612.

Time zones

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is observed in Sydney, and on Sunday 7 October 2018 at 2am the time will be shifted forward by 1 hour, resulting in a 11-hour difference ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+11).

After the Southern hemisphere summer months the time will be shifted back by 1 hour resulting in the normal standard time (April 2019).


Service with a smile is the rule of thumb in Australia and tipping is always optional. If the service is worthy of a tip, it will be appreciated.


Visitor information services 

Visit the Sydney Visitor Information Centre at

Shop 1-2, The Rocks Centre
Cnr Argyle and Playfair Streets, The Rocks
(02) 8273 0000

Opening hours:
Mon – Sun: 9:00am to 5:30pm


Key dates

16 January - Call for proposals opens

28 February - Call for proposals closes

22 May - Call for proposals notifications

1 June - Registration opens

1 August - Early bird registration closes

9 October 2018 - Conference starts