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 mornings (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: Gold Coast Airport offers currency exchange facilities within the airport. Throughout the Gold Coast 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¢.

 


Climate

October is the middle of spring in the Gold Coast. The weather at this time of year is increasingly warm and sunny with the average daytime temperature around 15 (59°F)- 25°C (77°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 – Queensland is known as the ‘Sunshine State’. There is little rainfall at this time of year.

Ultraviolet (UV) Index: Visitors to the Gold Coast 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.

Electricity

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 Gold Coast 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. www.customs.gov.au

Health and medical services

Australia has a high-standard healthcare system offering a mix of public and private services. The Gold Coast offers various public and private hospitals. Gold Coast University Hospital is located on the former of Parklands Drive and Olsen Avenue in Southport.

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.

Language

English is the de facto 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 www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1

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 www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/651-

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 www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/601-

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 www.immi.gov.au.

Population

The Gold Coast is a metropolitan region south of Brisbane on Australia’s east coast with a population of over 500,000. It's famed for its long sandy beaches, surfing spots and elaborate system of inland canals and waterways. It’s also home to theme parks such as Dreamworld, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild. Inland, hiking trails crisscross Lamington National Park’s mountain ridges and valleys, home to rare birds and rainforest.

The Gold Coast was home to generations of indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The Yugambeh language people are the traditional custodians of the land located in south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales, now within the Logan City, Gold Coast, Scenic Rim, and Tweed City regions whose ancestors all spoke one or more dialects of the Yugambeh Language.

Post offices

There are several Australia Post offices located around the Gold Coast CBD. The closest Australia Post office to the GCCEC is located at:

Oasis Shopping Resort, Shop 144/26 Victoria Ave, Broadbeach QLD 4218 – approx. 10 min walk

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. www.auspost.com.au

Gold Coast transportation

The Gold Coast has an extensive public transport system, covering trains and buses. For comprehensive information on transport to get you around the city, please click here.

Shopping

More information coming soon.

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 Gold Coast is +617.

Time zones

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is NOT observed in Queensland and retains Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) all year. The Gold Coast will be one hour behind Sydney and Melbourne whilst the conference is held.

Tipping

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 Gold Coast airport visitor information and booking centre upon arrival at the airport to assist in planning your trip around the Gold Coast.

Wifi

More information coming soon.