Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and is one of Australia’s largest cities. It is built on one of the most beautiful harbours in the world and hosts many tourist attractions, top class beaches and bays.
The Australian Dollar (AUD) is the currency of Australia, which comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations. Currency exchange is available at the international airport, banks and hotels. XE Currency Converter can help you to convert your own currency at the market exchange rate.
Sydney enjoys a sunny climate with mild winters and warm summers. November (Spring) is known as one of the best times to visit Sydney, with an average daytime temperature in the city around 20°C and high temperatures hitting a balmy 24°C on some days. Visitors to Sydney in November should bring a waterproof rain jacket, some light clothing, and also swimwear – the average sea temperature is a comfortable 19°C. Sydney’s popular beaches are usually patrolled by lifeguards and yellow and red flags mark the safest areas for swimming. The sun is extremely strong in Australia so it is important to protect your skin during the day.
Shopping in Sydney provides a mecca for lovers of all things fashion, food and everything in between. It is the ideal activity as you can sightsee while getting some retail therapy. Some of the best destinations for shopping are Pitt Street Mall (pedestrianised area located in the heart of the CBD with chain stores, independent boutiques and dining), Westfield Sydney (home to popular department stores and a food court), Queen Victoria Building (heritage building with high fashion brands), the Strand Arcade (Victorian-style listed building housing some of Australia’s top designers), The Rocks Precinct (a vibrant tourist area lined with sandstone and cobblestone streets and home to a variety of stores and markets) and Birkenhead Point (outlet mall with 160+ stores).
Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill and tipping in Australia is not customary, but it is always your choice and feel free to tip if the service is excellent. In upmarket restaurants, it is common to tip the waiters 10% of your total bill.
The plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins, forming an inverted “V” shape, and occasionally a third pin in the centre. The electricity supply in Australia operates at 230 volts / 50Hz, the same as the United Kingdom, however the wall sockets are different and an adapter is needed.
An efficient network of transport options makes travelling around Sydney affordable and enjoyable! The public transport system includes trains, buses, ferries and light rail.
The Opal card is an easy way of paying for your travel on public transport. You can purchase it when you arrive at the domestic or international airport terminal stations or from newsagents, convenience stores, grocery stores and pharmacies. Load value onto it via the Opal Travel App or top up your balance over the counter at Opal retailers or the Opal top up machines at selected stations, stops and wharfs.
Tap on at the designated Opal card reader at the start of the journey and tap off the same way when you reach your destination. The fare is calculated according to the distance you have travelled and is automatically deducted from the value on your Opal card.
Alternative option: You can use your credit card to tap on and off the Opal network system as an alternative to travelling with an Adult Opal card. American Express, Master Card and Visa credit or debit cards with the contactless payment symbol are accepted forms of contactless payment.
Getting to and from the airport
Sydney Airport is located about 9km south of Sydney CBD. The train (T8 Airport and South line) has services running approximately every 10 minutes, and stops at stations in the city circle. Taxis and rideshare services are also available to access when you arrive. The city centre is a 20-minute ride away. Taxi ranks are located at the front of all terminals. See here for more information: https://www.sydneyairport.com.au/info-sheet/transport-options-domestic