Passport & Visa
Visitors to Australia require a valid passport and entry visa(s). New Zealand citizens travelling on a New Zealand passport will require a valid passport only. Overseas visitors seeking to attend, or participate in, a Congress or event in Australia should, in most cases, apply for a short stay business visitor visa (subclass 456). It is recommended that visitors apply for visas at least two months prior to their departure.
Prior to registration , please check with your airline, travel agent or nearest Australian Consulate, as immigration laws are very strict. Information about this important requirement can also be found on the Australian Government website at www.immi.gov.au/visitors. Some participants will be able to obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). You can apply for an ETA via the Internet www.eta.immi.gov.au or through a travel agent or, airline office.
Local Sydney time during August is – Greenwich Mean Time plus 10 hours. Check http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/ for details of the current time in various cities around the world.
English is spoken throughout Australia and is the official language for the Congress.
Decimal currency is used in Australia – units are dollars and cents. Current exchange rates can be obtained from your bank, or from The Commonwealth Bank of Australia at http://www.commbank.com.au/tools/fxcalc.htm. All major credit cards are widely accepted in Australia.
Banks and Credit Cards
Banking business hours in Australia are from 0930 to 1600 Monday to Friday. At the discretion of individual bank institutions, selective bank branches may be open in the morning on Saturdays. Banks are closed all day Sunday. Exchange facilities are available at the airport and most major hotels. Automatic teller (ATMs) facilities are available at a wide variety of outlets. All major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) are widely accepted in Australia.
The electrical supply is 240 volts, 50Hz and the standard plug is a flat 3-pin plug, ie type I from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets#Type_I Most hotels provide 110 volt outlets for shavers.
In August, Sydney will be in the last month of winter with average temperatures ranging from 9 ºC in the evening to 19ºC during the day time. Sunny days and blue skies are common, with an average of 8 hours of sunshine per day.
Travel and Health Insurance
The Congress does not provide insurance to delegates. It is recommended that you take out insurance policies to cover medical and travel expenses. If necessary, consult your travel agent.
Australia operates on a digital network. Analogue mobile or cell phones are not supported. Mobile phones can be readily hired at Sydney Airport or telecommunication outlets and prepaid SIM cards are widely available.
Shopping hours during the week are from 0900 to 1730 with extended shopping hours on Thursdays (until 2100). On Saturday and Sunday most shops are open between 0900 and 1600. Sydney is considered an excellent duty-free port for travellers.
A Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% applies to all consumer goods and is included in retail prices.
Tipping is not customary in Australia and service charges are not applied. It is acceptable however to leave a small tip for exceptional service.
Sydney 's public transport network allows easy travel around Sydney and its suburbs. CityRail provides regular services from Sydney Airport to the City (approximately 10 minutes transit) and an interactive network map is available at http://www.cityrail.info/stations/network_map.
As well there is a free shuttle bus serving the main CBD area. Savings on buses and harbour ferries can be obtained with the State Transit Travel pass. Taxis can either be booked by telephone or hailed from the street.
For detailed transport information on public trains, buses and ferries consult the Transport Infoline at www.131500.info or call 13 15 00.
The 20th International
Congress on Acoustics