Visiting Australia

The Visiting Australia pages on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website include information about:

  • Australia – history, people, culture, economy, government and society
  • visa requirements
  • quarantine (including what you can and cannot bring into the country)

Getting from the airport to the city

Sydney Airport is 8 km from the Sydney CBD. Transport from the airport to the City includes train, shuttle, bus and taxi. See the Sydney Airport Transport Options website for details and price information.


The weather in Sydney in late October will (should!) be perfect – in the low 20s centigrade. See the Australian tourism Weather in Sydney website for more information. Check the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) NSW website closer to the time of travel, as things can change. In late October, sunrise is at approximately 5.45am and sunset at 7.30pm.

History of Sydney

Sydney’s original Aboriginal inhabitants predated European settlers by at least 50,000 years. James Cook arrived in 1770 and claimed the east coast of the continent for Britain. On 26 January 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip led the 11 ships of the First Fleet into Port Jackson and established a penal settlement for British convicts. See more information on Sydney’s history on the City of Sydney website.

Getting around in Sydney

Sydney has an excellent public transport system for getting around the City and further, which includes buses, trains and ferries. See the City of Sydney website for information, maps, timetables and ticket information. This website also includes information for those wishing to walk or cycle, and other transport options.

Things to do in Sydney

During the Conference you will have the opportunity to see some of Sydney’s amazing attractions, but we can’t fit it all in, so if you have a couple of spare days, Sydney really does have something for everyone – for beach lovers, park and garden enthusiasts, bushwalkers, cyclists, adventurers, foodies, coffee snobs, art lovers, history buffs and nightclubbers, and everyone in between. You can visit the famous Bondi Beach, do a guided walk through the city’s beautiful Royal Botanic Garden, go bushwalking in a national park, visit world class museums and galleries, cruise the Harbour, get some of the best coffee in Australia, dine on cuisines from around the world, climb the Harbour Bridge, take a tour of the Opera House, visit the Aquarium, wander through the historic Rocks district, shop for high end fashion or a bargain in a market, and then collapse at a cafe in Circular Quay and look at one of the world’s best views – of the Opera House, ‘The Bridge’ and the Harbour – or choose from hundreds of other attractions, venues and experiences. See NSW Tourism’s Destination NSW: Sydney website for detailed information on destinations and things to do.

An excellent way to get an overview of Sydney and orientate yourself  to the City is to do a bus tour. Options include the ever popular hop on hop off buses (tickets start at A$49.50 for a one day ticket), and the three hour guided sightseeing tours run by Free Tours Sydney (A$18).

Lastly – make sure you take time to visit the magnificent State Library of New South Wales!

Going further afield in NSW

If you have a little more time, New South Wales has so much to offer outside Sydney. Our picks are the famous north coast, which has definitely some of the world’s best beaches, the Hunter Valley wine district, and the Blue Mountains. Further afield but so worth the trip if you have more time is Broken Hill – a World Heritage listed city which is a unique blend of incredible art and country town, and is in the red sandy desert of Australia’s ‘outback’. See NSW Tourism’s Destination NSW website for detailed information on destinations.

A little more time to see more of Australia?

We’ve been asked for our top destinations for people who have limited time but want to see a snapshot of Australia. This is difficult to advise – Australia is vast and varied. We have capital cities in the tropics, and others in  climates more like the UK. We have beaches and deserts and rainforests and mountains (where we even get snow!). We have large cosmopolitan, sophisticated cities and tiny rural country towns. However, here are our top three destinations – you’ll have to fly between them:

  • Sydney (of course!)
  • Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) in the Northern Territory. One of the natural wonders of the world, this is situated in the desert in central Australia, and is a place of stunning beauty and of great spiritual significance to the indigenous people of the region. Nearby are the remarkable Kata Tjuṯa (the Olgas) and King’s Canyon. See the NT Tourism website for more information.
  • The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. See both one of the world’s most breathtaking reefs and the nearby World Heritage-listed rainforests. See Tourism Australia‘s website for more information.

See the Australian tourism website for more information on destinations.


All over Australia, the phone number for all emergencies that require police, ambulance or the fire brigade, is 000.

We hope you have a safe and enjoyable stay in our wonderful country!