Sydney

Visas

Please read the information sheet from the Department of Immigration. Most participants should be able to get an eVisitor or an ETA online. This is a straightforward process. If you are not a citizen of one of the eligible countries, the process is, however, complicated, and should be started several months in advance. Let us know if you need an invitation letter.

Accommodation

Kensington Campus

The conference will take place at University of NSW, Kensington Campus. See the Google Maps link below.

Walking distance accommodation

There is a number of hotels and serviced apartments within walking distance of the Kensington Campus which offer a range of rates, rankings and qualities. You can compare the rates on www.wotif.com. At the time this page was written, the rates ranged from AU$80 (St Marks Lodge Randwick, special rate for two or more nights) to AU$230+ per room per night. Click the image below to see how to read wotif website maps.

Other accommodation websites

Another great accommodation search is Booking.com. You can choose to stay in the suburb of Randwick, and have a short walk to the University. Another option is Coogee, which has a lovely beach, but is further away (30 minutes walk).

It is also possible to rent an apartment. For two people or more, this can be substantially better value for money. Booking can be done via Stayz.com.au (search for Randwick, Coogee, or another suburb) or homeaway.com.au.

Accommodation in Sydney CBD

You may want to choose to stay in Sydney City. This way you will enjoy Sydney the most but you have to pay a little price: you need to travel to the Kensington Campus approx 20--40 min (see below for travel options).

Click the image below to see approximate travel time and some key locations within Sydney CBD. The hotel rates are on www.wotif.com

Getting around

By public transport

The unified interface to Sydney Transport System is the Transport Info Website. It has buses, trains and ferries timetables. It also can plan your route if you enter the end points. A few landmarks which you can use with the trip planner are:

  • University of NSW, Kensington Campus;
  • International/Domestic Airport;
  • Central Station --- Sydney central transport hub on the south edge of the city, interstate and Blue Mountains buses depart from here;
  • Circular Quay --- the heart of Sydney; The Harbour Bridge and The Opera House are nearby;
  • Town Hall --- the geometrical midpoint of the city; there is bus hub and Queen Victoria building with shops and etc.

Tickets

Tickets system is explained here. A few main points:

  • train tickets are sold on every train station through ticket office or ticketing machines;
  • bus tickets are sold on board of every bus (unless the bus displays the sign 'prepaid only') and through tickets outlets (see here).

By taxi

Sydney cabs are equipped with credit card reading and receipt printing machines. Please pay with a credit card and ask for a receipt. You can estimate taxi fare here.

By car

If you rent a car, there are a few things which will make your driving experience less troublesome.

  • Sydney drives on the left hand side;
  • Sydney has complex road topology rich with one-sided roads and no-right-turn intersections --- please have an up-to-date map (or better GPS navigator);
  • Sydney has strict parking rules and hefty parking fines --- please read 'parking signs' section in Road Users Handbook;
  • Kensington Campus of University of NSW has a few casual parking spaces but all of them are totally parked up by 10am. The nearby streets are parked up by 9am.

Tourism

The conference takes place during the Australian winter, which, in Sydney, is relatively mild (see climate). Participants wanting to stay for a holiday after (or before) the conference may find that it is not the most pleasant time to visit the Southern parts of Australia. On the other hand, July is an ideal time to visit places such as the Great Barrier Reef in the tropical North. See the Lonely Planet weather in Australia page, and, more generally, their guidebook for more information.