Life’s Little Essentials

Discussion in 'Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific' started by NileGuide, Jul 31, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. All you need to know to get around town. By Renate Ruge
    Let’s get the practical stuff out of the way so that you can get on with your holiday in Sydney. Here are some top travel tips to make your stay a little easier.
    Get around town on the water by ferry.
    Getting Around
    By Boat
    What a way to travel. Don’t miss at least one journey on a Sydney ferry. Cheap, fast and being out on the Harbour is so much nicer than sitting in traffic. Rush hour starts at around 4.30pm and things on the roads are busy until 7pm.
    Travel Tickets
    Ferries, trains, buses are all interconnected with tickets you can buy to transfer from one to another to get around town cheaply. Disabled access available. Call transport line: 131500 or visit www.131500 for timetables.
    Cab It
    Taxis are available when the yellow light is on and change over time is at 3pm where flagging a cab down is a little trickier. Wait until 4pm to grab a cab if you can. Taxis Combined: 133 300.

    Shop Until You Drop
    Shopping Times
    Most shops, department stores and major shopping centres are open from 10am until 5pm Monday to Saturday and increasingly on Sunday. Late night opening is often on Thursdays.
    Money Matters
    Dollars and cents. Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills. Coins: 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1 and $2. Note: Australian bank notes are water resistant because of the beach lifestyle.
    Tax Refund for Travellers
    GST (goods and services tax) is charged in Australia – tourists can claim back the 10 per cent tax at the airport on purchases over $300 made in one store. Ask for the Tourist Refund Scheme at Sydney airport and remember to hold on to your receipts when shopping.
    Banking Hours
    Generally 9.30am-4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am-5pm Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings. Traveler’s cheques are widely accepted, as are major credit cards VISA, MasterCard and (to a lesser extent) AMEX and Diners Card. Most banks will engage in foreign currency exchange.
    If you are happy with the service in cafés and restaurants, you can add a voluntary extra 10 per cent of the bill as a tip. Tipping is not compulsory in Australia.
    In Case of Emergency
    Dial 000 for 24-hour emergency services (fire, police and ambulance) from any telephone. Police assistance line: 131 444
    Phone Home
    International phone prefix is: 0011
    Stay Healthy
    Be sure to slip, slop and slap. Wear loose clothing that covers your skin, add a hat and always apply a high factor sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Remember to swim between the yellow and red flags on the beach as waves are big on the city beaches and the currents can be dangerous.
    More info?
    The Sydney Information Centre in the Rocks is an excellent starting point to your stay. The Sydney Visitor Centre, Corner, Argyle and Playfair Streets, The Rocks (Open daily 9.30am to 5.30pm [Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day]).

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