Sydney is 10 hours ahead of GMT (GMT/UTC +10 hours). Sydney has daylight savings time from 2am on the last Sunday in October (with the exception of the year 2000 when it is from the 27th of August) until 3am on the last Sunday in March. All clocks are turned forward one hour for the duration of daylight savings time.
Sydney has a General Post Office (Post Code 2000) located in the CBD and numerous smaller post offices scattered throughout the city. A local postage stamp is 45c which will get a normal letter to anywhere within the country. Overseas mail generally goes via air unless specified otherwise and it takes around 4 to 5 days to get to most international destinations. As a general guide you can send a postcard to the UK or the USA for around $1.
There are branches of all the Australian "National" banks throught the city and most large international banks will aslo have branches in the city. All banks provide electronic banking facilities including ATMs outside almost all branches and in other positions where access to cash is regularly required by large numbers of people such as within shopping malls and pubs.
There is a decimal currency in Australia, with bank notes for five, ten, twenty, fifty and one hundrend dollars. The cost of the Australian dollar (AUD) does fluctuate, but is about $0.65 US Dollars. You can use this currency converter to get a more accurate conversion from 180 different currencies.
Exchange facilities are available for all incoming and outgoing flights at the Sydney International Airport. Changing foreign currency can be done quickly and efficiently at most banks and at Bureau de Change outlets.
As a rule, tipping is not expected in Sydney, however, it is customary so if you are happy with someone who has tried that little bit harder and gone the extra mile, then a tip is in order and always appreciated. Giving a small tip (10% of the bill) in a restaurant is in order if the service is good. It is also fairly common practice to tip bellhops in international hotels a few dollars, some hotels discourage tipping so don't be offended if they refuse to take it.
Taxi services are usually plentiful within the CBD, however, it is a good idea to know where you are going as you will often be asked for directions by the driver. There is a good public transport system (busses, ferries, light rail and train) with regular services operating within the city's underground rail network and throughout the suburbs.
Cars drive on the left hand side of the road. If you're not used to it, take care when crossing the road - you should always use a "zebra crossing" to cross safely.
The temperature in Sydney, on average, ranges from 23 Â° C (72Â° F) in summer to 13Â° C (55Â° F) in winter. The seasons in Australia are:
Smoking is not permitted in government buildings, on any public transport, including domestic flights and is banned in public spaces including indoor areas of pubs and some outdoor public spaces.
In a life threatening emergency dial 000 for Fire, Ambulance & Police. The main Police Switchboard number is 9281 0000. To book an Ambulance dial 13 1233