Sydney Accommodation

Sydney General Information

Sydney is located 33 degrees 55' south of the equator sharing a similar latitude to Buenos Aires and Cape Town in the Southern Hemisphere, and Casablanca, Los Angeles and Beirut in the North. The city is located on the southern coast of New South Wales between the smaller coastal cities of Wollongong and Newcastle. The CBD is situated on the southern bank of Sydney Harbour, 10 kms west from the mouth of Port Jackson.

Sydney is the largest city in Australia with a population of 22,000 in central Sydney and 4 million people in greater Sydney. The working population in central Sydney is around 10 times the residential population at 235,000. The CBD is quite small in comparison to other cosmopolitan cities occupying an area of less than 6.2 square kilometres. Greater Sydney on the other hand, comprises over 600 suburbs and localities and occupies an area of 2,500 square kilometres.

International visitors are advised that Australians drive on the left side of the road with all speed limits and distances expressed in kilometres. Speeds typically range from 50kmph in built up and residential areas to 110kmph on major highways. Roads are generally in good condition with main routes well signposted. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05% for divers on an open license and drink driving is a serious offence. Breath analysis can be performed anywhere at random and offenders will be arrested and fingerprinted. In Australia, the legal drinking age is 18 years and proof of age is required in a valid form of ID including driver's license, 18+ card or passport.

Sydney's public transport system is excellent with trains, buses and ferries providing frequent and affordable services in and around the city. Ferries are a particularly popular form of transport in this 'harbour city' with services running from Circular Quay to surrounding harbourside suburbs. Ferry services connect with other public transport services and are typically located within walking distance of a variety of attractions. However the ferries are an attraction in their own right and riding them around Sydney Harbour is a popular way to spend the day. Main bus terminals are also found at Central Station, Circular Quay, the Queen Victoria Building and Wynyard Park.

Australia's currency is comprised of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes and 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 coins and foreign currency is not accepted. Travellers cheques are also generally not accepted, however some major hotels and stores may make an exception. Tipping isn't mandatory and service charges are not applied however for good service, a 10% tip is optional. There are 24 hour ATM (automated teller machines) located in major retail precincts and outside bank branches however international visitors are advised to check with their bank or card issuer to ensure they are able to access their funds in this way while abroad.

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