Information for Travellers
Anyone who is not an Australian citizen needs a valid Visa or an Electronic Travel Authority to enter and spend time in Australia. With the exception of New Zealand citizens traveling on New Zealand passports, all foreign nationals must obtain a Visa/ETA before traveling to Australia. (New Zealand citizens are issued with a Visa on arrival in Australia.)
Visas are available from Australian Visa offices such as Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates. For the location of your nearest Australian Consulate go to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's website at www.dfat.gov.au/missions.
Visas are also available, in ETA form, from travel agents and airlines in certain countries. There are no visas or border checks required when moving between Australian states www.immi.gov.au
Taxation/Refunds for visitors
Since 1 July 2000, a 10% tax on the purchase of goods and services (GST) applies in Australia. A Tourist Refund Scheme for international travelers is in place and some visitors may be eligible for a refund. Look for the information brochures when you arrive or contact the Australian Customs Service on phone + 61 2 6275 6666 (from outside Australia) or 1300 363 263 (within Australia). For more information, contact the Australia Customs Service at http://www.customs.gov.au.
The domestic currency is the Australian Dollar. Exchange rates change daily so please check the Universal Currency Converter for current rates of exchange.
Cairns and Tropical North Queensland operate on Eastern Standard Time (EST). This can be calculated by adding 9 hours to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). (Note: the time difference varies between 9 and 11 hours, depending on the differrent Daylight Savings schedules during the year.)
current valid international certificate of inoculation against yellow fever is required if passengers come from, or travel through, infected areas. Check this carefully with your airline or travel agent before departure.
The Conference Managers cannot take any responsibility for any participant failing to arrange their own insurance. This insurance is to be purchased in your country of origin.
Weather & Climate
The region's climate is typically tropical. Temperatures are recorded in Celsius. The average maximum temperature is 31.4C (or 88.5F) and the average minimum temperature is 17.0C (62.6F). Cairns has an average annual rainfall of 2010mm (62 inches). Ocean temperatures vary from a high of 28.7C in February to a pleasant low of 23.2C in July.
Mobile phones are available for rent, or bring your mobile phone with you. Contact your telecommunications carrier about activating international roaming while you are visiting Australia.
Adapters and Voltage
Electrical current is 240/ 250V, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from that in many countries, so you will need an adapter. If your appliances are 110V, check whether there is a 110/ 240V switch. If not, you will need a voltage converter. Universal outlets for 240V or 110V shavers are usually found in leading hotels.
Bistros, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops offer varied menus, prices and decor. Local specialties such as seafood and Australian wines are worth trying. At some restaurants you can keep the liquor bill down by taking your own wine or beer. These are called "BYO" restaurants, an abbreviation for "bring your own". A small service surcharge (known as "corkage") may apply.
Planning Your Travel
Because of time change and jet lag you should consider arriving in Australia 1-2 days earlier. This will enable you to relax and familiarize yourself with your hotel and its surroundings before the start of the Session.
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