Sydney Travel & Visitor Information


The minimum legal 'drinking' age is 18. Young people going to bars or bottle shops should carry identification to prove that they are at least 18 years old. Buying liquor on behalf of a 'minor' is illegal.

Bus Services

Sydney has an extensive government-run bus service. Services are frequent in the city area. The buses show their route number and destination at the front and the route number at the rear. The main bus terminals are at Circular Quay, Wynyard Park, the rear of the Queen Victoria Building (York Street) and Central Railway Station (Eddy Avenue). At Circular Quay there is an information kiosk as a lot of services operate from this point. Each stop has a yellow sign mounted on a pole which lists the route numbers of buses which stop there and their final destination.

Car Rental

Rental cars are freely available in Sydney from Budget, Avis, Hertz, Thrifty, Delta Europcar and several smaller operators. Vehicles are generally no more than eight months old, with automatic transmission and air-conditioning. Renters must be 21 or older and hold a current driver's licence. An international licence is not necessary. Travel Online can help you with your rental car requirements, visit our Campervans and Car Rentals websites for details.


Sydney is in the Southern Temperate Zone and does not suffer extremes of cold or heat. Seasons in Australia are the reverse of North America and Europe. Summer is December to February, autumn (fall) March to May, winter June to August, and spring September to November. The climate is similar to coastal California and the northern Mediterranean. Summer temperatures can exceed 30 degrees Celsius with high humidity, particularly around February.

Credit Cards

All banks have automated teller machines (ATMs) accessible 24-hours a day, generally located outside the branch or in the foyer. Check with your card issuer that your charge or account-linked credit card can be used in this way.

Driving Information

Australians drive on the left, which can be disconcerting for visitors used to driving on the right side of the road. Roads are generally good and major routes well signposted. Speed limits and distances are expressed in kilometres and vary substantially from 50 kph in residential and heavy traffic areas to 110 kph on freeways (please follow signage for speed limits). Drink driving is a serious offence and heavily policed. Drivers can be stopped anywhere at random and subjected to a breath analysis test. The legal limit in Australia is a blood alcohol content of .05%.

Ferry Services

The government run State Transit operates regular Sydney Ferries services from Circular Quay to many harbourside suburbs. While these are primarily designed for commuters, the ferries offer a great opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Sydney Harbour and visit many suburbs which take much longer to get to by road or rail. Most ferry services connect with State Transit's public bus services at their destination, though some are within easy walking distance of local attractions. All services operate from Circular Quay.

Newspapers and Magazines

Sydney has two daily newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald (a broadsheet) and the Daily Telegraph (tabloid). Sunday editions are called the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Telegraph. A national broadsheet, The Australian, appears daily except Sunday, as does a national business tabloid, The Australian Financial Review.

Medical Services

Australian healthcare professionals are highly trained and medical services are among the best in the world. Medical and dental services and a wide range of alternative therapies are widely available in Sydney and are comparatively cheap by most international standards. Visitors from the UK, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands and Sweden are entitled to free or subsidised medical and hospital care under reciprocal national health care agreements with the taxpayer funded Medicare organisation. It is highly recommended that all travellers should take out travel insurance when visiting Australia. Major hotels have doctors on-call.

Prescription Drugs

Visitors who have a medical condition requiring treatment should ensure they carry a letter from their doctor outlining their condition and the medication required. This is also important if the drug is uncommon or contains narcotics, which may be a restricted import. Most medication is available in Australia, but only on a doctor's prescription. Prescription drugs are dispensed by a qualified pharmacist at 'pharmacies' or 'chemists'.

Rail Services

Sydney has an extensive suburban rail service. Government owned Countrylink also operates in regional areas. The suburban rail system is quite efficient, modern, reasonably clean and well policed by railway and private security staff. Rail is a good alternative to driving or taxis if you need to get to Sydney's more distant suburbs. Sydney is not a planned city, and many roads and streets are inadequate for today's traffic, making car and bus travel slow and taxi rides expensive in heavy traffic. The most important rail routes for visitors are the City loop, North Sydney, Olympic Park at Homebush, and Parramatta.


Australia is predominantly a Christian country, but Australia has such a diverse ethnic society most major religions are practised and have their own places of worship.


The incredible diversity of Sydney's multi-cultural society has produced a food lover's paradise. Australia has no rival when it comes to clean, fresh food. Brilliant chefs at top restaurants constantly stretch the boundaries to create dishes which blend influences from other countries, notably Japan and Asia, with superb local produce. Seafood and prime beef and lamb feature prominently.

Travellers Cheques

Travellers cheques, especially in foreign currencies, are generally NOT accepted EXCEPT by hotels, big stores and tourist shops. These display a 'travellers cheques welcome' sign. Cash your cheques at a bank or Bureau de Change to ensure you have enough spending money. The same holds true for foreign currency, which is not generally accepted by Australian businesses and shops.


No service charge applies in Australia. Tipping is not mandatory but a 10% tip in restaurants and hotel bars is normal for good service.

Sydney Opera House Sydney Harbour Bridge Circular Quay Fire Twirler Sydney Monorail Sydney Ferry Darling Harbour Circular Quay Restaurant