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Tourist information

Tourist information

General information for Sydney visitors

Accessibility

In more recent years, access for people with a disability in the city has improved significantly. Go to our accessibility page for details on getting around town.

Banking and business hours

Banks

  • Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 4pm
  • Friday 9.30am to 5pm.

Post offices

  • Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Offices

  • Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Retail shops

  • Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm
  • Thursday 9am to 9pm
  • Saturday 9am to 4pm
  • Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Currency

Australia uses decimal currency with the dollar being the basic unit (100 cents equals 1 dollar). Notes come in $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5 denominations. Coins come in $2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c.

Foreign currency exchange facilities are available at Sydney International Airport both in arrivals and departures.

Changing currency can be done quickly and efficiently at most banks and bureau de change outlets throughout the City.

Language

Australia's official language is English.

Public toilets

Sydney has a large network of public toilets, some of which are coin-operated.

Time zones

The City of Sydney is located within Eastern Standard Time (EST), one of Australia's 3 time zones. EST operates in New South Wales (NSW), the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland.

Central Standard Time (CST) operates in South Australia (SA) and Northern Territory (NT), which is 30 minutes behind EST.

Western Standard Time (WST) operates in Western Australia (WA) and is 2 hours behind EST.

Daylight saving time starts in NSW, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania (EDT) and South Australia (CDT) in early October when clocks are moved forward by 1 hour and continues through summer until early April, when they are wound back 1 hour. Daylight saving does not operate, however, in Queensland, NT or WA which remain on standard time, effectively creating 5 time zones across Australia from October until April.

Sydney is located west of the International Date Line and is therefore ahead of most other international destinations:

  • New York is 15 hours behind
  • London is 10 hours behind
  • Paris is 9 hours behind
  • Moscow is 7 hours behind
  • Bangkok is 3 hours behind
  • Beijing is 2 hours behind
  • Hong Kong is 2 hours behind
  • Tokyo is 1 hour behind
  • Auckland is 2 hours ahead.

Tipping

Tipping is not the general custom in Australia, with the exception of fine-dining restaurants where it is usual to tip waiters up to 10% of the bill for good service. At any time, however, tipping is your choice.

Visitor information centres

A number of visitor information outlets provide maps, brochures and general tourist information.

Sydney Visitor Centre: The Rocks

Open daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm
Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day

Corner Argyle Street and Playfair Steet
The Rocks NSW 2000
02 9240 8788

Sydney Visitor Centre: Darling Harbour

Open daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm

33 Wheat Road
(Between IMAX Theatre and Darling Walk)
Darling Harbour NSW 2000

National Parks and Wildlife Centre

110 George Street (Cadman's Cottage)
The Rocks NSW 2000
02 9247 8861

City Host Information Kiosks

Open 7 days a week, these 4 kiosks provide maps, brochures and general tourist information to visitors. The kiosks are located at:

  • George Street, Town Hall – open from 9am to 5pm
  • Pitt and Alfred Streets, Circular Quay – open from 9am to 5pm
  • Dixon Street, at the top end near Goulburn Street, Haymarket – open from 11am to 7pm.
  • Darlinghurst Road and Springfield Avenue, Kings Cross - open 9am to 5pm.

We are closed on Christmas Day.

Last updated: Monday, 9 September 2013