Tips for Your Visit – Sydney, Australia

Public Transport
There is a very good train system that will go to most of the places you want to visit. Check a city map for details. Not expensive, easy to use and safe. Stops at midnight. The bus system is also good, if a little harder to get to know.

Call the public transport info line: 131 500 for help. If you can, take the ferries everywhere you can. They are a beautiful way to travel around the city.

Taxis
You can hail them on the street in most areas (main roads) or call them out. Try ABC Cabs – 132-522. Round up the fare as a small tip. They don’t always know where they are going but will have a map. Taxis are metered so they won’t rip you off but make sure you are getting the 1 meter for day time taxi use and the 2 only after hours. More taxi information.

Getting from the Airport
A train from there to the city costs about $8 and stops at Town Hall and Central. If you have a lot of luggage, take a taxi. Sydney airport website.

Tipping
10% is standard for restaurants if the service and food are good. If not, don’t bother or leave a small amount. Staff are paid a salary.

BYO vs ordering wine off the menu
Many Sydney restaurants allow you to do both. The more expensive tend to only offer their wine list but ask when booking because if you can BYO (Bring Your Own), it’s significantly cheaper and you get to pick exactly what you want for the price you want at a bottle shop. Experiment.

Ocean swimming
Be careful. Australia has some wild and unpredictable tides. A recent weekend in Sydney saw one person dead and 1,000 rescued! Swim between the flags on all ocean beaches. That’s where the lifeguards have found it to be without rip tides. There are guards on all the Sydney beaches. If the flags aren’t up – don’t swim. It’s too dangerous.

Bondi Junction is not near Bondi Beach
It’s about a 25 minute walk if you know where you are going. If not, you are likely to get lost. If you are going to Bondi Beach, take a cab/train to Bondi Junction and hop a bus to Bondi Beach or take a direct Bondi bus.

Pub vs Hotel
The word “hotel” in Australia can also mean pub (i.e. no rooms to stay in but a bar downstairs). Most “hotel” pubs aren’t exactly what you’d call fancy. A bit on the tacky side. There are lots of great new bars of all varieties however.

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Questions?
If you want more information about this area you can email the author or check out our Pacific Insiders page.

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