Sydney snapshot - visiting as a business tourist
Sydney will provide your business delegates with a great welcome to our cosmopolitan, friendly, stylish and relaxed city. Sydney's climate is temperate sub-tropical - in other words, heavenly; our shores are disease-free; and we give tax rebates to overseas visitors.
Sydney tourist information for conference and event delegates
Below is quick guide for business people visiting Sydney from overseas:
Languages in Sydney
English is Australia’s official language, but Sydney is one of the world’s most multicultural cities and more than 1.2 million of our residents speak a different language at home, so you’re sure to find someone who speaks your ‘lingo’ (that’s Australian for language).
Sydney is home to about 4.2 million people, and another 6.7 million people live in the rest of New South Wales (NSW).
Sydney climate and seasons
Sydney enjoys four distinct seasons:
- Summer from December to February
- Autumn from March to May
- Winter from June to August
- Spring from September to November
Sydney’s sub-tropical climate is temperate all year, and average temperatures range from 16 degrees Celsius (61 Fahrenheit) in winter to 26 degrees Celsius (79 Fahrenheit) in summer.
Sydney time zones
Sydney is one of the first cities to wake up each day: we’re 10-11 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Learn more about our time zones.
- October to March: Sydney runs on GMT plus 11 hours. Sunrise is between 5.30am and 6am and the sun sets between 7.30pm and 8pm.
- March to October: Sydney is on GMT plus 10 hours. Sunrise is around 7am while the sun sets between 5pm and 5.30pm.
Most overseas visitors need a valid visa before they can travel to Australia. Travellers should arrange their visa well ahead of time (at least four to six weeks before leaving their home country) to ensure entry into Australia is seamless. Travel agents or airlines can arrange visas. For more information visit the Australian Department of Immigration's website.
Electricity in Sydney
In Sydney and throughout Australia, the electrical supply is 240 volts, 50 Hz. International adaptors are readily available at chemists (drug stores) and electrical supply stores. Most hotels provide 110-volt outlets for shavers.
Taxes in Sydney
A Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% is included in the price of all goods and services sold in Australia. It is automatically charged, so you do not need to add this to your bill.
If you leave Australia within 30 days of buying goods in Australia, you may be exempt from paying GST. You can take advantage of the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) to claim back the GST you have paid, and also claim back any Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) you paid. TRS only applies to goods that you can carry as hand luggage, and other conditions do apply.
Sydney does not operate on a tipping culture. You may tip to show your appreciation for good service, but it is not a requirement anywhere. As a guide, a tip of 10% in restaurants and taxis would be an indication that you were very happy with the service you received.
Sydney’s dress code
Sydney-siders are friendly, casual and relaxed, and their dress code reflects this attitude. But we’re a stylish population, and if you’re out on the town at night, you’ll fit in if you dress up! A number of Sydney restaurants do require you to dress appropriately (for example, no ‘thongs’ or flip-flops, shorts or singlets). For business, it is normal for suits to be worn by both men and women.
Australia is a ‘clean, green’ nation, and free of many common diseases. Therefore, you do not need any specific vaccinations to enter Australia. However, if you are travelling from a yellow fever infected country, you will need to present a yellow fever certificate.