What You Need To Know about Sydney

Sydney, capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities, is best known for its harbourfront Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design. Massive Darling Harbour and Circular Quay are hubs of waterside life, with the towering, arched Harbour Bridge and esteemed Royal Botanic Gardens nearby. Sydney Tower’s 268m glass viewing platform, the Skywalk, offers 360-degree views of the city, harbour and suburbs.

Area: 4,689 mi²
Population: 4.293 million (2012)


  • Australia’s national currency is the Australian dollar which comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations.
  • Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. Australian banks offer the same range of services typical in other western nations, and cash withdrawal machines or Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are widespread, although facilities may be limited in remote towns and the Outback. EFTPOS is also widely available in most Australian shops. Fees may be charged on transactions, particularly if withdrawing from an international account.
  • Credit cards such as American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and JCB are accepted in Australia. VISA or MasterCard are commonly accepted and are both accepted everywhere credit cards are accepted. American Express and Diners Club are accepted at major supermarket and department store chains and many tourist destinations. JCB is only accepted at very limited tourist destinations. Discover is not usually accepted


  • The climate of Sydney is temperate, having warm, sometimes hot summers and mild winters, with no extreme seasonal differences as the weather is moderated by proximity to the ocean. More extreme temperatures are recorded in the inland western suburbs. Rainfall is spread evenly throughout the year, but is highest between March and June.
  • Sydney has 103.9 clear days annually, with the monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 53{f87459a07ebedbe65d3f0427dfe6dbe23d237fe8b959e105ac2dab1e9ae00ede} in January to 72{f87459a07ebedbe65d3f0427dfe6dbe23d237fe8b959e105ac2dab1e9ae00ede} in August. Sydney receives around 30 thunderstorms per year. Sydney would usually get dry heat, especially when temperatures soar over 30 °C (86 °F). In some days, low pressure troughs would increase humidity and southerly busters would decrease temperatures later in the day. In late autumn and winter, east coast lows can bring large amounts of rainfall.


More than 250 languages are spoken in Sydney. Arabic, which dominates the western suburbs, is the most widely spoken non-English language. Mandarin and Cantonese, found predominately in the north shore, are the next most common languages.

Getting around the city

  • TRAINS:Weekly and daily all-inclusive tickets can be purchased from any train station in Sydney. If you know where your destination is and know the closest train station, the state transport website will tell you how much it will cost and the duration of the journey:
    If you don’t know the train station of your destination, that website will tell you (type the address in).
  • BUSES:There are buses available to most suburbs in Sydney. But if you’re only traveling within the Sydney city area, then take the FREE bus – it’s a completely green bus that you can ride for free, which loops around the major streets of Sydney city. Buses to other areas outside of the Sydney city costs money (please check for exact fares) and it’s best to find out the time table so you’re not left waiting too long. Some bus services do not operate on weekends and some will only accept bus cards that you can buy from new agencies (stores that sell magazines and newspapers).
  • TAXIS: If you’re spending time around Sydney and the surrounding suburbs, there will be taxis in most places. They are usually found near train stations. If you need one, call 133 300 for them to come pick you up (they do charge a small fee on top for pickups).