Travel To Australia
Sydney is the closest international airport to Newcastle and Australia’s major international gateway. Newcastle airport is well connected direct flights to Sydney as well as Melbourne and Brisbane international airports.
All visitors to Australia other than Australian and New Zealand citizens require a visa, however in most instances, if you travel to Australia by a major airline, the airline will automatically obtain your visa in the form of an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).
An ETA is an electronically stored authority for travel to Australia. Passport holders from over 30 countries are eligible for an ETA
The list of countries using the ETA system can be found at www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/976/eligibility.htm.
If the ETA system is not available for your country (e.g. China, South Africa, Russia) you will need to contact your nearest Australian diplomatic office. It may then take several weeks to process your visa application.
For more information on Australian visas please see the Department of Immigration and Citizenship web site - www.immi.gov.au/immigration.htm
Australia, as an island, is fortunate that many diseases and pests are not present. Strictly enforced customs regulations prohibit the importation of a range of goods - particularly food and animal products as well as untreated wooden items.
Be warned! It is highly likely that all your luggage (both carry on and checked) will be x-rayed on arrival in Australia, and heavy fines apply if prohibited items are found.
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For more information we recommend you view the Australian Customs web site.
Travel To Newcastle
Newcastle Airport is located 30 minutes from Newcastle city centre. There are direct flights to/from Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, the Gold Coast and Canberra. For a current flight timetable see www.newcastleairport.com.au.
By Bus / Coach:
Newcastle is serviced by coach companies with regular connections to and from various locations. For further information visit the Buslines Australia www.buslines.com.au website.
Newcastle is part of the New South Wales City Rail network. There are frequent return services daily from Sydney. For timetables and fares visit www.cityrail.info. If you are considering travelling by rail there is a highly recommended rail link between Sydney Airport and downtown Sydney, including Sydney Central Station. There are also rail connections to Melbourne and Brisbane see www.countrylink.info.
South Eastern Australia has an extensive network of sealed roads, good signage and services - of an equivalent standard to North America and Western Europe. Newcastle is 2 hours drive north of Sydney (~160km). Alternatively, if you are interested in including a few days of sightseeing you could drive from Melbourne (~1000km) or Brisbane (~850km). For driving directions to Newcastle visit www.whereis.com.
By Shuttle from Sydney Airport:
Several companies offer door to door transport by limousine or mini bus from Sydney airport to Newcastle destinations. Note, as Newcastle is located over 160km from Sydney Airport this is unlikely to be the cheapest option.
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- Novastar (+61) (2) 4976 3991>
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Always Travelling (+61) (2) 4960 0300
Money and Credit Cards
The official currency for the workshop will be the Australian Dollar (AUD$). Exchange rates are determined by the international money markets and fluctuate daily. In mid-January 2008 exchange rates were:
AUD$1.00 = US$0.89
= 0.60 Euro
= 0.45 GPB
= 97.16 Yen
XE.com - Currency Guide
Nearly all Australian business accept VISA and MasterCard credit cards. Most will also accept at least one of American Express or Diner's Club.
24hr Automatic Banking Machines are widespread so money can be easily obtained at any hour of the day either by credit card or direct from a bank account linked to international access card (e.g. Maestro). Over the counter bank hours are generally 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
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