On 23 March 2013, the department implemented changes to the types of visas available to persons wishing to travel to Australia to attend, participate at, or compete in events being held in Australia.
Under Australia's universal visa system, all visitors to Australia must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia (other than New Zealand passport holders who will normally be granted a Special Category visa on arrival, provided they meet health and character requirements; and permanent residents of Norfolk Island who may be granted a Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa on arrival). For more information, see the fact sheet: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/444-
There are many visa options available to people wishing to visit Australia. The appropriate visa option will depend, amongst other things, on the person's purpose for visiting Australia.
Click here for the new visa fact sheet, effective from 1 July 2013. This fact sheet includes information about the visa options available for those who are travelling to Australia as business visitors, including the new arrangements in place for online applications for the Visitor (Subclass 600) visa and the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400). For the purposes of attending this event, you may wish to consider applying for one of these visas, based on your role at the event.
Please note that only certain passport holders are eligible to apply for these visas online.
For information on who can apply for the eVisitor (subclass 651) visa online, please go to: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/651-
For information on who can apply for the ETA (Subclass 601) visa online, please go to: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/601-
For information on who can apply for the Visitor (Subclass 600) visa online, please go to: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/600-
For information on who can apply for the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400) online, please go to: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/400-
We recommend that applicants applying for a paper-based visa lodge their application at least 6-8 weeks before their intended travel date to Australia. All travellers to Australia must have a valid visa before boarding their plane. Travellers to Australia cannot apply for a visa on arrival.
Details for contacting the appropriate visa office closest to the applicant's place of residence can be found at http://www.border.gov.au/about/contact/offices-locations
Currency and exchange - The official currency of Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD).
Australian currency is comprised of notes and coins and is of decimal value. In view of the currency, you may occasionally see prices such as $2.98; this figure is rounded up to the nearest five cents, in this case $3.00.
Throughout the city you will find numerous Currency Exchange desks, most hotels also have exchange rates at the Reception Desk, however, some hotels have a limit to what you can exchange.
All the major banks also offer money exchange services and cashing of travellers cheques. Your passport will be needed for identification purposes when cashing traveller's cheques.
Banks and banking hours - Normal banking hours are Monday - Thursday 9:30am-4:00pm and Fridays 9:30am-5:00pm, excluding public holidays. 24 Hour Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) can be found throughout the City and Shopping Centres.
There are four major banks in Australia which offer a full range of banking services including currency conversions and sales of traveller's cheques.
Electricity - Australia uses 240V/50Hz mains electricity and use 'three point' power sockets. Please click here to view the standard plug used within Australia, Type I. Universal adapters are available from most gift stores and electrical shops around the city.
To find out more please visit Electricity World Standards
Weather - To view the latest forecast please click here
Tourism Australia - www.australia.com
Australian government - http://australia.gov.au/
Australian exchange rates - www.rba.gov.au/statistics/frequency/exchange-rates.html
Australian currency - www.dfat.gov.au/facts/currency.html
Australian weather - Bureau of Meteorology
Smartraveller - The Australian Government's travel advisory and consular information service. http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
This site is designed to help you get through the security checkpoints at the airport quickly and easily. It will help you understand the aviation security measures in place at Australian airports and why they are necessary. It provides information on preparing for your trip, what you are prohibited from taking on board, and travelling with children, medicines or sporting equipment. It also provides a number of videos that explain the screening process and liquids, aerosols and gels restrictions. This site will be updated with new information to reflect changes in airport security arrangements as they occur.
Australian customs - Information for travellers -www.customs.gov.au/knowbeforeyougo/default.asp