All visitors to Australia must hold a valid passport and, with the exception of New Zealand, must either have an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or a tourist visa (depending on your country of origin). An ETA is available to passport holders from more than 30 countries, regions and locations, including the U.K., the U.S., France and Spain.This allows entry to Australia for up to three months. The ETA can be applied for online at www.eta.immi.gov.au. Alternatively, you may need to apply for other types of visitor visas. Please check www.immi.gov.au or consult with your nearest embassy/consulate for up-to-date information.
Travelers are encouraged to apply for their Australian visa well in advance of planned travel dates. Find visa information.
Attendees may print a personalized letter from the Chair of the Organizing Committee (we have provided fillable fields at the top of the letter for you to complete).
Brisbane has a subtropical climate with warm or hot weather for most of the year. In summer (December - February), maximum temperatures average around 30°C/86°F. The city experiences its highest rainfall in summer, which sometimes brings thunderstorms. This is also the most humid time of the year in Brisbane.
Please check live weather forecast at http://www.weatherzone.com.au/
While Australia prides itself on its multiculturism, with over 80 languages spoken, the predominant language spoken in Australia is English. As in other countries, there are distinct and sometimes colorful local variations. Translation and interpreter services can be accessed 24 hours a day by calling 13 14 50.
Health and medical servicestro
Australia has a high-standard healthcare system offering a mix of public and private services. Several public hospitals with accident, emergency and outpatient services are located close to inner-city Brisbane, while private medical practitioners can be easily located through the Yellow Pages website or telephone book. By international standards, Australian health services are not overly expensive, and many international travelers will find their country has reciprocal healthcare agreements with Australia. As a general guide, these agreements provide for any episode requiring prompt medical attention. Comprehensive travel insurance is always recommended.
Most public telephones have International Direct Dialing and Subscriber Trunk Dialing. Phonecards for public phones and recharge cards for mobile phones can be bought from most newsagents, supermarkets and convenience stores. Many public phones also accept coins and credit cards.
International dialing code is 0011 followed by the country code and number.
Directory assistance is 1223.
International dialing code for Queensland is +617.
Australia is divided into three separate time zones: Australian Western Standard Time (AWST; UTC+08:00), Australian Central Standard Time (ACST; UTC+09:30), and Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST; UTC+10:00).
Brisbane is in AEST. Standard Time is 10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+10).
The standard electrical voltage in Australia is 220 – 240 volts. If you are from a country, such as the U.S., Canada and Japan, that use 110 voltage, you need to have converters for your electrical devices while traveling in Australia. A standard socket in Australia has three pins. You need to have a portable plug adapter for your equipment if it is different.
Banks: Banks across the city are generally open for business Monday to Friday, 9:30am - 4pm. Some banks in local shopping centers are also open Saturday and Sunday (with varying hours).
Automatic teller machines (ATMs): ATMs are located throughout the city and will recognize cards issued by most banks.
Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club are accepted across the city by most outlets.
Currency exchange: Licensed money change services are available at the Brisbane Airport and at numerous bureaux de change located throughout the city. Most banks also offer currency exchange services.
Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100
Coins: 5¢, 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1 and $2
Pricing: Australian prices occasionally end in a variant of 1¢ or 2¢. Where this occurs, at the cash register the price is rounded to the nearest 5¢.
Goods and Services Tax and the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)
Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 percent. International travelers may be able to claim a refund of the GST if you have spent AUD$300 or more in one store within 30 days before departing Australia. The goods must be carried as hand luggage upon departure. For details visit www.customs.gov.au.
Tipping is not as widespread or regulated in Australia as it is in other parts of the world. Tipping is your choice as a reward for good service. It is customary to tip hotel porters (eg. $2.00) and a gratuity of about 10 percent is usual in restaurants. Tips for taxis are regarded as optional, however you may choose to round up to the nearest dollar or two if desired.
In a life-threatening or time-critical emergency, dial Emergency Services on Triple Zero (000). The Triple Zero service is an operator-assisted service that connects callers to the most relevant emergency service organization (police, fire brigade or ambulance). These free calls can be made from all telephones (landline, mobile phones and payphones).
The closest Australia Post Office to the BCEC is 75 Russel Street. Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm and Saturday 9am - 12.30pm. Other Australia Post branches are located throughout the city and suburbs. In addition, stamps can often be bought at newsagents.