Additional Information to help you plan your trip to Australia.

Thank you for registering for this meeting. This 2nd announcement contains additional information to help you plan your trip to Australia.

Visa

Don't forget that you will most likely require a visa or an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter Australia. Please do not leave this to the last minute. See: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/business/business-visit-visa-options.htm

Hotels

We recommend that you book a hotel within the CBD, or otherwise within easy public transport of Circular Quay. It is recommended that you book through an on-line referral service such as TripAdvisor or Travelonline to get the best deals:
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/
http://www.sydney.visitorsbureau.com.au/accommodation/sydney-accommodation.html

The two hotels listed below have been used by astronomers in the past and found to be satisfactory:
1. http://www.thecastlereagh.com.au/
2. http://www.metrohotels.com.au/sydney-hotels/metro-hotel-on-pitt-3

Both hotels are within about 1 km of Circular Quay. You can walk to the Quay, catch a bus, or there is an underground train ("City Circle" route).

Registration

Registration will be available at the Ice Breaker party on the evening of Tuesday 28 June (venue to be advised). For those who miss the party, registration will also be possible on the morning of the first day.

The Conference

The program outline is available on the web. A full program will be available shortly. Each day will begin at 9:00 am and conclude at 5:00 pm.

Transport to and from the Conference Centre

To reach the conference venue at Taronga Zoo, the most convenient way is to catch the 8:15 am ferry from Circular Quay. Do not be late: the ferry will not wait for you and it is a long way to swim. A ferry leaves Taronga Zoo at 5:30 pm, arriving back at Circular Quay at 5:42 pm. The ferry wharf is at the bottom of the zoo area, and each ferry is met by a bus that will take you the 1km up hill to the conference centre (and down again in the evening). If the weather is fine you may prefer to walk. The more adventurous may prefer to catch the Sky Safari (chair lift).

Your conference pack will include six ferry tickets. The ferries to/from the zoo run every half hour from 6:45 am to 6:55 pm.

You can also reach Taronga Zoo by bus; see http://www.131500.com.au/plan-your-trip/

If you are completely insane, you may prefer to drive.

Weather

Sydney's climate is described (see: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/aboutsydney/visitorguidesinformation/ ) as "pleasantly moderate". For June/July the temperature ranges from 9 to 16 C, with an average of 21 sunny days each of those months. It may, however, rain: average rainfall in June is 123 mm and in July, 69 mm.

Arriving in Sydney

Most folk will arrive at Sydney's Kingsford Smith airport. Please note that Australia has very strict quarantine laws regarding the importation of food and other plant and animal material. Please do not be tempted to test these laws.

If you have booked a hotel in the Sydney CBD, the simplest thing to do is to descend into the bowels of the airport and catch a train to the city (see map). Trains run every 10 - 15 minutes and take 12 minutes to reach the city. Jump off at Central, Museum, St. James, Circular Quay, Wynyard or Town Hall station - whichever is closest to your hotel. The fare is AUD15.00.

As previously advised, you should try to arrive in Sydney at least 24 hours before the meeting to mitigate the effects of jet lag. The only thing worse than falling asleep during somebody else's talk is falling asleep during your own.

Social program

We will kick off with an Ice Breaker party on the Tuesday.

Wednesday evening is free; you may wish to consider taking in a performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Opera House:http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/Templates/Event/Event.aspx?id=6442453564

The conference dinner will be on Thursday evening.

Friday evening is again free.

A social activity (possibly a Harbour Cruise or bush walk) will be arranged for Saturday 2 July if there is sufficient interest. For folk wishing to arrange their own activities before or after the meeting, a good place to start is: http://www.sydneyaustralia.com/en/

Finally, we currently have 52 people attending from 9 different countries. It should be a very interesting meeting!

Best wishes,
John

View 3rd announcement


 
This is a SCAR Scientific Research Program meeting, with additional funding generously provided by the Australian Antarctic Division, Astronomy Australia Limited, Australian Astronomical Observatory, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, and the University of New South Wales.