Travel Essentials | Australia & New Zealand
Weather & Climate
February is summertime in the Southern Hemisphere and Australia's New South Wales Coast is the ideal location to enjoy the best of our summer weather. Both the Central Coast & Sydney enjoy around 7 hours of cloud-free sunshine daily, with sunrise before 6AM and sunset after 7PM. Daytime temperatures are normally around 26-30 °C with some humidity. Occasional days can reach well above average temperatures, with higher humidity. We encourage you to check the local projected forecast before you depart to help you plan & pack appropriately. Afternoon can be breezy in late summer.
The climate in Auckland & the North Island of New Zealand in February is slightly more temperate with daytime temperatures in the mid to low 20’s °C, with moderate humidity. Be prepared for cooler evenings in Auckalnd, even in the summertime. Cloud cover is more common, although February is the driest month of the year in Auckland.
Central Coast Climate (February)
Average Daytime Temperature: 27.5 °Celsius (81.5 °Fahrenheit)
Average Nighttime Temperature: 19.5 °Celsius (69.0 °Fahrenheit)
Average Monthly Rainfall: 150 mm (5.9 inches)
Ocean Temperature: 22 °Celsius (72 °Fahrenheit)
Sydney Climate (February)
Average Daytime Temperature: 25.8 °Celsius (78.4 °Fahrenheit)
Average Nighttime Temperature: 18.8 °Celsius (65.9 °Fahrenheit)
Average Monthly Rainfall: 117 mm (4.6 inches)
Ocean Temperature: 23.5 °Celsius (74.3 °Fahrenheit)
Auckland Climate (February)
Average Daytime Temperature: 23.5 °Celsius (74.3 °Fahrenheit)
Average Nighttime Temperature: 17.0 °Celsius (62.6 °Fahrenheit)
Average Monthly Rainfall: 30 mm (1.2 inches)
Ocean Temperature: 20.0 °Celsius (70.0 °Fahrenheit)
Please be aware that Sydney & the Central Coast can get quite hot in the summertime, with 40+ °Celsius (104+ °Fahrenheit) not uncommon in the afternoon on sunny days. Humidity can also reach quite extreme levels in summertime, especially after significant rainfalls. We encourage you to check the local projected forecast before you depart to plan & pack appropriately.
Sun Exposure & UV Index
Due to Australia’s geographical location, the continent receives very high levels of Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR). The sun in NSW is very strong and can burn the skin even on cloudy days. Avoid being outdoors for lengthy periods between 11AM and 3PM, when UV rays are at their most intense. Even if you are from a sunny country and climate, please be prepared for the intensity of UVR while visiting Australia by bringing sun protection essentials. We highly recommend wearing a sunhat, sunglasses and water-resistant sunscreen (SPF30+ or higher; applied repeatedly throughout the day), and clothes that cover as much of your skin as possible, even while swimming. Protect against heat exhaustion by keeping well hydrated, particularly during physical exertion.
Geographically, New South Wales is situated in the Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) zone. In February, New South Wales operates on Daylight Savings Time, encompassing both Sydney & the Central Coast in Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT), which is nearly a full half day ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+11).
Auckland & the North Island of New Zealand are also on Daylight Savings Time (NZDT) in February, which equates to 13 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+13).
Only New Zealand resides closer to the International Date Line than Australia, which means that travelling to Australasia from most places around the world will involve travelling 'into the future', and may result in losing an entire calendar day while travelling. The good news is that travelling home often involves returning the long distances from Australia & New Zealand with a very minimal loss in calendar time.
The national currency of both Australian & New Zealand is called the dollar. Logically, in Australia the currency is referred to as the Australian Dollar (AUD); in New Zealand, the New Zealand Dollar (NZD); each national currency has its own exchange rate on the international market. Please verify the current exchange rate for each currency prior to your arrival. The most up-to-date exchange rates can be found by visiting xe.com.
Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports, should you decide to bring your local currency with you. Please be aware that Australia limits the amount of foreign cash that can enter the country undeclared. Local banks offer the same range of services typical in other western nations, and cash withdrawal machines or Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are widespread in populated areas. EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale) is also widely available in most shops. Fees may be charged on transactions, particularly if withdrawing from an international account.
The easiest way to get cash away from home is from an ATM (automated teller machine) with an international network such as Cirrus (Mastercard) or PLUS (Visa). Australian ATMs use a four-digit code, so check with your bank and make sure you have secured your code before you leave home. Please be aware that there is no need to carry large amounts of cash with you in Australia & New Zealand, as purchases can easily, and much more safely, be made with internationally recognized credit and debit cards. A small amount of local currency is handy when making purchases under $10.
Credit cards can be used for almost every major purchase in both countries, with the option usually given to make purchases either in local dollars or your home currency to which the credit card in linked. Credit cards such as American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and JCB are widely accepted in Australia. VISA or MasterCard are commonly accepted and both are accepted everywhere credit cards are accepted. American Express and Diners Club are accepted at major supermarket and department store chains, as well as many major tourist destinations.
Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of ten per cent (10%) on almost every purchase. You may be able to claim a refund of the GST paid on goods bought in Australia if you have spent AUD$300 or more in one store, no more than 30 days before departing Australia. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure area of international terminals. For more detailed information see Australian government information on the Tourist Refund Scheme.
While there is no official language in Australia, the principal language of the continent is most definitely English. As a former British Colony, and one of the principal members of the British Commonwealth, the written English used in Australia is closely related to the English of the United Kingdom, with only a few minor differences in spelling. English is regularly spoken by over 80% of Australian residents and citizens at home as a first language, even if a significant percentage of these people are bilingual or multilingual. All signs, information, menus, products/goods for sale, etc., are printed in English.
New Zealand officially recognizes three languages: English, Māori & New Zealand Sign Language. English is the most widely spokem, with a dialect very similar to that of neighbouring Australia. Māori, the native language of the islands' original Polynesian settlers, has been officially recognised since 1987, and is now in widespread use in signage throughout the country & casual conversation by most New Zealanders. In 2006, New Zealand became the first country to recognize Sign Language as offical language.
The Aboriginal population of Australia, in residence on the continent for nearly 60,000 years, once spoke over 400 different dialects of local tribal languages. While none of these languages have been adopted as an official national language in Australia, the rich aboriginal linguistic history of Australia is alive and well all across the ancient continent, especially in the vast majority of geographical names for landmarks, natural features, cities/towns & regions. An excellent example of this is Terrigal, the host venue for the WAHO 2019 Conference, whose name is derived from the local indigenous Kuringgai name for the area, which translates as 'place of the little birds'.
Australia's abundant & widely diverse immigrant population has exponentially multiplied the number of languages widely spoken throughout the country, especially in the major urban centres. Mandarin, Arabic, Italian, Greek & Cantonese can commonly be heard in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth.
Electrical grid voltage in Australia & New Zealand is 230V 50Hz. Travellers from most nations in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe should have appliances that work on the same voltage as Australia & New Zealand; if so, no voltage converter will be necessary for personal appliances that require a charge. Travellers from the USA, Canada, Japan, whose appliances use 100/120V 50/60Hz, will need to bring a voltage converter for appliances that do not already have converters in their charging cords (most mobile phones & lap top charging cables already possess voltage converters).
Australia & New Zealand also have a unique power outlet. Plugs in both countries have two flat metal pins shaped live a "V", while many will contain a third flat 'ground' pin in the centre. Please see the images below that illustrate local power plugs, wall outlets & an example of the type of adaptor needed to plug in devices from home.
|Australian Plug & Wall Power Outlet||Plug Adaptor with Australian Plug-In|
Australian wall outlets are equipped with 'on/off' switches. Please remember to swith the power outlet 'on', with the red line visible (as seen on the right in the above left photo), to enable a charge. When not in use, please responsibly turn the power outlet 'off' (as seen on the left in the above left photo).
What to Wear
Australian & New Zealand fashion is incredibly casual, with comfort and coolness, as well as protection from the sun, a priority in the summer. While enjoying the local sights as a tourist in both Australia & New Zealand, please remember that casual & comfortable will always be the right choice. Dressing up for the WAHO Conference itself will be a smart choice, though business casual is perfectly acceptable for general session days on Wednesday the 6th and Friday the 8th of February, as well as for the Welcome BBQ on the evening of Tuesday the 5th, the stud tours at Simeon & Mulawa Arabian Studs on Thursday the 7th, and dinner on Wednesday night at the Crowne Plaza. Traditionally, the Gala Dinner & Ball on Friday evening is the dressiest affair at the event, with semi-formal attire the dress code of choice.
Health & SAFETY
As leading G20 nations, with a prosperous economies and a high level of civic & personal accountability, Australia & New Zealand enjoy stable political systems and low crime rates. Australia & New Zealand both consistently rank amongst the Top Ten nations globally in terms of national well-being, safest places to live, highest quality of life and happiest citizens. It is recommended, however, as with travel at home or away, that you observe precaution with your personal safety and possessions.
Purchasing travel insurance that covers you for theft, loss, accidents and medical problems before you leave home is highly recommended. If you plan on participating in any adventure activities, such as scuba diving, bushwalking or travelling in remote areas, check that you are fully covered under your policy. Remember to bring your insurance policy details and emergency contact numbers with you.
Australia's public health care system is called Medicare and Australian hospitals provide world-class medical facilities and standards of care. The Australian Government has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia, Malta and Italy, which entitle travellers to some subsidised health services. It is best to check your eligibility before you leave home and have appropriate travel insurance to cover your stay in Australia.
The phone number for emergency services in Australia is 000. The operator can connect you to police, ambulance or the fire brigade. Only phone 000 in an emergency.
Smoking is generally banned in public, across Sydney and New South Wales, to protect people from harmful second hand tobacco smoke. Smoking is banned in the outdoor dining areas of restaurants, cafes, pubs and other venues.
- Cigarette Butts – Police issue a $60 fine for throwing a cigarette on the street, or $200 if it is still alight.
- Smoking Indoors - There is a total ban on smoking in indoor public spaces.
- Smoking in Cars with a child passenger incurs a $250 on-the-spot fine.
- Smoking Outdoors is illegal in public spaces, such as public transport stops and taxi ranks, building entrances, children’s playgrounds, swimming pools and at major sports grounds.
Registered attendees will have all their transportation needs met by the WAHO 2019 Conference Team, including airport transfers, pre & post-conference tour activities coach transport, transfers to the Confernce host hotel in Terrigal, and coach transport to scheduled stud visits. Should attendees wish to explore more of Australia & New Zealand on their own, please be aware of the following options.
Getting Around by Car
Australia has a vast network of well-maintained roads and some of the most beautiful road trips in the world. Follow Victoria’s Great Ocean Road as it hugs our spectacular southeast coastline or experience Australia’s Red Centre in an epic drive across the desert. You’ll find car rental companies at major airports and central city locations; so hire a car, 4WD, caravan or motorbike and hit the highway. Please be aware that Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road and use the metric system of distances and speeds. Car rental companies generally accept English-language driving licences. If your driving licence is not in English, you will need an International Driving Permit to hire a car and legally drive in Australia.
Driving in New Zealand is one of the most rewarding experiences in the world and is highly recommended.
Getting Around by Train
Train travel is a convenient, affordable and scenic way to explore Australia. TrainLink runs services between Sydney and the regional centres of New South Wales, and along Australia’s east coast to Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. V-Line trains connect Melbourne with regional hubs in Victoria, Queensland Rail covers Queensland and TransWA crisscrosses through Western Australia.
There are also spectacular rail journeys such as The Ghan and Indian Pacific, which sweep across the continent, offering comfort and a sense of nostalgic romance. The Indian Pacific travels between Sydney and Perth, stopping at Broken Hill, Adelaide and Kalgoorlie; the legendary Ghan travels between Adelaide and Darwin, taking in Australia’s Red Centre and the tropical Top End.
Getting Around by Bus
Coach and bus travel in Australia is comfortable, efficient and reasonably priced. Long-distance coaches generally have air conditioning, reading lights, adjustable seats and free wifi. Australia’s national coach operator, Greyhound, offers hop on hop off passes for popular routes, short trip passes and flexible passes based on the amount of kilometres you wish to travel.
Getting Around by Plane
Flying is the best way to cover Australia’s large distances in a short time. Australia’s domestic airlines – including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Tiger Airways and Rex – serve all state capital cities and many regional cities making it an easy way to travel between Australia's iconic destinations. Competition between domestic airlines means that some great value fares are available, especially if you book in advance.
The New Zealand Campervan Adventure
Motorhomes, or campervans as they are commonly called in New Zealand & Australia. are the ultimate accommodation choice for flexibility on a driving holiday. Hiring a campervan to explore the natural wonders and the open roads of New Zealand is an incredibly popular and affordable way to enjoy a Kiwi getaway.
All visitors from another country other than Australia or New Zealand will need a visa and a valid passport or other acceptable travel document to enter Australia. Please visit the Visa Requirements page on this website for detailed information and links to applying online. The WAHO 2019 Conference Australia Team is ready and willing to assist all attendees in obtaining the approriate Australian Visitor Visa with the minimal amount of hassle & expense.
Border Security, Customs & Quarantine
Border Security, Customs & Quarantine are serious business when arriving in Australia. For complete details of what is allowed, what is restricted, and what to expect upon arrival so that you can be thoroughly prepared and fully aware before travelling, please visit the International Arrivals at Sydney Airport webpage provided courtesy of the WAHO 2019 Conference Team.
- light jacket (preferably rainproof)
- travel umbrella
- outlet adaptor for electrical appliances
- voltage converter for electrical appliances (if necessary)
- travel health insurance
- Visitor Visa