The Location – Sydney
Sydney is Australia’s largest city, with a population of approximately 4.6 million. It is renowned for its stunning harbour and unique combination of cosmopolitan culture and natural amenity. Many of the city’s beaches, bays and parks are located close to the city centre. Referred to in planning documents as a “city of cities”, metropolitan Sydney’s eclectic array of suburbs, neighbourhoods and centres are known for their diverse characteristics. Relaxed beach communities sit juxtaposed to vibrant, inner-city urban villages, while more traditional outer-ring suburbs contrast with inner-urban regeneration areas.
As Australia’s oldest city, Sydney has a rich cultural and architectural heritage. The area’s Aboriginal heritage, which dates back 50,000 years, is reflected in the names of many streets and suburbs and is celebrated in galleries, museums and parks throughout the city. It is believed that some of Sydney’s arterial roads were even constructed on Aboriginal walking tracks. European settlement in Australia began over 200 years ago at ‘the Rocks’ in Sydney’s inner harbour. The historic and vibrant ‘Rocks’ quarter, and nearby iconic landmarks such as the harbour bridge and the Sydney Opera House, reflect unique eras in the city’s development. Throughout its history, Sydney has attracted large numbers of overseas migrants. The city’s contemporary cultural diversity is reflected in its many restaurants, markets and entertainment venues.
The Venue – Shangri-La Hotel
Fittingly, the conference is being held in the Shangri-La Hotel within the heart of the historic Rocks precinct. The Shangri-La is accessible by all forms of Sydney’s public transport – train, bus, and ferry – and is within a ten minute walk of the central CBD. Many of the hotel’s rooms and venues have outstanding views of Sydney Harbour. Many alternative accommodation options for delegates are also situated within and surrounding the Rocks, Circular Quay, and nearby Darling Harbour and North Sydney.
Sydney climate can be described as temperate or moderate, with afternoon temperatures reaching an average of 16 degrees in winter (July) and 25 degrees in summer (January).
Getting There and Around
Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport offers the most routes, destinations, frequency and airline choice of any airport in Oceania. The airport is located approximately 10 km from the CBD. Both the international and domestic terminals are serviced by the Airport Link train. Car rental services are available at both terminals.
Sydney’s public transit system includes buses, trains, monorail and ferries. It services destinations across the greater metropolitan area.
Places to Visit around Sydney (1-2 Day Excursions)
The Blue Mountains is a world heritage listed area of outstanding natural beauty. Only 90 minutes from Sydney, the Blue Mountains can be visited as a day trip or explored in more depth over several days.
Canberra, Australia’s entirely planned capital city, is 3.5 hours south east of Sydney. The City’s design, created by American urban designer Walter Burley Griffin, was heavily influenced by the garden city movement.
The Hunter Valley, Australia’s world renowned wine growing district, is two hours from Sydney by car.
The South Coast, 1.5 – 3 hours south of Sydney, is a popular destination owing to its pristine beaches, national parks and historic towns.
Winter (July) is the best time to visit destinations in northern Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef, with its extraordinary concentration and diversity of marine life, is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Multiple flights operate daily from Sydney to coastal destinations in northern Queensland, including Cairns, Townsville, and Hamilton Island.
Australia’s Red Centre is a landscape like no other on earth. From Sydney flights operate daily to Alice Spring and Uluru / Ayers Rock.