Sydney Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Sydney
How safe is Sydney?
Although Sydney is deemed to be extremely safe for tourists to visit, the general travel advice for Sydney is that you should be aware of pick pockets and thieves that operate on the bustling streets of Sydney. Where possible, you should leave valuable possessions back in your accommodation and do not carry large amounts of cash on you. Be careful if you are sunbathing as thieves have been known to steal from tourists whilst they are in the sea or sleeping on the beach.
Sydney is a popular destination for tourists all over the world and is considered to be one of the friendliest cities. Popular amongst backpackers, the city has lots to offer from the classic sites of the Opera House to the bustling Darling Harbour which is home to an array of restaurants and bars.
The city is perfectly suited and prepared for all tourists, regardless of their purpose and Australian citizens are amongst the most welcoming.
The terror threat against Australia is quite high and it is thought that an attack is probable, however this should not affect your decision to visit Sydney. Providing you remain vigilant and cautious at all times, trips to the city should be little risk.
A lone gunman stormed a café in Sydney in 2014 taking hostage ten customers and eight employees. 2 of the hostages and the gunman were killed in the event, with three others injured. The attack lead to criticism of its handling by the police; many believed that if they had acted earlier the deaths could have been avoided. It is believed that the gunman expressed extremist views and suffered from mental health issues.
Earlier in the year, an 18-year-old man stabbed two police officers outside a police station after being requested to come in and discuss his behaviour. The man was shot and killed by police and was found to be carrying an Islamic State flag and two knives.
Some are just outside of the central business district may be a little less safe for tourists such as Kings Cross and Redfern. Remain alert when visiting these areas and do not travel there alone at night, as there are higher levels of violence and alcohol/drug issues.
Travelling around Sydney
Within the heart of Sydney are many tourist attractions, many are walkable or a short journey away located in the central business district. Sydney boasts an excellent train, bus and ferry service to cater for all your needs.
The popular Bondi beach can be reached by bus and run at 10-minute intervals and the same bus will stop via the train station, which is about 2km from the beach.
Ferries from Circular Quay can transport you to many favoured destinations, including Manly beach and Sydney Olympic Park. These operate frequently between 6am and midnight.
A smartcard system called Opal is in operation in Sydney and is valid for all public transport. You can purchase them for free and top them up to enjoy advantages such as cheaper single journeys, daily charges capped at $15 ($2.50 on Sundays) and free travel after taking any eight journeys in a week. If you are travelling around Sydney a lot it is advised to invest in an Opal card.
Emergency services in Sydney:
Emergency Services Operator: 000
Currency: Australian dollar
Time now in Sydney:
Useful websites for visiting Sydney
Consular information for Sydney
British Consulate General Sydney
Level 16, Gateway Building, 1 Macquarie Place
Sydney NSW 2000
Telephone: +61 2 9247 7521
New Zealand Consulate General
55 Hunter Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Telephone: +61 2 8256 2000
U.S. Consulate in Sydney:
19-29 Martin Place
Telephone: +61 2 9373 9200
Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China
39 Dunblane Street
Telephone: +61 2 8595 8002
Healthcare and Immunisations
You should ensure that your health and travel insurance will cover you for specific activities that you may partake in when visiting Sydney, including skydiving.
Some foreign nationals including British, Irish, Kiwi and Italian citizens are entitled to some subsidised treatment if medical care is necessary. This can include things such as free access to public hospitals and subsidised medicines.
It is still advised that all foreign travellers take out insurance as not everyone is covered by the healthcare arrangement. All visitors will have to pay for services such as transportation in an ambulance which can prove costly. New Zealand citizens are entitled to free healthcare across Australia in a reciprocal health care agreement.
Both pharmacies and hospitals operate around the clock meaning that medical treatment is always available. Pharmacists will be able to provide you with basic medical advice and medication for minor injuries and illnesses, you should visit this before seeking further medical treatment if it is not urgent.