International Conference on Social Robotics

Location/Venue//Accomodation Options//Getting to Sydney//Additional Information//Offers/

The conference and workshops will be held in Sydney at the Powerhouse Museum. The museum is Sydney's museum of technology, design and industry. Located within walking distance of Darling harbour, Chinatown and Central station, the area is well served by hotels, restaurants and public transport.

Conference Venue

The Powerhouse Museum was opened in 1988 on the site of the old (but refurbished) Ultimo power station that originally powerered Sydney's former tram network. While the modern museum opened in 1988, its collection started as early as 1878 and continued as exhibitions and technical musuems. Today, there are estimated to be well over 500,000 separate items in the Museum's collection, including a massive 200 tonne locomotive, a flying boat and the Boulton and Watt rotative engine.

The musuem is located at 500 Harris Street, Ultimo, Sydney. Visit the museum's webpage for a map and directions.

Accomodation Options

Inner Sydney spreads over a large area: it is a 40-50 minute walk from the Opera House to Central Station. Hotels near Darling Harbour, Chinatown and Central station will be most convenient for attending the conference. A list of some nearby accommodation options appear below (in approximate order of price). We recommend checking reviews online at TripAdvisor. We will contact hotels to negotiate discount rates for the conference.

Please note that no rooms have been specifically reserved for the conference. All discounts listed below are subject to availability.

Getting to Sydney

If you do not have an Australian passport you will probably need a visa. American and European passport holders NEED a visa. You can find out what visa you need using the Department of Immigration 'visa finder'.

Sydney is served by one major airport (SYD) for both international and domestic flights. Trains run regularly from the airport to Central station (15 minutes, every 10-15 minutes for AUD16.40). Taxis from the airport take approximately 25 minutes, cost around AUD50 and do not require bookings. A $3.75 airport toll is payable on all taxi pickups from the airport - this will be added to the meter at the end.

Additional Information

October is spring in Sydney. The days are usually bright and sunny, suitable for shorts and t-shirts during the day but a light jacket or sweater may be neccessary in the evening.

Australia uses the Australian Dollar. US dollars and Euros are not accepted. However, there are many hotels, currency exchange desks and banks that will be able to change foreign currency. For the best deal, use currency exchange desks for transactions less than AUD1000 and use banks for larger transactions. Virtually all ATMs in Australia participate in Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus interbank networks. MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted in Australia. There is some acceptance of American Express, UnionPay, JCB and Diners but this is very limited and may involve surcharges - consult with your bank before travel.

Sydney operates on a 230V 50Hz electrical supply using a "Type I" plug. Most laptop and phone chargers are "dual voltage" and able to be used without a voltage converter but you should check your equipment before plugging it in.

Sydney has a 10% goods and services tax (GST) included in the price of all goods. It is automatically charged and the tax is normally already included in quotations, menus and invoices. If you plan to purchase goods valued at more than AUD300 that you will carry home in hand luggage you may be able to have the GST refunded through the Tourist Refund Scheme.

Tipping is not expected. However, if you wish to show your appreciation for good service, 10% - 15% would be a kind gesture. Taxi passengers will often round fares up to the nearest dollar or five dollar multiple as a small tip and to avoid the hassle of small change.


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