Local Information

The Dark Energy Survey Collaboration Meeting will be held from 6-10 November at the University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in Queensland.  It is located in the southeast corner of Queensland, on the inside bend of the Brisbane River, about 15km inland from its mouth at Moretonn Bay.  The city is a popular tourist destination, serving as a gateway to the state of Queensland, particularly to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

Climate
Brisbane has a humid subtropical climate, with hot humid summers and dry moderately warm winters. The average temperatures in november range from 18.8C to 28.2C (65.8F to 82.8F), so please dress appropriately.  The Australian sun is very strong.  Always wear a shirt, hat, sunglasses and SPF 50+ sunscreen lotion, even on cloudy days.  If spending the day outdoors, reapply sunscreen regularly.  Stay out of the sun during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest.

Getting around Brisbane
The nicest way to get to UQ from the City, Southbank, West End, or Milton, is by city cat on the river.

Brisbane has an extensive public transport network including buses, trains and ferries. The Loop is a free bus service that runs through Brisbane's Central Business District. It has numerous major stops including Central Station, Queen Street Mall, Botanic Gardens, Riverside Centre, QUT and King George Square. For all other paying bus services get your tickets from bus and ferry operators, newsagents and City Council Customer Service Centres. Children under five years travel free and those aged five to fifteen years travel for half price.

You can pick up bus timetables from Council Customer Service Centres, Queen Street Bus Station Information Centre, Garden City Bus Interchange, newsagents, and libraries.

TransLink coordinates bus, train and ferry services throughtout south-east Queensland.  For more information about fares, timetables, tickets and services please visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/public/transport/ or http://www.discoverbrisbane.com/brisbane/pt.html.

Power Supply
Our electrical current is 220-240 Volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from almost all other countries, so make sure to bring an adaptor. 

Driving
Cars in Australia drive on the left.  Please take care when crossing streets (and driving!) if you are not used to this. Speed limits in Queensland are 50 km/h in local/suburban areas and 100 km/h on highways, unless otherwise posted. Penalties for speeding, for failing to wear a seatbelt, or for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are all extremely severe (for example, breaking the speed limit by 20 km/h incurs a fine of AUD$531).

Time Zone
In November, Brisbane will remain on Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), which is 10 hours ahead of GMT whilst other eastern states will be on Australian Daylight Saving Time(ADST).

Currency
The only currency accepted in Australia is the Australian Dollars (AUD); at the time of writing, 1 AUD was equivalent to USD 0.75, EUR 0.72, GBP 0.62 and JPY 86.. Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels, international airports and in tourist areas. You can also directly withdraw AUD from automated teller machines (ATMs) throughout Australia using most foreign bank cards; your bank may impose a fee for such withdrawals. Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards are both widely accepted at shops, hotels and restaurants (although some smaller vendors might not accept American Express or will apply a surcharge on its use). Banking hours are typically 9.30am-4.00pm on Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu, 9.30pm-5.00pm on Fri, and closed on weekends.

Smoking
Australia has strong anti-smoking legislation. Cigarettes are heavily taxed (typically costing more than $20 per pack), must be kept from view by vendors, and are sold in plain green packaging containing graphic health warnings. In Queensland, it is illegal to smoke within 4 metres of the entrance to any public building, at bus/train stops, in most public places and restaurants, or in a car containing children. There are also heavy fines for improper disposal of cigarette butts. Note that all accommodation rooms at the conference venue/hotel are non-smoking.  For more information please visit: Queensland Health.

For more information about Queensland and Australia please see:

Queensland: https://www.queensland.com/
Australia: http://www.australia.com/en