Local Information - Hobart
Hobart is Tasmania's capital city and the second oldest capital in Australia, after Sydney. Located at the entrance to the Derwent River, its well-preserved surrounding bushland reaches close to the city centre and beaches line the shores of the river and estuary beyond.
Tasmania and Hobart experience four distinct seasons. Its climate is described as mild temperate maritime. The average temperatures in September range from 6C to 15C (43F to 59F), so please dress appropriately. The Australian sun is very strong, regardless of temperature, so please remember to be sun safe. Always wear a shirt, hat, sunglasses and SPF 30+ sunscreen lotion, even on cloudy days. If spending the day outdoors, reapply sunscreen regularly.
Getting around Hobart
There are two primary forms of public transport in Hobart, buses and taxis. The major provider of bus services is Metro. For more information about fare, tickets and services please visit: www.metrotas.com.au
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.
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 Tasmania 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).
In September, Hobart will be on Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), which is 10 hours ahead of GMT.
The only currency accepted in Australia is the Australian Dollars (AUD); at the time of writing, 1 AUD was equivalent to USD 0.71, EUR 0.63, GBP 0.48 and JPY 83. 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.
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 Tasmania, it is illegal to smoke within 3 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: Tasmania Health Department