Australian passport holders do not need a visa to enter Australia.
New Zealand passport holders can travel to Australia without a visa and obtain a visa on arrival at the airport. More information can be found here.
All other passport holders need the right visa to come to Australia. You also need to get your visa before travelling to Australia. There are different visas to choose from depending on your expected length of stay and nationality. To find out more information you can explore visa options here.
When following the prompts in this link, most (if not all) delegates will select “visit and tourism” icon [NB. this visa is for holidays, working holidays, and unpaid business visitor activities like attending a conference] which will take you to a series of three questions. After answering these questions, a list of potential visa’s that you can apply for will be listed with more information about the visa and application process.
Make sure you do not leave this to the last minute as some visa’s require processing time!
Australia has strict customs and quarantine laws and you will be required to complete an Incoming Passenger Card (IPC) when entering Australia (your airline should provide this during your flight). When completing the IPC please ensure you answer the questions truthfully and declare anything to avoid fines. If there is any doubt please answer yes.
Travel to Newcastle
Newcastle has a very well-resourced regional airport (Newcastle Williamstown) linking Newcastle to several Australian capital cities and other regional airports; Newcastle airport is approximately 45 minutes away from the conference venue.
Newcastle and the conference venue is a bit less than 3 hour car / train ride from Sydney along the Central Coast &Newcastle line (see the timetable here). The train journey from Sydney airport / Sydney central is easy to navigate, cheap and panoramic. You might prefer to fly Sydney-Newcastle on a very small and expensive plane! Newcastle main train station is called ‘Newcastle Interchange.
Public transports in Australia are typically cheap, but perhaps not always meeting European standards, possibly due to the much larger distances. You can buy a public transport ‘Opal cards’ at most travel agents and load it/reload it with as much/little money as you like (cash or cards) to use in Sydney, Newcastle, and the Newcastle-Sydney journey. More information on opal cards can be found here.
Getting to the conference venue from Newcastle airport
When arriving at the Newcastle airport viaplane there are a range of options that vary in time and cost to reach theconference venue including:
• Rental car: If you choose to hire a car and drive yourself to Noah’s the trip will take approximately 45 minutes depending on traffic. The price of renting a car for 5days ranges between $390 and $800 AUD. There may be additional fees if the drive is under 25 years old.
• By Bus/Ferry: Newcastle Airport is serviced by two bus companies that can take you to Noah’s through two routes. Firstly, Bus 130 operated by Port Stephens Coaches can take you from the airport to Queens Wharf, with additional stops on the way. Once you arrive at Queens Wharf it is a 10-minute walk to Noah’s hotel. The whole trip will take approximately 43 minutes and cost $4.71 AUD.
Another option for those who want to take a ferry ride is to take Bus 136 operated by Hunter Valley Buses to the Stockton Ferry terminal. The ferry ride across the harbour arrives at Queens Wharf,which is a short walk Noah’s hotel. This trip will take approximately 1 hour and cost $4.71 AUD.
For more details about transport options, click here.
• Taxi: The taxi rank is adjacent to the arrivals end of the terminal. Taxis are normally waiting for passengers, however you can contact them directly on the dedicated taxi phone located at the arrivals end of the terminal. For bookings call 133300 (free of charge). A taxi trip to Noah’s from the airport will cost approximately $60-70 AUD.
• Uber: You are also able to request an Uber from the airport. However, keep in mind that Ubers do not accept cash in Australia. An Uber trip from the airport to Noah’s will cost approximately $55 AUD.
Getting to the conference venue from Sydney airport
If you are coming from Sydney, you will likely be catching the train (see note at the top of this section). You can get on the train from Sydney Airport to (Sydney) Central Station with a 20-40 minutes straight ride.
From (Sydney) Central Station, get on the Central Coast & Newcastle line all the way to the last stop at the Newcastle Interchange. For more information on this option, see http://www.sydneytrains.info/ or call 131500.
The whole trip from Sydney to Newcastle will cost $23.19 AUD. You will need to acquire and add funds to an Opal card at the ticket booth at the Sydney Airport. The Opal cards are free but must be“topped-up” with a minimum of $10 AUD.
From Newcastle main train station (the Newcastle Interchange), you can take the bus, tram or taxi to Noah’s/the conference venue. This trip takes approximately 10 minutes.
• Bus: You can take Bus 110 to the Customs House on Watt Street. You may find the bus stop, for Bus 110, outside the main entrance of the Newcastle Interchange on Stewart Avenue. From the Customs House it is a 6-minute walk to Noah’s. Walk up Scott Street, Turn right onto Zaara Street and Noah’s hotel is located at the end of this street.
• Tram: The NSW government has been building a light rail in Newcastle for the last two years and it is now available to use. The light rail starts from the Newcastle Interchange and finishes at Newcastle beach. The last stop, at Newcastle beach, is a 3-minute walk from Noah’s; walk down Scott St, turn right onto Zaara St and Noah’s hotel is located at the end of this street. A trip on the light rail should cost around $3 AUD.
• Taxi and Uber: On the side entrance to the Newcastle Interchange, on Station St, you will find a taxi rank. This is also where Ubers pick up passengers. The trip will take approximately 5 minutes and cost between $10 AUD and $15 AUD.