City directory

AIRLINES (DOMESTIC) Ansett Australia and Kendell tel 13 1300; Impulse Airlines tel 13 1381, ; Qantas tel 13 1313; Sydney Harbour Seaplanes tel 9388 1878.

AIRLINES (INTERNATIONAL) Aerolineas Argentinas tel 9283 3660; Air Canada tel 9232 5222; Air New Zealand tel 13 2476; All Nippon (ANA) tel 9367 6700; British Airways tel 9258 3200; Canadian Airlines tel 1300/655 757; Cathay Pacific tel 13 1747; Continental tel 9244 2242; Delta tel 9251 3211; Emirates tel 9279 0711; Garuda tel 9334 9900; Gulf Air tel 9244 2199; Japan Airlines tel 9272 1111; KLM tel 9231 6333; Lauda tel 9251 6155; Malaysia Airlines tel 13 2627; Olympic tel 9251 1048; Qantas tel 13 1211; Singapore Airlines tel 9350 0100; Thai Airways tel 9251 1922; United tel 13 1777.

CAR RENTAL Most car-rental firms have a branch in William St, Kings Cross; the big four, which rent late-model cars, are also at the airport. Average daily charge is $50-70 for a small manual. Avis, 220 William St tel 9357 2000, ; Budget, 93 William St tel 13 2727, ; Hertz, cnr William and Riley streets tel 13 3039, ; and Thrifty, 75 William St tel 1300 367 227, There are cheaper deals with Bayswater, 180 William St, Kings Cross tel 9360 3622, ; Kings Cross Rent-A-Car, 169 William St tel 9331 1366, ; and Network, at the airport tel 9317 3223,

CONSULATES British, Level 16, Gateway Building, 1 Macquarie Pl tel 9247 7521; Canadian, Level 5, 111 Harrington St tel 9364 3000; New Zealand, 55 Hunter St tel 8256 2000; US, Level 59, MLC Centre, 19-29 Martin Place tel 9373 9200. For visas for onward travel, consult "Consulates and Legations" in the Yellow Pages .

DISABLED TRAVELLERS ACROD (Australian Council for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled), 24 Cabarita Rd, Cabarita, NSW 2137 tel 9743 2699 provides a list of organizations, accommodation, travel agencies and tour operators. For taxis, try Wheelchair Accessible Taxis tel 8332 0200 or ABC tel 13 2522.

ELECTRICITY Australia's electrical current is 240/250v, 50Hz AC. British appliances will work with an adaptor; American and Canadian 110v appliances need a transformer.

EMAIL Darlinghurst Road in Kings Cross is crammed with cut-rate internet places, with rates as low as $2.20 per 45min. Global Gossip has six offices (all daily 9am-midnight; $3.95 for 30min, $4.95 for 1hr), including at 770 George St, City; 111 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross; 317 Glebe Pt Rd, Glebe; 37 Hall St, Bondi; and 108 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. The Well Connected Cafe , 35 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe (daily 7am-midnight; $1 per 15min, $6 per hour), and the Phone.Net Cafe , 73-75 Hall St, Bondi (daily 9am-9pm; $1.10 for 10min, $2.20 for 45min), are both lively cybercafes with good food and coffee. You can surf the net for free at the State Library , or as part of your admission to the Australian Museum .

EMERGENCY tel 000 for fire, police or ambulance.

GST (GOODS AND SERVICES TAX) A GST of ten percent was introduced in 2000, and caused a general across-the-board price hike, though most fresh foods are not included. Visitors can claim GST refunds for goods purchased in Australia as they clear customs, providing that individual receipts exceed $300 and the claim is made within thirty days of purchase. Many stores in The Rocks and the airport have a "sealed bag" system which lets you buy goods without paying GST, and the minimum of $300 is waived.

HOSPITALS AND CLINICS Sydney Hospital, Macquarie St tel 9382 7111; St Vincents Hospital, Victoria St, Darlinghurst tel 9339 1111. See "Medical Centres" in the Yellow Pages for the closest clinic. Broadway Medical Centre, 185-211 Broadway tel 9212 2733, open Mon-Sat, no appointment necessary. Sydney Sexual Health Centre, Nightingale Wing, Sydney Hospital, Macquarie St tel 9382 7440. Women's Health Clinic, 139 Macquarie St tel 9247 1555. Travellers Medical and Vaccination Centre, 7th floor, 428 George St tel 9221 7133, AIDS Council of NSW (ACON), 9 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills tel 9206 2000.

LAUNDRIES Most accommodation will have a coin-operated laundry; a load of washing costs about $3.50 at any laundromat.

LEFT LUGGAGE Cloakrooms at Town Hall and Central stations (both Mon-Sat 9am-4.40pm; $1.50 per 24hr); lockers at the airport and Sydney Coach Terminal (various sizes $6-11 per 24hr).

MOTORBIKE HIRE Bikescape, 154 Abercrombie St, cnr Cleveland St, Chippendale tel 9699 4722, ; scooters from $65 per day, motorbikes from $90.

NEWSPAPERS The two daily (Mon-Sat) Sydney papers are the reliable morning broadsheet Sydney Morning Herald and the tabloid Daily Telegraph (the latter publishes a morning and an afternoon edition); Melbourne's Age is readily available, as is The Australian , the only national newspaper - both are strong on international news, and maintain generally high standards of journalism. Sunday papers ( Sun Herald , Sunday Telegraph ) are fairly low-brow and packed with advertising. The City of Sydney Public Library, behind the Town Hall (Mon-Thurs 9am-7pm, Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-noon), keeps a large selection of overseas newspapers.

PHARMACY (LATE-NIGHT) Crest Hotel Pharmacy, 60a Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross (Tues-Sat 8.30am-2am, Sun & Mon 8.30am-midnight tel 9358 1822).

POLICE Headquarters at 14 College St tel 9339 0277; emergency tel 000.

POST OFFICE The General Post Office (GPO) is in Martin Place (Mon-Fri 8.15am-5.30pm, Sat 9am-1pm). Poste restante is located at the post office in the Hunter Connection shopping mall at 310 George St (Mon-Fri 8.15am-6pm), opposite Wynyard Station. Poste Restante, Sydney GPO, Sydney NSW, 2000.

PUBLIC TOILETS Free public toilets are found at beaches, in parks, shopping arcades, train stations and department stores.

RADIO ABC stations: Radio National (576 AM) offers a popular mix of arty intellectual topics; 2BL (702 AM), intelligent talk-back radio; News Radio (630 AM), 24hr local and international news, current affairs, sports, science and finance utilizing the BBC World Service and CNN amongst others; ABC Classic FM (92.9 FM), for classical music; 2JJJ ("Triple J"; 105.7 FM), supports local bands and alternative rock - aimed squarely at the nation's youth. 2JJJ competes with commercial mainstream rock station 2MMM ("Triple M"; 104.9 FM).

TELEVISION There are five terrestrial TV stations: three commercial (Channels Ten, Nine and Seven) and two non-commercial (ABC and SBS) - plus two pay TV stations (Optus and Foxtel). The ABC, on Channel Two, is a national, non-commercial station, and has the best of British sit-coms and mini-series as well as excellent news coverage. SBS, a government- and commercial-sponsored multicultural station, is best for world news and quality current affairs, and screens foreign-language films nightly (also has quality commercials). Both the ABC and SBS show European football.

TELEPHONES Local calls (untimed) from public phones cost 40?; 15-20? from private phones. Call boxes do not accept incoming calls. Most public phones take both Telstra phonecards (sold through newsagents for $5, $10, $20 or $50) and coins. You can also buy Telstra PhoneAway cards which can be used with both private and public phones using a PIN number. One.Tel cards, for discounted international calls, are widely available at newsagents. Crediphones accept most major credit cards, and can be found at international and domestic airports and many hotels. The Telstra Pay Phone Centre, 231 Elizabeth St (Mon-Fri 7am-11pm, Sat & Sun 7am-5pm) has private booths. Global Gossip offers discount-rate international calls from private phone booths.

Many businesses and services have free-call numbers, prefixed tel 1800; six-digit numbers beginning tel 13 are charged at the local-call rate. Numbers starting tel 1900 are private information services, usually costing between 35? and 75? a minute or up to $4.95 - an introductory message will give the rate. Directory assistance calls (tel 12455 for local or national area, tel 1225 for international) are free, but calls to the operator are not. Calls within Australia are generally cheapest between 7pm & 7am Monday to Saturday, and all day Sunday.

To phone out of Australia, dial 0011, followed by the country code (UK tel 44, US and Canada tel 1, Ireland tel 353, New Zealand tel 64), then the area code, minus its zero. Reverse charge calls can be made through the international operator (tel 1234), but this is easier with Country Direct, which allows you to speak directly with an operator in your home country; the call is charged to the receiving number, or to your credit card. Country direct numbers: Canada tel 1800/881 150; USA AT & T Direct tel 1800/881 011; UK British Telecom tel 1800/881 440; Ireland tel 1800/881 353; and New Zealand tel 1800/881 640. Other phone companies are listed in the rear of the L-Z White Pages .

TIME Sydney follows Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), half an hour ahead of South Australia and the Northern Territory, two hours ahead of Western Australia, ten hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and fifteen ahead of US Eastern Standard Time. Clocks are put forward one hour in November and back again in March for daylight saving.

TRAINS Central Station; info and bookings tel 13 2232.

TRAVEL AGENTS STA Travel does international and domestic flights, tours and accommodation; branches include 855 George St tel 9212 1255 and Springfield Ave, Kings Cross tel 9368 1111, The British travel agency, Trailfinders, have a branch in Sydney at 8 Spring St tel 9247 7666, Flight Centre, 52 Martin Place tel 9235 0166, , also at several other locations, offer cheap domestic and international air tickets. YHA Travel, 422 Kent St, City tel 9261 1111, , offers domestic and international travel services: transport, tours and accommodation (branch at Sydney Central YHA , 11 Rawson Pl tel 9281 9444). Backpackers Travel Centre, Shop 33, Imperial Arcade, near Centrepoint, Pitt St tel 9231 3699, tel , do everything from international flights to bus passes; offices also at 87 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe tel 9552 4544; Bronka Arcade, 157 Oxford St, Bondi Junction tel 9369 1331; and 37 Hall St, Bondi Beach tel 9369 1331.

Other useful information for tourists (each section contains more specific sub-sections):