Currency Exchange in Sydney

Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 11:07 AM
  #1  
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Currency Exchange in Sydney

Being fairly new to international travel, can someone tell me if it is generally cheaper to exchange US dollars to Austalian Dollars in the airport or the bank. Also what is the usual charge for an exchange? Is it less expensive to use a debit card and get AUD from an ATM machine? Or would it be a better idea to exchange traveler's checks when we arrive in Sydney? Help!!! Thanks.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 04:14 PM
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Forget travellers' cheques, termoore. You'll probably need/want a few dollars for coffee/taxi etc., as you arrive, so just change $100 at the airport. Then, use ATMs to withdraw what you need as you go.

There are some US bank issued debit/credit cards which don't attract fees, and some US banks have an affiliation with Australian banks which also provide reciprocal fee-free arrangements. I don't know which banks these are, but there are numerous threads on the subject here - one fairly recently, I think.

Generally speaking, the airport exchange will probably be a little more expensive than a bank, but for $100 or so to get you started, it's a minimal charge for the convenience.

BTW, our taxis all take credit cards.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 07:26 PM
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Unless things have changed since I was last in Australia, you should be able to find an ATM at the airport and get your Australian dollars there. I don't see any need to go to a currency exchange booth at the airport when you can just use an ATM.
Don't bother with traveller's checks. They are a big hassle and people don't like to take them.
Finally, since you indicate that you are fairly new to international travel, be sure to inform your credit card issuer of the dates that you will be travelling overseas so that they don't flag your account for suspicious purchases (i.e. purchases in a country other than the U.S.) You certainly don't want your account blocked while you're on vacation!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 07:58 PM
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That's true, longhorn, there are plenty of ATMs in the terminal .. I wasn't thinking!

It makes no sense whatsoever in any terms other than immediate convenience, but I generally get $100 worth of whatever currency I will be using, in fairly small denominations, before I go somewhere new.

It allows me to familiarise myself with the foreign currency, and gets me to my apartment/hotel with one less delay at the airport when I arrive. US/Australian isn't so bad, but it's pretty easy to miscount the OOOs on some of the more exotic currencies after a long leg flight. I think I paid about $100 for a $20 taxi trip the first time I went to Bali
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 05:31 AM
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Bokhara2 Could you please tell me a general idea of what type of clothing people will be wearing in Sydney this month? We went to Argentina in Aug, and were comfortable, but everyone else had on dark clothing and we had on spring colors. Want to pack very light and only take what I really need. Thanks
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 06:07 AM
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August can be windy, Nlingenfel, and this one started out that way with very strong winds & showers overnight & this morning. It's still Winter here, so no Spring colours yet.

Temperatures in Sydney are approx. 7 - 17c & you will need a jacket/coat & scarf for the evenings & mornings. And a weatherproof jacket if you have one. That said, it will probably clear to sunny days & Indian Summer temperatures immediately (LOL).


If I recall correctly, you are going to Armidale. It can be very cold there (-3 to 11c predicted for the remainder of this week), so put in some gloves for those chilly starts & finishes to the days.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 08:34 AM
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Thanks, trying to pack very light. This really helps.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 08:33 AM
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Thanks everyone for all the advice. I will look for the ATM machine. Sounds simple enough. Leaving in 5 weeks, can't wait.
termoore is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2010, 04:04 PM
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As for clothing, I appreciate your question may have been directed to a female audience, but in general I wouldn't worry about wearing any colours/styles you'd wear in say California. Australians tend to be pretty casual in that regard.

But I would take notice of Bokhara2's advice about temperature variations. Armidale is inland, in the New England Ranges 980 metres ASL. Drive a couple of hours' drive east, on the NSW north coast, is beautifully subtropical, but the Armidale area is noticeably brisk in winter-spring, so thin but warm layered clothing (outdoor store style) is a good idea.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 04:11 PM
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You're right, Neil - I thought afterwards that I should have said "Spring fabrics". Casual/holiday dress here is not the 'black on black' of the corporate CBD in Sydney & Melbourne.
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