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General Information

Please click here for information on Australian visas. 

Meeting Location

The 79th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology will take place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The Centre is in the South Bank neighborhood, conveniently located within walking distance of shopping, restaurants, public transport, nightlife, cultural activities, ferries, the Brisbane River, and Streets Beach, the only inner-city, manmade sandy beach in Australia. Other water-based options include the Boat Pool and Aquativity. Click here for a map of the river side of the convention centre. Click here for a guide to South Bank. Click here for accessibility visitor information about South Bank and click here for accessibility information for the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.


Banking and Foreign Exchange
As a general guide, banks across the city are open for business Monday to Friday 9.30am-4:00pm. Some banks in local shopping centres are also open Saturday and Sunday (with varying opening hours). Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are located throughout the city and will recognise cards issued by most banks. MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club credit cards are accepted across the city by most outlets with an increasing number accepting China UnionPay. Check with your local financial institution to verify if you are able to use your home bank card or credit card prior to travel. Licensed money change services are available at the Brisbane Airport and at numerous Bureaux de Change located throughout the city. Most banks also offer currency exchange services. Australian money comes in the following notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, and coins: 5¢, 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1 and $2.  Australian prices occasionally end in a variant of 1¢ or 2¢. Where this occurs at the cash register, the price is rounded to the nearest 5¢.

Child Care
A family room is available for use daily during session hours. The family room is not staffed; parents and guardians are responsible for the supervision and safety of their children and personal belongings. For information regarding babysitting services, please check with the front desk of your hotel. Parents and guardians are required to perform their own reference checks and arrange child care independently. SVP/FASEB are not responsible for childcare nor the quality of childcare provided.

In addition to the SVP Family Room, there is a Parent’s Room located on the Foyer Level with a changing area, comfortable furniture and private bath. Please note however that the Parent’s Room is accessible to anyone in the convention center, and not designated for SVP attendees only.

Climate
The average high temperature in October is 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day and 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) in the evening. Brisbane is located at 28.4 meters/93.2 feet above sea level.

Dialing Codes
The area code in Brisbane is 07 and the country code for Australia is 61.  While in Australia, you can call the directory information service number 1224 for assistance in finding a phone number. Calls to area codes 1800, 1300, and 13 are toll-free in Australia. To make an international call, dial 0011 followed by the country code, area code, and telephone number (if the area code starts with a 0, remove it).

Common country codes
China
France
Germany
Hong Kong
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Malaysia
New Zealand
Singapore
South Africa
Spain
United Kingdom
United States of America
0011 + 86
0011 + 33
0011 + 49
0011 + 852
0011 + 353
0011 + 39
0011 + 81
0011 + 60
0011 + 64
0011 + 65
0011 + 27
0011 + 34
0011 + 44
0011 + 1


Eating Out
Brisbane is a multicultural gastronomic experience. If you are looking for Asian, European, or Mexican cuisine, or even just a world class hamburger, you are likely to find it in Brisbane. In fact, www.visitbrisbane.com.au lists 63 items on their ultimate food bucket list for Brisbane (click here to view the list).  However, this does not mean eating out should be too expensive. Click here for an article about seven of Brisbane’s best cheap eats and click here for the Brisbane Food Truck Tracker. Click here for a list of restaurants in South Bank, and click here for a list of South Bank dining and drinking deals. (Please note that the prices quoted in the webpages are in Australian Dollars.)

Electricity
Electrical supply in Australia is 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz with three-pin plugs used across the country. The Australian three-pin electrical socket differs from those found in most countries,and international travellers may require an adaptor socket. Standard outlets for 100-volt small appliances can be found in most hotel rooms. Adaptors can be bought from the Brisbane Visitor Information and Booking Centre in the Queen Street Mall and from all good travel stores, chemists and department stores.

Emergency Services
In a life-threatening or time-critical emergency, dial Emergency Services on Triple Zero (000). The Triple Zero service is an operator-assisted service that connects callers to the most relevant emergency service organisation (police, fire brigade or ambulance). Calls to Triple Zero are free and can be made from all telephones (landline, mobile devices and payphones). When you dial Triple Zero services, the most important thing to remember is to stay focused, stay relevant and stay on the line. Additionally, mobile users can dial 112 while the 106 emergency number connects to a text-based relay service for people who have a hearing or speech impairment.

Language
The official language of the meeting is English. Translation services will not be provided.

Letters of Invitation
For security purposes, letters of invitation can only be sent to individuals registered for the meeting.  To request a letter of invitation please contact meetings@vertpaleo.org.

Name Badge
The SVP badge must be worn at all times for admission to the scientific sessions, exhibits, and social events.

Smoking Policy
The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre is a non-smoking facility.
 
Tax
The current Goods and Services Tax (GST) is 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in Australia. The Tourist Refund Scheme allows international travellers to claim a GST refund (subject to certain conditions) on some goods purchased in Australia. The refund applies only to items worn or goods taken on board as hand luggage when leaving the country. Click here for more information.


Tipping
Tipping is not required in Australia but is always appreciated to show appreciation for good service. Often people will round up to the $5.00 rather than worry about change. The only difference is in restaurants and cafes. If you decide to tip and are paying by card, you may want to check with your server, as some restaurants will pay a tip on a card to the restaurant, rather than the server (solution – pay the tip in cash).
If you choose to tip:
Restaurant wait service: 10% of bill
Taxi: 10% of fare
Bell hop: $1-$2
Room Service: $2-$5

Transportation to BrisbaneBrisbane Airport
The airport is about 15 kilometers from the Convention Centre. Brisbane is served by many major commercial airlines. It is a child-friendly airport and offers free WiFi. There are also free showers located in several restrooms throughout the airport. Click here for information regarding specifics about the airport, including where to find a hot water dispenser and where to charge your mobile (perhaps using a Watt Bike). Click here for the airport website. Click here if you might need special assistance in the airport. 

Transportation in Brisbane:  Getting from the airport to South Bank is easy.

  • You can pick up a metered taxi (Black & White Cabs and Yellow Cabs) at both the domestic and international terminals.
  • Car rentals are available – Domestic Terminal, Level 1; International Terminal, Level 2.
  • Airtrain
    Airtrain offers transportation from early in the morning to 10:00 pm, allowing delegates to reach Brisbane City in just 20 minutes.The express service runs every 15 minutes from the international and domestic terminals during peak hours stopping at five inner-city stations. Tickets can be purchased online, at the Brisbane Airport customer service counter (domestic terminal) and at Airtrain, city and suburban train stations. Delegates should choose the South Brisbane station if traveling from the airport to the convention centre.  If you make your reservation on the Airtrain website starting on October 1, you will receive a discounted fare. (Enter the promo code in the payment information) For further information about Airtrain, visit the Airtrain website.
  • Con-X-ion Airport Transfers
    Operating seven days a week, Con-X-ion Airport Transfers offers airport travellers a door-to-door bus shuttle service from the airport covering all major city-based accommodation. Con-X-ion services both the international and domestic terminals to meet all flights. Services should be pre-booked. Tickets can be purchased online or through the customer service counters located onsite at the international and domestic terminals. For further information visit the Con-X-ion website.
While in Brisbane, there are many ways to get around.

GO CARD
Want to know the easiest way to get around town? Pick up a TRANSLink Go Card and travel seamlessly on all TRANSLink bus, ferry and rail services across South-East Queensland. The perfect travel companion, go cards are available from Queensland Rail stations, online, over the phone or selected retailers. Top up the card balance like a prepaid mobile phone whenever it suits.
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BUSES
Explore Brisbane’s neighbourhoods through a comprehensive bus service that runs throughout the city, connecting the outer and inner suburbs to the CBD, major shopping centres, entertainment and dining precincts, railway stations and ferry terminals. Take advantage of special NightLink bus services running after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays for late-night travellers. Or get around the inner city with the free City Loop and Spring Hill Loop. Plan your trip now on TRANSLink’s journey planner.
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TRAINS
Brisbane’s speedy network of electric trains has the Greater Brisbane region covered and provides direct access to the city, quirky neighbourhood precincts and outer suburbs. The Airtrain service is completely integrated into the Queensland Rail suburban network, with regular trains running from Brisbane Airport directly to Brisbane City and the Gold Coast. Travel on a single ticket from any station in South-East Queensland to Brisbane Airport.
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FREE TRANSPORT
Hail a bus for free in the inner city. The CityLoop and Spring Hill Loop bus services circle the city every 10 minutes and stop at destinations in the CBD and Spring Hill precincts between 7am - 6pm weekdays. Glide between Brisbane’s inner-city precincts by hopping on the free CityHopper ferry service, which travels along the river from North Quay to Sydney St, New Farm.
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FERRIES
Let the river be your guide. Brisbane’s ferries, affectionately known as CityCats, are one of the most enjoyable ways to explore Brisbane. Glide along the river with CityCat and CityFerry services, perfect for sight-seeing and accessing key city spots. Tickets can be bought on board the services, at most newsagents and selected retail outlets, or make use of a Go Card. Hop on board the free CityHopper ferry service to get around inner-city precincts for free.
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TAXIS
Take a taxi and be there in a flash. Taxi ranks are available at the Brisbane international and domestic airports, as well as throughout The City and inner-city precincts. Jump in a taxi to be assured of a quick and efficient way of getting around. A standard taxi will cater for four passengers or less.  For wheel-chair access or to transport five to 10 passengers, it’s best to order a Multi Passenger taxi.
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BIKES
Make the most of Brisbane’s wonderful outdoor climate by biking around town. There are extensive bicycle paths running throughout the city and peddle-power offers a healthy and inexpensive way of getting around. Hire a Brisbane City Council CityCycle bike at key inner city destinations and set off to explore.. Join up with the CityCycle program today!
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VISA:  All international travellers must present a valid and approved travel document (generally a passport) as evidence of their identity and nationality to allow entry into Australia. In addition, all international travellers (with the exception of most New Zealand passport holders) must also obtain a valid visa before travelling to Australia.
As a general guide, travellers are encouraged to apply for their Australian visa well in advance of their planned departure date.

Participants, attendees and speakers that will not be working, performing or otherwise be paid to contribute at the Conference may be eligible for the following visa options:
 

   


Click here for the Immigration and Visas webpage from the Australian government.

Visitor Information:  Brisbane has a plethora of activities to enjoy.

Click here for free/low-cost options to make your stay in Brisbane even more fun (hikes, local gardens, museums, and the Daisy Hill Koala Centre)
Click here for more options in all price ranges (tour in a gondola, night kayak, abseil down the bridge, hand-feed wild dolphins, etc.)
Click here for activities specifically in South Bank