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Ice Breaker

An optional Ice Breaker will be held at the Rose Hotel, located at the corner of Cleveland and Shepherd St. This character filled pub is located next to the Sydney University Engineering precinct this pub is popular with ACFR staff and students. We have booked the venue to provide delegates with an opportunity to chat after the first day's proceedings, to grab a drink and a bite to eat and to pit their wits against each other in a round of robotics trivia.


The Banquet for RSS 2012 will take place in the halls of the Australian Museum. Buses will be available to take delegates from the conference venue to the Museum at 6:30pm on Thursday, July 12th. Dinner will include drinks and meals as well as an opportunity to explore some of the museum's collections while catching up with friends and colleagues.

  • Australian Museum
    6 College St (corner of Williams St)
    Sydney, NSW 2010
    Ph: 02 9320 6000


Lunches will be catered on Monday and Thursday of the conference. A few options to consider for Tuesday and Wednesday are listed here.

  • Taste Baguette Bar: Located in the new law buildings just across the road from the main Quad, Taste features a variety of gourmet baguettes.
  • Subway: There is a Subway located in the Jane Foss Russell building at the end of the pedestrian bridge crossing City Road. Wentworth Building: TheWentworth building, next to the Jane Foss Russell building, features a number of small cafes that serve a variety of options, from burritos and crepes to pizza and sandwiches.
  • Newtown: As outlined below, King St. in Newtown is well know for its outstanding Thai cuisine. You'll find terrific value with lunch time specials starting from $6. Newtown Thai II and Thai La Long are both on the northern end of King St near the University and are popular with ACFR staff and students.
  • Broadway Shopping Centre: The Broadway Shopping Centre at the corner of City Rd and Parramatta Rd features all of the usual fare you would expect in a large shopping complex with a large food court offering everything from burgers to kebabs and sushi.
  • Glebe Point Road: Glebe Point Road features numerous restaurants and pubs and is a short walk across Victoria Park.



Sydney has too many restaurants to name. However, various suburbs are known for their particular styles of cuisine. Some of these are listed below.

  • Newtown: Located within a few minutes walk of the University of Sydney campus, King St in Newtown has a reputation for quality, low cost eateries. Every other restaurant seems to be serve up tasty Thai meals but there are also a variety of gourmet burger bars, Mexican, Vietnamese, Nepalese and Japanese options available.
  • Glebe: Glebe Point Road is located across Victoria Park (yes, the Victoria Park for those of you who have worked with the early SLAM datasets). It features numerous restaurants ranging from modern Australian to Spanish, Mexican and others.
  • China Town: Sydney's China Town is nestled on the outskirts of the downtown precinct. It is easily accessible from Town Hall or Central station. It features a wide variety of Chinese options, from small holes in the wall to Yum Cha and fine dining. Prepare to be accosted by restaurant staff offering great deals to lure you into their premises.
  • Darling Harbour: Darling Harbour features a variety of eateries to suit all palates. With a number of pubs as well as fine dining this makes for a good night out. Take a train to Central Station or Town Hall and follow the signs to Darling Harbour.
  • Leichardt: Norton St. in the inner west suburb of Leichardt (a few minutes drive or bus down Parramatta road from the University) is known for its outstanding Italian eateries.
  • Circular Quay: Circular Quay features a number of eateries. Be wary of the tourist traps in the Circular Quay train station but the Overseas Passenger Terminal features some outstanding restaurants with views over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
  • The Rocks: Once a somewhat rundown area on the outskirts of downtown, the Rocks has been transformed into a vibrant area of the city, featuring narrow cobblestoned streets and a variety of pubs and restaurants. The Sunday markets are a bit of an institution and feature live music as well as stalls selling all manner of arts and crafts.


  • The Rose: A character filled pub next to the Sydney University Engineering precinct this pub is popular with ACFR staff and students. A great range of local beer, wine and cocktails as well as an extensive menu make for a great night out.
  • The Nag's Head: A few minutes walk from the RSS 2012 conference venue, this English style pub and eatery features a good selection of beer and wine with a nice bistro out the back. Definitely worth a visit.
  • The Opera Bar: The Opera Bar sits just under the Opera House forecourt, looking out over Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge. A fantastic place to grab a drink or a bite to eat and unwind after a hard day's work (or for a lazy Sunday afternoon).
  • The Lord Nelson: Sydney's oldest licensed hotel, the Lord Nelson is located in the heart of the Rocks. They serve up a terrific selection of beers brewed on the premises.
  • The Hero of Waterloo: Another Rocks stalwart, the Hero of Waterloo is a convict built pub that has withstood the test of time. Featuring live music and a good selection of food and beverage options.
  • The Argyle: A modern take on the great Australian pub tradition serving up meals and a variety of local and imported wine and beer in the Rocks.
  • The Lowenbrau: Located in the Rocks, the Lowebrau is modelled on a traditional German beer garden and serves up hearty meals and large german style beers.
  • The Bavarian Beer Cafe: Located on the East side of the city, this pub features a variety of Bavarian style ales.
  • Redoak: The Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe, located near Town Hall Station Station, has been voted Best Specialty Beer Venue and feature a range of boutique beers brewed onsite.
  • Local Taphouse: The Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst operates as a neighbourhood bar with a diverse of specialty and boutique beers. Their burgers come highly recommended.
  • Manly Wharf Bar: Manly's Wharf Bar sits out on the Ferry Terminal wharf at Manly. Taking a ferry to Manly is a great way to see the Harbour and youre sure to find some refreshing beverages waiting for you on your arrival.

Cocktail Bars (From Sydney's Best Bar Awards 2012):

  • Victoria Room: The Victoria Room is the real deal, combining craft cocktails, incredible bartender knowledge and a beautiful venue.
  • Eau de Vie: This speakeasy-style bar has a wealth of talented bartenders working with exceptional hooch. It's an industry haunt, a den of iniquity, and probably the best fun you can have with a glass in your hand.'
  • Low 302: The Crown Street stalwart has been delivering on the cocktail front since '09 and they're showing no signs of slowing down. You might go for a beer (and many do) but you'd be mad not to stay for a Gimlet.'
  • Rockpool Bar and Grill: 'If there's one place in Sydney you're guaranteed to get a great drink and a great snack, it's here. Bartenders make their own sodas and syrups and can rustle up a tasty drink faster than you can say Julep'
  • Shady Pines: 'They'll pour you a beer as fast as they pour a Sazerac and all with the same level of attention and care. If you haven't had them make you a Negroni topped with Coke (blasphemous!) then you haven't truly lived.'

What to Do

Within easy access of the University and the city:

  • Sydney Aquarium: Arguably Australia's most popular tourist attraction, the Sydney Aquarium is located at Darling Harbour. See a variety of displays including coral reefs, a crocodile and the always popular shark tunnel walk.
  • WildlifeWorld: Right next door to the Aquarium (and available for combined entry on a double pass), Wildlife World provides close access to a variety of Australian wildlife. A great opportunity to see some kangaroos and wallabies and to get up close and personal with a Koala.
  • Opera House: Sydney's iconic Opera House sits on a spit of land in the Harbour between Circular Quay and the Botanical Gardens. The Opera House features many varieties of music, theatre and dance performance. Daily tours are also available for those wanting a behind the scenes look at this landmark building.
  • Bridge Climb: For a different perspective on this cosmopolitan city, book in to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Look down over the Opera House, the Harbour and Sydney's downtown from the lofty heights of this spectacular structure.
  • Botanical Gardens: Take a tour of the Botanical Gardens to see a variety of trees and plants from around the world. The giant figs have to be seen to be believed and keep an eye out for the thousands of flying foxes (a giant fruit bat) roosting in the trees. The bats come out at night to circle the city searching for a meal.
  • Darling Harbour: Darling Harbour features one of the highest concentrations of tourist attractions in the city. With the Aquarium, Wildlife world, the Powerhouse Museum, the IMAX theatre, the Japanese Gardens, the Maritime Museum and countless restaurants and bars this is a great spot for a night out or a day of shopping.
  • Bondi Beach: The crescent of sand that makes up Bondi Beach is a great place to take a dip or catch a few waves. Popular with tourists and locals alike the beach is packed with sun bathers on a hot summer's day. Even in the middle of winter, Bondi attracts many visitors. Consider taking the Bronte walking track along the seaside cliffs on the south end of the beach.
  • Ferry to Manly Beach: Take a ferry from Circular Quay to see a bit of the Harbour and the stately homes overlooking this spectacular waterway. Manly, one of Sydney's favourite beachside suburbs, features a pedestrian corso, great beaches for surfing, snorkelling or splashing in the waves and the Wharf Bar is a favourite amongst locals. The spit bridge walk is a popular city walk that takes in some of the local feel of the suburb.
  • Whale Watching: June and July are prime whale watching months off the coast of Sydney. A number of tour operators will take you out to sea to witness the migration of the Humpback whales making their way North to Queensland for the winter. You may also catch sight of dolphins riding the bow wave of the boat.

Further afield:

  • Hunter Valley: The Hunter Valley is approximately 2 hours north of Sydney. It features a variety of boutique wineries as well as some more familiar names in the wine industry. Some of Australia's most popular wines are made here. Tours to the Hunter Valley range from day tours to multiple days ensconced in a cottage by a vineyard with a glass of local wine always close at hand.
  • The Blue Mountains: An hour and a half west of Sydney are the Blue Mountains. This range of hills forms part of the Great Dividing range which runs along the east coast of Australia. The spectacular red cliffs are a must see. Trains from Central Station head up to Katoomba and the iconic Three Sisters rock formation. There is some fantastic 'bush walking' (hiking) as well as abseiling, rock climbing and canyoning for the more adventurous.
  • Jervis Bay: About 3 hours south of Sydney, Jervis Bay is a popular holiday destination for Sydneysiders. The bay features pristine white sandy beaches, national parks and resident dolphin populations.
  • Nelson Bay: Around 3 hours north of Sydney, Nelson Bay and Port Stephens are also popular holiday destinations and are another great place for a bit of dolphin watching or R and R. A visit to Nelson Bay can be combined with a stop in the Hunter Valley for a great couple of days that is easily accessible from Sydney.
  • The Great Barrier Reef: One of Australia's must see holiday destinations is a few hour flight away. The reef is accessible from Cairns, Port Douglas, Townsville and the Whitsunday Islands. Diving and snorkelling tours are popular and private sailing charters can be organised from the Whitsunday Islands to really escape from it all.
  • Uluru: Uluru, formerly known as Ayer's Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in central Australia. It is a popular tourist destination and is accessible from Alice Springs.
Photo by: Douglas Stebila