Wireless access in Sydney?

Just arrived in Sydney this morning. Still trying to orientate myself. John Allsopp picked up Joe Clark and me (we happened to be on the same flight out of LAX) from the airport early this morning. I only have 6 minutes left on a pay-per-minute access account, so this is going to be a quick one. Dave and I have walked all over the Chinatown/UTS area looking for wireless access, or some place where we can connect our laptops to a wired connection. No one seems to know what wireless access or “wifi” is here. And all the “internet cafes” (they look more like gaming casinos to us) all require that we use their computers. And the local proprietors all stare at us blankly when we ask where we might find such a rarity.

The only thing we’ve found that seems even remotely reasonable is a Telstra hotspot connection at a Starbucks :-( but it’s AUS$11 for 30 minutes of access, so that’s not going to work as a standard option.

So the question is… where do you go for that kind of thing here in Sydney? Any locals (or recent travelers here) have any recommendations? Thanks in advance.


While we struggled to find access in Sydney before the conference, thanks to the help of Maxine and all her research, we eventually gave in and subscribed to the Azure network, so we have access at a few of the cafes spread around Sydney that use Azure.

So although I might not have found much on my own in Sydney proper (the city), after breakfast this morning, I walked right into a really nice internet cafe in Manly that has an open Atlantis network. The place is either called Atlantis Cafe, or Aquarius, or something like that. The guy here needed to add my mac address to the network, but once he did, I was up and running, free of charge.

The cafe here in manly feels a little more like a living room than a cafe. It’s up on the third level of some little mall of small shops, etc. and it has a beautiful outdoor patio with tables under umbrellas that overlook the street below. They have a standard espresso machine for coffee drinks and a few muffins and other drinks, and plenty of PCs wired up for access. As also mentioned they also have an open wifi network, as well as a few desks along the side with available ethernet cables to plug in you laptop if you don’t have a wireless card.

This is the kind of place I was looking for — it kind of puts many wireless hotspots in San Francisco to shame. Manly knows how to do it right…