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etelka610 Sydney - A travel report by Aimee
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Sydney,  Australia - flag Australia -  New South Wales
2500 readers

etelka610's travel reports

From a locals perspective

  17 votes
A clean city, stunning harbour, great weather, some of the freshest food in the world, world class vino combined with an eclectic mix of cultures. You couldnt ask for too much more.

Flying down from Asia and hitting the Western Australian coastline is a pretty amazing thing in itself, the aqua blue water and white white sand contrasting with the red earth makes for a great arrival into Oz. At this moment you still have another 5 hours or so until you hit the East Coast. The flight over this vast land gives you a great indication of just how isolated it is in the centre of the country, you'll be hard pressed to see a town until you reach the East Coast. About half way through the flight over the continent if you're lucky you'll find yourself flying over Uluru, this huge red rock rises dramatically in an otherwise very flat landscape and it is a pretty remarkable thing to see. As you approach the east coastline the landscape begins to turn into bushland and you will find yourself flying over the Great Dividing Range a chain of mountains (the only substantial mountain range in Australia) that runs down the entire east coast and separates the coastline from inland Australia. Flying into and over Sydney gives you a great birdseye view of the Olympic Park, the harbour and its bridge and the opera house as well as the AMP tower - the tallest in Sydney (again this is if you're flight takes that route which is quite likely as i've seen it all many times now) and then you'll fly over some of the beaches that Sydney is famous for right before touching down.

Favourite spots:
Apart fromt the major tourist attractions that everyone knows about (and are a must see) some other places you should experience are Chinatown a buzzing place full of restaurants, cute shops and also home to Sydney's Paddington Markets, while you're there you have to sample the Yum Cha! Oxord street is quite a trendy area great for shopping and its nightlife, it is also home to Sydneys gay community (and the infamous Mardi Gras) but is a must no matter what your sexuality. The Queen Victoria Buliding or QVB, built in the 1890's as a market is now a shopping arcade and is a gorgeous example of some of the older architecture in Sydney and is well worth just walking through. The area to have changed the most in the past 15 or so years though is Darling Harbour, with its huge range of shops, restaurants, cafes and is also where you'll find the Sydney Aquarium and the Imax Theatre. There is always something going around here.

What's really great:
Sydney is such a young city - only some 200 odd years old so it doesnt have a great deal of history compared to most countries but it is very multicultural as well as being very cosmopolitan. It's so easy to get around, the CBD can easily be done on foot if you dont mind a bit of walking or there is also the monorail which does a loop between the CBD and Darling Harbour.

There is accommodation in every corner of the city ranging from hostels to 5 star hotels, apartments and motels. If you're staying for a while though pick up a newspaper and theres loads of share accommodation available as well which, unless you end up living with another foreigner, will give you the opportunity to fully experience the Australian lifestyle.

Where to start? tell me what you're into and i'll tell you where to go.

Sydney has some awesome restaurants, a lot of them can be a little over the top in price but the quality is worth it. A couple of my favourites are Zafraan, serving contemporary Indian cuisine and in a great location with commanding views over Darling Harbour. Tetsuya's is a world class Japanese restaurant and famous for its 12 course set degustation menu...not cheap but worth it, make sure you book well in advance though (try a couple of months before you arrive!). There are sooo many restaurants to choose from and with so many cultural backgrounds comes the food as well so you can get pretty much any cuisine from around the world at any budget with the added bonus of the freshest produce being used.

Other recommendations:
You have to get the ferry across from Circular Quay to Manly a great ride which really shows off the Harbour but for something different have a go at jet boating on the Harbour. Bondi beach is OK but very touristy, I recommend heading up to Sydneys Northern Beaches to see how real aussie beach bums live.

Published on Thursday October 20th, 2005

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Sun, Oct 23 2005 - 12:28 PM rating by jesusferro

very good! written with the heart

Sat, Oct 22 2005 - 12:30 PM rating by miguelmarchi

I have only been to Tasmania, with a cargo boat. But after reading your report I would like to visit Sydney

Sat, Oct 22 2005 - 10:40 AM rating by nedkelly

On yer!!!!

Fri, Oct 21 2005 - 04:07 PM rating by mistybleu

Cool report, Sydney is a fantastic city; it was the first place I thought "I could really live here". I'm jealous...


Fri, Oct 21 2005 - 06:48 AM rating by davidx

Fine text - worth 5* with photos.

Thu, Oct 20 2005 - 06:47 PM rating by jorgesanchez

Good improvement compared with your previous report!

Thu, Oct 20 2005 - 03:15 PM rating by toribio


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