The Real Australian Adventure

Sydney - boats along harbourfront

Sydney, Australia's largest city, has a population of over 4 million people and is still growing. Approximately 40,000 people a year, most of whom are new immigrants, move to Sydney each year. Sydney has the highest percentage of immigrants per population of all Australian cities. In total, approximately 1.6 million residents are immigrants, having moved to Sydney over the years.

Sydney's climate has a strong drawing influence on people moving to Australia. Just like most of the continent, the summers are hot. However, winters are mild and spring is dry. This is much more attractive to people than the wet, cold winters experienced in countries like England.

Since Sydney is the most popular city in Australia, real estate prices are also the highest. The most recent data provided lists an average home in Sydney at just under $600,000 as compared to, say, Brisbane, another common destination in Australia, where the listed price came in at a little under $450,000. Construction in Sydney carries on at a fervent pace just to keep up with the rate of natural growth and to accommodate the many new immigrants.

Sydney has a thriving economy which is also a big attraction amongst immigrants moving to Australia. Business services, education and finances are among the core industries of Sydney. Environmental management, information technology and medical sciences are among the new fields being promoted in the city.

Sydney covers over 700 square miles and is divided up into five main areas; North Sydney, Western Sydney, Inner West Sydney, East Sydney and South Sydney. While each area has its pros and cons, a city as enormous and diverse as Sydney means one has an excellent chance at finding a suitable fit.

Sydneysiders, a nickname given to the residents of Sydney, take great pride in their city and consider Melbourne their number one rival. While this may make one a bit apprehensive, it has actually been shown to be a good thing. The general belief is that it brings out a sense of pride and unity amongst the respective inhabitants of the city.

Sydney has traditionally received universal accolades to the point that may seem too good to be true. But according to recent surveys, Sydney is truly that beautiful and its residents truly that content. Sydney continues to be one of the most beloved cities in the world and, with its popularity spanning amongst both singles and families alike.

Randall Phillips is marketing director at Shipping 2 Australia which specializes in helping people with moving to Australia. They locate the lowest priced moving quotes from reliable, reputable and bonded shippers.

top of pylons on Anzac Bridge, Sydney

I've had a lot of time to myself lately, being between jobs. The project in my previous company came to an end, and so did my employment there. I'm glad, though, because I didn't like it. I approached Adecco again, and they got me a three-day job to keep me going, so I had to work Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was in the suburb of St Leonards, in the borough of Willoughby. I was working for an international company called Cisco that manufactures cutting-edge networking hardware, although the company I actually worked in was Lan Systems, which is one of their customers. It was for the purpose of doing an audit there.

During my free days, I've spent a lot of time exploring Sydney. I love to walk and to see new places, and this city is an awsome place for doing that. I walked up, past Kings Cross, to Bushcutters Bay. There's a lovely park there. The sun was beating down on that day, and I spent a while simply sitting, watching the yaghts sail by the Harbour. I then walked up to Darling Point and some other suburbs up there. You don't find many travellers in places like that, because frankly there's not an awful lot to see, but I personally like to go to these places, because you can sort of see people in their natural habitat.

I got a note stuck under my door the other day from the caretaker, saying something like "Golden Oldies phoned...". It turns out my dad has joined something called Alfa, which gives him cheap international calls. I phoned him and gave him my mobile number, so now fortunately my mum and dad have got a direct line to me, which I'm glad of.

I had an interview, via Manpower, with a company called Custom Call about a week ago. It involved lots of role playing and shit, which I was good at, but I failed on the final bit, where we had to take mock calls from angry customers. I just didn't prepare myself at all for any of this interview, and so I didn't get the job. I would definitely advise backpackers coming to work in Sydney to give Manpower a ring, though, as Custom Call is very much geered up for young people. It's very noisy, and you can meet lots of people. In addition, they have free internet, pool tables and lots of other things. The recruitment is ongoing, as there are pretty much only packpackers working there. Anyway, I didn't get it, but I'm not too bothered, because Adecco have got a couple of things lined up for me. My wages have been okay so far, being equivalent to about �7.20 per hour.

outside the aquarium at Darling Harbour, Sydney

small train at Darling Harbour, Sydney

From my interview, I took a walk to Darling Harbour, but a different part of it this time. When I went to Darling Harbour about a month ago, I didn't realise it was this big. The place I'd now discovered was the real Darling Harbour - one of the most beautiful places in Sydney, and a definite must for any tourist. There are mounds of hotels, pubs and restaurants surrounding a small river in-let here. What a fantastic place to visit on a hot summer's day... and a stunning place to see at night. There's a big shopping plaza near Pyrmont Bridge there. I went into a shop called On Tap, which sells lots of different sorts of beer memorabilia.

flags on Pyrmont Bridge, Sydney

Pyrmont Bridge taken from Darling Harbour, Sydney

Talking of Pyrmont Bridge, that was my next destination. I took the escalator up there. It's only a small bridge, but the views from it are amazing. It leads to the suburb called Pyrmont, which is another busy part of the city, and well worth taking a look at. I walked past another shopping precinct, and saw that there's a giant casino in there. (To reach it, you just turn right after the bridge.) I tried to get in, but the bouncer insisted I leave my rucksack downstairs in the lockers, so I didn't bother going in. Talking about Casinos and gambling, do you know that Sydney is one of the gambling capitals of the world? It's a little known fact, but it has more slot machines that Las Vegas - it's just that they're less conspicuous.

looking along Anzac Bridge, Sydney

Further up the road, I reached an eerily quiet part of the city on the edge of what seems to be an abandoned port. I sat there for a bit, taking in the absolute lack of noise and watching some lizards on the sidewalk. Then I walked to Anzac Bridge, which is further down the river from Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's extremely long, and takes you to the borough of Leichardt, which was traditionally a small village in its own right, but was incorporated into Sydney in the 1870's. There, I found one of the best homebrew shops I've ever seen. The guy there game me a glass of his homebrewed Newcastle Brown. It's a pity I can't make any beer while I'm here. It's difficult, because it takes two weeks to make, then two months to mature, and I'm not going to be in Sydney for anywhere near that long.

Next, I walked down to a liquor store, where a girl had me sampling wine from Western Australia. Well, free drinks, how could I say no?

I got home very late, and thoroughly enjoyed that day. On another small walk a few days later, I went down to the suburb called Ultimo. It's not far from downtown. I thought it might be interesting, but there's nothing there. On my way there, however, I passed by a big building called Market City, which has four floors of shops. On the ground floor is a huge market called Paddy's Market. I'm not sure yet how often it's held, but it might very well be daily. There's lots and lots of cheap stuff there, and is very busy. Even busier is the back of the market, where there are hundreds of fruit stalls, and a fish market behind them in a separate area. I'll be shopping in Paddy's for my fruit in future, because it costs about half as much as in the supermarket.

On 8th May, I went on another of my crazy walks, across Anzac Bridge again, into the heart of West Sydney. I've kind of figured it out now... East Sydney is the whole downtown area, all the way through to Bondi Beach, and everything in between... North Sydney is the part of the city that lies across Harbour Bridge, and has many more huge metropolitan areas... West Sydney is the main residential zone, with miles and miles of tree-lined streets, parks and posh houses... and South Sydney (from my limited experience of it) is the industrial part of the city, and probably the least attractive. I walked for a total of 17 miles this day, through Leichardt, Lilyfield, Ashfield and Haberfield, then back through Annandale (another small quaint village that really has the feel of being a small community) and Glebe (a popular place for backpackers to live, who want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city).

The next day, I went back to Black Adder employment agency on Margaret Street to join them. They gave me the usual typing test, and I did awful! My usual speed is about 80 words per minute, but I only achieved 50 on their test. It was because I misunderstood something the receptionist told me when she put me on the test. It's a pity, because I'll have less chance of getting a job through them now. I suppose I shouldn't really worry, though, because I only plan to be in Sydney for about another six or seven weeks, and Adecco should get me what I need. I was thinking of Brisbane being my next city to live in, but a girl I worked with (for Cisco) told me it's just a soul-less city with a dirt river running through it. I don't know how true that is, but I'm thinking I'll go to Cains instead, which is further up the coast and right on the Great Barrier Reef. Incidentally, I'm thinking of then going to Darwin (a very hot small town far up north), Perth (all the way on the opposite coast of Australia) and possibly then either Adalaide or Tasmania, if I have time.

A few days ago, I walked down to Broadway, which is the continuation of George Street. I thoughg it was going to be really good down there, but it's a bit boring really. I went to Broadway Shopping Centre and found a cheap supermarket called Bi-Li. On the way back, I tried to join the library, but was told I couldn't, because you need to live in a house or flat and have proof of your address to do so, which is crap.

And that's just about it for now. Either next weekend or the weekend after, I'll be going to the Blue Mountains, which are outside of Sydney, near the town of Katoomba.

(originally posted 16th May 2005)

Sydney Bondi Beach

Everybody knows that Australia is endowed with some of the best beaches on the planet, and to see an excellent example in the Sydney area visitors should head on over to Bondi Beach. Located in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, this small community has got a kilometer-long, world-class beach that is merely 7 kilometers removed from the city center (making it the closest beach thereto).

The town of Bondi Beach is dominated by many trendy resorts that are neatly juxtaposed against the rather unique and eccentric air of the locals and visitors in town. At the heart of town is the beach itself set alongside a pleasant oceanfront walkway with various parks and green spaces farther inland, all of which give the place plenty of outdoor recreational potential.

Visitors in town will surely be impressed by some of the internationally recognized establishments such as the Bondi Surf Bathers' Life Saving Club and the Bondi Icebergs Club. Separately, the community hosts several lively and entertaining annual events that bring in well-sized crowds: the World Environment Day festival of June, the City to Surf Fun Run of August, the Flickerfest film festival (surely Australia's finest), and several others besides. For anyone arriving outside of these timeframes looking for some cultural activities, the Bondi Pavilion Community Centre is almost permanently organizing events and visitors can just stop by and get the scoop. Finally, on a lower key, the Bondi Beach Market opens up every Sunday of the year and has got tons of interesting stuff to check out.

In the northern section of town, visitors can check out Aboriginal rock art during a break in their golf game, discovering some of the most unique cultural heritage the area has to offer. Then, down in town visitors can get their hands on some exceptional souvenirs at the markets along Campbell Parade (Bondi Beach's central avenue).

Of course, no trip to Bondi Beach is complete without heading down the oceanside pathway that leads to Coogee (another suburb farther south). An exceptionally pretty path with excellent views to be taken in while walking, running or biking, the total length takes a little over two hours for people that do it all in one fell swoop. However, given the many worthy stops along the way most people turn it into a half- or full-day excursion. There's good snorkeling to be had at Gordon's Bay, the chance to see some of Australia's notable figures' graves (and breathtaking ocean vistas) at Waverley Cemetery, and many spots to stop for a drink and a bite to eat as well. It is undoubtedly a must-do for any visitor in the area.

Establishments such as the Bondi Beachhouse YHA or the Bondi Sands (cheaper lodgings) as well as the Bondi Beach Garden Cottage or the Bondi Cottage (for a little more pampering) and many other options besides constitute some of the Sydney accommodation options to be found in the vicinity.

If you are planning to visit Sydney, visit us to find some great Sydney Accommodation. Find more information and pictures about Bondi here.