Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sydney, Australia July 24th-26th, 2010

Culture: Similar to Melbourne with it’s clean cities and friendly people, but it is an older crowd and has more of a city feel to it. It is clear that this is more of a business area. It is nice to see the relaxed nature and calmness here as well. The business people casually walk about, and it is not chaotic and cut throat like New York.

Language: English w/ funny accent

Population: 4,600,000

Transportation: It is more like the states again, mainly cars with your other modes of transportation as well.

Beer: Carlton is the new beer here I was not used to. The Australians would joke about how bad it is and that we should give it one try and then drink our normal American beers. And, they were right, it was terrible.

Currency: Australian Dollar, it is almost identical to the USD, however we only got about 91% due to awful exchange rates. I advise using a checking card that has no atm fees and no foreign conversion fees such as a Charles Schwab Investors Account.

Nightlife: The nightlife is odd in Syney and Australia in general. The majority of their bars are cafes during the day, and then turn in to bars at night time. Due to this, most of them are sit around places to drink w/ no dance floors or anything. Yes, you can go to some clubs, but they are not in abundance there. Pitchers are about $10-15, which is somewhat costly. Prices are very similar to in Melbourne.
Internet: It is reliable since Australia is a nice developed country.

Shopping: The stores were rather expensive compared to the US, so I’d recommend not getting much more than small souvenirs here.
Place Stayed At: Sydney Central Backpackers
16 Orwell St. Kings Cross

It is a seedy area with strip clubs and such all down the street. It also appeared to be dangerous outside. It was a short walk to a train station to get in to the main city. This made it convenient and decent place to stay. The room had a sink and the basics, as well as a decent communal kitchen to cook in. I was sick here and certainly had a stomach bug, so it was tough for me to power through.

Sites to See:

1) Sydney Opera House - Sadly, this was too far for us to fit in in our short time there. This is something I really want to see in the future. Here is a shot of it from the Sydney Tower.

A better zoomed in shot

2) Sydney Wildlife World - For about $50/person, you can have access to the Sydney Wildlife World, Sydney Tower, Sydney Aquarium, and Ocean World Manly. We saw the first three of these. It was awesome to see a koala bear and a kangaroo for the first time.

I had to have a hearty quick breakfast since we were pushed for time to try and see everything.

Darling Harbour is where the Sydney Wildlife World & the Sydney Aquarium are located.

The Inland Taipan, the World’s most venomous snake.

Myself and a Koala Bear. They eat these leaves that are poisonous to most, but their stomachs can digest them. The problem is it causes them to sleep most of the day. It was $20 to hold and pet one which I would have liked to do, but the wait was over an hour and we did not have the time to do it.

Some kangaroos feeding

One of my favorite shots of the trip, this kangaroo was just lounging around like a human.

3) Sydney Aquarium - This place was awesome, it was my first time seeing a shark in person.

They warmed us up with some tiny penguins before we got to the big boys.

I had to be careful, CROCS BITE.

15 foot Crocodile

He began to eyeball us.

So we went up above him so he couldn’t get us, since we all know crocs can’t fly.

We moved over to the where the sea creatures lived. Here is a very large sting ray.

A ray swimming above us

A Dugong, I know very little about them, but it was massive and swam with the small sharks. It looks like a plant eater that would get ripped to shreds by the bigger sharks for an easy meal.

It was now time to take on the sharks. A cool mirror outside of it to see yourself in a sharks mouth.

Sand shark

A Giant Sea Turtle


Myself and a shark

Outsmarting them. In the US they take electronic pictures, here they idiotically wasted money printing them all to view. I simply took a picture of it and can print it out whenever I want for free instead of for $30.

4) Sydney Tower - A great spot to get a good look at the whole city from above.

Shot 1

Shot 2

5) The City itself - Sydney is more of a business city than Melbourne, with an older crowd. It also seemed quite a bit larger to me.

A shot from the street

A funny store name right outside of the hostel

A statue of Queen Victoria

Likes: The Wildlife World and Aquarium were very fun to see. I saw a bunch of creatures I’d never seen and has always wanted to. The city is clean and nicely laid out.

Dislikes: It is not a place I’d like to live in, but just visit. After one visit, I enjoyed it, but don’t have a burning desire to go back like I had for other places.

Overall: 7/10, It is definitely worth a visit, and a potential place for foreigners to want to live.


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