flonnebonne: (Default)
[personal profile] flonnebonne
I might be in Sydney from August 23-30 this year! With my dad and a couple of middle-aged friends. Any advice on places to stay, things to do? We're thinking of staying at an airBnB to save money.  

Also, I know I have some Australians on my friendslist...anyone going to be in Sydney around that time?

:D


Date: 2017-02-28 08:55 am (UTC)
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
From: [personal profile] qem_chibati
\o/ I should be in Sydney around that time!

Date: 2017-02-28 09:01 am (UTC)
readerofasaph: (Default)
From: [personal profile] readerofasaph
I should be in Sydney too, as will [personal profile] littlerhymes. Qem, are you happy to coordinate? My head is likely to be drowning in exams.
Edited Date: 2017-02-28 09:01 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-28 09:27 am (UTC)
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
From: [personal profile] qem_chibati
Sure! I just posted up a bunch of stuff for Flonne to look at, so will go from there. :)

Date: 2017-02-28 09:16 am (UTC)
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
From: [personal profile] qem_chibati
As for what to do - what sort of things are you interested in? What kind of food do you like? Sydney has *LOTS* of restaurants, so budget and food types will help me make a better recommendation for you. :)

Australia has lots of tourist websites, what's on and groupons for getting discounts. E.g. https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/ will talk about some of the big events and free things to do which can sometimes be quite fun. (Especially if their associated with an event like Australia day.)

http://www.sydney.com/events/august though it won't have much until we get closer.

If you have access to a car, a fun thing to do is a drive up to the Blue mountains and see random sites.

If you don't have access to a car blue mountains is still doable - catch a train to Katomba then do something like this: http://www.bluemts.com.au/985/blue-mountains-trolley-tours/

And it's walkable from Katomba to three sisters/echo point which is the big one.

Note if you wanna do scenicworld the skyway you should book in advance as they are popular.

This might not be worthwhile for a short trip but there's also the Merlin Annual pass: http://www.merlinannualpass.com.au/ (it also covers stuff in Melbourne, Sunshine coast and New Zealand but sydney is where it's started and most of the things it covers)

In sydney city or close there to it gives you access to:
https://www.sydneyaquarium.com.au/ (Really good as far as aquariums go, one of the best in the world in my opinion.)
https://www.wildlifesydney.com.au/ (It's... ok it's small and good in combination with other things, but Taronga zoo is vastly superior, and Featherdale is much cuter and has more hands on opportunities)
https://www.sydneytowereye.com.au/ - one of the best views in the city
https://www.manlysealifesanctuary.com.au/ - PENGUINS. also sharks. but. PENGUINS.
https://www.madametussauds.com.au/en/ - Super realistic wax celebrities. YMMV.
http://www.illawarrafly.com/ - two hour trip from Sydney - but the treetop walk is very fun!




Things Merlin pass doesn't cover but are good:

Zoos:
Featherdale: http://www.featherdale.com.au/park-information/ basically a petting zoo, lots of free range and friendly animals.

https://taronga.org.au/taronga-zoo - one of the best zoos in the world, in my opinion.

Date: 2017-02-28 09:20 am (UTC)
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
From: [personal profile] qem_chibati
And now I feel bad about what I said about the wildlife park - it does have a really good butterfly exhibit. It's quite good to go to, and worth it as part of the Merlin pass, but if I was only going to pick one zoo I'd probably prioritise one of the other two. Featherdale is pretty small too - just there's a lot of up close opportunities; such as it will let you feed the kangaroos and the emus.

Date: 2017-02-28 09:26 am (UTC)
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
From: [personal profile] qem_chibati
stuff I dug up that I gave to another person before:

Public Transport:
In the city public transport is not so bad but you'll need to get an opal card: https://www.opal.com.au/

The woolworths near townhall does top ups (minimum $10), and will let you buy cards too. They work on ferries, busses and trains. (including too and from the airport.) The ferries are a good way of seeing the harbor.

Food recs that I did for another person (they wanted steak and near townhall):

Unique experience:
http://www.sydneytowerbuffet.com.au/
^- I've not been to the restaurant. I'm told that the buffet is either "amazingly good", or "well, you go for the view really" - as in the same people who go multiple times may have variable experiences. They do, do a number of unique Australian foods like crocadile and Kangaroo though!

It is an amazing view.


N2
http://www.n2extremegelato.com.au/sydney
- The best icecream I have ever had in my life, was from this place. Alas I now avoid milk but fortunately for me they also have some vegan options. ^.^; The flavours will vary week to week.


Also very close to china town:
no particular recommendations but:
http://sydney-chinatown.info/

there's a lot of really good chinese places around here, though I'd be hard pressed to name a place; ikkaku is good for the ramen? - I've in and out of most of them over the years and haven't had a bad experience at least?

Oh! And on Friday nights they have the markets, and there's a couple of food stalls that will open there that aren't open at other times. Before the diet, I particularly liked the pancakes with filling - chocolate, red bean, cheese and green tea were the flavours IIRC.

&
https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/misschu,+501+George+St,+Sydney+NSW+2000/''/@-33.8745307,151.1362468,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x6b12ae3c6f40aa49:0x667f97aff6f3dc3!2m2!1d151.2062874!2d-33.874693!1m5!1m1!1s0x0:0x667f97aff6f3dc3!2m2!1d151.2062874!2d-33.874693
^ there's this little strip where there are multiple layers of small food stalls. I've only been to Miss Chu, and a Japanese place which I enjoyed, but there's IIRC several Japanese and Chinese places - and it's very close to town hall. There's also a Japanese hot dog place around here IIRC.


http://www.phoenixrestaurants.com.au/sky-phoenix/about
^ the yum cha is always pretty consistently good IME.



Steak:
http://www.pepperlunch.com.au/ <- Japanese DIY steak. One of my favourite food places. Reasonable prices, and the food will definitely be fresh and hot on your plate. There's one very close to townhall too!

There's also a bunch of places that do $5, $10 steak lunches near town hall, if you go for a wonder around.

& since I'm not really a steak person, here are some recommendations by other people:


http://www.nicks-seafood.com.au/venue/im-angus/

http://gpogrand.com/prime-steak-restaurant-sydney
quote unquote "This is by far the best steak place in syd" according to my husband.

http://www.glassbrasserie.com.au/
^- it is a "omg everything is overpriced" place to me, but they take their steak, very, very seriously. (they had a display. That they bring out. Showing you the different cuts. I'd never seen anything like it before in my life. Very good quality steak, if you care about how long it's been aged etc, or want to try it served bleu.)



Random:

Italian:
https://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/australia/restaurants/sydney/
^ very popular, quite good. The trick is to go before the queues start so if you feel like a 6pm dinner...


Japanese:
http://www.wagaya.com.au/

& Fujiya are two of my favourites.

Tequila:
http://mejico.com.au/
^ amazing tequila range. ^.^;;

Date: 2017-02-28 09:27 am (UTC)
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
From: [personal profile] qem_chibati
Oh and the botanic gardens is worth checking out too! They also sometimes have free guided tours which are good if you like plants. :) https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/

Date: 2017-03-01 05:06 am (UTC)
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
From: [personal profile] qem_chibati

There were some non-Asian food options listed! Jamie Oliver's pricing is not so bad.

Sydney Airport has free wifi but it's filtered. E.g Whatsap doesn't work (probably due to ports) but you can browse webpages.

You'd probably want to do something like https://www.optus.com.au/shop/prepaid/sim-card/2-sim - optus has shops at the airport. So you buy the sim card for $2

Then you can buy a prepaid data plan to load data on it. The 28 day plan for $30 gives you unlimited local calls/texts, and 3GB of data. You can pay $5 extra for international calls but they will be limited. Since your only there for a short period this is probably best plan.

If you buy the $40 28 day plan, and buy the $10 international call extra, it will give you unlimited calls to Canada and 6gb of data.

You can see more info about the plans here: http://www.optus.com.au/shop/mobile/prepaid/plans?SID=con:premob:Prepaid:plan:et

I would recommend doing it at the airport because they are set up to handle tourists and get them to activate it. (If you do it through the website only I think you have to have some form of Australian id, as I had to register my netherlands friends optus sim for her.) They may also be able to help you with a more appropriate to you plan as the websites only doing the popular ones.

(If you are only in the city, it doesn't matter who you go with. The big three choices would be: - Telstra is the biggest in Australia but it only makes a big difference when you start going into desert like areas. We are no where near any of those areas in question and I doubt you'd go anywhere like that due to short nature of trip and uh, not wanting to drive on the left.

  • Optus is FULL OF SPITE* for telstra and very keen to be the best so they are very close (96% of population covered IIRC) and tends to have much better customer service in my experience than Telstra. (I sympathise a lot with Optus as I am also FULL OF SPITE for Telstra.)

  • Vodafone, used to have issues in some surburban areas but has been improving. Tends to be cheaper than the above two due to my first sentence. Do not recommend if you are going super rural, but along the coast probably mostly fine. In the city, no worries.)

  • AUSTRALIAN HISTORY TIME. as told by someone who was in primary school at the time.

Once upon a time, Australian telecommunication industry was a monopoly, called Telecom. Telecom was owned by the government and was awful. It has a business devision which was not so bad and a home users division which would take three months to set up phonelines.

Then the government said in 1993, let us make money by privatising! And we will let competitions come in from overseas.

And originally the business devision was going to be sold to Optus (a Singaporean company); and the home devision was going to become it's own private Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi Oi Oi, company, called Telstra.

This would mean that we had competition! Optus would have a slight advantage in the business market, and Telstra would have a slight advantage in the home market and both would have to work if they wanted to be king.

Except then the labour went back and decided to give the business devision to Telstra for free. Meaning that Optus was like 15 years behind on infrastructure. Also Telstra who were supposed to be a carrier that other resellers can use as part of this practically monopoly stuff were dicks.

P.S the business devision people structure that was apparently ok had to get incorporated into the home devision structure and was fucked up as a result!

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