visiting Australia!

Some friends and I are heading to Australia in about a month. We’ll be flying in and out of Sydney.

Anyone have suggestions of things we must see?

Before I make suggestions, how long are you staying and (roughly) what sort of budget do you have to play with?

Also, what kind of experiences are you looking for recommendations on? Beaches? Restaurants? Wildlife spots? Pubs?

Hey, me too! I will be leeching on and following this thread with interest.

And are you staying in and around Sydney, or have the time/budget to go further afield?

Aussie rules footie match.
The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel in Sydney.
Eat a kangaroo steak.
Buy a leather slouch hat and spend time getting to know flies in the outback.
Kayak or canoe the Katherine River Gorge - if you have the time this one is a must.

Unlike koalas, drop bears are dangerous.

We are staying just over a week. Budget is hard to answer, as some of the group going is quite rich, and the rest of us don’t have a large amount to play with. So, we can get away with a couple pricey activities, but overall nothing too crazy.

We’d like to make friends with locals, so pubs would be great. And spending time at beaches and checking out the wildlife will be fun, too.

One of our group wants to go to Brisbane and one wants to go to Melbourne. I’m not sure if hitting both in the time available is a good idea.

Don’t spread ignorance, drop bears, or more correctly Marsupial Lions are almost extinct in the wild. You’ll be terribly unlucky to encounter one, especially in urban areas.

And don’t be afraid of Tasmanian Devils, they are extinct everywhere but Tasmania.

By the time you get there and rest up it is almost time to leave so I would focus on staying in Sydney.

Oly’s suggestion of the Lord Nelson is pretty good (they brew their own beer and do a great Plowman’s Lunch when the kitchen’s closed) but you won’t find many locals there. (Mostly Pommy backpackers.) Locals go around the corner to the Hero of Waterloo. (A great pub.)

Go to Bondi beach just so you can say you went there, and then walk the goat track around to Bronte beach for the brilliant view, and the walk past Tamarama beach to give it the finger.

Wildlife is best seen in all its glory at 5.30pm when the Harbour Bridge is closed for an hour to let all the wombats, koalas, bilbies and 'roos across. Sugar gliders are a spectacular sight, leaping from girder to girder.

Melbourne and Brisbane are each only a couple of hours flight from Sydney, but if you’re only in Australia for a week, how much time do you really want to waste traveling?

Unfortunately the West Island (as we Kiwis think of it) is full of Ozzies. Dynamic creatures to be sure but somewhat rough around the edges. Kinda like good natured hillbillys. Generous though. Especially with alcohol.

Oh all right, Oz is a wonderful country to visit. However it is bigger than the USA and you cannot explore more than a small part of it. I recommend Tasmania as a microcosm of the whole. Lovely place.

Capsicum spray. Disables them and seasons at the same time.:smiley:

Back to the OP.

If you’re staying in Sydney, (and I don’t like Sydney) the usual touristy things to do are:

See the bridge (ideally do a bridge climb) and the opera house
Get a ferry
Go to Kings Cross

The beach is nothing special the time of year you’re going but would be worth a look.

Go to a footy match. NRL (Rugby League), AFL (Aussie Rules) if one is on or Rugby (union, different game to NRL) Any of these would be good. my preference is AFL.

If you get the chance and money allows, fly to Cairns and go snorkeling on the great barrier reef or go further north to Port Douglas (do the snorkelling) or go through some of the best rainsforest you will ever see at Mossman Gorge or up in the Daintree.

If its only a week, stay in the Sydney area (much as it pains me to say it). Australia is pretty huge. In addition to what others have said, Taronga Park Zoo is ok for wildlife. The Rocks area is quaintly historical. If you get a chance go to the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, that’s nice. Don’t get a leather hat. They attract the drop bears.

If you want to walk on the wild side, Oxford St at Paddington can be … engaging.

King’s Cross is the seedy part of Sydney - hookers, sex shops and strip shows, but entertaining for all that.

I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens (adjacent to each other) are worthwhile (at least in Summer, when I was there). Also a harbour cruise.

Thank you everyone for all the suggestions. Good stuff here. We would also like to hit a comedy club and a gay bar. Any thoughts? Amateur night at the comedy club would be best.

For comedy, every Thursday night from 8pm, Mic in Hand at the Friend in Hand pub.

Have you decided where you’re staying?

We haven’t decided where we are staying, yet. One of our group is supposed to be looking into that, but I’m not sure how far he has gotten. We aren’t great planners!

Any suggestions?

Oxford Street is the gay mecca in Australia. Plenty of them along there, the drag shows etc are a hoot. Just wander down Oxford St during the day and pop into any gay friendly shop and ask the locals.

Oh and Oxford Street is walking distance from the CBD.

I doubt this. I have a leather hat and I’m still alive. Mind you, every time I go into the bush wearing my leather hat something immensely heavy and strong lands on my head, slashes me to pieces, beats me up and leaves me unconscious.

So perhaps you’re right.