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While in Sydney

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 1 May 2016 | Views [335]

I’ve been addicted to travel since my teens. Like most travellers, I got the backpacking itch and found Australia calling my name. Last year, after saving hard to fund the trip, I took the longest flight of my life and set off on my six-week Australian adventure. Here are the highlights of what I got up to during my week long stay in Australia’s best loved and biggest city, Sydney.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

It’s one of the most iconic sights of Sydney, and it’s on every tourist’s list of things to see, but it’s crazy not to get up close and personal with the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I chose the cheap option, and by cheap I mean free! I walked across the bridge and back again. My camera worked overtime that day, as the views across the Harbour are just awesome.

^I know you photographer types can do better, but I was pretty happy with this photo of the harbour bridge.

Hanging Out At The Beach

Everyone has heard of Bondi Beach, but Sydney has quite a few other beaches, each with their own unique vibe. I made a point of sampling as many of them as I could in my week, with Manly and Bronte my top picks. I found myself at the beach several times during the week, usually grabbing something to eat there, be it fresh fish or fabulous barbecued food.

^Meet my new friends, they are freakishly big and happy to chill with us on the beach!

Bargain Hunting In The Markets

For me, travelling is not just about ticking off the tourist sights. I like to ‘go local’ and get off the beaten track a little, to get a feel for real life in the place I’m visiting. Markets are great for this, and Sydney’s markets offer plenty of variety, and a chance to mingle with some real Sydneysiders (love this!). Paddington Markets is a busy mix of arts, crafts, jewellery, decorative stuff and food. I spent a day down at Bondi Beach, visiting the Farmers’ Market there to buy picnic food for lunch on the beach. After lunch I just sat on the beach and watched the surf lessons. I didn’t get around to taking surf lessons myself, but maybe next time…

Partying in King’s Cross

If you have a pulse you know that Sydney is backpacker heaven. Where there are backpackers, there are parties. Fact. Most of Sydney’s party action takes place in the King’s Cross district. Drinks are cheap, bars are busy and everyone stays out late. Really late! Backpackers are a friendly bunch and it’s easy to make friends and have a good time out on the town.

*UPDATE* Since I wen't to Sydney, there is a new policy in place which has negatively impacted Kings Cross night life, but there are still plenty of places to go both in Kings Cross and around the city!

I had just one week in Sydney and it was over all too quickly. I did tick off a few more obvious things on my bucket list, like the Sydney Opera House, a Harbour Boat Trip and the Sydney Tower Skywalk. But I think if I had my time in Sydney again, I’d probably buy a cheap car rather than renting one.

I’d also save some legwork by going on an organised tour from a specialist like OzIntro where you do everything in a group of like-minded backpackers. You get the insider knowledge of a tour company, and the bonus of making friends with a bunch of people doing exactly the same as you - living life to the max in Australia’s capital of fun.

Tags: australia, backpacking, sydney

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