🇦🇺 The Land Down Under I

A friend once said, he would be interested in the places I have been which are far away. So here I go, writing about the furthest I have yet been: Australia.  

As I stood there in awe, gazing at the endless ocean making its way through the city of Sydney and defining its caostlines, my heart was about to burst. I turned my head to the left, my hair flew in the ocean breeze, my eyes sparkled. I slowly walked towards the white masterpiece of architecture, the Opera House, behind which the Harbour Bridge arised, as music started to fill the air. A street musician gave me the last piece of amazement I needed, people were dancing in the street and more and more started joining them. In that moment, my heart burst open and I found what I had long been looking for: a lovely home, Sydney.

Sydney Opera House

Whenever people ask me, what my favourite countries are, I always respond Australia and France. In that order. Because Oz has so much to offer, so much love and calmness to be discovered. So you should not be asking yourself if you are traveling to Australia, but when. Gather some information for the journey of your lifetime in the following lines ❤

I was in Sydney in March/ April and the average temperature was around 23C. And my shoulders were lobster red on the second day – even though I am not a person to get a sunburn. So when traveling to Australia (and New Zealand) be sure to bring sunscreen with you. There is the ozone hole, which means that due to a hole in the ozone layer in the atmosphere, UV radiation can enter unhindered through the atmosphere (Geography class in over, you all get an A).

I must admit though that I did find Australia quite expensive. Going out for dinner for example is fine, the costs are normal there (compared to the US and Western Europe). But it was the small things which added up. A bowl of ice cream costs 4-5 AUD, a smoothie 6 AUD. The small snacks which you grab on the way were also priced at about 7 AUD. So a great alternative is to either pack your own snack and avoid spending too much money on these things, or buy some take away food and walk towards a wonderful viewing point, the beach or any other place which fulfills you and spend the evening there. The view of the crystal clear, azure ocean is….magnificent.

Bronte; located on Coogee to Bondi Walk

Speaking of going somewhere, I am still amazed by Sydney’s transportation system (Note: I have only been to Sydney and surroundings, due to the fact that I was only able to spend the two weeks of my easter holidays 2016 there. I do not know how transportation or other topics are throughout Australia). In Syd, they use the ‘Opal Card’ system. You have to buy a card, which has the size of a credit card and is available at every shop, and load a value onto it. With every travel, the card calculates the distance you have traveled and charges this amount. It is actually pretty cheap. For a 1h10 travel of 41 km it costs 6 AUD for an adult. And the great advantage of this card is that you can only be charged a maximum amount of money, for example only 15.40 AUD/day or 61.60 AUD/week – half the price for youth. I am this system’s biggest fan 🙂

To stay in the topic of spending money, a hotel in ‘The Land Down Under’ is priced variably. In Sydney Central (Eastern Australia), it is about 180 AUD per person per night. Yet in Perth (Western Australia) e.g., it is roughly 160 AUD. And in Cairns (Northern Australia), you pay around 140 AUD for a night. But due to the fact that Oz is one of the most popular countries for work & travelers, hostels are a great idea. You do not only spend much less money on accommodation, but you also get to know a lot of people. That is your chance to create unforgettable memories together, tell stories by the bonfire, decide to spontaneously go with other people to Perth or Adeliade or Melbourne,… The list goes on forever. A hostel is the best way to get out of your comfort zone in the most positive way and experience a life you would not have imagined before.

Furthermore, Australia is a very safe country to travel to crime and war-wise. Actually, Sydney was the place in the world I have felt the safest. I have had so many discussions with a lot of people, even some close friends, about how dangerous it is for a young, tall blonde woman to be there all by herself and live with people she only knows from relatives. Yes, I obviously get it and I am aware of these risks. But in Australia, the people you meet always have good vibes, mind their own business and you never feel in danger – but hey, I am talking about the people, not the enormous yellow snakes which are about to eat you 🙂  Of course I looked after myself and kept my eyes and ears open for any pickpockets etc., but nothing occurred to me there. On the one hand, the people all follow their own duties but on the other hand, everybody looks out for one another. And in addition to that, you are not bothered by anyone. Here’s a good example: in Australia, you can walk around with shorts and a bikini top and nobody will honk at you – whilst everywhere else in the world you will get honked at even fully clothed.

So, have I covered all important topics? I think so. Oh wait, here is still one piece of advice for Australia: BOOK THAT TICKET ALREADY. It is a breathtaking country – be able to say “I decided to go!”😉

Here’s a picture to finish off: Sweet dreams.

Snakes at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Tipping:

  • Restaurants: 0-10%
  • Taxi: round up
  • Guides/Staff: None

Do’s:

  • Shaking hands is a formal greeting. In casual situations, a simple hello is fine as well No cheek-kissing 😉
  • As in every occidental country, proper table manners are expected.
  • Check the bill when paying at a meal. If a restaurant includes service charge, there is no need to tip extra.

Dont’s:

  • Despite a laidback attitude, punctuality is still expected by Australians.
  • Do not just sit there and let others always pay when going out for drinks with friends. In Oz, people take turns buying drinks.

 

2 Comments

Comment on it

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.