7th Nov 2012 12:35pm | By Editor
First things first... New South Wales is where the majority of Australia’s population lives, and for good reason.
Not only is it home to Sydney, but also mountains, wine country, a beautiful coastline and even the outback.
A popular place to settle for a bit and fi nd work, you could easily while away your time in Australia here without ever crossing a state border (though that’d be a shame) and never get bored.
It’s pretty likely that Sydney already features on your Australian itinerary – and for good reason. Sydney is a city boasting fantastic weather, beautiful beaches and a bustling entertainment scene.
Anyone who has fl own into Sydney on a bright, sunny day will tell you it’s a sight quite unrivalled – the sheer cliffs of the Heads, the sparkling harbour, plus the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
It’s a living postcard and, aside from a snog from Kylie or Hugh on the airport tarmac, it’s the best welcome to the land Down Under.
Visitors fl ying into Sydney’s International Airport will find themselves not too far from the heart of the city, with numerous ways to get there. It only takes 15 minutes via the Airport Link train into the city, which connects with Sydney’s CityRail train network.
The train isn’t too cheap, however, and if there’s a few of you it might be cheaper to get a cab.
The airport information desk, on the ground fl oor of the International Terminal, is a good place to get advice and book accommodation.
Public transport in Sydney is pretty good, and travelling by train and bus gets you wherever you want to go.
Locals commute to the CBD from the north by harbour ferry – possibly the prettiest way to get to work. Visit 131500.com.au for all bus, ferry and rail info.
There are a number of public transport ticket deals to help you save money so ask at the local CityRail station. CountryLink (countrylink.info) gets you around NSW on its rail and coach network.
There are loads of hostels in Sydney, so whether you want to stay in the centre of town, by the beach in Bondi, Manly or Coogee, beside the boozer in Kings Cross, close to the cafés in Glebe, Surry Hills or Newtown, or in Central – close to all the action and where there are most backpacker beds – you’re sure to find a hostel that suits your needs.
Dorm rooms usually range from about $25-$40 per person, per night, depending on season.
If you’re planning to stick around, you’ll probably prefer share or rental accommodation.
You can find classified ads for long-term stays in the local papers, while websites like sydney.gumtree.com.au also have plenty of options.
The Sydney Morning Herald has a real estate section with rental and shareaccommodation listings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and at domain.com.au.
The Daily Telegraph runsclassifieds every day (realestate.com.au).
Darling Harbour: One of Sydney’s top tourist attractions, offering shopping and eating facilities, parkland, and a boat-fi lled bay.
Site of superclub Home, the world’s biggest IMAX cinema screen and restaurant-bar-crammed Cockle Bay Wharf, it’s the golden child of Sydney’s after-dark scene.
Easy access by ferry, monorail, bus or foot. Check out darlingharbour.com
Royal Botanic Gardens: Situated between the Opera House and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. Walking through the gardens is a good introduction to Australia’s natural beauty and gives a great view of the harbour. Details at http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
Sydney Harbour Bridge: This world-famous Sydney landmark (sometimes known as “The Coathanger”) gives a spectacular view of the city. Head to the top of the southern pylon or walk across to Milson’s Point.
You can also do the BridgeClimb, complete with full-body boilersuit, for top views of the city.
Sydney Opera House: It’s as impressive in the flesh as on any postcard. Home not only to opera, theatre and dance, but numerous cafés and bars.
Free and paid-for concerts are also regularly held on the forecourt throughout summer. For more information check out sydneyoperahouse.com