Australia Diary 9 January 2002

Things to do in Sydney when you're skint
or, The tight-arsed backpacker's guide to bumming around Sydney

Let's face it, cheap as Australia is for us 'Pommie Gits', you still have to use 'real money' unlike countries like India and most of South East Asia where you can buy a three course meals for the sort of change that you'd tip that not-really-very-attractive-barmaid-but-she's-served-you-even-though-you've- really-had-too-much-too-drink-and-well-she's-got-a-nice-smile and still have enough money left over to get a night's accomodation, buy your mum a souvenir and get a return ticket half-way across the country. So a couple of money saving tips are always useful. There's a lot of things that you can do in Sydney without spending that much money (and there many more things that you can do that'll burn a hole in your wallet faster than the Aussie Sun focussed through a magnifying glass). So without further ado...

Free stuff
Circular Quay
Go and have a wander around, as here you'll get to do the 'must sees' of Sydney, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
The Botanical Gardens
Keep going up past the Opera house and you'll find the Botanical Gardens and Sydney's famous bat population (just look up into the trees near the refreshments cafe).
Mrs Macquarie's Chair
Right on the headland looking out to the harbour, this is a great little place to watch the boats go by.
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Head directly south through the Botanical Gardens and you'll bump into the Art Gallery on your left. It houses a wonderfully refreshing range of art, so you're bound to find something that you like - and something that you hate as well!
The ANZAC Memorial
It's worth taking in this sight, if only for the walk through Hyde park that takes in the Cathedral and a wonderful wooded archway
Walk over the Harbour Bridge
You only get charged if you walk up the archway - it's free to walk over the deck...
Darling Harbour
There are many free shows given here in the harbour, for example there's a laser and music show every night that's worth a look
Sydney Observatory
I've not been yet, but I'm pretty sure that they offer free shows here...
Cheap stuff
Ferry ride
Why pay for an expesive tour around te harbour when you can enjoy the experience of riding on a ferry straight out of a children's story book (I thank Mr. Bill Bryson for that analogy).
Ice cream
I wouldn't eat anything else there, but 40 Aussie cents for an ice cream is virtually free and too good an opportunity to pass up!
Bus to Bondi
You have to go here if you're British, it's virtually a condition of entry into the country. Even if you're not, it's fun to go down to the beach and have a laugh at all of that white/red skin on show. The Bondi to Coogie walk is also a great way to see some stunning scenery.
Cheapish, but bordering on real money
Ferry to Manly
You've got to go to the beach so you might as well have a tour of the harbour when you go. Try the Manly to Spit walk if you're feeling fit.

To tomorrow

Created by Dan Leigh 09/01/02