Sydney Backpackers - Wilmot St (off George St)
From a spiel in a backpacker magazine that made it sound great, we pre-booked Sydney Backpackers for 3 nights in a 4 bed dorm, Oct 2003.
I'll give its good points first: very close to Town Hall train station and George St (almost right next door to both a bar and a supermarket, so handy for that too), and right in the centre of Sydney - but that was also a bad point, because it was very noisy, all night long. Dorm size was ok, with free locker as advertised (yes, free, but you had to buy the lock for it!) and cable tv in each room (ok unless you're trying to get to sleep late at night).
Wilmot St looks ok on a map, but it's really just a bit of a dirty alleyway, and the backpackers is directly opposite a big bin dumping off depot...so trucks going back and forth all night too.
Worst points of the hostel: we were on the 1st floor and there was no hot water, as far as I know, for the whole time. We asked them to see about it, but after a while, stopped bothering to test the water again when we couldn't tell the hot tap from the cold water!
Could have showered on the 2nd floor, but all bathroom door locks smashed and facilities in bad condition. 1 Toilet just overflowed onto the floor.... Kitchen: ok condition but so tiny it will hold only 3 people at a squeeze (and that's for 3 whole floors of the building to share!). 1 stove, 2 toasters, and a tiny toaster oven and that's it. TV/dining area is a better size.
Rooftop bbq area advertised in ad: it's very bare and just an open space covered by green carpet looking onto top of awful buildings. Definitely not a night spot. I won't mention the dorm room bedding because pillows & sheets seem to be often bad at backpackers - nothing new. One guy in our dorm had been in Sydney only 3 days but already moved 3 times from Backpackers he didn't like....don't know why he didn't move out of ours too!
There's a note in the kitchen that asks guests to email feedback to lonelyplanet and Lets go if they enjoy their stay.....hehehe they'd have to be lucky!!
Unique Suggestions: We tried to stay away from the backpackers as much as possible and only be there late at night. We decided we didn't want cold showers so just didn't shower until we got back home.
Fun Alternatives: If it hadn't been such a nuicance and time so short, I would have just moved to a hotel, no matter what the cost, for some peace and quiet and a little sleep.
Y on the Park near Central Station is supposed to be a good hotel/hostel all in one, but it was booked out, sadly.Related to:
- Road Trip
Fox Studios might be...
Fox Studios might be considered a tourist trap because there doesn't seem to be too much there that is unique to Australia. There aren't that many restaurants or shops. There was a private party at the Hordern Pavilion and Royal Hall of Industries when I was there but it wasn't too unusual. I did win a bunny at the shooting gallery and a penguin at darts so I shouldn't complain.
FOX STUDIOS. The southern...
FOX STUDIOS. The southern hemisphere version of Universal Studios. It's great that Sydney is becoming intertwined with Hollywood with productions like Babe 2 and MI2. Unfortunately, this attraction doesn't allow you to see the actual shooting of movies. Their Titanic ride is over-rated and other entertainment features are just as bland. You could make better use of your AUD $38 (US$25)in other places.
Sydney Harbour Bridge is the...
Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world's largest (but not longest) steel arch bridge, and, in its beautiful harbour location, has become a renowned international symbol of Australia.
It's total length including approach spans is 1149 metres and it's arch span is 503 metres. The top of the arch is 134 metres above sea level and the clearance for shipping under the deck is a spacious 49 metres. The total steelwork weighs 52,800 tonnes, including 39,000 tonnes in the arch. The 49 metre wide deck makes Sydney Harbour Bridge the widest Longspan Bridge in the world. Just massive.Related to:
- Family Travel
Hard Rock Cafe - Not worth your time
I've been at Hard Rocks in *Many* cities around the world and I was least impressed by this one. It was hard to find and in a wierd place in town. It wasn't really by anything else. There was a cool car shop near by, but nothing of what you'd expect.
Unique Suggestions: I got the T-shirt since I searched it out, but was a bit embarrased I had dragged my dad around for 30 mins looking for it. (It's on a side street, not on the corner or the main street) Ask around if you need to. I was suprised how many in the neighborhood DIDN'T know where it was.
Fun Alternatives: I'm sure there are plenty of alternatives, but if you have to. Just ask around don't get upset when it's not where the map says it is.Related to:
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Getting Your GST Back
Not really a trap but keep in mind that in order to get your GST back (Goods and Services Tax) you have to spend at least $300.00 in one store. I did this and had various receipts because I went back more than once. However when I got to the airport and presented my receipts, I was told that it had to all be on one receipt! They told me I could contact the store and have them send me another receipt with all the items on it and then re-submit the claim which was about $40.00 but of course by the time you get home, you tend to forget about it or you lose the receipts! So just be sure to get everything on one receipt to begin with! And of course hotels and restaurant bills don't count!Related to:
- Budget Travel
I have travelled to many countries around the world and I can easily say I experienced the least troubles in Sydney than I even experience in my home in London. Everyone is so helpful and so friendly. The one thing was that whenever you think about Sydney beaches the first beach that comes to mind is Bondi. If you would like to escape the masses of tourists try the Northern Beaches e.g. Palm Beach, Whale Beach or Avalon or the Southern Beaches such as Coogee or Bronte.
Ok - so it is the same the world over. DON'T use the hotel internet - especially at the big, flash hotels. They were going to charge about $10 Australian (because I wanted to look at a NZ site). So I walked 100 metres down the road and found an internet cafe where it cost me 20 cents!!
Unique Suggestions: If you have to - at least check how much it costs before-hand and be aware about it
Fun Alternatives: Suggest you find an internet cafe instead!Related to:
- Budget Travel
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Leaving your Sydney pocket...
Leaving your Sydney pocket sized map (that they hand out at the airport) in your hotel room and needing to know where to meet someone after you're miles away!! Don't you hate that??
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