Be careful after dark around Central Station, which is where the vast Sydney Central YHA (youth hostel) is.
Also be EXTREMELY careful in Redfern at night. It can't be stressed enough. Don't go there unless you have a specific reason to. Scan each street BEFORE you start to walk down it. If you see unsavoury people milling about, assess whether it looks/feels safe.
(Redfern isn't any prettier by day, but at night it is very unpleasant.)
Also watch out for drink-spiking. If you begin to feel unusual after someone has bought you a drink, TELL THE BAR STAFF. Don't worry about phoning your silly friends to save your ass, etc, just TELL THE BAR STAFF that you need help.
I have been in Sydney all my life. I love it even though I live in the bad parts and I'm usually around after midnight. (I work until late then go to bars.)
Be cautious around Central Station and its immediate surroundings - including Surry Hills, Belmore Park, Prince Alfred Park, Cleveland Street, Waterloo and Glebe. (Glebe has trendy cafes and a day-time culture, but it also has seedy parts.)
Another popular place for revellers is Woolloomooloo Bay, a dockland area that has lively pubs and even some expensive restaurants. However, it also has a housing estate ('projects') that are dangerous. There are transient people and petty criminals in these areas and it's just a block or two away from the posh restaurants and friendly pubs.
Some Sydney parks can also be risky after dark: for example, The Domain, Prince Alfred Park and Belmore Park, all in the city centre. The latter two are very near Central Station.
Other areas that experience occasional night-time dramas are William Street, Kings Cross and Oxford Street, plus the dark side-streets that border them.
Always keep your wits about you. If drinking, remember that booze can lower your decision-making skills, your alert-ness, risk-assessment, etc.
Australia has an informal drinking culture, but fights can break out when people drink too much, so watch out for hot-heads, too.
Please watch your drink if drinking in nightclubs or busy hotels. It's a common occurrence in some nightclubs especially around the city and Kings Cross for drinks to be spiked.
Take your drink with you where ever you go or leave it with a good friend.
Do not trust your friendly guest. !
If you do happen to feel "drugged" then catch a taxi straight home and sleep it off. DO NOT take rides with unknown people. Please report any incidents to the local police and also to the establishment you visited.
Do not forget to drink with MODERATION... even if the aussie beers are very tempted.
Each Australian state have its own proud:
Tooheys (NSW), my favorite by the way
XXXX (QLD), my favorite too by the way
Cascade (TAS), my favorite too too by the way
VB (VIC), my favorite too too too by the way
Coopers (SA), my favorite too too too too by the way
Emu (WA), my favorite too too too too too by the way
??? (NT), ouf I'm saved I did not taste the local beer as I never go there (yet)... should come back soon ;-)
TIP: Drink plenty if water (if still enough room to drink something;-) before to go sleep to reduce the risks of hangover.
Having been to the Pride Parade in San Francisco in 2004, I was looking forward to a similar experience in Sydney. (Disclaimer....I'm not gay but have dear friends who are).
The SF festivities were great... people celebrating diversity and tolerance, all in an atmosphere of acceptance and fun.
Expecting something akin to that here, what I got instead was a glimpse of Sydney at it's very worst.... rude, pushy,physically threatening, intoxicated people.
This is one event Sydney would be better off without.
Apparently this was common knowledge so this is really just for the other 2 people in the world that don't know: You CANNOT ship wine from Australia unless you have an export license and the receiving party in the U.S. must have an import license. I'm not sure if they have perhaps a minimum of bottles you can ship without that export/import license rule, but I called DHL and FedEx in Australia and they both cited the same policy.
You can, of course, have the winery ship it for you, but if you have a case (12 bottles I think), McWilliams winery quoted the cost to ship at about $300-400 AU door-to-door, so it's not even a direct ship. That amount ends up being worth it after the stress of trying to fit the bottles in your luggage, padded by that day's newspapers, along with your clothes, and hoping for the best that nothing breaks.
And yes, a better tip is to not buy that much wine or buy them online, but I had just eaten a kangaroo and an emu and was feeling empowered. Wines in luggage? Sure, why not?
Don't do it.
Stay away from those drunken louts that infest the city at night. Some are abusive and obnoxious and you could get into trouble if you rub them up the wrong way. Sometimes brawls could occur in the pub, so if you sense that a fight could erupt, stay away.
There are no potential risks or dangers which one may encounter while traveling in Sydney, though one may feel the urge to act peculiar on various occasions. Especially when you mix alchohol and great mates, let the good times roll.