I’ve never lived in Australia, but visited there, so take with a grain of sand.
You can get to Sydney by train from Newcastle. In fact, Newcastle is as far north as CityRail goes, if I remember correctly. Anyway, most people drive in Australia, so that’s probably the most convenient way to get around. You don’t need a car in Sydney actually, but maybe you will need one in Newcastle.
As far as the rest of the country, well, you’ll have to visit Melbourne, just so you can see the city that all the Sydney folks love to talk trash about and vice versa. (Both cities are great actually. I’m all for peace in the eternal Sydney/Melbourne we’re-better-than-you war.)
Sorry if this is going to sound vague, but there’s just too much to list in Australia. There’s the Blue Mountains. You can go up to Cairns and brush against the Great Barrier Reef alongside Papua New Guinea and Indonesia… There’s the Great Ocean Road west of Melbourne. etc etc etc and etc
I’d get a Rough Guide to Australia book. Very helpful.
sweet. I might be moving down there in a few months to work.
- climb the sydney harbor bridge.
- snorkel/scuba the great barrier reef from Cains
- visit Byron Bay
I rented a campervan and drove the whole east coast. Hostels are really nice and really cheap. Internal flights are cheap.
check out couchsurfing.com
I was only there for a week, but I would highly recommend Bondi Beach as a place to go and swim, so nice.
Also, if you love chocolate, try to find one of the Max Brenner Chocolate Bars (they are like an actual bar, but everything to eat and drink is chocolate). Amazing.
You hit on the right person here … my alma mater is the University, and I live only five minutes drive away by car, 10 minutes walking distance. Public transport to and from the University by bus is readily available. There’s also a train station which will take you to the city, or inland to the country, but the services don’t run as often.
As for things to see and do around here? You won’t be able to escape going to the beach ;-) In all seriousness, it’s one of the things we’re known best for. There’s lots of nightlife in the city as well, particularly on and around the Foreshore. If you want to shop in Newcastle, the most popular mall is Charlestown Square, but the closest one to the University can be found at the suburb of Jesmond, which is next to Callaghan.
I could run on forever, but I hope these tips are enough to get you started! Oh, and BTW? If you need a place to stay, best thing to do is to get in touch with the University Accommodation office via their website: www.newcastle.edu.au
I am moving into the Melbourne area myself in May. I have yet to visit Sydney so anything I can tell you is about the state of Victoria. Melbourne is lots of fun. There is the Victoria Market for LOTS of cheap stuff. And there is the zoo and aquarium that is a blast to visit. Ballarat is nearby too (that is where I am moving to) and has Sovereign Hill for a gold mining experience. And then it is not far to Gellong for some beautiful beaches and the start of the Great Ocean Road which really shows off all of Australias beauty. Hope that helps you some.
Let me first say you’re going to love it there! The lifestyle combines America, Europe, Asia, while distilling and keeping all of the best elements.
There’s so much to do I’m sure you’ll find your way. (Coming from America), you’re going to fall in love with the laidback lifestyle and the people. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Before you know it, you’ll meet an Aussie guy there (which will be your parents’ worse nightmare!).
i lived in aussie for about two and a half years. during this time i’ve been all over the place. i wasn’t too keen on the bigger cities – sorry, not a city person – but i stayed quite a while in the area around lismore (byron bay will probably ring a bell). i liked the subtropical climate as well as the alternative livestyle. if you’re in this region go and see nimbin and visit one of the “hippie” markets on a sunday.
i also lived in cairns for a fair bit of time. unfortunately the city has turned into a backpacker’s mecca. it still is a beautiful place with lots of great beached north. if you have the time get a car and see port douglas or travel even further north to cooktown. it’s quite an adventure.
if you have the chance try to go over to perth and see if you can find s.o. to take you up the west coast. i travelled with a girl i met in a backpacker. we spent about two months on the road and it was bloody brilliant.
also if you’re going to stay for a while see that you get a bank account and the card to go with it. it makes life a lot easier if you have an australian cash/bank card.
i wouldn’t recommend traveller cheques – they are safe but if you try to cash them at a regular bank they charge you an arm and a leg. so if you use them make sure to cash them at the american express office or use them to pay at woolies (much to my surprise they accepted them and didn’t ask for a fee).
there’s probably tons of information i didn’t think of at this very moment. if you’d like to know more let me know and i’ll see if i can be of any assistance.
i luuuurved sydney.
Southend on Sea
Hi, I see you’ve had a lot of good responses. The only thing I would add is to try to visit Fraser Island. It’s the worlds largest sand island and personally I found it breathtaking. (I’ve attached a pic I took in Fraser)
Also I agree that you should climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. When I done that I paid a little extra and climbed at dusk… at the top the sun goes down and the city lights up, worth every extra penny in my mind.
I hope you have a great time and wish you well :)
I am living and teaching in Japan at the moment but before coming here I lived and taught for 5 years in the hot northern tropics of Australia. First of all you have picked a truely amazing country to visit and study in…you will love it. When you are in Australia and wanna travel try the many backpakcing places as they often offer the best deals…it is best to book locally for local attractions as you can often get better prices that way. As for travelling, depending on how much time and how much you plan to travel, you could always buy a second hand car…a lot of backpackers do this, especially if you find a friend to travel with as then it gives u a lot more freedom to go off the breaten track.
if that isn`t to your taste then there are many Geyhound buses all over Australia and now there are also a lot of cheap airlines flying to and from the major cities if you are a little short on time.
I can suggest a great webiste though…
Check it out…it is totally free to join and basically it is a site for travellers. You can look up members in places u wanna go and stay at their place and then you can really have a great way to meet the locals as you travel…i have already had many people stay with me here in Japan through that site:)
Good luck:) hope i helped a little
go camping in Byron Bay!
its absolutely BEAUTIFUL during the summer! also check out the three sisters rock. theres a very cool story behind it.
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