Recent Posts

Sydney’s top 5 tourist attractions

Mar 16, 14 Sydney’s top 5 tourist attractions

The city of Sydney is the most populous city in Australia, which also happens to be the state capital of New South Wales. This is a location that many tourists want to visit if they are traveling to Australia on vacation. If you are thinking about visiting Sydney Australia, then you better learn about the five top tourist attractions to visit. The first would have to be the Chinese Garden of Friendship. This amazing location is just south of the Darling Harbor and is very close to Sydney’s Chinatown. The gardens will make tourists feel like they are traveling back in time after viewing all the ancient Chinese architecture and experiencing the solitude of the peaceful environmental surroundings. Another top tourist attraction is at the Museum of Sydney. This is a must see for any tourist because it will teach you about the historical background of the city through pictures and original objects on display. They have even incorporated new digital technology to show panoramic views of what Sydney looked like in the 1700s. If you’re going to this museum then you mine as well stop by the Sydney Opera House because it is close by. This is probably one of the most popular tourist attractions in the entire city. You don’t even have to be into opera to appreciate its culture and beauty. This opera house has ballet performances and Shakespearean performances, among many others. Visiting this opera house is the equivalent of going to see a Broadway show if you were in New York City. It’s just something you definitely must see if you are there.

If you are on a trip to Sydney with your children then you should definitely visit the Taronga Zoo. This zoological garden contains native animals of Australia and even some exotic ones, like sea lions, penguins, pelicans, fur seals, leopard seals and more. But, what makes it even more beautiful is the location itself. The Taronga Zoo is located on a piece of elevated land on Sydney Harbour, which overlooks the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Cove. You can even get a good view of the Opera House, which has a very unique architectural design. The zoo itself is designed with a zigzag, which has various animal enclosures as you turn at each path. Finally, any tourist must visit “The Rocks” in Sydney, which is the oldest area of the city. It has huge historical significance and it has recently been transformed into a touristier environment. This includes more cafes, shops, restaurants and tours. If you are looking for an “old world” town, then this is for you.

read more

Top Ten Restaurants In and around Sydney

A big part of the travel experience is sampling the local cuisine of your travel destination, and if the local dishes come with a spectacular view, all the better. That is what several restaurants in the Sydney area offer; a meal with a view of the Opera House, harbor, harbor bridge and more breathtaking sites. On your next visit to Sydney, visit some of these top ten restaurants near Sydney for a both a visual and culinary experience you won’t soon forget.

Aria

The glass panel walls provide dining patrons a full-on view of some of Australia’s most famous landmarks – the Opera House and Harbor Bridge, but the Aria didn’t stop there. The Aria features a modern menu with fine-dining offerings that are equal to the visual offerings that surround this iconic restaurant in Sydney.

Bathers’ Pavilion

The Bathers’ Pavilion provides a relaxed atmosphere that attracts an eclectic clientele that reflects its eclectic furnishings. Young and old alike enjoy the any-time-of day breakfast prepared for them at the Bathers‘ Pavilion restaurant that can be eaten while watching the yachts on Balmoral Bay.

Bondi Icebergs

A Sydney restaurant and bar that allows patrons to eat while rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. Dine on world famous cuisine while enjoying the view of the activity of Bondi beach and awaiting your favorite celebrity to appear.

North Bondi Italian Food

Another Bondi Beach jewel is perfect for diners in the mood for upscale Italian food. Gourmet Italian served with full panoramic view of Bondi Beach.

Catalina Rose Bay

A warm, friendly atmosphere serving up fresh seafood and a spectacular view that gives visitors an enticing view of what Sydney is all about. Catalina Rose Bay restaurant features modern Australian food with a unique French-Asian flare.

Doyles on the Beach

If you crave fresh seafood and enjoy al fresco dining, Doyles on the Beach is for you. This well-established, family-run eatery also features a take-out menu of fish and chips that earns it a spot on our top ten list.

Wildfire Restaurant

Food, fun and views, that is what you can expect from this popular Sydney restaurant aptly named Wildfire. The premium menu offerings and world-class facilities that overlook the Opera House make this a must-visit Sydney destination.

Steel Bar and Grill

The view is inside of this Sydney restaurant – the Steel Bar and Grill features a central kitchen that provides patrons with a dramatic theater-like production while they dine on modern Australian cuisine.

The Boilerhouse Habourside Restaurant – Q Side

Enjoy modern cuisine prepared for you by world class chefs while you dine on the edge of Sydney Harbour at the Q-Station.

The Meat & Wine Co.

The name gives a huge hint about what to expect to eat at this Darling Habour eatery, but neglects to give a clue about the enticing view this three-story restaurant has to offer along with some of the areas finest steaks.

read more

Getaway Locations in Australia

Nov 15, 13 Getaway Locations in Australia

reef3

The mountains, the sea, the beach, seclusion or cultural and historical immersion. Australia offers all of this and more. Deicide on what your perfect getaway location would be like, then look to Australia to provide the setting with finesse.

The Blue Mountains

There is no ‘off-season’ in Australia’s Blue Mountains, there are always spectacular views and a variety of things to see and do. Hiking, bus tours, rental cottages and much more await those looking for a getaway on the eucalyptus-covered Blue Mountains. The fresh mountain air, filled with the heady scents from the eucalyptus and tea trees, will transform your senses while you hike or ride through the Blue Mountains and enjoy the sites of flora, fauna, amazing rock formations in the lush rain forest.

The Great Barrier Reef

Some of the most gorgeous and immaculate beaches in the world are found in Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef is one of them. Sunbath, surf and dine on the beach, then find your getaway under the sea by going snorkeling or diving to investigate the Great Barrier Reef. The world’s largest coral reef and home to a diverse aquatic population, a visit to ‘The Reef’ is a must for the ocean-loving traveler.

Central Sydney

A short walk is all that’s needed to experience old world ambiance or modern culture. Central Sydney. Walk along historical building by the waterfront, shop at the street markets and relax in the park right in the hub of the city. See the stunning landscape, unique wildlife and visit the iconic Opera House all during the same walk. If your getaway dreams include immersing yourself in the cultural and historical offerings of Australia, a walk around central Sydney with provide it.

Ayers Rock

Uluru is one of Australia’s most recognisable natural landmarks. It features stunning Aboriginal art that can be viewed on guided walks and tours around the area. The spectacular changing colours of Uluru at sunrise and sunset are visions not to be missed.

Seclusion

If you are literally looking for a place to getaway from everything, getting away from it all in the Australian outback may just be the travel ticket for you. Dessert landscapes, mountain basins, rock cliffs, permanent water pools and the bush co-exist with the natives and outsiders and provide seclusion for those who wish to stray off the beaten path. Home to the outback people and welcoming to outside visitors, the Australian outback can be as rugged and formidable or as tame and modern as you desire. You pick the level of seclusion you desire, from hiking to bus tours, camping to hotel lodging, then enjoy the beauty of the rugged landscape and wildlife the outback has to offer.

read more

Moving to Australia? Top Tips for buying a home in Sydney

Sydney is an incredibly beautiful place. With picturesque residential suburbs, an excellent transportation system, great healthcare facilities, a high standard of education, and an amazingly mild climate with fantastic outdoor activities readily available, it is no wonder that many are looking to buy a home in Sydney. If you find yourself looking to relocate to The Lucky Country, here are a few tips to make your move as pleasant as possible.

Keep the Stamp Duty in Mind

The stamp duty is a general tax collected from the buyer when purchasing a new home or property. It is collected within three months from the date contracts were exchanged. It is important to keep the stamp duty in mind because it is directly correlated with the value of the home. In other words, the higher the value of the property, they higher the stamp duty one will need to pay. The amount of tax varies by location. However, in New South Whales the average stamp duty paid is approximately 4.7% of the purchase price.

You will also want to look into taking advantage of some of the stamp duty concessions, exemptions, and grants available for first time buyers. Many of these depend on meeting eligibility, where the property value, property type, and occupancy requirements are taken into consideration. Two New South Whales concessions to look into are the eligible property and eligible vacant block. The eligible property concession deals with newly constructed homes. If the property value of the home falls below $550,000, an exemption is granted. If the value falls between $550,000 and $650,000, one is offered part concession. For the eligible vacant block concession, a property value below $350,000 offers an exemption. If the property value falls between $350,000 and $450,000, partial concession is awarded.

Look Into Renovation Costs Beforehand

If you are considering buying a “fixer upper,” you will definitely want to keep the costs of renovations in mind. New South Whales boasts some of the most expensive renovation costs in the region. One can easily pay about $3000 to $4000 per square meter, depending on the selected finishes. “Fixer uppers” are a great investment, and there are many available in Sydney. It is just important to budget accordingly so you are not surprised when that renovation quote finally arrives.

Get an Inspection Done

Ensure to get a building and pest inspection done before making an offer on a property. If renting an apartment, ensure to perform a strata search to investigate the financial health of the apartment complex as well as becoming aware of information that is not apparent from a visual inspection. A strata search can offer you information such as the history of repairs, the proposed expenditure, disputes and harmony, rules about pets, insurance and premium costs, value of sinking funds, and even the proportion of owners and tenants. Finding a place of residence is an investment. Ensure that investment is worthwhile by inspecting it before making an offer.

Visit the Property at Different Times

The most desired outlook in Sydney is a North or North Eastern exposure, allowing residents to enjoy natural light. It’s a good idea to visit a property several times and see how the light works. You can also get an idea of other factors that may affect property value. For example, if your property is located near a school, perhaps it is extremely busy and noisy during the week, but quiet and peaceful on the weekends. Or perhaps you live near a busy intersection, with heavy traffic during the weekends, but serene trails during the week. These are all factors you want to consider and the only way to truly understand all the subtle nuances of your potential home is to visit it at different times.

Moving to Sydney is an amazing and beautiful adventure. By following these simple tips, you can make sure to enjoy the process even more.

read more

Golf Holiday Packages and Ideas in the land down under

If you are looking for a fun and relaxing tee time down under for the holidays, look no further. There are many beautiful golf resorts throughout Australia. You can find gorgeous rolling hills with lush green grass at the many incredible golf getaways in Australia. You can enjoy your holiday at lovely locations where you can golf, dine, relax and enjoy. The sights in Australia are stunning and the many golf resorts and getaways are incredible.

The Victoria Golf Club in Cheltenham, Victoria is well-known and historic. You will find comfortable rooms, thoughtful hospitality and, of course, a fantastic sand belt where you can play golf with family and friends. A friendly clubhouse atmosphere will allow you to relax and get into the holiday spirit with those nearest and dearest to you. The staff of this club are hospitable and ready to cater to your needs.

If you are looking for a golf course with breathtaking view of the desert, look no further than the Alice Springs Golf Club. The lush greens of the golf course are set among a backdrop of beautiful and well-known Australian desert. The sights will thrill you as much as the fantastic golf you will enjoy while on holiday with friends and family. You can enjoy your stay at the All Seasons Alice Springs Oasis, a daily breakfast and 36 holes of golf at Alice Springs Golf Club. When you are at Alice Springs Golf Club, you are going to feel like the problems of your work have just melted away.

Quay West Resort Magenta Shores offers villa accommodations along with a spa where you can relax after you have been putting on the green. Quay West is another beautiful golf getaway location in Australia that will not disappoint. An exceedingly friendly staff will make your stay that much more special. Golf resort packages will ensure you have a fantastic time golfing and relaxing.

read more

Golf Holiday Packages and Ideas – USA holiday ideas

If you are looking to go away with friends and family for a fun and festive golf holiday, there are many options. A great location in the United States for golf getaways is Pebble Beach in California. There are lush rolling greens overlooking the water that will make for a perfect holiday golf outing. Pebble Beach offers spa getaway packages and all-inclusive packages that will make for a perfect outing. Pebble Beach has been host to five U.S. Open Championships.

If you love tropical weather, coconuts and warm ocean breezes, a trip to Hawaii for a golf getaway would be ideal. On the island of Kauai—commonly known as the garden island—there are beautiful golf courses where you can wake in the early morning and swing among the birds of paradise flowers. The many Ritz Carlton hotels of the Hawaiian islands have stunning golf courses, as well. There are a variety of beautiful golf courses on the Hawaiian islands. They will not disappoint.

Las Vegas is another hot spot for die hard golfers who are looking for a fun getaway. Packages will often include casino stays, spa treatments and various perks besides the gorgeous waterfalls on the lush golf courses. Everything you could want during the golf getaway is within easy reach.

The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, California is another stunning golf course in the United States. You can play the shores while your kids enjoy various activities. A relaxing spa, Italian-inspired architecture and delicious dining will leave you and your guests feeing fantastic. Gourmet dining includes wine tastings and a White Truffle Menu at Andrea. A large Coliseum pool is breath-taking at night. You can relax, forget about work, wake up early with the birds and have an early tee time. A golf getaway to any of these locations or the many others will be one that you and your family and friends will love.

read more

The best Restaurants in Sydney

Tourists and vacationers in the tens of thousands flock to Sydney, Australia every year.  Naturally, they want to know the best places to shop at, eat, and visit and so on.  In this article we will cover some of Sydney’s finest when it comes to restaurants.  Now, we couldn’t possibly cover all of them in the space allotted here, but we will discuss some of what are regarded as the best of the best.

With more than 30 award-filled years, if Italian fare is to your liking a visit to Balla is a must.  Here you can enjoy a sweeping view of Sydney’s fabulous harbor while dining on the some of the best Italian food you’ll find anywhere.  And it is located just a short walk from the center of Sydney.

Jonah’s Restaurant at Whale Beach offers up a menu that features a vast array of seafood options.  Additionally, they have in excess of 500 vintage wines, both international and domestic in nature.  The setting here is so beautiful it is no wonder that Jonah’s also serves as a wedding, reception and social function hotspot.

Situated in the heart of Sydney is Tetsuya’s.  Chances are pretty good that if you ask your hotel concierge for dining suggestions this name will come up.  Tetsuya’s offers up a unique fusion blend of both French and Japanese cooking philosophies.  The result is a fantastic array of fresh seafood choices.  And yes, they also have a great wine selection to go with your meal.

Located just outside Sydney itself is the renowned Marque restaurant.  As with many of Sydney’s restaurants Marque’s menu has a strong emphasis on seafood dishes.  There are Sea Urchin, Saltbush, Oyster, Blue Swimmer Crab, Smoked Eel and the list goes on.  However, do be advised that for the most part Marque only serves dinner, with Friday being the only lunch day as of this writing.

And last but certainly not least we have Quay.  What sets Quay apart from many others is that it is heavy on nature based cuisine.  It is even rated as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.  Serving both lunch and dinner, Quay offers meals such as Poached Chicken, Freshwater Marron, Congee Mud Crab, King George Whiting, Milk Fed Lamb and many more.  Oh, and they also have a tasting menu for both lunch and dinner.

So there you have it.  Some of the more notable and great places to eat at while in Sydney.  Be advised though that we have only scratched a huge surface in terms of fine dining.  And also, it can be on the pricey end so make sure you know ahead of time what prices will be at any places you are considering eating at.

read more

Australian accommodation – a breakdown

Australia is without a doubt one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and for good reason.  Great weather, beaches, people, food, nightlife and accommodations.  What we will be covering here is the pros and cons of the accommodation options available in Australia.  Hopefully it will give you a good idea of which one to choose when visiting the country.

First up we will cover the hotel/motel scene.  Well, for one if you choose this route and do so wisely, with due diligence, well…you can expect to have a great experience.  You can expect to have all the perks such as room service, a nice pool to sun at or swim in, great shops within the hotel itself as well as places to eat.  And getting other services such as cabs or rented cars will also be fairly easy.

On the other side of the coin is the fact that it can be costly, especially if you choose to visit during the holidays or at the peak of tourist season.

Another option that many people find cost-effective is shared housing or hostels.  In terms of US dollars this is a very affordable way to go.  Don’t let that fool you though; many of these are just as fully equipped as more expensive accommodations, boasting such features as full sized kitchens, plenty of storage for food and decent sized refrigerator/freezers.

On the flip side, you will more than likely find yourself having to share bathroom facilities.  On top of that, what if the others you are sharing the accommodations with are not the most pleasant folks to be around?

Yet another option that many people find surprising is going the backpacking/camping route.  Yes indeed, camping is hugely popular in Australia.  While many backpackers wind up staying in hostels as well, still others elect to pitch a tent in one of the many caravan parks throughout the country.  And get this; these parks also provide showers, toilets and still yet others have washing and cooking facilities.

The downside?  Well, you will have to carry your backpack at times and they can be rather heavy and uncomfortable.  And you might not be able to pack everything you would like into it, especially tech gear.  Plus you may be limited as to how many things you will want to purchase as you may not have space for them.

So there you have it.  Some of the more popular accommodation options in Australia along with the pros and cons of each.

read more