Sydney, Australia

sydneyThe holiday shopping season will soon be upon us. No sooner than the pumpkins are off the shelves than department stores will be whipping moveable elves, fake snow and candles onto them. If you are less than excited or even stressed at the prospect of holiday shopping, eggnog and fruitcake again this year perhaps you should consider taking a holiday instead. If the idea of a trip abroad still doesn’t have you smiling maybe you need a more drastic change. Maybe you need to go somewhere far away. Somewhere where the season has a whole different feel, somewhere on the other side of the world. Sydney, Australia may be the perfect destination for you. December is the start of summer in Australia and no city does summer better than Sydney. With its gorgeous beaches, surfing, hiking, nightlife, and great cultural institutions there is no place better for those northern latitude-stuck indoors-under-a-blanket blues.

If you’ve seen any images of Sydney they’ve got to be of the world famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. To work gently into your vacation take a tour of the Opera House and watch an evening show.

To get back into the habit of moving around in the sunshine take a leisurely walk along the Manly Scenic Walkway. The walkway is a series of connecting walks and you can chose to take a short walk or a more ambitious one. Routes wind through old and new parts of the city with gorgeous views of the harbour. One of the more famous walks is the 10km route from Manly to Spit Bridge.

Now that you’re in the groove you’ll have to make the most high-pressure decision of the trip… which beach. There are dozens of beaches around the harbour and over 20 beaches along the oceanfront. But don’t worry you can’t choose wrong. Bondi Beach is the most famous in Australia and is a great place for beginning surfers. There are several surf schools most of which offer private or group lessons and will cater even to absolute beginners. The group lessons are a great way to meet new people.

For more great views and a lot of history too, take a tour of the Sydney Harbor islands all of which have interesting historical significance. Some islands showcase Aboriginal history and on others you can see old convict-built forts. Cockatoo Island has a campsite in case you want to spend the night under the Australian stars.

Since you surely want to spend as much time as possible outdoors before your banishment back to the frigid north, next on your itinerary consider passing an afternoon at one of the many horseback-riding centers. Horseback riding is a relaxing and pleasurable way to see otherwise hidden places of the countryside. It makes for excellent vacation video too.

Whatever you choose to do your week on the other side of the world is sure to leave rejuvenated and tan and ready to face the rest of the remaining winter months. When you go, try to use for your booking. I usually use Expedia but my friend recommended them while I was there and I ended up saving myself 100 dollars over expedia. They have really good deals, though I have no idea how any of those hotel sites work!

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  1. Oisin Said,

    Summer in Sydney, or rainy, freezing winter in Ireland? That’s a no brainer.

  2. Johnny Said,

    What are the prices like for shows in the opera house?

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