New South Wales People & Culture

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People in New South Wales 
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
For the quintessential Aussie experience, head to Manly and northern beaches...the types of people you'll meet and the lifestyle here is all Home and Away...
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Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
I stayed at Main Beach Backpackers...it was awesome! Met some great people, cheap, like a 2min walk to the beach..absolutley recommend it to anyone.. Byron is a great place to relax and listen to some great reggae chunes ;)
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Nimbin, New South Wales, Australia
Keep an open mind and a closed pocket. This is hippy central. If you don't get offered at least some 'hash brown' cookies I'd be very suprised. Most people have wasted their money away on drugs and so pick pockets are frequent.
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Murrurundi, New South Wales, Australia
Murrurundi is a small rural town of about 1000 people situated 327 km north of Sydney. Except for shale mining in the early 20th century there has been an absence of heavy industry in the locality and consequently change has been gradual. Murrurundi and its rural heritage have been preserved. The main street has been declared an urban conservation area. It is known that the area was occupied by the Wanaruah and/or Kamilaroi Aboriginal peoples before colonial settlement and that the two groups had trade and ceremonial links. Paradise Park, literally at the foot of a steep and densely wooded hill, is a lovely picnic area with shelters, barbecues, toilets, plenty of birds and, at dusk, there are usually some wallabies. At the edge of the area is a path which leads through the 'Eye of the Needle', a narrow gap between the rocks through which you must pass to reach the summit. The trail continues to the lookout which affords fine views across to the mountains and the valley.
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Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Byron Bay is a quiet, pleasant little seaside town in northern New South Wales. It is just another ordinary country town which has experienced a population boom because it boasts excellent surfing and plenty of good land. Without the publicity few people would drive off the Pacific Highway and only holiday makers would decide to stay. The overwhelming impression is that it is a town hiding behind Cape Byron and nestled in between the rocky headland and the hills which rise to the west. In the past five years it has grown dramatically and now spreads in every direction - both up and down the coast and well into the hinterland. Byron Bay is located 790 km north of Sydney and 173 km south of Brisbane. It has the distinction of being one of the many places along the east coast of Australia which was named by Captain James Cook as he sailed up the coast in 1770. There are surfboard manufacturers in town, good quality restaurants, a wide range of diverse accommodation options (from tree houses to exclusive bed and breakfasts) and the aim of any holiday is to relax which is why there are really very few places to see and the things to do tend to be more whale watching, surfing and sunbathing. The Byron Bay markets are held on the 1st Sunday of each month and feature lots of produce from the surrounding area.
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New South Wales Culture 
Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
Liverpool is situated in Sydney's inner south/west area. With a culturally varying population and a large Westfields shopping centre Liverpool might well be the place for you; whereas at Bankstown you might get shot, at Liverpool you're much more likely to be stabbed.
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Corowa, New South Wales, Australia
Cowra is noted for its historical and natural attractions, the magnificent Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre, quality restaurants, wineries, galleries, craft shops and horse riding. The public identity of the town has become bound up with the Cowra breakout of 1944 (in which Japanese prisoners of war attempted to escape from a local camp during World War II) and the subsequent association with Japan. This history has led the town to focus on and promote the values of pacifism and internationalism, which are at the centre of the annual Festival of Understanding. Interestingly, the many Italian POWs were, for the most part, cheerful and cooperative and worked agreeably outside the camp while the Japanese POWs were surly, difficult and resentful. Attempts at employing them outside the camp had proved a failure due to their aggressive behaviour. Their lack of cooperation and the breakout itself arose from an overwhelming sense of shame engendered by a code of honour which viewed capture as a disgrace to themselves, their families and their country. Japanese soldiers were supposed to commit suicide rather than be humiliated by the subservience implicit in imprisonment. Indeed most of the prisoners were taken when they were too weak to offer resistance or they were merchant seamen scooped from the waters. They gave false names as they felt news of their capture would shame their families while the Japanese authorities reported all those missing in action as dead. When informed of the deaths during the breakout, the Japanese authorities asserted that those killed must have been Japanese civilians as, it contended, there was no such thing as a Japanese POW. When the internees returned many felt their 'shame' would render them unworthy of return to Japanese society (some expected to be executed) and half did not tell their families they had been POWs. A number of annual events grace the Cowra calendar. The Festival of Understanding (which features a different guest nation each year) is held in March, the Cowra Picnic Races and the Cowra Wine Show in July, the Cowra Show in late September, Sakura Matsui (the Cherry Blossom Festival) in early October, and, at the visitors' centre in November, the Art and Craft exhibition and Rose Fair.
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Singleton, New South Wales, Australia
Singleton is situated on the banks of the Hunter River, 209 km north-west of Sydney via Cessnock. It has an elevation of 73 metres. The area around Singleton was once occupied by the Wanaruah people. Because few written records of Aboriginal Australia were kept and because their communities and cultural practices were so devastated by the spread of agriculture, pastoralism and white settlement it is difficult to make firm assertions about life in pre-colonial Australia. However, it is known that the Wanaruah favoured goannas as a food source, covering larger animals in hot ashes and stuffing them with grass. They also adopted burning off practices as the new shoots which emerged after fire attracted kangaroos which they surrounded and killed with clubs and spears (du-rane) barbed with sharp stones. They also used stone axes (mogo) made of hard volcanic rock bound to a wooden handle. As ironbark is slow to burn it was utilised as a transportable fire-stick while stringybark was used to make a twine employed in fishing and basket-making.
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Lane Cove, New South Wales, Australia
Lane cove is a quite suburb 10 km from the heart of Sydney . I you are in the area the Lane Cove River tourist park is a must do. The Tourist Park is a gateway to a multitude of tourist attractions and activities at other National Park’s in the area. Take a bushwalk in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and see Aboriginal rock engravings and hand stencils by the Guringai people. Climb up to the beautifully restored Barrenjoey Lighthouse at Palm Beach to experience one of Sydney ’s most breathtaking views. Cruise the waters of Pittwater by ferry and enjoy its steepsided river valleys and coastal stretches. Buy souvenirs, books, toys and posters featuring Australian native and cultural heritage at the Bobbin Head Information Centre. From the Tourist Park you can walk or drive into the National Park to enjoy a lunchtime picnic or barbecue at one of 35 picnic sites. Hire a rowboat and paddle along the tranquil Lane Cove River , or mountain bike along 40kms of designated bushland maintenance trails. Show the kids injured wildlife in rehabilitation at Kukundi Wildlife Shelter. Or watch them at play while enjoying coffee and cake at the riverside café. The best restaurant for me in Lane Cove is a small Italian restaurant called “Carlo’s Place”. It is located at the top of Longueville Road in Lane Cove. The place is run by a jolly and jovial Italian named Carlo who is also the Master Chef and is ably assisted by his wife Sonia. Great food, lovely ambience, small place but has a very homely feel to it, allround good experience.
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Woolgoolga, New South Wales, Australia
There is tones to do in Woolgoolga, from swimming, surfing, sightseeing to exploring the Indian Culture that is found in this part of Australia.
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New South Wales Arts & Recreation 
Bungendore, New South Wales, Australia
if your coming to bungendore defintely stay at the carrington and there is a great music festival for country music every february
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Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia
Known as 'The Country Music Capital', Tamworth is thought of as a sort of Australian equivalent to Nashville in the United States, albeit on a far more modest scale. The focus of this self-promotion is the Australasian Country Music Festival, held every January. However, Tamworth is also the commercial and administrative capital of the New England region. It functions as a retail and service centre to the surrounding district which produces wool, dairy products, eggs, fat livestock, poultry, wheat, tobacco, lucerne and honey. There are a number of cattle, horse and sheep studs, a large dairy factory, a flour mill, an abattoir and a large industrial estate at Taminda. Tamworth also boasts several important agricultural schools. It is situated 390 m above sea-level on the Peel River and 412 km north of Sydney at the intersection of the New England and Oxley Highways. Its population is around 40 000. Prior to white settlement the area was occupied by the Kamilaroi people who knew it as 'Calala', thought to mean 'place of battle'. The Tamworth Agricultural Show is held in March. The Tamworth Country Theatre, a live radio-broadcast concert, is held on the third Saturday of each month.
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
You have to go to Sydney at least once in your lifetime. It's definitely a place to see before you die. Relax at Circular Quay in one of the many street cafés, shop in the Queen Victoria building and go on a bridge climb. If you're not afraid of heights, it's something you shouldn't miss. It is certainly not cheap, but if you choose the climb at sunset, the view and the whole experience will be so rewarding. For those who are interested in music, buy yourself a ticket for a concert at the opera house. On a beautiful day (there will be plenty of them!), take the ferry to Manly and lie on the beach. Go to the Rocks and stroll through the shops. It's been 6 years since I last was there but I will go again in July 2008 and update you then! See ya
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Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Like music? Come to Byron Bay during April or August (dates vary). Big Music Festivals.
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Being one of the cosmopolitan capitals of the world, Sydney hosts a wide range of pubs and clubs. Clubs playing mainstream dance music can be found all the way along George street in the city. For something slightly different, head to Manly's Boatshed for nightly live bands and an intimate crowd, or The Steyne at Manly beach for a choice of different pubs, clubs and beer gardens under the same roof.
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New South Wales Sports 
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Try going around the city by bike. You can go with a group bike tour (complete with a rented bike, helmet and tour guide) or you can rent your own bike. Its safe, it affords you to see much more of the city, its environment friendly and its good for your health.
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Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Make the most of the free bike and surf board hire from the local hostels. Byron bay beach is massive and much easier to find a quite spot to yourself if you ride along the beach at low tide.
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Manly, New South Wales, Australia
Lovely area - cute markets on sundays and great snorkeling, if youre into that sort of stuff! No matter what i suggest a trip with the ferry to manly anyway - its worth it, just to see the beautiful Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from yet another angle... =) And, i like the beach here more than the superduper famous Bondi...
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Eden, New South Wales, Australia
Wonderful small fishing town ... a great stop for lunch!
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Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia
If you are going to fish talk to the locals, especially at the bait shops.
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Food in New South Wales 
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Hmmm where to begin? Sydney is a fabulous city, not only because it's on the coast and has the Opera House as a trademark but simply because it is still at a stage where we can call it a metropolitan city but isn't yet so terribly congested. And that is truly the beauty of the city, with lots of green and recreational areas.

But now to some insider tips:
- Do the Harbour Bridge Climb (it's breathtaking)
-Visit the Rocks and eat out in Darling Harbour (the atmosphere is great and relaxed): Restaurant recommendations: Angus Steak House, Jordan's seafood restaurant
- Take the monorail to get around town: Oh at the QVB exit there's an enormous bookshop (if you're looking for a book, they most probably will have it): Kinokunya Bookshop
- Stop at Star City, the QVB (old shopping arcade)
- Visit Tarronga Zoo
- Head to Bondi Beach for a weekend on the beach!
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Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
lots of aberiganee stay away from da ones dsat smell they are da evil 1ns da other are freindly
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sydney... I find Sydney a great and exciting city with so much to offer. The harbour is one of my favourite places to hang out on the water or catch a ferry over to Manly. But a good way to see the harbour is the catch the city ferry that does a 2 hour tour of the harbour and little inlets and some interesting facts. A nice city to walk around ( the Botanical gardens and Opera house ) and always feel safe.
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Try going around the city by bike. You can go with a group bike tour (complete with a rented bike, helmet and tour guide) or you can rent your own bike. Its safe, it affords you to see much more of the city, its environment friendly and its good for your health.
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Gilgandra, New South Wales, Australia
Gilgandra is publicised as the 'Home of the Coo-ees'. This is a reference to the occasion in 1915 when 35 local men decided to set off from Gilgandra on the first recruiting march of World War I. Having received no support from the Army the men walked 500 km to Sydney in six weeks, proclaiming their arrival in a town with the bushman's cry for help, 'coo-ee!'. They received much publicity along the way and arrived in Sydney, 263 strong. The event sparked seven other such marches from rural centres. Gilgandra's annual celebrations include the Coo-ee Festival which is held over the October long week end.
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New South Wales Government 
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
It's been the season to be jolly for some time now, but the difference would seem to be that the Australians have noticed. Back in the UK, all the shops had already started selling Christmas cards before I left but The Thais, being mainly Buddhist, naturally wouldn't know Christmas if it came up and slapped them in the face with a wet fish. Hong Kong is slightly more prepared and already has all the buildings covered in neon greetings which light up the sky at night, but it's mainly the ex-pat community which celebrates it seriously. So it's really nice to find that Australia has the season's greetings coming out of its ears. It is, of course, slightly surreal that while the weather here at the moment is boiling hot and everyone is walking around in Tee shirts and with surfboards tucked under their arms, the shops are full of snowmen, reindeer and jolly old men in white furry beards and red overcoats. Australia strikes the visitor as a very different place as soon as you arrive. It appears to be full of places with wonderful names like (and I'm not making these up) Booby Island and Yorkie's Knob, to which tour guides called Kylie will gladly take you to watch real Aborigines doing traditional painting in the outback - Even though you know perfectly well that said natives are probably going to hop straight back into their Mercedes after you've gone and head back to their luxury homes in the Blue Mountains. This might sound slightly cynical, but I should point out that I came here once before on a coach tour in 1995 and learned a lot from speaking to local people - people, I should say, who have to be some of the warmest, most welcoming folks you are ever likely to meet. If there's one thing guaranteed to bring you back to Oz again and again (and there are many others, believe me), it's the people. Friendly doesn't even cut it - I'm sure it's the weather, but it really is so refreshing to be made to feel so welcome by a whole country full of people, especially when I come from the UK where you generally can't look at the headline on a newspaper on a street stall without being asked in a gruff voice "so you gonna buy that then, or what?". Australia is also full of wonderful creatures that don't resemble anything else on Earth, contains some of the most beautiful scenary you could wish for, and is a country where you have to drive for hundreds of miles to find another living being that isn't fluffy and doesn't greet you by going "baaaa". There is a town I came across on my previous trip which greets the traveller with a sign which reads " Population 250 (2 people, 248 sheep) ". They also have a sense of humour second to none here, and actually understand sarcasm as a form of wit which is always a bonus for us Brits. The Australian banknotes are colourful, to say the least. Each value is a different vibrant colour. Deep red, bright yellow, deep purple - buying something with cash is like an explosion in a paint factory. The notes are also made of a form of plastic with a transparent window in the middle to deter forgery, which is unique in any currency I've encountered but such a ridiculously good idea that I can't understand why nobody has borrowed the idea - screw a ten dollar note up into a ball and let go and it springs back to it's original shape and pristine condition, no dirty wrinkled money here. But of course, everything in Australia has to be slightly surreal in some way so a good idea like this has to come with strings attached. In the case of the Australian dollar (originally known as the Royal back in the sixties until this name proved unpopular), this string is the fact that there has been no coin to represent anything less than 5 cents since the beginning of the 1990s. Now, you might think that this would logically mean that retailers would price all the items on their shelves at values which divide into 5 cents, but no! You will still see items priced at 1.99 or 3.98 or whatever, amounts which you cannot physically pay - it is, believe it or not, left entirely up to the shop whether they insist that you pay more than you actually owe and keep the difference, or round down. Go into a shop, buy something for 4.99, hand over a five dollar note and stand there waiting for your change while the shop assistant looks at you as if to say "What?" I did, it's great fun. There's that good old British sarcasm again... Christmas in Oz is very tempting. As we flew in over glinting lakes and through clear blue skies, I knew that this was where I wanted to be at the start of the last year of the Millennium. England is on the other side of the world: I am going to get the chance to swim with Dolphins, refer to complete strangers as "Blue" with absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, and generally have a great time slapping shrimps onto barbies. In Sydney, I caught the free shuttle bus to my hotel, checked in and fell straight into bed. I hadn't slept for 48 hours straight, and the last time I was in Sydney I had managed to get up for breakfast at 6pm and baffle the waiter in the restaurant by eating Cornflakes while everybody else looked at me curiously over their three course dinners. In the evening, feeling refreshed, I thought I'd take a wander and get my bearings and discovered that my hotel is in Paddington and is just down the road from Oxford Street, Marylebone, Kings Cross and Bakers Street. I feel right at home. On my first trip to a local McDonalds, the woman in front of me asked for a McChicken Sandwich and I could swear the assistant asked her if she would like it to be made with real Chicken. I'm sure this must be some local expression which I do not yet understand, but exactly what the hell is an artificial Chicken? The traffic crossings in Sydney are interesting. After pressing the button and waiting something like 5 minutes for the lights to change, they give me about three seconds to cross before changing back, hardly enough time for the cars to actually stop. Little white images of people are drawn onto the road at all the pedestrian crossings, and I haven't yet figured out whether this is a helpful attempt on the part of the Australian government to tell me where to cross the road, or whether they are all chalk outlines drawn by the police whenever a tourist gets run over by a bus. During the night, all hell broke loose in the sky. Thunder and lightening like I'd never heard in my life kept me awake for hours. I was sure I would awaken in the morning to find myself on a different continent with a dog called Toto - when I dared to draw back the curtains to peer out, the sky was alight with the most incredible electrical storm and the road outside was awash. Come the morning, though, the roads were all bone dry, the sun was hot, and there was a bus outside waiting to take me on a complementary city tour for the day. That's one of the most remarkable things about this continent - if you're out and about and it starts to rain, don't let it worry you. The rain will probably be warm, and you'll probably be bone dry and steaming within two minutes of it stopping anyway! On my first full day in Sydney, I took an orientation tour which promised to briefly show me the sights and then leave me to find my own way back to anywhere I found inspiring. Our driver took us across the famous harbour bridge to Milsons point, from which panoramic views of the harbour and opera house could be seen, and across the Spit Bridge (which, disappointingly, was not crowded with people spitting over the side) to a small district called Seeforth. We drove through scenic Manly, where our driver thought it important to point out the Manly Girls School, which sounded to me like a finishing school for Tom-Boys, as well as showing us the surfing beach at Bondi.
I have to say that Bondi Beach impressed me a lot more than it did when I was here in 1995. For some reason, I remember being distinctly unimpressed after what everybody had told me about the place - but it's obviously been cleaned up quite a lot since then and was actually quite impressive. Nevertheless, it's still nothing like the huge mile long strip of golden sand covered in bronzed bodies and surf dudes that we are led to believe from well edited television, and in my opinion there are better beaches than Bondi even round the Sydney area, but nevertheless I had time to stroll along sweating buckets and doing some western style shopping which I haven't managed to do for a while. The orientation tour finished with a drive around the inner city including Kings Cross, the entertainment centre and casino at Darling Harbour, Chinatown and various other places which I made notes to visit over the next few days if I got the chance. The tour also included a harbour luncheon cruise at which the driver introduced me to another passenger called Monica (As in Monica from Friends, as opposed to Monica from the Whitehouse, she was keen to point out), with whom I shared a meal and discussed the best places I should see while I am here as it turned out that she had already done most of it and was on her way out of the country as I was on my way in. The captain, with only a massive amount of prompting from us, allowed Monica and I onto the bridge and probably broke every rule in the book by allowing us to take it in turns to sail the boat around for a bit. The captain seemed very much to enjoy us both having small panic attacks every time another vessel or the Sydney Harbour Bridge came anywhere within a mile or so of us! Yesterday, I wandered down to The Rocks , the old area of Sydney harbour front, to see if it was as I had left it. All the memories came flooding back as I walked along George Street, through the shopping district to the harbour - Circular Quay was unchanged, apart from a few new hoardings advertising the Olympic Games for Sydney 2000. Circular Quay is where all the ferries go from, backs onto both the Opera house and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and very much represents the modern waterfront entertainment and shopping side to Sydney. The Rocks , on the other hand, is Sydney's birthplace and as such is full of beautiful old buildings proudly displaying plaques dating them or showing off previous occupants. Most, of course, are now occupied by modern shops, chic boutiques and roadside coffee shops - but local planning rules don't allow much change here so the area retains pretty much it's original charm even if you know there's a McDonalds hidden away inside one of these old buildings. The Rocks is very much the side of Sydney that I would like to see more of, it represents the world that is being pushed aside and trampled upon by modern skyscrapers and high-rise apartment blocks. There is a square here, where a band plays at lunchtime to locals and tourists drinking Cafe Late outside coffee shops or browsing the shop windows. Even McDonalds has seemingly decided to pander to local sensibilities, and has opened up a McCafe here where you can buy French pastries and cakes so you can pretend to be posh for a moment while eating your Big Mac. There are only three places in Australia where you do not actually own the land you live on - The Rocks being one of them. Due to it's historical value, the government can technically come along and turf you out whenever they like in the interests of keeping the area looking the way they want it - so it's no good trying to turn your charming cake shop into a nightclub. There should be more places like this, more governments willing to think along these lines and keep these places from being lost - although it hasn't always been this way. It seems almost unthinkable now, strolling through the cobbled streets, that it was as recently as 1970 that the Australian Government were seriously planning to tear the whole area down and build office blocks - and only an outcry from just about everybody in the hemisphere caused them to instead declare the area as historically significant and move on to some other harebrained scheme. This from a government which, until recently, imposed a blanket ban on buildings over 4 stories within the city for aesthetic reasons. In fact, the famous Park Hyatt Hotel in The Rocks is only 4 stories high, can only accommodate a select few at a time, and will cost you several hundred dollars a night. So there go my plans for a night in the nice part of town! I strolled around the Quay in the afternoon and looked at the Opera House, although to be honest it does suffer rather strongly from the fact that its image is on every card and every picture of Sydney you are ever likely to see. Unlike the Grand Canyon or the Great Barrier Reef, it just isn't one of those places that looks that much more spectacular in person - you really can't say "Ah, but wait until you see the Opera House for real" because it pretty much looks exactly as you had expected it to and can be something of an anticlimax. In the typical surreal style I've come to expect from Australia, the Opera House was designed in 1957 by a Danish architect called Jorn Utzon, who made a few basic sketches, sent them in to a competition and was presumably totally blown away to find that he had won the opportunity to design what would become one of the world's most well known and photographed landmarks. The problem was that this all went to his head a little and his final design turned out to be far more complex than anyone had imagined - it was over two decades before the Opera House was finished, during which time those in power changed and Utzon found himself arguing about his designs with people who didn't like them much. As a result, and also partly because Utzon's original design was too costly and too complex to build as he had envisioned it, what we see today is an amalgam of his ideas and a total redesign of the inside which probably doesn't bear much resemblance to the original vision. I came back along George Street, crossing onto Liverpool Street and making my way to Darling Harbour. I hadn't realised how near it was to Circular Quay - about a ten minute walk. When I was here a few years ago, my hotel was so close to the Quay that I nearly always took the ferry. Darling Harbour was originally designed and built as recently as 1988, and is the ultra modern side to Sydney. This is where you will find a multitude of shopping opportunities in the Harbourside Centre, a behemoth of glass and metal that manages to dominate an entire side of the harbour and contains a whole level of little Cafes and restaurants, each representing a different country and cuisine. I had hoped to pop in for a Coffee and Croissant in a quiet corner of France, but for some reason the entire complex was closed off and covered in scaffolding and builders drinking tea as is so often the case when I really want to see something - so I strolled into the harbour front park and sat on a bench by a fountain in the middle of a lake, baking in the heat and watching people whiz by on roller-skates. Australia has an amazing way of making you never want to go home.
New on the harbour front since my last visit is the IMAX theatre, and apparently a new multi-million dollar Night-club which has just opened, but they've obviously spent so much money on the insides that they haven't thought to leave any over to make it visible from the outside in any way, so after spending an hour looking for it I gave up. The guy at my hotel reception - fountain of all knowledge - tells me that the club holds 2500 people and is the place to be seen in Sydney. Always assuming it wants to be seen itself. One thing I've noticed since arriving in Sydney is that the advertising on hoardings and bill-boards for the 2000 Olympics seems to have become a lot more low-key than it was the last time I was here in 1995 - rather strange considering just how close we're getting to the event. At the moment, most of the hoardings are advertising the upcoming Gay Pride Mardi-Gras, which will be happening at the beginning of February - there is very little mention of the Olympics at all. So, have I got anything bad to say about Sydney? Well, the only thing that has put a damper on my visit so far are the profusion of notices pinned hap-hazardly on every wall of every building around Paddington, Oxford Street and the outer suburbs which read " Have you seen this girl? Last seen vicinity of Hyde Park. Parents desperately worried. Please call… ".
This does bring me back down to Earth. For all its good points, in many ways Sydney is no different from any other big city the world over.My complete journals are at www.offexploring.com/globalwanderer and /globalwanderer2
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Built between 1817 and 1819, the Hyde Park Barracks is one of Sydney’s most popular historical attractions. The barracks provided lodgings for convicts working in government employment around Sydney until its closure in 1848. It now serves as a museum. Exhibits educate visitors as to the daily lives of Sydney’s convicts through video, photos, artifacts, and much more. Guided and group tours are available upon request or visitors may tour on their own. The museum is open daily and a small entry fee is charged.
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New South Wales Economy 
West Wyalong, New South Wales, Australia
West Wyalong is a transit town for those driving between Melbourne and Brisbane on the Newell Highway and for those travelling between Sydney and Adelaide on the Mid Western Highway. It is the major town of Bland Shire, one of the state's most productive agricultural shires, where wheat, wool, pigs, eucalyptus oil, sawmills, farm machinery, and a growing tourism sector are the staples of the local economy. The original occupants of the area were the Wiradjuri people. The West Wyalong Show is held in September and the biennial Festival of the Highways occurs in October of the odd-numbered years.
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Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Australia
Mullumbimby is a quiet country township which was once a rural centre servicing the surrounding farms. In the late 1960s it became one of the great alternative lifestyle centres in the country. It carries this reputation with much more confidence than its more famous partner, Nimbin, which is only a short distance away. In the lexicon of names which can be used to conjure up images of hippies and psychedelic colours Mullumbimby is second only to Nimbin. Ironically today the town bears few signs of the lifestyle which invaded it in the early 1970s. There are no brightly-coloured shop fronts like Nimbin; there are no young kids up from Sydney looking for drugs and fun. Mullumbimby is located 4 km off the Pacific Highway, 798 km north-east of Sydney, 19 km north-west of Byron Bay and 165 km south of Brisbane. It is situated on the Brunswick River at 4 metres above sea-level and had a population, in 1996, of 2870 people. Tourism is important to the local economy in a region which is noted for its production of bananas, avocados, pineapples and other tropical fruit, dairy products, macadamia nuts, cattle, pigs and timber. The town's name is thought to derive from the language of the Bundjalung people with 'muli' said to mean 'hill'. The full name has been interpreted as meaning 'small round hill' - a reference to Mt Chincogan (309 m), beneath which the town is situated. The Mullumbimby Chincogan Fiesta, held each year in September, centres on a foot-race from the post office to the top of Mt Chincogan and back. The Mullumbimby markets are held in the reserve behind the Stuart Street Museum on the third Saturday of the month.
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Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia
Murwillumbah is the last major town (apart from the urban sprawl of Tweed Heads) before the Queensland border. It is a substantial centre which is focussed almost entirely on providing services for the surrounding farmlands. The area is particularly rich and consequently is a mixture of cattle and sugar cane. Murwillumbah is a rather pleasant town of around 9000 people which spreads along the banks of the Tweed River by the foothills of the McPherson Ranges. It is located in a scenic area 848 km north-east of Sydney, 13 km south of the Queensland border and 132 km south of Brisbane. In recent times the Pacific Highway, which joins Sydney and Brisbane, has bypassed the town and consequently it has become rather more sedate. Murwillumbah is surrounded by sugarcane which is the major industry of the Tweed Valley. In fact, if the visitor travels through the region at the right time of the year, he or she will see virtual walls of sugarcane on either side of the road. Dairying and bananas also contribute to the local economy. Prior to European settlement the area was occupied by the Bundjalung Aborigines.
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