It has almost been one week already since we have been in Australia and this place is far hotter than any other place I have been so far. After arriving in Sydney, Kaisa and I had first rented an Airbnb for a few nights. We soon realized how expensive this place truly was, I guess not a surprise to many but after spending the past 3 weeks in India, it is crazy. Therefore, I will explain some simple advice that I had learnt early in my first few days in Sydney.
If you are staying in Australia for a while like us, the first thing you will want to do is by a prepaid simcard, I chose Vodaphone, which had a promotion on for $25 AUD (Australian Dollars are basically the same price as Canadian Dollars so I will use them for reference) which gave local texting, calling and 6GB of data. The thing that I found out is that once you exit the airport there is no WiFi, so once you get to the passport control you won’t be able to send messages anymore.
Secondly, I went to WHSmith and bought an Opal card, which is used on both the buses and trains all around New South Whales. Furthermore, when I had asked how much to put on, he said, “if you’re staying a year, start with $40, it goes quick.” I have been here a week and I am about halfway done the $40 but we have used the trains a long way. Lastly, you want to be taking the bus when the weather is +35C otherwise it will be a dreadful walk with all of your luggage.
From what we have found, the Coles grocery store seems to be cheaper than a lot of the other ones like Woolworths, for example. However, you will be paying an arm and a leg wherever you go, which is expected.
A few of the nice restaurants that we ate at were located in the Bondi Junction area, close to where we were staying. Grill’d was the first, which had a number of Vegan, Vegetarian and also Gluten Free burger options, which satisfied our needs. The fries at this place were also wonderful and satisfying and the total cost for two burgers and one set of fries came to $30 AUD. The second restaurant that we truly recommend is Hari’s Vegetarian which is located downtown in the Central Business District (CBD). This was a much cheaper option which served Indian style food with a variety of curries and rice to choose from, which were all Gluten Free, Vegan and Vegetarian. To get a small (1 curry and rice) and a medium (2 curries and rice) came to $16 AUD and filled us up.
Walking around in the downtown is great, the parks, the people. Bondi is close to where we were staying and obviously worth seeing, everyone knows that. The beaches are popular and a nice area to go for a morning run when there is no one up. Otherwise, in the evening the beaches are just littered with people and dogs running and walking up the paths. We need to go back to Sydney to spend more time, there is still so much we haven’t seen, but for now we are in Woy Woy (A town so great they named it twice).