Let’s start off with some information about Australia’s history first. The typical Aussies that most people think about when they think about Australia weren’t the first people in this land. As early as 65,000 years ago, there were human inhabitants on the land that is today called Australia. These people are the indigenous Aboriginal Australians. When the British arrived, they colonized the land much as they did from the Native Americans in what is now the United States. Similar to what happened to the Native Americans, disease wiped out a large percentage of the Aboriginal population.
Australians as we picture them today were convicts that were brought over on ships from Britain. From 1788 until 1823, the Colony of New South Wales was a penal colony. This meant that there were mainly convicts. A lot of the “criminals” sent over were arrested for small crimes such as stealing groceries.
Much of what was done to the Aboriginals can be demonstrated with the story of the Stolen Generations (which again, was also common practice to Native Americans). Children of Aboriginal families were forcibly removed from their parents to live with white families and grow up with those customs instead of their own. This was happening into the 1970’s.
Some more current information on Australians: they gamble heavily; they drive on the left side of the road (which is kind of terrifying); they’re nice as can be so far; and they are a lot of fun!
In Sydney, we stayed at The Maze Backpackers which was fine for a couple of nights. We booked a double private room with shared bathrooms. The showers were decent, and the water was hot. There were enough toilets so that I never had to wait. Our room was pretty crammed, but it wasn’t unbearable. The kitchen is huge, so I don’t think you’d ever have to wait to cook; plus, they do free meals twice a week (although the line was so long we didn’t partake). Overall, it was fine.
We did a free walking tour with I’m Free Tours. Our guide was good and gave us a lot of information. She held my attention the whole time, but wasn’t the most entertaining or funny guide we’ve encountered.
My “must-do” in Sydney is the Coastal Walk. You walk 6 kilometers from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach. We didn’t walk the entire way because my foot was sore, but any part of the walk is beautiful. The waves were huge, so there was no swimming allowed in the actual ocean, but there are pools that you can safely swim on that have waves crashing into them. There are also public bathrooms along the way.
We were also told that we had to see The Gap, but unfortunately we didn’t make it. Might be worth checking out though.
There is a ton of Asian food all over, and we were very pleased with that!
Sydney is iconic, and a must visit if you’re in Australia :)
See our Australia photos here.
Hi, I'm Sara Monica Patton. I love animals, traveling, and eating. Read more about me in my first blog post here.