Australia – very different but very familiar – it has to be the very best place for backpackers to visit.

OK you know about marsupials and gum trees, and beaches and beer.
You may know about Australia’s inhabitants – the Aussies.
Do you know about the magnificent year round weather?

You probably wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t think it was worth a visit.

Sydney – some say the best city in the world.
It certainly beats Melbourne. The city on the harbour with thousands of beaches, bays,
headlands and views – all easily reached by walking and public transport.
The great outdoors, the great weather, the great food and drink mix with some pretty
great people (called Sydneysiders) to make it a very sociable place.

The author Hugh Stretton called Sydney ‘the magical place’.

While Sydney is spread out – 4 million people in 1120 square kilometres – they have put all the best attractions in one location.
The Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, the Rocks, Circular Quay, the ferries, the Botanic Gardens are all on the harbour and within 10 minutes walk of each other.
Australia’s business centre extends to the south and north. It couldn’t have been planned better.

Kings Cross – The business centre is not the place to live if you can help it.
No views, too noisy, too little vegetation and not enough birds.

The place to live and still be close to the attractions is Kings Cross.
It’s easy walking distance (10 minutes) to the centre but it doesn’t have the traffic and high rise.

It’s on the south side of the harbour like the city centre and just to the east in the Eastern Suburbs.
One of Sydney’s first suburbs, it was developed in the late 1800’s and lies on a ridge overlooking the city to the west.

Its early terrace houses and apartments have been preserved by planning laws and its truly cosmopolitan population support a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, clubs, pubs, and people businesses.

It is no wonder it became Australia’s backpacker heartland where most backpackers start and finish their travels.

The Royal Australian Navy has a base at the northern end of Kings Cross on the harbour (called HMAS Kuttabul).

Darlinghurst Road is the main road with the El Alamein Fountain at one end and Kings Cross train station and the ‘big Coke sign’ at the other.

Night spots, internet cafes and fast food outlets are dotted in between.