Travel Information - N
New South Wales
Home to over 4 million Australians, Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and one of the worlds most famous cities. Sydney is NOT to be missed. There are fine beaches all along the coast, north to the Queensland border (Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay) or south to the Victorian border (Wollongong, Bateman's Bay). A couple of hours from Sydney will take you to the spectacular Blue Mountains, the Hunter Valley wineries or the gardens in the lush Southern Highlands. A couple more hours and you could be in Canberra, the nations capital, the ski fields of the Snowy Mountains or grazing land and the Dubbo zoo. As with all countries, rural areas differ greatly in personality to cities in geography, architecture, attitude and people.
Newspapers are a great way to get a feel on how a country sees itself and how it sees the rest of the world. Each major city and country town has its own parochial publication while 'The Australian' is a national newspaper (some would say with a Melbourne bias). Newspapers are also the best source for information like weather, television programs, sporting events, tides, theatre shows and movies etc.
It's hard to generalise on nightlife as one person's magic is another one's mosh pit. In cities there are free publications on what's happening in pubs, clubs, what bands/concerts, restaurants, theatre, opera, free events etc are on. Taxi drivers can usually match a personality with a place and hotel concierges know what's on where and good ones can usually find tickets even if something is a 'sell-out'. Many cities have 'ethnic' pockets for eating out (Little Italy, Chinatown etc) and a designated 'nightclub' area. While all cities have gay bars and restaurants, Sydney has arguably the best gay scene (head to Oxford Street), is home to the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and is host for the 2002 Gay Games.