I’ll preface this post by saying that I LOVE SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, but there is a flip side . . .
My accommodations were not in Sydney during my first few days in Australia. I had reserved a room via the internet while in Christchurch, New Zealand; and unbeknownst to me, it was located almost 50-60 miles away from the Sydney city center. Frankly, it might as well have been located on the moon. The neighborhood was excellent – a suburb that was reminiscent of where I grew up in Sunnyvale, California.
The Sydney Gateway Holiday Park was fine, except it had NO internet connection, which they touted in their online advertisement and they indicated they were close to the city of Sydney. Wrongo again. In fact, this place was one mile away from just about everything, e.g., groceries, fast food, etc. Additionally, the walk to the bus stop wasn’t exactly a spring day stroll either. Especially, when the thermometer is thumping 30 Celsius. That being said, the place was relatively inexpensive ($110) compared to ANYTHING in the city of Sydney. The bottom line is that you got a lot for your money – sans the internet – staying here. I am writing this from a YHA hostel and I like the hostel better, but I am appreciative that I stayed at this place outside Sydney, if only because I saw multiple sides of Australia that you wont find in any tourist brochure.
Consequently, I wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone who has no interest in learning a bit about the culture and lifestyles of Australia; or, doesn’t like to be inconvenienced by buses and trains. You would be better off near the Harbor Quy or downtown area.
I wish I had taken some pictures of where I was staying at. As I said earlier, it is an upper middle class neighborhood that reminded me of where I grew up, such as suburban grocery stores, manicured lawns, parks, a library, fast food restaurants, etc. Consequently, the pictures (especially) and my post are not meant to be an objective, balanced piece about Sydney and the surrounding area. These photos were taken while I was on the way to Sydney or returning from the city. Nor did I speak with anyone to ask their opinion of what was going on with all the garbage strewn about and graffiti, which in some areas, seemed to cover every inch of wall space. No, this is just some pictures I took and some impressions I was left with after traveling in the area.
I transferred from the bus at Blacktown, where I caught a train to the city center of Sydney. I was told specifically by more than a couple of people, not to get lost or stay after dark in Blacktown or other adjacent communities. Unfortunately, I did get lost, albeit, I survived to talk about it (see my previous blog post).
I do like the diversity of the area. You will find Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and Hindus here. What you wont find is very many of them mixing. In fact, I rarely even seen them talking to each other. They stick to their own groups. Whites hang with whites and I can’t even recall a situation outside of work, where they mixed with people of darker skin. Hey, I might be totally wrong here. If you have information that contradicts what I am saying, please speak up.
Equally disturbing is a news broadcast I viewed yesterday, where they were discussing the recent surge of beatings – which occur after male thugs (their description, not mine) consume/binge on massive quantities of alcohol. Apparently, this is approaching epidemic levels – again, their description, not mine.
In conclusion, I have no one’s answers . . . Again, I am just posting what I have seen here. I would be remiss if I just told you about the wonderful things I have seen and ignored that which isn’t so pleasant. ‘Nuff said.