On Thursday I’m leaving for a three week vacation, including 16 days in New Zealand and Australia. I’ve never traveled outside the country other than Canada, and I’ve never actually taken a vacation longer than a week before. Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited.  But have no fear So Good readers, the blogging will go on! While I’m gone there will still be a new post almost every single day. I’m working on a couple Would You Rathers to be auto-posted while I’m on the road, and I may even break out a new rant! I will also be checking in and blogging when I have access to a computer, so I look forward to being able to log on and read your comments to anything being posted while I’m on the road. Additionally, JT and Lemmonex, my wonderful and hilarious contributors, will both keep the trains running with blog posts while I’m away.

But don’t worry, I’m all about rest and relaxation, so I’ll make sure to do plenty of trekking around this fine continent:

I’m going to be spending time in Sydney, possibly Melbourne, and will be spending a relaxing 4 days up at Byron Bay:

I am, however, open to suggestions for things to do, things to see and foods to eat.  Are there any So Good readers living in Sydney who want to buy this wacky American a beer? Anyone live up near Brisbane, Byron Bay or other areas of Australia? Any readers who have traveled down under before? (Update: I’ll also be in and around Auckland for 5 days so suggestions there are also welcome) If so, let me know your suggestions for things I must see, must do or must eat!

14 Responses

  1. Michelle

    Talk about unfortunate timing … I would happily buy you a beer and some completely fabulous food if you were in Melbourne. Sadly, I’m headed to the US for the same amount of time you will be Down Under!

    For Melbourne food you cannot go past Vietnamese on Victoria St, a visit to the Queen Vic Market food hall, Spanish food at MoVida and if you’re really skint, just go for some toast with Vegemite. Go on, dare ya! :)

    …and everyone knows the food in Melbourne is way better than in Sydney. (*dodges tomatoes being thrown*)

    Michelle

    Reply
  2. KevinB

    Visited Oz a few years ago; can’t say I was overwhelmed by the food. The best places we found in Sydney were Spanish and Chinese. Can’t remember the name, but there was a Chinese spot in Sydney that specialized in king crab; that was very good. Tried “mud bugs”, a local crustacean – lotta work for little reward. Also tried crocodile, but found it rubbery and tasteless. Lamb and fish turned out to be the best bets, time after time.

    One thing that was fun was the “cook your own” places; you selected your cut of meat from the case, chose your sides, and then went to a large communal grill where you cooked your steak and sipped a cold one while conversing with your neighbours. Great way to meet (“meat”?) people, and ensure that you actually get your beef “black and blue”.

    Reply
  3. Emmaline

    If you’re in Byron definitely make a trip up to the lighthouse. You may wanna drive – its a fairly long walk!
    But totally worth it
    It’s the most easterly point in Australia and has the most breath-taking views.
    Last time I was there I saw whales, dolphins and turtles from up there.
    Also Twisted Sister cafe in Lawson St is pretty grand, as are Bay Kebabs.
    The Beach Hotel is great for a relaxing drink and some decent pub grub.
    Enjoy!!

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    In Auckland in terms of kiwi fast food you won’t find anywhere else -
    Murder Burger on Ponsonby Rd
    Also, Hell Pizza/Burger Fuel
    Try Kumara fries!

    To see and do:
    Waiheke Island and Devonport – just catch a ferry from Britomart
    Mission Bay beach
    Piha Beach
    Auckland City Domain

    Have a wander in the city on:
    K Rd
    Vulcan Lane
    High Street

    Reply
  5. Kim

    As I am not sure of things you want to do in Sydney below is a list of high-brow and a list of low-brow things you may or may not enjoy in Sydney.

    High-Brow
    1. Have drinks at Opera Bar. It’s right under the Sydney Opera House with views of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Really nice to do as the sun is setting.
    2. Go to Longrain in Surrey Hills and have great Thai food. My understanding in the US is the Thai food is pretty bad. Here it’s really good.
    3. Sydney Festival is on at the moment and there are tons of concerts and plays and art things happening at the moment so you should look at that website to see what’s on.
    4. At the moment there are 2 different moonlight outdoor cinemas on in Sydney and there’s one overlooking the harbour but I can’t remember what it’s called but this time of year it’s really nice.

    Yeah i’m actually out of high-brow things because I am largely low brow.

    Low-Brow
    1. Eat $5 steaks at the Strawberry Hills hotel. They’re $5!!! And that’s not even US currency, it’s Australian so that’s like $US3 to you.
    2. Go to King St in Newtown and eat tasty cheap Thai food. Longrain is great for a nice/expensive night out but there are so many cheap places along this street as an alternative.
    3. Go to Pancakes on the Rocks in the Rocks are of Sydney. Pretty self-explanatory. Pancakes always good.
    4. Have Yum Cha in Chinatown at the Marigold and eat the Mango Pancakes for dessert. Holy crap they’re good. Many a time I have contemplated smacking them out of my friends hands so I can eat them myself.
    5. Go to Opporto’s which is a burger chain here that does these Portugese chicken burgers that have chicken, mayo, chilli, cheese and lettuce on them.

    Reply
  6. Anna

    I’m from auckland as well. Suggestions above are good ones. Food wise, check out the viaduct as well, as there are good eateries down there. Also Ponsonby Road has some fantastic food. Tourist wise, check out the sky tower, Rangitoto volcano (catch ferry out there from the ferry building located near the britomart).

    Reply
  7. Jen

    Beets on burgers/sandwiches? A yes or a no? Just a strange custom we noticed on our trip down under last month. I like the pink stain the beet left on my grilled chicken sandwich after I tossed little beet from between me buns. RRRRR.

    Kangaroo steak is yum.

    Reply
  8. tim

    missing the super bowl in the states? somehow it won’t be the same.

    had i seen this earlier, i would have said you should catch a match at the australian open, it’s in melbourne this week and last, but it’s almost over.

    i’ve been to NZ and AU before and you can’t go wrong. the great barrier reef was nice and auckland was cool as far as i remember, though i was a bit young.

    btw, have you seen this?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/dining/28bacon.html

    right up your alley.

    Reply
  9. Emily

    SYDNEY: the concierge at our hotel (Marriott Circular Quay) recommended Zia Pina in The Rocks area, and it’s some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. Quick & cheap. Get one with garlic. delicious.

    Reply
  10. Larry

    Vegemite is no worse than Marmite. No better either. Both are salty yeasty spreads that are better to use as flavoring for soup, rather than spread on toast.

    Enjoy Oz. :)

    Reply

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