Welcome to Sydney, my city, my playground, my home. It’s a city that never sleeps, a concrete jungle that exercises the old adage ‘survival of the fittest’, and a proud exhibitor of local talent with venues dotted all around our city. With Mardi Gras looming ever closer I thought it was about time I start covering what to expect at this year’s event. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is considered to be Australia’s largest party event, with the infamous parade march alone attracting over 300,000 spectators. It brings thousands of international visitors to our shore each year and with that comes new friends made and bonds forged. In the upcoming few months leading up to the event I’m going to show you our city from my perspective – helpful hints, little café nooks, fantastic eateries, and some choice bars and clubs that are gay friendly.
Now getting around our fair city can be a tad confusing for those of your who are visiting for the first time because we have a large selection busses, trains, taxis and the odd cable car, but this is where I come in to guide you through. First things, first, you’ll need to supply yourself with an Opal Card which acts as your one stop payment method for the use of busses and trains. You can automatically top it up with your credit card and there are even some handy apps you can download to help keep you updated with your credit status. You can find out all you need to here at the Official Opal Card site just hop on and follow the appropriate links. Also for those of you who live overseas, you can also buy an Opal Card at most service station and popular retail centers and then register your card later online if you wish to.
Once you’ve sorted this out you’ll need to start planning on which method works best for you. Sydney buses are everywhere and are easily spotted, as are their stops with large signs and occasional shaded seating areas. They are much more accurate when it comes to destination so if you have a specific area you need to visit a bus is your best choice. Trains are laid all across Sydney; they are easy to use and are quite large (sporting two levels in each carriage). While they may not be as pin-point in their destination, they are usually placed at the most convenient location for their allocated suburbs and will always be in close proximity to bus stops. Your best choice for a travel app will be called “Trip Advisor”; a handy little program which covers every conceivable route you may need to plan. It can also save those trips and even give you details on which platform you’ll need to be on when the train leaves.
Sydney taxis are located all over the city, they’re easily hailed, and can be booked in advance either over the phone or online, or if you are even more tech savvy and have yourself the handy app “Uber” you can even arrange yourself a taxi or Uber car that way and have the fee automatically charged to the card you registered to your account. Any way you go for transport, Sydney has your covered but I’m of the opinion you can always see much more of the city if you just leave half an hour earlier and just walk. There are so many little hidden nooks and crannies within Sydney that you may just find something you’ll be glad you decided to walk for instead.
That’s it for this week’s article, but pay close attention as the next few weeks roll over, we will be touching base on a number of Sydney suburbs giving you all the info you’ll need to be prepared should you come visiting our wonderful Mardi Gras Festival.