Subject: Re: Sydney trip
Hi 'Ziners, some very rough notes of mine for someone who went to Sydney recently; sorry they're a bit scrappy, but it's a start.

All the best Stewart, Record HeatWave-bound London!

hire desks. Sydney concierge map is good (free at hotels), pull out ones in TNT OK.

Bridge Climb a definite! # dusk is good, but bear in mind it'll take 3+ hours (including briefing, alcohol test etc.) you can't take anything with you, except sunglasses. Lockers are provided.

I found an umbrella useful for shade as well as rain (it's Winter down there, although not as we would recognize it # except maybe for some rain)

Aquarium not bad. Botanic gardens excellent. Coogee and Manley beaches very good. Nice coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi beach.

Dymocks stationary superstore/bookshop, 430 George street (near Pitt Street mall) , travellers centre just to the left or right. Lobby, take lift. Free Internet, what's on magazines (TNT etc) and left luggage.

Gowings - a fine outdoor, casual and smart clothing, fishing and gadget shop. Market Street/George Street (opposite Town Hall, near Woolworths) Bargain basement for clothes and end of line stuff. good prices for drizabones, good hat selection.. Blundstone boots, worn mine almost continuously (phew etc). smart enough for work, comfy enough to walk about all day in. Recommended .

Cheap hats and suncream, Australian Cancer research shop, smaller Pitt Street mall. Or Woolworths.

Woolworths Market Street/George Street (opposite Town Hall), general stuff, cardboard postal boxes for sending stuff back., boot polish, tooth polish and a cheap cafe on the top floor. Good news is that it's quiet and there's a toilet as well. Clothing almost cheap enough to be disposable. Life's too short to wash socks.

Market at weekends in The Rocks, Sydney Opera House on Sundays.

Outdoor / indoor cafe/bar on lower level of Circular Quay East (leading to Opera House) good place to sit & watch the sunset over/under the Bridge.

Harley tours # from just The Rocks to 'all' Sydney and Blue Mountains.

AMP Tower (big pointy thing) revolving restaurant. vouchers in Sydney visitors guides etc

Bill Egan gallery, George Street, opp. Old Sydney Park Royal. hotel in the Rocks

Aboriginal art gallery 117 George Street 1st floor and upper concourse Sydney Opera House, not especially cheap, but looks good. Another one in Darling Harbour.

Darling Harbour OK. Fish market well worth a look if you're up early (ie about 6).

Flame Opals 119 George Street, good quality, not cheap (beware of veneer opals in other places, although they can look as good).

Food . 'Balmain Bugs', oceanic woodlice / crawfish-like critters and Queensland banana prawns. Doyles at the Quay good, as is another big restaurant down on the quayside by the Hilton/copy of The Endeavour ship.

Sydney Cafe Customs House, 5th Floor (31 Alfred Street i.e Circular Quay. [61 2] 9251 8683) Excellent views, excellent food, not too expensive.

Sydney Cove Providore /Gumnut Cafe . Deli, good restaurant at night. (fish, glass wine, starter salad AU$30) Harrington Street (opposite Clocktower Arcade, parallel to George Street).

Mamas Italian cafe, top floor Paddys market (big warehouse/mall up in Chinatown.Central station) Cheap and not bad.

Orient Hotel, v.good steaks, classy. George Street again. Ribeye steaks AU$20, dozen oysters AU$18.

Mercantile Hotel / pub [61 2] 9247 3570. top of George Street, noisy! AU$70/night, but you might find it difficult to sleep. Music (live or recorded) playing till late # fine if you're a youngster and you get a fridge! Excellent Guinness.

Not impressed by the Furama hotel : supposedly 4 star, but a bit dirty/old when I was there last. Location OK, but not great. Old Sydney Holiday Inn was good a couple of years ago # it's got a pool and Jacuzzi on the roof - you can see the Bridge & opera house form the Jacuzzi. It used to have a piano / harp player in the bar and a guest laundry (not in the bar!..).

Parade of shops by Greyhound coaches office at Central Station (southside): vegan cafe. Bit of a dodgy area late at night.

Australian hotel, Cumberland street, The Rocks, Scharer weissbier , kangaroo, crocodile and emu pizza's(!).

Admiral Nelson pub: good restaurant, own brews. Kent Street, Rocks area.

Sydney Observatory # tours/guides, good at night.