Natalie's Australian Adventure
For my first week in Australia I was lucky enough to stay with my friend in Manly, using his place as a base point from which to go on day trips to Sydney and the Blue Mountains. A bit like Reading, Manly is a commuter town for business men and women who work in Sydney. Unlike Reading though, you don't have to commute to work on the packed underground with people's armpits in your face. Here they get the ferry from Manly over to Sydney, which leaves every 15 minutes. Often on the commute workers will be able to see Dolphins. The ferry is great from a tourists perspective as it means you get to see Sydney from the sea, and the ferry pulls up right beside the Opera House. As it's so close to Sydney, it is very pricey. I got myself and Bentley a beer each one night and failed to get any change from $20. Expensive for any Brits travelling, but in Australia the minimum wage is $17 per hour, so for them it doesn't seem so bad. Eating out is relatively cheap though. Most Australians I spoke to said that people eat out a lot in Manly, so the food is cheap but then they make their money back in the high drinks prices. You can see that Manly would be an ideal place to live. The teenagers are constantly skateboarding, which seems almost as much of a national obsession out here as surfing. I failed to get a picture of one teenager I saw skateboarding to the beach with his surf board under his arm! The beach is beautiful and made the few runs that I went on slightly more bearable. If holidaying in Australia I would recommend Manly, but only for one day, and only on a hot day. It's an idea place to escape the city and have a day at the beach, but there isn't much else to do or see around there so don't eat into too much of your holiday time there. If moving to Australia - live in Manly, work in Sydney and make your commute to work a little brighter.