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Starting in Sydney News, Issue #003
July 31, 2009

Discover Lifestyle in Sydney.
Keep up with News about Australia

Starting in Sydney News brings you our latest tips about living in Australia. And a lot of information about things to do in Sydney and its attractions.

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A bush survival story hit the Australian news in July. Jamie Neale, a 19 year-old British backpacker got lost in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. He emerged from the bush, tired and hungry, after twelve days. His father, who had lost hope to see him alive, told the media that Jamie was an experienced trekker. He had learnt at school how to sleep under the stars, how to find his way around, what to eat, how to rub sticks to make a fire.

His skills kept him alive in an unfriendly environment, with very cold nights and food limited to seeds of native shrubs, grasses, weeds, bush berries and nuts. But this is an environment where Australian Aboriginals have lived for tens of thousands of years.

Today there are about half a million people in Australia who are of Aboriginal or Torres Islands descent. These populations developed a strong social organisation very early but they had no political structure. It was very easy for European settlers to take their lands and rights. Things have changed now.

But their long history and strong relationship with the land has taught them survival skills. They learnt to avoid the dangers of the environment and take advantage of what it offered.

They hunted kangaroos or emus. The ocean and rivers provided fish. But those who lived inland learnt to survive on the bush tucker food such as roots, berries, yams.

Australia has unique animals, marsupials and monotremes. The latter are living fossils. They lay eggs and keep their babies in a pouch.

Then there are large birds who cannot fly like the emu and the cassowary and birds who laugh like the kookaburra. Australia is really a unique place.

And it has amazing architectural icons. Sydney Opera House is the most famous of them. It has a number of performance halls which include a huge concert hall, an opera theatre, drama theatre and some smaller venues for musical or theatrical shows. The steps of the Opera House offer an excellent outdoor venue for public events or large concerts with the gorgeous backdrop of the Sydney Harbour.

The construction of the Opera House is surrounded by a lot of controversy: a bold design, very hard to implement, innovative engineering solutions and increasing costs. The sails-like roof structure posed huge challenges to the engineers and builders.

Jorn Utzon, a Danish architect came up with the design without even setting foot to Australia. He saw the pictures of the Bennelong Point site and sailed around a site much closer to him, Hamlet's castle in Elsinore, to help create a vision for the future project. Unfortunately he didn't set foot in the finished building either. Read more here to see why.

Now, if you are visiting Sydney here are some travel tips about parking, motorways and tolls and when is the best time of the week to buy petrol. If you are relocating to Sydney, this page also gives you some information about the New South Wales driving licence.
Thatís all for now. Iíll be adding more pages about life in Sydney and tips on how to make the most of it.

To get them visit my website often. And make sure to read the next issue of this newsletter in one month time.

Until then, have a good one.


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