A five-star hotel may sound like the best a city has to offer, but star ratings can be misleading, especially when some of the biggest names in hotels don’t even feature on the list.
AAA Tourism is well-known for its star ratings system. However, hotels pay to be part of the scheme and, as there is no obligation to be reviewed under the system, anyone searching for a hotel in Sydney using the AAA Guide will pass over options such as the Hilton and the Four Seasons.
The cost of travelling to Australia from the UK varies enormously according to the time of year.
To secure a lower fare, The Independent advised travelling from April (after Easter) to mid-June. More affordable fares are available between September and early December too, whilst mid-January up until Easter is also a good time to travel.
With rising house prices and the strong Aussie dollar, Sydney has been named as the tenth most expensive city in the world for expatriates, according to Mercer’s annual Cost of Living survey. Other cities on the list included Luanda, Moscow and Tokyo. Surprisingly (maybe not to the locals), Sydney ranked higher than cities such as New York and London.
Mercer’s Talent Business Leader, Garry Adams, said the biggest contributor for Sydney’s ranking was the cost of housing, with the median house price at $758,000. In June 2013, the average price for an apartment was $491,845.
While housing prices may play a large part in the overall ranking, the general cost of living is not much brighter. The survey revealed that the cost of a movie ticket in Sydney was $19.62, the cost of a fast food hamburger meal was $9.24 and the cost of a domestic beer averages $6.
The food truck phenomenon may just be building momentum in Brisbane, but it’s been the darling of places like New York City for years. That is where Harry and Christine Fleming got their inspiration to start The Bun Mobile.
Capitalising on a virtually non-existent market, owners of The Bun Mobile are setting a high standard for street food performance with their custom selection of Asian marinated meats and locally-grown vegetables hugged between two steamed buns.
As one of the most popular TV shows in Sydney, MasterChef Australia combines excitement, suspense and anticipation with one of everyone’s favourite activities – eating. Time and time again, judging is one of the most fun aspects of the show. And after watching, many people want to be a judge themselves, to let all their senses wrap around every masterfully designed dish and have each ingredient invigorate their palette.
Thankfully, there is no better place than Sydney to be your own judge and to eat like a MasterChef.
Celebrity Chef: Matt Moran
Matt Moran left school at the age of 15 for a four-year apprenticeship to learn classical French cooking. Moran later teamed up with business partner Peter Sullivan in 1991 to open up ARIA, one of Sydney’s premier restaurants. Having been blessed with great fortune, Moran loves giving something back as an ode to what defined his success. As such, new apprentice chefs are hired to work alongside some of the most skilled chefs at ARIA. Moran himself makes sure he provides a great hands-on experience for his apprentice chefs, both guiding them and demanding excellence. Matt Moran is also one of the few Australian chefs to have been invited to cook for the James Beard House, a much revered New York culinary institution.
Filmmaker Stefan Popescu provided his highlights of this year’s of independent films on display at the Sydney Underground Film Festival (SUFF).
As the festival co-director and co-founder, Popescu understands the frustration of working in the film industry and having few mediums on which to display your work because it does not cater to the tastes of the average cinema goer. It is that widespread exclusion that moved Popescu and fellow filmmaker Katherine Berger to create the Underground Film Festival on a shoestring budget in 2006.
The City of Shadows Crime Exhibit combines historic images, mug shots and crime scene photos of generations past. This is combined with the present-day narratives of living community members who can recall the stories behind the pictures. The provocative exhibit makes another run in Sydney this year.
When the exhibit debuted at the Justice and Police Museum in 2005, it caused quite a stir amongst museum patrons and community members alike. People called in tips which helped the museum curator and staff researchers unearth a colourful catalogue of sensational non-fiction anecdotes. These private stories–turned-public narratives gave meaning to images that would otherwise have seemed unrelated.
From the 5th of June 2012 to the 31st of May 2014, the Nicholson Museum is featuring its intriguing exhibit 50 Objects 50 Stories, a collection of pieces that simply have the best stories, according to museum senior curator Michael Turner.
Of the 30,000 possible choices from which Turner could have pulled the exhibit pieces, he was able to narrow selections down based solely on the stories behind the objects. The fifty objects chosen vary in value and rarity. But all have interesting historical anecdotes attached to them.
Sydney Architecture Walks founder Eoghan Lewis takes visitors on architect-guided tours of Sydney’s culture as expressed through the design of the city’s most remarkable structures.
Lewis has designed his Architecture Walks to be anything but the typical architectural tour. No pointing out buildings and regurgitating historical facts. He considers architecture to be great public art.
High above the city, visitors in Sydney Tower will enjoy the most scenic and breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of Sydney available.
Since it first opened in 1981, Sydney Tower has afforded visitors a variety of activities from shopping at the five-level Westfield Shopping Centre, to relaxing in the lounge area of the Observation Deck, to getting a better view of the city in open air by going up to the tower’s Skywalk.