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Monkeypanic

Australia (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

Australia - Louise Bostock Lang Part of me doesn't like travel guides because: A) I'm cheap, and B) if you rely on these to plan your vacation, then you'll just end up having the same experiences as everybody else. But what's the alternative? If you're going someplace you've never been, you kind of need some sort of reference that tells you about what's worth seeing. You have to do some sort of research before you arrive, or else you'll be at the baggage carousel with your luggage, wondering "Okay... now what?"So they're kind of a necessary evil. I like the DK series, because it's filled with lots of pictures, and I have a short attention span. Here's what most travel guides look like: And here's what DK looks like.See?Apart from that, I don't read travel guides enough to appreciate much difference from one to another. If you're going to Paris, no matter how unconventional/hipster you are, you're still going to want to see the Eifel Tower, and every guide book is going to have a write-up about it. You just want a book that kind of tells you how to get there, and maybe a few blurbs about when they built it, etc... so this book is just fine for stuff like that. So my wife and I went to Australia last month, and this is the book we used. To be truthful, the best part of our trip was when we met up with friends who actually live in Australia, so we didn't use the guide book too much. Ian knew where all the good bookstores in Sydney are, and that's important to us...but we did use the guide for a few things, and it was entirely satisfactory. I guess the rest of this review will be a transparent excuse to post some vacation pics. Vacation pictures are like baby pictures, in that most people love their own, but have a limited taste for other peoples'. Ima post some of my own because you're welcome to navigate away from this page at any time. Here are some things we enjoyed, which are featured in this book:That Polish Restaurant "Na Zdrowie" in GlebeDelicious food. Even thought they lost our reservation, and the place was too loud to hear ourselves talk, I would still recommend the place to anybody.The Royal Botanical Gardens (Sydney)Nice peaceful atmosphere, and lots of cockatoos everywhere. In addition, there's this giant stone "chair" overlooking Sydney harbor, called "Mrs. Maquarie's chair", where the colonial governor's wife (Mrs. Maquarie) used to sit and watch for ships coming in. I guess she was pining for England, but who can think about England with all the cool birds in this park?Elizabeth Bay HouseA well-preserved mansion from the early colonial days. The book probably tells who Elizabeth Bay was. The owner of the house, I'm guessing.New South Whales Art GalleryNice collection, but some of the sculpture sits upon pedestals which really aren't as stable as they look. They really ought to do something about that.Circular Quay district (Sydney)Shopping area down by the waterfront. We stopped in on a cool art gallery which featured modern Aboriginal art.OUTSIDE OF SYDNEYWe didn't use the guide as much. I'm not sure why, but the book did hook us up with a cool digeradoo music performanceKing's CanyonA beautiful canyon off the beaten path, about midway between Alice Springs and Yaluru, in the "Red Centre". A nice place for birdwatching.A cool hiking trail near Kata Tuja...And a walk through the Daintree Rainforest, outside of CairnesI guess that's all I'll subject you to here. If you want to see more, you'll have to come visit me in person.