The Land Down Under might be far off, but that doesn’t keep it from keeping up with the times, which are as geek-friendly as they have ever been. Whether science is your mistress, design is your inner demon, or pop culture is your god, Sydney has much to offer apart from the regular sightseeing. So here are a couple of choice locations, categorized by interest, and may the odds get you there favorably soon!
Guest Post by Tara Djoric
THE MANGA FAN
The Chinese Garden of Friendship is not your average botanical garden. This venue is the unlikely spot of tranquility, located near Darling Harbour. The entry fee is $6, but once in, and armed with a fresh haul of manga, one could spend the whole day here, chilling by koi ponds and discovering secret passageways. The Teahouse within will keep you satiated with tea and dim sum, so why would you ever leave?
THE DESIGNER/POP CULTURE KNOW-IT-ALL
One of Sydney’s biggest attractions is The Powerhouse Museum, a huge contemporary museum in the city sweetheart – Darling Harbour. The Powerhouse caters to visitors of all ages and interests, in a non-cheesy way. Techies get their computer science exhibitions, star-gazers get amazing astronomy exhibitions (to go along with their visit to the 19th Sydney Observatory), designers can choose between photography, history of advertising, costumes, media, design… whatever their passion. But the Powerhouse runs on its blockbuster exhibits – these temporary showcases focus on pop culture, and have in the past carried entire sets from fandom franchises such as The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars. They have also displayed truly beautiful exhibits about Princess Diana, Faberge, and pop culture royalty – real and honorary. You know what else the Powerhouse has that is cool? Interactive workshops. They are usually meant for kids, but as an adult, I feel like I have the right to attend a metalworking workshop in an actual museum.
THE DRAMA NERD
The Sydney Opera might be the poster child of Australian must-sees, but no self-respecting nerd will settle for a mainstream show. Musicals are all the rage once again, and the Capitol Theatre is a great place to enjoy one! Wicked is currently on, a show that needs no special introduction. February will bring New Yorker phenomenon Shen Yun to the stage for a few days, continuing into the ballet masterpiece Swan Lake (20-28 February, not a long period, but if you’re in town…), and March will bring Les Miserables. Has a musical ever had such a cult following as Les Miserables, ever since Hair?
THE PINTEREST GEEK
What about stylish places to stay? Does anybody even do hotels anymore? Sydney has an abundance of excellent hostels, but if you would rather go somewhere a little safer and more private, as most people who are not students anymore usually do, then Sydney has its share of boutique hotels. These provide their guests with all the attention and service they would get in a regular hotel, but they are more intimate, they look infinitely better, and they have that Pinterest-worthy vibe that you had better bring your good camera for! Why even mention this? Because we know you like getting repinned. Everybody does.
THE CREATIVE TYPE
Now, whether you’re an artist or a hipster, or any random tourist, The Rocks are everything to Sydney’s creative youth. Located in one of the oldest parts of the city (seriously, there’s even a pub called The Fortune of War, dating back to ancient history in the early 19th century, when white men started inhabiting Australia). If you have any notion of London’s Camden district, you will understand The Rocks – all the innovation, creativity, and culture of this metropolis is compressed into one neighborhood. What can you do here? Walk down Sydney’s historic paths, drink local brews, buy artisan delights galore, and participate in an impromptu street play, and that’s on a slow day!
We are excited to have Tara writing a double feature on Geeky Australia for us here at acollectivemind.com.
Check out Tara on Tumblr and come back next week for a look at the comic book scene Down Under.