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A round up of my first week in Sydney

by Gillian Scholes

I cannot believe my first week in Sydney is over already, but what an incredible first week it has been. From the Harbour cruise and Blue Mountains to the beaches and nights out, I have definitely seen and experienced some of Sydney’s best attractions in just a week. It has so much to offer; being able to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life to the surrounding beaches, which must be one of the main reasons so many travellers settle in Sydney.

Our final night out was on the ‘Route 69 Party Bus Pub Crawl’; I have never experienced a bus pub crawl but with 5 different bars and clubs with a free drink in each, it was not only the best way to check out the nightlife in all the local spots but also the messiest. Its funny how some people come out of their shells with a drink, bit of music and a bus pole!! Our last stop that night was a well deserved McDonalds, best way to end a night as we all stumbled home.

The following day we went on a surfing experience day, I officially feel like a true Aussie now that I can say I have been surfing…to those experienced surfers who love nothing better than sun see and surf, I now know why you love it so much. Okay, given that I probably only caught three waves, it just felt cool to be wearing a wet suit and carrying the board. Our instructors, JayJay and O where probably two of the coolest people I have met and would like them as my new best friends. From the stereotypical blonde wavy hair to the ‘no worries’ attitude they fulfilled every part of my surfing dreams. After a brief demonstration, we all headed out into the ocean thinking it doesn’t look so hard, just ride the wave, however after an hour we were all knackered and having laughed at each other’s failed attempts and spectacular falls we were glad to be riding our jeep back over the sand dunes and home to Wake-up.

As for Wake Up Hostel – it pretty much offers everything you could want or need from a hostel plus more. The rooms are a good size and the shower areas are constantly cleaned (even through the night, when you sleepily walk into a man cleaning the toilet, sitting down before realising). The cafe is open all day and the downstairs nightclub offers cheap drinks, quiz nights and movies plus it helps that you can just fall into bed after a heavy night. The staff are really helpful, giving advice on where to go and what to do; the hostel even offers free day trips such as beach and city tours – perfect if you are new to Sydney or looking to meet people. Its great being in a hostel you can relax in and I have met so many different travellers that you never feel alone and most of the time you meet travel buddies to carry on the adventures with. All in all I would recommend Wake-up to those first time travellers, those looking to have fun and those who want a relaxed, clean and comfy shared environment.

  1. Kevin permalink


    This all sounds amazing. I am looking to come over in October and find work ASAP, the reason being I need to save cash to pay for Physiotherapy registration which I intend to sort out around December before I apply for skilled immigration and set up permanently.

    Few questions:

    Does this sound like the right program for me? Is it much harder just do find a job off your won back?

    What is the likelihood of finding a job within the first week or two?

    And would the company have nay insight into finding Physio work?


  2. Rashmi permalink


    I have read the above comments! sounds amazing! Im all booked to go and was just wondering how easy is it to find jobs and accomodation etc? As that is a worry.


  3. Jasmine permalink


    Did you go on your own or did anyone you met because I really want to go but I’m a bit worried about everyone knowing people and just being on my own.

    Also I will just have finished sixth form and will only just be 18, was there a mix of ages in the group you met?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hey Jazmine!

      Thanks for having a read through Gillian’s blog, doesn’t it sound fantastic!

      I wasn’t sure how long it would take for a reply, as Gillian is one of our travelling interns and is off having lots of adventures! So I thought I’d reply on her behalf.

      I work for Gap 360 and was lucky enough to do this intro week in Sydney in November. Although I didn’t stay for the whole year, I got an amazing feel for what it’s all about.

      Most people on the trip are travelling solo, I was as well and found it so easy to make friends. You get a buddy list before you go, which is the perfect way to get introduced to everyone in your group. I already had about 15 people added on Facebook before I even arrived!

      We mainly get 18 – 25 year olds booked on, so you certainly won’t be the only 18 year old!The guides that look after you for the week are also absolutely fantastic and make sure everyone is having a good time.

      If you have any more questions, I would be more than happy to go through everything with you! Please feel free to email me directly –

      Georgia x

  4. beckee permalink

    hi i have read about your trip and it sounds amazing 😀
    but i was wondering about work out there, was it fun and were you colleagues nice ?
    i was also wondering not sounding rude or anything but how much did it cost you overall to go ?
    plus how much spending money would i need ?
    i hope you can get back to me, as i would love to book this year 😀
    thank you

    • Gillian Scholes permalink

      Hey Beckee,

      Thanks for your comment, really pleased you enjoyed reading the Blog I’m glad it was helpful for you 🙂

      Working out in Australia is fantastic! The most popular option is working in hospitality because it’s generally one of the most flexible jobs. Being able to work shifts means you’re able to enjoy the days and the evenings, which is perfect because there is always so much going on.

      Everyone in Australia is so friendly and have found employers are generally well adapted to travellers looking for employment on a short term/flexible basis.

      The first week makes it so easy to meet friends, so many people end up living with people they met during the ab oz

      Having £1,500 spending money is plenty if you’re wanting to find work within the first few weeks. Some people had more and decided to go off travelling up the coast before settling down, finding out where they wanted to live. Others found work and somewhere to live soon after the week and settled down in Sydney for the foreseeable future.

      All in all, with the intro package, visa, flights, insurance, spending money and the other unexpected expenses that you generally come across (back pack, shopping, lonely planet book, good bye parties etc!) it’s probably around £3,800 in total. Which actually isn’t too bad for a trip half way across the world, for a whole year!

      I hope that’s helpful. Get in touch with the Gap 360 team as they’re really happy to help and most of the office have been there so can talk through their experiences as well, which is really helpful.

      Have an amazing time! Which i’m sure you will 🙂

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