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Old 02-26-2012, 04:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCC_1 View Post
It depends where in Australia you are. With the exception of a few coastal enclaves, Sydney is very much a fast paced city. Melbourne is more "chilled" but doesn't really have the coastal lifestyle, even though it's on the coast. To explain it better, if you moved Melbourne 200km inland not much would change about Melbourne, whereas Sydney would be completely different.

The most "laid back beach culture" that still offers some opportunity of being in a largish city would be in SE Queensland (Gold Coast/Sunshine Coast).
I'd go Sunshine over Gold Coasts.

In Victoria: Geelong/Torquay is pretty coastal....then there is Mornington Peninsula. Very coastal living, laid back environment and a short drive to surf beaches like Gunnamatta, Sorrento/Portsea surf beaches etc.
With the freeway, 1 hr out of the city as well..


OP: there are plenty of laid back type small beach towns. There not built up though, so work can be a problem.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
No desire to visit Australia. I've been to Europe and South America many and a few times, respectively. I want to be able to rent a car and drive on the right side of the street.

Yeah, I've seen the beautiful beaches on the Australian coasts, especially around a big city like Sydney, but I don't care for the prevalence of great white sharks in the water and that there are more attacks in your waters than elsewhere in the world, not to mention all the other crazy critters that live there. In So Cal, you might happen onto a rattlesnake if you are hiking, and they are not aggressive unless cornered.

I'm from Southern California. I'd say SoCal. There's so much to do within a 2-hour driving radius (Santa Barbara, San Diego, the mountains, the desert, etc.)
Both California and Australian beaches have their beauty. But I certainly wouldn't let the remote threat of dangerous critters or the fact that Australians drive on the other side of the road an issue that would keep me from going back to Oz.

I've been to Australia several times, rented and driven cars with no problem, and did not run into any dangerous critters, in the cities or the Outback. As for California, where I lived for many years, you could die in an earthquake. As the saying goes, six of one, half dozen of the other.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
No desire to visit Australia. I've been to Europe and South America many and a few times, respectively. I want to be able to rent a car and drive on the right side of the street.
And people say Americans are insular.

Quote:
Yeah, I've seen the beautiful beaches on the Australian coasts, especially around a big city like Sydney, but I don't care for the prevalence of great white sharks in the water and that there are more attacks in your waters than elsewhere in the world, not to mention all the other crazy critters that live there. In So Cal, you might happen onto a rattlesnake if you are hiking, and they are not aggressive unless cornered.
Actually, there are more attacks in the US than Australia.

FLMNH Ichthyology Department: World's Confirmed Unprovoked Shark Attacks
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Sydney
206 posts, read 326,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCC_1 View Post
It depends where in Australia you are. With the exception of a few coastal enclaves, Sydney is very much a fast paced city. Melbourne is more "chilled" but doesn't really have the coastal lifestyle, even though it's on the coast. To explain it better, if you moved Melbourne 200km inland not much would change about Melbourne, whereas Sydney would be completely different.

The most "laid back beach culture" that still offers some opportunity of being in a largish city would be in SE Queensland (Gold Coast/Sunshine Coast).

Yep. Sydney is a fast paced city, where people are impatient, frank and tend to be blind to everyone else as they go about their busy day. Yet the beaches and harbour, are the place you go to chill out, and there is a laid back sense in the beach areas.
Have to remember that Sydney is a big city and a financial capital, and is more than the beaches. It is true that cities like the Gold Coast are more focused on the beach as part of their cities culture.


Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Yeah, I've seen the beautiful beaches on the Australian coasts, especially around a big city like Sydney, but I don't care for the prevalence of great white sharks in the water and that there are more attacks in your waters than elsewhere in the world, not to mention all the other crazy critters that live there. In So Cal, you might happen onto a rattlesnake if you are hiking, and they are not aggressive unless cornered.
Ohh come on, these are minor concerns. Are about as ridiculous as it would be for an Australian to refuse to go to America for fear of bear and wolf attacks.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:13 PM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,014,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeandikes77 View Post
I'm an Oz, US dual citizen by descent and looking to sort of start over somewhere new. I've never lived in Australia, but I think it'd be nice to take advantage of that citizenship now! But at the same time, I've always romanticized the perfect weather of California, and of course it's in America (I currently live in New England) so it won't be as much of a culture shock. Though I'm pretty good at adapting. I'm sort of looking for a "teenagers dream" type place, fun with loads of beaches nearby and not hard to get around and a generally fun place.

So I was wondering which place had a more laid back beach culture overall? Obviously Oz is a country with a ton of stuff, but I think it's possible to compare them. California is VERY hospitable in terms of climate.
I guess it depends on what you define as "fun", as that means different things to different people.

I would think if you were aiming for a beach/surfing culture you might go with the coast north of Coffs Harbor up to Tweed Heads. Or perhaps the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane.

If you were looking more for the Orlando type resort "fun" you'd go with the Gold Coast, although I don't find the beach there totally amazing.

California, it's government problems and high taxation/regulation aside, there are parts that are pretty impressive and overall I like traveling there. The diversity of landscapes are more impressive than a similar sized chunk of Australia.

If you are looking for a city in Australia, at least from the ones I've been to, I would think Sydney would be the most beach oriented city.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:24 PM
 
14,752 posts, read 27,513,384 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCC_1 View Post
And people say Americans are insular.
Mostly because I dread a 14-hour flight to Sydney from LA, or 15-hour flight to Melbourne. Also, there's a break in flying to South America at MIA. I always break up the Europe flight with an East Coast change of planes, rather than flying the direct 12-hour polar route from the West Coast.

I wouldn't call someone who's been to Europe about 10 times, including living there, and someone who's gone to South America a couple of times and speaks 4 Latin rooted languages INSULAR. I'm not trying to brag. I've found the places in the world and cultures that interest me and and keep going back with what vacation time and budget I have.

Yes, I've looked at the Univ of Florida shark site a bunch of times with co-workers for at least 5 years. It's great. I also watched "Jaws in the Mediterranean" on the Discovery Channel, confirming great white attacks where people thought there weren't any (they don't have a shark guard shack at the Strait of Gibraltar). The last time I swam way out (depth of 20 or so feet) was in Pensacola FL in 1999. In the summer of 2001, that area was hit by a string of bull shark attacks. I still like the beach, but find I'm sure there's a phobia describing a fear of sharks.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Mostly because I dread a 14-hour flight to Sydney from LA, or 15-hour flight to Melbourne. Also, there's a break in flying to South America at MIA. I always break up the Europe flight with an East Coast change of planes, rather than flying the direct 12-hour polar route from the West Coast.

I wouldn't call someone who's been to Europe about 10 times, including living there, and someone who's gone to South America a couple of times and speaks 4 Latin rooted languages INSULAR. I'm not trying to brag. I've found the places in the world and cultures that interest me and and keep going back with what vacation time and budget I have.
I took your comments at face value. You said you wouldn't go to a country where you can't rent a car and drive on the "right" side of the street. That sort of comment throws up plenty of generalisations about Americans. You sound like a pretty well travelled guy, maybe it was meant to be a throw away remark but it sounded pretty bad.

On flying, there are plenty of places along the way to stop, they usually thrown the stopover in for free. Tahiti, Hawaii, Fiji, New Caledonia etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Yes, I've looked at the Univ of Florida shark site a bunch of times with co-workers for at least 5 years. It's great. I also watched "Jaws in the Mediterranean" on the Discovery Channel, confirming great white attacks where people thought there weren't any (they don't have a shark guard shack at the Strait of Gibraltar). The last time I swam way out (depth of 20 or so feet) was in Pensacola FL in 1999. In the summer of 2001, that area was hit by a string of bull shark attacks. I still like the beach, but find I'm sure there's a phobia describing a fear of sharks.
If you've looked at the site a bunch of times, how come you weren't aware that the US has more than double the number of attacks that Australia has? If you remove attacks at dusk and dawn and Western Australia then you probably find the number of attacks would fall by 75%. Everyone has irrational fears (I hate spiders) but your chance of being attacked by a shark is virtually zero. You have more likelihood of the plane you're on ditching at sea and being taken by an Oceanic White Tip, than you do going for a swim at Bondi.

I was swimming on Saturday in the Harbour in what the depth meter was saying was 20m of water (60ft). I lived to tell the tale!
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCC_1 View Post
You said you wouldn't go to a country where you can't rent a car and drive on the "right" side of the street. That sort of comment throws up plenty of generalisations about Americans.
I don't want to cause an accident.

I was in the UK once on a layover at Heathrow from Italy to the U.S. that departed the next day. (1) On the shuttle to the hotel, I got in on the right side, only to find myself looking at the steering wheel, and (2) While crossing the street in front of Victoria Station, I looked "the wrong way," thought the "coast was clear," and nearly got hit by a car. This was in less than 24 hours.

Thanks for the clarification on the sharks! Within the past couple of years, I learned that Oceanic White Tips are responsible for most of the attacks on humans when vessels sink.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:59 PM
 
2,382 posts, read 3,011,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
I don't want to cause an accident.

I was in the UK once on a layover at Heathrow from Italy to the U.S. that departed the next day. (1) On the shuttle to the hotel, I got in on the right side, only to find myself looking at the steering wheel, and (2) While crossing the street in front of Victoria Station, I looked "the wrong way," thought the "coast was clear," and nearly got hit by a car. This was in less than 24 hours.
C'mon, a guy who speaks four languages is I'm sure capable of learning something like that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Thanks for the clarification on the sharks! Within the past couple of years, I learned that Oceanic White Tips are responsible for most of the attacks on humans when vessels sink.
Yeah, they're not friendly those things. Thankfully, it's rare that I find myself flailing about 200kms offshore.

There were a couple of attacks in Sydney a few years ago, the first in about 20 years. One was a Navy diver training at sunrise, the other was a surfer, surfing at sunset. The Harbour has a fair number of sharks in it but outside of feeding time (sunrise/sunset) they just aren't looking for food. The coastal beaches are even better, because sharks avoid the surf where possible.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:16 AM
 
Location: San Diego
2,858 posts, read 6,200,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
No desire to visit Australia. I've been to Europe and South America many and a few times, respectively. I want to be able to rent a car and drive on the right side of the street.

Yeah, I've seen the beautiful beaches on the Australian coasts, especially around a big city like Sydney, but I don't care for the prevalence of great white sharks in the water and that there are more attacks in your waters than elsewhere in the world, not to mention all the other crazy critters that live there. In So Cal, you might happen onto a rattlesnake if you are hiking, and they are not aggressive unless cornered.

I'm from Southern California. I'd say SoCal. There's so much to do within a 2-hour driving radius (Santa Barbara, San Diego, the mountains, the desert, etc.)

WOW...

There are rattlesnakes at Huntington Beach disc course park, off Goldenwest. Went there last summer and saw two snakes. I also saw snake holes throughout the ENTIRE 2-3 mile park while I was wearing sandals, good times. BTW, your snake aggression info is also wrong. Most snake attacks happen when you don't see them hence camouflage.

The beaches in Australia are amazing. I went to Darwin and Cairns, doesn't compare to SoCal beaches. If you surf, much easier in Australia with bigger waves. Much cleaner water and you don't have to deal with the break as often. IDK, I spent a day at the Great Barrier Reef and it was life changing so I'm bias.

San Diego definitely has nice beaches. Most LA county beaches are gross especially Santa Monica. No one really goes in the water at Santa Monica. Orange county beaches are hit or miss with more hits.
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