How to Keep Your Cool through the Christmas Season

In Australia the Christmas – New Year period is awesome and intense. The country comes to a stand still, no one is actually working (anyone at the office is just pretending to work) and 99% of the country seems to be at the beach. It’s an amazing time of year to kick back, relax and catch up with friends and family. The issue is that crowds don’t always = relaxation. So here’s my advice on how you can have your cake and eat it (have it all).

Don’t go to the main beaches

Sydney has a load of beaches that are amazing but it seems like everyone heads to Manly in the North and Bondi or Bronte beaches in the East. These are great, but if crowds get your undies in a twist then you should find some secluded alternatives. Shark Beach (don’t fear the name) is a great harbour beach, so is Cabbage Beach over in Manly (less secretive) but there are loads of secret Sydney beaches to explore that can save your sanity this summer

Go to some cool bars

Australians love a drink, but during the holiday season the big bars and pubs are pretty packed out with revellers getting their fill. Unless you like standing 3 deep in a queue for the bar, it’s a good time of year to go off track. Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth all have little areas tucked away that won’t be so packed. Chill out in front of a jazz band, pay $18 for a cocktail in a pretentious Melbourne laneway bar just to get away from the VB swilling (local beer) idiots.

things to do

Don’t Travel on the ‘Bad Dates’

I learned the hard way once. We drove from Sydney to Byron one Christmas holiday season, I believe it was the 26th. My theory was that everyone will be too full from Christmas and and relaxing so we can get a jump on them. An 8 hour trip took 15. Bumper to bumper traffic along state highways. It was hellish, luckily we didn’t have my old car and had a new rental because we were passing overheated cars on the side of the road the whole way. If you have to travel on these dates, get on the road at early, maybe 3/4/5 am at the latest.

Control your Family Exposure

I love (most) of my family, however it can get a little full on after a while. My sage advice is to visit them, don’t let them visit you. This way you have control over when to pull the pin and return to the sanctuary of your own home. This might sound a little harsh, but it’s just a little advice that can help to preserve your sanity if you’ve suffered in the past.

family time at christmas

Don’t Go Out on New Years

Generally it sucks, the streets are full of trashy drunks and the bars are gross. Get a house party together and watch the madness from the safety of a balcony. Watch the fireworks, have a BBQ and leave the carnage to the idiots.

I’m no expert but these are a few of the things that I’ve learned the hard way in the past. I hope this makes your holiday season that little bit smoother.


Australian Living

How Living in Australia can Spoil You

Australia is a great place to live, there is a relaxed culture, people enjoy a good work life balance while people live almost entirely along the edge of the country meaning most live close to the beach. The arts, food and culture scenes are strong because of the diversity of migrants that make up the country.

Cultural Mix

As I just mentioned, Australia is a young country made up of migrants from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Food is a natural winner from this, in little pockets of every city you will usually find a Vietnamese, Lebanese, Greek or Italian neighborhood with great food. Restaurants are varied, a tad on the expensive side for western food, but Asian is super cheap and always a huge favourite.

The World’s Most Livable Cities

Australia is blessed with some great cosmopolitan cities that are regularly rated as some of the most liveable in the world – what does this mean. Well some people who clam to know a thing or two about grading these sorts of things get together each year and vote. Melbourne has topped the World’s Most Livable City list for the last 5 years, while Sydney and Adelaide are consistent top ten nominees.

City vs Suburban Life

There is a tonne of stuff to do in the main centers in Australia but as you head further out of town the options really drop off. The suburban sprawl in Australia is the same as many countries around the world. Middle and lower income families live further than 15km from the city center because real estate in these proximity is expensive, in fact it’s some of the most expensive in the world. That’s not to say there is an issue with these areas, it’s just that you’ll need a car and be prepared to travel. Some of the perks are wide open space, access to bush walks, uncrowded beaches and wide open expanses for walking your dog.

Why Does this Matter

Because for those of you visiting this great country of ours there is a lot to see and do outside of the Sydney Opera House and Uluru (aka Ayers Rock).

Who am I

I’m a regular dude with a passion for everything and a very weird skill set. I can fix a roof, cut your hair, reprogram your computer and change a nappy.

What’s with the Manikins reference?

For those of you who rock a 9-5 like me, you might be familiar with the concept of being an office drone. Well me and my friends use the term Manikins and it’s kind of stuck since.

This is a lifestyle blog site that follows very little guidelines because we have enough of those in our lives as it is already. If you live for the weekends like I do then there is something in here for you.

Comment and contribute so I know what everyone wants to hear about.