Weather in Sydney for World Youth Day travellers

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marg's Man, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    Yesterday's Good Morning post got me thinking that a number of you apart from KateM will be sending loved ones here for World Youth Day.

    I have just sent KateM a PM but I got to thinking - we are, literally, for most of you on the other side of the world. It is the dead of winter here and even the stars are different.

    The big thing for the kids will be the weather. I was watching the news last night as the first planeloads of pilgrims arrived dressed for whatever the weather was like where they came from. Nearly all were freezing their 'bits' off because a light shirt and shorts does not cut it in what is the coldest it gets in Sydney. By northern hemisphere standards it is not that cold but it still a shock. My new offsider at work is Irish. He got here last November straight out of their winter into (for us) a mild summer and he is FREEZING his a** off.

    So here's my advice:
    Make sure they have the right gear for the weather. Summer there is winter here. It won't drop below freezing; but even 10 degrees Celsius above freezing can be very cold to someone who was in 80 dgrees Fahrenheit 24 hours earlier
    Show your kids these links:

    They are the Bureau of Meterology forecast website for the Sydney area and the rain radar scan for 128km (80 miles) around. Don't be scared by the temperatures, they are Celsius but it is still plurry cold.

    The kids really need to have layers of clothing that they can peel off in warmer places indoors.

    The other thing to watch is quarantine. We have a unique biology here and want to keep it that way. Religious items of wood especially (such as crosses or icons, rosary bead), holy water (it may be blessed but it may not be sterile) plus arnage of other things are subject to check. Also don't bring ANY food in (even off the plane).

    If in doubt ASK at the declaration counter, there won't be a problem even if you declare a prohibited item, okay they'll confiscate it but you won't get into trouble. The quarantine people are really helpful but if you try to put anything over them then there WILL be trouble. We had a campaign here a few years ago by Steve Irwin. As he said "Quarantine MATTERS!"

    Australians are in general easy going, friendly people who love to pull a visitor's leg. I hope your kids enjoy our country.

    Just look out for the Drop Bears.

    Marg's Man
  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Thanks for the suggestions.
    I know just going from our southern states to my home state causes packing dilemma's. I am always over dressed or freezing. Going from northern hemi to southern hemi would be especially difficult.

    Good idea about quarantine. You would hate to lose your precious possesions due to the restrictions that protect countries from outside critters. (wish they would have kept fire ants out of our country- no natural predators here)
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    husband & I were talking about this tonight. Plus today, when I drove mother in law to the doctor's, we were talking about husband's niece from interstate who is also coming to Sydney for World Youth Day. She is being billeted well out of the city, a good hour's drive to the north. She's loaded up on thermal leggings, vests, a down sleeping bag etc. They are apparently spending at least one night sleeping in the open at Randwick Racecourse. From my own experiences of sleeping on the ground, even in warmer weather - unless they have GOOD insulation between them and the ground, even a down sleeping bag is going to be cold. OK, maybe there'll be no frost on the ground, but it will feel like there ought to be.

    So the outcome of the conversation between husband & me tonight is - if any of you have kids coming to World Youth Day and you want them to have an emergency contact over here, PM either one of us. We'll give you an email address you can use.

    We doubt that there will be any need because the kids will be well looked after by the organisers, a great deal of stuff has been put in place to make sure that everything goes well. But in that event - it's another link, another string to the bow. A phone call from one land line in Sydney to another is a local call (single charge of about A$0.50, unlimited time). Mobile phones are more expensive.

    If you are sending your child with a mobile phone, check costs of making calls. We found when we went to New Zealand last year that it was cheaper for us to call one another in New Zealand by using a pre-paid SIM card we bought on arrival in New Zealand. We made sure we used up all the credit before we left. To call back home at any time, we swapped back to our Aussie SIM and it became an international call. But to use our Aussie SIM in New Zealand would have meant MAKING an international call from one phone, and RECEIVING an international call with another, even if we were only a few hundred metres away from each other!

    Also, make sure that any phone you plan to swap SIMs with, is NOT network-locked. My phone was network-locked which meant that in New Zealand is was about as useful as a brick. A single phone call to our service provider before leaving Australia could have had my phone unlocked so I could have swapped SIMs.

    So rug up, tell the kids to pack their thermals, plan to buy ugg boots at Sydney airport on arrival if necessary and maybe add a Drizabone to the shopping list (like a cross between a trench coat and a raincoat - they keep you warm and dry). Aussie ugg boots are generic, there are cheap synthetic ones but for best winter warmth get the ones made of sheepskin. You can get good ones almost knee-length for A$160. I live in mine, in winter. I wore mine last year in the snow in New Zealand. Uggs are ugly, but warm. If they get wet, do not dry them near heat. Just stuff them with paper and wait. They will still keep you warm, even if they're wet.

    And don't forget the camera, of course! Even in cold weather, Sydney is a beautiful place.

  4. KateM

    KateM Member

    Thanks so much, Marg and Marg's Man!! Daughter is packing now and the links and tips are much appreciated.

    I sent the Quarnitine link to the trip organizer/youth minister a few weeks ago -- it was great info as she was planning on taking a suitcase full of snacks. ( Now they will just buy the food in Australia) It was also good to know about the wood; we wouldn't have thought of that. The teens are bringing rosaries and crosses, so we got the word to them -"no wood". ( The tour operator did send the same gov't link this week to the organizer, but it was helpful to have the info in advance, so thanks again!)

    This is a trip of a lifetime! easy child worked hard to save for this; she is so excited to visit your beautiful and exotic country!
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's getting exciting here, too. And I'm speaking purely from a secular point of view. The radio this morning was giving details about road closures and special traffic provisions for a number of routes, not just near the racecourse. They explained that a lot of things are planned that will be happening in various places around the city, including further out of the city. And this means that your daughter should get to see a bit more than just the racecourse, which is good.

    The Pope has been in retreat I think on the Southern Highlands (I think it's been snowing there, which doesn't happen every winter) and arrives in Sydney today. Either that, or the retreat is yet to happen - I don't know.

    I hope your daughter will have a good map with her, so she can explore a bit in any spare time they have. From where she is staying she will be able to walk to St Mary's, which has just been restored. It's made of classic Sydney sandstone in a neo-Gothic style, right on the edge of some of Sydney's earliest buildings. That entire street is going to be closed over the next week, they said. The museum is on that street as well (worth a visit, if she has time). It's the next block up from the cathedral, away from the Harbour. Going the other direction - Opera House is just down the road. Definitely worth a visit, even if it's just to walk around and take photos of the Bridge (our "coathanger").

    She needs to be a bit wary of tourist shops - they charge more. But where she is staying, it will be harder to find more conventional food shops. She should enjoy the fresh fruit & veg - strawberries are in season, they're cheap right now. And the Aussie kids will hook her into the Tim Tam slam at the first opportunity - that's hot chocolate drunk THROUGH a Tim Tam biscuit (choc-butterscotch biscuit with choc cream filling, double-dipped in chocolate).

    They have people at the airport shuttling the kids in the direction they need to be going. Extra staff have been put on to help everyone onto the train; the buses; the private transport; the reporter on the radio was on the spot, you could hear the cheering going on from the kids arriving. A lot of the more conventional passengers were either getting caught up in the enthusiasm, or trying to duck to one side to avoid it. Our news on TV is full of the latest arrivals, so I'll watch tonight - not that I have a clue what she looks like, of course!

    Don't worry, we'll look after her.