Get a Taste of Australia in San Diego
A Walkabout Tour of San Diego May Rekindle Memories of an Australian Vacation
Monday, February 28, 2011
Ok, so you've booked your one-week Walkaround Tour of Australia. You're going to spend some time in the cosmopolitan center of Sydney, then travel out to the Outback for some sight-seeing and wrap up your stay on the Great Barrier Reef for a snorkeling and diving adventure like no other. Before you go, take our quiz of Australian slang words so you'll sound like a local while you're there. Every time you take the quiz, you can qualify to win an amazing gift basket of items straight from Australia. Good luck!
South Park Walkabout: Australia Comes to San Diego!
This Saturday evening, March 26, a unique community event in the South Park community of San Diego will feature local merchants offering a distinctly Aussie experience. The South Park Walkabout gives San Diegans a chance to explore the streets of the charming South Park community adjacent to Balboa Park.
Many merchants will be highlighting the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Land Down Under with special food, music, and other items straight from Australia.
So come out for an evening of Australian-inspired food, culture, and fun – right here in South Park San Diego!
San Diego and Australia were practically separated at birth. Both locales enjoy near-perfect Mediterranean weather all year round, gorgeous seaside views, and an abundance of exciting outdoor activities and cultural offerings.
If you recently returned from an Australian vacation and need to get your fix of Aussie fun here at home in San Diego, here’s a one-week walkabout tour itinerary of San Diego that may convince you that you’re back in the Land Down Under.
Monday: Start your weeklong walkabout tour of all things Australian around San Diego with a surf session at one of our town's many legendary beach breaks. Wax up your board and head down to Windansea in La Jolla, Torrey Pines State Beach near Del Mar, or Swami’s in Encinitas. Shoot the curl, walk the nose, and you’ll swear you’re at Bondi Beach in Sydney.
The average ocean water temperature at Bondi Beach in Sydney in March is 74 degrees, quite a bit warmer than the 56 degrees in San Diego's ocean waters at the same time of year. Brrrrrrr.
Tuesday: San Diego and Australia are each home to popular ocean wildlife amusement parks. Oceanworld Manly in Sydney is proud to claim a stunning Great Barrier Reef Exhibit and Shark Dive XTreme, where visitors can actually suit up and scuba dive in a tank with huge sharks. Stay closer to home and spend the day at Sea World in San Diego with Shamu, penguins, and the Shark Encounter.
Wednesday: The Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognized buildings in the world. Who hasn’t seen the sail-inspired roof of the building boldly overlooking Sydney Harbour? The San Diego Opera may have a more modest home on Third Avenue downtown, but it can lay claim to a strong connection to Australia: General and Artistic Director Ian Campbell was born there and graduated from the University of Sydney. Take in a concert in San Diego and get an earful of Australian-inspired opera.
Thursday: Koalas are symbolic of Australia, but we’re lucky that at least some of the adorably furry creatures have made the move to the San Diego Zoo. Take a stroll through our city’s world-famous animal sanctuary and say “G’Day” to the koalas as they while away the day on a tree branch. Don’t offend them by calling them koala bears, because we all know they’re actually marsupials closely related to kangaroos and wallabies.
Need a Drink?
Koalas rarely drink water, instead getting most of their liquids by eating eucalyptus leaves, which are nearly 50 percent water.
Friday: San Diego and Sydney both have world-class waterfronts. In Sydney, visitors can gaze at the impressive Sydney Harbour Bridge. We have the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. Sydney has the Australian Maritime Museum, but closer to home we have the USS Midway Museum. Take a stroll along the Embarcadero shops and restaurants and picture yourself back in Sydney.
Saturday: Plant lovers don’t have to fly to Australia to take in some beautiful flora and fauna. Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens has a close cousin in the San Diego Botanic Garden located in Encinitas and formerly called Quail Botanical Gardens. Spend a lazy afternoon walking along the shaded trails and compare the natural beauty of both places.
Sunday: End your Australia-inspired walkabout tour of San Diego with another attraction both areas have in common: Wine tasting. Australia has the Hunter Valley Wine Country, while San Diegans can sip vintages grown in the nearby Temecula wine-growing region. After a few glasses, you’ll swear you’re in Australia.