ikeahacker uluru

Published on April 17th, 2007 | by Jules Yap


i promise not to run around like a whacka tourist

ulurumajor digression in this post. that’s because i’m in the midst of researching my big outback adventure and decided to pick the brains of those of you who have been to oh-so-delectable-mr-jackman‘s homeland or lucky devil you, actually shared the same air space with him in his pre-hollywood days.

i’ll be down under for 2 weeks in july. sydney for a week’s conference and then, 7 footloose days in alice springs, uluru and darwin, not necessarily in that order.

the last time i was in sydney, i totally didn’t know where to head for great food and got lost trying to find the famed australian-melt-in-your-mouth steak. is it true? is it really droolworthy? please tell me it’s not a myth.

also, is it a good time for the outback in july? what are the must see’s and do’s? besides the spectacular uluru of course. should i do the harley davidson or the 4WD trip? barbecued kangaroo or grilled croc? hugh or julian? decisions, decisions. but oh what fun.

whacka: australian for idiot

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Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

22 Responses to i promise not to run around like a whacka tourist

  1. Daniel says:

    I’m really surprised nobody has pointed this out yet, but the word is WANKER, not “whacka”. It means something more like ‘loser’ than ‘idiot’, though its exact meaning refers to masturbation (“wanking”). See also ‘tosser’, same meaning.

    Anyway, within Australia, Sydney is known for really amazing Thai food, like Longrain and Darley Street Thai. If you want really amazing steak, though, try Neil Perry’s restaurant Rockpool – dry aged wagyu beef. That’ll do the trick. :)

  2. Matt says:

    Jules, are you coming back this year or was the conference a one-off?

    We go to one in Sydney each July, totally awesome.

    Anyway, Melbourne’s nice anytime and probably makes more sense in (our) winter: It’s chilly, and the football in its element, consuming the city each week with irrational fervour and shouting.

    Sydney’s pretty nice though in July – consistently a few degrees warmer than Melbourne.

    Make some time to visit the Rocks in Sydney, and make sure you enjoy Darling Harbour too: it’s commercial but a nice space.

  3. Jules says:

    Hey Matt
    yes, that’s the one i’m going to and it’ll be my first time attending. can’t wait. :)

  4. Jules says:

    oh angie, i would love to sit at the table hugh waited on :P but alas, it’s not along the route.

  5. an9ie says:

    Oh! Jules! You are not coming to Perth, where Hugh spent much of his time studying theatre at WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) and waiting at tables at some restaurant here whose name I can’t remember.

    http://www.yourrestaurants.com.au is a great place to suss out restaurants. If you are in Newtown (Sydney), go eat at Oscillates Wildly. Awesome, awesome food. Hope it’s not too cold and rainy when you go!

  6. Jules says:

    oh wow. i can almost taste it already. *drooling*

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey.. I’m from Sydney.. Just got home after a long ANZAC day at the pub playin’ 2up and drinkin’ beer. I’m from Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and there’s plenty of good food and drink round here. Even the local supermarket can sell you a melt in the mouth steak.. As long as you have somewhere to cook it. Other than that, there’s Kingsley’s in Woolloomooloo for an expensive but delicious steak and plenty of pub grub that tastes great – The Rump or New York cut at the Grand National in Paddington (Over the bar) is excellent.. but basically, anywhere you go, the produce and meat, should be superb. Have fun.. hope you enjoy yourself. Pete.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If you are looking for a place for a fabulous steak try Ribs & Rumps on Manly Beach in Sydney http://www.ribsandrumps.com.au/menu.aspx The aged steaks are melt in your mouth good.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The Sydney Morning Herald has a website so bloody awful it’s almost unusable. However by clicking around I was able to find this page
    On the right you will see a search box for finding restaurant reviews. Enter steak.
    Top picks include
    Prime reviewed twice in 2005: “The fillet cuts like mousse, tastes as dark and rich as chocolate, and will spoil you for other steakhouses forever. “
    Bond Cafe: steak sandwich
    Bayswater Brasserie: Kings Cross.
    BTW better hope it rains – the Prime Minister who until a few weeks ago was denying global warming – has now told us we will starve if there’s no rain in the next 6 weeks.
    Maybe you’ll have to BYO water.

  10. Ivy says:

    Nah, we just think it’s cute. ;-)

  11. Jules says:

    oops, another shining example of foreigners mis-using aussie slang. does it just grate you guys with us tourist going around saying (or rather trying to say) G’day? :P

  12. Jules says:

    gosh, this is great. i am getting so many new interesting ideas and not the usual tourist trap.

    annadee, that looks sumptuous. i love melbourne and is my fav aussie city thus far. too bad i can’t go there this time round.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am from Australia, though from the West! July is a nice time to visit Uluru. It is winter, so the nights can get very cold in a desert environment, but the days reach 20′C (about 60 – 65′F) mark which is still good weather! Later in the year you would find very hot temperatures, high 30′C – low 40′C (90 – 110 ‘F)and it wouldn’t be as enjoyable. Oh, and I think you mean “whacko” tourist, not “whacka”. Don’t say whacka, people will think you are saying something else rude!

  14. annadee says:

    You’re heading for the wrong city I’m afraid! If you’re looking for good (affordable) eating you should be going to Melbourne! There, you can also get the best steak in the world.

    Unfortunately July is not the best time to visit Melbourne unless you are waterproof.

  15. Anonymous says:

    We went in June 2000 and it was the best vacation we ever took.

    Up near Darwin: In Kakadu, the must-do is the crack-of-dawn Billabong Cruise — absolutely worth getting up hella early for. If you have time, you could drive down to Katherine (about 3 hrs south of Darwin) — Katherine Gorge is absolutely beautiful (a good full-day mix of hiking, boating, and (no kididng) stopping for tea). The town is nice, and there are also some hot springs there — pleasant way to spend some time.

    In the Alice/Uluru area: if you want authentic outback, stop at the Curtin Springs station (much cheaper than staying at the overpriced Uluru park hotels). The Alice Springs Desert Park is pretty neat. I really liked the Royal Flying Doctor Service museum. Other than that, we liked just knocking around town.

    Have a great trip!

  16. Jules says:

    hey peeps, thanks for the great ideas. and for the top on hugh. i shall get my stalker gear ready. :)

    simon, might take you up on the pizzas if time permits.

  17. Anonymous says:


  18. Richardson says:

    I am not sure if July is a good idea depending on where you come from.

    In Asia, July is considered a cold month to visit Aussie, since it is their winter. However, Winter to them is nothing compared to those in USA. Temperature there seldom fall below 0 degree celcius. which is warm for winter by USA standards.

  19. B says:

    We went in May or last year, to most of those same areas. If you’re doing Uluru, make sure you do the “Sounds of Silence” dinner. Also, don’t do tours around that area, if you can rent a car and drive yourself, it’s much better. While you’re at uluru, make sure you also see Kata Tjuta, which is just about as impressive. There was a great little restaurant in Alice Springs – best meal of our trip came here, at the Bluegrass Restaurant in town, a neat little place which uses blackboards to display the menu and seems to be a mix of Greek, Mediterranean, Australian and Thai cuisine.

  20. olya says:

    Boyfriend and I took a 3 week trip up the coast from Sydney to Cairns, using a rented campervan. It was perfect for 2 people.

    I’m not sure if a week is enough to see Uluru and Darwin – kind of far. But, do what you’d prefer doing, of course :-)

    FYI: July will be chilly in the south. Mostly rainy, 15C or so.

    One beautiful, gorgeous place is Fraiser Island. We took a mass trip (i.e. sharing a car with other people), but I’d recommend in hindsight renting a car just for yourself. Fraiser is about 2 days worth of time.

    Cairns is gorgeous – specifically, Cape Tribulation national park. Really cool birds too (cassowaries, specifically).

    Golden coast (Brisbane, Surfer’s Paradise) is very, very touristy and commercial. However, Brisbane has a great Koala park (seeing koalas in the wild is unlikely).

    My friends traveled to Uluru and Darwin – I think they flew out there, and rented a campervan.

    And not sure about the steak… beef was very expensive there, as far as I remember. Going out in general, however, is cheap compared to North America.

  21. SimonTest says:

    Well if you’re gonna be in Sydney, give us a way to get in touch and organize a beer or three. I can recommend a great pub that brews its own beers and serves pizzas with both our national animals on top.

    As for sights, well despite being an Aussie I’ve never been to Uluru. I would just ask that you respect the owners’ wishes and not climb it.

    You can contact me here:

  22. Anonymous says:

    Did you know Hugh and Nicole Kidman are shooting Baz Luhrmann’s “Australia” for about six months in a few weeks? From what I’ve read, it will be Sydney for two weeks starting April 29, then Bowen (substituting for Darwin) and perhaps Darwin from May 15-end of June, and then Kununurra and Western Australia July onward. Check out http://www.australiamovie.net and http://www.bazthegreat.co.uk for all sorts of info!

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