One of the best things about travelling is getting to meet great people and have a bit of a chat; to learn about their lives, their jobs, and also pick up a few top tips about what to do in their neck of the woods.
Today I’m introducing a new series to Adventures All Around. I’ll be asking some of the great people I meet on my travels Ten Questions and sharing them with you guys.
First up we have Andy Richards from Understand Down Under Tours…
What’s the best thing about your job?
In all honesty, meeting people like you! My favourite times are being out of the office, exploring the bush, swimming at the beach or getting creative with night photography, but most of all its sharing those experiences with all sorts of people from all over the world. I love it when people embrace life and want to learn, see and do as much as possible.
If you could change one thing about your job what would it be?
More of the above! Less time working in the office.
What’s something about your role that you wish people understood?
I guess that it’s not all fun and games. Being your own business there’s a lot that needs to be done in order to make the good stuff possible.
What’s your favourite thing to do on your day off?
I like to exercise and also to hang out with friends and family… I often try and combine both! I’ve recently started running to visit people, I’ve already ran to visit my god kids from Bondi to Parramatta, and next on the list is visiting my Pop in Erina, via the Northern Beaches and Bouddi National Park.
If I get more days off I’ll travel. I haven’t been overseas in a while, but I’ve been enjoying ticking off parts of Australia.
What’s a cheap and cheerful food secret you (usually) only tell your friends?
Crunchy peanut butter and corn kernels. Its perfect when you come home after a drink or two, haven’t been able to find a meat pie or kebab, and want a quick meal without waking everyone up. The crunchy peanut butter gives you what you crave, and the corn gives you nutrients. Just open a tin and jar, and go from one to the other with a spoon, being sure to include the corn juice because imp sure its full of electrolytes. Most people don’t like the idea of it, but when they try it they change their mind. Plus you wake up feeling great!
If money was no object, where would you go for lunch or dinner?
I’d go to The Fat Duck, because Heston Blumenthal is my favourite chef. I love how he combines creativity with science. It also would get me back to Europe!
Where do you take a friend when they come to visit?
Either to the Eastern Beaches (Bronte is my favourite just down the hill from me), or to the Royal National Park. I know that’s where I go for “work”, but I love it more than anywhere else in Sydney, so if people I know are “visiting” Sydney, I try and make sure that they get to it. The fact its only 30km away means that you can spend a full day doing all the fun stuff, canoeing, bushwalking, swimming etc. I’d go into it more but don’t want to sound like I’m giving UDU a plug, but definitely an incredible place to visit. I even took my Pop there when he was 95! Although I didn’t feed him peanut butter and corn
What’s the best shopping experience in town?
I’m really not much of a shopper, although I do seem to have an addiction to buying lights and camera gear.
Is there a local tourist cliché that’s actually worth doing?
I guess just exploring Sydney on foot. Sydney is such a beautiful city, that even though places like Circular Quay and Darling Harbour are touristy, they are still “must dos”, I’m also a massive fan of including a walk to Lady Macquarie’s Chair, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Hyde Park, as well as the Bondi to Coogee Walk. Another must do is the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly.
Is there a tourist attraction nearby that you can’t believe you still haven’t visited yourself?
Good question. The first thing that came to mind is the Hang Gliding at Bald Hill. It the best place to hang glide in Australia, and we actually offer it as an option on our day tour. I’ve always really wanted to do it myself, but still haven’t done it. I think this will be the year I do!
Amanda met Andy when she took part in one of his Night Light Painting tours, as a guest of Triptide
You can also check out travel tips from astronomy lover and lecturer Ian Ridpath, who Amanda met chasing the northern lights in Norway.