If you watched TV at all in the late 80’s, you probably saw Paul Hogan slipping an extra shrimp on the barbie in an ad campaign for the Australia Tourism Commission.
When the campaign started, the popular movie Crocodile Dundee hadn’t yet hit the silver screen so most people had no idea the loveable Aussie who encouraged us to ‘Come say, G’day” would become an iconic movie star and lauded screenwriter. His screenplay for Crocodile Dundee, you may remember, was eventually nominated for an Oscar.
What we did know is that a barbie, one of many popular Aussiesms, is slang for a barbecue, a tradition as Australian as kangaroos, the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Ayers Rock.
Having a barbie is a must-do for anyone visiting Australia for the first time. If you aren’t lucky enough to make the acquaintance of a real shrimp-tossing Australian (the actor playing Mick Dundee has of late been rather tied up with a nasty divorce and tax problems) you should consider booking a room at Adina Apartment Hotels, Sydney Central.
Not only does this hotel have all the regular amenities (heated swimming pool, gym, spa, etc.), but it has facilities to throw your own barbie, Australian style. Because each suite is an apartment (complete with kitchen, washer/dryer and a handy place to hang out when your traveling partner is sleeping off jet lag), you can pop into any Woolies (another Aussieism for Woolworth’s, a popular grocery chain), pick up your shrimp (although in Australia they’re called prawns) and barbie away.
The other thing I adore about this hotel, to quote a realtor’s top three selling points, is location, location, location.
From this magnificently-restored turn-of-the century landmark (it was originally an insane asylum and later served as a post office), you are literally minutes from anywhere you might want to go. The Central Train station is adjacent to the front door with regular trains to the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley and, of course, the Great Barrier Reef.
But first you want to take in Sydney, one of the most comely cities in the world. Outside the side door is a free bus that, in 15 minutes, will deliver you to Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House, the Rocks, the Harbor Bridge and anything else you might feel inclined to see.
I particularly appreciated the Adina’s 3 L’s, because, being a fan of quirk, I was in walking distance of the more than 300 ticketed events in the Sydney Fringe Festival Sydney Fringe Festival, a month-long celebration of the strange and the beautiful.
So while there’s a Buckley’s chance (Aussie for no chance at all) that Paul Hogan himself will be available for a Barbie or an earbash (a long-winded conversation), Adina Apartment Hotels are ready and waiting.
And as for Paul Hogan’s commercial, it worked. Before its launch in the United States, Australia was number 78 on the list of American’s most-desired vacation. Within three months of airing, it moved to number three and for two decades it became number one or two on many an American bucket list.
For more about this converted post office with the spacious rooms, the natural light and, yes, the chance to toss another shrimp on the Barbie, contact Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney Central, 2 Lee Street, Haymarket, NSW 2000, Australia, 61 2 8396 9800 or click here.