Views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House that money can't buy.

The meaning of life, as Australian playwright David Williamson once wrote, is never debated in Sydney because they all know what it is: 'Getting yourself water frontage.' Yet one of the quirks of the real estate-obsessed city is that some of the best views of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour belong to the helplessly poor (and now the backpackers too).

Because now, there's a spanking new YHA, (Youth Hostel Association) which opened its doors just weeks ago, close to the Park Hyatt, the city's priciest hotel, so you can wave your money belt at the overcharged toffs! For minimal cost, guests can rub their eyes in the morning to views of the harbour, the Opera House, the Bridge, and Fort Denison. You can have a rooftop BBQ and play a part (albeit briefly) in the quest for which, Williamson wrote, locals 'devote a lifetime'.

However, some essential lingo before you go: it's not called the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it's the 'coathanger' and the monstrosity of an apartment building blocking the view of the Opera House is 'the toaster'. Now you're a local, mate, go forth and conquer!

Sydney Harbour YHA www.yha.com.au has doubles from £66 per night (room only) and shared rooms from £23pp. Family rooms have TVs and there is a guest kitchen, laundry, dining room, internet and WiFi, coffee bar, and bike storage.

For flights log on to www.quantas.com.

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