3 weeks in May -Sydney/Canberra

Old Apr 18th, 2008, 10:15 PM
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3 weeks in May -Sydney/Canberra

We have first week of May in Sydney, then 1 week in Canberra and 1 at northern beaches of sydney. Will have a car for last 2 weeks and would appreciate help with any good places to drive through or visit en route.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 03:37 AM
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Wow, one week at Sydney's northern beaches, this is an area which is so undeservedly ignored on this forum. Whereabouts on northern beaches, bevzy? I did live there for about 40 years.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 04:30 AM
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I live there now. Drive up to Palm Beach and take the Postman's ferry around Pittwater.

Good to see you're back on line Pat

Nice casual, local thing ... drive up to the Newport Arms (pub) and have a meal looking across Pittwater.

If, as Pat says, you tell us where you're staying, we'll be happy to give you some ideas to enjoy our part of Sydney
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 04:05 PM
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We-my partner and I will be staying with an old friend of his at Avalon. We will actually be there I think for my 60th on a saturday and I would like to think of something memorable to do rather than sit watching footy!!
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 04:35 PM
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bevzy - Avalon Beach is where I come from, its a lovely area with surf beach on one side and calm waters of Pittwater on the other. Nice restaurants, for a top pizza go to Lucky and Pep's - I could go on and on about it but am sure your friend will be able to fill you in.

As bokhara has suggested a visit to the Newport Arms is almost mandatory - Newport is one beach suburb south of Avalon, and the pub is on the Pittwater side. Between Newport Beach and Avalon Beach is a lovely smaller beach, Bilgola - a sort of micro climate there gives it a tropical feel.

Happy 60th!
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 06:28 PM
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Many thanks to you both-will enjoy all your suggestions. Also is there a good drive from Canberra up that way-any interesting places en route please??
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 08:00 PM
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How long will you have on your drives to and from Canberra, bevsy? That will have a bearing on your options.
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Old Apr 20th, 2008, 04:28 PM
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will have to drive straight to canberra first but will drive around when there for few days then back in a couple of days perhaps? to avalon?? Just wondered if any places worth a stop or scenic bits etc
Still hoping for more good ideas for something special to do in the day for my birthday around Sydney or north beach on a saturday as will not have the family around! I dont think the postman would deliver on Saturday??
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 03:18 AM
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OK, you have some options.

First the Sydney-Canberra trip: take the direct route, which from downtown Sydney is the M5 motorway past Sydney Airport, which becomes the Hume Highway, then just after you pass Goulburn about the 200 km mark hang a left on the Federal Highway which about 90 km on will see you in Northbourne Avenue, Canberra. An easy 3-hour drive. You'll need $3.30 (last time I paid) toll for the M5. Either throw the exact change into the basket or pay at the manned gate.

On the way back to Sydney you could go back up the Federal and Hume Highways and about halfway to Sydney take the Illawarra Highway through Kangaroo Valley to Jervis Bay (assuming you'll have a raod map I won't bother with detailed directions). Overnight at Huskisson, giving yourself time to check out the pristine white sands of the bay, take a short coastal track walk to stretch your legs, or you may even have time to take a dolphin-watching cruise, although you'll probably see the resident dolphins cruising by the beach anyway. Next day, take the Princes Highway north to Sydney, cross the harbour by the bridge and head up to Avalon via the Spit Bridge.

BTW, don't be fooled by the term Illawarra "Highway" - the last leg is a fairly twisty 2-laner down the escarpment, slow but scenic.

While you're in Canberra there's a lot to see depending on your interests - check out www.canberratourism.com.au, and on your way into the city pull in at the tourist info centre on Northbourne Avenue - it's on your left, just after you pass the first major intersection (identifiable from the Telstra building on your left, which has pink window shades). You can check out any special events, exhibitions, a guide to local wineries and so forth there. If you'd like to become acquainted with Australian flora you'll enjoy a couple of hours at the National Botanical Gardens.

From Canberra you can drive east to the South Coast via Queanbeyan and Braidwood - Batemans Bay is a 2-hour drive. After you cross the bridge over the Clyde River, turn left immediately into the main drag of Batemans Bay and park in the first parking area you see on your left. It's next to a pretty good fish-and-chip shop where you can also buy the excellent local Clyde River oysters.

From the Bay you can drive south to one of the many beaches - a very nice and relatively unspoilt stretch of coast.

Another option id to head south from Canberra to Cooma (a bit over an hour) then across to the coast at Merimbula via the dairy country around Bega. That's about a 3-hour drive and you get several changes of scenery along the way.

Another option is the Snowy Mountains, about 3 hours south of Canberra via Cooma and Jindabyne to the alpine village of Thredbo. There won't be any snow this time of the year but it's a nice drive, albeit a bit longish for a day trip.

Then there's the inland pastoral country to the SW/W/NW of Canberra, another scene entirely with many characteristic country towns like Cowra that show evidence of their 19th-century glory days with substantial post office, bank and railway buildings. It's a sad fact that very little we're building these days will last so long or look so good.

That's a start, anyway. Enough for now, maybe.

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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 04:29 AM
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if youre a dog lover then get yourself to bayview to the dog beach - its a pretty spot with a lovely cafe too
check by googling which weekend the lighthouse is open at palm beach - the view is wonderful
you can do the manly walk too - lots of places to start it - ask any local
check out bowral on the way to canberra - some yummy cafes and interesting little shops
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 07:22 PM
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wow thanks so much esp Neil for all that info. Will use all these ideas.
I love fodors in fact am totally addicted each time I go anywhere. Fantastic!-help I must get off this computer and clean up sometime soon.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 03:36 AM
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The advice on places to see, things to do and routes to Canberra etc. is all great but nobody has mentioned the weather!!
At present Sydney is experiencing much, much rain and it's also cold!!! This is not usual as we often have great weather at this time of year, a sort of Indian summer. But, unless the weather improves in May it will be darn cold in Canberra so bring a warm jacket as you'll need it.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 03:58 AM
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thanks joode-was planning to bring warm gear for canberra but hope the rain disappears for us. We live in Manjimup southwest WA -we know all about cold here.
Am so grateful for everyones help.
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