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john2003 Apr 5th, 2003 08:06 PM

6 days in Sydney
We will arrive in Sydney at 745 am on Feb 12 and leave at 630 pm on Feb 18. What would be the best way to make the most of this time?

mick Apr 5th, 2003 09:55 PM

Feb is a good time to spend at the beach - not too hot - check out some of the lesser known beaches like Tamarama, Coogee and the National PArk south of Sydney.<BR>A harbour ride is good value, as the Taronga Zoo, a 1/2 day trip to Manly; a day up to the Blue Mountains; a two day trip up to the vineyards northwest in th Hunter Valley or a day trip up to the Hawkesbury River and environs. If you stay in Circular Quay, you can use the train to get around - pretty comprehensive system. The Botanical Gardens is also great for a quiet haldf day. The Museum is also wonderful. There's heaps to do.<BR><BR>Mick

margo_oz Apr 5th, 2003 10:17 PM

John<BR>Can you give us a clue about your interest? Sport or opera? Fine food vs McDonalds? Beach vs mountains?

john2003 Apr 6th, 2003 10:39 AM

Thanks Mick. We would want to mix experiencing the city with the countryside so had wondered about Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley for a couple of days. We originally were going to have longer and try snorking the GBR but have cut this trip shorter and hope to come back and do more of the country on a separate trip. So this is is really justa 'sampler'.<BR>Are there are any particular hotels in Circular Quay that you would recommend?? We would look for a reasonable 3/4 star property more than a 5 star.

Alan Apr 7th, 2003 02:24 AM

Hi, John2003!<BR>I think your plan for the Blue Mountains is a good idea, and you might be able to spend two days on this and, after a day around Katoomba, go on to Jenolan Caves and spend the night there at Caves House. That way you will be right at the ticket office the next morning when it opens, and you'll have your pick of the best caves. About three different cave explorations will take you to early afternoon, after which time you can start the journey back to Sydney. Best idea is to go to Katoomba by train (a two-hour trip) and then hire a car for the drive to Jenolan... but the last twenty or so kilometres are narrow and winding, so if you're not used to driving a car with the steering wheel on the right, care is needed!<BR>Many people enjoy the Hunter Valley trip, but I don't know whether you's be wise to try and do it AND the Blue Mountains. Certainly the Mountains option will give you more bang for your buck. Another option would be a drive south to some of the pretty south coast beaches, in which case you might enjoy staying the night at Ranelagh House in Robertson.... this is a grand hotel from the pre-Depression days which has been restored to its former glory, and then some.<BR>As for hotels in the Circular Quay area.... the best-located is the Russell. You will look around you and won't believe where you are... right in the middle of the best of Sydney. This is not your usual USA chain hotel, however... it's a tiny place, just three storeys high, and around 130 years old. If you want something a little more &quot;standard American&quot;, there's a Holiday Inn nearby: the Old Sydney Holiday Inn. Do not book the Darling Harbour Holiday Inn by mistake!<BR>If you like the idea of an OLD hotel, however, but the Russell is a bit too hard on the budget, try the Lord Nelson Brewery, in a quiet area at the back of the Rocks.... the oldest hotel in Sydney, and fairly reasonable in cost.<BR>From any of these you can take ferries all day for one Daytripper ticket, and, in February, there is probably no better way to use your time in Sydney. You can also walk across the Harbour Bridge and even do the Bridge Climb. The Opera House is only a few minutes walk away, and a concert there would always be a worthwhile experience.... while the Opera Thatre is often fully-booked, the Concert Hall is so big that there are always tickets available.<BR>Finally, the Spit Bridge to Manly walk is a great way to use a whole day, although you might find it just a bit hot ans tiring in February.... choose a day when there's a breeze!<BR>Have a wonderful seven days!

Rainy Apr 9th, 2003 04:14 PM

Bridge climb is a must do. I also agree with going to the Blue Mountains &amp; Jenolan caves.

LoisL Apr 10th, 2003 07:40 PM

I'd recommend checking out the Renaissance, since it's just up the block from Circular Quay, and we found it to be a great location for heading to both the Rocks area and the Opera house as well. <BR><BR>We enjoyed spending some time walking around Darling Harbour, and the Opera House tour was interesting. We enjoyed doing a lunch at Doyle's at Watson's Bay, which was a nice ferry ride over. From there, we took a bus to Manly Beach, but that took up more time, and that may make a difference to you.<BR><BR>If you're walking through the Botanical Gardens, check out the bats in many of the trees. Actually, at sunset, you'll see the sky fill with large black birds, only they're not birds at all, but 'Flying Foxes', which are very large bats. Despite that, we absolutely loved our stay in Sydney, and do plan to return because it was such a wonderful city, very laid back and friendly.

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