7 nights in/around Sydney--looking for suggestions

Old Jul 15th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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7 nights in/around Sydney--looking for suggestions

i'm very excited to say that my tickets have been booked for Australia (early Dec)! I've never been and the husband was once when he was about 13. Now, the real planning begins!!

After spending 4 nights in the GBR area (specifically to scuba), we'll have 7 nights remaining in Sydney. We are definitely planning side trips to the wine country and blue mountains. I would LOVE any hotel recommendations for those destinations and any other suggestions on nearby areas to visit.

THANKS much for the help/guidance!!!! Did I mention how excited I am??!!
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Old Jul 15th, 2009, 05:42 PM
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In the Blue Mountains, I like to stay further up the mountain. The walks are much less crowded, even on the weekend. The Imperial Hotel at Mount Victoria is one of my favourites. If you are a foodie try Vulcans at the nearby township of Blaxland.

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Old Jul 15th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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There's a fabulous place in The Rocks (Sydney) for an introduction to Australian wines, whether you're a novice or wine buff. Set in an historic building, it's a unique concept incorporating food, tasting and 'nose' rooms, and a visual tour of some Australian wineries. I was there on the weekend and was most impressed.

For your Blue Mountains trip: You might consider incorporating Susan7's suggestion of going beyond Katoomba, with a trip to Orange. www.orange-nsw.com It's only about 90 mins drive from Mt.Victoria and is a most interesting area, with some excellent wineries.

It would be an easy way to take a lesser travelled route, see some wonderful country and see some of the architectural legacies of our 'golden eras'; the gold rushes of the 1800's and the wool booms of the 1950's.

There are some excellent restaurants there too - Selkirks in Anson Street and Lolliredini spring to mind.

If you decide to stay a night, there's a very charming B & B right next to Selkirks .... La Cotehele. http://www.orange-nsw.com/Cotehele.html
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Old Jul 15th, 2009, 07:38 PM
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Hey Bokhara, I went to Wine Odyssey last weekend also, after going to the Ricky Maynard show! Both were great. Anyone in Sydney in the next month Maynard's portraits of the Wik elders at the Museum of Contemporary Art are really worth seeing.
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Old Jul 15th, 2009, 07:52 PM
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"I would LOVE any hotel recommendations...."

We liked the Holiday Inn - Old Sydney
1. Great location in The Rocks (several blocks to Circular Quay)
2. Moderately priced
3. Awesome view from the rooftop pool (Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay)
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Old Jul 18th, 2009, 08:26 PM
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thanks all! i'll follow up on all of the reccos!
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Old Jul 19th, 2009, 12:32 AM
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Thanks Susan7,
Took your tip & saw the Wik elders' portraits today. Some of those faces are haunting aren't they?
Good exhibition of Ikats on at the AGNSW at the moment, too.
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Old Jul 19th, 2009, 10:08 PM
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The Rocks area in Sydney is really lovely and Darling Harbour is gorgeous too ....but if you dont mind a short bus trip (10mins or so) inner city Sydney suburbs Newtown and Glebe are lovely too....great atmosphere, huge selection of cafes and restaurants, hip and happening....id look at hotels in those areas too!
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Old Jul 20th, 2009, 04:59 AM
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Agree with Susan about the Blue Mts - the main town (Katoomba) is very touristy and I would think it would be worth your while to explore a bit further afield. Dont miss the lookout at Govett's Leap (near Blackheath) - there are nice walks there as well. Also Janolan Caves, further inland - very popular but very good.

I particularly like the coast just south of the city, including the Royal National Park, Stanwell Park, etc. Gorgeous beaches (some very secluded), sea cliffs, etc. There is an excellent lookout over the coast and the city of Wollongong just off the main highway at Bulli.

In the city, by all means do not miss a walk from the Opera House through the Botanic Gardens and around Farm Cove to the point called Lady Macquarie's Chair. Not only are the gardens very enjoyable, you'll love (and recognize) the stunning postcard view of the Opera House with Harbour Bridge as backdrop.
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Old Jul 20th, 2009, 11:55 AM
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Hi Lisa,

I'm so jealous - Sydney is a favorite destination of mine! I wanted to share this guide to Sydney & surrounding areas, full of tons of great activities both within the city and outside (for example the Blue Mountains are included in there) - it was written by a tour company with tons of experience in Australia and these are their top-picks for must do's in Sydney (of course you don't have to do these with that specific tour company - it's just ideas!)


One thing I'd definitely recommend is climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge and I agree with Ralph, you should definitely check out Lady Macquarie's Chair.

We stayed in the Park Hyatt Sydney which was a definite splurge, but it was a once in a lifetime trip so we wanted to live it up! I'd definitely recommend it if you're willing and able to splurge as well!
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Old Jul 21st, 2009, 07:28 PM
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My family recently had 4 nights in Sydney - we only live an hour or so north of the city - and enjoyed a harbour cruise. Would recommend the afternoon tea variety as the food on the lunch cruise was not the best. It's a great way to appreciate the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Kirribilli and Admiralty House. We enjoyed the convenience of the hotel in the city booked on Wotif.com . (We always book our holiday accommodation here and are never disappointed in securing some good rooms) We had 2 nights at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains and would recommend the Toy Museum at Leura and time taken to explore this township. Also we loved the Jenolan Caves if that's your thing. Katoomba offers many touristy rides from which you can view the 3 sisters and stunning views of the valley. You could easily spend 3 nights in the Blue Mountains. Will you have a hire car? Without this, you are a bit limited as to what you can see. Enjoy!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Ralph beat me to suggesting Royal National Park for a visit. We've spent time on Lady Carrington Drive there, the first time lucky enough to get a good look (and ear) for the Lyre Bird but you have to be there early...we weren't the second time There are tons of walking trails, and a nice beach at Wattamolla (sp?)

Has anyone mentioned doing the Spit Bridge to Manly walk yet? That was one of the favorite things we did from Sydney. Take a bus or cab to the Spit Bridge then find yourself walking along beaches, up on cliffs, through neighborhoods, until you get to Manley where you can either lunch and linger or hop on a ferry right away back to Sydney.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 04:00 AM
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get to bondi beach south end and have dinner or at least a drink at the restaurant there where the icebergs used to train
the locals will know it- theres only one place there along the narrow footpath

the lights of bondi soften the view
nice atmosphere and youmight see one of our celebrities and not recognise them lol

for a nice day out petting native animals head out by train to featherdale farm
it is more intimate than taronga
ask at the train station but i think it is at doonside
west anyway - out in the suburbs so you will see the real australia

go shopping at birkenhead point - seconds and discounts..nice water views too and a nice pub- drummoyne rowers
or go to homebush factory direct
DFO it is called
near our olympic swim centre

have dinner at centrepoint tower
go just before dusk so you can see sydney and then the lights
the revolving restaurant is quite fun
there are two to choose from
one is more expensive

walk darling harbour and cockle bay

have a pie one day at waterloo not far from botanical gardens at harrys pie cafe - it is just a wagon basically but is a must

centennial park is nice too for a morning or afternoon stroll

we love palm beach and whale beach too
theres a lovely lighthouse at palm beach -check when it is open
the view is wonderful

west head is a great place too for photos

have a wander round the harbour bridge - get to northsydney station and then ask locals to direct you to blues point
go to the end and you will a narrow strip of parkland
a lovely walk and fantastic views of our harbour

for some nice seafood try doyles
or head out to berowra waters for lunch

do try to get a day trip to kiama in
great fish and chips there down near the water
it is south of sydney but worth the drive if you get a car or bus
south coast is very pretty

central coast is nice too
lots of beaches

or you could get yourself to brooklyn and catch the ferry over to lovely patonga beach and have lunch there

there are lots of things to do

im off to the central coast for the day tomorrow- killcare and hardys bay and the weather promises to be goooood!
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 04:04 AM
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oh forgot
do the bondi to clovelly or even to coogee walk along a path that takes round the cliffsw
very safe and plenty of people around
takes you past a cemetry at clovelly then you can walk the streets to coogee where there is a memorial to the poor folk who died in the bali bomb blast

have a break at bronte beach midway - great cafes there
anytime is nice
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 03:53 PM
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If you go to the Hunter Valley, be sure to check out the restaurant/inn Shakey Tables. http://www.shakeytables.com.au/index.shtml We dined there during our trip in November, 2006 and had a wonderful time and meal. We were surprised, however, that many places, both in the Hunter and further on in Adelaide Hills were only open on weekends.

In Sydney, we stayed our first few nights out at Coogee Beach at the Dive www.divehotel.com.au/ (be sure to book a front room) and then moved in to Sydney proper at Simpson's at Pott's Point.www.simpsonshotel.com We loved the neighborhood of this great B&B. There were great restaurants and good transportation, but we usually took the long walk down to the quays through the wharf area, the domain, and the botanical gardens.
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Old Jul 29th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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Definitely do the beach/cliffs walk that lanejohann mentions - you can start either at Bondi or Coogee (my preference was always to start at Coogee and end up at Bondi, maybe stopping at Icebergs for a drink). If you dont want to do the whole 6 km, you can pick up the trail at Bronte or another beach along the way, though the full walk is wonderful. You'll pass little inlets where you can watch surfers or snorkel, and salt-water pools and beaches where you can jump in the water to cool off, so wear your swim suit! There are some points where the "trail" is simply a road or parking lot, but as long as you hug the coast it's impossible to get lost.

In Sydney, a walk across the Harbour Bridge pedestrian path is free, and is a good alternative to the pricey bridge climb.

It's a little further away, but you could also consider renting a car one day and heading south to Jervis Bay, for some beautiful beaches and dolphin watching.

Try potato wedges dipped in sour cream and sweet chili sauch....it's one of my favorite Aussie snacks and I haven't been able to replicate it yet in the US!!

Where are you basing your GBR dive trip(s) from? If diving is your priority, definitely do a liveaboard boat for a night or a couple of nights. You'll get so many more dives in, including night dives
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