Advice Needed-3 days in Sydney

Old Oct 20th, 2006, 09:32 PM
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Advice Needed-3 days in Sydney

I'm taking a SmartTours trip which includes 3 days in Sydney beginning 11/3. The first day includes a driving/walking tour overview. After that, I'm considering the following:

Aquarium (I've visited many in US so it needs to be fabulous)
Powerhouse Museum
Susannah Place
Harbor Cruise
Walking Tour specified by fodors/frommers
Manley walking tour
Quarantine Ghost Tour

I'd greatly appreciate comments on these and any other suggestions of not to be missed sights.
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Old Oct 20th, 2006, 11:21 PM
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We were in Sydney for 5 days and didn't have time to do most of the things you've mentioned, so I can't comment on them. You shouldn't miss the Taronga Zoo. It was great. We took the historic walking tour of the Rocks area offered by Visitors Centre and enjoyed it a lot, as we did walks through the Botanic Gardens and the free guided tour there. The climb up the pylon lookout is a good alternative to the Bridge Climb, and it takes less time and costs a lot less money. We also found the Hyde Part Barracks to be very intersting.
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Old Oct 21st, 2006, 02:19 AM
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Susannah Place is part of the Rocks and a small one. Local history buffs would apreciate it more than most so I would not go out of your way to see it. The Rocks itself will give an overview of life early last century without concentrating to much on Sussanah Place. It was famous in my day for the Sydney Cove Authority deciding the buildings could never be renovated, instead just maintained as is.

Aquarium. If you see one in the US not sure it would be any different in Sydney. Maybe go to the Zoo, just for location sake. No Zoo could possibly be better positioned.

Harbour Cruise. A must do. Though more do the ferry trips rather than the over priced cruise.

Ghost Tour. Go for it. Gives so much history about the social attitudes of Sydney toward immigration in the past, some nice old buildings (though I think some burned down), restricted acess site, so go along with the National Park mob. May see some little penguins, gorgeous location.

Manly. Great Day out, I still enjoy it forty years after my first excursion.

Walking tours. Sydney Harbour is gorgeous. Really is. Any walk arund it should be worthwile.

Have fun
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Old Oct 22nd, 2006, 06:12 PM
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Thanks for your response. I see that there's a walk along Bondi, as well as Manley that's recommended in tour books. Any thoughts about which is better?
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Old Oct 22nd, 2006, 06:53 PM
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Please note for your research that the correct spelling is Manly.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 03:48 PM
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I have done both walks and loved them both but I would tell you at the time you are here there will be the annual sculpture display on the cliffs of Bondi on the actual walk. It is very popular and as you are here then I would recommend you do it. I suggest you do both walks by replacing the harbour cruise with the ferry trip across to Manly which will give you a great experience on the harbour. Have fun !
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Old Oct 24th, 2006, 03:53 AM
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Hi. I grew up in Northern California, and have lived now in Sydney for 12 years.

Sydney is easily walkable, as it's not that big.

I agree also with one poster who said, whatever you do, don't miss Taronga Zoo. I've been to a lot of zoos in my lifetime, and it is the best one, hands down.

In addition to all the weird and wonderful animals, the views toward the city from the zoo are fabulous.

A little tip... ferries are quite a cheap way to get out on the Harbour in Sydney. I would suggest something like the following:

Day 1:

AM - Walk from Circular Quay towards Mrs. Macquarie's chair in the Botanical Gardens. On the way back, stop by and see the opera house. There are some lovely photo opportunities here of the bridge and opera house. There are also some lovely places to eat along the way.

PM - Around Midday, or even a bit earlier depending on how long the walk takes, take a ferry from Circular Quay over to the zoo for the rest of the day. Take the overhead cable cars to the top of the zoo, and walk back down. It's a steep bit of land, so you want to start at the top and work your way back down to the ferry. Then you're positioned to take it back to Circular Quay at the end.

Day 2:
AM - Again, starting from Circular quay, jump onto the Manly Ferry. This takes you on a longer journey around a few points in the Harbour to Manly. Spend the morning in Manly and then come back to Circular Quay.

PM - Spend the afternoon touring The Rocks area and if you have time, go up in the South Pylon of the bridge for a lovely view! If you happen to have a Sunday in Sydney, do the bit with The Rocks on the Sunday, as they happen to have quite a good outdoor market with a lot of Australian goods available for purchase on Sundays.

It's also possible to walk over the bridge from The Rocks to the north side. It's not a long bridge and takes maybe half an hour. You could do this later in the day, and have some dinner over in Kirribilli on the other side of the bridge. It's lovely there! You can then take a train back to the city proper... it's only 1 or 2 stops to where you'll probably be staying, and doesn't cost much.

Day 3 could be spent in many ways. I would forgo the proper Harbour Cruise, as the ferry is cheaper and you see just as much if not more.

I have also never been to the Powerhouse Museum, because every friend of mine who has ever been there has said it's boring as sh&t. Disappointing, because I love the Exploratorium in San Francisco, but apparently the Powerhouse is just not up to par.

I have heard about the Quarantine Station Ghost tour, but I don't know anyone who has ever done it. It's viewed as sort of a secondary thing to do if you run out of other things to do. But if it's your kind of thing, then by all means go for it.

As for the aquarium, it IS pretty fabulous.. not as fabulous as the zoo, but it is pretty good.

The aquarium is over in Darling Harbour / Cockle Bay Wharf area, and so there is plenty else to see over there.

They have also just opened another Wildlife Park that is competing with the zoo over there. BE SURE to see the zoo, but you could also do this if you feel like it. I'd leave it for last in this area though.

Darling Harbour is also only a stone's throw away from Sydney's Chinatown which is quite alright for some Dim Sum if you're there the right time of day.

Finally, Sydney has double-decker red tourist buses that you can jump on and off at any point on their route. You can see a lot that way, so it's worth looking into.

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Old Oct 24th, 2006, 08:08 PM
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Well, I've done the Quarantine ghost tour - and it was interesting - although tiring (I'm not that fit!)

Very few tourists do it - mostly locals - so from that point it may be worth your effort!

margo (ever a tourist in my own city!)
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