Australia in 9 days

Old Jan 31st, 2009, 11:55 PM
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Australia in 9 days

We recently booked a trip to Australia for nine days, with Sydney as our base city. We want to venture outside of Sydney, but with only nine days our destinations are limited. Where do people suggest we should go for day trips or two day trips?
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Old Feb 1st, 2009, 12:07 AM
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The most popular side trips are: the Blue Mountains (good for bushwalking/hiking) and the Hunter Valley (a wine growing area north of Sydney).

Another possibility is Brisbane Water National Park and take in Woy-Woy (ignore Spike Milligan's comments) and Pearl Beach.

I have driven to Canberra and back to Sydney in the same day to see exhibitions at the National Gallery, but for a tourist at least an overnight would be advisable.
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Old Feb 1st, 2009, 04:00 AM
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In addition to the areas mentioned by Susan you have national parks on Sydneys door step north and south, Kuringai Chase and Royal National Parks - http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/Na....aspx?id=N0019 and you can link from that site to other national parks.
There are ferry services that can be used in conjunction with the RNP and also one that takes you from Pittwater around into Brisbane Water/Hawkesbury Mouth as well as harbour ferries.

A ferry across to Manly for north head walks or one to Watsons Bay for south head walks can take up the better part of a day, couple with walks about the rocks area rather than walk yourself off your feet there in one day.

http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en...sults&cd=1 provides links to ferry services.

There's a Hawkesbury River Postal Service from Brooklyn you can reach by train - http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2006/...871546416.html - no web site but a telephone number at the end of that article.

The Blue Mountains is a very busy place these days and you may want to give yoyrself some more time and also take in staying a night at http://www.jenolancaves.org.au/ and check out the caves.
http://www.featherdale.com.au/index.htm is down at foot of blue mountains

and of course there's http://www.taronga.org.au/ where you can do a sleepover with the animals! - look under planning your visit.
And for somewhere else a bit different, already tents erected at http://www.cockatooisland.gov.au/camping/index.html

And if you do not mind a little slumming it over Pittwater way, www.yha.com.au Pittwater is a hidden gem.

For two-three day trips you could look at tacking Port Stephens onto the Hunter Valley, a magnofocent harbour - think Sydney with far less development!, sandune boarding and camel rides along with superb seafood.
And then you could find time to head a little further north to Forster/Tuncurry if you want to mix it in the water with some dolphins.

Or head on in RNP and then keep heading south down through Kiama, Berry, Ulladulla and mix it with some wildlife at http://www.murramarangresort.com.au/ and have enough time to head a bit further to Mogo and Tilba Tilba, maybe on to staying at Merimbula and then take a day driving back, checking out what you missed.

www.travelmate.com.au will help you with some planning.

Nine days or nineteen?
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Old Feb 1st, 2009, 07:24 AM
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whereabouts...at what time of year will you be in Sydney? Nine days will be a good amount of time to explore the city and surrounds. If it were me, I'd use about half the time for seeing the city itself, and the rest for exploring further afield.

Definitely take a trip inland to the Blue Mts, maybe staying a night (or two), depending on what you'd like to do. My suggestion would be to start off from Sydney early, tour the major attractions in the Blue Mts and then make your way to Jenolan Caves for an overnight there. Tour the caves in the AM (they are great!) and make your way back to Sydney in the afternoon. Everyone goes to Katoomba in the Blue Mts, a bit too touristy for my liking, though the view from the Three Sisters is wonderful. Dont miss Govett's Leap near Blackheath - an awesome vista, and a little more out of the way.

The other trip I suggest is a two night trip to Canberra and back. Again, get up early. Rather than taking the expressway all the way to Canberra (normally about 3.5 hrs drive), take time to explore the pretty towns and attractions of the Southern Highlands area en route - e.g., Bundanoon, the Echo Point Lookout (and others), Fitzroy Falls.

Being the national capital of Australia, there is much to see and do in Canberra, which can easily fill up a whole day.

To return to Sydney, I'd suggest two options 1) the longer one - driving to the coast via Braidwood and Bateman's Bay and neading north via Ulladula, Jervis Bay (fantastic beaches), Berry and Kiama. Dont miss the great lookout over the ocean at Sublime Point between Sydney and Wollongong. 2) head back to Sydney the way you came on the Federal and Hume Hwys, turn off at Moss Vale and head for the coast via picturesque Kangaroo Valley.
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Old Feb 1st, 2009, 07:44 AM
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Old Feb 1st, 2009, 12:19 PM
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Great suggestions from Ralph, if you decide to drive back from the south coast via Berry and Gerringong take the detour to the National Park at Minnamurra Falls. It's an easy 1 hour-2 hour round walk with great rainforest.
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Old Feb 1st, 2009, 09:54 PM
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Thank you so very much for all the insightful suggestions! I shall bring all this back to my traveling buddies.

And to answer Ralph's question, I'll be traveling in July, which I hear the weather is pretty mild that time of year.

Thank you again, and happy travels to all.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 03:09 AM
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" And to answer Ralph's question, I'll be traveling in July, which I hear the weather is pretty mild that time of year "

Sorry to disappoint you but though you could get lucky and find some milder days earlier in July it is much more likely to be trending to the miserable, especially up Blue Mountains way and down at Canberra.

I'd suggest if you have no particular reason for heading to Sydney, you give it a big miss or at most just spend a couple of day sthere and hightail it for places with better weather.

Take a flight to Uluru[Ayers Rock Airport] and thence to Cairns.

Or head to Cairns and split your time between there and Whitsundays - http://www.whitsundays.com.au/

Have a look at www.webjet.com.au for internal flights or check www.qantas.com as they are doing some promotional deals at the moment and check out the Aussie Pass as a tack on.

If you stick with Sydney, pack a bit of warmer clobber and a waterproof coat/jacket.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 04:23 AM
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As for weather in SE Australia in July, think mid-autumn in the northern USA. Not miserable in my book. Often the weather is cool and crisp; days often warm up into the 60s. Blue Mts and Canberra are somewhat colder, but snow is rare, except in the higher ranges (the Brindabella Ranges and Snowy Mts SW of Canberra).

You wont be sunning on a beach, but I think you'll find the weather overall to be quite peasant and suitable for touring around.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 05:51 AM
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I have said trending to miserable and any clear days will still be barely 60 coolish and if by chance there has been some snow in the alps [and that not out of the question in the Blue Mountains though an infrequent event], think chill factor!

Prevailing winter winds being from south, southwest and west bring decidedly cooler weather as far north as Brisbane and beyond and it'll more likely be down to closer to 50F in such conditions and a bit lower again in evenings.

It is certainly not the weather that Sydneysiders appreciate and Queensland benefits from in many heading north for a holiday.

I'll agree to disagree with Ralph on it being quite pleasant and it'll only be suitable for touring around if you like to have a car heater on.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 08:56 PM
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Again, thank you for all the knowledge and tips! I grew up in Northern California, so 50 degrees is just about the same temperature as our temperate summer months. Definitely tolerable, but I am curious about the rain fall in the Sydney and the surrounding area.
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