best of new south wales

Old Jun 7th, 2007, 09:20 AM
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best of new south wales

visiting sydney for 10 days and planning 4 full days in Sydney, 2 nights at Lilianfels Blue Mountain Resort and a night/day at Hunter Valley. Ending the trip with 2 additional dyas in Sydney. This is for late August. Should we consider an alternative to the Blue Mountain/Hunter Valley excursion? Thanks very much.
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Old Jun 7th, 2007, 03:13 PM
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The Blue Mountains are fantastic for walks and even the views from the lookouts (if you are less mobile) are really breath-taking. I wouldn't take that destination out. The walks also vary enormously from the lower end of the mountains to the top end (Blackheath).

I'm not a fan of the Hunter Valley, I don't much like the wine from that area, and I don't find the landscape particularly appealing. That said, it is a winery close to Sydney suitable for an overnight. Perhaps others can give you the argument for the Hunter Valley.

If you wanted an alternative side-trip you could easily have an overnight stay in Canberra.
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Old Jun 7th, 2007, 03:14 PM
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Whoops, that should say "wine-growing area" not "winery."
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Old Jun 7th, 2007, 08:27 PM
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Extend your blue mts/hunter excursion by one night at port stephens...check out the koalas and go on the whale /dolphin cruise.
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 05:02 AM
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So you have six days after leaving Sydney. Look if it were me I'd go on a road trip, over to the other side of the Blue Mts - go to Jenolan Caves; carry on to Mudgee (maybe visit some of the old gold mining towns); round to the Hunter - yeah you could take in Port Stephens too, and return to Sydney.

You'd have to like the journey for its own sake and maybe not be too fussed about a bed for the night. Though you will doubtless find some nice B&Bs in Mudgee. I mean where you go, and what you see, is more important that where you stay. The small towns; the landscape - and do it your own way.

That'd be my trip. It may not be yours.

Have fun.
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 05:29 AM
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Thank you for the replies. Susan, I am now investigating Canberra rather than Hunter Valley. Do you think the visits to the Blue Mountains should be day trips in and out of Sydney. (if so, car, train, tour????) If the area is only 90 minutes away, maybe that would be best with a home base in Sydney. I have just received literature form the Quay West suites... not as fancy as the Observatory but the views look stunning. I appreciate your candor. Thanks again.
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 03:23 PM
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You can easily hire a car and do a day trip to the Blue Mountains, particularly during the week. Just don't do it on the weekend as the traffic on the way back in the afternoon and evening is usually really bad. The road narrows to one lane in a number of places and the traffic can be bumper to bumper down the mountain. I'm told if you leave later about 8 or 9 pm it's not so bad.
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 03:40 PM
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Just noticed there's another thread on getting to Blue Mountains that will help decide whether to go by train or car.

If you decide to stay overnight in the mountains, I just came across this site with historic hotel recommendations. If you are a foodie, Collits Inn is often recommended by the local food guides.

http://www.nationaltrust.com.au/holidaysguide.html
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 09:04 AM
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While a visit to the Blue Mts can easily be done in a day, I'd consider an overnight stay if you go as far as Jenolan Caves (which are great by the way). Also keep in mind some of the great places outside of the rather touristy Katoomba area...the fantastic panorama from Govet's Leap (near Blackheath) is one such place.

I am a big fan of the south coast and Southern Highlands. If you go to Canberra, don't miss seeing some of this area en route. It's even worth seeing on its own as an alternative to the Hunter (which I agree is not that spectacular scenery-wise) The highlands area is easily missed if you just take the main road to Canberra. Among the sights: Fitzroy Falls, Bungonia Gorge, Kangaroo Valley, Jervis Bay and some nice little towns as well. There's even spectacular scenery as you approach Sydney from the south, e.g. the Sublime Point Lookout, Stanwell Park and the Royal Nat'l Park.

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