Best Sightseeing Tours Sydney

Feb 4th, 2003, 05:09 PM
  #1  
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Best Sightseeing Tours Sydney

We will be in Sydney around February 20-25. Anything going on during that week's time that we should see. Can someone recommend any particular sightseeing guide, tours, etc.? Thanks!
jandb is offline  
Feb 4th, 2003, 05:39 PM
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Hi, Jandb!
I tried to post an answer to you at an earlier question from you, where you mentioned 5 days in Sydney, but the reply disappeared into cyberspace. This has happened a lot to me since the registration started -- very discouraging! -- so I hope this attempt is more successful!
It is still summer time at the end of February, so be prepared for bright, sunny days... bring sunglasses and a hat. Most of the time, you will do better with a do-it-yourself tour, as Sydney is well-served by public transport, and if you start the day by buying a Daytripper Pass, you can travel on ALL local trains, buses, and ferries for the one purchase -- $13.40 per day.
Where possible, see Sydney by ferry. In one day you can take four or even more ferry rides, and if you choose well, you will see every corner of Sydney Harbour. The longest ride is the Rivercat to Parramatta... about an hour each way. The best is to Manly -- half an hour each way, but you will need to spend another hour strolling around Manly. The main ocean beach is as good as Bondi Beach, and the trip to Manly is much nicer!
Sydney is a small, compact city; every time I say that, I get jumped on by someone telling me that it goes for about 40 km in three directions, but these are all dormitory suburbs of various degrees of ghastliness (the further from the centre of Sydney, the less attractive) which you won't need to see. One day of good walking, starting at the Rocks and finishing at Darling Harbour, from where you can catch a ferry back to the Rocks, will show you all the best parts.
Make sure you and your husband do the Bridge Climb, a very popular attraction with posters on this site. Expensive, but a highlight. Try to go up just before it gets dark, so you will see the lights come on all over the city as you come back down. Then stroll around to the Opera House and get tickets for the 8 p.m. performance in the Concert Hall.
Try and get out of the city, to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. This is easy to do without a tour -- the train leaves hourly (a couple of minutes after the hour) from Sydney Terminal, and takes about two hours each way. There are buses at Katoomba Station to take you down to Echo Point, from where the best walks begin and end.
I had other ideas on the last, unsuccessful post, but I am worried that it might be the length of the answers which causes the "new" Fodor's to reject them (and I am a boringly verbose person!) so I might be best to send this as it is. Have a great holiday!
Alan is offline  
Feb 5th, 2003, 07:42 AM
  #3  
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Alan -- thanks so much for the information. People can be so helpful -- I love it! We found out about this trip yesterday, which leaves us 2 wks to plan -- so especially appreciate your answer. Any more suggestions feel free -- jandb
jandb is offline  
Feb 5th, 2003, 07:47 AM
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I have my FINALIZED HONEYMOON ITINERARY post a couple below. . . it lists specific tour companies that I am using for things within Sydney. For Hunter Valley we haven't decided but have heard RED CARPET is good for day trips to the wine country for tastings. . .don't know if that interests you?

Have fun!
Dawn
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Feb 5th, 2003, 02:01 PM
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I agree with Alan....just do it yourself for Sydney. We did do the sightseeing Harbor trip with Capt Cook...the cheapie one they have...only reason I would even recommend it over a regular fairy...they have an informative commentary running the entire time and talks about certain areas as you pass them by. SO we got some interesting history and tidbits about Sydney. It was around $25 AUD and we were able to get on and off if we liked...goes to Watson's Bay and the Taronga Zoo.

WE really enjoyed riding the ferries around and it didn't really matter where they went. I would say a cruise over to Manly would be wonderful to walk around and hang out on the beach/shop/eat by yourself.

MOST definitely agree with the Bridge Climb.

IF you are at all interested in Didjeridoo's...there is a great place in the rocks called Didj beat--very informative and the prices were quite good and selection amazing compared to other places we went (bought on our last day in town). I think the girl that helped us was Melina?? She was very patient teaching us how to play!

A great walk is across the Harbor Bridge and we got awesome pictures that way (you can't take your own on the bridge climb).

You are sooo lucky! wish I was going with you

I know during my research I found a site for Sydney that told me what events if any were going on.....cultural, etc....

will see if I can find it.

http://www.whats-on-in-sydney.com.au/whatson.asp

http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/hs_hh_calendar_of_events.asp

http://www.au.australia.com/whats_on/RHS_Top_STD.aust?L=en&C=US

the above is at www.australia.com and go to Festivals and Events

hope this helps!
alise is offline  
Feb 6th, 2003, 01:24 AM
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Alan's advice is generally very good - but Alan, still jumping on you, the further out the suburb the worse? Westwards perhaps, just in terms of heat and I certainly would not disagree with the fact that lots of the suburbs ar not exactly special. But suburbs like Lugarno, for example, are actually very pleasant - the river down there is very pretty while some inner suburbs like a lot of Redfern and Darlinghurst are not overly great! You yourself recommend Manly and Watsons Bay (which I totally agree with)- both totally non-inner suburbs. This I think is a key point - Sydney's sights are not just The Rocks with Alan often providing good info like he has here. I think a nice drive (or local bus trip with getting out along the way) is to go through Rose Bay and carry on down to Watsons Bay through Vaucluse. Check out Strickland House in VAucluse (Alan have you been there?)- a horribly wasted heritage building - (blame the state govt and local council), as it semi-derelict but with lovely grounds and small quiet sand beach with views over the harbour to the bridge - really one of the best views in Sydney and no way touristic - you may share it with a picnicing family. Can walk then to next door Nielsen Park. Wandering through suburbs like Vaucluse may not appeal to everyone, but they are beautiful places in their own right where you can stumble across lovely parks and get a feel for why Sydney is regarded as a good place to live (although nowadays it helps to have serious money to live in the really nice suburbs).
Travelnick is offline  
Feb 6th, 2003, 06:29 AM
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Hyde Park is a pretty area to relax in, and Darling Harbor is very pretty. The aquarium and naval museum are there also, if either is of interest to you.

One building we found impressive and worth a visit, not just to shop in, is the Queen Victoria Bldg. Be sure to check out the antique clock on the top floor [actually there are two, and I only got to see one actually in 'action'] It's very impressive, as is the whole bldg.

We enjoyed dinner at Thirty Something, which is at the top of the Intercontinental Hotel, just a block [okay, a steep block] from Circular Quay, and it has great harbor views. Make a reservation ahead of time for a table next to a window.

The Opera House has an interesting tour that is worth taking. I'd recommend it, with or without taking in a show there.

We found the Hyde Park Barracks Museum interesting because of the history it gave us. We were lucky to time it perfectly for one of the two tours they have each day [I believe ours was 11;00]

No matter what you do/see there, you won't be disappointed. It's become our favorite city! It's beautiful, people friendly and laid back.
LoisL is offline  
Feb 6th, 2003, 06:32 AM
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almost forgot, definitely take in a ferry or two. I'd suggest getting a pass for a day for $13.40 I believe, and do go to Manly and Watson's Bay. We had lunch at Doyle's there, [as was recommended to us on site] and really enjoyed it. From there, we walked up the path to the road, took in a beautiful view from the top of the stairs there, and took a bus to Bondi Beach. All transportation was covered by that same pass.
LoisL is offline  
Feb 6th, 2003, 03:08 PM
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Hi, again, jandb!
Travelnick (above) was absolutely right... my comment about the outer suburbs of Sydney was a gross overgeneralisation, as there are, in fact, some pleasant ones... in fact, I live in one myself! How will I ever face the neighbours?
As a further generalisation for Travelnick to jump on, in Sydney keep either near the water or in the mountains and you will have pleasant surroundings. More specifically, if you want a pleasant suburb just to stroll around in, try getting off the ferry at Woolwich and walking up to Hunter's Hill. You can get a bus back from there to Sydney. Balmain (also accessible by ferry) is another good one.
Another of my "disappeared" suggestions was Taronga Park Zoo... you may not feel like spending a precious day of your holiday looking at animals, but this zoo is something special; the views of Sydney Harbour from just about anywhere are magnificent (lucky animals).
Just about all these suggestions are predicated on fine weather, which is pretty certain in late February. The Blue Mountains on a foggy day, for instance, is unlikely to reveal its beauty to you unless you are prepared to walk DOWN (which you should, anyway). What happens if you arrive in Sydney and there's five days of rain? Never fear... instead of the suggestions above you can always take a train to Canberra. I would have recommended this anyway if you had a few more days up your sleeve, Only 3 1/2 hours from Sydney, Canberra has a wealth of interesting indoor activities for you: Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial (half a day there!), the National Museum (another half!) the National Gallery, the Screen and Sound Archives, the Science Museum, and many more. You would need to spend at least one night there -- there are day tours from Sydney, but since they involve more than six hours of driving, there wouldn't be much time left to give more than a passing nod to the many attractions there.
Finally, I didn't mention the Spit Bridge to Manly walk, as this is really a full day, and you wouldn't want to do this alone; but if you get the time to do this with your husband, you will see some of the best scenery in the southern hemisphere -- I kid you not.
Have a great time!
Alan is offline  
Feb 7th, 2003, 11:47 AM
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I meant to write FERRY not FAIRY in my post!!!!
alise is offline  

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