Clubs for Meals

Old Jan 12th, 2007, 11:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Clubs for Meals

Hello again and a happy new year to all! A friend in Sydney has suggested that clubs are a great place to take meals in Oz. But, I haven't asked him about access to same and am looking for guidance here. I'm reviewing the Cartoscope Coastal Explorer brochure on the Sydney to Melbourne Touring route and am coming across adverts for different clubs as places for meals among other things.

Does one buy a temporary membership at each one or does one buy a membership in one with reciprocity extended to others? Can someone please help me with the mechanics of these?

BigBlue is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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In rural New South Wales you are mostly granted access to Clubs if you live further than a stipulated distance from the relevant town, i.e.locals are required to become members but not visitors.
I am not sure about rules in other states, but I imagine it is much the same.
prue is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2007, 01:12 PM
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I forgot to say that the Clubs usually have reasonably good food and often visiting entertainers etc. They are also an excellent means of meeting some of the locals.
prue is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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This is how we found it when we travelled from ACT to the Northern Territory. The RSL Club in Katherine was recommended to us by a local for dinner and we just had to sign in when we arrived--no fee. There was a wide variety of food and we enjoyed it immensely.
longhorn55 is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Clubs, especially in NSW, have good dining rooms with reasonably priced meals. They are subsidised by the profits from the Poker Machines, so beware you might get a decent meal for $10-$15 and lose $50 at the pokies!. In most cases all you have to do is turn up at reception where they will ask you to "sign in" and away you go.
DownUnder is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2007, 06:38 PM
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Good food at reasonable prices with entertainment sounds great! However, I'll have the kiddies with me this time around. Are clubs a fit place for my 11-year-old twins?
BarbaraS is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2007, 06:59 PM
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Clubs usually have a seperate entrance for the restaurant part so the twins could go there. However they will not be allowed to go in the Club proper because of poker machines, alcohol etc.
Peteralan is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2007, 07:55 PM
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Our local Club has just the one entrance but once inside there are very strictly defined areas in which children are allowed or not. You will find many family groups complete with children dining in the evenings.
prue is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2007, 06:33 AM
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Thanks for the responses. A couple more questions. Is smoking allowed in clubs? Are there specific clubs in Sydney you would recommend?

BarbaraS is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2007, 04:30 PM
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Barbara, Smoking is only allowed in restricted areas of New South Wales Clubs - not sure about interstate.
The only Sydney Club I have been to is The Leagues Club in Phillip Street in the city. When I was there several years ago it was very smokey & unpleasant, but since then the new rules have been implemented so it should have improved. However, I am not sure whether children would be welcome there.
There are several very large and I gather very good clubs in the suburbs of Sydney and they would certainly be family friendly.
I think you will find the smaller ones on your travels between Melbourne and Sydney to be the most welcoming.
prue is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2007, 05:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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You should also ad pubs to the list of options - most pubs have a bistro and often these are very good. you might also find both have 'special' deals for each night of the week. you could eat yourself silly for $10 in the pubs around Sydney during the week, with various specials. for pubs, check out for details of pubs in different areas, many with reviews.

you'll find some are more family friendly than others, but there is a world of hidden gems in Sydney (eg Woolwich Pier Hotel, $10 steaks Mon Tues night). get the ferry there and back from the city, 5 min walk to the pub.

with regard to pubs, definitely for weeknights - fri/sat will be more of a party crowd.

Re clubs, I've also not been to many (pubs definitely more my scene), but North Bondi RSL is excellent (fantastic veiws). Bondi Icebergs is probably one of the best known, but not so typical for a club - it's a bit yuppiefied. Wouldn't recommend the Clovelly RSL, but the Clovelly pub is very good. I have also been to North Ryde RSL a number of times for their Yum Cha (which is pretty good for the 'burbs). Yum Cha would definitley be a great thing to do in your stay here - my fave (and recently got some best yum cha in sydney gong) is the marigold citymark. it is excellent. go sunday around 11am, you won't need anything till dinner. You can check the clubs NSW site for a list of clubs in various regions.
I must say, I went to clubs a lot more in canberra - the ainslie football club was a local (fantastic raffles!), as was the Canberra Workers Club until they sadly turned that into a parking lot

With regard to smoking, smoking in clubs will be phased out by july 2007. If you're really into detail, check this out:
Basically, where you eat will definitely be non-smoking. There may be 1 room for smoking (usually you'll find this enclosed with pokies!)

lancefan is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2007, 08:13 PM
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Thanks for the great info and all the links. I'll check it out.
BarbaraS is offline  
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