Dare I Plan? Melbourne - Sydney - Auckland

Oct 1st, 2014, 07:23 AM
  #1  
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Dare I Plan? Melbourne - Sydney - Auckland

Well, at long last, it appears our trip to Australia and NZ is real. Although, I won't actually believe it until the plane is airborne!

Here is our itinerary (based on my husband's work obligations):

1. Arrive Melbourne evening of October 6th

2. Arrive Sydney afternoon of October 12th

3. Arrive Auckland evening of October 19th

4. Depart for US return evening of October 24th


I've got less than 3 days to get my whole life together, buy a suitcase (old one just broke), and pack. So, I'm open to any and all suggestions for weather and clothing and activities.

About me:

I'm a "walker/hiker" and LOVE nature, beauty and the water. Views - I'm looking for them. BUT, I don't like hanging on the edge of cliffs. If that makes sense?

I also love art museums and visiting gardens.

And I'm a foodie - as in love great food and trying new and interesting cuisine.

I'd rather not rent a car if I don't need to, but I have driven opposite side of the street (years ago in England) if it becomes necessary. I like trains and public transportation.


Mr. Gruezi will likely be working a lot, but will join me for dinner. He will go along with whatever I plan otherwise He mostly likes to exercise and eat but is good about tagging along.

I'm at the mercy of this travel board as I won't have time to read any tour books until I board the plane on Saturday.

Thanks to any and all who share your "must sees" and other advice!

Yours,

gruezi
gruezi is offline  
Oct 1st, 2014, 10:56 AM
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Congratulations on your trip becoming closer to reality. You will have plenty to do in each of the cities.

In Melbourne, there's the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Fitzroy Gardens, both close to the city center. And there's a plethora of museums and galleries to keep you busy during your trip among other things. If you want scenery, consider a day trip or an overnight along the Great Ocean Road for some fabulous views of the coast.

In Sydney, there's plenty of walks / hikes you can do in and around the city, including the more popular Spit to Manly walk and Bondi to Coogee. Consider a trip out to the Blue Mountains too for something different.

And in Auckland, you can hike up one of the volcanoes for views of the city and harbor. Think about going out to Waiheke Island for some food and wine as well as hiking.

I was just in Sydney and Auckland last December. You can find my trip report, which includes some links to websites on walking / hiking suggestions, in the Asia forum (or click on my name to find the report).
tripplanner001 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2014, 11:00 AM
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Thank you tripplanner - very helpful! - I will look up your trip report.
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Oct 1st, 2014, 01:26 PM
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You're welcome, gruezi. Glad it's helpful.
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Oct 1st, 2014, 02:15 PM
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In Melbourne, visit the Ian Potter gallery at Federation Square for Australian art including a superb collection of aboriginal paintings. Also the Victorian National Gallery just across the river. Queen Victoria market for people watching, souvenirs and fantastic food. The Emporium in Lonsdale Street (latest and greatest shopping centre) for shopping and lunch. Walk through Block and Royal Arcades. Use the free City Circle tram to get around - it's the burgundy old-style tram.
Both Melbourne Zoo (with walk-through Australian animal area)and Taronga in Sydney are good to visit.
In Sydney, visit the Queen Victoria building for beautiful old-fashioned architecture and great shops. Take the ferry to Manly for harbour views or do a Captain Cook coffee cruise for views and commentary.
In Auckland, take the ferry across to Devonport for gentle walking and great views. If you visit the Auckland art gallery, make a point of seeing their magnificent collection of Maori portraits.
Hope you have a great holiday.
marg is offline  
Oct 1st, 2014, 02:17 PM
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Great Gruezi!
We might be able to pull a quick GTG together if you let us know when you're available in Sydney.

I'll post some random thoughts later, but just wanted to let you know the Artisans in the Gardens exhibition will be on in the Royal Botanic Gardens while you're here.

Lovely walk around the Opera House, through the Gardens to the Art Gallery of NSW. I'm going & perhaps we could go together if you like. Can't do 14th, but any other day that week is ok.
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Oct 1st, 2014, 02:27 PM
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Thanks everyone for helping me get some ideas together!

marg - thanks for the art and walking ideas - very helpful. The coffee cruise sounds very much like me!

Bokhara - yes, I would love to meet to walk the gardens with you. I will let you know how things look in a few days. I do have a nice chunk of time in Sydney. (I'm a bit sad not to have longer in NZ but I'm trying not to be a pest to my very busy husband who threw this all together last night.)
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Oct 1st, 2014, 02:28 PM
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BTW, my weather forecasts for NZ and Melbourne are looking kind of cool and rainy with some 80s+ thrown in for Sydney. I'm packing layers and a rain jacket and polar fleece. Do I need a real coat of some sort?
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Oct 1st, 2014, 03:13 PM
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Welcome to our side of the world gruezi.



No, you're on the right track with waterproof and fleece/layer.

As a diehard South Island fan, I'm not particularly well-versed on the North Island, particularly Auckland, but I was just there a few weeks back. You might enjoy an excursion to the SkyTower - views-o-rama.

What park of Auckland will you be staying in?
Melnq8 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2014, 03:42 PM
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Hi Mel - thanks for the advice on the coat - very helpful! We are looking into accommodations in Auckland and open to suggestions. Also, my husband just told me we'd extend NZ by a few days - I was feeling we were cutting it short so I'm glad. We will be in Auckland and Wellington and could head further south after that. I hear the SI is the nicest area but we may be trying to do too much? I am motivated to move a bit in NZ as I love scenery and I doubt I'll get back there ever again. Plus, we should be a bit rested by then.


On Sydney - if anyone knows - my husband's company is suggesting the Four Seasons. He likes the QT Sydney for convenience/location but apparently there are no views there thus his office mates there are pushing 4 Seasons. He also has been told the Shangri La (sp?) is very nice. He can choose any of the 3 as long as we can still get a room.


Melbourne we are booked at the new Sheraton. Any opinions welcomed on that.


Thanks again everyone. I'm so glad I have all of you to ask. Particularly given how quickly we are pulling this together.
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Oct 1st, 2014, 03:52 PM
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You might enjoy the Te Papa museum in Wellington.

I suspect it'll be next to impossible to fit the SI into your itinerary unless you're adding LOTS of days, not just a few.

With such limited time I'd stick to Auckland, Wellington and vicinity.

If you can add 3-4 days though, you could possibly fly to Queenstown and see a very small but very pretty bit of the SI.
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Oct 1st, 2014, 04:20 PM
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The Shang has better rooms IMO would be my choice. the 4 Seasons is closer to Circular Quay.
Whichever you choose, tell them it's your first visit etc & beg for a Harbour view.

There is a a bit of a hill between CQ & the Shang - but if you can do the Camino, you won't notice it
Bokhara2 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2014, 05:44 PM
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Thanks Mel - that's what I suspected. It's really hard to get a perspective on things having never been there before so I appreciate your input.


Thanks Bokhara - I will beg for a view!
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Oct 1st, 2014, 09:15 PM
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October is Good Food Month in Sydney.
Lots of good stuff, including the night noodle markets in Hyde Park.

www.goodfoodmonth.com
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Oct 2nd, 2014, 01:57 AM
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How exciting! Be sure to include a ferry ride in Sydney: I suggest the one to Manly Beach so you can get a holy experience of revelation with the fish and chips at Manly Fish Market on Steyne Street. (It's a take out counter toward the back of the shop, but oh that fish and chips!)
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Oct 2nd, 2014, 05:29 AM
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Well I'm eating light this week so I'll be ready for good food month and holy experiences with fish and chips!
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Oct 2nd, 2014, 10:06 AM
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Hi Gruezi,

we didn't get to Melbourne so i can't help you there but I've got a few suggestions for Sydney and NZ, based on the things we liked best:

Sydney - the Gardens of course [and try to see the Governor's house as well], the ferry to Manly and the walk over to Cabbage Patch Beach, Watson's Bay [the library Tea shop is great but bizarrely closes after lunch so doesn't offer afternoon tea; the restaurant on the pier is very good too and very cheap] the Art Gallery of NSW, the Fish market, and the area of old Sydney above the Rocks [some great very old pubs].

NI - we didn't stop in Auckland so i can't comment but the Coromandel peninsular [about 1-2 hours drive away] was fantastic, and we liked Napier too especially the Gannet colony. We didn't really have long enough in Wellington but certainly Te Papa and the Museum of WEllington City and Sea were very interesting. There are also some botanical gardens but it was raining so we missed them.

I agree that by the sound of it you don't really have time for the SI; save it for another time.
annhig is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Hi Gruezi! Have a wonderful trip. We will be arriving just as you are leaving. We arrive on October 30th. This is our 1st time in AUS and NZ so I don't have any suggestions to add. I am tagging along on your request to get ideas as well. I hope you don't mind.

Bokhara2: I just looked up the October Good Food month and especially the Night Noodle market. We will just miss that, too! Such a shame. It sounds like great fun.
Have you ever been to the Hunter Valley Uncorked in Balmoral? It is the weekend we arrive. We are thinking of using one of our coveted days to venture out to this event. I hope it is worth it. We don't have too many days in Sydney.
http://www.wineaustralia.net.au/en/e...and-wine-event type:music-and-wine-event type type&where=country:australia country country&AusCheck=true&AusName=Australia&statesandregions=
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Oct 2nd, 2014, 03:07 PM
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Cristeen
Yes & enjoyed it. You could combine it with the Cremorne to Balmoral walk.


http://cremornepointmanor.blogspot.c...dneys.html?m=1
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