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Neuman605 May 25th, 2009 06:53 PM

extra day..... Where???
With one extra day where would you spend it...Sydney or Melbourne & how would you spend it??? Need suggestions, first time downunder.

Bushranger May 25th, 2009 07:25 PM

Going to depend a lot on when as in season, how long you've got scheduled in each city for starters and what your interests are.

Not much point in suggesting this or that if you've already BTDT.

But if Melbourne, google Sovereign Hill as they have overnight staying in the village that you may be able to couple with the dinner show - "Blood on the Sovereign Cross".
Wineries are closer than what they are to Sydney.
Snow fields?

Sydney has surf beaches close by and can likely be a tad warmer, great seaside villages down the south coast, more urban on north coast but still some great locations.
Get a houseboat on the Hawkesbury!

Neil_Oz May 25th, 2009 11:03 PM

Neuman65, I agree that you need to fill us in a little on your plans and interests. In the absence of that information I see precious little point in the suggestions made by the previous poster, especially as most of them involve car travel some distance out of the respective cities.

That being the point those recommendations are very likely well off the mark and in any event more relevant to the domestic mum-and-dad week-away market.

I was going to fill in some of the no doubt puzzling gaps in the previous poster's suggestions (such as what and where the Hawkesbury is, though I have no idea why anyone would try to hire a houseboat for the day - or probably, in your case, at all). But as that would be as pointless as the original suggestions themselves I'll save my breath for the moment.

By all means get back to us.

Neuman605 May 26th, 2009 06:24 AM

Trip tenatively scheduled late Sept 09. We have only three days in each city, but want to add an extra day. We our adventurous mid-50's.(hike Great Wall, Pacaya Volcano, zip-lining, ect but we also like wine,ruins, and scuba. Realize not time for scuba this trip but found great price & want to take advantage. Thanks for your continued input.

Saltuarius May 26th, 2009 06:08 PM

I suggest you list all the things you want to do in each of the cities in order of preference. Then work out what you can do in three days at each spot. You are then left with what you want to do but would not be able to with the three day limit and compare your new lists. And the winner is ...?

Neil_Oz May 28th, 2009 11:51 PM

To make it easy, I suggest adding your extra day to Sydney, which offers some great harbour and oceanside walks - or you could spend a day in the Blue Mountains - in Katoomba walk down the Giant Staircase from Echo Point, along the valley floor and take the Scenic Railway back up to the clifftops. It's a 2-hour train ride from Central Station and you can use the hop-on/off bus once you arrive in Katoomba.

What I do advise (interminably, some might say) is that you invest in a good guidebook - it's a small add-on to your trip cost and will provide you with a wealth of information you can't realistically assemble from online sources.

Your winery investigations might best be pursued while you'r ein Melbourne, I think. We're not big on ruins, of course, unless you count the New South Wales state government.

You could consider the Sydney Harbour Bridge walk (over the arch, that is, not the roadway) - not sure of the website, maybe someone else can help with that? Also with more info about the coast walks - I think Manly to The Spit Bridge is one? Forget the other. Must do them some time myself.

shandy May 29th, 2009 06:22 AM

As it sounds as though you like something a bit different, would you consider swimming with the wild dolphins in Port Phillip Bay. It would be a very easy day trip from Melbourne and could easily encompass some good scenery along the bay, a leisurely lunch at one of the many Peninsula wineries and/or a stop for a soak/spa treatment at the Peninsula Hot Springs.

I should point out that in September the water in the bay will still be pretty cold from winter but they do provide wet suits for everyone. Just make sure you have some warm clothes to change back into. If it takes your fancy at all check out and

Neuman605 May 29th, 2009 01:17 PM

Thanks for the good ideas from all, plan on getting a DK guidebook, may even try to add a day in each city, 4+4.

Suelynne Jun 4th, 2009 04:13 PM

The walk that Neil_Oz alludes to is the one from Bondi to Coogee [or thereabouts]. The Spit to Manly walk is harbour rather than coast. Another good harbourside one is Taronga Zoo to Cremorne Point, with ferries at each end.
For more adventurous walks, head for the Blue Mountains.
September-October is a great time for these.

Lissa2905 Jun 4th, 2009 09:38 PM

Sydney would be my choice, so much to do around the harbour that makes it unique. The walks from Bondi to Coogee as well as the one from Manly to the spit are both amazing. Lissa

Neuman605 Jun 5th, 2009 06:30 PM

Good ideas from everyone, as it turns out I've added an additional day in both cities, 4 nights a piece. Now to begin itinerary ideas, I am the PIG (Primary Information Gatherer) of the group. Is it easy to do the Blue Mountains independently? Sorry I haven't got a guide book yet since I am currently out of state. Welcome suggestions.

Suelynne Jun 5th, 2009 09:58 PM

Yes, you can do the Blue Mountains independently. You can catch a train to Katoomba from Central, and a bus to the rim of Jamieson Valley [or walk]. There are trails around the rim and into the valley, but don't do anything too ambitious if there are just two of you. Between Katoomba and Leura there should be plenty of other walkers on the cliffside walks, and near the base of the Scenic Railway.

Bushranger Jun 6th, 2009 06:57 AM

I also see little value in Snozza's comments when he harps on about value of constructive suggestions and you see some vagueness continues.

Good idea to pig out on collecting ideas and get a feel about what options may suit your interests and yes, there's plenty of variety for both Melbourne and Sydney.

Not a great deal on offer re ruins in close proximity to either Melbourne or Sydney but some great older country towns between the two and areas that would provide some interesting walks in National Parks.

Another option you may want to consider is to instead of adding a day to both cities, hire yourself a car for three and drive between the two as you'll lose better part of a day anyway with flying between the two.

Can provide greater insight if that appeals and look, do not go wasting your $$$ on a guide book for a such a short trip as there's a plethora of info available via web, libraries or with free stuff in Oz.

Neuman605 Jun 8th, 2009 08:25 AM

OK so if we do a day trip to Blue Mountains independently should we rent a car another day & if so where should we go? The 4 of us our very adventerous & don't do the sit back & relax very well.
Also does anyone know waht the scuba is like this far south? I know we are not near the GBR but my husband is pretty sure he wants to do atleast one dive.
As I said I am just beginnning my research. We haven't even booked our domestic f;light to SFO yet!

Bushranger Jun 9th, 2009 02:13 AM

If there's four of you, a car will certainly be advantageous for flexibility of movement and economic as hire cost and fuel could be marginally cheaper than rail/bus fares for four.

There's plenty of walking trails all about the BM area that the train/bus could get you to and then further afield there's

Depending on what your other intents are, you may even want to consider hiring for a couple of days or more and stay out of Sydney one or more nights and making a loop tour north or south from the BM but that'll obviously restrict your time for Sydney itself.

For the SCUBA, yes there is diving available, though not of the tropical waters variety and the further south you go, from Melbourne for instance you can get a far different experience in diving, massive sea grass forests, Sea Horses etc., being one site that may give you an idea.

Neuman605 Jun 9th, 2009 10:55 AM

If we rent a car where should we go besides just the BM area? As for the scuba is there diving in the Melbourne area or do we need to go south? THink I would prefer to go north for warmer water.

Bushranger Jun 9th, 2009 04:22 PM

Driving would depend on just how much time you want to allocate to that aspect, and you'd want to be looking at something like a minimum of three days I'd reckon to make a tour of sorts, going from BM you could head over to the Wollemi NP and up the Putty road to Singleton in the Hunter Valley and on to Barrington Tops NP, a rugged region inland from Port Stephens [another diving possibility]

There is a great drive south from BM but it has quite a bit of unsealed surfaces and that's a No No as far as hire companies are involved unless you pay more to hire a 4WD.

What you also need to look at though is that if it's some hiking/bush walks you're after, there's plenty of that about the BM whereas heading off on the road anywhere you'll be doing more driving than walking with limited time.

And re the SCUBA, you would need to go a long long way north in September, like up to Cairns to get warmer water than Sydney or Melbourne areas, there also being colder water dive attractions about Sydney but I'm not familiar with diving there. is one site that'll give some ideas though and the wet suits just get thicker when the water is colder.

Up around Port Stephens you may be able to get some diving/swimming with dolphins and certainly a little further north at Forster/Tuncurry that is renowned as being one of five locations in Australia for swimming with dolphins.

Neil_Oz Jun 9th, 2009 05:41 PM

"...and look, do not go wasting your $$$ on a guide book for a such a short trip as there's a plethora of info available via web, libraries or with free stuff in Oz."

Absolute, undiluted rubbish.

Most of the Australians and New Zealanders on this forum - all but one, perhaps - have the benefit of having travelled overseas themselves and so are in a better position to put themselves in the shoes of an overseas visitor to these shores. Most, I think, would testify to the fact a good guidebook can be an invaluable guide to a new destination, providing tested, comprehensive information and advice in a format that online services, by their nature, cannot. The latter are best utilised to fill in the gaps and seek advice from (hopefully) knowledgeable fellow travellers.

And they will also know that there is budget travelling, and there is counter-productive penny-pinching. Even a short trip entails the outlay of many thousands of dollars, among which the price of a guidebook is trivial. And far from being "wasted", its value if anything is greater for a short trip where every day counts.

Neuman605 Jun 10th, 2009 10:52 AM

As you can plainly see I am seeking advice from everyone. AS for guidebooks I generally do purchase one,though I don't often carry it overseas. Please continue to feel free to give advise & suggestions. Anyone have comments re: the penguin march?

SnR Jun 10th, 2009 07:05 PM

Neuman, if you have 4+4 would you consider Sydney and Cairns instead of Melbourne, unless you are mad about cities? Sydney is a great city with museums, hikes, the old town (and even some ruins!) beaches, etc. I haven't been to Melbourne yet, but it is a city, so to mix it up, you could fly to Cairns and do daytrips to the GBR and dive/snorkel, go to the Daintree rainforest, a World Heritage site, do a night boat ride on the Daintree, go to the Atherton Tablelands and see the animals and learn about the area, drive to Chilagoe and see some outback and caves. IMHO, far north Queensland has it all. This site alone has loads and loads of hits on Cairns, the GBR, and surrounding areas. The DK Australia book is awesome, but you are right, you don't want to bring it--it weighs a ton. You can get sightseeing booklets in the Sydney airport with coupons, but you will want to plan out your days in the Cairns area ahead of time--there are good tours that often book up, although I don't know about this year. A good place to stay is Lilybank B&B where Pat can get you tours to anything you would want, and even help to change them if the weather is bad.
Happy planning!
Sally in Seattle aka SnR and SnRSeattle

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