Go to an additional city?

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Feb 10th, 2003, 03:16 PM
  #1
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Go to an additional city?

Hello!
I will be traveling to Sydney at the end of April for my cousins wedding. All my relatives will be coming in the day or two before the wedding and staying for a week afterwards. However, I’m a schoolteacher in the US and my Spring Break will be the week before the wedding. I’m taking some time off so that I can spend the week after the wedding with my relatives in Sydney, but I’m wondering if I should go the 3-4 days before, by myself, and visit another city.
Do any of you have some advice as to a good city to visit and places for a single thirty-something (who is alone) to stay? (Remember, I’m a schoolteacher, so it can’t be too expensive-- US$25-50/night.)

I was thinking of Melbourne for a couple of reasons. 1) I went to college in Melbourne, FL; 2) It looks like the plane ride wouldn’t be too far, especially after 20+ hours from the US east coast. 3) I think Virgin Blue has some inexpensive flights there. But I’m open to suggestions as to other cities to visit.

I’m looking for someplace that is relatively safe (I’ll take the usual precautions), has good culture (theater, history, etc), nice, but inexpensive restaurants, not too loud (no hotels over nightclubs or bars) but with a fun truly Aussie feel.

Also, any advice as to a carrier to Australia? I heard someone say not to take United because the seats, etc were uncomfortable. Has anyone used a good consolidator or travel agent?
Thanks for all your help!
mmsva is offline  
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Feb 10th, 2003, 05:01 PM
  #2
 
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Why don't you try Adelaide & visit the wine country & a day trip to Kangaroo Island. We stayed at the Directors Studio for $55 US/night and it was very nice. Virgin Blue flys from Sydney to Adelaide.

alliegator is offline  
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Feb 10th, 2003, 05:18 PM
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You might get some further advice with a similar post at the thorn tree message board australia
www.lonelyplanet.com
johhj_au is offline  
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Feb 11th, 2003, 05:19 PM
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Hi, mmsva!
Why not visit Canberra? It would be a pleasant time of the year in that city, and it's only a few hours by train from Sydney. The capital of Australia, it is a mini-Washington (whose layout it copies), and it's full of interesting sights to see: the National Museum, Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery, the Screen and Sound Archives, and, for Americans, the US War Memorial and the US consulate. There is accommodation available in all price ranges, and I seem to remember that a lodge called the Blue and White Lodge is quite close in and inexpensive. There is a good theatre scene in Canberra, and sometimes Sydneysiders drive down there to catch a current production. I think the restaurant scene is okay, too... Canberra considers itself the height of culture, so there would be a great variety to choose from.
Alan is offline  
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Feb 11th, 2003, 05:58 PM
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Hi there. My sister's a teacher and I'm trying to convince her to come visit.

I would strongly suggest Melbourne. It has great restaurants, theatre, culture - very European in style. Like Adelaide, the wine country in Victoria is about an hour from the city (the Yarra Valley). There's heaps of accommodation, and I would actually even suggest a hostel called "The Nunnery", as you can get a single room there and meet heaps of people, and the cost would be in the $20-$25US range for a single.

I, too, am in my early 30s and often stay at hostels (although in a single room, as I'm too old to deal with bunk beds and shared snoring!) when travelling alone because it's a great way to meet people.

If you travel on most airlines from the US, there would be no additional cost for an open-jaw ticket (ie fly US-Melbourne, Sydney-US) and all you'd need to do is buy a one-way on VB (cost around $120AUD if you can't get the real cheap fare). You might even be able to do a US-Melbourne return, via Sydney, with a "stopover" in Sydney on the return for the week. Then you wouldn't even need to buy an additional ticket.

As for airlines, I would say United and Qantas are somewhat similar in economy class. I fly back and forth to the US heaps, and usually go United, but have used Qantas. Basically, you get on the plane for the long-haul on the west coast and try to sleep.

As for Canberra, it is interesting but I get a sense you'd probably prefer a more cosmo feel. Melbourne has more by way of interesting places to wander and things to do outside of the city centre. There's St. Kilda and the markets (the Queen Victoria markets are great!) and Richmond and Fitzroy...lots of great neighborhoods to walk around.

Hope that helps.
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