Heading to Australia!

Sep 28th, 2013, 04:09 AM
  #1  
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Heading to Australia!

A lifelong desire to see Australia is finally being realized. Leaving the US in less than a month on an itinerary that has 3 nights in Sydney to start. Then on to Melbourne to pick up a 19 night ground tour from there to Darwin.

Then fly back to Sydney for 2 nights, train to Katoomba for 2 days, and finally a flight back home. Cannot say how thrilled I am to get to do this ... finally!
NoFlyZone is offline  
Sep 28th, 2013, 06:25 AM
  #2  
 
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Have a wonderful trip Down Under!
RalphR is offline  
Sep 28th, 2013, 07:03 PM
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Please post a trip report when you get back! We are headed to Australia in December - we'll be in Sydney & Melbourne, so I'll be eager to hear about your adventures in those places.

Have a wonderful time!
halfapair is offline  
Sep 28th, 2013, 09:23 PM
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Looks like a great trip!

While in Katoomba, you should go visit the fabulous and unforgettable Jenolan caves (www.jenolancaves.org.au) - you can do it with the bus that leaves daily at 9:45AM from Katoomba, call to book: +61 2 4782 7999 (see www.trolleytours.com.au/jenolan-caves-tours)

If you were to do that on the first day of getting to the Blue Mountains, you'd want to take the 07:25 train (Mo-Fr - on Sat/Sun it's 07:18) from Sydney Central, the bus in Katoomba waits for train passengers on that train.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Sep 28th, 2013, 09:47 PM
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Come On Down NoFlyZone, we're waiting for you! Sounds like you have a nice trip organised and I hope it goes well for you.
Peteralan is offline  
Sep 29th, 2013, 04:02 AM
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Sydney weather at the moment is very warm. It will be a heatwave in a month's time!

Come on down!
MissGreen is offline  
Sep 30th, 2013, 03:50 AM
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Hope you have a safe and memorable journey to Australia. Australia is indeed an amazing country. I have been there and love all the attraction. Hope you will have great time. I just wanted to say that add one more location in your ‘to visit list’ and it is my personal favourite: Solomon Island. It is nearby Australia, in the east of the continent; so you will not have to re-plan anything. Just go to this land and you will thank me for this. Amazing people, nature, peace, marine life, beaches, distinct culture and many other things will take you to some other world. There are many eco-friendly resorts and hotels like King Solomon, Uepi Island resort, Mavo Lodge etc where you can stay. Don’t forget to share your experience.
Zeff_A is offline  
Sep 30th, 2013, 05:02 AM
  #8  
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Zeff, You are correct about the Solomon Islands. I've been there twice already; Uepi Island and Gizo were highlights for me. (and I've also been to Vanuatu, New Cal., NZ, and PNG. Astonishing how Australia has eluded me!
NoFlyZone is offline  
Oct 1st, 2013, 09:07 PM
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Indeed it is, Mkey.

The OP, however, is coming to Australia. You know, the big island continent in the Southern Hemisphere with the L in its name & kangaroos.

It will also certainly be warm, but not due to any fires, hopefully at least.

Plenty of skiing though - provided the OP is looking to do it on the runny variety of water, not the frozen sort.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2013, 07:50 AM
  #10  
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Quick question for Sydney buffs.

I can stay at either the Intercon at Circular Quay or the Holiday Inn in The Rocks. Price is within 5% of each other so that's not a factor. Real factors are views, access to neat neighborhoods and mid-range restaurants and cafes, ease of access to train/airport transportation.

Which should I choose? Or should I, since I will be in Sydney for two separate stays, try out each?
NoFlyZone is offline  
Oct 13th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Try both.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2013, 04:59 AM
  #12  
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Finally decided to book the Intercon for both stays. On the first stay, as I'll be wandering The Rocks, I'll check out the Holiday Inn and, as I decide, rebook as necessary.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Oct 18th, 2013, 12:55 PM
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Intercon for me. Good location in old, historic building.

The Holiday Inn, is.....um...a Holiday Inn.
margo_oz is offline  
Oct 19th, 2013, 03:30 PM
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When are you going - you said in a months time. There are bushfires in the blue mountains area at the moment so you might want to reconsider the Katoomba bit of your trip.
MissGreen is offline  
Oct 19th, 2013, 05:35 PM
  #15  
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Quite aware of all of the fires. I'm leaving the States next week. Katoomba isn't for another 3-1/2 weeks after that. As always, we will play it by ear. (Fires up near Darwin, too, which will be watched as we get closer.)
NoFlyZone is offline  
Oct 25th, 2013, 02:33 PM
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If the fires get to you, or for any other reason, there is always Tasmania - great driving and hiking, wilderness if that's what you need - for example fly to Hobart, see Port Arthur, drive via Queenstown and down to Strahan around to the northern access points for Cradle Mountain, fly out from Launceston. A few days will do it, or a week, or???
michelhuebeli is offline  
Nov 27th, 2013, 04:28 PM
  #17  
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Reporting back after a satisfying month in Australia.

First, no impact from fires whatsoever. Second, everything went like clockwork with zero logistical incidents.

I did bail from the Intercon for the second stay in Sydney. The Holiday Inn Old Sydney trounced the IC on location. Not only was the HI surrounded by restaurants, bars and things to do, it was a flat walk from Circular Quay. That long uphill slog to the IC would have been horrific (fortunately I got there the first time by taxi).

The IC was also really cheesy with rewards benefits, as in none of the usual amenities and only 3000 points for the 3 night stay. At the HI I got over 7000 points for 2 nights, the expected number.

Highlights of the trip were Katoomba, William Creek and Kakadu National Park. Uluru was good to see but is way overrated on the international scale.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Nov 27th, 2013, 06:18 PM
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Glad it went well for you.
Peteralan is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 01:26 AM
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Can you share more than hotel points? It would be good to hear about any good restaurants you found and other places you stayed.
cathies is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 04:07 AM
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Cathies, that's because as good as the rest of the trip was, there were no other accommodations nor restaurants worthy of note.

Closest were everything at William Creek Hotel (except the scenic flight over Lake Eyre), Annie's Place in Alice Springs which was one of the best hostels I've ever seen mainly because of the vibrancy and activity all around (plus decent, quiet rooms), and possibly the sausages on the barbie at a campground in Kakadu NP.

Oh ... first class on the VA flight DRW back to SYD was wonderful, as was all of the scenery, even the monotonous parts.
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