How many days in Sydney and Melbourne

Aug 1st, 2013, 04:26 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 44
How many days in Sydney and Melbourne

Hi All,
I am planning a trip to Sydney and Melbourne in second half of August (I know its gonna be cold). To be honest, i really haven't done any homework and was hoping that folks here could be of some help.

I have flexibility to keep my trip duration anywhere between 7-14 days, based on how many days most people suggest I should stay. I am mostly interested in all typical sight seeing adventures. I am not the highest fan of spending hours on beach. I like to visit beaches, hang out just for a while and then move on.

I will be traveling alone (35 yr old male), will not be driving anywhere and would reply mostly on public transportation.

Any help on duration, what to do, tips on public transportation or things that I should not miss will really really help.

Apologies for being so generic and looking for a lot of information.
itsvivek4u is offline  
Aug 1st, 2013, 05:03 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I hope that you will consider visiting more than just Sydney and Melbourne, the two largest cities in Australia. You won't really get a true feel for this amazing country unless you get outside of the cities.

To get away from some of the cold (which really isn't all that cold compared to winter in most places of the world), I'd recommend going to the Northern Territory--either Darwin and/or Uluru/Alice Springs. It will be quite warm in Darwin in late August and it will be pleasant during the days in Uluru and chilly at night. For Darwin, you could spend a day or two in the city, take a day tour to Litchfield NP and take a 2-3 day trip to Kakadu NP. For Uluru, I'd recommend spending 2N/3D in order to visit both Uluru and Kata Tjuta. If you want to include Alice Springs, arrange a tour that includes both places. (Public transportation is not prevalent in the Northern Territory, so if you don't drive, you'll have to rely on tours for sightseeing.)

If you are sure you just want to visit Sydney and Melbourne, 7 or 8 days should be more than enough time. If you want to get out into the country, allow for 2 weeks.
longhorn55 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2013, 01:38 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Why the cities? You can see everything that makes them unique in a day or so each. Pay a bit extra and visit the country side that is what makes us different.

If you must visit the cities there are lots of things to do in each and you can easily fill a week each. There are lots of museums, galleries and tours to do.

There is another thread recently about the cities.

But in Sydney you have the harbour and the surf beaches, two nearby national parks that should be accessible by public transport. then there are day trips to the blue Mountains.

Likewise for Melbourne there are national park on the train lines to the Dandenongs and Puffy Billy a steam train.
Day trips to the Great ocean road and to Phillip Island are popular.
peterSale is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2013, 08:53 AM
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There's so much to do in both Sydney and Melbourne, and the surrounding areas, that you can easily fill up two weeks of your time. I did just that several years back, and am returning later this year to revisit Sydney and also to check out Uluru and Darwin, which I hadn't been able to do on my last visit.

In Sydney, think about getting a public transit pass that is good for the buses as well as the ferries. You can easily spend a day ferry-hopping Sydney Harbor, getting off at different stops that interest you. The Rocks is a good area to get a sense of historical Sydney. Consider a stroll in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Museums, art galleries, and shops abound. Of course, there's the Opera House (go on a tour inside) and the Harbor Bridge (you can climb it or just go for a walk across). I'm not a beach person myself, but the walks for the Spit to Manly Beach and from Coogee to Bondi are very enjoyable ways to spend some time in Sydney - not to mention the wonderful views. And Sydney's a great base for trips to the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, etc., depending on your interests.

Melbourne is just as easy to get around, with its buses and trams. There's plenty to see and do in the city. One of the highlights of my previous trip to the area is an excursion out to the Great Ocean Road, where you'll see rock formations carved by the powerful Southern Ocean waves. The penguin parade at Philip Island is very touristy, but not a bad way to spend a day / evening. For either the GOR or Philip Island, you would need to rent a car or sign up for a tour.

Sure, you won't get to see all of Australia in a couple of weeks (it's a vast country, about the size of the continental U.S.), but hopefully you'll get a good introduction and find an excuse to come back.

If you have specific interests or questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2013, 02:12 PM
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THank you so much guys for giving these wonderful tips. I now understand a little better. tripplanner001 , if you dont mind I might have few more questions for you
itsvivek4u is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2013, 04:39 PM
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You're welcome. Feel free to ask away. I and others stand ready to help.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2013, 06:27 PM
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Forgive me for tagging on this thread but I wanted to know how long one should allow for the ocean road? Should you drive all the way over to Adelaide and fly back to Sydney from there or go half way from Melbourne and then take the mountain road back? Thanks for any help-
dutyfree is offline  
Aug 4th, 2013, 01:41 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Two days. (GOR to Warnambool and then back on the A1).

Do you want to go to Adelaide? Adelaide is a nice city (though not a "must do" place) and if you want to go to Kangaroo Island or visit the Barossa or Clare Valley, then it makes sense to carry on and drive to Adelaide. However, if it's "see the GOR and then get me to the nearest airport", I'd drive back to Melbourne (though it's not exactly "the mountain road"). If the goal is simply to fly to Sydney, check out flights from Avalon (which is just north of Geelong) rather than from Tullamarine (which is north of Melbourne) and would save 65km / 1 hour of driving. Flights will probably be DeathStar but if you just want to get a flight to Sydney, probably makes more sense than driving to Tullamarine to take Qantas or Virgin.
tt7 is online now  
Aug 8th, 2013, 05:05 AM
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Sorry for MIA. So I have now decided to add Cairns to go seeGreat Barrier Reef as well in my trip. SInce I have the flexibility of dates, this is wht I am thinking

Day 0 - arrive in sydney evening
Day 1-4 : sydeny sightseeing including day trip to Blue Mountains
Day 5, 6 : fly to Cairns in morning. Spend 2 nights to see Great Barrier Reef (what else is there to do here? should I spend less or more time here?)
Day 7 : fly into melbourne sometime
Day 8, 9 , 10 : Melbourne sightseeing
Day 11: Day trip to Ocean road
Day 12: Philip Island??
Day 13: Fly back

Any thoughts and feedback would be greatly appreciated
itsvivek4u is offline  
Aug 8th, 2013, 05:15 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Also as I mentioned I wont be driving, if someone can recommend which day tours can/should I book for Great Barrier Reef, Philip Island and Ocean road trip?

I heard i can take the train to Blue Mountain.

Also i was told to take a weekly travel pass for sydney which will be valid for ferry/train. Any info on that.

Thank u so much guys
itsvivek4u is offline  
Aug 8th, 2013, 12:36 PM
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Hi, your itinerary for Sydney and for Melbourne looks good to me. You'll have enough to time to get a good feel for both cities, depending on your interests.

For Sydney, there's a pass that combines all the modes of transportation including ferry and train. You can purchase daily or weekly passes, depending on how much travel you do. Take a look at these links for more info:

You are correct that there are trains from downtown Sydney to the Blue Mountains. Katoomba and Leura are two of the most popular stops where people get off for the Blue Mountains, in part because that is where the hop-on, hop-off buses pick up and drop off, but you may want to look at other jump-off points, again depending on your interests.

For day tours to Philip Island and the Great Ocean Road, I used AAT Kings and APT, which are two of the larger day tour operators in Australia. They operate the standard tours with the large buses and 50-60 people on the bus. I thought they were fine, and I got what I wanted out of it. If you want smaller, more personal tours, there are many available. Just ask your hotel concierge or perhaps someone else here has used one of there services.

I have not been to Cairns so I cannot offer much advice there, but one option that may be of interest is to visit the Daintree Rainforest. I'm not sure you will have enough time to do both since you're only there for 2 nights though.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2013, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I've not been to GBR either, but I know it is often suggested on this forum that it wise to allow an extra day or two in case you get rough seas/murky water making visibility poor, and can then postpone your excursion to the next day. Someone more familiar with the area can perhpas provide a little more guidance.

I've used the multipass to get around Sydney and take the train to the Blue Mountains and found it a pleasant and economical way to travel. I've also done the hop on hop off bus around Katoomba and Leura and would recommend it, especially if you are only there for one day and want to take in the main sights. If you are interested in doing some hiking, and extra day would help.

In Sydney, the Rocks area is very convenient for the harbour bridge, Opera house, and ferries to Manly beach and elsewhere. Russell hotel is often recommended as an economical choice, and I think there is a hostel in the area as well. We stayed in a BnB nearby but I can't think of the name.

There are two "Im Free" walking tours in Sydney: one leaves in the afternoon from the central business district (CBD) and the other is in the evening in the Rocks. They keep you moving and lots to see and learn. You tip the guide what you think the experience was worth. Not sure about frequency at the time of year you are travelling; you shouldn't have trouble finding the website.
eliztravels2 is offline  
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