How's This for our 4-Day Sydney September Itinerary?

Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 10:25 AM
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How's This for our 4-Day Sydney September Itinerary?

Day 1: Arrive SYD at 6:10 AM - taxi to the Intercontinental Sydney (we have reserved the night before so that we can check in, shower and get settled). We are coming from the USA but we will have slept in business class on the long flight from LAX. Visit Sydney Aquarium/Wildlife World and shopping (the Rocks?)

Day 2: Royal Botanic Gardens (2 hrs.) Ferry from Circular Quay to Cremorne Point. 2 hour walk to Taronga Zoo. Ferry back to Circular Quay.

Day 3: 9 AM Sydney Opera House Tour (1 hr), Museum of Sydney, Hyde Park Barracks Museum, 3 PM matinee performance of "The King and I" at Sydney Opera House (Joan Sutherland Theatre).

Day 4: Dawes Point Park for views, Rocks Discovery Museum, Cadman's Cottage, Museum of Contemporary Art, Susanah Place Museum and shopping. 3:35 PM Sydney BridgeClimb (3-1/2 hrs).

Note that we tend to snack during the day and do not take time out for lunch. I am thinking that if we have extra time on Day 2 or Day 3, we will head over to the Rocks for shopping or seeing some of the Day 4 sights. We will want to finish our sightseeing and activities each day in time for the "happy hour" in the Intercontinental lounge, which runs from 5 to 7 PM. (Obviously we won't make it on Day 4 due to the BridgeClimb.)

After Sydney we will head to the Blue Mountains for 2 nights which I posted on a while ago...
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 01:38 PM
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Just a couple of comments, I noticed you don't have the main art museum on your itinerary (Art Gallery of NSW) just MCA, it might be a suitable place to visit Day 2 as it's in the vicinity of the Botanic Gardens.

Is there a reason for walking from Cremorne Point to the zoo? The zoo is on a reasonably steep hill and already entails quite a bit of walking. It's also expensive so you might want to maximise your time there, get the ferry direct to Taronaga, and then if you have time walk from there to a different ferry wharf to depart.

The shopping in the Rocks is not great, there's over priced tourist shops but not too much else of interest. The City Centre is probably better for shopping, or inner city suburbs like Surry Hills.

If you are interested in historical sites, Cockatoo Island might be worth a visit. It's a very nice ferry ride out there and incorporates convict sites and maritime history.

For a fabulous 360 degree view of Sydney, have a drink in the bar of Australia Square (The Summit restaurant) which revolves. Bar opens at 5 pm.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 02:02 PM
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Wander through the Queen Victoria building in George Street - beautiful renovation and some great shops.
The shops in the Rocks sell mainly touristy souvenirs.
If you have time, either take the ferry to Manly or take the Captain Cook coffee cruise around the harbour. Either will give you great views around the harbour plus the coffee cruise will give you narration.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 03:05 PM
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I second Mary's comments regarding Manly as well as the shopping, although there are some good art galleries and jewelry shops in the Rocks. It may make sense to do Manly after Taronga, ferry from Taronga to Circular Quay and then ferry to Manly.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 04:45 PM
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Agree with Susan about walking to the zoo - this sounds unnecessarily arduous, especially if you plan to see the zoo too. There is a ferry directly to the zoo, and a cable car up the hill, or a bus to the entrance if you don't want to pay for the cable car. You will want comfortable shoes and sunscreen.

Day 3 seems to have too many activities - I would cut one out (either Museum of Sydney or Hyde Park Barracks). If you did do the Barracks, there is a nice cafe in the Mint with a balcony view of Macquarie St (thinking about lunch options).

Lavandula
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 05:36 PM
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Susan7 - good points. Sounds like we'll get our exercise at the Botanic Gardens and at the zoo so we really don't need to do the 2 hr walk. Nice to know that the Rocks shopping is not great. As you can see, we don't have much time, so some of your other recs may have to wait until we return in the future.

marg, tripplanner - Queen V building sounds good - close by to where we will be. Not looking for touristy souvenirs but high quality art galleries are worth our time. Will look into Manly.

lav - as I said, we don't do lunch so we may have time for both activities. Thanks for confirming that the additional walking to the zoo would be too much...
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 08:51 PM
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The main gallery areas are: Paddington, Danks st Waterloo, Chippendale (including Carriageworks). Art Almanac is probably the most useful source.
http://www.art-almanac.com.au/whats-on/sydney/

As you have limited time, the top two gallerists in Sydney are Roslyn Oxley and Anna Schwarz.

http://www.roslynoxley9.com.au/
http://www.annaschwartzgallery.com/

If it's Aboriginal art you are interested in, then, Utopia art gallery which is the Sydney gallery for Papunya Tula. The represent Emily Kngwarreye amongst other Utopia artists.
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 11:13 AM
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Okay, here is a revised itinerary. I am afraid we just do not have that much time as my partner will want to wander (read: shop) and that will prevent us from moving at a faster pace and getting to other areas in Sydney like Manly or Carriageworks.

Friday (day 1): Taronga Zoo (want to be here on a weekday). I anticipate a morning arrival, after check-in at the Intercontinental. We will need to go to the Rocks to reserve a tour at the Susannah Place Museum for Saturday afternoon, I think. Afterward (depending on how jet-lagged we are, we may head to the Sydney Tower Eye for some views (we will not do the skywalk, though) or just explore the Rocks.

Saturday (day 2): Royal Botanic Garden, Art Gallery of NSW, Rocks Discovery Museum, Susannah Place Museum, and explore the Rocks and/or Sydney Tower Eye.

Sunday (day 3): Sydney Opera House tour, Government House tour, Hyde Park Museum, Museum of Sydney, 3 PM performance of "The King and I" (Opera House). Will punt Museum of Sydney if there is not enough time.

Monday (day 4): Sydney Aquarium, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Queen Victoria Building (for shopping), 3:20 arrive for 3:35 BridgeClimb.

Let me know what you think.
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 11:22 AM
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Oh, and one more question - are credit cards commonly accepted for admission to the above-mentioned sites, museums, ferries, etc? I realize some things can be purchased in advance on-line...
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 02:16 PM
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Credit cards will get you into most places but it's still best to have some cash in hand.
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 02:36 PM
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Other than small purchases here and there, I mostly used credit cards during my time in Sydney. Visa, MC, and Amex are widely accepted.
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 03:43 PM
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marg and tp - can you comment on my revised itinerary which I posted above my credit card question?
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 04:20 PM
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Craig, your itinerary looks good although personally I would give Sydney Tower a miss. The views are not as spectacular as what you get from the Harbor Bridge. The one major thing that seems missing from your itinerary is a trip to Manly or Bondi, but there's always a repeat visit.
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 04:36 PM
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tp - What do you recommend to see or do in Manly? I've been struggling with why we need to go there - we could probably fit it in on our first day if the stars are all aligned .
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 05:55 PM
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Craig, given your schedule, I would leave Manly off for this trip and save it for another visit. While the beach is nice, it's really the trail from the Spit (3-4 hr walk) that makes it special as well as the various walks / hikes you can do while you're there. The coastal scenery is signature Sydney, especially the views of the Harbor with the two heads at the entrance of the harbor, not to mention the coves and the little beaches along the way. That said, I think you'll have a fine overview of the city with what you have planned.
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 03:58 AM
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The Manly ferry - fwiw here's another view - as one who spent his first 40 years in Sydney (born near the harbour as it happens), commuted by the Manly ferry to work in the city every day for the few years I spent living on the northern beaches and who still takes any opportunity to take the trip there and back - it's only 30 minutes each way and 5-10 minutes walk between the harbour wharf and the ocean beach - any time I can now I've returned, I find it difficult to imagine anyone NOT taking the ferry trip to Manly on a first visit to Sydney. I'd give it priority over the zoo and Bondi (must confess I've been to the latter comparatively few times and then mainly in a state of acute oxygen deprivation at the end of the City to Surf run, but have lived at nearby Coogee beach).
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