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Ideas for Sydney

Old Aug 2nd, 2003, 11:52 AM
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Ideas for Sydney

It's a rainy dreary Saturday here in Toronto and I'm thinking about our winter vacation. We'll be visiting my mother-in-law in Sydney in February or March 2004. She's in Maroubra, but we're thinking we'll stay in Coogee at a serviced apartment. We were there in 1996 so we've seen a lot of the usual tourist attractions. Any ideas on what we can do when we're there? Interesting day trip excursions out of the city? The bridge climb sounds like fun - but too scary! I have to say that neither of us are all that excited about the trip - we're going more because we feel obligated to go, but we obviously want to enjoy the trip. At this point, I'm thinking we'll also go to Tasmania and somewhere further up the coast (both of which interest us), but we'll probably have about 10 days overall in Sydney. Any ideas? Thanks.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2003, 06:22 PM
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We just returned from our visit and one of our highlights was the Jervis Bay Dolphin watch tour by APT tours. This is an all day tour which gets you out of the city and goes south along the coast. Our stop at the Kiama blow-hole was great -- although it is dependant on the surge of the sea for it's thundering effect.
rheamarie is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 04:56 AM
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Port Stephens N of Sydney is also famous for dolphin watching. If you could do an overnight, then you could visit the Hunter Valley wine region on the way. Blue Mts - maybe u have already visited? Jenolan Caves? - not been there yet but hear they are worth seeing. Again, if it were me, I would combine with Blue Mts and stay overnight somewhere. Royal Nat Park; Windsor on the Hawkesbury River (or do the Riverboat Postman trip). Lots of info available at the tourist info place in the Rocks.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 07:31 AM
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Check out the walk from Spit to Manly if you have time and enjoy a great walk - we found that wonderful. Also if you like wine, maybe take in an overnight in the Hunter Valley for a nice getaway during your stay.

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Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 10:00 AM
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Go for the bridge climb, one of the best things you'll ever do-our family loved in last month.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 11:56 AM
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I don't see the attraction of the bridge climb either, even though I've done the "free" portion you can do. I'd recommend the two Hawksbury river tours, which are so rarely recognized as almost in a class of a Blue Mts excursion.

One departs from the Hawksbury River train station (a minor one just beyond Brooklyn if I recall correctly). Get on the 9am mail boat (the afternoon ones often cancel out) and take a round trip thru quaint little river villages (some with no road access) and semi natural scenery.

Another departs 11am from beautiful Palm Beach (there is an express bus to get there) and takes you thru that harbor and seaview, then into beautiful wild areas of the river that is protected parklands. It stops at a nice place for lunch, then takes you back to enjoy Palm Beach or other places nearby on your bus return. There was talk about such a boat excursion originating from Sydney harbor soon; wonder if that happened yet.
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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 12:51 AM
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February / March? Susan - you wont be walking much - it will be VERY HOT!!! and a bit muggy (humid)... But Sydney is GREAT at that time of year... The highlight is the Sydney Mardi Gras - this is a great entertainment... Sydney is really walkable - and theres lots to see and do - being close to the beach is smart, youll want to cool off... Tassie is gorgeous - just beautiful, and melbourne is lovely too - good way to go would be catch the train to melbourne, spend a day or two and take the ferry to tassie...
have fun
PerthGirl is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2003, 02:08 PM
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I posted a reply, but it's not showing up. So here it is again -

Thanks for all the ideas! The time of year is exactly the same as what we did last time (in 1996) - it'll be winter here in Toronto, so it's a nice time for us to escape to somewhere warm. I remember the weather being very pleasant in Sydney at that time.

We've already done trips to the Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains and Jenolan caves - all beautiful, but I expect we'll skip those this time around. We have to be careful about overnight trips - the purpose of the trip is to visit my husband's aging mother. Already she's not happy about the fact that we won't be staying with her. She won't even hear of our staying elsewhere, but at this point in our lives (we're in our 50's), the thought of camping out in the living room of someone's small 1 bedroom apartment doesn't have a lot of appeal!

These ideas are most welcome. Thanks again.

I like the idea of seeing Melbourne, then going to Tasmania.

Perthgirl, when is the Sydney Mardi Gras? We've just had Caribana - that's Toronto's version of Mardi Gras. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate. Add to that the reaction of many tourists to SARS, and it certainly wasn't the event that normally is.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2003, 10:54 PM
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Susan, I've got the photograph of our group on the bridge summit on my noticeboard (I'm looking at it right now) and I cannot stress this enough:
do ... the ... bridge ... climb

I took a group of varied ages on this, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. I bullied two people who were scared of heights into going ahead and they both thanked me for it afterwards. It is not scary at all. You are very safely attached via a static line, it would take a very determined effort to injure yourself. It's not nearly as strenuous as it looks, and except for the very first bit (where you are still close to the ground) you are walking on solid steel. You actually cannot look down per se, the views are amazing and there is no sense up there of how high up you actually are. Every time I see a picture of the bridge now I can proudly point to it, jump up and down and say: "I climbed that".

Just think what it will be like telling the story when you get home!

PS. One of the women in our group was doing the climb as a 50th birthday present, and in the reception they had a picture of a woman in her 80's who had done the climb! Maybe you should include your mother-in-law ... ;-)
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Old Aug 6th, 2003, 02:17 PM
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I'd avoid the Mardi Gras. It's not generically festive like the Caribbean ones, or the ultimate Rio one I've often enjoyed. Rather it's sort of a mass anglo-gay get together, which theoretically would still be an interesting spectator event, but it's hard to get a reasonable view of the parade unless you come ridiculasly early and it's hard or expensive to get hotel rooms (supposedly a million attendees).
viking is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2003, 03:46 PM
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Thanks for the input. I had looked up the Mardi Gras today and realized it sounds very similar to Toronto's Gay Pride parade (but on a bigger scale).

I never really considered the problem getting a hotel room. I guess it's something we should consider when we do get around to booking our flights.

Re the bridge climb - my husband is up for it and I'm even considering it!
SusanInToronto is offline  
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