Is 7 nights in Sydney too long?

Old Dec 8th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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Is 7 nights in Sydney too long?

We are thinking of dividing our vacation of 14 nights the end of Oct next year between Sydney and the south island of NZ--7 nights each. We have researched options and keep coming back to spending all of our time in Australia in Sydney. Of the 3 most common destinations other than Sydney, here's a summary of postings for travel early November: Ayers Rock: hot and too many flies, GBR: heat and humidity (we are non beach-type people and hate bugs) Melbourne (already done the Amalfi Coast in Italy--GOR more of the same)Should we stay 5 or 6 nights in Sydney and add that time to the South Island of NZ? Being from Colorado, we may not be impressed with the Blue Mountains?
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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Why bother with sydney/australia at all.

Auckland is a pretty similar city to sydney.

Few days in auckland and a more comprehensive circuit of the south island.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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Well I am not familiar with New Zealand so can't comment on that side of your question. I may be biased being a Sydneysider but I believe you could easilly spend the entire time here and surrounds depending on what your interests are. Maybe Ayres Rock and GBR would not be for you given your concerns but I did smile at your assertion that the Great Ocean Road would be more of the same after the Amalfi Coast. I am not sure whether you would enjoy it but I can assure you that the similarity is definitely not there! It is a lovely drive but is entirely different from AC. The Blue Mountains is a nice trip but again they are not mountains as you know them. If you let us know what your interests are we can help you further and someone else will comment on NZ. Cheers!
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 04:35 PM
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If you don't like the heat & humidity, nor the flies & heat...and seeing your coming out in October, then stay in Sydney for those 7 days.
(Psss - October is a wonderful month to be in GBR, possibly the best month, but lets not tell anyone, will we)
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 05:00 PM
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We just spent 5 nights in New York City and loved every minute. We enjoyed the energy and all that is available--good food, fine hotels, theatre, shopping, museums. We felt that 4 full days was enough (because it was REALLY cold) Perhaps we could take a slower pace in Sydney. Plus the weather would be warmer the end of Oct in Sydney and we could enjoy being outside. It does not sound complicated to fly roundtrip to Melbourne for 2 nights if that is recommended. However, I am not concerned about staying in Sydney the 7 nights. I just wanted to check to make sure we are not compromising our experience by limiting ourselves to Sydney. We are NOT sporting people so hiking doesn't have much appeal. Is the Featherdale Wildlife Park interesting or would we see kangaroos and koalas in the Sydney zoo?

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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 05:05 PM
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Ten years ago, we passed up Milford Sound and the western side of the south island because we, too are from Colorado and thought the scenery would be similar. I regret it mightily. This year, Switzerland was better than the Rockies. So, I'll be going to the Blue Mountains next year - just because I did miss it last time.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 05:33 PM
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I know it's difficult budgeting your time on holiday, but I think you might be trying to chew off too much.

Seven days is probably not too long in Sydney, but is too little for the South Island of NZ.

There is plenty to do in Sydney, but as one of the other posts said, it depends on your interests. You could probably take in the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and a cruise on the harbour in a day. Having done those main things, the rest depends on what blows your hair back. The Blue Mountains & Jenolan Caves are a good day trip, or you could spin it out to a couple of days. There are Museums and Art Galeries (have a look at the Power House Museum at Darling harbour). If you are like my wife, you could spend every day for a month visiting different shopping centres around the Sydney area, including the largest in the Southern Hemisphere . (name escapes me, they all look the same after a while).

Is this a once in a lifetime, never to be repeated trip. or do you envisage making more visits "down under'.

If the latter, I would suggest giving the place a 'once over'. Fly into Sydney, spend a couple of nights, fly to Alice Springs for a couple of nights, and fly to Cairns for a couple of nights. Fly out of Cairns to Christchurch, and do a similar reconisance of the South Island. This would give you a taste for the country, and you could single out any areas of interest for a more 'in depth' look next time. Australia is such a vast and varied country you couldn't see all of it in a lifetime. (I'm willing to bet that 90% of Australians haven't seen more than a small part of the East Coast), and NZ, though infinitely smaller, is extremely varied, and seven days will barely scratch the surface.

If it's a "oncer" I think you should concentrate on either Australia or New Zealand, with my vote going to NZ (naturally) In 14 days you would get a good look at the South Island, and would even have a few days to take in some of the highlights of the North Island (Rotorua, and the Bay of Islands).

Better to do one destination properly than to arive home exhausted, wondering where you have been.

Good luck,
Barry.

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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:01 PM
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BTW richardJ and O&H ...

what's mesa verde national park like?
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:21 PM
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Mesa Verde is truly fascinating. The area around Cortez is called Four Corners (where 4 states meet) and has a very unique geographical appeal, being nestled into the San Juan Mountains. The National Park itself is completed unique--one of the best tours I have ever taken. The ancient Indian caves and artifacts are worth the trip from anywhere. The last few years there have been forest fires which have come close to destroying the cave dwellings. It's probably best to go in the fall after Sept 1 when schools are in session. It's a very popular, crowded destination.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 11:59 PM
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I know this is poor etiquette but....
Thanks richard J.....

what are the crowds like in mid April?
How does mesa verde compare to other pueblo ruins like bandelier,canyon de chilly etc?

what's your two sentence summary of Durango?
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 05:21 AM
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RichardJ

I would suggest another country actually. Australia is to my mind the most beautiful country on earth. But I didn't always feel this way. I see from your comments an echo of me a few decades ago.

I was blind to her beauty for so long but then when it hit it was like a drug, an awakening, and I am not being romantic here, just factual.

It is about heat, humidity, hail and wind. It is about nature, not about cities nor human civilisation but the lack of it. Such a virginal ancient space looked after by a few aborigines who somehow found a way to survive because they understood for so long what we are just starting to see.

No the Blue Moutains do not compare to the mountains in Colarado. But then the mountains of Colarado look to the Blue Mountains as their ancestors. The beginning of time.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 06:46 AM
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Durango is designed for tourists, one long street of tee shirt shops, restaurants and motels. The scenery in the area is gorgeous. If you are interested in a spectacular train ride (Durango/Silverton) Durango is the starting point. If would you decide on the train, opt to take the bus back from Silverton. Mesa Verde is the cadillac of ruins but it would be interesting to tour all of them if you are in the area--short on time--Mesa Verde is worth the trip.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 10:01 AM
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MY COUNTRY
Dorothea McKellar

The love of field and coppice, of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance, brown streams and soft, dim skies-
I know but cannot share it, my love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror- the wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests, all tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains, the hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops, and ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country! Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us we see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather, and we can bless again
The drumming of an army, the steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country! Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine she pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks, watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness that thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country, a wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her, you will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours, wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country my homing thoughts will fly.


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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 10:28 AM
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We just visited Featherdale Park while in Sydney in early November. It was fantastic. I've been to some renowned zoos, but this might have been the best "zoo" experience I've had. The wildlife just seemed far more accessible than at the bigger places.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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Bokhara, I've only seen bits of this famous poem and am glad to see the whole thing. I have printed it out. I was enthralled with Australia the first time I went there and travelled around it for 3 months in 1982...in a way that no other whole country & its people I've ever visited has affected me and I have travelled a lot. I manage to make it to Australia for a visit about every 5 years. I wish it could be more frequently. There is just something about Australia and Australians.....

and in reference to this thread, I think there would be plenty to do in Sydney for 7 days.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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Thanks LynAK,
If you read it aloud, slowly, and find you can't finish, you'll have an inkling of how some of us feel. It's visceral.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 01:05 PM
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A week in Sydney is not too long, I think - but given the time available I'd cut back to 4-5 days to give yourself more time on the South Island. On our last visit we had a week on each island (driving) and it wasn't enough - 2 weeks on each would have been about right, we felt, as it would have given us the chance to include the areas north of Auckland and south of Christchurch, neither of which we were able to cover.
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 04:00 PM
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Former long-time Sydney resident here - can't say enough good things abour Sydney, and that is why I suggest you stay the entire 2 weeks in N.Z.

You seem to be folks who travel every now and then, so you'll come back when you have again at least 2 weeks - one for Sydney and environs, one for other Aussie targets (I said "at least" two weeks...).

The SI of NZ deserves your two weeks this trip.

WK
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 08:57 PM
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Bokhara, a few years ago, I taught grades 1-3 and I did a play with the students. The music teacher put that poem to music that the kids sang (alot of other ones and some old Aussie folk songs, too) but I couldn't sing it cuz I got too choked up. Then we went to Australia and experienced what LynAK did and when planning a recent trip to NZ, decided we just HAD to go back to Australia again, it gets in your blood. RichardJ, the Blue Mountains are not at all like NA mountains (and we have a lot, too, here in Western Washington) but an ancient plateau that has weathered over millenia to resemble mountains. The eucalaptus trees give off a mist that makes them blue (and smell vaguely like cough drops!) but when you are out in them, you feel like you are the only people on earth and it was made for you.
Sally in Seattle
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Old Dec 10th, 2005, 02:52 AM
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Sally, that's so nice. My vintage was taught that poem in primary school , along with a few of Banjo Patterson's -a couple that come to mind are "Man from Snowy River" and "Clancy of the Overflow". But they were never taught to my kids at school, and it was only by chance that my daughter, when she was about 8, found a very old school poetry book of mine, loved them and learned them on her own. She's now reciting "Clancy of the Overflow" to her 5 month old daughter. So its great to hear there's kids in America who know the words to "My Country", many Aussie kids wouldn't.
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