One day in Sydney - what to do?

Oct 9th, 2010, 07:06 PM
  #1  
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One day in Sydney - what to do?

Hi everyone, I will have one day in Sydney next week (October). My flight arrives at 8:30 am and I leave around 5 pm. I only want to use public transportation (no rental cars). Any suggestions on must-dos in Sydney? I love nature, botanical gardens, cool museums, good (though not too expensive) food, beautiful views, and maybe a little shopping. Thanks!
birder is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 07:35 PM
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After clearing customs and dropping off your bags at left luggage, get the train from the airport to Circular Quay. Take a tour of the Opera House and walk up through the Botanic Gardens to the Art Gallery of NSW for lunch.

The restaurant on the top floor has very good food and a terrific view of Sydney Harbour, go for the daily special, it's always good. Also in that vicinity you could eat at the Boy Charlton Pool, the cafe there has good views and good reasonably priced food.

The highlight of the gallery for international visitors is the Aboriginal art collection on the bottom floor. If you have time, there's also a sculpture walk you could follow that starts outside the gallery and takes you into the city. Alternatively, to finish off with a bit of shopping, walk back along Art Gallery Rd to Hyde Park and visit David Jones one of the main department stores: Elizabeth St for Women's clothing, Market st for men's. From the station opposite David Jones, St James, you can get a train back to the airport.

The Queen Victoria Building also has a nice selection of boutiques, if you have any time left. It is near to Town Hall station where you can catch the train back to the Airport.
Susan7 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 07:52 PM
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Store your luggage at the airport and take the train to Circular Quay. Explore The Rocks, Museum of Contemporary Art, Opera House, walk through the Botanic Gardens to the Art Gallery of NSW. If you walk along the foreshore in the Botanic Gardens, you will emerge at Mrs. Macquarie's Chair - fabulous Opera House & Harbour Bridge views from there. Then just walk along the road (or back through the Gardens) to the Art Gallery of NSW.

There are lots of restaurants catering to most budgets along the walk to the Opera House (and in The Rocks precinct). Good cafe at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), in the Botanic Gardens and at the Art Gallery, too. I like the Art Gallery of NSW for lunch - good bistro food & nice views of the harbour (but not of the Bridge or Opera House).

From the Art Gallery, take the path through the Domain (park)directly in front as you exit the Gallery, to historic Macquarie Street. You'll walk through old Sydney Hospital and come out near Parliament House, Hyde Park Barracks Museum. On the opposite corner is St. Mary's (Catholic) Cathedral.

If your shopping genes are engaged at this point, head diagonally right at the end of Macquarie Street to David Jones (department store - think Bloomingdales in the US). That's in Elizabeth Street. There are some designer shops to the left (south) and along Castlereagh Street (parallel to Elizabeth Street). Down Market Street to the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) which is interesting for its architecture, the fact that it was saved from the wreckers' ball of the 60's by builders' union bans, and has some quite good shops. There's another lovely arcade (The Strand) towards Circular Quay from the QVB (north) which runs between George Street and the Pitt Street Mall. Some interesting shops, original designers of clothing & jewellery, and a good coffee shop.

Depending on whether your next flight is domestic or international, you'll need to be back at the airport by 3 or 4. You can take a train from Town Hall (near the QVB) to connect with the airport train - or just hop in a taxi. Taxi change-over is 3pm, so they can be a little scarce around then.

Public transport in the CBD is good. There are hop on/hop off red buses, and for the others, just buy a ticket at convenience stores, newsagents in the street. Someone mentioned a free bus (555?) recently, but I don't know anything about it, I'm afraid.

Have fun - Sydney's a beautiful city. Where are you from?
Bokhara2 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 07:56 PM
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Hi Susan, do you think we're singing from the same hymn sheet? (LOL) Cheers, Bokhara
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Oct 9th, 2010, 08:40 PM
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Hi Bokhara, that's very funny, we have uncannily similar responses and yet we must have been posting at the same time! Hope all is well with you!!
Susan7 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 08:48 PM
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Thought the same! As I was posting I scrolled down & thought I must have double-posted!! All's well up here on the Beaches. Sun's out, waves roll in, not too many bluebottles. Did you see that great art show on TV with Hetty Perkins during the week?

(sorry, birder ... Hetty Perkins is the Aboriginal Art curator at Gallery of NSW & did a wonderful segment about visiting the Aboriginal Artists in the NT.)
Bokhara2 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 09:03 PM
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I did see it and I'm looking forward to the next episode! It was so sad to see the images of Doreen Reid Nakamarra who died last year of pneumonia aged only 50. Knock-out work, it really vibrates!

Sorry, Birder you can buy a copy of the book, Art and Soul, or watch the episode here, it gives you a snapshot of Aboriginal art in the country:
http://www.abc.net.au/iview/?series=...series/3030070
Susan7 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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The docks would be my destination combined with Darling harbour for such a short lay over.

Regarding prices in restaurant: We visited MEL recently and were blown away by the proce hike EVERY eatery has done in the past 8 years.

When we used to travel frequently in the 90s and early 20s visits to the restaurants were a treat compared to Europe. Now visiting restaurants is extremely expensive - comparably.
Be prepared to pay 20-30 for a decent lunch - plus wine!
Happy landings!

spassvogel is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 02:35 PM
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Hi spassvogel, In Sydney at least you need to stay out of the tourist traps like Darling Harbour to get decent, reasonably priced food. Places like the Chinese-Malay restaurant in Hunter street you can get a stunning laksa for about $12-15 and there are lots of places like that in and around the city.

Our dollar, however, really isn't helping international visitors, it topped 99 cents to the US dollar last week.
Susan7 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 05:07 PM
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Thanks everyone - what fantastic ideas! I'll make sure to report back after the trip.
birder is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 05:54 PM
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Excellent, I look forward to your report.

Just in case you are a birder, look out for the rainbow lorikeets in the Botanical Gardens. Also, a whole mob of sulfur crested cockatoos can often be found digging up the grass roots in the Domain area just next to the Botanical Gardens.
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Oct 11th, 2010, 09:15 PM
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I am a birder - thanks! I usually keep my binoculars on me, so I will be looking for both of those!
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Oct 12th, 2010, 03:33 AM
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Thanks everyone for great post. I liked it and enjoyed reading it. It was informative...
JackDarcy is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 11:20 AM
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Susan
THX - yes you are right. But I LOVE the atmosphere and so much to watch ;-)

Regarding the OZ$ - it's KILLING! I remember Dec 08/Jan09 it was 2 for a €. When I changed € in Sep (I was in a rush and just needed some cash) I changed and got 1,18AUS$ for a €.
I am sure that was a bad deal but still......

I am going back in Nov and pray it's getting better ;-) Okay for you and travelling abroad that means worse

spassvogel is offline  
Oct 18th, 2010, 06:33 PM
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What a fantastic trip - thank you for the advice! I printed it out and it was actually the only travel advice I brought with me (no guide books or anything). I took the train to Circular Quay, was amazed by the Opera House, and then went into the Botanical Gardens. Beautiful, although more leafy than flowery. I ate lunch at the gardens in their "fancy" restaurant - my only mistake. It was overpriced and not very good. I spoke to the manager afterward and before he responded he said, "Are you a visitor to Sydney?" I said, "Yes" and he then treated me apathetically. I think he wanted to know if he was going to lose repeat business, and when he knew I was a one-time visitor, he was happy to let my bad experience go unaddressed.

Afterward, I walked to the museum and enjoyed myself so much. The Aboriginal art exhibit was amazing. I couldn't believe the museum was free. I then walked through Hyde Park and went into the Westfield Mall, Myer, and David Jones. I then wandered around a bit more until I saw a sign for the Museum train station, and I hopped on and went back to the airport.

BTW, the luggage holding place was great, and it was only $8 to hold my luggage for several hours.

A fantastic first-time experience in Sydney - thank you all so much!
birder is offline  
Oct 18th, 2010, 10:55 PM
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Thanks for letting us know how your day went, Birder. Glad you had a great day. Amazing how much you can fit into a few hours, isn't it?
Bokhara2 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 03:19 PM
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@ birder
It's good to know you enjoyed Sydney!

You managed to do quite a lot!

spassvogel is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 03:47 PM
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Hi Birder, Thanks for reporting back. Sorry to hear about the restaurant in the gardens, I wouldn't have recommended that! I hope you saw some birds!
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