Planning Sydney Trip

Old May 31st, 2008, 03:25 PM
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Planning Sydney Trip

We are thinking of an Australian visit April or March, 2009. At this point we are in preliminary stages of plan. We may be traveling with another couple and they suggest 14 nights in Australia as follows: Sydney 3 nights to include trip either to Hunter Valley and/or Blue Mountains; 2-3 nights Alice Springs; 4 nights Cairnes/Great Barrier Reef; 2 nights Melbourne and 2 nights Adelaine.

I am looking at things to do in Sydney at this time and it seems to me that 3 nights is not enough time. I will look at Alice Springs and the other destinations at later date.

What are the must do things in Sydney? These are my thoughts;

Harbour Explorer on/off cruise
Explorer on/off city bus tour
Walk accross Harbour Bridge, train back
Opera House tour
Bondi Beach
Sydney Fish Market
Taronga Zoo and botanic garden as part of on/off excursions if possible
Chinese Garden
Rocks Walking Tour
Hunter Valley and/or Blue Mountains

What are the must sees? What is estimated length of Sydney stay?
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Old May 31st, 2008, 06:23 PM
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Having visited Australia several times (and having lived there for a few years as well), I urge you to re-think trying to go to 5 different locations in a 14-day stay. You will just find yourself spending too much time getting places because you are going to have to fly to and from all of those cities.
If you plan to do a day trip to either the Hunter Valley or the Blue Mountains plus do all the activities you have listed, you should allow yourself at least 4 full days in Sydney.
If you are travelling from the U.S., take a look at the Qantas Aussie Airpass. It includes your flight from LA to either Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne, 3 internal flights and return flight to LA from either Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne (so you can fly into one city and out of another).
So your group, for example, could fly LA-Sydney-Cairns-Next Location-Melbourne-LA.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 08:20 PM
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Longhorn55, thanks for the tip. I think we are neighbors. You T Sips give it away every time. I live in H Town.

You are correct about doing five cities in 14 days. We usually travel ourselves because we find most travelers try to squeeze to much into so few days. To give you an example we just did 6 cities in SE Asia in 28 days and were not rushed. If we cannot convince our freinds about this we may travel on our own. They also want to spend 8 days in NZ.

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Old May 31st, 2008, 09:39 PM
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You really only have time to do Sydney and surrounds and then say Cairns and the GBR including the surrounding areas. If you do get a Qantas Aussie pass then you could add the area around the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales. We do not have the population and closeness of cities in Australia compared with Asia therefore getting from one place to another is not as easy, or short, as you may think.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 10:00 PM
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I agree with Lizzie. You are trying to do too much. Distances in Australia are far greater than you possibly imagine. Even within Sydney you want to do too much in that short time. Sorry to rain on your parade but I think you need to make some drastic cuts. Good luck!
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 08:21 AM
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Thanks for the imput. You all have confirmed my concerns. Will be talking to our friends later today to discuss your comments. May travel to Australia on our own if they do not want to commit to spending more time. We are actually independent travelers with few time constraints amd may make this trip on our own. If so, I will be asking for your valued assistance.
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 06:03 PM
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I think you're on the right track, MS; 14 nights/5 locations in Australia is akin to "If this is Tuesday, that must have been Russia yesterday."

Once you define where your group/individual interests lie - would you, for example,like to see some Theatre/Concerts/Art shows? Are you intersted in the Hunter Valley for the wines or just as somewhere "out of town" for day trip? - you have a better starting point, IMO.

You could have a reasonable glimpse in 14 days - say 4-5 nights Sydney, 1 Hunter Valley or Blue Mountains; Alice Springs/Uluru - 3-4 nights and the remainder Cairns & GBR. This would give you (1) Major city + day trips(2) Outback (3) Tropics & GBR.

The thing most people miss is that it can take 1/2 day or more to travel between the various destinations on their schedules.

I'd suggest leaving Adelaide & Melbourne out if you do stick to 14 days, unless you have a particular reason to visit them. They're both absolutely charming cities and I love them both. They are however, cities and if you want a broader experience of the things which define Australia, then I'd by-pass them both on this trip.

If you have the option of extending your trip but your friends don't; could you both do what you want, meeting up when your paths cross rather than travelling "joined at the hip"?. For example, if you want more days in Sydney, let your friends go to Melb/Adelaide etc., & meet up with them in Alice Springs or Cairns. Just a thought.
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 08:19 PM
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Bokhara2. Good stuff. Thanks. Fodors travelers have always come up with excellent trip ideas and info.

My friend just e-mailed that she is in contact with Swain Tours and they are working up a trip estimate. They have booked flights from US to Sydney on March 1, 2009, return from Aukland on April 1. She will send details later. What kind of weather would we expect in March?

Please keep the ideas coming.
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 08:38 PM
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March is at the end of our Summer, temperatures in this Elders Weather Chart might be useful.

http://www.eldersweather.com.au/past..._maxave&p=3mth

The Southern states are cooler, warming up as you travel North. Central Australia will usually be cooler in the evenings & mornings and quite warm/hot during the day. 30's (Celsius in Australia).

NZ will be cooler than Australia.

Good luck - come back when you need some more input. Sometimes it just helps to talk something through with people who aren't emotionally involved in it.
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