plase help with Sydney & Melbourne

Sep 14th, 2004, 08:30 AM
  #1  
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plase help with Sydney & Melbourne

Hello!! I am in my late twenties and planning to go to Australia next year for the first time by myself. I want to stay a week in Melbourne and a week in Sydney. My dilemma is trying to figure out when to go, Can someone make some suggestion as to when is better time to go,I am debating between the last two weeks in March or Mid April? Also, I will take either a train or bus from Melbourne into Sydney, is that a wise choice? Last thing-where can I learn more about the bridge climb? I thank you all in advance for the assistance.
preenyc is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 10:14 AM
  #2  
 
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g'day preenyc

Either time is OK - if you're looking to swim in the ocean, make it earlier instead of later. This is a great time in Sydney, and not too bad in Melbourne.

Between Ssydney and Melbourne, I'd fly. It's a long, boring trip by either train or bus, and air is probably cheaper. Have a look at qantas.com or virginblue.com.au, or even jetstar.com.au, although it uses an airport outside Melbourne (bit like Ryanair)

Bridge Climb www.bridgeclimb.com

Feel free to ask any other questions.

margo_oz is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 10:57 AM
  #3  
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Magrgo_oz, Thanks for the help. I don't plan to swim just want to do a lot of site seeing, as for Melbourne to Sydney - I am on buget, but will look into air fares on the sites you recommended. Where in Sydney is a good place to stay, The Rocks, Circular Quay or Darling Harbour?

Once again thanks in advance for all the help...
preenyc is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Hi preenyc,
Accomodation in Sydney is plentyful, but does depend upon your budget.
It also depends upon what you want to see and where you want to go.
Transportation in Sydney is very good and most things are easy to walk to.

If you search on this forum for Sydney hotels or apartments there are literally hundreds of posts.
Alan Margo and Neil amongst others will be along soon to give the pro's and cons of the areas you mention I am sure.
Personally I prefer to stay a little outside the main tourist hotspots so I can't comment on anything closer than the Waldorf or Marriot Hyde park.

Good Luck

Muck
Mucky is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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Thanks for the vote of confidence Mucky, but I'm not much use in regard to Sydney accommodations. preenyc, having said that, maybe you should look into joining the youth hostels association - go to www.hihostels.com/openHome.sma - and staying at a YHA property? I think the main Sydney city hostel is near Central Station, which is a mile or so from the main tourist beats but an easy bus or subway ride. The advantage of hostels is that you'll find yourself among a lot of similarly-aged travellers from all over, an instant source of info and travelling companions. (That's what my son tells me, anyway.)
Neil_Oz is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 02:15 PM
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Hi, preenyc!

As far as weather is concerned, Sydney is beautiful from mid-March through to the end of April, so it makes little difference which period you choose, but you may find that Melbourne is starting to cool down rather quickly by the middle of April. One reason for choosing March might be the Sydney Royal Easter Show, which will be held next year from March 18 to 31. It's quite an event, held in the grounds of the 2000 Olympics, and you'd probably enjoy a day (even two)there. Check out http://www.eastershow.com.au/. This usually coincides with the school holidays, but according to the government schools' website, the autumn vacation this year occurs in mid-April, so once again, end-March is looking like the best time to come.

Both buses and trains between Sydney and Melbourne are fairly painless (you can spend a full day or overnight), and you may enjoy the scenery, but don't think that you're necessarily going to save money that way. Margo's advice re the air websites is very definitely worth following if you're on a budget.... when the sales are on, the plane fares run at about half the bus fare, with the train more expensive still. Now, neither airline EVER runs sales during school holiday time, naturally, but there will be probably be several times between now and March when tickets will be advertised for $AUD39 or $AUD49 for that late-March period. You practically need to be lurking at the websites when the sales are announced, because tickets get snapped up fast.

Might I suggest that if you do decide to do the trip by land, that you shorten your time in Melbourne by two days, and in Sydney by one day, and detour to Canberra, which is a very interesting city and very much "under-visited" by tourists. It's not unlike a mini-Washington (in fact, its designer used Washington as his "model"), and, if you like museums and art galleries, you will find that Canberra has all the best that Australia can offer.

The Central YHA is a particularly nice youth hostel, and certainly a step up from the others in that area. You will need to catch a bus or a train to the water, but on the positive side, Chinatown is only a block away, so there are lots of cheap eateries to take advantage of.
If a hostel is not what you are after, there are several "non-hostel" budget choices, and in better parts of Sydney. As a general rule, the closer you get to the Rocks, the better for city sightseeing. Accommodation IN the Rocks is usually quite expensive -- I can think of only one budget (around $AUD120)choice, and that's the strange old Palisade, which appeals to me because I enjoy the bizarre, but which I hesitate to recommend on this forum for fear of getting hate mail from people who think that the Mercures and the Marriotts are what accommodation should look like and feel like. But a six-minute walk back from the Rocks towards the shopping areas of Sydney is the pleasant old Grand Hotel, in Hunter Street, which has single rooms for around $AUD80. It might be worth the upgrade from the Sydney Central YHA (depending on what the hostel is charging nowadays... some time ago I checked it out for one of the posters on this site, and was a little surprised at how expensive hostels had become).

While in Sydney, consider spending a day doing the Spit Bridge to Manly bush walk. It takes about three and a half hours, plus another forty-five minutes each way to get to it, and it is one of the most scenic walks you will ever go on, anywhere. I recommend this especially to you because of the time of year you are coming in -- around Easter is the perfect time to do this walk, of which you will find much information by doing a search above. It's the best walk in Sydney. You may also like a day or two in the Blue Mountains, a two-hour train journey west of Sydney... once again, a nice time to visit, before the winter cold sets in.

Have a great holiday!
Alan is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 07:01 AM
  #7  
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Thank you all for such great feed back!! You guys are the best!!
I am a bit on a budget, but will look into the Central YHA, but my only concern staying in a hostel is security. I have never stayed in the hostel so not sure if they have a place to lock your bags in a safe palce if I decide to take a day trips? I just want to weigh all my options before I decide to do that, since it is my first trip out of the states by myself.
preenyc is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 07:19 PM
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Mind you, my birthday is in mid-April - so that's usually a wonderful time
margo_oz is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 07:33 PM
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Preenyc, there are single rooms in the Sydney Central YHA, if security is a worry for you (me, too!). But why don't you tell us your budget, and then let us see what we can come up with to meet it? Alternatively, why not wait until two weeks before you come and try www.wotif.com.au. There will be rooms there for around $50-$60 in reasonable areas.

I guess it's about time now for the Melbournites to get onto this thread and help with the second part of your question. They read more slowly than we Sydneysiders, ao it usually takes about two weeks longer to get an answer from down there!
Alan is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 10:53 PM
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The cruel barbs of Alan have spurred me into action!!!
I take it from your sign in name that you are from New York,as I have no idea of your budget I will start with good clean comfortable budget accommodation right in the heart of Melbourne.
First is the Causeway Inn just off Bourke Street Mall opposite Myer Department Store, David Jones and the GPO, surrounded by boutiques, cafés and theatres and just a short walk to many attractions. A most central city location, rooms, featuring mini-bar, refrigerator, tea/coffee facilities, in-house movies, air-conditioning and electronic key cards. There is also a guest lounge and laundry. Cost is $100 per room per night, cheaper if you are staying for 4 or more nights
The second is even cheaper The Victoria Hotel, right behind Melbourne Town Hall.
An economy single here is $56 per night for that you get air con, fridge, TV, tea/coffee making facilities.Downside is the shared bathroom facilities in the economy class. However for a standard room the cost is $92 per night, this gives you air con, ensuite bathroom/toilet, hairdryer, fridge, room safe etc. The Victoria has an in house restaurant as well as some function rooms. It is a very popular hotel with country visitors and on a number of occasions we have put staff from the rural areas attending training, conferences etc up at this hotel with no complaints.
The location of both of these properties could not be bettered
Here are the web links
http://www.victoriahotel.com.au/
http://causeway.bestwestern.com.au/

These prices would probably be even cheaper on a last minute site such as wotif.
If you are not on a budget and prefer something more up market, then let us know.
Trust this is helpful
PS Both properties are quiet at night. The Causeway being in a pedestrainised arcade and the Victoria on Little Collins st
MissB99 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 07:54 AM
  #11  
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Hello all!!
Once agian thanks for the recommendations!!
Margo_oz, my b-day is in mid April as well (13th)..
My buget is between $60-100. As for Melbourne I have read in few places that the Ibis Melbourne(Therry Street) in the City Center area is suppose to be decent as well as Toad Hall (Elizabeth Street), any clue on those??

Alan & MissB99 - where are you guys from? Yes, I am in NY as my name says it all...
preenyc is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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The Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. But my heart is in New York.... wanna do a home swap?
Alan is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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With a budget of $60 to $100 Aussie dollars, you can live very nicely in Sydney, especially if you are willing to accept one of the old "pub" style accommodations where, while you have a room to yourself, you share a bathroom at the end of the hall with five or six other rooms (there are usually separate bathrooms for ladies and gentlemen). Since the hotels offering this are not usually tourist hotels, but more hotels for country visitors to Sydney, or medium-term residents, then you may find that the rooms around you are empty and you never run into the people you're ostensibly sharing a bathroom with. Frankly, I like this option better than hostels, where you're sharing virtually EVERYTHING with other people, and where your property has a way of disappearing!

One of the good (in my opinion, anyway) features about these "pubs" is that they are very much "Australian" in character; there's that extra feature of really feeling that you're FAR from home (when our family was in New York, we never failed to breakfast at a "greasy spoon" rather than at a McDonalds, because, well, that was uniquely NY)and part of the real mise-en-scene.

Now, with that in mind, may I suggest the Criterion Hotel, on the corner of Pitt and Park Streets. This is NOT near the water's edge... you'll have a twenty-minute walk to reach Circular Quay. But it's near just about everything else. This is the Times Square of Sydney. Within a block, in every direction, you have Hyde Park, the Monorail, the Pitt Street Mall (the best shopping area in Sydney), the George St Entertainment strip, the Queen Victoria Building, the Monorail to Darling Harbour, the Sydney Town Hall, and a major subway (Town Hall Station). There are also two major supermarkets nearby -- Woolworths and Coles Express -- where you can buy last-minute specials which you take back to your room and eat there, saving you a small fortune on food costs. The Criterion is an old art-deco building, only two storeys high, surrounded by newer, taller structures, so it looks a bit like Cinderella. It's VERY "Aussie pub"... in fact, most patrons go there to eat in the restaurant downstairs or have a drink in the bar. The majority wouldn't even know there were rooms upstairs. To get one of these rooms, you don't go into the lobby and up to the desk.... no lobby, no desk. You go into the bottle shop and the guy behind the counter gives you your key.

The price of this undiscovered gem was, when I checked a couple of yesars ago, around $AUD65 a night. They kept that price during the Olympics, when Sydney was supposedly "full", and every other big "chain" was charging unheard-of prices as they smelt the sweet smell of big money from overseas.

The Crierion has a website -- if I can find it for you, I will post it as a follow-up thread.

If, when you arrive, you decide that the Criterion is not for you, there are several other hotels within a block; the Coronation is the same kind of thing, only I think they have ensuite baths, and their price is around the $AUD100 mark. Then, there's the aforementioned Grand Hotel down in Hunter Street, which is closer to the water but more among offices than shops; it's about $AUD70 or $AUD80 for a single room.

If you want a room with a view of the Harbour Bridge, you can get one for about $AUD120 at another old "sailors' pub", the Palisade down behind the Rocks, in Miller's Point. All the other hotels at the Rocks are charging two or three times that price, because they're more what you expect a hotel to be -- Four Seasons or Marriott or Hyatt or Holiday Inn. The Palisade doesn't look anything like those, but the proprietress is friendly and, if I recall, breakfast is included, and you're only six minutes' walk from the ferries of Circular Quay. The Palisade is an amazing place because, while only about five storeys tall, it happens to be the tallest building around its neighbourhood, so virtually EVERY room has an unobstructed view... to the west, Darling Harbour, to the East, the Harbour Bridge, which is CLOSE.

If your budget ran from 60 to 100 AMERICAN dollars a night, then things are even better... you could try the Mercantile or the Australian, or even go for the beautiful Russell through the last-minute site www.wotif.com.au.
I've seen the Russell there for as little as $AUD90 a night, which is ridiculous for one of the loveliest and absolutely the best-located hotel in Sydney; $AUD120 is more likely, however.

None of these will look like your Comfort Inn or Days Inn... they will look more like some of those places up around 102nd St. But the area I'm describing to you isn't like 102nd St... this is right where all the other tourists are paying big money to stay. If you don't care too much about uniformed doormen, shiny baggage trolleys, express check-outs, endless tipping, and travellers' cheques cashed at the desk, then these places might just provide some of the highlights of your trip to Sydney. I tell you, you'll never want to go down to Melbourne!

Good luck!
Alan is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 02:11 PM
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Thw website is http://www.gdaypubs.com.au/sydneycity/criterion/. And, okay, so I lied... it's THREE storeys tall. See the Monorail line in the foreground of the picture? That tall building behind is another hotel, also. But it's more "ordinary" and more expensive.
Alan is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 02:46 PM
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The Palisade has a website, too: I checked and their rooms are $AUD118, just a bit above your budget, as they're double rooms. However, in case that's not pushing things too far, here's the URL: http://www.palisadehotel.com/
Alan is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 05:58 AM
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Thanks Alan for great suggestion...you def. make Sydney sound so beautiful. I just can't wait to be there. I love the sound of Criterion, since I don't really care much to have a luxarious room. I will be happy as long as it has a comfy bed and a clean bathroom I will be happy. I don't mind the walk, since that's what we pretty much do in NY.

I love NY and would love to house swap with you, if only my boyfriend wasn't staying back.

How long you've been in Sydney??

Tahnk again for all the info. If you are so nice and helpful I could just imagine how nice and helpful everyone will be.
preenyc is offline  
Sep 18th, 2004, 04:55 AM
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Sixty-two years in Sydney, preenyc; all my life! Of that time, seven days was spent in New York, and every day is ingrained on my mind forever. My second time was shortly after 9/11.... in fact, our plane tickets were to leave Sydney on 9/12, but, of course, Osama Bin Laden put paid to that, and we finally got there round abour 12/3. But we found everybody so friendly and welcoming (different indeed to the runours that NY people move so fast that they have no time for the everyday courtesies), and their spirits were really so high. The greater the tragedy, the more "united" the United States become, it seems.

The previous time was on my honeymoon, back in 1991; my wife ran into Gregory Peck in the street. Need I say more? She'll never get over it.... never!
Alan is offline  
Sep 18th, 2004, 05:01 AM
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Hey PreeNYC!
I was just reading in Budget Travel and heard about a place called Base Backpackers. It's in the St. Kilda part of Melbourne. From the pictures, it looks really nice and it's new. When I was in Oz a couple of year's ago, I went to St. Kilda and really liked the feel of it. cafes and bakeries lined the street and tons of people in there twenties. I was travelling alone and felt safe and people were friendly. In fact, Australia as a whole is a great place to go it alone.

You're going to have an amazing time!
Debbie
OneWanderingJew is offline  
Sep 20th, 2004, 08:04 AM
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Thanks for more info... I wish I could just go now!!

Please keep me informed on anything new that's out there...
preenyc is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 07:39 PM
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Hi again preenyc
Is your budget $60-100 US or AUSD?
For your accommodation options, it depends on what you are looking for. Do you want to meet up with other international tourists/backpackers or meet and mingle with local people?
If the latter, then I still recommend the Victoria Hotel or a little gem of a budget hotel The Stork. It is a traditional Aussie hotel with the bar, dining, bottle shop etc downstairs and the bedrooms upstairs (only two stories)
Here is a web link
http://www.storkhotel.com/
The Ibis is also in the vicinity of The Stork, but is just your standard 2 to 3 star chain hotel (not much character in my opinion). I go past Toad Hall almost every day and from external appearance it looks very run down with little appeal, but having looked at the website it may well offer better accomodation than the external appearance indicates. In the same area (ie around Queen Victoria Market) there are several backpacker accommodation options including,Melbourne International Backpackers and the Hotel
Bakpak (http://www.bakpak.com/)
MissB99 is offline  

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