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-   -   PLease weigh in... car or train (https://www.fodors.com/community/australia-and-the-pacific/please-weigh-in-car-or-train-790335/)

Neuman605 Jun 16th, 2009 06:01 AM

PLease weigh in... car or train
 
I need everyones opinion...Should we (4 adults) rent a car in Sydney to go to the Blue Mtns or take the train? Have seen mixed reviews...big city, different side of road, parking to more economical, easy to do independently..... Help!

Orlando_Vic Jun 16th, 2009 10:56 AM

Take the train to Katoomba then buy tickets for the explorer (hop-on/hop-off) bus. Very easy to do and relaxing too.

Orlando_Vic Jun 16th, 2009 12:11 PM

There are more ideas here: http://tinyurl.com/lkuga9

Saltuarius Jun 16th, 2009 02:52 PM

Depends what you want to do in the mountains. If you just want to visit the major towns and tourist sites it is a no brainer, take the train. If you want to see a few of the other places and do a bit of bush walking on the other tracks take your car. And again, on the other hand, if you really want to learn about the area and experience it with a guide then take the train to Katoomba and meet a guide there.

Bushranger Jun 16th, 2009 03:22 PM

As Salty says, really depends on what you want to do for as I said on earlier thread cost advantage even for four would be marginal.

The circuit bus services from Katoomba [explorer or trolley bus a bit cheaper] get you to the regular tourist places and plenty of different bushwalking about too that can be accesed without a car and with accommodation to get back to you'll not have a helluva lot of time for much else anyway.

Neuman605 Jun 16th, 2009 05:17 PM

So if we take the train what is the schedule like? Will we have time to hit the major sites? i know we don't have time to see everything but we normally try our best.
Or if we rent a car will my husband be ready to kill the back seat drivers if we fail to give him good directions? We made him a bit crazy on a previous trip but we were using 2 different maps. LOL, he corrected that in a hurry!
Also what does anyone know about a Savannah Walkabout tour? and where do I find one?

Orlando_Vic Jun 16th, 2009 05:52 PM

Here is a schedule, but it isn't the easiest to read: http://www.countrylink.info/__data/a...ternRegion.pdf

You would want to go from Sydney (Central) to Katoomba and, as I remember, the trip takes a little less than two hours each way. Of course, you could also start at Circular Quay and transfer at Central. Don't worry, the CountryLink agents selling the train tickets are very helpful. Just tell them that you want return tickets and they can also tell you about the explorer bus and where to find it in Katoomba.

If you want, you can do all this here:

CountryLink Travel Centre
Platform 1
Central Railway station
Phone 02 9379 3800
Fax 02 9379 3801

Susan7 Jun 16th, 2009 08:18 PM

If it's on the weekend definately take the train, the traffic coming back down the mountains is hell: bumper to bumper traffic most of the way.

If it's during the week, I'd take a car that way you can easily see several towns and take a walk in the less populated areas. It's just one road up the mountain so it's very hard to get lost.

Highlights for tourists are: Euroka Clearing (lots of Kangaroos), Red Hand Cave (these are both behind a town called Glenbrook), Katoomba (the Three Sisters rock formation), the scenic railway and cable car.

Bushranger Jun 16th, 2009 09:05 PM

www.131500.com.au is a site that has all Sydney public transport info and you'll probably find the trains run at least on the hour, maybe more frequently at peak times of morning/evening [haven't checked myself]

You can by a combined rail/explorer pass at the rail station but that puts you on the explorer bus rather than the trolley bus company - slightly cheaper I've seen reported.

For the Savannah Walkabout, there's one named something like that down in Melbourne - http://www.echidnawalkabout.com.au/savannah.html , sounds like a good experience relative to your normal wildlife sanctuary.

In Sydney at foot of Blue Mountains there's Featherdale Wildlife Park which would be easier to get to using a car but then you'd be squeezing a lot into one day.

margo_oz Jun 18th, 2009 10:58 PM

As a ps to Susan7 - we were in Euroka Clearing last weekend - not a roo to be seen! I had been telling my friends about them beforehand! Who warned them we were coming??? Talk about feeling cheated. Who knew wild animals were so wild as to go walkabout :O

Susan7 Jun 19th, 2009 05:10 PM

LOL. Margo have you scared them all away?

More seriously, I wonder what's happened to them, there's usually loads.

Neuman605 Jun 20th, 2009 05:13 AM

Could someone round them back up before October? Should we consider Featherdale?

Bushranger Jun 20th, 2009 04:33 PM

Featherdale is one of many different wildlife sanctuaries/parks and without a car it'll certainly take longer and a fair part of your BM day to get to if that's what you're thinking - very touristy too.

That Savannah walkabout in Melbourne may be more your style or a trip down to the GOR there will usually find them lounging around on lush fairway grass at the Anglesea golf course [and probably a few others]

Alternately, make it a longish early morning departure day for Wilsons Promotory and you should be able to see a few down there, and Healesville Sanctuary, out to Melbournes east combined with some walking about the Dandenongs would make a good day - http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/index.cfm is a good site for down there.

Maybe it's just a seasonal movement Susan.

And an interesting nature interlude to be coupled with lunch right on fronge of Melbourne is to head out to the Fairfield Boathouse and do some rowing up the river - http://www.fairfieldboathouse.com/?_page=2 , and Cheap golf at Yarrabend Public Golf Course too, another great spot for a stroll if anyone is into golfing as well as walking.

Toucan2 Jun 20th, 2009 04:44 PM

To second Susan above, if you do decide to drive up do it on a weekday, and it is pretty difficult to get lost...pretty much one road up. We handled it fine, even driving on the left side of the road. As it happened we drove up, and used a guide, which was rather fantastic. Carol knew so much, and was a delightful companion as well.

Whatever you decide on, I'm sure it will be enjoyable.

Neuman605 Jun 21st, 2009 02:45 PM

So are you recommending Healesville over Featherdale? We just want to see a few animals and not caged in a zoo. We can do that here. What is Dandenongs? Have orded guide book so eventually I do hope to be a bit more knowledgable but still want everyone's advice.

Susan7 Jun 21st, 2009 04:14 PM

Neuman, another possibility for seeing wallabies and kangaroos near to Sydney, is the wildlife enclosure at Kuring-gai National Park. I think it's called Kurindi, it's on the Bobbin Head Road entrance. Entry is free, it's not a cage as such, but a very large fenced area. The wallabies are from the area, and in Spring you will usually see them at the base of the Basin Walk eating the non-native grass at the Camping area. There are lots of great bush walks in the area, a free map of them is available from the National Parks and Wildlife Information centre at Bobbin Head.

Bushranger Jun 21st, 2009 05:10 PM

No, just saying that somewhere like Healesville while in Melbourne may be an option to trying to crowd too much into one primarily BM day but I do prefer to see Animals more in the wild too and why I said that the Savannah experience may be more your style, the Kuringai NP as Susan mentions also sounds better.

The Dandenongs are a part residential, part NP area and pull down the list on that Parkweb site and you'll have a link, two key walking areas that could appeal would be Sherbrooke Forest and you could catch a train to Belgrave and about a half mile out of town you can entre the forest and traverse it past some falls [maybe see some Lyrebirds] and end up at Ferny Creek and catch a bus back to FerntreeGully or walk through to Sherbrooke and Kallista, then back down to Belgrave.
The other walk could be to head from Ferntreegully up to one hill tree lookout and then down to Ferny Creek and back through the forest to Belgrave or do that in reverse.

Likewise for Sydney/NSW national parks using http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/NationalParks/
Just use the menu system to find Kuringai and there'll be a host of info available.

Another venture in Sydney though a little more sedate that might interest is the Hawkesbury River Mail boat run which leaves from Brooklyn about 9:30 of a morning for about three hours, Brooklyn about an hours train ride from CBD.
You could combine that with some walking in Kuringai.


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