Russell in February

Old Jan 24th, 2004, 09:49 AM
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Russell in February

I am hoping Alan might respond but other comments are welcome. I am considering trying to book the Russell through Wotif in mid-February. I have found infomation that suggests it is unbearably hot as it has no airconditioning.

Would you recommend staying there at that time of year? Are insects a problem if the window is open?? particaular
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 11:09 AM
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Hi John,

Obviously I'm not Alan. However, here's something to consider. Sydney is at the same latitude as Atlanta. Actually Atlanta isn't a fair comparison because Atlanta is at an elevation of over 1,000 feet, while Sydney essentially is at sea level.

A closer comparison might be Savannah, Georgia.

February in the southern hemsiphere is like August in the northern hemisphere.

Think Savannah, think August, and I believe you will have a fairly accurate idea of what to expect.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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Hi John, it's me, the Energizer Bunny, again.

I'm relatively new to Fodors, and I'm starting to learn the importance of understanding the context of a poster's question. This, of course, is not always provided by the poster himself/herself, but sometimes can be gleaned by clicking on his/her name and seeing other messages he/she has posted.

A very quick glance at some of your other posts suggests you'll be travelling fairly extensively through Australia and then also in New Zealand in February and March. However, if my quick glance was accurate enough, I got the impression you would be travelling roughly from north to south.

You may now be committed to several reservations, and it may not be possible to change your itinerary at this stage. However, if I had been contemplating the same journey, I would have planned it in the other direction.

* The southern tip of South Island NZ is roughly at the same latitude as Saint John's, Newfoundland.

* Christchurch NZ = Halifax, Nova Scotia

* Melbourne = San Francisco

* Perth = San Diego

* Sydney = Atlanta / Savannah, Georgia

* Brisbane = Miami, Florida

* Cape York at the northern tip of Queensland = Panama Canal

Going from Queensland to New Zealand in February and March would be the equivalent of starting out in Central America in August and working your way northwards, ending up in St John's in September.

If I was doing the trip, I would start in St John's and Halifax in August and work my way towards warmer climes, ending up in Central America in September. Speaking for myself, I would have no desire to visit places like Panama, Miami, Savannah, and Atlanta in August, whereas I would love to visit St John's and Halifax in August.

I don't know if I'm making any sense. My point is that, if one is used to northern hemisphere climatic considerations, one needs to reverse one's usual frames of reference when one contemplates the southern hemisphere.

If one wants a shady exposure in the southern hemisphere, one looks for a south facing one. If one wants a sunny exposure, one looks for a north facing one.

In the southern hemisphere fall (say around April), warm weather lasts longer the further north one goes.

In the southern hemisphere spring (say around October), warm weather arrives sooner the further north one goes.

And so on.

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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 01:04 PM
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I love the Russell but I would not stay there in February without airconditioning. Although Sydney can be quite pleasant then it can also be darn HOT and there is nothing worse than trying to get to sleep feeling hot and sticky. Generally in and around the harbour it is balmy but you can never count on what the weather will do so get somewhere with airconditioning and don't take the chance of ruining your holiday. There will be heaps on the wotif site!
Old Jan 24th, 2004, 04:51 PM
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Hi, john2003!

Although I recommend the Russell at every possible opportunity, I have never actually stayed there -- naturally enough, since I live in Sydney. So, really, I am not the best person to answer your question. However, I do have some general comments to make which you may like to consider when reading the posts above.

The Russell has no air conditioning, but since it is over 100 years old and constructed of thick sandstone, this is not usually a problem, at least to locals. It was built around the same time as a lot of the original government buildings (e.g. Eduacation and Lands) which are a few blocks away; there are now many newer government buildings all over town, but I know that these original ones are much-favoured by employees because they don't need air conditioning and are much-appreciated by people who suffer from the allergies associated with air-conditioned buildings. So it may be a blessing rather than a curse.

February is about the second-hottest month of the year in Sydney, although it cools down quickly from mid-Feb onwards, so that March is delightful. Whether the February temperatures count as "unbearably hot" would depend, really, on where you're coming from. If your home town is Duluth, then I would suggest that yes, it's going to be unbearably hot here. However, the Russell is within a few feet of the water's edge, and this keeps things from getting too dire -- just don't think of travelling out west to Blacktown, Richmond or Penrith, where it can be eight degrees hotter at any given time!

I can't tell you anything useful about the problem of insects and open windows at the Russell, except to say that I have never heard of any problem here. Why not set your mind at rest by asking them, by email, before you need to commit through wotif? For myself, I hate insects at all times, and up here in the mountains they're pretty bad at this time of year -- but I was in Sydney last night for the free concert in the park, a few minutes' walk from the Russell, and I didn't see or feel a single insect. I appreciate, however, that this is not the same as sleeping there!
Sorry I haven't been more help -- but I suspect you don't have too much to worry about, and I cam promise you that the Russell is the quaintest of old buildings in a location that is absolutely second to none -- the "chains" must look at it and eat their hearts out.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 05:24 PM
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Thanks for the responses. I understand that we are doing things backwards from a climatic point of view but there were reasons that we ended up visiting Australia first. It was the only timing fit I could get with my flyer miles at the time!

We are however doing the NZ South Island first so we will move northwards as fall approaches!
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