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-   -   Sydney/Blue Mtns. Sept 2-9 (https://www.fodors.com/community/australia-and-the-pacific/sydney-blue-mtns-sept-2-9-a-856850/)

PollyP Aug 28th, 2010 02:37 PM

Sydney/Blue Mtns. Sept 2-9
 
We will be in Sydney for three days (our second time) and the Blue Mountains for 3
days (Leura) , then back to Sydney for one last day before we fly home on the 9th. I know, I know, way too short a time, but the air fare was phenomenal, and I just had to go back again!

Questions: And thank you to any Sydney-ites that respond.

1) If we are in Sydney for 3 days, and then back for one more day (within the same week)
after our visit to the mtns. should we get the weekly pass for trains ferries, etc.? We can't use it in the Blue Mtns. (and we'll have a car there) but is it cheaper to do it that way, or to buy a 3 day pass, if there even is one, and then another one day pass?

2) If we get the pass at the airport, which color ( red? green?) do we need to come into the CBD from the airport. If our hotel is near the Wynward stop, do we just stay on the train after Central, or change?

3) We don't want to waste our last day in Sydney, so we plan to return the car in the CBD, then hopefully get a hotel (working on that now) where we can store the carry on luggage and then spend the night, leaving very early in the am to get to the airport. From what I have read, it is not really necessary to stay in an airport hotel since the CBD is not that far away. How much time should we allow to get from downtown to the international terminal around 7-7:30 am (for a 10:30 or so flight? Or would you recommend just taking the train or taxi out to one of the airport hotels that evening and not worry about the traffic the next morning. Any hotel suggestions (budget but clean!) if that is your recommendation?

At first we thought about just keeping the auto another day to take us to the airport, but we aren't keeping it because of the extra charge of dropping it at the airport, plus hotel parking, plus an extra rental day!

Thanks loads for any help you can give.

Paula
I really appreciate any responses. We leave in 3 days!!!!

DalaiLlama Aug 28th, 2010 05:55 PM

While in Leura, with your car, drive to the fabulous Jenolan Caves (www.jenolancaves.org.au) - when you get there, read the info board and pick one that suits your interest and stamina and fitness level, there's a lot of up and down on the cave walks, the longer ones can be strenuous. They're all fabulous. It's chilly in there, and you need good shoes. It'll be worth it, you'll see!

The pass you pick depends on how far out you want to go from the CBD. I take it you mean the MyMulti passes, right? Plan your moves around Greater Sydney, look up the zone map at www.myzone.nsw.gov.au/mymulti.html and decide. (Doubleclick on the map on that site, it opens up bigger, then use the plus sign button to zoom in further.)

I don't think the Airport Link airport train is covered by the MyMulti passes. It goes all the way to Wynyard which is the second-to-last station on that route. (It loops around and ends at town hall - see www.airportlink.com.au/sydney-city-map.html). Wynyard is a deep-down underground station, a bit of a rabbit warren - if you have luggage etc., and tired as you will be, you might not be comfortable getting up and out of there - I would just take a taxi for the arrival and again for the departure. Depending on time of day (meaning traffic density) you should be there in 15 to 20 minutes by taxi.

No need to stay near the airport, enjoy your last night in a nicer place, somewhere not too far from Circular Quai, take a last stroll near the Opera House or the Rocks, and take a last ferry ride just for the heck of it, or take a dinner harbour cruise for a farewell evening (book it before you leave for the Blue Mountains), then take a taxi first thing in the morning.

For a 10:30 flight, for peace of mind and to be ahead of the long lines (hopefully), you should be at the International Terminal at around 8AM. After check-in, with boarding pass in your pockets, before going through immigration, you can stroll around and check out the available food places - there are quite a few good ones in the International Terminal.

Sorry, can't help you with hotels, I stay with private, but surely someone else can (or - where are you staying the first few nights? If it is nice, book the last night before you leave for the Blue Mountains).

PollyP Aug 28th, 2010 06:51 PM

DalaiLlama,

Thanks so much for your quick reply!! We are staying at the Westin Sydney, using Starwood points....and at a self catering apt. in Leura. I guess we could just stay at the Westin again the last night, or try someplace new...

The idea of the taxi would make my husband happy...he is all for convenience.

Do you think the MyMulti pass for the week would be a good bargain, even though we won't use it for three days in the middle? The furthest we plan to go is the Bondi to Coogee cliff walk, with a bus to Bondi and a bus back from Coogee. If we do the Manly ferry we will just pay for it.

Thanks again, and I'd love any further comments.

Paula

Carrabella Aug 28th, 2010 08:17 PM

If you decide to get a taxi to the airport anyway, why not consider a 5 star mystery hotel on wotif.com. for a luxurious last night in Sydney? The one you get may be close to the airport train anyway. You'll know which hotel as soon as you pay, and can research your options from there.

There are at the moment a few 5 star options for under $200 for the first week in September. Good luck!

peterSale Aug 28th, 2010 09:34 PM

Kanangra Boyd National park near the Blue Mountians is fantastic. Great cliffs and scenery. We got a dusting of snow in September last year. This was a bit rare.
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/na....aspx?id=N0016

We felt that the Jenoloan Caves were over priced. As we have both done lots of caves and caving in the past we gave them a miss last time. But they are spectacular if you haven't been to many caves. There is a self guided walk as well.
http://www.jenolancaves.org.au/

Hartley is a lovely little historic town.
http://www.hartley-nsw.com/

aussie_10 Aug 29th, 2010 03:23 AM

Looked up the Westin, it looks lovely and a good location in the city.
For the last night I agree with staying in Sydney CBD and getting a taxi to the airport. Check with the hotel for times to the airport, they will know.
Wotif does have some good hotel rates.

I think the travel pass price will work out similar either way. You can get a day pass which would include unlimited bus train or ferry trips. A good trip is to catch the ferry (a Catamaran) to Watsons Bay, good harbour viewing along the way, have lunch at Doyles Seafood restaurant (they even have a takeaway). And then it is a short walk up to "The Gap" which has a beautiful aspect for a great view. You can catch the bus back to the city or Bondi. Or you can walk along the clifftop path all the way to Bondi. On a lovely sunny day you will enjoy it.

Have done the Coogee to Bondi walk several times either way it is beautiful....lots of nice eating places for the end of the walk

I love nothing more than wandering around of taking trips on the harbour in our beautiful Sydney town.

DalaiLlama Aug 29th, 2010 12:01 PM

The catamarans are mostly enclosed - see http://www.sydneyferries.info/about-...rcat-class.htm - be early in line (it's not really a disciplined line but a throng...) or stick with the open-deck ferries.

PollyP Aug 29th, 2010 02:54 PM

Carrabella - thanks for the idea of wotif.com. We might give that a try. Hopefully it would be near public transportation.

peterSale - I liked the places you mentioned. We had not thought of them. Kanagra Boyd National Park is a good idea and we will try to stop at Hartley since we will have the car.

aussie_10 - thanks for the advice about the pass and the walks. Photographically, is there a better direction to head re the Bondi - Coogee walk, or the reverse? How about morning vs afternoon, assuming the sun is shining?

and DalaiLlama - more great advice. Many thanks.

Thanks to all who responded. Another question: will the daily bus/ferry pass be adequate for what we have planned, ie. Watsons Bay, the busses to/from Bondi and Coogee, busses around the outskirts of the CBD? We don't want to buy more tnan we will actually use.

Last question: Does anyone have a favorite (relatively easy, and probably not more than 4-5 km.) bushwalk in the Blue Mountains? Since we will be in Leura for 3 days, and close to Katoomba, I am sure there are plenty. I have seen the website that describes them; I am just looking for personal recommendations.

Now we leave in 2 days!!!!

Paula

peterSale Aug 29th, 2010 04:17 PM

We like the area around Balckheath especially a bit further out of town on the dirt road. Anvil Rock and the Wind Eroded Cave were both fantastic with very few people. Both are very short walks of a few hundred metres.

I can't find a good internet map for you, but they are on the brochures.

Wentworth falls is lovely as well.

DalaiLlama Aug 29th, 2010 09:34 PM

Absolutely must see and walk the heritage gardens and historic house http://www.everglades.org.au/

aussie_10 Aug 30th, 2010 03:40 AM

We have always done the walk from Coogee to Bondi doesn't really matter which way morning or afternoon (we usually do it in the morning and have a nice lunch). Because the walkway hugs the cliffs and the coastline is to the east, so on a sunny day you will have sun all day with lovely glistening sea views.

The catarmaran we took to Watsons Bay had an open upper deck......we got sunburnt. The Manly ferry is a great trip too. Sydney is such a beautiful harbour

PollyP Aug 30th, 2010 04:34 AM

Thanks again to all who helped with info...

DalaiLlama -- are the gardens in Leura going to have anything in bloom in early Sept.? I checked the weather, and it's still pretty cool there now.

aussie_10 we will take your advice re the walk, and go for the morning with lunch to follow. Any restaurant advice? We arrive in OZ at 6:30 am after a loooong night on the plane, so hope to drop the bags at the hotel and get out in the sun (hopefully there will be sun!) and walk!!! Is there a bus from the CBD directly to Coogee, and back from Bondi?

DalaiLlama Aug 30th, 2010 10:31 AM

Re Everglades Gardens - a lot of its appeal is in the trees, bushes, landscaping arrangements, sculptures etc., but if you call them locally once you're in Leura they'll tell you if some early blooms have arrived at that exact moment. Just note what you'll need from www.everglades.org.au


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