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-   -   Sydney - Feb 27 (https://www.fodors.com/community/australia-and-the-pacific/sydney-feb-27-a-135402/)

Marion Jan 2nd, 2003 02:28 PM

Sydney - Feb 27
 
We are looking for a hotel near the airport and the name of a great restaurant in Sydney for my birthday. Is there a half-day tour of the city one can take. Is there a harbour tour? Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

serena Jan 2nd, 2003 03:00 PM

It sounds as though you'll be in Sydney only a short time, so why not stay at a hotel on Circular Quay with a view of the harbor and Opera house? The Hyatt and ANA and Quay West are good hotels there. The trip to the airport by taxi should take about 15 minutes so you don't gain much by staying at the airport. Rockpool is a wonderful, memorable restaurant on George St near Circular Quay in the Rocks area. The Explorer bus, you can get on at Circular Quay, has two bus tours where you can get on and off if you want, one tours the downtown area and the other tour is of the harbor cities. It's also fun to get on the ferries at Circular Quay and take the half hour ride to Manly or the ferry that goes to Watson's Bay, an eastern harbor town. Sydney is a beautiful, friendly, cosomopolitan city and it's more what happens there (wonderful arts and culture, festivals all the time, the Sydneysiders know how to enjoy life)more than the sights so you'll wish you stayed longer! We lived in Hawaii for nine years and have been in Sydney for several months now and still having seen it all. We love it! Serena

Alan Jan 2nd, 2003 03:29 PM

Hi, Marion!<BR>I very strongly support Serena's advice that you should not stay in a hotel adjacent to the airport, though there are plenty of these... unlike some cities, the airport in Sydney is close in (for years there has been talk of moving it away, but, luckily for you, nothing ever happened along these lines) so you can get to the best part of Sydney (Circular Quay and the Rocks) in less than thirty minutes, by taxi, by subway train, or by bus.<BR>If you have such a short time in Sydney that this is a vital point, I suggest that you combine your harbour tour with your &quot;great restaurant&quot; and take the Watson's Bay ferry from Circular Quay to Doyle's, a pleasant seafood restaurant right at the wharf. There is a story that Russell Crowe used to work there as a waiter. If you plan to go there for lunch, you can take the ferry both ways; if for dinner, you may need to catch a bus back, as the ferries don't run late at night. <BR>As for your city tour, Serena's advice is, once again, spot on... however, as an alternative, you may well find that Sydney is such a compact city, with everything you want to see in an easily-walked area, that you could usefully forego the tour and just walk from your hotel in the Rocks: you will go around to the Opera House, up through the Botanical Gardens, along Macquarie Street with all its historic buildings (a detour to the Art Gallery might be worthwhile here, back past St Mary's Cathedral to Hyde Park andthe Archibald Fountain, down through the Pitt St Mall to the Queen Victoria Building and the Town Hall (look in David Jones, the closest thing Sydney has to Harrod's or Saks Fifth Avenue), then down to Darling Harbour for the aquarium and the Maritime Museum... and then catch the ferry from Darling Harbour back under the Bridge to the Rocks. Or, better still, catch the ferry to Milson's Point and then get off and walk back across the Harbour Bridge. All of this can be done in less than a day, and you will see far more than sitting inside a bus listening to a commentary.<BR>Have a great birthday!

Marion Jan 3rd, 2003 10:58 AM

Thank you Serena and Alan. We look forward to our stay in Sydney and your great suggestions!! Marion

Nick Jan 4th, 2003 03:10 PM

Aside from Alan's difference with me on compactness of Sydney on another query (and Alan, you appear like me, to be a ready walker - some queries and answers suggest a walk from the Westin to the Rocks is rather unfortunately excessively long for lots of people), I think his advice is sound as is Serenas. Restaurant which is bit more upmarket than Doyles in style and right on the harbour at Rose Bay (10-15 minutes to centre)is Catalina at Rose Bay. Had my wedding reception there in Nov and they did an outstanding job with everyone praising the food. Catalina has a full verandah/balcony along the length of the restaurant and is very pleasant environment. For info, this is the one where Nicole K and Tom Cruise used to eat at regularly when in Sydney (so I was told). Being closer to centre, cab fare is less than Doyles.We stayed at the Westin for our wedding night after comparing to Hyatt, Quay Grand, Meridien, Sheraton on Park and felt that their rooms won hands down (our taste of course, check out web site - although Hyatt has the views and the consequently much higher price). Service was great there as well.

Nick Jan 4th, 2003 03:11 PM

Aside from Alan's difference with me on compactness of Sydney on another query (and Alan, you appear like me, to be a ready walker - some queries and answers suggest a walk from the Westin to the Rocks is rather unfortunately excessively long for lots of people), I think his advice is sound as is Serenas. Restaurant which is bit more upmarket than Doyles in style and right on the harbour at Rose Bay (10-15 minutes to centre)is Catalina at Rose Bay - has a web site to check it out. Had my wedding reception there in Nov and they did an outstanding job with everyone praising the food. Catalina has a full verandah/balcony along the length of the restaurant and is very pleasant environment. For info, this is the one where Nicole K and Tom Cruise used to eat at regularly when in Sydney (so I was told). Being closer to centre, cab fare is less than Doyles.We stayed at the Westin for our wedding night after comparing to Hyatt, Quay Grand, Meridien, Sheraton on Park and felt that their rooms won hands down (our taste of course, check out web site - although Hyatt has the views and the consequently much higher price). Service was great there as well.

leniram Jan 5th, 2003 06:11 AM

Marion<BR><BR>If ur just curious ,<BR>Re: Alan's differences with Nick<BR>Check them out at &quot;Queries on Sydney and Melbourne&quot; on this forum and both have opposing but sensible views <BR>

Jen Jan 6th, 2003 12:47 PM

Disclaimer - these restaurants were great 3 years ago, and should still be there.<BR><BR>Great restaurant in Sydney - Watermark on Balmoral Beach. Spent 4th wedding anniversary dinner there, and it was wonderful. 20 minute cab ride from Circular Quay, but worth the drive.<BR><BR>If wanting to stay in Sydney for dinner, Forty One is the spot I'd pick.


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