Sydney in June and July

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Feb 15th, 2009, 04:25 PM
  #1
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Sydney in June and July

My family will be taking our 1st trip in June / July timeframe. Is the weather acceptable in Sydney during their winter season? The plan is a 7 days in Sydney and 4 days in Cairns. Any tips would be appreciated.
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Feb 15th, 2009, 05:11 PM
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Last June I had twelve days of mostly rain of out my two weeks in Sydney and surrounding areas. It was very disappointing. I'm told that was unusual -- but it is their rainy season. I'll be going back again this year at the same time (for an annual conference) and keeping my fingers crossed.

We were still able to enjoy many indoor activities (such as museums, shopping arcades, and touring the Opera House) and it didn't rain all day, every day, so we still walked around (with our umbrellas that blew inside out!) and visited all the places we wanted to see. Sometimes it rained for a few hours; other times it did rain all day. We got 2/3 of the way through our tour of the Blue Mountains before it started raining.

I won't lie; we enjoyed it -- but it would have been much nicer with sunshine. When we did get an actual sunny day we used it to visit Bondi Beach.

I'll also be visiting Queensland this time and I believe it is supposed to be less rainy there that time of year.
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Feb 15th, 2009, 06:43 PM
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I was going to say Songdoc that you copped a bad June for though I do not love down that way anymore I had never considered June all that wet and seem not to cop too much on visits.

But looking at records - http://www.worldclimate.com/cgi-bin/...51+2100+94768W , yep it's right up there with April and March.

Certainly you would have hard luck to get any rain of note up Cairns way in June and July.

Depending on what sort of holiday you're after Martin, I'd consider cutting Sydney back to say 4 days and getting yourself to the Whitsundays for the other 3.
http://www.whitsundays.com.au/
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Feb 15th, 2009, 07:03 PM
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Thanks for the response. My family really enjoys the outdoors and warm weather; that is why Cairns is on the list. In addition my spouse wants to see the rainforest in that area. With respect to Sydney I just can not imagine going to Australia without seeing the sights of that city. We are from the USA and that is what is setting up the June / July timeframe: as school is out of session for my 13 year old. If my wife had her druthers, she would want to stay the entire 12 days in Cairns but I do not know if that would be too much time in one destination?!
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Feb 15th, 2009, 11:47 PM
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Why not do 12 days in Cairns? There's lots of things to see and do in the vicinity: the Reef, Daintree, Tablelands.

Sydney gets the most rain in the change-overs between seasons, i.e. early Autumn and Spring. But then it's last summer now and it has rained solidly for the last week. June and July can be beautiful, with cool, fine days.
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Feb 16th, 2009, 06:09 AM
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I've only visited once and am certainly not an expert on the weather, but we also hit a bad patch of weather on our late June/early July visit two years ago (2007)--enough that we titled our trip report, "No sun. No worries." Even so, we really enjoyed Sydney. I wouldn't skip it; maybe just adjust the balance of time as others have suggested. We followed our four days in Sydney with eight in North Queensland. Here's a link to our trip report, in case this is helpful. We also were traveling with a young teen (14).

http://www.onelittleworld.com/australia_1.html
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Feb 16th, 2009, 02:01 PM
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Based on the replies I will be spending the first four days in Sydney and the remaining 8 in Cairns. I think and the family agrees that more warm days is preferable.

From Chicago the RT airfare to Sydney is much more reasonable than RT to Cairns. We then will take a domestic RT from Sydney to Cairns. I am not sure what the cost impact would be by routing ouselves from Chicago to Sydney to Cairns and back to Chicago from Cairns. The other big issue is driving. I have never experienced driving on the LH side with the steering wheel on the RH side of the vehicle. Was that a huge transition for any USA travelers out there?
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Feb 16th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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Hi Martin,
I think your revised itinerary will work well for everyone.

On the driving - it's a natural transition with the steering wheel on the RHS & driving on the LHS because you still keep your passenger closest to the kerb as you do in the US/Europe. And, as at home, you pass oncoming drivers face-to-face. This "passenger to kerb" formula also helps you remember not to dawdle in the "fast lane" when driving on the opposite side to your usual one. I learned this very quickly one time on a S'strada between Milan & Bologna when a helpful driver behind gently tooted his horn .... at about 10 gazillion decibels for what seemed like 5 minutes (LOL)

I find it takes me an hour or two to feel comfortable when I swap sides.

I think you do need a car in Cairns to get the most out of your trip. There's not a lot of traffic; especially if you're used to city driving like Chicago. It can sometimes be tricky when you're first in line at a "T" intersection - I must look like the village idiot sometimes muttering to myself "passenger to kerb, passenger to kerb" the first day or so (LOL).

You'll be fine - a car will give you SO much flexibility. Enjoy your trip
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Feb 16th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Martin,

I think you are making a good choice to stay in Sydney for a few days and then basing yourselves in northern Queensland for the balance of the trip. We were in the Daintree/Cairns/Atherton Tablelands area in June and loved it. Great weather. We had some rain in Sydney, but not enough to keep us from doing anything we wanted to do there.

It's not hard to get used to driving on the left side of the road, with the steering wheel on the right--especially if you get a car with an automatic transmission (we drive stick shifts in the US, and even the left-handed stick shift works--it just takes a little more time to get used to). There's just the minor matter of turning on the windshield wipers every time you intend to turn on the turn signal...but that can be hilarious if you have the right attitude.

Your passengers will no doubt remind you if you fail to keep left!
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Feb 16th, 2009, 06:48 PM
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I definitely think you'll be glad for the extra time in the Cairns area and glad you rented a car. We were there in November (we stayed in a great apartment in Port Douglas) and they really make it easy to drive on the other side of the road. Lots of signs to remind you.
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Feb 22nd, 2009, 10:20 PM
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No one can guarantee weather on vacation.

I was in Australia July-August 2008 in connection with two home exchanges (Brisbane and Kawana Waters [Sunshine Coast]}. I had 3 days of torrential downpours in Kawana Waters--of all places. Because I was exchanging, I did have an apartment at my disposal. I simply relaxed and read a book until the weather cleared up because it was really too awful to do anything. Aside from that, the weather was fine. I only got as far north as Fraser Island.

I was in Sydney for 5 days (when the Pope was there!!) and had a difficult time avoiding all the crowds for the Pope (I am not Catholic and wasn't there for the Pope hoopla; the timing was just unavoidable but I managed). I did get to see both an opera and concert at the Opera House and did a day trip on the train to the Blue Mountains (I did not have a car in Sydney; I did once I got to the home swaps). The weather in Sydney was fine. Australia does not have the extremes in temperatures that are typical on the US East Coast.

I did another swap on NZ's North Island after the two in Australia (total trip was about 9 weeks). There it rained for part of almost every day but I didn't let it ruin the trip. I just did what I was going to do anyway and it was fine.
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Feb 23rd, 2009, 02:51 PM
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Thanks to all for the excellent advice. We will be doing a timeshare exchange into Cairns for one week and a hotel in Sydney for the initial part of the vacation. Even thought the trip is a ways off we are extremely excited!! If anyone has any feedback on golf courses in the area; it would be appreciated.
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Feb 23rd, 2009, 05:19 PM
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For Sydney and you'll stand best chance of getting on on any given day [bar Wednesdays, Saturdays and some Sundays - ladies, mens and mixed club comp days for a lot of courses] the further you can get away from Sydney central.
http://www.ausgolf.com.au/ and http://www.iseekgolf.com/courses/ along with using google maps will give you an idea of where to look.

There are some areas where there are clusters of courses:
- south of Sydney, not far from the airport actually but to the east around northern entrance into Botany Bay - 3 there.
- further out west of airport in Bankstown area there are 4, 5 , maybe more about the banks of St Georges River

And then heading northern suburbs/beaches way they're more spread out but in some ways as the Pittwater Peninsula is more remote from more populated areas west, south and east, it is possibly best area to go to and some great scenery up that way too - the whole family could head out and the kids/wife whatever explore Manly, some beaches, take a ferry ride to Kuringai NP etc.
Personally, the area I'd head for and you have Long Reef GC between Dee Why and Collaroy [ not too far from Manly] which as name implies is partially on a bit of a headland, and then further up there is Monavale and right at end Palm Beach GC, another in a stunning setting between the Pacific and the Pittwater inlet - day I was up there once, GC seemed near deserted.
It's also where they film some of the Aussie series Home and Away - they might want some yank accents!
If you use Google Earth, you'll see where they are.

There's buses that regularly run all the way out along the peninsula, and if you wanted somewhere to meet up for lunch or dinner after the game, you could do a lot worse than http://www.newportarms.com.au/ and not a bad out of city hastle accommodation alternative either.
http://www.131500.info/realtime/newjourney.asp - think bus numbers are something like 85, 88, 89 and an E after will signify an Express
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Feb 23rd, 2009, 05:23 PM
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And Cairns way, you could be best heading up to Port Douglas to stay a few days, play your golf there and then you'll also be closer to Daintree, Tribulation and Cooktown which could make for another interesting night away.
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