Sydney Tips - Drive yourself

Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 09:05 PM
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Sydney Tips - Drive yourself

If you are coming to Sydney, remember that Australia is made for driving. Roads are great and parking is plentiful (except in the cbd of Sydney). So, if you want to see Sydney then you should hire a car and go for it. It isn't as scary as it seems.

Hiring a car and driving yourself is much better than taking a tour. I am lazy and I like to go at my own pace. Getting up at 6am and waiting for a bus to pick me up and then pick up a whole bunch of others isn't much fun.

If you go this way, you can drive around Sydney and then venture beyond. Outside of Sydney you can go to the Blue Mountains, South Coast, Hunter Valley just to name a few.

Cheap car hire is available at http://www.nobirds.com.au

If you are in a group, then hire a bus. It's not that expensive when you divide it amongst a bunch of passengers. Cheap minibus hire can be found at http://www.minibushiresydney.com.au
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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 10:12 PM
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You would have to have rocks in your head to rent a car in Sydney - scary or not. The cost of parking a car is prohibitive and public transport is much more efficient and convenient.
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 02:26 AM
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Right, Lizzie. This post is absolute bollocks, balderdash and garbage and an obvious ad.

(And I have to say that our roads may indeed look "great" to a visitor from Zambia or Cambodia but are unlikely to get a rapturous reception from a North American or European. By those standards they're OK but hardly brilliant.)
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 07:05 AM
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My initial thought was that it was an ad but the other posts don't push a particular company. Perhaps RTW deserves the benefit of the doubt.

I agree that having a car does give you a lot more flexibility in doing trips outside Sydney.

The problem is finding accommodation with parking - but if it is available, I also would recommend renting a car for a couple of days to do day trips.

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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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Well, maybe I was a bit harsh - hard to say. But I still don't understand why anyone would recommend that a first-time visitor rent a car to see Sydney. That is bad advice, IMO.

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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 03:31 PM
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IMO the best way to get around in Sydney is by the subway and the ferries. Oh, and also the Monorail. Walking isn't too bad in the CBD either. To go further afield (to the outer suburbs) the train is the best choice.
Agree though, that to go out of the city anywhere in Australia you need a car.
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 05:16 PM
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Agree that a car isn't necessary in Sydney but to visit the Blue Mountains, South Coast, Hunter Valley I do think you will see a lot more. I know you can do the Blue Mountains by public transport, but my Canadian friends found they spent half the day waiting for buses/trains etc.

Another thing to keep in mind, if you are travelling on the weekend, it seems inevitable that you will hit track works and train travel diverted to buses - anywhere in Sydney and intercity travel.

Always check www.cityrail.nsw.gov.au/latest_news/content.jsp

I must say I'm really fed up with Sydney's public transport - the number of times someone in the family has gone to take a train and found it was cancelled/delayed/diverted is infuriating. We live inner west and my daughter babysits in Bondi. Go to drop her at Sydenham to find there are often track diversions. The first time we asked if the bus went to Bondi - Yes. It stopped at Edgecliff. She had no idea where she was. She was pretty scared. My friend who lives in Newcastle has the trackworks phone number stored in her mobile as they can shut down on the spur of the moment.

Sorry for my vent.
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 05:20 PM
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Just check Service Interruptions:

This is just one:

Current trackwork [2 weeks ahead] details
Blue Mountains Line Central to Lithgow
02:00 AM Sat 06 September 2008 to 02:00 AM Mon 08 September 2008

* Blue Mountains Line trains will operate between Lithgow and Penrith only, to an amended timetable.
* Express buses will operate between Penrith and Central.
* Buses also replace Western Line trains between St Marys and Granville.
* Customers travelling to Blue Mountains Line stations should depart stations between Central and Penrith 60 minutes earlier than the normal train timetable to connect with Blue Mountains trains at Penrith.
* Please allow an additional journey time of up to 60 minutes.
* CountryLink: Customers travelling to Lithgow to connect with CountryLink coaches are advised to phone 132 232 for confirmation of departure times.

This adds two hours to the trip - I would rent a car.
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 05:41 PM
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Sure, I would rent a car but not till I got out to Parramatta in the West then you can take the Putty Road to the Hunter Valley and/or the roads down to the south and the one West to the Blue Mountains without becomming homicidal in traffic withing the Sydney area.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 05:24 AM
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Lizzy - getting on the M5, M4 and F6 is not difficult from the inner city. The F3 north can be a bit of a pain, but I certainly wouldn't go to Parramatta to get to the Hunter via Putty Road. The F3 around Brooklyn and Mooney Mooney is one of the most impressive drives in NSW.

I'd have no problems picking up a rental car in Kings Cross, getting on the Eastern Distributor or Cross City. If people are uncomfortable - a GPS rental costs $10.00 per day.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 09:35 AM
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We (7 of us) are staying in the Rocks and were planning on renting a car one day to go to the Blue Mountains. What would be the best rental place/route? Thanks!!
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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Not sure about rental companies, but getting from The Rocks to the Blue Mountains is about as easy as it gets.

First, head south on George Street, the main N-S artery through downtown Sydney, which terminates in the Rocks as George Street North.

After a couple of kilometres you'll see Central Station's sandstone clock tower on your left, at which point George Street bends westward and becomes Broadway, then becomes Parramatta Road.

After about 10 km (give or take), at Strathfield, you'll have to take a right onto the M4 motorway - to do this, just make sure you're in one of the two RH lanes, not the far LH lane, which goes straight ahead.

This is the only turn you'll have to make, as the M4 (which at some point becomes the Great Western Highway) takes you all the way to Katoomba and beyond.

George Street/Parramatta Road will be a bit congested, but once on the M4 you should have a smooth run.

The options for paying the toll can be found at www.m4motorway.com.au.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 06:38 PM
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There is an Avis Office located at the Marriott at Circular Quay (right by the Rocks).

Sydney Harbour Marriott
30 Pitt Street
Circular Quay NSW 2000
Australia

AVIS Office Number
(61) 02-92411281
Sun 08:00AM-12:00PM; Mon-Fri 07:30AM-06:00PM; Sat 08:00AM-12:00PM
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 06:52 PM
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I always use Bayswater Car Rentals (William Street, Kings Cross) www.bayswatercarrental.com.au
Their rental rates are the lowest I've been able to find, their Excess is only $250, and I think it's an additional $5-$10/day to reduce it to $50.

Whilst parking in the CBD is expensive and can be tricky to find a spot just where you want it in the inner suburbs; I do think having a car gives you a degree of flexibility & accessibility when you want to venture further afield.

I wouldn't want a car if I were just exploring the city, out to Bondi or going to Manly. Far better to use ferries, buses.
However, on another day it might be fun to drive up to Palm Beach then back via Church Point, West Head, Kur rin gai National Park; or south to Wollongong or Kiama & back through Kangaroo Valley & Bowral for a day trip.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for the great directions and car rental recommendations. It sounds easy enough!
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Old Aug 26th, 2008, 01:01 AM
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It is obvious that the initial post is an ad.
I was in Sydney last week, actualy back in Europe since Saturday.
We had two visits to Sydney, at the begining and at the End of our trip, the first was for 7 days and the second one for 2 days.
Upon arrival we took a taxi to our Apt-Hotel, The York in _York Street.
For the first 5 days we needed no car and used public transportation, taxi, ferries and trains. Could not figure our very well the buses,maybe we did not really need them. We visited, Circular Quay, went to the Opera(Otello), Toronga Zoo, Manly,
Bondi, Shopping in Martin place and surroundings, Darling harbour, Aquarium, Australian museum and probably other things I do not remember. For the last 2 days of the first 7 we rented a Car at the car rental in the Marriot, went to the Northen Beaches and the Blue mountains.
We dropped the car at the airport when leaving. It was perfect.
We had parking offered at the York included in the price of our apartment.
The second visit three weeks later, we took a taxi again to town, this time stayed at the Meriton World Tower and rented a car downtown as had a dinner at Rose Bay. We delivered the car at the airport when leaving. At the Meriton they said parking was 35$ a day but finally did not charged it. I did not complain.
We found driving easy and parking also. The center has a lot of parking it is just very expensive.
6-8$ per hour if I remember well.
We were a group of five so public transportation sometimes was expensive, we need two taxis or a maxi taxi. and ferries are very expensive for individual tickets.
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Old Aug 26th, 2008, 02:39 AM
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Car - you seem to have got it about right.

A car is good for getting to places in Sydney's hinterland, but it's a pain (and totally unnecessary) to have one as a tourist to see the sights in the inner city, or even places worth visiting that aren't in the inner city (like Manly, Bondi, Palm Beach, etc etc.)

Just a word on the ferries. I agree single trips are expensive and we who live here need to keep an eye open here - else before you know it the ferries will price themselves out of business and be gone.

I don't use them as often as I'd like, but I buy a "ferry 10" (like a brown or blue travel 10 for the buses) and as far as I know it's not illegal to dunk a brown travel 10 twice on the bus for two people, or pass a ferry 10 through the outgoing barriers multiple times for multiple people.

I may be wrong.

Anyone know for sure?
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Old Aug 26th, 2008, 07:38 AM
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car - It might be a good idea to rent the car at the end of our trip and use it to return to the airport. I'll have to check into it.
Thanks!

afterall - what is the cost for a ferry 10 card? Thanks!
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Old Aug 27th, 2008, 04:03 AM
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BarbaraS

You can find the info you want here:

http://www.sydneyferries.info/ticket...s/ferryten.htm

I'm finding it more and more difficult to understand why people who must be internet savvy (one assumes, else they wouldn't be posting here) are incapable of taking it a step further. If I'd got a reply to my question with a possibility I hadn't heard of before, I'd just take it and do a google.

That's how I found the link; type in "Sydney ferries" and up it pops.

Not hard really.
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Old Aug 27th, 2008, 05:32 AM
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afterall - sorry to inconvenience you!
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