Sydney Vacation Plans

Jun 3rd, 2009, 05:08 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Sydney Vacation Plans

For the end of June my girlfriend and I will be spending 2 weeks in and around Sydney. We're in our late 20's and we don't have a big budget. We're pretty chill...not big partiers or drinkers. We just want to see the area and check out some cool stuff. Hopefully you can help us better plan our trip. We have these questions:

1) What is a good hotel for a first night in Sydney? We'd want a good location to start our first full day from, but something that isn't too pricey.

2) We plan on spending 2 or 3 days in Sydney and then spending a week driving up the coast to Brisbane and back. Do you have any suggestions on some places that we should make a point of checking out?

3) We like good restaurant food (at a mid level price). What are some good restaurants worth dining at?

Any other suggestions? Anything special we should bring? Thanks! We appreciate any advice you can give.
jbiberdorf is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 02:08 AM
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Hi jbiberdorf. First of all can you give us an idea of your budget both for accommodation and eating out as well as any particular types of food you like? Are you thinking of YHAs, backpackers or something a litle more upmarket. If we have a bit of any idea of these things you will get lots of suggestions from posters.
Peteralan is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 06:22 AM
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Hi Peter.

Thank you for your reply. For accommodation we are looking for a mid level hotel for the first night. After that we will likely do a mix of low priced hotels and probably some hostels.

As for food, we like a wide variety...chinese, sushi, steak, seafood, bbq, mexican, etc. We probably don't want anything formal though....just good food that isn't too expensive. We're just hoping for some suggestions of favorite local restaurants.

jbiberdorf is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 03:19 PM
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I don't know where you're coming from, but Sydney-Brisbane is a great distance, so your heading is a little misleading. One week to go there and back could be quite exhausting, although not impossible. As for food, you would have no trouble finding reasonable places serving Chinese and Thai. Mexican might be more of a problem. Not sure whether sushi is popular in country towns yet.
Suelynne is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 04:03 PM
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Thanks for the tips Suelynne. We likely will spend more than a week driving to and from Brisbane. If we split it up into 2 or 3 hour drives each day, I think it will be manageable.

What about some more authentic Australian restaurants? Is there anything that we absolutely must hit up? We like almost any food.
jbiberdorf is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 07:31 PM
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LOL, you may need to take a crash course on Australian slang, "hit up" in Australia is usually used to describe injecting heroin.

More seriously, Mod Oz restaurants tend to be expensive: The restaurant in the Four in Hand (Paddington), Three Weeds (Rozelle). In Sydney there are lots of good cheap Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Lebanese restaurants. Try Spice I Am in Wentworth ave near Central Station, Billy Kwong (more expensive modern Chinese) in Surry Hills. Shanghai Nights in Ashfield is incredibly good value for northern Chinese food.
Susan7 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2009, 08:41 PM
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Visit Evans Head, about half hour south of Ballina, on the NSW North Coast on your way up. A lovely sea side town which has retained it's local atmosphere and is not too touristy. Great Beach and river mouth, very relaxing and infinately beautiful. If you go, do the walk out on Chinaman's Beach to Snapper Rock. It's great, and apparently a hard sight to find anywhere else in the world. Have Fun, Lissa
Lissa2905 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 03:08 AM
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You might want to check out Grace Hotel in the centre of the city and Russell's B&B for a start.I agree with Spice I am recommendation if you like fairly authentic Thai ( no decor and very reasonable price ).Have a look at the restaurant scene in Chinatown eg Golden Century.
Peteralan is offline  
Jun 5th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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Yes, I agree with Susan7 that INTERESTING Australian restaurants are more expensive. Anyway Asian and other ethnic food is what Australians normally eat out.
For cheap old-fashioned Australian fare you could go to Harry's Cafe de Wheels at Woolloomooloo for pie and mash. Is it still there?
I like your idea of spending only two or three hours a day driving between Sydney and Brisbane. There are so many beautiful places to see, though the north coast has just been very badly affected by floods.
Suelynne is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 01:56 AM
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Hi jbiberdorf
Look at the site wotif for heavily discounted accommodation in the Sydney CBD or Darling Harbour some great bargains at very good hotels.
Lots to do and see around the harbour.
We did a drving tour to Brisbane and just called in at towns along the way that took our fancy. Lots of motels will advertise cheap rates on the sign boards each afternoon. It will not be the NSW school hoidays until the 11th of July so accommodation should be easy to come by.
aussie_10 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 02:01 PM
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If you're still on the way and reading, a great budget priced experience in Sydney is and then for hostels, check out for their Railway Square where they have converted railway carriages but for a double/twin you'll pay as much or more than a cheap hotel and you'll usually only get cheaper in hostels by dorming though Alfred Park hostel - might be worth a try.

As you head up the coast and you could either drive one way, fly back or if driving both ways, leapfrog your stops and that way you'll be able to take in more places, and plenty of quieter great coastal spots, and try caravan parks for on site vans or cabins - great value, or even older style pubs. will enable you to get two meals for price of one at many establishments and you can find vouchers on back of discarded supermarket receipts or just print off for about 20c using a public library for free internet.

And for other cheap eating in semi restaurant style, it's the pubs, the older more character ones usually being the cheapest - and for Sydney in particular check out that area up around Central Railway Station where a lot of hostels are.
Mud Crab racing at the Scubar near YHA central.
Bushranger is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 09:33 PM
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I was reading this with interest but not able to add much until I picked up the Life and Leisure Section from the Australian Finacial Review last Friday and on p3. they had a terrific review of 2 places to eat in Potts Point.

You are likely to have decided what to do and where to stay but just in case or for anyone else reading this here is my two penneth .

My tip for accomodation is Potts Point . I love it and think it has the most to offer as an overall place to stay.Close to everything , transport and has variety .There are plenty of accomodation options in your price range, it is a bit groovy , lively , stylish and with a huge range of places to eat and shop not least of which is a great supermarket in Macleay Street so you can shop before your drive . You can also collect a hire car for your drive in William Street on the way to the Cross / Potts Point from the city and avoid paying the airport tax of about $25 .

As for food most places to eat are in Macleay Street and Victoria Avenue or just off them .The 2 places they rave about are Sopra and Fratelli Paradiso which are both in Macleay Street. No reservations at the former but well worth the wait. Quick service and turnaround . Food prices start from around ( $4.50 )for a zucchini ( courgette ) flower stuffed with five Italian cheeses to lamb ragu tossed fussili, chilli and rosemary ( $20 ) or chicken saltimbocca with wilted spinach($25). Generous portions apparently .Not a place to linger cause they want you out such is the demand for tables .

Fratelli serves wonderful calamari on a bed of rocket with oil and vinegar emulsion for $20 or an " elixir of coffee mousse with zabaglione , $12 , comes with an arc of biscotti as thick as an expanding waistline ".

I was up from Melbourne on the weekend but did not read this until today and am so cross .

Darlinghurst Road also offers lots of choices .I urge you to surf the net and look as I think the Rocks is dull comparatively food , accomodation and barwise unless you are a backpacker or really want to be at Circular Quay or want a small B&B type hotel . Of course that is just what I do not want but many others do .
JohnFitz is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 06:46 AM
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Being the proud cheapskate that I am, I was delighted to find out about

We are coming to Darwin next May and may want to use one (or more) of their restaurant coupons during our time there.

Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 04:01 PM
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That's very useful information JohnFitz. I've only been to the original Sopra in Danks St Waterloo, where it's only open for lunch. It is incredibly good Italian at a reasonable price and there's almost always a queue, so another branch (and open in the evening) is very good news
Susan7 is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Darling Harbour has many restaurants to choose from. You will find one you like. Some expensive, some not. If you stay near the Opera House you can do your sightseeing by foot and won't need transportation. Believe it or not the bus system is pretty efficient if you do. Bondi beach is beautiful.
BarbSG is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 06:46 PM
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Yep Vic, they're a great deal and my best effort had me drinking more pots of beer than I've ever likely drunk ever and it was so many I can't remember.

Not a huge hotel drinker but a younger neighbour was and I happened to mention how I had a heap of 241 dockets [yep, I was looking for them at the local supermarket] for pots of beer at the local tavern and so with a mid afternoon start it turned out to be a lengthy session - luckily enough within walking distance of home.

In Darwin, if you're there on a Tuesday night you might even enjoy the jelly pit wrestling at the old Vic Hotel as they have cheap bar meals upstairs [ nothing to write home about and probably just to entice drinkers in for the wrestling] but an entertaining boisterous evening can be had.

For better eating, plenty of establishments in Mitchell [main] Street and port Pier or Yacht club for sunsets is the go.
Bushranger is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 06:57 PM
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Jelly pit wrestling, eh?

Should make a great picture for our annual Christmas card letter!
Orlando_Vic is offline  
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