Traveler's Advice

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Jun 17th, 2003, 02:52 PM
  #1
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Traveler's Advice

Was hoping for a little Australian traveler's advice. My husband and I are travelling to Sydney from Seattle in September, and are just in the planning stages of our trip. Through my research (both through these message boards and other informative websites), I have found several hotels of interest, both in Sydney and in Port Douglas (another destination of ours) and was hoping for a little advice. Looking for a reasonable hotel in a good location!!

Here's what I've found so far:

Sydney: Lord Nelson Brewery, Simpsons of Potts Point and The Vulcan Hotel

Port Douglas: Hibiscus Garden, Peninsula

Also, have just begun my research on air travel to and from Sydney to Cairns. Any suggestions on cheap airfare.

Last, but not least, we're looking to take a couple of days in Australia's wine region. Any advice as to which of the three regions we should visit -- Coonawarra, Barossa or Hunter Valley??? Any suggestions on accomodations in any of these regions would be wonderful.

Would greatly appreciate any advice.

Thank You
bchamberlain is offline  
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Jun 17th, 2003, 05:24 PM
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Hi, Can't really help too much with the accommodation. The only one I know is the Peninsula in PD. I haven't stayed there but it looks good from the outside and is in a good location.

As far as wine regions go, I think the Barossa offers the most for tourists. It's compact and has heaps of wineries. Of course, it's in South Australia and the Hunter is in NSW. If you're only planning on seeing Sydney and PD, the Hunter would have to be your choice. It's also a very nice region to visit, just a little more spread out than the Barossa.

Coonawarra is the least touristy of the three but is the home of many of Australia's great reds. If you're seriously into your wine it's worth a visit. If you have time, you could combine a trip to Coonawarra / McLaren Vale with a visit to the Barossa and Clare Valleys. Mmmmmmm ...
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Jun 17th, 2003, 05:50 PM
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Have you considered staying in Cairns which is near Port Douglas? Silky Oaks resort is there which is very nice. I did recently hear that the Sheraton in Port Douglas is nice and one of the larger places to stay there. I spent very little time in Qld unfortunately, but Cape Tribulation, Daintree, and the Great Barrier Reef are certainly must sees while there.

Qantas had something that I think was called a Boomerang pass that offered multiple flights that were very reasonable. Have a great trip!

Hi Pumblechook!
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Jun 17th, 2003, 08:15 PM
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just back from port douglas and the peninsula hotel. All I can say is Oh my god. I thought I died and went to heaven. It is a very small all suite 34 suite hotel. the owners are a lovely couple named rachel and craig. The hotel is right on the beach. Port douglas doesnt' even compare to Cairns which is so tacky and touristy. Port douglas is beautiful. The hotel is not cheap. We cut corners on the rest of our trip to stay at peninsula. For three nights it was about 600 US Dollars but worth every penny of it. buffet breakfast every day and I can't say enough about it. If money isn't an issue then stay there. If you have anymore questions email me at [email protected]. Take care Bruce
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Jun 18th, 2003, 10:52 PM
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The Lord Nelson has character and is in a good location.If this sort of thing is your cup of tea you might consider the Russell or (maybe) the Pallisades which is right across the road from the Lord Nelson (but a lot more basic) Potts Point is too far from the city and too close to the Cross for my liking.

You will see lots of comment on PD hotels if u stick around here.

for flights you might consider a "booomerang pass" by qantus or internet booking at www.qantus.com
or the virgin blue website.

well I guess you realise coonawarra and the barossa are in south australia...whereas the Hunter is a 3 hour drive ex sydney. Consider the peppers places in the Hunter.
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Jun 19th, 2003, 09:06 AM
  #6
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Appreciate all of your suggestions.

Now you got me thinking about Potts Point and its vicinity to King's Cross. Is King's Cross really bad? And is Potts Point really that far away from downtown Sydney?

Thanks!
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Jun 19th, 2003, 05:58 PM
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Boy so many memories... From what I remember and please note this was in 1988 so things certainly could have changed since, but Kings Cross was... let me think of a Seattle reference... okay not exactly Mercer Island if you know what I mean The Cross, Redfern, Darlinghurst were all kinda rough areas then. Conversely the Double Bay area where I was visiting was very nice as was Vaucluse, Kirribilli, Rose Bay, Elizabeths Bay, Neutral Bay (see a pattern here? the word "Bay" must denote nice areas.
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Jun 19th, 2003, 09:32 PM
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We stayed just near the Hibiscus Gardens in Port Douglas and it looked like a lovely place. There are comments from others on this forum if you do a search. It is about a 3 min walk to the main street where all the shops and restaurants are, and a 5 min walk to the beach at one end and the marina at the other. Very well located. If you are in PD on a Sunday, the craft market near the marina is good.
Kay
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Jun 20th, 2003, 12:19 AM
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I should have added the Lord Nelson is a popular pub and could get noisy into the night particularly on thursday friday nights when the city suits like to spend their ill gotten gains.

Potts Point is not that far from the city...but probably a bus or cab ride to tourist spots.Truth be known if you mind your own business and dont walk down dark alleys late at night and are prepared to be propositioned for drugs/sex/strip shows the Cross is ok.If you are looking to lower cost by staying up there you should also consider other areas a little away from the city ie north shore.
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Jun 20th, 2003, 03:00 AM
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I'd go for the Lord Nelson - handy to major attractions, lots of charm, the rooms are modern and well priced (AUD$130 - 180). Kings Cross may be worth a visit, but to stay... rather the Rocks. The Vulcan is in Wattle Street Ultimo and it's a busy road - nice enough pub but, again, the Lord Nelson wins hands down. As you are in Sydney, the Hunter is the available winery. If you get to SA, the Barossa is the most accessible and most atmospheric. If you do get to the Coonawarra, spend a little time at Penola and at least half a day at the Naracoorte Caves. Have a great trip!
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Jun 28th, 2003, 05:52 AM
  #11
jkb
 
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I usually don't like to stay in "American" hotels, but we spent 5 nights in April '03 at the Old Sydney Holiday Inn in Sydney and just loved it!! The price was good, A$120 per night for 2 people. The location is perfect--right near Circular Quay and we could see the Bridge from our window. The street below was noisy one weekend night, but it was so nice and so well located, I would certainly stay there if I ever return to Sydney!! Lord Nelson looked very interesting also, but was more expensive, and a few blocks further away from the water. You'll love Australia!!!
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Jun 28th, 2003, 06:12 AM
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Opps--sorry--I meant $120. in U.S. dollars! But that included a full buffet breakfast every morning! It was US$101. without breakfast. It was certainly worth it.
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Jun 29th, 2003, 10:53 PM
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Just to pick up on John Eric post.
Silky Oaks Resort is not at Cairns but is between Port Douglas & Daintree. This resort is expensive, set in the rain forest..great food.
We stayed just in front of Hibiscus Gardens. It is a good location but no views. The Peninsula is about the only one close to the main street which has water views. Enjoy
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Jun 30th, 2003, 01:45 PM
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We are going in Novemeber - three seperate people reccomended the radisson tree tops resort in port douglas - so I decided to go with that. A bit more pricey than some, but the reccomendations were all glowing. If you want to look up more hotels in that area go to the daintree/port douglas website. In Sydney we are staying at the Hotel Maitseri Towers - dont know if its the best place or not, but we picked it because they have kitchenettes in the rooms and they had availability- which became an issue for us since we are going to be in Sydney during the world cup rugby games. they hotel is in a good location and got high reccomendations as well. Other hotels can be found at www.holidaycity.com.
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Jul 1st, 2003, 03:23 PM
  #15
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Great advice from everyone. Thank you. Here's where we're staying:

Sydney: Stellar Suites
Hunter Valley: Millbrook Estates
Port Douglas: Hibiscus Garden

Took me a while to do the research, and with all of your help, I think we're set....and soooooo excited for our trip.

So...any great suggestions on restaurants in any/all of these locations. Looking for a nice one in Sydney for our 2nd anniversary.

Thanks
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Jul 1st, 2003, 06:43 PM
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Not that this pertains to your destination, but theres a reason I ask.
Are you by any chance originally from New Hampshire?
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 10:25 AM
  #17
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If that question was directed to me....nope, from Washington State.
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 07:48 AM
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I recommend going to wotif.com. Great deals - especially last 2 weeks to last minute. I stayed at the Chorus Hotel on York I think. It is the perfect location. Right next to Wynyard train/subway station and an easy walk to Circle Quay (pronunced Key). The train goes everywhere and I recommend the $13 all-day pass.
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 07:50 AM
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The Chorus rate was around $111 (Aus.) or $67 (U.S.)
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