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View Full Version : What's the process at Sydney once off airplane & getting to hotel?Any other last tips


dcsam
January 9th, 2010, 11:55 AM
Some family members are getting ready to take a N. Zealand cruise. They'll fly into Sydney and spend 2 nights prior to the cruise. Soooo.... they'll arrive at Sydney, with no foreign currency. To help ease their minds, could you knowledgeable travelers explain what the process will be in order to get to their hotel (i.e., getting cash, taxis - and taxi cost, customs). They'll be spending 2 nights at the Hilton Sydney on George Street (got it through Priceline). Also, any suggested, reasonably priced, nearby restaurants? Small grocery items? Any other tips I can forward on? I know they'll be able to relax once they board the ship, but getting to that point is just a bit nerve-racking, so any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much!

travelingsue
January 9th, 2010, 12:49 PM
Sydney is a wonderful city and very easy to get around. I will be there again next month for a cruise that goes from Sydney to Perth. This will be my 5th time there. Last time was May 09 so you can see that I really like it. I usually get about $50 changed at the currency exchange at Sydney airport. Then when I get into town, I usually change more at a bank as they have a better rate than airport but you need money for the taxi. American dollars are accepted a lot of places in Sydney but you need to have the Aussie dollars also. There is Airport Express bus you can take to the city. Can't remember how much but it was reasonable.Despite the fact that Sydney stretches 60 miles, most of the attractions are very close. Places such as The Rocks (great place to eat and try crochodile and kangeroo pizza), Darling Harbour, and the Opera House are best explore on foot:). Getting there is easy from the hotels as their transportation system is excellent (just avoid rush hours). Buses, ferries, trains are all convenient. Tell them to be sure and go to Paddy's Market for shopping. Also Chinatown has some good buys. The Zoo is absolutely fantastic as you take a tram to the top and walk down. Harbour cruises are great too. There is Tourist Information Service at the airport where you can get info. There is also monorail in the mid city area. Depending upon how long they are going to be there, there is a Sydney Pass which allows travel for three days that is economical. There is also Sydney Explorer bus that makes a circuit of the major attractions. It is hop on-hop off. Although I am a Texan, I have adopted Australia as my second home. If they are there for a couple days, Blue Mountain Tour is great but takes a whole day. Hope this is helpful. A website that is very helpful where you can get input from people living in Sydney is Virtualtourist.com. If I can answer anything else, you can contact me on my regular email: discover@vvm.com (two v's and not w). Happy Trails.Sue

Grumpy100
January 9th, 2010, 02:32 PM
We just got back from a trip to Sydney with a cruise to New Zealand.
We got money exchanged in the US before we left to include NZ dollars and Australian dollars. We collected our luggage, went through customs the got in the taxi line which took about 15 minutes for us. Then off to our hotel, checked in then started touring Sydney. We forced ourselves to stay awake and saw alot the first day. Did the Sydney Wildlife world, Sydney Aquarium, walked all around Darling Harbor. Then went to bed at 6:00 PM and slept through to the next morning. Up early, got breakfast at the hotel (included in our hotel room) stayed at the Four Points Sheraton in Darling Harbor. then off to Circular Quay got on the ferry to Taronga Zoo, looked around for about 4 hrs. then back on the ferry, walked around the Opera House, Botanical gardens, the rocks, did the Maratime Museum.
Did dinner, went to bed then up early got taxi to port, checked in and on the ship by 11:30 am.

Aussieflyer
January 9th, 2010, 02:46 PM
I hope your relatives will enjoy Sydney - it is a great city! IMO the easiest way/s is that they either change some $US into $AU at the airport before they leave, use an ATM at Sydney airport or change some money in the arrivals area. A couple of hundred $AU would be plenty to start with (and depending on how frugal they are may even be enough). I would also take a taxi as by the time they pay a couple of fares on the shuttle bus there is not much difference and it is more convenient.

Kiwi Kruzer
January 9th, 2010, 05:51 PM
We got money exchanged in the US before we left to include NZ dollars and Australian dollars.

Thats the best way, then you can also exchange more once you are there.
Another handy tip.....
get small denominations from the bank.....
theres nothing worse than be stranded with a $100.00 note and they dont have enough change.

room010
January 9th, 2010, 06:13 PM
Yes, either get some cash before you leave or there are plenty of ATMs at the airport. Most of them dispense $50 and $20 bills which is fine. Also agree about getting a taxi to the hotel. Impossible to recommend local shops, restaurants, bars near hotel because there are too many! Go and explore - the locals are very friendly, honest!

The_Big_M
January 10th, 2010, 07:02 AM
There is Airport Express bus you can take to the city. Can't remember how much but it was reasonable.

Actually, it's been many years since the Airport Express bus ran.

Options to the city from the airport are now train, private shuttle bus or taxi.

Globaliser
January 10th, 2010, 07:39 AM
I would also take a taxi ...I also agree about getting a taxi.

sptree
January 10th, 2010, 11:50 AM
My daughter and I will be in arriving in Sydney on Feb 22nd at 8:40 am for 7 nights. We are very excited. I love to do research for our trips so I am driving my daughter crazy right now. We will be staying in a Serviced Apartment in Darling Harbour near the Wynyard station, so I am trying to figure out if we should take the train (we love various transportations and are quite adventurous-my daughter calls it cheap) or a taxi to our new home for 7 nights. Any help will be appreciated. I love these boards!! We have taken many cruises together when she was younger, but decided to do a land trip this time. Thanks!

Host Sheila
January 10th, 2010, 02:20 PM
I suggest a taxi because your plane gets in in the morning and, unless you both sleep well on planes, you'll be tired and just want to get to the hotel. It's not a very long ride and we just budgeted for the taxi as part of our trip budget. If you do the train, you might still need transportation from the train station to your hotel especially if you have a lot of luggage. Enjoy - you'll love Sydney!

kenish
January 10th, 2010, 03:42 PM
We stayed at a hotel near Wynyard station and took the train. It cost about $15 per person each way. It was one of the fastest and easiest airport-hotel trips we've encountered anywhere in the world. Stepping off the plane, we purchased train tickets in the arrivals hall and the station is under the terminal. We were in our hotel room less than an hour after our flight arrived. Also, since they accept credit cards there is no need for cash until you get to your hotel and can stop at a bank or ATM.

The shuttle vans are only a few $$ less expensive and take longer. We found out afterwards that taxis in SYD are inexpensive and that's another good option. FYI, the train also serves commuters and can get crowded but based on your arrival time and clearing customs the rush hour should have passed.

Australian family
January 10th, 2010, 04:43 PM
We were in Sydney before Xmas and used KST for our transfer to our hotel. They were really good, they met us at the baggage carousal and we were taken over to where the shuttle services leave. They only had 2 groups on our booking. It was a very simple process. There internet address is: http://www.kst.com.au/ it is better to prebook.

Aussie Gal
January 10th, 2010, 07:02 PM
My daughter and I will be in arriving in Sydney on Feb 22nd at 8:40 am for 7 nights. We are very excited. I love to do research for our trips so I am driving my daughter crazy right now. We will be staying in a Serviced Apartment in Darling Harbour near the Wynyard station, so I am trying to figure out if we should take the train (we love various transportations and are quite adventurous-my daughter calls it cheap) or a taxi to our new home for 7 nights. Any help will be appreciated. I love these boards!! We have taken many cruises together when she was younger, but decided to do a land trip this time. Thanks!

As there are two of you, the cheapest way to get to your Service Apartment in Darling Harbour is by taxi. The train charges $15 p.p. so it is no brainer to realize that you will have spent $30 and will still have to find your way from the station to the apartment.

Taxis are quick, reasonably priced and take you right to the door.

Jennie

sptree
January 10th, 2010, 07:36 PM
We are planning to purchase some type of all you can travel passes. I haven't researched everything yet to know which will be best for us. We are thinking of going to the Blue Mountains by train instead of a tour and will travel by public transportations pretty much all over Sydney, so I wasn't sure if it was best to start our "all you can travel pass" from the airport. Also, are there any discounts for the Bridge Climb or just the published prices? I understand we will be there during the Mardi Gras festival, so I'm not sure if there will be many discounts. I was going to wait and book a room, but I'm glad I didn't because many of the hotels we were looking at are full for the weekend of the 27th.

Aussie Gal
January 10th, 2010, 07:49 PM
I don't think there are any discounts for Bridgeclimb in fact they are so busy that it does pay to book on line, especially if you will be in Sydney for the Mardi Gras as everything does become booked out.

http://www.bridgeclimb.com/

Here are some links which may help you decide which is the best way to go:

http://www.seesydneycard.com/

http://www.sydneyeguide.com/tickets.php

http://www.sydney.com/Transport_in_Sydney_p2829.aspx

Hope this helps a little with your planning.

Jennie

jackiedanny
January 11th, 2010, 06:49 AM
As there are two of you, the cheapest way to get to your Service Apartment in Darling Harbour is by taxi. The train charges $15 p.p. so it is no brainer to realize that you will have spent $30 and will still have to find your way from the station to the apartment.

Taxis are quick, reasonably priced and take you right to the door.

Jennie
i agree, we took a taxi from airport to hotel and it cost us $11 each and was much easier
jack:)iedanny

sptree
January 11th, 2010, 09:03 AM
Yes from everyone's responses, I see a taxi would be best. Thanks to everyone for your help!

Grumpy100
January 11th, 2010, 05:50 PM
We took taxi's everywhere and they were very inexpensive. We took one from the airport to the Four Points Sheraton and it was only $30 Australian.
It seemed like it took about 15 minutes so I was quite happy with the price.
We had just gotten off a 15 hr. flight from LAX so we took the fastest mode of transportation for us which was taxi. It did take about 15 minutes to get a taxi but was still faster. No hassles.

monicajay
January 11th, 2010, 08:17 PM
Spent 5 nights in Sydney and our favorite restaurant was Chat Thai, I believe it was on Elizabeth street. BYOB, they charges us 2$ corkage but cheap compared to buying wine in some restaurants. The food was amazing!

We also did the Hop on Hop off double decker sightseeing tour. It was $34.00 AU per person but the ticket was for 24 hours. As we started around 12h45pm on day one we got to use it again the next morning. Tacky tourist yes, but it was a great way to really admire the buildings in Sydney. It also took us to Bondi Beach.

Other than that we got around fine by walking and taking the free 555 bus.

hubble
January 11th, 2010, 11:17 PM
We stayed at the Hilton Sydney about a month ago for a 4 night pre-cruise stay. Absolutely LOVED the Hilton! Rooms are modern but small. Comfy beds and great black out blinds. Service was amazing. I travel a lot, and this is one of the very best hotels I've ever stayed at. There is a Woolworth's one block from the hotel for anything you could want, groceries, drug store items, soda, clothing, souveniers, etc. We had a mini fridge brought into our room (free on request) and picked up soda's and some food for picnics throughout our stay.

We took a taxi from the airport to the hotel for $40 AUD after we arrived from about 20+ hours of traveling. The airport train or a shuttle bus was only about $10 less than a taxi for the two of us, and we just wanted to get to the hotel after all that traveling. We just used one of the MANY ATM's to withdraw cash from my bank account at the Sydney airport before we left. This is a very easy way to get cash, and cheap on fees/exchange rates as they are much more favorable than the currency exchanges. We also used ATM's while in New Zealand to get local currency. Make sure you notify your bank prior to leaving that you will be traveling out of the country so they don't block any transactions as possible fraudulent charges.

We thought we'd use public transport a lot more than we did during our stay. Happy we didn't bother buying any type of day tripper passes. The 555 free CBD shuttle can take you everywhere during daytime hours and run by about every 5 minutes. Note they run two different directions so make sure you get on the bus on the correct side of the street for where you are going or your in for a long ride around the loop. We also walked to Circular Quay once and it is only about a 15 minute walk each way. The Hilton is 1 block to the Town Hall Train station if you want to use the train, but we never did.

We did the double decker hop-on/off bus one day and it picks you up right outside the hotel. Word of caution... the Hilton is in the middle of tall buildings and usually in the shade. We left the hotel early in the day and didn't think about sun block. Big mistake... got sunburn and peeled for the next two weeks.

Have a fabulous time, I'm still sorting through all the pictures with very wonderul memories every time I look at them.

Kiwi Kruzer
January 11th, 2010, 11:33 PM
Update on Sydney Taxi fares..
just before Christmas
our taxi fare from
Circular Quay to the International airport
was AU$ 49.80.