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  #1  
Old June 24th, 2013, 09:58 PM
highland cruiser highland cruiser is offline
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Default 5 days in Sydney or get out of town!!

We are arriving in Sydney in March 2014 and have 5 days to see as much as we can before our cruise on HAL which will visit New Zealand and some Pacific Islands.
We have never been to Australia before and want to make the most of our time. Our only stop on the cruise in Australia is Sydney.
We are thinking about renting a car for our time in Sydney and are looking at booking a service apartment where we can do some cooking (breakfast/pack a lunch) and use that as a base for coming and going.
We would appreciate any ideas of day trips that would be things not to miss.
We do plan to spend time in Sydney but are not afraid to travel out of the city.
Thanks in advance for any advise given!!

Mary and Brad
PS...I do have to see Koalas somewhere!!! Any best place to go???
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Old June 24th, 2013, 10:09 PM
ellieanne ellieanne is offline
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The best places to see koalas in Australia I have found are actually zoos or wildlife sanctuaries. I have lived in rural Australia 2 1/2 years and have NEVER seen a koala in the wild. My husband tells me it's very rare, even for natives.

In Sydney, Featherdale Wildlife Park has a very nice koala area, where you can touch one. But your best bet will be a zoo or similar place. Kangaroos, wallabies, and wombats are pretty much everywhere so they will be much easier to spot in the wild, though probably not in the CBD area of Sydney. I live 2 hours outside Melbourne so I am not positive about in Sydney, but I am fairly sure it's like Melbourne for wildlife.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 05:51 PM
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melbkat11 melbkat11 is offline
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We are spending a few days staying is sydney before our cruise.
Wild life parks (most you can hold a koala there now) are your best place to see one.
www.featherdale.com.au they have free koala encounters.
Or the zoo in darling harbour (not sure about holding one there though.


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Old June 25th, 2013, 05:53 PM
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Also commented on your post in the other section....

April 2014 is the gay and lesbian mardi gras....huge street parade and partying every where.



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Old June 25th, 2013, 06:00 PM
Northern Aurora Northern Aurora is offline
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We spent a week in Sydney following a transpacific cruise in November 2011. We no problems occupying our time as there are so many interesting attractions in Sydney. We thoroughly enjoyed both the Powerhouse Museum and Australian Museum. We had a tour of Government House, and visited other historic homes. The Maritime Museum was great. We enjoyed a day trip via ferry to Manly. We used Blue Diamond Tours for a day trip to the Blue Mountains and a visit to Featherdale.

We didn't bother to rent a car as Sydney has an excellent public transportation system. Our hotel was located in the Circular Quay area (the Sir Stamford) so we were very centrally located.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 09:38 PM
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tassietravellers tassietravellers is offline
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Originally Posted by melbkat11 View Post
Also commented on your post in the other section....

April 2014 is the gay and lesbian mardi gras....huge street parade and partying every where.



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Sorry but I think you'll find this is Feb/March 2014
http://www.mardigras.org.au/mardi-gras-2014/

There is a wildlife park in Darling Harbour, virtually the centre of the city...there are optional payments for meeting and holding koalas too..they also have Tasmanian Devils
http://www.wildlifesydney.com.au/

We are going to Sydney for 5 days from tomorrow, even though we've been there quite a few times we'll still find plenty to fill in our days.

So much to see and do in Sydney. Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, The Rocks are all good walking areas within the city area, plenty to see.
As others have said, Maritime Museum and Powerhouse Museum are well worth a look too. The transport system in Sydney is very good, with trains, buses and ferries.

Hope this helps a little
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Old June 25th, 2013, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Aurora View Post
We didn't bother to rent a car as Sydney has an excellent public transportation system. Our hotel was located in the Circular Quay area (the Sir Stamford) so we were very centrally located.
We have been tourists in Sydney many times and have never rented a car. Public transportation is very good , and taxis are everywhere and not too expensive.
If you had a car in Sydney , you would probably spend most of the time trying to find somewhere to park it.
For day tours we have used coach tours as they allow you to watch and enjoy the scenery as you pass , and the drivers fill you in with local knowledge of what you are passing through /looking at.
A day on the ferry to Manly, a day on the Explorer Bus,(both City and Bondi Explorer) and 2 day trips will more than fill in the time.
Sydney is an exciting and dynamic hub of the South Pacific.


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Old June 26th, 2013, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Kruzer View Post

If you had a car in Sydney , you would probably spend most of the time trying to find somewhere to park it.
And a days expenses budget paying for the parking.
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  #9  
Old June 26th, 2013, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ellieanne View Post
The best places to see koalas in Australia I have found are actually zoos or wildlife sanctuaries. I have lived in rural Australia 2 1/2 years and have NEVER seen a koala in the wild. My husband tells me it's very rare, even for natives.

In Sydney, Featherdale Wildlife Park has a very nice koala area, where you can touch one. But your best bet will be a zoo or similar place. Kangaroos, wallabies, and wombats are pretty much everywhere so they will be much easier to spot in the wild, though probably not in the CBD area of Sydney. I live 2 hours outside Melbourne so I am not positive about in Sydney, but I am fairly sure it's like Melbourne for wildlife.
Sorry to contradict you Ellieanne, but seen plenty of Koalas in the wild (at least in South Australia). The other day we were in the middle of metropolitan area, albeit a leafy suburb, and there was a Koala holding up the traffic walking down the main road. My In Laws have them in their back yard from time to time and they live in an outer suburban area, especially in mating season when the big bull Koalas are roaming looking for mates.

But I must agree to get a guaranteed look at them and to hold one you need to go to a Native Wildlife Park.

Been to Sydney many many times and never needed a car, not an easy city to navigate with a car and parking is extremely difficult. If you are wanting to visit more in the countryside, stay outside Sydney - accommodation will be cheaper and easier to manage with a vehicle. Or alternatively if staying in city accommodation make sure when you book that they have parking available for you to use.
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  #10  
Old June 26th, 2013, 06:12 PM
highland cruiser highland cruiser is offline
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Thank you all for the suggestions. We are still deciding whether to rent a car and drive or take tours. We love to just are our time when we travel and not feel rushed so that is why my husband thought renting a car and driving to the Blue Mountains and then either north or south would be fun. He can only take so much of a big city! But since we have never been to Sydney, I am sure we could fill our time quickly. I have been looking at some service apartments that may have parking but haven't gotten to that added cost yet.

Hopefully soon I can sit down and list what and where we want to go now...using all the good ideas posted and decide which is the most economical way to go!

I love the planning almost as much as the traveling....almost!
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Old June 28th, 2013, 03:26 AM
Michidoeme Michidoeme is offline
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After arriving in Sydney in October 13, we have 4 days before our flight out.
Since we've never been in Australia before, we don't want to spend these days just in Sydney. We are considering to rent a car for 2 days, drive to Canberra and stay 1 night there before having a slow, roundabout drive back to Sydney.

Is this wise, i.e. are there interesting things to see in and around Canberra and during the drive to/from, or should we head in another direction ?
Thanks for advice
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Old June 28th, 2013, 08:34 AM
Pearl64 Pearl64 is offline
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I agree to go to the wildlife parks and sanctuaries. We spent two days in Sydney while on an overnight cruise stop plus three days post cruise. We took the ferry from Circular Quay to Taurunga Zoo and our tickets allowed us then to go to Manly. We also took the Opera House tour later that same day. The next day we took a private tour with Real company that focused on the other side of the water ending up in Bondi. That was excellent and included a morning snack and lunch. After the cruise we did two day tours: one to Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains. Both of these were excellent and this is where we saw kangaroos and emus in the wild. Both Featherdale and Tauranga allow you to walk with kangaroos and emus. Koalas are present in both but I think it is against the law to hold a koala there. The only place to hold a koala is at Lone Pine in Brisbane.

Concerning renting a car-- parking will be an issue plus you will spend a lot of time driving. Distances between cities are quite long. Leave the driving to others.

Enjoy your trip.

Pearl
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Old June 28th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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As far as Apartments, we are staying at the Meriton Apartments on Pitt St, 2 days before our March 19th NZ cruise and for 9 days Post cruise before we embark on our Transpacific. During those 9 days, we are scheduling two day trips, one the Jervis Bay Coastral ( Viator) and the Blue Mountains ( Sydney Wilderness tour Co). During our time in Sydney, it will include a Harbor Cruise, Zoo, Opera House and whatever else we think of. I also would like to do the Walking tour.

Just to add, did a comparative cost between the Apts & Hotel for the 2 days. There are 4 in our family, the differance in staying in the Apartments over 2 rooms in a Hotel was a $400 savings

Last edited by Desert Cruizers; June 28th, 2013 at 12:59 PM.
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Old June 29th, 2013, 10:59 PM
Waihekean Waihekean is offline
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Originally Posted by highland cruiser View Post
Thank you all for the suggestions. We Hopefully soon I can sit down and list what and where we want to go now...using all the good ideas posted and decide which is the most economical way to go!
I love the planning almost as much as the traveling....almost!
I have read your other thread as well and I am guessing that by now you are realising that you will not need a car for the sightseeing in Sydney.
Just get an apartment or hotel central to Darlington Harbour or the Quay area and it's is very easy to do a combination of the HOHO bus, taxi, ferry and walking. You would need at least two days to do the Sydneys highlights.

Then just get a car for when you are driving out of Sydney and maybe like you said might want to book hotels on the way.
As you like researching and your husband likes driving, maybe it is an idea to decide on how far from Sydney you would be driving (sort of like deciding on a circle of area). Then research what is available in that area and then pick the places that interest the both of you.

But I would not forgo discovering Sydney. It is a interesting place to visit and a great city for sail-away.
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Old June 30th, 2013, 12:53 AM
highland cruiser highland cruiser is offline
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Originally Posted by Waihekean View Post
I have read your other thread as well and I am guessing that by now you are realising that you will not need a car for the sightseeing in Sydney.
Just get an apartment or hotel central to Darlington Harbour or the Quay area and it's is very easy to do a combination of the HOHO bus, taxi, ferry and walking. You would need at least two days to do the Sydneys highlights.

Then just get a car for when you are driving out of Sydney and maybe like you said might want to book hotels on the way.
As you like researching and your husband likes driving, maybe it is an idea to decide on how far from Sydney you would be driving (sort of like deciding on a circle of area). Then research what is available in that area and then pick the places that interest the both of you.

But I would not forgo discovering Sydney. It is a interesting place to visit and a great city for sail-away.

How right you are about not needing a car in Sydney. We have looked at car rentals and it is about the same for 2 days or a week...so we are thinking about renting a car and going out of town when we want and using public transportation when in Sydney. Trip advisor has several vacation rentals/apartment that we are interested in. Just need to figure out where we want to stay. Several we are looking at are in the Bondi beach area.
We do want to make a road trip to the Blue mountains.
So appreciate everyone's advise.
Mary
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Old June 30th, 2013, 07:14 PM
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Just thought I would add my 2 cents worth about driving in Sydney .... don't forget that we drive on the other side of the road to you!! Not hard on the open roads, but in Sydney not fun as a lot of Sydney drivers have no patience and are quite aggressive. Sydney CBD and Harbour Bridge is quite difficult to navigate even with a navman.

I live on the north side of the bridge and would recommend considering North Sydney, Kirribilli, McMahons Point as places to stay. Good views of the city, easy trains or ferries into the city and Darling Harbour, or simply a 5 min walk over our beautiful bridge to get to Circular Quay. Great eateries here too.

Check out wotif dot com website. It often has great deals and you can easily see on their maps the locations of appts and hotels.

Enjoy your research
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Old July 1st, 2013, 03:00 PM
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Default Spent Four Days in SYD - March 2013 - Some Ideas

Did two excellent tours - Real Sydney Tours (general overview of the area) and Blue Diamond (Blue Mountains and Featherdale Wildlife Park). Also enjoyed taking the ferry to Manly Beach and had a great dinner overlooking the harbor. Catain Cook Harbor tour gave you the waterfront view that Suanne (Real Sydney Tours) did on land. Unless you want the ammenities of a full service hotel, look for "serviced apartments." We found the Medina Martin Place was great. Located on a small dead-end street in CBD. Very quiet even with constructio all around. Walking distance to almost anywhere, plus just off the free shuttle bus route. Have a great time.
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Old July 4th, 2013, 08:34 AM
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Didn't notice your post earlier, but see my CC link to a video that includes clips of Sydney sights. The clips don't give the experience full credit but thanks to YouTube/Google I was restricted on what I could upload. We spent 5 days in Sydney at the Marriott and took publice transportation everywhere. The multiday bus/ferry passes are great. What the abbreviated video doesn't show is an opera at the Opera House, Botanical Gardens, ChinaTown in Haymarket, Bondi Beach, Sydney Zoo, The Rocks and many fine dining districts. We did it all without a car. I considered a rental, but the distances in Australia are far between the cities and we wanted to maximize our time eyeing the sites.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1873139
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Old July 6th, 2013, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridatravelersforlife View Post
Didn't notice your post earlier, but see my CC link to a video that includes clips of Sydney sights. The clips don't give the experience full credit but thanks to YouTube/Google I was restricted on what I could upload. We spent 5 days in Sydney at the Marriott and took publice transportation everywhere. The multiday bus/ferry passes are great. What the abbreviated video doesn't show is an opera at the Opera House, Botanical Gardens, ChinaTown in Haymarket, Bondi Beach, Sydney Zoo, The Rocks and many fine dining districts. We did it all without a car. I considered a rental, but the distances in Australia are far between the cities and we wanted to maximize our time eyeing the sites.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1873139
Great video! You had me with the koala pictures! Featherdale is on our list of things to do. We are looking at several tours which do Featherdale and then on to the Blue Mountains.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 09:22 AM
Rencruzr Rencruzr is offline
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There are excellent things to do in Sydney of course. If you do want to explore a little may I suggest you take the F3 (now called the M1) freeway from sydney
and head north and visit the central coast and visit seaside towns such as Terrigal (with its skillion facing over the sea) or the Entrance which has Pelikan feeding at 3.30pm. A further hour and a half drive north is the Seaside city of Newcastle which is NSW's second largest city behind Sydney. It has loverly beaches and parks. Nobbys beach also has a great jetty walk. King Edward park is beautiful also. West of Newcastle is the world famous Hunter Valley full of Wineries and their associated restaurants and nice countryside. Newcastle area is about 2 hours drive north of Sydney. I am from this area so thats what I recommend if you have done most of Sydney. I would not recommend the Blue Mountains because you will see much better natural features like this in New Zealand. Sydneys crowning glory is its harbour and I would recommend its 2 hour coffee cruise on Captain Cook cruises because you get closer to the harbourside mansions than on the ferries. Saying that a trip on the ferry to Manly is also fantastic. Exploring the beachside suburbs of Sydney is great like Bondi, Bronte , the eastern suburbs. Big shopping centres in Sydney city, Bondi Junction and Chatswood. Zoos, Museums. The botanical gardens and Mrs Macquarie's chair near the Opera House is a beautiful walk and not to be missed. One of the most beautiful walks I used to love doing too was the Coastal walk from bondi beach along the shore to Tamaramma and Bronte Beach, gorgeous. Theres also the south coast but not really my area to comment.
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