Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Shellbelle28

Sydney guided tour advice

Recommended Posts

SYDNEY QUESTION

 

I'll look for posts in the Ports of Call board as well but everyone in this section is so helpful!  I'm trying to organize my hotel and flight logistics with an itinerary for two days in Sydney before an NCL cruise that departs Circular Quay 23 January 2020.

 

I know lots of people just go on their own and explore, but my husband gets stressed in unfamiliar cities, so we are better off taking a guided tour (I am willing to pay a premium for small groups rather than a giant tourist bus experience!). Looking online it is so hard to tell if a provider is good or not. I found one (Sightseeing Tours Australia) that offers Blue Mountains/City of Sydney over two days and it seems like a really great option as far as the tour itinerary, but their TripAdvisor reviews were all over the place and I can't tell the number of people they have in a group. 

 

Can anyone offer some advice? Thank you in advance!!!!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never heard of this company, but they seem to be legitimate. Based in Melbourne. 

The reviews on the Australian arm of trio advisor are overwhelmingly positive. Prices look ok and standard.

Perhaps send them an email and ask about the sizes of their tours.

I could not find anything about this on their website either.  They don't seem to have a FAQ section. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 2-day Blue Mountains/Sydney option that I saw offered by Sightseeing Tours Australia is called "Essential Sydney Tour Package".  Is this the one to which you are referring?  If so, the Blue Mountains tour looks fine, but the Sydney portion looks really lacking.  The Sydney portion is only 2 hours long and it appears to only include a harbor cruise and going up the Sydney Tower.  That leaves a WHOLE lot of Sydney that you don't see.   You might do a 1-day Blue Mountains tour with the company and then do the "I'm Free Walking Tours" in Sydney.  I have done free walking tours in many cities around the world and they have all been great.  There are two "I'm Free" tours in Sydney -- one is a 2.5 to 3 hour tour of the city sights and the other is a 1.5 hour tour of the old part of Sydney known as "The Rocks".  Both of those tours would be well worth your time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, GradUT said:

The 2-day Blue Mountains/Sydney option that I saw offered by Sightseeing Tours Australia is called "Essential Sydney Tour Package".  Is this the one to which you are referring?  If so, the Blue Mountains tour looks fine, but the Sydney portion looks really lacking.  The Sydney portion is only 2 hours long and it appears to only include a harbor cruise and going up the Sydney Tower.  That leaves a WHOLE lot of Sydney that you don't see.   You might do a 1-day Blue Mountains tour with the company and then do the "I'm Free Walking Tours" in Sydney.  I have done free walking tours in many cities around the world and they have all been great.  There are two "I'm Free" tours in Sydney -- one is a 2.5 to 3 hour tour of the city sights and the other is a 1.5 hour tour of the old part of Sydney known as "The Rocks".  Both of those tours would be well worth your time. 

I can vouch for the free walking tours in Sydney. I think the walking tour is really the way to go to explore old Sydney. We did both of the walking tours and they were informative and fun. Small groups. There are many operators providing harbour tours from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. Not something you need to book a guide for or through a guide as the harbour tour boats have their own on board guide/narration. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/30/2019 at 8:46 AM, Shellbelle28 said:

SYDNEY QUESTION

 

I'll look for posts in the Ports of Call board as well but everyone in this section is so helpful!  I'm trying to organize my hotel and flight logistics with an itinerary for two days in Sydney before an NCL cruise that departs Circular Quay 23 January 2020.

 

I know lots of people just go on their own and explore, but my husband gets stressed in unfamiliar cities, so we are better off taking a guided tour (I am willing to pay a premium for small groups rather than a giant tourist bus experience!). Looking online it is so hard to tell if a provider is good or not. I found one (Sightseeing Tours Australia) that offers Blue Mountains/City of Sydney over two days and it seems like a really great option as far as the tour itinerary, but their TripAdvisor reviews were all over the place and I can't tell the number of people they have in a group. 

 

Can anyone offer some advice? Thank you in advance!!!!

 

When I was in Sydney last year, I took a private tour to the Blue Mountains with Sydney Private Day Tours. They were fabulous, I highly recommend. In fact I have 2 tours booked with them next January. http://www.sydneyprivatedaytours.com.au/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/1/2019 at 10:46 AM, banditoo said:

I can vouch for the free walking tours in Sydney. I think the walking tour is really the way to go to explore old Sydney. We did both of the walking tours and they were informative and fun. Small groups. There are many operators providing harbour tours from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. Not something you need to book a guide for or through a guide as the harbour tour boats have their own on board guide/narration. 

We have a Blue Mountains tour booked for one of our days in Sydney but the walking tour sounds really good for our second day...who do you recommend booking this through?  Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Barwick Cruiser said:

We have a Blue Mountains tour booked for one of our days in Sydney but the walking tour sounds really good for our second day...who do you recommend booking this through?  Thanks!!

You do not book the Sydney free walking tours in advance as they run daily at set times. There are at least a couple of outfits that put on the free walking tours with similar routes. We have done them with Free Tours  https://www.freetourssydney.com.au/free-walking-tours/index.html  and I'm Free https://www.imfree.com.au/sydney. Very informative, interesting & entertaining. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, banditoo said:

You do not book the Sydney free walking tours in advance as they run daily at set times. There are at least a couple of outfits that put on the free walking tours with similar routes. We have done them with Free Tours  https://www.freetourssydney.com.au/free-walking-tours/index.html  and I'm Free https://www.imfree.com.au/sydney. Very informative, interesting & entertaining. 

Thank you!  So, you just show up and join the guide?  Have never done one of these before but have heard great things!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Barwick Cruiser said:

Thank you!  So, you just show up and join the guide?  Have never done one of these before but have heard great things!

Yes, you meet at the meeting point at the designated time shown on the website. You usually see lots of brochures for them in Sydney including at the airport and hotels. The guides are often students of hospitality or history or retirees so usually have a lot of passion and add some high tales to the tour. We have done free walking tours in cities around the world. I always tip the guides even though the tour is free. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/1/2019 at 8:39 AM, banditoo said:

I loved my 'free' walking tour in Sydney so much I repeated it in both Lima & Santiago! Tip about $10 pp. Will repeat in Melbourne in 2 months

 

Australia is bigger than the USA so it cannot be done in 2 days IMHO. Perhaps the reviews were 'all over the place' bc the tourists dn realize that. Better to focus on one city

 

I did Sydney (3 days pre-cruise) / Tasmania / Melbourne in March 2018. Enticed me to go on another trip November 2019 -- Melbourne to Auckland. Even though I have 4 days pre-cruise in Melbourne I can't see it all. So, if I were you, I'd just see Sydney.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/11/2019 at 9:05 AM, Ombud said:

I loved my 'free' walking tour in Sydney so much I repeated it in both Lima & Santiago! Tip about $10 pp. Will repeat in Melbourne in 2 months

 

Australia is bigger than the USA so it cannot be done in 2 days IMHO. Perhaps the reviews were 'all over the place' bc the tourists dn realize that. Better to focus on one city

 

I did Sydney (3 days pre-cruise) / Tasmania / Melbourne in March 2018. Enticed me to go on another trip November 2019 -- Melbourne to Auckland. Even though I have 4 days pre-cruise in Melbourne I can't see it all. So, if I were you, I'd just see Sydney.   

 

Glad to know you enjoyed the Free Walking Tours tour in Sydney.  We'll be spending two days pre-cruise  in Sydney in December.  I have a question about it, the tour  starts about 1mile from our  hotel.  Do you happen to remember the total distance of the tour?  I can handle miles and miles, husband maybe not  so  much.  I also plan to  do the Free Walking Tour in Melbourne if we don't have a shore excursion in that port.

 

I hope  you post a review of what you see and do on your cruise, I'll be gearing up for ours and will still be determining what we will be doing in our ports.

 

I'm  also  on your Pacific  Northwest cruise next  March.  Maybe we can meet on board and compare our Australia/New Zealand experiences.

 

Jackie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See you on the Grand! When do you go to Sydney / Melbourne?

 

I did the free walking tour in Sydney the day I got there. BIG mistake as I only stayed for part of it. Long walk. Saw an awful lot of the city though and the guide was really informative. Well worth it but after about 1.5 hrs I was done.  Left b4 the Rocks as we passed my hotel. Went to the Rocks and crossed the bridge on my own.

 

Melbourne has a free hop on hop off tram circling the CBD. Did that last year. I actually bought the tourist myki for $15. It comes preloaded with $9. I never used it. I took the 109 shuttle to the CBD then their free tram. I'll use the myki this trip. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ombud said:

Melbourne has a free hop on hop off tram circling the CBD. Did that last year. I actually bought the tourist myki for $15. It comes preloaded with $9. I never used it. I took the 109 shuttle to the CBD then their free tram. I'll use the myki this trip. 

You say you bought the tourist myki and didn’t use it but you travelled on the 109 to the CBD. How did you pay for that trip if you didn’t use your myki? The 109 is not a shuttle, it is part of the public transport system, it is just very convenient for cruise passengers to use when in Melbourne. 

 

Leigh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, possum52 said:

You say you bought the tourist myki and didn’t use it but you travelled on the 109 to the CBD. How did you pay for that trip if you didn’t use your myki? The 109 is not a shuttle, it is part of the public transport system, it is just very convenient for cruise passengers to use when in Melbourne. 

 

Leigh

I thought I used it to get to the central train station. I know I didn't tap on the way back as I used the Princess shuttle back. But when I looked it up on https://www.mymyki.com.au/NTSWebPortal/Common/Auxillary/FormLibrary.aspx?menu=Card/Account Requests it shows I have a $9 balance so I have no idea why I wasn't charged! I use Clipper here so I did the same tap-and-go 

Edited by Ombud

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Ombud said:

I thought I used it to get to the central train station. I know I didn't tap on the way back as I used the Princess shuttle back. But when I looked it up on https://www.mymyki.com.au/NTSWebPortal/Common/Auxillary/FormLibrary.aspx?menu=Card/Account Requests it shows I have a $9 balance so I have no idea why I wasn't charged! I use Clipper here so I did the same tap-and-go 

Did you tap or hold the card on the reader until the green light came on? It is not so much a tap action but placing the card flat in the middle of the reader until it registers with the green light. It would seem your card didn’t register if you weren’t charged. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hold not tap? I'll be on the lookout for that. I did it the same as the clipper which I use to use 2×day. I must have done it incorrectly as I should have been charged for 1 way weekend .... 

 

Edited to add: clipper is tap and go. So I did it wrong. Sorry, my bad 😔

Edited by Ombud

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ombud said:

Hold not tap? I'll be on the lookout for that. I did it the same as the clipper which I use to use 2×day. I must have done it incorrectly as I should have been charged for 1 way weekend .... 

 

Edited to add: clipper is tap and go. So I did it wrong. Sorry, my bad 😔

Just a learning experience, I’m sure many others will have done the same. 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Ombud said:

See you on the Grand! When do you go to Sydney / Melbourne?

 

I did the free walking tour in Sydney the day I got there. BIG mistake as I only stayed for part of it. Long walk. Saw an awful lot of the city though and the guide was really informative. Well worth it but after about 1.5 hrs I was done.  Left b4 the Rocks as we passed my hotel. Went to the Rocks and crossed the bridge on my own.

 

Melbourne has a free hop on hop off tram circling the CBD. Did that last year. I actually bought the tourist myki for $15. It comes preloaded with $9. I never used it. I took the 109 shuttle to the CBD then their free tram. I'll use the myki this trip. 

We get to Australia mid-December, two nights in Sydney, then board ship for a 16 night cruise ending in Auckland.  Very excited and loving all the discussions on what to see and do (I even checked out the roll call for your cruise and have noted all the advice from locals mentioned there)   We'll have some shipboard credit for shore excursions but also love to head out on my own to explore at much lower cost so I'm trying to determine where it's easy to get around and where it makes sense to use an excursion.

 

Thanks for the heads up about the long walk on the Sydney Free Walking Tour.  I won't attempt it for the day we arrive, husband is sure he'll be totally jet lagged but I want to  make the best of our limited time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...