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Shellbelle28

Sydney guided tour advice

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SYDNEY QUESTION

 

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 that there are many options to go on our own and explore, but my husband gets stressed in unfamiliar cities resulting in a not-so-relaxing experience, 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!!!!

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Posted (edited)

I went to the Blue Mountains a few years ago on my own.  Took the train.

 

This past March we did a walking tour of Sydney.  It lasted about 2 1/2 hours.  It was very good.  One of those 'free' tours where you pay what you want at the end.  

 

The rest of the time we were on our own.  Take a ferry ride over to Manly or Watson's Bay.-it is a very easy way to see more and there is really no hassle.

Edited by iancal

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Blue mts by train, nothing to guide. You get on the hoho bus and stop alone the way. You hike on a good day,. Overnighting fir the views.

Climb the Sydney bride

ferry to zoo or beach

the gardens is all about you and nature

pre book dinners

you do nit need a guide 

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I understand the desire for a guide to the Blue Mountains, and from what I've read of the tours it seems a lot is included in the day.  I've looked at Viator and Anderson Tours.  You could also do a google search for other tour companies.  

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On 8/2/2019 at 10:49 AM, GloriaF said:

I understand the desire for a guide to the Blue Mountains, and from what I've read of the tours it seems a lot is included in the day.  I've looked at Viator and Anderson Tours.  You could also do a google search for other tour companies.  

 

We're using Blue Diamond Tours as they seem highly regarded.

 

FWIW, Viator is a third-party travel broker. They use the same pools of guides and operators that you can ususally book privately, or through the cruiseline excursions. Since they charge a substantial commission to the tour venues/guides, they are usually priced higher. Many are diasappointed if they expereince an issue as there is little chance of recourse. There are a number of complaints with the BBB. https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.viator.com

 

Try to book directly with vendors whenever possible.

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19 hours ago, sippican said:

 

We're using Blue Diamond Tours as they seem highly regarded.

 

FWIW, Viator is a third-party travel broker. They use the same pools of guides and operators that you can ususally book privately, or through the cruiseline excursions. Since they charge a substantial commission to the tour venues/guides, they are usually priced higher. Many are diasappointed if they expereince an issue as there is little chance of recourse. There are a number of complaints with the BBB. https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.viator.com

 

Try to book directly with vendors whenever possible.

Thanks for the tip on Viator.  I had looked at them bc they were mentioned on this board, but have not booked anything with them.  I agree, booking direct is the best way.

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I used a tour though I was traveling on my own, so no one to share the driving with etc though I think I'd have been tired after all the hiking. I took a small tour from Sydney, they even picked me up (and rang me because I missed the tour the first time I reserved it, the next day, wake up call!) and loved it. I'm wasn't, and am still not great at hiking and finding my way in the forest coming from the city so it was awesome to have a kind, knowledgable and cool guide lead to things that were incredible to see...like two very large kangaroos kicking each other while grunting loudly as the rest of the kangaroos we walked among simply chilled out as the gorgeous colorful birds flew above us. 

 

I absolutely would have been lost and sleeping in the Blue Mountains that night, which my guide tried to coax me into doing (albeit not on the forest floor, in accommodations) so I could enjoy more of Mountains but I hadn't brought what I'd need for an evening away from my B&B which I still regret. It would have been glorious to stay overnight or even a few days in this place. Although the sound of those 'roos fighting 😳 or maybe they were playing, or sorting it out over a she-'roo. So cool. 

 

But if you're good with the outdoors (like most people!) and other-side driving (another thing I'm ill equipped for, esp standard shift) then probably going on your own will be great. Sydney transit is phenomenal, I used it to go everywhere except the Blue Mountains!! 🙂 Have a great journey. 

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On 8/4/2019 at 2:33 AM, sippican said:

 

FWIW, Viator is a third-party travel broker. They use the same pools of guides and operators that you can ususally book privately, or through the cruiseline excursions. Since they charge a substantial commission to the tour venues/guides, they are usually priced higher.

We used Viator for most of our excursions on our New Zealand cruise last November. Similar Princess excursions were almost double the cost of the Viator ones. Cruisecritic and Viator are both part of Tripadvisor.

 

Leigh

 

 

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On 7/30/2019 at 2:41 PM, iancal said:

I went to the Blue Mountains a few years ago on my own.  Took the train.

 

This past March we did a walking tour of Sydney.  It lasted about 2 1/2 hours.  It was very good.  One of those 'free' tours where you pay what you want at the end.  

 

The rest of the time we were on our own.  Take a ferry ride over to Manly or Watson's Bay.-it is a very easy way to see more and there is really no hassle.

Hi. I see 3 different tours on the Sydney free walking tours but having trouble deciding which to do. First one is called Sydney and Rocks tour. 2.5 hours.  The third one is called Sydney sights downtown and rocks. Also 2.5-3 hours. Anyone understand the difference? 

There is another tour called Rocks at 6 pm but that is more clear how it is differentiated. 

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