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Ok, I need help again. MY TA though great 99% of the time can’t come through for me this time. Apparently her other customers have way more money then me and all the tour people she uses in Oz and Kiwi land want more money then I’m willing to spend. Therefore, I’m on my own. Well sort of, I’ve got all you guys to help me out. :)

Here’s what my uncle has asked me to find out. He’s in his 80s. We’ll be in Sydney on the Friday through Sunday morning of the Easter weekend.

Since he’s been to Sydney before, here’s his request to me of what he wants to do while there this time:

“What i have not done in Sydney is to travel the rail system and get off in various stops and see what is of interest on a casual mode, no particular destination. I have taken the (interurban) train from the jetty near the Opera House to Bondi Beach but never to the other side of the harbour. I also like the ferry ride to Manley Beach for a short stopover, lunch etc.. I found the Old Town (historic) interesting and didnot need a guided tour to tell me about it, same for Capt. Cook Musium. I would like to know of any specific places of interest along the routes serviced, schedules, fares (on -off ..on off) etc. And this would be a day trip.”

Can you help me give him an answer?

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Your Uncle seems very fun!


He is right - the jetty at the Opera House is called Circular Quay (promounced 'key') and it is a ferry terminal and a railway station.


If you want to go to Manly, I would take the ferry as it is much more fun, and faster. Plus, you get sail on the best harbour in the world. :) Once there you can look at the shops, go for a terrific walk along the esplanade (the views are wonderful) as well as see a great beach. Trust me, there are heaps better beaches than Manly and bondi.... but those two are the main tourist ones. I prefer Bundeena Beach in the Royal National Park. It is perfect for families, and is so much more beautiful. It is a swimming beach, not a surfing beach. But, each to his own!


The Rocks - which is the historic area I assume he is talking about, is about 5 mins slow walk from Circular Quay. It is filled with great things to see and do (I won't list them all here, do a Google search to help your out - type in The Rocks Sydney). There is no train service here as you walk.


As the Sydney rail network is extensive, if you got off at some stations, you will find yourselves with nothing to do. I suggest you plan specific places to go, and make a bee-line to that location. That is JMHO as who wants to go to a lousy destination?? :)


There is no such place as the Captain Cook Museum, so I don't know what you mean. You may mean the Museum of Contempory Art (at Circular Quay) or you may mean the Sydney Museum (get off at Museum Station to walk across Hyde Park)? There are many different museums and galleries in Sydney, so maybe if you tell me what he is interested in, I may be able to pinpoint the Museum he means. :)


Good luck!



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Those were the places he said he already went to. He was looking for suggestions on taking the train somewhere, he just didn't know where. My guess is what he wants to do is hop the train for a short trip and get off, the question is where, how and how much.


The rest of our group are newbies so everything helps us. :)

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I know you said you were after short trips, but if you want something different, go to Katoomba (The Blue Mountains). This is a really beautiful place. However, based on his mobility you may be limited.


You can try the Olympic Site at Homebush - a short trip from the centre of Syd. I have not been there since the olympics, but it is apparently a good place to see, even now.


Go to Cronulla, and take the ferry to Bundeena. This is in the Royal National Park. There are some great walks from here.


I suggest you buy a Lonely Planet (or similar) guide to Sydney. There are animal parks, museums, art galleries and tonnes more to do.... I would be here all day, and still only scratch the surface.


My personal favourites are to do the following:

1) Visit the Art Gallery of NSW. We differ from the States, where you call an art gallery as a place to purchase art, and a museum to view art. We call them both the same. The Art Gallery of NSW is the State gallery, and has a great collection of Australian art, and a few good european artists as well.

2) See a show at the Opera House. We dine at ARIA restaurant, as this is our favourite in the vacinity of the OH.

3) Have a picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens - the Rose Garden is great in Spring. Awesome views here too.

4) Centrepoint Tower - tallest building in Sydney, great views. On a clear day can see to the Blue Mountains (90 min drive).

5) Taronga Zoo (Nth side of Harbour).

6) Walk over the Harbour Bridge, visit the pylon museum.

7) Sydney Observatory.

8) The Rocks district.

9) Hyde Park Barracks.

10) Governor's House.


As I said, so much to do. Most of there places are walking distance, if not only a few stations away from Circular Quay. Doing these things alone would fill nearly three days.


Good luck!:)

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I've been puzzling over this for some days. And still haven't come up with any obvious answers.


But one thing did occur to me (even if the Sydneysiders will probably laugh): There are one or two historic buildings to see in Parramatta, which is at the end of a reasonably short train journey. Alternatively, there is a river boat service from Circular Quay.

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Hey Globaliser - don't put yourself down. Good idea. If you are planning the Parra-mat-tat-ta (as I say it ;) ) trip, take a ferry up the river. They are called Rivercats. This way you will pass the Olympic site as well as go under the Harbour Bridge. I think the ferry trip is a nice trip on its own!


There are so many things to do and see in Sydney!



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I know there are lots of things to do, but he really want to take a train ride somewhere to see more then just Sydney. He spent two weeks there a few years ago and he wants to see more of the country then the one city. Since this will be his last trip to Australia, and probably his last big trip anywhere, he wanted to see something different.



The rest of our group will be spending the time in Sydney with the challenge of Easter weekend. Since our youngest will be 6 months and the oldest will be 84 its quite the challenge to meet everyone's goal. The best I'm hoping for is to be able to present the options. We arrive on Friday (Good) and leave on Easter mid day. I'm paying close attention to everyone's advice.

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I vote to take the train to Katoomba. The Blue Mountains. We did this last April 2007. It was great to get out of the city for the day. There is a trolley available across from the train station to take you to the Blue Mountains. Do a search for Blue Mountains Trolley Tours. It will give you some great info. The train was so easy as well. I think it takes about 2 hours to get to Katoomba from Sydney.

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I decided to give him this link directly ... ok along with some info I found on each place, so he can figure out what sounds appealing. Making this a tad more difficult for me is the fact that I live in Southern California and he lives in British Columbia so we mostly talk by email.


As usual you guys are great on this board.

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Having just returned and having taken the river cat to Paramatta and been to Katoomba, I thought I would throw in my 2 cents. That's a good suggestion about taking the train to Katoomba. Although we drove there, Katoomba is a cute town, but I can't comment on the train journey itself. By the way, if you buy one of the transportion passes, green, red, etc. that will cover his trip on the train at least as far as Paramatta and he can just pay the difference. We found the green passes a good deal - we were in Sydney for 5 days and made great use of them- covers trains, ferries and busses within a pretty large area. If you have a large group and don't all need to be together all the time, you could perhaps buy 3 or 4 of them and share them between your group, with some people taking the ferry or train someplace and others doing that later. There are no names on the passes. The first part of the ferry ride to Paramatta is pretty scenic, going under the harbour bridge and on out into suburbia, but the scenery soon turns industrial and the second half of the ride doesn't have much to recommend it. That ferrry trip is covered by the green pass also. Even though they use the faster River Cats on that route, it is still about an hour long trip. It seems as though they can't avail of the extra potential speed on that river. As far as ferry rides are concerned, I know everyone recommends the Manly ferrry which is very good. My personal favorite however became the Mossman ferry. You see the same sites, Bridge, Opera House, skyline etc. but it doesn't take as long, and Mossman is a gem nestled in a quiet cove off the main harbour. As soon as the bridge goes out of sight, the ferry turns off to the left into this beautiful protected little cove with lovely houses on either side and ends up in a marina with some lovely boats/yachts moored there. Incidentally although the green pass excludes the faster "cats" to Manly, very frequently they will substitute a cat on the ferry line and they don't charge anything extra for using that then.


One other thing some of your group may want to consider is the hop on hop off tour bus. There apparently are two of them, one for $30 and the other for $39. Ironically the cheaper one appeared to be the better of the two. It is a double decker bus whereas the other is only a single deck. We didn't realize it when we bought our tickets but it actually includes the option of going to Bondi beach as well as touring the city, for no extra cost. You just transfer busses as you go along. When you get to Bondi they give you about 20 minutes to wander around before returning to the city. Also, the $30 bus ticket is valid for 24 hours whereas the other one expires at the end of the day even if you buy it in the afternoon. So, if you bought your $30 ticket at say, midday, you could use it again the next morning until midday, if you wanted to go back somewhere. Have a great trip.

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If you have a full day what about going north to gosford or south to wollongong, not sure about timing as they do have express trains from central station but less than an hour.

If you want me to check out further for you let me know and i will see what i can come up.

the central coast (gosford) is quite nice but not sure about tours and getting around once you are there. Lucky we have the internet

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