matthew11
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5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:25 am

Hello!
I am traveling to New Zealand in 4 weeks. I have time to do a 5 full day stopover in Sydney. I have never been to Sydney let alone Australia. Any advice what to do in 5 days. I know it will be rushed, is it worth maybe taking a flight to Melbourne and splitting the 5 days between the 2?

Thank you!
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TWA772LR
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:02 am

Go to the Featherdale Wildlife Park. A lot of the animals freely roam around and can be pet, held etc... Its AUD20 to get in and its worth it!

If youre looking for cheap souvenirs, the Paddy Market in the mall in China town is totally worth it and many vendors are willing to negotiate on price. I got an Australia beanie there for AUD2 and i saw the same thing on Amazon for USD10!

Also be sure to hit up Circle Quay, the Opera House, Sydney Tower, Harbour Bridge, and Olympic Park. Beware of the ferry too; it is a very nice ride and seems free to get on at any stop but youll pay once you get off at Circle Quay. Bondi Beach is also a ton of fun, especially the South Side ;)
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matthew11
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:28 am

TWA772LR wrote:
Go to the Featherdale Wildlife Park. A lot of the animals freely roam around and can be pet, held etc... Its AUD20 to get in and its worth it!

If youre looking for cheap souvenirs, the Paddy Market in the mall in China town is totally worth it and many vendors are willing to negotiate on price. I got an Australia beanie there for AUD2 and i saw the same thing on Amazon for USD10!

Also be sure to hit up Circle Quay, the Opera House, Sydney Tower, Harbour Bridge, and Olympic Park. Beware of the ferry too; it is a very nice ride and seems free to get on at any stop but youll pay once you get off at Circle Quay. Bondi Beach is also a ton of fun, especially the South Side ;)


Awesome, I’ll put those on the list! Thank you!
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johns624
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:42 pm

The best place to stay is the Marriott downtown. It's only a block from the Circular Quay. It's within walking distance of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Botanical Gardens, along with The Rocks. Make sure you take the full harbor sightseeing cruise.
 
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:39 pm

You can spend 5 easy days in Sydney and not worry about Melbourne. There are a number of day trips you can take along the coast, to the Blue Mountains, to the Hunter Valley Region, etc. etc. You can also squeeze in a day trip to Canberra, too, if that interests you.

Check and see what's playing at the Opera House. It's cool to go and see it but even better if you can see some sort of show playing there.

The Marriott is a good location but if you're trying to do it on a budget, you can run up a big bill there real quick.

Don't forget - you can also do the bridge climb. But if you don't want to spend the money for that, you can easily just get away with the climbing the steps on the Pylon.
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matthew11
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:58 pm

Awesome! Thank you for all the tips! Excited for it!
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chepos
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:38 pm

I definitely recommend a day trip to the Blue Mountains, it’s an easy train ride up there and well worth it. Last time I was in Sydney was for Mardi Gras so that occupied most of the weekend, but well worth it.
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:15 pm

chepos wrote:
I definitely recommend a day trip to the Blue Mountains, it’s an easy train ride up there and well worth it. Last time I was in Sydney was for Mardi Gras so that occupied most of the weekend, but well worth it.


Mardi Gras there is epic.
i had to get a new liver after.
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johns624
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:03 pm

If you're into naval ships, the main Royal Australian Navy base is across a small inlet from the Botanical Gardens and is also viewable from the harbor cruise boat. I saw close to half the navy in one day. Of course, I saw almost the entire New Zealand Navy in Auckland, except for one inshore patrol boat.
 
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cpd
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:21 pm

johns624 wrote:
If you're into naval ships, the main Royal Australian Navy base is across a small inlet from the Botanical Gardens and is also viewable from the harbor cruise boat. I saw close to half the navy in one day. Of course, I saw almost the entire New Zealand Navy in Auckland, except for one inshore patrol boat.


The Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour has a few you can even go onboard.
 
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:22 pm

stlgph wrote:

Check and see what's playing at the Opera House. It's cool to go and see it but even better if you can see some sort of show playing there.


I agree 100%!! I know so many people who take selfies in front of the Sydney Opera or La Scala in Milan or the Metropolitan in New York.....but they don’t go in!

I always get a ticket to see whatever is playing — a great experience. I mean, honestly, an opera isn’t going to kill you :)
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jupiter2
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:51 pm

Just a word of warning, it will be the middle of our winter, while mild compared to European and North American winters, it can still get quite chilly, especially the mornings. As such, Bondi Beach will not give you any extra "sight seeing" at this time of year, but is still well worth the visit. There is an excellent coastal walk starting at Bondi that takes you along some pretty spectacular coast line and a couple more beaches.

Take the ferry to Manly, the River cat up to Parramatta, day trip up to the Blue Mountains, Sydney Tower, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay (where the ferries depart), Bridge Climb if you can is well worth it. There are also the Botanical Gardens right next to the city, some good museums and just some nice old buildings around the city. Also do a pub crawl through The Rocks if you like a drink or two (dozen). If you can afford it, a scenic helicopter flight over the harbour is great viewing.

Further afield for day trips, would recommend the Hunter Valley if you like wine tasting. Featherdale Wildlife Park, Australian Reptile Park and Taronga Zoo are all good, with the zoo offering views of the harbour and city as a bonus (if you go there, take the ferry). If you do go to Manly, make sure you go up to North Head, well worth it.
 
jupiter2
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:53 pm

DaveFly wrote:
stlgph wrote:

Check and see what's playing at the Opera House. It's cool to go and see it but even better if you can see some sort of show playing there.


I agree 100%!! I know so many people who take selfies in front of the Sydney Opera or La Scala in Milan or the Metropolitan in New York.....but they don’t go in!

I always get a ticket to see whatever is playing — a great experience. I mean, honestly, an opera isn’t going to kill you :)


Plenty of shows on there besides operas.
 
matthew11
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:33 am

You are all awesome! So much to do! Thank you for all the input!
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cpd
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:53 am

matthew11 wrote:
You are all awesome! So much to do! Thank you for all the input!


And do have dinner here:

http://www.thebavarians.com/venue/the-rocks-sydney/

And certainly go to the Opera. Especially good if you can get the backstage tour as well as the performance.
 
matthew11
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:54 am

jupiter2 wrote:
Just a word of warning, it will be the middle of our winter, while mild compared to European and North American winters, it can still get quite chilly, especially the mornings. As such, Bondi Beach will not give you any extra "sight seeing" at this time of year, but is still well worth the visit. There is an excellent coastal walk starting at Bondi that takes you along some pretty spectacular coast line and a couple more beaches.

Take the ferry to Manly, the River cat up to Parramatta, day trip up to the Blue Mountains, Sydney Tower, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay (where the ferries depart), Bridge Climb if you can is well worth it. There are also the Botanical Gardens right next to the city, some good museums and just some nice old buildings around the city. Also do a pub crawl through The Rocks if you like a drink or two (dozen). If you can afford it, a scenic helicopter flight over the harbour is great viewing.

Further afield for day trips, would recommend the Hunter Valley if you like wine tasting. Featherdale Wildlife Park, Australian Reptile Park and Taronga Zoo are all good, with the zoo offering views of the harbour and city as a bonus (if you go there, take the ferry). If you do go to Manly, make sure you go up to North Head, well worth it.


Thank you. Should I be renting a car or is it fairly convenient to get to these places? I’ll look to book a hotel maybe close to the opera house.
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matthew11
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:56 am

cpd wrote:
matthew11 wrote:
You are all awesome! So much to do! Thank you for all the input!


And do have dinner here:

http://www.thebavarians.com/venue/the-rocks-sydney/

And certainly go to the Opera. Especially good if you can get the backstage tour as well as the performance.


Sounds great! Thank you
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jupiter2
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:06 am

matthew11 wrote:
jupiter2 wrote:
Just a word of warning, it will be the middle of our winter, while mild compared to European and North American winters, it can still get quite chilly, especially the mornings. As such, Bondi Beach will not give you any extra "sight seeing" at this time of year, but is still well worth the visit. There is an excellent coastal walk starting at Bondi that takes you along some pretty spectacular coast line and a couple more beaches.

Take the ferry to Manly, the River cat up to Parramatta, day trip up to the Blue Mountains, Sydney Tower, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay (where the ferries depart), Bridge Climb if you can is well worth it. There are also the Botanical Gardens right next to the city, some good museums and just some nice old buildings around the city. Also do a pub crawl through The Rocks if you like a drink or two (dozen). If you can afford it, a scenic helicopter flight over the harbour is great viewing.

Further afield for day trips, would recommend the Hunter Valley if you like wine tasting. Featherdale Wildlife Park, Australian Reptile Park and Taronga Zoo are all good, with the zoo offering views of the harbour and city as a bonus (if you go there, take the ferry). If you do go to Manly, make sure you go up to North Head, well worth it.


Thank you. Should I be renting a car or is it fairly convenient to get to these places? I’ll look to book a hotel maybe close to the opera house.


A lot of it is easily accessible by public transport, Bondi Beach by train/bus, Manly by ferry, the river cat to Parramatta is also a public ferry. Getting around the city itself there is a reasonable rail system, lots of busses, but the city traffic is usually horrendous. For North Head from Manly, I'm not sure if a bus runs all the way up from the ferry wharf, so a taxi/Uber maybe a better option to get up there. If you do, go in the morning with the sun behind you looking down probably the best harbour in the world.

For the Blue Mountains, it can be done by public transport, but an organised day tour will get you to more places. The Hunter Valley is the same, a day tour will get you to some good wineries and you don't need to be worrying about drinking too much and then driving back to Sydney. But saying that, renting a car is feasible for both as well and you can set your own pace, though if you have to park in the city, be warned, it is very expensive..

Of course a lot of these things can be done on organised tours, if that is more your thing.

Hotels near Circular Quay (near the Opera House) can be quite expensive, as you may get yourself quite a view as well if you pick the right hotel. Have a look on the hotel comparison sites, there is a great range of hotels available and if you're prepared to spend the money you could end up with spectacular views up or down the harbour, as well as the Harbour Bridge and/or the Opera House. There is plenty to see and do, just do some homework and work out what you want to see.
 
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:15 am

jupiter2 wrote:
DaveFly wrote:
stlgph wrote:

Check and see what's playing at the Opera House. It's cool to go and see it but even better if you can see some sort of show playing there.


I agree 100%!! I know so many people who take selfies in front of the Sydney Opera or La Scala in Milan or the Metropolitan in New York.....but they don’t go in!

I always get a ticket to see whatever is playing — a great experience. I mean, honestly, an opera isn’t going to kill you :)


Plenty of shows on there besides operas.


Yes, I saw Underworld there last year and it was E-P-I-C.

Also the ferry to Manly is good as well as exploring the nice little beachside city. Some great views. The beachside walk from Coogee to Bondi Beach is great, not too demanding and some great views, especially in whale season.
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cpd
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:23 pm

matthew11 wrote:
jupiter2 wrote:
Just a word of warning, it will be the middle of our winter, while mild compared to European and North American winters, it can still get quite chilly, especially the mornings. As such, Bondi Beach will not give you any extra "sight seeing" at this time of year, but is still well worth the visit. There is an excellent coastal walk starting at Bondi that takes you along some pretty spectacular coast line and a couple more beaches.

Take the ferry to Manly, the River cat up to Parramatta, day trip up to the Blue Mountains, Sydney Tower, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay (where the ferries depart), Bridge Climb if you can is well worth it. There are also the Botanical Gardens right next to the city, some good museums and just some nice old buildings around the city. Also do a pub crawl through The Rocks if you like a drink or two (dozen). If you can afford it, a scenic helicopter flight over the harbour is great viewing.

Further afield for day trips, would recommend the Hunter Valley if you like wine tasting. Featherdale Wildlife Park, Australian Reptile Park and Taronga Zoo are all good, with the zoo offering views of the harbour and city as a bonus (if you go there, take the ferry). If you do go to Manly, make sure you go up to North Head, well worth it.


Thank you. Should I be renting a car or is it fairly convenient to get to these places? I’ll look to book a hotel maybe close to the opera house.



Parramatta is an easy trip from Circular Quay on the Rivercat ferry. Us locals all use the Opal card which you top up and then just tap on and tap off at the machines on train stations, ferry wharves, buses, etc.

It might be quite chilly on the ferry at the moment. My ride to work this morning on a bicycle (I work in Parramatta near the ferry wharf) was average 5°C and minimum 3°C according to my Garmin.

Beware the taxis, pay cash for them always! The driver who says the tap and go card payment isn't working on his payment machine just wants to get your pin number so he can scam your credit/debit card.

Botanical gardens in Sydney CBD are an easy walk.

Agreed with the person before about our traffic, it is awful at peak hours. If you rent a car, get a small diesel hatch like a VW Golf because it will be economical and the fuel prices won't sting you too much.
 
matthew11
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:38 pm

Sounds great! I’ll probably avoid renting a car then. Thanks for all tips!
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:19 am

If you're based in the city then the nearby neighbourhoods of Surry Hills, and Darlinghurst are filled with cultural institutions, amazing food and wonderful coffee. Just go for a walk in the old winding streets and you're sure to find some gems.

The Grounds at Alexandria is beautiful and extremely instragrammable, and not too far from Sydney airport: https://thegrounds.com.au

While I know every tourist loves to do the Coogee to Bondi walk, and it is lovely - for my money the best scenic walk in Sydney is in the eastern suburbs. Walking from Catalina (the old seaplane base) in Rose Bay all the way to the light house on south head affords magnificent views of Sydney harbour, not to mention some of the most expensive real estate in the world! An absence of tourists (despite the proximity to Bondi beach) is also lovely.
 
matthew11
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:21 am

RetroRoo wrote:
If you're based in the city then the nearby neighbourhoods of Surry Hills, and Darlinghurst are filled with cultural institutions, amazing food and wonderful coffee. Just go for a walk in the old winding streets and you're sure to find some gems.

The Grounds at Alexandria is beautiful and extremely instragrammable, and not too far from Sydney airport: https://thegrounds.com.au

While I know every tourist loves to do the Coogee to Bondi walk, and it is lovely - for my money the best scenic walk in Sydney is in the eastern suburbs. Walking from Catalina (the old seaplane base) in Rose Bay all the way to the light house on south head affords magnificent views of Sydney harbour, not to mention some of the most expensive real estate in the world! An absence of tourists (despite the proximity to Bondi beach) is also lovely.


Thank you! That sounds great! This is going to be hard to plan everything lol
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bananaboy
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:23 pm

If your budget doesn't run to the hotels which can be pricey (although less-so in winter), there some great AirBnB options.. I managed to snag a great apartment for a week with roof top pool, BBQ and view over the harbour during Mardi Gras for less than the price of 3nts in a hotel. PM me if you want a recommendation.
If you'd like a hotel, whilst not exciting, North Sydney is handy for access to the CBD and a usually cheaper option.. Trains to the CBD literally take just a couple of minutes or you can get the ferry from Milsons Point, or walk across the bridge if you have time.

As others have mentioned, be prepared for winter to be chilly and wet. I lived there for two years and was surprised just how much rain there was, though sunny days were very pleasant and much more regular than the British winters I'm used to. If you're lucky, you may even get snow up on the Blue Mountains which is an easy day trip..again, as others have mentioned, avoid hiring a car. Parking charges are astronomical.

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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:25 pm

Here's a suggestion I didn't see in any previous post....take a ferry out to Cockatoo Island. It's a former prisoner's island and later used as a shipyard for the Australian Navy. They have a camp ground too. Actually they call it "glamping"...tents almost the size of a small cottage, cots, electricity, etc. If you want to indulge your plane spotter needs book a room at the Rydges Hotel at the airport. They have a plane spotter deal that guarantees a room on the upper floors with a great view of the terminal and take offs/landings. There's also a rooftop viewing area but I'm not sure if its only accessible to hotel guests.

Otherwise enjoy your stay....if you get bored then its your own fault!
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777Jet
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:43 am

As others have said, see Featherdale Wildlife Park if you want to get close to the native animals. Use the public transport but first, get an OPAL card. You tap on and off each service and there is a daily cap of only $15-20 - much easier than renting a vehicle, looking for non-existant expensive and time limited parking. Or use Uber - taxi in Sydney is a total rip. Also, so many speed & red light cameras in Sydney. Catching the Manly ferry and walking around Manly is nice. In fact, most of the ferry trips are nice. Ferry to Luna Park and on to Darling Harbour & Casino at Pyrmont. Northern Beaches are very nice. Blue Mountains nice but that is a full day. Paddys Markets. Kings Cross at night. Have fun!
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:27 am

cpd wrote:
matthew11 wrote:
You are all awesome! So much to do! Thank you for all the input!


And do have dinner here:

http://www.thebavarians.com/venue/the-rocks-sydney/


But be careful if there later in the evening - it was Sydney's most violent venue last month based on incidents reported to the police. Dinner time is fine - I was there for my birthday earlier in the year :)

As for The Grounds, I find it overpriced and overrated. Not worth the effort to find for tourists, especially in an average light industrial area. I'd head to Rozelle Tramsheds instead (easy on light rail, get off at Jubillee Park). And think carefully about Featherdale - it is a nice place to see and in some cases feed native animals, but requires a bare minimum half day to visit if on public transport and is in a lacklustre western suburb. I'd personally just do Wildlife World at Darling Harbour or, even better, catch the ferry to Taronga Zoo. Taronga is Sydney's major Zoo, and has great views back across the harbour to the CBD.

A car would make a Featherdale/Blue Mountains easier. However, as much as locals complain, public transport and/or walking are easily the best options for most city tourist spots.
 
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cpd
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:47 am

Kent350787 wrote:
cpd wrote:
matthew11 wrote:
You are all awesome! So much to do! Thank you for all the input!


And do have dinner here:

http://www.thebavarians.com/venue/the-rocks-sydney/


But be careful if there later in the evening - it was Sydney's most violent venue last month based on incidents reported to the police. Dinner time is fine - I was there for my birthday earlier in the year :)

As for The Grounds, I find it overpriced and overrated. Not worth the effort to find for tourists, especially in an average light industrial area. I'd head to Rozelle Tramsheds instead (easy on light rail, get off at Jubillee Park). And think carefully about Featherdale - it is a nice place to see and in some cases feed native animals, but requires a bare minimum half day to visit if on public transport and is in a lacklustre western suburb. I'd personally just do Wildlife World at Darling Harbour or, even better, catch the ferry to Taronga Zoo. Taronga is Sydney's major Zoo, and has great views back across the harbour to the CBD.

A car would make a Featherdale/Blue Mountains easier. However, as much as locals complain, public transport and/or walking are easily the best options for most city tourist spots.



Yeah, I go around 5pm, that's not too bad. Lunch time during weekday is good too - quite cheery and not too crowded.

I thought the old Scruffy murphy's was pretty bad many years ago. I worked nearby but never went there based on the reports. No idea if it is still running.
 
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:20 pm

Thanks again for the options! So much to do! I booked a hotel right beside Wynyard station. Seems like a good location to get around on transit or walk.
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:05 am

Wynyard is a good area. If you go to Taronga Zoo, the ferry is the best, quickest and most scenic way to get there. But buy your Zoo entry tickets online or at Circular Quay - before you get to the zoo. If you get there without a ticket you will have to catch the bus to the main entry or walk to the lower entry. To catch the cable car, which is a must, you must already have your tickets (the cable car will drop you at the top then you walk down hill). If you pre buy your ticket the public transport costs are included. I'd do the Zoo mid week as cable car lines on the weekend can be long and put people off. Also, cable car closes if winds are strong.
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matthew11
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:29 pm

777Jet wrote:
Wynyard is a good area. If you go to Taronga Zoo, the ferry is the best, quickest and most scenic way to get there. But buy your Zoo entry tickets online or at Circular Quay - before you get to the zoo. If you get there without a ticket you will have to catch the bus to the main entry or walk to the lower entry. To catch the cable car, which is a must, you must already have your tickets (the cable car will drop you at the top then you walk down hill). If you pre buy your ticket the public transport costs are included. I'd do the Zoo mid week as cable car lines on the weekend can be long and put people off. Also, cable car closes if winds are strong.


That sounds great! Might just have to do that. Thanks for the tip!
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:53 pm

Also I hope you're planning a trip report !!
 
matthew11
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:37 am

RetroRoo wrote:
Also I hope you're planning a trip report !!


I’ll do my best to try to do one. It’s going to be quite the trip. I’ll be flying:
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Jetstar ZQN-AKL
Air New Zealand AKL-SYD
Air Canada SYD-YVR-YYC
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Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:09 am

matthew11 wrote:
RetroRoo wrote:
Also I hope you're planning a trip report !!


I’ll do my best to try to do one. It’s going to be quite the trip. I’ll be flying:
Air Canada YYC-YVR-SYD
QANTAS SYD-ZQN
Jetstar ZQN-AKL
Air New Zealand AKL-SYD
Air Canada SYD-YVR-YYC


Stay safe and enjoy the trip. Oh and watch out for those lunatics in New Zealand with their extreme experiences, you know bungy jumping and the like :crazy:
 
matthew11
Topic Author
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 2:56 am

Re: 5 days in Sydney advice

Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:58 am

jupiter2 wrote:
matthew11 wrote:
RetroRoo wrote:
Also I hope you're planning a trip report !!


I’ll do my best to try to do one. It’s going to be quite the trip. I’ll be flying:
Air Canada YYC-YVR-SYD
QANTAS SYD-ZQN
Jetstar ZQN-AKL
Air New Zealand AKL-SYD
Air Canada SYD-YVR-YYC


Stay safe and enjoy the trip. Oh and watch out for those lunatics in New Zealand with their extreme experiences, you know bungy jumping and the like :crazy:


Hahaha thanks! Gotta figure out if I wanna join them and do something out of my comfort zone!
New Gemini Jets retailer in YYC (Calgary)! Purchase in store or online! http://www.euphoriacafe.ca

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