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Going to Sydney - any travel advice

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Fortan
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Going to Sydney - any travel advice

Postby Fortan » Mon, 06 Jan 2014 4:32 pm

I have been through Sydney a couple of times and have seen the city from a car. But never actually stayed there.

So I am looking for advice on where to stay? What area of the city is good? I would prefer a hotel that costs less than S$ 200 but not a hostel or a pub stay. Perhaps a good B&B.

Any advice for a good pub for a Saturday afternoon pub?

Any good night spots - bars & clubs?

Planning on going to Bondi Beach, just because I want to see it. Been to Manly Beach and that didn't impress me but perhaps it was because I was there during off season?! Any museums worth visiting?

All advice is highly appreciated :D

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 06 Jan 2014 4:47 pm

Another interesting thread from you Fortan and again I am going to watch this keenly, as we are also going on a holiday to Sydney and will be there for 3 and half days starting Feb 11 :)

My cousin lives in Chatswood, so accomodation is sorted. Its freaking expensive there. Everything is freakin expensive. Getting from Airport to Chatswood by train costs $17.80 :o Suddenly I love Singapore so much :)

According to my cousin, the main touristy spot i.e. around the Circular Quay/Darling Harbour/Opera house can be covered in 1/2 a day and he suggested me to do day trips to Canberra, Port Stephens and Blue Mountains.

Blue Mountains we will surely do and do it by train. I am going to take the MyMulti3 weekly pass($63) from the airport, that will be good for all kinds of public transport including the ferry for a week.

Canberra I am pretty sure, I dont want to do as I dont think we are so much interested in the parliament house etc. I dont really think its worth the time or the $$$s to go there.

Port Stephens Dolphins cruise and 4WD sand dunes, I am still debating whether its worth the $150++

I dont think we want to do the Taronga zoo, its more expensive than Singapore zoo and apparently Singapore zoo is better. Same case with the Sydney Aquarium. So I guess, the only paid thing that will do is the Sydney Tower. We are not so much into Meuseums or Botanical gardens.

Initially I thought 3 days will be too less, now suddenly I dont know what really to do. Its like there is lots of stuff to do, but then if you start carefully looking at which ones are really worth, I am struggling to fill 1 day. I am kicking myself for not planning for another 2-3 days and covering Melbourne as well.

Any thoughts appreciated :)

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 06 Jan 2014 8:22 pm

Wd40 wrote:Another interesting thread from you Fortan and again I am going to watch this keenly, as we are also going on a holiday to Sydney and will be there for 3 and half days starting Feb 11 :)

My cousin lives in Chatswood, so accomodation is sorted. Its freaking expensive there. Everything is freakin expensive. Getting from Airport to Chatswood by train costs $17.80 :o Suddenly I love Singapore so much :)

According to my cousin, the main touristy spot i.e. around the Circular Quay/Darling Harbour/Opera house can be covered in 1/2 a day and he suggested me to do day trips to Canberra, Port Stephens and Blue Mountains.

Blue Mountains we will surely do and do it by train. I am going to take the MyMulti3 weekly pass($63) from the airport, that will be good for all kinds of public transport including the ferry for a week.

Canberra I am pretty sure, I dont want to do as I dont think we are so much interested in the parliament house etc. I dont really think its worth the time or the $$$s to go there.

Port Stephens Dolphins cruise and 4WD sand dunes, I am still debating whether its worth the $150++

I dont think we want to do the Taronga zoo, its more expensive than Singapore zoo and apparently Singapore zoo is better. Same case with the Sydney Aquarium. So I guess, the only paid thing that will do is the Sydney Tower. We are not so much into Meuseums or Botanical gardens.

Initially I thought 3 days will be too less, now suddenly I dont know what really to do. Its like there is lots of stuff to do, but then if you start carefully looking at which ones are really worth, I am struggling to fill 1 day. I am kicking myself for not planning for another 2-3 days and covering Melbourne as well.

Any thoughts appreciated :)


Pretty spot on from my visits to Sydney. Skip Canberra. "Circular Quay/Darling Harbour/Opera house" can indeed be covered in half a day. Are you taking your kid? It's a lot of walking, some of it a bit hilly with could curtail a lot of what you'd want to do. If not taking the kid, walk the bridge also. Maybe not climb (It's like A$150? some crazy price) but at least walk halfway. The botanic garden is nice; not quite like Singapore's where you're there to look at individual flowers, but in Sydney it's nice to take the whole thing in as a whole.

If you like Sunsets, walk out to Macquarie's Point (Just north-east of the Botanic Gardens, and directly east across a small bit of water from the Opera House). You can get a great view of The bridge and opera house at sunset.

Shameless photo sharing to give you an idea of where I'm talking about above
:
Opera House from half-way across the Sydney Harbor Bridge (in the middle of rain and a murky sunset):
http://distilleryimage1.ak.instagram.co ... 62c2_8.jpg

Two shots of Opera house at Sunset from that Macquarie point I mentioned:
http://distilleryimage6.ak.instagram.co ... 20be_8.jpg

http://distilleryimage2.ak.instagram.co ... 5990_8.jpg

Two more things I learned:
If you stay in the CBD area, everything pretty much shuts down at 7pm. On Sunday, most of it is shut down all day. So have a plan of something to do ready. Or walk to China town where the food will be open at night. Bondi Beach is good for Sunday too.

Can't help at all with hotels at that price. I think I had to pay just shy of A$400 for the Sheraton (Hyde Park), which was a bit run down IMO.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 06 Jan 2014 8:25 pm

Fortran (not you wd40, I know you're veggie :cool: ), there is a pretty nice burger at a restaurant called 'Rockpool' in the CBD. The restaurant part is pretty fancy, but you can walk in to the bar area and have a nice drink and burger without much hassle. And this place is open past 7, which is a nice bonus since you may not have more options.

And I'm serious about everything closing at 7. Even the friggin malls close at 7 in CBD. Imagine walking in to Orchard iON at 6:50pm to grab food and finding everything shut down...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 06 Jan 2014 8:42 pm

zzm9980 wrote:And I'm serious about everything closing at 7. Even the friggin malls close at 7 in CBD. Imagine walking in to Orchard iON at 6:50pm to grab food and finding everything shut down...


Now THAT'S union power. Not the milquetoast organization they try to call a union here.

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 06 Jan 2014 8:58 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:And I'm serious about everything closing at 7. Even the friggin malls close at 7 in CBD. Imagine walking in to Orchard iON at 6:50pm to grab food and finding everything shut down...


Now THAT'S union power. Not the milquetoast organization they try to call a union here.


My cousin was here last week on an 8 hr transit visa and I asked him how he found Singapore different from Sydney. His 1st comment was the lack of graffiti on trains etc, in Singapore. I told him how some foreigner tried doing it and was sentenced to canning :) He also mentioned about malls closing like 5 PM and the fact that in Singapore how everything is organized and standardized, like road signs etc. In Sydney, he mentioned, different suburbs have different types of signages. He was also surprised by how for everything Singaporeans queue. Even at the motorcycle icecream man, at esplanade bridge.

Another difference, he said Australians are very rough and casual. He said, he was scared of college kids the most. They are tall and rough.

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 06 Jan 2014 9:04 pm

Fortan, for budget hotels try:
Aspire Hotel Sydney / Metro Hotel Sydney Central
Vibe Hotel
Rydges World Square Sydney
Devere Hotel Sydney
The Great Southern Hotel
Breakfree On George
Mercure
IBIS

I have no idea how they are, but I got this from the brochure of Fivestar tours. Have a look at Tripadvisor for reviews.

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 06 Jan 2014 9:06 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
Wd40 wrote:Another interesting thread from you Fortan and again I am going to watch this keenly, as we are also going on a holiday to Sydney and will be there for 3 and half days starting Feb 11 :)

My cousin lives in Chatswood, so accomodation is sorted. Its freaking expensive there. Everything is freakin expensive. Getting from Airport to Chatswood by train costs $17.80 :o Suddenly I love Singapore so much :)

According to my cousin, the main touristy spot i.e. around the Circular Quay/Darling Harbour/Opera house can be covered in 1/2 a day and he suggested me to do day trips to Canberra, Port Stephens and Blue Mountains.

Blue Mountains we will surely do and do it by train. I am going to take the MyMulti3 weekly pass($63) from the airport, that will be good for all kinds of public transport including the ferry for a week.

Canberra I am pretty sure, I dont want to do as I dont think we are so much interested in the parliament house etc. I dont really think its worth the time or the $$$s to go there.

Port Stephens Dolphins cruise and 4WD sand dunes, I am still debating whether its worth the $150++

I dont think we want to do the Taronga zoo, its more expensive than Singapore zoo and apparently Singapore zoo is better. Same case with the Sydney Aquarium. So I guess, the only paid thing that will do is the Sydney Tower. We are not so much into Meuseums or Botanical gardens.

Initially I thought 3 days will be too less, now suddenly I dont know what really to do. Its like there is lots of stuff to do, but then if you start carefully looking at which ones are really worth, I am struggling to fill 1 day. I am kicking myself for not planning for another 2-3 days and covering Melbourne as well.

Any thoughts appreciated :)


Pretty spot on from my visits to Sydney. Skip Canberra. "Circular Quay/Darling Harbour/Opera house" can indeed be covered in half a day. Are you taking your kid? It's a lot of walking, some of it a bit hilly with could curtail a lot of what you'd want to do. If not taking the kid, walk the bridge also. Maybe not climb (It's like A$150? some crazy price) but at least walk halfway. The botanic garden is nice; not quite like Singapore's where you're there to look at individual flowers, but in Sydney it's nice to take the whole thing in as a whole.

If you like Sunsets, walk out to Macquarie's Point (Just north-east of the Botanic Gardens, and directly east across a small bit of water from the Opera House). You can get a great view of The bridge and opera house at sunset.

Shameless photo sharing to give you an idea of where I'm talking about above
:
Opera House from half-way across the Sydney Harbor Bridge (in the middle of rain and a murky sunset):
http://distilleryimage1.ak.instagram.co ... 62c2_8.jpg

Two shots of Opera house at Sunset from that Macquarie point I mentioned:
http://distilleryimage6.ak.instagram.co ... 20be_8.jpg

http://distilleryimage2.ak.instagram.co ... 5990_8.jpg

Two more things I learned:
If you stay in the CBD area, everything pretty much shuts down at 7pm. On Sunday, most of it is shut down all day. So have a plan of something to do ready. Or walk to China town where the food will be open at night. Bondi Beach is good for Sunday too.

Can't help at all with hotels at that price. I think I had to pay just shy of A$400 for the Sheraton (Hyde Park), which was a bit run down IMO.


Thanks a lot! Lots of useful tips there. The photos are awesome :)

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Postby the lynx » Tue, 07 Jan 2014 9:00 am

zzm, what gadget/app did you use to take these photos?

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Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 07 Jan 2014 9:36 am

the lynx wrote:zzm, what gadget/app did you use to take these photos?


iPhone. :P

The night shot of the Opera house from the bridge was taken in Cortex Cam, the other ones of sunset normal camera. All three slightly touched up in Snapseed (saturation, exposure, temp, nothing major).

Cortex Cam is pretty unique though, it's the digital equivalent of a long exposure. It uses video mode to take hundreds of shots and then averages them together. For low light shots (like this one) it really helps reduce noise and motion blur you'd otherwise get with a long exposure and no tripod.

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Postby BradClark » Thu, 16 Jan 2014 8:48 pm

Rydges is a decent hotel worth staying in. A little bit boutique and the restaurant inside is afordable. They have one in Melbourne as well, I used to have a friend that was a chef there. He kept telling me that they were well rated by The Age newspaper.

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Postby PrimroseHill » Fri, 17 Jan 2014 9:48 am

Yes, what's the deal with everything shutting at 7pm? Even in the suburbs, restaurants last orders are like 8.30/9pm.

We usually use a Service Apartment. Haven't done Blue Mountain so can't comment. The zoo, yeah, waste of time, acquarium too and the queue to get in.

It is expensive.

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 17 Jan 2014 10:48 am

We are planning to the Featherdale zoo, which is slightly out of town. But its cheaper $27 compared to $44 at Taronga zoo and Featherdale zoo also has more of Australian animals and they let you touch the kangaroo. It would be kind of shame going to Australia but not seeing a Kangaroo :)

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 17 Jan 2014 10:55 am

Wd40 wrote:It would be kind of shame going to Australia but not seeing a Kangaroo :)


They're quite common.....

Image

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 17 Jan 2014 11:05 am

I know, my colleague told me that on his drive from Sydney to Melbourne, he spotted so many of them and they feel like dogs, even to touch,lol. But spotting them in Sydney is difficult, you need to head to a zoo or wildlife park I guess.


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