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Holidays

Help with Sydney holiday?

19 replies

hannahsaunt · 16/12/2005 09:44

We have a week in Sydney at the beginning of April next year - me, dh, ds1 (5), ds2 (3) and my mum. What are the must do's (beyond bridge, opera house, harbour) esp with small children? How many days? Should we go to the Blue Mountains or can we do Alice/Uluru in a few days (how many is a few?)? Too much choice and not enough time...inside tips would be most welcome. (Funds are not inexhaustable as we are paying for everyone).

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RacersTheRedNosedReindeer · 16/12/2005 09:58

I spent a week in Sydney and had 2 nights at Sidney's Retreat in Katoomba (Blue Mountains) and then 5 nights in Sydney itself.

In Blue Mountains we spent a day trip out at the Jenolan caves (some of the walks quite steep, lots of steps but boy, what fabulous caves and I'm not a cave fan!) and we had a look at the 3 sisters and did a little nature walk. We were a bit rushed as had taken the train in and out and it's quite a slow train.

Uluru is probably the more expensive alternative as you would have to fly, but it is spectacular. I have been there on a seperate occasion, then flew on to Sydney. We stayed at Uluru for one night and did a 'dinner in the desert' meal which was a really great experience but take warm clothes. They had an astronomer telling us about the stars, which I imagine children would like, though they'd have to be up late! Maybe a romantic one for you and DH while yr mum babysits?!! We didn't climb Uluru (I felt it was not right to do so) but walking round it was great anyway, there were all sorts of nooks and crannies you don't expect when you see the classic photo. Plus v. dangerous to climb so a real no-no with young children! I don't know if you can do the trip in a day - I think you'd need to stay over. The flight is something like 3-4hrs and then you'd need to drive from the airport at Uluru to the park itself (not too far - say half an hour?!)

Haven't much time but you're not going for ages (I've just realised) so do ask if you want me to tell you more.

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RacersTheRedNosedReindeer · 16/12/2005 10:02

As for Sydney: The Aquarium is great, also the zoo (though I don't normally like zoos). Boat trips (we went to Manly, didn't go to Bondi). The children are too young for the Bridge Climb but I have to mention it as it is fab and DH proposed on there!

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hannahsaunt · 16/12/2005 10:24

Wow - what a fab place for a proposal! Am already calling on mum to babysit for U2 concert and the bridge climb so don't feel I can take her all the way to Uluru to sit in a hotel room. However, tips are great. Didn't realise the flight was so long but good to know that it can be done in a couple of days/nights - all the travel brochures have it at 6/7 nights which is a time luxury we don't have (am still pining over not having the time to go to Darwin and do Arnhem Land and then travel south overland to Alice etc).

Zoo sounds like a goer. We have a fab aquarium here (Townsville) so will miss that. DYING to go shopping!!!

It's early but we need to book flights now to get decent prices hence being in full planning mode. Good places to stay and/or eat also needed.

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RacersTheRedNosedReindeer · 16/12/2005 10:37

Sorry, just re-read - you did say Uluru in a few days, perfectly easy to do in 2 though it depends what you want to do whilst there I guess. We arrived late afternoon, had a walk around to see rock from distance then went out to meal/sundown over rock (but was cloudy booo!). Next morning spend a few hours at rock then drove to airport. I had flown from the north to Alice but didn't have time to visit the town, just picked up car and drove down to Uluru (about 4 hrs I think). The little area where you stay (several hotels, all quite different - called Ayres Rock Resort) has a tourist info place where you can book helicopter flights etc. There's probably enough to do if you want to stay a while but it's perfectly ok to get a good experience in an overnight stay. The hotel we stayed in (Lost Camel) was v. expensive but they all were - they limit the impact on the environment so not many hotels/rooms for the demand, I guess. I dont' know anything about possible camping out there.

Blue Mountains - we took a little minibus tour out to the caves (booked the night before in an office in Katoomba) and the guide was very knowledgeable. They know how to do tours in Oz - lots of historical and geographical info plus he knew a lot about botany etc as he normally did bush tours! The scenery was beautiful and the smell of eucalyptus ooooh fab!

Again, not sure how good these trips are for 5 and 3 yr olds but we loved it.

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RacersTheRedNosedReindeer · 16/12/2005 10:45

Sorry x-post!

Right, sorry, didn't even occur to me you were already in Oz! On first trip we went to Brisbane, Cairns/Port Douglas/Atherton Tablelands, then Sydney then next time went to Darwin (inc. brief visits to Arnhem Land), Uluru and Sydney. Can't wait to go back but DD has arrived since so it will be a while now!

Again, from a couples perspective, we loved the restaurant Prime, which is based in the old GPO building. Can you go after your bridgeclimb? They do Wagu/Kobe beef, which is amazing. We did a Bridgeclimb in morning/lunchtime (proposal time!!) and then again afternoon/evening (to relive the moment!) and I think the afternoon evening was fab as it was light going up and night fell when we were up there so we came down in the dark, with the city all lit up. Fab. Then went to Prime. Happy days

Good curry place in Darling Harbour, plus lots of other good places to eat there.

The Zoo is fun also as boat trip over, plus there's a cable car takes you up to it.

It's all coming back to me now...

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RacersTheRedNosedReindeer · 16/12/2005 10:48

First time we stayed in Stafford Apartments, in the Rocks area, (which is just near the main harbour/opera house) but I don't know if that is still going. Next time we stayed at Harbour Rocks Hotel, just opposite. Bang in the middle of best place really imo but might make it too pricey?!

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OhlittletownofEIDSVOLD · 18/12/2005 23:28

Zoo - day trip to manly beach, centrepoint tower

gardens near the opera house

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mogwai · 20/12/2005 21:39

I'd recommend you go to the ANA harbour grand hotel in sydney and take the lift up to the bar called "Horizons". When you get there, you'll see why I suggested it. It's a couple of blocks back from circular quay, at the bridge end, not the opera end.

The cocktails are fab

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KVGIsComingToTown · 20/12/2005 21:56

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KVGIsComingToTown · 20/12/2005 21:58

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jenkel · 20/12/2005 22:10

Also recommend the Zoo, great views. A trip to Manly, catch the ferry from circular quay, a good place to people watch and the kids will enjoy the ferry. Sydney Aquarium is good and its nice to wander around Darling Harbour with posh fish and chips in Jordans. A beach is a must, Manly has a beach, or try Palm Beach, very quiet and good if you are into Home and Away. There is a good Koala Sanctuary near Castle Hill, may be a bit of a trek if you are in central sydney though. Boat Trip up the river to Parramatta. Monorail round the central touristy areas is fun and cheap. Blue Mountains are spectacular so worth a visit too.

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mogwai · 20/12/2005 22:33

I thought the blue mountains were dull! We stayed at the Carrington Hotel, which although steeped in history, had no other guests AT ALL (in December!).

It was like that film, "The Shining"

If you are planning a trip to the aquarium, probably not a great idea to book into one of the many fish restaurants at darling harbour afterwards

eugh

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mogwai · 20/12/2005 22:37

but I would second the votes for Taronga zoo (especially the night time habitat bit - gorgeous little creatures with cute names like "bilby" and "spinnifex hopping mouse") and the botanical gardens, where you can spot flying foxes and sulphur-crested cockatoos.

When you get to circular quay, there are inscriptions in the pavement. Read the one by Clive James. I still weep at his description of Sydney Harbour, the most gorgeous place I can imagine and he really captured it in words [sniffing, emotional emoticon}

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mogwai · 20/12/2005 22:40

(avoid the thing under the centrepoint tower. I think it's called Skytour. It's absolutely AWFUL...so tacky....they actually try to make you go "whoop" and touch the "cave drawings on the walls" (fibre-glass mock-ups).

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KVGIsComingToTown · 20/12/2005 22:49

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JendleWendleBells · 20/12/2005 23:37

Ditto: Taronga Zoo, Aquarium, Blue Mtns day trip to see the Three Sisters and go on the skytrain or the steepest train in the world (sit at the front and hold on very tight), Ferry Trip to Manly from Circular Quay and go paddling in the Pacific
Darling Harbour is fun and has heaps on offer including Imax and great outdoor areas for kids but the shops/restaurants are a bit "touristy"
Some new ones:
China Town (walkable from Darling Harbour)
Powerhouse Museum (on the monorail route or get the bus or walk from Darling Harbour)
Bike riding in Centennial Park
Art Gallery of NSW (used to be free entry - walk across the Domain from the City centre) has aboriginal art which should be interesting for the kids
For a rainy day (if you are unlucky) catch the train to Parramatta and spend the day in the Westfield shopping centre (the biggest in the southern hemisphere, has cinemas, restaurants, heaps of shops)
If you are up for getting out of the City a bit there are fantastic national parks e.g. KuRingGai Chase but you probably would be best with a car. They have fantastic picnic areas
Many beaches have free BBQ facilities
Dad might like a surf lesson at Bondi - they provide wetsuits and everything you need
Sydney is very driveable and has good public transport - it may be cheaper to stay at a hotel out of the City centre and hire a car and/or use public transport for your day trips. With the kids, you would then have the flexibility of going where you want when you want rather than do minibus tours or guided tours
Even if you are staying in the city centre, look out for the convenience supermarkets to stock up on cheap essentials
Have a fab time! People are very friendly and the food is fab pretty much everywhere
PS: You could check if there are any Wiggles concerts happening while you are there!

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JendleWendleBells · 20/12/2005 23:41

Just saw an earlier message - are you and your family living in Townsville? So you are Aussies?

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veuveclicquot · 20/12/2005 23:43

Darling Harbour is great with small children - sandpits, climbing frames, carousel etc. It's near the Aquarium & Maritime museum (excellent restaurant with kids play-ship there, outside by the harbour).

The aquarium is good - you in underwater tunnels to see the sharks. Taronga zoo is good too - you have to take a boat across the harbour.

Fox studios at Moore Park is good, it's not a theme park but a big entertainment quarter (not inside), with soft play, loads of restaurants, animals, pottery painting, shops, restaurants.

If you cat me your address I can get some brochures and activity information here (I'm in Sydney) and send them to you if you like. I have a DD who was 3 last weekend. She LOVES it here.

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bloss · 21/12/2005 01:26

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