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August/September visit

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New Orleans, LA
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August/September visit

Hi there! My friend & I will be traveling to Australia at the end of August for 2 weeks, and we're soooo excited! We're staying in Sydney, Port Douglas, Adelaide & Melbourne. We've already booked most of our tours, but I have a few questions. We found info about the Sydney by Diva tour, and it sounds like a hoot. We've tried calling & e-mailing, but haven't received a response. Does anyone know how to contact them, or perhaps if they're currently closed? Also, any dining/nightlife suggestions in Sydney & Melbourne would be appreciated. FYI, the tours we're taking are: Sydney-Blue Mountains & Wildlife; Port Douglas - Quicksilver GBR, Flames of the Forest, Kuranda Skyrail; Melbourne - hot air balloon over the Yarra Valley. We'd also like to possibly do the bridgeclimb and/or twilight harbour Cruise in Sydney, but if there are other things you think we should do, please let me know. I know this is a lot to ask about, but I appreciate your help & can't wait for my trip!

Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: August/September visit

How about a day trip to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide? We did this several years ago, but I imagine they still have these tours. You fly over early in the morning and do a bus tour of the island. There are animals in the wild--koalas, sea lions, kangaroos, wallabies, etc. We also did a tour of a neat cave and had an Aussie BBQ afterwards. I also remember going to see huge inland sand dunes and rocks that were carved by the elements into neat formations. Then back to Adelaide by plane in the evening. A full, but fun day.

New Orleans, LA
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2. Re: August/September visit

Thanks for the suggestion, longhorn. We're actually visiting a friend in Adelaide, and he's making the plans, but Kangaroo Island is definitely on my list. I appreciate your help!

Sharon

Sydney
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3. Re: August/September visit

Everything sounds like it's going swimmingly, so all I have to offer is a comment on your mention of the twilight harbour cruise in Sydney. These are quite expensive, and for your money the only thing you don't get which thousands of harbour commuters are getting for about four dollars is a buffet meal (about which I have never heard a single good word) and a commentary which you probably don't need, since such landmarks as the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House hardly need identifying as you pass by.

On the other hand, a commuter ferry or two in the late afternoon or evening would take you up the inlets to Mosman Bay, or underthe bridge to Balmain, or -- if you're hungry -- to Manly, where you can have a worthwhile late-afternoon stroll followed by a good dinner, and then sail back across the harbour at night, thus missing the peak hours when the ferries are crowded.

New Orleans, LA
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4. Re: August/September visit

Thank you Alan - I think we'll take your advice. I just received a reply from the Sydney by Diva tour as well, and their tour includes stops at the Harbour Bridge & the Opera House.

I appreciate all the suggestions! They're making me all the more excited for my trip. Have a great weekend!

Sharon

Geelong...
Destination Expert
for Victoria
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5. Re: August/September visit

Sharon, I have done most of the things you have mentioned above and enjoyed them all. I will just try and concentrate on the Melb leg of your visit and leave the experts up north and in Adelaide for the others.

Can you tell me about your travelling group, ages, likes, how long in Melb, etc and I will see what suggestions I can make. There is an abundance of nightlife here but like any big city you could waste many hours looking in the wrong places or find the wrong age groups etc. Same with dining out, there are soooo many restaurants and good places to eat here and such a range, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Greek, Turkish, African, Japanese, Mexican, etc, etc....:-))

There are two main areas for ballooning, one is the Yarra Valley, home of many of our best wineries (Yering Station is my favourite) and the city trips which take you over the centre of Melbourne.

One word of warning, it may be quite cooool in August and into early Sept. Melb and Adelaide will be in the 14 to 21C daytime temps range, Sydney a few degrees warmer and Port Douglas will be up around the high 20's Celsius.

Will

Sydney
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6. Re: August/September visit

Thank you, Sharon, for the kind word, but it was more than I deserved, as I seem to have mixed everything up and put a couple of "not"s in the wrong place, with the result that some of what I said means exactly the opposite of what I intended to say! Hopefully, you were able to make enough sense out of it to realise that the cruise ships give you food and a commentary and the commuter ferries do not.

I must be getting old and confused!

New Orleans, LA
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7. Re: August/September visit

Thanks to you both! Don't worry Alan, I knew what you meant about the ferries. :) Any dining suggestions for Manly?

Will, we'll be in Melbourne 3 days - it's the last stop on our trip. My friend & I are both in our early 30s, and we just like to have fun. We like a hole-in-the-wall bar just as much as a nice, trendy one. We don't like anything too pretentious. We're both wine lovers, so we'll have to check out the winery you suggested, perhaps after our ballooning, which is at the Fergusson Winery. Is that nearby?

As for restaurants, we both like Thai, Italian, Japanese, Greek, Mexican, you name it. Maybe you could just tell me a couple of your favorite places?

My friend in Adelaide also said he'd like to take us to an Aussie Rules game if one's going on while we're there & he's able to get tickets.

Thanks again for all the suggestions!

Sharon

Geelong...
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8. Re: August/September visit

Sharon, let me know what dates you are in Melb and Adelaide, I will check out the Aussie Rules schedules, they play one Friday night game, 2 on Saturdays, 2 Sat nights and 3 on a Sunday. They are played in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, so will depend on where you are on the right dates but I agree with your friend, I always take winter visitors to a game and they have all loved it.

What dates you are in town may influence where to go out, Melb has something on all nights of the week but like everywhere is busier on the weekends than Mondays and Tuesdays. There are also plenty of shows on in town, Dirty Dancing is one of the current crop, J and I are going to see it soon so will know what it is like shortly. As for food....hmmm, where to start.

From the centre of the CBD, all of the suburbs I mentioned are accessible by tram or a 10min taxi ride which will be around 8 dollars.

Lygon St to the north has a strip of Italian restaurants, probably 40 odd restaurants in a 1km strip, plenty to choose from.

Brunswick St to the north east would be my pick, retro style eating and entertainment, bands and nightclubs and the odd occasional alternative establishments. The Rainbow just off Brunswick sounds like your type of place. Sunday nights the choice.

Fitzroy and Ackland Sts to the south in StKilda, have everything. It is the red light area of town but isn't seedy at all. Two big band clubs, lots of restaurants. Donovans on the sea is a very popular spot to eat.

Chapel St in Sth Yarra and Prahran is extremely well known and has a long street filled with great shopping and all sorts of nightclubs, very chic and a bit more expensive than other parts.

The city itself has a bit of everything, Crown complex and Southgate, 40 odd restaurants, gambling, nightclubs etc,

King St for the main nightclub drag. Docklands is not far away either....it is very new and has some great places also. Two cool jazz clubs are Manchester Lane in Flinders Lane and Bennetts Lane, both have jazz every night of the week. Flinders Lane has some very interesting places right along the street.

Many more but I have to stop somewhere....-))

Will

New Orleans, LA
7 posts
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9. Re: August/September visit

Wow, that's a lot to take in. Thank you! We'll be in Adelaide Sept. 4-7, and in Melbourne 7-9. Now, I wish we had longer in Melbourne. It's just a good excuse to plan another vacation though. :)

Geelong...
Destination Expert
for Victoria
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10. Re: August/September visit

Just checked Aussie Rules games Sharon and you will probably struggle to get to a game. There are no fixtured games because early Sept is the start of the finals and we won't know who is playing till a week or two before. You may be lucky and get a finals game in Adelaide on the Sunday.

You will struggle to get too much done in Melb as you arrive on the Wed, I figure you will be doing the ballooning on the Thurs and it is a pre dawn start. If you are leaving on the Friday, you will only have a part day in town. Hope you enjoy whatever you get up too, Sept can give us quite unpredictable weather here in Melb and Adelaide, so you could get bright sunshine or cool cloudy conditions.