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5 days in sydney in August - advice

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5 days in sydney in August - advice

There is so many mixed reports about hotels in Sydney, where can I stay that is central, clean and relatively cheap (3* hotel).

My husband and I (age 26 + 28) will be spending 4 nights in Sydney as part of our honeymoon in August 2006. Ideally we want to be quite central but we want to keep the cost down without staying in tents.

We want to walk around and see the main 'tourist' sights - how cold will it be? does it rain much? Although I'm English and use to the rain I'm not sure of what to pack.

We also want to take a day trip to the Blue Mountains - any good tour companies?

How far is 'central' Sydney (e.g. Hyde park) from the airport? how much should I expect to pay in a taxi?

any comments or advice please

thanks Shelby x

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11. Re: 5 days in sydney in August - advice

Shelby, you must be getting heratily sick and tired of all this diatribe, but I guess that somewhere in all that stuff above, from our Melbourne "expert" who thinks he knows more about the Sydney area than guruswife, there are one or two valid points... for instance, a walk in the valleys while the mist swirls around you is, as our knowledgeable friend says, a lovely experience. However, most of the tours that I've seen don't actually take you down in the valley anyway.... they just take you to the top and let you take photographs of the Three Sisters. So the beauties of walking through the mist-laden valleys becomes academic in these cases. Maybe you canm find a tour that does actually provide this.

I think that as I skimmed through all the above, there was actually one other point that I didn't think was nonsense, but I have forgotten what it was; anyway, rather than continue the argument until you decide that your best bet is to avoid the Mountains, Sydney, and maybe even Australia altogether, let me just clear up two outstandingly erroneous statements:

1. There is no such train as an all stations from Central to Katoomba. Thank God for that, too as this would involve stopping at forty-eight stations! Since I travel this train a couple of times weekly, you can imagine how much I'd look forward to the trip if that were so (yes, I am one of the ones who often sleeps.... but, then, I guess commuters in Paris snooze after they've seen the surroundings a hundred times.... but I sure as hell didn't! Bet you don't sleep on the Mountains train the first time, either!)

2. Regardless of whatever pseudo-scientific proof was offered above, ther is FAR more fog in the Mountains in winter than in summer... and far more drizzle, too. My duaghter, who lives in Katoomba, has remarked on the fog up there on a dozen occasions so far this year, when at my place, in the lower half of the Mountains, there was none. From about June onwards, it starts to become a feature of life in the Upper Mountains.... and the term "fog season" would seem to me to be a perfectly reasonable way of describing it. But then again, of course, I'm no scientists, and I don't think I know everything.

Hopefully, none of this will matter to you, Shelby, because you've long since given this thread away. Have a great holiday!

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12. Re: 5 days in sydney in August - advice

Thank you soooooooooooooo much for all the advice!

I really appreciate all the advice and have enjoyed the fierce debates!!!

Although the advice on touring the Blue Mountains using public transport is great I feel that my biggest problem is TIME. In a perfect world I would have liked to take my time and explore this area further. BUT (I hate to sound like a tourist) I simply want to experience the area and learn a bit about the people/ environment.

I have travelled around America and experienced a variety of tours so I'm aware of the difference in 'quality' tours.

Sometimes it IS just easier to go with a tour company who know the area well and so I don't just waste my own time looking for roads and idealic spots.

The advice about the different companies was great and I am really looking forward to my trip.

If you ever need advice on England feel free to ask.

Thanks again

Shelby x

Sydney, Australia
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13. Re: 5 days in sydney in August - advice


We all fully understand your desire to go woth a tour...yes I've done tours in similar situations...

My main point which was hijacked by the post from someone who does not live in Sydney and is seller of travel was to look on the reviews posted by other travellers and see which tours they suggest...

Dragonfly lady did a wonderful report, tel also i think.

Sheezus..learn to read and before you attack someone credentials you might like to find out more about there previous interests and experiences...which just happen to include bushwalking in the blue mountains...mmm usually by public transport because the traffic can be so slow it actualy takes you longer to drive there than go by rail!

Quote: We've recently been hosting some friends from the US who di a tour...the beauty of it was it's flexibility...basically a PRIVATE car.

I'm sure they got themselves to the best parts of the Blue Mountains and were 100% totally relaxed with driving on the other side of the road in a area they've never been before.

big difference to rental!! never drove and had guide

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14. Re: 5 days in sydney in August - advice

Hi, My wife and I have just returned from Sydney after visiting our son. We stayed at CREMORNE POINT MANOR Motel which is an 8 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, There are direct Metro trains from the Airport to Circular Quay. The ferry gives the most astounding views of Sydney harbour Bridge and the Opera House, not to mention the Sydney skyline. There is a website www.cremornepointmanor.co.au which will give you more details.

Two minus points though.

There are no restaurants nearby as the area is residential, but there is a residents kitchen where you can make a sandwich etc.However with the ferry only taking 8 minutes and running late at night eating over in Sydney is easy.

The Motel is about 6 minutes UPhill from the Cremorne Point Ferry, could be a problem with heavy bags, (or after a night out!)

We used taxis twice from the Airport and on neither occasion did the driver know the way. One had GPS to help him, and we ended up map reading for the other!

As for temperature August should be fine, just think of a chilly English summer day, a wooly but no overcoat!

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15. Re: 5 days in sydney in August - advice

I'd like to recommend Hotel 59 on Bayswater Road. It's a couple of blocks east of Darlinghurst (Kings Cross), so a short walk to the Kings Cross rain station. Our room was small, but clean and certainly adequate, as we didn't spend much time there, plus a full hot-cooked breakfast or continental (your choice) was included in the price of $A110. It's a short walk to Victoria Street where there are a number of cafes and coffehouses, and we enjoyed another short walk to Rushcutters Bay where there's a lovely park. Here's their website:


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16. Re: 5 days in sydney in August - advice

Wife of the Guru!

Relax....Sounds like you could do with a trip to the Blue Mountains. I have lived in Sydney for 35 years, I know every single inch of Sydney, I a have been going to the Blue Mountains my entire life, I worked in travel, but not anymore. It was once my job to put forward the BEST day tour on offer ( hence why I did so many famils with Blue Mountains tour companies ). We didn't push forward the company that paid the most amount of commissions, but the tour which most suited the person booking it.

" Hijacking and attacking" ...Come on, I'm not a terrorist. Tourist sometimes, but not a terrorist. My points were to help keep people informed . Your tone doesn't make you a very good Ambassador of Sydney let alone Australia.

I'm not sure which way you drive to the Blue Mountains, but if you get up earlier in the morning or drive through Five Dock, or down Victoria rd, you can quite easily miss peak hour traffic heading to the Blue Mountains so that argument is thwarted. There is zero traffic on the weekend. day tours break the journey up heading out the Blue Mountains. Quite often everyone is out of the bus within the first hour because some tour companies stop at the wildlife park or head out to Euroka Clearing. Then it only takes 1 hour from there to the Upper Blue Mountains - Katoomba. The train is a pain. One is stuck on the train for 2 hours up there and 2 hours back. Driving should not take more than 1.5 hours from the heart of Sydney. That's if you're driving non stop and don't leave in the middle of peak hour traffic or drive down Parramatta Rd.

End of story. I love the story about the Blue Mountains, but this chapter is getting very very boring.

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17. Re: 5 days in sydney in August - advice

Lets see who can out do each other. Is this what this is all about? Atleast everyone else can get some information out of it. Shelby, look what you've started ;-)

This boring story drags on and on. I've only just moved to Melbourne. Born and bred in Sydney. I haven't posted thousands of times on this Forum because I am writing a new book which I will write about later.

There are many tour companies that take people for guided walks down into the canyons in the Blue Mountains. Especially the Furber Steps. Wonderbus, Oztrek and Oz experience spring to mind. This walk takes about an hour including stopping to check out the views. Wildframe offers a 3 hour walk down to the bottom of the Grose Valley. Other companies ALL offer the opportunity to catch the Scenic Railway down into the valley and take the 10-20 minute rainforest boardwalk across to the Sceni-Scender ( cable car ) at the very least.

12 days of fog out of approx 120 days so far this year, that ain't bad odds. You could easily halve those days which had thick, heavy fog set in for the entire day. Remember that the fog situation chops and changes every single minute. Winter is mild in the Blue Mountains. Drizzle is a rare thing in winter. More rain happens in summer. The lower Blue Mountains ie Glenbrook is only just over 100 metres above sea-level, compared to the upper Blue Mountains which is 1100 metres above season level at it's highest point ( Blackheath ). They are two poles apart in terms of the type of weather which can be experienced in both areas at the same time.

Even if you're doing the train trip to the Blue Mountains for the first time, you will notice that the view is NOT that amazing. It doesn't matter if you've done the trip 1000 times or for the first time. It is NOT a scenic train ride. State Rail provide posters and brochures of the train trip, it depicts an image of a train winding it's way through the Blue Mountains. The photos is taken from an aerial view to capture the canyons, creating the false idea that these same views will be seen on the train journey. This is not true.

I am now the new self appointed Sydney Expert. For unbiased, one sided views just post the question. No nasty tones will be implied, only truth, Justice and the Australian Way. I shall be changing my name to Sheezus- "The King of Sydney and Surrounding areas Including the Blue Mountains and Beyond". Alan and the wife of the Guru can start refering to me as King Syd for short from this point on.

I shall be writing a new book called " Da Blue Mountains Code" full of tricks and turns, scheming collaboraters and Albino monkeys. We will be in search of the Guru. The Holy Grail. Only when the Guru has been found will we truly be able to discover the truth of the Blue Mountains. The myth of Fog Season will be challenged for all eternity. In the movie, set on the best seeling book of the same name, AlanJ and the Guruswife will be playing the part of two sinister collaboraters, setting traps to stop the truth from being being told. Stay tuned for more details.

I was reading in " Blue Mountains Train Trip Conspiracy Weekly " that evidence shows that more and more people are starting to challenge their own beliefs about train trips to the Blue Mountains.

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18. Re: 5 days in sydney in August - advice

Shelby, I have been to Sydney 3 times and each time have stayed in the Rocks area. I like it better than Darling Harbor area. The last time was a couple years ago, so I don't know what the current hotel situation is. However, the reason we stay in the Rocks is because we have had the hop-on, hop-off bus passes for the sightseeing buses and ferries, so this location is very convenient and there are lots of restaurants nearby as well.

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19. Re: 5 days in sydney in August - advice

Just to answer the question

"Any good tour companies"

www.grayline.com.au do very good tours through the mountains, with alot of different options available.

Time is always an important issue when it comes to getting the "Most" out of a city, and one of the most important aspects of tours, is that you get a great insight and local knowledge through a guide.

20. Re: 5 days in sydney in August - advice

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