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Old 12-06-2004, 10:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Trip to Australia

Hey Guys,

I am going to Australia for three weeks starting January 1st. I am landing in Sydney but would like to visit other places as well, anyone have any suggestions?

-thanks
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Old 12-06-2004, 10:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In Sydney -- The Harbour Bridge Climb is a must do event, just make sure you don't show up hungover, otherwise you won't pass the breathalyzer and they won't let you climb. The Taronga Zoo, accessible by ferry from Circular Quay is great - -has spectuaclular views of Sydney. Paddy's Market is great for picking up cheap touristy trinkets and that hat that you will need to keep you cooler.

January is their summer, there's an amazing beach, also accessible from ferry from Circular Quay (I am blanking on the name of it) it was phenomenal though...

From Sydney - -an easy drive or bus tour is the Blue Mountains area (Katoomba?) with the Three Sisters (or is it seven) a beautiful rock formation -- with a waterfall - somewhere there's a touristy spot where you can take a tram way across and get a great view of the rock formation, and the same place has a rail car that goes down the mountain and you can walk around a bit...

If you like wine, there are a few wineries (I did it as a coach tour) that were educational and fun.

Canberra (the capital) was a nice overnight trip, but probably could be a day trip as well...

My next trip back I want to go to Tasmania... because I've heard it's so lovely...

Definitely put Alice Springs - and Ayers Rock on your agenda if you can swing it. (I beleive there's an overnight train that goes across the outback to get you there - otherwise it's a few hours flight)
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Old 12-06-2004, 01:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Maleficent
there's an amazing beach, also accessible from ferry from Circular Quay (I am blanking on the name of it) it was phenomenal though...
ummm... there's more than 30 amazing beaches in Sydney. about 10 of which i'd recommend to a tourist. i think you're talking about Manly, which is one of the two BIG tourist spots (the other being Bondi). if you want a seriously busy beach full of bronzed bodies and heaps of tourists, then go to Bondi and Manly (and remember to swim between the flags, doesn't matter if you're a strong swimmer of not, you have to swim between the red and yellow flags)... but if you want a stunning beach with a few less people, then head to the northern beaches (i recommend Whale and Palm)... these are harder to get to, but they are definitely better... don't bother with the beaches south of Coogee since they aren't as pretty. i'd check out Freshwater beach as well if you are so inclined... Freshy is good.

since you're arriving on New Years Day, don't expect too much to be happening on that day. and expect the city (especially Circular Quay and the Rocks) to be FUCKING messy... big party the night before (unless it rains)... lots of rubbish. i used to work in a bar on circular quay... and the morning after the 2000 NYE party, honestly, you had to wade through the rubbish.

but don't let this put you off... in fact, if i were you, i'd try to get my trip started a wee bit earlier so that i could catch the NYE in Sydney.... we have easily the best fireworks displays (although Paris is pretty good) in the world.

Malificent is right about the Blue Mountains. you should have a day trip up there during your stay in Sydney, even if its just to escape a bit of the heat. Three Sisters, Megalong Valley... maybe even try a short day hike around the area (theres a number of them, all available at the info area). Malificent is also right about the Taronga Zoo, even if you're not too keen on animals... it still has AMAZING views and you should get the ferry there from the Quay so you get to get out on the harbour. you should catch the Free Flight Bird Shows at the zoo... they are prob the best bit.

What else would i recommend... yeah, Bridge Climb is supposed to be brilliant... but i've lived here all my life, and i've never done it... so take other peoples advice there. the Pub scene is pretty good (esp in the Rocks) check out the Australian, Lord Nelson and Harbour View for good old (but in some cases done up) pubs. if you want a bit of action (fights or picking up pommy backpackers) head for the Orient, where any night is fight night. another great place to drink (even if its a bit out of the way) is the Watsons Bay Hotel... once again, great harbour views.

Sydney has the worlds second most varied fish markets (after Tsukiji in Tokyo)... so you HAVE to get into the seafood. if you're keen enough, you can even make the trip into the markets (just down at Wattle Bay, near Glebe and Pyrmont) in the small hours of the morning to get the best deals on the fresh catches...

as for the rest of the country. yes, i'd say you should get to Alice Springs and the Northern Territory. Don't bother with going to Queensland... it'll be VERY crowded, and you can't swim in the summer months anyway due to sea wasps... and the weather isn't the best. you should look into seeing Uluru (near Alice) and Kakadu National Park (up north) as well. Katherine Gorge is spectacular. i've not heard of the overnight train to Alice Springs... but thats not to say it doesn't exist... i've just never heard of it. is it the Ghan? does that go to Alice Springs? if i were you i'd check out the seasons for the NT (ie, wet or dry) and make your decision based on that, because its extreme.

oh, just had a thought... you should check out Byron Bay (i'm going to get beaten for telling tourists to go there by other aussies, but hey, its already been infected with tourists so hey)... its on the far north coast of NSW (the most eastern point of mainland Australia). its truly beautiful. and if you enjoy a little trip into the green, then check out good old Nimbin (its a hippie paradise)... you might even catch the Green Olympics.

Tasmania is a stunning place. its a slow paced, pretty island full of heritage houses, old people, incredible scenery and untouched wilderness (and i mean UNTOUCHED - the Southwest hasn't been tainted by humans... and it shows... its a special place... but not for long now that the old growth forests are under threat from logging). if you do decide to check out Tassie... then Hobart, Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair, Strachan and Freycinet Penn. are definite musts.

whatever you choose. have a good time. Australia is relaxed and friendly.
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Last edited by bundy; 12-06-2004 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Bondi and Manly were the two I couldn't think of -- Thanks... It was an awesome people watching scene...


I've also heard a lot of good things about Kangaroo Island - in South Australia - never been there though...

And Bundy's a native -- but I can definitely concur over the course of 6 trips, I spent about 5 months there- -and loved every minute of it-- the people are amazingly friendly and warm - Wear comfortable shoes -- it's a walking kind of area...

If it's a miserable day-- and you want to stayin side -- the Darling Harbour Aquarium was pretty impressive -- what really stood out there was you kept going down level upon level - -then walk thru a glass tunnel -- water above you, below you, to the left and right of you -- and sharks swimming all around you -- a little freaky -- but oh so very cool.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bundy

oh, just had a thought... you should check out Byron Bay (i'm going to get beaten for telling tourists to go there by other aussies, but hey, its already been infected with tourists so hey)... its on the far north coast of NSW (the most eastern point of mainland Australia). its truly beautiful. and if you enjoy a little trip into the green, then check out good old Nimbin (its a hippie paradise)... you might even catch the Green Olympics.

whatever you choose. have a good time. Australia is relaxed and friendly.
That would be my advice. I spent a month in and around Byron and Nimbin and it was easily the best month I've spent in Australia. Great times. Go climb Mt. Warning for the Sunrise, it's a great experience.
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mine and others comments to a previous traveller here:
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthread.php?t=70902

What are you interested in? It might help to point you to more specific things.
RE the train to Alice - I think it is a 2 day thing from Sydney via Adelaide (Indian Pacific to Adelaide and the Ghan goes to Darwin via Alice).
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Old 12-07-2004, 08:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you for the wonderful advice, unfortunetly I bought the ticket using skymiles so that was the only date that was available, but I am flying Business class which is real nice
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 12-28-2004, 08:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Make sure you hit up Byron Bay...not to be missed!

Cairns is cool too.
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Old 12-29-2004, 07:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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People have made some great points. Yes, visit the blue mountains. I live up here, its beautiful. Circular key and all the beaches are awesome too. Dont get eaten by a shark mate.
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