Hubby, myself and a 9-yr old son (2A/1C) will be headed for Sydney mid June for 11 nights. This must be our at least 9th or 10th time that we're in Sydney for holidays, but the previous trips involved loads of driving towards Gold Coast or Canberra-Melbourne, or just doing a "Port Stephens-Hunter" thing. This time we're thinking of doing a loop south in about 7 days after 3 days in the city. (Usual practice is to grab some groceries at the markets then head out)
1. Any itinerary to recommend? Which towns are good bases to venture out?
- Open to suggestions, but like comfort. Want to include a big suburban shopping centre, local produce and skiing at Snowy Mountains - self-contained, minimal time to get to the ski area (I'm new to skiing, hubby and son have done it before)
- We want to stay at each place for 2-3 nights minimum to avoid packing and unpacking too much.
- We arrive on a Wednesday morning and leave on a Monday, 8am flight, so we're thinking of doing the ski resort the last few nights, then heading to the Sydney airport in the middle of the night after checking out - Is this a bad idea? Have researched that from the Snowy Mountains, it takes about 6 hours to drive to Sydney. Is that under normal traffic conditions? Any ideas what will be open on that Sunday? Especially food-wise.
2. Any good recommendations for local produce? Especially from farms or markets open to the public? (Excl the Rocks Market, Sydney Fish Market, Paddy's and Paddingtons) [Pls give an idea about opening hours/days in winter and the best time to visit]
3. Trying to minimise cost involved (like staying for a longer period of time to take advantage of the "longer-stay" deals, but will rent a car when we're out of the city. Thinking of either the Mercedes C200 or Ford XR6 - Is there any significant difference in either? Any advice for driving in snowy conditions? Are 4-wheel drives necessary? Heard of "chains" but not sure how to use them or if they are really a must.
4. There's a really lovely scenic drive north of Sydney (maybe an hour's drive), hilly and above the water. What route is that? There's also a wildlife park along the way. Any idea the name of that place?
5. Which are the suburbs which have bigger shopping centres (like the Eastgardens near the airport)? Should I only be looking at Westfield shopping centres or are there others?
6. Would I need an e-Pass for this trip? Must I apply myself or can the car rental company get it done for me? I need the license plate number first, right? Which is cheaper?
7. Was looking at the Lake Crackenback Novotel. When they say there is a kitchen, does it mean full facilities to cook everything? Like I'd have an oven to do a roast?
Thanks for reading through all this!! :D
Thought of putting in separate posts for each of the questions but at least this way you would get a fuller picture (hopefully) of what I'm looking for.