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March Travel help please

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Hemyock, United...
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March Travel help please

We arrive at Sydney Airport at the end of March after a domestic flight from Melbourne at about 4pm. We want to drive to the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley.

With hours of daylight in mind plus traffic for the time of day, we have considered a couple of options, firstly, to stay overnight locally then head towards the Blue Mountains the following day, go part way towards Katoomba and stay overnight or drive to Katoomba ready for sightseeing the next day.

From what I can gather, it would be getting dark by 8pm, is that plenty of time to drive all the way taking into account traffic plus actually getting a hire car and getting away from the airport.

Any help would be appreciated.

Rob

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: March Travel help please

Is it a week day? If so, traffic can be awful, but unless there's anything really major in terms of hold ups you should be there well before 8pm.

Forster, Australia
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2. Re: March Travel help please

Rob, daylight saving will be operation at that time and you should have plenty of time to get your car and travel to Katoomba ready to do the sights the next day. As Mia K set out, if you are arriving on a weekday expect heavy traffic westbound, but even so you will be there before dark.

Greg

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: March Travel help please

I wouldn't really recommend driving part of the way and staying somewhere. Most of the traffic will be on the initial part of your journey out of Sydney's suburbs. Once you're into the lower Blue Mountains, traffic will thin out a little although it will still be busy. From this point you're only 30 mins from Katoomba. The accommodation options on Sydney's outskirts, while cheaper than the city, probably won't be that memorable.

Assuming your flight arrives ontime (!) I would have thought you'd be through baggage collection in 30 minutes, maybe another 20 mins to pickup your car, hopefully you'd be on the road by 5pm, possibly earlier. Yes, it's the middle of peak hour, but the journey to the Blue Mountains in light traffic is an hour and a half, so in peak hour at the worst 2 1/2 hours, but possibly closer to 2 hours.

The one thing that is worth mentioning, is that you will be driving West as the sun sets. Those who live out West and drive to work in the city are known as "squinters". In late March, the sun will be setting at around 7pm Daylight Saving Time.

Hemyock, United...
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4. Re: March Travel help please

Thanks to you all for your comments, they have been most helpful.

We will arrange accomodation in the Katoomba area on our 1st night.

Rob

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: March Travel help please

"Once you're into the lower Blue Mountains, traffic will thin out a little although it will still be busy. From this point you're only 30 mins from Katoomba."

Last week when we drove down the mountains from Leura to the base of the mountains it was around 45 mins. Currently there is roadworks everywhere and the speed limits constantly change from 60 kph to 70 or 80 kph.

And I agree with Mia - the traffic at 4pm during a weekday is atrocious ...eg, on Tuesday 16th Nov, I left Circular Quay, got onto the Eastern Distributer at 4.41pm and then the M5 and both roadways had varied speed limits ... from "stop" to "may as well be stopped" !! In good traffic conditions I would expect to be home within an hour ... I got home 2 hours and 20 mins after I got onto the ED.

Now while you may be lucky and have a good run, don't count on it.

For my money, whether it is mid week or weekend, the most straightforward way of getting from the airport to Katoomba is via the M5 then get onto the M7 at Liverpool's Crossroads then turn off the M7 onto the Great Western Highway. Any other way you will still have to contend with peak hour traffic and traffic lights (no traffic lights on the M5 / M7).

You are going to get traffic on the M5 during the week and by the time you get to the Great Western Highway it may have thinned a little, but don't count on it.

Provided you're not tired, you could definitely make it to Katoomba that night and get an early start the next morning.

If you decide to stay overnight in Sydney or say near the airport, you'll still have a drive which will take the best part of 2 hours from the city to Katoomba in reasonably good conditions.

Hemyock, United...
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6. Re: March Travel help please

DougoOz, thanks for your comments, and directions which will be useful.

Rob

7. Re: March Travel help please

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