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25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

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25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

Hi,

Vacation almost here! I have a rough draft of an itinerary and wanted some opinions....

Yes,I'm partially type A,I like to have at least a plan to fall back on so I dont waste time,esp with international travel...

Anyway...

Day 1-Arrive at 8,go to hotel drop off bags. Take the 1030 free walk from Town Hall if I make it(if not do the 230). Before/after walk,travel to CQ/Rocks area and wander around. Check in in afternoon,take short nap.

Ideas for 1st evening??? (no theater...made that mistake in London,1st night of trip....)

Day 2-possible BridgeClimb,OH tour,walk through Royal Botanical gardens

Day 3-Sydney Tower,Aquarium,and Wildlife World

Day 4-Taronga Zoo/Manly Beach( are these two feasible to do on same day?? Also,is it possible to do the spit bridge walk from zoo to beach??)

Evening-Opera House show??

Day 5-Blue Mtns tour

Day 6-Bondi Beach

Any advice appreciated!!!!

Thanks,

Stacey

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1. Re: 25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

Hi Stacey

You've certainly got plenty of time to do all the things you want, but some of the days may need rearranging due to weather & timing. Be prepared to change around accordingly.

Day 1 - looks ok depending on how you're feeling. If you do have a nap, I'd suggest a short one & then have an early night to try & get your body clock set.

Day 3 - you could probably fit something else in there. As you're planning on going to the zoo, I wouldn't bother with wildlife world.

Day 4 sounds a bit crowded to me.

Day 6 - you may not need a full day for Bondi - are you planning on doing the walk to Coogee from there?

Mia

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2. Re: 25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

Hi Mia,

I was thinking about doing that walk,or the one mentioned from Spit Bridge to Manly...or both LOL:)

Should I do Taronga separate from Manly?? I just thought since they were both in the same direction,but maybe I'm miscalculating...

I forgot,I did want to add in Hyde Park Barracks...I guess I could throw this is day 3.

Anything else I'm missing??

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3. Re: 25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

Hi Sunbird

You certainly are packing a lot in.

On the day you think you may do the Bridgeclimb, you can expect to be there (prep + climb) for the best part of 3 hours ... and depending on the time of your climb, you may not have a lot of time either side of your entire Bridge Climb activities to go further afield so I think it is wise to stick to The Rocks / Circular Quay area.

You also seem to be covering the same ground again or perhaps I should say going to the same area again two days in a row.

The other thing is with the free walking tour, that may cover some of the ground you are planning to cover on other days.

Day 3 - IMO you won't need a full day for those activities. The Sydney Tower is on the corner of Market / Castlereagh Streets and that is around 10 minute walk to the Aquarium / Wildlife Sydney which is in the area known as Darling Harbour.

As you'll be at DH, why not walk across the Bridge and go to the Maritime Museum if that is of interest, or HarbourTown (shops, cafes etc) and then walk through the Darling Harbour precinct towards Chinatown, stopping at the Chinese Garden of Friendship (small entry fee). You could spend as much or as little time as you like here and it wouldn't surprise me if you spent an hour or more there - a very peaceful and lovely oasis.

Continue walking towards the Entertainment Centre and you'll see a large red brick building - that houses Paddy's Market which may or may not be open depending on the day of the week you'll be there. That part of the city is Chinatown. Stop and have a bite to eat here or head over George Street and into Hay Street where you'll find various other cafes and restaurants.

At the bus stops in George Street, you should be able to catch the free "555" bus which takes a rectangular loop around the city - no commentary.

As for Taronga and Manly in one day ... yes it is possible but you'll need to get a ferry back to Circular Quay to catch a ferry to Manly...that would probably be the quickest / easiest way to get to Manly from there.

If you do want to do both in one day, choose which place you will go to first.

Did you want to swim / eat / walk around in Manly ... not sure what activities you are thinking of doing here as that would determine how much time you spent there ... If there weather is nice, you could get up early and head to Manly on the ferry and then go to the Zoo or alernatively, go to the Zoo in the morning and head to Manly in the afternoon for a late lunch / early dinner.

Taronga Zoo - if you get say a ferry departing Circular Quay around 8.45am, it's only a 15 minute ride and you can catch the bus to the top / main entry of the zoo. Walk in through the main entrance to a piazza area, get your tickets, have a coffee in the cafe or browse the zoo shop until the zoo opens at 9.30am. Again, depending on the day of the week, if you get there later, it may be crowded trying to get on the bus or the Zoo Safari cable car - which doesn't start operating til 9.30am.

Volunteers give out free Zoo maps and you can find the show times for various animals - birds, aquatic animals etc at the bottom of the fold out map. If you are at the top entry, at 9.30am you can do a round trip on the cable car so you can "fly" over the elephant enclosure .. I recommend the round trip unless you want to walk back up or unles you want to leave the zoo and catch the ferry (btw, there is another entrance to the zoo a couple of hundred metres from the ferry but most people tend to go to the main entrance as there's clean toilets, lockers etc etc there.

As for combining the Zoo, Manly and the walk all in one day ... hmmm I don't know .. it's a lot of walking already around the Zoo ... I guess it's do-able but I'll leave others to guide you on the specifics of that.

Blue Mts -get up early and catch a train from Central Station around 8 - 8.30am - it will take around 2 hrs to get up there to Katoomba and you need to make the most of your time there if you are relying on public transport or the HOHO bus ... did you see Matthewn's recent trip report of his day in the Blue Mts using public transport?

Bondi - a whole day there ? A walk to Coogee as Mia suggests may be better on that day rather than doing the Zoo / Manly and the Spit Bridge walk all on one day.

As for Hyde Park Barracks, yes you could do that on a different day if you manage to reduce some of the doublng up which is kind of inevitable I guess when Circular Quay is where you need to go to catch a ferry in the city.

You could think about doing a ferry ride to other places, such as Watson's Bay or to the western part of the harbour which is different to the eastern side ... just jump on a ferry and go !

Here are a few links which may help with your planning if you haven't already seen them.

http://taronga.org.au/taronga-zoo

http://www.wildlifesydney.com.au/ - you may already know this - but you can get combo tickets and save money - check the links on this site

darlingharbour.com/sydney-Things_To_Do-Chine…

http://www.sydneybuses.info/free-shuttles

http://www.paddysmarkets.com.au/

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g1426078-i13268…

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4. Re: 25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

Hi,

It's not possible to do

" Day 4-Taronga Zoo/Manly Beach( are these two feasible to do on same day?? Also,is it possible to do the spit bridge walk from zoo to beach??) "

You can do a lovely walk from Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay & on-wards to Balmoral Beach & catch the bus back to Mosman Wharf to return to the city.

harbourtrust.gov.au/visit-our-sites/…

The Spit to Manly Beach walks takes approx 3 hrs one way & its not a easy walk as some parts are hilly although it's a gorgeous walk if you have the time & are not in a rush as you can stop off & have swims along the way at Castle Rock Beach / Reef beach etc. etc.

wildwalks.com/bushwalking-and-hiking-in-nsw/…

I also sugguest you do some of the walks in Manly.

ie. Manly to Shelley Beach

manlyaustralia.com.au/information/…shelly.asp

& manlyaustralia.com.au/information/what_to_do…

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5. Re: 25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

If you decide to do Taronga and Manly in the one day, I would definitely suggest going to the zoo first so that you can stay as long as you like. Then perhaps, return to CQ by ferry and catch the second ferry back to Manly late in the afternoon and stay into the evening, so that on your return you see the citylights...Sydney from the water at night is really special.

Another great ferry trip, as DougoOz has suggested, is to Watsons Bay...great place for great views of the city and of the Heads, clifftop walk and great spot for fish and chips. From here, you could go on to Bondi.

If you decide to go to Hyde Park Barracks, why not take a walk along Macquarie St as this has quite a number of significant old buildings such as Parliament House, the Mint, Sydney Hospital with its lovely courtlyard, the State Library, and closeby to the Barracks, is the beautiful St Marys Cathedral across from Hyde Park.

Stacey, with your 6days and some flexible planning as you are doing, you will get to enjoy heaps of the best of Sydney. I hope you keep us posted with a TR or two, as we all love the feedback and its such a great help for others planning.

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6. Re: 25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

You don't need to catch a ferry back to the city to get from the Zoo to Manly. From the Zoo take the 246 bus to Spit Junction. Get off and change to a 144 to Manly (other side of the road). You can return to the city by ferry- lovely at sunset.

I have to agree that the walk from the Zoo to Chowder Bay or further on to Balmoral is a stunner - one of those 'best kept secrets.' From either Chowder Bay or Balmoral you can take a bus back to the city.

Trying to do the Zoo then walk the 8 km from Spit to Manly, look around Manly and get back in time to take in a show at The House would be a bit ambitious.

I wouldn't suggest you leave

Out any of these activities. Maybe just spread them out more.

Have fun. Hope You get some sunshine!

Edited: 10 February 2012, 15:23
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7. Re: 25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

Thank you all for your tips!!!! It is taking a bit of sorting,but will hopefully work out:) I am definately doing a trip report,will post the links here during the trip:)

Slight alteration...in looking at doing the Sydney Tower/Aquarium/(possible) Wildlife World,I notice that if you buy the separate tickets online,it comes out to be cheaper than the combo passes,but you have to select time blocks. The day that i was thinking of doing these,the cheapest time slots are from 1600-2230. Is it possible to do these two/three in that timeframe?

Also,is late afternoon/early evening good for these activities(I realize it leaves the morning open,but can fit in some walking,shopping of nearby areas here)? Or is this timeframe too rushed and I should just suck it up and pay $45/$54 for more flexibility?

I do like the idea of keeping Taronga/Manly on same day,will probably eliminate Opera show that night...could do it the day of Bridgeclimb maybe?

Thanks again for all of the tips!

Stacey

I also like all of the walks suggested..its going to be hard to narrow them down!!! Is it possible to do the Zoo-Chowder Bay walk,then somehow take a bus to Manly?

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8. Re: 25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

Hi Stacey,

Having come so far at such cost, I would suck it up and design itinerary first, then take the ticket option that fits that.

I completely agree on the need for an itinerary so you don't waste time! :o) and you learn so much about the place figuring it out re the transport etc. :o)

I would do the Tower when you do Hyde Park Barracks, but I would also be on the lookout for knocking it over on the spur of the moment. Depending on where you're staying you might find it convenient to do on your first day. If you decide to do the Bridgeclimb, no need to do the Tower IMHO.

I think it's easily doable to combine Hyde Park Barracks with Bondi as you have suggested.

If you're going to Taronga I would skip Wildlife World or I guess we should be training ourselves to call it Wildlife Sydney.

That leaves you a day where you could go to the zoo in the am, and the aquarium later in the day and not have to rush for either... Then you can do the Spit to Manly walk and Manly on one day and not have to rush it.

First night and your accom is near Town Hall.. maybe walk down to Darling Harbour/Cockle Bay/King Street Wharf area, though you could find yourself doubling up there because Sydney aquarium is right there. Chinatown might be better for an easy meal and early night.

When in the Rocks / Circular Quay area, the Rocks Discovery Museum is free and definitely worth spending an hour in.

Depending on your decision re the bridge, you may choose to devote that time to the bridge in some form eg pylon lookout or walk across it. However if you decide to just enjoy the bridge as an ever present backdrop, that is OK too. If you decide to do the latter leaving OH and Botanic Gardens in one day all on their lonesome... leaving me an opportunity to spruik my favourite "Sydney must do walk".... I won't do that here this time.. I've decided to just blog it. I'll come back with a link.

Edited: 10 February 2012, 20:22
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9. Re: 25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

Hi:

If you do Zoo to Chowder bay you can take to 244 bus from chowder bay and get off at Spit Junction. Cross the street and pick up a 143 or 144 to Manly.

You have to be a bit careful of your timings. The walk takes me about half an hour. Allow more if you stroll. The bus from Chowder Bay only departs hourly. The are a few eating/ drinking options there iff you have to wait for the bus Ripples which is expensive. Bacino cafe has two sites, one up at the bus stop and a smaller coffee shop down on the beach - my favorite!

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10. Re: 25 days until Sydney!!! Itinerary review please?

Given that you have limited time, the quickest and easiest way from Taronga Zoo to Manly is by ferry...which is why I recommended this in my post number 3.

IMHO, catching a ferry is the best way to see the harbour and the foreshores of Sydney - definitely one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. It's a peaceful and lovely way to travel about and many people don't get to experience that as often as Sydney siders can ... and do.

I did think about recommending a bus to Manly but I thought it could take more time than a ferry and TBH, IMO it doesn't measure up to ferry travel - sure it's different but in the end a bus is a bus.

The main thing is, with limited time here in Sydney you need to balance your time between the things that you want to see and do and for me, that means providing advice to you that won't unnessarily complicate your itinerary while trying to match what you want to do within the timeframe you have available (IMHO).

The other reason for not recommending the bus is because I know from first hand experience what the traffic is like at Mosman / Spit Junction etc and given that you would have already spent possibly half a day at the Zoo, why spend potentially a lot more time (and effort- again IMHO) bother with the traffic and bus changes particularly when a ferry ride is a "nicer way" to go (again, IMHO).

If you want to do the Zoo and the walk from Spit Bridge to Manly - by all means the bus from the Zoo would be the way to go ... but there is a lot of walking around the Zoo and whether you feel like walking for another couple of hours or so on the Spit Bridge to Manly walk - only you can say.

Edited: 10 February 2012, 23:32