Saturday, October 08, 2011

Itineraries - 72 hours in Sydney (2)

Continuing the 72 hours in Sydney..

Day 2:

8:00 AM:
Wake up nice and early today to catch a train to the Blue Mountains. They lie 3 hours away from Sydney.  The Blue mountains line runs from Central station to the mountains, but you can buy tickets anywhere in the central loop. Buy yourself a lunch at the station, as there are not many places for a sit down lunch, mainly if you want to see & hike a lot.

11:00 AM:
Get off at Katoomba. Right outside the train station is the Explorer bus booth. Buy tickets to the scenic world and the bus tour. Here's a tour map.

12:00 noon:
Finish the scenic world attractions first. It takes 2-3 hours depending on how much of the Scenic walkway you decide to take. 40 minutes was good for us, but you can choose here. Eat your picnic lunch here as well.

3:00 PM:
Ride the bus now to the Echo point for beautiful views of the Three sisters. After a half hour here, you can head to either Leura cascades or Gordon falls for a quick hike (or bushwalk as they are known locally).

4:30 PM:
Now head to Leura village. Get off at stop 21 and make a right to a bright yellow teahouse called "Bygone Beautys". They usually have a two for one Devonshire tea coupon in your booklet. Use it and enjoy a heavenly English tea complete with amazing scones, jam & cream.

5:00 PM:
Head back to Sydney to enjoy some great dinner and the amazing nightlife the city has to offer. is a great bar to visit.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Itineraries - 72 hours in Sydney (1)

I had a chance to visit Australia a little while ago for work, and have been meaning to share an itinerary and tips for a while now. Here are a few lists, tips and recommandations for things to see and do in this beautiful city.

72 hours in Sydney:

Day 1:

12:00 noon:
Start your day with a nice lunch in Sydney's Chinatown. Lots of choices here including Mamak, Din Tai Fung, Chat Thai etc. Grab your fork has a solid list.

2:00 PM:

Walk up to Hyde park, to gaze at the Anzac memorial and the beautiful fig canopy. At the end of the park is the beautiful St. Mary's cathedral. Cross over to Hyde park barracks and peer into some old colonial houses along McQuaire St. You will pass the Old Sydney hospital to the entrance of the Royal botanical gardens on Bent St.

3:00 PM:
Entrance to the gardens is free! Make your way in to see very different vegetation. The highlight of the park has to be the 300 or more fruit bats that live here. You'll here them soon enough after you enter. They are harmless to humans, but don't stand under their trees if you can help it! After bat watching, make your way out to the waterfront to Ms. Mcquarie's seat for amazing views of the bridge & opera house.

4:00 PM:
Walk along the water to the opera house, admire the curves of the building and the seagulls. There are also guided tours of the house if you want to take one, or come back later for a show.
Make your way to Circular Quay (pronounced Key) on the right of the opera house to the ticket booths.

5:00 PM:
Get a round trip ferry ticket to Manly. The ride is the main attraction here and equals any cruise you might take across the harbor. It takes a half hour and the vistas are amazing.

Get off at Manly and walk up the promenade to the beach. The promenade is like Santa Monica. Don't be tempted by the cheap but mediocre and expensive seafood at the beach. Watch surfers in action all year round. Then catch the ferry back to Sydney, in time for Sunset.

6:30 PM:
Walk along the right to enter the Rocks historic district. Don't spend time here now, you can come back later another day. Head to Pylon Lookout atop the Harbor bridge to see bridge climbers and amazing sunset views of the Harbor.

8:00 PM:
Right below the lookout is the Australian Heritage hotel. Head here to have a very Aussie dinner including Kangaroo, Emu and Crocodile on the menu! Also featured are the famous Aussie pies. Pair it with your favorite Australian wine (mostly Shiraz) or beer.

At this point, you should likely call it a day, to make it up nice and early the next day.

Day 2 to follow..