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30

There are two options, both roughly equidistant and neither an obvious winner: Japan is about 10 hours from Sydney, with direct flights to Tokyo. While snow is rare in Tokyo itself, there is tons of the white stuff anywhere in the Japan Alps (eg. Nagano), on the Japan Sea coast (eg. Kanazawa) and up in Hokkaido, where ski bunny haven Niseko has become a ...


27

It's definitely not the same thing. There are two 'routes'. One is along the pedestrian walkway on the bridge. Same height as the traffic and trains. (source: Wikipedia) The other is over the 'arch' of the bridge, which is the one you pay $185 for. You get safety lines, can't take anything up with you (including cameras, I gather) and you have a guide. ...


14

As a rule, tipping is not necessary in Australia, wages are sufficient to make a living anyway and this shows in the eye-watering prices for any service. Most cafes and casual restaurants have tip jars, where you're welcome to reward good service with a coin or two (or, like us when eating out with our two-year-old, apologize for mess), but this is purely ...


13

One little known option is Blue Bar on 36, at the Shangri-La hotel, close to Circular Quay. It's on the 36th floor, is pretty smart (but have been in there in smart-casual) and the drink prices are horrendous, but there's nothing stopping you going up for a look. It's free to enter. (source: Lonely Planet article) You get a view down on the Opera House, ...


12

Low-cost airline Jetstar offers inexpensive flights from Australia to Japan, which certainly ticks all your boxes. A northern city such as Sapporo normally has snow around Christmas and will have many Christmas-related festivities and decorations. There are also some Christian churches, if you are so inclined. Citizens of Australia and New Zealand can enter ...


11

As Murphy's Law dictates, the very next Google search I did for this info after giving up and submitting it as a question here, was successful! From the Sydney Airport website: Sydney Airport opening times are: T1 International terminal is opened everyday from 3AM to 11:00PM (0300 to 2300) • Customs are opened for departures passenger processing ...


11

UNICEF Australia will accept them at any Commonwealth Bank or Bankwest branch, and at the Sydney CBD UNICEF office. Does UNICEF accept foreign coins? If so, where can I bring my coins? UNICEF Australia accepts local and foreign currency with the support of three of our valuable corporate partners; Qantas, Commonwealth Bank and Bankwest. Find a ...


10

Sydney's a bit too flat to have any mountains with CBD views; instead, I'd head across the water! From the west side of Darling Harbour near the Maritime Museum and the Star Casino, you'll get the Hong Kong-from-Kowloon-style "skyscraper view" of the CBD. This is particularly impressive at sunset, when the sun setting in the west catches all the glass ...


9

Well yes and no. Because it depends what you mean by "near Sydney". Penguins do exist in Sydney, but they are so endangered that only about 60 pairs remain in the only location on the New South Wales mainland that has them. You can read about the efforts to protect them on the environment.nsw.gov.au website. The page doesn't mention anything about tourist ...


9

When I have the time I always take the bus between Melbourne and Sydney, but some people say I'm crazy. Usually, if you book in advance, and especially if you only have carry-on luggage, it will be cheaper to fly with one of the low-cost airlines, but when you include getting to and from the airport at each end it will always be more expensive and buses and ...


9

Some Australians disapprove of tipping. They associate it with America (the most prominent English-speaking country that has tipping) and with people receiving poor wages (and other bad stuff about America, such as it being seen to lack universal health care). The main time that people tip in Australia is when a large-ish group of people have dinner ...


9

I was in Sydney last year for a visit and thought about doing the Harbour Bridge walk. It's undoubtedly a great experience, but it's expensive and you're not allowed to take your own camera with you. I was advised instead to go to the Pylon Lookout (http://www.sydney.com.au/pylon-lookout.htm) which is a fraction of the cost at $AU 13, and also has a ...


8

There are two trains per day between Sydney and Melbourne, one during the day, and one at night, run by CountryLink. On the overnight train, you can book into a 2 berth sleeping car, or try and sleep in a regular seat. One thing to be aware of with the sleeper is that there's only the 1 coach with sleeper berths in it, the rest of the train only has normal ...


8

Most reputable car hire companies will let you pick up from the airport, although I'm not exactly sure where the pickup point is as I live in Sydney and have never needed to do this. It is absolutely unnecessary to head into the city center from the airport, so just forget about that. From the airport you're pretty much heading in the opposite direction ...


7

The "Red Service Sleeper Cabin" is 2nd class and they indeed have power outlets. At least in 2007 I charged my laptop to watch movies on the train. I heard beforehand that the food isn't that great at least not worth the money, so I brought food to cater myself. Bring a book and lots of movies/series to watch. I'm not sure about the booking ahead. I just ...


7

Yes, at T1 (International Terminal) and T2 (Domestic Terminal). I was there in 2011 but can't remember the details (except that I did use internet connection at the airport). Anyway, Foursquare is a good memory aid, and several tips from 2011 and 2012 say there's indeed wifi available. February 10, 2012: Free wifi all over with the "FREE WIFI BY ...


7

I'm not sure exactly what your definition of 'central Sydney' is, but the vast majority of the 'classic' pubs are in and around the Rocks area. Personally my first choice would be the one you've mentioned - the Lord Nelson. It is a bit of a walk from the main area of The Rocks, but it's worth it. Not only is the pub itself impressive, but their on-site ...


7

Good news! After a long time when the only option was daily or weekly MyMulti tickets, Sydney has recently launched a pay-as-you-go smartcard ticketing system called Opal. They have an explanation page on Opal for tourists whick gives quite a good intro. Similar to the GoCard system in Brisbane, you can't load a daily or weekly season ticket onto an Opal ...


7

Other good and free views not yet mentioned include: Cremorne Wharf Balls Head, Waverton Larkin St Lookout, Waverton Bradley's Head (Ideas courtesy of a great write-up by Ilya Genkin.)


7

I wasn't intending to answer my own question, but as ever I hit on the right Google keywords just after posting and found one place: Photo by Adam.J.W.C., courtesy Wikimedia Commons. Macquarie Lighthouse, in Vaucluse at the eastern edge of Sydney, is Australia's oldest lighthouse and still operating to this day. Once every two months, on Sundays between ...


6

Sailing is actually a pretty diverse field. There's a lot to learn, and a lot of choices to make about what to learn. E.g. Racing or cruising? Big boats or small boats? Keel boats or catamarans? Solo or crew? That being said, you should be able to find an introductory crew course that will fit into 2 days. One day is likely to be a stretch since it's ...


6

Check out a rental company called Bayswater Car Rental. From working years in a hostel in Sydney I can say we only ever had good reports about this rental company, though I never rented from them myself. They're a smaller outfit only in Sydney and Perth but with all new cars and they cut out a lot of bogus fees most rental companies charge. They do not ...


6

Downtown Sydney is a nightmare in a car, particular in the morning in downtown. Not just because of the horrible traffic, but also because of the parking situation and all the one-way-streets, so you're more busy finding your way around the maze than getting from A to B. I would avoid the downtown area at all costs and try to pick up a car from the Airport ...


6

Lady Bay is a part of the Sydney Harbour National Park. In general, Sydney Harbour National Park is only open sunrise to sunset. During special events like New Years Eve they do open parts of the park outside of these times, but this only applies to specific areas, and normally requires tickets purchased in advance. The list of such sites for NYE 2013 is ...


6

Realistically there's nothing near the station food-wise, with the exception of a Coke machine and a snack machine within the waiting room at the station itself (make sure you have coins!) Even though you may have a 24 minute wait, the process actually varies dramatically depending on how many people are on the bus(es). When the train arrives the buses ...


5

Well, I am not the expert in Australia, but I love playing with Google Maps. Anyway after some playing I got this corner store which is 300 meters away, 4 minutes walking (I suppose it sells food because my search query was food): Also, there is a McDonald's 800 meters away (9 minutes walking) which seems risky since you will have 24 minutes.. if you ...


5

Given you're staying in the city and have time restrictions, I'd suggest remaining the CBD generally, but here's the route I'd take if I was "showing off" Sydney (albeit in the opposite direction to what I've ended up with on Google Maps). I'm going to list a lot of stuff below, more so that you can pick and choose anything of interest. Following that map ...


5

This won't fill all of your day—just 3 hours—but it's good enough a match that I'll mention it: There are free walking tours of central Sydney that start every day at 10:30 and 14:30 from next to Sydney Town Hall (483 George St). See the tour page at imfree.com.au for more details. Join us for our 3 hour Sydney Sights tour at 10:30am and 2:30pm at the ...


5

My first suggestion would be to find a serviced apartment near Darling Harbour. You do not mention budget, but this would probably cost around 200 AUD / night. A serviced apartment will have a microwave, fridge, and stove, etc. You can walk to nearby Coles or Woolworths supermarkets and buy food to cook meals yourself. There are also many restaraunts ...


5

Adding a new answer since this needs an update: there's now a new choice in town, namely the Opal card. As of Jan 2015, it covers all public transport in Sydney and nearby, including trains, ferries, buses and light rail. Opal is your standard pay-per-use 'smartcard', just tap on and tap off every time you get on/off a vehicle. Some noteworthy ...



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