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13

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 ...


12

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, ...


10

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 ...


10

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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.)


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

Getting from the airport to the city centre on the train is very easy, but it isn't very cheap. The airport rail link is quite new, and there's an extra fee for using the airport stations. As such, an adult single ticket from the airport to the city circle (the main city centre stations) is $15. If you have a MyMulti pass (city wide public transport ticket), ...


5

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 ...


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

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

I'd stop in Albury then Goulburn both about 3.5 hours drive and on the Hume Highway. I've visited both and Albury has some nice parks and if you're onto big things Goulburn has the Big Merino.*


5

You should be fine - people have done it in the past, even driving Melbourne to Gold Coast, with plenty of stops. However, if you want to be certain, the Shell gas stations have an online Fuel finder site to locate the different types of stations, as well as iPhone and Android apps. And they're certainly not the only fuel company in Australia.


5

The official statistics only give the percentage of trains that were no more than 10 minutes late. The Melbourne to Sydney night train is train 622 (second green bar from the left). The on-time performance is pretty bad: only 60% achieved the 10-minute objective. There doesn't seem to be any official tracking of how late the late trains are. Google finds ...


5

I have travelled along Australia's east coast between Sydney and Byron Bay on various trips in a camper van. Sydney beaches tend to be more crowded and often require payment for parking. Camping is specifically not allowed here. There are council rangers. Do not stay for free until you are north of the Hawkesbury River. Once you are out of Sydney, you ...


4

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 ...


4

As Doc said in his answer, places within a very short walk were open for New Year's Eve - even beaches. There was a partial view including skyline but not including the Harbour Bridge or Opera house. As Doc also said Lady Bay is within an area which is closed overnight every night of the year anyway. The sign at the walkway said that all of South Head is ...


4

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 ...


4

It's hard to say exactly what your goals are, but a few thoughts: The train may end up taking longer than bus, since buses go directly between Sydney and your desired destinations (see greyhound map and train map). If you are into overnight buses, you could consider taking one from Sydney to Byron Bay and hanging out there. Around $90 right now. This way ...


4

So how much is it for train or plane? Have you considered Premier Motor Services (Bus)? It quoted me $95 for one-way full fare Sydney-Brisbane. Or check out the hostel boards or this rideshare site; the route Sydney-Brisbane is quite popular and it should be easier to get an even cheaper lift where you are more flexible with routes and sightseeing. Byron ...



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