For a day trip with a difference, why not fly and dine with the Sydney Seaplanes experience www.seaplanes.com.au. They will fly you from Sydney to various places that are a world away from Sydney. I would recommend Cottage Point Inn and Jonahs. Both fabulous places but Cottage Point Inn feels a bit more unique within the Ku-ring-gai national park.
It's reasonably priced, in a great location, you get automatic membership to the NSW club which is attached. Rooms are great space with microwave, fridge, sink, decent bathroom. It's a great all round hotel for those on a budget but still don't want to be too far from anything (it's just round the corner from Martin Place and five mins walk from Darling harbour).
Google map: tinyurl.com/powuua
We were travelling with our two kids aged nine and 14 and the serviced apartments were just right. The apartment building is a converted mill and stands right next to Darling harbour and the monorail. The apartments are compact but cosy with everything you need for a family.
243 Pyrmont Street
Darling Harbour, NSW 2009
Phone +61 2 9518 5166
1800 996 922
Google map: tinyurl.com/pqts47
In a city of hostels, you can’t get much better than the YHA Central with its comfortable new beds and rooftop terrace with pool and sauna… A lounge, nightclub and games room all on the premises means you don’t even need to leave this hostel in Sydney to enjoy yourself!
Next to popular Sucbar and opposite central station, the location is just as great as the facilities.
For a place to stay, Shangri-la draws the suited and booted but is also the hangout for beautiful people. The Horizon Club serves canapés in the lounge every evening and there’s wireless broadband throughout.
When visiting Sydney the temptation is to stay in the Rocks (the district the world thinks of as Sydney). Don't, it's a tourist trap. Instead, consider Kings Cross or Darlinghurst. These districts are the heart of Sydney. Not as pretty but much more fun.
Google map: tinyurl.com/nee7m7
There's very little in this life for free and this has got to be one of the best of them. A breathtaking walk taking in some of the city's most amazing beaches.
Bring your walking shoes though, it's a good 90 minute walk along the coast so stilettos are not advisable!
Oh, and for accommodation for when you're in Sydney, look no further than www.hostelworld.com. I use it all the time and love it.
The Somerset Hotel on Elizabeth Street is a brilliant place to stay. It has amazing views over Hyde Park and the Anzac Memorial. There is very good room service with people coming to clean your apartment everyday when you are out. It is near the centerpoint tower and not far from a good pool called Boy Charlton. It is salt water and suspended on stilts over the actual harbour so you get really good views. There is also a brilliant open air cinema on Lady Mcquaries Point. The screen apparently folds down (we didn't get to go there but i reccommend it anyway.)
There are two really good places to eat. One is called Sushi King - it is on George Street and it does the best sushi in the world. The other is the Lindt Cafe on Martin Place - it is really good and they do this great hot chocolate (you get this jug with hot milk in and a jug with melted chocolate in and you pour them in the mug at the same time the result is an amazing rich lovely cup of hot chocolate).
Of course I also reccommend the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House (my dad conducts there.)
This is an amazing place to explore the Blue Mountains from. We went there as part of our honeymoon and had an awesome time. It's a 5 star place in the style of an English country house, great food, excellent spa, the works.
We booked the hotel through www.austravel.com and flights through www.dealchecker.co.uk.
Lilianfels Blue Mountains
Tel: +61 (02) 4780 1200
This is a great value, B&B style, 19th century budget hotel. You can get rooms for less than $100, which is especially good value as it is short walking distance from Darling Harbour. Good option for families. Book in advance.
22 Allen Street
Tel: (02) 9552 4773
A water access-only island in Pittwater with view across the Northern Beaches of Sydney and Ku-rin-gai National Park, 45 minutes drive from Sydney. There is a ferry that goes each hour every day, bush walks around and to the top of the island and a park. The vibe is laid back and friendly - unlike some parts of Sydney CBD. There are about 400 houses, a bed and breakfast and a youth hostel.
The Rocks is a small villagey area found on the Opera House side of the harbour. It can be accessed via the Cahill Freeway Walk (on the bridge) and boasts small cafes, beautiful fabric shops and the odd hotel. It is a place frozen in time - shaped by European influence and positioned in one of the best harbours in the world.
The Rocks has markets on sundays, selling GUCCI, DIOR and so on. Simply put, it's a place of refuge for all tourists...so keep it nice!
Walk via Cahill Freeway Walk, down the stairs and follow the street-directions through to the Rocks Square.
Serviced apartments often work better than hotels for families or couples travelling together. They are more spacious than a hotel room and usually include a kitchen, dining and sitting areas, plus bedrooms. Some even have laundry facilities and include a 'breakfast basket' in the room price. A two-bedroom apartment is always cheaper than two hotel rooms of the equivalent star rating and has the same level of service; You don't need to make the bed and towels are changed and rooms cleaned every day!
Medina is the best brand and their hot deals - especially outside of the school holidays - can be very economical. I particularly like the Medina at Coogee and the Grand near Darling Harbour. Both have swimming pools. The Macleay at Potts Point is also good - it is worth paying extra for a Harbour view. From the Macleay there is a pleasant and interesting walk through Wooloomooloo to the Domain and the Art Gallery of NSW.
I've never stayed here but people who have certainly enjoyed it. Great location next to the botanic gardens in the beautifully restored Finger Wharf. Fashionable and expensive.
The Wharf at Woolloomooloo, Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo;
I am almost loathed to reveal the Periwinkle, but feel I should in the interests of good travelling and helping their business! This is a real gem. I have stayed here three times and would go back tomorrow given the chance – I’ve also recommended it to friends and they have raved about it.
A small and laid back guesthouse – of the stylish and comfortable kind – it oozes charm. The building is a Victorian villa on the sea-front facing the Manly ferry – which is handy when making a dash for the boat into town. Tea and coffee are free all day, breakfast is included, there is a self catering kitchen and the rooms are beautifully decorated and finished.
The welcome is always warm but beware - they get booked up fast. Prices will depend on the room you take. They also own a sister guesthouse in Sydney – The Chelsea – which is well worth staying in for a more central city location.
18-19 East Esplanade, Manly
For bookings phone 9977 4668 www.periwinkle.citysearch.com.au
Boutique b&b in the heart of Sydney. Affordable, in traditional terraced house in Darlinghurst. Nice walk to the centre. Owed by a Swiss who used to work for the United Nations and immigrated to Oz twenty years ago.
Wonderful renovation job and great courtyard for breakfast.
A clean comfortable place to stay that is very good value and is very well-placed for central Sydney and the bars and restaurants of Oxford Street. Rooms come in various different grades but even the "luxury" ones won't set you back too much. The staff are really friendly too and a continental breakfast is included with some room grades. Highly recommended.
Wentworth Avenue, at the southern end of Hyde Park.
Nice clean hotel in a great location on the border of Paddington and Darlinghurst, halfway between the city centre and Bondi beach. Good value at $135 a night. Try and get a room facing the courtyard to avoid traffic noise from busy Oxford Street.
21 Oxford Street, Paddington; Tel: +61 2 9361 0211;
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