Australia

      the best of southeast australia - travel notes

    active    architecture    food and wine    sun and sea   

    Day 1 - 4, Sydney
    American citizens require a Visa or an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter Australia. You can obtain this for yourself. Additional information is available from the Australian Embassy at www.austemb.org.

    For your first visit, we recommend that you spend at least four nights in Sydney. If you?ve been there before, two or three nights will do. For a list of our recommended hotels in Sydney, click here.

    The SydneyPass is a great convenience, providing you with unlimited transportation on Sydney buses, Sydney Ferries, and central CityRail routes. Passes are available for three, five, or seven days and included roundtrip AirportLink rail transfers, Explorer Bus tours, and four harbour cruises. Three-day passes are $110AUD, 5-day passes are $145AUD, and 7-day passes are $165AUD.

    You can purchase the passes in Sydney at various locations such as the ferry ticket offices, and onboard the buses. See their website, www.sydneypass.info for listings.

    If you want to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it?s essential that you book this well in advance. You can make reservations at www.bridgeclimb.com. Prices start at $169AUD.

    If you are interested in attending a performance at the Sydney Opera House, you can find out what?s playing during your visit at www.soh.nsw.gov.au. You can order tickets here too. Performances generally sell out, so if you want to go, make reservations well in advance.

    Our database contains scores of attractions in Sydney. For specific information, including admission fees, hours, addresses, and phone numbers, use the search engine to find "Sydney" and "All" or the links to the right. Because there are hundreds of items in this database, it may take a minute or so for the Attractions file to the right to download.

    Day 5 - 6, Blue Mountains
    Although you can reach the Blue Mountains via public transportation, we recommend that you rent a car so you?ll have greater flexibility. Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, and Thrifty all rent cars at various Sydney locations.

    We suggest that you spend one night in the Blue Mountains, and spend the second night at an airport hotel in Sydney. For a list of our recommended hotels in the Blue Mountains, click here.

    Our database contains numerous attractions in the Blue Mountains. For specific information, including admission fees, hours, addresses, and phone numbers, use the search engine to find "Blue Mountains" and "All" or use the links to the right.

    For a list of our recommended hotels at Sydney airport, click here.

    Day 7 - 8, Yarra Valley
    Fly from Sydney to Melbourne this morning. Qantas and Ansett both provide service.

    Arrange a car at Melbourne airport. Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, and National all have rental facilities there. Ask for driving directions from the car rental agency to the Yarra Valley.

    We recommend that you spend two nights in the Yarra Valley. For a list of our recommended accommodations in the Valley, click here.

    If you want to take a sunrise balloon flight during your visit, it?s a good idea to book it in advance. There?s an online reservation form for Go Wild Ballooning at www.gowildballooning.com.au. Prices start at $250 per person.

    Our database contains numerous attractions in the Yarra Valley. For specific information, including admission fees, hours, addresses, and phone numbers, use the search engine to find "Yarra Valley" and "All" or use the links to the right.

    Day 9 - 10, Mornington Peninsula
    For a list of our recommended hotels in the Mornington Peninsula, click here.

    If you are interested in a Dolphin Swim cruise off the Mornington Peninsula, you can make reservations with Polperro Dolphin Swims. Visit www.polperro.com.au, or E-mail them at crew@polperro.com.au.

    Our database contains numerous attractions in the Mornington Peninsula. For specific information, including admission fees, hours, addresses, and phone numbers, use the search engine to find "Mornington Peninsula" and "All" or use the links to the right.

    Day 11 - 13, Great Ocean Road
    Although the Great Ocean Road is indisputably one of the highlights of a trip to Australia, the drive itself is quite challenging. The road twists and winds along cliffs towering over the sea below. Please understand this and decide if you are comfortable driving along a difficult road.

    We recommend that you spend one night in Apollo Bay and two nights in Port Fairy. Accommodations along the Great Ocean Road are more basic than in other parts of Australia. So please know your accommodation here won?t be luxurious. For a list of our recommended accommodations along the Great Ocean Road, click here.

    Our database contains numerous attractions along the Great Ocean Road. For specific information, including admission fees, hours, addresses, and phone numbers, use the search engine to find "Great Ocean Road" and "All" or use the links to the right.

    Day 14 - 16, Melbourne
    If you have never been to Melbourne before, we recommend that you spend three nights here. If this is a return trip, two is probably sufficient. For a list of our recommended accommodations in Melbourne, click here.

    There?s not much in Melbourne that needs to be arranged ahead of time. But if you want to dine on the Colonial Tramcar, there?s an online reservations form at www.tramrestaurant.com.au.

    Our database contains dozens of attractions in Melbourne. For specific information, including admission fees, hours, addresses, and phone numbers, use the search engine to find "Melbourne" and "All" or use the links to the right.


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