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Old 11-01-2018, 09:45 AM   #556
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Ive done several 4-5 days hikes in New Zealand , but this time my girlfriend is joining me and she's never done a multi day trek before. Was looking at the six foot track, but the views ain't that great. I was thinking we could do Bundeena to Otford coastal walk which offers pretty good coastal views and the place is pretty accessible via public transport too compared to the six foot track. We'll have a couple weeks there so I'm thinking we could do more than 1 track. Equipment wise we have sleeping bags, tent and trekking poles
Bundeena to Otford is a good choice for someone just starting out (you're well experienced, but she isn't). Probably a good one to do and gauge what should be attempted next. Note that you can only camp at North Era these days, and you have to pre-book for a nominal fee. I would definitely start from the Bundeena end if you're using public transport - you most certainly wouldn't want to miss the ferry home at the end of the hike. Note that quite a lot of areas are exposed so if it's an extremely hot/cold and/or windy day, you might want to reconsider doing the hike. Although you definitely won't need to take your trekking poles for this hike (unless you really like them).

In the Blue Mountains, hikes going through blue gum forest are quite popular too. Usually done over 2 days but you would probably need 3 if you want to go all the way to Mount Victoria. Most would access by train and walk in through the roads. The views at the start and end at the clifftops are excellent, and the blue gum forest itself is in the valley.

I also like walks going through Mount Solitary. It's usually not as crowded - some days you won't even see anyone else there. A little bit of navigation might be necessary, but you can go from Katoomba to Wentworth Falls in 3 days. Beginners will most likely struggle going up Mount Solitary with equipment though - the first night would be best spent up in there.

If you're really looking for an adventure, have a look at the Wild Dog Mountains. Public transport is an issue though (basically non-existent). Or, if you don't mind a longer hike (up to a week), you can try Katoomba to Mittagong. Definitely some wild country out there. Normally speaking, I wouldn't take any inexperienced people out these ways, and would have a minimum party of 4, but I will let you decide what is suitable for you.

Also note that, in the blue mountains, emergency beacons are available for loan free of charge when you register the walk if you're going to remote areas. This can be done at the NPWS visitor centre at Blackheath, or at Katoomba or Springwood police stations, although do check the details as I haven't done so before.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:47 AM   #557
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:32 PM   #558
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Bundeena to Otford is a good choice for someone just starting out (you're well experienced, but she isn't). Probably a good one to do and gauge what should be attempted next. Note that you can only camp at North Era these days, and you have to pre-book for a nominal fee. I would definitely start from the Bundeena end if you're using public transport - you most certainly wouldn't want to miss the ferry home at the end of the hike. Note that quite a lot of areas are exposed so if it's an extremely hot/cold and/or windy day, you might want to reconsider doing the hike. Although you definitely won't need to take your trekking poles for this hike (unless you really like them).

In the Blue Mountains, hikes going through blue gum forest are quite popular too. Usually done over 2 days but you would probably need 3 if you want to go all the way to Mount Victoria. Most would access by train and walk in through the roads. The views at the start and end at the clifftops are excellent, and the blue gum forest itself is in the valley.

I also like walks going through Mount Solitary. It's usually not as crowded - some days you won't even see anyone else there. A little bit of navigation might be necessary, but you can go from Katoomba to Wentworth Falls in 3 days. Beginners will most likely struggle going up Mount Solitary with equipment though - the first night would be best spent up in there.

If you're really looking for an adventure, have a look at the Wild Dog Mountains. Public transport is an issue though (basically non-existent). Or, if you don't mind a longer hike (up to a week), you can try Katoomba to Mittagong. Definitely some wild country out there. Normally speaking, I wouldn't take any inexperienced people out these ways, and would have a minimum party of 4, but I will let you decide what is suitable for you.

Also note that, in the blue mountains, emergency beacons are available for loan free of charge when you register the walk if you're going to remote areas. This can be done at the NPWS visitor centre at Blackheath, or at Katoomba or Springwood police stations, although do check the details as I haven't done so before.
Thank you for the comprehensive write up. Just wanna let you know that I really appreciate it. I've looked through the tracks you mentioned and have a couple of questions. For the blue mountains track through the blue gum forest, may I know which track you meant(starting point and ending point)? There seems to be a few but they all seem like a day trip.

When you mention katoomba to Wentworth falls I assume you mean going down to mount solitary first before heading back up to the falls? Otherwise it looks like a pretty straightforward short walk.

My main goal for this trip is to get my girlfriend accustomed to camping. She's done plenty of hikes before such as going up Mount Bogong and Mt Feathertop in victoria. But all without much or any equipment. And you're right, that one week track seems too much, even for me. I doubt I'll even be able to pack food for 7 days in my small pack.
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Old 25-01-2018, 06:56 PM   #559
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Hello guys, want to seek advices on my draft itinerary before I book accommodations.
Also, I got Day 5 agenda from a travel itinerary but it feels impossible to achieve? so I left Day 6 free to explore the Sydney city area as well.

Intend to rent a car from bayswater, n unfortunately their office won't be opened on Day 9. So, thought of returning the car on the morning of Day 8 before setting off on the coastal walks.
Or, should I return the car even earlier? Switch hunter valley and manly beach to Day 4-5 instead, n use the train to explore Sydney city instead? I'm going with family of 5..

Day 1
Touch down 8pm
Accom near airport

Day 2 (AM)
Collect rental car
Royal National Park

Day 2 (PM)
3 sisters
Blue mountains

Day 3 (AM)
Scenic World
Anvil Rock Lookout
Katoomba falls

Day 3 (PM)
Featherdale Wildlife Park

Day 4
Mrs Macquarie Chair (in morning sun to photo both opera house n bridge tgt)
Royal Botanic Garden
Opera house
Circular Quay (connecting point of Harbour, Opera House, Harbour Bridge and The Rocks)
The Rocks
Harbour Bridge
Sydney Observatory at The Rocks (stars and planets night tour)

Day 5
Sydney Fish Market (Claudio's, Peter's or Dolyes)
University of Sydney (castle-like)
Glebe market (flea) - near uni of sydney
Paddy's Markets (Closed Mon n Tue)
Darling Harbour
Harbourside Shopping Centre (10-9pm)
Townhall
QVB
Pitt Street mall area
Sydney Tower Eye
Hyde Park (ANZAC memorial)
Market Street
St Mary's Cathedral

Day 5 (Night)
Birkenhead Point Outlet Centre

Day 6
(leaving for unfinished businesses from Day 5)
Shelly Beach
Manly Beach (penguins at sunset)

Day 7
Hunter Valley (wine)
Accom: Starline Alpaca Farmstay

Day 8
Return car
Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk (2hours return)
Bronte coastal walk to Coogee (5km)
Back to Bondi (same route?) for sunset
Kmart - Bondi

Day 9
12pm flight.

Last edited by tulipkiss; 25-01-2018 at 08:34 PM..
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Old 28-01-2018, 09:06 PM   #560
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Day 2: What do you plan on doing in the national park? Unless you have specific plans and purposes of going there, and you know what you're going there for, it's going to be a pretty boring morning. Not really worth the extra drive especially if you want to drive to the blue mountains on the same day as well. I would drop it entirely and go to the blue mountains for the whole day.

Day 3: I really don't think that place can last you a whole day. Probably half a day at most, and you would be stretching it.

Day 4: Keep in mind that the observatory is in the city, with all the lights pollution. The tour is more designed as an introductory & educational experience, rather than spending time looking at the night sky.

Day 5: What kind of shopping are you looking for? Personally, I have never bought anything from Harbourside - it's a glorified tourist trap. The university of Sydney is nice, although I never thought it being nice enough to become a tourist attraction.

Day 6: You won't find any penguins at Manly beach. There are a few in the local area, but locations are generally kept secret. I wouldn't bother unless you know exactly where to go.

Day 8: Wouldn't go to Bondi for sunset. Beaches in Sydney face east after all.
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:42 PM   #561
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Day 2: What do you plan on doing in the national park? Unless you have specific plans and purposes of going there, and you know what you're going there for, it's going to be a pretty boring morning. Not really worth the extra drive especially if you want to drive to the blue mountains on the same day as well. I would drop it entirely and go to the blue mountains for the whole day.

Day 3: I really don't think that place can last you a whole day. Probably half a day at most, and you would be stretching it.

Day 4: Keep in mind that the observatory is in the city, with all the lights pollution. The tour is more designed as an introductory & educational experience, rather than spending time looking at the night sky.

Day 5: What kind of shopping are you looking for? Personally, I have never bought anything from Harbourside - it's a glorified tourist trap. The university of Sydney is nice, although I never thought it being nice enough to become a tourist attraction.

Day 6: You won't find any penguins at Manly beach. There are a few in the local area, but locations are generally kept secret. I wouldn't bother unless you know exactly where to go.

Day 8: Wouldn't go to Bondi for sunset. Beaches in Sydney face east after all.
thanks for your reply! i've removed the national park, observatory, bondi sunset and manly penguin-watching intentions. haha.

Last edited by tulipkiss; 07-02-2018 at 04:45 PM..
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:46 PM   #562
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Here's the revised 8d8n itinerary below for a family of 5 pax (2 parents and 3 adults with interests in general sight-seeing and stuff). Have some questions still for some of the days. Would appreciate any help!

Day 2: Is traffic smooth at 730am from airport to the city? Intend to take the 730am shuttle bus and hopefully reach rental office in about 30mins?

Day 4: Any dinner places or rest stops between Hunter Valley and Sydney City?

Day 6: Sunset is estimated at 17:25 - should I take the 17:05 or 17:25 ferry from Manly to Circular Quay?

Day 8: I have nothing planned for the afternoon except returning the car to Bayswater (rental for 3 days is the same as rental for 7 days, so we’ll just keep the car first at the Airbnb if we don't need it in the city. Bayswater is closed on Day 9, so we have to return it by Day 8).

Should we visit Taronga Zoo?

Day 9: Similar to Day 2, should I uber at 7:30am to avoid peak hour traffic?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Day 1 (Tuesday)

- Touch down 8pm

- Dinner at airport (international terminal)

- Uber to accom (UberXL fare estimate is $16-21)

Accom: Ibis budget Sydney Airport



Day 2 (Wednesday)

- Catch bayswater from domestic airport shuttle to the city car rental office $5 per pax

- Blackheath ‘Grand Canyon’ hike

- Anvil Rock Lookout

- Echo Point

Accom: Cottage at katoomba area



Day 3 (Thursday)

- Scenic World

- Katoomba falls

- Featherdale Wildlife Park

- (Jenolan caves if time allows)

Accom: Cottage at Cessnock



Day 4 (Friday)

- Hunter Valley

- Starline Alpaca farm

Accom: Back to Airbnb at Sydney city



Day 5 (Saturday)

- Sydney Fish Market

- Uni of Sydney

- Glebe market

- Paddington Market

- Paddy’s Market (if time allows)

- Darling Harbour

Accom: Airbnb at Sydney city



Day 6 (Sunday)

- ANZAC memorial / Hyde Park

- St Mary's Cathedral

- Pitt Street Mall / Market Street / QVB / Townhall

- Manly beach

- Sunset ferry

Accom: Airbnb at Sydney city



Day 7 (Monday)

- Grounds of Alexandria

- Mrs Macquarie Chair

- Royal Botanic Garden

- Opera house

- Circular Quay

- The Rocks

- Pylon Lookout

- Walk through the Harbour Bridge

- Walk to Luna's Park (Just a short visit since we’re on the other side of the bridge)

Accom: Airbnb at Sydney city



Day 8 (Tuesday)

- Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk

- Bronte coastal walk to Coogee Beach

- Return to Bondi

- El Topo Mexican / Eastgate Shopping Center

Accom: Airbnb at Sydney city



Day 9 (Wednesday)

- Uber to airport

- Flight at 1230pm
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:03 PM   #563
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Day 2: Is traffic smooth at 730am from airport to the city? Intend to take the 730am shuttle bus and hopefully reach rental office in about 30mins?
Most definitely not. It's peak hour traffic, there's no way you can reach in 30 mins.

Day 4: Any dinner places or rest stops between Hunter Valley and Sydney City?
Nothing apart from fast food on the highway. The highway ends in the northern suburbs though, and there are plenty of suburbs and restaurants around.

Day 6: Sunset is estimated at 17:25 - should I take the 17:05 or 17:25 ferry from Manly to Circular Quay?
The ferry takes approx 30mins, so if you want to watch the sun go down, the 17:05 ferry would suits best. The most interesting sights would be near Circular Quay, where you can see the harbour bridge and opera house.

Day 8: I have nothing planned for the afternoon except returning the car to Bayswater (rental for 3 days is the same as rental for 7 days, so we’ll just keep the car first at the Airbnb if we don't need it in the city. Bayswater is closed on Day 9, so we have to return it by Day 8).

Should we visit Taronga Zoo?
I would normally say it's worth a visit, although when I took my wife there, she was very disappointed and would much rather go to Singapore zoo.

Day 9: Similar to Day 2, should I uber at 7:30am to avoid peak hour traffic?
It's travelling in the opposite direction of traffic, so you won't have any issues - until you get to the airport. It's hard to say what it's going to be like, although Wednesday generally isn't a busy day for flying. Although for a 12:30pm flight, I wouldn't bother leaving the CBD until at least 9am.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Day 1 (Tuesday)

- Touch down 8pm

- Dinner at airport (international terminal)

- Uber to accom (UberXL fare estimate is $16-21)

Accom: Ibis budget Sydney Airport
Sydney airport is nothing like Singapore. Not sure what's open at this time, but even if places are open, well, put it this way, nobody would choose to stay at this airport any longer than than what is absolutely necessary. Having said that I'm not sure what other options there are for dinner in the area.

Day 2 (Wednesday)

- Catch bayswater from domestic airport shuttle to the city car rental office $5 per pax

- Blackheath ‘Grand Canyon’ hike

- Anvil Rock Lookout

- Echo Point

Accom: Cottage at katoomba area
Not sure how you come across Anvil Rock. I rarely mention it, although it is IMO one of the best lookouts in the Blue Mountains.



Day 3 (Thursday)

- Scenic World

- Katoomba falls

- Featherdale Wildlife Park

- (Jenolan caves if time allows)

Accom: Cottage at Cessnock
If you accommodation is in Cessnock, time certainly won't permit you to visit Jenolan Caves.



Day 4 (Friday)

- Hunter Valley

- Starline Alpaca farm

Accom: Back to Airbnb at Sydney city
Looks fine to me.



Day 5 (Saturday)

- Sydney Fish Market

- Uni of Sydney

- Glebe market

- Paddington Market

- Paddy’s Market (if time allows)

- Darling Harbour

Accom: Airbnb at Sydney city



Day 6 (Sunday)

- ANZAC memorial / Hyde Park

- St Mary's Cathedral

- Pitt Street Mall / Market Street / QVB / Townhall

- Manly beach

- Sunset ferry

Accom: Airbnb at Sydney city



Day 7 (Monday)

- Grounds of Alexandria

- Mrs Macquarie Chair

- Royal Botanic Garden

- Opera house

- Circular Quay

- The Rocks

- Pylon Lookout

- Walk through the Harbour Bridge

- Walk to Luna's Park (Just a short visit since we’re on the other side of the bridge)

Accom: Airbnb at Sydney city



Day 8 (Tuesday)

- Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk

- Bronte coastal walk to Coogee Beach

- Return to Bondi

- El Topo Mexican / Eastgate Shopping Center

Accom: Airbnb at Sydney city
All fine here, with the exception of Eastgate Shopping Centre. Even I don't go there myself when I used to live in Sydney. Also, you can catch a bus out from Coogee back to the city, so you don't actually need to walk back to Bondi (unless you want to, of course).



Day 9 (Wednesday)

- Uber to airport

- Flight at 1230pm
Probably don't need to leave until 9am. Most airlines open their counters 3 hours before flight departure. Note that if you want to claim back GST, there can be a long queue so as soon as you have checked in, go through immigration and look for the TRS signs.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:59 AM   #564
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Thanks Andy, you're really awesome per your nick

Day 6: Sunset is estimated at 17:25 - should I take the 17:05 or 17:25 ferry from Manly to Circular Quay?
The ferry takes approx 30mins, so if you want to watch the sun go down, the 17:05 ferry would suits best. The most interesting sights would be near Circular Quay, where you can see the harbour bridge and opera house.
Ah, that's a good point - to be nearer to Circular Quay at sunset.
Using the sunset timing in Singapore as a gauge, when the sunset estimated timing is 19:20, it's still bright at 19:20..until around 20:00. Meaning the sun is only beginning to set at 19:20.. I use this site: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/australia/sydney
Perhaps I should observe the day before when I'm in the city? If the estimated timing is when the sun is starting to set, then probably we should take the 17:25?

Day 1 (Tuesday)
- Touch down 8pm
- Dinner at airport (international terminal)
- Uber to accom (UberXL fare estimate is $16-21)
Accom: Ibis budget Sydney Airport
Sydney airport is nothing like Singapore. Not sure what's open at this time, but even if places are open, well, put it this way, nobody would choose to stay at this airport any longer than than what is absolutely necessary. Having said that I'm not sure what other options there are for dinner in the area.
Yeah I gathered that from TA too.
Had considered staying at the city instead - but accom in the city is almost double the price and afraid my parents may be too hungry by the time we get to the city (probably 9pm+?)
I googled for F&B in the airport and came across some (2 or 3?) restaurants that opens till 9pm / 10pm..

Day 8 (Tuesday)
- Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk
- Bronte coastal walk to Coogee Beach
- Return to Bondi
- El Topo Mexican / Eastgate Shopping Center
Accom: Airbnb at Sydney city
All fine here, with the exception of Eastgate Shopping Centre. Even I don't go there myself when I used to live in Sydney. Also, you can catch a bus out from Coogee back to the city, so you don't actually need to walk back to Bondi (unless you want to, of course).
I actually thought of driving to Bondi for sunrise haha. (found some reasonably-price parking location when I googled..) So, will walk back to Bondi to retrieve the car. Parking at eastgate or waverly street near El Topo seems quite reasonable also.
But of cos, plans may change la.. Depending whether we feel like waking up early anot especially.. :p if not going for sunrise, will just take the public transport.
And, noted on Eastgate! Will probably take a look at Kmart (I enjoyed looking at home wares at Kmart Melbourne previously, haha) and that's about it..


We'll be staying at airbnb located either at george street (5-min walk to central station) or paddington area (7-min walk to king cross station). Both cost about the same with free parking within premises.. But I think George street apartment is more convenient for us to walk to most of the attractions. You have any opinions?

Now I need to get to the Opal cards.. I guess we'll only need the Opal card on Day 6 Sunday (Manly beach), and Day 8 (Tues) Bondi?
Is a $10 top-up per card enough?
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:17 PM   #565
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Ah, that's a good point - to be nearer to Circular Quay at sunset.
Using the sunset timing in Singapore as a gauge, when the sunset estimated timing is 19:20, it's still bright at 19:20..until around 20:00. Meaning the sun is only beginning to set at 19:20.. I use this site: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/australia/sydney
Perhaps I should observe the day before when I'm in the city? If the estimated timing is when the sun is starting to set, then probably we should take the 17:25?
It depends on what type of light you like. Have to keep in mind that the ferry will be heading west in that last stretch, so you'll be looking into the sun.

Yeah I gathered that from TA too.
Had considered staying at the city instead - but accom in the city is almost double the price and afraid my parents may be too hungry by the time we get to the city (probably 9pm+?)
I googled for F&B in the airport and came across some (2 or 3?) restaurants that opens till 9pm / 10pm..
Make sure the restaurants are land-side, as you won't be able to access air-side facilities.


I actually thought of driving to Bondi for sunrise haha. (found some reasonably-price parking location when I googled..) So, will walk back to Bondi to retrieve the car. Parking at eastgate or waverly street near El Topo seems quite reasonable also.
But of cos, plans may change la.. Depending whether we feel like waking up early anot especially.. :p if not going for sunrise, will just take the public transport.
And, noted on Eastgate! Will probably take a look at Kmart (I enjoyed looking at home wares at Kmart Melbourne previously, haha) and that's about it..
Ah, of course, the Kmart.

We'll be staying at airbnb located either at george street (5-min walk to central station) or paddington area (7-min walk to king cross station). Both cost about the same with free parking within premises.. But I think George street apartment is more convenient for us to walk to most of the attractions. You have any opinions?

Now I need to get to the Opal cards.. I guess we'll only need the Opal card on Day 6 Sunday (Manly beach), and Day 8 (Tues) Bondi?
Is a $10 top-up per card enough?
George Street is definitely more convenient. It should be quite close to Chinatown and Paddy's.

Sunday is always a good day to use public transport, as there is a $2.60 cap so you can ride on most trains/buses/ferries for the low price. You can use https://transportnsw.info/#/ to work out how much each fare will be, although $10 sounds just about right. Keep in mind that you only need to have the minimum amount for the mode of transport to tap on - and the card can go into negative when you tap off.

Last edited by Awesom Andy; 08-02-2018 at 12:20 PM..
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:14 PM   #566
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Blue Mountains tour lobang

Hi tulipkiss!

Ok I don't want to come across as a salesperson or something, but I'm genuinely trying to sell these tickets as a fellow traveller. My family and I went to Sydney last year December, and we got our full-day Blue Mountains tour timing wrong, so we completely missed it ): They are allowing us to change the date, but we don't think we'll be able to go back to Sydney anytime soon. The tickets expire at the end of the year.

I hope you have not booked your Blue Mountains tour tickets yet! Because I am selling away mine for cheaper. I can email the Gray Line Sydney office to change to any date, and they are willing to split my 4 tickets into any configuration, meaning you can buy 1, 2, 3 or 4 tickets according to your needs. I can forward you emails from the Sydney office showing their agreement to change the dates etc.!

It consists of:
- Blue Mountains
- Reserved Dining area at Scenic World
- Featherdale Wildlife Park
- River Cruise & Complimentary Beverage
- Scenic World Unlimited Rides (this was an add on we got)

Originally $200/ea, I'm willing to let go at $160/ea!

I'm not looking to earn at all - I just want to cut my losses and allow someone else to enjoy this great tour instead of letting it and the money go to waste! The price is negotiable! Do let me know ok

Last edited by tlimyl; 12-02-2018 at 03:48 PM..
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Old 19-02-2018, 02:14 AM   #567
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any promos for sq, qantas or emirates?
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Old 21-02-2018, 12:29 AM   #568
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hi awesome andy. i am looking to go sydney in april and intend to visit blue mountain for a day trip solo. probably wanna catch the sunset there at anvil rock lookout as mentioned by others.. is it possible?
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Old 21-02-2018, 11:18 AM   #569
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any promos for sq, qantas or emirates?
SQ has promo $618 for april using DBS card.

Hi tulipkiss!

Ok I don't want to come across as a salesperson or something, but I'm genuinely trying to sell these tickets as a fellow traveller. My family and I went to Sydney last year December, and we got our full-day Blue Mountains tour timing wrong, so we completely missed it ): They are allowing us to change the date, but we don't think we'll be able to go back to Sydney anytime soon. The tickets expire at the end of the year.

I hope you have not booked your Blue Mountains tour tickets yet! Because I am selling away mine for cheaper. I can email the Gray Line Sydney office to change to any date, and they are willing to split my 4 tickets into any configuration, meaning you can buy 1, 2, 3 or 4 tickets according to your needs. I can forward you emails from the Sydney office showing their agreement to change the dates etc.!
Thanks, but we're self driving!
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Old 21-02-2018, 11:59 AM   #570
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hi awesome andy. i am looking to go sydney in april and intend to visit blue mountain for a day trip solo. probably wanna catch the sunset there at anvil rock lookout as mentioned by others.. is it possible?
The lookout provides excellent views towards the north and east directions, so you won't be able to watch the sun goes down from there.
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