Sydney

thwysg

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Thanks for all that information! We are not into IG places or blogs, no idea with the trend. Just cosy places to chill, quite a handful at Surry Hills, how about good bakeries? Coffee is for the mister, I’m more into pastries - breads and cakes.

The dates are not out for Vivid Sydney yet. The mister is not in favor of AirBnB apartments so it’ll be service apartments, either Meriton or Frasers, or hotels. In any case, we are complete idiots on the usage of an oven. Stovetop only. :s13:

How about heading out all the way to Orange as a day trip? Or would it be too late for the colors? Or what about the city gardens such as Auburn Botanic Gardens? We have no issues waking up early, say 4am for activities e.g. waiting at certain locations to catch sunrise in overseas.

I’ve seen recommendations on international cuisines in Australia but we are not too keen on this, prefer to have local food in the country we are visiting. Most likely sticking to Western food - cafes, steaks and seafood. Would it be better to make reservations for dinner places (probably 2-3 steak houses) or walk-ins are fine? Food budget around A$150-200 per day, just right or too low for two small eaters?

What are some good snacks to bring back from Sydney? Tim Tam? Everything seems to be quite costly. Or simply save our money for better food and more boat rides? ;)
 

princessreiko

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Thanks for all that information! We are not into IG places or blogs, no idea with the trend. Just cosy places to chill, quite a handful at Surry Hills, how about good bakeries? Coffee is for the mister, I’m more into pastries - breads and cakes.

The dates are not out for Vivid Sydney yet. The mister is not in favor of AirBnB apartments so it’ll be service apartments, either Meriton or Frasers, or hotels. In any case, we are complete idiots on the usage of an oven. Stovetop only. :s13:

How about heading out all the way to Orange as a day trip? Or would it be too late for the colors? Or what about the city gardens such as Auburn Botanic Gardens? We have no issues waking up early, say 4am for activities e.g. waiting at certain locations to catch sunrise in overseas.

I’ve seen recommendations on international cuisines in Australia but we are not too keen on this, prefer to have local food in the country we are visiting. Most likely sticking to Western food - cafes, steaks and seafood. Would it be better to make reservations for dinner places (probably 2-3 steak houses) or walk-ins are fine? Food budget around A$150-200 per day, just right or too low for two small eaters?

What are some good snacks to bring back from Sydney? Tim Tam? Everything seems to be quite costly. Or simply save our money for better food and more boat rides? ;)

Australia don't really have their own food.
I went to the Grounds of Alexandria and it was really cool there.
Apart from a really hip cafe for Instagram, they have lots of flowers, some birds and even a pig there.

Another nice cafe is Cuppa Flower.

Surry Hills -can be sleazy esp at night.

Service apartments eg Meriton are nice!
I stayed at Meriton World Tower (expensive) a few years ago, my last trip I stayed at Meriton Zetland which was much cheaper.
I chose Zetland as it is near the airport and many cafes.


Last year I stayed in Adina apartments in the CBD.
It was really convenient (though the furniture was dated) and the view of Darling Harbour is picturesque.

I walked around the CBD area, their gardens are relaxing and large, admired QVB, walked in Chinatown, Paddington market, Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Opera House, Harbour bridge.
Basically if you wanna explore the CBD in detail, it can take days.
I also went to shop at Birkenhead Point (an outlet mall).

Most Tim Tam are available here.
U may like to check out which Tim Tam is unique to Sydney.
As for me, I will buy the white chocolate Loacker biscuits as it is not found in SG.
Usually it cost $4.50 , but when it is on sale it can be as cheap as $2!
I bought 10 of them last trip!

If you have an American Express, Mastercard or Visa credit or debit card or a linked device, you can use it to pay for your travel by tapping on and tapping off at Opal readers. Just look for the contactless payment symbol Contactless payments are available on all public transport in the Opal network.

With an Adult Opal card you can travel as much as you want on metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail services within the Opal network and you never pay more than $16.10 a day, $50 a week, or $2.80 on Sunday.

https://transportnsw.info/tickets-opal/opal/fares-payments/adult-fares

Their public transport is rather expensive.
If you have a party of 2 or more, it may be more economical to take ride hailing eg Ola, uber etc and they do have discounts for new users and some have good discounts on and off.

Hope you enjoy your trip there and safe travels!
 

awhw

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The reason why I kept mentioning IG, is that I believe those places would be nice for taking photographs. Yes, there are quite a number of cafes in Surry Hills. Use TripAdvisor to find out what are the better ones.
Many of these cafes would have very nice pastry stuff.

Orange is too far to be a day trip, unless you fly there. Not sure what’s there, but check out this page: https://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/country-nsw/orange-area

Can’t tell if May is too late to see autumn leaves. But actually once you arrive, you should see if the trees are still red/brown or already botak. Maybe I will look out for you come April (if I am in Sydney).

I have never been to Auburn Gardens, so can’t comment on that. I have passed by it a few times. It’s in the residential suburb, so it may not be as nice as the Royal Botanic Garden (in the city). Btw, the Royal Botanic Gardens is very picturesque. Your Mister will love it! Some of the spots have amazing views of the Opera House (either right infront of it at one corner of the Garden, or from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair (at the other corner of the Garden). Refer to Google Map, and you’d know what I mean. Btw, if you can, visit Fort Denison. Your Mister will love it!

Service apartments are nice. It’s just that their kitchens are too small for proper cooking. Your daily budget for meals is really generous. It’s enough for some pretty fancy dining. In Australia, they rate the restaurants by “hats”. 3 hats is the highest rating. I’ve only been to 1-hatters, so can’t comment much. But $100 per person (excl wine) is sufficient for a fancy 3-course dinner. It’s best to make reservations so that you can be assigned to better tables.

Tip - the Chinese, Japanese and Korean, Vietnamese restaurants are far better than those in SG, at the same price point. Generally you should be spending less than $20 per person. Do try that if you are sick of western food. Besides those “hat” restaurants, there are lots of bistros and pubs that serve really good steak (ranging from $15 to $38, for different cuts of beef). While in Sydney, try the tiger prawns. I had the very best in Lobster’s Cave. But that’s over 15 years ago. Wonder if they are still around. LOL.

Tim Tams are probably the only snacks I can think of. And maybe nougats. You can get cheap Tim Tams in Coles/Woolies. I have yet to find a place that sells nougats cheaply. Locals don’t eat that. So they only sell to tourists at tourists traps. Maybe the shops in Chinatown May be cheapest.

If you are into wine, then those reds or whites in the $40 (or less) range would be very good value for money. The same wine will cost twice in SG.
 

thwysg

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Yea, RBG and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair are in my list as well. Not cooking in the apartment but to use the washer - clean clothes and we could travel light. And maybe the fridge - in the event I bought cold stuff.

Been looking at the menus of different restaurants and cafes - they are not exactly cheap. A$30+ for the usual breakfast - eggs, toast, mushrooms, bacon and some greens, A$20+ for a dessert in a cafe? Wow. Somehow I feel the menus from steakhouses/bars & grills seem to be more worth the money. At least I know we are eating good meat. A$150-$200/day is actually for two pax. I would consider it a little low after looking at cafe menus. Doubt the mister would be keen to visit restaurants of 1/2 hats in Oz, although we won’t mind spending such money in Japan or HK. :D

I’ve seen different articles on Orange and it happens that there are train and bus services from Town Hall so why not? It’ll be subjected to approval from the mister.

We are not into wines, those are usually for my cooking! :s13: Will definitely be visiting the supermarkets - Coles, Woolies and ALDI if time permits. Plus the weekend markets. Still in the midst of planning, shall get the ETAs first.

Thanks for sharing~
 

beano

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Aussie food, they have cafe culture here which kinda aussie, also their pub food where they serve parma and schnitzel are considered "Aussie" as well, if not get yourself some sausages and meat and chuck them on the barby (BBQ), very Australian...

In saying that, there's no real aussie food here, just eat whatever you like
 

awhw

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$30+ for “big breakfast” sounds far above average. I usually pay around $20. I think the prices you’ve seen are probably for the higher-end ones. Can still try for the experience!

Orange - I believe it’s about 4 hrs each way. Wouldn’t that be very rush if it’s going to be a day trip?
 

thwysg

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$30+ for “big breakfast” sounds far above average. I usually pay around $20. I think the prices you’ve seen are probably for the higher-end ones. Can still try for the experience!

Orange - I believe it’s about 4 hrs each way. Wouldn’t that be very rush if it’s going to be a day trip?

Oh, I didn’t know $30+ is under more expensive ones. Think the menus are from bills, Three Williams and a few others. Just searching randomly on Google Maps to check on cafes and their reviews.

Was reading reviews on Saint Peter as well - but quite surprised to see people complaining to find cockroaches running across while they dined and fishes undercooked.

Considering the first direct train from Central, it’s close to 5 hours one way.
 

thwysg

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Aussie food, they have cafe culture here which kinda aussie, also their pub food where they serve parma and schnitzel are considered "Aussie" as well, if not get yourself some sausages and meat and chuck them on the barby (BBQ), very Australian...

In saying that, there's no real aussie food here, just eat whatever you like

True. princessreiko mentioned the same thing. It’s just Western, and the abundance of cafes and bistros. Might take a look at places serving local produce.
 

Awesom Andy

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The dates are not out for Vivid Sydney yet.
Should be 22 May 2020 - 13 June 2020.

How about heading out all the way to Orange as a day trip?
It's 4 hours drive one-way, so definitely not a day trip.

Australia don't really have their own food.
I went to the Grounds of Alexandria and it was really cool there.
Apart from a really hip cafe for Instagram, they have lots of flowers, some birds and even a pig there.
Works quite well for brunch. Can get crowded though.

U may like to check out which Tim Tam is unique to Sydney.
Sydney does not have any unique Tim Tam.
 

xiaojing11

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Hotel

Hi, any hotel to recommend for triple bedroom, less than $250/nite, near train station?
So far i only shortlist Travelodge Sydney Martin Place, but got bad reviews items in the room being stolen (not just 1, few reviews).

Many Thanks!
 
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kevin301

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Stayed at Meriton Suites Zetland earlier this year. It's not super close to train station (Green Square), but reasonable I suppose.
Paid A$700 for 3 nights, for a 2-bedroom unit (4 pax).

I was driving and I found the location quite suitable for my needs.
 

beano

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Hi, any hotel to recommend for triple room, less than $250/nite, near train station?
So far i only shortlist Travelodge Sydney Martin Place, but got bad reviews items in the room being stolen (not just 1, few reviews).

Many Thanks!

Triple room means 3 rooms or 3 beds in 1 room? Just use booking.com and filter based on your needs.. worse case is airbnb
 

xiaojing11

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Stayed at Meriton Suites Zetland earlier this year. It's not super close to train station (Green Square), but reasonable I suppose.
Paid A$700 for 3 nights, for a 2-bedroom unit (4 pax).

I was driving and I found the location quite suitable for my needs.

Thanks kevin, this hotel seems gd~ except the location is not gd n inconvenient.
 
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Gambler.

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flying to Sydney for a week.

Are branded stuffs cheaper over there?
 

Awesom Andy

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Maybe, seen a lot of asian tourist claiming GST refund at airport..

Really depends on the actual brand and item. It's almost always Asian tourists claiming though, and the occasional locals who would buy things, take them on the trip, and then not declare them when they come back in.
 

beano

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Really depends on the actual brand and item. It's almost always Asian tourists claiming though, and the occasional locals who would buy things, take them on the trip, and then not declare them when they come back in.

I've done that every single time as well.. It's almost impossible for them to prove that the item you brought out is the same item you brought back in.
 
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commie_rick

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$30+ for “big breakfast” sounds far above average. I usually pay around $20. I think the prices you’ve seen are probably for the higher-end ones. Can still try for the experience!

Orange - I believe it’s about 4 hrs each way. Wouldn’t that be very rush if it’s going to be a day trip?


food prices here is higher than sg, thus it difficult to accept.
normal hawker food in sg e.g chicken rice, wanton noodles etc will cost u is $12 to $15 here .

bottled water alone is $3.

yea orange is pretty far away. if u want somewhere not to far, try Kiama
 
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