10 Days in Adelaide and Melbourne

Discussion in 'Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific' started by DesertRose, Apr 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. DesertRose
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    DesertRose Silver Member

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    In late November, we're planning to go to Australia for the first time. Based on premium cabin award availability and my husband's dislike for hot weather, we choose the following itinerary:

    Fly into SYD, intend to check out the harbour and the botanical gardens during a 12-hour layover
    Fly to ADL, stay 5 nights.
    Fly to MEL, stay 4 nights.
    Fly home

    Any ideas for must-see things to do? We plan to visit Phillips Island, and we would like to hit several wineries/wine regions.

    I am also debating whether or not to stay at one hotel per city (probably a Hilton) or if it would be better to rent a vehicle and make several 'day trips', staying in smaller outlying hotels.

    As you can see, I am completely lazy and clueless, and hope to avoid doing my own research by picking your brains. ;) Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, including a "you're doing it all wrong" if that is the case. It's not too late to change the tickets.
     
  2. gvdIAD
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    gvdIAD Silver Member

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    With five days in Adelaide, you'll have more than enough time to see the highlights. You'll definitely want to arrange cellar door visits to several of the wineries. You could certainly do that driving yourself, but you might want to look in to the various group tours that are offered. The prices are reasonable, and there's someone else to do the driving -- and take you to wineries you might not be able to find out about yourself. A side trip to Kangaroo Island (overnight) will let you see some of the native flora and fauna. I was in Adelaide for 3 days/3 nights last year, and stayed at the Hilton, which I'd recommend.
     
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  3. thewinchester
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    thewinchester Silver Member

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    Sounds like a really great trip. Here's some information I can add which will hopefully spark some ideas and help you along.

    A very good start.

    Cheapest & easiest option would be to take the train from the airport, however you'll need to make a stopover at the DOM terminals to store your bags. AUD5 will score you a terminal transfer ticket for the rail service, or if you have the privledge of using QF's terminal transfer bus then that'll cost you nothing.

    Once there, check your bags or store them with the left luggage service and get on your way. AUD25 will score you a return ticket alighting at any of the stations on the city circle. Circular Quay is the station that puts you right on the harbour, and a pleasent 10min walk from the bridge.

    While heading to the bridge, head up to the Pylon Lookout. Entry is AUD9.5, and you'll get not only an interesting history of the bridge's construction, but it's also one of the highest, cheapest and best outdoor open air (outdoor) antage points overlooking the city - making it great for photo opportunities without glass getting in the way. As there's 200 stairs, make sure you plan your time according to your physical fitness.

    For a bite to eat, load Urbanspoon onto your mobile as Sydney-siders use it frequently and the reviews are always bang on.

    On arriving into MEL, there's a truckload of ground transport options available. I'd recommend using Skybus. It's the most reliable service out of there, very comfortable and hotel drop-off and pick-ups are included in the ticket price of AUD26.

    Skybus arrives and departs from Southern Cross Station, right in the middle of the city. The station has direct access to multiple tram, metropolitan and regional rail, as well as the Docklands area containing dining options and major events locations.

    On the pick-up, you must contact them no later than 24hrs before your desired pick-up time to arrange. Your conceirge should be able to do this for you.

    And if you time the visit for a weekend (Fri/Sat/Sun), between March and August - make sure to get yourselves along to an AFL game. It's the national sport over here, and you'll find it a real expeirence. Get a good seat, grab a copy of the game day magazine, and be prepared to not understand a thing about how it's played.

    If doing day trips is what you're looking for, I'd recommend taking the Great Ocean Road. It's a 243km drive to the west of Geelong, where you'll get to see some spectacular natrual vistas, view the 12 Apostles rock formations, and a whole truckload of other natual wonders.

    Wineries are abundant across every region of Victoria, and the Wines of Victoria website will let you know about all the regions and give you the information you need to browse the cellar doors you wish to visit of each area.

    As gvdIAD said above, the Adelaide Hilton is throughly recommended. I also stayed there last year with the OzFest 7 crowd, and I couldn't speak highly enough of the property. I recommend heading downstairs to the brasserie for breakfast, as while you can have it upstairs in the lounge, you get a wider range downstairs, and there's a fully qualified barista to service your hot beverage and caffination needs.

    As for Melbourne, the consensus over on similar site Aust. Freq Flyer is that South Wharf is the best Hilton property in the city.

    What he said. This is a pretty good list of things to do and ways to do it.

    I'd also spend some time in Hahndorf, as there's lots to do in the area and it's only an hours drive from the city.
     
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  4. thetravelloop
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    thetravelloop Silver Member

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    I went to MEL for 4 days, and other cities in Australia last year for a three week stint. We like to go wine tasting too, and we did the Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Viator. I know, I know... but I wanted someone to pick us up from the hotel, drive us, and drop us back off nice and buzzed. I can definitely recommend it, here's the link.

    And here is me after winning a hat at the Yering Station. :p
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. For Melbourne I'd highly recommend the tram car restaurant in Melb as a must do, five course dinner all inclusive, bookings well in advance, sometimes they are booked out months ahead of time.
    Number 1 on trip advisor out of 2140 restaurants
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...al_Tramcar_Restaurant-Melbourne_Victoria.html

    http://www.tramrestaurant.com.au/en/

    and Eureka Skydeck for best view of Melbourne and the Edge , a must do
    http://www.eurekaskydeck.com.au/

    In Sydney, given you're there for such a short time, you may want to do the Bridge Climb, great experience you'd never forget. Need to order tickets in advance but would give you a real feel for the Harbour, the Opera House and the Bridge.

    Have a great time, you will love it.
     
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  6. wingspan
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    wingspan Silver Member

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    A great way to get acquainted with the Australian 'bogan', as well!

    I do really like the breakfast here too. Good call. If you stay at the Hilton for your whole trip, I recommend the brasserie for breakfast 1 or 2 days, but do also make sure to go to the 1-minute-walk-away Central Markets for breakfast too. The best days to have breakfast in the Markets are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday as those are the days when all stalls open.

    Oh and one more recommendation: Adelaide is famous across the nation for being home to the headquarters of Haigh's Chocolates. You can tour their factory (a 5 minute drive or 10 minute tram ride from the Hilton) for free if you call them and book. Best to book slightly in advance as they limit the tour sizes as the premises are compact but the bonus is a lot of chocolate handouts on the tour!
     
  7. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Drive from Melbourne to Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road. Cut ADL to three and MEL to three. As you drive the GOR you will have chances to stay in fishing villages and at wineries. It is an easy drive and an enjoyable one.

    In Adelaide do not miss Kangaroo Island. If you fly to/from you can see much of it in a day. If you overnight there, leave you luggage at your Adelaide hotel if the planes are still as restrictive as they were when I went. Hire a naturalist as your guide and you will be taken places that many tourists cannot access like the beach at seal bay.

    The Tram in Melbourne is a good suggestion. Buy tickets well in advance. Also for a day trip consider the Phillips Island Penguins prade. A day trip there will stop at many interesting sites and get you to the park before five to see the penguins return at around 6.
     
  8. thewinchester
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    thewinchester Silver Member

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    Just realised that I missed the other big must-do thing in SYD off my list, being a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House.

    It's located on the other side of Circular Quay, walking distance from the station. The essential tour (AUD35) is a one hour guided tour by an expeirenced guide. You'll start off in the basement and backstage, moving through the unique areas, getting a significant insight into the history and visiting places that are only accessible during performances.

    If you are really lucky, you'll have a chance to visit one or more of the major performance spaces.

    I make a point of doing this tour every time I'm in SYD, simply because no two tours are ever alike.
     
  9. Leumas
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    Leumas Silver Member

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    Just a few points to clarify (I hope I didn't misunderstand anyone).
    • There is a Store Luggage facility at the INT terminal in SYD. It's behind McDonalds when you talk towards the train station. As thewinchester said, when you return, just grab the inter-terminal bus or $5 for the train to the DOM terminal.
    • I won't recommend booking the Bridge Climb if you have to pay first. They only cancel/refund under extraordinary circumstances, a bit of rain won't make them cancel. While they provide all the necessary wet weather gear, I don't imagine it being too fun if the weather is bad. There's generally availability even if you have to wait a little. Doing the Bridge Climb will give you a free ticket to the Pylon Lookout. Bridge Climb can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on which option you take.
    • At SYD, there are blue tourist booklets when you do the long walk to Immigration. There are coupons in those that will save you some money and give you options too.
    • At MEL, I tend to use Jetbus. They're a couple of bucks cheaper than Skybus and you don't need to do the transfer at Southern Cross. It's door-to-door to hotels in the CBD, which will include the Hilton. Only issue is you need to ring them when you arrive to ensure there's a bus (I've never waited more than 10 minutes though), not sure if you've a phone. Jetbus tickets can be bought online at www.jetbus.com.au.
    • For ADL transfer, I normally just grab a taxi. It's not far to the Hilton. I understand there is a public bus to the airport not far from the Hilton and it's only a few bucks, but I've never taken it.
     
  10. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If you decide to try the Bridge Climb in Sydney, be aware that you cannot have alcohol before; they are quite serious and supposedly give breathalyser tests to everyone. My understanding is that it's zero tolerance, which would preclude any drinks on much of the flight. I'm also not sure this is a good idea when you'e jet lagged.

    In Sydney, I like both the aquarium and the zoo; there's also a smaller aquarium in Manley, which is fun but you probably don't have time to do the ferry there and back.

    There's also a very good, even outstanding zoo in Melbourne. It's out beyond the Victoria Market, not far from the University of Melbourne campus. Don't miss the museums near South Bank, I did a penguin parade tour that included some other stops involving Australian wildlife. Mornington Peninsula is a pretty area close to Melbourne for wineries. You can get a sense of the Great Ocean Road on a day trip from Melbourne, but to experience and enjoy the entire length requires several days.

    You might not want to drive in Melbourne; the trolleys and jug-handle turns make it intimidating for strangers, even outside of rush hour and even if you know where you're going. Remember that Australians drive on the wrong (left) side of the road.
     

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