Wednesday, September 24, 2014

10 days of OZ in September

We finally set foot on  Land Down Under in Sept 2014 for 10 days excursion which going to include multiple cities of Oz. Australia is always being associated with the Sydney Opera House, and the opportunity to be there, right next to the icon itself, for someone who used to be architecture student, is so thrilling that you can't shut your lid without imagining it through your sleep.

Our Itineraries herewith , which seems very compressed, but we planned it on our own without any direct-physical help of a travel agent but through our own online-research and tips that we gathered from friends that have been to some of the places.

Melbourne – Sydney Itinerary
Day 1
Arrival in Melbourne. Immediate fly-off to Sydney to catch Firework by Harbourside. Check in at Pensione Hotel by George Street. Grab quick bites at Paddy’s Market and shop for basic groceries for breakfast  (bread, lettuce, eggs, butter and fruits).
A quick souvenir shopping at Hard Rock Café Sydney by Harborside while waiting for the Fireworks Show.
Day 2
Breakfast of our own egg sandwich. Head for a tour around Paddy’s Market and followed by a walk along George Street towards North direction (The Rocks) , passing by Sydney Town Hall with stop over at Queen Victoria Building (800meter of walk). Grab a quick lunch. We grab Opal tickets at one of the 7-11 that we found along the route, it’s a combo tickets for various transportation in Sydney.
Head for Darling Harbour for Madame Tussaud. Bought combo ticket for 5 attractions. Catch a ferry at Kings Street Wharf to Circular Quay. Head for The Rocks Sunday Market and back to Circular Quay for an evening at Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Grab our dinner at Circular Quay and take the train back to George Street via Wynyard Station.

Day 3
Breakfast of our own Nuttela  sandwich. Take the the Light Rail Train at Market City Station to Pyrmount Station. A short walk from the station to Australia Maritime Museum with lots of attraction within its compound, navy ship, submarine, lighthouse, tail ship and the museum itself which currently showcasing the whale exhibit. Grab our late lunch at café by the museum.
Walk across Cockle Bay via Pyrmont Bridge to Sydney Aquarium. Walk back across Pyrmont Bridge to Harbourside to grab our dinner-it has bigger selections of eateries.

Day 4
Breakfast of our own egg sandwich and apples. Stroll along Sydney’s Chinatown, passing through Harbour Street and Pier’s Street flyover towards Sydney’s Chinese Friendship Garden direction with a stop-over at Tumbalong Park (750meter walk).
Walk along Cockle Bay Wharf Waterfront to Wildlife Zoo (800 meter away).
Walk along Darling Harbour Water front to catch ferry (500meter). Initial itinerary to Luna Park was cancel as the park is close on Tuesday. Head to Circular Quay. Take a bus to Hyde Park and walk to Sydney Tower (200meter walk).
Walk through Hyde Park to Pullman’s Hotel to collect our rental car (Eurocar at Pullman’s) 800 meter.  Drive to our Hotel.
Walk to grab dinner at Harbourside.

Day 5
Breakfast with cheese sandwich and hardboiled egg. Souvenir’s shopping at Paddy’s Market (250meter walk).
Check out. Drive to Circular Quay to grab Royal Copenhagen followed by a drive through Sydney’s Harbour bridge before exiting Sydney to Wolongong.
Drive along Princess Highway, passing through Kogarah and chosing the steep Exit B65 at Bulli Pass after Southern Gateway Center. Passing through Bulli town, then the beautiful Wolongong. Further drive towards Port Kembla then along Grand Pacific Drive with Lake Illawara on the right, towards Warilla and then into Illawarra Highway (A48). Passing through Albion Park, Tongarra and deep into Macquarie Pass National Park. Further drive along Illawarra Highway, passing through Robertson, Moss Vale, Sutton Forest before tapping to Hume Hiway M31. Exiting Hume Highway into Federal Highway (M23) lead us straight to Canberra. A total of 5 hours drive of 350km.
Check-in at Manuka Circle.
Day 6
Breakfast of Nutella sandwich. Check out. A quick drive around quiet Canberra. Stroll along Queen Elizabeth Terrace. Missing Floriade from the itinerary.
Drive towards Melbourne. Drive out from Canberra via Barton Highway (A25) before tapping into Hume Highway (M31). Bookham, Jugiong, Gundagai, Holbrook before reaching Albury some 4hrs later of 350km away. A quicker drive, due to less stopover.
Check-in at Albury Manor Motel.  Dinner at Albury North and quick shopping at ALDI.

Day 7
Breakfast of cheese sandwich. Check out and straight into Hume Highway. 5 hrs drive of 450 meter straight to the beginning of Great Ocean Road, Angelsea. Weather is not good, Great Ocean Road were aborted. Drive into Melbourne. Drop-off luggage at rented apartment. Drive to return car.
Grab lunch. Take a horse-carriage ride along Swanston-St Kilda Street.
Walk back to apartment in Flinders Street

Day 8
Catch train to Queen Victoria Market and have our breakfast there. Shopping. Grab lunch and catch train to Dockside. More walk.
Melbourne Star ride. Grab dinner.
Day 9
Breakfast. Walk to Flinder’s street Station. Take train to St.Kilda.
Luna Park Melbourne in St Klida and then strolling along St Kilda’s Esplanade Market. Return to FSS to catch intercity train towards Cragieburn with a stop at Assendon.
Lunch and dinner at Assendon
Day 10
Breakfast from left over dinner from Assendon. A quick shopping at Swanston Street. Check out.
Check-in at Melbourne International Airport.

Summary to the excursion, here would be our tips for your travel:
1. Booking a combo tickets via Madame Tussaud Sydney is relatively much cheaper than any other vendor(s). We booked the maximum 5 combo as it cost the same even you chose only the 2 combos (of course we didn't have much time to go to all of it, though, but still we feel it worth it).
2. We chose to make full use of our Opal Tickets and ride the ferries instead the cruise at a fraction of cost. It still get you to places you wanna go, at your own time (following the ferry's schedule, of course) and you got to choose the open-deck seat if it's not many people around. Plus, it's 50% off on Sunday.
3. We believe, our timing of arrival is just right, as the weather is at its best, just around 13 to 17 degrees, of course it gotten cooler at night and early morning.