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Winter Sydney

belgium
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11 posts
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Winter Sydney

We will be only 3 days in Sydney in Aug 05 and hesitate between going 1 day to Blue Mountains or 1 day to Manly / Bondi beaches? Any best choice?

All other advice on what absolutely to do and what better to skip in this time is also gratefully accepted

Burbank, California
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412 posts
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1. Re: Winter Sydney

I would go to Manly if the weather isn't too bad i.e. too much wind or rain. I really liked all the places you mentioned. In fact of all the places you mentioned Manly was the only place we did not get a chance to return to. We loved the Blue Mountains and Bondi but with Manly you take a nice ferry ride over and theres tons of shops with a beach that I personally like better than Bondi.

Have Fun!

Sydney
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2. Re: Winter Sydney

As much as I love the Mountains, I think maybe JayCa is right.

In winter, the best views in the Mountains are often enshrouded in fog which lasts, sometimes, all day. Many tourists -- especially the ones who have paid in advance for a tour which doesn't allow refunds -- find that they sit on a coach for two hours, drive to a lookout where they can't even see their hand in front of them, and then head off for the inevitable restaurant and souvenir shop, before facing the two-hour drive back. Not much of a day!

If you DO decide on the Mountains, ensure that you pick a fine, clear day!

August can be a windy month, and when the winds blow in, the temperature (which, on other days, is positively spring-like) drops rapidly. Try and pick a still day for your trip to Manly (which, as Jayca had said, is actually better than the more-famous Bondi, which has become a little seedy over the last decade).

Sydney
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3. Re: Winter Sydney

We love the Blue Mtns in winter & go there regularly. It really is, as the other posters have pointed out, a matter of weather.

The Blue Mtns are a world heritage area and given just one day, I'd choose them over just another beach, no matter how nice Manly is. I'd rent a car for the day (surprisingly cheap) and if the weather is good then drive up to the Blue Mtns yourself. Make sure you visit Wentworth Falls and take the walk down to the cliff lookouts above the Falls. Less frightening than they look. Then to the 3 sisters (along with the other 5000 tourists) then to Govats Leap lookout over the Grose Valley (a MUST DO). You'll enjoy going at your own pace. There are fewer tourists in winter so if you leave early then you'll hardly see any at all.

If you decide on the beaches, I wouldn't bother about Bondi. Manly is the better beach. An even more spectacular experience would be to go to Manly by ferry, look around there then take the bus up to Palm Beach (which will take about an hour) then walk up Barrenjoey Head to the lighthouse there. Truly spectacular views and an utterly Sydney experience. You can eat great food on the Pittwater side of Palm Beach at various restaurants there. You'll find details about that bus through a google search.

Enjoy our wonderful city !!

Australia
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4. Re: Winter Sydney

I agree with OnThePoint - the Blue Mountains beats any of Sydney's beaches - particularly in August, when it's not really beach weather. You'll get a lovely hotel or B&B with nice open fires - which will be very welcome at that time of year.

2 Nights should be sufficient to see most of the Blue Mountains highlights then just spend 1 night 'near' Bondi - it is a nicer beach than Manly (although Manly, I have to admit, is a nicer area in general). It would be a better bet to stay in the CBD and you can either catch the ferry to Manly or the bus to Bondi, and check out the cafes & bars around Darling Harbour at night.

So as not to upset those who have the Manly -vs- Bondi debate, however, choose Coogee beach - which is better than both of them, I think!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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5. Re: Winter Sydney

Better than all the beaches mentioned is the Cronulla strip...kilometres of beaches to roam along..great variety of restaurants at one end....or alternatively the palm beach end of Sydney!

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Winter Sydney

Depends on what you like, relaxing and cafes then definately Bondi Beach [getting a bus from the city is the best way], sightseeing/bush walks and fresh air then Blue Mountains [1.5hr drive from city]. If i had to choose between Manly or Bondi I'd choose Bondi.

If you like shopping and trendy clothing then Paddington on Oxford Street is a good place to visit.

Ryde, Australia
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7. Re: Winter Sydney

It's hard to beat the ferry trip to Manly. I've lived in Sydney for 50 years and still love it. You see all the best bits of the harbour. Manly is both harbour and seaside beach, both joined by a street called "the Corso". It offers a more relaxed, family feel than Bondi, which is ultra cosmopolitan and crowded. Once you get to the ocean beach at Manly there are some great eats, and the walk to Shelley Beach is great. If you are up to it, the walk along the promenade to Queenscliff beach (the northern end of Manly Beach) is very pleasant and the lagoon at the end is lovely, but it's a good 45min walk each way. Be careful of the trip to the mountains. It can be beautiful weather in Sydney and a dead fog at every lookout in the mountains in August.