Category Archives: Sydney

THE EAST COAST

 
The “East Coast” of Australia spans over 3 very distinct and different states Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. From the Great Barrier Reef through the Great Dividing Range to the Great Ocean Road Cairns to Melbourne covers a variety of different destinations each offering unique experiences. You can work this trip in either direction starting from Melbourne or Cairns and working your way north or south. The trip in total is approximately 3,800kms if you stick to the coast the whole way which is 48 hours worth of direct driving. If you follow the coast from Cairns to Sydney and then take the inland route between Sydney and Melbourne it is around 3,400kms. If you have a limited amount of time as most travellers do, the most popular section would be going either Cairns to Sydney if you have a little more time then you can fly from Sydney to Melbourne from $59 and complete the trip that way!
 
Cairns to Sydney is one of the most popular destinations/routes in Australia. The Northern part of the East Coast of Australia is renowned for relaxed coastal living with adventures at your doorstep.
 
Cairns is one of the most northern parts of Queensland and the east coast. It offers an abundance of tourist destinations as well as some of the most renowned natural beauties of the world. Cairns itself is a small city however it is the central departure point for access to its surrounding areas including but not limited too The Great Barrier Reef, Cape Tribulation, Tully River, Atherton Tablelands and more.
The Great Barrier Reef is an internationally renowned natural wonder, comprised of over 2,900 different individual reef systems and coral cays and approximately 900 islands stretching for over 2,600kms covering an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. The Great Barrier Reef is blessed with the breathtaking beauty it contains an abundance of marine life, with some of the worlds most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and pulling away from it, and viewing it from a greater distance, you can understand why. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space.
Cape Tribulation is a headland situated approximately 110km north of Cairns and is known as one of the only places in the world where 2 ecosystems meet. The headland is covered by the breathtaking Daintree Rainforest and has gorgeous exclusive beaches as well as near by rivers and gorges filled with various rainforest wildlife.
 
Airlie Beach and The Whitsunday Islands: Airlie Beach is the first major stop below Cairns along the East Coast. (Cairns to Airlie Beach 624kms or 8 hours drive) Airlie Beach like Cairns is the mainland hub for the surrounding attractions and destinations. The real gem of this area is The Whitsunday Islands, comprised of 74 islands meaning the Whitsundays form the largest offshore island chain on Australia’s coastline. The bulk are beautiful, tropical, deserted islands, but eight offer a variety of resort accommodation all with the Great Barrier Reef and fringing coral reefs at their door step. Weather you want a romantic getaway, and adventure packed experience, a lazy resort retreat or somewhere to take the kids these islands will have something to suit you.
 
Hervey Bay has often been called the jewel in Queensland’s crown. A scenic 3 1/2 hours drive north of Brisbane (Queensland’s Capitol or  875kms south of Airlie Beach 11hours) or a short flight Hervey Bay is an easily accessible holiday destination. The city has a wonderful subtropical climate. Temperatures range from 22 – 29 degrees celsius in November and rainfall is lower in this area than most other Queensland holiday destinations. Hervey Bay is also the access point for Fraser Island. The Worlds largest sand Island. You cannot take many rental cars over onto the island so most people do a guided day tour or up to a 3 day tour.
 
Byron Bay is the most easterly point of mainland Australia, located  its famous light house has been illumintating this are for many years. There is so many reasons why Byron Bay is one of the most well-known popular destinations not only on the east coast but in the whole of Australia. The internationally renowned surf breaks, the beautiful weather nearly all year round due to the subtropical climate, the culture due to the highest number of resident artist and artesian in any given area in Australia, the health and wellbeing lifestyle, endless resorts and beaches and always something new to discover. Byron Bay is also situated east of Mount Warning the first place the rising sun hits in Australia.
 
Sydney is home to those iconic sites like the Harbour Bridge, Opera House,  Bondi and Manly Beaches. Founded by Europeans in 1788, Sydney is Australia’s first city, and the historic Rocks district offers glimpses of those bawdy early years. Sydney’s essential experiences include the Harbour Bridge Climb, a harbour cruise, visiting the beaches, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, the ferries, North Head and so much more. Just west of Sydney are the beautiful Blue Mountains, World Heritage listed this is a remarkable area with spectacular gorges, sandstone escarpment, eucalypt forests, waterfalls, quaint towns. Don’t miss The Three Sisters at Echo Point, Govett’s Leap, Wentworth Falls, the Jenolan Caves, Zig-Zag Railway and the Scenic Railway & Flyway Cable Car rides at Scenic World. Only 3 hours north the Hunter Valley is Australia’s original wine region, world famous for its quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Semillon and Chardonnay.
 
Greyhound Passes covering the east coast start at $324 with packages going to $1155
Come in store to arrange a personal Itinerary that suites you!
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Best of Sydney – Ellie and Katti’s Adventures

On Saturday Katti and I met up at Circular Quay to go on Captain Cooks Main and Middle Harbour Coffee Cruise. The boat was older but the staff where lovely and the views were spectacular! They served Tea Coffee and muffins and biscuits on board which kept your tummy full for the 2 hour cruise. It was a great way to see the harbour and a real treat to see North and South Head from the boat.

When disembarking the boat we picked up the free Sydney Morning Herald on our way out that they offer as well so we could keep up with the news of Sydney.

After a short break we then jumped on the City Sightseeing hop on hop off explorer bus. This was again fantastic! With the open top double decker bus and beautiful clear blue skies we took to the streets of Sydney learning about historical facts and little bits of funny trivia. We used both the Bondi and Sydney busses and explored until our heart was content and of course we needed a drink.

We ventured up the Sydney Tower to take in the beautiful sights once more but from the air and went to the 360 Bar and ordered a cocktail each to finish off the day watching the sunset from our revolving bar, definitely an experience for anyone visiting Sydney! And the best bit is it didn’t break the bank too much!

Cruise $49
Bus $35
Sydney Tower Entry $25

Total $109

Experience of Sydney by Sky Land and Sea in a day Priceless!

HOOPLA HOOPLA! Roll on Down to the Best of Darling Harbour!

It’s on again ladies and gentleman!

Hoopla Festival

Hoopla Daytime Hoopla Nights Hoopla Event Program Hoopla Performers Hoopla Event Map

 Look up, look down, look all around – the circus is in town!

Go cir-crazy at Australia’s annual circus and street theatre festival as some of the world’s best acrobats, jugglers, stunt performers, sideshow and street theatre acts are let loose in Darling Harbour this Easter long weekend.
Now in its 14th year, Hoopla is Australia’s annual circus and street theatre festival featuring a world-class mix of Australian and international performers.

For five days and four nights, Darling Harbour hosts everything from large scale performances in the Big Top to intimate side shows in the Carnival of Dreams, plus brilliant buskers throughout the precinct.

Hoopla Festival
12 noon – 5pm (except Monday 25 April, 1pm – 5pm)
22-26 April 2011 FREE

There’s more to Hoopla than you think!
Hoopla Nights
6pm – 10pm
22–25 April 2011
Tickets from $5 to $15

For More information please go to www.darlingharbour.com.au

Come on DOWN

Its Easter Time @ Best of NSW

Happy Easter Everyone!

YES We are staying open! While everyone else gets 5 days off we will still be operating and serving you with great tourism options for Sydney and right around Australia. We will be CLOSED GOOD FRIDAY ONLY. Other than that its 9:30pm-5:30pm daily

For those of you who need it spelled out:

TRADING HOURS
CLOSED GOOD FRIDAY
09:30am – 05:30pm – Saturday 23rd April 2011 – Easter Saturday
09:30am – 05:30pm – Sunday 24th April 2011 – Easter Sunday
09:30am – 05:30pm – Monday 25th April 2011 – ANZAC DAY – Easter Monday
09:30am – 05:30pm – Tuesday 26th April 2011 – Easter Monday’s Public Holiday

ALSO!!!

SELLING NOW EASTER SHOW TICKETS!

The Royal Easter Show Sydney is on now and tickets are selling fast. 14th – 27th April The Royal Easter Show is Australia’s Largest Event! Come in and Buy Tickets (that include your transport) and pick up and Australian Made Pink Lady easter Egg on your way!

THAT’S RIGHT CHOCOLATE IS IN STORE!

We are so excited to present our Easter Chocolate collection this week. The chocolate collection has been a big hit behind the scenes, and it has actually taken a bit of effort to make sure the collection is available to you as many of the staff have been eyeing the chocolate for themselves. The Easter Goodies have come from Pink Lady, which is an amazing confection company that has been making chocolate in Australia for over 70 years. Originally started in Melbourne in the 1930’s by Mr George Gorog and Mr Zoureff, two European immigrants the company has grown to be considered one of the finest chocolate companies in Australia. The highlight is of course Pink Lady’s Chocolate Bilbies, Wombats and Koala’s.  For those of you unfamiliar with Easter in Australia, the chocolate Bilby has been an Easter tradition for over twenty years.  The tradition started as an Australian replacement to the Easter Rabbit. The rabbit is an introduced pest to Australia, which has caused many problems over the years, and it was felt that it was more appropriate and festive to have a much loved local animal like the bilby, which is a small marsupial closely related to the Bandicoot. It wasn’t very long before the Chocolate Bilby became an indispensable part of Easter in Australia.

Check out our Facebook and Website for more new stock!

www.bestof.com.au/nsw

and search Best Of New South Wales from your Facebook and like it!

Cheers
Ellie and Katti
Travel Consultant and Retail Supervisor
Best of NSW
02 8273 0000

Best of The Blue Mountains with Gray Line and Lala

The Blue Mountains national park is a major icon near Sydney. You can experience fresh mountain air as you rise above Sydney and enter the spectacular Blue Mountains region. The Blue Mountains is perfect for exploring the best that nature has to offer. There are so many ways to get to The Blue Mountains but we still believe one of the best ways is a guided tour.

Gray line offers several levels on their tours, I did an all inclusive tour which meant everything was prepaid and there was no hassle for the whole day.

I had an early start meeting at the Gray Line office (Star City coach terminal) @ 7:55 am. Then the lovely started. The coach was big and comfortable; seating place big enough so that I was comfortable throughout the day (there was also there is bath room on board). We crossed The Sydney Harbour Bridge heading to our first stop Featherdale Wildlife Park (45 mins away from Sydney). It’s very friendly zoo, I really liked it. All animals are native. You can cuddle up to a koala take a picture for FREE!!! Hand feed kangaroo, wallabies and emus or just relax in the parks kiosk. We stayed there around 45mins to 1 hour.

Katoomba was our next stop, which is in the heart of the Blue Mountains National Park and is the location of the Three Sisters. We got off at Echo Point which is the best lookout to see Three Sisters rock formation. We then rode the scenic cableway across to scenic world. On the cableway you can get really awesome 360 degree view of Blue Mountain and waterfalls. We had our buffet lunch at scenic world; it is revolving restaurant while you eating you can still enjoy the beautiful view of the Mountain. After lunch we take another 2 rides the skyway and the (Worlds Steepest) railway and have a little time to walk around.

The little garden village LEURA is our next destination. We have 30mins to wandering around. Then we are on our way back headed for the city. Our driver sends us to Homebush bay ferry terminal then we take a Captain Cook river cruise back to Sydney Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. If you get off at Circular Quay you can see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from the water.

Our lovely Blue Mountain trip ends at Circular Quay!

Hope you enjoy

Lala
Best of NSW
Travel Consultant

Best of NSW – The Rocks Ghost Tour

On The Rocks Ghost Tour you can listen and be apart of “authentic ghost stories, learn the bizarre facts that lurk beneath the surface of Sydney’s historic rocks as you are led by your ghost host on a lantern lit walking tour”.

It was quite different to what I expected but very good. The Ghost Host of the tour was very theatrical and good at keeping the group in order. I never had any trouble hearing him and I found the story telling was superb. We started at Cadman’s cottage and worked our way up through the rocks and under the bridge, ending at an archaeological site in Milsons point. The rocks at night is very different to during the day.

The tour was not very scary, though there were a few moments that were a little spooky. Mostly the tour was just funny. The guide had a great sense of humour and managed to tell each of the stories in a way that had me smiling through most of the tour. Each participant of the tour was also given a role to play for each of the stories which kept everyone involved and really added to the experience.

A couple of the stories were a bit inappropriate for younger kids but it was all handled very well by the host. All and all I was amazed by how fun the tour was and how quickly it went, in compared to the rocks walking tour.

Gray Line Grand Sydney Tour – From Sarah

This tour explored the city centre, passing most of the notable city sights including Darling Harbour, Town Hall, QVB, Hyde Park, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay.  We stopped for photo opportunities underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge with magnificent views of the Harbour and it’s icons including Luna Park.  Leaving the city we continued on to the Eastern suburbs filled with mega mansions including some of Sydney’s most expensive houses.  From this area we were also treated to more magnificent views of Sydney and the Harbour.  Please note that some vantage points involved uneven terrain and walking over rocky areas – may not be suitable for young children or disabled persons.  Continuing on to Bondi Beach we stopped for a break with time to enjoy a “SeJuiced” Juice Bar juice on the beach.

 

 

We then returned to the city to commenced the second part of our tour – starting with a sumptuous buffet lunch onboard the Magistic Cruise.  During lunch we heard a commentary as each notable point was passed complete with interactive map to track our journey.  The buffet offered a range of different options from chicken, meats, seafood, noodles, salads and desert.  Alcoholic beverages including Beer and Wine were available along with soft drinks, juices and water.  The boat was quite large, comfortable and clean with centre tables as well as booth seating as well as an outdoor area upstairs with sitting and standing room.

 

At the conclusion of the lunch cruise we returned to Circular Quay and rejoined the bus to continue our tour on to the North Shore/Northern beaches and Manly where the afternoon was spent strolling the Corso, buying ice cream and wandering the beach.  Before reaching Manly however we toured Mosman and Neutral Bay on the North Shore as well as Seaforth and Balgowlah on the Northern Beaches with a stop at a popular lookout featuring some Aboriginal history (Arabanoo).

 

Highlights:

 

  • Photo opportunity from underneath Bridge;
  • Lookout spots at Eastern suburbs – Watsons Bay etc;
  • Lunch cruise;
  • Juice at Bondi;
  • Walk at Manly;
  • Knowledge of driver.

 

Best Of Taronga Zoo, Luna Park and Captain Cook

Ok so some of you may know I went and played Sydney Tourist on my day off and I thought I would share the experience with all of you!
We left the house at 08:30am and got home about 11pm at night!
Firstly I took a friend of mine on Captain Cooks Zoo Express and went out to Taronga Zoo.
For those of you who havent been out there or not in a long time we were there for 5 hours and we didn’t even go into the Australian Section. The boat ride on the way out was nice and quick. It stopped at Fort Denison and let a few off then continued onto the Zoo. It was part of the Harbour Highlights cruise so there was a woman on board giving a little commentary. You can’t hear her very well from outside but it was a bonus bit of information about the Harbour for those who wanted to listen.
The Zoo: Get out there early so you can see which “performances” you want to go and see and plan your day around that. Otherwise take lots of water and a picnic lunch!
AVERAGE PRICES:
Water $3.80
Soft Drink/Powerades $4.80
Lunch Meal $15 pp
Kids Meal $10pp
*Microwave in food court for bottles
Sunscreen: Min $13
All performances and the animal were absolutely fantastic but they end with the theatrical music and conservation message. I get the idea but by the 4th performance its a bit unoriginal and ineffective.
Otherwise great day Seals and Elephants were a highlight.

It was very hot and we got a tad burnt. Take SUNSCREEN IN SUMMER!! Not many undercover areas that have good viewing spots.
Captain Cooks boat was a little late to pick up but the woman did apologise for the inconvenience and explained they were trying a new timetable that day, It wouldn’t otherwise happen.
2nd part of the Day was Luna Park! $40 set us up with an unlimited pass. All rides unlimited all day. $30 will set you up with an unlimited 5 ride pass. The 5 rides are Carousel, Ferris Wheel, Dodgem Cars, Wild Mouse rollercoaster and Coney Island. $10 gets you one go on one ride.
We stayed there and then caught the ferry to Darling Harbour and back to Circular Quay.

Much fun for all ages and suitable for just about everyone!

Book your ZOO EXPRESS PASS @ Best of New South Wales Now or contact us to book online or over the phone.

Cheers

Ellie
Travel Consultant
Best of NSW
02 8273 0000

KARYN @ THE YHA & PORT STEPHENS – BOOK NOW @ BESTOFNSW

We stayed YHA Central on Friday night to be nice and close for the Port Stephens trip the following morning.
The YHA Central is a good hostel (massive). Glenn and I stayed in a double room with ensuite bathroom. It was all very clean and quite nice and was not noisy at all. Towels and soap were provided in the private rooms. 
On the rooftop there is a small indoor pool, sauna, and balcony with bbq which is great for city views (and for the smokers). The hostel has a cinema with bean bags and they show movies every day. The cafe on the bottom floor of the hostel (also open to public) has 3 different breakfast options ranging from $7 – $10 and cheap dinners each night. All in all it looks like a clean hostel with loads of facilities. 
The next morning we were collected from out the front of the hostel by an APT coach which arrived 07:35 sharp. After a few other hotel pick ups and Star City coach terminal we were on our way north. The morning started off very wet and it was pouring down when we got to the Australian Reptile Park at 09:20. APT offer you ponchos to buy for $3 which came in handy. APT also give you a bag of food to feed the roos. Because of the heavy rain, we decided not to venture too far inside of the park. But you can get a photo with a koala, feed emus/roos and see quite a few different Aussie animals. We spent approx an hour at the Reptile Park before continuing north. 
By the time we got to Port Stephens at 12:30, the weather was warm and fine-completely different from Sydney. Once the coach dropped us off at the marina at Nelson Bay, those who have lunch included have to make their way directly to the boat to have their lunch on board for others there are many restaurants/cafes/fish and chip shops to choose from then jump on the cruise at 13:30.  
The dolphin cruise lasted 1.5 hours and we saw quite a few dolphins but they didn’t come right up to the boat or jump out of the water, you basically just see their fins and maybe a tail as they dive in and out of the water. The last 20min of the cruise they drop the boom net down and let you swim in it. We did get in, but after the shark attack that took place in the same area a few days before I was a bit paranoid a shark was going to bite by bum through the net!! On board the boat they serve free tea/coffee/water and there is a licensed bar and snacks to buy. 
The cruise gets back to the marina at 3pm and we had to go directly back onto the coach for the 10min journey to Stockton Beach for sand boarding.
When we arrived at Stockton Beach we jumped straight into a 4WD and headed for the highest dunes. It was so much FUN! It is definitely a work out walking up and down the hill so we only managed 5 runs each, but you have about 1-1.5 hours to spend here and you can go up and down as much as you like. Standing on the board is prohibited! 
We left Port Stephens at 5pm and arrived back into the city at about 7:45pm. Phil, the guide put on a movie to pass the time. All in all it was a great day out!

BEST OF NSW BLUE MOUNTAINS DAY TOUR BY CAROLE

Hi all

Yesterday I went on my Oz Trails Day Tour to The Blue Mountains. I was picked up out on the Great Western Highway at Faulconbridge by Hayden at 11.30am (most people departed from Sydney, but I live closer to The Blue Mountains). They had already been to Euroka Clearing at Glenbrook to look for kangaroos. However with the heat yesterday the kangaroos had retreated into the bush for shade and so they actually missed out on seeing them.

The bus is a 24 seater Mitsubishi Rosa. It was comfortable but certainly not flash. It does have air con but yesterday it was struggling. However with Hayden telling stories and bits of information we didn’t have time to focus on the heat.

First stop was at the village of LAWSON where we saw the aboriginal rock art (picture 8 in brochure) and Hayden gave some hands on experiences of local flora. Back on board we headed to WENTWORTH FALLS where the first stop is to the Kings Tableland (picture 4) which is spectacular and remote – there were no other tour groups here and Hayden delights in taking individual photos of customers standing near the cliff face!! Second stop was Wentworth Falls (pictures 5 and 9). This involves a bushwalk and approx 220 steps. There are toilets and an ice cream van at the parking area. Hayden accompanied us and again pointed out lots of interesting “bush things” When we were back on the bus he told us about the SCENIC WORLD RIDES and explained that he would take payment $25 per person which includes 3 rides. Skyway across to Scenic World, then Scenic Railway and Scenic Cableway. He told people so that they could get money ready for him in advance. He also offered that he would direct any people who did not want to do the rides to a short unguided bushwalk.


Then on to LEURA for lunch. Hayden pointed out the ATM and various cafes including the one to avoid – take too long to serve. The cafes are not too cheap in Leura because it’s a bit upmarket. There is a supermarket too. We had about 45 minutes to enjoy lunch and the shops before meeting Hayden back at the bus. He took the money for Scenic World and then we headed off. Hayden then drives around to the Scenic World car park via the place were he dropped off a few people with instructions for their unguided walk. He then goes into the centre to meet the people from the Skyway and escorts them on the other two rides with a guided tour along the boardwalk. We departed there about 3.30pm. Hayden hands out complimentary postcards which have OZ TRAILS website and telephone number. He also hands out a comment book. I left the tour near Springwood but they were heading to Olympic Park and the ferry.

We aware that the schedule can be mixed around a little depending on weather. Remember don’t promise that the customers WILL see kangaroos especially in this heat. It’s a great little tour and I think customers should be happy with the variety of scenery.

Contact Us to book OZ TRAILS BLUE MOUNTAINS DAY TOUR – Book Now @ BEST OF NSW

Best of NSW
Travel Consultant
Carole

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