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Oz Fest 16 Sydney, NSW, Australia. USA Memorial Day Weekend May 24 to May 26, 2019

Oz Fest 16 Sydney, NSW, Australia. USA Memorial Day Weekend May 24 to May 26, 2019

Old Jun 8, 2018, 4:24 pm
Oz Fest organizers
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 270
Oz Fest 16 Sydney, NSW, Australia. USA Memorial Day Weekend May 24 to May 26, 2019

Oz Fest 16 Sydney, NSW Australia. USA Memorial Day Weekend
Friday May 24, Saturday May 25, Sunday May 26, 2019.

After discussions at Oz Fest 15 and over the following days, Sydney, NSW has been chosen for 2019. After several years of regional locations, only a portion those who have attended in recent years have attended an Oz Fest in state capital city. While many will have “played tourist” in Sydney we hope to find some interesting activities. The location Sydney will allow easy international & Au domestic access for many people.

Image by By Bernard Gagnon - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The May USA Memorial Day weekend seems very popular with USA based Flyer-talkers, and that is the weekend that was most favoured by far. We have bowed to that request, and again chosen that weekend - as we have for all other 15 Oz Fests. Around half the attendees are USA based at each Oz Fest.

That public holiday in the USA is Monday May 27, 2019. Remember if you leave Australia on afternoon of Monday May 27, you arrive back in the USA also early morning on Monday May 27. A lot of time no matter where you live in the USA, to get back home, unpack, have an early night, and get organised for a day at the office next day etc.

There have been 15 successful Oz Fests so far - in Sydney, (twice) Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart Tasmania, Cairns, Adelaide, Darwin, Canberra, Perth, Alice Springs-Ayers Rock/Uluru in 2014, New Zealand 2015, the Gold Coast QLD 2016, Newcastle NSW 2017 & Noosa QLD 2018.

Oz Fest 05 Hobart (2008) had 40 members signed up – good considering only one attending was a local, Cairns (2009) saw 59 turning up - just beating out by 1 the then previous record attendance of any Oz Fest 02 (2005) in Sydney - 58 attendees. Adelaide (2010) was a little too big, with 75 attendees, but not all of whom were active FT'ers, causing some issues. The slightly less accessible Darwin (2011) kept numbers down to previous sorts of levels - 44. Canberra (2012) had 51 Platinum’s show up. Perth (2013) had a surprisingly large number of Platinum’s - 59 (an equal record number of attendees). Surprising given the cost and distance of attending for most. Oz Fest 11 in The Red Centre (2014) attracted a few less Platinum’s, as airline access was very limited, and costs very high, but the 37 FT'ers that took this reality on board. Lots of them Americans - enjoyed the weekend, and were true Oz Festers, to get there and back. Oz Fest 12 (2015) right up in the Bay of Islands of New Zealand got a very respectable 41 attendees, after several last minute cancellations, and despite the rather remote location chosen for the event. Oz Fest 13 Gold Coast (2016) had 44 attendees. Oz Fest 15 Newcastle, NSW (2017) had 42 attendees, with many taking the train up from Sydney. Oz Fest 16 in Noosa had 40 attend with many driving and bus from Brisbane.

The weather for the past 15 Oz Fests has been in general, superb and sunny. Despite June 1st, being our official Winter start date. Even in Tasmania our most southern city, we were truly blessed with unusually nice weather. We all thought Canberra and Hobart would be a weather challenge for sure, but the Saturday and Sunday gave quite perfect weather. The weather in 2018 for Noosa was a challenge at times, but everyone survived.

A common access account for the ad-hoc organising committee titled Oz Fest (OzFest Organisers)” was approved by the Flyertalk Community Director, and the early informational posts here in this thread will show as that account, so they can be edited at will by those involved.

Our ad-hoc Committee will be tracking attendees, and hotels, and flights, and activity sign ups etc in these early posts. These are incredibly time consuming to keep updated, and all attendees owe them a huge vote of thanks. Hopefully we can once again call on the falconea’s to be name tag/table tag supremos, and we are well on our way!
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Last edited by Oz Fest; Jun 8, 2018 at 11:42 pm
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 4:25 pm
Oz Fest organizers
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 270
Updated to post 365 and for PM's & emails to 13:00 27th May

Attendees -

Oz Fest 16 takes place in Sydney. NSW Australia on USA Memorial Day weekend from Friday 24 May 2019 to Sunday 26 May 2019

Please PM Oz Fest any error's & omissions or email:- ozfest at mail.com (not gmail)

Platinum - Confirmed (in order of confirming will attend including PM & emails)
  1. Itsalongwaydown SXE
  2. Sue Oz SXE
  3. kirkwoodj IAH
  4. JohnSydney2000 SYD
  5. JessicaTam MEL
  6. Fredd SEA
  7. Mrs Fredd SEA
  8. serfty MEL
  9. chchkiwi CHC
  10. QF WP BNE
  11. upup&away ORD
  12. JohnK BNE / SYD
  13. cocobird SFO
  14. storyteller BNE
  15. tom911 SFO
  16. tom911's_friend #1 SFO
  17. tom911's_friend #2 SFO
  18. doug_wescott MEL
  19. DELee TOA
  20. Mrs DELee TOA
  21. Perk WLG
  22. Perk_+1 WLG
  23. Thai-Kiwi PPQ
  24. Zorak SFO/SJC
  25. pfbloom BOS / BTV
  26. Jimmie Jet MEL
  27. Jimmie Jet_+1 MEL
  28. redtigeriii PDX
  29. SEA777GUY SEA
  30. tuapekastar MEL
  31. jswong WLG
  32. sbiddle WLG
  33. YYCowboy YYC
  34. GrjApp USA
  35. restlessinRNO RNO
  36. restlessinRNO_+1 RNO
  37. Ozchinois SYD
  38. Plainsman ORD
  39. ac777 YYZ
  40. bk3day NYC
  41. renard HOU
  42. anat0l
  43. bundybear BNE
  44. rabau BNE
  45. Eija MEL
  46. Eija_+1 SYD
  47. Spruce Goose (AFF) SYD
  48. Perthite MEL
  49. ozflygirl747 BNE

Gold Probable- Maybe

Silver - Interested

Bronze - can't make it
  1. Bindibuys NTL
  2. Bindibuys_+1 NTL
  3. rxgeek CMH
  4. rxgeek_+1 CMH
  5. kpc SYD
  6. kpc_gf SYD
  7. fifa NSW
  8. Mr fifa NSW
  9. Mrs JohnK & Miss Mini JohnK BNE / SYD
  10. falconea MEL
  11. Mr falconea MEL
  12. zol 12R/30L (DXB?)
  13. CDKing BOS / ORH
  14. krazykanuck IAH
  15. margarita girl YYZ (arrives SYD Sunday 26 17:05)
  16. margarita girl #2 YYZ (arrives SYD Sunday 26 17:05)
  17. BOB W ANC
  18. Mrs QF WP BNE
  19. dedehans MLB
  20. dedehans_+1 MLB
  21. kyanar BNE
  22. f0zzyNUE NUE
  23. GarySTL STL
  24. Mrs GarySTL STL
  25. og SYD
  26. Viridianne SYD
  27. SQ421 CBR
  28. penegal MEL Note
  29. lowjhg SIN [attended?]
  30. bschaff1 ORD [attended?]
  31. smat SFO/SEA [attended?]

penegal’s real status for all FT & AFF do’s:- Copper - I won't know until the last minute as work may get in the way or I may have to fly to SIN or somewhere else for one reason or another or I just can't make up my mind. He will show up some time!
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Last edited by Oz Fest; Jun 8, 2019 at 5:09 pm Reason: update
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 4:25 pm
Oz Fest organizers
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 270
Updated to post 309 & for PM's/emails to 11:45 22nd May 2019

Activities & Who is doing what:

Over time this post will be have more information and links to other posts in this thread.
We set up a web based reservation system to book and pay for activities. Some activities require pre payment and others a commitment to attend. Some people attend all activities and others a few or maybe only the main Saturday night dinner. All are welcome albeit all or 1 activity. On Friday some of the early attendees meet for lunch/what ever. Some people start to arrive from Wednesday and some do not leave until the Tuesday/Wednesday. Some people leave Oz Fest on the Sunday.

The Oz Fest team base costs on people attending activities based on known flights and the history of similar events attended. Due to commitments the Oz Fest team has made/will make to suppliers/vendors no refunds are possible, unless another person takes your place. We often have to pay upfront for activities and/or restaurants. The cost includes the fees (~6%) Oz Fest pay to the reservation web site.

Activity summary
  • Friday evening 18:00:--- Pre dinner drinks As Storyteller post below
  • Friday evening 19:00:--- Dinner hosted by Storyteller Pre pay as link below
  • Friday evening 19:50 kick off :--- AFL footy hosted by kirkwoodj as post 110
  • Saturday morning/afternoon 10:30:– Taste of Manly as kirkwoodj post 242
  • Saturday morning/afternoon 11:00:– Shopping hosted by Ozchinois as post 249
  • Saturday evening 18:00:--- Pre dinner drinks at the Hyatt as post 270 by Storyteller
  • Saturday evening 19:00:--- Dinner at the Hyatt hosted by Storyteller Pre pay as link below
  • Sunday- midday / afternoon 11:00:- Watson's Bay & headlands walk (weather permitting) with serfty as post 382 and below. Note time change
  • Sunday early evening 17:15:--- Vivid cruise. Pre book on line as post 165 and as below. (discount with Groupon)
  • Sunday evening:-- Dinner? nothing planned to date

Activities as online google doc link
Friday pre dinner drinks

Originally Posted by Storyteller
For tonight, we are at The Clock on 1st floor in Pendulum Lounge from 6pm.
You can buy drinks at the $5.00 happy hour from 5-7 in the downstairs Street Bar, and bring them up. The Pendulum has cocktail happy hour for $14.
Originally Posted by Storyteller
Have now sorted pre dinner drinks venue for Friday 24/05/19 - and not a moment too soon

The Clock, 470 Crown St, Surry Hills. 6pm
Pendulum Lounge on 1st floor.
There should be a sign for OzFest

They have Happy Hour 5pm - 7pm with $5 selected beer and wines.

The Clock is around a 5 minute walk to the Turkish restaurant.
Friday Dinner
Turkish Banquet
Erciyes Restaurant
409 Cleveland Street
Surry Hills,
19:00 to 23:00
Cost $59.30
Booking link---> Oz Fest 2019 Turkish Banquet Erciyes Restaurant Friday 24 May 7pm

Consistently great Turkish banquet with plenty of dips, breads, meat, more meat, desserts.
Includes unlimited soft drinks. Licenced, plus BYO wine & spirits (not beer).
Can cater for special diets.
Friday night AFL footy 19:50 kick off post 110
Originally Posted by kirkwoodj
Swans have a home match (v Collingwood) Friday night at 7:50pm, if anyone is interested. Of course waiting to see what arises for Friday evening otherwise. I am a club member so can get discounted tickets. Just putting it out there.
A fast moving spectacle. This is Aussie Rules Football https://www.afl.com.au/

Saturday 25th 11:00 Shopping
Post 225 & 233 & 249
Originally Posted by Ozchinois
Are there ladies in this group who might be interested in shopping? I can take a group on Saturday to the Rocks Market, Pitt St Mall including the Strand Arcade, QVB and maybe end up in the outlets in Market City Chinatown, weather permitting. We have some lovely cafes for morning/afternoon tea.
Originally Posted by Ozchinois
Okay I will think of an easy meeting point probably around the Circular Quay area on Saturday 25th probably around 11.00 unless those interested would like to start with a breakfast gtg. We will start the shopping tour at the Rocks Market and I may just point out some interesting places you can shop in that area. Then we walk down to the Strand and QVB. Will not take you to places where it's generic all over the world. Will try to guide you towards Made in Australia stuff.
Originally Posted by Ozchinois
Meeting point at 11.00 am Saturday 25th May will be at the front of Munich Brauhaus Sydney (formerly Lowenbrau Keller) at the corner of Playfair St & Argyle Street.
I will hold a board with "flyertalk" on it.
Saturday 25th morning/afternoon Taste of Manly
Take the 10:30 ferry from Circular Quay across to Manly
As kirkwoodj's post 242 Free and pay-as-you-go (food drink etc}
Originally Posted by kirkwoodj
....... Thinking will get the 10:30 ferry from CQ. Weather looking great so far.
Originally Posted by kirkwoodj
Taste of Manly is going on both Saturday & Sunday in my old neighborhood if you’re looking for daytime activities. Just hop the ferry over. I’ll likely go on Saturday.
Taste of Manly 25 & 26 May 2019

Now in its 33rd year, the iconic Taste of Manly is the pinnacle of Manly’s vibrant food and music culture. We’re proud to showcase our best and brightest local restaurants and brewers alongside Australia’s finest wine producers across two music-filled days.

An unmissable event in anyone’s social calendar, with over 80,000 food, wine and music enthusiasts coming together each year for a weekend of indulgence and great tunes set against one of Australia’s most unique beach locations.
Saturday Drinks
Hyatt Regency
161 Sussex Street
18:00 to 19:00
Originally Posted by Storyteller
For Hyatt on Saturday from 6pm for pre dinner drinks hosted by World of Hyatt, we will be up on the rooftop Zephyr Bar in a sectioned off area labeled for us.
Originally Posted by Storyteller
At 6pm in the bar on Saturday 25/05/19, look for our tables designated World of Hyatt and Oz Fest!

I'm delighted to be able to let the group know that World of Hyatt will be welcoming Oz Fest 2019 to the Hyatt Regency SYD with some starter drinks at 6pm on Saturday 25/05/19 in the bar on the ground floor!
To be eligible to partake, you have to be either coming to the Seafood Buffet 25/05/19 or Turkish Banquet 24/05/19, or be an Oz Fest regular.

And after the initial drinks it will be the usual cash bar until 7pm when most of us head in next door for dinner.

Thank you World of Hyatt, Hyatt Pacific & Indonesia, and Hyatt Regency Sydney!!

Saturday Dinner
Seafood Buffet
Sailmaker Restaurant at Hyatt Regency
161 Sussex Street
19:00 to 23:00
Note. Food options other than seafood are available
Cost $68.50
Booking link---> Oz Fest 2019 Seafood Buffet at Sailmaker Hyatt Regency Saturday 25 May 7pm
Description Signature Seafood Buffet.

Start with a vegetarian or seafood hot soup, follow with a baked fish of the day or carved roast meat with pasta or rice. Choose from a variety of sliced meats and delicacies like pt, cheeses, warm bread and sourdough. In addition, a whole baked catch of the day may include: barramundi or yellowfin tuna | array of fresh seafood including oysters which the chef will shuck to order | Cloudy Bay clams | mussels | spanner crab - all MSC-certified and credited

Salads may include: baby carrots and feta | fresh cucumber and dill | roasted beetroot salad | cauliflower and mixed tomato salad | DIY salad options

Desserts may include: chocolate ganache tart | lemon meringue tart | berry baked cheesecake

Please note, this is a sample menu. Items may be subject to seasonal change.
Special dietary needs can be catered for.
Friday & Saturday Dinners as post 137, post 146 and post 182
Originally Posted by Storyteller
Friday and Saturday night dinners with easy access in CBD sorted, and will upload EventBrite for payment in the next few days. Work finished this week, heading to the Bahamas, then more work... Poor me . You're on your own for Sunday night, unless I find something, probably on your own... those still around, I think the harbour trip with meal, way up thread sounds just great for Sunday!!
Originally Posted by Storyteller
Yippee! Finally have created our Friday and Saturday evening dinners, and not a moment too soon
Tickets on sale now, and numbers are limited.
Sunday midday - afternoon Watson's Bay as Posts 188 & 256, & 382
Originally Posted by serfty
I did a reconnoiter this morning and have realized lunch is better had after the walk.

So, I will now depart ONE HOUR earlier and will be at Wharf 2 Circular Quay at 11am to catch a ferry scheduled for 11:17am.

The walk itself is about 2.5 miles/4km with some undulations and will take about 90 minutes.
The weather forecast is good - I suggest caps/hats and reasonable footwear will be a very good idea.
You can catch a ferry from the CBD to Watson's bay quite cheaply on Sundays with an Opal card.
Originally Posted by serfty
Weather Permitting, I plan to be on the 12:17pm ferry to Watson's Bay. I'll be getting to Wharf 2 at Circular Quay by midday. Feel free to join me or make your own way.

You can catch a ferry from the CBD to Watson's Bay quite cheaply on Sundays with an Opal card.
NSW Transport Trip Planner - Circular Quay to Watson's Bay

Watson's Bay has quite a lot of history (see below) and some interesting food venues.
There's Doyle's on the Beach and Doyle's Wharf. Here's some links to menu's https://www.doyles.com.au/?section#location (Remember, "Entree" means "starter" or "appetizer").

There's a hotel near the wharf (https://watsonsbayhotel.com.au/beach-club/) and a few other places to eat.

I'm planning on 'takeaway' myself but if any wish to dine 'on the beach' or at the Hotel I suggest they make a booking.

After that I'm planning to walk and have a look around the area (South Head, Gap Bluff, Green Points). I will be looking to head back after 2:30pm as I 'll need to be heading to the airport by 4pm.

This whole thing is casual, doing one's own thing is the way to go.

Here's some further information:

Sunday 26th 17:15pm early evening Vivid Sydney
The weekend will have the Vivid Sydney festival starting. Begins 24 May 2019 & ends 15 June 2019.
Wikipedia link --> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivid_Sydney

Booking Link for cruise on Sunday 26th 5:15 Vivid cruise via Groupon

Post 165
Originally Posted by DELee
Originally Posted by DELee
Uh, which date? Sunday, May 26th?
Then, which time? 5:15 pm? 7:45 pm?
Mrs. DELee and I decided to reserve/purchase 2 Groupons for Sunday, May 26th for 5:15 pm.
Our reasoning was:
  1. it would be past sunset at the 5:15 pm departure anyway,
  2. we'll have the opportunity to enjoy the cruise and what lights are visible from Vivid Sydney during that time and then
  3. would be down at the King Street Wharf both before and after and then have the option to wander further around the wharf/CBD that evening and night.
We welcome everyone who'd like to join us to also reserve/purchase the Groupon!
Originally Posted by Ozchinois
Anyone interested in a harbour cruise during Vivid? Also Amex has a Vivid lounge the last few years but it can get quite crowded unless you are Centurion and you will be ushered to a private area. They provide complimentary canapes.
Originally Posted by redtigeriii
It's on Groupon Australia and there is a link to it on the 3rd post in this thread, which is helpful since there seems to be several different cruise options available when searching. If you don't have a groupon australia account you can sign up and use the code 'BRANDNEW' for 15% off your first groupon au purchase.
Several good suggestions have been made in the Oz Fest 15 thread on incorporating some Vivid Sydney activities with Oz Fest 16.
Originally Posted by tom911
Enjoying Vivid Sydney. If we have OzFest in Sydney next year, which would be the 11th year of Vivid Sydney, there is one cruise line here with 2 hour harbour cruises around Vivid Sydney on Friday and Saturday nights, departing at 5:30 and 8pm (lights come on at 6pm). It's advertised as a "cocktail style standing buffet" (chicken, pasta, veggies on the menu) with one free drink, at $A55/$US41. No doubt there's other providers out there, but certainly something I'd be interested in with a group. Could even add on a ferry trip over to Manly Beach and lunch there as an afternoon activity.

Sample Vivid cruises

Other possible activities.
At this time no one has stepped up to organise any day activities, so these are just suggestions.
Day activities to be self organised.

A possible activity for some Sydney Bridge Climb


From SYDNEY day trips out of the city
Day trip to Blue Mountains by tom911 (7 June 2016) [post 46]----> https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/26741020-post46.html
Originally Posted by tom911
I went up on the train two weeks ago to Katoomba and walked to Three Sisters, which I'd guess is probably about a 2 mile walk from the train station. There were fires burning on the valley floor from vegetation control, and it was actually pretty cold in the shade, so I decided not to go hiking this time up. I have hiked below a couple times and done the railway up from the valley floor before.

There was some type of local tourist bus service that would probably work if you want to get more sights in. If you can find that schedule on-line, and it works for you, it might be an option to consider.

If you get an Opal transit card in Sydney, it's something like $US4 one way from Sydney to Katoomba after 0900, or a few dollars more before 0900. Going to be hard to beat that price with a rental car. Also, the RSL there has a very good lunch menu - I had the roast of the day (lamb, but think I could have picked from other options, too).

I have photos below in the Sydney gallery which is currently on the front page.


Last edited by Oz Fest; May 25, 2019 at 12:45 am Reason: update
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 4:26 pm
Oz Fest organizers
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 270
Updated to post 361 & for PM's/emails to 07:25 25th May 2019


Hotels as online google doc link
Having 1 or 2 central hotels that most folks use, is a very large plus.

There are many hotels to suit all budgets.
There are many Accor, Hilton and Marriott(SPG Starwood) chain property's in Sydney

Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Central Park 88 Broadway, Chippendale web site 1 & web site 2
FT thread-->Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Central Park - Australia [Master Thread]
  • anat0l
  • YYCowboy

Hilton Sydney, 488 George Street web site
FT thread--->Hilton Sydney {AUS}
No availability for Oz Fest as at 18 June 2018 (post 36)
Availability for Oz Fest as at 21 July 2018 (post 44)
  • QF WP
  • Bundy Bear
  • JessicaTam
  • sbiddle Saturday
  • Itsalongwaydown & Sue Oz
  • Fredd & Mrs Fredd
  • tuapekastar
  • kirkwoodj
  • Plainsman
  • chchkiwi
  • GrjApp Thursday

Holiday Inn Old Sydney, 55 George Street, The Rocks web site
FT thread---> https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/inte...ld-sydney.html
  • f0zzyNUE (gold)
  • restlessinRNO & restlessinRNO_+1

Intercontinental Sydney, 117 Macquarie St web site
FT thread---->IC Sydney Master Thread [merged] - after January 2011
  • GrjApp week end

Hyatt Regency, 161 Sussex St, Darling Harbour web site (ex Four Points by Sheraton)
FT thread--->Hyatt Regency Sydney REVIEW - MASTER THREAD
  • serfty
  • lowjhg
  • storyteller

Park Hyatt, 7 Hickson Road, The Rocks, Sydney web site
FT thread--->Park Hyatt Sydney (combined thread)
FT thread--->Park Hyatt Sydney (Post-Reno) REVIEW - MASTER THREAD
  • SQ421 (bronze)

Pullman Sydney Hyde Park 36 College Street. web site
FT thread--->https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/acco...an-sydney.html
  • Thai-Kiwi

Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park, 161 Elizabeth Street web site
FT thread -->Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia [Master Thread]
  • DELee & Mrs DELee
  • cocobird
  • margarita girl & margarita girl #2 (bronze) (arrives SYD Sunday 26 17:05)
  • ac777

Sofitel Wentworth , 61-101 Phillip Street web site
FT thread ---> Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
  • perk & perk_+1

Sydney Harbour Marriott Circular Quay Circular Quay, 30 Pitt Street web site
FT thread--->https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marr...er-thread.html
  • Jimmie Jet & Jimmie Jet_+1
  • smat
  • tom911
  • tom911's_friend #1 & tom911's_friend #2
  • zorak

The Ultimo hotel 37 Ultimo Rd, web site
  • redtigeriii

West Hotel - Curio Collection by Hilton 65 Sussex Street, Sydney. web site 1 & web site 2
FT thread-->West Hotel Sydney, Curio Collection by Hilton {AUS}
  • sbiddle Friday

Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Central Park 88 Broadway, Chippendale web site
FT thread-->Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Central Park - Australia [Master Thread]

Holiday Inn Darling Harbour, 68 Harbour St Darling Harbour web site
FT thread ---> https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/inte...g-harbour.html
Intercontinental Double Bay Sydney, 33 Cross St, Double Bay. web site
FT thread--->Intercontinental Double Bay Sydney (Master Thread)

Holiday Inn Potts Point, 203 Victoria Street Potts Point web site

Holiday Inn Sydney Airport web site
FT thread---> https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/inte...er-thread.html

Pier One 11 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay web site
FT thread--->Pier One Sydney Harbour, Autograph Collection [Master Thread]

The Westin Sydney, 1 Martin Place web site
FT thread--->Westin Sydney, New South Wales, Australia [Master Thread]


More information to follow

Last edited by Oz Fest; May 25, 2019 at 9:33 pm Reason: update
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 4:27 pm
Oz Fest organizers
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 270

Flights as online google doc link

We use flight information to predict activity participation. Helps a lot with planning.
Additional information associated with flights

Last edited by Oz Fest; Jan 29, 2019 at 7:54 pm Reason: Added links
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 4:27 pm
Oz Fest organizers
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 270
About Sydney, NSW Australia (click on the blue or underlined links)


Will be updated from time to time

SYD & Info FT threads
Some information on the Sydney Opal card for public transport. The same Opal card is used for rail, bus & ferry.
If any Sydney locals have some more guidance on using the public transport system please advise.

Opal card links
Monday 26 November 2018
Contactless payments are now available for standard (peak) Adult Opal fares on Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink Intercity rail services.

If you are catching a train you can now tap on and tap off using an accepted contactless payment card, which means there are more ways to pay for a standard (peak) Adult Opal fare on any train, Sydney Ferries or light rail service within the Opal network.

There’s no need to have an Opal card or wait in a ticket machine queue, just tap on and tap off to pay your Adult fare at an Opal reader with most American Express, Mastercard, Visa credit / debit cards or a smartphone, tablet or wearable device linked to one of these cards.

Contactless fares are now the same price as a standard (peak) Adult Opal fare for the same trip. Opal Daily, Weekly and Sunday travel caps are also applied, making contactless fares more attractive than before.

However some other Opal benefits such as Weekly Travel Rewards, Transfer Discounts, Off-peak train fare discounts, Trip Advantage and free access to Opal Park&Ride carparks are not available with contactless payments.

Being able to pay an Adult fare using cards and devices most people already carry makes public transport more accessible, particularly for tourists and locals who don’t use public transport often enough to need an Opal card. It also offers a handy backup option if you forget or lose your Opal card.

Whether you are heading to the airport, a concert, sporting event or conference or just want to explore for the day, contactless transport payments mean there’s one less thing to worry about.
From the Sydney Hilton thread----> Hilton Sydney {AUS}

Post 311
Originally Posted by anabolism
Originally Posted by FLYMSY
How convenient is public transportation (bus/subway) to/from the airport (SYD) from the Hilton? I’m traveling with one carryon rollaboard.
It's easy, but takes a long time. You get on the train at the airport and ride it all the way to Town Hall, which is half a block from the Hilton. You can buy a one-way or round-trip ticket at the airport, but be aware that the Domestic and International terminals are different stops with different fares, so, e.g., a round-trip from the Domestic terminal won't be enough to get back to the International terminal from town. Or, buy an Opal card and use it for the train to the Hilton plus riding trains and busses around Sydney, then the train back to the Airport.

At Town Hall, easiest is to walk towards the Queen Victoria Building, then after exiting the station keep to the right (the Queen Victoria Building will be to the left). There is a New Zealand Naturals ice cream stall right there. Keep walking, staying to the right, and take the escalator up to street level. The Hilton is next door.
Post 327
Originally Posted by moa999
Originally Posted by FLYMSY
Looking at the Opal website, it seems like I can buy a card at several shops in the International terminal. That airport access fee is sort of pricey comparatively speaking. Thanks for the tip about getting the card?
You can also get the Opal card at the train station itself (with minimum topup of $35 which basically covers a return - put in place to stop a rort of putting cards into negative balance - something that will stop at the airport in early Jan)
However as of early December 2018, if only wanting to take the train - you can just tap on and off with any contactless Mastercard, Visa or Amex (although recognise some US banks are a bit behind on this front) for the same price as a trip using Opal.

Still worth getting the Opal if you plan on taking buses in Sydney (contactless rollout still a few months away) as there are a few more transfer and weekly cap benefits available.

Airport gate fee is a function of funding. When built in the late 90s prior to the Olympics the two airport station (and two regular stations) were privately funded under a 30-year concession. Some talk of it being reduced, but the line itself is at capacity at peak periods so there is some reluctance to induce more demand. (Can be avoided if you've got a bit of time by taking the 400 or 420 bus to Mascot / Rockdale stations instead and transferring to train)

As for the lounges over holiday period - always packed, the ratio of leisure - business travellers changes, so the usage of lounges increases substantially, even if the same number of rooms that notionally have access.
Definitely recommended to get to the lounge before 6 and stake out a table, or after 7 when the rush subsides somewhat.
Post 338
Originally Posted by anabolism
Originally Posted by FLYMSY
I’m arriving in Sydney on 1/24 and will only be there until 1/26. I would probably take a few bus rides, in addition to the train to & from the airport. I’m debating whether to try to squeeze by with the $35 top up or to be on the safe side, do a $50 top up. Any suggestions?
How long, approximately, is the train ride from the airport to the stop near the Hilton?
You can download the (free) Opal app for your phone or tablet. It can calculate routes between places and show the prices, so you can know if you will need to top-off or not. The app can also show the card balance if you forget it (it is shown when you tap off a train or bus). At the Hilton, the Woolworth's is super close (it's at Town Hall station) and provides top-off.

If you are arriving with luggage and don't want to walk further than necessary, take the train all the way to Town Hall station, but it does take a long time because you have to go all around the city loop. It always feels like it takes forever, but probably only 30 minutes in reality.

By the way, the train cars have a few seats on the level you enter, with most seats on the lower and upper levels. If you don't mind the stairs, go up or down. You'll get better views upstairs. If you'd rather not mess with the stairs, take one of the seats on the entrance level.
Post 340
Originally Posted by moa999
Originally Posted by FLYMSY
I’m arriving in Sydney on 1/24 and will only be there until 1/26. I would probably take a few bus rides, in addition to the train to & from the airport. I’m debating whether to try to squeeze by with the $35 top up or to be on the safe side, do a $50 top up. Any suggestions?
How long, approximately, is the train ride from the airport to the stop near the Hilton?
Also, as mentioned above, I’m going to try out the Sheraton Hyde Park. It seems like the two hotels are relatively close. If I take a bus from the Hilton to the Sheraton, which bus # and which stop would I get off?
Doing the loop to Town Hall its about 27 minutes (stay on the upper deck and look to the right at the Circular Quay Stop) or 18mins to St. James which is 2-3 blocks away. Only shave a few minutes by switching trains at Central, so not worth it.

I'd go the Opal card and $50 topup then.. Main reason is as a tourist I'd definitely recommend the ferry trip to Manly as a great opportunity to see the Harbour, and see Manly Beach. Manly ferry is about $7.50 each way. Or Taronga Zoo if thats more your thing.

Definitely walkable Hilton to Sheraton

Sydney transport is well mapped on Google Maps and the Citymapper App... locals will often use Tripview or the Opal Travel app.
The correct map of the world, with Australia where it really is (at the top)
Australia compared to the USA
Australia vs USA map
Australia vs Europe map

Last edited by Oz Fest; May 24, 2019 at 9:11 pm Reason: update phone info / web cam
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 4:28 pm
Oz Fest organizers
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 270
History Of Oz Fests click here for the map. SYD-SYD-BNE-MEL-HBA-CNS-ADL-DRW-CBR-PER-ASP-AYQ-KKE-OOL-NTL-MCY-SYD

Oz Fest 01: 2004 22 attended in Sydney [how it all started The very first]
Oz Fest 02: 2005
58 attended in Sydney
Oz Fest 03: 2006
28 attended in Brisbane
Oz Fest 04: 2007
47 attended in Melbourne
Oz Fest 05: 2008
38 attended in Hobart
Oz Fest 06: 2009
59 attended in Cairns
Oz Fest 07: 2010
71 attended in Adelaide
Oz Fest 08: 2011
44 attended in Darwin
Oz Fest 09: 2012
51 attended in Canberra
Oz Fest 10: 2013
59 attended in Perth
Oz Fest 11: 2014
37 attended in Alice Springs-Ayers Rock
Oz Fest 12: 2015
41 attended in Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Oz Fest 13: 2016 44 attended in Gold Coast
Oz Fest 14: 2017 42 attended in Newcastle
Oz Fest 15: 2018 40 attended in Noosa

245 individual FTer's have attended Oz Fest 1 to Oz Fest 15 inclusive at an average of 2.75 per person. Repeat offenders at Oz Fest’s are about 80% with 20% newbie’s.

Continuous attendance, without missing an Oz Fest. Others have missed 1 or more Oz Fest’s
14 - restlessinRNO Oz Fest 02 SYD to Oz Fest 15 MCY (inclusive)
13 - Serfty Oz Fest 02 SYD to Oz Fest 14 NTL (inclusive)
13 - Sue Oz Oz Fest 03 BNE to Oz Fest 15 MCY (inclusive)
13 - Itsalongwaydown Oz Fest 03 BNE to Oz Fest 15 MCY (inclusive)
12 - Fredd Oz Fest 04 MEL to Oz Fest 15 MCY (inclusive)
12 - Mrs Fredd Oz Fest 04 MEL to Oz Fest 15 MCY (inclusive)
11 - Ozstamps Oz Fest 01 SYD to Oz Fest 11 ASP (inclusive)
10 - JohnSydney2000 Oz Fest 06 CNS to Oz Fest 15 MCY (inclusive)
10 - Chchkiwi Oz Fest 06 CNS to Oz Fest 15 MCY (inclusive)

As up to and including Oz Fest 15
15 :-: FTer for attending all 15 previous Oz Fests
no one

14 :-: FTer for attending 14 previous Oz Fests

13:-: FTer for attending 13 previous Oz Fests
Sue Oz

12 :-: FTer's for attending 12 previous Oz Fests
Mrs Fredd

11 :-: FTer's for attending 11 previous Oz Fests
Bundy Bear

10 :-: FTer's for attending 10 previous Oz Fests

9 :-: FTer's for attending 9 previous Oz Fests
To Market to Market

8 :-: FTer's for attending 8 previous Oz Fests
Mr fifa
Mr falconea

Last edited by Oz Fest; Apr 11, 2019 at 2:57 pm Reason: Added continuous attendance info
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 4:28 pm
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 270
Situation vacant: CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer)

As Oz Fest 16 will be Sydney we are looking for a new CEO. Over the last few years this role has only been done by a few people.

The CEO needs to find & book restaurants for the Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings. Takes a bit of research to find a reasonable restaurant for 40-50-60 people. Finding a restaurant for 10 people it is easy. Need to cater to a range of peoples dietary requirements at a fair price. Numbers tend to be firmed up only a few day before.

The CEO needs to organise some activities for Saturday & Sunday. Saturday tends to get ~75% participation & Sunday ~50% participation. Some good ideas have been suggested in the Oz Fest 15 thread.

Assistance can be given with the on-line reservation system and keeping the first 8 posts up to date.

So if you are good at cat herding and can use a Aussie Stockwhip, now it time to step forward. (It is actually not that bad)
Some one usually volunteers in January or February.

Post 78 & post 80
Originally Posted by Oz Fest
Originally Posted by Storyteller
The event needs a CEO, that's not me, however I may be free to arrange dinners Fri, Sat & Sun evenings. Unless I missed it and someone else has that hat now?
Thank you Storyteller.

Your offer is greatly appreciated and accepted. ^
Still need a CEO for activities during the day

Last edited by Oz Fest; Jan 30, 2019 at 10:49 pm Reason: Storyteller F&B offer
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 6:33 pm
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 7:36 pm
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 8:09 pm
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Please consider us as Gold at this point. Looking forward to my 15th OzFest!
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 8:32 pm
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 8:41 pm
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 8:56 pm
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