One Week In Sydney for Christmas too much?

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Old Dec 13, 17, 2:56 am
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One Week In Sydney for Christmas too much?

We were supposed to be skiing in the sierras for Christmas. The snow looks bleak so we made a last minute booking to spend the week in Sydney. The tickets are on a 24 hour refundable status so I can change my mind still. Anyway, as it stands, we'd arrive on the morning of the 24th and depart January 1. The idea of being there for new years is attractive to us as is the city itself (never been). I do wonder whether spending a full week in Sydney is too much. We don't have longer, so visiting much more of the country seems out too. I can imagine the city keeping us busy for 2 or 3 days. Perhaps visit the beaches nearby for a day or two but then I start to become concerned that maybe we should be trying to fit in another destination. If you have any specific suggestions for Christmas day (probably a beach day right?) or for New Years Eve (where to see the fireworks) that would be helpful. Our budget is not too constrained (though not crazy high) so all suggestions are welcome.
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Old Dec 13, 17, 5:34 am
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Sydney is stunning at that time of year. Grab your accomodation asap as NYE is crazy expensive

Id say a week is fine, there is plenty to do. Beaches are awesome but very crowded. Harbour cruise, bridge climb a day trip to the Blue Mountains...you’ll have choices

XMAS lunch at all the good restaurants will be already booked and expensive wherever you go. Your hotel can help.

NYE is crazy in the city. It’s something to behold and well worth it. But a million people line the shores and it’s hard to find a good spot without knowing where to go. Public transport is the only option, so you’ll u need your hotel to help with suggestions. In an ideal world, I’d be at Mrs Macquarie’s chair - but so will half of the city. Wherever you go, bring food and drink (lots of water as it can be hot) and just enjoy the show. Fireworks at 9 and midnight - the latter being the big one.

Youll love it!
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Old Dec 13, 17, 11:11 am
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I did a week in Sydney and did not run out of things to do at all. Especially with a couple holidays in there with some things being closed, you should stay plenty busy. If you haven't booked a hotel though, you are going to struggle to find one available. I was trying to book one for clients a couple months ago and most were sold out or down to a handful of rooms only.
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Old Dec 13, 17, 1:53 pm
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Thanks for the replies. You guys have me excited! Rooms from the 24th to the 29th not hard to come by. But after that the better hotels are either booked or have rates that are simply insane (Shangri La for example has 4 night minimum for the NYE weekend and the harbor view room, not a suite, is $AUD 2145 per night!!!). So, still working on the last few days accommodations. I know we're not likely to end up anywhere too special for Christmas lunch/dinner, but if anyone has suggestions that are the kinds of places that are not top tier (and therefore may not booked solid) I'd love to hear about it. Of course I am all ears so any other must do's please jump in. We tend to be fairly active types....so beaches, cycling, walking, are all good. Boats? Love them. Nice outdoor restaurants are always wonderful too. Not into overly pretentious dining; we're fairly casual usually but totally find it worth it to pay the price to be in a great location (nice patio, nice view, attractive space) to enjoy good food. And we do clean up okay for the occasional night out that is a bit more on the formal side. It is Sydney though so I am thinking it is more like So. California in terms of casualness. Right? Or is the British tradition still on?
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Old Dec 13, 17, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by peter11 View Post
Thanks for the replies. You guys have me excited! Rooms from the 24th to the 29th not hard to come by. But after that the better hotels are either booked or have rates that are simply insane (Shangri La for example has 4 night minimum for the NYE weekend and the harbor view room, not a suite, is $AUD 2145 per night!!!). So, still working on the last few days accommodations. I know we're not likely to end up anywhere too special for Christmas lunch/dinner, but if anyone has suggestions that are the kinds of places that are not top tier (and therefore may not booked solid) I'd love to hear about it. Of course I am all ears so any other must do's please jump in. We tend to be fairly active types....so beaches, cycling, walking, are all good. Boats? Love them. Nice outdoor restaurants are always wonderful too. Not into overly pretentious dining; we're fairly casual usually but totally find it worth it to pay the price to be in a great location (nice patio, nice view, attractive space) to enjoy good food. And we do clean up okay for the occasional night out that is a bit more on the formal side. It is Sydney though so I am thinking it is more like So. California in terms of casualness. Right? Or is the British tradition still on?
There's a pretty good dining thread for Sydney here...

SYDNEY where to eat?

Dining is much more California than Britain. I'd suggest a trip to Watsons Bay and dinner at Doyles or the Watsons Bay Hotel watching the sun set over the city. Also, it's hard to beat fish and chips sitting in the park at Bondi or Coogee beach. Closer to the CBD I really like the rooftop bar at the Pallisade Hotel. (NB pubs are called hotels because they originally started as hotels, but few still have accomodation)

I'll give you the heads up, avoid the "popular" beaches on Christmas Day (Bondi, Manly, Coogee). They will be filled with drunk backpackers enjoying their first summer Christmas. Without looking, I'd say most Christmas lunches will be targeted toward tourists and have price tags to match. Expect limited options and set menus. Christmas in Australia usually involves a lot more seafood than in the Northern Hemisphere, because of the climate (the fish market stays open for 36 hours straight leading into Christmas Eve). So expect menus to be heavy on prawns and oysters and light on turkey and ham.

Re accomodation, it's going to be expensive if you're anywhere with a view.

Here's a recent thread on NYE in Sydney...

New Years Eve in Sydney

It seems every year we get people visiting Sydney for NYE who are shocked at the hotel prices.

Last edited by bensyd; Dec 13, 17 at 6:47 pm
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Old Dec 14, 17, 6:22 am
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Chuck a visit into the Blue Mountains in your plans along with the holiday festivities, and 1 week will fill up fast. Definitely try to decide which museums or activities you are most interested in, because you may have to plan around their holiday opening days / hours.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 10:07 am
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Originally Posted by bensyd View Post
There's a pretty good dining thread for Sydney here...

SYDNEY where to eat?

Dining is much more California than Britain. I'd suggest a trip to Watsons Bay and dinner at Doyles or the Watsons Bay Hotel watching the sun set over the city. Also, it's hard to beat fish and chips sitting in the park at Bondi or Coogee beach. Closer to the CBD I really like the rooftop bar at the Pallisade Hotel. (NB pubs are called hotels because they originally started as hotels, but few still have accomodation)

I'll give you the heads up, avoid the "popular" beaches on Christmas Day (Bondi, Manly, Coogee). They will be filled with drunk backpackers enjoying their first summer Christmas. Without looking, I'd say most Christmas lunches will be targeted toward tourists and have price tags to match. Expect limited options and set menus. Christmas in Australia usually involves a lot more seafood than in the Northern Hemisphere, because of the climate (the fish market stays open for 36 hours straight leading into Christmas Eve). So expect menus to be heavy on prawns and oysters and light on turkey and ham.

Re accomodation, it's going to be expensive if you're anywhere with a view.

Here's a recent thread on NYE in Sydney...

New Years Eve in Sydney

It seems every year we get people visiting Sydney for NYE who are shocked at the hotel prices.

I am good with a seafood Christmas! I am thinking most tourist things will be closed on Christmas so the beach seems like the logical destination. Are they really THAT bad? Would it be worth it to go to what I believe are called the "northern" beaches?
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Old Dec 15, 17, 7:44 pm
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Originally Posted by peter11 View Post
I am good with a seafood Christmas! I am thinking most tourist things will be closed on Christmas so the beach seems like the logical destination. Are they really THAT bad? Would it be worth it to go to what I believe are called the "northern" beaches?
Bondi, Coogee, Manly I would avoid like the plague. The harbour beaches (Camp Cove, Nielsen Park, Balmoral Beach etc) will be much more laid back and usually get families. The northern and southern beaches should be fine. It's a bit of a myth that Australians go to the beach on Christmas Day.

This is Coogee beach on Christmas Day to give you an idea of what you'd be dealing with...

https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/...fa3?width=1024

...And Bondi...

https://nomadsworld.com/wp-content/u...wn-768x576.jpg

Last edited by bensyd; Dec 15, 17 at 7:49 pm
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Old Dec 15, 17, 8:25 pm
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Originally Posted by bensyd View Post
Bondi, Coogee, Manly I would avoid like the plague. The harbour beaches (Camp Cove, Nielsen Park, Balmoral Beach etc) will be much more laid back and usually get families. The northern and southern beaches should be fine. It's a bit of a myth that Australians go to the beach on Christmas Day.

This is Coogee beach on Christmas Day to give you an idea of what you'd be dealing with...

https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/...fa3?width=1024

...And Bondi...

https://nomadsworld.com/wp-content/u...wn-768x576.jpg
Yuck! Thanks for the images. I am sure most Australians are hanging with family and if they happen to live at the beach they might do beach stuff. At least that's the way it is here in California if we have a warm Christmas day. Regardless, with the city pretty much closed, seems like a beach day might be in order for us. So glad to get your advice though about Coogee and Bondi. That looks pretty awful; certainly not my cup of tea.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 8:55 pm
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Originally Posted by peter11 View Post
Yuck! Thanks for the images. I am sure most Australians are hanging with family and if they happen to live at the beach they might do beach stuff. At least that's the way it is here in California if we have a warm Christmas day. Regardless, with the city pretty much closed, seems like a beach day might be in order for us. So glad to get your advice though about Coogee and Bondi. That looks pretty awful; certainly not my cup of tea.
I'd really consider the harbour beaches in that case. Somewhere like Nielsen Park has a big park area behind it so plenty of space to have a picnic and then go for a swim. It's also probably the prettiest beach on the harbour.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 9:14 pm
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Use the ferries... its a truly beautiful harbour....go to Taronga Park Zoo...... lots of good advice here...
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Old Dec 17, 17, 3:30 pm
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Have you got accommodation yet?

i know you said your budget was not that constrained but this close in, choice is not your friend.
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Old Dec 17, 17, 8:40 pm
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Great thread for us. have been to Sydney before, but spending the 28th through the 2d and wondered if we would have enough to do... we do have accomodations, and reservations for NYE at the botanic garden, and a new years day concert at the opera house, but always interested in new ideas. Been reading a blog called the Sydney expert that has a couple of good self guided walks to take in the cbd, that even if you have walked those before, with a map and some information bound to find something new along the way. The bridge climb is not for us, but I think we are going to do the pylon lookout instead.
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Old Dec 17, 17, 10:47 pm
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Originally Posted by JClasstraveller View Post
Have you got accommodation yet?

i know you said your budget was not that constrained but this close in, choice is not your friend.
Accommodation was fairly easy from the 24th to the 29th. Got a nice room at the Shangri-La at a reasonable rate. Rates at all of the properties at the rocks skyrocket for the holiday weekend, most with a four night minimum at those rates! From the 29th onward we had to retreat a bit to find something more reasonable. For us that turned out to the the Sofitel Darling Harbour. Anyone considering going, there are rooms, just not ones that have a view of the fireworks.
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Old Dec 18, 17, 1:19 am
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Originally Posted by trooper View Post
Use the ferries... its a truly beautiful harbour....go to Taronga Park Zoo...... lots of good advice here...
Catch Ferry McFerryface!
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