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All People > painedplatinum > Travel Report from Near and Far > 2012 > August

Back on May 17th, I started a thread requesting information from the Marriott Insiders community about Sydney, Australia. I had just received a work assignment for 3 weeks in July to a country that was new to me. Not only did I get reviews of  Marriott properties, I was wonderfully inundated with travel tips and suggestions.  I'd like to thank pluto77chrisf, californian, jamicarroll, pltnmprincess, jerrycoin, arkwright, gemprincess and tryt53 for stopping by that original thread and supplying me with great support and advice. Because of you wonderfully giving people, I was able to hit the ground running and maximize my time in country. That is worth so very much.


I decided to try a blog to document my experience. I started strong, then fizzled, then was prompted back into action. I learned a few things about adding pictures and saving posts. Trial and error on this site has been fun(?). I'd be happy to share my limited blogging knowledge with anyone on here.

Back to the actual trip....I had a fantastic time. It ranks in the top 3 of my travel adventures. Jerry's advice to look into Priority Pass for airport lounge access came in handy. Pluto's excellent itemized list of sites and activities was right on. Arkwright's experiences in Australia allowed me to have familiarity prior to ever stepping off the plane.


Canberra as a planned capital city is worth a long weekend of your time. You could spend a week, but 3 packed days will probably be enough to maximize your travel dollar. It is full of historic and governmental sites. I found the dining options varied but lacking in quality. The city itself rolls up the carpets fairly early.


Sydney was the true highlight. I had a little less than one week to explore. The Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay was the perfect host for my short stay. It's central location allowed me to walk to many locales or hop on mass transit  to expand the net for travel experiences.  Excellent dining, shopping, touring, and activities were easy to find. The Rocks, the Opera House area, the beaches, and the people of Australia all made this a trip I can wholeheartedly recommend to people looking for a travel adventure.


I promised Pluto I would add a picture of the oldest pub in Sydney. The Fortune of War was friendly and comfortable. They serve a nice cold beer in schooners. A schooner is about 3/4 of a pint. It's a nice size for a sipper like me.  My favorite pub that was full of local life was the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. Don't miss either of these fine establishments on your visit to Sydney.


  Thanks Everyone.




Like other cities on the water, Sydney has many beaches nearby worth exploring. The Manly Ferry leaves right from the harbor. Once again, a 2 block walk from the Marriott. A short enjoyable water ride later leaves you in the heart of the action in Manly. My photographic skills were severely challenged and the pictures of the ferry ride were not very good, sorry. Rest assured, there were many beautiful sights on the ride.


Bondi Beach from the Marriott is a bus ride away..15-20 minutes at most. I walked back from Bondi to the hotel, that was about an hour on foot.  There is a Beach Walk from Bondi to Tamarama to Bronte. You walk along the shoreline up and down many hills. It's about 3 miles each way. Best to be in walking shape to take on that trek. It was breathtaking. The first few pics are of Manly and the ferry ride. The next group are the 3 beaches on the walk. The beaches have picnic grounds and nice grassy area adjacent to the sand. People were enjoying the surfing and the reveling.









Eastern Beach Walk.JPG

Bondi Surf Bathers LS Club.JPGBondi Beach 1.JPG

Bondi Beach 4.JPGBondi Ocean Pool.JPG

Bondi Surf Fish.JPGTamarama Bus Stop.JPG

Tamarama Beach 1.JPGTamarama Beach Vballers.JPG

Tamarama Surf LS Club.JPGBronte Surf LS Club.JPG

Bronte Park Big Balls 2.JPGBronte Park Picnic Music.JPG


Bronte Beach 1.JPG

The Rocks is an area that bumps up against the harbor across from the Opera House. There are restaurants, clubs, shops, etc. It is a great walking area. There are some hills, but I think it's a walking experience most people will thoroughly enjoy. The Marriott is less than 2 blocks away.  While I was in town.... The Aroma Festival took place on Sunday, July 29, 2012. There were banners all over announcing it's arrival. I was anticipating a few tents and kiosks with coffee, tea, and chocolate tastings. WOW, did I ever underestimate the festival. It's worth planning your trip to attend if you're in Sydney around this time of year.  There was a corn on the cob stand...big deal you say...but it was the best corn I've ever had! There were four stages with musical and theatrical entertainment. You also could see many impromptu concerts around every corner. A bit of New Orleans with a dash of the Taste of Chicago feel to the event. I included the shot of the bridge for Pluto.  AND as we all know, nothing says a good time like a small Oompah band and a bellydancer.








FILE0043.JPGGerman Music.JPG



Hyde Park is just a few minutes walk from the Marriott. There was a 2nd Marriott in Sydney that is just off the park. It's now run by Accord Hotels and is no longer a Marriott. These pictures were taken on the walk to and from in addition to the sights in the park itself. This was a wonderful experience. It was on a Thursday and folks were eating lunch in courtyards throughout the walk. Everyone was in a good mood. I can tell you that Sydney, to date, is the happiest city I've experienced.









Pictures of Sydney

Posted by painedplatinum Aug 29, 2012

Really great city and my pictures will not do it justice, but here are a few.  Let's start with the accommodations at the Marriott. These are from my UPGRADED! suite on the 22nd floor. Out the window you can see the beautiful water. The exterior pics are of the Marriott from the harbor and then a longer view from the Opera House. The location of the hotel could not have been better. I walked every where. I also bought a weekly pass for train/bus/ferries. At $43 it was a bargain.


Marriott King Bedroom.JPGMarriott Suite Sitting Room.JPG

Sydney Harbor from Marriott.JPGMarriott Bathroom.JPG



Pictures of Canberra

Posted by painedplatinum Aug 29, 2012

I haven't mastered the picture importing yet. Here are a few of the capital city. The birds were so colorful. The DFW reader board for the flight was exciting to see. Even though the temps in Canberra got up to 55, there were places to ski an hour or so away. Queen Elizabeth's gift to the city was the Captain Cook Fountain in Lake Burley Griffin. The boys in the park are playin Djun Djun drums Flight # to Aussie.JPGWinter in Aus..JPG

Australian Magpie.JPGFILE0007.JPG

Commonwealth Park.JPGCockatoo Head.JPG

FILE0039.JPGDjun Djun in Park.JPG

War Mem to Parliment.JPGPink Gallah II.JPG


Day 14  Hello Sydney!!

Posted by painedplatinum Aug 28, 2012

The day started with a Country Link train at 7:05AM from Canberra to Sydney. It's a 4 hour train ride that goes quickly. The train arrives in Central Station. From there the local train takes you, in short order, right to Circular Quay. The Marriott is two blocks from the train station. I had two suitcases, one large, one medium, and a backpack. The sidewalk was smooth and the rollerbags had no issues on the walk to the hotel. I was greeted at the Sydney Harbor Marriott at Circular Quay by a smiling front desk associate. The young man thanked me for being Platinum and upgraded my points stay to a SUITE...SWEET!!!!


Sydney Opera House from Marriott Window.JPG


The view from the 22nd floor was of the Opera House and the Harbor. The Concierge Lounge was a few floors up. I don't know how to add multiple pictures. Once I figure it out, I'll add pics of the suite and hotel in general.


Although it was winter in Sydney, the weather was perfect. The high for the day reached 67 degrees.