Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I had a stressful day yesterday.

I wasn't feeling a 100% great.   Then I started to work on making hotel/holiday park reservations.

First, the hotels near Sydney airport were much more expensive than I expected.  I found one hotel with a good price, but it got very mixed reviews.   And when I say "mixed", I mean mostly bad reviews.    I hate reading hotel reviews.   If there's a really negative review, I can't tell if the hotel was really bad, or if the person writing the review is snobby/has too high expectations, etc.   It's so hard for me to figure these things out.

I decided maybe we'd just stay at the Darling Harbor hotel that we stayed at last year, and planned to stay again for our upcoming extended time in Sydney.   I looked up the hotel prices and they have TOTALLY jumped from last year.   I am so bummed out about that.

Now we're stuck looking for a new place to stay.   No, I'm not hinting that you Sydney people should let us camp out on your floor.   We HAVE found some promising places that have good locations and good prices.    It's just I'm going to miss staying in Darling Harbor.   Yes, there were annoying aspects.  It's very touristy and we didn't really like the restaurants over there. But I loved being right next door to the Aquarium and Wildlife World.

Some of the new places we found are near Hyde Park.   I think that will work for us.  We loved having picnics in Hyde Park, so now it will be a shorter walk.   I think there are buses and train stations nearby.   And it's a fairly okay walk to both Circular Quay and Darling Harbor.

Oh well.

We shall see.


Ingrid said...

I´m an Australian living in Austria. I don´t get to go back as much as you seem to, but have all the Australian memoriabilia...... A friend, though, went back last year and said that the cost of things in Australia have tripled in the past 2 years. I don´t know what sort of things you like to do, but my favorite places in Sydney are Balmain and Glebe. They have great village life and fantastic markets on Saturday. A bit alternative and groovy, though You can usually get more reasonable hotels here. It is about 5 mins from Central station. You can also get ferries from Circular Quay. Newtown in the city is also great. Sydney Centre is easily accessible from most parts by bus and there are great places near beaches. Darling Harbour and the airport are only where the real tourists go to. We´re going back in December.

Dina said...

Hi Ingrid!!

What are you doing in Austria? Do you like it?

Things ARE expensive in Australia. I didn't know it had been different before. I had nothing to really compare it to--except American prices.

I THINK we found a place to stay near Hyde Park. I told my husband that if it doesn't work out, we should look at the places you suggest.

I definitely do want to visit Balmain, Glebe, and Newton. The only thing I worry about staying in one of those neighborhoods is how hard would it be to get to the other neighborhoods? Would it be hard to get from Glebe to Newton? Or Glebe to Bondi?

It SEEMS easier to stay in a more central location, but I could be wrong about that.

The benefits to staying in the neighorhoods though....I'm sure you're more likely to find playgrounds. Better shopping and restaurants. Cheaper lodging.

Rebecca/beccaelf said...

Whenever I read negative reviews about places, I focus on what exactly the person didn't like about it.

If it's just general stuff like "not worth the price", then I take it with a grain of salt.

If it's something specific like "THERE WERE BUGS EVERYWHERE!", then I take it a little more seriously.

Another little trick I use is (when possible); I look at other reviews that a person wrote. And if they are all negative, then you can assume they just complain about everything. But if it's a good mix of positive/negative things, then I
respect their reviews a little more.

Dina said...


Thanks!! I think you make a lot of sense.

My problem is everyone has different standards.

"There were bugs everywhere"....does that mean fifty cockroaches or two spiders in a corner?

If someone says a room is tiny and cramped, what does that mean?

Is "Dirty" filthy and disgusting...or a little forgotten dust in a corner.

I like your idea of checking out their other reviews. That makes a lot of sense.

Daisy said...

The train station is right near Hyde Park - you'll have no troubles.

Dina said...


Thanks. I'm trying to remember if we've been to that station or not. I'm guessing we have been. Is that the closest one to Darling Harbor?

I remember we had to walk a bit to get to the station.

redness said...

Why not subscribe to lastminute dot com for accommodation deals or subscribe to the Sydney 'Time Out' magazine???

Have you looked at Hyde Park Plaza, not the newest place but it is right in the heart of the city, close to all transport, shopping, movies, walk to Darling Harbour downhill, walk to Paddy's Markets, churches, book stores, hop on buses or trains to anywhere you desire, no hills to climb and a huge Woolworths on the next block perfect for putting a picnic together, with everything from huge Internet access, chocolate, to a T shirt, toothpaste or a headache pill!!!
Try to stay on the city side of Hyde Park for better convenience.

Sydney is no more expensive than any other major city and can be so very, very cheap if you know where to go!

Save the stress it's easy ;)

Dina said...


I think we've found a place! It's an apartment-type place. We like staying in those--especially since we'll be there for two weeks. We like having a kitchen. I'm not a big fan of restaurants. My husband is REALLY into cooking. So, it works for us.

I'm keeping the link to the last-minute thing IN CASE one of our places falls though.

I think staying away from Darling Harbor and cooking more will save us money.

We lost a lot of money before by not planning ahead, ending up hungry, and rushing to find a restaurant to eat at. We'd end up eating at some overpriced place in Darling Harbor.

Anonymous said...

You'll be fine staying at Hyde Park, it's very central. It's about a 15 - 20 minute walk to both Darling Harbour and Circular Quay, and that walk is right through the city, so it's interesting.

The closest main station is Town Hall station (about a 10 minute walk away), which has trains going to and from everywhere.

The closest station to Darling Harbour is also Town Hall; it's also about 15 minutes away. I'm not sure why it took you awhile to get there, maybe you accidently meandered through the streets a bit?

Have you tried out the monorail? Like most Aussies I've actually never been on it, but it does stop closer to Darling Harbour than the train.

Yes, and agree that the places at Darling Harbour and Circular Quay are absolute RIP OFFS!! :)

redness said...

I am thrilled you've found an apartment - brilliant idea! Yes you're right Darling Harbour is so over priced! How exciting ;)

Dina said...

Anonymous: I think the walk SEEMS long because we're with my son who hates walking. He asks constantly "Are we there yet?" I hope he gets out of that stage soon. I LOVE walking. I miss the days when we could just stick him in a stroller. When we'd go to NYC, we never even took public transportation. We'd walk everywhere--sometimes going 5-10 miles a day. But those were the lovely stroller days.

I went on the monerail once! My friend took us on it. We went from somewhere near aquarium to near the Powerhouse museum. That's all I remember.

Redness: Thanks!!! We're excited about it.