Getting to Gay Sydney and Getting Around
All visitors must secure a visa to enter the country. Luckily, U.S. and Canadian citizens can easily obtain an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority), essentially an Internet visa that doesn't require a stamp in your passport and is approved in about 30 seconds. Get yours at ETA.immi.gov.au.
Once you've obtained it, fly Down Under using the "Flying Kangaroo," Qantas (800-227-4500). Australia's national airline, one of the oldest continually running (and safest!) commercial operations in the world, offers 47 flights per week between the United States and Australia, including daily direct service from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City.
The Sydney and Melbourne airports boast new first-class lounges, each with a spa, library, and concierge service at your chair. Qantas's latest venture is the new, two-level flagship Airbus A380, with service between Los Angeles and Melbourne starting October 20 and a Los Angeles–Sydney flight starting October 24, 2009 .The luxurious first-class suite offers an entirely flat bed-chair, complimentary designer pajamas, and an optional eight-course tasting menu. Business-class seats have flat beds, luxe beauty products, and access to an onboard business lounge.
Kingsford Smith (Sydney) Airport (SYD)
The airport is situated six miles (9km) south of Sydney.The Airport Rail Link is a fast and convenient way to reach the city centre and the suburbs. Trains run every 10 minutes and the journey to the centre takes 13 minutes from where connections can be made for all suburban services.
The International rail station is located directly below T1 International Terminal and is reached from inside the terminal on the arrivals level; the Domestic rail station is between the Domestic terminals. Public bus 400 runs between the airport and Bondi Junction. Shuttle bus companies provide direct transport to and from the airport and must be pre-booked; hotel buses are also available.
For those of you who would like a private transfer we have the following service which can be pre-booked online.
Get the most from your travel dollars by obtaining the Aussie AirPass, which delivers three additional domestic flights with your international ticket at no extra cost. Once in Australia, choose from more than 25 cities (including our southern choices: Perth, Hobart, Melbourne, and Sydney). Cities are grouped into four different zones (with your purchase price determined by the farthest travel zone selected): Wine and Culture; Beautiful Beaches; Opera House, the Rock, and Koalas; and Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock (Uluru), and Sydney.
Sydney has a good network of buses, trains and ferries that make getting around the city and the surrounds easy, and there are numerous types of travel pass deals that are good value for money. The bus network is the most extensive, and cheapest mode of public transport, but can be slow due to traffic jams.There are also several hop-on hop-off Explorer buses especially for visitors that take in the major sights and surrounding beaches.
The underground city centre train loop is the fastest way to get around, but many of the tourist areas including Darling Harbour, Bondi Beach and Manly can only be reached by further ferry or bus connections. The best and most pleasurable way to get around is by ferry - the main terminal is at Circular Quay. A trip on the Manly ferry provides one of the best views of Sydney from the water. There is also a 10-minute monorail loop from the city centre to Darling Harbour and back, and a Metro Light Rail 'tram' system between Central Station and Wentworth Park in Pyrmont.
In addition metered taxis are plentiful and fairly economical; to cross the Harbour Bridge or pass through the Harbour Tunnel will cost an extra A$3 for the toll though. Hiring a car for short visits is not recommended due to heavy congestion (in peak hours) and limited parking in the city centre.
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