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scubamarli

Before and after the Solomons.....

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I'm going to be on the Bilikiki for 12 days in July/August, and I'm trying to figure out whether to hang out in Brisbane and Sydney at all prior to and/or afterwards. Anyone familiar with weather, hotels and worthwhile sights? I have to overnight each direction anyway, so any suggestions are appreciated. No time to dive whilst in Oz, though.

 

Cheers,

Marli

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Hi Marli. July/August is pretty chilly in Sydney. Not snow and ice, but certainly not tshirt weather. Brisbane on other hand will be considerably warmer with maybe a light sweater required in the evening. Both cities are worth a visit. Sydney obviously has more well known sights (Opera House, Bridge, Harbour etc.), but Brisbane has a beautiful river, some lovely resturants and is close to some gorgeous beaches and tropical rainforest. Up to you really. Hotels I can't help you with.

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I normally stay at Pacific Suites on Kent Street when in Sydney. The rooms are nice and the location's great: only a couple of minutes walk from the harbour, the shopping area and the watering holes :D

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Marli,

 

I normally stay at Pacific Suites on Kent Street when in Sydney

the world feels small - I used to work at ESRI which is opposite - 414 Kent St - looking straight in the windows!

 

Th pacific suites are nice to stay in, kinda modern, nice bath and roomy. As a tourist I like staying at the North Sydney Harbourview ... because of this view ....

prop-img-full-enl26nph-fc2hv08f25mo.jpg.

 

I like taking pictures of the bridge/city sunset/lights. Its a little bit further from the airport, but if you were there a couple of days it would worth the extra 5 minutes taxi ride. The hotel is a couple minutes stroll from the train station - which is two stops (over the bridge) to the city. Walk to the harbour (Milsons Point / Kiribilli are really nice harbouside walks). Good eating / bars on that side of the harbour in North Sydney and Kirribilli.

 

cheers

Leander

 

PS - I'm jealous, the Spirit of Solomons (Biliki's sister ship) wass a great boat / trip and I've been hanging out to go back :D

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btw, i use wotif.com for good accomodation prices

:D

Lndr

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Thanks,

Any thoughts are appreciated! I looked at wotif, and they only book 28 days in advance. I probably want to have something firmed up a bit more in advance.

 

Cheers,

Marli

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I'm going to be on the Bilikiki for 12 days in July/August, and I'm trying to figure out whether to hang out in Brisbane and Sydney at all prior to and/or afterwards. Anyone familiar with weather, hotels and worthwhile sights? I have to overnight each direction anyway, so any suggestions are appreciated. No time to dive whilst in Oz, though.

 

Cheers,

Marli

 

I'd stay in Woolloomooloo or the Rocks area. Great restaurants and nightlife. Depending on your wants, I suggest for italian, Otto's on the Wharf at the Blue Bay (don't stay there though, noisy!) OR Bel Mondo at the Argyle stores in the Rocks area. For a more homey sedate affair, Lucio's or Darcy's in Paddington are very good choices. For Asian fusion, Galileo at the Observatory hotel is expensive but worth it. My favorite haunt when I lived in Sydney was Iceberg's since it was just down the street from my place.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, Macro in Crowns Nest (I think) is great. As for sights, errr I had no time since I was eating most of the time. But since you're there for one night, take it easy and just enjoy some ozzie wine and food. Save the sights (ok the obligatory Opera house and harbor view at night is doable). From Belmondo you can see both at the table so it's 3 birds with 1 fork. :D

For Brisbane, again for italian , Il Centro at the pier and if you are really looking for a wacky hotel, stay at the Palazzo Versace for a night. Sure plenty of japanese tourists but the decor is Versace avant garde. That's in the gold coast about 30mins away from Brissie.

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Palazzo Versace??? Yeah, I bet I'd fit right in after living in the same clothes for 12 days on a liveaboard!!!

:)

It turns out that Solomon Airlines has cancelled the Tuesday return flight, so I may get to stay in charming Honiaria :D instead, or take the newly back in the air after bankruptcy Air Nauru. :D

Looks like I may be booking things a bit later on than planned.

 

Thanks for the tips, though,

Marli

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It turns out that Solomon Airlines has cancelled the Tuesday return flight, so I may get to stay in charming Honiaria :D instead, or take the newly back in the air after bankruptcy Air Nauru. :D

Did they cancel that specific return flight or all tuesday return flights? I just came back from the Solomons 3 days ago (was there for a month, 2nd time this year), and the thursday return flight is a horrid schedule as it leaves at 7am. This means you leave the ship at 4:30 am, and you cant dive at all the day before. This was the first time in many trips there that we had that return flight. I hope thats not permanent :)

 

Are you going to Sydney for a reason? It may be better to fly either USA->Fiji->Solomons or USA->Brisbane->Solomons. Saves you 2 flights between Brisbane and Sydney. Brisbane has enough sights to keep you busy for a few days, and the weather will be reasonable enough so you dont have to take many extra clothes. I can suggest at least going to Lone Pine animal park for a day. I would definately stay at least 2 days in Australia if you can, because you wouldnt be the first one to have their luggage come late. Give yourself some time to fix any problems that arise.

 

If you absolutely have to stay in Honiara, stay at the Mendana Hotel and get a good book. But i'd avoid it.

 

If you're keen on seeing Sydney, then by all means go see Sydney. It's a huge city with plenty of places to visit. I usually stay around Circular Quay which gives you easy transit to many areas (Zoo, Manly Beach, Harbor Bridge, Opera House, etc etc.).

 

Have fun,

 

Cor

 

ps: we'll be going to the Bilikiki about a month after you again :)

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I have a free ticket to Sydney from a tour company that I use to take students travelling. As of November 6th, the only flight back to Brisbane is on Air Nauru. This is a new service, which is actually run by an Aussie charter company, Alliance Air. So new is this service that the webpage for Air Nauru is still under construction, so there's no info about baggage allowance or excess charges. The good news is that the flight lists as a lot cheaper than Solomon Airlines. So, looks like all planning is off until I hear what schedule there will be after March 31st, when it's due for a revamp.

 

Cheers,

Marli

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I have a free ticket to Sydney from a tour company that I use to take students travelling. As of November 6th, the only flight back to Brisbane is on Air Nauru. This is a new service, which is actually run by an Aussie charter company, Alliance Air. So new is this service that the webpage for Air Nauru is still under construction, so there's no info about baggage allowance or excess charges. The good news is that the flight lists as a lot cheaper than Solomon Airlines. So, looks like all planning is off until I hear what schedule there will be after March 31st, when it's due for a revamp.

Wow, I hadnt even noticed that before, but it doesnt surprise me. It looks like Solomon Airlines dropped from 3 flights a week to 1 flight a week. I suppose it's both good and bad. Good in that there's some form of competition. Bad in that you'll just have to wait and see how Air Nauru operates. Some of these schedules turn out to be very shortlived. I wonder if they've got the 40KG deal with Bilikiki. If not, ouch! Cheaper but in the end more expensive?

 

Solomon Airlines is often just run by either Quantas or Air Vanuatu.

 

Since you're going to Sydney, what I would do is stay 3-4 days in Sydney. There's lots to see there. Then head to Brisbane and stay 1 full day (for luggage reasons) and visit Lone Pine animal park or anything else you'd like to see. Then head to the Solomons and dont stay there if you can help it :D

 

Cor

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If you end up coming to BrisVegas, as we like to call it, I live 15mins from the airport so happy to pick you up at the airport and get you to your hotel. Certainly can fill in a day or two, or more if you have time. If you want to email me, follow the "my Webpage" link in my signature below and grab my email address from the site.

darren

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