Unexpected weekend off in Australia! What should we do?
November 5, 2010 2:12 PM   Subscribe

We are in Vincentia, NSW, Australia. We have a car and an unexpected weekend off. We've already done a ton of stuff in Sydney and we'd like to see someplace else. Help us plan our weekend trip.

Two coworkers and I are working in the Jervis Bay area and we unexpectedly don't have to work the weekend. We'd like to drive somewhere and spend the night someplace fun, but other than Sydney there's doesn't seem to be a whole lot of exciting places within reasonable driving distance. We're thinking about the Blue Mountains, but don't know how to downselect specific drives/tours/hotels/etc from all the info we're finding online.

So, can you recommend to us:

(1) A fun place or places to go?
(2) Best way to get there by car? (We have a GPS, but if there are more fun/scenic alternate routes we're open to them)
(3) Best reasonably priced places to stay overnight in your suggested destination? There are two of us, two male and one female, when taking into account sizes of hotel rooms and number of beds. We're friendly (and cheap) enough to share a hotel room but not friendly enough to cuddle. Two beds + cot or couch is ideal.

We enjoy excellent food and drink, light hiking, and awesome scenery. We do not enjoy the myriad living things that seem to want to kill us and/or creep us out here (snakes, spiders, etc) so camping is out for right now. All three of us are from the US, and one has been to Australia -- mostly Sydney -- before but the other two of us are here for the first time.

posted by olinerd to Travel & Transportation around Vincentia, Australia (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You could go to Canberra and do the tourist thing, Old Parliament House, new Parliament House, Australian War Memorial, Questacon (oh, that place is SO MUCH FUN!), Botanic Gardens, Dinosaur Museum, National Film and Sound Archive, National Library, the Carillion... and the view from Mt Ainslie at night, looking towards both Parliament Houses is breathtaking. A good range of restaurant/dining options too.

Disclaimer: my 12 year old returned yesterday from a school excursion there, and I lived there for 13 years. Nice place to visit. Awful place to live, I reckon, but YMMV.

My daughter's class stayed at the Canberra Carotel. Cheap, clean, comfortable, according to her teacher. Drive to Canberra through Bungendore.

(I'd invite you to Mudgee and I'd show you the sights, but I'm going to the Rylstone Street Feast today. And it's probably a bit far for you to drive today.)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:34 PM on November 5, 2010

I've just checked your profile. I reckon you would really enjoy Questacon. (And perhaps the CSIRO too, my daughter suggests.)

Questacon is aimed at making science fun for kids and teens... ha. I have more fun there than both my kids put together!
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:37 PM on November 5, 2010

Canberra is having a Film Festival too, if that's you're kind of thing.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:47 PM on November 5, 2010

Was your unexpected weekend off *this* weekend? Because if so, I've probably gotten here too late.

But yeah, Jervis Bay is surprisingly close to Canberra. Take the road up via Braidwood (well preserved quaint little town with a thriving art community; definitely worth a stop or an overnight stay - the entire town is listed in the state heritage register). Within about 2-3 hours all up, you'll reach Canberra, which is interesting for a day. There's not a whole lot to do at night, though.

Another option is to drive up through Kangaroo Valley towards Bowral & Berrima & then return. There are some waterfalls in the National Park up the top of Kangaroo Valley (Fitzroy Falls, from the map I'm looking at) which are probably gushing with water if it's been as rainy up there as it has been in Sydney this week. Lyrebirds, too.

Bowral, Berrima & Berry (which is at the bottom of the valley) are those typical sorts of weekend drive towns, full of antique stores & devonshire teas & so on - a bit kitschy but you can find tasty things to eat, and they're well set up for daytrippers from Sydney (well-marked scenic routes, signposted local attractions etc)
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:47 PM on November 5, 2010

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