Six hours in Sydney
April 7, 2007 1:04 AM   Subscribe

Six hour layover in Sydney next Friday morning. Is there a good place to get brunch and perhaps some wine/beer that we can get to without spending too much?

(+1 difficulty: we're landing at 6:00am, and our next flight leaves at 1:00) I haven't been to Sydney, so pretend that I know nothing about the layout of the city, the overall efficiency of public transit, or the length of time I should expect to spend in transit.

(Also, if a friendly mefite wants to join us, we'd likely pick up the tab)
posted by toxic to Travel & Transportation around Sydney, Australia (14 answers total)
Bill Granger's cafes - Bills and Bills 2 are what comes to mind when you say brunch in Sydney. They're in Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, and six hours is plenty of time to get a taxi, eat and go back to the airport. And there's probably a bottle shop near by where you can get beer/wine.
posted by Sar at 1:25 AM on April 7, 2007

Sar has a good plan. The airport is located south of the city, so you don't really want to go to the north side, nor do you want to trek out to the eastern suburbs. A lot of the suburbs between the airport and the city are pretty industrial, so you do need to take a bit of a trip to get in (read 20 minutes, $A20-25 each way) before you fine a nice place to eat. The closest suburbs to the airport with decent eateries are Newtown and Surry Hills, but I probably wouldn't go to Newtown in the morning.

So yeah, ask to go to Crown St in Surry Hills, there will be a few choices there - though Bills sounds pretty good.
posted by kisch mokusch at 2:10 AM on April 7, 2007

Are you continuing on Internationally from Sydney?

If so, 6 hours might not be enough to go through customs, take a taxi, and really enjoy yourself in Surry Hills/Newtown.

Brighton Le Sands is very close to the airport, with a few locations to eat, and you will probally have enough time on your hands to stroll the beach / find a bottle of wine.

If I had a car, I'd gladly show you the way, so you're probally better off with a taxi. Theres a ~$15.00 surcharge for leaving the airport on public transit rail.

Google Map
posted by psyward at 2:42 AM on April 7, 2007

Are you continuing on Internationally from Sydney?

Yes. We're flying from Auckland to Sydney to San Francisco.
posted by toxic at 3:12 AM on April 7, 2007

On my way into Australia, customs and immigration took about 45 minutes, but I've heard stories of it taking a bit longer.

I once planned to check out LA when I was there on a 4 hour stop over, but didn't leave the terminal because the hassle of customs. Sadly, the flight ended up being delayed for 6 hours so I could have left with no worries.

There's quite a few friendly Sydney residents on here that have been here longer than me (2 years.) Hopefully that can advise you on a happy stopover as well.
posted by psyward at 4:03 AM on April 7, 2007

I'm sure you know what you're doing but ... just in case ... are you quite sure you're landing at 6AM ? To do that would mean leaving Auckland awfully early in the morning ? A more typical time for the first trans-tasman of the morning is 7AM - 8.30AM (different carriers) on the ground at Sydney. Anyway I may be wrong .. but it may be worth double-checking given the time constraints.

Have a good breakfast either way.
posted by southof40 at 4:45 AM on April 7, 2007

are you quite sure you're landing at 6AM? A more typical time for the first trans-tasman of the morning is 7AM - 8.30AM

*blush* Yep, you're right. We're not landing until 7:20, and our flight out is at 1:55. So I got the 6 hours part more or less right, but that's about all I got right.
posted by toxic at 5:04 AM on April 7, 2007

That's plenty of time to have a bite - but you'd probably want to budget for taxi back to the airport just to maintain sanity.

Here's the likely scenario:

Arrive 6AM - you'll clear customs quickly because you're not collecting luggage - so no more than 30 minutes.

It takes 20 minutes to get into the city via the train - but it's shithouse in the city, so you'll catch a connecting train from Town Hall station (Bondi Junction Line - blue) to Kings Cross (which is another 5 minutes depending on when the train arrives on the platform). You'll exit and head towards Victoria street (go right as you leave the station and keep walking) Go straight to the Colluci Bar about 200 metres and have an espresso and stand on the street with the other caffeine addicts while you down it Consider the following anecdote, but don't let it scare you: a few years ago, Louigi Colluci's son called in a debt from one of his customers - the debtor couldn't square off at that moment, so Louigi's son beat the customer's dog to death right there on the footpath to teach the guy a lesson. Louigi's son doesn't work there anymore - but the coffee is good, and the atmosphere authentic.

Time now is 7:30/8am - you walk back down Victoria St (back towards Kings Cross), practically all the way to the end, catching the City skyline on your left, and the buzz of the city kicking into gear. When you come to Challis Avenue, take a right - walk about 150 metres and you have La Buvette on your right, and Fratellis on your left. Eat. Chill. Have a glass of crisp Italian white - make sure you grab a sour dough bagette at the Fratelli bakery - it's fucking delicious, hot out of their oven. Admire the black tiled interior.

From there you could wander down to the Wooloomooloo pubs - take a stroll along the finger wharf and check out where one of your less savoury Kiwi-cum-Australian ego maniacal bastards lives (Rusty Crowe). Spit. In fact, just stay up in Potts Point - eat some more food.

You'll need to be back at the airport by 11:30am - so at no later than 10:45AM you should jump a taxi ($35AUD and should only take 25 mins).

But then, you may wish to hit the Pyrmont fish market and have some fresh sashimi? Maybe next time.

I'll be in bed, but thinking about you.
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:30 AM on April 7, 2007

Oh fuckit. Just saw your new times - it actually works better a bit later.
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:33 AM on April 7, 2007

And it's Bar Coluzzi (not Colluci). It's been a while.
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:38 AM on April 7, 2007

heres a ~$15.00 surcharge for leaving the airport on public transit rail.

This is an important point. It is not worth your time to take the train from the airport. It shouldn't even be considered public transport, because it's not. It's private, and expensive. Taxis are the only way to go.

And I don't think the customs will take you very long to get through. Even when I've had my entire baggage X-rayed, it still took less than 45 minutes.
posted by kisch mokusch at 5:56 AM on April 7, 2007

Your main costs are probably going to be getting out of the airport. The only way cheap way is the 400(?) bus to Bondi Junction, and then you'd want to train it somewhere nicer, so just get a taxi to one of the options mentioned above. It's unlikely to be more than $15 each way. King street in Newtown could keep you entertained for hours, and is fairly close. Just look for a cafe with lots of people. Note that you'll be coming out of the airport into peak hour, so heading toward the city may not be a good idea.
posted by kjs4 at 7:12 AM on April 7, 2007

You'll be stepping out of the airport at approx. 8am right? You are about 25mins south of the city by car in normal driving conditions which is where most places mentioned in this thread are recommending (give or take). We are therefore talking peak hour traffic. I reckon this is pretty much a waste of too much time (and thus money) to head in that direction. Think say $US30 each way taxi fare maybe.

Instead, as suggested by psyward, go to Brighton which is about 10 or so mins south east of the airport. There's a whole bunch of places to eat and drink and there's a long, long 'beach' which is a nice walk. (It's Botany Bay so it's not really a beach as we would normally describe these things)

Is it the nicest thing to see in Sydney? Hell, no. But it's nice enough. It's definitely the best choice in all the circumstances to my local way of thinking. That's if you want to relax, eat, drink and wander moreso than you want to spend all the precious time in transit.
posted by peacay at 8:04 AM on April 7, 2007

Just take the train and go somewhere good, you won't have the issue with peak hour traffic. If you would prefer to be concerned about the whys and wherefores of $15 on a train and opt to make a statement, then by all means ... life's too short IMO.

Botany is depressing.
posted by strawberryviagra at 4:22 PM on April 7, 2007

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