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Accessing all the Vancouver Bridges
Update notes: finished adding all the bridges, added a link to photos. I will try to format everything to be a bit nicer and/or make a copy at another location that allows for easienicer formatting. As requested by raleighspritely in the other bridges thread, this post is intended to help generally newer riders figure out specifically how to get onto each bridge in each direction, where all most of the exit options go and any other weirdnesses each bridge may have. I'll assume you know roughly where you are and roughly how to get to each bridge. Some are easy to find the entrances for (Burrard), some are weird (Cambie, southbound) and some have entrances a long way from where the cars access (Golden Ears) so if they're super weird I'll try and give you more specifics. Photos from the day showing most of the bridges: https://imgur.com/a/RvTUs0V (missing: 2nd Narrows, KSB, Canada Line, Arthur Liang) And now to talking about crossing bridges! Granville - follow the instructions for Burrard or Cambie If you insist on using the GSB (don't) SB access is easiest via Howe St and NB access at 5th & Granville Burrard Easiest to get onto IMO as the access is right at the ends of the bridge
South Bound: connection is at Pacific & Burrard, SW corner. From Beach Ave your options are up Thurlow from the east end of Sunset Beach or just along Pacific from the west end of Sunset beach
as you get to the south end of the bridge @ Cornwall you can:
go right to Cornwall & Cypress
go straight, across Cornwall
then right onto Yew
more straight to Burrard & First where you can go up Burrard St
left @ Burrard & First towards Granville Island
North Bound: connection is at Cornwall & Burrard. You can also hop on the bike lane easily at 1st & Burrard
as you get to the north end you can:
right to Hornby & Pacific
across Pacific then left onto Pacific towards English Bay
straight & up the hill along Burrard to Drake, Burnaby St, Davie St
Cambie Going southbound on Cambie is super weird to get to unless you're already on Nelson St
South Bound: access is on Nelson St @ Cambie St which downtown is running almost perpendicular to the bridge. If you're coming from the northeast you can connect via Beatty
the main exit will take you to Olympic Village Station
If you cut off early (through the flexibarriers) you can pop up Cambie to go left/right on 7th
If you stay till the station you can hang a hard left at 2nd to cut under the bridge and go to Olympic Village
or cross 2nd and take Heather St south
or continue along 2nd briefly to find yourself on Seaside Bypas
North Bound: access is at Cambie & 2nd by the VPD headquarters on 5th. It's that weird intersection of numbered streets you thought were parallel but also manage to intersect
veer left takes you onto what is technically a pedestrian only way that connects to Pacific Blvd EB, yield to pedestrians.
right takes you onto a hairpin
first right connects you to Cooperage Way/Marinaside and basically the Seawall
second right will take you up a short ramp and connect to the Smithe St bike "lane" which can be used to connect to Pacific WB, Richards or all the way up the hill past Burrard & Smithe
Lion's Gate North Bound:
climb the Causeway through Stanley Park, it's not too bad especially with the "new" fence
do a 1/2 Stanley Park loop and as you go around the right turn at what you'll think is the top of the hill you'll see a road to the left with a gate, take that and turn right when you hit the causeway
watch for the little chicane just before the bridge
descent down the north side of bridge can be a bit rough & bumpy
when you get to the north end stay right and go down the little road
if you go HARD right when it levels out you can connect to
the Spirit Trail east bound
Taylor Way which will take you to Parkgate, hang a left at the mall and you can connect to the trail over to Ambleside
if you go roughly straightl/left it'll connect onto Marine and along to Capilano
once you're back directly under the bridge, there's a ramp up the west side of the bridge going north, take that, it'll open up and hang a hard right to turn to face south
on exit at the pumphouse(?) you can
you'll come across a road to the right, taking it will get you to Park Dr just before Prospect Point
continuing straight takes you along the Causeway and connects onto Georgia ST
hang a 180deg right, then you can either:
cut under the bridge to go back north
go left up a fairly steep, narrow paved path to Prospect Pt
Second Narrows/IronworkersThis is one of the weirdest/awkwardest, particularly at the north end North Bound:
access is at Cambridge & Cassiar. You can connect up via Cassiar from Adanac or Bridgeway St & a small path if you're coming from Portside
as you turn right off Cassiar onto Cambridge take the small path to the left, follow the path down, along and up and it'll take you straight onto the bridge, yield to oncoming people
alternate access is a path off the left side of Fellowes st. It connects closer to the bridge deck but IMO isn't worth taking
as you round the right turn of the ramp you can:
go left at the pedestrian controlled crosswalk and
cross Main to go west to Phibbs, A&W etc
hard left onto the bike path parallel to Main and connect to the WB bike path on Barrow st
go straight and connect to Dollarton, Old Dollarton
left on Old Dollarton then onto Riverside or Seymour River can be used for getting to Seymour Parkway, right goes up to Seymour, left can connect to Cap U
straight on Dollarton can be used for going out to Deep Cove
South Bound Access is here basically across from Phibbs. Many ways to get to it, but you've gotta get to that spot to go south. Exiting: takes you down through the trees, watch for the pair of switchbacks. You'll end up at the bottom of Skeena St.
right takes you onto the Portside bike route
left takes you up Skeena through the tunnel
turn right across the crosswalk as you exit the tunnel takes you onto the path you may have used for getting onto the bridge NB, go left to connect back to Cassiar
continue up the hill gets you to Skeena & Cambridge
it's 6 of One, Half a Dozen of the other if you're going south
Arthur Laing I regard this as an "experts only" type bridge that I wouldn't recommend to anyone not comfortable with riding in fairly close proximity to cars. There's no separated lane and just a narrow shoulder. That said, I don't feel unsafe on this bridge for some reason, but that might just be from riding it a bunch and being used to riding next to cars. Anyways, onto how to get on/off: Southbound: access is via the car ramp at where Marine & Granville all come together in a 6 lane clusterfuck that was meant to be the highway through Vancouver. Normally I access coming off NW Marine, onto the clusterfuck, pick up speed down the hill and (with a lot of shoulder checking) get across the right most lane onto the ramp. Go up the ramp and stick to the right. Exiting: things get dicey/exciting. You'll be crossing roads at speed so be shoulder checking.
Just before the car exit (and right before the overpass) you can dive right onto a pathway
going right, then right again is probably easiest for most connections here
this path can be used to go around McArthurGlen and connect to Grauer Rd and then onto Templeton to Iona
take it to connect to Airport Rd and the bit of mess of trails and eventuall down to Russ Baker Way
1st Car Right: Russ Baker Way, takes you around an off-ramp, will take you SB and connects to No2 Rd
cross Russ Baker exit (watch for cars exiting), keep going along, you can go right on Templeton and go out to Iona Beach
North Bound: you can either access off the paths off Airport Rd here or by riding north along Russ Baker Way and basically sticking right and following the signs to Vancouver. Exiting: again a bit dicey with some potential lane crossing
Sticking right takes you left and onto Marine WB/Granville
If it's not too busy and/or you brought your sprinter legs, you can hammer and cross lanes to go left at the first light and connect onto Marine
If not, carefully get to the right and make your way up to cross at the same light.
crossing over (carefully) to the left ramp will take you right and onto Marine EB. You can take your first right and go down Oak St, left on Kent Ave S and eventually connect to Cambie St. I don't know if I've taken this route more than once or twice so YMMV.
Pitt River This is one of the nicest crossings. All the recently built (or updated) bridges are really, really nice once you're on the deck (Pitt River, Port Mann, Golden Ears + Ironworkers post update). The cycle/pedestrian lane is on the north side of the span and is nice and wide. Access on the west end requires crossing Belfast Ave/Fremont Connector that loops under the bridge. Since access is all for the one side crossing my instructions are written for West->East travel but basically just do them in reverse for East->West. Coming from NW (Trabouley Poco Trail/Deboville Slough), you do a couple zigzags and hairpins and crossing Belfast St but you can see your target the whole time so this bridge is honestly one of the easiest to get onto. Coming from the SW, you go under the bridge parallel to the Fremont Connector then see the access to your left. If you were to keep going on the path instead you'd eventually end up at Deboville Slough. East end of the bridge drops you in Pitt Meadows. As you exit (eastbound) you can immediately do 180deg turn left to get onto the trails. Another left at the river to go south, north and you can make your way out to Pitt Lake on the trails. To access the trail parallel to, and on the south side of, Lougheed Highway take the left at the river then left again at Ferryslip Rd. If you go straight Old Dewdney Trunk Rd is a pretty nice ride towards Maple Ridge. Golden Ears Alright, this one is possibly the most difficult unless you know exactly where to go, partly because they're a long way along the bridge from where cars access. The Southbound Access is at 113B & Airport Way (Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows). The northbound access is at 100A Ave & 201St (Langley) Southbound
You can access the SB access either from Airport Way (coming from the west) or along Maple Meadows Way (coming from the north by Meadowcentre mall). If you're coming from the north or east you go west at the 113B roundabout, cross the road, then left at the second roundabout and hop into the bike lane. If you're coming from the east hang a right at the roundabout and hop into the bike lane.
The SB exit involves a rather fun ramp down and drops you in an industrial area. Unless you're going east, my recommendation is work your way west until you get to 98A & 192, cross to the far side then hop on the GoldenEars Greenway.
Northbound Access is at 100A Ave & 201St. You go up the multilevel round ramp. Your exit will basically be the aforementioned 113B roundabout, you can go straight through it to get onto Maple Meadows Way towards the mall, right will change into 203St as it turns north or go left and west towards the airport. Canada Line Bridge This one is on the side of the Canada Line bridge section between Marine & Cambie Station & Bridgeport Station. North connection is on Kent Ave S @ Cambie. However you have to go east from Kent Ave N & Cambie to turn south to get onto Kent Ave S and access the ramp. If you're coming down Cambie, hang a right on Kent Ave N. South Connection is at River Road and Van Horne Way. If you're going North then east, my recommendation is take Cambie north, then cut east at 59th. Kent Ave N between Cambie and Ontario sucks butt and cars are frequently impatient assholes on that section (it's also rough, needs a repave and has a lot of rail tracks). If you're going north then west you can go west on Kent Ave N and then right on Heather before climbing a bit and taking the westbound route of your choice. If you're just going north then Cambie, Ontario & Heather are all pretty good choices with Ontario & Heather being quieter. I can't remember how all of Heather's crossings are since I haven't ridden it past 59th in years. If you're going South, you can go:
west along River Rd towards the casino & Bridgeport Station
continue SW around the clusterfucks that are Bridgeport Rd, SeaIsland Way and you can return to River Rd and hop onto a gravel trail that you can take pretty much all the way to Steveston
south on Van Horne way to eventually connect onto Garden City Way. This route is about 95% bike lane but theres a one or two spots where taking the sidewalk is unfortunately the prudent choice (I think the south side of Sea Island Way for ~50m) before the bike lane reappears.
east on River Rd towards Shell Rd. If you take Shell Rd far enough south there's a gravel trail that you can use to get to Hammersmith Gate, Horseshoe Way and across to Rice Mill Rd where you can find the Massey Tunnel Shuttle (this is my quiet route to the ferry, my fast route is to hammer south on No5)
Formatting is becoming a pain because this is getting long. Sorry! Port Mann This one is like the Pitt River Bridge in that the pedestrian/bike path is only on the north/east side of the bridge deck. West access is where the Port Mann passes over United Boulevard and where Unite intersects the Mary Hill Bypass offramps. If you're coming off the bridge you can go south/west on United and eventually work your way over towards Braid Station. If you go east on the Mary Hill Bypass you can connect to the Traboulay PoCo trail, Argue St and work your way up to the Pitt River bridge. There's also a mess of trails in and around Colony Farm but you're on your own for that :) East access is a ways up a pretty decent hill at 152st/112Ave by Dogwood Campgrounds. If you're going north/west, the signage is good. Just don't take the overpass over the highway. How you get to 152/112...up to you. It's a big grid! Alex Fraser Ok, this one is another bit of a mess in terms of access. I don't think this one is technically unidirectional like the others, but I recommend riding the same way as cars are travelling and this guide will be based on that. Careful on the deck, there's a bunch of spots where you have to dodge the bases of signs and other spots where the path just shifts left/right. Southbound: You've made it over the Queensborough or come in from Richmond. You've made it onto the Annacis Channel bridge and are approaching Annacis island. You'll see a bus-stop on an island, you want to get there (if not busy, drop the curb & cut across, otherwise there's a crosswalk to use), take the crosswalk that goes parallel to the bus-only section of intersection, onto the sidewalk on the far-far side and then left and you'll see the path onto the bridge. You'll get dropped off with the choice of left or right. Left takes you towards HWY17, River Rd which are the two options for getting to the ferry (take River, it's quieter and only marginally slower). Right will take you under the bridge, and after you go past Planet Ice you can go left towards River Rd east, right-then-right to get onto Nordel north/east or just right for the Delta-South Surrey Greenway. If you're trying to get to South Surrey, go as if you're going up Nordel, get over the overpass, then take the trail that cuts back to the right. This is the North Delta Greenway and is superior to the DSS Greenway in basically every way including being WAY smoother (I ride it on my carbon road bike on 25mm tires). North Bound: Starting from Planet Ice, take the path up onto the bridge, ride across, question why you're out here and didn't just take the Massey Shuttle to get home faster... At the north end of the bridge, you'll end up next to the Annacis exit ramp. At the end of it, you want to take the small crosswalk onto the island with the bus stop, across Cliveden ave onto the island on the far side, then across another little crosswalk onto the path and hang a left. Stick to this path, you'll go back over the Annacis Channel and find yourself at a zig-zagging ramp. At the bottom of that you have the options of:hard right: path through to Hamilton Highway Park where you can take an overpass towards River Rd left then right: onto Boundary Rd then Dyke rd, you can use this to get over towards Westminster Highway via Fraserwood Way. left then left (generally recommended): take Boundary Rd north. At Boundary & Boyd you can go right to the Queensborough or left onto Westminster Hwy which you can use to get all the way to Richmond or to connect to River Rd Queensborough because New West is at a 45deg angle I'll be using "up/down and top/bottom" for this bridge because it's effectively a hill. Top is 22nd St station end, bottom is Queensborough Landing. The top connection is just below 22nd St Station. If you're coming from 22nd St station just take the bridge down, it'll drop you on Boyd St. Left takes you to QB Landing. Right takes you to...not a lot. It's narrow, you'll probably have to slow down a bunch as you pass people. If you're coming from Market Crossing area or New West (both via Marine Dr) I recommend taking the "up" side of the bridge down because it has about 1% of the traffic the "down" side does. To get to it, the access is the ramp on the "cars up" side of the bridge. Otherwise, you can use the ramp on the "cars down" side to connect to the "down" side. Either way as you're going down, watch for the hairpins at the bottom! If you're going up and heading to downtown New West take the "up" side. Head east along Marine/Stewardson. You can eventually head right down a side street to get to S&O because that's why you're in New West right? If not, you're at S&O now. Best way to get through to the rest of downtown is via the Quay. If you're going up and heading to anywhere else take the "down" side and go all the way to 22nd St Station. Right and past the station connects to 7th Ave across New West. Left you can use to get onto both Marine Dr or Marine Way to go west to Market Crossing, Big Bend, Glenlyon, River District. Straight turns into the BC Parkway and travels under the skytrain past Edmonds, Royal Oak, Metrotown stations. Knight St Recommendation: if you can, keep going west and take the Canada Line Bridge. This bridge was NOT intended for cyclists at all as you're about to learn and this section may get a little rant-y. Northbound:
Access is off Bridgeport. Technically you're not supposed to ride on the roadway, but the sign for that is so late onto the bridge you have to know this in advance unless you want to stop and lift your bike over the concrete barrier.
That said, assuming you knew to get onto the sidewalk somewhere at the start of the on-ramp before the barrier begins (it starts at a crosswalk and there's no curb cut), you'll be riding on a pretty narrow sidewalk with barriers both sides. It's rough.
You'll eventually get to an off-ramp, this is Mitchell Island. You'll need to take the crosswalk across to the left. The cut in the barrier is super narrow. Cross the island, drop the curb (again no curb cut) and cross to the next section of sidewalk. Continue north.
Next spot you'll get to gives the option of a crosswalk to the left, riding straight into a post in the middle of the path, or dodging the post and continuing straight/veering right. Go right, this takes you down to Marine Dr.
At Marine you'll find signs pointing to the Kent, Inverness & Borden bike routes
Kent involves following the path to the right and taking your first right
Inverness involves taking the couple crosswalks and getting across Marine, going under the KSB overpass, hop back on the sidewalk after the bridge and follow the signs up to Inverness
Borden I've never done, but I think involves getting across Marine, then taking the sidewalk east to the first street north
Christmas Day 2019 This is an update from last year's list which is an update of some list from a year or two ago. Outdoor Activities If the weather is good (check forecast), here's some outdoor activities:
Rangitoto Island. Take one or more of the walks there. Definitely ensure you go up to the top of the crater for the view. Some people stay a bit longer and have a picnic morning tea/lunch. You can't buy lunch there. Rangitoto. It is a pest-free island reserve and so you have to ensure you leave it as you arrived. Info about visiting pest free islands. Ferry - Fullers timetable.
Ride around in a bike (ONZO). Maps and Rides suggested by Auckland Transport and Bike Auckland. On Bike Auckland's site, if you hover your mouse over the "Maps & Rides" menu, you'll find other options like easy rides.
There are other denominations like Methodists, Baptists, AOG, Salvation Army, etc. Just search for them. I suspect the local visitor info centre and hotels have a list for their guests.
I think these lists above are services in English. I don't see the services in other languages listed there. You will be able to find services in many pacific island languages and asian languages. It is a case of whether you'll find the particular combination you are looking for in a location you can get to on Christmas day.
Hoyts https://www.hoyts.co.nz/ Hoyts Sylvia Park, Te Awa (Hamilton), Riccarton (Christchurch) and Entertainment X were open on Christmas Day 2018. Unfortunately site won't load at the moment. There's a chance a few cinemas from this group will be open on Christmas day.
Public Transport Auckland Transport's Public Transport holiday timetables from 23 December 2019 - 12 January 2020. Waiheke ferry timetable (pdf). Food and Drink Go to the supermarket on Christmas Eve to stock up on food and essentials. No supermarket and most businesses will be closed on Christmas Day. Christmas Day is one of very few mandatory public holidays in NZ, even the casino is closed 24 hours. Only places allowed to remain open are petrol stations, some fast food places and restaurants. Hospitality businesses (restaurants, cafes etc) are able to charge a public holiday surcharge if they open on public holidays. If they do so they have to state clearly (ie sign at the door, or counter or menu). This public holidays are 25 and 26 December 2018, and 1 and 2 January 2019. FYI 26 December is also known as Boxing day in NZ. Alcohol cannot be served unless with a meal. So if something that looks like a pub is open, it is highly likely they are open to serve meals and you can order an alcoholic drink with your meal. Restaurants that are open tend to be fast food places like McDs, KFC, restaurants that are part of hotels, a few ethnic restaurants and maybe a handful of others.  That particular law applies only to Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day as well as before 1pm on Anzac Day. Legislation: Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. Despite the date of the act, the law has been around for some time. 2010 news article about it. Sale and supply on Anzac Day morning, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Christmas Day restricted: on-licences. Without any particular order:
Dairies are open. For tourist: Dairies in NZ are a local convenience stores often found dotted around NZ, usually local to a neighbourhood. Wikipedia). They are known elsewhere with other names bodega, superettes, 7-11 or the shop attached to petrol stations.
Other essential info Alcohol and smoking in public areas Please note that there's usually an alcohol ban in many public areas like bus stops, parks, reserves etc. This means you are banned from consuming alcohol publicly unless you are in a licenced establishment (ie restaurant). Alcohol bans are either for an event, for extended periods or permanent. For more information about alcohol ban in Auckland. Auckland Smokefree policy has a list of places where smoking is not permitted. This isn't limited to indoor areas only. It also includes parks, playgrounds, bus stops. With NY celebrations coming up I won't be surprised if there's both alcohol and fire bans in popular beach areas and parks too. Fire Season
As this is summer, there's usually a fire ban in many areas in NZ.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand is updating the fire seasons for Auckland. From Monday 2 December it will declare a restricted season across greater Auckland and a prohibited fire season across all the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. A prohibited season means a total fire ban, with any current fire permits for the area suspended from the date the prohibited season starts. A restricted fire season means any open-air fires will need a permit.
I’m looking for some stuff in Hamilton to explore that’s either really cheap or free. I checked out Uli’s stairs the other day and am looking for other stuff along those lines. Also open to suggestions for stuff like gameopolis which is really fun and only $5
Below is a list I posted as reply to a tourist's query in /newzealand. I am posting this list here in case there are visitors or new Aucklanders. I realise most of us know about this. Please be nice and kind to all. Outdoor Activities If the weather is good (unfortunately not according to forecast), here's some outdoor activities:
Go to the beach
Go to the gardens (Botanic Gardens open for people to wander around but Visitor centre closed. The Domain, Parnell Rose Gardens, Cornwall Park).
Go visit the various volcanoes in Auckland. Both Mt Victoria and Mt Eden will have beautiful views of the city. There's public transport. You will need to walk up.
Mt Eden (Bus is 27W or 27H)
Mt Victoria (Take the ferry to Devonport, walk from ferry to the top of Mt Victoria)
One Tree Hill (and Cornwall Park surrounding it)
Rangitoto Island may not be an option. Fullers timetable says they aren't sailing on Christmas Day.
Kelly Tarlton's - Opening Hours on their website doesn't say they re closed on Christmas day. Their 22 Dec facebook post ends with " We are open as usual every day over the holiday season from 9:30 AM - 5 PM. Come down to SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium and see the penguin chicks in their creche!". Thanks to spagbol for the heads up in comment below. new
Public Transport Public transport will be on a Sunday timetable in Auckland. https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/Bus, train and ferry Christmas holiday timetables. From 24 December 2018 to 6 January 2019, most public transport services will be operating to a Christmas/New Year holiday timetable. Food and Drink Go to the supermarket today (Christmas Eve) to stock up on food and essentials. No supermarket and most businesses will be closed on Christmas Day. Christmas Day is one of very few mandatory public holidays in NZ, even the casino is closed 24 hours. Only places allowed to remain open are petrol stations and restaurants. Hospitality businesses (restaurants, cafes etc) are able to charge a public holiday surcharge if they open on public holidays. If they do so they have to state clearly (ie sign at the door, or counter or menu). This public holidays are 25 and 26 December 2018, and 1 and 2 January 2019. FYI 26 December is also known as Boxing day in NZ. Alcohol cannot be served unless with a meal. So if something that looks like a pub is open, it is highly likely they are open to serve meals and you can order an alcoholic drink with your meal. Restaurants open tend to be fast food places like McDs, KFC, restaurants that are part of hotels, a few ethnic restaurants and maybe a handful of others. Some of the top restaurants shut down from either today or Monday for a few weeks, unless they are part of a hotel or one of the few known to offer a christmas day meal.
Hey guys, so a while ago I asked you on how to get to Niagara falls from Hamilton and someone suggested the casino bus, I just booked them because its one straight bus but the lady on the phone was very persistent on us staying in the Casino and spending atleast half of our time there. Is there a way they actually track it or is it just something they say? Also can any one share their experience with the Casino buses. Thank you so much
[Tournament Report] (Standard and Draft) A Hitchhikers Guide to 10th at Australian Nationals
Disclaimer: there’s going to be a lot of storytelling and fluff in this match report. If you’re after something more serious, that's also here too! I’ve written other match reports on other forums with a similar style, which I’ve linked to here and here. I hope I didn't poop any reddit formatting. Enjoy my awful writing! Part 1 - The Prologue There it was. The patter of feet turned into an echoing applause of hooves quickly getting closer and closer. Before I knew it, I was knocked to the ground. My last sights a rearing, victorious green horse as it trampled me underfoot. Thursday. July 19. A cold sweat covered my body as I checked the clock. The bright light of my phone burned 05:55 into my corneas. My hands get to work feverishly to write up my midnight epiphany. I spend the evening later that day putting cardboard and clothes into my bag, not bringing the spare parts to build anything else. This was it. Grixis was my Alamo. Fast-forward the drive over the next day, where we all met at Strathfield for the ride over. Mostly an uneventful drive if you discount almost running out of petrol ten minutes outside of Canberra. We settled into our hotel and after some moderate play testing against Mono-Red Keld, I swapped over my basics by request to Unhinged, then cracked open my bottle of Fat Lamb dreading what was coming tomorrow. I couldn’t sleep much. Saturday had arrived. Shower. Brief daypack inventory. Breakfast at some fancy cafe across the road. An awkward round 0 of forgetting to bring dice, paper and a playmat, scrambling to write a decklist followed by an awkward anthem and we’re off. Here’s what we registered: 2 Swamp 1 Island 1 Mountain 4 Aether Hub 4 Canyon Slough 4 Fetid Pools 4 Dragonskull Summit 3 Drowned Catacombs 3 Sulfur Falls (26) 4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner 3 Champion of Wits 3 Whirler Virtutoso 3 Nicol Bolas, the Ravager 3 The Scarab God 1 Torrential Gearhulk (17) 3 Magma Spray 3 Abrade 3 Essence Scatter 2 Harnessed Lightning 1 Supreme Will 4 Vraska’s Contempt 1 Liliana, Death’s Majesty (17) Sideboard: 3 Duress 2 Chandra’s Defeat 2 Arguel’s Bloodfast 2 Negate 1 Jace’s Defeat 1 Sweltering Suns’ 1 Glimmer of Genius 1 Yahenni’s Expertise 1 The Eldest Reborn 1 Torrential Gearhulk I decided on Sulfur Falls over Spirebluff as untapped lands during turns 4, 5 and 6 are just as important as 1, 2, and 3. 3 Essence Scatter was an inclusion I didn’t see in most decks before the tournament, but they were amazing. In future I’d probably play two, and a second Supreme Will as the deck is a little thirsty on card selection or the fourth Champion of Wits. Part 2 - This Is How Nationals Dies, With Thunderous Applause Round 1 - Simon Linabury on RB Aggro (Top 8) A Canberra local and an all around nice dude that I’ve seen around a lot. I won the dieroll but shuddered as I saw t1 Bomat on the other side. I had no real response for the curve out as I had kept a pretty crappy hand for the matchup (Siphoner x 2, if i recall correctly) and saw myself die quicky as the Bomat was followed by a creature two drop and it was lights out once Unlicensed hit on my Virtuoso. Not much to do. Sideboarding: +2 Chandra’s Defeat +2 Arguel’s Bloodfast +1 Sweltering Suns’ +1 Yahenni’s Expertise +1 Torrential Gearhulk -4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner -3 Nicol Bolas, the Ravager Glint-Sleeve obviously lines up extremely poorly against Chainwhirler, while I’ve found that Nicol Bolas getting slapped by a Chandra wasn’t exactly the line of play I was after. Further to that, the amount of times in test games that I saw RB players discard a Scrounger dissuaded me entirely from Bolas in the deck post board. Game 2, I got an Arguel’s down and the draw managed to let me turn the corner with some threats. Game 3 involved another early Arguel’s, and a t4 Chandra from the opponent, but I manage to stick a Scarab God that weathers an Unlicensed and he scoops it up as Scarab start picking up permanents in the graveyard after successfully holding up Vraska’s Contempt to clear a threat. I wished him luck for the next round and slowly packed my stuff and went across the room to my team. Wins across the board (and a points bye, sack) mostly. Nice. 2-1 1-0 After the usual bad beats talk that happens between rounds, I flick through my phone’s browser for pairings, and head straight for the table. Round 2 - Jesse Stewart on RB Aggro (30th) One lost die roll later and suddenly we’re off with a seven. Bomat Courier again reminds me that the red decks draw way more cards than I do, and if I recall correctly, we trade cards back and forth, and I try to flip a Bolas on an empty board while on 5. He plays Hazoret for the maximum punish. Sideboarding: Same as Round 1 I keep a seven and we start taking tonnes of damage on board, followed by a Chandra. I try to stem the bleeding with two Whirler Virtuosos, but they don’t do enough as I extend the hand. 0-2 (2-3) 1-1 Bottle of water count hits one. I Taylor Swift it off and go to the next round. Round 3 - David Huang on Mono-Red Keld (Top 8) Phones in the modern era tend to deliver a ton of unwanted news, and this is no exception. Having a teamkill in round 3 of a 12 round tournament sucks, especially when you’re both down a match and looking to stay afloat. Since we spent a decent amount of time yesterday playing the matchup, I safely keep a removal dense hand and take over the game accordingly after he bricks on his draws from Flame of Keld. Sideboard: +2 Chandra’s Defeat +2 Arguel’s Bloodfast +1 Negate +1 Sweltering Suns +1 Yahenni’s Expertise -4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner -3 Nicol Bolas, the Ravager I knew he was gonna have a lot of Chandras that clap Nicol Bolas post board, and overall while Nicol Bolas was decent to stabilize on T4, I found that spending my T4 deleting their T4 was a more efficient trade in tempo. Game 2 involves me getting buried under the red tide, with me flailing about with my Negate catching a Chandra - but outside of that it was mostly drowning. Sideboarding (Game 3): -1 Torrential Gearhulk +1 Negate I thought the second Negate would be excellent on the play in order to smother his card draw sources, and it worked out in a back and forth game where I dipped down to four to flip my Arguel’s, and Liliana came down to give me a stream of 2 life a turn to get me across the line. Negate caught a Flame of Keld at a critical juncture where it would have let him completely decimate my life total. I aptly bad mannered him, took a photo of the match slip and headed up to the judges table before applying more rub ins. 2-1 (4-4) 2-1 Everyone else at this point had caught up to 2-1, with David being the exception. Good shit. I grabbed a second bottle of water (now, down $6) and chilled out with the team before heading off to next round. Round 4 - James Chen on Mono-Red Keld Another round, another Sydney snipe which always sucks considering the aim is to see Sydney players do well, but time to bash. I win the die roll and get to work. Game 1 looks like it followed the formula: kill stuff early, play a Scarab God when you can, then take over the game from there. Sideboarding: See Games 2+3, Round 3 - second Negate included. Game 2 involves a Chandra, but for all intents and purposes my life total doesn’t dip below 10 after several turns, and I turn the corner quite quickly. In hindsight, I dunno why I was particularly concerned about the matchup, it feels a lot better than UB simply due to Whirler Virtuoso. I go off for my third bottle of water (for those keeping up at home, that’s $9 AUD down now on water) and first bathroom trip, and go spend the hour long lunch break talking about Standard rounds, and having David accidentally order food to our hotel room as opposed to the venue. Good shit. 2-0 (6-4) 3-1 Part 3 - You Underestimate My Power Link to Deck Picture We pick 1, pack 1’d the foil Pelakka Wurm, and put the blinders on and saw Green the whole rest of the draft. The Luminous Bonds were passed to me pack 1 quite late in the draft, so I had to believe White was open. I had to deathstare the person looking at their previous picks before the review period despite the two warnings from judges not to do that. It was definitely a train wreck, but I think we did pretty well considering the trainwreck we were getting passed into. Psychic Symbionte (why the weird spelling Wizards?) was an incredibly greedy splash and I never cast it, with it either getting stranded before I drew a blue source, or pitched to Macabre Waltz. It would have been fine if I nabbed the second Meandering River probably? We nabbed the Murder in pack 3 and never looked back. Round 5 - Dean Williams on RW Smorc I was pretty afraid of any RW deck going into Round 5 - my deck has some decent game with Plague Mare to sweep away some tokens, but overall I think the battle was to survive to cast a Wurm to stabilize. The games didn’t go as planned - he was playing a removal light, dude dense version of RW and outside of a Sigiled Sword of Valeron I felt pretty comfortable throughout the match. Game 1 I suited up a Vine Mare with Knightly Valor and went to town, he Cleansing Nova’d it away and I stared at the Rise from the Grave in hand which made a fresh Zombie Horse on our next turn. That was very much the beginning of the end. In the second game, Viashino Pyromancer drew first blood, but between its triggered ability and attacking twice it was the only thing that managed to draw blood as I took down my opponent's life total in chunks. Once again, Vine Mare appeared - but it was working for me, so it was nightmare fuel for someone else for a change. 2-0 (8-4) 4-1 Round 6 - Michael Milton on GW Smorc 4-1 is pretty far ahead of where I thought I’d be day 1. Realities came tumbling down as my opponent ends game 1 on 21, while we end up dead. Game 2, my back’s on the wall and he manages to push for 6 damage before Pelakka Wurm takes over the game - not much else to say. The third game is a back and forth affair where he takes me down to 3 early, and ends up with a Star-Crowned Stag and a Pegasus Courser with his life on 7. My board at this point (I believe) is a Giant Spider from the board, a Zombie token and a Skeleton Archer; land in hand. I start attacking with the Skeleton Archer because the only way I win here is if he screws up. He throws the Courser under the bus. This happens again the next turn as he plays a second Courser. After a bit of draw go I eventually hit the wurmyboi and stabilize. I asked him about it after the game, and he was playing around Titanic Growth (which is fair - but I disagree with the mindset that comes with that decision.) I had to get a little lucky to sneak past here. Deep sigh of relief as I move off to my mates who proceed to either show me dust or diamonds in terms of draft decks. 2-1 (10-5) 5-1 Round 7 - ??? on Temur (if you’re reading this buddy, sorry I forgot your name - it doesn’t show up on pwp!) By the looks of the scorepad, Game 1 was quite a tight race on both sides but he ended up scraping through with the UG uncommon flying over my board. Second game was a pretty slow affair where my first life total change was the wurmyboi, only to have it be Switcharoo’d for an Omenspeaker, followed by the UG uncommon making it a flying wurmyboi. Needless to say I packed it up real quick. 5-2 aint too bad for day 1! 0-2 (10-7) 5-2 The team had mixed results as we headed back - a 6-1, two 5-2s, two 4-3s and lets not ask about the last one, but needless to say we headed off into the Canberra night. Two hours later we finally ended up with food from Happy’s, it was decent Chinese but not exactly worth a two hour wait, but the Canadian Club we dragged back to the hotel was - and with free practice of GP Hockenheim starting up we managed to drink our way to bed in preparation for the next day. Part 4 - I have the high ground, I guess? Bright and sunny start to day 2. I’m a liar. It was -4 celcius when I woke up. It was bloody cold. I spent the first hour of my day goldfishing one of the two Tron decks we had ready to run head first into the PPTQ, asking myself regularly “why don’t I play this shit more often” and my favourite question to ask when goldfishing “how do I lose?”. Same swanky cafe for breakfast, baked eggs hit the spot on such a frigid day before we headed back out to the venue for the second draft. Link to draft deck 2: This one felt nuts. I picked a Lich’s Caress pick 1 pack 1 over a Lathiss (controversial, I know), then proceeded to take all the good black stuff and green stuff that came past. The Thorn Lieutenant came to me in pack 3 alongside the Prodigious Growth, just to show how wide open green was. The Druid of Horns package was a little loose, but the plan was to board it out whenever it was bad for 2 Ghastbark Twins and a Titanic Growth. Needless to say, I was hoping to run into every token based deck possible… Round 8 - Lyndon Maher on RW splash B This match went by quickly. Game 1 I swept away 4 2/2s worth of knights with a double Plague Mare turn and that quickly closed out the game. Second game, we kept in the Oakenform/Druid package and we quickly found ourselves on the back foot as we took a big swing for 12 early. That was the only damage we took the whole game was we quickly took over on the board after we weathered the storm. 2-0 (12-7) 6-2 A quick scope around with the team still playing the main event and everyone was still live. Good shit. Round 9 - Grant Boyanton on Mono Red I was getting pretty nervous at this point, but I also had some extremely high expectations for the deck so I got back into the zone. Now $18 AUD down on water, we went on to our next round. The first game involved went quickly into a creature bogfest, with our opponent pooping out tonnes of 1/1s and Plague Mare does the damage He smashed early with a hasted Inferno Hellion that knocked me down to 6, but I managed to stabilize and the Lich’s Caress puts us out of reach of burn spells (Guttersnipe DansGame) as we clean up the game. Oakenhorn stayed in for the next game as it did wonders in clogging the board game 1. Viashino Pyromancer once again draws first blood, but our opponent only knocks us to 10 while we take down his lifetotals in increments of 8. Plague Mare might end up being the waifu. 2-0 (14-7) 7-2 Round 10 - Ryan Cubit on BW Lifegain (15th) For some reason, they decided to put the lunch break between rounds 2 and 3 of the draft. That one might be my only tournament complaint as I wanted to ride my momentum into the last round of draft. I saw Ryan was in my pod and quite early I identified him as the real threat of the draft - I’d hoped someone else would snipe him down to the 1-1 bracket, but there he was (at the time, he was the Australian Pro Point leader, now he’s tied for first again). Well shit. Honestly, the first two games were a bit of a blur back and forth, so I can’t really write on them with much context as the third game took a whole lot of my memory. Game 3 was a back and forth grindfest, where I had almost ran out of cards in my library and I managed to sneak in the last points of damage necessary despite missing a Poison-Tip Archer trigger. He showed me the rest of his library and it was a plethora of 5 drop threats and removal and I had to be really lucky to get out of that match unscathed (he drew all 17 lands!). The sideboard plan finally kicked in alongside a Plummet and a Daggerback Basilisk. Everything had to come together just right and it did. No pressure kid. Just need to win one Standard round, what could possibly go wrong? 2-1 (16-8) 8-2 Round 11 - Ben Yulli on RB Aggro (Top 4) I wished him luck and quipped:
“Blue sleeves, Flooded Strand promo playmat, must be a ruse for a red deck right?”
A shaky 6 greeted me and before I knew it, a Bomat Courier had snuck in for the first points.
I then proceeded to stall out, while he was playing Ahn-Crop Crasher which proceeded to ruin my life as I tried (with little effect) to block everything with Whirler Virtuoso. Needless to say, I couldn’t stop the bleeding fast enough. Sideboarding: +2 Chandra’s Defeat +2 Arguel’s Bloodfast +1 Glimmer of Genius +1 Sweltering Suns +1 Yahenni’s Expertise -4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner -3 Nicol Bolas, the Ravager I had figured in the other games at this point that the second Gearhulk was good, but Ahn-Crop made me very averse to that kind of plan (look, in hindsight I imagine the second Gearhulk woulda done work, but I was just running through my logic here). I don’t mind Glimmer in this kind of matchup as it lets you do something on turns where the plan is to hold up Vraska’s Contempt. Alongside the equity you get during those Vraska’s Contempt turns, Glimmer adds some much needed card advantage after cutting the Siphoners. If he wasn’t playing Ahn-Crop, I’d say this plan was great. Ahh, game 2, how I wish I didn’t have to relive you. The first seven was landless, the second six was all lands, and the five did about as best as it could to keep me alive. It wasn’t enough. I signed the match slip and sighed myself out of there. At the moment I needed it most, the luck had run out. 0-2 (16-10) 8-3 I moved slowly towards the team to find out that the other two boys still live in the main event are still live or locked for top 8. Absolutely needed to hear that news to raise my spirits about the next round. It felt so unimportant to play the next round, but I was told there was a chance I could slip in as my breakers were insane. Only one way to find out. Round 12 - Keiren Macdonald on the Mirror (28th) Once again, I didn’t really record this game properly but I felt in control for most of both the games. In match 1, my life total never changed while I had every correct answer to hit all his threats on time while he was land screwed, and by the time he had recovered my advantage in cards took the wheel from there. All three Champion of Wits saw their way out of my graveyard, and usually that does the damage. Sideboarding: +2 Arguel's Bloodfast +1 Negate +1 Jace’s Defeat +1 The Eldest Reborn +1 Sploosh Hulk -3 Abrade -2 Harnessed Lightning -1 Supreme Will Game 2 felt a lot like game 1, I always had the answer cause I’m a sack and after a long slog through some Vraska’s Contempts I finally stuck a Scarab God. He extended the hand before I started activating it. 2-0 (18-10) 9-3 After walking over to hand in my match slip, I ran quickly over to the ‘feature match tables’ to see one of my team mates bashing another Sydney player to see who makes it into top 8. On the other table, David (my round 3 opponent, team mate and all around sack) had snuck his way into the top 8 despite the 1-2 start. It was extremely awkward having to root for my boi Benaya over another Sydney player, but once he won we all were ecstatic. Two people in my room in the top 8 was what they’d call a deece plus weekend despite my choke on top 8. I stood patiently for the top 8 announcement with very little hope to make it and that feeling was validated. Was locked out from the start of the round, oh well. The team settled in to watch their top 8 matches before heading out to the casino to celebrate with a really good 9 course meal from Natural Nine - definitely recommend for those who head out there, followed by losing my Flooded Strand promo during the credit-card game. Whoops. Just to add insult to injury, Lewis Hamilton just had to win GP Hockenheim to increase the salt count in the room. Epilogue - Is this really podracing? The weekend was a blast. I’m out of good words. The return to Nationals as a tournament was an excellent decision by Wizards as it wholeheartedly managed to unify regions of Australia under banners. I walked away very proud of Sydney’s performance. Grixis is great. I’m extremely glad I only saw horses either: In my draft decks and On the ride over. Avoid drafting white, that shit sucks and is overdrafted alongside red. Big thanks to my team for the overall support and for their own damn excellent performance. None of us could have done it on our own so thank you to you guys. Shoutout to you the reader for actually making it this far through 12 rounds of ramble. I stream occasionally on twitch.tv/syreal_ - check it out if you want to see me flail around haplessly on Affinity (or my original love, Modern Elves) some time.
New Food Truck Park will open next week in the East End. Permenant location for food trucks similar to that in Austin Tx, will feature an outdoor bar and other amenties in the coming months! (230 points, 54 comments)
246 points: Ironhamm's comment in Covington Catholic " Colonels " students mob and mock Native Elder singing in DC. Must be proud.
237 points: Hoveringkiller's comment in In 2002, Hamilton County held a failed referendum to build a light rail system on the scale of San Francisco or Philadelphia, partially using the old subway tunnels. I drew a map of the proposal.
233 points: GooberBandini1138's comment in Covington Catholic " Colonels " students mob and mock Native Elder singing in DC. Must be proud.
Hi! I'm new to Hamilton and am not very sure of the transport here yet.. Are there any coach/ bus services to the Niagara Falls from McMaster University or places near the uni? I would like to visit the falls over the weekend :)
Backstory - I'm a US expat and travel hacker living in Sydney with my wife. We've been here for 6 months and seen a lot of the same questions about the area get posted almost daily. I'll do my best to concisely run through a number of topics here, whether it be about getting here or what to do, in the hopes this makes future questions a little more tactical.
NOTE: PLEASE PROVIDE FEEDBACK IF YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE!
Update 1 - Added booking windows and intra-region travel info.
Great deals to be had lately in economy. Prices have consistently dropped $800 or so from mainland USA on full service carriers. These sales are pretty frequent. If you have Chase Sapphire Reserve card a $800 cash ticket is just over 53,000 Ultimate Rewards points with FULL points earn on the ticket itself. That's a great deal if you don't care about sitting up front. Business class is significantly more expensive. This is one of the most sought after premium class routes on the planet and with that prices tend to stay high and award availability low.
From the East Coast of the US
I highly recommend AA to DFW and Qantas DFW-SYD. The route is served by a comfortable A380 (good economy, dated 2-2-2 J though) and loads are typically intentionally kept low heading East to maximize cargo capacity. That means you can realistically expect a empty middle seat if you plan well. On the eastbound side it's still possible but less likely. Also, if you fly on low days you may score an upgrade for $1,000 - $1,200 USD per person, per way, via Qantas' bid for upgrade program. Really the major benefit here is connections going further into the US - minimizing travel time on either side of that long leg is incredibly more valuable and comfortable.
From the West Coast of the US
Any carrier works here, chose based on your preference. Every domestic carrier serves the route (UA/AA/DL) and most are newer aircraft (sans Delta's aging 777s). You can also find good deals via Fiji as well as via Auckland on Air New Zealand. I personally don't like breaking up the trip any more than necessary so I don't like those options.
Oh boy, this is a good one. Generally the rule of thumb is simply this, PLAN AHEAD IF YOU WANT TO FLY UP FRONT! The only exception to this is Virgin Australia who sometimes releases J space < 2 weeks of travel. That's absolutely rolling the dice though. Economy wise you can typically find space on at least one carrier so that's less of a topic, and as above, with cash prices being so low it can often be less worthwhile to book the award itself. Up front you really have a few options. US Carriers
Good J hard product, meh soft product. Awards open up here and there but typically it's very limited to last minute redemption. Price-wise, they're not the cheapest, but not the most expensive.
probably the best hard produce from the group. Same meh soft product (they're US carriers after all). Pricing is also okay, but availability is next to none.
bad products, hard and soft. The seats are old, the service is older. Price is highest BUT you will often find saver-level seats on Virgin Australia (a partner) < 2 weeks out.
meh J product (2-2-2). Good/Great F. Service is also good, very polished. Availability in spurts, but okay price via AA.
best seat (the Business) and I'm a sucker for a bird with a bar. Conversely, terrible availability unless you're looking within 2 weeks or right at the window.
Asian Carriers (generally better availability)
my personal favorite. Great airline, great US service, and a transfer partner of Chase. And most importantly, they tend to be quite generous with their availability.
old favorite in the points world. Not the cheapest option but if you have the points then you'll often find availability through HKG when you book at the window. Great seat, classic service, and AMAZING lounges in HKG.
like ANA, in light of recently US carrier devaluations these guys have become a viable option through Tokyo. Some recommend their 777 SkySuite as the best J product out there.
Suites are always a favorite but lately it's pretty impossible to not pull your hair out before actually confirming that route. J availability tends to show up here and there. Recently devauled though so use tool to find best option based on points available.
mentioned in JAL topic, just a solid all around option if you have the points.
Award Tools Look, I know a lot of carriers were mentioned above and you're probably going well, that's all great, but how do I ultimately choose one given the fact that I have a trip 1+ year out and a few options? That's where the below sites come in handy. They will tell decipher award charts and help you distill down the airlines that you can realistically fly given the points that you have.
Staying in the South/South East (SYD/BNE/MEL/PEetc.) - Avios, Avios, Avios! SYD-MEL, for example, is 4,500 Avios one way on Qantas. This is an amazing sweet spot.
Cross Country Travel - This is tough. Economy prices aren't terribly high, but the business class product on these flights is top notch. Virgin flies "The Business" A330 and Qantas flies an equivalent A330 through the continent and they really cater to those premium travelers. I still haven't come up with the best way of doing this with points though local frequent flyers swear by the points upgrade to get up front.
Across the Ditch (To/From NZ) - My recommendation is Air New Zealand. I recently booked this and spent 25k Krisflyer (Singapore) for a RT flight on Air New Zealand. I definitely consider that tremendous value, though discount carriers operate these routes and you can find deals (I would consider $300 round trip in economy to be a good deal).
Rule of thumb, if you have 5+ days in the region than I suggest going outside of Sydney. It's a cool city, but there is SO much more to see. Scroll down for details, but while in Sydney here are a few suggestions:
Taronga Zoo – One of my favourites. A great place to see all the local animals that the US doesn’t have. This is a FANTASTIC first day activity and will help you fight jet lag!
Bondi to Cogee Walk – A beautiful self-guided walk down the coast. It’s just a walking path but it's a must do.
Harbour Bridge Climb – Climb atop Sydney’s most famous bridge to see the city like nowhere else. Younger people love it, older people tend to avoid it. I haven't done it and don't plan to.
Sydney Opera House – The most famous landmark in Sydney. We could see a show or just do a tour. Up to you.
Manly Ferry/Beach – Manly beach is amazing and the surrounding area is filled with bars and restaurants. This would take up the majority of a day. The ferry there and back is a mini sightseeing tour in and of itself.
Sydney Bus Tours - Highly recommended as it takes you all over the city and even out to Bondi. Hop on/Hop off style so you can wander if you like a stop.
Sydney Boat Tours – Just like the bus tours, the boat tours allow you to get off at stops and explore. A great way to maneuver around the water and hit the main points of interest. Could be a good way to see Manly, too. Do NOT do a dinner cruise, the food is bad and it's just a waste of time.
The Rocks – Located right in the harbour, the Rocks is an area with numerous restaurants, a famous market and Australia’s oldest pubs.
Darling Harbour – Like the Rocks, DH is another touristy area on the water that has a ton of restaurants and bars. Also has a Ferris wheel, an enormous fish market with tons of fresh seafood, and a casino.
Sydney Seaplanes – Name says it all. I absolutely LOVED the "Sydney Secrets" tour.
Featherdale Wildlife Park – Never been here but it comes highly recommended. Basically it is an animal park where all of the animals are loose and you can interact with them. All of the Australian animals will be there. It is a little bit of a drive but definitely doable.
Blue Mountains – A national park that has a bunch of beautiful views and is much different from the water you get all around the city. They have a similar bus tour to all the attractions which lets you hop on/off at will. A train will take us directly up there if you’d like to go.
Hunter Valley – Australia is known for its wine and HV is the closest region to the city.
Places to Stay
Park Hyatt Syndey - go to place for best of the best stays. On Cirqular Quay with views of Opera House.
Westin Sydney - downtown, good location (10 min walk from quay), nice hotel.
Hilton Sydney - downtown, same as Westin.
Intercontinental Double Bay - ritzy area of town, looks to be a nice hotel. I live nearby so I'm biased - it's a good spot but out of the hustle and bustle.
Marriott - also downtown, 5 min from quay. Lobby recently redone, rooms are supposedly very nice, too.
Four Points Sydney - closer to Chinatown but still downtown. 20 min qay to quay. I've heard it's nice.
There are tons more, this is a whole topic in an of itself.
Are you outdoorsy?
Queenstown, NZ (~3 hour flight) - The end all be all go-to place for being outdoors. If you like being outside/hiking/etc. this should absolutely be on your list See extreme activities section.
Blue Mountains - see above.
Royal National Park (~30 min from Sydney) - great national park with some beautiful hiking spots. Not huge, but easy to get to and is a good excursion.
Do you like food/drinks?
Melbourne (pronounced Melbun) - Where to begin? Really the best way of thinking about Sydney vs. Melbourne, which is a HUGE rivalry by the way, is to put it simply as > Sydney has the sights whereas Melbourne has the culture.
Cairnes (pronounced Cans) - the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Backpacker town (if you want a nicer area near the GBR see Port Douglas) and full of bars and nightlife. If you're younger, want to hang out with some peers, and go diving, go here.
Queenstown - the extreme sports capital of the world or something like that. Has it all - skiing, skydiving, bungee jumping, rafting, etc.
Featherdale Wildlife Park - Near Sydney, see above section.
Taronga Zoo - see Sydney section.
Austrlaia Zoo - Up near Sunshine Coast, not familiar with it.
Melbourne - see food.
Uluru - Where Ayers Rock is. Great for the "Outback" experience. Can fly (3 hrs) from Sydney, not/nothing else there though.
Lord Howe Island - limited access island. Super exclusive. Best value is booking out and using Qantas points to get there. 16k or so round trip for $1,000 flight.
Hamilton Island - right off barrier reef's southern end. Beautiful islands with Whitsundays islands nearby.
Port Douglas - the nicer way to get to the Great Barrier Reef (as opposed to touristy/backpacker Cairns).
Bondi/Bronte/Coogee/etc. - Eastern beaches. All near Syndey. Bondi to Coogee walk will show you most of them.
Northern Beaches (30 - 45 min car ride from city). More laid back beaches outside of the city. Slower paces, friendlier locals.
Assumes 10 days down under.
Day 1 - Land in SYD, drop bags at hotel, change, and head straight to Zoo. DO NOT NAP. Try to stay awake until 7p or so. Good luck.
Day 2 Sydney - Hop on/Hop off bus tour. Do Bondi to Coogee walk when you get to Bondi. Figure out what you like and don't like along the way.
Day 3 Travel to Melbourne - Dinner downtown.
Day 4 Melbourne - Coffee, walk around CBD, Great Ocean Road maybe?
Day 5 Travel to Queenstown, NZ
Day 6 Queenstown - Outside
Day 7 Queenstown - Outside
Day 8 Travel to Sydney
Day 9 Sydney - Opera House tour. Ferry to Manly for lunch/afternoon.
Hi everyone! I'm looking for suggestions on coach/bus tours leaving from the Hamilton and surrounding area (would be willing to depart from as far away as Toronto). Ideally, it would be an overnight vacation (4-6 days) leaving sometime Mid-June to end of July. I had booked a trip booked to Wisconsin but, unfortunately, it has just been cancelled. I'm very disappointed. Myself and my companion do not drive and do not wish to fly somewhere. Any suggestions (even just companies that you recommend looking into) would be greatly appreciated. We both have valid passports and are willing/able to travel to the States. We prefer sightseeing tours versus casino/shopping trips but, are open to just about anything at this point. Thanks. :)
Tour bus crash on I-10 in California kills at least 11
This is an automatic summary, original reduced by 75%.
Nearly a dozen people are dead after a tour bus and big rig collided on westbound Interstate 10 near Palm Springs on Sunday morning. At least 25 bus passengers have been taken to Palm Springs area hospitals for injuries ranging from minor to major, according to the California Highway Patrol. Another tow truck tried to pull the big rig forward, off the bus. Around 7:30 a.m., California Highway Patrol officer Stephanie Hamilton said seven people were confirmed dead. By 9:30 a.m., the death toll had risen to 11, all of whom were traveling in the tour bus. LOCAL HISTORY: 1991 Girl Scout bus crash on Tramway Road killed 7, still haunts survivors. The tour bus belonged to USA Holiday, a Los Angeles-based tour company, and Hamilton said the driver was identified as one of its owners.
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Guitars N Cars looking for vehicles for our US Vets Auto Show
Hello! I stepped in to help plan this year's event. I really want it to be the most successful year yet. Help me! We would love to have more vehicle entries for our Guitars N Cars Auto Show on October 4th at the Sam Houston Race Park. Vehicle registration is $25. The auto show is from 12-5. We will have live music, some great cars, trucks, and motorcycles, a motorcycle poker run, a Gibson Bus and a kids zone. We will have pedal car races, a Cy-Fair Fire Department fire truck, bounce houses, and a construction sand pit for the kids. Adult auto show tickets are $10 and kids are $5 or free if you bring in a donated item. The Poker Run is $20 per driver and $10 per rider. Winner splits the earnings. We are ending the night (6-10) with a VIP Benefit party. Hamilton Loomis will be playing through the night. There will be dinner, casino games, Fuller Guitar's best guitars on display, a silent auction, and a live auction. Tickets are $75. If you are a camotorcycle/truck fan or just want to have a great time, will you take a look at our website & consider coming out? www.HCIAS.com If this post sparks any interest, I can possibly set up a small redditor's discount! I really want this year to be successful. All proceeds go to the Houston US Vets program. Their Midtown Terrace facility currently houses and provides job and mental health counseling up to 500 in need veterans. Last year, we were able to complete a state of the art commercial kitchen. The facility had the space for a kitchen but not the means to build one. They were trucking in boxed meals from the food bank to feed 500 veterans daily. Now they are able to prepare fresh warm meals three times a day. We are using this year's funds to purchase a transport van, cover the kitchen's operating costs, and to hopefully create a job training program utilizing the kitchen. We are also collecting donations to help alleviate some of their food and supply needs. tl;dr - Guitars N Cars Auto show benefiting the US Vets - www.HCIAS.com
Casino bus tours are fun ways for individuals to travel. These tours can also accommodate large groups, so your entire club, office or extended family can go together. Andrea Casino Tours. Andrea Casino Tours is based out of and leaves from Canada, but the company make trips to casinos in the United States as well. Andrea is the main bus carrier for the Fallsview Casino Resort and the Casino ... SkyCity Hamilton's Casino is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week* for non-stop fun and excitement. Wrapped up in one magnificent venue you'll find the world's most popular casino games, fantastic live entertainment and great food & bar offerings. Whatever your game, chances are we’re playing it right now at SkyCity Hamilton Casino. We have ... Hamilton Airport. The Hamilton International Airport is located on Airport Road, approximately 14km south of the city. It is approximately 20 minutes away by bus, car or taxi. Shuttle buses are available on demand to and from and airport and if you are travelling by taxi, they are located outside the domestic and international terminals. Casino Vacations service Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Burlington and Oakville areas daily, providing Deluxe Motorcoach Service, Professional Drivers and Escorts with a Casino Bonus to patrons visiting Fallsview Casino Resort. Casino Schedule. Spotlight Daycations Day Trips Spotlight Daycations offers the finest Day Trip Excursions to a multitude of locations & attractions throughout the year, such ... Deluxe Motorcoach Service to Fallsview Casino Resort Casino Vacations service Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Burlington and Oakville areas daily, providing Deluxe Motorcoach Service, Professional Drivers and Escorts with a Casino Bonus to patrons visiting Fallsview Casino Resort. Casino Bonus Buffet Slot Bonus Free wifi daily service Bus service from Hamilton to Niagara Falls will be provided by the most trusted bus companies. From cheap bus tickets to more luxurious buses traveling from Hamilton to Niagara Falls, we offer a wide range of bus services to best suit your needs depending on how much your budget is. Dec 2019- Angel Tour Fallsview and Casino Niagara SCHEDULE Jan 2020- Angel Tour Fallsview and Casino Niagara ... Great Canadian Casino Express . Experience the best way to your favourite casinos! With included luxury motor coach transportation and a bonus or buffet, your day at the casino is better than free. Sit back, relax and leave the driving to us. There's no better way to go! COVID-19 Update . Our office remains closed. We are in "hibernation" until ... One person is dead after a casino tour bus and a car collided at the Hunter Street GO Transit station Sunday afternoon. The front end of the small car was badly smashed and debris was strewn ... Police have released the identity of the Hamilton man killed in a collision with a tour bus Sunday afternoon. The collision occurred just shortly after 3 p.m. when a tour bus, run by Casino ... PLATFORM – CASINO COACH : Fallsview / Casino Niagara; OTHER PHOTOS: Track level of the Hamilton GO Centre looking northwest. Track level of the Hamilton GO Centre looking southwest. HSR ticket booth and customer information centre, located within the GO Centre. Bus terminal of the station. This is the sign that is displayed at track level with the station name for passengers of the GO trains ...
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