Commonwealth Bank Ashes Series 2013/14
Inspection Report - Sydney
Australia and England will contest the fifth and final Commonwealth Bank Ashes Series test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Whatever the score, everyone travelling to Sydney - the capital of New South Wales - will be amazed at the sights and sounds of Australia's most famous city and landmarks. New Year's Eve is renowned for being a bit special, so what better way to start your stay on Sydney than enjoying the fireworks and NYE festivities before the cricket starts. It promises to be magical….
Howzat Travel tours taking in Sydney...
The Sydney Cricket Ground - or SCG for short – is located in Moore Park, and is home to the New South Wales Blues cricket team and the Sydney Swans AFL team. The SCG is another ground under redevelopment with the new Northern Stand currently under construction and on track for completion ahead of the Ashes test match.
The new stand also incorporates a new LED scoreboard and will see the ground capacity rise to 48,000. Despite these new additions the iconic Members Pavilion remains and provides a fond reminder of the history of the stadium and the sport.
Howzat Travel seating arrangements will be as follows*:
General Reserve (Red tours) – In front of O’Reilly Stand, Bay 9 - Square of the wicket (See view from the seats here)
Silver (Blue tours) – In front of Brewongle Stand, Bay 26 - Slips to Gully (See view from the seats here)
Gold – Victor Trumper Stand, Bay 314 - Slips to Gully (See view from the seats here)
Platinum – Victor Trumper Stand, Bay 318 - Behind the Bowlers Arm to Slips (See view from the seats here)
* Seating allocation subject to change
Read Cricket Australia's 'Conditions of Entry' guidelines here
Howzat Travel will be using four properties for our customers' stay in Sydney – The Grace (Blue), Four Points Darling Harbour (Blue), Novotel Central (Red) and the Rendezvous Studio Hotel (Red). All are located within the central business district of Sydney and a short distance from the attractions that the city has to offer.
The Grace 4.5* Hotel website
The landmark Grace building played an important role in the history of Sydney and Australia before its restoration and conversion into the Grace hotel in the late 1990’s. Today it remains one of Sydney’s most prominent examples of pre-war architecture. This impressive property has a great location in the city centre and the main shopping district. Darling Harbour is just a 10 minute walk away, while Circular Quay and The Rocks are around 15-20 minutes by foot where you will find numerous bars and restaurants. Both Wynyard and Town Hall stations are within a short walk from the hotel.
The Grace boasts 382 air conditioned rooms all with flat screen TV’s, safes and wireless internet access (charges apply). All guests have access to the rooftop Recreation Centre which includes a gym, heated indoor lap pool, spa, sauna and steam room.
The Brasserie on level two serves breakfast, lunch and dinner whilst on the ground floor you will find PJ O’Brien’s Irish Pub and Vivaldi Italian Restaurant.
The Grace is located on the corner of York and King Streets. Match-day transfers will be provided to the Sydney Cricket Ground for our Blue tourists. If you wanted to walk, it would take you 45 minutes, heading south on York Street, east on Park Street before crossing Hyde Park and then south east along Oxford Street and Flinders Street towards Moore Park and the SCG - see map to the left, click to enlarge.
Four Points Darling Harbour 4* Hotel website
Conveniently located overlooking the picturesque Darling Harbour, the Four Points Hotel is Sydney's largest with 672 rooms. It is also just a short walk away from King Street Wharf and Cockle Bay, plus the main shopping area. Sydney Aquarium is directly below the hotel and the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre is only a short walk away.
The recently refurbished rooms feature modern furnishings, air conditioning, flat screen LCD TV, iPod docking station, safe and internet access (charges apply). Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the lobby. Bar Eleven is located on the rooftop overlooking Darling Harbour while downstairs you will find the lobby bar and excellent Corn Exchange Restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. The hotel also has a 24-hour fitness centre and a family room with lending library.
Outside the front of the hotel you will also find the Dundee Arms, one of the oldest pubs in Australia, now part of the hotel. It serves very reasonable pub meals and a selection of Australian beers. Look out for the happy hour too!
The Four Points hotel is located on Sussex Street, next to Darling Harbour. Match-day transfers will be provided to the Sydney Cricket Ground for our Blue tourists. Walking to the SCG would take approximately 45 minutes, as you head through the city in a south-east direction towards Moore Park - see map to the left, click to enlarge.
Novotel Central 4* Hotel website
The Novotel Central is located close to the CBD, Central Station, Sydney Entertainment Centre and the Chinatown district where you will find clubs, bars, shops and restaurants all within a short walk from the hotel. Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay and the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre are also within walking distance.
The recently rebranded property has 255 rooms all featuring air conditioning, flat screen cable TV, iPod docking station, safe and wireless internet (charges apply). A limited amount of complimentary internet is available in the lobby. Field House Bar and Restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner offering modern Australian cuisine. Guests staying here can also enjoy the rooftop garden, outdoor heated pool, spa and gymnasium.
The Novotel Central is located in a quiet cul-de-sac on Thomas Street close to Central Station where regular buses will be running to the Sydney Cricket Ground. Walking to the SCG would take approximately 40 minutes heading out the city on Foveaux Street in a south-east direction towards Moore Park - see map to the left, click to enlarge.
Rendezvous Studio Hotel 4*
The Rendezvous Studio Hotel is located on the corner of George and Quay Streets adjacent to Railway Square placing you just a short stroll from Darling Harbour, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre and Chinatown where you will find clubs, bars, shops and restaurants.
The Rendezvous has 116 stylish rooms that offer air conditioning, LCD flat screen TV, iPod docking station and complimentary internet access (speed 256kb/s). The hotel also offers a rooftop pool, sun deck and sauna. Guests of the hotel can receive discounted gym passes for Jetts 24 hour Fitness located next to the hotel.
The hotel bar and restaurant is Straits Café located on the ground floor which opens daily for breakfast and serves dinner Monday to Saturday.
The Rendezvous is located on the corner of George and Quay Streets close to Central Station where regular buses will be running to the Sydney Cricket Ground. Walking to the SCG would take approximately 40 minutes heading out the city on Foveaux Street in a south-east direction towards Moore Park - see map to the left, click to enlarge.
New Year's Eve
We have been busy sourcing two options to help you celebrate the New Year in style.
Option 1 - Harbour Cruise aboard ‘The Pontoon’
£350 per person gets you six hours cruising on Sydney Harbour, six hours cruise beverages (Australian beer, wine, champagne & soft drinks), roving canapés and other options from the food stations, on-board DJ and a prime position for the fireworks between 9pm and midnight.
Full information can be found here:
If boats are not your thing, how about....
Option 2 - An All-Inclusive Evening Meal at Wolfies Restaurant located on The Rocks
£385 per person gets you a four-course menu and beverages for 5.5 hours (sparkling wine, red & white premium wine, local beer, juice & soft drinks). The evening will also consist of a live band, DJs and a Brazilian Carnival themed evening.
Full information can be found here https://nye.docksidegroup.com.au/packages/waterfront/.
If you would like to confirm either of the above options above, please let us know and we will add your details to the confirmed list. The outstanding balance will then be updated on your invoice, and full payment of this new balance will be paid due in September, as before.
Please note, we only have limited places available for both NYE options above, so they are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Of course, if you prefer to make your own Sydney NYE arrangements, that is perfectly fine with us.
Things to do in and around Sydney
Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most iconic structures in the world, so if you're in Sydney and haven't climbed it already, it's a must-do (as long as you are not scared of heights). BridgeClimb offers three different types of climd, differing in journey and duration. each one is exhilarating and highly-recommended. Book your climb by visiting the BridgeClimb website.
Across the harbour from the bridge is one of Australia's other famous landmark, the Sydney Opera House. Whether you just want to walk around the outside and have your photo taken, or actually go inside and see a show or do a tour, it's up to you.
The picturesque Darling Harbour is home to Sydney Aquarium, National Maritime Museum, the world's biggest IMAX cinema plus lots of restaurants and bars. Well worth a visit...
Near to Darling Harbour, both King Street Wharf and Cockle Bay Wharf also have a wide array of eateries and places to relaxing and enjoy a drink.
Take a ferry from Circular Quay across the harbour to Taronga Zoo - home to over 2,600 animals in eight different zoogeographic regions.
The Rocks is a very quaint and historic area of Sydney, next to Circular Quay. Here, you can find lots of tourist-orientated attractions, shops, cafes and restaurants, all amongst the narrow streets and cobblestones.
Just a short ferry ride from Circular quay are the coastal resorts of Manly and Bondi Beach. Surfing is popular at both resorts, but they have plenty more to offer and are well worth it if you have some free time.
A trip to the Hunter Valley Wineries is a good way to spend a day, enjoying the beautiful scenery to the north of Sydney and of course, the delicious wines!
Again, getting out of the city to see that the Australian countryside has as much to offer as the cities, take a day tour to visit the legendary Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves - Australia's largest underground limestone caves.
Summer days in Sydney are usually hot and sunny. Average daily highs during summer are around 26°C but can reach into the 30°s and higher on very hot days. You will usually enjoy between eight and nine hours of sunshine so makes sure you take the necessary protective cream and clothing. Note, storms with heavy rainfall are not infrequent, although they do not normally last long.