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Re: For Our Australian Friends

>From: loren01@ix.netcom.com (Scott Bermes)
>I just won free airfare from Los Angeles to Sydney and will only have 
>about one week to enjoy a vacation.  Since all of us on this list enjoy 
>driving, is it a good idea to go with a rental car and experience the 
>South East area?  

Lucky you (congratulations on the trip win). 'Fraid I'm not Australian but I
have been spending the winter here (currently in WA) and, for what it's
worth, my opinions would be:

>I doubt one can rent an Audi from the car rental 
>companies, and that's accepted.  

Actually, it might be possible, there were some Mercs. available in
Melbourne and if you dig deep enough (and pay enough!) you might find one BUT...

>Do any of you suggest going the rental 
>car route?

> DO rent a car by all means and if you like large saloons with 6 cylinders
and circa 4000ccc, then rent either a Ford Falcon or a Holden Commodore,
they really are terrific cars and you should be able to get them for about
$75AUS weekend rate - $100AUS daily from a major rental company such as
Avis, Budget etc. (all have offices at the airport plus downtown as well).
Check rental deals as most only include free 100kms per day... For what it's
worth I think the Commodore is slightly better than the Falcon but there
really isn't much in it. If you want to be flash there is a sports car
rental co in the centre of Sydney but it's pricey (in Australia, cars
generally are...). Oh and don't rent a Toyota Camry...

>I plan on staying in Sidney about three nights, but could 
>stay there longer if its best to do that and conduct day trips to 
>various worthwhile places. 

Sydney is gorgeous although it tends towards humidity. In town, see the
Opera House (it actually lives up to the hype at close quarters (interesting
tour of theatres too) - have Fish & chips at the end of the Opera House for
lunch overlooking the bridge, it's great fun.

Also, the Powerhouse Museum is terrific, interesting automobile bits and
pieces, as well as planes, trains and a superb assortment of
procelain/pottery etc. Nearby is Harris Street where part of the
multi-storey car park has been converted into an eclectic motor museum. They
have good speedway in Sydney (Parramatta mainly), if that's your kind of
thing too.

I don't know where you are staying but there is a lovely B&B in Glebe which
is a trendy place near the centre of town which is reputedly pretty good.

If you like cars go to Motor Books at Cremorne, if the owner Stephen Knox is
in, you might see his Audi Quattro which is a little bit awesome, formerly
owned by media mogul Kerry Packer and tuned by Kevin Bartlett (famous Ozzie
racer of some repute). Oh, and his bookshop is excellent, too. Also, if
you're staying in town travel across on the ferry to Bondi beach and then
you can get the bus to Cremorne (lovely trip all in).

Day trips? Yes, possible. You could visit Bowral (where they filmed Babe)
and the famous Don Bradman Cricket Museum is nearby (sorry that's absurd, an
Irishman recommending a cricketing museum to somebody from LA).

>I have never driven on "the other side", so don't know if its very 
>different, or just a mental thing one gets over after your first near 
>miss!  But I appreciate any suggestions on the pros/cons (if any) on 
>driving that area along with any suggested itineraries, 

It's easy really, especially if you rent a nice large Commodore / Falcon
automatic. Actually, you'll get used to it very quickly simply because you
will be sitting on the other side of the car (unless of course your wife
gets into the passengers seat first and drives off...)

>and if you know 
>of any rental car companies which have Audi.  I plan on calling 
>Hertz/Avis,etc.,  to see if they have any packages where I can get 
>hotel vouchers.  They do that in Europe and its very popular and allows 
>a lot of freedom.  

I hope this is of some assistance and hope the rest of the Audi group don't
mind this intrusion but I felt it best to reply by this method as that way
there might even be a lurking Australian who will doubtless be a great deal
more helpful than me...

Best wishes & enjoy the trip,

Patrick Young