Fun-Filled Ac­tiv­i­ties In Syd­ney This Sum­mer

Oi Vietnam - - Front Page - Text by Sarah Green

WITH A CITY THAT EN­JOYS an even cli­mate through­out the year and mild winters, Syd­ney is a mag­net for in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors dur­ing all sea­sons. From win­ter tem­per­a­ture around

15c, New South Wales (NSW) has the unique ad­van­tage of host­ing mul­ti­ple, on­go­ing in­door and out­door attractions for tourists and busi­ness vis­i­tors alike. Yes, it does get rainy dur­ing the win­ter but as the air is not cold (and it’s been sci­en­tif­i­cally proven that hu­mans are wa­ter­proof ) what bet­ter ways to splash in a pud­dle or en­joy sweater weather than in this thriv­ing city, come the south­ern hemi­sphere’s win­ter time.

Host­ing so many attractions and eye­pop­ping events, we’ve fea­tured the crème de la crème of crowd pullers so you can plan to cross “Syd­ney” off your bucket wish list of trav­els this year. Thou­sands of an­nual fes­ti­vals take place in this city and it’s been a strug­gle to nar­row down the most pop­u­lar ones. But we wanted to ap­peal to all types, whether you’re an artist in the mak­ing, or need more mu­si­cal stim­u­la­tion, a fit­ness fa­natic or foodie—we have you cov­ered. Maybe you’re trav­el­ing for the first time to NSW or re­turn­ing for a re­peat per­for­mance to check out events that you missed last time. Pos­si­bly you’re in the city on busi­ness, look­ing for ways to en­ter­tain clients, or drag­ging the whole fam­ily along for that once in a life­time va­ca­tion. Then there’s all the flash­pack­ers on a back­pack­ing bud­get ex­cur­sion around the south of the planet and are al­ready knee-deep in cost con­trol plan­ning. Or fi­nally, you’re one of the great solo trav­el­ers who will just sway with the wind and let your feet do the walk­ing.

What’s the Deal with Syd­ney?

Here’s a sum­mary about Syd­ney be­fore we give you the low­down on where to go and what to do when you plan your trip. As the state cap­i­tal of NSW, the me­trop­o­lis en­cap­su­lates the globe’s largest, nat­u­ral har­bor right up to the Blue Moun­tains. The lo­cals are called ‘Syd­neysiders’ and the city’s been in­hab­ited for at least 30 thou­sand years. Euro­pean con­victs were de­ported to Syd­ney but this ceased in the mid 19th cen­tury and was re­placed by an in­cred­i­ble surge of ur­ban im­mi­grants. With nearly five mil­lion res­i­dents, one third trans­planted from over­seas, the mul­ti­cul­tural diver­sity of Syd­ney could be com­pared to New York. It’s also one of the world’s most ex­pen­sive cities, at­tract­ing multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tions as the cen­ter for the Asia Pa­cific busi­ness & fi­nance arena. As one of the world’s top fif­teen most vis­ited cities, beloved fix­tures are the draw­ing at­trac­tion in­clud­ing: the Opera House, Har­bour Bridge, Taronga Zoo and the stun­ning down­town sky­line…along­side a few koalas and kan­ga­roos.

The res­i­dents are eclec­tic, from cre­at­ing world renowned cui­sine to pride on pro­mot­ing na­tive Abo­rig­i­nal his­tory, draw­ing in crowds to the Aus­tralian Mu­seum and en­joy­ing Christ­mas day lunches on the beach, just be­fore a spot of surf­ing. And if you’re a rugby fa­natic, you’re in ex­cel­lent com­pany as the city boasts be­ing home and glory to nine of the six­teen teams in the NRL (Na­tional Rugby League).

You don’t just drive around Syd­ney; you walk, bike, take ad­van­tage of the city’s in­cred­i­ble pub­lic trans­porta­tion sys­tems and don’t be sur­prised to see lo­cals get­ting to and from work or out

& about by ferry across the Har­bour. Imag­ine a com­mute of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an at­trac­tion of the down­town sky­line on the way to your event or fes­ti­val!

Now let’s talk about the big events com­ing up over the next few months. They’re com­ing in thick and fast, so it’d be ad­vised that you check mark the ones you re­ally want to see and then book your flight and ho­tel around these dates. It’s more log­i­cal versus lock­ing down flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion…and then re­al­iz­ing you’ll be re­turn­ing home the day of a mas­sive event.

Tie Up Those Run­ning Shoe Laces

On May 21, the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald Half Marathon takes place.

With over AUD150,000 al­ready raised in char­i­ta­ble funds by run­ners, you can en­ter the 21.5km race or if you’re slightly new to the scene and want to build up mo­men­tum, take ad­van­tage of the 7km race or 14km re­lay. Mil­lions of cash is raised for char­ity by the Half Marathon and ob­vi­ously you’ll also gain the heart healthy ben­e­fits of get­ting into shape, even if it’s just a few weeks of pre-train­ing. With kick off at 6:45am on the day, run­ners are on their marks, get set and go on Col­lege Street (by St Mary’s Cathe­dral), with the end point at Hyde Park North. If you’re not run­ning by 7:40am, you’ll not be al­lowed to en­ter and you’ ll miss out on this his­toric, scenic view­ing day of sprint­ing. There are a mul­ti­tude of drink and bath­room sta­tion fa­cil­i­ties along the way but pace your­self on the liq­uids to avoid cramp­ing. It’s ad­vised you join a team in train­ing in ad­vance of the big event so you’re prop­erly guided on pac­ing the run. Al­ter­na­tively, if you’re a be­gin­ner, the op­tion of a slow jog along the full route is fea­si­ble and you’ ll be en­cour­aged by mil­lions of by­standers who are cheer­ing you on. The Half Marathon web­site is pretty in­for­ma­tion-con­densed, in­clud­ing the full run route, sign­ing up and fund rais­ing, to team pack­ages for per­sonal or cor­po­rate run­ners. For the lat­ter, this is an apt op­por­tu­nity to bond with fel­low col­leagues or clients if you’re in town on a busi­ness trip and want to make the most of a pro­duc­tive, char­i­ta­ble day.

Zen Your Va­ca­tion with an OMMMM

From May 25-28, the ICC Syd­ney at Dar­ling Har­bour will be host­ing the fan­tas­tic Mind Body Spirit Fes­ti­val. Run­ning from 10am-7pm daily (6pm Sun­day), it is the per­fect time to check out this bian­nual event. With the fo­cus on spir­i­tu­al­ity, wellness, de-stress and be­ing in the now, you can en­joy wan­der­ing around the ex­hi­bi­tions

(over 200), be part of free in­spi­ra­tional sem­i­nars, treat your­self to a mas­sage or body pam­per­ing, sit back and en­joy live per­for­mances, find your in­ner white light with med­i­ta­tion ses­sions, chomp away on healthy foods and maybe book your­self into a psy­chic read­ing. Yes, it’s a hefty list of light hearted en­joy­ment for these four days and ideal for any­one who re­ally needs to press that re­set but­ton. If you’re a culi­nary fan, make a note to at­tend the Soul Kitchen cooking stage, fea­tur­ing plant based foods, su­per foods, gluten & dairy free and ac­com­mo­dat­ing all quirky taste buds. Just in case you don’t have time to ab­sorb the full event, the or­ga­niz­ers will be back again Oc­to­ber 2629 at the Syd­ney Olympic Park. Maybe a re­turn trip is in or­der?

Draw­ing You into Lights, Mu­sic & Ideas

One of Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous attractions is the VIVID Syd­ney fes­ti­val, run­ning for a stag­ger­ing du­ra­tion from May 26 through to June 17. As it’s fully loaded with ex­hi­bi­tions, in­stal­la­tions and mul­ti­ple dis­plays scat­tered strate­gi­cally around the full city, we’ve picked out a few gem events we hope you’ll add to your cal­en­dar. Have you ever seen images of the Opera House lit up in fan­tas­tic, daz­zling col­ors? Or the Har­bour Bridge bla­zoned in rain­bow lasers? If so, you can thank VIVID Syd­ney. Cor­rect, this is the time of the year when the city is trans­formed into a mag­i­cal won­der­land and the pub­lic events are free! It’s known as the globe’s largest out­door art gallery and it won’t disappoint. Mul­ti­ple lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional artists cre­ate stun­ning in­ter­pre­ta­tions us­ing the city’s ur­ban spa­ces to por­tray their vi­sions. VIVID Mu­sic fo­cuses on world renowned and lo­cal artists per­form­ing at the Opera House, small bars and large venues. VIVID Ideas ob­jec­tive is di­rected at in­no­va­tion and imag­i­na­tion— whether it’s a de­sign in­stal­la­tion or movie, mar­ket­ing or an­i­ma­tion, start up cul­ture or pure vis­ual arts. And VIVID Light en­com­passes the full spec­trum

of sen­sa­tional ‘light art’ in­stal­la­tions, sculp­tures and se­ri­ous grand scale vis­ual pro­jec­tions. From us­ing the tal­ents by phe­nom­e­nally tal­ented de­sign­ers and artists, they’ ll lit­er­ally change the way you view the city’s land­marks. Usu­ally, VIVID hosts a theme but this year, there is no such um­brella agenda so ex­pect to be wowed at ev­ery cor­ner you turn. It’s go­ing be di­verse, eclec­tic and iPhone cam­era snap­ping wor­thy. Check their web­site for the prices of in­di­vid­ual events. It’s Syd­ney’s glo­ri­fied, vis­ual gift to you and it is just awe in­spir­ing.

Say Cheese to a Fes­ti­val

Some­thing to put a smile on your face in June is the Cheese Lovers Fes­ti­val on the 17th and 18th. Lo­cated in Pokol­bin, the Hunter Val­ley re­gion in NSW, if dairy is your food vice, you’re in for a mas­sive treat. A bril­liant event for the whole fam­ily, you can bond with Syd­neysiders and tourists alike while you eat your way through the next 48 hours. The web­site is packed with non­stop tast­ings so while you eat, you can be walk­ing from one at­trac­tion to the next and mak­ing sure that weight stays off. Be­gin­ning with a three-hour din­ner on the first night, hosted by Nick Had­dow, celebrity chef and cheese maker, it’s a per­fect in­tro­duc­tion to en­joy this stun­ning three course din­ner with cheese in each dish, nat­u­rally. On the Satur­day and Sun­day from 10am to 5pm, the Kur­ra­jong Kitchen spon­sors the mas­ter­ful cheeses that will have you nib­bling straight through the morn­ing to late af­ter­noon. It starts with a classic cheese lunch on the Satur­day with ac­com­pa­ny­ing cheese work­shops. With a lim­ited num­ber of avail­able at­tendee tick­ets for a ‘4 An­i­mals, 8 Cheeses’ work­shop on the Sun­day, you’ll be ed­u­cated on cheeses from buf­falo to goat, cows and sheep. True, buf­falo do make great cheeses! Amongst a flurry of ad­di­tional tast­ing events in­clud­ing wine pair­ing, there’s the Fancy Cheese­cake Com­pe­ti­tion where you can en­ter to win cash prizes. For events that in­clude a fee, we sug­gest you buy tick­ets in ad­vance. Prices are re­flected on the web­site, per event versus the whole weekend so you can pick and choose which to in­dulge in. To get to the fes­ti­val, you can ei­ther drive or take a bus from mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions in Syd­ney but also ac­count, there’s a ded­i­cated coach ser­vice avail­able. Check the web­site for more de­tails.

Where to Rest Your Weary Head

Down­town Syd­ney is usu­ally the first point of search­ing for ac­com­mo­da­tion but we’re en­cour­ag­ing you to ven­ture off the beaten path. There are a cou­ple of stun­ning

ho­tels lo­cated in the city and, like a Syd­neysider, you can ferry ride to land­mark attractions within 15 min­utes. For the bud­get con­scious, these two af­ford­able es­tab­lish­ments will be well re­ceived by your credit card state­ment come pay­ment time versus the over­in­flated chain ho­tels:

One of Syd­ney’s old­est ho­tels, Cre­morne Point Manor is lo­cated in the af­flu­ent Cre­morne Point district. Not only is it sit­u­ated near the fa­mous Taronga Zoo (you may hear the lions roar at night), it also of­fers one of the most glo­ri­ous, vis­ual Har­bour sky­line spots… from your ho­tel room bal­cony. So much so that the ho­tel is packed dur­ing New Year’s Eve as it boasts the best fire­work views in the city. This four-star AAA rated, 29-bed­room bou­tique ho­tel’s rates start from AUD125. Maybe con­sider treat­ing your­self to the 5 start Pent­house suite—with panoramic views of the city and tak­ing up the whole top floor of the ho­tel. And if you’re trav­el­ing with a group, Cre­morne Point Manor is fea­tur­ing their win­ter of­fer deals.

If you’re more into the buzz of hip­ster life­styles, then Glen­fer­rie

Lodge in nearby Kir­ri­billi is go­ing to be more up your ac­com­mo­da­tion al­ley. This three-star bou­tique ho­tel is in a thriv­ing bar and restau­rant district, on the same street as the Prime Min­is­ter’s res­i­dence, by the sen­sa­tional Ad­mi­ralty House and close to Luna Park. Most rooms have shared bath­rooms, hence the more af­ford­able rates start­ing at AUD79. A bonus: The Lodge has a gor­geous, guest only gar­den to chill out in and a per­fect set­ting to trade travel tips with other vis­i­tors. Both ho­tels have re­ceived con­sec­u­tive Cer­tifi­cate of Ex­cel­lence Awards by Tripad­vi­sor, voted by the pub­lic. Glen­fer­rie Lodge also has group win­ter rates avail­able.

VIVID Syd­ney

Clock­wise from top left: ICC Syd­ney at Dar­ling Har­bour, lo­cal area Har­bour bridge, VIVID Syd­ney, half marathon

clock­wise from bot­tom: Nick Had­dow, Cre­morne Point liv­ing

room, drone im­age of Cre­mome Point

Images of Glen­fer­rie Lodge

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