Celebrate Easter Aussie style with a weekend trip to Sydney
Before Australia daylight saving ends on April 4, make the most of the light down under with a trip down south for an Easter weekend in Sydney. This week's 52 Weekend offers all sorts of activities and events that give a taste of true Aussie life and culture.
Sydney Royal Easter Show -- city meets country
Easter in Sydney can't be done without a visit to theRoyal Easter Show, the annual event packed full of fun, food and culture, where Sydney’s city folk meet their country New South Wales counterparts. The variety of livestock and produce events, wood-chopping, carnival rides and the old favourite Showbag Pavilion are sure to keep you entertained all day. The Easter Show is held at Sydney Showground in Sydney Olympic Park, easily accessible by train, bus, ferry or taxi services.
A day out at the races
If the pounding of horses hooves sets your pulse going, make sure you see the best in the horse-racing business at AAMI Golden Slipper Day on 3rd April, the richest day of racing on the Australian calendar and finale of the Golden Slipper Festival. AAMI Golden Slipper Day draws horses from around Australia to Rosehill Gardens racecourse to compete for more than A$7 million (US$6.3 million) in prize money in an eight-race program featuring five group one races. The AAMI Golden Slipper signature event is a 1,200 metre sprint to the finish by the best two-year old thoroughbreds in Australia with A$3.5 million in prize money and often much more in the breeding stakes for the winning race horse and its owners. The races’ honor roll reads like a who’s who of racing legends -- Kingston Town, Bonecrusher, Octagonal, Might and Power and Makybe Diva.
If you want to take part in all the great outdoor activities until late in the evening including the Royal Easter Show and the Golden Slipper Festival make sure you visit before April 4th when daylight savings ends.
The best Australian art: No, not talking about beer
The Archibald Prize is one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art awards. JF Archibald's primary aims were to foster portraiture, support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians. Since its inception in 1921 the prize has been awarded to some of Australia's most important artists, including George Lambert, William Dobell and Brett Whiteley. The best entrants for the Archibald prizes are displayed at the Art Gallery of NSW from 27 March to 30 May 2010. Admission to the majority of the Art Gallery of NSW is free. Tickets to the Archibald prizes exhibition cost A$10 for Adults, A$7 concession or A$27 for a family (two adults + up to three children).
Newcastle’s Surfest -- Escape the city
If city activities are not your thing take a short drive just over two hours North of Sydney to Surfest, Australia's largest surfing festival held at Merewether Beach on 3rd April 2010. As one of Australia’s premier surfing events, Surfest has always attracted the world's best surfers because of the city's unique hospitality and the distinct late March/early April possibility of north-easterly swells. Ideal conditions at Merewether Beach see southerly swells fanned by north-west winds barreling through from third reef, providing rides where a surfer's ability can be fully demonstrated to crowds gathered in the natural amphitheater that is Merewether beach.
Where to stay
My local insider’s tip for travelers who want to enjoy views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House is the new Sydney Harbour YHA where you can book a Twin/Double with private bathroom from A$128 to A$160 or a bunk in a share room from A$37.50. In comparison a room at nearby hotels would cost upwards of A$300.
If you’d prefer a less adventurous hotel try the Citigate Central Sydney. Located at the southern end of Sydney’s city center, it’s within easy walking distance of the Convention Centre, Sydney Entertainment Centre, Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay and Central Railway Station.
Food & drink
While you’re in Sydney why not indulge at one of our up market chocolate cafes such as:
Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café: Looking over Circular Quay only a minute's walk from the Sydney Opera House, easily the best chocolate café in Sydney.
Chocolateria San Churros (Bondi Beach): Choose from an indulgent array of the finest Spanish chocolate in its most decadent forms. Specializes in hot chocolate and Churros.
Alternatively, have a night out on the town at Sydney’s best cocktail bars, wine bars and pub.