Tag Archives: Art

Exploring Chippendale

Chippendale has become known as one of Sydney’s key creative art districts. More than a dozen art galleries and back streets adorned with street art murals all contribute to give the suburb its creative vibe. The area has also been the focus of a lot of creative architectural development over recent years and together with the diversity of students from the nearby Universities this has resulted in the traditional pubs and corner cafes of the small suburb being joined by vibrant Asian Hawker stalls, hipster cafes, high-end restaurants with degustation menus and small bars.

On a child-free Saturday in July, we took to the streets of Chippendale to experience a small sample of what this changing suburb has to offer. Continue reading Exploring Chippendale

5 Ways to Experience Indigenous Culture in Sydney

For me, travelling has always been an opportunity to experience and learn about other cultures. In Australia, we are lucky to have one of the world’s oldest continuing Indigenous cultures but many Australians are still discovering the beauty of our very own vibrant Aboriginal cultures.

NAIDOC Week is an annual celebration of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and will take place 5th – 12th July. Here are my top 5 things to do in NAIDOC Week in Sydney to experience and celebrate Australia’s first people, their culture and the importance of keeping their traditions alive today. Continue reading 5 Ways to Experience Indigenous Culture in Sydney

Living in Sydney – A Travellers Dream

Travel is addictive. For anyone who has spent any length of time travelling overseas or around Australia, the constant learning, new experiences, being exposed to different lifestyles, and meeting new like-minded people can be like a drug. When you begin to feel more familiar with a place, you know it is time to move on to the next destination to seek out that thrill again. It can be exhausting, but you feel so enriched and exhilarated by it that stopping in one place to ‘rest’ and take a break from the constant travel can quickly make you feel bored and longing for that next travel ‘hit’.

For some, travel is something they are happy to leave behind as a fond memory from their twenties and fodder for dinner party storytelling. They find comfort in the routine and security of suburban family life.

I couldn’t be more happy and grateful for the life we have created with our family here in Sydney but, travel is something I miss. But it is not travel for travel’s sake. It is the real-life learning, the new experiences, and meeting like-minded people that I often long for. I quickly get bored with routine and familiarity and while I like to visit the comfort of ‘normality’ from time to time, I prefer to create a life that recreates the features I love about long-term travel.

We live in an amazing world-class city with so much to offer. The last couple of weeks have proven to be a great example of what I mean to recreate these features of travel in the city I live. Continue reading Living in Sydney – A Travellers Dream

Top 3 Ideas for Mothers Day in Sydney

Hundreds of thousands of families across the country will celebrate Mothers’ Day this weekend. For many, it is a day to spoil our mums but it is also a time to spend together as a family. So, with that in mind, here are my top 5 ideas for things to do as a family this Sunday.

1. Sculpture at Scenic World Fans of ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ on the Bondi Coastal Walk will love Sculpture at Scenic World in the Blue Mountains. Thirty three sculptures by a range of Australian and International artists are dotted alongside an elevated boardwalk among the Jurassic rainforest.

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Your entry price also gives you access to the Scenic Skyway, The Scenic Railway and the Scenic Cableway each give you amazing views of the Jamison Valley.

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The sculptures keep the kids interested along the thirty minute walk along the Scenic Walkway and the ‘rides’ add another level of excitement for them. For mums, it is simply a chance to escape the stresses of the city.

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Why not make a weekend of it and stay overnight in a cabin at the nearby Blue Mountains Tourist Park- Katoomba Falls and take the opportunity to check out the amazing views at night on the floodlit walk along he southern escarpment with views of the three sisters.

2. Picnic & Paddleboating in Lane Cove National Park If you are looking for an escape without the long drive Lane Cove National Park is perfect. There are great picnic spots by the water and plenty of parking. Aside from a little kiosk selling chips, drinks and ice creams, there are no food outlets here so be sure to pack a full picnic with everything you need. The paddleboats are great fun and there are short bush trails to explore. Check out this blog from 2014 for more.

The good old family paddle boat ride... it has to be done!
The good old family paddle boat ride… it has to be done!

3. BBQ at Camellia Gardens The Camellia Gardens in Caringbah are a gorgeous spot for a relaxing picnic surrounded by gorgeous landscaped gardens, with ducks wandering the grounds searching for excited children ready to feed them with their bread scraps.

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There is a BBQ area, picnic tables dotted around the grounds and plenty of grassy areas to lay down a picnic blanket. There are plenty of walks through the gardens and a babbling brook cascading through the grounds to keep it interesting for the kids as well as two fenced in kids playgrounds. There is also a teahouse onsite for a special treat although on days like Mothers’ Day it is often busy.

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What are your favourite Mothers’ Day activities in Sydney or surrounds?

Six Summer Dates in Five Days

It is no secret that I love summer and all that the hot days and nights bring with it. I love holidays, festivals, beaches, time with family, outdoor eating and drinking. Following a great Summer family holiday on the North Coast, my husband and I returned to Sydney leaving the kids with their grandparents. Although returning to work, we were determined to the make the most of our child-free time via a series of date nights. Here are our six dates that made the most of Summer in Sydney. Continue reading Six Summer Dates in Five Days

Top 3 things to do on a rainy day in Sydney

After a gorgeous ‘summery’ Spring, our Summer has not been so kind to us. Here are my top 3 things to do in Sydney on a rainy day that you probably won’t find on most rainy day lists. Forget ten-pin bowling, the cinema, or the crowded play centre, wet days don’t have to mean you stop exploring- get out there and really enjoy our city.

Continue reading Top 3 things to do on a rainy day in Sydney

A Day as Tourists in Circular Quay

Festivals and events are great, but sometimes we forget the great free entertainment available in Sydney all year round.

Last Friday, the girls and I headed into Circular Quay on the train. The girls love public transport- and the simple joy (from a child’s point of view anyway!) of watching people coming and going and the scenery whizzing past. The train journey itself becomes part of the adventure.

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It is only a short walk from Circular Quay station to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). The MCA often has kids activities that I have heard are great, but today we just wanted to check out the art. Entry is free but if you stop by the front desk on your way in they will give you a fun worksheet for kids to use as they work their way through the gallery. The sheet is designed for Primary School aged kids but I could easily talk my four year old through it to help focus her attention. It has fun activities like challenges to write down all how many images of birds they see etc.

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There is such a wide variety of art at the MCA from paintings to mixed media, sculpture from found objects to audio visual pieces. The girls loved exploring and were constantly pulling me from one piece to another and pointing out their favourites.

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One of Sydney’s best kept secrets is the MCA Cafe & Sculpture Terrace – normally it has uninterrupted views of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, although we had to settle for just the Bridge on our visit as a large cruise liner was docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. The food is very reasonably priced and it is the perfect spot to take a break in a very relaxed atmosphere.

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Another hot tip is the MCA Gift Shop – it has great gifts for adults and kids alike, much of which you don’t tend to see in a lot of other stores. You can even shop online.

We left the MCA with our minds and our tummies full and began the walk around to the Sydney Opera House in the Sydney sunshine There are always a range of buskers dotted along the Circular Quay boardwalk. The girls were fascinated all the street entertainers, from the silver statue who moved when someone threw their coins in the hat to the talented artist creating detailed and realistic chalk drawings and, of course, the aboriginal music group with their digeridoos. For a few coins we were entertained for a good hour.

The Sydney Opera House is such a great, iconic building and it captures the imagination of young and old. My husband and I got engaged near the Northern Forecourt of the Opera House so it holds a special place in our hearts. We now own a tile on the tallest sail of the Opera House thanks to a recent Own Our House fundraising campaign – you can check out the view from our tile here. My four year old especially loves visiting the Opera House and exploring inside and out so we did just that, climbing the stairs up to check out the view across to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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After a quick ice-cream to cool down we board a ferry to Darling Harbour. A ferry ride is always a source of excitement for the girls and we quickly seek out prime position on an outside seat so we can enjoy watching all the activity out on the water. The ferry’s route takes us under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and past Luna Park‘s smiling face and fun-park rides. After much begging, I agree to taking the girls to Luna Park ‘one day’. We get off the ferry at the Maritime Museum and wander over to the Pyrmont Bay Light Rail stop for the journey home.

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So: three modes of Sydney public transport, one world class modern art museum, some great street entertainment, a wander around one of the world’s most iconic buildings and we easily filled a full day of activities for two small kids at a very minimal cost. Thank you Sydney!