Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Run Rabbit, Run Rabbit….Run Run Run

What are you doing on the 10th August if you’re in Sydney? Ever thought of taking the bull by the horns and participated in the City2Surf run? Covering 8.7 miles (14 km), get ready for a fast run, a fun run and a few walkers. Attracting a range of novice sprinters and a flurry of ‘I’d rather walk it, thank you’ attendants, you’ll be watched by over 80,000 supporters.

Staggering the start times based on prior running event attendance and running times i.e. the walkers start last, the Sydney City2Surf has been a major city attraction since 1971. If this sounds like a familiar event, you’re right. It was inspired by the barking mad San Francisco’s Bay To Breakers where a good chunk of attendees also walk from the Bay Bridge to Ocean Beach, while the supersonic’s run the whole stretch. Everyone's in costume, even a few in their birthday suit!
Organized by the Amateur Athletic Association of NSW and the NSW Women’s Amateur Athletic Association, it originally attracted a mere 2,000 athletic competitors.

Over the past few years, a walloping 60,000 people have entered and in 2010, the rise to 80,000 participants broke the record, making it the largest run of its kind…worldwide.
If you think you can cut the chase, you’ll need to be training to beat Steve Moneghetti with his record 40.03 minutes in 1991. And all you lovely sporting ladies have a target of 45.08 minutes, set by Susie Power in 2001.
The ‘Back of the Pack’ (official name) is for the walkers, wheelchair participants or anyone pushing a kid in a stroller (preferably your own). This is the batch that starts last but then again, someone has to come in at the end, having a leisurely blast and cheered on by the crowd!
Starting in Sydney, the route passes through the east city, Kings Cross to Double Bay and ending at Bondi Beach. If you think this is a walk in the park (unless you’re a runner), account that you’ll need to trundle up Heartbreak Hill at the midpoint. It’s steep and ascends from Rose Bay to Vaucluse to New South Head Rock, so maybe trial it out as a test run first to avoid any upheaval surprise.
The beauty of this run is that there are so many bands and artists playing along the way, cheering crowds wear novelty costumes and the crowd roars you in support from start to finish.
If you’re in Sydney and heading to participate or cheer on the attendees, and need an affordable Sydney hotel, check out Cremorne Point Manor. This boutique beauty has just received its fourth consecutive Certificate of Excellence Award by Tripadvisor. Need more inspiration? Check out the video on the home page and see the views of the Harbour, right from this gem of a hotel. Get your running shoes on because the rooms book out fast…

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

If you’re into sailing the great waters and are in Sydney anytime between July 31 and August 1st, then the Sydney International Boat Show is calling your name.

Since 1968, it has annually gone from strength to strength in participants and attendees.  The show comprises six halls of undercover displays, alongside 300 large vessels..
Celebrating it’s 47th consecutive year, there’s no slowing down in growth. As the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Center undergoes a major upgrade for the next few years, the Boat Show is going to be taking place at Glebe Island, alongside Cockle Bay.
From displays of trailer boats, in-water boats and entertainment, you can watch the in-water displays at Darling Harbour and the undercover displays at Glebe Island. No need to swim between locations as there’s a free ferry service and free bus between the Central Railway Station and both exhibitions.
The event times range from 10am to 6pm (Halls) and 8pm (Marina) so you’ve plenty of time to shuttle yourself around. And at $40 AUD for a 3 day adult pass to $21 for a single day pass, the more mature won’t be breaking their wallet during the event. There are also kid prices, family prices, pensioner and senior rates so check out details on the ticket page.
The pure focus of the Boat Show is to educate on the diversity of boating lifestyles and get acquainted with the newest technology for equipment. Alongside incredible displays, guest speakers and a lifejacket lounge, you can also dabble into researching about buying a boat. The show website is a firm partner of advocating MyBoatingLife so chat with the online community, both established boaties (it’s a word we coined!) and newbies alike.
There are hundreds of exhibitors at the show from Neken Marine to Australian Boat Sales, Stress Free Marine and Garmin Australia. If you thought that 4 days is a long time for a boat show, by the time you sift through the exhibitors list, if you weren’t planning to come to Sydney, you’ll now be heading upstream for the full 4 days.
This is a brilliantly well organised event and a must-show-up for anyone who’s a water fan. Always remember that if you’re on a budget and looking for somewhere to stay, yet another short ferry ride away is one of the oldest hotels in Sydney. Cremorne Point Manor’s boutique hotel is a sensational choice for peering across the clear skyline and enjoy downtown Sydney and the Opera House. Voted a 4th consecutive year by TripAdvisor for ‘Certificate of Excellence’ award, take a look at the home page video. The views are stunning and after a long trek around the Boat Show, you’ll be happy to be back on dry land again.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How ‘Art’ Thou For Creative Exhibitions

From the 19th July to 28th September, the Archibald Prize Exhibition takes place in Sydney. As it’s on for such a lengthy duration, there’s no excuse to non pop over and check it out if you’re a local or traveling to NSW.

Since 1921 with the first award given, this is one of the oldest and most highly recognized art awards in Australia. With judges from the Art Gallery of NSW trustees, the award is given to the best portrait painting and if you want to mingle with the who’s who of Australian culture, you’ll be in good company. From celebrities to art gurus, famous sports heroes and politicians, pull your sleeves up so you can rub elbows with the hob nob of brilliant society.
The Archibald Prize competition is solely given to an artist resident in Australasia and entries in the Prize are eligible for also the ‘Packing Room Prize.’ This is a nifty and quirky award that was first given in 1991 and is chosen by the Gallery staff that provides 51 percent of the vote. There’s also the People’s Choice Award (starting in 1988) which receives votes by (obviously), you…the public.
If this information has got your acrylic paints, canvas and mixed media jumping with glee, you can enter for 2015. Naturally the 2014 prize entries have closed so you have a few weeks to jump on the entry bandwagon with the cutoff date by 27 June. The link provides the criteria and eligibility instructions so play close attention before you start entering. To keep you on your toes, the value of the prizes range from the main Award at the value of $75,000 AUD to Packing Room Prize of $1500 and People’s Choice at $3500.
Possibly your art work will make the cut for next year and if you want to be in great company of past winners like Del Kathryn Barton, Matthew Lynn and Tim Storrier, you’ve got to move swiftly.
For anyone who is clueless about artwork and has issues holding an orange crayon, this is the time to really educate yourself on outstanding portraits. It’s also an amazing way to wow clients if you’re in the city on business and want to show off how much (or little) you know about native artists – so much more interesting than standard corporate dinners, right?
Only 15 minutes by car and 30 minutes by train from the exhibition (Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road), you can then be inspired by the incredible Harbour views from one of the oldest hotels in Sydney. Take a look at the website home page to see the tour from the hotel and surrounding views. While you’re mulling over the affordable Cremorne Point Manor rates, remember that the Manor has just received the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor…for the fourth year in a row.  It’s a work of art in itself, yes?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Is Sprinting, Running Through Your Mind This July?

Total pun intended in the title as the Real Insurance Sydney 10k is back again for the third consecutive year on the 13th July. For all those with tricky knees, ailments or a newbie to running, there’s also the newly introduced 5k race so you can pace yourself and maybe aspire for the 10k next year.

The idea of this race isn’t about the finishing line or who gets to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest time reach. It’s all about galloping around some of the most stunning locations by Sydney Harbour. The start and finish takes place at the sensational Rocks so if you feel that you’re going around in circles while you sprint, you’re not wrong.
During your excursion, you’ll get to see Darling Harbour, Barangaroo area, Hickson Road, Cockle Bay and naturally, the Opera House on this intentional flat course. Since the Rock’s Market will be open on the 13th, remember to spot out some great potential buys for purchasing later as a ‘well done to me gift’ for finishing the race and raising philanthropic hard cash.
It’s obviously not only a super healthy way to fundraise for charity and keep fit, but also an amazing experience for visitors in the Sydney area, who seriously need to cross off this 5 or 10k from their bucket wish lists. Imagine the adrenaline of sprinting around the city with fellow locals and tourists alike, racing past the sensational views and having the certificate to prove it! It’s also a great way to try attempt the past record wins of 29.43 minutes by Liam Adams in 2013 or Martin Dent’s impressive 28.37 minute win in 2012. All running females, you’ll have to beat 32.12 minutes by Lisa Weightman in 2013 to make it to the Wikipedia credentials page so get wiggling those toes in the new running shoes. It’ll also put you in good stead for the Sydney Marathon in September, if you feel you can maintain the training between now and three months time.
And what better way to chill out after the race, even as a walking spectator, than at the most affordable boutique Sydney hotel, overlooking the Harbour. Just a few minutes ferry ride from the Opera House, Cremorne Point Manor’s received its fourth consecutive Certificate of Excellence Award by TripAdvisor.  If you’re also looking to check out the views, visit the Manor’s home page and click on the tour video showing the Opera House and downtown skyline in its full glory. Get those running shoes at the ready, muscle up those hamstrings and tap your inner charity sprinting attitude into positive mode. And we’re off…

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Toy’ing With an Expo in Sydney?

On the 5th and 6th July, if you’re looking to tap into your inner kid excitement, the International Toy and Game Expo at the Dome, Sydney Olympic Park is the place to be!

As Australia’s only public expo all about games and toys, the whole family can enjoy two days of playroom heaven and the chance to test everything kid friendly.  From Chess Grandmaster to checking out the new Transformers Age of Extinction Movie Collection and even colour your bike in the Pop Bike Balance booth, it’s all fun and games at the Olympic Park.
Enter a chance to win a trip to Paris with the Days of Wonder Board Game booth or grab one of 30 places left in the Settlers of Catan Championship Tournament. Yep, this is the expo that beats all other related events in the area so make sure you have your A-game ready because there will be a TON of kids elbowing you out the way to view traditional and new technological products.
There are also a bundle of stage shows, a games library, activities for adults and kids, and awards. Presented by the Boardgames Australia committee, the awards include Best Australian Game, Best Children’s Game and Best International Game.
When it comes to the Spotlight Stage Shows, make sure you see AlakaSam, the performing magician who was the kid winner of the Australian Street Entertainment Championships 2014. Geared for kids and adults, his comedy brings magic to life so make a point to take a peek on the 5th at 12pm and 2pm or on the 6th at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.
Tickets are $15AUD per day for adults, $10 for kids and rugrats (under 4’s) get to toddle along for free. The 2 day pass is $20, kids are $15 and again, under 4 year olds dribble in at no cost. The site also features family day passes at $40 (single day) and $60 (both days).
If you’re in the mood for volunteering and obviously have a free run of the venue at off times, you can check out their submission details for signing up.
Only a 30 minute car drive from an affordable Sydney hotel or 90 minutes by public transport, what a great way to spend a day if you’re on a budget: $15 per ticket and one of the lowest accommodations in the Sydney area. Need more inspiration? Cremorne Point Manor’s website home page shows the incredible Harbour views from the hotel and as a final nudger towards booking a room, they’ve been awarded the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, for the 4th year in a row!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Jazz it up for the Australian International Music Festival

From the 6th to 13th July, an event not to miss is the 25thanniversary of the Australian International Music Festival. As one of the most popular events in the Sydney calendar, you’ll be dancing alongside up to 1,300 other groovers who watch performances by artists from New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, the USA and obviously Australia.

The genres are vast, fast and furious including Orchestra, Choirs, Jazz and Wind Bands. Naturally, the Sydney Opera House is a major host venue but you can also check out other concerts at the City Recital Hall (Angel Palace) and Darling Harbour’s flurry of wine and music bars.
Over these seven days, several museums and cultural hotspots also share the music scene with sound so you can enjoy live performances at the Enmore Theatre and The Basement.  Dance along to Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Simply Red and Diana Krall who perform regularly and maybe groupie star-spot famous artists along the way.
Hosted by World Projects, the festival also awards each ensemble Gold, Silver or Bronze plaques based on their performance. If you’re a budding artist and have generated huge kudos in your field, there’s the Showcase Award category for groups that aren’t competing. It’s enough to dust off your recorder, triangle or glockenspiel, right? For more details, you can email the organizers and maybe you’ll be ready this year or be inspired to compete next year.
Tickets can be purchased at the Opera House with standard prices at $30 AUD which is a pretty good deal since you’ll be watching a huge range of musicians – some famous and some up and comers. At nearly 3 hours per performance, it’s a truly great experience that won’t melt your credit card. Additionally, nearly every music group that enters the festival has the amazing opportunity to play for 20 minutes at the Oprah House or Victorian Town Hall.
On the subject of cash flow, If you’re a backpacker or visiting on business and feeling a slight money crunch, instead of staying at overpriced downtown accommodations, there’s an affordable Sydney hotel just a few minutes ferry ride from the Opera House. At Cremorne Point Manor, boasting four years of TripAdvisors ‘Certificate of Excellence’ Award, you can march to the beat of your own budget drum.  If you also take a look at the Manor’s home page, you’ll see the new tour video and yes, the incredible views of the Opera House from the hotel. Now this is really jive talking!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wanna Be In My Gang, My Gang, My Gang?

Well you wish can come true… if you’re aged 11-26 years old and live in North Sydney!  The Hornsby Gang Show is the coolest, most creative annual event in the city where this age range auditions every February to be in the Gang to perform a series of shows. The other stipulation is that they are active local Scout and Guide members and the production includes 150 volunteers who get their prepping act together so everyone’s ready for the 27 June - 5 July shows.

These volunteers hang banners, organize costumes, create the show sets and if you’re a local friend or family of the cast, then volunteer away.
Each year, the Gang creates a completely new show from scratch. This includes forming the original idea of the sketches, the writing, design and production along with rehearsals. Bonding these Gang members over the months leading to the show creates amazing hype in the Sydney area. They’ll meet every two weeks for months and brainstorm ideas, formulate the ideal music to compliment their show and once this is finalized, they’ll start assembling the cast and crew.
The production crew, choreography, singing and acting team then rally together with the orchestra so their extravaganza is rehearsed to a fine art, just in time for you to attend the shows.
Starting out in 1973 as a small concert, they now have progressively accumulated 90 cast members for shows in the past 41 years as popularity has risen. The original concept of the show dates back to the London Gang Show in 1932 by Ralph Reader  who’s produced over 19 Broadway, 34 London West End and 50 Royal Albert Hall performances.
Some of the shows are staged around Australia, inspired by the core Sydney team which has turned into a scouting tradition, worldwide.
There are eight total shows in Sydney this year so if you’re in the area, you can potter down to the Asquith Boy’s High School Theater, Asquith and hope to get a ticket at the door, or go to their booking website and secure your seat. Tickets range from $10.70AUD for kids to family packs (4 people) at $53.80 or individual adult tickets at $20.70 and concessions (students, seniors and disabled) at $15.70.
The show venue is only 30 minutes North West by car from an affordable Sydney hotel. Also remember that Cremorne Point Manor’s just received its FOURTH CONSECUTIVE Certificate of Excellence Award by TripAdvisor. Take a look at our new hotel tour on our website home page… it’s a brilliant performance in itself!