ST. Michael's Church POPULAR WEDDING VENUE
This church is just a couple of years old. Yet, since its construction, it has become a popular wedding and christening venue. It is so famous couples from many other suburbs come here to get hitched! In fact, they are fully booked till next year last time I heard!
The design of the church is very modern and it is a good landmark for those who wish to look for the huge soccer grounds, the public school and the Catholic primary and high school as its huge cross perched on its roof serves as some sort of big sign that you are in Stanhope Gardens, near to all the amenities- lovely parks, playgrounds and schools.
Whether you are religious or not, a visit to this place is interesting once you get inside. It is open plan but still far from the noise of the street. The modern design is complimented by decorative stained glasses at its numerous windows.
- Arts and Culture
Medieval Fesat Nurragingy,FREE SAUSAGE SIZZLE
Every year there is a Medieval festival in Nurragingy Reserve and it is free for the public! There are heaps of things to see and do and enjoy!
There are reenactments of historical events, jousting competitions, exhibits of medieval stuff, paraphernalia, costumes, weaponry, etc.
There are roaming characters playing people in the Middle Ages too! The whole family is catered for- food of all sorts, rides, entertainment and many more. The air force also exhibited and offred rides to a balloon. O ther government organizations are represented offering lots of info re the services they offer. Most of all, there is free SAUSAGE Sizzle for everyone! How do they do that? It is financed by the Blacktown city council- barbecue sausages-with onions , tomato or barbecue sauce in slices of white bread. The vegetarians are catered for too- chicken sausages or vegie sausages for them. Multiculturalism is always encouraged as our city is full of a mixture of Asians, Indians, Arabs/Muslims, Spanish, English, etc..and of course true blue Aussies!
We love our city! it is remarkable!
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
AMF BOWLING at WESTPOINT
Bowling is always fun for my boys and it is good exercise. Another place we go to for this sport is at the rooftop of Westpoint Blacktown as sometimes it is more quiet than WOnderbowl in Castle Hill. There are enough options for dining as they have their own grill and bar plus the cafe. It si also a nice placed to have birthdays as everything will be done for you, no mess to clean at home!
The other thing about this place is they offer good value packages during school holidays for the young ones as well.
They have $8 games for everyone too. Or two games and shoe hire plus food and drinks for a reasonable priced. Check teh dockets of your groceries- Woolies or Coles as they give offers at the back. Never throw your supermarket dockets.
The older ones are also catered for as they have video arcade games as well, so they don't get bored while waiting for their turn. There's air hockey, machines for winning chockies, lots of other fun items for kids, etc. I am just happy enough to sit and drink my decaf skim capuccino!
- Budget Travel
For a fun family day at the beach, nothing beats Manly! It is very accessible- by ferry, car or bus from the city.It is more than an hour from us.
This is a very touristy place so we seldom come here anymore especially during the summer months but when we have guests, MANLY is a must-see!
There are lots of options for dining, shopping and also entertainment. There's also the famous aquarium where you can swim with the sharks like hubby did, lots of other beaches to choose as well - from here there are other beach suburbs to visit- Dee Why, Collaroy, Curl Curl, North Curl, Narrabeen, etc. There are buses going to the other beaches from Manly. So the sky is your limit really. Set aside a day or two for exploring this place. Young guests of ours kept coming back here, one day wasn't enough for them. Just be careful here at night. Daytime is pretty safe! Watch out for the best waves to go to as well, there's plenty to choose from!
Remember there are two sides in Manly - the more touristy side and the more quiet one, both have very good swimming beaches. Around the area are smaller and safer swimming beaches as well for the whole family not just surfers.
You can also hire bikes, swimming gear, learn to surf, etc. all you need is to turn up, with or without swimming costumes. You can get them there too, but a bit dear so might as well take your own cossies!
- Road Trip
Yarralumla Park, See the Fab Fig Trees
This park is the first thing I see in the morning when I wake up. It is across us, yet a good 500 metres away still so I always enjoy marvelling at the spectacular Moreton Bay fig trees, so majestic! This park also has a huge playground complete with flying fox, see saw and a big sand pit as its centrepiece! The kdis loved coming here especially when it first got built.
The boys also fly their kites at the huge grass-covered part of the park. Cycleways dot the park around it and so a really nice family place. Lots of events are held here also like the mini-Olympics, food festival, movies under the stars, etc. Despite it being across us, you hardly here the noise from here even if there are events going on! It has also manicured lawns to have picnic or picnic tables if you forget your rugs. A very inviting place for everyone. At night young people converge here or even couples (late at night), we notice but since there is security around managed by a strata manager( covered by our strata fees), it is well-maintained unlike our clubhouse.
It is a public park so it is free!
- Budget Travel
Join Australia's Biggest Morning Tea!
Anywhere around Sydney and especially in our area, there is a truly amazing event worth participating in- Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, to support cancer research through the Cancer Council of Australia. In NW Sydney, there are lotso g groups, individuals, businesses that hold morning teas serving tea of course and plenty of delectable food- scones, cakes, savoury and sweet pastry products and all they ask is a donation- sometimes there is a set amount from $5 per person and includes morning tea with delicious accompaniments and assortments of foods. It is also a good way to meet locals!
In Blacktown for instance, every shopping centre will organise its own morning tea with celebrities as guests to boost their event and the public really can make a difference as we all know cancer strikes at any age and at anyone, wheter famous or ordinary persons alike! So if you find yourself in Australia in May, the whole month is usually devoted to raising funds for Australia's Biggest Morning Tea. You enjoy yourself and at the same time support a worthy cause!
Personally I am choosing between Impressions Cafe at our local Workers' Club or at our local plaza, or I might even host my own morning tea this year,m who knows?
- Food and Dining
- Arts and Culture
Enjoy a Show at Diamond Auditorium
This place in NW SYDney always has an entertaining show on offer almost every Saturday night. Last 16th of May the latest one was a superb MAGIC to the MAx, Stars of Illusion show which is an award winning show that goes to many other places around Australia. It was a great way to be with friends and enjoy the night for good fun at great value- imagine $5.50 for non-members and $3.30 per member of the Workers' Club.
I am sure you will be entertained by the funny antics, the awesome talents of a gymnast/contortionist named Jade, magicians and even a voice impersonator!
Jonas who is a whiz at making doves disappear and appear, is also good at cards. He is young and obviously already very talented!!
Other shows here are concerts and group acts like tributes to ABBA (going to watch next Saturday), Beatles, Buddy Holly and many other famous bands. There are also big name performers/entertainers like MArcia Hines,Wes Carr (Aussie Idol winner for 2008),etc.
So check out your local club or Blacktown Workers' Club for shows here.
- Arts and Culture
FREE GREAT MULTICULTURAL SHOW At BOWMAN HALL
Every year, Blacktown Council sponsors a great multicultural show magnifying the racial diversity of the area, via a festival that usually culminates with arts and music, dance, environment shows and expos around the end of May.
This year 2009, we were treated to a magnificent mix of music and dances from the Australian native owners of the land- the Aborigines as represented by the superb Descendance, an Aboriginal group that has performed not just in Australia but in many parts of the world and has been highly acclaimed. This is not surprising as the group doesn't only just dance well, their music excellent but they take the time to explain every dance. music or routine they present! They did the ff type of choreographed numbers with riveting and highly feet-thumping music: welcome, kangaroo, eel, hunting/gathering, etc. around 12 in all, I think!
Another talented group was the Whiteria Performing Arts Group which was composed of dancers and performers from the South Pacific, a very lively bunch,equally supported by an enthusiastic group of supporters who would scream and yell with the characterisitc gusto and loud Islander sign of approval! It was a delight to watch and hear the cries of yeehah, woohoo, etc.. especially during their rendition and performance of the traditional and popular Haka of the Maoris, just over the top throat splitting loudest yell you'll ever hear!!
The colourfully clad voluptuous dancers from the SEGA group of Mauritius also surprised me- it's my first time to see such graceful dancers and lovely tropical costumes from this jolly tropical African beauties. The songs, the music and the dancing surely can be bestowed the most widely applauded and widely audience- participated dancing and singing! My youngest still hums their memorable tune," We feel high, we feel right, when the working day is done,nothing matters anymore, coz tonight is Sega night!" What a night it was indeed!
The highlight of the night was the newest dance sensation, DANCE,DANCE,DANCE- a mix of ballroom, hiphop, breakdancing, jazz and other forms of dance . The dancers were mostly performers of the popular dance show- Dancing with the Stars and one from "So You Think You Can Dance",the funny Carly plus the jazz group Studio 11, and the awesome B Boys from Down Under (good looking too, may I add?). I must not also forget the unforgettable tricks of LOS GAUCHOS, who were highly entertaining with their whip-like gadgets and rhythmic drumming! Hence the title, "Rhythm and Music!" (Gee, I just figured that out now,LOL!)
There was the soothing sound of opera singer Nicholas Gentile who provided the somewhat restraint music needed to calm the audience after several thunderous performances from the dance groups!
The show, which we attended by requesting free tickets from Council (show was ticket only entrance, no tickets sold at the doors) started around 7 pm and lasted till after 11pm! My husband who left work around 8 that night (his office is near Kingsmith Airport) still caught over an hour of great dancing and fun!
Perhaps, the singing could have been reduced as it was intended to be a family show and a good number of young kids started
getting sleepy during the singing intermissions.
They advertised beforehand that refreshments were available during the interval but I noticed the hot food made to order took a while as my friend was among the very first to order food (thankfully my boys and & had a hearty dinner at nearby Impressions Cafe inside Workers' Club so we were right!) and after around 20 minutes while the show resumed she came back with two plates of lightly fried spring rolls which she she shared with us! May I add that upon inspection, the spring rolls had the flimsiest of fillings- you could count the amount of finely shredded vegies inside!
Nevertheless. I congratulate the Council for bringing some of the most talented bunch of multicultural performers we have seen in the last few years! Trust this writer having just seen "Guys and Dolls" (starrring Lisa Mc Cune & company) international shows during i the South Pacific cruise recently sailed in last year as well!
Check out the website of Council for regular shows and events.
- Arts and Culture
ENVIRONMENT FESTIVAL in BLACKTOWN CBD
This is an annual affair held in conjunction with the Blacktown City's Multicultural Festival towards end of May or early June.
There are lots to learn in this special environment meet with plenty of exhibits to inform and educate people on the importance of conserving the environment and ways to do our share in achieving this even at home! We are very much passionate about the environment and we never miss coming to events like this for the past 10 years now! We are members of Greening Australia and support their projects too and this is one of them!
There are also plant and tree giveaways from the council collection of native Australian plants, shrubs and trees. It is a shame not many people know about this. Each year, aside from the two FREE plants/trees we get as rate payers of this unique city, we also get more free plants in exhibits/festivals like this and even from every suburb in the city's individual festival. I am surprised too that people seem to just make their front and back gardens DEVOID of any greenery- just manicured lawns and no trees in sight, believe me it is happening all over the suburbs. They think itis only Council who must plant trees, weird really!
As logn as the trees are a good distance away from your home it is not a menace or danger. Also, cutting trees in the area is prohibited especially if they are native ones, you must ask council approval to have it cut! (will put this in the warning tip)
- Arts and Culture
- Hiking and Walking
GREAT CITY SKYLINE PHOTOS FROM HERE
. This is one of the best spots for a nightime photo of the Opera house or that city skyline photos that you see on the postcards. after catching the ferry Milsons point take a short walk under the bridge to find the best spot that suits you...many great locations here for daytime and nightime photography.For great photos of Sydney this is worth the enjoyable effort..
- Budget Travel
HAVE A SWIM AT NORTH SYDNEY OLYMPIC POOL
, For anyone wanting an early morning swim before work an don't have time to get to the beach!! North Sydney Olypic Pool opens at 5.30 am for early birds ..aslo this is a great spot if you are in the city and want to just cool off. This is the place to do it. Always a popular place for Sydneysiders this is a full size Olympic Poll and also is a smaller pool of 25 meters..Located directly at the Milsons Point Ferry wharf it is in a great spot also a train from the city (northern line) at either, Central , Town Hall, Wynyard stations to Milsons Point Railway Station (get off here and walk down the hill towards the city) The pool is on the left hand side of the Bridge.Also the RED Explorer bus stops at Milsons Point ..
- Family Travel
- Water Sports
Watching the Stunning Sunset Over our Balcony
This is my fave thing to do almost each day when I am finished with all my daily office & home chores..the feeling I get is that of awe and gratitude at life's simple pleasures like the stunning sunset that we see right across our home. The colours vary from burnt orange to yellow, sometimes they even have a tinge of green and blue..simply majestic and priceless!
We also love walking around our beautiful village and see this amazing sight from various angles and vantage points. This is our own little paradise!
- Hiking and Walking
TAKE A WALK OVER THE HARBOUR BRIDGE
When visiting Sydney one of the best photographic opportunities of the harbour and city skyline and" The Quay"is from the walk way on the Sydney Harbour Bridge..you can either walk north to south across the bridge from North Sydney to the "Rocks Area"city or south to north from the "Rocks Area" in the city to North Sydney..or ..you can catch a north bound subway train that stops at "Milsons Point" which is located at the North Sydney end of the bridge..
The views across the harbour and of the city skyline are good from the pedestrian walkway which is on the eastern side of the Bridge...
- Budget Travel
Bridge Walk from Milsons Point
The best way to view Circular Quay and the CBD (Central Business District) from the top. Don’t ever pay so much money on the ‘bridge climbing’ thing (unless you’re seeking for some blood-pumping activities.) This is what you should do; Catch a North Shore Lines train (from Central Station, Town Hall or Wynyard whatever) to Milsons Point, the first stop on North Sydney’s side then walk back across the Harbor Bridge to the Rocks. The walk itself takes around 15-20, but I saw some people spend over 2 hours taking photos!!!
By the way morning will be the best time doing this, or late evening but it maybe a bit too windy and freezing. Afternoon and early evening can be very hot and sunny.
- Budget Travel
Rollerblading in Sydney
Rollerblading / inline skating is a fun way to explore Sydney and the Sydney Harbour Bridge has a smooth bike pathway perfectly suited to skating. The Milsons Point area has been extensively repaved and a large outdoor plaza has been installed beneath the Harbour Bridge close to Fitzroy Street which is like a massive outdoor roller rink! The Milsons Point foreshore, where incidentally the PM takes his morning walks, is also within easy reach provided you are able to safely stop down the steep hill leading you there from Milsons Point train station.
And that is the catch! Hills. And your ability to stop on rollerblades going down them right?
No problem. There is a company that runs lessons in the Milsons Point area and provide certified instructors, skate hire, photos, protective equipment, etc to get you rollerblading no matter what your ability level is! Start off on the grass surface and learn the basics before you venture forth... Don't take my word for it, just google the word 'rollerblading' or 'rollerblading lessons' and you'll find relevant information on rollerblading in Australia. After all why not learn how to rollerblade well enough so that you can take your skates on your future travels you virtualtourist!? :-)
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Adventure Travel