Australia - Centennial Park : A garden of wonders amidst a bustling city
Monday, April 11, 2016
‘Australia : Centennial Park in the midst of Sydney’
Centennial Park : What, Where and How –
In between the bustling roads of the CBD (Central business district) of Sydney, Australia, one can hop onto a bus from Central station and travel half an hour to an area which is almost a world apart. One of Australia’s most famous parks, the sheer size of this park is what sets it apart from various others that dot the Sydney landscape. It covers 2.2 km’s in area and boasts of beautiful lakes, a vast variety of flowers and also provides its visitors with opportunities to participate in activities like skating, horse riding, cycling etc. to name a few.
As mentioned above, despite the fact that it is a little far from most of the suburbs around Sydney, buses ply every 5-10 minutes and the stop is a 2 minute walk from the park. If you’re new to the city, be sure to get the all important Opal card which is extremely useful if you want to travel and explore the sights. An opal card can be recharged from any general store, supermarket or newsstand and allows you to travel in trains or buses without the hassle of buying a ticket. Simply tap the card at the entrance of the bus or train and be on your way. Another easy way to get to the park (if you aren’t in favor of travelling by buses) is to take an Uber from Central station to the which park which can cost you between 10 to 15AUD.
Once you reach there, entry is free and you can choose from a number of spots and activities offered for sport, entertainment or just lovely picnic by the lake.
What to do :
Being new the area and provided with an opportunity to visit Taste Of Sydney which was being held in this very park, I was surprised to see how beautifully it was maintained and gave the illusion of being far away from the city. For someone who enjoys the peace and tranquility nature provides, this park is a must visit. Centennial Park offers you the chance to do a number of things while enjoying an escape from the city. The green fields and variety of trees provide an exquisite backdrop even if you are simply walking by or passing through. However, if you are spending the day there, be sure to choose from the number of activities available –
- Horse or Pony rides –The Centennial Park Equestrian Centre offer you the chance to take a ride in Centennial park atop a horse and experience the beautiful surroundings from a whole other viewpoint.
They also offer hand led pony rides for children and classes for first timers. For more information or to book a horse ride, visit their website – http://cpequestrian.com
- Cycle Hire and Cycling – If you’re a sports enthusiast and skipped out on a day of gymming, cycling around the park ensures great cardio and a view while doing it. Enjoy cycling with a number of people on easy to navigate paths and a hillier terrain for those who enjoy putting their muscles to work. Another plus point is that you don’t even need tot bring your own cycle, hire one and enjoy the ride along with facilities like on spot repairs, sales, maintenance etc. The operating hours are 8am to 5 pm.
- Take an informative tour- The park offers a number of guided tours for Birdwatching, History, Baywatching and for all those horticulturists – Tree tours, among others. Even if you aren’t a fan of taking a tour but enjoy birdwatching or taking a look at the 1,500 varieties of trees dotting the landscape, be sure to head there and take a long, leisurely walk about the park.
Where to eat :
Being well equipped and catering to everyone’s needs, the park also has a a few small cafe’s offering coffee and light snacks for a break as you stroll around the park.
- The Greenhouse – This adorable restaurant offers a middle eastern inspired menu and is open for breakfast and lunch. One can also treat themselves to a pastry at the bakery – Sonoma or a yummy, cooling gelato on a hot day.
- Centennial Parklands Dining – An award winning area, it features a number of small cafe’s, takeaway kiosks and a Wine room. It can be used for events and functions too.
- The Ponds Kiosk – Offering a variety of takeaway food and beverages, made fresh and offering wonderful views as you sit and enjoy a healthy snack and breathe in the fresh air and surroundings.
- BBQ – Enjoy a traditional Aussie custom and pop some meat on the ‘barbie’ as you take in the beautiful views around you. Centennial Parklands provide free electric barbecue’s with hotplates, situated in a number of area’s around the park. However, they are on a first come, first serve basis and one must be sure to clean up after the barbecue.
Once in a while, everyone need’s an escape from their busy lives. The bustling sounds of a busy city take some getting used to, but utter peace and quiet is what we all crave eventually. For me, finding an outlet with so much to offer provided a good escape for the weekend. Despite the distance, once I got to the actual park, I was greeted with the cheerful sight of people walking dogs and skating about. Horses calmly carried their passengers, even the sound of their hooves were strangely comforting. Its especially motivating for those into fitness. Jogging here with views of green fields and open skies beat the view of a television screen in a gym any day.
Centennial Park has much to offer even for kids. Swing sets and ample area’s to run about kicking a football or chasing each other provide a glorious break from school and social media.
It’s a place where you can relax, laze about and enjoy the tranquility. A place to be one with nature, within striking distance of the main city. A place to enjoy what nature has to offer and the best part – its completely free!
So take some time, gather your picnic blankets and a book, slather some sunscreen on, grab your sunnies and make your way to this beautiful parkland to relax and truly let nature envelope you.
by Karina-aroraMonday, April 11, 2016
I am a 19 year old student from India who just moved to Sydney, Australia to complete her higher education. I run my own food blog 'Kay's Kitchen' and also authored my first fiction novel set to be published this year. I love visiting new laces and trying out new food there, combing my love for writing, cooking, photography and pf course travelling. Join me on some of my adventures as I explore new places and tell you about new places to visit on a students budget.Read more at karinarora.com