Sean Mc on Skynet

Sydney



Sydney, one of the best known cities in the world, but what's to see when you're hanging around for a few days?
Our first day we had to hand back the rental car so once that was taken care of we got the train into the city centre to have a look around. First on our list were the Sydney harbour bridge and the Sydney Opera House. What surprised me about the opera house was that it wasn't white but a bit off white, this colour difference isn't noticeable in any photo's of it. After seeing the two big sights we walked further along the waterfront to the botanic gardens where you can go out to a headland and get a view of the harbour bridge and the opera house at the same time, a perfect postcard.

The Olympic games were held in Sydney in 2000 and the stadium is still in use as a sports stadium. They now run tours of the stadium. There's not a whole pile to say about the tour but the highlight was that they still have the actual podium on which all the athletes stood to receive their medals. They allow people to stand on it and take photo's, naturally I got a gold medal that day. The stadium is now used to host cricket, soccer and rugby league games and is host to the bulldogs rugby league team. Also near to the stadium is the Olympic aquatic and hockey stadium. The athletics track from the Olympics was taken up after the games had finished and was re-laid in a purpose built stadium a few hundred metres away.

Today was another Olympic day, this time it was time for the whitewater stadium in Penrith. This is an artificial river where the water is pumped by some large pumps and the various features on the 'river' are created by a number of removeable obstacles. The course is a grade 3 section of water and is rafted almost continuously by various groups. For us though we were interested in paddling it. At the centre you can hire all the equipment you need, boat, paddles, buoyancy aid, etc. If only all rivers had the same facilities, when you'd paddled the course all you had to do was paddle onto a conveyer belt and it brought you back up to the top and you could paddle again it was great. For me the only downside to the day was getting stuck under a raft and swimming, to make things worse the raft guide was Shane from DCUCC whom I already knew from at home. I'd heard a number of people complain about Penrith in the past but in my opinion it is a great facility for anyone who wants to learn to paddle or to improve their paddling. It has everything, a flatwater lake to learn the basics and then some gentle moving water at the bottom of the course and on the course there's drops, waves and eddy's, what more could you ask for? A great days paddling and we were tired and hungry after it, but we weren't too tired to go drinking.

posted by SeanMc @ 9:42 PM,

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