Tourism

Centennial (and Victoria) Park [A quick trip to]

It was a hot day in Sydney yesterday, but not hot enough to deter me from going to two of Sydney's most well-known parks: Victoria Park and Centennial Park.

It was a hot day in Sydney yesterday, but not hot enough to deter me from going to two of Sydney’s most well-known parks: Victoria Park and Centennial Park.

I started off with a quick trip to Victoria Park which is just off Parramatta Road and connected to the oldest uni in Australia (and my school *wink wink*), the University of Sydney.

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It was a nice day that had enough sun for some really awesome panorama shots as well as some flora pictures. The little slivers of shade served as mini-havens of rejuvenation as I tried to avoid getting burned by the sun. (I keep forgetting that OZ lacks an ozone layer!). Don’t worry I had sunscreen.

(Also side note: Lotion with sunscreen is more tolerable than actual sunscreen that leaves you feeling as greasy as a diner steak).

These first few shots are of Lake Northam in Victoria Park. To make things cleaner I’ve got the shots in a slideshow that you can pause and marvel at.

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So why’d you go to this park? What makes it so special?

So a little history about the park (because it obligatory and allows you to appreciate its beauty more than the average picture-viewer). The park itself was not officially named Victoria Park until 1870 after an official entrance was created that led up to the University of Sydney in 1865. Wow that park..is pretty old! Prior to that official date the park itself used to be named Kangaroo Grounds and Parakeet Hill, before being officially dubbed Grose Farm thanks to a 1792 land grant. So it’s been through a lot of identity changes before it became Victoria Park. It’s like being a teenager: going through a lot of stages before realizing that your true self has been inside you the whole time.

It’s a really old park okay? It’s important.

Also, in the pictures of Lake Northam is a metal sculpture in the center island. I’ll be honest I had no idea what that thing was until I did some research. That, too, is important: it serves to commemorate Sydney City Council alderman, Bill Northam, who won a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics for yachting. Of course, the sculpture wasn’t enough…they named the entire lake after him too.

Now that concludes my history lesson on the park. WAKE UP! I’ve got more pictures. Of course, if you did enjoy that history brief you can learn more about Victoria Park and its coming of age here.

I’ve got more pictures of the park here that I so graciously nearly had heat stroke in order to get them…the things I do for pictures…

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Okay, so how was Centennial Park? What was that like?

Well for starters it was a nightmare only because stupid me decided to wear flats. I thought the park would be like Victoria Park and have paved pathways.

It didn’t…grass and gravel for days man…and for good reason.

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Why? you just said it was a nightmare?

Horseback riding is a thing here, which you can do at Centennial Park. I saw the poo and riders to confirm it. Unfortunately due to ethical reasons I couldn’t take a picture of the child riding the horse, and I doubt you’d wanna see horse poo. Take my word for it.

I will…I’d rather not see that. So what happened there then? 

The park itself is HUUUUUGGGEEEE! I spent nearly two hours and I’ve got the battered shoes to prove it. They had holes in them!

The park is spread out over 189 hectares of land, and it’s got so many ponds and paths. I tried exploring the majority of the park and I think I did pretty well. I knew the struggle was coming when I arrived at the bridge entrance to find it closed, and I had to walk the entire way around to get inside the park. It’s alright though, I got this little gem shot (if you were on Instagram…you know what shot I’m talking about):

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That’s right…I got bit for this picture…

Now I took two hours worth of pictures, so I’ll divide them up into sections; I even found a bat who posed for me! So aside from the bug bits and ruined shoes…it was worth it.

Up close and personal

There are quite a few lakes at Centennial Park, with one of them specifically being a duck lake, not pond. The good thing about Australian animals is that they are very friendly and enjoy having their photo taken. All of these bird pictures were taken at close range. One even walked over to me as I squatted down! If you want to do the same when you arrive, get as close as you can slowly and then squat down as you near them. By being at the same size of them you appear less intimidating.

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I also got some video and pictures of bats. Interestingly they were flying around in the daytime, but it ma have been because it was 6pm.

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Lake, not [by] the ocean

Aside from the wildlife there are beautiful lakes at the park as well, that are perfect for couples, or just you sitting there…to ponder life and enjoy the world around you. For those few moments that I stood at those lakes, I felt at peace. You can see why right?

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Now I mentioned the duck pond earlier, but there is another lake that I will call, the Bat Lake because there were at least 70 bats circling the lake at any given time. There was also a lake that was covered in lilly-pads from edge to edge…two actually.

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A walk among the gravel

I ruined my flats walking around the park for two hours, but I just bought some new shoes…it’s okay. If you plan on getting to the park the best way is by bus from Central train station. I took the 370 (not to Oxford St.).

Okay, I took it on my way home but it will take you to an open entrance to the park. Trust me…that park is huge plan your journey.

In the mean time…I’ve got pictures of the path that ate my feet…

Okay that was really cool! What can our readers expect to see next week?

Next week I am planning a hiking trip in the Royal National Park in New South Wales, and a few more how-to articles. I’ve realised I omitted a Ferry-ride page from my transport section, so I’ll get on that next week. Aiming to go to a lighthouse TWO HOURS from my house (because I love my job), and post about my trip to Featherdale Wildlife Park.

So lots of stuff! And I’ll…try not to die hiking again!

Feel free to comment any low-budget trip ideas I should look into as well! It’s summer vacation here and…things to do…yes.

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