Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Emerald City Is Still a Gem; Rama Gaindrekindles Fond Memories on a Long Weekend in Sydney

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Emerald City Is Still a Gem; Rama Gaindrekindles Fond Memories on a Long Weekend in Sydney

Article excerpt

THE saying "childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons" came readily to mind on a long weekend visit to Sydney last month.

Memories of when our two children were young came flooding back during the final ride on the monorail in the Sydney CBD before it was closed forever on June 30, 2013.

Our (then) six- and 10-year-olds could not contain their excitement as the train travelled the loop and they eagerly pinpointed the landmarks -- countless times.

That was more than two decades ago, but it seemed like just yesterday.

The 3.6 kilometre monorail loop included seven stations (Harbourside, Convention, Paddy's Market, World Square, Galleries, City Centre and Darling Park) which were located inside buildings, over freeways, at hotels and near a broad selection of the city's major tourist attractions.

The monorail was a bicentennial gift to Sydney and for 25 years was one of the city's largest tourist attractions after opening in July 1988.

But its closure also marked the end of what had arguably been a discordant presence on the western edge of the city.

While it will allow an expansion of Sydney's light rail network, the way is now also open for redevelopment of the area around the entertainment and convention centres.

Our long weekend stay also gave an opportunity to utilise another mode of public transport -- trains.

This was an additional benefit as we stayed at the Vibe Hotel North Sydney and thoroughly relished the 10-15-minute ride across the Harbour Bridge into the city.

It was a hassle-free trip from Milsons Point train station, just outside the hotel, into the CBD. All points of interest from there are then within walking distance. What a bonus!

Vivid celebrations

The June long weekend also provided the first opportunity to view some of the activities during Vivid Sydney -- said to be the largest light and music festival in the southern hemisphere -- that creatively pushed boundaries.

It incorporated live concerts, light installations, large-scale projections, free events, creative workshops, public talks and industry seminars. …

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