The Rocks

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 More details have been unveiled about the unique experiences that await you at The Rocks Village Bizarre, taking place over eight Friday nights from 1 November to 20 December.


Presented by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, The Rocks Village Bizarre will see The Rocks and its enchanting laneways transformed into a world of mystery, market stalls and wandering minstrels with a twist.


Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Creative Producer, Michael Cohen says to expect the unexpected when you visit the event.


“It’s more than just an event; it’s a weekly adventure into weirdly wonderful – and one that will change each and every Friday. We encourage everyone to make repeat visits after work to ensure they get to experience all that The Rocks Village Bizarre has to offer. Areas will be transformed and there will be curious things on offer at every turn. You never know what you’ll find along the way.”


The Rocks Square will be the hub of the festival, taking us on a journey through time with a new theme every week. Witness the transformation from the 1920s and the roaring speakeasy bar the Gin Mill Social, then travel off the planet for Club Bizarre, where all the time zones are warped and the secrets in store all the more tantalising. Or why not travel into the future for Zin Party Mode, where money is no longer in use and a bartering system will challenge even the most daring of guests to live by a new set of rules, all in party mode


Along the journey around The Rocks, guests will experience everything from love potions to magicians in the edgy but safe Greenway Lane. The Cabinet of Curiousities will be unlike anything you’ve seen before. Move into Kendall Lane and you’ll find the Irascible Dr Mackellar’s, where you can partake in rousing oddments to complete your journey.


Not all performers will be content to remain hidden away amongst the laneways, however, with the streets of The Rocks set to be bursting with roving performers. From the Croon-a-Cart‘s karaoke party-in-a-trolley, made up of DIY computer hardware, to collective entertainers  110% who will march through the rocks with Olympic precision, synchronising their efforts as they inspire endurance and optimism in all of us.


Need someone to talk to? At Cleland Bond, enter the universe of Kino Klinik, operated up by The Mook Gwa Institute. At the Klinik, patients will be invited to undergo a one on one therapy session with the spiritual guides looking to the stars… of Hollywood… for their inspiration. It’s unlikely you’ll leave seeing cinema or yourself in the same light again…


Want to do more than just watch?  Register online for the innovative and unique role-playing experience The Rocks Push Game. Set amongst the mysterious spaces of the Rocks, the game is a real-time, interactive adventure where The Rocks Push gangs of the 1880’s and 1890’s are brought to life. Registration details can be found at



The inaugural Bike Shorts Film Competition will be another way the public can get involved in the Village Bizarre, and are encouraged to submit their works into one of two categories. Entries of fun and quirky 5 minute shorts or15 second instagram clips can be submitted until 5pm, Monday 25 November.


Finalist films will be screened at Magnificent Revolution’s bicycle-powered cinema on Friday 6 December. Prizes include $1,000 cash, GoPro cameras, overnight local accommodation and mentorships with Firelight Productions. Visit for all competition details.


You never know what to expect at The Rocks Village Bizarre. Every nook, cranny and laneway of the area will reveal new surprises, innovative adventures and one-of-a-kind experiences. Your very own playground of markets and mystery is waiting for you…


So curious folk, get ready to end your working week in the mysterious world of The Rocks Village Bizarre – every Friday night from 1 November to 20 December.


The Rocks Village Bizarre is curated and presented by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, proud managers of The Rocks: traditional land of the Cadigal people and the birthplace of European settlement in Australia. While preserving The Rocks’ unique heritage, the Authority’s team of creatives and resident experts produce large scale and intimate quality events, outdoor markets, and educational tours to drive visitors into the precinct and support the precinct’s tenants. The Rocks is a perfect blend of culture, cuisine and myriad experiences worth savouring.



WHAT:                                     The Rocks Village Bizarre

WHERE:                         The Rocks

WHEN:                           Every Friday through November and December

6.30pm – 10pm

COST:                                      Free



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What’s On : The Glenmore Takes To The Rooftop To Host First Spring Ladies’ Luncheon



On Thursday 26 September, the iconic Glenmore in The Rocks will be turned into a haven for lunching ladies for its first ever Spring Ladies’ Luncheon in conjunction with the League of Extraordinary Women.


Taking over the entire 130-seat rooftop, with stunning views across Sydney harbour, The Opera House and Harbour Bridge, ladies will be treated to canapés and a sit down lunch from 12-2pm whilst sipping on Pimm’s and bubbles, all for a good cause.


Inspirational bare all blogger and international professional life coach, Vashti Whitfield (aka Maybe McQueen), will be speaking about finding purpose, legacy and your personal brand that will be invaluable for ladies looking for further direction in their life and career.


The event is being held in conjunction with the League of Extraordinary Women (The League), an Australian group empowering and educating young female entrepreneurs to build better businesses. The League was recently named one of Australia’s hottest female networking groups by Marie Claire magazine.

“The League is delighted to be involved with an event that helps support the well-being of women. Vashti’s story is truly inspirational (she spoke at a League event earlier in the year) and I am so pleased that she is involved with this luncheon,” said Sarah Riegelhuth, Co-founder of The League of Extraordinary Women.


Prizes will be drawn throughout the day and all proceeds from the event will go to the Gidget Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to promote awareness of perinatal anxiety and depression amongst women and their families, their healthcare providers and the wider community to ensure that those in need receive timely, appropriate and supportive care.

·                12.00pm for 12.30pm start. Finishes at 2pm

·                Canapés, lunch, Pimm’s and bubbles included

·                All proceeds go to Gidget Foundation

·                Tickets $45 from http://tix.yet/springladiesluncheon

·                The Glenmore, 96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks


For further information, visit or call 02 9247 4794

What’s On: The Rocks Baristas go Head to Head

PlayFair Café takes out inaugural Aroma Cup

The month of July saw baristas throughout The Rocks battle it out for the title of the public’s favourite coffee in Sydney’s heritage precinct. With around 4,000 votes received, Sydneysiders have spoken and it’s official, the maker of their favourite drop in The Rocks is Playfair Café!

Owner of Playfair Café, George Macris, who has been in The Rocks for 14 years, says he is honoured by this award.

“We’re extremely thankful and privileged to have the continued support of our loyal customers,” said Mr Macris. “The Rocks has a wonderful community of cafes and baristas who really know their customers and how to make great coffee. So to be considered the public’s favourite amongst such high quality is a huge honour,” he said.


Presented by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, the Aroma Cup was a new addition to The Rocks Aroma Festival this year, which attracted around 100,000 visitors to The Rocks on July 21 who roamed its intimate laneways savouring brews from some of the finest boutique coffee roasters in Sydney.

Thirteen cafes and restaurants throughout The Rocks were in close running for Aroma Cup honours during the month of July with public voting ultimately becoming a contest in three – Café Danieli and The Fine Food Store came second and third respectively.

“The response to the Aroma Cup has been remarkable”, said Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority CEO, Catherine Gallagher, “The sheer number of people who participated in voting for their favourite coffee maker speaks volumes for the high standard of food and beverage offerings that people are discovering in The Rocks,” she said.

By simply casting a vote, one lucky member of the public, Anna Tellman, has also won a fantastic Aroma prize giveaway, which ran in conjunction with the Aroma Cup. Their prize includes an ECM Casa IV coffee machine from Essential Coffee Services, plus accommodation and dinner for two in The Rocks, valued at $1,700.

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority is proud to manage The Rocks: traditional land of the Cadigal people and the birthplace of European settlement in Australia. While preserving The Rocks’ unique heritage, we produce large scale and intimate quality events, outdoor markets, and educational tours to drive visitors into the precinct and support our tenants. The Rocks: it’s a perfect blend of culture, cuisine and myriad experiences worth savouring.

For more information visit

Social Spy** Caffeinated Crowds Roam The Rocks


Droves of coffee-loving Sydneysiders came out of the woodworks and took over The Rocks to soak up the sun and the heady scent of freshly roasted and brewed beans at The Rocks Aroma Festival.


The cobblestone paths of The Rocks teemed with visitors to The Rocks Aroma Festival on Sunday 21 July, with thousands roaming its intimate laneways sampling some of the best brews, fine foods and entertainment in Sydney.


Presented by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, the festival atmosphere was complemented by a gorgeous sunny winter day, as tens of thousands of visitors huddled over thousands of cups of coffee, from 24 boutique roasters offering a wide array of beans and blends.


One of the biggest events of the day was the creation of the world’s largest coffee mosaic. Volunteer staff members from the Foreshore Authority broke the Guinness World Record with a massive portrait of Dame Edna Everage made of 8,000 carefully arranged cups of coffee. Now that’s taking ‘latte art’ to a whole new level!


Highlights also included the micro roasters on show at the First Fleet Park. Visitors sampled coffees direct from the coffee merchants and producers who brought along boutique and Fairtrade beans. Among the most popular were Mayan Coffee + Xocolat, where massive lines of visitors formed for their gourmet coffees and chocolate drinks.


Queues also ran all day at Cadman’s Cottage, where gourmet small batch, single origin and organic coffees were the order of the day. The brilliant brews were perfectly complemented by the famous French pastries from Baroque Bistro Patisserie and La Renaissance Patisserie.


It wasn’t all about coffee at the Aroma Festival. George Street, already famous for its cafes, was packed all day as it hosted tea tastings, specialty coffee roasters and wickedly good chocolatiers, pâtissiers and cupcake bakers. Visitors were served steaming cups of tea, handmade treats and chocolates, and too-good-to-eat cupcakes from The Cupcake Bakery.


Sydney’s cafe and live entertainment cultures collided at the Overseas Passenger Terminal forecourt, where Sydney met Paris and Rome. La Toosh captured the essence of the Parisian lifestyle in a remarkable experience that combined food, art, performance and music. Meanwhile, Bar Coco added the Italian touch with espressos and specialty gelato.


Campbells Cove was transformed into a Middle Eastern haven as stalls serving Turkish street food and traditionally made coffee and tea created a warm Arabian atmosphere. Visitors lounged on cushions on the harbour front while sipping on apple tea and strong Turkish coffee as belly dancers and musicians performed on stage.

Stall holders showed visitors the tricks of the trade on the MCA Lawn, showing them the key to brewing cafe-grade coffee at home. Visitors were shown the best grounds for different brewing methods as well as the latest technologies to make the ultimate cup.

This year the festival offered an impressive array of activities and workshops in the week leading up to the big day. The coffee-curious took part in an espresso tasting with boutique roasters Pablo & Rusty’s; enjoyed insider’s tips from professional chocolate makers and learned how to make pour-over coffee at home.

And it’s not over yet! As part of The Rocks Aroma Festival, the inaugural ‘Aroma Cup’ has The Rocks’ many cafes and baristas currently going head to head in a public vote for the makers of the best coffee, with a member of the public in for the chance to win an ECM Casa IV coffee machine plus accommodation and dinner for two in The Rocks, valued at $1,700 – Just for voting for The Rocks’ best drop! Voting continues until the end of July!

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority is proud to manage The Rocks: traditional land of the Cadigal people and the birthplace of European settlement in Australia. While preserving The Rocks’ unique heritage, we produce large scale and intimate quality events, outdoor markets, and educational tours. The Rocks: it’s a perfect blend of culture, cuisine and a myriad of experiences worth savouring.

For more information visit

What’s On: Biggest Vivid Ever


Visitors flocked to the biggest Vivid Sydney ever, which included the largest Vivid Light Walk expanding into North Sydney with the lighting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Darling Harbour showcasing Australia’s first spectacular water show performances.

The Vivid Music program also expanded into new venues and Vivid Ideas featured more than 180 events with over 6,000 tickets sold. Over 40,000 tickets were sold for Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House.

Mr Stoner said, this year, Vivid Sydney achieved record results for NSW, with crowds significantly larger than last year.

“Vivid also reached audiences in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide through extensive media coverage. I am confident Vivid Sydney will have delivered this year well in excess of the estimated $10 million in economic impact,” Mr Stoner said.

“Vivid has huge appeal and has been successful in attracting visitors not only from this State and across Australia – where domestic travel packages were up 8% – but also internationally, with over 11,000 travel packages sold, including 7,200 from China.

“Bringing so many visitors into Sydney for this festival also delivered terrific results for local retailers who all embraced Vivid. Some of the waterfront restaurants at The Rocks saw a 300% increase in diners, with reports of their capacity last seen during the Olympics. Many Darling Harbour restaurants also experienced similar growth.”

The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest annual festival of light, music and ideas is a signature event in the NSW Events Calendar, owned and managed by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said the most successful Vivid Sydney yet was great testimony to the way the festival has been embraced by Sydneysiders and visitors alike, and the creative services industry.

“So much enthusiasm and passion is invested in making Vivid Sydney a wonderful winter event by not only the creative practitioners involved in the Festival itself, but the hundreds of thousands of people who attended. To be able to hold an event which attracts so many visitors, not only domestically but also from all over the world is very special, and of course is an important contributor to the goal of doubling overnight expenditure by 2020. During Vivid Sydney we hosted 76 media and 284 international travel buyers,” Ms Chipchase said.

“There has been excellent collaboration with key partners and sponsors as well as hundreds of local businesses and communities to make Vivid Sydney a success, and something that is looked forward to every year. It’s a hallmark event for Sydney and Australia, and is also increasing its fan base internationally.”

Vivid Sydney also saw success digitally, with almost 40,000 downloads of the free Vivid Sydney, more than 1 million people visit the website since 1 May, a 200% growth in Vivid Sydney Facebook fans and a huge 2,800% growth of Vivid Ideas fans.

Vivid Sydney 2013 Highlights

Stepping into the history books with Sydney Harbour Bridge: the western façade was lit for the first time by Vivid Sydney partner Intel Australia and 32 Hundred Lighting, with North Sydney Council. It captured the imagination of everyone and even supported the NSW Blues ahead of the first State of Origin Game when Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, turned the bridge blue with NSW State of Origin vice-captain Robbie Farah.

Extending into Darling Harbour for the first time: more than 200,000 people enjoyed the dancing water fountains and dazzling light and water shows. The show was created especially for Vivid by French artists Aquatique Show International, and staged in collaboration with Destination NSW, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the Darling Harbour Alliance. The event was supported by Citibank, which hosted customers at its Pop-Up Bar.

The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the world’s most iconic space traveller, Doctor Who: legions of costumed fans attend the one night only 3D-mapped projections on the façade of Customs House on Saturday 1 June. The projections, created by Sydney’s own The Spinifex Group, saw Doctor Who travel through space and time, pursued by some of his greatest enemies. The Spinifex Group also created the projections on the Sydney Opera House called Play, and Collaboration #3 with renowned artist Gemma Smith at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Vivid Ideas cemented its position as a champion of Sydney and Australia’s creative industries: it showcased Sydney as the place to collaborate, foster business connections and showcase new ideas. Headquartered on the sixth floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia with events at more than 25 venues across Sydney, Vivid Ideas grew in 2013 from 100 to 122 unique events and boasted a wealth of creative local and international talent including keynote talks by UK artist and Turner Prize nominee David Shrigley; IDEO’s chief creative officer Paul Bennett; street wear entrepreneur Johnny Cupcakes and big data artist Jonathan Harris.

More than 6,000 people attended 18 days of talks, workshops, panels and meet-ups at the Vivid Ideas Exchange with thousands more attending key creative industry events as part of Vivid Ideas including Semi-Permanent, AMPlify, Australian International Design Festival, Reportage Photography Festival, ISEA 2013, SPARC International Lighting Event, Mumbrella360, X|Media|Lab and more.

Over 40,000 tickets were sold to the 10-day music celebration Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House: audiences were attracted by a stellar line-up that included the world premiere of Empire of the Sun’s highly anticipated second album, Ice on the Dune, in addition to the eight sell-out Kraftwerk retrospective 3D shows, The Catalogue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, and the Australian debut of r’n’b soul legend Bobby Womack.

Vivid Music, a new addition to Vivid Sydney sold more than 5,400 tickets for a program that featured leading-edge electronic dance and house music at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, a two-day program of innovative and experimental music at the Seymour Centre, dance music at The Argyle and the sold out performance of datamatics 2.0 by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikdea at Carriageworks for ISEA 2013.

2,000 people danced in front of Customs House to Move your Building: while thousands watched wild horses run across buildings and engines rev out of walls at the Audi installation Speed of Light, the Spinifex Group transformed the historic façade of the Australasian Steam Navigation Company building into a feast of light, colour and speed. Creative light sculptures and installations were selected from around the world, including artists from Germany, England, Italy, France, USA, Korea, Malaysia and New Zealand. Australian light artists featured from Sydney, Queensland, Victoria and regional NSW including Nowra, Wagga Wagga and Tuggerah.

Vivid Sydney’s Illuminating Quick Facts

• Over 800,000 cumulative attendees
• More than 200,000 attendees to Darling Harbour
• Media coverage in over 200 countries
• Over 40,000 tickets sold for Vivid LIVE
• More than 6,000 people attended Vivid IDEAS
• Over 5,400 tickets sold for Vivid Music
• 11,304 international packages sold*
• 7,200 of these international packages from China*
• 8% increase of domestic package sales
• 284 international trade familiarisation visitors (205% increase on last year)
• 40,000 people downloaded the Vivid app
• More than 1 million visitors to
• 200% growth on Vivid Sydney Facebook page
• 2,800% growth on Vivid Ideas Facebook page
*Package sales over the Vivid period generated via JTG


What’s On: ANZAC DAY 2013

So we’re excited that ANZAC Day is almost upon us, a day where we can remember our loved ones, neighbours and friends that have given their lives to protecting our country.

In keeping with tradition, ANZAC Day marks the one day of the year where gambling games are legal in all pubs and clubs in Australia – notably 2-Up!

We are also very lucky to get a day off work! Here is our guide to the best spots across Sydney to celebrate ANZAC Day.

The Australian

The Australian at The Rocks will be sharing the ANZAC spirit on the city’s largest and most exciting 2-Up Arena.
Date: Thursday, April 25
Time: Open from 8.00am and 2-Up from midday-late
Address: 100 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
For further information:


The Glenmore

Salute and commemorate our courageous Diggers with a cold beer and Aussie BBQ. Play 2-Up from midday on the hugely popular outdoor arena.
Date: Thursday, April 25
Time: Open from 8.00am and 2-Up from midday-late
Address: 96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
For further information:


KIT Wednesdays is upping the ante with a combined celebration for ANZAC Day Eve
· Steve Frank
· Zannon
· Alex Preston


Bungalow 8 |3 Lime St, Sydney
When: ANZAC Day- Thursday 25th April
Time : From 11am
· Massive 2UP arena
· Celebrity tossers
· Aussie tunes
· Bagpipe band
· The Last Post (played at 5:45pm sharp)
· $15 cocktail jugs served till 4pm


Cargo Bar |52-60 The Promenade, Sydney
When: ANZAC Day- Thursday 25th April
Time: From 11am
· All day BBQ and outdoor bar
· Biggest 2UP arena to date
· Playing the Last Post (5:30pm sharp)
· The party will continue into the night with some classic Aussie tunes from DJ’s KATO, Liz Bird, Adam Bozzetto and loads more


Newtown Hotel | 174 King St, Newtown
When: ANZAC Day- Thursday 25th April
Time: From 1 pm
· 2UP
· Fosters cans $5
· Free sausage sizzle
· DJs from sunset, PHDJ, Shantan Wantan Ichiban, Meem


Sugarmill Hotel | 37 Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point
When: ANZAC Day- Thursday 25th April
Time: From 10am
· 2:30pm AFL live Essendon vs Collingwood
· 4:00pm NRL live Roosters vs Dragons
· 7:00pm NRL live Storm vs Warriors


Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ |37 Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point
When: ANZAC Day- Thursday 25th April
Time: From 10am
· Sweethearts will be open ALL ANZAC DAY from midday to midnight.
· TAPPY HOUR from 4-7pm when all tap beer and wine is $5


Some other key places that are fab for ANZAC are:

Dicks – Balmain

The Beach Road Hotel – Bondi

Coogee Bay Hotel – Coogee

The Royal – Paddington

Have fun!!!!


What’s on** Fort Denison announces bonfire lights for Vivid Sydney


Sydney’s famous Fort Denison, recently coveted by Ellen DeGeneres, has announced a series of light installations as part of Vivid Sydney, that will complement its program of dinners and Vivid Light artist talks being staged for the first time as a new addition to the 18-day festival of light, music and ideas, starting May 24.

FIRELIGHT @ FORT will see a giant 8-metre high, simulated bonfire propelled into the skyline every evening of Vivid Sydney (May 24 to 10 June) alongside several other works by a team from the Master of Design Lighting Design course at the University of Technology and sponsored by Philips.

The public will be able to see the works from the harbour foreshore and visit the island for the dinner and tour experience on select weekend nights during Vivid Sydney by booking the ferry and Dinner DeLights experience at

The lighting installations on the island tell some of the history of Fort Denison during its 150 years perched in the middle of Sydney Harbour. It has been a defence outpost, a weather station and now a museum, restaurant and the home to many sensational evening events.

The giant artificial bonfire provides a welcoming beacon, inviting all indigenous tribes to come for a corroboree on the island that the local Aboriginal people called Mat-te-wan-ye. There will also be seven red chimneys reflecting the light of cosy hearths inside the barracks and lit windows will display silhouettes of the avian emblems of countries that were once seen as possible threats and invaders to the colony but are now our friends. The lone surviving palm tree on the island will cast shadows reminding viewers that there were once more palms on the island.

Designers Mike Day, Yiren Ding, Sun Jong Song and Alan Rose have created the whimsical and fun installations for great visual impact from the distance of the shore and to be enjoyed up close for the lucky visitors who take a ferry to the island from 6pm on the evenings of May 24, 25, 31, June 1, 7, 8 & 9. Ferries will depart Wharf 6 at Circular Quay.

Dinner DeLIGHTS includes a sumptuous two-course dinner overlooking the spectacular city lightshow, an intimate talk from Vivid Light artists and a guided tour of the historic Martello Tower, which offers breathtaking views of Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Vivid Sydney lightshow at Circular Quay.

Diners can take in the spectacular Vivid Light walk around Circular Quay, The Rocks and Walsh Bay before boarding a five-minute harbour cruise to the island for dinner and drinks from 6.15pm until 9.45pm, with return ferry shuttles throughout the evening.

Fort Denison Restaurant is a rare gem of Sydney, nestled amongst the sandstone walls of Fort Denison Island in the centre of Sydney Harbour National Park and offering a crowd-pleasing menu, inspired by the best of Australian produce.

Bookings for Dinner DeLIGHTS are $99 per person, which includes a two-course meal, the Vivid Light artist talk, return water transfers to Circular Quay, park entry fee and a guided tour of the Martello Tower led by NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service.

Places are extremely limited, so people are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment. For more information or to make a booking email or visit

What: Dinner DeLIGHTS
When: 24, 25 & 31 May and 1, 7, 8 & 9 June 2013
Where: Fort Denison Restaurant
More information:

What’s On: Vivid Sydney expands to illuminate Darling Harbour with Australian first – music and water spectacular

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner, announced today that Vivid Sydney 2013 will extend to the Darling Harbour precinct for the first time.

Developed, owned and managed by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, Vivid Sydney is an 18-day festival of light, music and ideas. It is the biggest festival of its kind in the southern hemisphere and will take place in Sydney from 24 May to 10 June.

For the first time in Vivid Sydney’s five-year history, Vivid Light will extend to Darling Harbour and transform the precinct into a spectacle of dancing water fountains, water screen projection performances and dazzling light and water shows, never seen before in Australia, masterminded by France’s legendary Aquatique Show International.

Aquatique Show International has developed and installed choreographed water and light shows for public entertainment for more than 30 years, amazing audiences in over 52 countries.

Mr Stoner said: “Vivid Sydney brings visitors something new and spectacular every year – and this year is no exception. Bringing Vivid Light to Darling Harbour will give visitors an amazing and unique Australian-first experience that will showcase the world’s best lighting and water technology, artistry and design. It’s sure to be something people will come back to many times over the duration of Vivid Sydney.

WHAT’S ON – Sydney 101 – Celebrate all that is Australian this Australia Day…

Whether it’s your first Aussie Day (January 26th) or if it’s your 30th, there is absolutely no reason not to get involved.

There are so many cool activities taking place across this lil’ ol’ country that we call home.

When I first arrived in Sydney four years ago on the 23rd January, I had no idea that there even was an Australia Day, no less when it was! Little did I know that it was in 3 days time, and that it would be one of the best days of my travels yet!

Back in 2009, we started at Hyde Park with a crate of Pure Blonde, then we headed to The Australian Hotel in The Rocks. We then ended our day watching the fireworks at Darling Harbour – they were spectacular!

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before! So here is a little gift from me to you, to let you decide how your perfect Australia Day will be spent:

1. Bronte Beach BBQ (all day)

Avoid the hustle and bustle of the city and head to the quaint Eastern Suburbs beach between Bondi and Coogee. It is one of the few places where you’re allowed to drink in the open and it has grass, sand and BBQs to complete a relaxing day at the beach.

2. The Rocks – Glenmore and The Australian Heritage Hotel (all day)

This was suggested by one of Sydney Social 101’s Facebook fans as a ‘must-see’ for Australia Day – You can enjoy Emu and Kangaroo pizzas at The Australian, then wander a mere 20 metres to The Glenmore for spectacular Sydney Harbour views. A great option if the weather isn’t 100% as The Glenmore now has a retractable roof to ensure that rain, sun or hail, you can enjoy a schooner with a view!

3. Bondi Rocks – North Bondi (12pm til late)

If you fancy a lively day with beer, sounds and shapes, head to Bondi Rocks in North Bondi – One for all the hipsters (or wanna be) out there!


4. Festival of the Voice – The Rocks (12pm – 8pm)

A great suggestions by another SS101 Facebook groupies 🙂 They advised their pick would be to head to The Rocks this Australia Day for a free celebration of music and song.

There is also a twilight concert with Australian artists in Dawes Point Park. Again you’ll be able to take advantage of stunning Harbour views.

There are also concerts at First Fleet Park and ‘Song Street’ (George Street). If you’re talented with regards to vocal gymnastics, you can even make sweet music on the karaoke stage in The Rocks Square.

5. Darling Harbour – Australia Day Fireworks

Like I did on my first Australia Day, join thousands of people at Cockle Bay, hear an official address from the NSW Premier and witness the grand finale of Sydney’s Australia Day celebrations—an exhilarating symphony of light, sound and pyrotechnics. Perfect if you’re looking for things to do with the family!

6. Party hard with the best of them with Keystone!

Cargo Bar, Cargo Lounge, Bungalow 8 and The Loft have a list of celebrations to suit all tastes this Australia Day here in Sydney, from 25 – 28 January!

They are all hosting a four day festival at the four iconic harbour-side venues on King Street Wharf! With over 50 different DJs and live acts, plus activities, games and more, ‘Oz Fest’ is a celebration of Australian icons with all the jam-packed excitement and entertainment of a festival! Including Minx She Can DJ tour, Sosueme DJs, Strummer & heaps more!

Sweethearts Rooftop Bar is hosting Aussie celebrations from 25 – 28th January! There will be $5 tinnies and great Aussie food ALL WEEKEND


The Sugarmill will be hosting a massive Australia Day party across four floors from 10pm – Kings Cross


Gazebo – 26th January from 12pm

Peter Allen Party with DJs from 4pm, celebrations from 12pm for a massive AustraliaDay Celebration.


Manly Wine – 26th January from 3pm



7. Rave the night away at Pacha at The Ivy – Saturday 26 January from 6:30pm!


Now there are no doubt many events and activities I have missed out – If you have any suggestions, please post a comment below!

Hope you all have the best Australia Day ever!

What’s On – The Glenmore Hotel re-opens after nine months

The iconic 91-year-old, 3 storey heritage hotel The Glenmore has re-opened, honouring its rich history, while getting a new breath of life, after nine months of loving restoration. Sydney Social 101 headed last night for a night cap to check out what all the fuss was about…


The Glenmore Rooftop

Sydney Social was advised that within an hour of opening its doors to the public on Friday afternoon, the sensational rooftop, featuring Utzon’s Corner – where Sydney Opera House architect, Jørn Utzon is said to have sketched his masterpiece – was filled with patrons old and new.


The Glenmore Opening Night

Several new features have been added to ensure future generations will continue to call The Glenmore their favorite CBD hotel for years to come. From the retractable rooftop guaranteeing the stunning Sydney Harbour views can be enjoyed all year round – rain, hail or shine; to the newly created lower ground floor Ladies pamper parlourandthe environmentally friendly cellar keg pumps.


The Glenmore Rooftop Bar

The most notable change is on the middle floor with the opening of The Glenmore Lounge. Originally used as accommodation, The Glenmore Lounge, with its own cocktail bar, lounge area and Juliette balconies now hosts a collection of elegant rooms that are ideal for private dining or gatherings. They are: the Grand Dining Room, Pool Room and Club Room.


The Glenmore Grand Dining Room

The Glenmore Lounge was inspired by Louise Lovely, the famous Australian-born Hollywood actress, who was known to charm The Glenmore patrons with her glamorous ways and Hollywood tales. However, if The Glenmore walls could talk, they would also have many tales to tell.


From the outside however it’s still the same old much loved Glenmore – which isn’t a bad thing!

As evidenced by some of the fascinating items recovered during the restoration, which included: a copy of The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper dated 22 October 1940; Sections of sandstone kerb and road surface on the alignment of Gloucester Walk; and a Holey Dollar Dump coin.


Dedicated to keeping a record of the past intact for future generations, the priceless relics discovered during the restoration, will eventually be displayed in The Glenmore for all to enjoy.


“We have been overwhelmed by the amazing reaction to the restoration and re-opening by both our Rocks locals and tourists alike” said Managing Director, Martin Short.


The Short and Anderson families have gone to great lengths to ensure the meals served from the new kitchens are better than ever at the same great prices, including signature meals: The Glenmore Burger, The Glenmore Club and The Glenmore Hot Dog.


Whether you come to drink in the views, relax on the rooftop, or linger in the lounge with a Glenmore Iced Tea, now the doors have re-opened, come and unlock a new experience at The Glenmore in The Rocks.

Echoer – Featured Blogger


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