Sydney's beautiful 2.2 square kilometre Centennial Park is an oasis which was dedicated by Sir Henry Parkes in January 1888 to celebrate 100 years of European settlement in Australia.
The public park has a 3.8 kilometre Grand Drive running through it. It had the distinction of being part of the Sydney marathon course during the 2000 Olympic Games.
The drive is separated into five concentric circles, with the outer track used for cycling or rollerblading, fourth largest for car driving, third for car parking and many trees, the second is a paved pathway for walking, also used for running, the smallest being a dirt track for horse riding. The park is closed to traffic on the first Sunday of each season.
Centennial Park is one of the few major parks in a city anywhere in the world where people can house and ride horses. Some Sydneysiders have their horses permanently stabled there.
East Side Riding Academy is up there with New York's Central Park and London's Hyde Park riding schools where busy city dwellers can easily indulge in their passion for riding in a place where, by law, cars are supposed to give way to horses.
It was the site of some of the horseback scenes in Baz Luhrmann's film Australia starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.
East Side Riding Academy is suitable for beginners to experienced riders. After saddling up, you leave the stables, cross Lang Road to Robertson Road and enter Centennial Park.
It's a scenic ride past ponds, skaters and cyclists and of course, magnificent old trees. Galloping is not permitted. Everyone has to stick to a trot.
East Side offers riding and jumping lessons in its equestrian centre.
Just 10 minutes from the centre of Sydney
Eastside Riding Academy rides start at $60 per person. Boots and helmet are included. Rides are cheaper if you go with more than one rider.
Virgin Blue has flights to Sydney.
One-way fare from;
- Brisbane, $99
- Melbourne, $109
- Adelaide, $125
- Darwin & Perth, $235
There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are one-way on the Net. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at February 28, 2008 and are subject to change.
For more information
Eastside Riding Academy
Pavilion D, Centennial Parklands Equestrian Centre
Ph: (02) 9360 7521
Ph: 13 6789
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