5 things to do at the Aquatic Centre on Senior & Pensioner free day

Are you an Aussie senior or pensioner looking to stay fit and healthy?

Our new initiative at the Aquatic Centre gives seniors and pensioners the opportunity to take advantage of one of Australia’s finest aquatic centres for FREE between 8am – 3pm every Tuesday.

So, you get free entry to the Aquatic Centre, but what can you do there?

Here are our top 5 picks:

  1. Lap swimming

Dive in for some laps to work on all your major muscle groups and a complete cardio workout.

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  1. Spa

Leave your stress at the door and let the hot water consume you as you slip into a state of peace in the hot spa.

  1. Aqua aerobics (additional cost of $14)

Increased muscle strength, alleviated pressure on joints, stress relief, reduced blood pressure…

The benefits are endless! Join one of our aqua classes for one of the most therapeutic activities around.

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  1. River rapid ride

Who says only kids can have fun in the river rapid ride?

Let loose and allow your body to be swept away with the current.

  1. Steam room & sauna (additional cost of $12)

Sweat it out in the steam room for an overall body detox to improve circulation and open up your pores.

For muscle relaxation and lowering blood pressure? Nothing beats the heat of the sauna.

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World Environment Day in the Park!

A United Nations initiative that has been celebrated annually around the globe since 1974, 5 June marked World Environment Day. To mark the occasion this year, Sydney Olympic Park hosted several events including:

Conservation Volunteers Australia – Tree Planting Challenge

Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) took on their annual World Environment Day Tree Planting Challenge with 46 corporate volunteer teams across Australia planting over 17,000 native trees, shrubs and grasses. Sydney Olympic Park was lucky enough to host a few teams on Friday 2 June in Bicentennial Park which saw 5,343 native grasses and ground covers planted! “We are really pleased with the results of the Tree Planting Challenge and would like to congratulate AMP on taking home the win and thank the participating teams from Bridgestone, Energy Action, Optus, Origin, Sydney Airport, TSA Management and Ventia for celebrating World Environment Day in such a positive way.”, Scott Appleton, Regional Manager Sydney.

Corporate volunteers group photo

Sydney Olympic Park Authority – Staff Planting Challenge

Over 50 Sydney Olympic Park Authority employees participated in a department vs department challenge of quality planting in WooLaRa. A year ago, an unfortunate grass fire broke out at the site, destroying the important habitat for frogs, lizards, insects and ground nesting birds. In honour of World Environment Day this year, we were more than happy to get their hands dirty to rejuvenate this important grassy habitat! In less than an hour, we planted 1,960 native grasses including kangaroo grass, wallaby grass, weeping grass and many more!

Sydney Olympic Park Authority staff planting native grasses

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Posted in Our social life, Places & green spaces

Get ready for the Eagles!

It’s that time of year again…breeding season!

We are super excited to get back into the swing of things with our White-bellied Sea-Eagles as they have now begun nest renovations in preparation for eggs to be laid very soon.

Last year’s nest in the Nature Reserve forest is being revamped with the eagles bringing sticks to build up the sides as well as fresh leaves to line the nest.

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If you’ve noticed something fishy going on, it’s just the male eagle bringing almost daily prey offerings to his mate – and fish must be the favourite.

With eggs expected to be laid in a few weeks, now is the time to catch all the live action on EagleCam or on the screens in the BirdLife Discovery Centre.

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What are you waiting for? Get viewing now!

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Posted in Places & green spaces

Taking the next steps in the Park – commemorating Reconciliation Week

It’s National Reconciliation Week and here at the Park we have been “taking the next steps”, as this years theme encourages us to do.

Our Indigenous Cultural Advisor and D’harawal Saltwater Knowledge Keeper, Shannon Foster, has spent the week with us and our neighbours, including Sydney Olympic Park Business Association, NRMA and Thales, remembering three important dates in the Indigenous calendar:

  • The Bringing them Home Report anniversary on 26 May,
  • 1967 Referendum 50th anniversary on 27 May and;
  • Mabo day on 3 June.

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Shannon gives us an insight into why this week is so important to her:

“The 1967 Referendum is particularly close to my heart as my great grandparents, Tom and Eliza Foster, were leading activists in the 1938 Day of Mourning march which was a key event in the movement that lead to the 1967 Referendum and NAIDOC.

On Monday 29 May, Sydney Olympic Park authority hosted an unforgettable lunch time experience for staff to acknowledge National Reconciliation Week and learn more about the world’s oldest surviving culture. We shared knowledge about our local people, the Wangal, and our Indigenous histories and culture whilst indulging in some of the delicious bush treats harvested from Sydney’s saltwater country.

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Work has begun on our Reconciliation Action Plan including a program of cultural immersion events beginning with lunch time yarning sessions and continuing with a range of other knowledge sharing activities such as interpretative wetland walks of our beautiful Badu Mangrove forest. It has been a wonderful way to commemorate Reconciliation Week 2017 with Sydney Olympic Park.”

So, watch this space for more ways you can become a part of our Living Dreaming and read more about our Indigenous history!

 

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How to celebrate Mother’s Day at the Park

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and if you’re like us, you can’t wait to spoil mum!

But sometimes you can get stuck on how to show her just how much you love her.

Not to fret, though, we’ve got some great ideas on how you can treat mum this Sunday!

Massage at the Aquatic Centre

Has mum been feeling stressed lately? Or maybe just needs to unwind and relax? Then a massage is just the right gift, and Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre does it best!

So grab a voucher and our masseuse will do the rest.

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Image: Hamilton Lund

High tea at Bacar Restaurant

Nothing says “I love you” more than freshly baked scones, mini quiches and other delights.

Treat mum to a high tea experience at the Pullman’s Bacar Restaurant. She’ll be super thankful with a full tummy of delicious treats!

Makeover at Jubilee Hair & Beauty

A fresh hair style and beauty treatment is always a winner.

Book mum in for a session with a highly experienced and educated hair stylist and beauty artist to make her feel a hundred bucks!

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Image: James Horan

Bike ride through Bicentennial Park

With more than 35km of cycleways and scenic routes in the Park, hiring a bike and going for a relaxing rideis a great way to spend quality time with mum.

With magnificent views along the way, it’ll be the perfect start to an amazing Mother’s Day.

Flowers from Lulu Flora

Who doesn’t love waking up to a beautiful bouquet of flowers?

You can’t go wrong with a one-of-a-kind floral arrangement and a home made breakfast in bed, so get your order in now!

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Image: James Horan

 

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Making Lake Belvedere the perfect picnic spot

Have you ever visited Lake Belvedere?

It’s one of our favourite spots here at Bicentennial Park.

With tranquil waters and towering trees, it’s the perfect spot for a picnic with family and friends, getting the most gorgeous wedding shots, or even just a solitary escape.

With more than one million visitors to Bicentennial Park each year, and a majority of those visiting the lake and Waterview Convention centre nearby, the plantings along sections of the lake were in desperate need of a facelift.

Lake Belevedere eastern aspect March 2017

Eastern aspect of Lake Belvedere in March 2017

With our commitment to ensuring the Park stays in pristine condition for you now, and for your family well into the future, we’ve revamped the lake by planting new native grasses and constructing a pathway near the Jetty for those romantic evening strolls.

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Eastern aspect of Lake Belvedere in April 2017

So grab a picnic blanket, stock up on cheese, and head down to Lake Belvedere to experience its beauty and serenity.

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Ask a Ranger – why is fishing banned in the Park?

There’s a lot to do in Sydney Olympic Park.

Fishing, however, is not one of those things.

Why, you ask?

One of our rangers, John, explains the ban:

Would you feed weed killer to your family?

All fish west of Sydney Harbour Bridge are exposed to high levels of dioxins, which can cause cancer. Weedkillers and defoliants such as Agent Orange and other poisons were at one time manufactured at Rhodes. Contaminated by-products were dumped in Parramatta River, and used to reclaim land for further industrial use. The pollution from such operations has made fish, crabs and molluscs caught in the Parramatta River unsafe to eat. The poisons will take decades to clear from the mud in the river.

For more information visit Department of Primary Industries

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One of the warning signs posted along the Parramatta River

What about our lakes and ponds?

Our lakes and ponds are built mainly on old industrial and waste dump sites. Again, the fish in these water bodies are unfit to eat. Sydney Olympic Park is closed to all types of fishing. It is even an offence to carry fishing gear through the site. Heavy fines apply to discourage people from catching and eating potentially harmful fish.

Wildlife protection is important too

Fishing and nature reserves are incompatible. We regularly find injured or dead water birds with fish hooks embedded in their body, or entangled in fishing line, unable to fly, swim or feed.

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One of the many no fishing signs in the Park

Catch and release?

We are often asked if catch-and-release fishing is permitted. The short answer is NO. The Park is a haven for plants and animals which are protected by law.

Plant collection

Like the animals, our plants are also protected – even the weeds! Many of our plant communities are rare examples of the original vegetation in this area – something to preserve for future generations.

Some weeds, when present in large, dense stands, can provide temporary habitat for wildlife such as birds, reptiles and insects. To minimise the impact of habitat removal on native species, these weeds are removed in stages in conjunction with planting of native plants to provide replacement habitat.

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