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Sports Lovers: Syndney's Where It's At
Photos and article by Eleanor S. Morris

SYDNEY, Australia - This beautiful city on Sydney Harbour has always been a world-class destination, even before all the glamour of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. From September 15th to October 1, 2000, Sydney was host to the Olympic Games of the Millennium, attracting international visitors by the hundreds of thousands.

Olympic venues span the whole of the city. Although the main concentration is at Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush Bay, other venues, such as Bondi Beach (where Olympic volleyball will take place), the Regatta Centre at Penrith Lakes and Darling Harbor, have their share of the sports excitement.

The $200 million SuperDome, the indoor sports and entertainment centre with a ceiling so high it can put on fireworks displays indoors, opened officially in November, 1999. It marked the completion of one of the major projects for these Millennium Olympic Games. Test events have been held at these major venues: the Equestrian Centre at Horsley Park, The Penrith Whitewater Stadium, the Dunc Gray Velodome at Bankstown, the Shooting Centre at Cecil Park and the Tennis Centre at Homebush Bay. The SuperDome itself will serve as a grand indoor arena for basketball and gymnastics.

But in addition to all the Olympic excitement, Sydney itself is a beautiful city with many attractions. So as well as enjoying the games, you'll want to do quite a bit of sightseeing there on the other side of the world. Join a tour with BridgeClimb and climb the arches of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Or, let the Olympic athletes do the athletic things-- just climb the stairs up to the Pylon Lookout. Both activities provide fantastic views of Sydney Harbour and surrounding suburbs.

Sydney's beautiful Opera House at Bennelong Point on the waterfront is a landmark building. With its overlapping tiers of white-winged roof, it looks like it's ready to sail out over the harbour. The opera house is home to Australia's opera, ballet and theater companies, as well as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

For a magnificent 360-degree view of the city, visit the Sydney Tower. Both the Observation Level and the revolving restaurant provide the sight. Stroll through the narrow alleyways of The Rocks, the harbourside quarter that is the site of the city's first European settlement. Here the first settlers landed in 1788, a mixture of soldiers and convicts. Today you'll find elegantly restored buildings housing restaurants, specialty shops and entertainment spots.

For more shopping and entertainment, Harbourside Shopping Complex boasts 200 shops and assorted waterfront restaurants. Attractions include the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Panasonic Imax Theatre and the Chinese Garden. Choose one of the many dinner cruises on the harbor; they offer entertainment and wonderful scenery. Other good eating precincts in addition are Chinatown, Balmain, Leichhardt, Darlinghurst, Newton and Kings Cross.

You can even try your luck at the casino overlooking the harbour: blackjack, roulette, craps, sic bo, and an interesting traditional Australian favorite called two-up.

Sydney is Australia's oldest and largest city. More than four million, representing more than one in five of the country's population, chose to live in this lively town, a free-spirited, vibrant city built around one of the world's most beautiful harbours. It's a fitting international city for the Olympic Games of the Millennium.