Fourteenth InternationalConference on Tangible,Embedded, and EmbodiedInteraction
Activities around Sydney
If you only have a couple of hours, but want to explore or taste quotidian Sydney life, there we recommend visiting some of the inner-city Suburbs that each have their own unique charm.
Sunday afternoon Sydney City Walk: Our social chairs invite you to join them on a walk around some of the highlights of Sydney, including the Opera House and Harbour Bridge on Sunday 9 February. The walk itself will be around an hour, with stops for photos, etc. For more information and the opportunity to sign up, take a look here: https://tinyurl.com/wlhxg2m. From 5.30pm on, we’ll have a drink at Hotel Palisade in The Rocks.
Glebe: Glebe is a central district with a laid-back, intellectual feel and atmospheric heritage buildings. Bookshops and galleries draw students from the nearby University of Sydney, while Saturday’s Glebe Markets attract deal-hunters seeking vintage finds. Ethnic eateries, eclectic cafes and pubs define bustling Glebe Point Road. Dog walkers and cyclists hit the paved Glebe Foreshore Walk for views of the Anzac Bridge. (Text from wikipedia) Glebe Markets (open Saturday 10am-4pm, free entry)
Surry Hills: Surry Hills is an evolving area known for its stylish cultural and cafe scene. Terraced houses on Crown and Cleveland streets showcase hip coffee joints, fashion boutiques and global eateries. Trendy pubs, wine bars and galleries dot the area around Surry Hills Library, a community hub with a contemporary, sustainable design. Held once a month, Surry Hills Markets lure shoppers for snacks and vintage goods. (Text from wikipedia) Surry Hills Markets(monthly, next market on 1 February, free entry)
Paddington: Paddington is a lively, upscale area with busy shops in the Victorian terraced buildings along Oxford Street and Five Ways. A cluster of boutiques at the Intersection showcases Australian design, while Paddington Markets sells trendy crafts and clothes. The galleries of the contemporary art precinct form a local creative hub. Nearby, Reservoir Gardens is a stylish park. Hip bistros and gay bars draw crowds at night. (Text from wikipedia) Paddington Markets(Open every Saturday, 10am-4pm, free entry)
Newtown/ Enmore: Newtown is a diverse, bohemian neighbourhood that bustles with activity day and night. Shoppers head to King Street’s indie bookshops and thrift stores. Hip bars and eateries with multicultural fare cater to locals and University of Sydney students. The Enmore Theatre hosts comedy revues and live music. Restored Victorian buildings and street art, including a mural of Martin Luther King, round out the scene. (Text from wikipedia)
Redfern: A pocket of Sydney that was once notorious for its underbelly activities, Redfern has more recently been turning heads for other reasons. In the midst of gentrification, the area is rapidly becoming a thriving enclave of Indigenous culture with an enviable bar and art scene – a place to find beautifully restored homes within minutes of the CBD. (Text from sitchu.com.au) Carriageworks Farmers Markets, (Every Saturday 10am-1pm, free entry)
Marrickville: Multi-layered and diverse, Marrickville is a melting pot of cultures with an all-embracing attitude. It’s a foodie hangout, has a vibrant music and art scene, and enviable infrastructure that keeps locals well connected. It’s no wonder everyone is trying to nab their piece of Marrickville. (Text from sitchu.com.au). Marrickville Organic Food Markets, (Every Sunday, 9am-3pm, free entry)
If you have spare time before or after the conference, we highly recommend you to do the scenic Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. The walk is located in Sydney’s east and spans approximately 6.5kms (one way). The walk connects two of Sydney’s most popular beaches. The walk offers beautiful ocean views and takes approximately 2.5-3-hours at a comfortable walking pace. You can start the walk either from Bondi beach or Coogee beach and will take you past Tamarama beach, Bronte beach, Clovelly beach and Gordon’s Bay.
From Central Station, you can best reach Bondi beach via train and bus (change from T4 in Bondi Junction to bus number 380, 381, 382 or 333). Coogee beach is best reached from Central on the 373 bus. When coming from Newtown, you can catch the 370 bus.
If you don’t want to do the whole walk, you can do sections of it, such as Bondi beach to Bronte beach, that takes approximately 1-hour. You will find buses that can take you back to Central station or the city at each of the beaches along the walk.
Another famous beach is situated in the north of Sydney is Manly beach. You can reach Manly from Sydney’s main ferry terminal, Circular Quay. The ferry trip takes approximately 30-minutes. You can pay for ferry trips using your normal Opal card. Taking the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly offers stunning views of the Sydney skyline including the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. After reaching the ferry terminal in Manly, the beach is a 5-minute walk away. If you want to go for a walk, you can explore the Manly to North Head walk. You can also visit Shelly beach, popular with scuba divers and those who prefer calmer waters. Shelly beach is about 10-minutes walk along Marine Parade from Manly beach. Along the way, you will pass the Fairy Bower Rockpool. This cute little historic pool was built by residents and is a lovely spot to relax and take in the seaside atmosphere.
If you have a whole day before or after the conference, and you have ticked Sydney’s must do’s off your list, we recommend you to escape the city and see some of the following highlights:
Approximately 70 kilometres west of Sydney, you can enjoy nature in the Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Area. The Blue Mountains – which are so named because of the eucalyptus mist, which refracts light, making it look blue, can be reached by car in approximately 1.5-hours. You can also easily travel there by public transport on the train (Blue Mountains Line) in under 2-hours. Arriving in Katoomba, you can choose from various nature and bush walks, stopping by the scenic rock formation ‘Three Sisters’.
South of Sydney is the Royal National Park – the second oldest national park in the world. The Royal National Park is best to reach via public transport (1.5h in total) from Cronulla Station (T4). From Cronulla you can take a ferry to picturesque coastal village Bundeena. After having a swim at one of Bundeena’s beautiful beaches, you can begin your hike in the bordering Royal National Park. Don’t forget to stop by the ‘Wedding Cake Rock’ – a sandstone rock formation which earned its name from the resemblance to a slice of a wedding cake.
If you feel like having a long and relaxing day at the beach, we recommend you to explore Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Sydney’s most northern beach is ‘Palm Beach’, which is much less crowded compared to the city beaches. When visiting Palm Beach, you should also do the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk, which gives you a spectacular view overlooking Palm Beach and the surrounding beaches and coast. Reaching the most northern beaches takes approximately 1.5-2 hours from the city centre. The easiest way to get there is to take a bus that departs from Wynyard Station.
Note: Bushfires have affected some of the previously mentioned destinations, so please check the latest information from Destination NSW and NSW Rural Fire Service before starting your trip.
Places to exercise
If you’d like to keep up your exercise routine while you are visiting Sydney, there are many running tracks, ovals, parks and swimming pools that you can access, that are central to the city or close to the conference venues.
The Bay Run – 7km circuit, mostly flat. This is a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians located in Sydney’s inner-west, encircling Iron Cove. It is easily accessible by public transport and goes past Haberfield, Lilyfield, Five Dock, Rozelle and Drummoyne. Common starting points are from The Watershed kitchen at Drummoyne Swimming Club or Le Montage carpark at Lilyfield.
Bondi Beach – 1km, on the beach front. There is an outdoor exercise gym at the North Bondi end of the beach.
Sydney Park, Erskineville. 2.1km perimeter loop, mostly flat.
Sydney offers a variety of world-class galleries and museums.
When at Circular Quay, we recommend you to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), situated at The Rocks, next to the Overseas Passenger Terminal. The museum houses a large collection of Australian artists as well as works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. The MCA’s rooftop cafe offers a great view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
Located next to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, you will find the Art Gallery of New South Wales, probably the most popular museum in Sydney. Admission is free to the general exhibition, including Australian art, European and Asian art.
The Powerhouse Museum is located in the Ultimo Power Station in Darling Harbour and displays science, technology, design and decorative arts, engineering, architecture, health and medicine, fashion and contemporary culture. The Powerhouse Museum is only a 10-minutes walk away from UTS Building 11, TEI’s main conference venue.
Also within walking distance (10-minutes from Tin Sheds Gallery, and 20-minutes from UTS), you can find the contemporary multi-arts centre Carriageworks, which is always worth a visit. Carriageworks is known for large-scale installation exhibitions.
Overview of some current special exhibitions
MCA: Cornelia Parker (until 16th of February), Tim Johnson.
Art Gallery New South Wales: Japan Supernatural – Discover a fascinating world in an exhibition like no other, featuring over 180 wildly imaginative works by Japanese artists past and present. (Text copied from website)
Powerhouse Museum: Linear – An exploration of the significance of line and lineage within Indigenous narratives and practices, Apollo 11 – the 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing. (Text copied from website)
Carriageworks: This summer, Carriageworks will present four large-scale installations by leading Australian artists Rebecca Baumann, Daniel Boyd, Kate Mitchell and Reko Rennie. Each work is immersive, participatory and site-specific, engaging with the unique history and architecture of the Carriageworks precinct. (Info from website)
Some smaller galleries that are close to the conference venues are :
White Rabbit Gallery: White Rabbit Gallery showcases what has become one of the world’s most significant collections of Chinese contemporary art. Dedicated to works made in the 21st century, the White Rabbit Collection is owned by Judith Neilson, who was inspired to establish it after her first trips to Beijing in the late 1990s. (Text copied from website)
May Lane Art Project: The May Lane Project is an outdoor street art gallery space located in St Peters, in Sydney’s inner west. Founded by Graphic Art Mount in 2005 an initiative of Tugi Balog of Graphic Art Mount together with his partner Dianna Balog. Tugi and Dianna transformed the exterior walls of the studio into a site-specific gallery for street artists which later was adapted to the lane. (Text copied from website)
The Brett Whitely Studio: The Brett Whiteley Studio at 2 Raper Street, Surry Hills was the workplace and home of Australian artist Brett Whiteley (1939–1992). It has been managed as a museum by the Art Gallery of NSW since 1995. (Text copied from website)
Events in Sydney in February
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2020: From the sensational spectacle of the Parade to poignant panel discussions, phenomenal parties and pioneering queer performers, Mardi Gras 2020 is a diverse showcase of talent and diversity with events to involve every walk of LGBTQI life. The festivities kick-off on Friday 14 February and run until Sunday 1 March, featuring a fabulously diverse program of events including dazzling dance parties, top-tier theatre, music, world-class workshops and family-focused fun, culminating with the iconic Parade on Saturday 29 February.
Pride Fair Day: An all-day rainbow adventure for the whole family, Fair Day is a landmark of the Mardi Gras Festival that sees our communities shine brightly together.
Enjoy the summer sunshine with a picnic, shop the community stalls for your Festival outfit or join the fun and games in the Sports Village. There is something on offer for everyone, including your precious fur babies who can strut their stuff at the world-famous Doggywood competition.
[The] Main Stage has become a festival hotspot in recent years, proudly showcasing up-and-coming and leading queer performers who are redefining the Australian music landscape to ensure LGBTQI+ voices and stories are heard. 2020 will include a spotlight on favourite queer hip hop artists, electric live sets from Bec Sandridge and Ngaiire, plus beloved community DJs taking over the decks at sun-down. (Text from website)
MCA ArtBar: ARTBAR takes your gallery experience and flips it on its head with an artist-driven evening of art, music and performance. This after-dark, adults only (18+) art party transforms all levels of the Museum. (The next ArtBar is on 7 February 2020, themed “Performance Space”)
In February, Sydney normally experiences mild weather, 19 to 26 degrees celsius. You can expect warm days and cooler evenings. There is usually not much rainfall this time of year. The sun in Australia is much harsher than what you may be used to and your skin will burn much faster here than other parts of the world! If you expect to spend some time in the sun, we recommend you are prepared for this by packing a hat, sunnies and some sunscreen.