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Bunch of friends dining in restaurant at Mercure Sydney Parramatta
A couple having a drink at Mercure Sydney Parramatta


One great advantage of making a business trip to New South Wales is that in your free time you're ideally placed to explore many of the must try spots in Sydney, one of the world's most famous cities, as well as some lesser known but equally fascinating parts of New South Wales.

For comfortable and affordable accommodation during your business trip, The Mercure Penrith Hotel offers everything you need and more. It has an outdoor swimming pool, gym, great rooms with WiFi, mini fridge, iron, and the first-class food and refreshments service you'll receive from friendly and attentive staff will make you feel right at home.

The hotel's location in the western suburb of Penrith is also a plus. There are many good restaurants in Sydney and Penrith is no exception. Check out Osso, located at the Penrith Panthers club, for excellent steaks and a terrific upbeat atmosphere. Of the countless cafes in Sydney, the trendy and popular Theodore's Cafe in Penrith is one of the more popular cafes in Sydney and is well worth a visit.

With a full stomach and feeling refreshed, and with no business activities scheduled for the day, it's the ideal opportunity to explore this great city and other parts of New South Wales. Getting around Sydney is quite easy whether you travel by taxi, hired car or public transport, and there are also good transport links to other parts of New South Wales.

While guided tours of the more obvious attractions and must try spots in Sydney are well organised and interesting, locals tend to ignore them much like everyone else does in their own home cities. Follow their lead and discover some alternatives. The Sydney Harbour Bridge Tour, for example, is a great but very expensive tour. A far cheaper option is to climb to the bridge's Pylon Lookout for just A$15; the views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House are every bit as stunning.

If you're lucky enough to be in Sydney between the end of May and mid-June, you're in for a free treat. An annual, 23-day spectacle enthrals all onlookers as Vivid, a fantastic festival of light and music takes place. Under the creative guidance of a team of very talented artists, designers and musicians with a seemingly endless source of innovative ideas, the city is magically transformed with huge, spectacular lighting displays on buildings and structures throughout the city including Sydney's iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge. At the same time, cutting-edge contemporary music is showcased at venues throughout the city, ranging from performances in small bars to Sydney Opera House itself.

Of course, getting around New South Wales obviously takes more time and planning than getting around Sydney. So how about a trip to Hunter Valley? It's a wine-producing region of the state just two hours’ drive north of Sydney. There are many vineyards and tasting houses to visit, and if you're staying overnight, the champagne brunch or 'bubbly breakfast' available at Peterson House, a major wine producer and restaurant in the valley, is something not to be missed.

Australia’s famous Blue Mountains, a designated World Heritage Site, are close to Sydney and even closer to Penrith. Guided tours can be arranged in Katoomba, the chief town of the region, where any necessary equipment or clothing can also be obtained. There are many unforgettable sights to see and enjoy, such as The Three Sisters', a huge, three-pronged rock formation steeped in Aboriginal legend, or the amazing night spectacle of Glow Worm Canyon to see a fantastic natural light display of a large glow worm colony. With many caves, rivers, waterfalls and a variety of wildlife including koalas and dingoes, the whole Blue Mountains region is a nature-lovers’ paradise.

Back in Penrith and wondering what to do next? Penrith Ice Palace is an Olympic-sized skating rink where you can take to the ice with hired skates during their open public sessions. If ice skating is new to you, you can expect to fall over a few times in full view of everyone, which isn’t as bad as it sounds as you certainly won’t be the only one. It’s all part of the fun and considered an initiation rite to the world of ice skating. Alternatively, you can attend one of their scheduled competitive skating events and let the professionals show you how it should be done.

With plenty of good restaurants in Sydney, and terrific bars, clubs, cafes and lots to see and do, a planned business trip to this great city is definitely something to look forward to.