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Vivacity, Sydney!

SYDNEY is chockers with culture and fun right now - our harbour city is preening with a new campaign called Vivacity, which outlines all the great things (and there are many) about a stay in our most fabulous gateway city.

It's all shined up and ready for the Royal Easter Show, the big daddy of ag shows which kicks off on April 9.

It's still as much fun as ever with woodchop, rides, showbags, the beautiful and bizarre all on show at Homebush.

This year, why not take a different route to the show - remember trains? They are still my favourite way to travel when time is not an issue. Sitting back in a comfy seat, with plenty of leg room and a constantly changing view from a big window certainly enforces a bit of “down time” and takes the stress out of airport commuting.

Countrylink is offering a great Easter deal with return train fares, two nights at the Chifley Hotel and free tickets to the Royal Easter Show (if you are one of the first 200 to book) all from around $200-250pp, depending on your location.

It's a fraction of the price you'd pay for Easter air travel.

■ For more, call 13 2829 or visit www.countrylink.info.

It's also time for the Archibald Prize and this year's line up is sure to continue the great tradition for generating controversy and debate.

The prize is one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art awards.

Also showing is the Wynne Prize collection, awarded to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or for the best example of figure sculpture by an Australian artist; and the Sulman Prize for the best subject painting or genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist.

You'll find it and more at the fabulous Art Gallery Of New South Wales, on Art Gallery Road in The Domain. It's open daily from 10am to 5pm (closed Good Friday) - and make sure you try the fabulous Art After Hours until 9pm every Wednesday.

■ For more, go to www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au.

There's so much more on offer; no matter what your taste, you'll find something to keep you and the whole family amused this Easter and beyond.

There's the International Year of Astronomy celebrations at Watson Road, The Rocks, the start of the Australian Ballet season and the end of the summer opera season.

■ For more, go to www.sydney.com.



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