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Sydney is a city filled with lovely parks and gardens, some of the finest in the world. The city is full of places for city workers to rest or lunch in the relaxed atmosphere that is part of the city's charm.

Hyde Park is located off Elizabeth Street on the eastern edge of city center. It was named after its London counterpart by Governor Macquarie in 1810. At that time it marked the boundaries of the township and was a spot for the training of troops. The park is much smaller today than it was originally, but is still one of the city worker's favorite places to have a bit of lunch or talk a walk. The park is home to the Anzac Memorial which hosts a free exhibit on the ground floor in honor of the Australians who have fought in overseas conflicts.

The Archibald Fountain, a glorious fountain of granite and bronze, is located at the center of the park and is a landmark commemorating the French and Australian alliance during World War I. The park houses a giant public chess board and was the colonies' first racetrack and cricket path. A towering avenue of great fig trees form a grandiose aisle running between the Hyde Park Memorial and the Archibald Fountain.

Another of Sydney's favorite lunch spots is The Domain, a grassy area just east of Macquarie Street. This area was set aside by Governor Phillip for recreational purposes. The Government House situated in a corner of the Domain was the home to the Governors and has hosted many of England's Royal Family. Admission to the Governors House is free. The Domain is probably best known for its free concerts during January and many of the festivals held in Sydney are hosted here. This is also the home of ‘soapbox' speakers, since the 1890's it has been used as a speaker's corner. Visitors will be delighted by the diverse subjects that are heralded from these speakers stands.

At the end of Macquarie's road sits one of Sydney's favorite spots. It was here that Governor Macquarie had a stone chair chiseled for his wife to enjoy the magnificent harbor views. It is said that a visitor sitting here may make a wish to return. This spot is visited some times by up to 30,000 people daily during summer months.

Centennial Park is the largest of Sydney's recreational areas. It boasts a running, cycling and horse track. This lovely park is full of ponds on which the beautiful black swans can be observed. The park was opened in 1888 and was considered one of the most beautiful areas in the country. This is a family-oriented park and is jammed with cycles, roller bladders, children and horses on Sundays. A strictly enforced 30km/hr (19MPH) makes the area pedestrian friendly. There are barbeque pits, playgrounds, a restaurant and bikes and horses may also be hired.