The name: “Sydney“, invokes images of sunny days by the harbour, white sandy beaches and hiking through lush terrain – there’s no denying, most people only want to see Sydney in summer. But, as the typical tourists start packing up and leaving, this is the best time to get off the beaten track and see Sydney like a local.
Winter in Sydney falls between June and August with minimum temperatures averaging at around 9 degrees celsius and maximum temperatures averaging at around 16 degrees celsius. Pack a light jacket and an umbrella and you are ready to tackle a day out.
Lighting up the city for 3 weeks every year, Vivid Sydney is a celebration of Lights, Music and Ideas. Running between 26th May – 17th Jun 2017 this year, spend the beginning of winter marvelling at some of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks as they get transformed into works of art. The highlight of the festival every year is the beautiful light shows at the Opera House, MCA and Customs House. Also check out the talks, workshops, seminars and live performances held as part of Vivid Ideas and Vivid Live. For more information, visit the Vivid Sydney website.
A unique way of experiencing Vivid is by boarding one of the many cruises on Sydney harbour. Checkout Groupon for some great deals on cruises starting from $18!
In Sydney, you can witness one of the longest whale migrations in the world and winter is a great time for whale sightings. Humpback whales pass by Sydney between May and August on their Northern migration. As well as whale watching cruises, you can also try your luck at spotting a whale from the shore. This migration sees as many as 20,000 whales pass by the coastline, so you have a very high chance of seeing one. Check out a list of lookout points on the TimeOut website and don’t forget to bring your binoculars.
Groupon has cruise deals from as cheap as $35 for cruises departing from Sydney Harbour.
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL
The annual Sydney Film Festival is held between 7th June – 18th June 2017 this year with more than 300 screenings of over 180 films from 50+ countries. Check the Sydney Film Festival website for a guide on events, tickets and screenings. This is a great opportunity to view some of the newest, strangest and most exciting films.
City2Surf is Sydney’s biggest annual fun run – raise some funds for your favourite charity, complete the course with a personal best time or get dressed up and join in on the fun. Make sure you register early, especially if you want to join a pre-qualifying start group. For entry details, check the City2Surf website. There’s nothing like going for a run to warm up the winter chills.
BONDI WINTER MAGIC
There’s something oddly ironic about having an ice rink beside one of the world’s most iconic beaches, but that’s Bondi for you. With rink-side craft activities, skating lessons and skating aides, this celebration of winter is perfect for the whole family. As a bonus, you know those whales we were talking about earlier?, if you are lucky, you might even spot one in the ocean. Exact dates are to be confirmed, but expect to see the rink up and ready to go in June. Check the Bondi Winter Magic website for more details.
If Bondi isn’t your thing, there is also an ice rink popping up in the CBD near St Mary’s cathedral as part of the annual Winter Festival. There will be food stalls and entertainment for the whole family. Again, exact dates are to be confirmed, expect late June to early July. Check the Winter Festival website for more details.
Last year saw Sydney’s biggest outdoor ice rink pop up in Parramatta with carnival rides, a food village and roving entertainment. So if you missed out in previous years, make sure to check it out this year. Exact dates are to be confirmed, expect late June to early July. Attractions are also to be announced. Check the Parramatta Winterlight website for more details.
YULEFEST @ The Blue Mountains
Celebrate Christmas in July at the Blue Mountains. Imagine roaring fires, roast dinners, sing-alongs and the occasional snowfall. Festivities originated from the Katoomba guesthouse in 1980 and has since become an annual tradition that runs throughout winter across venues all throughout the Blue Mountains region. On the Saturday closest to the Winter Solstice there will even be a vibrant parade and street markets in Katoomba. For more details on this annual winter tradition, check out the Tourism Australia website.
SYDNEY TEA FESTIVAL
Warm up your body with a hot cup of tea at the annual Sydney Tea Festival at Carriageworks. As well as tea-tasting, satisfy your belly at one of the food trucks or sit in on one of the workshops. Scheduled for 20th August 2017, check the Sydney Tea Festival Website for more details.
THE GOOD FOOD & WINE SHOW
The annual Good Food & Wine Show is on again, this time in the newly reopened ICC (International Convention Centre) in Darling Harbour. Foodies rejoice as you explore the best food and beverages Australia has to offer. Open between 23rd and 25th of June this year, spend the day watching demonstrations, sampling food and taking home food to share with family and friends (or not).
Groupon has a great discount voucher for entry starting from just $17pp.