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Here Are the Best Things To Do in Sydney in Winter!
13 June 2024
Written by Y Suites
Sydney CBD

Winter in New South Wales casts a magical spell over Sydney, transforming this vibrant city into a playground of unique experiences and hidden gems. Sydney’s winter offers a blend of cultural richness, scenic beauty, and festive warmth that makes it a must-visit destination.

Join us as we explore some of the best things you can do when you visit Sydney during the colder months!


Visit the Vivid Sydney Festival

things to do in sydney in june

Source: Vivid Sydney Facebook

One of the largest festivals in Australia with a fusion of light, music, and ideas that transform the city into a canvas of brilliance from late May to mid-June.

This iconic event illuminates the city with breathtaking light installations and projections, turning landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge into dazzling artworks of patterns and colours.

As part of Vivid, the Australian National Maritime Museum also hosts special nighttime events featuring light installations, projections, and immersive storytelling. This year’s theme explores humanity, compassion, and connection through stunning visual displays projected onto the museum’s rooftop.

Another highlight you definitely do not want to miss is the diverse lineup of local and international performances that span genres and styles.

What’s more, Vivid Ideas brings together some of the brightest minds from various industries to discuss and explore innovation, creativity, and change. You can participate in thought-provoking discussions and gain insights into different creative industries, from design and technology to the arts.

Given its popularity, planning your visit is a must! Check out the official Vivid Sydney website to find schedules, maps, and details on specific installations and events.


Go Ice Skating

places to visit in sydney in winter

Of course, the best winter activity is ice skating with your friends and loved ones!

This winter, you’ll have a chance to relive childhood memories or create new ones, feel the rush of movement, and experience the simple pleasure of being outdoors.

The crisp air, the smooth glide of the skates, the occasional tumble followed by laughter—each moment on the ice will be memories that you cherish long after your university days are over.

Want to experience skating under the open sky, surrounded by twinkling fairy lights and the backdrop of Sydney’s stunning skyline? Here are several iconic outdoor ice rinks you can consider:

  • Cathedral Square Ice Rink (Cathedral Square, next to St. Mary’s Cathedral)
  • Bondi Winter Magic Ice Rink (Bondi Beach)
  • Darling Harbour Ice Rink (part of the Darling Harbour Winter Festival)
  • Luna Park Ice Rink (Luna Park, Milsons Point)


Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

winter events sydney

Source: BridgeClimb Sydney

For our thrill-seekers, climbing this architectural marvel during the cooler months is a must-do adventure. The cooler temperatures make the climb more comfortable, and the lower humidity often means the skies and views are crystal clear.

Standing atop one of the world’s most famous bridges, you are rewarded with 360-degree views of Sydney’s stunning landscape at the height of 134 meters above, stretching from the sparkling waters of the harbour to the distant Blue Mountains.

Beyond that, it’s the sense of achievement as you reach the summit, the camaraderie with fellow climbers, and the stories shared by the guides that make this adventure an incredibly emotional journey!

Opt for the twilight and night climbs to witness the enchanting transition from day to night, with the city lighting up beneath you. Or, if you’re an early riser, a sunrise climb is a perfect start to your day as you watch the first rays of the sun cast a golden glow across the harbour.

That said, winter climbs are popular, especially the twilight and sunrise sessions, so it’s best to book in advance!


Check Out the Sydney Film Festival

winter events sydney 1

Source: Sydney Film Festival

Held annually in Sydney, this event celebrates cinema with a diverse range of films from various genres and countries. Expect premieres and screenings of award-winning films from other international festivals.

The festival also hosts several competitions, such as the Official Competition for “Best Film,” the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary, and the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films.

Cinephiles, in particular, will enjoy the special events, such as panel discussions, Q&A sessions with filmmakers, workshops, and parties, which offer deeper insights into the world of film.

Screenings and events will take place across multiple venues, including:

  • State Theatre: A historic and iconic venue known for its grand architecture.
  • Dendy Newtown: A popular cinema in the vibrant Newtown area.
  • Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace: A beautiful art deco theatre in Cremorne.
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales: Offers a unique setting for film screenings.

Additional screenings will also be held at smaller venues and special pop-up cinemas around the city, ensuring a diverse and widespread festival experience.


Experience Whale Watching

winter events sydney 2

The winter season in Sydney doesn’t only bring cooler weather but also a remarkable natural spectacle—the annual migration of humpback whales along the coast of New South Wales from May to November!

This migration provides a unique opportunity for visitors and locals alike to witness one of nature’s most awe-inspiring events. Sydney offers numerous vantage points for whale watching:

  • The Gap, Watsons Bay
  • North Head Lookout, Manly
  • Cape Solander, Kamay Botany Bay National Park
  • Barrenjoey Lighthouse, Palm Beach

If you want a closer encounter, several operators offer whale-watching cruises (departing from Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, and other points around Sydney Harbour):

  • Sydney Whale Watching
  • Captain Cook Cruises
  • Oz Whale Watching

Embarking on a whale-watching tour provides you with an enjoyable yet educational experience as you venture out to the open sea, guided by experienced captains who know the best spots to find these gentle giants.

Being out in the open water can be chilly, so be sure to dress warmly! Also, bring binoculars for a close-up visual and keep your camera ready for those perfect shots.

Not a fan of the sea? No worries! The Sea Life Sydney Aquarium provides you with a perfect indoor adventure into the enchanting underwater world of Australia’s oceans without having to sail the sea.


Visit the Darling Harbour Winter Festival


Source: Darling Harbour

Another must-visit event when winter arrives in Sydney in 2024!

The Darling Harbour Winter Festival is a celebration of all things winter, offering a unique blend of frosty fun, dazzling lights, and heartwarming experiences.

Visitors can explore enchanting ice sculptures, wander through illuminated tunnels, ice skate under the open sky, and indulge in delicious seasonal treats at the food trucks and stalls.

Not to forget the plethora of entertainment activities, ranging from live performances and winter-themed workshops to light shows and Ferris wheel rides, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Oh, and the icing on top of the cake is the numerous Instagrammable spots with stunning backdrops for photo opportunities! It is a perfect way to capture your memories and share them on your social media.


Explore the Arts and Culture

With a myriad of galleries and museums in Australia’s capital, winter months are a great time for culture buffs to explore the city’s rich and diverse arts and culture scene.

During this season, many exhibitions and programs are organised to create a unique and engaging winter experience for visitors!

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

winter events sydney 3

  • Winter Art Showcase: Features cutting-edge contemporary art installations from both established and emerging artists.
  • Winter Lecture Series: Renowned art critics and scholars deliver thought-provoking talks on various art movements and themes.
  • Winter Artist Residency program: Provides artists with a platform to create and exhibit their work during the winter months.

Australian Museum

winter events sydney 4

  • Winter Science Festival: Engage in hands-on experiments, attend informative talks, and explore the wonders of the natural world through special exhibitions.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales

art gallery (wikia)

  • Winter Art Workshop: Learn various art techniques from professional artists.
  • Winter Art Talk Series: Features discussions and presentations by renowned art historians and curators.
  • Special winter exhibition: Brings together works by both local and international artists that explore the theme of winter landscapes and the beauty of the season.


Stay & Explore the City With Comfort & Convenience @ YSuites

winter events sydney 5

Looking for the perfect accommodations while studying and exploring life in Sydney?

Here’s the answer for you!

Y Suites is an off-campus student housing equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and a supportive community to enrich your student life. Don’t worry about not making the cut: there are TWO locations you can choose from – Y Suites on Gibbons and Regent.

What’s more? We are conveniently located near top Australian universities and within walking distance of vital amenities! You can say goodbye to long travel hours and utilise your time and money in other areas.

Even better news – our inclusive rental packages means you don’t need to pay extra expenses to enjoy everything we have to offer fully:

  • First-rate, all-inclusive dorms that meet all of your Wi-Fi and utility requirements
  • Various common spaces are available for your use at all times, so you can study, work out, play games, or rest
  • Community events to meet other students from elite schools and build your network
  • Top-notch safety features
  • A dedicated and skilled team that delivers impeccable customer service.

What are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today!


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