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Top 5 Winter Activities in Sydney

Home > Sydney > Animals and Wildlife | Art | Festivals | Music Venues | Performing Arts
by Cassandra A (subscribe)
I escaped to Sydney over 11 years ago and haven't looked back since. I enjoy going to cafes, local markets and festivals, and finding the best views in town for free. Visit my twitter page:
Published June 12th 2017
Make this Winter memorable
Pull out your scarves, coats and gloves and enjoy the cooler months with these top five winter activities! Which is your favourite?

1. Winter Festival in the City
30 June - 17 July 2017

For two weeks, St Mary's Cathedral will become a winter wonderland complete with ice rink and 'toboggan terror' slide. Other activities will include a powder pit where kids can throw snowballs and build snowmen in real snow. Kids will also love the inflatable tubes and the giant slide, while you enjoy the entertainment and music on offer. Winter never looked more fun! (Note: bookings for activities are essential)

Cost: free entry, prices for activities TBC

ice skating winter festival city sydney family
Ice skating at St Mary's Cathedral

2. Whale Watching

The spectacular migration of our largest mammals can be witnessed in Sydney between May and November. Watch the Humpback and Southern Right whales travel up the coastline from high vantage points like Cape Solander at Botany Bay National Park and the Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Ku-ring-gai Chase.

Boat tours are also a great way to catch a sighting of these sea creatures; although keep in mind that vessels are restricted from getting too close. Operators likes Whale Watching Sydney and Oz Whale Watching have been reporting regular whale sightings this year. FantaSea Cruising boasts having a Hydrophone, a device that enables you to hear the whales underwater.

To track the whale sightings, download the Wild About Whales app or follow @WildAboutWhales on Twitter.

Photo taken by: Whale Watching Sydney
Photo taken by Whale Watching Sydney

3. Live Music

Winter is a great opportunity to stay indoors and savour the sounds of music over a glass of wine or whisky. Sydney has a great live music scene if you know where to find it. Catch up with friends at the Lazybones Lounge in Marrickville or have a romantic evening at The Push bar in The Rocks with a piano man singing smooth tunes every Friday and Saturday. Other venues with regular live music include The Little Guy in Glebe (Blues & Roots, Folk), Foundry 616 in Ultimo (Jazz) and Rosie Campbell's in Surry Hills (Reggae).To find more live music, visi!//in-all/

4. Bastille Festival Sydney
13 16 July 2017

Circular Quay will be hosting the annual Bastille Festival over four fun-filled nights that will make you forget all about the chilly air. The event celebrates all things French to recognise the national day of French independence.

Also referred to as the 'Feastival', there will be four food villages selling 120 different delicacies from Dutch pancakes, to fondue and raclette (melted cheese served over potato or sliced meat). Dedicated champagne, wine and beer pop-up bars will be available at various nearby locations. The Champagne Bar on the MCA's front lawn will be littered with deck chairs for festival-goers to relax with a glass of bubbly and a movie. Music concerts, a Parisian Cabaret show and free circus performances will provide festival-goers with plenty to see and do.

Festival entry is free. Some activities incur a cost and require advanced booking.

For details, visit:

Salsa dancing at Bastille Festival
Salsa dancing at Bastille Festival Sydney 2016

5. Drive-in Cinema

Another unique cinematic experience is the drive-in cinema in Blacktown. It features two large cinema screens and a retro themed diner in the centre. Just drive up, show your ticket and find an available parking spot. There are speakers available to place in your car or you can tune into the movie through your car radio.

Utes and hatchbacks become transformed into beds and picnics for families to enjoy the movie under the stars. You can also bring along a fold out chair if being stuck in a car for two hours becomes too much. Movies being screened include Cars 3, Despicable Me 3 and Spider-man: Homecoming. Prices start from $12.50 for one car and one person (plus $1.20 online booking fee).

For details and tickets, visit

Drive in cinema cafe Blacktown Sydney retro
Cafe at Skyline Drive-in Cinema
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