Whats On in Sydney
"A spectacular number of amazing Sydney Events"
Whats on in Sydney is your ultimate guide to the Sydney events by month. That means you can either plan your trip around one of these or know how to get tickets/join in if you have already booked your stay in Sydney Australia.
If you are lucky enough to live here, this is still a comprehensive guide to the key sydney events and worth a read.
Whats On In Sydney - January
January is probably one of the busiest months so what's on in Sydney in this month is really good. Here are my top picks
1) St George Open Air Cinema - 12th Jan to 19th Feb
This has to have the best outdoor cinema setting in the world - over looking the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Tickets go on sale mid December and tend to sell out in just a couple of days. They do however sell a small amount of tickets every evening at door opening time (about 6.30pm) - expect to queue for an hour and a half though to have any chance of getting a ticket - worth the wait though.
2) Flickerfest 7th -16th January
Held on Bondi's pavillion and free of charge, it shows the best short films from Australia and around the world. Tends to attract a slightly younger set given the Bondi location.
3) Sydney Festival - 8th to 30th January
Probably one not to be missed - this is an arts festival that captures Sydney in summer. There are plenty of free events including productions in the domain, usually held on a Saturday night, e.g. Opera in the Domain, Jazz in the Domain. Bring a picnic rug, a glass or two of wine and something to munch on. You won't be disappointed.
The events that you have to pay for are excellent and worth it. Look out for a Sydney Festival guide late in the year and book as soon as you can - waiting til January will be too late. That said, head to Martins Place in the city and look for the "Tix for Next to Nix" You can grab yourself tickets for that evening at knock down prices. Limit of 2 per person.
4) Australia Day - 26th January
A celebration of our nation, there is usually plenty going on. Darling Harbour is usually a good spot with fireworks in the evening.
Whats On In Sydney - February
Mardi Gras 19th to 6th March
This is a great Sydney event whether you are straight or gay. The parade that usually finishes the week is awesome. It goes right through the main streets of Kings Cross and out towards a stadium for a final party.
Tropfest - mid February, usually a Sunday
Set in the domain, this free event is the worlds largest short film festival. Bring a picnic and a rug
Whats On In Sydney - March
Mardi Gras Parade - around the 5th March (Saturday night)
As mentioned above - this one is not to be missed. Grab a milk crate and find yourself a spot along the parade's route.
Sydney Harbour Week
A series of (usually) free events held all across the Harbour Foreshore. Last year they had picnic days, lighthouse tours and guided walks.
Whats On in Sydney - April
Sydney Carnival - 2nd April and 9th April
Enjoy a day at the races - either at Rosehill Gardens or Royal Randwick. Both offer a great day out - horse racing, placing a bet or two and of course the odd drink.
Sydney Royal Easter Show (depends on when Easter falls 14th - 27th April for 2011)
This is a famous annual event where the country comes to the city. There are plenty of animals, rides, shows and of course showbags.
Held out at the Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush usually.
The Entertainment Quarter Easter Show - Entrance to the Homebush Easter show can be off putting for most but the event in the Entertainment Quarter is free. Granted it hasn't got nearly as many attractions but it does have plenty of goody bags and fair rides.
Acoustica is a small jazz and blues festival held in and around Balmain. Many of the spectacles are free if you buy a drink in the bar.
Whats On In Sydney - May
Australian Fashion Week - 2nd to 6th May
This is where Australia's and Asia Pacific's best designers present their collections at the Overseas Passenger terminal, near circular quay.
Vivid Sydney - 27th May to 13th June
This is an annual festival of light, music and ideas. Don't miss the illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails. It is usually spectacular and can be seen free of charge from 6pm until midnight
Sydney Events - June
Sydney Film Festival - 8th to 19th June
This is the when you can see the best new films from around the world. Look out for special viewings at cinemas in and around Sydney. The querky cinemas on Oxford Street often have a good choice.
The Queen's Birthday - Darling Harbour - Over the long weekend there is a jazz and blues festival and well worth a trip to one of the many restaurants and bars along the harbour to soak up the atmosphere. Usually the weekend around June 10th.
State of Origin Rugby League - around 15th June
This is probably one of the biggest games of the season and worth attending if you are in town. This is where NSW play QLD at rugby league and there are 3 games in total.
Sydney Events - July
The Rocks Aroma Festival - a weekend in July. Dates can change
This is a great event where coffee is the main focus. There are other drinks and food on offer and the entertainment is usually really good (and free). Worth a wander through the Rocks during this time.
Sydney Events - August
City to Surf - Sunday around 14th August
A 14km run from the city to Bondi and it's hilly at times!! This is a great day out and worth going to spectate or perhaps walk it. But I would encourage you to have a go at running it - to be part of the crowd is an awesome experience. As is the party on Bondi Beach at the end of it all.
it is in fact one of the largest runs in the world attracting a staggering 80,000 participants.
You can register on the day but I'd afford it - the queues are large and you have to get there VERY early.
Register on line instead and try to do this a couple of months before so you have your number to stick on your top!
Sydney Design Festival - workshops, talks and more at many of the museums and hip venues around the city. Great for you arty types.
Whats On In Sydney - September
Art and About Sydney - around 22nd September for 2 days
Take a walk round the city during this time and you will be blown away. You'll find interesting sculptures and art around every corner and back street alley.
Sydney Running Festival - usually a Sunday in September
This is a great opportunity to run across the Harbour Bridge. The cars are stopped and given up to the runners. You can do 9km, half a marathon or a full one....you take your pick!
Festival of the winds - A wonderful event held on the infamous Bondi Beach, where you can fly your kite with thousands of others. Watch the real kite enthusiasts do their tricks. Great for the kids.
Whats On In Sydney - October
Crave Sydney International Food Festival - throughout October
This is a great chance to check out some of the best restaurants in Sydney (they put on special menus during the event) but also a chance to eat in some unusual places too.
Last year they organised a picnic on the Harbour Bridge and put green matting down all the way along the bridge - it looked so awesome. Definitely worth finding out what interesting places are on offer each year.
Sculpture by the Sea - around 27th October to mid November
Probably my favourite Whats on in Sydney event in Sydney. These sculpture appear along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, which is in itself stunning (and not to be missed.)
The place is totally buzzing during this time so my advice is to avoid the weekends. If you have to go on a weekend then get there early (and I mean early) to avoid the crowds. That said, we were there this year on a Sunday morning at 6.50am and it was still fairly busy!!
Art and About - Sydney goes all arty with heaps of workshops and special exhibitions. Look out for the street art that gets put up around the city too.
Whats On In Sydney - November
Australian Open Golf Championship - Late November to December
The worlds best golfers get to battle it out for the Stonehaven Cup. If you are into golf then it's worth popping down to see some of these great golfers. Usually held at the Lakes which is not too far out of Sydney centre.
Whats On In Sydney - December
Carols in the Domain - around 18th December
This is another great event and probably one of my favourite "Whats on in Sydney" events. Here, the sydneysiders come together to sing Christmas carols. There is lots of other entertainment on offer too.
If you fancy singing carols overlooking the Beach for something a bit different (especially for those of you who are used to a cold Christmas, then head to Coogee. The date is usually on a Sunday evening (19th in 2010) It's good fun, especially if you have kids.
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
If you fancy seeing heaps of boats in the harbour battling it out then get yourself to a great vantage point like Watsons Bay to watch this amazing yacht race. Bring a picnic but expect it to be crowded!
New Years Eve - 31st December
I have definitely saved the best event til last. What an awesome spectacle this is.
There are two rounds of fireworks - one at 9pm for the kids (still excellent) and another at midnight.
Best place to be is on the harbour in a boat but there are plenty of vantage points around the city to view these amazing fireworks. Restaurants and bars with a view of the bridge tend to be able to charge a small fortune for entry on New Years Eve but for a once in a lifetime, I'd probably pay it!
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