10+ Things to Do in Sydney this Winter

We know winter sounds chilly, but not to worry – Sydney’s seasons are a bit different. While you probably think of June – August as summer months, that’s actually winter time in Australia! So while it is a bit colder than usual, the weather usually doesn’t drop below 44.6°F.

The average temperature during the day is 45- 62°F, which means you can still take advantage of a lot of Sydney’s outdoor activities. On top of that, there are tons of different museums, exhibits and special events to see that will keep you warm in the Sydney chill.

Use all our best tips, tricks and savings to plan the perfect winter itinerary!

Save on Winter Attraction Admission

Regular admission to a number of these attractions are included on The Sydney Pass® . Choose the attraction pass that’s right for you from the below money saving options:

  1. Explorer Pass – Choose as you go. Includes admission to your choice of attractions.
  2. Build Your Own Pass – Select the attractions you want to visit prior to visiting.

Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save 45% on combined admission vs paying at the gate. See all available Sydney Passes, attractions & prices. 

Please note, some of these special winter events may be separately ticketed and not included on The Sydney Pass.

Learn about Australia’s aquatic life at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

With one of Australia’s best collections of aquatic animals, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is a must-see on your trip down under. Boasting over 13,000 different sea creatures, the aquarium offers an inside look into Australia’s diverse marine life.

You’ll get the chance to learn more about penguins, sharks, dugongs, reef fish, stingrays and more.

The aquarium also has a large part in sea life conservation. Working in accordance with local universities and research facilities, they strive to keep Australia’s oceans healthy. You can learn more about their efforts with the Breed, Rescue, Protect program.

Getting in: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium tickets are included on The Sydney Pass.

Experience Bondi’s best coastal walk

People on the Discover Bondi Walking Tour

It may seem counter-intuitive to take a scenic walk in the winter, but tons of experienced Sydney travelers say it’s the best time to do it! The trail will be less crowded and no matter the weather, you’re sure to see some locals riding the waves.

The Bondi to Coogee path extends 3.7 miles along the coast between Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach. There will be plenty of stops along the way at other beaches as well. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes, the trail does include a few staircases and inclines.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll and take in the crashing waves and scenery. Pack a picnic blanket and a lunch and take advantage of the various rest stops and scenic overlooks. After you reach Coogee, you can continue on another hour to Maroubra.

Getting in: the Bondi to Coogee path is free and open to the public

See VIVID Sydney

Image credit: James Cameron via Sydney.com

Where: Sydney Harbor
When: May 25th – June 16th

VIVID Sydney is festival of lights, music and ideas that takes place in Sydney Harbor every year. From 6pm-11pm every night, famous landmarks like the Sydney Opera House or the Harbor Bridge will be lit up like art installations.

Enjoy 23 nights of lights, special events and keynote speakers. Sydney will be transformed into the world’s largest outdoor light installation. Artists from every corner of Australia come together to celebrate cutting edge advancements in art, technology, science and more. Check VIVID Sydney’s website for an official list of events, from art presentations to scientific research studies.

Getting in: all light installations are free of charge. Please consult VIVID Sydney’s website for separately ticketed events.

Visit historic Luna Park

Luna Park has been a staple on the Sydney harbor since it’s opening in 1935. The eclectic park is known for its giant smiling face entrance and classic carnival rides. Having been recently restored, Luna Park is the perfect place to stop on your trip.

Make sure to take a ride on the Tumble Bug or the Wild Mouse roller coaster. Then test your bravery in Mystery Mansion.

And don’t forget Luna Park’s Coney Island. The old-school fun house is perfect for adults and kids and includes a spinning Joy Wheel, a mirror maze, giant slides and Australia’s largest collection of pinball machines. It’s one of the parks most famous attractions!

Getting in: entrance to Luna Park is free with the option to pay-per-ride or buy an unlimited ride ticket once inside.

Take a tour of the Sydney Opera House

Tour the Sydney Opera House

You can’t visit Sydney without visiting one if its most iconic landmarks. The Sydney Opera House is the crown jewel of the harbor and is home to over 1,600 concerts year-round. Learn more about the history of the building and explore it for yourself.

Step inside the famous theaters! The Sydney Opera House Tour is your all-access pass to some of the most famous theaters and concert halls in the world. Take a seat in the plush theater chairs, marvel at the sky-high ceilings and touch the famous shell tiles for yourself. If you’re lucky, you might catch a rehearsal in progress too.

After your guided tour, explore the nearby Botanic Gardens or grab a bite to eat at one of the many delicious restaurants. The promenade outside of the Opera House is full of things to do!

Getting in: The Sydney Opera House Tour tickets are included on The Sydney Pass.

Shop some of Sydney’s best markets

Sydney is home to several markets that are open every week selling unique fashions, decorations, and souvenirs. It’s the perfect place to pick something up for your friends back home (or for yourself!).

Paddington Markets – Located right near Centennial Park on Oxford Street, the Paddington Market is one of Sydney’s largest. There are over 150 stalls to visit, all boasting hand-crafted clothes, toys, jewelry and more.

Bondi Markets – If you’re in the Bondi area, stop by the markets on Sunday and shop some of the best vintage and designer clothes, hand-made jewelry, retro furniture, and art.

The Rocks Markets – Peruse the stalls every Saturday & Sunday in the Rocks District. Enjoy shopping classic books, vintage clothes and jewelry, decorations and beyond.

Paddy’s Markets – One of the most famous markets, Paddy’s is located right in Chinatown and offers a large collection of CDs, books, clothes, toys and more. The market is open Wednesday – Sunday every week.

Sydney Fish Market – Become a ‘seafoodie’ expert at this authentic fish market, the third largest fish market in the world! The market is located right outside of the Central Business District and is open daily with fresh seafood from across the country.

Getting in: the markets are free and open to the public (but the shopping, unfortunately, is not!)

Explore the Australian National Maritime Museum

The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) is located right in Darling Harbour and is the perfect activity for a less-than-sunny day.

ANMM is your one-stop shop for all things Australian naval history. The museum is home to one of the largest collections of historical vessels in the world. See a replica of Captain Cook’s HMB Endeavour (when in port), the former Navy Destroyer HMAS Vampire, the former Navy patrol boat HMAS Advance and more. Climb aboard and explore what life at sea was like.

You’ll also enjoy learning more about the history of Australia’s Navy through hands-on exhibits and displays. Families and kids can take part in the museum’s arts and crafts activities at Kids on Deck or the Mini Mariners Play Zone.

Getting in: the Australian National Maritime Museum – Big Ticket is included on The Sydney Pass.

Unleash your inner foodie

Image credit: sydney.com

Moore Park Foodie & Farmer’s Market is Sydney’s finest produce market. Starting May 5th, the market will open every Wednesday and Saturday until December 29th.

The market is conveniently located 10 minutes from Sydney’s Central Business District and will have plenty to offer visitors. Choose from a wide array of local produce and hand-crafted treats. Feast on top quality food and meet the farmers & producers for yourself.

Getting in: Moore Park Foodie & Farmer’s Market is free and open to the public (just be sure to bring cash for treats!)

Visit a world-famous art museum

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and The Art Gallery of NSW are both free to enter and are perfect for a cloudy day.

The Art Gallery of NSW – The Gallery is a conveniently located next to the Royal Botanic Gardens. It is known for its world-class collection of Aboriginal, Asian, European and contemporary art installations. Make sure to plan your trip for a Wednesday – the entire Gallery stays open for Art After Hours. Enjoy free talks and films along with access to all of their year-round exhibits after closing hours. You can check their website ahead of time to see which talks and special events will be happening.

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia – Enjoy a free guided tour or explore the extensive collections of Australian and international artists for yourself. The museum is home to over 4,000 unique exhibitions and also offers extended hours on Wednesday nights. The museum is located right in Circular Quay, so there’s plenty to do in the surrounding area as well. For the most up to date schedule and exhibit list, check their website.

Both museums house incredible collections and see over 1 million visitors a year!

Getting in: Both museums are free and open to the public. Please note, some exhibitions and special events may have an additional cost.

Meet your favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds

Experience Madame Tussauds world-famous wax figures right in Darling Harbor. Get up close and personal with the likes of Katy Perry, Angelina Jolie, and many more of your favorite celebs. You can even put your arms around them!

The museum is more than just wax figures. There are tons of interactive activities you can take part in as you snap selfies with Barack Obama and Michael Jackson. Play a game of Wii Tennis with Greg Norman, perform on stage with Taylor Swift or walk the runway alongside top models like it’s Fashion Week. It’s a full-on red carpet experience, right here in Sydney!

Getting in: Madame Tussauds Sydney tickets are included on The Sydney Pass.

Stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens

Opened in 1816, the garden is the oldest scientific institution in all of Australia. It’s also considered one of the most important botanic institutions in the world!

The park is directly adjacent to the Opera House and has great views of gorgeous Sydney Harbor. Entrance to the park is completely free and it is open daily year round.

Whether you want to take a (free!) guided tour or explore for yourself, it’s easy to spend an entire day there. Consult the Royal Botanic Garden’s website when planning your trip – local experts regularly compile a list of the season’s best exotic and native plant life for you to see! You can also enjoy a bit of everything at the Calyx, an exhibition center that offers shows, shopping, food and more.

If you’re a history buff, we highly recommend taking advantage of the Garden’s Aboriginal heritage experiences. You’ll be immersed in aboriginal life and will learn more about the rich history of the plants in the garden and how the natives used them.

Getting in: admission to the Royal Botanic Gardens is free and open to the public.

See Sydney from the top

There’s no better view of Sydney than the one from the top of the Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck.

The Sydney Tower has been deemed one of the safest buildings ever constructed! It offers incredible 360 views of the city at 882.5 ft up, making it the highest observation deck in Sydney. The view from the top will make famous landmarks like the Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge look tiny.

Aside from the observation deck, there are plenty of exhibitions along your journey to that top that offer a great history of the tower’s construction, unique design and more. You can also enjoy the 4D Cinema Experience, a short film exploring Sydney’s most famous spots packed with special effects, flashing lights and water sprays.

Getting in: The Sydney Tower Eye with 4D Cinema Experience tickets are included with The Sydney Pass.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

So there you have it. Our list of a few things to do in Sydney in the winter, including special events and other seasonal activities.

Remember, many of these options are available on the Sydney Pass, where you can save up to 45% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

Please note, the Winter events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not available on the Sydney Pass.

We hope you plan to add a few of these fun options to your winter vacation itinerary.

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.
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