Summer in Australia’s capital city runs from December until February, so if you’re travelling from the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll be in for a treat. Expect BBQs on the beach, huge summer parties and chilled-out vibes aplenty. Plus, there are lots of special summer events and activities to keep you busy too.

Here’s our top picks of things to do in summer in Sydney…

Picnic in the park

Centennial Park is one of Sydney’s most popular parks, and the huge green space is perfect for finding a secluded spot to relax in. When you fancy getting active, there are loads of activities available like cycling and horse riding, as well as heritage buildings, pavilions and sculptures to explore. From December until April you can also enjoy sunset screenings at the Moonlight Cinema. Bring your own food and drink and enjoy a mix of family flicks like Paddington 2, retro favourites like Back to the Future, and new releases too.

Bondi Route, Stop: Centennial Parklands

Sydney Festival  

Every January, the Sydney Festival takes over the city. The epic cultural celebration features around 400 performances and 100 events. With everything from dance shows and theatre to art installations and circus performances. There’s of course plenty of music as well, covering every single genre. Previous headlining acts have included Bjork, Grace Jones and Elvis Costello, and actors Cate Blanchett and Sir Ian McKellen have made an appearance too. Most of these events are free to enter, so you can enjoy as many shows as you please.

Past events have included an underwater concert and a sculpture-making session using old toys. So, if you love trying something different, this is the festival for you.

Meet Santa in the sun

Christmas is a sun-soaked affair in Sydney. So, if you’re used to snowy celebrations, visiting the city over Christmas is a great way to experience the holidays with a difference. There are loads of festive events taking place in December, from markets to carol performances, to Christmas light switch ons. Bondi Beach usually hosts an annual Christmas party on the big day – so grab a Santa hat and join in. 

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Bondi Route, Stop: Bondi Beach

Rave it up at Mardi Gras 

The Sydney Mardi Gras is one of the largest Mardi Gras festivals in world, attracting over 70,000 revellers to Victoria Park in the city. The main Mardi Gras Parade is held on the first weekend of March and takes place on the streets of the city. But, there are other events throughout February in the run up, including the Bondi Beach Drag Race, Harbour Party and Film Festival. Join Sydney’s LGBTQI community for this huge colourful celebration of diversity.

Cool down in a city pool

Sydney boasts some of the best beaches in the country, including Bondi Beach and Manly Beach. As Australians simply love the water, there are also loads of outdoor pools for when the weather gets seriously toasty. There’s the Bondi Icebergs Club which overlooks the ocean. The art deco-designed North Sydney Olympic Pool right next to Luna Park, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Opera House. And, the 50m Prince Alfred Park Pool which is surrounded by over 35,000 plants, making you feel like you’re in an oasis of greenery in the middle of the city.

Bondi Route, Stop: Bondi Beach
City Route, Stop: Sydney Harbour Bridge

Ready for a Sydney summer? Grab your shades and your Santa hat and get ready for Christmas with a difference. Or, rave it up at some of the world’s biggest festivals and events in January and February. There’s so much to see and do in Sydney all year round, whatever time of year you visit you won’t be disappointed. Start planning your itinerary now…