If you’re anything like us, you’re in total denial that summer is officially over. With winter hot on its heels, it’s tempting to retreat to your doona and binge-watch Netflix. Stop right there and put the remote down—there are still adventures and winter getaways to be had!
But there’s no need to jet off to the other side of the globe, people. The perfect winter break is on our own home soil—in Sydney, to be exact! To embrace the bustling city this season, Destination NSW and Qantas helped us round up the best things to see, do and—most importantly—taste in Sydney this winter. Here’s what’s good.
Be Enchanted By Australia’s Biggest Light Festival
Vivid (aka Australia’s biggest light festival) is back and better than ever! Lighting up the city from May 25 to June 16, the 23-day day festival is all about light, music and ideas. The city’s most iconic buildings and spaces will once again be transformed—including the sails of the Sydney Opera House and Royal Botanic Garden. For the first time, the dazzling Light Walk will extend to the new precinct of Luna Park with a whooole lot a sparkling magic. Be sure to also check out the ‘Colour the Reef’ installation brought to you by Qantas, next to the MCA at Circular Quay. The interactive piece will raise awareness of the threats facing the Great Barrier Reef, and the small actions we can all take to protect it. Vivid-goers will need to work together to bring back a kaleidoscope of colour to the reef. Check out the full programme here.
Wine And Dine Your Way Around The City
Let’s be honest: calories don’t count when you’re on holiday. Make the most of this loophole by eating and drinking your way around Sydney. The new waterfront precinct of Barangaroo features everything from a tea bar and Japanese burger joint to a bao eatery and chocolate shop. The Cannery Rosebery (the old Rosella Soup warehouse FYI) is also a must-visit with bakers, coffee roasters and restaurateurs whipping up a mouth-watering storm. Visit Chippendale’s Kensington Street for restaurants, cafes and markets. Koi Dessert Bar will blow your mind, Olio Kensington Street is Sicilian at its finest and Kakawa’s handmade chocolates are unmissable.
Catch A Film Festival Flick (Or Several)
It wouldn’t be winter without countless trips to the cinema. No city knows this better than Sydney, with their annual Sydney Film Festival taking place over 12 days and nights in June. As one of the industry’s longest-running film festivals, the world’s best new films are screened in inspiring and entertaining premieres. The festival will also showcase talks, parties and the return of the ‘official competition’. The highly anticipated programme will be released on April 4. However, we promise you this: the films will make you laugh, cry and evoke ALL the emotions.
Get Cultured With Galleries, Theatres & Museums
If your perfect getaway involves wandering galleries and/or museums, you’ve come to the right city. The Art Gallery of NSW boasts artworks from Australia and beyond including the current “The lady and the unicorn” tapestry series—it’s only the third time the series has left France in 500 years! Check out Sun Xun’s exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art—his animations are made up of thousands of intricate ink painting, charcoal drawings and woodcuts (then grab a drink at the rooftop bar). Theatre buff? Head to the Lyric Theatre to catch the award-winning musical, The Book of Mormon. It’s outrageous, it’s profane and—most importantly—it’s hilariously funny.
Back Your Favourite Team
If a) you’re a sport nut or b) you have a sport nut bae, Sydney is the place to be this winter. Time your visit with the Qantas Wallabies going head-to-head with Ireland on June 23. Stick around the following day (June 24) with the second State of Origin game kicking off at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium. The Wallabies will also be taking on the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Cup test on August 18. Our advice? Nab tickets asap because this highly anticipated game is sure to be a sell-out!
Lace Up Your Walking Shoes
Winter won’t stop you from getting out and about in Sydney. Nope, you can still lace up your shoes and get amongst the sweet, sweet fresh air (alongside an Instagrammable view, obvs). No visit is complete without walking the much-loved coastal walk from Coogee Beach to Bondi. The 6km clifftop walk showcases beaches, parks, bays and—of course—stunning views. Have a refreshing winter dip along the way and refuel at Icebergs Terrace Cafe on arrival. Other Sydney must-dos include the Hermitage Foreshore walk (3.6km return) and Spit Bridget to Manly (10km one way).
Sydney on your winter bucket list? We thought so! Book your winter getaway with Qantas. Flights to Sydney are on sale now until 23:59 (AEST) 10 April 2018. Conditions apply. Visit qantas.com for more details. Get booking, people!
Editor’s Note: This article is proudly sponsored by Destination NSW and Qantas and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Destination NSW