Draw inspiration from Sydney's art scene with a moveable feast for the senses that features vibrant new talent and old favourites in galleries dotted around the city. Public galleries such as the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and the Art Gallery of NSW feature a continually changing program of Australian and international exhibitions year-round.
Sydney has a diverse range of private galleries - Tim Olsen Gallery in Woollahra, S.H. Ervin Gallery at Observatory Hill and the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Paddington - which provide a more intimate look at local and international artists' works.
Inner-city neighbourhoods that continue to establish themselves as emerging arts precincts include Newtown, Redfern-Waterloo and Chippendale. Home to up-and-coming artists and designers, it's where you'll also find weekend markets and pop-up exhibitions. A few galleries not to miss are ArtHere Gallery, MCLEMOI Gallery, White Rabbit Gallery and NG Art Gallery.
The redeveloped rail-yards known as Carriageworks reside at the forefront, housing one of Australia's most significant multimedia and multi-platform performance spaces. Repurposed around a 19th century façade of carriage-yards and blacksmith workshops, this large area is now known for showcasing compelling, challenging and socially aware exhibits and shows.
Redfern and Waterloo are also populated by a series of independent galleries. There’s Janet Clayton Gallery, which shows challenging works from emerging and established artists. Ambush Gallery, both commercial and philanthropic in character, is a progressive gallery specialising in contemporary Australian art, and at Utopia you can see unique works from Indigenous and non-indigenous Australian artists.
Further afield, the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery showcases local and international talent, with regular curator talks, children's workshops and guided tours.
Gallery and Museum Dining
Sydney’s Museums and Galleries offer culture not only in their exhibits, but also on the plate.
The gang from Woollahra powerhouse Chiswick has great success transplanting the magic to the Art Gallery of NSW. Get your fill of Whiteley, Nolan, Boyd, Gascoigne and Heysen, and then double down with Chiswick signatures such as snow‐crab sliders, steak tartare and hand‐cut chips. And after catching up on the kids’ favourite dinosaurs at the Australian Museum, enjoy a lunch box together in the Rooftop Café, overlooking Hyde Park and St Mary’s Cathedral.
The Governor’s Table is also among the newer players, and complements a visit to the Museum of Sydney with finger‐lickin’ eats (crisp, golden chicken with bread sauce and crimson grapes or barbecued lamb ribs with spicy salt) on the terrace.
While The Mint is the oldest building in the CBD, it has one of the newer culinary attractions, in the form of Bistro Mint. Dine alfresco on a classic Reuben sandwich with Russian dressing, or the grilled fish with scallop, baby squid, chilli, garlic and olives.