Summer Events in Sydney


Sydney’s calendar of summer events is packed with world-class performances of dance, drama and musicals, ground-breaking art exhibitions and up-to-the minute fashion and live music events.

  • Australia Day, Sydney Harbour
  • Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi
Summer in The Domain, Sydney

From October to May, the Sydney International Art Series brings two of the world's most outstanding exhibitions exclusively to Sydney. The first is The Great Masterpieces of Western Art from the National Galleries of Scotland showing at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. With works spanning more than 400 years, it includes paintings and sculptures from some of the European masters, including da Vinci, Velázquez, Monet, Rembrandt, Botticelli and Cézanne. In late October, don’t miss Sculpture by the Sea, where you can see over 100 site-specific contemporary sculptures and artworks spread along the stunning Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk.

From December to May, the MCA’s exhibition of British artist Grayson Perry’s work will be on display. Perry was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize in 2003 and his works are humorous, reflective and quirky, and this will be his first exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere.

It’s no secret that Sydney is the place to celebrate New Year’s Eve, when visitors and locals count down to midnight and spectacular fireworks light up Sydney Harbour in a phenomenal display. There are also 8.30pm fireworks most Saturdays in Darling Harbour, which is great for families with small children.

In January, from the city to Parramatta, Sydney Festival takes over the city’s venues, public spaces and performance hubs for a month-long program of music, comedy, dance and drama performances.

Don’t miss Twilight at Taronga, when Taronga Zoo’s harbour-side amphitheater will play host to a star lineup of musical artists in a series of evening shows from Thursday 28 January through Saturday 12 March. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Sydney Harbour, the event marks Taronga Zoo’s centennial year, with the likes of Missy Higgins and Ladysmith Black Mambazo performing.

In February, celebrate the Lunar New Year at the Chinese New Year Festival, which includes night markets and cultural events. And Sydney Mardi Gras is a spectacular celebration of LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex) pride, attracting over 20,000 interstate and international visitors each year. Don’t miss the Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday March 5, a fantastic and welcoming spectacle that’s all about pride and diversity.

  • Matilda The Musical, Sydney Lyric Theatre

    Matilda The Musical

    It has received rave reviews around the globe and now the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda The Musical is making its mark in Australia opening at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in July. Based on the novel by acclaimed author Roald Dahl, the elaborate stage show tells the story of an extraordinary young girl who dreams of changing her own story for a better life.

  • Twilight at Taronga, Sydney

    Twilight at Taronga

    Taronga Zoo’s series of summer concerts kicks off in January, with the likes of Josh Pyke, John Butler Trio, The Waifs, Birds of Tokyo, Missy Higgins and the Violent Femmes performing. With stunning Sydney Harbour views, it’s the perfect way to spend a laid-back summer evening. All tickets include free return ferry from Circular Quay from 5:15pm and half price same day entry to the Zoo.

  • Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Turandot

    Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Turandot

    A setting such as Sydney Harbour demands a spectacular opera, so prepare for a performance of huge proportions. An exotic fantasy of a death-marked love told with the city skyline reflected across the magnificent Sydney Harbour and featuring the famous aria 'Nessum Dorma'.  Join us for this special event set under the stars.



  1. Matilda the Musical

    Tuesday 28 July to Sunday 28 February 2016, Pyrmont

    This captivating musical masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company is inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. The story celebrates the power of imagination, as it tells...

    28 Jul -28Feb
  2. Art and About Sydney

    Friday 18 September to Tuesday 11 October 2016, City Centre

    This city shines in every season, and now Art and About Sydney allows you to celebrate each one with an ongoing program.After 13 years of a festival-style program that jam-packed one month with...

    18 Sep -11Oct
  3. Twilight at Taronga Summer Concert Series

    Thursday 28 January to Saturday 12 March 2016, Mosman

    The Twilight at Taronga 2016 line up is here! Courtney Barnett, Josh Pyke, Far from Folsom featuring Tex Perkins and the Tennessee Four with Rachel Tidd, John Butler Trio, The Waifs, Birds of Tokyo...

    28 Jan -12Mar
  4. Biennale of Sydney

    Sunday 20 March to Friday 10 June 2016, City Centre

    Under the artistic direction of Juliana Engberg, the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire, celebrates the artistic imagination as a spirited exploration of the world, seeking...

    20 Mar -10Jun
  5. Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour - Turandot

    Thursday 24 March to Sunday 24 April 2016, City Centre

    It's the best of Sydney in a single evening: singing, sunsets and sparkling wine, in perfect harmony.In 2016, Handa Opera in Sydney Harbour presents Turandot: an exotic fantasy of a death...

    24 Mar -24Apr
  6. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia

    Sunday 15 May to Thursday 19 May 2016, Redfern & Waterloo

    Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia is Australia's only international fashion platform, with a focus on providing Australian designers with a platform to connect with a global audience of...

    15 May -19May
  7. Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes

    Saturday 16 July to Sunday 9 October 2016, City Centre

    The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes is an annual exhibition eagerly anticipated by artists and audiences alike.Awarded to the best portrait painting, the Archibald Prize is a who's who of...

    16 Jul -09Oct
  8. Sydney Festival

    Saturday 7 January to Thursday 26 January 2017, City Centre

    Event details are yet to be confirmed

    Exuberant, exciting and forever effervescent - the best time to experience Sydney is in January, when the city is in full celebratory mode....

    07 Jan -26Jan

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