destination NSW

Outdoor events and entertainment in Sydney


Out and about!

Enjoy a fabulous summer of outdoor events and festivals. Stunning beaches, great waves, warm days and balmy nights that are just perfect for a summer of fun.

Must Do

Highlight events in Sydney

Taronga Outdoor Concert Series, Taronga Zoo

Nothing says summer in Sydney like a trip to the beach. Sydney has some of the best beaches in the world, with fine sand, ocean baths and huge waves providing something for everyone. Be sure to check out Bondi and Coogee for surfing, snorkelling and great cafes, or the Northern Beaches for a quieter, locally loved setting.

Sydney's parks are also popular in summer, with evening strolls and picnics a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Locals and tourists alike love Hyde Park, Centennial Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens – which also plays host to outdoor concerts and is a great vantage point for the New Year's Eve fireworks display.

Music festivals and celebrations are a big part of the Sydney summer. We kick off the festivities with Christmas Carols in the Domain and see in the New Year with our world-famous fireworks, closely followed by some of our favourite music artists and celebrations on Australia Day. The line-up continues with Chinese New Year.

Another big musical event this summer is Opera Australia's big performance of the season: Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. Set with the Sydney Opera House in the background and offering first-class dining and drinking options, this is truly an event like no other.

One event that's an annual hit is Sydney Festival. Running for almost three weeks from January 9, 2014, the festival showcases some of the most innovative names in the performing arts.

Sport is a huge part of Australian culture, and Sydney provides many options during the summer. Head to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for the Sheffield Shield, the Big Bash League or one of the games against England, or to Allianz Stadium to watch Sydney FC in the A-League.

Family-friendly outdoor attractions include visiting Taronga Zoo, browsing one of the many markets in Sydney or enjoying the fun at Luna Park.

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia - MCA - The Rocks. Image Credit MCA

Indoor summer activities

Take a break from the Sydney sun to visit one of the city's many museums and galleries, get an astronomy lesson (and a look at the southern sky) at the Sydney Observatory or take in a local performance.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade 2013. Image Credit Federica Ponteggi

Sydney Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras in Sydney is an annual LGBT parade and festival – one of the largest of its kind in the world – and attracts crowds from around the globe. In recent years, the post-parade party has drawn some huge showbiz names, such as Kylie Minogue, George Michael and Delta Goodrem.

Bondi Beach, Image Andrew Wallace

Sydney's beaches

The east coast of Australia has some of the world's best beaches, with many of those in Sydney's suburbs. Enjoy the waves at Bondi, take up surfing at Manly or go to Balmoral for a quieter time with the family.


Best events in Sydney

Mild weather during Winter in Sydney is perfect for plenty of outdoor events. In May, Sydney became the beautiful backdrop to Vivid Sydney, the 18-day festival of lights, music and ideas that attracted crowds to popular outdoor events such as the Lighting of the Sails at the Sydney Opera House and the Light Walk around the harbour foreshore. This year, Vivid was staged at venues as diverse as the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Customs House and Circular Quay.

Other events staged in the great outdoors include Taste of Manly Food,Wine and Sustainability Festival and The Rocks Aroma Festival, which offers entry to an exotic world of coffee, chocolate, tea and spice.

Sporting events include the Bledisloe Cup Festival, the Sun-Herald City2Surf and State of Origin matches at venues across the city.