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.