destination NSW

Winter Events


Winter events in Sydney

Sydney’s arts and culture winter line-up is one not to be missed. With world-famous directors taking charge of musicals at the Sydney Opera House, festivals celebrating art, writing and films, as well as a number of other exhibitions across the city, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Must Do

Winter events in Sydney

Vivid Sydney 2013

Winter is an exciting time in Sydney with a number of world-class performances, special attractions and major arts and cultural events to enjoy.

Don't miss Sydney's favourite winter festival, Vivid Sydney. This 18 day event of light, music and ideas has become attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to signature events such as the Lighting the Sails of the Sydney Opera House and the much-loved Light Walk, a beautiful, meandering journey around the harbour. Catch impressive live performances in Sydney's iconic music venues with the Vivid Music and Vivid LIVE programs, and connect with the world’s creative leaders at inspiring talks and workshops as part of Vivid Ideas.

Sydney welcomes the world-premiere of shows and musicals at venues as diverse as the Sydney Opera House, The Star, The Wharf Theatre, CarriageWorks and Belvoir St Theatre. Season highlights include Strictly Ballroom The Musical - the much-loved Australian film that inspired the world to dance has come to life on stage. This brand new musical production made its global premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre where it’s now showing until 1 June.

For contemporary art lovers, the Biennale of Sydney is held every second year at venues including Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Cockatoo Island. The 19th Biennale of Sydney will be held from 21 March to 9 June 2014. Other much-loved arts events include the Sydney Writers’ Festival in May, the Sydney Film Festival in June and the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes on show at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Mild weather is perfect for plenty of outdoor events including the Manly Food and Wine Festival, the Winter Festival, Bondi Winter Magic and the Aroma Festival in The Rocks. Bookending the winter are two family-friendly events that let you enjoy the outdoors. The Sydney Royal Easter Show, held over two weeks from 10 April, brings the best of the country to the city. International rodeo and woodchopping competitions are two of many entertainment options you’re otherwise unlikely to see in Sydney. Heading into Spring is the Australian Garden Show, from 4 to 7 September, where you can see some professionally designed gardens and take home tips for your own backyard.

Sydney lits up during the Vivid Festival. Image James Horan; Destination NSW

Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney , the 18-day annual event of light, music and ideas is Sydney’s major festival in winter. Head to Circular Quay from 6pm onwards on any night of the festival and watch the light show transform the Sydney Opera House sails. Take in the meandering journey around the harbour on the impressive Light Walk. Enjoy live entertainment with Vivid Music or be inspired by Vivid Ideas. Runs from 23 May to 9 June.

Bledisloe Cup, rugby union, Wallabies vs. All Blacks, sport

Bledisloe Cup

The Bledisloe Cup is an annual test series between the Australian and New Zealand rugby union teams. The All Blacks have had the superior edge recently, winning the past 11 series. The Wallabies will look to turn the table in 2014 with the first of the three games at Sydney’s ANZ stadium on 16 August.

Sydney Vivid Festival, light, art, nightlife

Sydney Opera House shows

The iconic Sydney Opera House has a full and varied schedule for winter this year. Enjoy the the Faulty Towers Dining Experience and enjoy the sounds of the International Music Festival .

Innovative art on display the Sydney Biennale. Image Prudence Upton; Destination NSW

The Biennale of Sydney

The Biennale of Sydney is the city’s largest arts festival, making use of a number of different spaces across Sydney. In 2014 it will run from 21 March to 9 June with venues such as the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Cockatoo Island all involved.

Sydney Writer's Festival, writing, the Rocks

Winter Magic in Bondi

Now an annual event, Winter Magic in the beachside suburb of Bondi is a family-friendly affair. As well as a number of funfair rides, enjoy the market stalls, smooth buskers and sizzling street food. Discover Bondi’s bohemian past on a fascinating guided walking tour around Bondi every Sunday and Wednesday during July.

Learn, write and read at the Sydney Writer's Festival. Image Destination NSW

Sydney Writers’ Festival

Be inspired by the yearly Sydney Writers’ Festival held in the historic district of The Rocks from 19 to 25 May. The Walsh Bay area is transformed with an influx of visitors as 300+ events with more than 400 participants take place in a week designed to stimulate, move, inspire and provoke.