Winter school holidays in Sydney

Enjoy Sydney’s mild winters with a host of fun family activities. From bushwalking and picnics to whale watching along the coast, there’s a new outdoor adventure for every day. Meet native and exotic animals at the zoo or explore Sydney’s fascinating museums and galleries.



Outdoor activities

Make the most of sunny winter days and get outside with the family. Discover coastal walking trails or hikes through national parks, explore the city by bike and paddle around the world famous Sydney Harbour by kayak. You can also pack up lunch and enjoy a picnic in a scenic spot around the city. 

The Bondi to Bronte Walk in Bondi, Sydney East

Bondi to Bronte Walk, Sydney East

Whale watching

Winter is prime whale watching time in Sydney as more than 40,000 humpback and southern right whales make their way along the coast between May and November. Get a great view from coastal vantage points like Cape SolanderNorth Head and Barrenjoey Lighthouse, or join a whale-watching cruise such as Whale Watching SydneyOz Whale WatchingOcean Extreme or Manly Ocean Adventures which can take you on their small fast vessels and take you to some of the best vantage points.

Zoos & aquariums

Catch the ferry to visit Sydney’s most iconic zoo with a view. Taronga Zoo is perched on the edge of the harbour and home to tigers, elephants, giraffes, gorillas and many native animals. In Western Sydney, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a safari park at Sydney Zoo where more than 100 species roam in the huge exhibits. If you want to get up close and interact with animals like petting a koala or feeding a kangaroo, then Featherdale Wildlife Park and  Symbio Wildlife Park are for you.

There are plenty of animals waiting for you at Darling Harbour. Wild Life Sydney Zoo is all about native species and is home to the Australian Big 5 – koala, kangaroo, crocodile, wombat and platypus. Next door at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium you’ll find fish, turtles, penguins and sharks, as well as one of only three dugongs on display in the world.

Wild Life Sydney, Australian animal adventure at Darling Harbour

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Darling Harbour

Explore a winter festival

From 30 June to 16 July 2023 at Koshigaya Park in Campbelltown, Chill Fest simply bursts with family fun. Think amusement rides, light shows, marshmallow toasting, food trucks and, of course, an open-air ice-skating rink. 

Chill Fest in Campbelltown, Sydney West

Chill Fest, Campbelltown

Bondi Festival will run day and night between 30 June to 16 July 2023, entry is free, with some ticketed events and you can enjoy a program of arts, live comedy shows, theatre, music, Ferris wheel and more. 

Families ice skating at Bondi Festival, Bondi Beach

Bondi Festival, Bondi Beach

Bastille Festival is a French cultural celebration of food, wine, and art, held annually in Sydney’s Circular Quay and The Rocks, from 13 July to 16 July 2023. Entry is free. 

Dripping cheese dish at Bastille Festival in The Rocks, Sydney City

Bastille Festival, The Rocks

Christmas in July can be celebrated at Tinseltown Christmas Pop-up in Surry Hills. From 1 July to 30 July 2023, you can visit elves, play Christmas games, and enjoy Christmas songs. 


Lace-up your skates

In the winter school holidays, a number of outdoor ice-skating rinks crop up around the city. Running from 1 July to 16 July 2023, the Pittwater Ice Skating Spectacular is perfect for little ones keen to test out their skating skills with cute-as-a-button penguin skating aids provided.  

The Darling Harbour Ice Rink will return to the forecourt of the ICC Sydney this year and to Bondi during the Bondi Festival. 

Ice skating rink at Darling Harbour,  Sydney City

Darling Harbour ice skating rink, Darling Harbour

Museums & galleries

Make learning fun during the school holidays at some of Sydney’s excellent museums and galleries. The whole family will love exploring the Australian National Maritime Museum and the immersive experiences at Hyde Park Barracks. The Australian Museum and Powerhouse Museum have exciting children's activities and exhibitions on show over the school holidays.

The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of NSW host regular family-friendly exhibitions. Try one of these four Sydney Culture Trails that will take you on a self-guided tour to find significant cultural attractions across the city.


Experience great family fun in Sydney


School holiday dates - 2023/2024

Summer Wed 21 December 2022 Thur 26 January 2023
Autumn Mon 10 April 2023 Fri 21 April 2023
Winter Mon 3 July 2023 Fri 14 July 2023
Spring Mon 25 September 2023 Fri 6 October 2023
Summer Wed 20 December 2023 Thur 29 January 2024