35 Things To Do In Sydney In Winter 2024 Guide

Looking for things to do in Sydney in Winter? It’s easy to forget what life is like in Sydney when sitting on the beach is out of the question.

Fear not… the winter months are a great time to visit Sydney because it generally offers up the best weather and it’s a time when you can really go and explore the area without feeling guilty that you should be on the beach. (Trust me, we always get the guilt on in Summer if we’re not at the beach.)

We’ve got some great ideas on how to have a fab time in Winter in Sydney from sitting in a hot tub in an igloo on Sydney Harbour to playing crazy golf in the pub and loads more!

35 Things to do in Sydney in Winter

1. Visit the Japanese Bath House

Blue Mountains

The best thing to do in Sydney Winter is to head out to the Blue Mountains and go to the Japanese Bath House called Sparadise. You’ll have five outdoor pools to choose from and even a hot tub in a cave to relax in whilst over looking a spectacular view. For just $80pp this is an absolute Sydney gem to visit.

2. Visit Beautiful Southern Highlands


Head down to Southern Highlands for the weekend and browse the shops in Bowral as well as venturing on some hikes and lookout points. You could easily spend a good week exploring with the amount of things to do in Southern Highlands. Head to some of the best waterfalls in Kangaroo Valley such as Carrington Falls, Belmore Falls and Fitzroy Falls!

Read our Southern Highlands Content

The Ultimate Guide To Southern Highlands

42 Best Things To Do In Kangaroo Valley

15 Best Things To Do In Robertson

13 Best Kangaroo Valley Waterfalls & Swimming Holes

28 Best Things To Do In Bowral

Watch our video to Southern Highlands below!

3. Visit Jervis Bay in Winter

Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay is mostly known as having the world’s whitest sand beach but we recommend visiting in Winter like we did as you’ll have it mostly to yourself. You’ll get one of the best coastal walks near Sydney pretty much to yourself and if you go in early Winter, the water will be warm enough to swim in! There’s so many things to do in Jervis Bay, you certainly won’t be bored!

The Winter festivals in Sydney

Sydney CBD

If you’re wondering what to do in Sydney in Winter, there’s actually a few awesome festivals to visit which we’re listing all in this point.

4. Vivid Light Festival


Let’s start with the most well known… Vivid Light Festival. It’s the world’s largest light festival and definitely worth visiting as it’s pretty amazing. With eight locations based around Sydney, specifically Circular Quay and Sydney Opera House all transform into amazing light shows for three weeks at the start of June.

Our tip is to always visit on the opening night, but really late. The lights turn on at 6pm and finish around 12am so if you go around 10pm, there won’t be many crowds at all. Trust us, this is what we do every year!

We recommend staying at Sydney Harbour YHA as the rooftop views overlooking Sydney Opera House are brilliant and a place you can enjoy the festival without the crowds.

5. Christmas In July


Image source: Bastille Festival

A random festival which mainly takes place in Blue Mountains is Christmas In July. Started by the Brits, it was a way to experience a proper Christmas in the cooler temps, rather than a usual 30C+ which Sydney tends to hold.

You’ll see lots of people in Christmas jumpers going to Christmas In July parties and even your work might hold one too.

Make sure you check out Bastille Festival in The Rocks complete with Christmas chalets with a French twist which takes place in July.

Even retail advertising is a bit weird with their Christmas scenes in the shops. We’ve even seen Christmas trees in Pitt St Mall during this time of year. If you’re from England, you’ll never get used to this bizarre event in July.

6. City 2 Surf running festival


The world’s largest fun run takes place in August called City 2 Surf, a 14km run from the city to Bondi. Regardless of whether you can run or not, this is the event that everyone joins in on and gets sloshed at the pub afterwards.

7. Bondi Winter Magic


Imagine ice skating on Bondi Beach!? Well Bondi winter festival in July has an ice rink overlooking the beach along with incredible performances for adults and the whole family to enjoy.

8. Winter Solstice Festival


Go and experience all things farm produced at this environmentally conscious festival where you can support sustainability initiatives, small businesses and local farms. What’s great is, Winter Solstice Festival is free entry with a suggested donation to Pocket City Farms.

9. Hiking in Sydney

Various locations


To us winter in Sydney is all about hiking. With the mostly clear skies and perfect cooler weather, we spend most of our winter getting out of Sydney and going on some beautiful hikes near Sydney. We’ve explored a lot, so make sure you check out our Best Hikes In Sydney guide!

10. Best high tea Sydney

The Rocks

We absolutely love The Tea Cosy in The Rocks which offers up some of the best high tea Sydney! It’s also really affordable and we love how kitsch it is with blankets on the table and a spot of knitting to be done as well!

11. Visit The Best Gardens In Sydney

Various Sydney CBD

Although the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney are impressive, there are some secret gardens we love to visit in Winter which are situated right in the middle of the city.

Watch our gardens in Sydney video below!

12. Make the most of the Sydney markets

Sydney CBD

There are some brilliant Sydney markets to visit at the weekend. Instead of spending time on the beach, we recommend the following markets to visit: Bondi Markets, Glebe and Round She Goes. Kirribilli Markets is our favourite which are situated right under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and take place twice a month. Check out our 18 Best Markets In Sydney guide to find the best ones for you!

12. Then sell your clothes at Kirribilli Markets


After you’ve checked out the markets, there’s no better time in Winter than to do a clear out and sell your clothes at Kirribilli Markets. We’ve sold a fair bit there and have tips on how you can make a good $1000!

13. Go hiking in Blue Mountains


There are so many amazing Blue Mountains hikes, swimming spots, waterfalls, lookout points, caves and canyons to check out that that we’ve nailed down the best 30 to put on your list to visit below! Winter in Sydney wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Blue Mountains.

14. Go on a self guided movie tour


Did you know there are over 18 Hollywood movies filmed in Sydney? Take yourself on a guided tour and find the streets and locations for many movies you’ve probably already seen.

We recommend heading over to Martin’s Place to see the waterfall from the Matrix scene with the woman in the red dress above and over to Manly to check out The Great Gatsby home at The International College of Management.

Find out more locations below!

15. Explore the best cinemas in Sydney


We have put together a list of 23 Unique Cinemas in Sydney and surrounds that you should totally visit in the winter season. From cinemas with gourmet three cheese toasties to art deco bars, these picture houses will add some movie magic to the coldest months.

16. The best Sunday lunch in Sydney


Winter and a Sunday roast go hand in hand so if you’re looking for the best Sunday lunch in Sydney we recommend checking out some British worthy pubs in our ultimate guide for the Best Sunday Roast In Sydney.

17. Art Galleries and Archibald Prize

Sydney CBD

Sydney in Winter is a great time to go to all of the amazing galleries around the city. Head over to the MCA and finish the day at their awesome cafe on the rooftop for amazing views of the Harbour. We also recommend visiting The Archibald Prize, Australia’s biggest art prize which is held between May – September at the Art Gallery of NSW.

18. Ski in Thredbo


If you weren’t aware, Australia gets snow in Winter and has ski resorts to visit. The most popular ski resort near Sydney is called Thredbo which is a five hour drive away but it’s the most famous ski resort in the whole of Australia. Being the highest at 2,037m, Thredbo is mainly for the intermediate skier. Check out our 13 Tips Before Heading To Ski In Thredbo guide first.

19. Riverboat Postman Cruise

Hawkesbury River

One of our favourite things to do in Sydney is the Riverboat Postman Cruise on the Hawkesbury River. It’s easy to get to on the train or by car and is located just 1 hour away from the CBD. Also for just $50 per person, you’ll get a three hour cruise and lunch on board.

20. Discover the best authentic German restaurants in Sydney

Various locations


Looking for some hearty warming food this winter? Check out the best German restaurants in Sydney, written by Carolin, a German expat who has searched high and low to find the very best in the city. You won’t be disappointed!

21. Go to a meditation retreat


If you need some time out from everything, we 100% recommend checking out the best meditation retreat in Sydney at Sunnataram Forest Monastery in Kangaroo Valley. They hold weekend retreats and it’s donation based so you can pay what you feel for your stay. We’ve been three times and love it so much! If you want to step is up a level, find out what it’s like doing a 10-day silent meditation retreat in Blue Mountains!

22. Witness a Bondi Sunrise

Bondi Beach
bondi sunrise

One of the great things about winter is it’s not too early to get up and watch the sunrise over Bondi Beach. The sun rises at around 7am in the winter meaning it’s easier to get up to watch one of the incredible shows it puts on at the beach. You might like to check out our guide for the best places to eat in Bondi as well!

23.  Search for the Glow Worms


Ever wanted to see Glow Worms? We recommend heading over to Newnes near Blue Mountains and trek over to the old railway tunnel to get a glimpse of them. There’s various ways to get there so check out the blog below for more details.

24. Go on an eco whale watching tour


Between June – August over 30,000 humpback whales migrate up north to give birth which means Sydney is in for a treat to watch them pass by.

Jump on a beautiful sailing boat with Sydney Eco Whale Watching like we did and spend a romantic afternoon sailing out to the heads to see the whales in action.

25. Check Out The Best Antique Shops In Sydney


One of our favourite things to do in Sydney on a rainy day or in winter is to visit the antique shops. There are some cracking antique shops in Sydney, I bet you’ve not heard of some of them before! Be warned, you could easily spend a good few hours walking around them!

26. Get cosy in the best bookshops in Sydney


Experience the best bookshops in Sydney and sit back with a cuppa and good book! We love Ampersand Cafe in Paddington, Sappho Books in Glebe and Gertude & Ailice in Bondi!

27. Become an awesome axe thrower


Manix is a brilliant place to go with your mates! Compete to see who’s the best axe thrower and then head next door to the brewery. What a great day out!

28. Discover the best art galleries in Sydney


If you’re looking for indoors activities, why not go and check out some of the best art galleries in Sydney? And yes, there are plenty more galleries than the MCA or the Art Gallery of NSW! We also love White Rabbit Gallery (pictured) as well as Brett Whitley’s studio and so much more!

29. Visit Wollongong


There’s way more things to do in Wollongong than you think. Just an hour south of Sydney, you’ll find everything from hikes, an awesome pub on the cliff to more to visit in Wollongong!

30. Cave hunting at Wombeyan Caves

If you’re looking to spend the day exploring, we recommend heading over to Wombeyan Caves. The lesser-known cave system is much quieter than Jenolan Caves but is amazing to visit. With an insanely jaw-dropping canyon to swim through in the Summer months, a beautiful campground and caves you’ll more than likely have to yourself, Wombeyan Caves is an awesome weekend getaway from Sydney.

31. Spend the day at one of the bath houses in Sydney


There’s some great spas in the middle of Sydney such as Gillian Adams Spa (pictured above) and Bath Houses. If you’re feeling a bit cold or want to have a relaxing weekend if it’s raining, head over to one of these for pools that are as hot as 39C.

32. Spend a romantic weekend away from Sydney


Pick one of our favourite cosy romantic weekend getaways from Sydney and you’ll feel so relaxed and ready to start a brand new week. Our Romantic Getaways From Sydney guide is packed full of beautiful cottages and romantic hidden gems all over Sydney.

33. Stay In A Bubble Tent In Sydney

Capertee, Gardens of Stone National Park

One thing that’s been at the top of our Sydney bucket list for a while is to stay in a Bubble Tent which overlooks the world’s second biggest canyon at Capertee. You can even have a bath outside the tent, a beautiful option for a romantic weekend away from Sydney.

34. Auburn Cherry Blossom and sumo wrestling


Want to feel like you’ve popped over to Japan for the weekend? Get all the  Japanese vibes right near Sydney in August, because just an hour away in Auburn lies the annual Cherry Blossom festival.

For as little as $5 you’ll be able to take an iconic photo next to the cherry blossom but that’s not all… the festival includes sumo wrestling matches, a catwalk show and a Hello Kitty makeover station.

35. Spend a romantic weekend in Blue Mountains


If you’re looking to escape Sydney and spend a relaxing weekend in Blue Mountains, then expect a day spa, beautiful accommodation, hikes, high tea and so much more. Just click on the link below to read our blog to give you some inspiration!

And if it’s raining…


Unfortunately rain is to be expected but we’ve found it rains less in Winter in Sydney than it does in Summer. Be prepared because when it rains, it buckets down! Find out our top 18 things to do in the rain in Sydney to keep you entertained!

Things to do in Winter in Sydney

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  1. Great list! I hadn’t heard of the trampoline centre before.. must give it a go this winter! Looks like too much fun! 🙂

  2. Hello Annie,
    I love, these types of articles,they are always great ways to inspire a little exploration. Thank you.
    I realise though that there seems to be no recommendations for exploring the small boutique vineyards of the Hunter Valley. Given the Hunter Valley is a similar distance out of town as is the kangaroo valley and Lithgow do you think you could encompass some of the little gems of vineyards that are to be discovered there? In perhaps another article? This is one of my favourite parts of my world. Can I suggest and invite you to visit us at Greenway Wines as you explore the new wine trail initiative launched only a few months ago now – called the Broke Fordwich Wine Trail? We’re a little off the beaten track – and about 2 hours north. Let me know if you are coming to visit!
    Kind regards,
    Annie Greenway

    1. Hi Annie, thanks for letting me know about your vineyard. I have a post on Hunter Valley already but I definitely need to explore more of the vineyards in the area 🙂

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