Looking for the best things to do on the June long weekend in Sydney? If you’re looking for last minute things to do, look no further.
Let’s be honest, it’s winter, we’re getting colder and the June long weekend can creep up on us. But do not waste the public holiday, we have put together a list of awesome activities you can get your cold hands stuck into in Sydney and New South Wales.
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Why do we celebrate the June long weekend?
Wondering why we celebrate the June long weekend? The Queen’s actual birthday is in April but since the reign of King George, every monarch has had a second birthday on the second Monday in June, purely for better weather in the UK for a public celebration.
In New South Wales, we celebrate the Queen’s birthday weekend on the second weekend in June but other states and territories may have a different date. Wether you are a Royalist or not, if you are in Sydney for the public holidays then read on for our list of the best ways to celebrate the long weekend.
23 Best Things To Do On The June Long Weekend In Sydney
1. Kick off the Snow season at Perisher Peak Festival
Boasted as ‘Australia’s coolest festival’, Perisher Peak Festival celebrates the start of the ski season with a 3 day non ticketed music weekend! Book your ski pass and accommodation with Perisher and enjoy a full weekend of snow and entertainment, I’m sure Queen Elizabeth will be celebrating in the exact same way.
2. See the city shine at Vivid Festival
Vivid Sydney Festival showcases creatives by lighting up the city and running incredible art, music and creative events from May to June. Book onto one of the events or just take a walk around Darling Harbour and be amazed by the cool installations and colourful Opera house.
Stay at Sydney Harbour YHA to see amazing views of Vivid from the incredible rooftop. We also recommend visiting on the opening night after 9pm. Trust us! It’s always quiet at this time!
3) Dine like a Queen in the Queen Victoria Building
The QVB was built in 1898 to replace Sydney markets and named to honour the monarch’s diamond jubilee. Now it is a beautifully restored shopping centre with grand staircases and mouldings to admire. Why not have a decadent high tea at The Tea Rooms and celebrate the Queen’s birthday in style?
4) Did somebody say Truffle Season?
From June to September you can visit The Truffle Farm in Australian capital territory and join them on a truffle hunt and dine. Did you know that truffles are hunted by dogs? They can sniff out the truffle growing in the ground so you know where to dig up. Pretty cool!
Since you will be close to Canberra, read onto our next suggestion to make an awesome weekend of plans.
5) Spend the weekend in Canberra
From free museums to spectacular hot air balloon rides, Canberra has something for everyone. Read our Best Things To Do In Canberra guide to discover that there’s way more to Canberra than you might think!
6) Get your British winter fix at The Lord Dudley Hotel
Situated in Paddington, The Lord Dudley Hotel is Sydney’s oldest family run English pub, running since 1895. Let me tell you, as a Brit myself if is a perfect place to go when you are feeling homesick and need that cosy pub fix. Enjoy their British Sunday roast by the fireplace with a pint and play one of their many boardgames.
Read our review of the Sparadise Japanese Bath House in the Blue Mountains and you will want to book your visit immediately. They use mineral water 300m below the property and control the temperature to create a blissful experience for every visitor.
Watch our visit to Sparadise, Japanese Bath House below!
8) Go whale watching
From May to November, humpback whales migrate from Antartica to the Pacific and swim right past the Sydney coastline. You can walk along the coastal path and see many whales breaching the water or book onto the Best whale boat tour in Sydney to get up closer.
9) Get cosy in the Southern Highlands
Visiting the Southern Highlands is like stepping into a the stunning English countryside and quaint towns, I couldn’t think of a better location for a public holiday! Read our Ultimate Guide For Visiting The Southern Highlands on this area and fill the Queen’s birthday holiday with hikes, shopping, delicious food and beautiful views.
Watch our video to the Southern Highlands below!
10) Take off at iFly in Penrith
Have you always wanted to skydive but keep bottling it? Well at iFly in Penrith, you can experience what it would be like to skydive without actually having to jump out of a plane. Read our iFly in Penrith review, Annie loved her visit as you get all the thrill without the fear!
11) Watch Free Tennis at Batemans Bay Open
Watch a free ATM tennis tournament at Batemans Bay Tennis open see who will win the $10,000 prize. With a breakfast, BBQ and all day dining, you could spend the whole public holiday here and be happy.
Whilst you’re in Bateman’s Bay, you should absolutely not miss out on the opportunity to do a kayak and oyster tour, as featured in our guide for the Best Places To Go kayaking.
12) See an award winning movie at Sydney Film Festival
From arthouse quirky movies to worldwide releases, Sydney Film Festival has a cinematic story for everyone. The festival runs from 8th to 19th June at a wide range of venues across the city so you can’t miss it!
13) Go clubbing all weekend with The Ministry of Sound
Over 3 nights of Queen’s birthday weekend, The Ministry of Sound Testament takes over the Campbell’s Stores warehouse in The Rocks. With over 70 DJ’s playing everything from 90’s house rave to 00’s club anthems, you can be sure to find a dance tune for everybody. Book tickets here – I’m sure Queen Elizabeth would approve!
14) Attend a Qweens Ball at Heaps Gay
As part of Vivid, you can attend a sparkling Qweens Ball at Luna Park with live performances to keep you entertained all night! So glam up in your grandest ball gown, grab your queer family and enter the ball like the Qween you are!
15) Celebrate World Gin Day in a Chauffeur Driven Tour
You read that correctly, you can be driven around Gin distilleries and bars by a chauffeur just to celebrate World Gin Day. The knowledgable ‘gin guardian’ will provide you with gin tastings and cocktails at different venues on this half day tour. How else do you celebrate a monarch’s birthday?
16) Have an Immersive Marine Dream experience at Inside the Tide
Curated by the Royal Botanical Gardens team, Inside The Tide exhibition boasts the largest living green wall in the Southern Hemisphere.
Inside you can see a world of marine coral as they combine theatre and horticulture such as a chandelier of jelly fish and interactive octopus! If you are stuck on how to entertain your children this public holiday, this is not one to miss!
17) Take a trip to the Hippest Small Town of Bellingen
Known to many as the town Byron Bay used to be like, the Londoner in Sydney team loved this small town so much we created a guide for The Best Things To Do In Bellingen. Spend the Queen’s birthday eating incredible food, horse riding, finding waterfalls and visiting ‘The Promise Land’ (an actual place) and you will not be disappointed. You’ll soon realise why Annie & Steve keep going back there time and time again!
18) See the Wild Lights at Taronga Zoo
“Where Nature Shines” is part of the Vivid Festival where you can see the creative wildlife light installations. Be wowed as you discover over 70 lanterns from 14 different species light up the zoo overlooking the harbour. This is a sure way to keep the whole family happy on national public holidays!
19) Gorge on a Moulin Rouge Digestation Menu at Nel
Nel restaurant is renowned for creating intimate and immersive dining experiences that leave every guest feeling blown away. Every 10 weeks the 10 course degustation menu changes theme such as ‘Once Upon a Time’ in which you could guess the film each course is inspired by. Their new menu has been announced and it’s going to be a theatrical experience inspired by the Moulin Rouge! Make your belly happy this Queen’s birthday long weekend.
20) Hike to your hearts content
One of the best things about living in New South Wales is we are never short on stunning National Parks to hike! Australia celebrates their natural parks and have created endless routes for all levels of fitness, making it the perfect thing to do this June Long Weekend in Sydney! Check out our guide for the Best 18 Hikes In Sydney for all fitness levels!
21) Visit the underrated city of Newcastle
If you’re a Brit then you may find it interesting to know that this city was named after our Newcastle in Great Britain and it’s famous coal port. This Newcastle has it’s own style, endless beaches and an awesome food scene to explore. Read up on our travel guide and book your public holiday trip to celebrate the queen’s birthday!
22) Do go chasing waterfalls
Hear us out, embracing the cold water in winter can be incredible for your health, skin and mood! So mark your map with our favourite hidden waterfalls, pack your swimmers and hiking gear and feel incredible with your cold therapy experience!
23) Go on a road trip from Sydney to Byron Bay
Fancy getting out of Sydney and heading up to Byron Bay? Why not go on a road trip and end the June long weekend in Sydney at none other than Byron Bay? Bring your work laptop and experience what the meaning of ‘working from home’ truly looks like from one of the most popular holiday destinations in Australia!
Best Things To Do On The June Long Weekend In Sydney
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This article is written by Londoner In Sydney team member, Amii Freeman.
Hi I’m Amii! I’m from Darlington in the North East of England. I moved from London to Sydney in 2019 for a slower pace and to be by the coast, without having to give up my love of cities. My passion is in film and TV, I screen-write and act as much as I can. In my spare time I love trying new food, exploring new places, kayaking, hiking and cycling.Follow me on Instagram @amiifreeman!