Sydney is the place to be during an Australian summer. With its pristine coastline boasting ample beach locations for swimming, surfing and sunbaking, and its lush, leafy neighbourhoods offering up world-class dining and rooftop soirees, it has something for everyone. Not to mention the darling of the city – the iconic breathtaking Harbour. Sydney has it all plus more. Here, our in-the-know concierge team has rounded up tips for the top 10 thing to do in Sydney in summer.
Hit the beaches
The first and most obvious suggestion is to hit those gorgeous beaches that are only moments away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD. From Bondi Beach in the eastern suburbs to Manly beach in the north, Sydney is surrounded by incredible coastal locations with azure waters and squeaky clean sand. Bondi Beach is always brimming when it’s hot, so if you don’t mind crowds head there; otherwise there are plenty of quieter beaches a little further afield.
Yachting on the Harbour
The jewel in the crown of Sydney is undoubtedly the central Harbour, which serves as the backdrop to icons such as the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. The Harbour’s glittering waters are the perfect place to explore via boat or yacht – and when would be better for this experience than on a balmy summer’s day? There are plenty of private and group yacht tour operators offering bespoke boating services. Explore a few here.
Rooftop bar hopping
With its scenic views and all-angles beauty, Sydney is best admired from a bird’s eye rooftop view. The city is sprawling with bars that hold the keys to the ultimate vantage point, where you can watch the sun go down over the water with cocktail in hand. From the historic Glenmore Hotel down at The Rocks to the ever-exclusive Ivy Rooftop, Sydney has no shortage of elevated outdoor hot spots to enjoy the weather and a few cool ales.
When the weather is warm, Sydney-siders don’t like to be indoors. This is why you will find many a restaurant and bar that offers alfresco dining. The year-round temperate climate has ensured restaurant and bar owners have decked out their frontage with tables and chairs, or built a fabulous courtyard where diners can enjoy the weather while they eat. Watsons Bay Hotel is like no other where you’ll find sushi boats, fish and chips and charcuterie plates with a priceless view of Sydney Harbour. Plus, the Coogee Pavilion, Catalina’s and Café Sydney are all must-tries.
Celebrate the festivals
Through December, January and February, Sydney comes to life with an array of festive events on the annual calendar, including Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Australia Day and Chinese New Year. The halls of Sydney are decked out in Christmas spirit in December, while Australia Day is one of the biggest celebrations on the bill, lighting up the city skies with a dazzling fireworks display. Be in the thick of it and see the action from one of our premier Opera View suites. See here.
Running for three weeks through January, the Sydney Festival kicks off the year with a bang and features free events and ticketed shows that showcase the best of Sydney’s arts culture. Featuring cutting-edge art and performance in various locations around the city, punters can find free art installations at Carriageworks, the Museum of Contemporary Art, UNSW Galleries and Artspace, plus talks, contemporary music shows and theatrical productions.
Pools and parks
Perhaps not-so-surprisingly, Sydney has a few major pools and parks that are in the middle of the city. First up is the fabulous and ‘Insta-famous’ public pool at Bondi Icebergs, which may just be the most photographed pool in the world. There are also central family-friendly watering holes, such as the North Sydney Olympic Pool or the Andrew Boy Charlton Pool. For an inner-city pool-side location, head to the Prince Alfred Park Pool in Surry Hills. Here you can lounge in the great outdoors, lay by the pool in the sun and enjoy the parkland surrounds.
When the sun shines, the great outdoors beckons and the body begs to move. Fortunately, Sydney is a friendly place to head outdoors and get active, with an abundance of nature trails, coastal walks and nearby national parks and forests to hike through and explore. We recommend the famous Bondi to Bronte coastal walk for an easy 30-minute trail that takes you through scenic vistas; plus, take a look at the hikes in the Royal National Park, only a 30-minute drive from the city.
Learn to surf or sail
Is there a certain sport or activity you’ve been dying to try, but never had the time or right location to give it a shot? Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to surf, or perhaps try your hand at sailing – well, Sydney is the right spot to start. With some of the most enticing surf-breaks in the world, Sydney’s waves attracted travellers from all over. You can learn to surf in Manly, Bondi and many other beaches. Click here to see locations, times, and pricing.
Explore the neighbourhoods
Sydney is lucky to enjoy some of the most beautiful suburbs and neighbourhoods, from the leafy eastern suburbs to the beach-focussed north. Some of the more popular areas of interest include historic and quaint Watsons Bay, trendy Double Bay and laid-back Coogee. For those wanting a more edgy and culture-laden feel, head to the inner west where you’ll find cool Newtown, Enmore and Camperdown.
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