Feast Your Senses on a Sydney Summer
Sydney is never short of unique experiences, and as the days grow longer and nights turn warmer, summer spins the city into a vibrant playground of art, culture, festivals and more. From activities to accommodation, this sparkling harbour-metropolis offers something for everyone.
Bush to Beach
Take the scenic route and discover Sydney’s natural beauty on one of its stunning bush or coastal walks. Uncover secret beaches, soak up the sun on the city's famous golden sand or cool off with a dip in an ocean pool around the harbour or along the coast. Adventure-seekers can head inland on a multi-day bush trek, explore the peninsula in a kayak or stand-up paddleboard or get underwater and meet the marine life that calls the coastline home.
The newest addition to Sydney’s coastal walks is the 80km Bondi to Manly Walk, taking you from one of Australia’s most famous beaches through the lush bush of Sydney’s national parks - discovering significant Aboriginal sites and colonial remnants - past iconic Sydney attractions including the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney Opera House and across the Sydney Harbour Bridge all the way to the North Shore. While it can be done in one go, we recommend that you take your time and with half-way stay at the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour in Circular Quay.
Feast the Eyes
For those looking to enjoy the outdoors at a gentler pace, summer is outdoor cinema season in Sydney – enjoy movies under the skies, by the beach or even on the water. Enjoy a date night at the Mov’in Bed Outdoor Bed Cinema at Moore Park from 17 January until 8 March 2020 for a fun twist on the classic outdoor cinema and offering a dine-in-bed dining experience. The Outdoor Cinema at Sydney Olympic Park is a must-do activity for the whole family this summer, with twelve nights of family friendly films, free general admission, a licensed bar, delicious food and even a dedicated kid play zone. Stay at the nearby Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park in the heart of the Sydney Olympic Precinct, close to great restaurants and with easy access to public transport to the rest of Sydney.
A Culinary Exploration
Grab a seat in the sunshine this summer and explore Sydney’s extensive alfresco, rooftop and waterfront culinary landscape. Start your day over ristretto and some French soul food at Creperie Suzette, nestled in the historic area of The Rocks next to the Harbour Rocks Hotel, or peruse local produce at the farmers' markets before tucking into breakfast at Tramsheds, an exciting dining precinct housed in a restored tram depot in Sydney’s Inner West. If you’re after unbeatable waterfront views of some of Sydney’s most iconic attractions, look no further than Circular Quay and The Rocks - supplement a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art for the Sydney International Art Series: Cornelia Parker exhibition with a tasty meal at the ground floor restaurant, accompanied by views of the Sydney Opera House. For those seeking international flavours, the lantern-strung laneways of Darling Square are a must, while the new waterfront precinct of Barangaroo is home to a diverse range of dining options with stellar views of the city’s famous harbour.
Food by the Sea
Make the most of Sydney’s convenient public transport system and enjoy the sunshine on a ferry to Watsons Bay for waterfront oysters in the sun or hop on a bus to the beach at Manly, Bondi or Coogee to explore these coastal suburbs’ vibrant outdoor dining strips. For a different perspective, head to one of Sydney’s numerous rooftop offerings, from inner city bars housed in towering skyscrapers to bright and sunny rooftops in the suburbs. New kid on the block is Bistro Manly, with an open-air courtyard and seafood prominently featured on the menu, you'll be dining like a local with world-class views of Sydney's famous Manly Beach. Stay the night at the Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific for continued views of the ocean as you retire well-fed and happy.
If you are lucky enough to be in Sydney over New Year’s Eve you will be spoiled for choice – watch the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge Fireworks from both free and ticketed venues and vantage points around the harbour. There is also a 9pm family fireworks display so the littlest spectators do not miss out on the fun. For those looking for front row seats to celebrate New Year's in style, Hyde Hacienda provides sweeping vistas of the harbour, seductive signature cocktails and mouth-watering South American inspired eats. Stay at the Swissotel Sydney in the heart of the CBD for the city's New Year's celebrations at your door.
The new year brings the annual Sydney Festival, a three-week celebration of the arts from 8 to 26 January featuring circus, cabaret, theatre, dance, music and even interactive installations, and if you are here for Australia Day, head to the Sydney Opera House forecourt to witness Australia Day Live 2020 – a “breathtaking maritime, musical and pyrotechnic extravaganza” with a “cavalcade of performing jet skis, fly-boarders and dancing yachts” – limited free tickets will be available from 15 January.
The city is never short of something to do or see. For the art fans, pay a visit to the Art Gallery of NSW for the Sydney International Art Series: Japan Supernatural, featuring over 180 incredible works by Japanese artists both old and new, showing until 8 March 2020. The gallery also hosts a regular program of live music, lectures, workshops, film screenings and more as well as late night access to its latest exhibitions in its Wednesday night Art After Hours, recommencing on 8 January 2020. The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth provides the perfect base from which to explore the lush Royal Botanic Gardens on your way to the gallery's location in The Domain.
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is “the ultimate Sydney Experience” (Yahoo! Travel). La Traviata, the story that inspired Moulin Rouge, comes to Sydney from 27 March to 26 April 2020. Featuring 80 performers on an iconic floating stage, a 3.5 tonne chandelier sparkling with 10,000 crystals, and fireworks at every performance, experience opera under the stars with the sparkling Sydney Harbour as a backdrop. If musicals are more your scene, 9 to 5 The Musical cannot be missed! With an original score by Dolly Parton, the Australian debut is showing at the Lyric Theatre in Darling Harbour from April 2020. Stay at the nearby Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour for sweeping views over Darling Harbour and Sydney’s glittering skyline.
Sports fans are not neglected this summer, and no summer would be complete without Australia's passion for cricket. Head to Sydney Cricket Ground as Australia take on New Zealand in the Domain Pink Test from 3 - 7 January 2020, while basketball enthusiasts can catch the Sydney Kings vs SE Melbourne Phoenix game earlier on 23 December 2019 at Sydney Olympic Park, staying at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park for easy access to the area's vibrant dining and entertainment precincts. Rugby’s biggest party weekend also returns to Sydney next year with the HSBC Sydney 7s at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta. Enjoy live music performances and plenty of activities across the precinct as well as games from some of the world’s best international teams with a stay at the Novotel Sydney Paramatta.
If you’ve got friends and family living in Sydney, are fleeing the cold weather or just want explore your own back yard, summer is the perfect time to visit Sydney. Book now and enjoy 25% off Accor properties when you stay two nights or more across Sydney and NSW, and for a limited time, members of Accor Live Limitless can earn 4x reward points. With budget to luxury accommodation options across Sydney, Accor has something to suit every traveller's taste. Click here for more information.