Some adventures can only be done during the colder months. Sydney is no different.
Sydney takes the seasons literally. When it’s summer, it gets hot; when it’s winter, it gets bloody cold. As locals, we complain about both extremes every year. Thankfully, Sydney doesn’t get so cold that it’s difficult to go outside. It gets cold enough to whinge about, but not enough to warrant snow in the metropolitan area. But just like visiting beaches in the summer, there are some great points to consider when flying to Sydney during the colder months.
So here are five reasons to visit Sydney during winter.
Check out the unique festivals
Sydney comes alive during the colder months, especially during early winter when the popular Vivid Festival goes off. Sydney Harbour shines like a fabulous beacon of colour and sound, from the world-famous bridge to the Opera House, and all the way out to Taronga Zoo, with more and more places getting involved each year. Sydney also embraces winter with many frosty festivals to attend. Skate at a makeshift rink, with either the Sydney skyline or the sprawling Pacific Ocean in plain view.
Cheer on and watch Aussie rugby and football with the locals
If you want a taste of true Sydney sporting culture, then winter is where it’s at. Hover above in the nosebleed section at Sydney largest stadium during a rugby match or cheer on with the crowd down in the thick of it at the SCG during footy. And if you’re not willing to tackle the chilly air, head to a local bar in Sydney to watch a finals game or the locally-loved State of Origin. Nearly every pub in Sydney has a decent TV playing sports matches, and if you want a really big screen head to the Sports Bar at the Star Casino.
Go whale watching
Wintertime is the only time to do whale watching in Sydney, as these large mammals swim north between May and September, with peak season during June and July. Slip on a windbreaker and head out on a boat with a camera, or take a pair of binoculars to the coast of Sydney. There are a handful of boat-hire companies and tour boats to browse through, but Whale Watching Sydney is a top recommendation.
Get out and about with fewer tourists
Aside from the many festivals and events that go off during winter, perhaps the best reason to visit Sydney when it’s cold is the limited tourists. Of course, some events can still pack out, especially Vivid at Sydney Harbour, but you can do a lot of touristy stuff without having to deal with slow walkers and clustering crowds. Things like visiting Sydney’s popular museums and art galleries, tippling at Sydney’s best cocktail bars, trekking along popular tracks (including Bondi to Coogee coastal walk), and even going out for a spot of shopping at the markets. Top tip: Try do the tourist spots on a weekday if you can.
Visit the Snowy Mountains
Australia will forever be known as the place with the best beaches, and Sydney will be revered for its balmy summers, but would you believe me if I say the state of NSW has some of the best ski resorts in Australia, if not the world? Hire a car in Sydney and do the five-hour drive down or catch a plane down. If you do the drive, which I recommend, do an overnight stop at Australia’s state capital of Canberra on the way. Stay in Jindabyne where hotel and BnB prices are nicer on the wallet, or splurge a bit and stay onsite at the three resorts in the Snowy Mountains. Yes, that’s right, three! There’s no better way to embrace the cold weather than a trip to the snowy mountains.
Featured image: Simon Rae [Unsplash]