Sydney is heating up so that means it’s time to do what Sydneysiders do best — head outside and enjoy some summery activities. For those Down Under for the Aussie spring and summer seasons, find out the top five activities for you to partake in from December to January. Don’t forget your sunscreen, because these months in Sydney are brimming with sun and fun.
Etsy Pop-Up Shop
For Christmas this year, check off your shopping list and grab some one-of-a-kind gifts at the Etsy Christmas Pop-Up. The e-commerce site where you can find unique jewelry, amazing vintage items, cool paper goods and so much more is coming to set up for the holidays on Castlereagh Street in Sydney’s central business district November 28 through December 12. Not only will you find the perfect gift for that certain impossible someone on your list, but you’ll also be able to give yourself a little treat with coffee and pastries from famed café The Little Marionette, and by participating in the various events on offer during the 15-day pop-up. Highlights include pop-up vintage emporiums, flower bombing, upcycling and ornament craft workshops, and food and drink tastings.
A summer in Sydney is never complete without attending at least one showing at an open-air cinema. As Sydneysiders love their outdoor cinemas, the city offers many a picturesque spot to savor some blockbusters. Choose a flick and a lovely view of the opera house at the St. George Open Air Cinema (January 10-February 15), grab a picnic and head to the Maltesers Moonlight Cinema (December 12-January 30) in Centennial Park for a movie such as About Time on December 13 or The Book Thief on January 8, or enjoy Australia’s original outdoor cinema, established in 1909 at the Sunset Cinema (January 16) in North Sydney. Whichever and wherever you choose to watch some summer films, just be sure you’re doing it under the stars.
New Year’s Eve
What’s New Year’s in Sydney without having your breath taken away by one of the most extravagant displays of fireworks in the world? Find your perfect viewing station in one of Sydney’s many vantage points and make the day a full affair. Declare a spot early in the day on the beach, and you can swim and picnic in the sun before the festivities begin at 6 p.m. with aerial acrobatics starring Matt Hall. Watch as the Sydney Harbour Bridge comes to life with massive images projected onto the pylons at 8:30 p.m., and at 9 p.m. the family-friendly fireworks display commences, with the Harbour of Light Parade following at 9:15 p.m. As the clock strikes 12, prepare for an unbelievable show of colorful explosions in the sky to ring in the New Year, with each year’s display remaining a total secret until the very last second of the year. For the best experience, make sure you have the Harbour Bridge in sight to appreciate the awe-inspiring sparks and sparkles that pour off the bridge and into the water.
Any trip to Sydney isn’t complete without a day or two (or three) spent on one of its gorgeous beaches. From north to south, Sydney boasts shimmering shores of all types, for all different beachgoers. For the hardcore surfers looking to catch a wave without running into sunbathers, hit Curl Curl. The beach offers good surf without overcrowded waters and sand. For families looking to relax, set up on Balmoral Beach. The bay features calm, crystal clear waters and even a rock pool for the little ones so that Mom and Dad don’t have to worry about rough waves. Lastly, for those looking to bronze with the rest of the beach babe clan, there’s no place other than Bondi Beach. The epitome of “summer cool,” Bondi is home to the Sydney beach hipsters, who are out to soak up some sun, show off their tans and socialize with beautiful people — bikinis and sunnies required.
Each January since 1977, Sydney has welcomed a lively cultural celebration into the heart of the city for the Sydney Festival. The fest hosts more than 370 performances and 104 events performed by more than 720 artists, welcoming acts from New Orleans to Mali (Amadou & Mariam) and even Sydney’s very own symphony. The program buzzes with a packed calendar of music concerts, theater and dance performances, opera, circus acts and much more. Making a comeback this year is the notorious five-story-high rubber ducky by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. The big duck, which floated its way into Darling Harbour last year, makes its resurgence in Parramatta for 2014. Enjoy two weeks of artsy, cultural festivities all around Sydney from January 9 to 26.
Photos Courtesy of City Of Sydney and Moonlight Cinema