10 Reasons You Wish You Were Spending Your Summer In Sydney
It's probably the best warm weather city in the world.
After a slow start to the sunny season this year, the warm weather has finally decided to bring on the rays and show everyone what Sydney’s all about.
So if you’re itching to shed those layers and get thee to the great outdoors, we’ve got your (sweaty) back, with everything from natural swimming holes to lip-smacking gelato and infinity pool bars to cool you down on a balmy summer day in Sydney.
#1 Get your coastal walk on
Sydney-siders have the upper hand when it comes to taking a coastal stroll, so whether you’re north, east or south of the city, you can take a wander past stunning coastal vistas. The famous Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is most people’s first port of call, which is as good for it’s locals watching (which is highly motivating if you’re looking to get fit!) as it is for the landmark beaches you wander past.
Up north, at Palm Beach (otherwise know as Summer Bay for Home & Away tragics) you can take the steep but easy walk up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse for an epic view of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Broken Bay and the Central Coast. But if you really want an adventurous trek, venture down to the Royal National Park and take the two-day Bundeena to Otford Coast Track, taking in surf beaches, the iconic Wedding Cake Rock and impressive coastal cliffs along the whole stretch.
#2 Watch a flick under the stars
You’re spoilt for choice in Sydney when it comes to reclining with your mates for a film in the outdoors. Centennial Park hosts the chilled Moonlight Cinema, with an array of new and classic flicks – like Star Wars: The Force Awakens or summer cult film Point Break. Pack a picnic or enjoy a snack and a cider available on-site – you’re even likely to spot a colony of bats as the sun descends. If you’re keen to stay coastal, the Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema in Bondi is just the trick. Each weekend at the special ‘Sundae Session’, watch Australian musicians and cool off with a free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
Should you truly want a uniquely Sydney vibe, the St George Openair Cinema is the ticket – with views over Sydney Harbour from Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair. The 2016 season kicks off in early January and due to popular demand they have increased their capacity to 2,000 seats per night.
#3 Cool off in one of the city’s public pools
If you happen to get beach fatigue (why would you?) or prefer cooling off where sharks don’t live, Sydney has dozens of places for a refreshing dip. For an Instagram-worthy swim, head to Bondi Icebergs where the pool meets the sea. Or why not do a few laps in the shadows of the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park at North Sydney Olympic Pool.
Or how about a tipple and a paddle? Laze about with a cocktail at the newly-opened infinity edge pool and bar at The Old Clare Hotel in Chippendale.
#4 Watch a gig with the giraffes
Multi ARIA award nominee Courtney Barnett is set to cut the rope on the new season of the Twilight at Taronga Summer Concert Series, which runs from January 28 to March 12. Catch the likes of the Violent Femmes, C.W. Stoneking, Bjorn Again and Birds of Tokyo – likely alongside real birds, and giraffes and other majestic beasts of the animal kingdom – while enjoying the 180-degree view of Sydney Harbour. All tickets include the return ferry from Circular Quay as well as half day zoo entry, and proceeds go to the Taronga Conservation Society Australia.
#5 Have a drink at a good summer-vibes bar
Sydney’s bars are well-equipped for sunny days with many a courtyard and rooftop, but for a unique tipple in the sunshine, get yourself on a ferry out to the Island Bar made from recycled shipping containers on the UNESCO World Heritage listed Cockatoo Island. Lounge on deckchairs, drink cocktails, and listen to tunes, all with a harbor view. Or take your harbor party to the next level and jump a boat from Rose Bay to The Island, a floating Euro-style cabana bar.
If a day at the beach has you feeling thirsty, there’s also many beachside bars a few steps from the sand. Up in Manly, duck into the renovated Hotel Steyne, where you can overlook the ocean on the upstairs balcony, or get your sailor on in the rum and cider Moonshine bar. The newly reopened and refurbished Hotel Palasade at Millers Point is celebrating 100 years, and boasts epic views of the harbor and new block on the block Barangaroo.
#6 Score fashion and fancy food at the markets
Some of the best grub you’ll find in Sydney, you’ll find at its many markets. At both the Sydney Morning Herald Growers Market in Pyrmont and the Carriageworks Farmers Market in Eveleigh, iconic Australian chefs regularly appear to cook up their tastiest. You could also pick up some fresh produce at the EQ Village Markets and head across the road to Centennial Park for a picnic. For fashiony folk, stroll the Paddington Markets on Oxford Street, or head to the Bondi Markets on Sunday to see where many of Australia’s most iconic designers got their start. For access to young creatives and their wares, get down to Australian Technology Park from December 11 – 13 for the cute and crafty Finders Keepers markets.
#7 Have a taste bud cool-down with some of the world’s best ice-cream
When it comes to the world’s best ice cream, move over Italy, Sydney is King of the cones, with the awards to prove it. Enmore’s Cow And The Moon took out the top spot in Italy’s Gelato World Tour title, and with the expansion of Gelato Messina across the city – from Darlinghurst to Miranda to the newly opened Rosebery headquarters – there’s never been a better time for a lip-smacking cool down – poached fig and marsala anyone?
#8 Get active on and under the water
No need to head to a tropical island to have fun on and under the water. In Sydney, there are heaps of places to swim with the fishies and get active in the deep blue sea. Gordon’s Bay, tucked around the corner from Coogee Beach in Sydney’s east, is a little secluded paradise where you can jump off the sunbathing rocks for a snorkel. Or dive in with the famous and friendly blue gropers at Clovelly Beach – or just make a day of it and do both – they’re right next door.
Sydney doesn’t just have beaches, it has some of the best surfing beaches in the world, so grab a board and make like the Bra Boys at Let’s Go Surfing Maroubra, or head down to the Shire and catch some waves at the Cronulla Surf Academy.
#9 Get out of town for a dip in nature’s jacuzzis
The Royal National Park on the southern edge of Sydney has way more delights than we could fit into one article, but the jewel of them all is the natural wonder that is the Figure 8 Pools at Burning Palms. You can only reach them at low tide, but when you arrive to these rock jacuzzis right below an ocean cliff, they will blow your mind.
#10 Cheer on the Sydney Sixers at the Women’s Big Bash League cricket
The inaugural season of the Women’s Big Bash League cricket is kicking off across the country this summer, with matches being played at Sydney sports fields like Drummoyne Oval and the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). So go cheer on our Sydney Sixers and get set to see women make history in Australia’s favourite sunny season sport.
(Lead image: The Island)