What To Do In Sydney For The Best-Ever June Long Weekend
Somehow we’re halfway through the year already (I know!) but instead of lamenting about how fast 2019 is going, why not focus on the positives? The start of June means another long weekend and if you’re lucky, that means you’re about to get three days off work!
When June 10 rolls around, we’ll finally get what we all know deep down that we deserve — a Monday without work. Whether you spend your time off sampling some amazing winter comfort food, exploring somewhere new or enjoying Sydney’s best festivals, now is the time to treat yourself to some of the best picks around the city.
What to do in Sydney this June long weekend
The Grounds x Disney’s Aladdin
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Never let it be said that the Grounds of Alexandria doesn’t take care of us on a long weekend. Following up their special Easter-themed Dessert Lane pop up, the famous cafe is going all out to celebrate the new live-action Aladdin. Enter a whole new world when the Grounds transforms into a Disney-inspired wonderland full of mystique and enchantment where anything is possible, even flying carpets and magical lamps.
Explore the otherworldly realms that have appeared inside the cafe, all referencing different parts of the film. Step into the Cave of Wonders to meet the Genie and get your three wishes. Walk through the palace entrance and courtyard, decked out with ottomans and lanterns and explore the Market Place to snatch up sweet treats. Or head straight for the Magic Carpet Ride, the colour-changing cocktail of your dreams.
Sydney Film Festival
With a program of more than 200 films and a solid chance to spot Hugo Weaving in the cinema, the Sydney Film Festival will be in full swing by the time the long weekend rolls around. It’s a great opportunity to see some of the most raved about new films before most of the world, and this year’s line-up is no exception.
There are lots of amazing screenings on during the long weekend, like Skin, the new flick starring Jamie Bell and Australian actress Danielle Macdonald. Or Animals, a hilarious new film by Australian director Sophie Hyde starring Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat. Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool is the bio-doc about the legendary jazz musician, and there’s even a special screening of David Lynch’s cult classic Eraserhead. Cinephiles have flagged Manta Ray as an under-the-radar must-see and you can catch it exclusively on the June long weekend.
Check out the full Sydney Film Festival program to plan your June long weekend movie nights.
Vivid is already well underway, but if you haven’t seen the installations or tasted all the amazing food and drink on offer at this year’s festival yet, the June long weekend is the perfect time to go. The crowds have usually thinned out (a little) at this point, so you can wander through exhibitions and admire the impressive light art without fighting your way past other people.
FKA Twigs will perform a one-night only show on June 9, Taronga Zoo will be looking extra pretty thanks to Lights for the Wild and the Samsung Electric Playground will be open to everyone in touch with their inner child all weekend long.
Of course, if you can only do one thing at Vivid this year, make it the giant rainbow dumpling from Din Tai Fung. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: dayum.
Newtown Chilli Fest
The Bank Hotel in Newtown is transforming into a chilli-lover’s haven on June 9. If you enjoy eating spicy food, ridiculously spicy food and food that’s one chilli flake away from self-combusting, the Newtown Chilli Fest is the place to be!
Enter the chilli eating competition for a chance to win hot sauces, beers and a $500 bar voucher, or stick to the food tastings, stalls and dancing to some downright spicy tunes. It wouldn’t be a Newtown festival without drinks from local breweries like Young Henrys, 4 Pines and Sauce Brewing, either.
Pie Time festival
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Want to get out of the city but all this talk about comfort food has got you hungry? Head to the Southern Highlands for a dash of adventure and some of the best winter warmers ever baked — Pie Time festival is back, and local and famous bakeries are slinging their best pastry creations your way.
Whether you embark on the Pie Trail to taste them all, or just enjoy a delicious pit stop during a big day out, the festival has every kind of pie you could dream of. Want a humble meat pie? They’ve got that. Oh, they’ve so got that. In the mood for something sweet? There’s a cherry pie with your name on it. You can even see the Southern Highlands by zipline (followed, of course, with a complimentary pie).
Get a 1.5 litre Aperol Spritz
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No joke, Fratelli Fresh is serving up super-sized Aperol Spritzes all winter long. Instead of celebrating the June long weekend by going for a beer with your mates, why not go for a 1.5 litre Aperol Spritz with your mates? Or by yourself — we’re not judging.
If you end up at their Darling Harbour or Westfield Centre restaurants, Fratelli is also doing 1 metre-long pizzas with choose-your-own-toppings. Make a cheese pizza. Make your own meat-lover’s pizza. Make whatever kind of pizza you want. You do you. You’ve earned whatever pizza you want this June long weekend.
Indulge in some winter warmers
Butter’s famous fried chicken ramen is back on the menu, and it’s the perfect meal to warm yourself up with on cold days and nights. Treat yourself to a steaming bowl of chicken and dashi-based broth, tonkutsu-style crispy fried chicken tenders and long-ass noodles and say goodbye to the winter chill, at least for a few delicious moments.
Check out Sydney’s new rooftop bar
The geniuses behind the delicious pizzas, pastas and cocktails at Salt Meats Cheese restaurants have gifted Sydney’s drinking scene with a brand-new rooftop bar in Circular Quay. Be among the first to check out Bar Ombré over the June long weekend — you’ll score expertly made drinks, stunning harbour views and happy hour deals.
The drinks list is full of classics and bespoke European cocktails, like the pear and maple Old Fashioned and the Forget Me Not gin cocktail made with lychee and elderflower liqueurs, lime juice, egg whites and plum bitters. Happy Hour is every day from 4-6pm, when you can score $5 beer and wines, and $20 cocktail carafes (margarita jug, anyone?). There are even free bar snacks like truffled popcorn every day from 6-8pm.
There’s so much to do in Sydney this June long weekend, plus plenty of day trips from Sydney — even day trips you can do for less than $20 on public transport. Just don’t bother packing lunch if you’re heading to Pie Time.
Your June long weekend is nearly here and you deserve to enjoy every minute of it, so get planning and make the most of it!
(Lead image: Vivid Sydney 2019 Preview. Luna Park. 21st May 2019. Photograph Dallas Kilponen)