Culture

The Best Things To Do In Sydney This Winter

Get outta here, winter blues! We might be in the middle of the coldest, darkest, wettest season of the year, but there’s no reason we can’t live our best lives anyway. There’s a bunch of fun activities to do in Sydney in winter that’ll keep you warm and plenty entertained until that coward of a sun shows its face again.

To give winter its due credit, some things are just better when it’s cold. There’s nothing more satisfying than curling up in a cosy bar or tucking into a bottomless feast when it’s blisteringly cold outside.

Sydney’s expertly prepared to take care of us during winter. Whether you want to stay warm, try a crazy exercise class, explore the city with fresh eyes or you’re just trying to stop yourself from going into hibernation, there’s something for everyone.

Here are six of the best things to do in Sydney in winter

Enter a pho eating competition to win a holiday

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by District 8 (@district8cabravale) on

If you love pho so much that you want to eat 2.8kg of the stuff, your very specific desires are catered to. Cabra-Vale Diggers in Sydney’s west is running the Man Vs Pho Challenge, where hungry diners square off against a monstrous serving of the noodle soup for a chance to win a $3000 travel voucher.

The giant pho costs $35 and comes with 750g of noodles, 600g of beef, 1050g of pho stock, 360g of bean sprouts and 45g of Thai basil. The ten contestants who finish the dish the fastest from now until August 28 will be invited back to the grand final on September 5, and the winner of that will take home the $3k.


Have a cuppa at the Sydney Tea Festival

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sydney Tea Festival (@sydneyteafestival) on

If tea is your drink of choice, the Sydney Tea Festival has your back. For one day only, on August 18, the best brewers in the biz will be setting up shop in Carriageworks to warm your cold winter soul. Discover a new favourite brew at the tea market, or just get all the free samples you can from brands like T Totaler and The Rabbit Hole. There are educational tastings, hands-on workshops and DIY tea blending station.

Tickets start at $16.95 and are available on the Sydney Tea Festival website.


Go whale watching

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Whale Watching Sydney 🐳 (@whalewatchingsydney) on

Winter’s not all bad – it means whale watching season is here, and the New South Wales coast is one of the best places to spot a big sea doggo.

Humpback whales, orcas and minke whales travel north past Australia every year between May and August in search of warmer water. There are lots of places in and around Sydney where you can take yourself on a whale watching day trip, but if you want to maximise your chances, consider a tour with an organiser like Whale Watching Sydney, Captain Cook Cruises or Oz Whale Watching.


See the Archibald portraits

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Art Gallery of NSW (@artgalleryofnsw) on

The winner of the Archibald Prize 2019 and the 50 finalists are now on display at the Art Gallery of NSW until September 8.

The Archibald is a staple of Sydney in winter, and your chance to get a toasty warm dose of culture. See the winning piece, a portrait of Australian artist Lindy Lee done by Tony Costa, as well as the finalists that include portraits of Australian legends like Dylan Alcott, David Wenham and Benjamin Law.


Get half-price meals

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Din Tai Fung Australia (@dintaifungaustralia) on

Sydney in winter is the perfect time and place to indulge in some fine-as-hell meals, and you can get 50 percent off your food bill at a bunch of restaurants in Sydney until August 11.

Just make a reservation at participating restaurants through TheFork, a restaurant booking platform and true godsend, and you’ll automatically get your total food bill slashed in half at places like select Din Tai Fung spots, Fratelli Fresh in Alexandria and Crows Nest and The Lucky Cat Dumplings and Bar in Coogee. Check out the full list of participating restaurants on TheFork website,


Join the circus

sydney in winter

Whomst among us hasn’t dreamed of running away to join the circus? Don’t quit your job just yet though, because you can learn some out-of-this-world circus skills right here in the city. Aerialize is Sydney’s home for circus and aerial training and performance.

There are a range of term classes like Trapeze, Tissu, Corde Lisse and Lyra, and if you don’t know what any of that means, there are also drop-in classes that are designed to get you up to speed.

Show up for the Aerials 101 class which is perfect for people who haven’t done anything like this before, or learn how to pull off the perfect handstand with added flair. Or try a conditioning class like the Aerial Strength and Core and Acrobatics and Tumbling.

Aerialize has just dropped prices on its classes as well, making it a pretty great time to become a member and learn some new skills.

It may be icy cold, but there’s so much to do in Sydney in winter that it’d be a crime to stay inside all season. Stay warm with a new adventure, a big meal or a fun event and give the city its due — Sydney knows how to keep us soldiering on during the colder months.

There are also a whole load of new restaurants and dessert bars that have popped up recently, and Butter has brought back its fried chicken ramen for winter. So yeah, you could say that you’re pretty well covered.

(Lead image: Simon Rae / Unsplash)