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The Hyde Park Barracks at night, the sandstone illuminated in bright blue, with an artwork projected onto the main buildling.
Photograph: James Horan'Fraughts & Crosses', Blak Douglas

The best things to do in Sydney this week, May 24-30

Wondering what to do in the city? Our list will guide you in the right direction

By
Alannah Maher
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Autumn is no time to hibernate in Sydney. There's plenty to fill your days, from outdoor art explorations to cultural and creative hubs that pop up after dark in unusual places. We've rounded up the best new restaurants to visit in Sydney, and plenty more to ways to make the most of the city.

Sculpture Rocks

We love art that gets us out and about. If you share that passion, then you’ll want to get yourself down to Sydney Harbour right now. Co-presented by Sculpture by the Sea, Sculpture Rocks brings together a brilliant band of 13 Japanese artists. Their eye-opening, large-scale public works are dotted along the foreshore. You can enjoy these beautiful works until June 3. Get happy snapping.

Unsettled

The Australian Museum will celebrate First Nations culture in astounding new show Unsettled. Looking back on this country's untold history, the free exhibition reiterates that this land was never ceded. It interrogates the lasting impacts of colonisation and the denial of Indigenous sovereignty. Contemporary First Nations artists and long-hidden historical documents reveal the hidden stories of devastation, survival, resilience and the fight for recognition.

After Dark at the Hyde Park Barracks

Once the sun goes down, the party kicks off at the Hyde Park Barracks. Once a month, for the duration of 2021, the heritage site in the middle of the lush, green surrounds of Hyde Park will transform into a cultural hub with live beats, a pop-up bar and food offerings as part of Sydney Living Museums' After Dark series. This week, enjoy an evening of tunes, performance and ideas in association with the new installation ‘Who goes here?’ by acclaimed artist Fiona Hall.

Battle of the Tarts

Step back in time to the visceral thrills of the Cross in the 1920s and the real-life Underbelly this weekend, as criminal matriarchs go to war in immersive theatre show Battle of the Tarts. The show tells the true story of indomitable forces Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine, competing titans who ruled over the underworld by taking advantage of the gullible long arm of the law.

Audamus

Picture this: you’re laid out on a lush picnic set up, sipping on natural wines and filling up on gourmet nibbles as a top-notch line-up of DJs sets the tone with chilled, atmospheric beats – all as night sets over Sydney Harbour. Oh, and you’re on the helicopter landing pad of an enormous navy ship.

Fun Home

After conquering Broadway and the West End, the Tony Award-winning musical based on the memoir of American lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel has finally arrived on a Sydney stage – care of STC in a co-production with MTC. And it is every bit the spectacular, life-affirming and tragic masterpiece that critics in New York and London have raved about.

The House After Dark

By day, it’s Australia’s shining architectural superstar, but once the sun goes down, the Sydney Opera House reveals a spookier side. Or at least it does on this frightful after-dark backstage tour. This tour invites spook-seeking Sydneysiders to brave the subterranean corridors and shadowy corners of the Opera House after patrons and staff have emptied out.

Want more? Check out our full guide to the best of the week.

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