Things to do

A guide to Sydney events, attractions, outdoor adventures and more

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Fifties Fair

Rock around the clock at the biggest retro parties of the year held in surrounds of architectural icon Rose Seidler House.

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Shopping

Bookshop cafés in Sydney

What better way to keep warm than with a book and latte in hand?

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Whale watching in Sydney

It’s in the winter season that you’re likely to spot whales from the shore as 20,000 of them migrate along the New South Wales coastline.

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Sex and dating

Meet Sydney’s matchmakers

These modern-day cupids are doing things the old-fashioned way – face-to-face! We've profiled the best matchmakers in Sydney to find out how they got started, their biggest success stories and what they think of online dating.

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The best of Sydney

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101 things to do indoors

Get out and undercover with our guide to indoor activities, from entertainment parks to sport and fitness, classes and talks and cultural venues that are warm and dry all year round.

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The best things to do when you're alone in Sydney

There's an art to hanging out by yourself. At worst, you'll end up sitting on a park bench staring wistfully at passersby. At best, you’ll enjoy a marvellous escapade where the only person calling the shots is you. Make time for yourself and try out Sydney's best adventures for one.

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Things to do when it rains in Sydney

Just because the skies are falling, doesn't mean you have to sit around doing nothing...  We may be a city that struggles when the heavens part but look hard enough and there's a bunch of fun to be had in a downpour. The key is staying out of it with these great rainy day activities:

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Escape rooms in Sydney

Puzzle rooms are taking Sydney by storm. Every time we check, another two seem to be popping up out of nowhere – and each one raises the bar with new ideas inspired by the hundreds of escape rooms found across the world. (Apparently Hungary is the place to go for the ultimate mystery room binge – there are more than 100 rooms in Budapest alone). The concept is simple: solve a variety of puzzles placed in and around the room before your allotted time runs out. Each room has a different theme and stimulates all senses, demanding a variety of problem-solving skills. Time Out took the challenge of visiting nine rooms in the city. Whether we got out in time? Well, that's a different matter.

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Sport and fitness

The best walks in Sydney

Coastal walks, bush walks, historical walks and inner city ambles: there are many routes to choose from to discover Sydney from a new angle. See our list of ten favourite places to wander and remember to pack a camera – these walks offer some of the best vantage points for snapping our city at its best.

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Discover the Sydney Bucket List

Fairs and festivals

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Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Debate the important issues of our time at the annual Festival of Dangerous Ideas. As part of the Ideas at the House series, the weekend of solo sessions and panel talks features big international headliners as well as homegrown talent.

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Sydney Science Festival

In its second year, Sydney Science Festival has upped its game to include talks from the world’s leading science communicators, from Australia’s Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Dr Alan Duffy to British physicist Brian Cox, New York’s Dr Ellen Jorgensen and NASA’s New Horizons journalist Amy Shira Teitel.

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Storyology Festival

Speakers from BuzzFeed, Storyful, SBS and the ABC come together for frank and in-depth conversations about the future of journalism at the annual media and creativity festival from the Walkley Foundation. This year’s speakers include Heidi Blake, the investigations editor at BuzzFeed News UK, who co-authored breaking news stories the Tennis Racket and FIFA Files; director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and lead in the Panama Papers project, Gerard Ryle; founder and managing editor of the Egypt startup Mada Masr Lina Attalah; and David Clinch, global news editor at Storyful (US). The festival will include talks and workshops covering everything from open data, to podcasting, leadership and diversity, to revenue streams. There’ll be two live podcast recordings: ‘Politics Pod Double Date’ and ‘News meets comedy’, featuring journos from The Feed, SBS, and The Weekly. Early bird tickets start from $480, and intensive and intimate training sessions are available as part of a Storyology Plus pass. Scholarships are also available for journalists thanks to the support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

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Sydney Tea Festival

If you take loose-leaf peppermint tea over flat white at any time of day, then the Sydney Tea Festival will be your equivalent to the Rocks Aroma Festival. It’s billed as adventure in speciality tea with a market of artisanal tea producers from all over Australia. There will be a series of ticketed workshops hosted by specialists on tea tasting, food pairing and blending as well as the history and benefits of tea.  This year, the festival will be located in a much larger part of Carriageworks to accommodate visitors and more than 50 stallholders. 

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Restaurants

Winter at North Bondi Fish

Things are changing at North Bondi Fish, Matt Moran’s sprawling seafood restaurant with its famous ocean views. The venue has had a spruce up and new head chef Zac Sykes (Coogee Pavilion, the Fish Shop) has revamped the menu with fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce. “My favourite dish at the moment is butter poached cuttlefish, fennel and lemon balm risotto with nori powder,” says Sykes. “I love using cuttlefish as it has great flavour and just like Aussie calamari, it’s sustainable, so you know it’s not overfished in any part of Australia.” Head into North Bondi Fish on a Thursday or Friday night and you can try one of Sykes’ #notjustfish creations, where he favours the likes of pork belly with braised cabbage and polenta or slow-cooked beef shin over seafood. Enjoy the special with a carafe of wine for two people at $30 per head. Winter warmer cocktails are also available throughout the cooler months and include tasty adult treats such as an Irish Coffee or a Kentucky Toddy served in a teacup. Or pop on down for Aperitivo hours, Wednesday to Friday from 4-6pm. NBF are also hosting an after party for City2Surf. Tickets include a three-hour beverage package, food by Sykes and DJ Alice Q playing on the balcony from 9am. Now that’s what we’d call a fun run. Winter trading hours are Wednesday to Sunday, noon till late.

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Rock Lily Trivia Tuesdays

Rock Lily, the music-comedy-entertainment venue on Level 1 at The Star, Pyrmont, has a trivia night every Tuesday, from 7.30pm. There’s no cover charge, pizzas are just $10, there are $15 beer jugs and parking is free if you spend $15 in one go. Now here’s the kicker. Many pub trivias will give you $100 in bar credit as first prize. Hell, some will give you less. But at Rock Lily the prize is a cool $500 cash – every single Tuesday. Plus, there are prizes worth $100 and $50 for second and third place respectively, and spot prizes throughout the night. That’s right. Win the comp and half a K is yours for the taking, no strings attached. Mind you, with such a generous jackpot at stake, The Star are serious about the cardinal rule of trivia: namely, no phones, tablets, notes, newspapers or other forms of external assistance – on pain of disqualification. They monitor this closely, so hands off the phones, people. Teams can be as small as two and as large as ten. The smaller the team that triumphs the bigger the individual cut, but then the bigger the team the wider your knowledge base. There are two rounds of 20 questions. Good luck.

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Blackbird and Laugh Mob present Harbour Comedy Club

Blackbird laughing in the dead of night... Contemporary eatery Blackbird Café in Cockle Bay Wharf has joined forces with Laugh Mob to launch Harbour Comedy Club on Thursday nights. The new comedy club will present both Australian and international talent and kicks off at 8pm on Thursday July 28 with headliner Gary Eck, a veteran of the local scene whose credits include co-writing Happy Feet 2 with George Miller. Regulars at Harbour Comedy Club will include Edinburgh Fringe Festival award winner Brendan Burns, heavy metal comedian Steve Hughes, Al Del Bene and Tony Woods from the US, plus local heroes Neel Kolkhatar and Frenchy. You can reserve a table by emailing comedy@blackbirdcafe.com.au. Entry includes a beverage on arrival and drinks specials will be available all night.

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The Sydney tourist hit list

Attractions

The ultimate guide to Sydney beaches

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Things to do

The best ferry trips in Sydney

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Things to do

Winter events in Sydney

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Things to do

What to do when you're alone in Sydney

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Things to do

What to do before you leave Sydney

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