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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A Long Lunch with Moo Brew and Moorilla Wines

The Sackville Hotel is hosting a long winter lunch matched with the taste of Tassie, care of three craft brews from Moo Brew and three wines from Moorilla Wines.    The lunch is priced at $60 a head, and includes roasted beets with baby watercress and feta as a starter, followed by salt and pepper bugs with kimchi cucumbers and wasabi mayo. Your main will star a grass-fed beef tenderloin with seasonal vegetable sides and for dessert a chocolate fudge brownie should take care of any lingering sugar cravings.   This lunchtime bounty will be accompanied by a pilsner, hefeweizen and dark ale from Moo Brew, alongside a sparkling riesling, sauvignon blanc and a pinot noir from Moorilla.    This is the sort of event it pays to arrive hungry for, and with four courses and matched beverages included in the ticket price, it's also great value for an indulgent afternoon.   

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Laugh Your Pants Off at The Star Event Centre

Bears hibernate in winter but Sydneysiders would be mad to do the same. Especially when there’s a cracking night of some of Australia’s funniest and most famous comedians on at The Star Event Centre – part of The Star's campaign to brighten up the cold season in Sydney.  Laugh Your Pants Off is two hours of guaranteed hilarity that will star Akmal Saleh (recently of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Here); Merrick Watts (legend of radio, TV and the comedy stage); Tom Gleeson (always a hoot on The Weekly with Charlie Pickering); and the acerbic Nazeem Hussain (Legally Brown). They’ll be joined by the inimitable Bev Killick (who brought the house down at Time Out’s recent Melbourne Pub Awards); dry charmer Katie Burch (National Raw Comedy runner-up); Dave Eastgate (A Moody Christmas); and veteran laughmeister Steve Allison. As an added incentive all ticket holders are entitled to a 15 per cent discount at Harvest Buffet, the all-you-can eat buffet at The Star featuring top seafood, roasts, soups, Italian, Indian and Chinese food as well as a tempting range of desserts and cheeses. Because hey, no one likes to laugh it up on an empty stomach. The Star Event Centre is up on Level 3 of The Star at 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont. Find out more about The Star’s winter attractions.

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Restaurants Buy tickets

Max Brenner High Tea at the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay

Here’s one way to ease the pain of another whole month of winter in Sydney. Stillery Cocktail Bar at the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay is hosting a chocolate high tea created by the Max Brenner chocolatiers. You’re welcome. The Max Brenner Signature High Tea is a three-tiered stand of unique creations including a chocolate caramel cheesecake, choc chip scone, éclair, white and milk duo mousse, fudge cookie and chocolate lick dip. Costing $59 per person, the high tea comes with a pot of warm, pure melted chocolate, fruit, whipped cream and tea or coffee. For an additional $10 you can add on some savouries too, and Champagne paring is $20. If you have littlies in tow they can have the kids’ high tea, which is $27 for a fudge cookie, chocolate caramel cheesecake, lime coconut marshmallow and chocolate lick dip with strawberries. It’s the perfect winter treat to enjoy next to the fireplace and it’s available every weekend in August. Be sure to reserve in advance, chocoholics. You’re not going to want to miss this one.

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The Game Changers

Meet the Game Changers — the Australian entrepreneurs who are making waves in their respective industries. From the world of fine dining to skate and surf publishing, these men have carved out fascinating careers for themselves. They’re doing things on their own terms, in their own way, in their own time.

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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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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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