Start the new year as you mean to go on: by planning your annual leave and good times. We’ve listed all of the public holidays in New South Wales this year, as well as a handy guide to the biggest festivals to look out for in each season.
Australia Day – Tue Jan 26
Good Friday – Fri Mar 25
Easter – Sun Mar 27
Easter Monday – Mon Mar 28
ANZAC Day – Mon Apr 25
Queen’s Birthday – Mon Jun 13
Labour Day – Mon Oct 3
Christmas – Sun Dec 25
Boxing Day – Mon Dec 26
New Year's Day – Sun Jan 1, 2017
From glittering fireworks at New Year’s Eve to the sparkly floats of Mardi Gras parade, summer is packed with festivals and large-scale events such as Sydney Festival and Lunar New Year, as well as annual music events like Laneway, FBi Smacs and Twilight at Taronga. Plus, movies under the stars.
As the summer nights begin to fade, make the most of the sunshine at the Royal Easter Show and the four-day food and wine feast, Taste of Sydney. Art galleries open their doors in March for Art Month, comedians come to town for Sydney Comedy Festival and wordsmiths flock to the harbour for Sydney Writers’ Festival. And there’s the ever-popular World Press Photo exhibition each May.
Short days and long nights mean it’s time for Vivid Sydney, a three-pronged festival of Light, Music and Ideas. Make sure you leave time for back-to-back movies at Sydney Film Festival too, and lace up those runners for the annual City2Surf fun run. Rockabilly fans gather at Rose Seidler House for the Fifties Fair and caffeine fiends assemble for the annual Rocks Aroma Festival.
Come springtime locals and visitors flood the coastal paths for cultural celebrations like Sculpture by the Sea and the kite-flying extravaganza the Festival of the Winds. Place your bets for the race that stops the nation – the Melbourne Cup takes place on Tue Nov 1 – and don’t miss out on the citywide festivals for craft beer and noodle eating.
Just because they’re popular doesn’t make them tacky... These tried-and-tested tourist attractions around Sydney range from thrill seeking adventures to scenic tours of our city's peaceful gardens and parks. We think there's something for everyone, but if you need more inspiration check out our list of the 50 best restaurants in Sydney or the best places to see Aboriginal art in the city.