Things to do in Sydney in May 2022

May sees Sydney fast marching toward winter, which begins next month. The days are shorter, temperatures drop, and it’s unlikely you will swim outdoors this month.

Visiting in May can be great value for money, with accommodation prices low for all but the last week of the month when they begin to rise with events like Vivid starting.

This is a lovely time of year for walking, so check out some of our most popular walks, including The Rocks self-guided walk and Cremorne Point on the lower north shore of Sydney Harbour.

Average Temperatures: 19.8 – 11.8 °C 54-67 °F
While each year varies the last May saw only one day of rain. I have a feeling 2022 might be a different story!

New events and updated content are added to these pages as it becomes available.

Major Annual Events in May

Festivals, Markets and Community Events

The Mother’s Day Classic

Celebrate Mother’s Day and raise funds for breast cancer research. Choose to walk or run either the 4.8km or 7.5km course. The main Sydney event will start from the Domain. The Western Sydney event will start at Lizard Log, Western Sydney Parklands, Abbotsbury with slightly different course lengths on offer.

Where: This year there is a variety of starting points. Check the official site for more details.
When: Mother’s Day – Sunday 8 May

Check out our guide to the best places to head for Mother’s Day dining

Sydney Writers Festival

Australia’s celebration of literature, stories and ideas. The theme of the 2022 festival is Change My Mind, an invitation, a challenge, and a promise of intent. With over 30% of the 400 events offering free entry, everyone can get along to hear more from our most talented and inspiring writers at this annual event.

This year’s festival hubs are Carriageworks, City Recital Hall and Sydney Town Hall however there are a number of suburban events across the city. Check the festival guide linked below for more details.

Where: From the City Recital Hall and Sydney Town Hall and Carriageworks, to suburban events.
When: 16-22 May, 10am-7pm
Check the full guide here.

Mind, Body, Spirit Festival

Australia’s largest health, wellbeing and natural therapies event offers several free workshops, paid experiences and over 200 exhibitors for you to chat with. There will be tastings and readings, seminars and sound healings and chair yoga!

See, try and buy products and gifts including jewellery, cosmetics, music, books, giftware, clothing, crystals, educational courses, body treatments and more!

Where: ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour
When: 26-29 May, 10am-7pm
Check the full guide here.

Australian Fashion Week

Celebrate Afterpay Australian Fashion Week with a week of non-stop style featuring some of Australia’s top fashion labels.

Where: Carriageworks
When: 9 – 13 May  

Food and Wine events

The Global Table

Celebrate Waverley’s vibrant cultural diversity through food, music and dance. Join our 35 metre communal table stretching along Oxford Street Mall to sample delicious, exotic tastes while listening to music from around the globe – a cultural extravaganza for your senses!   

Where: Oxford Street Mall, Bondi Junction
When: Sunday 15 May 11am – 4pm
Find out more

Taste of the Beaches

For 32 years the Taste of Manly has been feeding Sydneysiders the best of their local restaurants and cafes teamed up with live music across six stages. This year things are a little different with the Taste of the Beaches lasting the entire month and offering everything for tastings to cooking classes.

Key events:

Where: Across the northern beaches council area
When: 1 – 31 May
Check the full guide here

Check out our list of things to do in Manly while you are visiting

Museums and Galleries – Exhibitions and Events

MCA Up Late

Sounds on the Terrace is back for another season. Head to the rooftop of the MCA for live performances and music, or enjoy cocktails with a harbour view. Before you head up check out the current exhibitions, entry is free.

  • May 7 – DJ set with Carolina Gasolina and a live performance by Okenyo
  • May 14 – DJ set with Red Rey, a live performance by Gemma Navarrete, and hosted by Fetu Taku 
  • May 21 – DJ set with Jonny Seymour and live performance by Chela 

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks
When: Fridays in May
Check the full guide here

Casula Up Late

It’s not just city galleries that stay up late at night, Casula Powerhouse (CPAC) is hosting CASULA UP LATE, a new series of evening mini-festivals throughout April to June 2022. The festivals off local DJs and musicians and new film, and lots of opportunities to get hands-on through a range of art-making workshops.

Casula up late
Casula up late Credit: Robert+Catto

Check out the following events:

  • May 7, 5.30pm – Behind The Blake Prize – Gothic poetry, dance, sound art. Dance performances by Billy Koehavong, an evolving experimental sound work by Sonya Holowell and Ben Carey and poetry readings curated by WestWords Centre for Writing
  • May 14, from 5.30pm – Being Different – a discussion of radical accessibility ideas in contemporary art.
  • June 4, 5.30pm – Done On The Wall – The impact of the Done family on Australian art, design and life and Zanny Begg’s Stepping into The Same River Twice, exploring connections to the Georges River.

Where: Casula Powerhouse
When: April to 4 June
Check full details here

Semi Permanent

Creativity and design festival Semi Permanent will be held at Carriageworks as part of Vivid Sydney 2022 with its biggest, most dynamic program to date bringing together a diverse mix of visionary talent in creativity, technology, and design.

Where: Carriageworks
When: 25 – 27 May
Check full details here

23rd Biennale of Sydney

The Biennale of Sydney is one of the leading international contemporary art events. It plays an indispensable role in Australia’s engagement with the world, and a meaningful role in the life of the nation.

Where: The Cutaway, Barangaroo
When: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays to Sundays, 10am to 5pm Wednesdays, 10am to 9pm until 13 June
Check full details here

Electric Keys

At the end of 2020 the Powerhouse acquired an important private collection of keyboards from the middle of the 20th century, a period prior to the rise of synthesizers.

Where: Powerhouse Museum
When: Every day until 12 June 10am to 5pm
Check full details here

Jurassic World by Brickman

Fans will have an opportunity to channel their inner ‘Brickman’ with a myriad of activities, from island building, LEGO® palaeontology and discovery through mystery mosaics, hybrid dinosaur creations, learning to track a dinosaur by creating species footprints, and even building escape vehicles to get away from a T. rex.

Can you build a dinosaur from Lego?

Where: Australian Museum
When: Every day, 10am to 5pm until 29 May
Check full details here

Art & About 2022: I Am Responsible

Four large murals printed in billboard format and displayed in 7 major City of Sydney catchment areas. Using striking typography and vivid colours.

Where: Ultimo Rd, Haymarket NSW 2000
When: Every day until 9 May
Check full details here

Inside the Tide Exhibition

Telling the stories of hero plants in three aquatic communities: Kelp Forests, Coral Reefs and Seagrass Meadows, wander through what feels like an under the sea experience and watch a pantomime come to life.

Where: The Royal Botanic Garden
When: Every day, 10am to 4pm until 1 June
Check full details here

Theatre and Performance

Pub Choir

Pub Choir is coming to Sydney Olympic Park and is here to prove that being dead average at singing should never stop you from having a lovely time. In 90 minutes, experience the magic as an entire crowd of randos is transformed into an electrifying, incredible choir.

pub choir sydney
Pub Choir is bound to bring a smile to your face

As seen in the New York Times, Vogue Magazine, Australian Story, or even on a national TV special, “Australia’s Biggest Singalong”, Pub Choir is here to let you know that we are always better when we work together.

When: 21 May 2022,  6pm – 7:30pm (Doors – 5pm)
Where: Hall 5, Sydney Showground Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: $19 Book direct here

The Deb

The Deb, presented by Australian Theatre For Young People (ATYP) at their newly-refurbished home of Pier 2/3 in the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct from the 6th April to 22nd May.

Whats on in May - The Deb
The Deb Credit: Australia Theatre for Young People

The Deb follows high school outcast and whimsical mega-dork Taylah, who longs to be the princess of her own fairy-tale, which isn’t easy in Dunburn – a drought-stricken Aussie town struggling for survival, where cool girls and footy hunks lead the pack.

When Taylah’s hyper-woke, inner-city cousin Maeve comes to stay, the pair join forces on a quest to make their mark on the best night of the year: the town’s annual Debutante Ball. In their search for social redemption and the spotlight, chaos ensues – along with a whole lot of fake tan, lace and diamante tiaras.

Where: ATYP Pier 2/3 Walsh Bay Arts Precinct
When: to 22 May 2022
Tickets: Adult $70 | Concession $55 | Under 26 $48 Buy direct here

Mary Poppins

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Mary Poppins adapted from the beloved stories by PL Travers and the original film arrives in Sydney this month. the world’s favourite nanny comes to life on stage in a spectacular and unforgettable production. Tickets on sale through Ticketmaster.

Where: Sydney Lyric Theatre
When: 15 May to 17 July
Check full details here

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Where: Capitol Theatre
When: Opening 28 May
Check full details here

An American in Paris

Inspired by the Academy Award®-winning film, acclaimed director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon brings the enchantment and magic of Paris to buoyant life with popular songs by George and Ira Gershwin, including I Got Rhythm, S Wonderful, But Not For Me and They Can’t Take That Away From Me.

We saw this on April 30 and loved it! Highly recommend.

Sydney in May
An American in Paris

Where: Theatre Royal Sydney
When: April 30 until 12 June 2022
Check full details here

Blithe Spirit

International drag sensation Courtney Act joins a spectacular cast of Australian comedy legends to bring this wicked and witty classic back to life.

Where: Sydney Opera House
When: Every day until 14 May 7:30pm to 10pm
Check full details here

Mozart’s Clarinet

With a pioneering spirit, Mozart took a rare instrument and enthusiastically embraced it to write the first major concerto for the basset clarinet.

Where: Colonial Mutual Life Building
When: 3 & 12 May 7pm, 14 May 2pm
Check full details here

Sport in may

Sydney Surf Pro

The Sydney Surf Pro is one of the biggest events on the World Surf League calendar and will be hosted at Manly Beach in 2022, as surfers compete to qualify for the Championship Tour.

Where: Manly Beach
When: 17 – 24 May
Check full details here

Champions League Liverpool vs Real Madrid

catch all the nail-biting action of the Champions League final of Liverpool vs Real Madrid on Sunday 29 May at the 24/7 Sports Bar at The Star.

Star’s 24/7 Bar is THE place to catch sporting action in Sydney

Featuring an impressive 34m2 LED mega screen, a state-of-the-art surround sound system, live entertainment throughout the day, refreshing drinks, and delicious food, The Star’s premium sports bar is offering guests front-row seats to one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious sporting events in the world – one not to be missed.

Where: 24/7 Bar, The Star
When: 29 May
Check full details here

FC Barcelona v A-Leagues All Stars

See history made in Sydney when FC Barcelona tour Australia for the first time.

Where: ACCOR Stadium – Edwin Flack Ave, Sydney Olympic Park 
When: 25 May
Check full details here

Australian Opals vs Japan – Basketball

Don’t miss the Opals take on Japan! In the lead-up to the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup later this year, Australia will take on Japan with three preliminary games at on 27 May and 29 May and at on 31 May.

Where: Sydney Olympic Park, Newcastle Entertainment Centre
When: 27, 29, 31 May
Check full details here

Regional Events

Bathurst 12 Hour

Australia’s International Endurance Motor Race at Mount Panorama in Bathurst.

When: 12-15 May 2022
Where: Mount Panorama Bathurst
More: Visit 

May is a great time of year for a road trip so jump in the car and head off for a weekend escape at one of these unique events.

Moree on a Plate

Producers from around the New England North West Region will turn Moree into a food & wine lover’s delight when they gather in the most productive agricultural shire in Australia, Moree NSW. Come along and enjoy the tasty delights of the region during a relaxed, social day out the whole family can enjoy.

When: Saturday May 7 2022
Where: Moree Secondary College Albert St, Moree

Narooma Oyster Festival

Narooma is the heart of Australia’s Oyster Coast, the festival has won 3 tourism awards so its well worth the drive. Live music, local art and culture, fresh produce, and the world’s best oysters!

Where: Narooma NSW
When: 6 & 7 May
More details here

Australian Celtic Festival

Each year at the Australia Celtic Festival they highlight a different area. The 2020 festival will celebrate Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Buskers at Celtic Festival
Winners of the Celtic Festival Busking award Broke and Bones.

Where: Glen Innes NSW
When: 28 April – 1 May
More details on the official site

Mudgee Classic

Ride through the vineyards, national parks, and iconic country towns. Three events make up the event. The Maxi Classic (170km), Challenge Classic (110km) and the Social Classic (35km)

Where: Mudgee NSW
When: 1 May
More: get full details on the race here

Have you got questions about Sydney in May? Pop over to our Facebook group and we would be happy to help.

Main image Credit: Spinnifex Group via Destination NSW

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