Sydney Solstice Festival: 12 Days of Culture, Food and Art in June.

Destination NSW has just announced a brand new festival for Sydney designed to celebrate the states best food and beverage, music, entertainment, arts and culture.

The festival will run for 12 nights from June 8 to 20 and centre on four of the city’s key entertainment hubs.

  • Circular Quay, The Rocks, Botanic Gardens, Chinatown, and Chippendale
  • Darling Harbour, Barangaroo and Pyrmont
  • Paddington, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and the EQ at Moore Park
  • Newtown, Enmore, Marrickville, Erskineville and Rosebery

The festival program was released today and there is plenty to keep us busy and out enjoying Sydney over the winter.

Our top 10 Sydney Solstice Events

We have pulled out our 10 favourite events – something for everyone from families to foodies, music lovers and anyone just after so winter fun.

1. Darling Harbour Winter Festival

Out top pick for families, Tumbalong Park will host an evening food market at and at Cockle Bay a giant ice slide and ice skating rink will be installed.

Ice Rink Darling Harbour
Credit: Destination NSW

You will be able to use your Dine and Discover vouchers for the rink if you have not already. Bookings are open soon. If it’s been a while since you dined out at Darling Harbour, check out our guide here.

2. Winter Solstice Fireworks

Covid did away with the wonderful Darling Harbour Winter Fireworks last year so it will be great to have them back. There will be two shows on each Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening of the festival (11-13 and 18-20 June) at 7.30pm and 9pm.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday Fireworks shows

3. Sealife Glow

See Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium like you’ve never seen it before… after dark! The iconic Sydney attraction is to be reimagined as an evening playground for adults, with pop-up bars, food stations, entertainment, and an underwater world of glowing coral, bioluminescence and sea creatures.

SeaLife Sydney for Grown-Ups

4. Sydney Solstice Harbour Cruises

The Sunset Dinner is the perfect way to begin your evening at Sydney Solstice. Boarding at 5pm from King St Wharf, enjoy a 3-course dinner arriving back at the wharf at 7pm just in time to make your way to the 7.30pm fireworks show.

Sydney Solstice Sunset cruise
Crusie the harbour for sunset

If you are more a daytime person, they are also offering a 4-course degustation lunch with Tyrrell’s Wines.

5. Harbour Garden at the Australian Maritime Museum

An outdoor installation of colourful inflatable sea creatures that the whole family will enjoy. Perfect for snapping so bright, colourful family photos.

6. Songwriters @ The Rocks

Discover the city’s new talents at this original songwriting competition on the streets of Circular Quay. Over 40 performances will take place across the weekend from Friday 18th, with the final at Campbells Cove on Sunday 20th.

The Rocks Songwriter’s Festival – Credit: Destination NSW

7. The Queens Feast

Dine on some of the cities best food with chefs, Anna Polyivou (Dessert Queen) Claire Van Vuuren (Bloodwood), George Woodyard (Bart Jnr) and Sarah Tiong (MasterChef).

These superstar chefs will create a four-course meal to remember offered over two sittings; a lunch service, (Awakening) from 1pm – 4pm or dinner (Nightshade) 7pm – 10pm. You meal will be accompanied by live music – Sunday13 June. Tickets on sale now $144pp.

8. Country and Inner Western Festival

Spend the June long weekend enjoying some of the country’s best country music. Venues across the inner west, including Sydney Park Amphitheatre and the Enmore Hotel, will showcase alt-country, bluegrass folk and blues.

9. Third ‘I’ Festival Enmore (Indigenous, International, Inner West)

Dust off your passport and get ready to enjoy the diverse cultures that makeup Enmore road. A blend of businesses representing Indigenous, International & the Inner West community will share their best food, drinks and music. Classes, popups and plenty of live music will keep you entertained.

10. South Eveleigh Solstice Festival

If you have not managed to get along and explore the new bar and dining scene at South Eveleigh this is the perfect weekend to do it. Make your way to Locomotive Street between 5pm and midnight for live music and plenty of special food experiences.

South Eveleigh Credit: Destination NSW

Other events we would love to check out include:

  • Wanna Dance – A free laneway dance party in Haymarket
  • Moonlight Sea Kayaking experience – two-hour evening kayaking tour on Sydney Harbour
  • Polyphony Choir – a night of gothic-inspired songs from Nick Cave, The Cure, Portishead, Goldfrapp and Massive Attack
  • Rooftops of Darlo, Chingalings – drag, sunshine and mimosa sipping!

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