Sydney’s Festival Calendar

Sydney Vivid Festival

Sydney loves a festival and we have a few good ones that should be on your radar if you are visiting or living in Sydney.

The major Sydney festivals are:

During these key event periods, hotel prices can skyrocket so if you are planning a visit lock in some accommodation as early as you can.  If you are not entirely sure what you want yet perhaps book a hotel with a good cancellation policy so you will have something on hold.

We have a few posts that can help you work out the lay of the land when choosing where to stay in Sydney

Choosing where to stay in Sydney 

Best hotels for budget travellers

I think the highlights for visitors are:

  • The Free Domain concerts held during the Sydney Festival (especially Jazz in the Park and Symphony in the Park) – These are amazing, 80,000 plus people pack their picnic baskets and head to the Domain to listen to the Sydney Symphony or the best Jazz musicians in Australia and beyond entertain for free.
  • The Dragon Boat Races at Darling Harbour during Chinese New Year – Chinese New Year is a popular event on the Sydney calendar and the biggest dragon boat race in the southern hemisphere is one of the key events.  After the races head to Chinatown for some excellent Yum Cha (dim sum).
  • The fabulous Mardi Gras Parade in early March – Now in its 23rd year the parade is the highlight of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Festival.  Up to 9000 take part and last year, 300,000 lined the parade route to watch it pass.  If you are visiting at this time of year book your accommodation early!
  • Vivid Sydney which sees the Sydney Opera House and other prominent Sydney buildings bathed in light.  I love vivid; I took the photo above last week when I snapped away like a tourist at the amazing colours and designs. The Rocks, The Harbour and several historic buildings feature in this event. Check out our tips for enjoying your visit to Vivid Sydney.
  • The outdoor events like Picnic on the Bridge and Sydney Harbour Island Picnics during the Crave festival. Crave is a foodies dream, from talks and cooking showcases to tasting menus and special events all in perfect spring weather.

Along with being great to attend it’s worth noting these festivals when planning your visit to Sydney as accommodation availability can get tight and prices certainly rise.

Check out the City of Sydney website for more current “What’s on in Sydney” information.

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