Arts, sports, heritage or food? Sydney’s vibrant festivals

Posted on July 1, 2015 by Guest Writer
Ferris wheel

One of the advantages of journeying to a big city is the abundance of things to do coupled with the opportunity to catch a unique festival or event.

Although not officially Australia’s capital, a city break to Sydney provides a packed events’ calendar attracting worldwide visitors throughout the year.

New Years Eve Fireworks, Sydney


One of the most familiar of Sydney’s celebrations is of course New Year’s Eve when most of us wake to news reports showing celebrations at Sydney Harbour. The celebration is one of the biggest in the world with the infamous fireworks display and street parties that bring the city to life with singing and dancing.

26th January is the official National Day of Australia and marks the anniversary of when the British arrived in 1788 and raised the British flag. This day celebrates the diversity of Australia, from the indigenous population to present day society and culture.

The day compromises of outdoor barbecues, music festivals, sports competitions and of course, firework displays. Other attractions include the Australia Day Live concert and the well-known international cricket match held at Adelaide Oval.

The celebrations are marked by the raising of the Aboriginal and Australian flags on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the evening.

Customs House, Sydney, lit up during Sydney Festival

Art and entertainment

If you have a passion for the arts, the immense Sydney Festival in January may be able to whet your appetite, offering entertainment from traditional, indigenous arts, burlesque and circus to the talented Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

More than 30 venues and over 700 performances take part in more than 100 events. Past artists have included Elvis Costello, Sir Ian McKellen, Peter Sellars and Cate Blanchett.

Sydney Yacht Regatta

Sport and agriculture

If you decide to visit in March, sports and agriculture take centre stage with the Sydney Harbour Regatta and Sydney Royal Easter show.

Of the many sailing events taking place in Sydney harbour throughout the year, the Sydney Harbour Regatta is perhaps the most iconic, as over 300 yachts take part over 8 course areas and as part of the Audi Australian IRC Championship, the racers are highly charged and competitive, making for a programme of exciting events.

Alternatively you could decide to catch the Sydney Royal Easter Show for a celebration of Australia’s rural culture at the Sydney Olympic Park, attracting around 900,000 visitors each year.

Agricultural traditions are the focus, with livestock, wood chopping and chainsaw competitions fascinating spectators. Locally produced food and drinks are on offer for you to sample, as well as arts and crafts, animal experiences, carnivals and entertainment throughout the day.

Horse Kite


Towards the end of the year in September, one of the most unusual yet beautiful festivals takes place when unique and colourful kites dance over Bondi Beach: The Festival of the Winds.

Watch while giant animals dominate the skies alongside flowers, cartoon characters, fighter kites, delta kites, box kites, in fact any kite you can think of and if you don’t manage to bring your own, there are kite making workshops alongside free dance workshops, carnival rides, puppet shows, art exhibitions and demonstrations.

Australia is well known for its delicious wines and in October, the extremely popular Kings Cross Festival celebrates local food and wine, where local restaurants and cafes are brought together for this festival of culinary delights.

May be you would like to take in some of the marvellous cooking demonstrations by local chefs, or sample some local New South Wales wines from specialist family producers? This is a great family-friendly event with entertainment throughout the day hosted at the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens.

Sydney really is a city that can provide all sorts of attractions such as music, arts, sports, heritage and food which are all celebrated in their different ways throughout the year. If you’re planning a holiday to Sydney, check what exciting events are being held for you to explore.