welcome to sydney harbour evening welcome to sydney harbour evening

These Off-the-Beaten Track Winter Activities in Sydney Will Make You Smile

Winter in Sydney, Australia

Balmy in the day, and cool at night, Sydney winters provide the perfect opportunity for you to explore numerous attractions.

Hitting 20°C (68°F) or higher in the day and reaching lows of 6°C (43°F) at night, the city’s Mediterranean-style winter is perfect weather to explore outdoor activities in the day and indoor attractions when night falls. What’s more, you can avoid the summer tourist crowds which throng the beaches Sydney is renowned for.

Have two days to spend in Sydney? Our team from PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney brings you a full two-day itinerary which starts from Darling Harbour in the morning to a Sydney city attraction in the afternoon, before ending with an indoor event in the evening.

Say Hi To The Swimming Birds of the Southern Hemisphere

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, 1-5 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour, Sydney 2000                                             
Phone Number
+61 1800-199-657 (9.00am-5.00pm, 7 days a week)
General Admission Rates
From AUD 29.40 (adult) / AUD 20.65 (child) / AUD 26.50 (NSW students and seniors) for online saver purchases.
Entry to Penguin Exhibition is included with general admission.
Standard Opening Hours
Monday to Thursday: 9.30am to 6.00pm (last entry 5:00pm)
Friday to Sunday: 9.30am to 6.00pm (last entry 5:00pm)
NSW school holiday and public holiday opening hours: 9.30am - 6.00pm daily (last entry 5.00pm)

Begin your first morning bright and cheery by waving to the Southern Hemisphere’s most famous birds.

Journey through the immersive Penguin Expedition exhibit at the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. Inspired by Australia-owned UNESCO World Heritage listed Macquarie Island, this AUD 9 million exhibit recreates the wild and beautiful geological features of the island and its charming avians.

A breeding ground for over 3.5 million royal penguins, Macquarie island is also home to king penguins, southern rockhopper penguins, gentoo penguins, and other seabirds.  

Sharing a boat that holds eight guests, you will ride past king and gentoo penguin colonies along a river designed like a sub-Antarctic environment, and arrive at an explorer’s hut. Along the way, you will learn how you can play your part in preserving the natural habitat of these seafaring feathered friends. 

Get directions to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
 | Buy tickets

Dress Up as a Qing Dynasty King or Queen

Pier Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia                                       
Phone Number
+61 2 9240 8888
Opening Hours
9:30am to 5:00pm (April to September)
9:30am to 5:30pm (October to March)
Closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day. Costume rental begins at noon.
Entrance rate
AUD 6 per adult, AUD 3 per child under 12
Costume rental rate
AUD 10 per adult, AUD 5 per child

Imagine yourself as a member of the Chinese imperial family at the Chinese Garden of Friendship (悉尼谊园), a tranquil escape in the midst of the modern CBD. Rent a costume for a small fee and take your own photos beside a stately rock formation or bonsai nursery.

Prefer the masculine guise of an ancient military hero? Opt to put on a soldier's uniform while wielding a formidable-looking mock weapon.

It’s the next best thing to being royalty!

Laid out according to Taoist philosophy, the garden was designed by Guangzhou architects to honour Australia's 1988 bicentenary. Featuring weeping willows, lakes, and pavilions, the garden located near Darling Harbour is an ideal retreat from the urban grind. Bring your finely dressed self to the Tea House where you can elegantly sip on traditional oolong in the afternoon.

Get directions to Chinese Garden of Friendship

Be Awed by the Starry, Starry Nights of the Southern Hemisphere

Sydney Observatory, 1003 Upper Fort Street, Millers Point, NSW 2000, Sydney, Australia                                     
Phone Number
+61 02 9217 0111
Opening Hours
10:00am-5:00pm daily
Open at 6:15pm and 8:15pm daily for night tours with bookings
Closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. Extended hours on certain public and/or school holidays.
Entrance rate
Free entry. Day tours cost AUD 10 for adults and AUD 8 for children, and night tours cost AUD 20 for adults and AUD 16 for children.

Don your jackets and land on the city’s premier space museum as the evening sky grows dim.

Gaze at the stars from the Sydney Observatory and Planetarium, housed at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. Home to Australia's oldest working telescope, the South Dome was built specially to view the 1874 transit of the planet Venus.

Geek out as the 40 cm mirror telescope reveals the amazing expanse of the eastern sky, and if it’s still bright out, train your eyes through a solar telescope that's safe to use on the sun and stars of equal or greater brightness.  

While you are here, you can watch documentaries about space and astronomy in the planetarium or catch an exhibition-linked tour in both English and Mandarin. The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences also houses the Powerhouse Museum, where you can continue your learning journey on day two.

Get directions to Sydney Observatory | Buy tickets

Learn About The Notorious Convicts Of Sydney’s Colonial Past

Tours start at Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park                                                   
Phone Number
+61 425 291 425
Tour starts
10:30am daily (except Christmas on 25 December and Australia Day on 26 January)

Rise and shine the next morning with a short walk to Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park. Look for tour guides wearing bright orange tees from Free Tours Sydney. These charming Sydney insiders will regale you with tales of notorious convict gangs and Sydney’s lesser-known attractions as you walk through the city.

No bookings are needed for this free 2.5 hour tour. Just show up and join your fellow walkers to see the beginnings of Sydney with Australia’s first convict settlement at The Rocks. Other stopping points include Hyde Park, St. Mary's Cathedral, sites of the city's aboriginal history, Hyde Park Barracks, Royal Botanic Gardens, the old colonial town square, and Sydney's oldest pubs.

Towards the end, you will catch stunning views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, before finishing near Circular Quay.

Register a day in advance if you’re going in a group of 10 or more. Pay what you wish to Free Tours Sydney at the end of your tour!

Get directions to the tour starting point at Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park

Explore The Steam-Powered History of Sydney

500 Harris Street, Ultimo, NSW, 2007, Australia                                                   
Phone Number
+61 (02) 9217 0111
Opening Hours
10:00am to 5:00pm daily (closed on Christmas Day)
Entrance rate
AUD 15 for adults, free for children 16 years and below, AUD 8 for student card holders. Other rates apply.

Journey back to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, and continue your exploration at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. Bow ties, plaid coats, and monocles are optional as you indulge in your passion for retro technology and culture.

Formerly the Ultimo Power Station building, an electric tram power station, the museum houses over 400,000 technology, science, design, engineering, fashion, and cultural exhibits.  

Steampunk aficionados will adore its Locomotive No. 1 exhibit. This steam locomotive was built in 1854 by Robert Stephenson and was used to haul a passenger train. It is joined on display by other locomotive engines in full working order.

Fans of 19th century Europe will enjoy the 1887 timepiece “The Strasburg Clock Model”. Brainchild of Richard Smith, a young Sydney watchmaker, this is a working replica of the famous Strasbourg astronomical clock located in Alsace, France.

Get directions to the Powerhouse Museum here

End with Dinner and Drinks With Australian Cuisine

PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney, 150 Day Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Phone Number
+61 2 9260 2945
Opening Hours
Daily, 11:30am to late
Email rsvp@abodebistro.com

Ready to end your historical tour with some authentic Australian fare?

Rest your feet and luxuriate at the stylish and award-winning ABODE Bistro and Bar. Our chefs will serve up fresh cracked wheat and beetroot, chopped salads, and grilled steaks such as Riverina grain fed rib eye, and Tajima grain wagyu top sirloin. Need dairy and gluten-free options? Dine on chilled Sydney rock oysters or pan-fried snappers with chickpea purée.

If you’re dropping by later in the night, you can quaff down a craft beer, boutique wine, or our creative signature cocktails such as Sting Like A Bee (Bacardi, cointreau, licor 43, lavender, lime, and egg white) or Kiss and Rum (Bacardi, passion fruit, and mint). 

Snack like a local with bar bites such as NSW cheeses and chilled Sydney rock oyster. Honoured with a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2017, ABODE is ready to round up your day on a high note with the freshest NSW and Australian delights.

Make a reservation and get directions to ABODE Bistro and Bar here.