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What’s On in Sydney This Autumn

Autumn 2016/2017

When the summer ends, the fun and events don’t have to finish with it. There are plenty of events and free things to do in Sydney during Autumn. There are still plenty of festivals to enjoy. The Royal Easter Show brings with it fun and excitement for the entire family. From petting zoos to the rides, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The Sydney Comedy Festival offers plenty of laughs. Sydney’s world famous Mardi Gras Parade is a colourful event that is not to be missed. Vivid Sydney lights up the city’s landmarks and puts on a dazzling light show. In addition to the festivals, the whale season begins as the whales start to make their way north. Learn something new at special museum exhibits and tours. Enjoy great foods and wandering through the stalls at markets. This Autumn, Sydney offers you plenty opportunity to make each day exciting.

Mardis Gras Festival and Parade
Oxford Street, Sydney
March 5, 2017
Once a year, Sydney becomes alive with rainbows, glitter, glam and a massive celebration of LGBTQI culture through its 39th annual Mardi Gras. 2017’s theme is “Creating Equality.” For two weeks, enjoy a calendar packed with over 80 events that include comedy, exhibitions, music, theatre, parties, and community events that are bound to get you dancing and celebrating Australia’s LGBTQI community. On March 5th, the event ends with a massive free parade on Oxford Street. Join 10,000 people as they unite for a glittering explosion of pride in the heart of Sydney’s gay and lesbian district. This is an all-inclusive event so everyone can join in and celebrate how far the LGBTQI community has come.
Australian Open of Surfing - Manly
Manly Beach
Feb 25-March 5, 2017
Head on over to Manly for a spectacular event that involves free music, surfing, skating, food and much more! Watch as local and international surfers take on the waves at Sydney’s Manly Beach. Take a seat in the bleachers above the skating ramp and watch the skateboarding competitions. Enjoy free music from well-known Australian talent right on the sand! Sample the food and other delights that this lifestyle festival has to offer.
Art Month Sydney March 2017
March 1 – 20, 2017
If you enjoy art of any kind, then Sydney’s Art Month is worth participating in. Art Month is a city-wide festival that celebrates contemporary art and artists through a diverse mix of exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, artist studio visits, tours, precinct nights and more. It aims to promote Sydney artists and emerging artists and aims to introduce new audiences to contemporary art. Art Month Sydney is produced by 10 groups for the Australian Arts Events Foundation, a registered non-profit. This year’s Art Month theme focuses on Sydney as an Engine of Creativity.
Redfern Night Markets
March 4, 2017
If you feel like doing something a bit different why not try the Redfern Night Markets. The markets are held on the first Friday of every month from 4:30 pm- 9:30 pm and encourage and celebrate local businesses and offer great entertainment, food and stalls! Held once per month at the PCYC South Sydney, you can enjoy delicious food options, DJs, indoor and outdoor stalls and even open mic! So if you feel like jumping on stage you are more than welcome. There is even a secure closed-off playground for the kids.
Royal Easter Show
Sydney Olympic Park
April 6-19th
Going strong since 1823, the annual Royal Easter Show is Australia’s largest ticketed event and combines exhibits, competitions, and entertainment over two weeks at the Sydney Showground in Sydney Olympic Park. The event essentially supports agricultural excellence and helps to keep the rural communities strong. Enjoy the Sydney Royal Rodeo, horseback riding and Lady Cannonball. The kids will love the carnival rides, animal walk and the show bags they will receive. Take in the colourful parades and the enchanting street theatre. Satisfy your taste buds with culinary delights and fresh produce. Each day ends with a fireworks finale. This is event provides fun and entertainment for the whole family!
Sydney Comedy Festival
April 24- May
If you are in need of a good laugh, then the Sydney Comedy Festival is your go-to place. This annual, fast-growing festival is the city’s largest comedy event. Every April and May, hundreds of the world’s best comedians take to the stages across Sydney. The Festival includes lavish events such as the Gala at the Sydney Opera House as well as Cracker Night (the biggest night of comedy) at the Enmore Theatre, The Concourse Chatswood and Riverside Theatre. The program features performances from the best Australian acts, the biggest international stars and promising emerging talent. The festival offers stand up, satire, impro, musical, absurdist, theatre, magic and kids comedy.
Whale Watching Season
May 20 – November 1
Whale watching in Sydney is quite a spectacular thing. Every year, from Autumn until Spring, you can witness the humpback whales making their way up the coast to the warmer North Queensland waters. Then you can watch them travel down south again with their calves. You can watch the whales make their journey from the land or sea. From the land and for free, you can sometimes see them from beaches, Manly Headland, on the Bondi to Coogee walk and more coastal walks or headlands. The Royal National Park and Kurnell are also great places to spot whales from their beautiful coastal walks along sea cliffs. You may have to pay a park entry fee. From the sea, you can join whale watching tours, like the Captain Cook Whale Watching Cruise redeemable with your Sydney Flexi Attractions Pass, redeemable by iVenture Card.
Pyrmont Festival
May 13-22, 2017
Enjoy ten days of wine, food and art at the Pyrmont festival. The festival showcases the best of the Mudgee Region and Pyrmont. You can enjoy the country charm of the Mudgee Region along with the best of the city. There will be wine dinners and tastings, photographic exhibitions and art displays. The festival highlight includes a two-day free family headliner event at Pirrama Park on the weekend of the 14-15thwhich includes live music, local artists, rides, children’s entertainment and 100 stalls where guests can taste wine and sample foods.
Vivid Sydney
Sydney City
May 26 - June 17
Vivid Sydney is a spectacular 23-day festival of light, music and ideas. This unique festival features stunning free public exhibitions of outdoor lighting sculptures and installations along with a contemporary music program. Art, technology and commerce join forces in this festival to bring forth a wonderland of light art. The Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and other landmark buildings are illuminated with light installations at this time. Enjoy light sculptures around the city and in parks. Musical acts are performed by Australian artists and International artists at venues such as the Sydney Opera House, other large venues and bars. Enjoy guest speakers as they come together in a celebration of innovation, creativity and community in sectors such as film, architecture, arts, advertising, marketing, events and more.
The Rocks Discovery Museum
The Rocks
Daily 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
If you are in the Rocks, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the popular museums and cultural experiences. The Rocks Discovery Museum is a stand-out attraction and has some of the richest history in Sydney. The museum’s unique collection tells the exciting story of the Rocks from pre-European days all the way to the present Sydney. There are four permanent exhibitions, as well as an interactive research area to elicit the interest of every member of the family. During the school holidays the Museum runs the Kids Dig- a chance for kids as they journey into the world of an archaeologist, dig up artifacts and decipher their meanings. You’ll find plenty of artifacts, photographs, installations and touch screens in the museum and be transported through the Rocks’ history.
The Rocks Markets
The Rocks
Saturdays and Sundays
Don’t miss The Rocks Markets held every weekend from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. It’s the perfect thing to do on a nice day. Wander through the stalls full of passionate people selling things that you will love. It’s a cool, relaxed and charming environment. Browse through hand-made gifts, clothes and jewelry. After you are done browsing through the stalls, head over to the Northern end of George Street right under the Harbour Bridge and try delicious food and desserts from the venders.