Wondering what you could do with just a few free hours? Considering getting to Sydney a few days before the Workshops and Conference? Or staying a while afterwards for some holiday time?
Take a browse through Penny’s Picks below for some great ideas for what to do in your free time ….
- Runs from 1st January to 26th
- Program is released in about October sydneyfestival.org.au
- Includes an outdoor evening Opera in the Domain , Outdoor evening Sydney Symphony in the Domain, Public Holiday Australia Day Ferrython on harbour
- Lots of free events
- There will be events on at
- sydneyoperahouse.com phone 9250 7777
- City Recital Hall Angel Place cityrecitalhall.com phone 8256 2222 – this is a great auditorium in the middle of the city (Melburnians who like the Dame Elizabeth Murdoch Recital Centre might draw comparisons). Make sure to have time to walk around the outside of the building and LOOK up and UNDER your feet and OPEN your ears for a treat of an outdoor sculpture (no more spoiler alerts). Several nearby restaurants in Ash Street, Angel Place
- Sometimes venues within the Sydney University campus are used. E.g. The Great Hall.
- We’ll have an update later.
Art – Inside
- Sydney University Art Gallery – Monday to Friday 10.30am to 4.30pm and 1st Saturday of the month 12-4pm www.sydney.edu.au/museums
- Art Gallery of NSW artgallery.nsw.gov.au
- Museum of Contemporary Art – Circular Quay mca.com.au
- H. Ervin Gallery is in a National Trust building on a hill near the Harbour Bridge with views around the city. Café. Small gift shop. www.shervingallery.com.au
- Commercial galleries – some are closed in January. Updates later.
- Near Newtown – Defiance Gallery 47 Enmore Rd, Kerrie Lowe Gallery 49 King St;
- Manly Art Gallery – see reference under View Sydney from the water Ferries
- White Rabbit – 21st Century Chinese Art from a private collection. whiterabbitcollection.org Free entry. Great space. Special Teas and dumplings.
Art, Architecture, History – Outdoors
- Labyrinth Centennial Park www.centennialparklands.com.au/things_to_do/centennial_park_labyrinth/labyrinth. More information below under Green Spaces. This is a heartening link to the labyrinth in Christchurch.
- Botanic Gardens in the city has some fine sculpture. Also go up to Mrs Macquarie’s Road (towards the Art Gallery NSW) for the Veil of Trees – an installation designed to reflect the botanical history of the area. A meandering line of forest red gums features glass panels embedded with seeds, ash, honey, resin and fragments of prose and poems by Australian writers www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/
- Sydney Architecture Walks www.sydneyarchitecture.org and Historic Houses Trust www.hht.net.au
- Historical Walks of Sydney City of Sydney historical walks. Self-guided, there is one for Newtown area
- www.therocks.com take bus to near Circular Quay
- Around the City Recital Hall – see more above under Sydney Festival
- Indigenous heritage
- Aboriginal Heritage Tours of northern Sydney www.aboriginalheritage.org/
- Aboriginal Heritage at Sydney’s Botanic Gardnes www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/welcome/quick_links/aboriginal_heritage
- The Rocks Dreaming Aboriginal Heritage Tour www.sydney.com/things-to-do/tours/the-rocks-dreaming-aboriginal-heritage-tour
- Australian Museum of Natural History College Street in city opposite Hyde Park australianmuseum.net.au/
- Sydney University Macleay (old style Natural History) and Nicholson Museums (Ancient History, archaeology) Monday to Friday 10.30am to 4.30pm and 1st Saturday of the month 12-4pm. www.sydney.edu.au/museums.
- Museum of Sydney (on the site of first Government House, Sydney’s past and present), Justice and Police Museum (Sydney’s shadowy past), Susannah Place near Museum of Contemporary Art (ordinary lives, working class Sydney) are all near Circular Quay and Hyde Park Barracks (Sydney’s convict story, UNESCO World Heritage site) also in the city. Elizabeth Bay House is worth a wandering walk from Kings Cross. www.sydneylivingmuseums.com.au . Entrance charges
- Sydney Harbour Youth Hostel has an ongoing archaeological project that can be viewed. Near The Rocks, Museum of Contemporary Art, Susannah Place
- Sydney Jewish Museum www.sydneyjewishmuseum.com.au not open Saturdays
- Powerhouse Museum Ultimo maas.museum/powerhouse-museum/
- Non-classical music venues in/ near Newtown
- Enmore Theatre
- Sound Lounge – Seymour Centre www.SIMA.org.au – diverse musical styles
- Sly Fox – pub with live music 199 Enmore Rd
- Marlborough Hotel – 145 King St
- Newtown Social – pub– 387 King St
- A bit further to go and worth it
- Camelot Lounge Marrickville camelotlounge.wordpress.com Sydenham train station is close to it
- The Basement near Circular Quay www.thebasement.com.au 7 Macquarie Place. Been going for decades, various music styles. Dinner plus show cost is high price for a seat and not great food. Show only price with bar seating or stand up is fine. Other eating places around. If Monday to Friday go to Tapas e Vino around the corner in Bulletin Place for Spanish.
- Theatres near Newtown
- Theatres a bit further
- Sydney Theatre Company www.sydneytheatre.com.au 2016 Season released about August; performances could be at Drama Theatre at the Opera House(take bus to Circular Quay) or at Walsh Bay www.walshbaysydney.com . Recommend “The Bar at the End of the Wharf” for views of the Harbour Bridge at sunset with a drink pre/post theatre or just because it is a fine place to be. Nice pub with microbewery and reasonable food is The Lord Nelson for pre theatre. Good Dumplings at Lotus across the road fro the Wharf Theatre.
- Belvoir St Theatre www.belvoir.com.au 2016 Season released about August. Foyer drinks and food available. Vini Wine Bar nearby not Sunday.
- Griffin Theatre is Australia’s new writing theatre, been going over 30 years, performs in an intimate and engaging space the SBW Stables near Kings Cross. www.griffintheatre.com.au and other social media
- Darlinghurst Theatre at the recently renovated heritage building Eternity Playhouse www.darlinghursttheatre.com
- Dendy Newtown www.dendy.com.au in King Street, Also near the Opera House Dendy Quays
- Golden Age www.ourgoldenage.com.au classy, tiny, used to be Paramount’s private viewing space; bar and food as well. Near Central Station
- Palace Cinemas – Arthouse-like
- Everleigh Markets at Carriageworks – Saturday mornings – food and more www.eveleighmarket.com.au
View Sydney From The Water And Explore
Penny’s Suggestions : Walk/train/bus to Circular Quay – take a ferry around the harbour. F2 – to the Zoo which has great views, F6 to Mosman – café at the wharf – see lower north shore from the harbour, F3 all the way to Parramatta or just go to Woolwich – nice pub with views; Cockatoo island for quiet wanderings around ship building archaeology with fabulous views, or get off at Balmain or Balmain East and walk around charming peninsula that used to be workers cottages and now gentrified; (F7 Eastern Suburbs to Watsons Bay/ The Gap great views – Fish and chips, cold beer, tea Rooms along the esplanade or at swanky Dunbar House) (Manly F1 – ocean beach, harbour pool, The Corso wanderings, markets, Manly Art Gallery on the ferry side will have an exhibition exploring the ideas of quarantine, migration and place www.manly.nsw.gov.au/attractions/gallery )
Sydney Harbour Ferry Tours from Circular Quay, including up to Paramatta : www.sydney.com/things-to-do/tours/sydney-ferries
Sydney’s hottest new harbour headland, Barangaroo!! Well worth a visit for the Foreshore Walk and other activities. Accessible via the CBD – walk up from Darling Harbour, or round from The Rocks or from Wynyard Railway Station. www.barangaroo.com
- Centennial Park – 360 hectares, walk, ride bikes or horses, picnic, unwind by ponds. Get there by bus from Circular Quay, Central or Bondi Junction Stations, or walk from those stations about 30 mins. Vehicular access 6am to 8pm during daylight saving. www.centennialparklands.com.au
- Glebe Foreshores – Walk or bus into Glebe from Parramatta Rd then walk or bus down Glebe Point Rd to the end
- Botanic Gardens near the city with views across the harbour. www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au Follow the foreshore all he way to Mrs Macquarie’s Point. Could combine with Art Gallery www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au
- Hyde Park in the city. www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/facilities/parks/major-parks/hyde-park
- Bicentennial Park Glebe www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/facilities/parks/major-parks/glebe-foreshore-parks
Other Quiet Places
- The Quadrangle in Sydney University
- Cockatoo Island – see view Sydney from the water
- The Reservoir at Paddington – a little haven. Across the road from Chauvel Cinema.
- Chinese Garden of Friendship – open every day. Small entrance fee. Western side of city in the Darling Harbour area. www.darlingharbour.com/things-to-do/chinese-garden-of-friendship.aspx
Scenic and Bush Walks
Sydney Bushwalk reference books will be at our desk. (Blue Mountains is a full day trip away – another story.)
- Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Take bus to near Circular Quay. Access from stairs in Harrington Street in the city, from lower Macquarie Street to get onto the Cahill Expressway pedestrian path which connects with the Bridge access, from Observatory Hill.
- At the northern end you could go west and walk along the foreshores of Lavender Bay and up towards North Sydney train station (find Wendy (former wife of Brett) Whiteley’s Garden created from unused railway land – it’s a treat and she might be there); or go east towards Kirribilli and then ferry back to city (Anvil Café on Kirribilli Wharf); or just catch the train from Milson’s Point Station back to the city.
- Or book ahead and walk to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. www.bridgeclimb.com
- Walk west from Circular Quay along the foreshores, past the Museum of Contemporary Art around to www.walshbaysydney.com (possible refreshments with a view at www.sydneytheatre.com.au/thebar ) and on to the new precint Barangaroo www.barangaroo.com
- A show-off walk for Sydney – Manly to The Spit or reverse. About 3-4 hours with pauses. Bush, views, rock art, swims, beach-side culture. Buses to The Spit, walk to Manly then ferry to city. If you start at Manly there’s not much at The Spit end of the walk – take bus back to city.
- Ferry to Manly, up hill to North Head or bus up route 135, walk around at the top (bush, views, , history, café) and walk or bus back to Manly and the ferry.
- Zoo to Balmoral Beach (harbour not ocean) great views, cafes. Ferry to Zoo (F2). Bus back to Military Rd at Spit Junction then bus to city or Red M30 that goes through Newtown.
- Eastern Suburbs beaches cliff top. Start at Coogee or Bronte and go to Bondi Beach or further on.
- Circular Quay to Watsons Bay along Sydney Harbour Foreshore National Park in places.
- Ferry to Manly, walk to Dee Why via Freshwater, bus back to Manly or City