The unique things you can do around Sydney this winter

Throw off the doona, here’s your ultimate guide to all the unique things you can do around Sydney this winter. From dazzling coastal walks to pop-up picnic spots, you’ll soon see why Sydney is here to amaze and inspire you throughout the winter months…

IT’S WHALE SEASON!

Whether you’re 8 or 80, there’s no experience quite like seeing a whale for the very first time. With the winter chill comes humpback whales migrating to warmer waters, and you can witness the action right in the heart of Sydney. If you like your chances at spotting whales without help, there are several vantage points across the city where people have been known to spot not only humpback whales, but orcas and minke whales too. South Head in Watsons Bay is a mere 11 kilometres north-east of the Sydney CBD – make your way to The Gap, an ocean cliff boasting exquisite views of Sydney Harbour, and hopefully a whale or two.

Further north, you can take the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk, for unrivalled ocean views and – at 91 metres above sea level – a perfect lookout for whale spotting. This winter, don’t live through your Instagram feed – get on out there on a sunny day and see a whale for yourself.

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BASK IN THE WARM GLOW OF A COSY BAR

Though it may be named after the notorious crime boss, there’s nothing dodgy or suspect about Love Tilly Devine, an intimate, chic wine bar located in the ultra-hip Darlinghurst area. Though centrally located, the bar itself is slightly off the beaten path in a secluded alley, and half the fun is finding it. Once you do, you’ll immediately sense the distinct European laneway vibes, where there’s more people outside than inside, cradling glasses of every type of wine under the sun.

As bars continue to re-open, you’ll likely need to book a table or be willing to wait out in the cold a little longer to get inside, but trust us… it’ll be worth it!

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EXPLORE SPICE ALLEY

Turn a corner in the heart of Sydney’s Ultimo area and find yourself in Spice Alley, a winding collection of hawker-style Asian eateries under the glow of red lanterns. Soak up the atmosphere, breathe in the tantalising smells and experience a touch of Asia right in the heart of Sydney, before perusing the endless food options. Whether you’re looking for a congee from Hong Kong Diner to warm your winter or you’re all about the famous roti from Alex Lee Kitchen, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect dish for your cravings. Other highlights include Japanese dining hall KYO-TO and Vietnamese delicacies from Viet. For the indecisive, the best option is to get a few small dishes from a range of cuisines, so you can sample half of Asia in one sitting!

You can bring your dins to the local Chippendale Green for outdoor dining that fels like an escape from the city, or try to grab some of the limited seating available. Spice Alley is the go-to spot for every smart Sydneysider to meet friends for a mid-week dinner out. Fun fact: it’s BYO and no corkage is charged, so hit up the bottle-o next door beforehand!

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SOAK UP THE SCENERY ON A COASTAL WALK

You’ve seen the breathtaking shots from the lookouts on coastal walks, but you’ve never got around to doing it for yourself. Fair enough, it’s a big ask on a steamy summer’s day, you’ll be drowning in your own sweat in no time. But a sunny, crisp winter’s day? Perfect! If you’re new to the walk game, take it easy with the 1.8 kilometre Hermitage Foreshore Track in Sydney’s beautiful east. Quick as it may be, there’ll be plenty of pit stops along the way, with enthralling views of Sydney Harbour, Shark Island and more. Still in the “short and sweet” realm, the three kilometre return journey that is the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk will take you to Sydney’s northern-most point at Barrenjoey Head – and you’ll feel that healthy burn in your calves as you hike up the steep trail!

If you’re ready to kick things up a notch, the six kilometre Bondi to Coogee Walk is an excellent, easy-going workout – winding along a narrow stone path and offering glorious views of secret beaches along the way. Hungry for more? You’ll be wanting to try the ten kilometre Manly to Spit Bridge Walk showcasing everything that’s incredible about Sydney’s Northern Beaches, with some ace views of Sydney Harbour on the side. Don’t let the cold put you off – nothing warms you up like some easy-going exercise under the stunning Sydney sun.

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TAKE YOURSELF ON A PICNIC

The winter sun is rather lovely here in the fair city of Sydney, with gorgeous views and parks just begging to host you for a delightful meal in the outdoors. We’ve spent a large portion of this year indoors, so any reason to be outdoors is welcomed, for sure! Head to the Royal Botanic Gardens on Sydney Harbour for harbour views that won’t cost you a cent, or explore further afield at Wendy’s Secret Garden for Sydney’s best kept secret.

TELL ME MORE…

Sydney.com is your one-stop shop for the latest news and events happening in Sydney all year ’round! You can click here for even more Sydney events to keep you occupied this winter – whether you’re looking for the warm embrace of retail therapy, a feel-good show or want to get right amongst the action during peak sporting season.

SO, WHERE DO I STAY?

Sydney Harbour YHA with its stunning rooftop views, deluxe private rooms in the heart of the harbour, and knowledgeable staff is the best place to base yourself this winter as you enjoy everything Sydney has to offer. Whether you’re walking, skating or stuffing your face all day – Sydney Harbour YHA will offer you a warm bed and even toastier hospitality to come home to every night. Check it out!

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