Whether you’re a tourist to Sydney or a local, here are six ways to enjoy the cold months.

Catching a performance of the stand-out theatre production The Lion King is just one of a number of great things to do in Sydney this winter.

Whether you’re a tourist to the city or a local, here are six ways to enjoy the cold months.


Face your fear of sharks by snorkelling with them at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium at Darling Harbour.

It’s a great opportunity for tweens to learn more about sharks in a safe, controlled environment.

Groups of four snorkellers are protected in a see-through tank situated at the surface of a pool as reef sharks and tropical fish swim past.

The snorkel lasts for 20 minutes and children can be as young as five (sydneyaquarium.com.au).


If you still haven’t seen The Lion King at the theatre, then put it at the top of your winter to-do list. This musical is as brilliant as the critics say, from the booming voices of the actors to the stunning costumes and the flawless music.

The standout performance is by South African actress Buyi Zama, who plays Rafiki and has a voice to silence the audience.

The Lion King is on at Capitol Theatre in Haymarket, and is into its last shows, closing on August 31 (capitoltheatre.com.au).


If you like to embrace the cold, make sure you head along to The Winter Festival at Darling Harbour.

This is a great event for families, with one of the highlights being the open-air ice-skating rink.

There is also an apres skate lounge and beer garden, where you can warm up with a hot choccy or mug of gluhwein (mulled wine), and you can feast on traditional winter cuisine at the festival village.

Kids will love the Thredbo Snow Slide (an 80-foot inflatable slide) and the giant Lindt Lindor Zorb Balls.

The festival starts on June 13 and runs until July 13 (thewinterfestival.com.au).


Head along to the Art Gallery of NSW at The Domain – a major venue for the 19th Biennale of Sydney.

The exhibition You Imagine What You Desire features some dramatic artworks, such as the confronting nude portraits by Deborah Kelly, titled No Human Being Is Illegal.

My favourite is the video installation We All Need Forgiveness by artist Bindi Coles. It’s a very emotional piece about the courage to forgive.

There’s not much time left to see the exhibition, so book in a few hours before it closes on June 9 (artgallery.nsw.gov.au).


Every year, photographers are sent aflutter when Vivid Sydney takes over the city. This year, festival organisers have gone above and beyond with some fantastic light shows and interactive installations.

One of my favourites is the display that crawls across the facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art in The Rocks – watch out for the snakes.

The sails of the Opera House always look great awash with colour, but another favourite are the seven-metre-tall inflatable white rabbits near the Harbour Bridge. They make for the perfect selfie.

The festival finishes up on June 9 (vividsydney.com).


Fans of the musical Strictly Ballroom will love the exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo.

The Strictly Ballroom Story celebrates both the stage and screen musical, and features plenty of bling.

Visitors will be able to get up close to the sequins, feathers and beads of the colourful costumes created by Catherine Martin, as well as design sketches and set photos.

The exhibition is on until November 9 (powerhousemuseum.com).


For accommodation close to the attractions, consider Quay West Suites Sydney. Although it can be noisy due to its location on Gloucester Street, it has fantastic views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. For more, go to accorhotels.com.

*The writer received assistance from Destination NSW and Accor