This is my fourth year as a travel blogger and my third year doing a end of year wrap up. It’s also the first year I’ve been traveling “full time, ” so I’m at a bit of a loss at how to format this. How do you chronicle your trips when your whole existence is foreign now?

You see, in March, I bought a one-way ticket to Australia. In May, I got on the plane and haven’t looked back.

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

I had a lot of fun in the three years between my university graduation and my move here, but I didn’t realize how stuck and unhappy I’d been at home in Texas until I realized just how happy being here made me feel.

2018 was the year of doing the hard thing. I learned how to let go of tense, temporary comfort in exchange for something better down the line, even if in the moment, letting go made me feel like I was literally going to die.

States visited: Texas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado

Countries visited: USA, Australia

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Met up with Pals in Austin

I love Austin. It’s a blue island in an otherwise deep red state that lives by the mantra “keep Austin weird.” It’s only 2 1/2 hours from home, but I hardly ever visit. I only went twice in 2017 and that wasn’t enough, so I tried to start 2018 off on a better note.

When one of my great friends from university said she was coming to visit, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see her and play tourist for the day.  The only downside: I was on day 28 of my Whole30 at the time and there was no way I was giving up that late in the game. So, I had to forfeit the cactus lemonade at Taco Deli and the kolaches at Hruska’s on the drive up. It was hard y’all. Real hard.

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Rode a Longhorn in Fort Worth

I do my best to put crazy Texan stereotypes to rest…but I did really ride a longhorn when my mom and I went to Fort Worth to visit the famous stockyards in early January. His name was Jake and I think about him all the time. Miss you, Jake.

Basically Went to Mexico

My mom works as a children’s pastor, so for spring break, we visited a town right on the border with Mexico to meet with a church there and see about sending a team to help out in the area with various projects. I had a lot of fun on this mini road trip that almost took us south of the border with my parents and my mom’s best friend.

We ate a LOT of good food, I got to pet a few dogs, and I learned that my dad always carries a metal spoon in his briefcase so he can eat ice cream in grocery store parking lots between sales calls. Talk about a life tip.

Went Peak Texas in Corpus Christi

Selena Memorial Corpus Christi

I knew I wasn’t going to be seeing much of my family in the next few years, so before my big move to Australia I wanted to carve out some time to spend with my sister and brother in law, who live about three hours south of the rest of our family.

They live right on the beach, which unless you’re on South Padre Island isn’t much in Texas. However, they do live near enough to the famous Selenas memorial and the two-story Whataburger that I still managed to have a nice time. And yeah, yeah. Spending time with them before moving to the literal other side of the planet was nice too, I guess.

Celebrated Julia Roberts and my Uni Bestie in Mystic

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

I’ve always been one to make time for the people that I care about. So, I went up to Massachusetts to celebrate another friend from university’s birthday. I knew I wasn’t going to see her for a while since I had my move to Australia planned already, so the trip was very important to me.

I’m also one who very much enjoys eating pizza where Julia Roberts has once eaten pizza (#tbt to going to Naples, Italy and eating where she did in Eat, Pray, Love). So, after we spent the morning exploring the Mystic Aquarium in coastal Connecticut, we had to stop into Mystic Pizza for a slice…since Mystic Pizza is a cult masterpiece and also one of my favorite movies.

Tried Skiing for the First Time in Lake Placid

Do one thing every day that scares you. Okay sure. A great mantra to live by. But not when you’re sliding down a mountain on tiny strips of metal with absolutely no control over your likely impending death.

I’m not a sporty girl by any means. But, when I visited my friend from uni in Lake Placid (a resort town in Upstate New York that has hosted the winter olympics TWICE) I knew I HAD to try skiing. Especially because she works at the Whiteface ski resort.

So, I borrowed some snow pants, rented some gear, booked myself a lesson, and was good to go. Or so I thought.

My friend and I started off on the extreme bunny slope before her shift started for the day. We practiced turning and stopping. I was doing great. We even practiced falling and getting up (which we had also practiced the night before in her living room — I was SO serious about being good at this guys).

When she started her shift and I went off for my lesson, I headed off to the actual bunny slope with sky high confidence. I was doing better than the only other student in my group (a very kind woman from Belgium who kept grabbing my sleeve to steady herself), so I thought, “I’m basically an Olympian at this point.” But then I fell. It was our second time down the green circle run and I just lost control.

Somehow, my hip rotated 360 degrees, one ski got flung 20 feet across the run from me, I was upside down, and my hands were bleeding from the ice.

So I was done for the day. I went and sat in the lodge and tried to shake off the pit in my stomach, but even thinking about getting back on the lift made me feel like crying. But when she finished her shift, she convinced me to give it one more go.

“Why not?” she said.

I have to give her the biggest shout out for her patience with me because I was a WRECK. The run was only one step up from the bunny slope and she could’ve gotten down to the bottom in two minutes, but it took us over 30. The entire time, I was cursing, crying, and stopping before I even started. But I did it! She made sure of that. She even took some sick GoPro footage of me while she skied backwards down the mountain.

That’ll never see the light of day because my mom follows me and I don’t want anyone to ever see how uncool I looked in that moment. BUT, as a personal victory, I see getting down that mountain as one of the proudest moments of my life.

Had a Girl Gang Reunion at Mount Holyoke

This year got off to a really rough start for my best friend Brittney. On New Years Day, my sister and I were driving from Corpus Christi to Houston. It was raining and I was napping on and off, seriously neglecting the navigation and DJ-in-chief duties that come with riding shotgun. I got a text from Brittney that said she was having some stomach pain and was in the emergency room.

Ah, that sucks, I thought. What a way to start the year! But, I didn’t think much about it. The next day, Britt let us know that there was a mass and she was getting a surgery scheduled. I immediately made up my mind that it was a cyst and that she’d be back on the plane to London (where she was getting her masters degree) in no time. I mean, I had just seen her in October. We traveled in London and Zurich together. She was fine! How could anything be different now?

I mentioned this to my friend Lauren a few days later, still treating the situation like a minor annoyance, and immediately got the “Can I call you?” text. I knew what that meant. My heart hit my heels. I wanted to puke.

It’s very unsettling to be so far away when someone who you love so dearly is experiencing such a life changing event. I was helpless. I was also in serious denial. But Brittney wasn’t.

mount holyoke college 2 year reunion

from our second reunion in May 2017

If you ever are feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances or are wondering why you’ve been dealt a certain hand in life, I want to encourage you to watch this interview Brittney did. Sometimes, you have to be okay knowing your situation sucks. Sometimes, you just have to accept that you aren’t able to be strong today, because you need your strength for tomorrow. And sometimes, you have to allow yourself to cry into your bread bowl at Panera because you’re scared about what’s going to happen and it’s not even happening to you.

My core group of uni friends reuniting under such dire circumstances was overwhelming. But it gave us all a very important reminder: never, ever take the people you love for granted. If you truly care about someone, you have to make an effort to keep in touch because if you let time slip away, you never know when you might run out of it.

But enough of the sad stuff. Brittney’s been given a clean bill of health and will soon be back in London. I’m making the trip from Australia to see her in May and am counting down the days!

Took #MammaKamm on a Great Southwest Road Trip

I get my love of travel from my mom. She works so hard and doesn’t get nearly enough vacation time from a job that requires a lot of emotional energy. So it was the least I could do to to take her to see something she’s only dreamed of since she was a little girl: the Grand Canyon.

Las Vegas

I know most people don’t set out to visit Las Vegas with their sober mother, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Vegas is like that cool girl at school that your parents tell you to stay away from she’s a bad influence, but then when you meet her, she’s actually really nice. The only downside: I paid $32 for a drink at the Sugar Factory. And it didn’t even have any alcohol in it.

Grand Canyon

Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

The Grand Canyon looks fake in person. Also, I saw like four people almost fall to their deaths trying to get Instagram photos. Not very street smart of them.

Hoover Dam

Mom and I had a DAM good time here. We  spent FIVE HOURS exploring the Hoover Dam National Monument today. I was in awe of the modern engineering marvel and its Art Deco interior.

As mom took this photo of me, there was a family to my left also trying to get a picture. One of the little boys (five or six years old?) was not having a good day. “I’M SO BORED! THIS IS STUPID!” he screeched, nearly throwing himself onto the ground. He was so adamant that Hoover Dam was the worst and I nearly spent all day there.

Antelope Canyon + Horseshoe Bend 

If I told you I went to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend for anything other than getting absolutely banging Instagram shots, I would be lying to you. And I achieved this goal, thank you very much. Mostly because Debbie went peak mom and wouldn’t let me anywhere near the edge of the canyon. Always looking out for me.

Monument Valley

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

I only wanted to go to Monument Valley so I could yell “Run Forrest, Run” at as many people as I could. I’m proud to report that I got to yell it at AT LEAST eight people and only almost got hit by a car while trying to take a photo like Tom Hanks once.

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Four Corners

I visited the Four Corners when I was 14, but our hard drive crashed a few years later, so unfortunately the world will never get to see the photos of short-haired, buck-toothed baby Emily experiencing it for the first time. Oh well! Mom and I stopped in again on our way from Monument Valley to my grandparents’ house in southern Colorado. Not much has changed in the past 10 years. It’s still kitschy. But still oh so fun.

Moved to Australia

This is a big one and it takes up most of my year. I don’t even know how to quantify the stupidest, scariest, bravest, most amazing thing I’ve ever done. So maybe, for now, I’ll just hit a few of the highlights:

Fell in Love in Sydney

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

There’s only been a few cities that have knocked the breath out of me. London. Istanbul. And now Sydney…but not at first. I think it’s because when I first got here, I sat alone at Opera Bar and, while watching the sunset behind the Harbour Bridge, the permanency of my decision hit me in the face.

“Oh right…you just moved to the other side of the world alone with no actual plans. Cool cool. Great choice, Em.”

But then, day by day, the easier it got. The more familiar everything became. But even so, as I settled into my new reality, coming through Circular Quay on the train and catching sight of the Harbour or the Opera House still hyped me up and made me feel just like Mary Kate and Ashley, no matter how many times I passed through.

Sydney is still a hard place to pin down.

In the CBD, it’s easy to get shoulder checked by a suit rushing off to an investment meeting while yelling about someone named Cheryl into his cellphone. But then, a mere stones throw away in Bondi, you’ll find that time seems to not exist and there is an endless supply of sunshine. It’s like New York and Los Angeles had a baby, but it has a weird accent and is much more expensive.

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Met My Family for the First Time in Brisbane

My mom has two half brothers who we were recently able to connect with on social media. We got to meet the youngest and his family last Christmas, but my older uncle lives with his family in Brisbane, so we weren’t sure when we would be able to connect. When I decided to move to Australia, one of my very first priorities was to connect with my family. I was so excited to meet them in person after a lifetime of hearing about them and years of Facebook updates.

Getting to spend two weeks together in August was one of the best parts of my whole time in this country. My aunt made tacos on my first night with them because she knew that I missed Mexican food. My little cousins never ceased to amaze me with their intelligence and cuteness. And my uncle introduced me to his “pet” kookaburra named Fluffy who basically lives in their backyard. I can’t wait to visit again.

Celebrated my Birthday on Fraser Island 

My birthday is my favorite holiday. I call it Emilypalooza and every year, my family goes all out to make sure that my day is really special. Some staples of  the celebrations throughout the years have been mani/pedis, ice cream, movies, and dinner at Outback Steakhouse…coupled with however many other activities I can cram into 24 hours.

I turned 25 this year and as a summer baby, it was my first time celebrating not only away from my family, but away from anyone that I knew. Even during university, I was always home for my birthday.  As I wrapped up my time in Brisbane, it worked out that I would spend my birthday on Fraser Island. I didn’t even really know if I wanted to go to Fraser, but it’s what all the other backpackers did, so I booked in.

The 25th Emilypalooza was the best one yet. If I turn 26 or 27 back in the States just watching a movie and eating ice cream, I will be sorely disappointed. Nothing can top dancing in under the Milky Way, fighting off dingos, swimming in champagne pools, and going out with the kindest bunch of people, one of whom (shout out to Caitlin!) even went out of her way to buy me a birthday cake once we got back to the mainland.

Met My Soulmates in Whitsundays 

Never have I ever met a group of such perfect people. You’re never truly aware of when you’re living through a life-changing moment, but while lying in the sunshine on a sailboat in the South Coral Sea, I kind of had a hunch.

I was nervous about boarding Avatar. I shouldn’t have been, since  I knew a few of the passengers from my Fraser Trip, but when you’re traveling solo, the transition into suddenly being social again always gives you jitters. Or it always gives me jitters, at least…especially when I knew I was going to be stuck on a small boat with strangers for the next 72 hours.

But, just like summer camp, after the first hour, none of us were strangers anymore. And we never will be again.  It was such little things that tipped me off to how things were going to be. The fact that two of the girls were celebrating their birthdays as we boarded and one gave me the second half of her sandwich when I said it looked tasty…even though we’d only known each other for 20 minutes.

That us girls were literally braiding each other’s hair after knowing each other for less than two hours (snorkeling, sun, wind, and no shower on board will do a number on you…I was ready to shave my head tbh). Or that no one was stingy with their alcohol and on the second night, your goon was my goon and mine was yours.

It was just the right amount of party and playfulness, of friendly and feisty, and a perfect reminder that random people can easily become very important to you if you just take a moment to get to know them….even if they suck at math.

Earned My Second Year Visa in Cairns 

It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I wanted to stay in Australia a second year. When I say I’m in love with it here, I’m telling the truth. But I hesitate to say that I want to stay forever. I’ve been asked that many times, “What are you doing after your second year?” And the truth is, at this point, it’s likely that I’ll be on to my next adventure. Immigration isn’t something you should start the process of unless you’re completely sure. And I’m not.

I felt so stuck that I was suffocating in Texas. There was nothing for me there in this season of my life. And, I think, that if I stay in one place too long here, that it’ll start to feel the same way.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. In order to stay in Australia for a second year, most working holiday makers have to work on a farm for 88 days. But Americans are lucky. We, along with a kind of random group of countries like Spain, Slovakia, China, etc., can work in tourism and hospitality instead. But only in certain areas.

So, after I finished traveling up the East Coast, I got off in the bus Cairns and thought, “Okay. This is it. I live here now. I gotta find a job.”

And that I did. I was worried that I wasn’t going to have any friends in Cairns. After meeting such amazing people in Fraser and Whitsundays, I felt a little bit overwhelmed by the prospect of having to meet new people all over again. But, I was blessed to work at a Tour Booking Centre where the staff treated me like family from day one. The perks of the job are unbelievable. I’ve never worked in tourism before, so getting “FOC” agent trips was a new and exciting adventure.

I’ll be sad to leave.

But, it’s almost 2019 and time for a new adventure.

My 2018 in review was full of great adventures! Here’s what is in store for 2019:

  • February 

A road trip down the East Coast of Australia to see what I missed on the way up.

  • April 

Two weeks in Melbourne for the Comedy Festival, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and whatever else I can squeeze in.

  • April / May

A trip to Europe to visit friends from university, my brother in law’s family, and friends I’ve made while traveling.

  • July / August

Back to Australia to start round two of my working holiday adventure.

 

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If you have an extra day in the city, these short trips from Sydney (on a budget!) feature some of the best beaches, mountains, and lookouts in the area. Most will take you less than an hour to reach from the CBD (Central Business District, it’s what Aussies call downtown) and never more than two hours.

See also:

Short Trips from Sydney that Won’t Break the Bank

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

I will say that *I* consider these day trips because they get you away from the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, giving you the chance to see more of the Sydney area than just the cruise terminal.

However, I am well aware that as you can still SEE the Harbour Bridge from two of the places I’m recommending that my Sydneysider friends are likely to laugh at this list. Whatevs.

Hot tip: If you take these short trips from Sydney on a Sunday, you’ll save on transportation! On Sundays, the maximum amount you’ll spend on OpalCard transport (unless you visit the airport) is $2.60.

Manly

Short Trips from Sydney day trips from sydney

The “Q Station” in Manly. My friend and I missed the tour. Don’t be like us.

Manly got its name from the behavior of its original inhabitants, the Kay-ye-my clan (of the Guringai people). During the original invasion / colonization of the area, British Captain Arthur Phillip wrote that “[the indigenous people’s] confidence and manly behavior made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place.”

Today, the manliest thing you’ll see there is likely an old man in a budgie smuggler. If lounging on the beach with those guys isn’t your style, you can take a tour of the Quarantine Station (artfully rebranded as the “Q” station), where Sydney’s sick were once held for months on end waiting for the all clear.

But be sure to catch one of the actual tours though because the signage isn’t very good at the Q Station, so if you’re not with someone actually knows the history, it’ll be very boring to just wander around on your own.

After your tour, exit the Q Station and turn right to keep walking up the hill towards the North Head Sanctuary, a place with great hikes, views of the CBD, and whale watching opportunities.

Watson’s Bay via Taronga Zoo

Short Trips from Sydney day trips from sydney

You can take the ferry from the CBD’s Circular Quay to Manly’s southern sister, Watson’s Bay for great views and great chips. While you can make a return trip to Sydney and still have your fill of exploring in about three hours, if you’re looking for a longer day, you can make a stopover at Sydney’s famous Taronga Zoo. Or you can choose to do either / or.

I call Watson’s Bay Manly’s “southern sister” because it sits on / IS a small peninsula that juts out, reaching up towards Manly. Both places form the entrance to the body of water that becomes Sydney Harbour.

There’s lots of fun things to do in Watson’s Bay.

It’s quite a beachy town, so if the day is nice, grab some fish and chips and take a stroll up to the Gap Lookout. From there, you’ll want to follow the signs to continue your walk to Lady Bay Beach (just cover the kiddos eyes…as it’s a nude beach) and the South Head Heritage Trail.

Short Trips from Sydney day trips from sydney

If you stay long enough, make sure to watch the sunset over the Harbour Bridge in the distance before catching a ferry back into town.

Blue Mountains National Park

Short Trips from Sydney day trips from sydney

Blue Mountains National Park is short trip from Sydney in that you can (and should, if you’re time crunched!) do it in a day, but it’ll take ALL DAY.

Hop on the Blue Mountain’s Line from Sydney’s Central Station and take it to the town of Leura. Once there, grab some breakfast and stroll up and down the main street looking into all the fun shops.

From there, you can either take a 30 minute stroll up to Katoomba, or go back to the station and take the hourly train ride…which lasts all of 4-ish minutes.

From the station in Katoomba, it’s very easy to hop on a bus down to Echo Point, which is where the famous Three Sisters and stunning views of the Blue Mountains will be waiting for you.

Wollongong

Short Trips from Sydney day trips from sydney

Wollongong is one of my favorite short trips from Sydney that I’ve taken. A quick ride down from Central Station on the South Coast Line will get you there. Wollongong’s got lots of fun shops on its main promenade and plenty of good places to eat as well.

The beach is lovely (save for the industrial sludge in the background, but just ignore that) and the two local lighthouses make for great photo ops.

Short Trips from Sydney day trips from sydney

If you have time and like history, there’s also a heritage trail that winds throughout the city center.

If you have access to a car, don’t miss the Grand Pacific Drive which takes you right through Wollongong.

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Short Trips from Sydney day trips from sydney

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Looking for things to do in Sydney in winter? Because the seasons are flipped in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s likely that it’ll be chilly during your “summer” trip from the USA, Canada, or Europe.

While it’s nice to know that unlike other parts of Australia, Sydney doesn’t get too TOO cold in the winter (think like in the 60’s℉ / mid-teens℃ during the day and 50’s℉/ low-teens℃ during the night), the dampness of the air can still make things feel quite chilly.

But if you don’t what to experience the brain-melting heat of actual Australian summer, then winter in Sydney is the best time to visit.

what to wear in Sydney during the winter packing list Australia

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The Best Things To Do in Sydney in Winter

There are things that are fun to do in Sydney year round, like climb the Harbour Bridge take a tour of the Opera House, but there are certain things you can only do in Sydney in Winter.

Here are my favorites:

Take in the Lights at Vivid Sydney

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

Vivid Sydney is an annual 3-week festival of “lights, music, and ideas” that typically runs from late May to early June. There are cool concerts and Ted-ish Talks that you can attend, but the main attraction is the light and sculpture  installations sprinkled throughout the city.

My friends and I started in Darling Harbour (you can use the Wynyard or Town Hall train stops), walked through Barangaroo, and down under the Harbour Bridge to Circular Quay to grab a bite at the many food trucks, and then ended the night taking in the Opera House and Royal Botanical Gardens.

While it was fun to see the city bathed in neon lights while munching on street food, Vivid Sydney is definitly something to do while you’re IN Sydney during the winter, but it’s not so awesome that you should make a special trip to the city to see it.

Go Whale Watching in Manly

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

Winter in Sydney is a great time of year for whale watching and nearby Manly is a great place to do it. Whale watching season in Sydney technically runs from mid-May through mid-November, so the winter months of June, July, and August are prime real estate for a great time.

You’ll usually see Humpback Whales on their annual migration down the New South Wales’s (oh ho ho) coast. If you’d like to book a boat tour, there are many companies that depart from both Sydney’s Darling Harbour and Manly, but if you’re lucky, you can take it the whales, and great views, from the many hiking trails on the North Head.

Hot tip: go to Manly on a Sunday! On Sundays, the maximum amount you’ll spend on transport in the Sydney area (unless you visit the airport) is $2.60.

Walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

You can also try your luck whale watching on the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk.

I did the walk my first week in Sydney and will say that while Bondi, Coogee, and all the beaches in between (e.g. Bronte and Tamarama) are lovely, I definitly got tired and stopped having fun around Bronte Beach. But that’s probably because I didn’t bring any snacks with me.

This walk is one of the perfect things to do in Sydney in winter because the stunning views of the ocean and white sands of the beaches are the same all year long — but during the winter, you don’t have to fight with extreme temperatures and obnoxiously large crowds.

Go for a Spin at a Local Ice Rink

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

Ice skating is one of the best things to do in Sydney in winter simply because of the number of awesome options available to you. You should take the time to check out:

  • Luna Park

Every kid’s dream! During July, Luna Park has an ice skating / unlimited ride combo that’s sure to delight kids and anyone with an inner-kid. The park sells tickets by height, so if you, your boo, or your bestie is on the shorter side, you’ll be able to save big. Luna Park is also perfectly perched on the north edge of Sydney’s Harbour, so the views are unreal.

Get the deets here.

  • Bondi Beach

If you’re not too tired out after your coastal walk, you can stick around Bondi to skate and try to snag yourself one of the lifeguards from Bondi Rescue.

Get the deets here.

  • St. Mary’s Cathedral

The rink is a little small, but it’s convenient because it’s right in the CBD at St. Mary’s Cathedral, less than a 5-minute walk away from the St. James’ train stop. Skates are included in your admission ticket and the music played is on point.

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

Hot tip: the little blue kangaroos aren’t just for kids. Get your boo or bestie to push you around on one when your feet start to hurt.

Enjoy the Sydney Film Festival

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

Each June, Sydney celebrates the silver screen with the annual Sydney Film Festival. In any given year there are more than 300 screenings of over 180 films from 50+ countries.

There’s also always  engaging talks, parties and special events. So, whether or not you’re a movie buff, if you’re looking for things to do in Sydney in Winter, the film festival is your best bet of keeping warm.

Feel Cultured at the Biennale of Sydney

Things to do in winter in Sydney winter activities in Sydney Sydney Winter Activities

Created in 1973, Biennale of Sydney is an bi-annual showcase of nearly 1,800 artists from more than 100 countries. It holds an important place on both the national and international stage and is a must-see for any art or history lovers visiting Sydney during the winter.

It usually runs from March to June every other year and has multiple installations at multiple locations throughout the city.

Upcoming Biennales will be in 2020, 2022, 2024, and 2026.

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Wondering what to wear in Sydney during the winter? Here’s a packing list for Australia to help you out.

What To Wear in Sydney during the Winter

Before moving to Australia, I was cautioned about two things: its cost of living and its sheer size. “Budget extra time and money,” all the guidebooks warned. But guess what they all forgot? WINTER! So much for sunny Australia…ya girl is a popsicle.

what to wear in Sydney during the winter packing list Australia

And, given that American and European summer and Australian winter coincide, it’s likely that when you visit, it’ll be chilly, so here’s what to wear in Sydney during the Winter (so you’re not freezing like I am 90% of the time):

Pullovers

Winter in Sydney is eerily similar to “wear a sweater in the morning, but leave it in the car at lunch because you’re roasting, but you’ll turn into a popsicle at dinnertime without it” season in the Northern Hemisphere. Having a pullover is great option because you can slide it on and off throughout the day, depending on how you feel.

Here are a few to try out:

Tights

Tights have been lifesavers for me!

I brought lots sundresses and shorts with me, assuming that living in Australia would be like living in a perpetual oven. I was so wrong.

So, if your plan is to be in Sydney for a few days (or weeks!) and then trek to warmer parts of the country (like Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef or the Outback for Uluru), feel free to bring those warm weather clothes — just bring some tights to pop on underneath while you’re in the south.

Here are a few to try out:

Scarves

Not just a fashion statement, when planning what to wear in Sydney during the winter, scarves are actually pretty functional. A fun scarf will not only keep you warm in the perilous wind tunnels of the CBD, but can also make the outfit you spent all day exploring in suitable for a night out in Newtown.

Here are a few to try out:

Camis for Layering

Layers y’all. All about the layers. Not only can wearing an undershirt keep you warmer on a rainy Sydney night, but they’ve also been known to help shirts fit better and (in the words of my fave, Tan France) “elevate your look.”

Here are a few to try out:

Boots

What to wear in Sydney during the winter? Not flip flops (or thongs, as the Aussie’s call them…lol) or your trusty Birkenstocks. That’s for sure. It’s cold. It’s rainy. You want to keep your toes from getting frostbite. I’ve been living in my boots since I arrived down under and would suggest the same for you if you visit in the winter months.

Here are a few to try out:

Dark Jeans

Sydney is this really weird mix of New York and California.

I thought it was going to be all about laid back surfer vibes, and bits of it is, but there’s still a thrumming intensity that echoes around the palm trees. Everyone in the CBD looks so important in their suits and pencil skirts, and since traveling abroad is all about embracing a new culture, you’ll want to bring a dark pair of jeans to fit in with the local fashionistas. Rocking your regular baby blue jeans will make you stick out like a sore thumb…a sore foreign thumb.

Here are a few to try out:

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what to wear in Sydney during the winter packing list Australia

 

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