• Various locations around Sydney in SYDNEY, NSW

For three weeks in January, the Sydney Festival brings a wide range of artistic, theatrical and cultural events to venues all over Sydney. The festival includes well over 100 events including dance and musical performances, circus acts and theatrical productions. The beginning of the year sees Sydney experience a flurry of artistic events including performances and visual arts. The Sydney Festival has been running each year since 1977 and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from within Sydney and around the country. The Sydney Festival features over 900 artists from more than 17 countries. Events include dance, theatre, music, the visual and cross media arts as well as forums and presentations. Productions vary each year, and there is always something to attract anyone interested in some cultural enrichment.

One of the largest competitive keelboat regattas in Australia, the Sydney Harbour Regatta sees the city’s waterways packed with over 180 keelboats competing in 25 divisions. The event features seven course areas spread across the harbour plus on-site entertainment and dining options for spectators. The Sydney Harbour Regatta was created by the Middle Harbour Yacht Club in 2006 and has grown in size and popularity each year since then. The warm conditions of early March along with four state championships and the addition of a Super Group racing event make the regatta one of the most popular early-year events in Sydney. For those spectating from the shore there are a wide range of entertainment options organised by the Middle Harbour Yacht Club. These include live performances, beach parties, and BBQ and dining choices.

One of the largest celebrations of sexual diversity in the world, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras attracts over 500,000 visitors and participants from around the world. The centrepiece of the event is the world-famous parade and dance party, and there are many other events including film festivals, academic discussions and more. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras began in the 1970s as a way for Sydney’s gay and lesbian community to promote gay rights and march against discrimination. Today, the event celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQI+ community through colourful and creative expression. The major events featured in the festival include the renowned parade through Sydney’s CBD, featuring over 12,000 participants on a range of colourful floats. After the parade is one of the largest parties in the country with a host of national and international guests. In addition, there are other celebratory events including Mardi Gras Fair Day with live music and entertainment, the Mardi Gras Awards, the Bondi Beach Drag Races, the Mardi Gras Film Festival, and the Queer Thinking academic discussion panel.

  • Sydney in SYDNEY, NSW

One of the largest outdoor sculpture exhibitions in the world, Bondi’s Sculpture by the Sea is an annual event that transforms two kilometres of coastline into a unique sculpture park. This free event takes place over three weeks and attracts over 500,000 visitors each year. The Sculpture by the Sea event has been held each year on the scenic Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk since 1997. Since then the event has grown to feature over 100 individual sculptures created by artists from all over the world. Sculpture by the Sea turns the coastline between Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama beaches into a massive two-kilometre outdoor sculpture park enjoyed by half a million visitors each year. This free event has been so popular that there have been versions staged in Perth since 2005 and Aarhus, Denmark since 2009.

Over the course of April into early May, the breathtaking rainforests of the Blue Mountains play host to a range of unique outdoor art exhibits. Sculpture at Scenic World turns over two kilometres of Katoomba’s rainforest walkway into a large open-air gallery. Sculpture at Scenic World is an annual event spread over five weekends across April and May. It is hosted at Katoomba’s popular Scenic World attraction and uses the natural environment of the Blue Mountains to create a large outdoor sculpture gallery that stretches 2.4 kilometres along natural rainforest. A visit to Sculpture at Scenic World includes several free workshops and activities, as well guided tours of the exhibits. You can also enjoy other attractions while visiting including unlimited rides on the Scenic Railway and Cableway, as well as a range of accommodation and dining selections.

One of the largest surfing events in the southern hemisphere, Surfest sees surfers competing from all over the world in a series of competitions. Hundreds of competitors from over thirty countries take part in the event, and the thirteen-day festival also sees a host of local entertainment and dining options for spectators. Surfest has been attracting surfers and spectators alike to Newcastle’s beaches since 1985. Currently held at Merewether Beach, the event features over twelve international surfing events as well as a number of smaller surfing events leading up to the major competitions. Since 2017 Surfest has grown to become a major festive event as well as an international surfing competition. There is a pop-up market featuring local arts and crafts, plus delicious cuisine and sweet treats from local food stalls and restaurants.

Main cities in New South Wales

Regions in New South Wales

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