Sydney’s diverse multicultural identity ensures a never-ending array of fabulous festivals in which visitors can often participate alongside the locals. Neighborhood festivals might celebrate anything from a local ethnic community to specialty food, the arts or a religious occasion, and they happen throughout the year.
In Leichhardt, the Sydney Italian Festival takes place in May; at Redfern, the Dank Street Festival of culture and heritage is held in October; and Cabramatta’s Moon Festival occurs at the moon’s equinox, usually in Septe Starting with a traditional corroboree, Yabun is the indigenous celebration of Australia Day (January 26) by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Held in Victoria Park, on the western edge of the city, the main stage hosts a diverse line-up of indigenous comedians, musicians, and celebrities to entertain the crowds. Stalls offering crafts, food, face-painting, and more line the park and add to the festivities.mber.
Over 3,000 paddlers compete in Dragon Boat races on Darling Harbour, a parade of floats and Chinese dragons dance through the city streets during the twilight parade, and Chinatown is decorated with red for good luck
Best Places for a Drink with a View
At the northern end of Bondi Beach, a huge wraparound veranda buzzes with beachgoers and locals relaxing at the end of a long, hot day. “The Rats,” more formally known as the North Bondi Returned Soldiers League Club, has uninterrupted views of the entire beach, and a bird’s-eye view of the bronzed surfers and lifeguards that are so Bondi.
Located on the Bay Street Ferry wharf, the Australian 18 Footers League Club’s floor-to-ceiling windows give a panoramic view of Double Bay. Relax in one of the huge lounges and watch the play of sunlight on water, or follow the 18 Footer skiffs as they skim down the harbor.
The Coast Golf Club sits in the midst of a green sanctuary of courses clinging to a rugged coastline at Little Bay, less than 8 miles (12 km) from the city. The members-only St Michaels and NSW Golf clubs are nearby, but at The Coast you can enjoy a quiet afternoon drink with scenic views of the coastline. Sydney Flying Squadron’s huge deck over Milsons Point captures the evening sun and makes it the perfect place for a pre-dinner drink.
On a Saturday in summer, join the cruise which follows the skiffs around the harbor. Every fourth Sunday of the month is a little livelier with “Jazz at the Squaddy.” International visitors can sign into a club with identification, and club prices ensure a cold Aussie beer impacts only lightly on the traveling budget.
The Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is much more than just a colorful parade of floats and costumes. Held over three weeks in February and March, its diverse events include cabarets, film festivals, live theater, history walks, and a hugely popular picnic called Fair Day, all culminating in the riotous night-long Mardi Gras Party.