There's no rest for the wicked. As the Southern Hemisphere moves into winter, Sydney is coming alight with two epic festivals to lure you across the Ditch. There's time between now and then to get your flights booked and your accommodation sorted - so consider this your heads-up.
The first is Sydney Solstice, a 12-day celebration that leads up to the longest day of the year - winter solstice on June 21. This festival is brand new this year. Across four precincts there'll be food, music, arts and culture to be found, from a dance stage in Chinatown, to a winter wonderland at Darling Harbour, to a surprising gig venue - at Sydney's Observatory.
The sails of the Opera House will host work from indigenous artists each evening, lighting up as the sun sets over the harbour. And despite the mild Australian climate (expect lows of around 8 degrees), there will be snow - families should check out the harbourside Winter Fair for that.
There'll also be pop-up bars in the city's new mini laneway precinct, YCK (around York, Clarence and Kent Streets downtown), and live music around the city. sydneysolstice.com
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Next is Vivid Sydney, from August 6 to 28. This is an annual festival of light, music and ideas, which first lit up the city in 2009. You'll find striking installations and projections across public spaces and iconic architecture - think The Rocks, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour and more. Imagine the opera house and bridge lit up like a technicoloured dream.
There will be music, food, and talks and forums with creatives and intellectuals.
Colour and light are the festival's calling card, however, and this year there are three particularly stunning works: Ephemeral, an "art-chitecture" piece in the form of a walkway surrounded by 200 giant iridescent bubble-like spheres, that will feel as if you're walking across the harbour; Point of View, a ghostly projection down at Sydney's historic The Rocks; and Vorax, an animated 3D tale that will be projected on to the heritage Customs House building near Circular Quay.
Each Vivid Sydney event is a year in the planning. However after the cancellation of 2020's festival, 2021's promises to be extra special. The city usually welcomes tens of thousands of international visitors to the festival each year - this year, New Zealanders will be the guests of honour. vividsydney.com