Activities around Sydney

2-hour activities

If you only have a couple of hours, but want to explore or taste quotidian Sydney life, there we recommend visiting some of the inner-city Suburbs that each have their own unique charm.

Half-Day Activities

If you have spare time before or after the conference, we highly recommend you to do the scenic Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. The walk is located in Sydney’s east and spans approximately 6.5kms (one way). The walk connects two of Sydney’s most popular beaches. The walk offers beautiful ocean views and takes approximately 2.5-3-hours at a comfortable walking pace. You can start the walk either from Bondi beach or Coogee beach and will take you past Tamarama beach, Bronte beach, Clovelly beach and Gordon’s Bay.

From Central Station, you can best reach Bondi beach via train and bus (change from T4 in Bondi Junction to bus number 380, 381, 382 or 333). Coogee beach is best reached from Central on the 373 bus. When coming from Newtown, you can catch the 370 bus.

If you don’t want to do the whole walk, you can do sections of it, such as Bondi beach to Bronte beach, that takes approximately 1-hour. You will find buses that can take you back to Central station or the city at each of the beaches along the walk.

Image: https://www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-east/bondi/beach-lifestyle

Another famous beach is situated in the north of Sydney is Manly beach. You can reach Manly from Sydney’s main ferry terminal, Circular Quay. The ferry trip takes approximately 30-minutes. You can pay for ferry trips using your normal Opal card. Taking the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly offers stunning views of the Sydney skyline including the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. After reaching the ferry terminal in Manly, the beach is a 5-minute walk away. If you want to go for a walk, you can explore the Manly to North Head walk. You can also visit Shelly beach, popular with scuba divers and those who prefer calmer waters. Shelly beach is about 10-minutes walk along Marine Parade from Manly beach. Along the way, you will pass the Fairy Bower Rockpool. This cute little historic pool was built by residents and is a lovely spot to relax and take in the seaside atmosphere.

Image: https://www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-north/manly/attractions/fairy-bower-pool

One-Day Activities

If you have a whole day before or after the conference, and you have ticked Sydney’s must do’s off your list, we recommend you to escape the city and see some of the following highlights:

Approximately 70 kilometres west of Sydney, you can enjoy nature in the Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Area. The Blue Mountains – which are so named because of the eucalyptus mist, which refracts light, making it look blue, can be reached by car in approximately 1.5-hours. You can also easily travel there by public transport on the train (Blue Mountains Line) in under 2-hours. Arriving in Katoomba, you can choose from various nature and bush walks, stopping by the scenic rock formation ‘Three Sisters’.

‘Three Sisters’ – lookout in the Blue Mountains. Image: Marius Hoggenmueller

South of Sydney is the Royal National Park – the second oldest national park in the world. The Royal National Park is best to reach via public transport (1.5h in total) from Cronulla Station (T4). From Cronulla you can take a ferry to picturesque coastal village Bundeena. After having a swim at one of Bundeena’s beautiful beaches, you can begin your hike in the bordering Royal National Park. Don’t forget to stop by the ‘Wedding Cake Rock’ – a sandstone rock formation which earned its name from the resemblance to a slice of a wedding cake.

If you feel like having a long and relaxing day at the beach, we recommend you to explore Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Sydney’s most northern beach is ‘Palm Beach’, which is much less crowded compared to the city beaches. When visiting Palm Beach, you should also do the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk, which gives you a spectacular view overlooking Palm Beach and the surrounding beaches and coast. Reaching the most northern beaches takes approximately 1.5-2 hours from the city centre. The easiest way to get there is to take a bus that departs from Wynyard Station.

‘Barrenjoey Lighthouse’ – view over Palm Beach. Image: Marius Hoggenmueller

Note: Bushfires have affected some of the previously mentioned destinations, so please check the latest information from Destination NSW and NSW Rural Fire Service before starting your trip.

Places to exercise

If you’d like to keep up your exercise routine while you are visiting Sydney, there are many running tracks, ovals, parks and swimming pools that you can access, that are central to the city or close to the conference venues. 

Swimming pools

Image: https://www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-north/north-sydney-and-chatswood/attractions/north-sydney-olympic-pool

Galleries and Museums

Sydney offers a variety of world-class galleries and museums.

Overview of some current special exhibitions

Some smaller galleries that are close to the conference venues are :

Events in Sydney in February

  1. Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2020: From the sensational spectacle of the Parade to poignant panel discussions, phenomenal parties and pioneering queer performers, Mardi Gras 2020 is a diverse showcase of talent and diversity with events to involve every walk of LGBTQI life.
    The festivities kick-off on Friday 14 February and run until Sunday 1 March, featuring a fabulously diverse program of events including dazzling dance parties, top-tier theatre, music, world-class workshops and family-focused fun, culminating with the iconic Parade on Saturday 29 February.
  2. Pride Fair Day: An all-day rainbow adventure for the whole family, Fair Day is a landmark of the Mardi Gras Festival that sees our communities shine brightly together.

Enjoy the summer sunshine with a picnic, shop the community stalls for your Festival outfit or join the fun and games in the Sports Village. There is something on offer for everyone, including your precious fur babies who can strut their stuff at the world-famous Doggywood competition.

[The] Main Stage has become a festival hotspot in recent years, proudly showcasing up-and-coming and leading queer performers who are redefining the Australian music landscape to ensure LGBTQI+ voices and stories are heard. 2020 will include a spotlight on favourite queer hip hop artists, electric live sets from Bec Sandridge and Ngaiire, plus beloved community DJs taking over the decks at sun-down. (Text from website)

Climate

In February, Sydney normally experiences mild weather, 19 to 26 degrees celsius. You can expect warm days and cooler evenings. There is usually not much rainfall this time of year. The sun in Australia is much harsher than what you may be used to and your skin will burn much faster here than other parts of the world! If you expect to spend some time in the sun, we recommend you are prepared for this by packing a hat, sunnies and some sunscreen.

What to pack