Sydney is most famous for its summer when visitors flock to the beaches and explore the harbour, but autumn is also great time to come and experience the best that the city has to offer. The months of March, April and May typically have mild temperatures in the mid to low-20’s and very little humidity, which makes it perfect for strolling through the city streets. Autumn also sees four of Sydney’s best loved events! Take a look:
St Patrick’s Day – 17 March
Dig out your green clothing, grab some temporary shamrock tattoos and head into the city to celebrate everything Irish. The Sydney St Patrick’s Day Parade and Family Day is held the day before on Sunday 16th and is the biggest Irish Event in the Southern Hemisphere with over 80,000 people turning up to support it. The parade, with huge Irish-inspired floats, starts at midday on the corner of Bathurst Street and George Street and then proceeds along George Street, down Park Street, Elizabeth Street and James Street. The Family Day part of the celebration takes place in Hyde Park from 1pm and shows off the talents of Irish bands while having a specialised children’s area, lots of food, merchandise and other fun. This huge event is also one of the top 5 St Patrick’s Day events in the world!
The Royal Easter Show – 10-23 April
This is Australia’s biggest annual event and attracts almost 900,000 people from all over the country. It’s a fundamentally Australian event that celebrates our culture and rural traditions by featuring animal shows, wood chopping competitions, carnival games, extreme rides, glorious food and more.
The Royal Easter Show can be an educational experience for kids as they can learn about farming and animals. Take them to see live shearing and then touch the sheep’s fleece, watch pig washing, milk a cow or wander around to see and touch some of the 14,000 different animals on site. You’ll also learn something new at the Food Farm where you find out where food comes from and try your hand at pastry rolling, egg collecting and veggie digging.
The adults can head over to the Sydney Royal Beer and Wine Garden for a drink or scope out some fresh gourmet delights like jams, honeys, scones and other treats sourced from the best local spots in the country. If you prefer just to look at your food ,then see the iconic District Exhibits that use food and natural products to create huge, stunning displays.
The Royal Easter Show is a serious competition for some ,so you can watch equestrians, see the cat or dog shows, farm animal and flower judging. And don’t forget the best part – the massive Showbag Hall that offers over 300 different showbags filled with chocolate, candy, magazines and games. It just wouldn’t be the Easter Show if you didn’t leave with more than you can carry.
Anzac Day – 25 April
Anzac Day is when the country stops and remembers all Australians who died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. This day is an Australian public holiday and sees ceremonies held across the country at significant spots like the Australian War Memorial. In 2013 35,000 people attended the Dawn Service here and 17,000 attended the National Ceremony.
Anzac Day is fundamental to Australia’s sense of national identity and celebrates the virtues of courage, sacrifice and comradery. Parades, marches and church ceremonies are common occurrences. An interesting tradition is that Anzac day is the only day of the year that the game “two-up” is allowed to be played in many Australian states. It is a simple gambling game using two coins and is usually illegal.
And for those who don’t know, Anzac stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and the date is significant as the day that the Anzac’s landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, in 1915 during World War I.
Vivid Sydney – 23 May – 9 June
Vivid Sydney is an exciting event that started in 2009 and has been a huge local favourite. Creative industry leaders come together to transform the city with colour, light, music, visual art and performances.
Last year saw the Harbour Bridge changing colours according to participant’s whims, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s outside walls were coloured with a projection that made it fall apart, freeze and morph to music. You could walk between a field of light sticks, watch fountains dance with colour, play music in a light dome or see neon glowing fish bigger than people slide on by. And of course the sails of the Opera House were lit up with images that moved and changed to the beat of music.
Most of the events and exhibitions are free so take a walk through Circular Quay, The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Walsh Bay and the CBD to see the beautiful light sculptures, installations and interactive art. Be sure to bring a camera!
These lively cultural events prove that Sydney really is a city for all seasons. There’s always something to do and somewhere new to discover – so come visit!