8 Sydney Activities You Can’t Afford to Miss

Sydney shines when it comes to outstanding art exhibitions and premiere musicals, and with a jam-packed calendar of inspiring, upcoming events, there’s no better time to visit the Harbour City for a culture-infused holiday.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said “Sydney is renowned for its glimmering Harbour, stunning beaches and iconic landmarks and, increasingly, it’s our blockbuster musicals, fine art, heritage tours and live performances that are attracting visitors from around the world.

“In YE June 2017, there were 7.3 million international and domestic overnight visitors in NSW who participated in cultural activities during their trip, especially from our key in-bound markets of China, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

“Aussies also showed their love of art and culture with a whopping 36 per cent of domestic overnight visitors to NSW attending at least one of our many world-class museums or art galleries.

“Over the Summer months, Sydney will play host to a calendar of cultural events which proves again that our Harbour City is Australia’s capital of major events and entertainment, so it’s time to start planning a visit now,” said Mr Marshall.

To help plan an exciting trip to Sydney full of art and culture, Destination NSW has curated a list of upcoming highlights:

  1. Do the Locomotion at the Sydney Lyric Theatre and see the Australian premiere of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, playing until 4 February

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the true story of the legendary singer’s journey from teenage songwriter to international superstar. The show includes her relationship with husband and songwriting partner Gerry Goffin, and their close friendship and playful rivalry with fellow songwriting duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

King’s hits include You’ve Got a FriendWill You Love Me TomorrowIt’s Too LateLocomotion(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Feel the Earth Move, along with chartbusting Mann/Weil tunes You’ve Lost That Lovin’ FeelingOn Broadway and Uptown.

  1. See exquisite sculptures alongside Sydney’s world-famous beaches at Sculpture by the Sea,from 19 October to 5 November

The world’s largest free sculpture exhibition, Sculpture by the Sea, returns to Sydney from 19 October to 5 November. Spanning two kilometres along the spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, Sculpture by the Sea will celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2017 and showcase more than 100 sculptures by artists from around Australia and the world.

  1. Walk through a forest of hanging lights, and get lost in a maze of floating fabric at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, from 1 November to 18 February

This Summer, Sydney hosts two exceptional art exhibitions as part of the Sydney International Art Series. Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist has achieved international acclaim as one of the pioneers of experimental video art and multimedia installations. Incorporating video and sculpture, her dazzling environments plunge viewers into colourful kaleidoscopic projections which explore the relationship between nature, the body and technology.

Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean presents the spectrum of Rist’s practice, from her early single-channel videos of the 1980s to her large-scale audio-visual installations and recent immersive environments, in one groundbreaking exhibition. Her work is an ode to the heart and the intellect, to the big emotions that sustain us as human beings and to the beauty of the world and the universe around us.

  1. TravMedia_Australia_medium-sized_1245678_Ballet Under The Stars, Evie Ferris and Saranja Crowe. Photo credit Wendell TeodoroBe captivated by world-class Ballet Under the Stars in beautiful surrounds in Penrith, on Saturday 4 November

Ballet Under the Stars is a free outdoor performance of world-class ballet at the Sydney International Regatta Centre. The Australian Ballet will perform an excerpt from the magical and highly acclaimed production The Sleeping Beauty, with its fairies and wood nymphs, bluebirds and storybook characters against the backdrop of Penrith Lakes. The company will also perform a selection of bite-sized works that will showcase the speed, athleticism, diversity and grace of the dancers.

  1. Admire Dutch masterpieces at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, from 11 November to 18 February

Also part of the Sydney International Art Series, Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum at the Art Gallery of New South Wales presents a richly unfolding panorama of Dutch society during the 17th century; an era of unparalleled wealth, power and cultural confidence. Drawn from the Rijksmuseum, the renowned national collection of the Netherlands, this exhibition includes a rare painting by Johannes Vermeer, and a room dedicated to one of the greatest minds in the history of art, Rembrandt van Rijn.

  1. Marvel at Mammoths! Giants of the Ice Age at the Australian Museum, from 18 November to 13 May

Journey back in time to when these mighty beasts roamed the Earth, and see a              near-perfectly preserved, 40,000 year-old baby woolly mammoth for the first time in Australia. The exhibition brings natural history to life and includes a rich collection of fossils, casts and cave drawings showing evidence of how early humans hunted and honoured these massive creatures.

Once considered mythical giants, this exhibition explores not only how these Ice Age creatures lived, forming herds similar in social structure to those of modern elephants, but also how they became extinct, including the impact of climate change, human predation and other factors.

  1. Catch up with your two new best friends Muriel and Rhonda in Muriel’s Wedding the Musical, from 18 November at the Roslyn Packer Theatre

One of the most loved Australian films of all time, Muriel’s Wedding, will make its world premiere in an exciting new musical adaptation this November, exclusively in Sydney. Directed by Simon Phillips (Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical and Priscilla Queen of the Desert) it has been scripted by the film’s original writer and director PJ Hogan, and will feature new music from home-grown singer-songwriters Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall.

Muriel’s Wedding the Musical is produced by Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures (Strictly Ballroom The Musical and Walking With Dinosaurs) and features an all-star cast including Maggie McKenna as Muriel, Madeleine Jones as Rhonda, Gary Sweet as Bill and Justine Clarke as the long-suffering Betty.

  1. TravMedia_Australia_1245682_Sydney Festival Village, 2017. Photo credit Jamie Williams (1)Get festive at the exuberant, exciting and forever effervescent Sydney Festival, from 6-28 January

A highlight of Sydney’s Summer calendar, Sydney Festivalpresents the biggest and best of the world’s performing and visual artists. From the Central Business District to Parramatta, Sydney Festival brings unique spaces to life with performances including the Meriton Festival Village in Hyde Park, Sydney Town Hall and The Domain, and takes over Sydney’s best venues including Carriageworks, Riverside Theatres and the Sydney Opera House.

For more information on these events and more, visit Sydney.com

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