santa hats, beach

What the heck do you do for a Summer Christmas?

If you thought that having a scorcher of a Christmas was weird, buckle up, because this ride has just begun. We warned you…

If you did your research, you’ll know that while your friends back home are having a White Christmas, the closest you’ll get to snow here is white sand. But that doesn’t mean summer will be a bummer. We’ve got a list of things to help you chase your winter woes away and enjoy an Aussie summer in Sydney. 


beach and swimmers
Image: A walk to the beach (Source: @wakeuphostels)

Grab your sunnies and slap on some sunscreen because it’s beach season, which means sun, sand and surf. A classic summer for Aussies means at least one – maybe two, maybe ten – trips to the beach. Whether you’re there to work the waves or work on your tan, summer is always a good reason to go soak some sun. Sydney has no shortage of beach spots, so hop on a bus or train to your closest sandy paradise.


And no, we don’t mean set fire to a bunch of dolls. Aussie summer is the time for hosting (or attending) a BBQ with friends – and there’s absolutely no shortage of places that you can enjoy a snag (sausage). There are BBQs for public use near beaches and parks, so do a little digging online to find a place to relax and enjoy a summer BBQ with a view. Otherwise, prepare the BBQ the night before (or the morning of), then pack it all up and take your party to a park.


ocean view
Image: Bondi to Coogee Walk (Source: April Maung)

There are so many ways to spend summer in Sydney but the most popular activity with both locals and newcomers are the coastal walks. There are so many to choose from, but you can’t go wrong with the classic Bondi to Coogee walk – a whole 6km of just you and the ocean view. For something a little longer but just as rewarding, take the path to the Manly to Spit Bridge walk. If you want uninterrupted views of the harbour, explore Bradleys Head and walk to Chowder Bay for something a little extra.


Image: Treat yourself to some fresh seafood (Source: @sydneyfishmarket)

Nothing better than spending a weekend at the markets – and summer means soaking in the sun with the locals at your nearest market. Newtown Market is best for all your vegan needs, so do your research and you’ll find plenty more suited to your tastes. But an even more Aussie summer activity is taking on Sydney Fish Market, the biggest market of its kind in the Southern hemisphere. There’s more than just fish at the market, with cafes, restaurants and ice cream on offer.


avocado on toast
Image: Indulge in the best brunch food (Source: @carriageworksfarmersmarket)

Foodies rejoice! Sydney has its fair share of upscale restaurants and elevated dining experiences, but nothing beats a good breakfast done right. If you want to eat the best without breaking the bank, head to Carriageworks Farmers Markets for brunch. Not only do they have fresh food and produce, but they have food stalls for the perfect variety. If you’re feeling a little more fancy, head to Tramsheds and choose one of their 11 amazing restaurants. And to top it all off, get the best gelato in town at Ciccone and Sons Gelateria in Redfern. The popular dessert shop makes their gelato just the right sweetness for the best post-meal experience.


You can’t beat a classic day out to see a movie and grab a bite to eat. But this outdoor cinema has taken this holiday staple and turned it up to the stars. Watch your favourite flicks or some cult classics under the stars at Moonlight Cinema in Paddington. Make sure to bring your credit or debit card because Moonlight Cinema is cash free. If you want to save money, they’re open to BYO drinks and food – so pack a bunch of nibbles and something to sip on and make the most of this cinema experience.


picnic by the water
Image: Picnic? Yes please! (Source: @bellaliddle)

If you weren’t already planning one, here’s your cue. Pick up that picnic basket and enjoy summer to the fullest. What better than food, sun and fun in your local park to refresh your mind and soul. From the Royal Botanic Gardens to local parks around Central and Redfern, there is so much greenery to host a cute lunch on. If you’re looking for even more spots than just parks and grass to picnic on, then read our Christmas on a budget blog for more places and spaces to go.


music festival
Image: Dance to the music at summer festivals (Source: @return_to_rio)

Summer is the best time to sweat it out, so tick two boxes with one activity by sweating it out – at a music festival! Sydney is already a hub for music, culture and dance festivals but summer just brings out the best of the festivities. There are big music festivals like Return to Rio and SubSonic, but also local festivals like Newtown Festival that support local Aussie artists. Whatever your music and dance (or food) taste, summer in Sydney has got you covered with the best festivals to attend.


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If the heat is making you feel sluggish, then forget planning and check the Wake Up! activities schedule for the ultimate staycation. From personal trainer and yoga sessions to work off the Christmas festivities, to pub crawls and beer pong competitions, Wake Up! offers more than just a bed. Plus, stay during the New Year’s buzz at our Central location and save the trek home after the countdown. Even better, celebrate the countdown at Side Bar and just walk back up to your dorm afterwards. How good!


The warmer weather is perfect for so many must do’s to be ticked off your list. Make the most of the heat and find out for yourself how amazing a summer in Sydney really is! And if you’re really stumped for activities, know that Wake Up! has got you covered with their weekly schedule plus more.

by April Maung

A Sydney-based journalist keen to walk the streets of Tokyo and explore Parisian cafes. Absolutely in love with cat videos and chocolate-filled donuts. Catch her on Instagram at @aprilyoon.

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