As Autumn approaches, Sydney shows no sign of slowing down. From Mardi Gras to theatre productions, farmers markets and fashion, Sydney has it all. The only problem is finding time to fit it all in! Whether you are a local or a visitor, here is our top 10 things to do in Sydney this Autumn.
West Side Story – Handa Opera
22nd March – 21st April 2019
Leonard Bernstein’s beloved all-singing, all-dancing New York masterpiece is back at the Opera House, beginning with a massive outdoor production as part of the annual Handa Opera during Autumn, followed by a limited theatre season inside the Opera House during Winter.
For those who’ve somehow never seen West Side Story, it’s a 1950s musical take on Romeo and Juliet with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents. Instead of warring families, it features warring – if not too fearsome – New York City gangs. The score features songs like ‘Tonight’, ‘Maria’, ‘America’, ‘Something’s Coming’ and ‘Somewhere’.
Located just across the harbour from The Russell Boutique Hotel, the Kirribilli Markets are a hidden gem for Sydney locals, offering an expertly curated selection of vintage, fashion, art, and design. The markets are on twice a month – the second Sunday of the month (Art, Fashion & Design), and the fourth Saturday of the month (General Markets).
From The Russell, it is a quick ferry ride across to Milsons Point (Luna Park) then a walk up the hill to the markets.
Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival
Held every year for six weeks throughout March and April, this horse racing event brings the crème de la crème to Sydney, and is the wealthiest horse racing event in Australia!
If you can only catch one race, make it the Championships Day 2: Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day. With the winning purse at 4 million, the stakes are high for this race. But it’s not all about the most expensive race of the whole carnival, it’s the style. With plenty of food and beverage options, as well as fashions on the field, even if horse racing isn’t up your alley, visit the event for the fashion, people, food and entertainment.
Mardi Gras Parade
Sat 2nd March
Building on four decades of powerful protest and LGBTQI celebration, the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is the biggest night of the year. A bustling extravaganza that brings Sydney to a standstill and shines a global spotlight on LGBTQI lives, culture, communities and creativity. Expect colour, expect life, expect huge crowds of excited parade viewers lining the streets. Make your way to Oxford Street or Flinders Street early to secure a good spot!
St Patricks Day
Sunday 17th March, 2019
The Rocks has always had a strong Irish contingent to celebrate St Patricks Day, with some of the best Guinness outside of Ireland being poured at the local pubs Fortune of War & The Mercantile. In 2019 official celebrations also move to The Rocks, the area transforming into an Irish village with live music, market stalls and family-friendly activities. The official St Patricks Day Parade will move from Circular Quay to Dawes Point.
Royal Easter Show
Fri 12th April – Tuesday 23rd April 2019
Sydney Royal Easter Show has been celebrating the best of Australia since 1823. From the action-packed international rodeo, woodchop and polo competitions, to carnival rides, nightly fireworks and live entertainment, animal nursery and animals on display, arts and crafts, 400 retail outlets and over 160 food outlets offering Australia’s finest as well as a range of international cuisine, the Show has something for everyone. As a cultural icon, it welcomes visitors from more than 60 destinations each year coming to sample Australian life in the heart of Sydney, at Sydney Olympic Park.
Thursday 25th April, 2019
Anzac Day is a day of remembrance. It is an opportunity for veterans, current service women and men and the general public to pay their respects to those who have served our country. The day begins early with a Dawn Service in Martin Place, followed by other commemorative services throughout the day. After paying their respects, locals often find their way to a local pub for a feed and a game of 2UP, a tradition that spans decades and provides veterans and the general public a chance to interact and pay respect to service men and women.
If you have an early start planned for the dawn service, book a room at The Russell Boutique Hotel and make the short trip to Martin Place for the service, then join us at the Fortune of War for 2UP, live music, and raise a glass to the diggers.
Super Long Weekend
Friday 19th April – Sunday 28th April
EASTER WEEKEND SPECIAL – Stay 3 nights or more and save 10%*!
Enjoy the Easter Long Weekend and stay at The Russell Boutique Hotel. No prepayment required, includes FREE WIFI and Continental Breakfast Daily.
* Conditions Apply. Discount valid on rates Thu 18th April – Tues 23rd April 2019. Minimum 3 night stay required. 10% total discount, including 5% best rate direct discount and additional 5% Easter Weekend discount.
Public Service Announcement: request 3 days of annual leave and be treated to a 10 day break! In 2019, The Easter Weekend (Fri 19th – Mon 22nd April) combines with the ANZAC Day Public holiday (Thu 25th April) to provide you with the perfect opportunity for a getaway. With so much to see and do around Sydney, it’s time to book a staycation in this beautiful city of ours!
Whether you’re enjoying a cocktail at The Push, lunch in First Fleet Bistro, or exploring the cobblestone laneways of The Rocks, The Russell Boutique Hotel is perfectly located to be in the heart of all of the best shows, restaurants, and tourist sites.
Sunday 12th May, 2019
Mother’s deserved to be spoiled every day for their tireless love and dedication, but if you are looking for the ultimate gift a weekend getaway might be exactly what she is after. Stay at The Russell Boutique Hotel, enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast, and treat her to lunch or high tea at one of the nearby restaurants or cafes, such as The Tea Cosy. If she’s more of the cocktails and champagne type, toast to her at The Push!
Friday 24th May – Saturday 15th June 2019
As the world’s largest festival of lights, music, and ideas, VIVID Sydney incorporates the famous Festival Light Walk from The Rocks to Circular Quay, as well as displays at Darling Harbour, Taronga Zoo, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and Barangaroo. The sails of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge will both again be illuminated as part of the Festival Light Walk.
Our top tips for Vivid – take a few days to see it all (staying in nearby accommodation The Russell Boutique Hotel), and visit mid-week for the least crowded experiences.