The days are warm, sunny and ideal for outdoor activities on autumn holidays in Sydney. It’s a time of festivals and parades, so book a Sydney autumn hotel when the summer heat has mellowed.
Royal Easter Show
The countryside comes to the city in April, with family fun at the Sydney Olympic Park showground. Catch a ferry or train to Homebush Bay in western Sydney to ride the Ferris wheel and carnival attractions, watch the grand parade of animals, see sheep-shearing demonstrations and fill your arms with showbags. With show ponies, rodeos, fireworks, dog judging and prize-winning bulls, the Royal Easter Show is the biggest agricultural get-together in the country.
Autumn holidays in Sydney coincide with festival time in the city. Catch the sequinned tail end of the flamboyant Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in early March, then read up during the Sydney Writers’ Festival in May. Venues for lively panel discussions and readings include the Sydney Opera House and Pier 4/5 at Walsh Bay. Mingle with inner-city locals at the Surry Hills Festival in April, with roving entertainers, dog appreciation parades, food, crafts and music. Jazz, food and wine from local restaurants surround the El Alamein Fountain in Kings Cross in May.
You’ll need to leave your Sydney autumn hotel early to catch the Anzac Day dawn service on 25 April, a public holiday. Hushed crowds paying their respects to family members who fought at Gallipoli in the First World War surround the Cenotaph in Martin Place in the city centre to hear the poignant Last Post bugle call. Later in the morning a parade of pipers, drummers and veterans makes its way from the Cenotaph to the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, and pubs around the city host long lunches as friends, families and former soldiers unite.
Autumn racing carnival
Glamorous frocks and entertainment on and off the track fill Sydney’s autumn racing carnival, running throughout the season from March to May. The premier race is the Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens, in western Sydney, the world’s richest race for two-year-old thoroughbreds, while fashions on the field are a highlight of Derby Day at Royal Randwick in south Sydney.