Things to do in Sydney

Visiting Sydney in December: All you need to know

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Sydney is the best antidote to the dreary winters in the Northern Hemisphere! In this part of the world, summer is on its way and the weather is spectacular with blue skies and mild weather. The city is a great tourist destination all year, but there is a special joy in celebrating Christmas by lounging on the great white beaches during the day and then heading to watch the Christmas lights and ice skate at night! It is Christmas with a twist and you will love it! Apart from Christmas, Sydney is enjoying its summer and there are tons of adventure and nature activities on offer, as well as festivals that compare with the best in Europe. Here is a guide on what to do, and what to see in Sydney in December.

What makes Sydney in December Special?

sydney in december

  • Sunny Christmas – For those who cannot bear the snow and rain that occupies much of Europe in December, Sydney in December is a welcome change! The onset of summer is pleasant with beautiful bright days. This however does not dampen the spirit of Christmas and New Year, which is celebrated with much fervor.
  • Outdoor activities – Australia is a fantastic destination for adventure and nature lovers and Sydney is not far behind and summer is the best time to explore the region. Just walking through the city is a pleasure on a sunny day in December. If you are up for more adventure then go skydiving or climb the Sydney Bridge. Or let the city fall behind and explore the Blue Mountains and its wealth of nature.
  • Events and entertainment – Sydney in December is one of the busiest times of the year, tourist numbers are high and so are the events and festivals scheduled for the summer. From the iconic Sydney fireworks to the Opera House shows, there is never a dull moment when you are here!

Sydney in December: Weather

Sydney in December - weather

The weather is just about right in Sydney in December. It is the start of summer and you will experience bright blue skies, with occasional rain showers. The average daytime temperatures range around 25°C while it lowers to around 18°C at night. The sea temperature is around a pleasant 21°C making it ideal for a swim and water sport activities.

Sydney in December: Top Experiences


Sydney Harbour Cruises

sydney in december - Harbour Cruise

The Sydney Harbour is one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, and a cruise is the best way to enjoy its natural beauty and cityscape. You can enjoy a 75-minute express cruise or enjoy a lunch, high tea or dinner cruise or sip on a cocktail and soak in the sights.

December Timings
Depends on the chosen cruise.


Circular Quay Wharf No.6, Sydney Harbour, Sydney

Getting There ›


Skydive Sydney

sydney in december - Skydive Sydney

Dive down 15,000 ft at over 200 km/hr and feel the adrenaline rush all the while enjoying brilliant views of Newcastle and Wollongong regions. The bright summer weather of December is the best time to skydive and the tandem dive is perfect for even first-timers!

December Timings
Newcastle Beach:
Mon – Fri - 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Sat – Sun - 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Every day - 7:00 AM - 11:00 AM


Blue Mountains

sydney in december - Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are the perfect summer getaway from Sydney. You can visit the koalas on a wildlife tour at Featherdale National Park, explore the rock formations at Jenolan Cave, take a ride on the Skyway, and meet aboriginals at Waradah. There is a lot to pack in at the Blue Mountains!

December Timings
Depends on chosen tour.


New South Wales 2787,
Getting There ›


Sydney Bridge Climb

sydney in december - Sydney Bridge Climb

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an iconic landmark and you can now conquer all the 1,300 steps to the summit or if you are short on time, climb 556 steps to take in the views of the harbour. With climbs starting at 4:00 AM and running till twilight, you can view the city in a variety of settings.

December Timings
Summit Express – Mon – Fri - 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Summit Sampler – Every day - 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM
Summit – Every day - 4:00 AM, 5:00 AM, 6:00 AM, every hour from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM


3 Cumberland St, The Rocks NSW 2000,
Getting There ›


Sydney Taroonga Zoo

sydney in december - Sydney Taroonga Zoo

Sydney’s Taronga Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals from over 350 species and you can spot animal species from across the world, from Sumatran Tigers to Asian Elephants. Save time with a skip the line ticket, or spend on a guided tour for the premium experience complete with a zookeeper guide and cable car ride.

December Timings
Every day – 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Last entry at 4:00 PM)


Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman NSW 2088,
Getting There ›


Sydney Opera House Tour and Dining

sydney in december - Sydney Opera House

Explore the Sydney Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, through a guided tour and learn the secrets of the backstage. Finish your tour with a meal at one of the exquisite restaurants at the Opera House.

December Timings
Depends on chosen tour.


Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000,
Getting There ›


Sydney Tower Eye

sydney in december - Sydney Tower Eye

Take in 360-degree views of Sydney from the top of the Sydney Tower. The observation deck at 820 feet offers views of the Sydney Harbour, Opera House, and even the Blue Mountains. The clear blue skies of summer in December are the perfect time for these picturesque landscape views.

December Timings
Every day – 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM (Last entry 8:00 PM)


100 Market St, Sydney NSW 2000,
Getting There ›


A Day Trip From Sydney

sydney in december - Day Trip

Sydney has a lot to offer to a traveler but beyond it are hidden treasures that will leave you amazed! Take a trip to Hunter Valley and savor the region’s famous wines and delicious food, or take a tour of Australia’s North Coast and explore Nelson Bay and Port Stephens where you can spot dolphins!

December Timings
Depends on chosen tour.


Sydney Opera House Show

sydney in december - Sydney Opera House Show

Watching a show at the Sydney Opera House should be on every traveler’s itinerary! Many shows premiere in December and in 2019 you can choose from The Marriage of Figaro, Il viaggo a Reims, Bryn Terfel in concert, La Boheme, Carmen, or the Opera Gala on New Year’s Eve.

December Timings
Depends on chosen show


Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000,
Getting There ›


SEA Life Sydney Aquarium

sydney in december - SEA Life Sydney Aquarium

If you are traveling with kids don’t forget to make a stop at the SEA Life Sydney Aquarium. Since it’s summer the queues are long, but take a skip the line ticket and view more than 13,000 animals across 650 species, belonging to over 14 themed zones.

December Timings
Every day – 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM


1-5 Wheat Rd, Sydney NSW 2000,
Getting There ›

Sydney in December: Events to Look Out For

Narrabeen Lake Festival

Narrabeen Lake Festival

First Saturday of December
A day out at the lake is just the perfect way to spend a summer day. The Narrabeen Lake Festival is a summer festival that brings together over 140 businesses to set up stalls that serve food, and sell artisanal products, fresh produce, clothing, and quirky handmade and antique stuff.

sydney in december - New Year’s Eve in Sydney

New Year’s Eve in Sydney

31st December 2023
Watching the Sydney Bridge erupting in a brilliant display of fireworks is what New Year’s Eve is all about! Some of the best vantage points in the city to watch the fireworks are Darling Harbour, Sydney Opera House, Observatory Hill Park, Kangaroo Reserve, Bradfield Park, and Pirrama Park.

Sydney in December: 3-day Itinerary

If you're visiting Sydney in November and are looking for an itinerary that you can simply adapt, here's our handcrafted 3-day itinerary.

Sydney in December: Essentials




Time zoneGMT+11


Country Code+61


Socket Type I


CurrencyAustralian Dollar

Weather in Sydney in December

December witnesses the start of summer in Sydney and it’s not yet too hot with daytime temperatures averaging around 25°C. The days are long, with sunrise at around 5:40 AM and sunset around 8:00 PM, giving you ample time to indulge in outdoor activities. You will experience only occasional rain; it skies are generally clear throughout the month.

Where to stay in Sydney in December

Sydney is a large city and there are pockets of neighborhoods which are suitable for different travelers. The Sydney CBD and Darling Harbour area is ideal for first time travelers as its close to many landmarks. Kings Cross is suitable for backpackers while Surry Hills is the best for hipster cafes and quirky accommodation. Here are some of our favorite hotels in the city –

What to pack for Sydney in December

Bring your best summer clothing to Sydney in December. You will have a lot of outdoor activities and events to attend, so you can pack summer dresses and if you are participating in adventure activities then pack full-length pants and T-shirts to protect yourself. Don’t forget sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, as there can be terribly hot days! The sea temperature is perfect for a swim, bring along swimwear, and a sarong.

Getting around in Sydney in December

Sydney is a great city to walk around, especially in summer in December. However, if you wish to take public transport there are multiple options available and the best way to buy tickets is to buy an Opal card that is accepted across all modes of transport. The best way to go sightseeing in the city remains the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour that includes all the top attractions in the city. The Sydney Metro, Buses, Light Rail and City Ferries are the most popular modes of public transport. You can also hail taxis through Uber and other ride-sharing apps.

Sydney in December: Seasonal Delicacies

sydney in december - Barbeque Prawn
Barbeque Prawn

Prawns are synonymous with summer food in Sydney and you will find it on Christmas menus across the city. One of the most popular ways to relish this seasonal delicacy is the barbeque version. Made with minimal seasoning, it’s the freshness of the prawns that make them a delightful comfort food.
Where to order: Sydney Cove Oyster Bar

sydney in december - John Dorry Fillets
John Dory Fillets

The Sydney Harbour is abundant with fresh seafood in summer and the John Dory is an Australian favorite. The fish is best served deep-fried with a side of chips seasoned with chicken salt, or if you are seeking something more sophisticated, then a pan-fried version with herbs and salad is the best alternative!
Where to order: Golden Sheaf Hotel

sydney in december - Snag

Snag is Australian for ‘Sausage’ and you will find snag stands across the region, especially in local markets, serving the perfect summer snack. The sausage, usually made of pork or beef, is served in a hot bun drizzled with sauce and served with fries, akin to a hot dog.
Where to order: Fish At the Rocks

sydney in december - Snag
Cherry Pie

Summer is the season for fresh cherries and while it is fun to eat cherries from local farmers markets, there is no way it beats the deliciousness of a warm cherry pie. The cherry pie is easily found across bakeries in Sydney and is a great dessert for treating yourself on vacation.
Where to order: Bourke Street Bakery

sydney in december - Vanilla Slice
Vanilla Slice

Australians have adopted the ‘Mille-feuille’ or the vanilla slice as their own and it is the most popular dessert in Sydney next to Pavlova. It is made with alternating layers of puff pastry and pastry cream, and is mostly flavoured with passion fruit icing. It is the perfect dessert to bring your Christmas dinner to a close!
Where to order: La Renaissance Patisserie

Tips for Visiting Sydney in December

  • Despite the lack of snow, the spirit of Christmas events is high in Sydney and you have a variety to choose from – Sydney Santa Spectacular, Christmas Wonderland at Sydney Showground, Christmas Lights Spectacular (Hunter Valley Gardens), and Lights of Christmas (St Mary’s Cathedral Square). You will find ice skating rinks, holiday gift stalls, and child-friendly activities at these events.
  • Centennial Park is a great venue for events and you will find some event or the other happening there. Throughout summer, the park’s Belvedere Amphitheatre hosts an open-air film festival, the Moonlight Cinema.
  • Sydney has a variety of marketplaces including Rozelle Collectors Market (great for antiques and second-hand bric-a-brac), Blacktown Markets (drive-in theatre, food trucks, and pop-up cafes), Argyle Affair Christmas Market, and Sydney Trash and Treasure Bazaar (biggest flea market).
  • The best spot to enjoy Christmas festivities in Sydney is Martin Place, where you can spot the biggest Christmas tree in the city and the festive holiday lighting of Pitt Street Mall. There are special Christmas Harbour cruises and Christmas lunches at restaurants.
  • Even in summer, most restaurants in Sydney close by 9:30 PM, so if you are looking to make late-night plans, you will have to plan your day accordingly. Also, many stores shut down by 5:00 PM, so finish your shopping earlier in the day.

Month-By-Month Guide To Visiting Sydney

sydney in Oct
Sydney in December