Venture south to the ’Gong
Honestly, it’s not that far. Take the scenic route along Lawrence Hargrave Drive, stopping off at Bald Hill Lookout and Sea Cliff Bridge for spectacular views. Pause for coffee at the surf shop meets cafe Finbox before exploring the antique and vintage stores in Wollongong’s northern hub Thirroul.
When it’s time for lunch, check out some of the city’s recently opened restaurants and cafes. Go for the protein plates at Beast and Bread, which include the 16-hour slow-roasted pork shoulder and vermicelli slaw, and take home a jar of the cafe’s house-made mustard pickles.
Go (north) west
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head out to Castle Hill. This north-west suburb is only 30 kilometres from the CBD and is home to some great bars and produce. Crooked Tailor is an inner city–style bar located in the heart of Castle Hill. Call in for a lunchtime cocktail after visiting the Hawkesbury Harvest Farmers and Fine Food Markets, showcasing some of the area’s best produce at the Castle Hill showgrounds on Saturday June 11 from 8am until noon.
Take a winter walk
Winter might be here, but the sun is predicted to make an appearance this long weekend. Find some great walks just kilometres from the heart of Sydney. Lane Cove National Park’s Fairyland Loop Track is a two-and-a-half-hour meander along the Lane Cove River and through a defunct 1900s “pleasure ground”. After the walk replenish yourself with roti at Mamak or freshly baked cakes and pastries at Lid & Jar.
Venture into Vivid
Shoot some pool
As part of Vivid, Tio’s and The Cliff Dive have teamed up to bring you a pop-up bar at the Opera House. The Deep Purple Pool Hall is a saloon-style pool club that has great harbour views, with craft beer and wine from local Sydney Breweries, live DJ sets and free pool.
See 100 drones perform to Beethoven
Every night over the long weekend, 100 illuminated drones will take to the sky over the Sydney Opera House at 7.55pm (weather permitting). The drones will perform a choreographed routine to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, performed by the Sydney Youth Orchestra.
Eat burgers at 8Bits+Bytes
Two local creative teams, Motti+Smith and Paper Moose, will be running a pop-up burger bar with arcade games in Martin Place. The over-scaled pixel LED light wall, illuminating the burgers made by five of Sydney’s best burger joints, including Mary’s and Pub Life Kitchen, will make you feel as if you’re eating inside a video game. Black Star Pastry and N2 Extreme Gelato have made an exclusive dessert burger as well.
Explore “Björk Digital”
The Björk Digital exhibition at Carriageworks is a virtual-reality experience in four rooms, each featuring an immersive video from Björk’s latest album. The exhibition is spectacular, quirky and exhilarating, just like the woman herself. It’s free, but bookings are recommended.
Party at Lovebombs
Cake Wines is partnering with Sydney DJ collective Lovebombs to host a party at a secret location, featuring Lovebombs’ version of soul, funk, house, boogie and disco, on Saturday June 11. Rumour has it that a very special guest will make an appearance.
Join the winter weekender
Oxford Art Factory is hosting parties over three nights, from June 10 to 12, featuring internationally renowned and local DJs. Friday night will feature LOUISAHHH and Linda Marigliano, while Kuwait-raised musician Fatima Al Qadiri plays Saturday night. German duo Digitalism will round out the weekend on Sunday night.
Attend a workshop at the MCA Zine Fair
The Museum of Contemporary Art’s annual zine fair brings together the creators of independent, self-published zines from around Australia. Workshops will be held on topics including the art of storytelling, book binding for beginners and digital zines. The fair runs from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
See the World Press Photo Exhibition
The 59th Annual World Press Photo Exhibition is now showing at the State Library of NSW, open from 10am to 5pm all weekend. The extensive collection features the winning photo from Australian photographer Warren Richardson. Entry is free, but go early to avoid the crowds.
Get a bargain at YEVU end-of-season sale
Best known for its colourful prints, YEVU is holding a pop-up sale in Surry Hills from Thursday to Sunday with up to 50 per cent off stock. The sale features men’s and women’s clothing, and debuts a kids collection alongside bedding and accessories.
Fri & Sat 10am–6pm
Cook Maggie Beer’s poached squid
The Moore Park Produce Market are on Saturday June 11 from 8am until 2pm, offering some of Sydney’s freshest produce, from Pepe Saya, The Meat Emporium, Brasserie Bread and Petite Bouche. Head to the markets in the morning and pick up the ingredients to cook Maggie Beer’s Poached Squid in the afternoon.
Wander the Chinatown markets
Spend Friday night on Dixon Street in Chinatown trawling through 50 exotic food and accessories stalls. Sample Asian cuisine including yum cha, teppanyaki, sushi and pho. The markets run from 4pm until 11pm.