Generally associated with alpine resorts and sub-zero temperatures, there’s no reason to miss out on ice-skating in winter just because we live in a fairly temperate city. Whether you’re a seasoned glider or a barrier-gripper, prepare for lots of laughs this Winter. Here are three of Sydney's best rinks.
St. Mary’s Cathedral Winter Festival
The Winter Festival makes the most of the magnificent façade of St. Mary’s Cathedral, using it as the backdrop for its festivities. The centerpiece is the huge outdoor ice rink, which this year will double as a stage for professional ice-skating performances. Circling the rink is the Bavarian Bierkeller and a traditional European-style market serving German sausages and Belgian waffles. Expect, as you sip mulled wine, to feel as though you’re in Austria rather than Australia. On top of that, you can now hire your own igloo - which can host up to thirty guests - and match it with one of various catering packages, including mezze or cheese platters; Ananas' salted caramel eclairs; or tuna sashimi tacos inspired by Saké Restaurant.
June 30 to July 17
Mon to Thu 10am–7pm
Fri & Sat 10am–9pm
Bondi Winter Magic
There are few places in the world you can ice-skate to the sound of crashing waves. There are even fewer where you can follow up your 45-minute skating session with a 15-minute camel ride along the sand. But at this year’s Bondi Winter Magic Festival, visitors can to do both. On weekend evenings, the ice rink will also host shows featuring Stars on Ice champions.
July 1 to July 17
Mon to Sun 10am–9pm
Darling Harbour will be transformed into a winter wonderland for the Cool Yule festival – Palm Grove will become the ice rink. The Learn to Skate lessons are ideal for those who want to skate more gracefully. Once you’ve exhausted yourself practising, take a ride on the ferris wheel or a stroll through the Frozen Forest lighting display. There’s even a snow pit to test your snow-angel-making capabilities.
July 2 to July 17
Sun to Thu 10am–8.45pm
Fri & Sat 10am–9.45pm