Held during the first week of October, the Labour Day long weekend (also known as the October long weekend) sees Sydney come alive with all manner of events, from world-class exhibitions to high-octane sporting showcases. Whether you’re a lover of the arts, good food, nature or sports, you’re sure to find an event taking place across Sydney and its suburbs to match your interests.
Check out some of the attractions and events on offer this October long weekend, and start planning how you’ll spend your time in Sydney!
Explore the Pubs Around The Rocks
Spend your long weekend exploring the sandstone laneways of The Rocks. Steeped in colonial history, The Rocks is a great spot to shop, dine, and enjoy a drink or two. Relax with a cocktail and a beautiful view of Sydney Harbour the Glenmore Hotel, or head to Harts Pub to sample some great local craft beers and dine on classic pub grub. Whether you’re a Sydney local or visiting for the weekend, check out The Lord Nelson Hotel for a mix of artisanal brews and local history. The brewpub is the oldest in Australia and is recognised around the world for its award-winning natural ales.
See the Winners of the Archibald Prize
Soak up some culture this long weekend with a visit to one of Sydney’s many art galleries and museums. Head to the Art Gallery of NSW in particular to take a look at the winner of Australia’s biggest art competition, the Archibald Prize. The prestigious nod is awarded for the best portrait painting and has been an Australian institution since 1921. Visitors to the gallery can also see the winning paintings of the Wynne and Sulman Prizes. Vote for your favourite painting at the exhibition over the Long Weekend to help your favourite artist win the ANZ People’s Choice Award.
Enjoy a Taste of Culture at the Italian Film Festival
Sponsored by Lavazza, the 2017 Italian Film Festival will be taking place in three different venues across Sydney. Choose from a fine selection of new and cult Italian films showing at the Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema, and the Palace Norton Street. Some highlights from the festival include a 20th anniversary showing of the Oscar-winning film Life is Beautiful, Venice Film Festival award-winner Indivisible, and more. Make a night of it with pizza and a bottle of wine after the show at one of Sydney’s premier Italian restaurants. Check out the many Italian offerings along Norton Street, or look around the Paddington area if you’re headed to the Chauvel.
Groove the Day Away at the Manly Jazz Festival
Join in the fun as the Manly Jazz festival returns for its 40th year. Thousands of music lovers will make their way to Manly to enjoy the smooth sounds of jazz performed by musicians from across Australia and the world. Featuring a number of indoor and outdoor venues, and lively stages along famous Manly Beach, the 10-day program is sure to keep you entertained. A celebration of jazz sounds and Australia’s beach culture, jump on a ferry from Circular Quay and relax as incredible jazz, blues, gospel, funk, roots and soul music fills the spring air.
Support Your Team at the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final
Get involved and cheer on your favourite team as the NRL Grand Final gets underway on October 1st. The event is one of Australia’s biggest sporting celebrations and a must-see for rugby league fans. Head to a local pub to watch the match with friends and family, or book tickets to the game at ANZ Stadium to get amongst the action and enjoy the fervent atmosphere of the crowd.
See Another Side of the City at the Sydney Architecture Festival
Sydney’s cityscape has been through constant change in recent years, making it an exciting time to explore the architecture of the ‘harbour city’. The Sydney Architecture Festival celebrates all things architecture and design, diving into the creative ideas which are shaping the city, its policy and the public. The four-day festival features a range of workshops, tours and talks from September 30th to October 3rd. Join in discussions, take a tour of the city, view installations and exhibitions, and find a new appreciation of the spaces in which we live and work.
Try Whale Watching
Revel in the beauty of nature and watch majestic whales make their migration along the New South Wales coast. Whale watching season runs from May to November, so make the most of the final weeks from one of Sydney’s many amazing vantage points. Check out the view from Manly’s North Head Lookout, or take a trip to the world heritage-listed Royal National Park for beautiful ocean vistas and fun bushwalking opportunities.
Wander Through Sydney’s Weekend Markets
Spend a sunny afternoon at one of Sydney’s popular weekend markets. From the beachside markets with unrivalled ocean at Bondi to the hidden laneways filled with artisanal products at Paddington Markets, there’s something for everyone at Sydney’s famous markets. Take a trip to the Carriageworks Farmers Markets to find the best organic and biodynamic local produce, fresh flowers and more, or head to Glebe Markets to find vintage, pre-loved clothes and handmade arts and crafts.