Best Things to Do in Sydney
 in October

> > October

One of the best things to do in Sydney is to be around the harbour for the various events in October. It is a month full of events:live music, Australian and international documentary screenings, a quirky art festival and lots of gourmet food.

Spring is fully settled in October, with beautiful, sunny days and glorious nights.

Wear light clothing and have a jumper in case evenings get cooler.

And don't forget to 'slip, slop, slap'. 

Take your sunscreen with you when you go to all these enticing events.



Sydney Rides Festival

To promote greener ways to go around the city, the festival starting on October 4, 2016 encourages leaving the car at home and riding your bicycle. It is packed with fun and thrilling events including mountain biking, racing, a national ride-to-work day and lots of leisure activities.

Little Sydney Lives 2016 photo exhibition

Little Sydney Lives photo exhibition - part of Art and About festival 2016

Things to Do in Sydney - Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi

Bondi and Tamarama beaches go cultural again. The 2016 art event happens between October 20 and November 6.

Click on the thumbnails below to see pictures of some of the exhibits displayed during various years.

Sculptures by the sea

Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk

Things to Do in Sydney - Antenna Docu Films

Chauvel and Verona Cinemas are two of the venues that will host another edition of the International Documentary Film Festival during 11 - 16 October 2016.

Accomplished and emerging directors present their vision of the world in some of the latest documentaries, whether Australian or international.

Manly Jazz Festival

The international jazz festival is on during the October long week (from 1 to 3 October 2016) with lots of outdoor concerts and some indoor ones.

Things to Do in Sydney - Art and About

The now traditional Art and About festival brings art into unexpected places in Sydney.

Art and about festival - Sydney October 2016 - suburbia

Between 15 September and 9 October 2016, Hyde Park hosts a photography exhibition dedicated to Australian life. Big canvas prints capturing moments of fun, reflection, or just everyday life hang  along the St James alley.

Good Food Month

baloons in hyde park for the art and about festival 2013

The festival is on during the whole month of October with many events which include:
cooking shows and international famous chefs showcasing their talents and yummy dishes;

  • fresh and tasty produce;
  • close encounters with great chefs and their gourmet masterpieces;
  • Night noodle markets in Hyde Park on week days from 5 pm as well as week ends from 4 pm, starting October 6 till October 23;
  • a celebration of all things sweet. Gelato, anyone?
  • various pop-up eateries and parties in places you wouldn't expect to dine: streets, laneways, parks, under the stars...;


To top it all there's music, live jazz bands and fun galore.

Here's what happened in previous years for the Art and About event

huge snails around sydney for the art and about event october 2013

Giant colourful snails invaded places like Martin Place, Hyde Park, Pitt Street in 2013. Banners show the walking man signs as they appear in different cities around the world. A model railway with various characters is on display at the Central Station.

Hyde Park had a field of mirrors and photography exhibitions with images captured by accomplished artists and by children aged 3 to 11.

sydney event in october art and about hyde park friendly traffic billboards

Friendly traffic control billoards

In 2012 the main streets of the city displayed colourful banners. Cheeky traffic control billboards sent interesting messages to passers-by in Martin Place and Hyde Park.

And if the weather was too hot you could cool down in the house where rain poured inside. Visitors were grabbing raincoats, leaving bags outside, taking shoes off, rolling trousers and pulling the raincoat hoodie over the head. It rained heavily inside.

october art and about - raining inside the house

Raincoats provided

The furniture and objects in the lounge, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom were all rotting away. Interesting metaphors!

The author of the rainy house installation, James Dive, found a creative way to show what happens to relationships that do not work.

art and about - coming out of the rainy house

It was raining inside


October Events in previous years

Darling Harbour Fiesta and Film Festival

Sydney Latin American film festival turned 10 in 2015. The Open Air Cinema ran during  the Darling Harbour Fiesta festival from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 October, followed by the Human Rights in Latin America Film event on October 24, and a fiesta with live music and great Latino entertainment.

October is the time to brush up your dancing skills to the rhythm of salsa, samba, bachata and the likes.

Samba Fun in Sydney

The traditional annual Darling Harbour Fiesta Festival brings great Latin bands and dance groups. You can just watch them or try to learn the steps with various classes that introduce you to tango, cha-cha, rueda and many other moves.

Don't want to dance? Then zumba and combine fitness with Latin rhythm.

Fitness is not for you? Music and beat will surely make your feet itchy while you listen to the professionals and watch the martial arts dance of the Brazilian capoeira, clap to flamenco, hop to samba and follow the carnival street parade.

Thirsty or hungry? Latin American food stalls are there to tempt your taste buds with tacos, tapas, churros and great coffee.

Where: Darling Harbour

When: Saturday and Sunday 10 - 11 October. Not to be missed if you want to have fun.

2013 Fleet Review - Tall ships and Warships

This was the chance to go aboard a real ship and get taste of Navy life. You could choose between a warship - there were about 40 of them coming into Sydney Harbour, and a tall ship,  around 16 of them.

This was an international fleet review which marked the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy's Fleet into Sydney.

The tall ships arrived on October 3, followed by the warships on October 4 and were there for a whole week.


warships at international fllet review

But the best day to be there and spend it all on the harbour was Saturday, October 5. You could listen to military bands, get close to the ships or watch helicopters and planes flying in formation to salute the Navy.

And to top it all there were fireworks and light shows which were said to exceed all expectations. Better than New Year's fireworks. Better than anything ever seen. Definitely one of the best things to do in Sydney was to be in the City for the October long weekend.



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