Much of Sydney take the opportunity to leave town on a long weekend but for those of us who are left behind, there is still plenty to do.
The following activities are my picks for what to do to make the most out of your three day winter break in Sydney.
Sydney and the surrounding coastline offer loads of great vantage points for whale watching. Grab your winter woolies, pack a picnic and head out to one of these top whale watching spots.
– North Head: Just a short walk from Manly, North Head is a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike. A walk up to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse headland in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park opens up spectacular views and a great opportunity to spot migrating whales.
– Cape Solander: Cape Solander is in Botany Bay National Park south of the city. There is often an official whale tracking station here that keeps count of the passing whales manned by volunteers each day of the migration season.
– Royal National Park- Visit the heritage-listed Royal National Park in Sydney’s south, where towering sandstone cliffs along the Coast Track provide countless spots to stop and look out for whales. It is a beautiful drive through the National Park as well so it is not all about the destination!
Pick your own Mandarins
The following mandarin orchards are all in the scenic Hawkesbury area, close to the village of Wiseman’s Ferry. Pack a picnic, breath in the fresh air and enjoy the natural surroundings… oh and pick up a fresh bag of your own hand-picked mandarins!
– Ford’s Farm: Ford’s Farm nestles on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, 15 minutes from Wiseman’s Ferry. There is a picnic area as well as sheep to feed and a shed selling jams, chutney, cordial and honey all from produce grown on the farm.
– Anderson Farm: This is a wonderful orchard also set on the banks of the Hawkesbury River. They currently have lovely Imperial Mandarins for Pick Your Own as well as Washington Navel Oranges.
– Watkins Family Farm: This is a beautiful Imperial Mandarin orchard with over 2,000 fruit trees in a spectacular mountain valley setting. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic rug and set up among the mandarin trees, get up close with their on-site sheep and goats, and pick up some fresh mushrooms.
Markets & Festivals
– Forage & Feast Markets: Embrace the cold and head to Penrith to meet the makers at Penrith Regional Gallery’s annual artisan market on Sunday. The family-friendly winter market includes vintage items, arts and craft activities and a range of stalls selling art, food and homewares. Bring the kids along for the free entertainment and stay for the live music.
– Sydney Film Festival: Like to snuggle up and watch a movie on a cold day? The Sydney Film Festival might just be your thing. Got kids? No problem. The SFF features a Family program including an animation showcase for ages 3-8 years. Featuring the finest family films from around the world, these quality titles will surprise and delight both the child inside and the child beside you.
– Vivid Sydney: If you haven’t already been, this weekend is your last chance to see the spectacular lights. Even if you did make it to the most popular sites in Circular Quay and Darling Harbour, this might be your opportunity to check out the Central Park and Chatswood locations.
What will you be doing this weekend?