5 things to keep you busy in Sydney when it's chilly

Sydney is known for its sprawling beaches and harsh sun. But what are locals to do when the cold weather sets in? Bronte Gossling dishes five of her favourite things to do.

Essays, exams, egregious woollen layers; this time of semester is hard for everyone, but especially for those who don’t have an upcoming snazzy summer European getaway to get them through the slog. Yet while some can afford to Instagram their way across the Mediterranean Sea, others have to pass the semester break in The Emerald City - but that doesn’t mean you can’t play tourist as well. Here are five student-friendly things that will make you fall in love with Australia’s should-be capital in the winter.

Pick up whatever The Grounds is putting down

A rustic-yet-modern open warehouse might have been deemed undesirable before the rise of the modern hipster, yet The Grounds of Alexandria’s 2012 revamp brought a much-needed taste of the artistic countryside to Sydney’s city outskirts. 


Until 22 September, visitors can explore the enchanting world of Willy Wonka. The Garden of Sweets installation opens July 26, and will see The Grounds completely transformed into a world of colour, light and quirky eccentricity. Be sure to check out the night dessert markets while you’re there too. Finish off your visit with a magical stroll through the lush courtyard, but don’t forget to stop off at the bustling marketplace first.

For more information about events such as blues and mulled wine, click here.

Get Physical!

Did you know, UTSoC runs weekly short workout sessions? This is the perfect way to get moving in the winter months; meeting at UTS, it means it’s super easy to fit into your already crazy uni schedule. After pushing past the pain you’ll be fired up for the rest of your study day! For only thirty minutes, you’ll come out feeling inspired and ready to smash out those assessments. They focus on full body HIIT and ab workouts; it’s only 2% of your entire day, and is a surefire way to soak up that winter sun. Join the Let’s Get Physical Facebook group here.

Noodles at Night

The Night Noodle Markets are back for another year! This October, Sydney’s iconic Hyde Park will transform into a magical, bustling festival of Asian street food. Entry is free, but bring your wallet; you won’t want to miss out on the 35 mouthwatering stalls on offer. Sizzling with atmosphere and yummy smells, this is the perfect way to see out the tail end of winter.

You are a cinema

One of life’s little blessings, especially when it’s cold and raining, is being able to escape into the sanctuary of the cinema. Thankfully for students, Palace Cinemas has a Student Club, where the $13.50 annual membership price buys you a subscription to film festivals, discounted general admission tickets, a birthday gift, a complimentary “Admit One” pass for joining or renewing, discounts for special events and preview screenings, and exclusive access to previews, among other little perks.

With winter premieres such as It 2, A Dog’s Journey, The Goldfinch, Frozen ll and The Lion King right around the corner from Sydney’s giant middle finger (UTS Building 1), an excursion to Palace Cinemas Central is the perfect escape from the cold.

Not feeling up to buying a movie ticket? Why not stay in and snuggle up to the latest and greatest rom-coms on Netflix.

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Soak up the soft winter sun

If all else fails, there is the option to revert back to old habits - but this time, with a change of scenery. The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney is the prime candidate to spend a day outdoors and soak up the soft winter sun, especially considering that entry is free. With 30 hectares of heritage-listed Eden to explore, from The Domain to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, the possibilities are seemingly endless, but I’d recommend that you start with a picnic blanket, a good book - try Picnic At Hanging Rock (1967) for irony - some snacks, and good company.

Bronte Gossling is a fourth-year Bachelor of Communications (Journalism)/International Studies (Spain) student. Currently enjoying the tranquila lifestyle in Spain, when she’s not running late or enjoying a siesta, you’ll find her sipping sangria.