Winter in Sydney is a drag. As a city very much about its coastlines, sunshine and outdoor activities, the rain and cold make Sydney – and Sydney-siders – quite inhospitable. While there are certainly blindingly bright sunny days to be had in the middle of August, these are far outnumbered by stretches of miserable rain, cold grey mornings and blustery, tomb-dark evenings that begin as early as 5pm.
Thus, when the bitter gales whipping off the harbor finally begin to mellow and the sun warms and intensifies, Sydney starts its annual metamorphosis from cranky old crone to frolicking party pal. Full revelry won't begin until December, when three months of music festivals, open air cinemas, cultural fairs, cricket matches, food fests and beach parties ensue, but the shoulder season is great time to travel because hotels are cheaper and the beaches are far less crowded.
Every year, spring in Sydney brings with it a full schedule of special events. So, aside from the general enjoyment of outdoor touristic waterfronts such as Cockle Bay, Sydney Fish Markets, Manly Beach and Circular Quay, there are some specific events on that can enhance visitors' cultural understanding of what makes this stunning city tick.