Festivals and events

The Sydney year is interspersed with festivals, both sporting and cultural, with summer the peak time for big events. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race starts on Boxing Day (December 26); then there's the New Years Eve fireworks , eclipsed by the big extravaganza of the Australia Day celebrations (January 26). Running throughout January is the Sydney Festival whose highlight is the free outdoor Opera in the Domain concert. The summer winds up in a whirl of feathers and sequins at the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras , held in late February/early March. An entirely different side of Sydney life is on view at the impressive summer surf carnivals , staged regularly by surf life saving clubs; check the newspapers for details.

City Infoline (tel 9265 9007, ) has details of events including the rundown of the Sydney Festival, and The Official Sydney Events Guide, published quarterly, is an excellent source for listings and festival information (available at newsagents; $2.95).

Other useful information for tourists (each section contains more specific sub-sections):