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Five Ways to Take Advantage of Sydney's Stellar Outdoor Spaces This Summer

From idyllic picnic spots to summer Sunday sessions, there are plenty of reasons to head outside if you're in the Harbour City this season.
By Dominic Gruenewald
January 24, 2022
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By Dominic Gruenewald
January 24, 2022
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in partnership with

It's no secret that Sydney is full of great outdoor spots to sip a drink, sample culinary delights and enjoy some of the top artistic talents to which the city plays host. Feeling overwhelmed by the multitudinous options? We hear you.

We've teamed up with White Claw Hard Seltzer to give you this list of our fave spots to enjoy Sydney's great outdoors and stay refreshed through the long days and balmy nights this summer. Check 'em out below.

All venue trading hours and events are subject to change based on COVID-19 developments. Check with the venue for the latest details, and stay up to date with current COVID-19 restrictions by visiting NSW Health.

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SWING BY A BAR AFTER THE BEACH

There are few better ways to end a day of sun, surf and sand than with a cold drink at a beachside watering hole. If you're finding a beer or wine too heavy-going on a hot summer's night, then you'll be pleased to know the spots listed below stock White Claw in all manner of tasty flavours.

Wharf Bar, Manly

Watch the ferries roll in across the iconic Manly Harbour while sipping a nice cool bevvy on the sun-drenched seats that bedeck this local institution. It's literally right next to the ferry stop so even if you're not a local, you can easily head over from the CBD and take in a gorgeous view on the way. Throughout January, Wharf Bar is hosting a series of epic Sunday sessions with White Claw, featuring some of Australia's biggest up-and-coming music acts. Head to our event post for more info.

Coogee Bay Hotel, Coogee

Coogee Bay Hotel has long been a go-to for Sydneysiders to soak up the sun in the garden bar, courtyard or on the balcony after a surf at one of Sydney's finest beaches. The perfect combination of laidback and fun, it's a great option for those group hangouts that'll last the distance. There's always something happening here, too, including live music at Marrah Bar and on the balcony on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, Watsons Bay

Hard to get much closer to the water than here, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel is the quintessential eastside beachside boozer — and a perfect spot for a cheeky drink on a sunny arvo. Plus, every Saturday and Sunday throughout summer, you can expect DJs between 3-9pm.

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Nikki To

TAKE YOUR MEAL AL FRESCO

There's nothing like stuffing yourself silly while simultaneously getting your required dose of vitamin D. Sydney has many, many great outdoor dining options — here are just a handful of the best.

Totti's, Bondi

Come to this Bondi hangout for casual Italian fare in a gorgeous but low-key courtyard that's sure to appeal to the whole squad. An eclectic but concise range of Italian dishes and antipasti covering all bases make this one a no-brainer for a summer's eve.

Cafe Freda's, Darlinghurst

Laidback but effortlessly cool, this charming bar and eatery definitely gives off the vibe of a casual neighbourhood bar, yet makes its home in one of Sydney's iconic nightlife precincts in Oxford Street's Taylor Square. Freda's doesn't just sling food and drink, though — you can expect to see regular performances, live music, DJs and exhibitions.

The Newport, Newport

Breathtaking waterfront views of Sydney's northern beaches and some of the best pub grub in the city make this the perfect local. And if it's not your local, then it's worth making the trip.

Lady Banks Rooftop, Bankstown

One reason Bankstown is quickly emerging as a new social and culinary hub of Sydney, this epic rooftop bar offers 360-degree views of the booming southwest and slings modern Italian-inspired cuisine in a sophisticated yet easygoing setting. Get amongst it.

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HAVE A BOOGIE AT AN OUTDOOR GIG

It almost seems too good to be true, but yes, they're back. After a pretty grim past two years, festival season upon us again, and it's time to make up for all those lost moments. Check out our recommendations for where to head for the outdoor party season.

Picnic Social

Sunday session calling? Make a beeline to the Kings Cross Hotel rooftop for Picnic Social, where you'll hear an eclectic mix of homegrown musical talent covering all range of genres and influences, from chilled lo-fi beats to post-punk and, of course, a whole bunch of bangers for a sundown boogie.

Glass Island

This gorgeous three-level entertainment vessel is so much more than just a party boat. In fact, the floating venue features three distinct sections with vibes to cater to all tastes: on the top floor is a Mediterranean beach club-style openair bar and dancefloor, the middle section is home to a stylish lounge and bar, as well as 360-degree views of the city and sea beyond. Then the bottom deck is where to head for a more intimate experience in a champagne and cocktail bar.

Twilight At Taronga

Not content with being one of the most well-kept and ethically conscious conservation projects in the world, Taronga Zoo also has possibly the best view of Sydney from anywhere in town. And when you add epic live music from some of Australia's top acts into the mix, there's no finer place to be for sunset. All proceeds from Twilight at Taronga gigs contribute to the zoo's conservation efforts to keep those beautiful views beautiful for all creatures great and small.

Summer Camp

Summer Camp, the country's newest pride festival, boasts a mind-boggling array of local and international acts. It'll be touring around the country, but hits Sydney on February 27. Headlined by British act Years & Years and featuring performances from The Veronicas (time to belt out 'Untouched' at the top of your lungs), Yo Mafia and Ladyhawke to name but a few, this is one event you won't want to miss.

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Cassandra Hannagan

ROLL OUT YOUR PICNIC BLANKET

There are few better things than a summer park sesh, whether you're taking the dog for a walk, flying your drone or catching up with mates after a hard day's work. There's something so laconically inviting about a cheeky bev in the neighbourhood park, and Sydney has some cracking spots where you can make that happen. Grab a few White Claws and watch a sunset in some of our faves.

Camperdown Memorial Rest Park

Arguably the jewel in the crown of booze-friendly inner west picnic spots, Camperdown Park has long been a popular spot for the diverse inner west crowd, not to mention an abundance of cute dogs.

Wendy's Secret Garden

This dreamy harbourside spot is home to a mix of local and exotic foliage, as well as a series of sculptures and murals that do not stand out but rather gently enhance the natural beauty of the garden. There are also scatterings of tables and chairs, making it the perfect picnic spot to unwind and take in a summer sunset in a beautiful, tranquil setting.

Shark Island

Known traditionally as Boambilly, Shark Island's current name was derived from the fact that this small landmass in the mouth of Rose Bay was said to resemble a shark — so don't worry, it's not because of an abundance of predators lurking in the waters. It is, in fact, a charming recreational reserve and well worth a visit for a picnic this summer.

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Moonlight Cinema Sydney

CATCH A FLICK UNDER THE STARS

A thousand times better than *insert name of latest streaming service here* and chill, wonderful openair cinemas abound in Sydney during summer. Grab some snacks and take in a new or nostalgic flick under the stars at one of these sundown silver screens.

Westpac Openair Cinema, Royal Botanic Garden

Just when you thought the RBG couldn't get any better. After taking in the stunning city sunset, a 350-square-metre screen rises from the harbour and top-of-the-line Dolby surround sound fires up to deliver a truly unique cinematic experience. This year's program features some of the buzziest movies of the moment, as well as several sneak peeks and Australian premieres.

Moonlight Cinema, Western Sydney Parklands + Centennial Park

Catch new releases, cult classics and past hits in this openair amphitheatre complete with food truck and bar. If that's not your thing, you're also welcome to BYO, so pack a picnic (and a few White Claws) and head on down to catch a flick. With two locations, you'll have twice the excuses for a night at the movies.

Sunset Cinema, North Sydney

Head to the historic North Sydney Oval this summer and nab a foldout chair, beanbag or even a lawn lounge at its charming openair cinema, which'll be showing the latest releases and some old faves. BYO picnics are encouraged, but if you want to enjoy a sparkling, cocktail or brew throughout the film, the onsite bar will be serving a range of drinks. There'll also be hot food options, which you can order online and then pickup, plus plenty of the requisite movie treats like chips, chocolates, lollies and popcorn.

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For more information on White Claw, head to the website

Top image: Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, Daniele Massacci

Published on January 24, 2022 by Dominic Gruenewald
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