It’s the year of the live music comeback, and to kick it off New South Wales will again play host to the month-long Great Southern Nights festival, celebrating Australia’s energetic music industry. The bright city lights of Sydney will set the stage from 18 March to 10 April for some of the biggest names in the business. Come to the Harbour City for the music, soak up the arts and culture scene, rediscover the iconic sites, and let the beating heart of the city make you feel alive.
Great Southern Night Gigs
Spend your nights in Sydney grooving to the music of some of the country’s most notable artists. Grab tickets to see world-famous pop duo The Veronicas (18 March) at the CBD’s Metro Theatre; chill out to the soothing sounds of Sarah Blasko (24 March) at the legendary State Theatre; dance to the tunes of multi-instrumentalist Wafia (30 March) at Darlinghurst’s Oxford Art Factory; and groove to the beats of Indigenous hip hop artists Briggs, Nooky and Friends (7 April) at The Lair in Surry Hills.
Eat and Drink
Set inside a grand 1930s building, this three-level dining destination will transport you to the past. Occupying the ground floor of the beautifully restored palazzo-style building is The Menzies Bar, named after the iconic 1970s hotel that once operated here. Further up on level nine there’s an elegant dining room and terrace, on the rooftop the Sky Bar has views of the city skyline, and even higher the building’s iconic 400-tonne clocktower houses an indulgent and unique cocktail bar.
The inner-city drinking, dining and dancing hub Ivy has a new player: MuMu, where South-East Asian flavours come to party (and so do you). Inspired by travels through Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam, chef Dan Hong (Mr. Wong, Ms. G’s) has curated a street food-style menu designed for sharing. It’s not only about the food, though, with a punchy cocktail menu including yuzu slushies, pumping music and late-night dancing a must.
Named after the 19th century wool broker who operated a store in the same heritage building, Hinchcliff House features Grana, an all-day Italian restaurant with a bakery and pasta house; Apollonia, a moody underground drinking den that promises old-world romance and escapism; and Lana – which means ‘wool’ in Italian – a restaurant with a sustainability-focused menu with seafood as the hero.
This oh-so-charming small bar located in history-laden The Rocks oozes character and cheek. Interiors of leather, velvet and oak, vintage-style murals and an open fireplace set the scene for an intimate tipple. Choose from the extensive beverage list, which has an impressive selection of gin, or join one of the weekly gin masterclasses or bottomless brunches held on the weekends.
The city is home to many vibrant music joints including The Vanguard, an intimate Newtown venue popular for blues and jazz; The Enmore, which has been hosting live acts from around the globe for more than 100 years; or Mary’s Underground, a live music bolthole and award-winning restaurant.
At the top of many Sydney must-do lists is BridgeClimb, and if you haven’t already ticked it off your list – or you’d like to do it again – consider the unique Burrawa BridgeClimb. This three-hour tour is led by an Aboriginal storyteller, who will guide you through the beautiful sights and history of the city from an Indigenous perspective.
The 150-year-old Art Gallery of NSW will continue to fill the cups of art enthusiasts in 2022 with an expansion to its already impressive collection that comprises everything from Aboriginal art to photography. The Museum of Contemporary Art is one for the modernists, with its permanent collection of more than 4000 works by Australian artists, while the smaller, but equally captivating, White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale features an extensive collection of contemporary Chinese art.
Unwind from city life by pounding the 11-kilometre waterfront walkway between Woolloomooloo and the Anzac Bridge, taking in some of the city’s most memorable sites along the way including the Royal Botanic Garden, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge and bustling Darling Harbour. This walk only became possible in 2020 when the new Barangaroo section – named the Wulugul Walk – was constructed and opened to the public.
Centrally located in the CBD, A by Adina is perfect for longer stays, offering chic studio rooms as well as spacious one- and two-bedroom apartments. The hotel has an indoor heated pool and gym, and a sophisticated restaurant on the 22nd floor that channels a brooding 1950s cocktail lounge.
Perfect for guests who need a central place to rest their head, The Aiden is an affordable hotel right in Darling Harbour, designed with thought and beautiful aesthetics. It also has a bar and café… What more could you need?
Transformed from an old pub to a new hotel in 2015, The Old Clare Hotel is the epitome of industrial chic, paying homage to the 19th century building in which it resides. The playful Chippendale hotel has 62 guest rooms, Automata restaurant, a rooftop bar and pool, and The Clare Bar, which is a cool mix between Aussie pub and stylish hotel lounge.
A stay at QT Sydney comes with a side of theatrics, which is fitting considering the hotel is located adjacent to the State Theatre. While the rooms are supremely comfortable and the dining top-notch, it’s the quirky aspects that make it memorable and fun. Staff wear flamboyant uniforms by Romance was Born, guest rooms are fragranced with Coco Chanel No.5, elevator music will play depending on how many guests are riding, and the hotel’s public spaces are adorned with an eclectic collection of art.
For more information on Great Southern Nights and to purchase tickets go to our gig guide. Start planning your Great Southern Nights roadtrip and learn more about New South Wales’ diverse destinations and experiences at sydney.com and visitnsw.com.
Share your experiences and Feel New moments with #GreatSouthernNights #FeelNSW and #FeelNewSydney.