We all know how beautiful Sydney can be in the glistening summer sun. Whether it’s spending time at the beach, inviting the family over for a BBQ, having a day on the water or enjoying a relaxing picnic in the park – summer in Sydney is unlike anywhere else in the world.
But what about those bleak days when it constantly rains for hours on end? Just because the great outdoors is off limits, doesn’t mean that you have to be trapped inside the house all day.
The good news is there’s plenty of interesting venues and activities to keep you entertained (and dry!) during those chilly winter months. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 5 things you can do on a rainy day in Sydney.
1. Whizz around an indoor Go-Karting track
If there’s a group of you needing a little inspiration on a wet and windy day, then heading to Spitfire Indoor Paintballs & Go Karts centre is a must. Located in Concord West the giant space not only houses a go kart racing track, but also a paintball assault course and Laser Tag area.
So whether you want to race around the track, storm the military compound or use your sniper skills to take out the opposition you’ll certainly find plenty of things to enjoy during your time here.
There’s change room facilities and showers on site, whilst all activities are overseen by expert referees and team members so you can stay safe at all times. Do book ahead during the week because it can get busy over the weekends.
- Where: Cnr George Street & Station Avenue, Concord West
- Getting there: From Central Station take the T1 line to Concord West Station (23 minutes). Then walk 4 minutes (350M) to the venue.
- Cost: Pricing varies depending on group and packages. See website for details.
- Hours: Hours do vary, however they are open late on weekends.
- More info: playspitfire.com.au
2. Be inspired at the White Rabbit Art Gallery
One of Sydney’s best kept secret is tucked away in the streets of Chippendale. Just a short walk from Central Station the White Rabbit Gallery is filled with ground-breaking and innovative Chinese contemporary art. Spanning 4 levels, the non-profit gallery was self-funded by founder Judith Neilson and opened back in 2009.
Since that time its showcased a rich and diverse range of incredible local and international Chinese artists. You’ll find all different types of art here, from unique sculptures and paintings, through to immersive audio and visual works and everything in between.
Don’t forget to check out the tea house on the street level, it’s the perfect spot for a warm brew and some delicious snacks on a cold day.
- Where: 30 Balfour St, Chippendale
- Getting there: From Railway Square at Central Station take a 7 minute walk via Regent St and Wellington St
- Cost: Free
- Hours: Open Wednesday – Sunday from 10am until 5pm
- More info: whiterabbitcollection.org
3. Be entertained at the Powerhouse Museum
The Powerhouse Museum is filled with all sorts of technology including decorative arts, science, communication, transport, costume, furniture, media, computer technology, space technology and steam engines. Everywhere you look there is something to touch, see and read.
The museum was first established in 1879 and is now home to around 400,000 unique artefacts. Three of the most popular exhibitions include the oldest operational rotative steam engine in the world, the Whitbread Engine which was built in 1785.
It’s well worth having a photo next to the Locomotive No.1 which was the first steam locomotive to haul a passenger train in New South Wales. Whilst the “The Strasburg Clock Model” (built in 1887 ) is a working model of the famous Strasbourg astronomical clock which is still located in Strasbourg Cathedral today.
- Where: 500 Harris St, Ultimo
- Getting there: From Central Station it’s a 16 minute walk via Eddy Ave (1.2 km in total)
- Cost: Adults $15 Children 16 years and younger are free
- Hours: Open 7 days a week. 10am – 5pm
- More info: maas.museum/powerhouse-museum
4. Hang with the sharks and Manta Rays at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Now you get up close and personal with sharks, manta rays, dungongs and penguins without ever having to set foot in the ocean. The SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is home to over 700 species comprising more than 13,000 individual fish and other creatures from Australia’s water habitats.
There are plenty of incredible animals and things to see, photograph and do during your time here. Join a talk and discover interesting facts about the creatures themselves or learn about the various conservation programmes the Aquarium has in place. Keep an eye out for the impressive Japanese Spider Crab and brooding Grey Nurse shark too.
One of the highlights for visitors is the option of feeding the fish whilst you sit in a glass bottom boat – but you’ll need to book in advance for secure your spot.
- Where: 1/5 Wheat Rd, Sydney (along Cockle Bay Wharf)
- Getting there: From Town Hall station walk down Market Street and then head west down the hill towards Darling Harbour. It will take you around 8 minutes in total.
- Cost: There’re big savings if you book ahead online. Visit the site for more info
- Hours: Open 7 days a week from 10:00am – 6:00pm (last entry 5:00pm)
- More info: sydneyaquarium.com.au/tickets
5. Catch a classic movie at The Golden Age Cinema
Tucked away inside Paramount House building in Surry Hills is the cosy Golden Age Cinema. Each week they play cult movies, modern day classics plus new releases – all set inside a beautiful art deco building that dates back to 1940.
There’s even a small bar where you can grab some snacks to take into the cinema with you. Due to its size and popularity, sessions do sell out – so make sure you book a few days ahead if possible.
- Where: 80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills
- Getting there: From Central Station take the Eddy Ave exit and walk down Elizabeth street. Turn right onto Foster, right onto Hunt St and then left on Commonwealth Street. It’ll take you around 10 minutes in total
- Cost: $22 (+ booking fee) for adults $17 (+ booking fee) for concession
- Hours: Film times do vary check website for details
- More info: ourgoldenage.com.au/film
Plan your next trip
As you can see, there’s plenty of great options and adventures to be had even if the weather isn’t great. Don’t forget, you can plan a future trip using Trip Planner or download one of our handy travel apps.
Before you go, you might also like to check out our previous story featuring 6 Unique and unusual places you should visit in New South Wales.