Get Inspired / Sydney Welcome to Winter: See Another Side of Sydney Destination NSW; James Horan Destination NSW; Lawrence Furzey Tony Yeates; Tourism NSW VividSydney.com Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook Get Inspired / Sydney Welcome to Winter: See Another Side of Sydney story by: House of Travel When most people think of Sydney they tend to think of blue skies, high temperatures, sun-kissed beaches and a glass of wine on an outdoor terrace at one of Sydney's excellent restaurants. For whatever reason, Sydney just seems to go with summer like strawberries go with cream. But that doesn't mean that once winter time rolls around you should discard all thoughts of a trip to Australia's most iconic city. According to Australian Tourism, Sydney gets 340 days of sunshine a year and temperatures between June and August average around 16 degrees, while rainfall is actually lower in this period than it is in the autumn. Winter is an ideal time to visit and see another side of Sydney. If you're not keen on the huge crowds that swarm the city when the temperatures peak in December and January, you might even find a winter adventure in Sydney more attractive than a summer one. Say hello to the city's maritime visitors One of the best reasons to plan a winter trip to Sydney is to coincide your visit with the arrival of another set of interesting tourists to the city - whales. July is the busiest month for whales migrating north for the winter. Hop on a cruise ship in the harbour to catch a glimpse of the magnificent humpback whales and southern right whales as they make the journey between the Great Barrier Reef and Antarctica. So many whales make their way around the harbour at this time that many cruise ships offer 'definite-sighting' guarantees. Festival fever hits the city Sydney is a hotbed of festivals virtually all year round, but some of the best take place during the winter months. It's lights, camera, action as the Sydney Film Festival rolls into town in June. A host of screenings and movie-related events happening all across the city - discover the next big indie hit or enjoy a Q&A with a top international film star. Vivid Sydney is an 18-day extravaganza of light, music and ideas. A range of Australian and international artists and designers create fascinating light installations that are constructed in urban spaces throughout the city to delight and enthral locals and visitors alike. Last year's event saw 1.43 million people attend. Will 2015 top that? Meanwhile, Darling Harbour plays host to the annual Sydney Winter Festival, an action-packed event featuring all kinds of snow and ice fun for all the family. Ice-skating, international cuisine stalls, live entertainment, figure skating exhibitions and snow slides are just some of the fantastic attractions on offer during this month-long festival. Enjoy the great outdoors Just because the temperatures have dropped a little doesn't mean the great outdoors becomes off-limits. Winter is the ideal time to enjoy hiking and trekking in the scenery in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a day and head 100 kilometres out of the city to wander among the spectacular gorges and bush land of this beautiful nature setting. Take a scenic cable car ride to get a bird's eye view of the lush rainforest. Or hop on the steepest passenger railway in the world, the Scenic Railway through the Jamison Valley and enjoy the spectacular surroundings and breath-taking panoramas. Take shelter indoors If the cooler temperatures are too much for you, take the opportunity to explore the many wonderful museums and galleries that Sydney has to offer. Learn about Australia's history at the Australian Museum. Expand your horizons of design, art, science, design and social history at the Powerhouse Museum. 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