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What to do on Boxing Day in Sydney: 15 ideas to cure the post-Christmas blues (or a hangover)

We know the feeling. You wake up the day after Christmas and realise you have ONE WHOLE YEAR to wait until you can do it all again.


Your Christmas blues start to kick in and so does your hangover. What are you left looking forward to now? Sticky, humid January days and a whopping credit card bill... (PS - we can help with that too).

Don't retreat back under the doona this Boxing Day - we’ve crowdsourced 15 hangover-bashing ideas to make this the absolute best Boxing Day yet.

1. Go for an outdoor swim

Australian beach pool.

From Insta-perfect local creeks to sprawling, wave-battered ocean pools, Sydney has no shortage of sweet swim spots. Get a head start on those healthy New Year’s resolutions and start Boxing Day with a cooling dip.

Our personal favourites include:

  • Queenscliff ocean pool (followed by an ice-cream cone on Manly Beach, naturally)
  • Isolated Gledhill Falls for adventure and rugged bush surrounds
  • MacCallum Pool for harbour and bridge views.

Need somewhere good for small children? Quaint and quiet Little Manly Beach has a child-friendly swimming net, relatively calm waters and a cute kiosk serving snacks.

2. Stay at home on the sofa and hit the (online) sales

We have one question: Do you really want to spend the day after Christmas trying to tackle the Boxing Day crowd? Nope, not us either.

Boxing Day is a very important event in any shopaholic's calendar, but it also turns shopping into a migraine-inducing, elbow-bashing, bargain-hunter’s jungle.

Trust us when we say this: be a true savvy shopper and stay at home. You can bag brilliant bargains on fashion, furniture, electronics, toys and travel all from the comfort of your sofa (while munching on Ferrero Rochers). You’ll even find online-only promo codes for extra savings that you wouldn’t get on the high street. To navigate the online sales like a pro, check out our full guide of all the Boxing Day sales you need to know about.

3. Don't cook: Go out for lunch

After a tiring Christmas there is nothing nicer than a slap-up Boxing Day feast – especially when you don’t have to lift a finger. From sticky dim sum dumplings in Chinatown, to proper pub grub at your local, just make sure you book a table ASAP. We’re pretty sure others will have the same idea.

Sydney Harbour.

4. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

This iconic Sydney event sees people from around the world navigate the 638-nautical mile course in one of the most challenging yacht races there is.

Want in on the action from the safety of dry land? Snag the hottest view and catch the beginning of this journey live (glass of bubbly in hand, naturally).

Pack a picnic, find yourself a postcard-perfect spot on the harbour and settle in for the afternoon. Our top picks include Milk Beach in fancy Vaucluse, North Head National Park in Manly or Headland Park in Mosman.

Get your tickets to watch the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race

Get your tickets to watch the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race from Viator

Board a tall ship or 1920s timber Wangi Queen ferry to celebrate one of the most important events in Sydney's calendar.

View details

5. Go to the cinema

Boxing Day is a very big deal for film buffs – it’s when you catch up with some of the biggest summer releases. Whether you’re off to watch Star Wars taking the family to the next big kids' flick or Christmas romance, not much beats settling into a comfy armchair (or deckchair if you feel like an outdoor movie experience), munching on popcorn and fixing your eyes on that super-sized screen.

Order Event Cinemas tickets online

Order Event Cinemas tickets online from Groupon

Catch the latest blockbusters on Boxing Day with this general admission cinema pass.

View details

6. Take a Harbour cruise

Not a picnic and park kind of person? You’re in luck: one of the best places to watch the race start is from the water itself and we know where you can still book a private VIP sightseeing cruise on Boxing Day.

There are three choices:

  • Morning tea cruise
  • Afternoon lunch cruise
  • Sunset dinner cruise
Book yourself a place on the cruise before they sell out.

7. Escape to the Blue Mountains

Hankering to escape the city and breathe some fresh (blue-tinged) air? Hop in the car and escape to the Blue Mountains this Boxing Day. Super close to Sydney and almost otherworldly in appearance (the blue mist that hovers overhead is bordering on fairytale-like), the Blue Mountains is prime "mini break" territory for Sydneysiders. Burn off excess Christmas calories with a tiring hike in Wentworth Falls, meander Mount Wilson’s gardens or relax in a kooky Katoomba cafe.

day trip from Sydney here.

8. Go to the opera

Treat yourself to an iconic Sydney experience and get tickets to Great Opera Hits, featuring favourite pieces by Bizet, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi performed by some of Australia's greatest Opera singers.

There's two shows available on Boxing Day, at 5pm and 7:30pm, and they'll be performed and no other venue than the Sydney Opera House and you can buy tickets here.

9. Harbour Bridge climb

We were surprised to find out that you can do this on Boxing Day, but we were mighty happy that you can.

Picture this: You’re looking down on speck-like city buildings from a 52-ton steel frame, while sparkling slate-tinged water simmers below and morning sunbeams warm your shoulders. Goodbye post-Christmas blues!

Book the Bridge Climb with RedBalloon here[/fin_grid_col][/fin_grid]
Sydney Harbour Bridge express day climb
Sydney Harbour Bridge express day climb


Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb with Opera Bar meal and drink
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb with Opera Bar meal and drink


10. Visit a museum or art gallery

Culture vultures and art addicts, you will be glad to know that you can get your fix on Boxing Day too. A lot of the city’s art galleries and museums will stay open for most of the day. Here’s where you can go:

  • Australian Museum - 9.30am-5pm
  • Australian Maritime Museum - 9.30am-5pm
  • Museum of Sydney - 10am-5pm
  • Powerhouse Museum - 10am-5pm
  • Art Gallery of NSW - 10am-5pm
  • MCA - 10am-5pm
  • State Library of NSW - 10am-5pm

Art gallery date.

10. Internet TV binge

OK, let's be honest. While everything on this list sounds tempting, this one wins the award for most realistic. You have more than a few binge menu items to choose from. Here's our handy Internet TV hub for everything you need to know.

12. Volunteer

Volunteering around Christmas is a great way to embrace the festive spirit – and Boxing Day isn’t too late. Give the gift of your time and help out a worthy cause.

There are loads of causes to help out with around Sydney such as Childrens' charities, St Vinnie's and soup kitchens.

Here’s a great guide to figuring out what you can do if you don’t know where to start.

13. Book that travelling adventure

Hoping to cure a case of wanderlust? Boxing Day is a top-notch time to book a holiday. It’s not just department stores that have those mega sales on 26 December, most major airlines and online travel agents slash their prices too. If you’ve been looking for the final push to book that Euro-trip or Bali beach break, Boxing Day is the time. To help you, we have a list of the best Boxing Day travel deals right here.

Family on holiday

14. Watch the Cricket

Join an Aussie Boxing Day tradition and watch the 26 December cricket test match.

Either watch from home or find a fun sports bar and meet some friends. Options include The Pyrmont Bridge Hotel and Churchill’s Sports Bar in Kingsford. There's plenty of sport to watch on Boxing Day.

15. Tandem skydive

AKA as the ultimate bucket list item. On many-a-list, but how often does it actually get ticked off? We think there's no better time than Boxing Day. Stay with us here, we're very serious. Here's why:

  • You're not at work.
  • It's the height of summer.
  • You probably need a rude awakening from a post-Christmas slump.
  • You don't have to go far to tick this one off as you can skydive in Wollongong, Newcastle and Hunter Valley.

See more Boxing day travel deals here:

Groupon Groupon

Up to 70% off hotel stays and vacation packages

Destinations include Gold Coast, Port Douglas, Bali, Phuket, Fiji, Vietnam and Hawaii. Sample packages include a 5-night stay in Surfers Paradise for $299 (Regularly $579) and a 5-night package to Fiji for $999 (Regularly $2,101).

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