15 epic things to do on Boxing Day in Sydney

From escaping to the Blue Mountains to taking a cruise, here's what's open on 26 December.

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Don't retreat back under the doona this Boxing Day. We've crowdsourced 16 hangover-bashing ideas to make this the absolute best Boxing Day yet.

Now that the big day is over, we have a few ideas on how you can say goodbye to that Christmas food coma come 26 December.

Things to Do on Boxing day

1. Get the adrenaline pumping

If you've been waiting for the perfect time to get that adventure in, why not on Boxing Day?

From getting out onto the water to heading to the skies, it's the perfect way to kick off the last week of the year.


2. 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 hike in Wentworth Falls, meander Mount Wilson's gardens or relax in a kooky Katoomba cafe.

Book a Blue Mountains escape here or a day trip from Sydney here.
Megalong Valley Winery Shuttle Bus from the Blue Mountains
Megalong Valley Winery Shuttle Bus from the Blue Mountains

Klook


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.

Otto Ristorante Six Course Seafood Degustation
Otto Ristorante Six Course Seafood Degustation

RedBalloon

Promoted
Five-Course Tasting Menu by the Harbour with Wine
Five-Course Tasting Menu by the Harbour with Wine

RedBalloon

Signature Steak with Wine or Beer by the Harbour
Signature Steak with Wine or Beer by the Harbour

RedBalloon


4. Go to the cinema

Boxing Day is a very big deal for film buffs. That's because it's when you can catch some of the biggest summer releases.

Whether you're off to watch a romantic comedy or want to take the family to the next big kids flick, not much beats settling into a comfy armchair, munching on popcorn and fixing your eyes on that super-sized screen.

With Christmas in Sydney being a summer affair and all, outdoor movie experiences are all the rage on Boxing Day.


5. Spend the day on the water

We may not have a white Christmas Down Under but we do get to make the most of those warm December temperatures. Boxing Day provides the perfect opportunity to get out onto the water. Escape the crowds on Sydney's main beaches and hire your own kayak, paddleboard or even a boat for the day.


6. Take a harbour cruise

Not a picnic and park kind of person? No worries. Why not take to the water with a Boxing Day cruise. Sit back and relax as you watch the waves pass you by with your choice of day cruises.


7. 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 streaming hub for everything you need to know.


8. 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 52,000-ton steel frame while sparkling slate-tinged water simmers below and morning sunbeams warm your shoulders. Goodbye post-Christmas blues!


9. Take a leap of faith with a tandem skydive

The ultimate bucket list item – 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.

10. Go for an outdoor swim

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 these great spots:

  • 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.


Culture vultures and art addicts can get their fix on Boxing Day, too. A lot of the city's art galleries and museums stay open for most of the day. Here's where you can go:

  • Australian Museum - 10am - 5pm
  • Australian Maritime Museum - 10.30am-4pm
  • Museum of Sydney - 10am-5pm
  • Powerhouse Museum - 10am-5pm
  • Art Gallery of NSW - 10am-5pm
  • MCA - 10am-5pm
  • State Library of NSW - 10am-5pm

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 around Sydney, such as children's charities, St Vinnie's and soup kitchens, that would love your help.

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


13. Go to the theatre

Treat yourself to an arts or cultural experience and get tickets to the latest opera/theatre/musical production (strike out whichever isn't relevant).

Playing in Sydney on Boxing Day are Frozen at the Capitol Theatre and Pippin at Sydney Lyric. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.


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 Churchills Sports Bar in Kingsford.


15. 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, neither do we.

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 truly 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.

You’ll even find online-only promo codes for extra savings that you wouldn’t get in-store. To navigate the online sales like a pro, check out our full guide of all the Boxing Day sales you need to know about.


What's open on Boxing Day in Sydney

Want to browse in-store? Keep up to date with all the Boxing Day sales in Sydney.

Attractions open on Boxing Day in Sydney

AttractionBoxing Day trading hoursWhere to book
Taronga Zoo9:30am to 5pmRedballoon
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium9:30am to 5pmAdrenaline
Luna Park10:30am to 4pm and 5pm to 10:30pmLuna Park
Sydney Opera HouseAll dayAdrenaline
Sydney Tower Eye10am to 8pmAdrenaline
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo9:30am to 5pmAdrenaline
Chinese Garden of Friendship9:30am to 5pmAdrenaline
Madame Tussauds9:30am to 5pmAdrenaline
Raging Waters Sydney10am to 8pmRaging Waters Sydney
Jenolan Caves9am to 5pmAdrenaline
Featherdale Wildlife Park9am to 4pmAdrenaline
ANZ Stadium9am to 5pmAdrenaline

Restaurants, bars and cafes open on Boxing Day in Sydney

VenueBoxing Day trading hoursWhere to book
The Little Snail11:30 am to 8pmGroupon
The Spice Lounge Indian Cuisine12:30pm to 8pmGroupon
Garçon2pm to 5:30 pmGroupon
Blackbird & Co Cafe10:30 am to 2:30 pmGroupon
BB's Breakfast Bar and BBQ5:30 pm to 8:30 pmGroupon
Six Po Hot Pot12pm to 6:30 pmGroupon
Biang Biang12pm to 3:00 pmGroupon
Via Alta6pm to 7:30 pmGroupon
Sydney Pearl Cruises10:45am to 2:15pm or 6pm to 9pmScoopon
Bitton Alexandria6pm to 9pmRedBalloon
Deep Groove Bar12pm to 5 pmGroupon
The Century BarUntil 7pmGroupon
Umami Stone Pot12pm to 5:30pmGroupon
Cicchetti Restaurant & Wine Bar10am to 1pmGroupon
The Farm Cafe12pm to 8pmGroupon
Iceberg Dining Room and BarLunch from 12pm and dinner from 6:30pm
Sharon Kwan Kitchen11:30am to 8:30pm
Sydney Cebu Lechon11:30am to 3:30pm and 5pm to 9pm
Ho Jiak11am to 10pm
Harajuku Gyoza Beer Stadium12pm to 8pm
Red Pepper Bistro11am to 1:30am
The Amalfi Way12pm to late
Cafe Sydney12pm to 12am
Bathers' Pavilion8:30am to 11:30pm
Jang Ta Bal5pm to 12am
Ho Jiak Town Hall11:30am to 10pm
Chiswick12pm to 2:45pm and 5:30pm to 9pm
North Bondi Fish12pm to 2:45pm and 5:30pm to 9pm
Eastside Kitchen12pm to late
Marigold10am to 3pm and 5:30pm to late
Gyusha12pm to 10pm
Alberto's Lounge12pm to 12am
Totti's12pm to 10pm
The Collaroy Hotel12pm to 3am
Opera Bar11:30am to 12am
One Drop Brewing11am to 10pm
Nomad Brewing Co.11am to 8pm
The Golden Sheaf Hotel10am to 2pm
Darlo Bar12pm to 10pm
Jackalberry3pm to 11pm
The Dolphin Hotel12pm to 10pm
Bondi Beach Public Bar10am to 1am
Shuk6am to 5pm
Shuk Bakery7am to 3pm
Gelato Messina Darlinghurst12pm to 11:30pm
Gelato Messina Bondi12pm to 11:30pm
Mayflower7am to 3:30pm
X23 Asian Fusion Cafe9am to 3pm
Cuckoo Callay Surry Hills8am to 4pm

See the latest activity deals for Boxing Day in Sydney:

Code exclusive

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Available on experiences across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Sunshine Coast and more. Minimum spend of $300 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, hop-on hop-off bus tours, whale watching cruises, skydives, high teas, quad biking experiences and more. T&Cs apply.
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Code exclusive

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Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on select travel dates on activities such as sightseeing tours, Vivid Sydney cruises, jet boat rides, hot air balloon flights, wine tours and more. Destinations include Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Darwin and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

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Available on select travel dates when you spend a minimum of $100. Activities include hot air balloon flights, tandem skydives and attraction passes. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and more. Exclusive for new members. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

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Available on jumps until 31 March 2022 when you use the code. Destinations include Melbourne, Cairns, Byron Bay, Perth, Noosa and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

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Verified 4 days ago
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Code

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Available on weekday jumps until 31 August 2021. Destination includes Cairns and more. T&Cs apply.
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Available on weekday jumps until 29 October 2021. Destinations include Byron Bay and Great Ocean Road. T&Cs apply.
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Available on select cuisines including desserts, high teas and more.
Code

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Available on select travel dates when you spend a minimum of $300. T&Cs apply.
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Available on select travel dates when you spend a minimum of $300. T&Cs apply.
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Code

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Available until 31 August 2021, including during Vivid Sydney Festival, on activities such as hot air balloon flights, whale watching cruises, Sydney Opera House tours, attraction passes and more. T&Cs apply.
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