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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.

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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. (P.S. 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 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.


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, 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 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.

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.


Boxing Day travel deals

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.

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.

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. 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
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on Soren Larsen
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on Soren Larsen

finder.com.au


6. 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 Star Wars 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.

Christmas in Sydney being a summer affair and all, outdoor movie experiences are all the rage on Boxing Day. Book a deck-chair or bean-bag and settle at Moonlight Cinema, the American Express Openair Cinemas or Westpac OpenAir Cinemas to name a few.

Young traveling couple having rest on the rock and enjoying view in Blue Mountains in Australia

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 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.

Blue Mountains and Sydney Zoo Day Tour with Dinner
Blue Mountains and Sydney Zoo Day Tour with Dinner

Klook


8. 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.


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!


10. Visit a museum or art gallery

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 - Times TBC
  • 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

Art gallery date.

10. 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.


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. 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 waiting all year 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 Churchills Sports Bar in Kingsford.


15. Tandem skydive

The ultimate bucket list item that's 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.

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Boxing Day deals aren't available yet, but here are some deals you can get right now:

Search in the bar below for a destination, airline or booking site to find a bargain:

Viator Viator
Exclusive

10% off things to do in Australia

Available on select dates for activities including jet boat rides, sightseeing cruises, tours, wildlife and animal interactions and wine tastings. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns, Adelaide and more. Discount will be applied at check-out. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 75% off Australia activities + an extra up to 20% off with code

Available on select dates and activities like spas, skydiving, hot air balloon flights, tours, whale watching, skywalks, classes and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Klook Klook

$1 wine tastings in the Hunter Valley

Available on select dates in the Hunter Valley. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Northern Territory activities from $36 + and extra $10 off off with code

Available on select dates and experiences like sightseeing tours, zoo and wildlife experience, spas, sailings, hot air balloon flights, scenic flights and much more. Minimum spend of $80 applies. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Trip.com Trip.com

Up to 38% off Australia attractions and experiences

Available on select travel dates in Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns, Darwin, Canberra, Melbourne and more. Attractions include SEA LIFE Aquarium Sydney, Sydney Featherdale Wildlife Park, Madame Tussauds and Eureka Skydeck. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Extra $10 off site-wide with code

Valid on all dates, including over Christmas, on activities like skydiving, quad biking, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, scuba diving, cruises, high tea and more. Destinations include Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. Minimum spend of $80 required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 85% off domestic activities

Available on select dates for activities including skydiving, hot air balloon flights, quad biking, scuba diving, whale watching, bridge climbing, high tea and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Extra 10% off Australia activities with code

Valid on all dates on activities like skydiving, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, cruises, tours, high tea and more. Minimum spend of $100 applies. Destinations include Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Australia experiences for 2 from $38 + Extra $10 off with code

Available on select dates for experiences like tours, zoo and wildlife interactions, hot air balloon flights, skydiving and more. Destinations include Sydney, Hunter Valley, Melbourne, Brisbane and more. Minimum spend of $80 required. T&Cs apply.

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RedBalloon RedBalloon
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Up to 60% off Australia activities + an extra 10% off with code

Available on select dates and activities like hot air balloon flights, tandem skydiving, getaways, driving experiences and more. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns and more. Minimum spend of $100 required. T&Cs apply.

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Coupon code ends

Skydive Australia Skydive Australia

Up to $20 off skydiving with code

Get $20 off per person when you book for 4 or more. Destinations include Sydney, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Cairns, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Voyagin Voyagin

Up to 50% off things to do in Bali

Available on select dates. Attractions include zoo admissions, tours, water activities, treks, dinner cruise and more.

Last verified

Get Your Guide Get Your Guide

Australia activities from $10

Available on select dates for activities like sightseeing tours, attraction passes, river cruises, hop-on hop-off tours and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Launceston, Melbourne, Cairns, Hunter Valley, Perth and more.

Last verified

Experience Oz Experience Oz

Up to 50% off Australia activities

Available on select travel dates until 2021 on activities like skydiving, hot air ballooning, whale watching, sightseeing tour, wildlife interactions and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Klook Klook

Up to 40% off local activities

Available on select dates in 2020 for activities including whale watching, hot air balloon flights, getaways, hop-on hop-off bus tours, attraction passes and more. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cudo Cudo

Up to 93% off things to do in Australia

Available on select dates and activities like classes, spas, getaways, dining experiences and more. Destinations include Sydney, Perth, Melbourne Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Voyagin Voyagin

Up to 40% off things to do in Australia

Available on select dates and activities such as Sydney attractions tickets, SEA LIFE Aquarium Sydney, Sydney Harbour Bridge climb and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Klook Klook

Up to 60% off + get 1 free Sydney Tower Eye ticket

Available on select dates until 31 December 2020. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Dining experiences at home from $40 + an extra $10 off with code

Available on select 2020 dates across Australia on experiences including wine tasting, cooking classes, cheese making, high tea, cocktail making and more. Minimum spend of $80 applies. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Experience Oz Experience Oz

Brisbane Story Bridge climb from $159

Available on select dates until 22 October 2021 for a 2-hour twilight climb. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

London Pass London Pass

Fast-track entry at London attractions

Get fast-tracked entry to select attractions like Tower of London, Tower Bridge Exhibition, London Zoo and London Bridge Experience with your pass. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

finder.com.au finder.com.au

BridgeClimb Sydney from just $174

Book a 90-minute sampler BridgeClimb in Sydney for up to $134 less than the price of the full-length experience. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Groupon Groupon

Up to 57% off Great Ocean Road attractions and hotels

Save on day tours, hotel stays, skydives and more along the Great Ocean Road. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 40% off last-minute things to do across Australia

Available on select dates until December 2020 for activities including abseiling, hot air balloon flight, tour and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 57% off things to do in the Gold Coast

Available for activities like driving experiences, hot air balloon experience, helicopter flights, jet ski and boat rides, surfing, skydiving and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Klook Klook

Up to 60% off activities, experiences and things to do

Valid on select dates including holidays like Christmas, New Year's and more depending on the destination. Destinations include Hong Kong, Singapore, Osaka, Taipei, Dubai, Sydney, Melbourne, London, Paris, New York and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 30% off flying experiences

Valid on select dates and for experiences like hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flight, skydiving, flying lessons and more. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Hunter Valley, Great Ocean Road, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.

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Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 85% off things to do in Perth

Available for activities like driving, cruises, hot air balloon experiences, canoe and winery experience, kid's soccer training and more. T&Cs apply.

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Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 50% off things to do in Melbourne

Available for activities like driving experiences, helicopter flights, skydiving, hot air balloon rides, abseiling, water rafting, whale watching and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 51% off things to do in Sydney

Available for activities like driving experiences, helicopter flights, jet boat rides, skydiving, kayaking, whale watching cruises and more. T&Cs apply.

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Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 54% off things to do in Brisbane

Available for activities like driving experiences, helicopter flights, jet boat rides, skydiving, kayaking, dinner cruises, cooking classes and more. T&Cs apply.

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Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 54% off helicopter ride experience

Valid on select dates. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra and more.

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Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 25% off things to do in Cairns

Available for activities like driving experiences, helmet diving, helicopter flights, bungy jumping, water rafting, suba diving, skydiving and more. T&Cs apply.

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Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 85% off things to do in Adelaide

Available for activities like virtual reality driving experiences, kayaking, helicopter flights, skydiving, abseiling, kid's soccer training and more. T&Cs apply.

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Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 30% off land adventures

Valid on select dates and adventures like quad biking, sandboarding, bridge climbing, canyoning, horse riding, abseiling and more. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and more. T&Cs apply.

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Voyagin Voyagin

Up to 38% off things to do in Tokyo

Available on select dates. Activities include ski trip, go-kart, dinner cruise, sumo experience, tours and more.

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Go Los Angeles Go Los Angeles

Extra 5% off all-inclusive passes

Sign up and save an extra 5% on Go Los Angeles All-Inclusive and Explorer passes. Discount will be sent through email upon signing up.

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Go Los Angeles Go Los Angeles

Up to 50% off Los Angeles attractions

Get a Go Los Angeles pass and receive up to 50% off attractions. Includes bus tours, sightseeing and more. T&Cs apply.

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Up to 65% off Las Vegas attractions

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Go Oahu Go Oahu

Save up to 55% on attraction tickets

Save on attractions and activities in Hawaii like snorkeling, hiking, diving, city tours and more. T&Cs apply.

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London Pass London Pass

Up to 13% off London attractions

Subscribe to London Pass newsletter and receive up to 13% off. T&Cs apply.

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Go Las Vegas Go Las Vegas

Extra 10% off Las Vegas attractions

Available on 3- and 5-day all-inclusive passes. T&Cs apply.

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Go Oahu Go Oahu

Up to 20% off passes

Available if you add 2 or more attractions. Pass is valid up to 30 days. T&Cs apply.

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New York Pass New York Pass

Up to 50% off New York attractions

Get a Go New York pass and receive up to 50% off attractions. Includes bus tours, sightseeing and more. T&Cs apply.

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Groupon Groupon

Up to 81% off things to do in Sydney + an extra up to 20% off with code

Available on select 2020 dates. Activities include skydiving, tours, cruises, diving, whale watching and more. T&Cs apply.

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Groupon Groupon

Up to 74% off things to do in Adelaide + an extra up to 20% off with code

Available on select dates and activities including skydiving, wine tours, kayaking, classes, rally driving and more. T&Cs apply.

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Groupon Groupon

Up to 89% off things to do in Melbourne + an extra up to 20% off with code

Available on select dates and activities including bike tours, river cruises, scuba diving, skydiving, classes and more. T&Cs apply.

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Groupon Groupon

Up to 73% off things to do in Perth + an extra up to 20% off with code

Available on select dates and activities including scuba diving, sailing, surfing, classes and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Groupon Groupon

Up to 54% off general entry cinema passes

Available for use on select dates across Queensland, Sydney, Adelaide and more. Voucher includes small salted popcorn with soft drink combo. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Get $15 credit off your first order on Uber Eats

Available for use for new Uber Eats customers only. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends