Skip to main content

It’s getting cold here in Sydney but there are still so many things to do on the Northern Beaches in winter. It is a fantastic time to explore this stunning area as there are fewer crowds around and the cooler months are great for most outdoor activities, especially when the sun is shining!

We’ve done the hard work for you and put together a fantastic list of activities to keep you entertained in winter.

Experience a blood-chilling Ghost Tour at the Q station

Ghost tours of Q station
Image courtesy of Q Station

Winter is the perfect time to join a ghost tour up at Sydney’s former Quarantine Station, said to be one of Australia’s most haunted sites. The cooler weather amplifies the chilling experience as you walk the site of the heritage-listed Q Station, where over 500 people died from deadly diseases. Discover the intriguing stories of Q Station’s history and the spirits who linger here.

The Q station offers a wide range of tours, ranging from family tours to those tailored to the more experienced ghost hunter. For more information on Sydney’s spookiest ghost tours, check out their website.

Grab a smart group of friends for a Trivia night

Trivia on the Northern Beaches
Image Courtesy of Manly 16ft Skiff Club

Trivia buffs can get together for a fun night of mental stimulation, testing their general knowledge at one of the many Northern Beaches venues. There is something so comforting about getting a group of mates together in a cosy pub and testing out all the weird, wonderful and totally useless facts you may possess to win cash and glory!

Trivia nights can be found at most of the Northern Beaches 4 Pines venues, The Harbord Hotel from the 6th July, or join the Manly Skiff trivia night where you can expect a diverse range of topics from pop culture to science.

Snorkel when the water is the clearest

snorkeling in Manly

The winter months are actually the best time to swim in Cabbage Tree Bay. Thanks to microscopic algae being at a minimum in winter, the water clarity is top notch.  We would however, recommend you wear a wetsuit to take off the initial winter chill.  Do you need more inspiration to get wet in winter? Read our article on reasons why you should swim during winter.

Keep your eyes peeled for whales

Whale watching on Northern Beaches
Best spots for whale watching on the Northern Beaches

During the months of May to November you are able to spot Humpback whales on their yearly migration up and down the East Coast of Australia. The Northern Beaches has plenty of great vantage points where you can spot whales during winter.

Have a look at our top locations to spot whales on the Northern Beaches.

Solve clues in an Escape room

Things to do on the Northern Beaches in Winter

An escape room is another great group activity to do with your partner or a bunch of friends. Escape rooms are indoor activities where you can escape the cool winter weather, put your heads together and put your brain to work. Manly’s Room Eight Escape rooms has 3 rooms with puzzles to solve before you are allowed to escape!

Go on a stunning coastal walk

Walking in winter on the Northern Beaches

Winter is the perfect time to enjoy one of the many coastal walk that can be found on the Northern Beaches. With mostly clear skies, the cooler weather is the perfect time to explore the Northern Beaches. Some of our favourite walks are the Manly to Spit, Barrenjoey Headland, Manly Dam, Narrabeen Lagoon and Long Reef Headland walk.

If you are really up for a challenge, you can try the 80km Bondi to Manly walk which takes you across the foreshore of Sydney Harbour. It’s possible to do the walk in one weekend or across a week, have a read of our guide to the Manly to Bondi walk.

Enjoy a brewery or distillery tour

Things to do in winter on the Northern Beaches
Image courtesy of Destination NSW

When it comes to distilleries and breweries, Brookvale has plenty of options from which to choose.  Why not book yourself and a group of friends on a gin or whiskey tour at Manly Spirits, where you will learn about Australian botanicals and the history of gin. They also host a gin making class where you can make your very own, one-of-a-kind, bottle of gin to take home.

If beer is more your style, join one of 4 Pines Truck Bar’s passionate beer lovers for an introduction to all things beer and brewing. Included in the tour are 5 tastings of their award winning beer.

For more information, read our guide on the Northern Beaches breweries and distilleries.

Get cosy in a local Café, pub or Restaurants

Cosy Restaurants on the Northern Beaches
Image courtesy of Destination NSW

As the winter weather settles in, it can get harder to find the motivation to go outdoors. Finding a venue with a toasty fire place might be the answer! Why not snuggle up beside an open fire pit at The Newport or get cosy at Manly’s speakeasy, The Cumberland?

Catch a vibrant winter Sunrise or sunset

Sunset in Narrabeen
Image courtesy of Destination NSW

One of the best things about winter is that you don’t have to get up so early to catch the sunrise over Manly Beach. In winter, the sunrise and sunsets are spectacular due to the clouds, the cold air and the tilt of the Earth. Make sure you take a camera or get your phone ready to catch the spectacular show the skies put on. Read our guide for the best spots to watch a sunset in Manly.  

Watch a game of footy

Manly Sea Eagles

Brookvale is home to the famous rugby league team, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. If you are visiting the area between the months of March and October, you will be able to watch an NRL game played on their home ground, 4 Pines Park in Brookvale.

Log onto the clubs website to secure your tickets.