Your guide to a day out at Barangaroo for Sydney Festival 2019

January 10, 2019
Sydney Festival
A stack of free things to do in Sydney

This January, there are many free art experiences for the public to enjoy during Sydney Festival 2019 at Barangaroo. We’ve mapped out how you can spend a day out, taking advantage of some free things to do in Sydney.

Whether you’re wanting to learn more about those involved in Apollo 11 by visiting the astronaut sculptures, or encouraging your kids build their own out-of-this-world rocket ship from recycled cardboard in BOXWARS.

Stroll over to Barangaroo Reserve to see the ALWAYS sculpture, listen stories from local Indigenous leaders at the inaugural edition of The Vigil at dusk on Friday 25 January, or listen to the communal choir Baraya: Sing Up Country.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy this summer with Sydney Festival at Barangaroo. Read more about what you can get up to on a day out below.


WugulOra Morning Ceremony

On Saturday 26 January from 7.45am – 8.30am, following The Vigil, join the Governor of NSW for WugulOra morning ceremony to celebrate our traditional custodians, watch Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe perform a smoking ceremony, and then sing the national anthem as the Aboriginal and Australian flags are raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

More information on WugulOra is available here.

Apollo 11 at Barangaroo

From 9 – 27 January, explore Barangaroo’s Dining Precinct to find a series of giant astronaut sculptures. Each astronaut tells a unique story about heroes of space travel; from astronauts to astrophysicists and beyond. Locate the QR code on each astronaut to download fascinating information on these inspiring individuals, and begin your journey through their stories. Apollo 11 at Barangaroo is part of Sydney Festival’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

More information on Apollo 11 at Barangaroo is available here

Apollo 11 – Finding Space Objects through a Lens

Every day from 10 – 17 January, bring your kids (aged 5 – 12), smart phone and selfie stick to Barangaroo’s Dining Precinct for a free walking photo workshop with photography lecturer Pauline Anastasiou. In this workshop you’ll learn smartphone camera tricks and take out-of-this-world snaps with the Apollo 11 astronaut statues. The workshops happen at 9.30am–10.30am and 11.30am–12.30am each day between 11 and 27 January. Places are limited, and registration is essential for all kids participating (must be accompanied by an adult). For more information and to register visit link to website here.

BOXWARS at Apollo 11

BOXWARS is back at Sydney Festival! This time around they’re taking part in the Apollo 11 at Barangaroo exhibition, hosting six free workshops at Barangaroo’s Dining Precinct, where kids can create their own rocket ship and space suit out of recycled cardboard. Bring your kids and your imagination along on from Friday 18 – Sunday 20 January at 10am or 12pm. Registration is required for all kids taking part (NB: the registration waitlist is currently full but check back at the event page for more details).

Find out more on BOXWARS at Apollo 11 here


ALWAYS at Barangaroo Reserve

After lunch, take a stroll north towards Barangaroo Reserve to see the outdoor artwork ALWAYS by local Bangarra artist in residence Jacob Nash (from 9 – 27 January). The large scale outdoor sculpture depicts the message always was, always will be. If you’re visiting on Friday 25 January, hold tight for the lighting of the ceremonial campfire and inaugural edition of The Vigil. For more information on ALWAYS head here


The Vigil & Baraya: Sing Up Country

Visit Barangaroo Reserve on the evening of Friday 25 January to participate in a very special inaugural event.At dusk on Friday 25 January (the evening before WugulOra Morning Ceremony), Sydney Festival will host the fireside event The Vigil. This is an opportunity for Sydneysiders to gather around a campfire, hear stories of Country from local Indigenous leaders and reflect on the meaning of 26 January and the impact of the First Fleet’s arrival on Australia.The Vigil will also host Baraya: Sing Up Country, a communal choir event sung in local language to reforge the songlines of Sydney. If you want to learn the song and take part in the choir head along to one of the free drop-in lessons during the Festival (dates and time TBC – see the website for details).

More information on The Vigil is available here and more information on Baraya is here.  

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