After leaving the city almost two years ago, I wrote a post about the ‘top 10 things to do in Sydney‘ and while I still absolutely stand by that list, I’ve come to realise that living here long term (as I am now doing) is pretty freakin’ expensive. Every day I am looking for new and fun things to do in Sydney that involve spending little to no money at all and I think I’ve come up with a pretty good selection.
1. On a lovely sunny day, one of my favourite things to do is take a book or some music or a notepad and pen and go and sit in the sunshine in Hyde Park. Situated right in the middle of the bustling CBD, Hyde park is like an idyllic island and an awesome spot to just sit and take in your surroundings.
2. Take a trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art. This awesome gallery space holds paintings, photographs, sculptures and installations from artists from around the world and there are different exhibitions on every month with something to suit almost every taste. It’s a fantastic way to spend an afternoon in the city…there’s a cafe upstairs with great food and they even provide free wifi so you can tweet about your new favourite artist!
3. Do the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. On a good weather day, this path will be bustling with people, tourists and locals alike, and you can spend a good few hours wandering along the coastal path, watching the surfers and taking in the glorious sea views. If you’re there in the right season, you may also be able to catch the annual art installation that is Sculptures by the Sea, a fantastic array of sculptures and creations scattered along and around the path itself, adding an extra element of intrigue to your stroll.
4. Walk through and around the Botanical Gardens. These gardens are just heavenly and I could spend days exploring and still not have been everywhere or seen everything. I would advise that you go with no set route in mind and just spend your time weaving your way along the paths to see where you end up. There are beautiful plants and tress dotted around everywhere, combined with ponds, fountains and big open grassy expanses, perfect for a picnic. I would recommend that you do go all the way along to Macquaries Point, just for the spectacular view of the Opera house across the bay.
5. Visit Manly. This is a bit of a tricky one as it’s not technically free due to the cost a ferry ticket, but once you’ve arrived in Manly, there’s plenty of free activities to keep you occupied – walking from one end of the beach to the other is no easy task.
6. Be a Tourist. Visit the Sydney Opera House and snap away as the sun reflects off this glorious building’s white shell, then take a walk around Circular Quay and watch the street performers before going through the Rocks and over to Darling Harbour to check out the fancy Yachts. From there you can take a walk all the way across the Harbour Bridge to Milson’s Point and get some great views of the city behind you.
So even though Australia, and Sydney in particular, is renowned for being heaps expensive, there are definitely a lot of things you can do and ways you can can advantage of Sydney’s welcoming attitude towards tourists.
Have I missed anything? What else can you do for free in Sydney?