Free Local Activities & Attractions in Sydney

Short on cash after the Christmas holidays and looking for something to do in Sydney for free? We can help!

Free Local Activities & Attractions in Sydney

Free Activities in Sydney and Surrounds

After the spending whirlwind of Xmas and New Year, your wallet may be feeling a little lighter than usual.

We're lucky enough in Sydney to have a smorgasbord of beautiful beaches and harbourside precincts to choose from, but if you're looking for some activities and attractions to keep the family entertained you've come to the right place.

We've scoured the web and come up with this a list of interesting things in and around Sydney to keep you busy for free!

Beautiful Stained Glass Windows in the Queen Victoria Building Sydney City

Sydney has a number of beautiful historic buildings to discover like the QVB. Source: Nicki Mannix Photography


Scenic Walks and Rides

  • The Bondi to Coogee, and Federation Cliff walks offer amazing cliff top views of the coastline, and at the end of it you can cool off with a refreshing dip in the natural ocean-fed swimming pools.
  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge climb is a popular tourist attraction but isn't cheap, so go for a stroll across it instead. You'll still get great views of the harbour, and you won’t have to pay a cent!
  • The Royal Botanical Gardens, with its amazing array of native and imported flora, sits on 30 hectares at the edge of Sydney Harbour and offers spectacular views of Sydney’s iconic landmarks. It is also Australia’s oldest scientific institution and offers free guided walking tours.
  • Sydney Olympic Park offers opportunities for walking and cycling, and there are playgrounds and water play areas for the kids too!
  • The Blue Mountains are World Heritage listed and have a range of walking tracks with spectacular views to suit all fitness levels. Take a picnic lunch and make a day of it!
  • Bathers Way is a 5km coastal walk in Newcastle and you can take in the historic attractions and beaches along the way.
  • The Manly to Spit Bridge is a 10km track which includes Aboriginal sites, bushland, coastal heaths, sub-tropical rainforest and modern harbourside suburbs.

Enclosed Ocean Swimming Pool at Dawn in Coogee Beach Sydney Australia

Take a dip in the rock enclosed swimming pools at Coogee Beach. Source: Lenny K Photography


Museums and Galleries

  • The Museum of Contemporary Art has plenty of interesting exhibits and even offers free monthly 'family fun' days.
  • The Art Gallery of NSW has free access to most exhibitions, there are free guided tours, and also Aboriginal performances.
  • The Australian Maritime Museum is a treasure trove of information and history and has one of the largest fleets of any museum in the world.
  • The Rocks Discovery Museum is in a restored 1850’s sandstone warehouse, and features stories of Sydney and interactive exhibits from pre-European days to the present.

Vessel Boat Sailboat Pirate Ship Ship Cruise Boat Sydney Maritime Museum

Explore the Australian National Maritime Museum's very own pirate ship with free daily shows during school holidays.


Other Things To Do

  • The Sydney Festival is held in January and has plenty of free or cheap events for all ages including circus school, dance workshops, and live music performances.
  • The Sydney Conservatorium of Music has a treat for your ears with free classical music performances during the academic year. See here for the schedule.
  • Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden is an oasis of tranquility beside the harbour and a great spot for a picnic.
  • The Entrance on the Central Coast has free pelican feeding and conservation talks that the kids will love.
  • 5 of Australia's Big Things are in NSW: the Big Oyster in Taree, Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, Big Prawn in Ballina, Big Avocado in Murwillumbah and the Big Bull in Wauchope!

Vivid Lightshow at Sydney Opera House Sydney Australia

The beautiful Sydney Opera House lights up for the Vivid light and music festival.


Note: We do our very best research to make sure that the information we provide is correct, however to avoid disappointment we recommend confirming these events before you travel.



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Fast Cover - Sally

About the author

Sally is a travel insurance specialist and content writer at Fast Cover who enjoys researching new destinations for the monthly newsletters and Spotlight posts. A dumpling connoisseur and food blogger at heart, she has outlasted everyone at the stand-up desk and is the only reason the office plants are still alive.

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