Free Things to Do in Sydney
There’s an unexpected upside to Sydney’s natural beauty. It’s free. From the spectacular harbour to its impressive beaches, wide open parklands to native bushland there is so much to explore and many of the outdoor activities cost nothing. Sydney is the ideal destination for free, outdoor family fun.
The water is a wonderful way to make the most of what Sydney has to offer. Go swimming in ocean pools when the tide is up, when it’s down explore the rockpools for little sea critters and during the annual whale migration perch yourself on a coastal lookout and wait for those magnificent animals to pass you by.
Strap on your sneakers and explore Sydney’s coastline on foot by following one of the many guided walking trails around the Sydney Harbour foreshore. Catch a ferry from Circular Quay and do the Cremorne Point to Mosman Wharf walking track or the Bradley’s Head to Chowder Bay walk in Sydney Harbour National Park.
If you don’t want to stray too far, walking across the impressive Sydney Harbour Bridge is an experience in itself and don’t forget you can walk around the around the iconic Sydney Opera House and see the architectural masterpiece from another angle. Next to the Sydney Opera House is the Royal Botanic Garden, a green oasis with a free guided tour that departs daily from the Visitor Centre.
From the garden, walk up to the Art Gallery of NSW where there is free entry and free audio tours for kids. Entry to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in The Rocks is free too and parts of the Australian National Maritime Museum are free, though if you want to climb aboard the ships and visit the latest exhibitions you’ll have to buy a ticket.
Sydney Olympic Park has great family attractions and some are free, including the Birds Australia Discovery Centre every weekend and the Mini Park Rangers program on Tuesdays where children aged up to five explore the parklands and adjacent wetlands with park rangers.
Get back to nature by visiting one of the many enchanting national parks and gardens. The biggest is the Royal National Park which is free to access via public transport but has a $12 parking fee per vehicle. You can easily spend the day here exploring its beaches, walking trails and even a littoral rainforest.
By using Opal cards on public transport, you'll enjoy daily travel caps and the $2.50 per person Sunday cap. Take the family on a ferry ride and explore Sydney Harbour and its islands including Cockatoo Island, one of the World Heritage-listed Australian convict sites.