Sydney has the well earned reputation of being an expensive city for local visitors, but as many savvy travellers discover, some of the harbour city’s popular attractions are free for all to enjoy, from world-famous Bondi Beach to some of its leading art galleries. For spectacular views of the harbour and city skyline, talk a walk across the impressive Sydney Harbour Bridge and around the majestic Sydney Opera House, both of which are beloved icons as well as landmarks of Sydney. The Royal Botanic Garden is located adjacent to the Sydney Opera House, an expansive green oasis in the heart of the city with a free guided tour that departs daily from the Visitor Centre. You can also walk from the garden to the Art Gallery of NSW, where entry is free, and children can use online booklets to explore artworks, or download free audio tours via an app. The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in The Rocks is another leading cultural venue which doesn’t have an entry fee, and where you can enjoy a free tour of the collection.
Parts of the Australian National Maritime Museum are also free to visit, but if you fancy climbing aboard the ships, or visiting the latest exhibitions you’ll have to buy a ticket. And out at Sydney Olympic Park there are plenty of family attractions, some of which are free, including the Birds Australia Discovery Centre every weekend. If you buy an Opal card to use on public transport, you’ll enjoy daily travel caps including on Sundays. You can also take the whole family on a ferry ride to explore Sydney Harbour and its islands including Cockatoo Island, one of the World Heritage-listed Australian convict sites. If you enjoy walking with water views, there are walking trails all around the Sydney Harbour foreshore. A popular path is the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, while over in Manly on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, there are over 10 kilometres of easy walking tracks to explore throughout North Head Sanctuary. Begin at Shelley Beach, and walk through virtually untouched bushland boasting superb harbour views before finishing at the spectacular Fairfax Lookout.