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25 Fun and Free Things to do in Sydney, Australia

If you are planning a road trip through New South Wales, Sydney is a must-see. From the Sydney Opera House to pristine beaches and art galleries, there are so many awesome things to do! Day trip to Bondi Beach? Check. Dining by the Opera House? Check. An afternoon in Coogee? Check. From fun, kid-friendly adventures to free art exhibitions, we have put together a list of 25 free things to do in Sydney, Australia, without spending a dime.

Why Sydney should be at the top of your Australian travel itinerary

Sydney is Australia’s largest city. Rich with history and brimming with culture, what’s not to love about it? Sydney is the perfect starting point for any Australian road trip. After picking up your Mighty campervan at our Sydney branch, there are plenty of incredible free and fun things to explore before heading out to explore greater New South Wales and beyond. Here are 25 of our top free and fun things to do in Sydney.

1. Escape the city in The Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens is an enchanting oasis set alongside the stunning Sydney harbour. Here you can wander through many stunning gardens, including the Australian Rainforest Garden, Palace Rose Garden, Herb Garden and Tropical Garden. There are also many walks as well as various picnic areas where you can enjoy lunch while soaking up the stunning gardens and views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

2. Enjoy a beach day at Manly Beach

Manly Beach is one of Australia’s most famous surfing beaches, with a stunning fusion of beach culture, beautiful walkways and delicious eateries. Just a short 30-minute ferry from Circular Quay, you can explore this little corner of Sydney for yourself. Walk to Shelly Beach, enjoy a bite to eat down the main street or rent a board and go for a surf lesson!

3. Have a picnic in Hyde Park

Hyde Park is to Sydney like Central Park is to New York City. A must-do city oasis to visit when in Sydney. This centrally located park is the perfect picnic spot for a big day exploring the CBD.

4. Immerse yourself in nature at Centennial Park

Want to get a little closer to nature? Be sure to plan a visit to the Centennial Parklands. These huge parklands consist of over 189 hectares of gardens, wetlands and sports fields. There is also an extensive network of walking and cycle tracks that are perfect for exploring these parklands.

5. Discover the vibrant Bondi Markets

Bondi Markets are the quintessential embodiment of the laid-back, artsy Bondi culture. Soak in this eclectic mix as you peruse a mix of artesian goods, food stalls, clothing and homeware. Held every Sunday from 10 am until 4 pm, this is the perfect way to end the week.

6. Admire the city from a distance on Observatory Hill

Observatory Hill Park is home to some of the most sought-after views of Sydney Harbour. Perched on a hilly vantage on upper Fort Street, this is a great place to snap a picture or simply soak up the views.

7. Spend a few hours at the Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art is a leading museum located in the heart of The Rocks near Circular Quay. With its dedication to exhibiting contemporary art from around the world (and its free entry!), this is a must-do for curious travellers and art lovers alike.

8. Take a picture of the world-famous Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre with a stunning backdrop of the harbour. While it attracts theatre and music lovers from around the globe, it is also popular for its stunning design. So be sure to come marvel at the cloud-like arches of this awe-inspiring building.

9. Visit the iconic Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is a jewel of Sydney and is credited with having the oldest surf life-saving clubs in Australia. If you are here between October and November, be sure to stop by to marvel at the iconic outdoor exhibition of Sculpture by the Sea.

10. Learn about Sydney's history on a free walking tour

While walking tours can be found all throughout Australia, Sydney walking tours are easily some of the best tours around! Uncovering hidden lanes, history and culture of this buzzing city, you will discover the secrets of Sydney from a local.

11. Admire the architecture of St Mary's Cathedral

St Mary’s Cathedral is a stunning display of architecture and history in the heart of Sydney. With a breathtaking crypt, remarkable stained-glass windows and a huge collection of hanging bells on display, it is well worth a visit on your upcoming Sydney road trip. Just keep in mind that St. Mary’s is a place of worship, so do treat the other visitors and space with respect by keeping phones on silent and talking in hushed tones.

12. Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge walk or the ‘Bridge Climb’ is a popular attraction for those visiting Sydney, but the high price tag can deter some from enjoying this beauty. But did you know you can walk it without paying to climb high above? There is a pedestrian walkway that winds its way along the sides of the bridge that offers stunning views back towards Circular Quay and the Opera House.

13. Visit the National Maritime Museum

If you are an ocean lover, then you will not want to miss a stop by the Australian Maritime Museum. Hop aboard the HMB Endeavour or descend below the docks to explore the HMAS Onslow submarine. Then, head inside to explore the huge display of galleries showcasing historical artefacts that bring to life Australia’s ever-present connection to the sea.

14. Explore the Olympic Park Precinct

Sydney Olympic Park is an internationally renowned sporting and event precinct. With over 430 hectares of parklands, cafes, and entertainment - there is plenty of family fun to be had here.

15. Go for a dip in the Bronte Baths

Bronte Baths is an oceanside pool located on the southern edge of Bronte Beach in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. This is a popular stop on the iconic Bondi to Coogee walk and a great place to cool off on a hot summer's day.

16. Wander through the NSW Art Gallery

New South Wales Art Gallery is one of Australia’s top art galleries - enjoyed by over one million people annually. Wander through the exhibitions yourself or join one of the free daily guided tours for an in-depth experience of this artistic hub.

17. Check out the catch of the day at the Sydney Fish Market

Sydney fish market is credited as being the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Located in Pyrmont in downtown Sydney, this authentic working fish market is home to an array of fresh produce retailers as well as restaurants and cafes.

18. Soak up the views on the Coogee to Bondi Walk

The Bondi to Coogee walk is a right of passage for Sydneysiders. This popular coastal walk is six kilometres of stunning coastal views, rolling beaches and cafes to quench your food and coffee fix! What better way to start your day?

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19. Explore the heritage area of Circular Quay

Circular Quay is a central hub to kick off any Sydney adventure. As the central ferry terminal and train station, it is the starting point for many of the best sightseeing opportunities in Sydney.

20. See what's going on at Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is a thriving centre of life in Sydney. Here you can wander along Cockle Bay Wharf, tour the Chinese Garden of Friendship, play a round of outdoor ping pong, experience life under the sea at Sealife Aquarium, cool off in the kid's water playground and much more.

21. Visit Sydney's oldest church (St James')

St. James is another great free thing to do in Sydney. As one of Sydney’s oldest churches, it is home to stunning architecture and history. It is also home to a great music scene, so be sure to check the calendar for upcoming concerts.

22. Roam around the suburb of Glebe

Glebe is a bohemian suburb located in the inner city of Sydney. Stroll through the terrace-lined streets and taste the worldwide cuisine at one of the many inviting eateries. While you’re here, try and spot the 20 heritage-listed buildings that call this suburb home!

23. Grab your snorkel and head to Clovelly Beach

Clovelly Beach is a much-underrated sister beach located between Bondi and Coogee. Unlike many of the local surf beaches, this tranquil beach is located at the mouth of a narrow bay. Making this the perfect beach to wade in and snorkel without the waves!

24. Admire the street art at Wooloomooloo

Woolloomooloo is a beautiful harbourside suburb filled with restaurants, bars and theatre venues. Regardless of whether you are grabbing a drink, eating dinner or seeing a show, this is a stunning area to meander around and soak up the stunning colonial architecture.

25.Local art at SOHO Galleries

Soho galleries is a privately owned gallery providing a more intimate take on contemporary art and sculpture. Specializing in original canvas, large-scale paintings, and limited edition interior sculptures, this is a great place to visit for art lovers looking for a unique art experience.

See more with Mighty

Visiting a city like Sydney doesn’t have to break the bank. With so many great free things to do and see, Sydney is a great addition to a New South Wales road trip itinerary.

Ready to see more of this vibrant city and beyond? Book your Mighty camper at your local branch or online today. For more ideas on things to do in New South Wales, as well as free camping options close to Sydney, check out the Mighty blog.