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Wendy's Secret Garden
Photograph: Supplied | Robert Polmear

19 absolutely free things to do in Sydney that you might not have heard of before

You can have fun in the Harbour City for zero dollars

Alice Ellis
Written by
Alice Ellis

1. Discover new bits of the city on a free tour. Ever heard of I’m Free Walking Tours? Now you have! Find out more over here.

2. Do a free group fitness class. Live Life, Get Active runs yoga, boxing and cross-training classes around Sydney for zero dollars.

3. Catch free jazz in The Rocks. It’s on every Thursday evening throughout winter, from 6-9pm.

4. Enter a trivia game. The Golden Sheaf runs free trivia on the last Tuesday of every month.

5. Check out Rose Seidler House. Take a stickybeak at this incredible ’50s-era house that’s open to the public on Sundays.

Rose Seidler House
Photograph: Nicholas Watt

6. Stroll to Collins Flat Beach. You reach this tiny cove by following a beaten bush track from Manly, through lush rainforest foliage – here you’ll find glassy flat water, a little waterfall and, if you’re lucky, even fairy penguins.

7. See some free comedy. Hopsters Brewery in Enmore runs free comedy nights, as well as a whole lot of other fun stuff. 

8. Go to the Brett Whiteley Studio. In this workspace of the late Australian artist you’ll find his unfinished paintings, equipment and a graffiti wall covered with pictures and quotes. There are loads of great Sydney galleries with free entry to permanent exhibitions (including the Art Gallery of NSW, the MCA and White Rabbit Gallery). Check out our guide to galleries over here.

Brett Whiteley's studio
Photography: Supplied

9. Have a picnic in Wendy’s Secret Garden. Wendy Whiteley (wife of the aforementioned Brett Whiteley) has grown a stunning public garden – complete with picnic nooks and terraced walkways – in front of her home on the harbour at Lavender Bay. 

10. Check out the views from Observatory Hill. As the name suggests, this is a stunning spot to observe Sydney Harbour from.

ALSO RECOMMENDED: Here's our guide to cheap meal specials for every night of the week in Sydney

11. Walk to Hornby Lighthouse. Take the South Head Heritage Trail from Watsons Bay to this red-and-white striped lighthouse that was built in 1858.

The red and white stripped Hornby Lighthouse looking at South Head at sunset.
Photograph: David Finnegan/NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

12. Go to the Maritime Museum. Learn about the oceans of Eora and beyond in the permanent exhibitions at the sea museum.

13. See a memorable free concert. Go in the ballot to see a special gig for zero dollars at the very special Phoenix space.

14. Spend time in one of Sydney’s remarkable libraries. Spend a day perusing books and magazines in inspiring environments – and join up to take some of those books home.

15. Wander through a fabulous cactus garden. The Royal Botanic Garden on Sydney’s Harbour has so many gems like this to discover.

16. Or, if you’ve got a bit more time, head to Mount Annan Botanic Garden. This secret public garden that’s also in Sydney is bigger than NYC’s Central Park

17. Play ping-pong. The City of Sydney has free ping-pong tables all over the place. We love the ones near Tumbalong Park, and those on the Goods Line (both near Darling Harbour).

People In the sun at Goods Line Playground in Ultimo
Photograph: Anna Kucera

18. Or shoot some hoops. There are heaps of free basketball courts around Sydney, including at Prince Alfred Park.

19. Kid around at Casula Parklands Playground. This is not just any playground. The $4 million adventure park has so much wow-factor that it’ll thrill kids and kids at heart. 

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Want more free and cheap inspo?

🤩 Here's our full guide to free things to do in Sydney.

🍽 Check out our list of cheap meal specials in Sydney for every night of the week.

🥂 And here's our round-up of Sydney's best happy hours

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