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Top Free Things To Do In Sydney

By: Serina Hajje, 04 July 2022

Newsflash! It might sound like an impossible feat, but it turns out you CAN enjoy a day out in Sydney for free! Keep your wallets stashed away this weekend while you enjoy a family day out with our top recommendations for free things to do in Sydney.

Top Free Things To Do In Sydney

Nature Walks

Things to do in Sydney for free
Let nature be your guide for your next family day out at Malabar Headland National Park Western Walking Track.

Malabar Headland National Park Western Walking Track
Free things to do in Sydney don't come cheaper than a nature walk! The stunning 1.15km track provides public access to Malabar Headland, which re-opened to the public in 2018 for the first time in 100 years, and creates a circular loop by linking with the coastal National Parks Wildlife Service Boora Point Walking Track.

Bondi to Coogee Walk
The walk will take you through the beaches of Tamarama, Clovelly and Bronte, showing off stunning cliffs and rock formations as well as the hauntingly beautiful Waverley Cemetery. The walk is too long for little ones so don’t feel obliged to do the whole thing! Walking by one or two of the beaches is fun and more than enough for everyone. You can stop at Bronte and Clovelly, both of which have excellent cafes and playgrounds that suit all ages - and of course, the beach is waiting for you…

The Great West Walk
The impressive 65-kilometre The Great West Walk track runs from Parramatta all the way to the Blue Mountains, taking in some of Sydney's most spectacular sights. While we don't suggest attempting the whole walk with little ones in tow (it takes 5 days to complete!), we do recommend picking a little slice of the walk to try with the family. If you're looking for more walking tracks for kids in Sydney, check out our top picks. 

Pram/Bike Friendly Walks
The Bondi to Coogee walk isn’t very pram or bike-friendly. One of our lovely explorers has found a pram/bike-friendly walk in each region. Enjoy!

Bushwalking trails with Toddlers and Preschoolers
If you really want to explore the outdoors and want to encourage your little one to too, then try out these toddler and preschool-friendly bushwalks.

Free Sydney Parks & Gardens

Centennial Park
A day out in Centennial Park is always a good (and cheap!) idea.

Centennial Park
The stunning Centennial Park features various pockets of lawns and ponds. and you can find a bike track and playground near the main entrance, a pond of ducks and swans who are more than happy to be fed and spacious fields where you can kick around a ball. Several BBQs are left around the park for you to use for free as well as picnic tables.

Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens is a cultural oasis that’s perfect for a picnic and an afternoon of imaginative play amongst the almost mystical bushes. Ramble over 30 hectares of lush greenery while the kids explore fascinating plants and resident wildlife. Lie back and watch the light dance through the foliage or pound the pavement for some exercise with breathtaking views.

Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden
An enchanting little pocket on the North Shore is the perfect oasis for a family picnic with hidden treasures to discover around every corner. Wendy’s Secret Garden is a quirky natural wonderland abloom with lush greenery, majestic trees and gorgeous flowers, and incredible Sydney Harbour amazing harbour views. 

Free Playgrounds

Free Sydney playgrounds
Oatley Park Adventure Playground is one of our favourite free things to do in Sydney.

At ellaslist, we love all things playgrounds - adventure playgroundsfenced playgrounds, playgrounds by the water - you name it. Playgrounds are a good old-fashioned way to get the kids working off some of that energy, and breathing in the fresh air, plus they're another free thing to do in Sydney to add to your list!

Make a Splash

Free water parks
Enjoy a serious splash at Granville Water Park, Merrylands.

During the summer months, check out these FREE water parks in Sydney including Darling Quarter, Blaxland Riverside Playground and Putney Park.

Indoor pools usually charge entry fees, so, if the weather permits, why not take your kids to an amazing rock pool or ocean pool? Try to spot a mermaid lurking in the Bronte Bogey Hole or spot a crab scuttling around the rock pool at Freshwater. Letting your children explore the natural world is one of the best free things to do in Sydney.

Gone Road Trippin’

Free things to do in Sydney
Soak in some stunning vistas near Sydney like the Upper Gledhill Falls. Photo via Andre Distel Photography.

If you fancy a drive, pile the kids into the car and go check out amazing waterfalls just out of Sydney that will take your breath away. From trickles to cascades, bask in these beautiful flowing waterfalls and create lasting memories. If you just fancy plodding along in your car, having a screen-free day and seeing some new sights and exploring, we’ve got you covered with road trip guides to Palm Beach, Kangaroo Valley, Upper Blue Mountains and Minnamurra Rainforest.

Pack a Picnic

Family Picnic
Free things to do don't come cheaper than a family picnic!

A beautiful day or evening calls for a family picnic! Some of our favourite picnic spots include Centennial Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The best part? You can bring all of your favourite snacks, and some games for the kids to run and play with. Hours of enjoyment and family bonding are made easy with our guide on top picnic spots in Sydney for families.

Soak Up Some Free Culture in Sydney

Free things to do in Sydney
Sydney is brimming with free cultural opportunities for families!

Gaze into the beyond with free entry during day visits (10 am-5 pm) at Sydney Observatory, or learn about some Aussie history at The Rocks Discovery Museum and take advantage of their free admission policy. At Sydney Living Museums you can enjoy 12 different museums, and children under 5 are free. Or if you become a member you all get free entry to all of the museums and historic houses, plus discounts, offers and more. 

To Market, To Market

Free things to do in Sydney
Grab some local produce or a quirky homeware or two at one of Sydney's markets! 

Whether it's snagging a bargain or just browsing through the trash and treasure, have a family day at the markets.  Whether it’s Bondi on a Sunday, Glebe, Paddy’s Markets or Paddington (just to name a few), there’s something so wholesome and spirited about getting down to your local market day. If you’re hungry, check out a local farmers’ market and stock up on fresh and nutritious ingredients for a lot cheaper than your local grocery store. 

Educational Activities

Powerhouse Museum free entry
Enjoy free entry at the Powerhouse Museum!

Powerhouse Museum
The Powerhouse contains more than 250 extraordinary permanent exhibits that give kids a brilliant hands-on, interactive experience. From touching skeletons and large-scale train models to watching beautiful clockwork performances, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy here. And the best part is, it's completely free to enter between 10 am and 4.30 pm!

Free Art

Sculpture by the Sea
Sculpture by the Sea returns in 2022!

Art Gallery of NSW
If you have a flowering artist or just a kid that loves to get their hands scribbling furiously, then they’ll love the Art Gallery! Admission is free, and so are the permanent galleries and most exhibitions and events. Kids will be awed by the sheer size of some paintings. There are heaps of free art activities too! 

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)
Located on the spectacular Sydney Harbour, the MCA is free and open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday. Everyone is invited to experience the latest contemporary art from Australian and international artists, in a creative, diverse and inclusive space. They also host unique events and exhibitions throughout the year. A team of gallery hosts love exchanging ideas and sharing insights on the collections, so visitors big and small can get the most out of their visit. 

Sculpture by the Sea
The famous art exhibition, Sculpture by the Sea is returning in October 2022 and is definitely a top pick for things to do in Sydney for free!

Sydney is also awash with oodles of free public art - take a look at our guide and go on a discovery adventure! 

Some More For Good Measure

Wandering around the Grounds of Alexandria is another great free thing to do in Sydney.

Eating Out: If you still want the service and experience of dining out but are on a budget, here are some awesome family-friendly restaurants and cafes where kids eat free- so your bill will be a little easier to swallow!

Have A Cooking Day: Cooking with kids doesn’t have to be a messy, expensive nightmare! There’s a 2-ingredient chocolate cake you can make with ingredients you probably already have in your fridge and a brownie pop recipe that only requires 1 bowl to work some delicious (and cheap) magic.

Wander Around The Grounds: The Grounds Of Alexandria is a beautiful place for families to wander- check out Harry Trotter, the resident pig and his farmyard pals, fresh flowers, cool industrial design…and maybe even a very special treat like a homemade lemonade or a cronut.

More Sydney Fun

School Holiday Activities for Kids
Sydney Secret Spots To Explore With The Kids
Things you Need to do in Sydney at Least Once

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