When the weather is as beautiful, there is nothing that I like more to do than explore my own backyard, Darling Harbour. You're probably thinking no way, you're crazy! Darling Harbour has nothing except fancy restaurants and bars which are too expensive for my budget.
Whilst yes, you are right that Darling Harbour is filled with expensive fine dining restaurants where the drink prices are astronomical, there are in fact so many more things for you to do there that are 100% free.
If you love beautiful scenery and enjoy gazing off in to the distance for copious amounts of time as much as I do, then Darling Harbour has that for you. Sit on the pier, chocolate ice-cream in hand with the sun's rays streaming down on your face and just watch the ferries sail by.
Watch the water shimmer under the sun and listen to the gulls flapping above you. It's a magnificent moment and you could spend hours doing it. If you appreciate the scenery for a few seconds and will eventually get bored just sitting there, then you can pack a book before you leave the house and just sit, relax and read.
If you're a photographer, whether it be a hobby or a profession I can not tell you how many great places there are for you to snap. Of course there are the famous Sydney Ferries, the grand Harbour Bridge, the stunning Opera House. Then there are the quirkier shots; the colourful buskers and the entertainers who you think are soon enough going to chop off their hands if they try juggle the saw one more time. There's a lot to snap, but I'll leave it up to you to find your favourite places.
You have younger kids who are not so easily entertained by gazing off into the distance. Darling Harbour has a lot of water features that kids can run amuck in (just remember to bring a spare change of clothes). Then right around the corner from the IMAX theatre is a wide space filled with unique and incredibly fun (even for an adult) play equipment that will definitely keep your little ones occupied for a few hours before the inevitable, 'Can we have McDonalds for lunch?' which is ever so conveniently situated right near the playground. Don't forget to stop and check out the fabulous street performers along the way. Some of their acts will stop your heart, but otherwise it's fun for you as well as the kids.