I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the Fishing Monthly Group and Australian Fishing Network.
I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Published June 11th 2015
Have fun while doing something for free
Back in February 2015 I put together a list of 25 Free Activities that you could do in Sydney and its Surrounds. Click here to read article if you missed it.
Since then I have found another 25 free things to do. Bringing the total to 50 free things that you can do in Sydney and its surrounds.
And, as we all know, everyone likes to get something for free, and if you can take the family along and enjoy it together and still get it for free, that's even better.
Once again I have tried to do is create a list that will cover a number of types of activities that I done over the years or would like to do in the near future. All of the list of activities are free for the public to attend, but while there, you may decide to buy some items at the fairs, markets, festivals, etc, as some of the things you may not be able to resist.
In this list of 25 free activities that I have put together I have put in a few slightly different activities to last time:
1. Birds Australia Discovery Centre
Located at the forest's edge of the Newington Nature Reserve, the newly-opened Discovery Centre sits within four heritage buildings at Newington Armoury providing administration offices, an extensive bird book library, education room and interpretation facilities for Birds Australia projects.
The adjoining Reserve is a haven of significant environmental value including bird habitats, and the facility is the centrepiece of Birds Australia's engagement with the community, providing education about biodiversity and the value of birds and their habitats.
Where: Sydney Olympic Park. Time: 10am-4pm When: Every Saturday and Sunday (with free bird walk on the last Sunday of the month)
2. The Amazing Chase
Get on your bike and challenge your friends to an Amazing Chase around the Park. Use a map to locate checkpoints, then answer the questions or solve the puzzles set for you at each one.
Photo courtesy of Sydney Olympic Park.
You can choose from two routes, Bicentennial Park or Newington Armoury and surrounds. All you need to do is to own a bike and download your choice of Amazing Chase, grab a water bottle, pencil and enjoy your parklands Amazing Chase.
Where: Sydney Olympic Park. Time: Daily at Bicentennial Park 9.30-4.30pm & Weekends at Newington Armoury 9am-4pm. When: Year Round.
The White Rabbit Gallery was opened in 2009 to showcase what has become one of the world's most significant collections of Chinese contemporary art. Dedicated to works made in the 21st century, the White Rabbit Collection is owned by Judith Neilson, who was inspired to establish it on a 2001 trip to Beijing. She was thrilled by the creative energy and technical quality of the works she saw and wanted to share them with people outside China. She makes regular trips to China and Taiwan to augment the collection, which by early 2015 included 1400 works by more than 500 artists.
Where: 30 Balfour Street Chippendale Time: 11am and 2pm When: Wednesday to Sunday inclusive
Local, NSW based farmers and artisan food producers bring their fresh and seasonal produce they grow, rear or make direct to the market for the community. The market is home to over 70 regular stallholders who sell a wide range of farm fresh products, from source to hub, for all your weekly grocery needs.
Every Saturday, foodie lovers can find a variety of goods including seasonal fruit and vegetables, organic produce, beef, lamb, pork, poultry, dairy, artisan bread, smoked fish, olive oil, boutique wine, breakfast from celebrated chefs, and gourmet fare from dips to chutneys to sweet and savoury treats.
Each week the heritage listed Blacksmith's Workshop is transformed into a meeting hub where the community gather to share stories, learn about the journey of food direct from the source and enjoy delicious fare, coffee, treats, samples and fresh produce direct from the producer to you!
Free PARK 'n RIDE service every Saturday morning from Australian Technology Park to Eveleigh Farmers' Market via Redfern Station & Erskineville.
Where: 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh Time: 8am to 1pm When: Every Saturday
SFM is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the third largest seafood market in terms of variety in the world. A working fish market, SFM sources product both nationally and internationally and trades over 14,500 tonnes of seafood annually - with up to one hundred sustainable seafood species traded every day and approximately 500 species traded annually.
Buy fresh seafood at the Sydney Fish Market. photo courtesy of Sydney Fish Market.
Government House, located in the Domain and overlooking the Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Opera House, is the most sophisticated example of a Gothic Revival building in New South Wales. The ground floor State rooms have an outstanding collection of 19th and 20th century furnishings and decoration.
The upstairs rooms have been used as the private quarters for the Governor, Queen Elizabeth and other members of the Royal family and visiting heads of State. Free admission by guided tour only.
Where: Located in the Domain in central Sydney. Ten minute walk from Circular Quay buses and trains. Time: 10.30am to 3pm. When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Sydney Harbour is one of the great harbours of the world. This 26 kilometre circle walk and over 45 kilometres of optional loops explores west of the Harbour Bridge to Hunters Hill. It is a truly magnificent walk focusing on the harbour itself – the expanse of water, the bridges, islands, urban bushland and city skyline.
The route winds along parts of the foreshore, into bays and on to headlands, through bush, along historic streets and over grand bridges. The Circle Walk can be walked by a fit person in approximately 8 to10 hours, but with little time to savour the sights along the way. Maybe you could do the walk over 2 to 3 days.
Where: Sydney Harbour. Time: Daylight hours to see the sights. When: Year round
Explore one of Sydney's finest heritage buildings, a dynamic cultural destination where you can relax, meet up, eat and drink, see exhibitions, enjoy events, read a newspaper, browse the internet, access information, and be inspired by this vibrant, free and accessible 21st Century public space - a perfect escape from the daily grind or a great place to start exploring Sydney from.
As long as you are not afraid of some physical exercise, you should only take about three hours to complete the Bondi to Coogee walk at some point in your life. You will come across a number of beaches where people will be surfing, swimming or sun baking. You might have time to go for a fish.
To be honest the walk is not very strenuous and pretty well laid out, but there are a number of stairs and inclines to conquer, so it is advisable you take your time and allow some breaks along the way.
Where: Bondi to Coogee. Time: Daylight hours to take in the sights. When: Year round
If you are game you can climb the little hill on the tip of the peninsula and be rewarded with great views across Broken Bay all the way up the Central Coast. While there you may like to visit the cafe where the TV show home and Away is regularly filmed.
The view looking south from the Palm Beach Lighthouse. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Blaxland Riverside Park is a spectacular waterside park in Sydney located along the Parramatta River. There are plenty of things to do here. You can enjoy a waterside sausage sizzle on the free BBQs or enjoy a picnic, walk, cycle or run along the riverside walking trail, keep the kids active and entertained at the biggest and best playground in Sydney.
Where: Blaxland Riverside Park. Time: Sunrise to sunset. When: Year round
Ready for an adventure? Select from 5 different Clue Trails. Whether you want to 'Fly High' or follow the 'Path of Champions' unravelling the clues will help you to discover more about Sydney Olympic Park.
Download your chosen Clue Trail, grab a pencil and get going. Can you unscramble the message at the end of the trail? Pictorial version available for early readers.
Where: Sydney Olympic Park. Time: 10am to 4pm When: Year Round
The Gardens began as a project under the 1970 Captain Cook Bicentenary program, and the first plantings were made in 1969. They are named after the late Professor EG Waterhouse, a leading world authority on camellias, who lived in Sydney. The garden has grown over the years into its present beauty, in part due to the generous donations by numerous groups and individuals.
The gardens has over 450 cultivars and species, donated and acquired since its first plantings began in 1969, in addition to many other rare ornamental and native plants. Plantings are in the context of garden beds over a widely varying terrain, including gullies and rock ledges. The collection is of unique value to Australian horticulture. The Gardens is also a member of the International Camellia Society, a non-profit international organisation devoted to the genus Camellia.
Where: 104R President Ave, Caringbah South Time: Monday - Friday 9.00am - 4.00pm; weekends and public holidays 9.30am to 5pm; 9.30am to 6pm daylight saving time). Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. When: Year round
The 'Lovers Markets' offers fashion, art and design delights. With 50 quality stalls from women's, men's and kids fashion, accessories, art, home ware, stationary, beauty and vintage. Live music, kid's workshops and food stalls!
Where: Centenary Square Parramatta. Time: 10am to 4pm When: Every month on the last Saturday of the month, until further notice.
Discover the birdlife of Waddangalli Woodland as you take a leisurely stroll with a local bird expert. Then end the walk with a delicious breakfast in a natural setting. Suitable for families and children over 7 years.
If you keep an eye out you may even see a bower bird in its bower.
Bring a torch and explore the bush at night. Look for possums and bats and listen for frogs. There is no guarantee that we will see any animals on this walk, but we may be lucky enough to hear their distinct calls. Suitable for families, and children over 7 years.
Where: Enter Lake Parramatta Reserve via Lackey St (off Bourke St) North Parramatta. Bookings are essential. Time: 7.30pm to 9pm. When: 6th of November 2015
Rota from Weekend Notes Sydney has put together an article on 15 different free knitting groups that are found around Sydney.
So if knit for fun, for love, or for charity you should have a read on Rota's article and become involved in a knitting circle. In our changing society, these knitting groups are now also places for men - as well as women - with a passion for knitting to be social.
Also known as the St Ives Handmade Markets, the 250-stall monthly market is all about Aussie-made and Aussie-grown. Oi! Though they do accept a small number of international sellers, priority is given to handmade and locally produced crafts, food, furniture, and everything in between. And the markets boast an extensive range of Margaret River olive oil and jams with attitude.
St Ives Heritage Craft Fair. Photo courtesy of event organiser.
Where: St Ives Showground. Mona Vale Rd, St Ives Time: 9am to 3pm When: Sat 04 Jul, Sat 01 Aug, Sat 05 Sep, Sat 03 Oct, Sat 07 Nov, Sat 05 Dec
Kirribilli Markets features over 220 stalls of new and recycled fashion and accessories, emerging local designs, home and giftware, art and craft, product, plants and gourmet goodies. With live entertainment, fabulous food, the best harbour views and great access to public transport, you are sure to love Kirribilli Markets!
Established in 1974 the Kirribilli Markets have evolved into the premier markets on the Northshore and are held on two market days every month.
The General Market is one of Sydney's original and most loved markets.
The Kirribilli Art & Design Market and Fashion Markets where you will discover inside the Burton Street Tunnel a cavern of creativity with 80 selected artists and designers selling their original paintings, prints, glass, ceramics, fashion, jewellery accessories, home-wares, millinery and the list goes on! In this market you will discover some unique and amazing works.
The Fashion Markets is located outside on The Green where there is a enormous range of bargain designer clothing, retro and vintage, kids, men's and women's fashion plus much more.
Where: Kirribilli. Time: Kirribilli Art Design and Fashion Markets start at 9.00 am and finish at 3.00 pm and the Kirribilli General Market starts at 8.30 am and ends at 3.00 pm. When: Kirribilli Art Design and Fashion Markets held on the second Sunday each month and the Kirribilli General Market held on the fourth Saturday of the month from January to November, and on the first and third Saturdays of December.
Free movies and free popcorn make Mondays go down much easier. The Soda Factory has joined the ranks of Sydney venues holding free revival screenings on Monday nights. Screenings include two rounds of trivia themed around the movies with a $200 dinner tab for the winning team.
Rug up for free winter screenings and cheap munchies by the beach. Manly Wharf Hotel converts its main bar into an impromptu cinema den for a cozy place to snuggle down for winter. Along with beanbags and free popcorn, moviegoers can experience a sit-down meal service so they don't miss, well, a flick of the flick.
Mondays Movie Schedule at the Manly Wharf Hotel. Photo courtesy of the Many Wharf Hotel.
Where: Manly Wharf Time: Screenings start at 7pm. When: Mondays
Well, there you have it! Another 25 activities that are free at various places in Sydney and its Surrounds that you can add to the first 25. Giving you 50 places where you will enjoy Walks, Gardens, Music, Galleries, Markets, Fairs, Movies, Exhibitions, Museums and Tours.
Hi Gary, You seemed to travel a lot locally. I wonder if you could help to point out if there are locker service available in various parts of Sydney and Melbourne? eg near Domain (NSW Gallery), The Rocks, RBG, Bondi, Cockatoo, ... I need to leave by night train hence I should check out early morning from my accommodation.