Prince Harry loves a good time and Sydney delivers this on a right royal silver platter. Not only does this city have some of the best sights in the world, you don't need a prince's purse to enjoy them.
Here are Prince Harry's* Top 10 FREE things to do and sights to see when in Sydney.
1. Sydney Harbour Bridge Stroll - Harry enjoys a bit of urban exercise and what better place to do this than a stroll across Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge. The pedestrian walk along the eastern side of the bridge not only gives you spectacular views over the Harbour, featuring the Opera House, Circular Quay, Fort Denison and the lovely waterfront residences, it's also a nice urban workout at a pace that suits you. Read more here.
2. North Head Lookout - The People's Prince loves a bit of bush and Sydney's national parks can't be beaten for their accessibility and views. The Fairfax walk within the Sydney Harbour National Park boasts beautiful views, the track starting at the end of North Head Scenic Drive and then winding around the top of North Head. From the North Head Lookout, you'll be right at the mouth of the Harbour and you might be lucky enough to see a whale or two at one of their favourite meandering spots. The heritage sites and military fortifications are also something that piqued the Prince's interest. Read more here.
Bondi to Coogee walk. Spectacular views from start to finish.
3. Bondi to Coogee Walk – Harry appreciates Sydney's beaches, boards and beautiful bronze bodies and these are in abundance on this sensational coastal walk. It takes about two hours to complete the Bondi to Coogee Beach section of the walk but there are plenty of places to sit and rest along the way. Each year during late Spring, an added free bonus is Sculpture by the Sea, a 2km long temporary sculpture park featuring over 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world, this year being held from 22 October - 8 November 2015. Read more here.
4. The Royal National Park – Where else in the world could Harry find over 100km of walking tracks, rainforest gullies, rugged cliffs and pristine beaches? The Royal National Park, south of Sydney's CBD, is the second-oldest national park in the world and if Harry needs a bit of time out from his military duties, it also has camping and picnic sites where he could lose himself for days. Read more here.
5. Centennial Parklands – This English-style park in the heart of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs makes Harry feel at home. Established for Australia's federation in 1901, it's now a place where you can ride a horse, walk the dog, cycle or enjoy a daily constitutional. Having originally been a marshy catchment area, it also has some wonderful ponds where you can spot up to 124 native and 18 introduced species of land and water birds. Harry loves a good twitch. Read more here.
Sydney's stunning Shelly Beach is a great place to experience the diverse sealife of Australia's east coast
6. Shelly Beach Sealife – Harry loves water activities and a sneaky snorkel at Shelly Beach is something that no-one should miss. In this stunning protected area within the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, marine life is abundant with many fish species taking refuge in this sheltered area, including the Eastern Blue Groper, Rays and Wobbegongs. From January to June, this reserve serves as a nursery ground to young Dusky Whaler sharks. Read more here.
7. Sydney Conservatorium of Music – No royal visit should overlook the Sydney Conservatorium of Music situated in the heart of Sydney's CBD. This distinctive castellated Gothic building houses Australia's premier tertiary music institution and originates from Governor Macquarie's unauthorised decision to commission convict architect, Francis Greenway. The Queen was undoubtedly not amused but Harry would enjoy the FREE concerts held by the Open Academy which are open to anyone who appreciates a bit of music and culture. Get your dose of culture at the Con. Read more here.
8. Churches for the masses – The royals are strong churchgoers and Harry would not be disappointed with two of Sydney's most beautiful churches, St. Mary's Cathedral and St. James' Church which are in walking distance of each other. St Mary's is an elegant and imposing example of English Neo-Gothic architecture with some unexpected local features located in its crypt which can be viewed during the free tours held after Sunday Mass. In contrast to St. Mary's, St. James' was designed in the style of a Georgian town church by Francis Greenway and the church building is the oldest one surviving in Sydney's inner city region. It's listed on the Register of the National Estate and has been described as one of the world's 80 greatest man-made treasures. Read more here and here.
9. Hyde Park - Named after its English counterpart, Hyde Park is a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding CBD. Featured within the park are several themed gardens, water features, monuments and works of art. Don't miss the Archibald Fountain which was designed by French sculptor Francois-Leon Sicard and near the St. James railway station entrance is a popular attraction - a life-sized outdoor chess set that attracts players and viewers. Harry would undoubtedly enjoy a cheeky game of chess, likely his only chance to knock-off the king. Read more here.
10. The Royal Botanic Gardens - This beautiful garden was established in 1816 and covers 30 hectares of harbourside land. It has an unrivalled collection of plants from around the world with a focus on Australia and the South Pacific. The garden is positioned right on Sydney Harbour, next to the Opera House and marks the centre of Sydney's cultural domain of art galleries, museums and performing arts. It's the oldest botanic garden and scientific institution in Australia and just happens to have a lovely little house located in its grounds (Government House). This would be a nice place for Prince Harry to set up home as the Governor of New South Wales (more on this here) if it pleases Her Majesty The Queen. Read more here.
So, whether you're a prince or a pauper, make the most of these FREE sights in Australia's Crown Jewel city of Sydney.
*Prince Harry has neither endorsed, recommended, contributed to or been interviewed in respect of the contents of this article... just in case you believed otherwise.