I escaped to Sydney over 11 years ago and haven't looked back since. I enjoy going to cafes, local markets and festivals, and finding the best views in town for free. Visit my twitter page: https://twitter.com/sydneyonabudget
Published December 28th 2016
Soak up the sun with these fun activities
The excitement of a new year combined with the long, warm days of summer brings out the active side in all of us. There is plenty to offer this January that will give you and your family a slice of heaven in the Sydney sun. These fun and affordable activities will help you kick off a memorable 2017.
As part of the Sydney Festival, Hyde Park in the CBD will transform from a tranquil sanctuary into a funky outdoor skating rink every Saturday in January. From 2.30pm-6.30pm, skaters will be able to glide around the Archibald Fountain to live disco music. Non-skaters will enjoy the DJ performances and the Meriton Festival Village food stalls featuring culinary favourites Fratelli Fresh and Mary's fried chicken.
A cross between soccer and golf, FootGolf is a new sport in Australia that is growing in popularity. Played at the Northbridge Golf Club, you can join your friends in a social game from 4pm on weekdays and 5pm on weekends. FootGolf involves kicking a soccer ball on the golf green with the aim of shooting it into the holes in as few kicks as possible. Situated on the North Shore close to the CBD, the golf course boasts stunning views which can be enjoyed over a coffee and a meal at Harbourview Dining.
Cost: a game of FootGolf costs $15 for adults and $10 for kids under 16. Soccer balls are available for hire at $5.
On Saturday 7 January, Barton Park will host the annual Kite Festival. With free entry, it will be sure to attract a crowd to watch the kites streak across the sky and a chance to fly a kite yourself. The festival will also have music, food stalls, rides and entertainment. If you're looking for a fun family activity to do during the school holidays, mark this event in your calendar.
Skypeak Adventures is an aerial park that has a range of challenges for both adults and kids to tackle. Visitors can start with the Skypeak Walk ($7 per adult and $15 per child), a platform walk that allows you to watch all the action and soak in the open views. When you're feeling brave, try the Atmosphere course for two hours of exhilarating fun. From sitting on a suspended picnic table to leaping across barrels, you're guaranteed to have an adventure like no other. The course costs $59 for adults and $51 for kids (must be at least 1.4 metres tall).
Located in Western Sydney, you will enjoy the convenience of free parking and the nearby Vines Cafe at Go Bananas for a quick bite to eat. If you enjoy watching shows like WipeOut! or Takeshi's Castle and wondered what it would be like, this is the perfect day out for you.
Cost: depends on the course, starts from $5-7 per person
Melbourne has the Australian Open, but Sydney has the Apia International. Save your money on plane tickets and watch some of the world's leading tennis players on 8-14 January at Sydney Olympic Park. Cheer on locals Sam Stosur, Daria Gavrilova, Ben Weekes and Dylan Alcott as they face off against the likes of Angelique Kerber (current World No. 1 women's tennis player) and Viktor Troicki who has won the singles men's title for two consecutive years.
Nickelodeon will host Kid's Tennis Day on 8 January with special visits from some well loved Nickelodeon characters and entertainers. With plenty of parking and restaurants available near by, booking this tennis event is an ace.
Cost: Day sessions start from $10 for concession and $20 for adults (kids free!) and night sessions start from $15 for concession, $25 for adults and $5 for kids
To meet some furry friends this Summer, travel down to Helensburgh for the Symbio Wildlife Park. The zoo has been designed to allow visitors to get closer to the animals for a more intimate experience. Animals at the zoo include red pandas, kangaroos, cheetahs, koalas and ring-tailed lemurs.
Meet Imogen the very photogenic koala (pictured) and Jalur the Sumatran tiger among others, or watch the keeper presentations running each day. At Symbio, you can experience a close encounter with some of the animals including cuddling a dingo and hand-feeding a meercat (cost ranges $75-$95 per person).
Cost: A family pass costs $89 for 2 adults and 2 kids under 15 years old. Student/concession passes are $29. Complimentary parking is provided.