The city of Sydney in Australia is the capital of New South Wales and surrounds one of the world’s largest natural harbors. It was one of the first places that the British settled when, in they founded a penal colony there. Today it has a population of just fewer than 5 million, of which approximately one third were born in a country other than Australia, and is always listed among the top cities in the world for tourism.
In 2013, the city received almost half of all the foreign tourists to Australia, which played a major role in helping the city make its $337.45 billion for the year, a figure that is more than some countries make, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Denmark. Although the city makes so much money from tourism, there are still a lot of free, fun things visitors can enjoy whilst they are there. Here is a list of 7 of perhaps the most popular free and fun things to do when visiting the city.
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1. Experience Circular Quay.
This is an area of the city that is always alive with activity as it is not just the place from where most of the different ferries leave from but is also the place where access can be afforded to many of the other city attractions like the Opera House and Royal Botanic Gardens, plus beautifully landscaped paths can also take you to the Rocks and Harbour Bridge.
2. Visit the Government House and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
You can combine a visit to the spectacular Government House with its ground floor staterooms and upstairs rooms where the Royalty and other heads of state have had their quarters, with a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, which the house overlooks and surprisingly, both are free to enter, as is a guided tour of the gardens which house over one million species of plant. There is also a hop on hop off train that runs around the undulating hills that the garden occupies.
3. Enjoy the Old World Charm of The Rocks.
The Rocks is located at the foot of the Harbour Bridge and is the oldest part of the city. Visitors are attracted to the Rocks because it houses some very vibrant restaurants, cafes, stalls and shops and is fun to just stroll around them as, the Rocks has been described as an open air museum with buildings dating back to the colonial days.
4. Go Underground to Paddington Reservoir Garden.
Built in an old underground water reservoir below the street, the Paddington Reservoir garden contains a hanging garden and an ornamental pool which provides for a somewhat unique, free underground experience.
5. Walk Across Harbour Bridge.
Although there is a toll charged for driving across the bridge and a fee for climbing the bridge, you can walk across it for free and thereby take in all the sights that this bridge, which took 6 years to build at a cost that took 62 years to pay for, has to offer. Painting this bridge has become a full time task for many painters, one of which was Paul Hogan before he became better known as “Crocodile Dundee”.
6. Be One of the ‘In Crowd’ at Darling Harbour.
Although Darling Harbour used to only be the favorite place to visit by kids as it had a lot of kiddies attractions, according to many travel tips blog, it has now become the hub of attraction for any ‘in Crowd’. With recently added extra attractions added like the Chinese Garden of Friendship, the largest oriental garden of its type outside of Asia, the Sydney Aquarium, an 8 storey high, ultra HD Imax screen and Cockle Bay Wharf with its bustling assortment of both cheap and posh eateries, it has become Sydney’s must see place for most visitors.
7. Hit Bondi Beach.
Although, for many, just watching the lifeguards on the beach would be enough fun, on this, one of the world’s most famous beaches, there are a lot of free things to enjoy as well as the view.
Jessica Gold is a travel adviser and blogger. She loves hanging out with friends, enjoying weekends with friends and family, adventure trips and traveling abroad.