Top 8 Things To Do In Sydney With Kids For Free

You don't have to spend a fortune in Sydney to have a good time with your family. Here are some kid-friendly activities that are free of charge
Daughter and father flying a kite on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia
Daughter and father flying a kite on Bondi Beach in Sydney, AustraliaShutterstock

Let's face it: travelling with kids can be quite an expensive affair. However, in Sydney, you don't have to break the bank to have a great time with your family. According to a new report, the city topped the list for the most searched-for international destination by Indian families to enjoy their summer vacations in.

One of the reasons why Sydney is so popular is because there are plenty of fantastic, kid-friendly activities that won't cost you a dime. With its beautiful natural landscapes, the capital city of New South Wales is the perfect place to enjoy some quality time with your kids under the sun. If rainy days come calling, there are numerous free museums and cultural spaces to explore and learn from.

Here are some places you should check out with kids in tow.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

You can climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with children from the ages of eight to 15
You can climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with children from the ages of eight to 15bridgeclimbsydney/Facebook

Not only is it an engineering marvel, the Sydney Harbour Bridge offers stunning views of the city and the water. There are two ways to appreciate the structure. The first involves climbing the bridge itself. Children from the ages of eight to 15 can join their parents or guardians on a climb, provided they are 1.2m in height or taller. It takes approximately two hours to reach the highest point on the bridge, called "The Summit." This includes time to suit-up and complete your pre-climb safety preparation. The descent takes about an hour.

The second option is a free one. You can take a leisurely stroll across the bridge on the pedestrian path, which takes about 15-20 minutes one way. Feast your eyes on the unparalleled views of the city skyline and the sparkling waters.

The Royal Botanic Garden

A koala-shaped bush at the Royal Botanic Garden
A koala-shaped bush at the Royal Botanic GardenKeitma/

The Royal Botanic Garden is a heritage-listed space, whose position near the Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House makes it one of the most visited attractions in the city. It is home to a large colony of native grey-headed flying foxes, a large species of fruit bat. The gardens themselves have a wide variety of plants, flowers, birds and wildlife.

Families can join a private buggy tour of the garden, go on 1.5 hour guided walk, discover the heritage and culture of the Aboriginal land they are standing on, learn about the traditional uses of Indigenous bush foods, have a picnic on the lawns, and more.

The Beaches

Sydney has some of the best beaches in the world where you can swim or play in the sand
Sydney has some of the best beaches in the world where you can swim or play in the sandBob Pool/

Sydney has some of the best beaches in the world where you can swim, surf, sunbathe, snorkel, scuba dive or play in the sand. Some of the most popular beaches for families are Bondi, Shelly Beach in Manly, Gordons Bay in Sydney East, Chinamans Beach, Coogee, and Bronte, all of which have lifeguards, facilities and playgrounds.

The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera HouseScott McManus/

This architectural masterpiece is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, and a symbol of Sydney’s culture and creativity. You can admire the exterior of the building, take a selfie on the steps or watch a free performance on the forecourt. For children, there are plenty of performances, workshops and activities to keep them busy. Check out the official website to know more or ask the opera staff.

The Rocks

The Rocks district
The Rocks district bumihills/

Tens of thousands of years ago, the Circular Quay area was home to the Gadigal people, who were one of 29 clan groups that comprised the Eora Nation. They had a deep connection to the land, sky and water. But when the first colonial fleet arrived in 1788 on the western side of Sydney Cove, the area was renamed as "The Rocks," and the First Nations people who called the area home were dispossessed of their land.

Today, this historic district is where you will find heritage buildings, cobblestone streets and laneways dating back to the arrival of the first fleet. The Rocks Discovery Museum has exhibits which tell the story of the area. There are plenty of events which take place throughout the year to foster a sense of inclusion, understanding and belonging among residents and visitors so check out The Rocks' website for more information.

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour on a sunny day
Darling Harbour on a sunny dayJordan Lye/

This waterfront precinct is a hub of entertainment and activity where you can find plenty of free attractions for kids. The Darling Quarter is burgeoning with restaurants and casual eateries but the highlight for parents and guardians is the Playground, where children can splash in the fountains, climb on ropes, shimmy down slides or ride on the carousel.

Centennial Parklands

Exploring the outdoors in the Centennial Parklands
Exploring the outdoors in the Centennial ParklandsCentParklands/Facebook

These parklands are a huge open space that cover more than 360 hectares, and where you can enjoy nature, sports and other recreational activities. Children can learn the basics of camping and attend a bush school where they explore the outdoors through games, bushcraft activities and storytelling. Let your kids run wild at The Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden, which allows children to get lost in the wonder of nature with dry creek beds, an artesian water play area, a bamboo forest, banksia tunnels, turtle mounds and Centennial Park’s first treehouse.

Luna Park

Luna Park in Sydney
Luna Park in SydneyPaulharding00/

This heritage-listed amusement park is a classic attraction that has been operating since 1935, where you can enjoy rides, games and shows for all ages. You can enter the park for free and revel in the festive atmosphere, or pay for individual rides or a pass.

Getting There

There are direct flights to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport from New Delhi and Bengaluru. Apply for a visa from the ImmiAccount website. Provide proof that you will be able to afford your stay and that you have booked your return flight. A visitor visa has a starting cost of INR 10,000.

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