SYDNEY ON A SHOESTRING
I love Sydney, I do.
But it's bloody expensive and pretty easy to spend your entire life savings in the space of a weekend if you don't have your eye on the ball.
Fear not, I have lovingly complied a list of 10 free/inexpensive things to do in the beautifully blue city of Sydney.
1. Try Housesitting
One of the main expenses when you go anywhere is the cost of accommodation, air bnb is always a good option but why not take it a step further and join up with a site like housecarers.com, you may find yourself living it up in Luxury at a beach side condo for FREE. Yes FREE... Apart from maybe looking after some pets (animal haters gonna hate). And its a global site...so it may lead you to somewhere more tropical 🌴
2. Take the ferry to Watsons Bay, drink beer and eat fish + chips at Doyles restaurant
On a sunny day Sydney harbour is a spectacular sight and if you are anything like me, you get as excited as a toddler every time you go on a boat trip. It's the same price as catching a train or a bus, you can use your Opal travel card and it's actually a really practical way of getting around town. Head to Watson's Bay and graze on fish, chips and beer at Doyles (a Sydney institution since 1885) which will set you back about 20 buckaroos unless you want to dine in the fancy restaurant, which is equally as good for more $$.
3. Stroll around some markets
Sydney has pretty much got whatever you want in the way of markets, on the weekend we went to an Etsy craft market in Chippendale which was worthwhile, check out TimeOut or Broadsheet to see what is going on when you are visiting. If its food you want, head to the famous Sydney fish market or the Carraigeworks farmers market ~ not exactly cheap in terms of food but it has a great atmosphere, a tolerable hipster vibe and what you do buy supports local farmers and not big greedy corporations.
4. Check out some free art
I went to the White Rabbit Collection on this visit to see the Dark Matters Exhibition. Who doesn't love free culture?! Also try the Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art or The Museum of Sydney where you can avoid the exhibitions and wander around getting your art fix.
5. Picnic in the Royal Botanical Gardens
Pack up a picnic and head to the RBG for a tranquil afternoon in the sunshine. If you get your timing right you can plan to catch one of the excellent free tours.
6. Bondi to Bronte/Coogee walk
I cannot go to Sydney without doing the Bondi to Bronte (or Bondi to Coogee if you're feeling frisky) costal walk. I get lost in those dreamy blues every time 💙💙💙. Go in Spring and you can catch the very free Sculpture by the sea.
7. Go for a surf/swim/sunbathe
There are so many top swim/sunbathe spots in Sydders. My favs are Murray Rose Pool in Double Bay, where you can put on your 1950's style swimsuit and swim out and to one of the pontoons and sunbathe in style. Parsley Bay, Milk Beach, Bronte, Clovelly, Tamarama and Gordon's Bay do not only have excellent names but also beautiful beaches. Shelly beach is another winner and a great alternative to the pricey Sydney aquarium as you can catch plenty of sea life for FREE. The beaches are obviously free but if you are desperate to spend some cash try doing some laps in Bondi Icebergs ocean pool for $6.50 or $5.80 at Bronte Baths. And for a measly $20 an hour you can hire a surfboard in Bondi and catch some waves.
8. Go to a free yoga class.
I went to a yoga class in Sydney and it set me back nearly $30... which quite frankly is ridiculous! Better off checking out a site like this, where you can find local deals, a lot of places offer you a free class to try before you buy. Or try Oasis yoga studios for a free beginners class. OR just head down to the beach and do your own practice!
9. Spend the day at Cabramatta eating Pho.
Cabramatta is Australia's largest Vietnamese community ~ a day out here and you'll completely forget you're in Australia. Plenty of amazing restaurants to try, some picks are Phu Quoc and Battambang. Cabramatta markets are the prefect place to pick up some exotic fruits such as some delicious dragon fruit or custard apple. Yum.
10. A spot of whale watching?
Walk for 20 minutes uphill from Palm Beach to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse and during winter (from May until October) its likely you will see some whales out in the distance. Bonus points for those with binoculars.
Penny pincher signing off.