National Geographic: Sydney for Free for Families

As National Geographic says, Sydney’s down-to-earth setting means you can explore a lot for free, despite the city’s expensive reputation.

Even some of its icons are free. The magazine recommends traversing the ‘Coathanger’, or Sydney Harbour Bridge, which costs nothing.

At nearby Darling Harbour, families can enjoy outdoor space, free entertainment, and lots of family-oriented attractions.

Roaming the city offers plenty to look at. A photo opportunity on the steps of the Sydney Opera House is free, even if the shows inside are not. A window-shopping visit to Paddy’s Market gives you oodles of T-shirts, jewellery and produce to ogle. The Royal Botanic Gardens are home to a 200,000-strong colony of giant fruit bats.

Where athletes once trod the track at Sydney Olympic Park, families now enjoy miles of cycle trails through picnic grounds with sculptures, fountains and sometimes free activities like movie nights.

The National Maritime Museum has kid-friendly exhibits and activities like story-telling and craft workshops. Activities like cartoon-drawing workshops entrance kids at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Interactive exhibits at The Rocks Discovery Museum unveil the city’s earliest European history. Under the glass floor of Customs House is a detailed model of the city.

Events like the Sydney Festival in January are packed with free activities.

Beaches are of course free, and the city is famous for them. Most famous of all, iconic Bondi, is a playground for kids and grown-ups.