Howdy all. As promised last week, here is my tale about how I spent a day in Sydney seeing a bunch of stuff without spending any money. Okay, yes I DID spend money but I spent no money on specific site-seeing as it were. And it was a day I enjoyed, clocked up some serious amount of steps walked and captured some nice pictures of the city that Australia is most well-known for!
Firstly, I’ll start with what I DID spend money on. And firstly, I had to pay for my lunch! That pretty much goes without saying I guess, but if I was really keen to keep the costs as close to zero as humanly possible I could have prepared a cut lunch the night before I guess. If I had had a kitchen. Which I didn’t. Anyways, to the post!
Firstly, I was lucky to be in Sydney on a day when there was industrial action on the train network. It was still running but the gates were all open and no-one was checking for tickets. That’s on the trains, I did spend a few dollar, less than ten I think, on a couple of buses. Sydney is a city of famous landmarks, so I wanted to do a day where I saw a few of these.
So I decided to start with a place I have never been before, and that’s the most famous beach in Australia – Bondi Beach. A train and bus ride from Central Station it took around 40 minutes I think to get there. The good thing about a beach is that well, you know it’s free. Well, most beaches are free usually although in Europe you can sometimes find yourself paying to use a beach and of course there are private beaches and hotels/resorts that own beachfront as part of their property.
Bondi actually surprised me. It’s a good sized beach with a strip of shops, restaurants and more alongside it. I was there in August, which is Winter here in Australia, but I was super lucky on this August day, it was a pleasant 18-19 degrees and it was sunny with only the odd small cloud around. It meant it was a good day for walking, exploring and for taking pictures!
Whilst it would have been nice to have a warmer day, it was really nice to be there when there wasn’t that many people there. Although there were people walking along on the beach, enjoying the view and actually quite a few people surfing out in the ocean. It’s easy to see why this beach, in a Sydney suburb, is so popular. And the sand was perfect! Perfect almost white, soft sand. In the Summer, well it would be very much a crazy crowded spot, but in Winter, well, you can actually appreciate why it is so popular in the Summer!
I grabbed lunch at the Bondi Hotel, which seemed as good a place as any to have a bite to eat, and then I was back on the bus to the train. With a quick connection I was heading towards and eventually over the most recognisable Sydney landmark and one of the most recognisable landmarks in the whole country – the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Once on the other side I was in a spot called Milson’s Point – the name of the metro station. I walked down to under the bridge where I got some photos from that position of the bridge and across to the Opera House. This is also the spot of the Sydney Luna Park, a famous amusement park like it’s sister in Melbourne I have featured on the blog and on my YouTube Channel before.
Then I went under the bridge and took a lift to the bridge. Yes, they have a lift for walkers, and then I took a walk across the 1.1km long bridge. It’s a really cool experience actually, great views across the harbour and you look upwards to see the amazing ‘coat hanger’ which is definitely very cool. For those who go there on a different day when things are open there is the Bridge Climb which allows you to walk on the ‘coat-hanger’ part, and there’s actually a museum and observation deck on the cityside pylon. The bridge opened in 1932.
Walking from the bridge down to Circular Quay is a great little walk through a nice area, and I found myself next to the impressive P & O cruise ship in the Harbour. From Circular Quay you can catch different ferries to different points, the Manly Ferry is the most well known and it’s a great little journey across the Harbour to another one of Sydney’s beautiful beaches.
After rounding Circular Quay I find myself on the steps of the Opera House. I went for a tour there a few years back now – although it’s not free it is really worthwhile. I wasn’t quite finished, I decided to continue round through the Botanical Gardens to Mrs MacQauarie’s Chair which was another 20-30 minute walk from there. It was such a beautiful day so I thought I might as well.
It’s not a landmark I had previously heard of, and it’s actually a ‘chair’ carved out of rock by convicts back in 1810 for the wife of a Major-General. It’s kind of cool, kind of sad, and a little disappointing. By this time I was cooked and ready to head back to the hotel. However – it was a good 20 minute walk to the nearest metro station, and it took me past St Mary’s Cathderal.
St Mary’s is a Catholic Cathedral founded in 1821. Today it’s the main Catholic Cathedral in Sydney and if you’re passing by why not check it out inside?
After that, I was soon on my way on the metro back to Sydney Central. Aside from lunch, a bottle of water and the cost of the bus, I had spent no money and had a pretty cool day. And I think I got to see a good portion of the city and appreciate it’s famous landmarks.
Thanks for popping by today! Take care wherever you may be in the world, and May the Journey Never End!
12 thoughts on “A Day in Sydney for FREE!”
This is an original approach. It’s true that on a beautiful day there’s nothing better than walking in the streets and saving the indoor visits for cloudy, rainy, cold or hot days.
Thats very true! I couldnt believe how great the August weather was!
Such a great area to walk around.
cheers it certainly is!
What a great day you had! Whenever I visit a new place I like to just walk around or take a free walking tour, it really helps to get more familiar with the city – and also to save money of course! Great post!
Thanks Juliette – it’s a great way to start when you arrive in a place isnt it?
Cool views from the bridge!
without a doubt! Thanks Christie!
Great city to explore. My favorite was the coastal walk near Bondi
yes great place for it! Thanks!
You didn’t pack an obento!? XD
Love this post – always good to have free options, a reminder to me how lucky I am that you can do so much for free in Japan. It looks like a lovely city to walk around. Impressive 200 year old cathedral.
lol no i did not. thanks for popping by