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Top 10 Free Sydney Attractions

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It's interesting how many free Sydney attractions are available for residents and visitors alike. Here's a selection of free Sydney attractions.

1. Australia's Birthplace

Colonial churches, pubs and other buildings, restaurants, shops, street entertainment, weekend market are among the free Sydney attractions in the Rocks area where Captain Arthur Phillip established his Sydney settlement in 1778. Take our suggested Rocks walking tour. Stop off, and branch off, wherever you will.

2. Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk

Walk across the unique Sydney icon that is the Sydney Harbour Bridge and have a great vantage point for panoramic views of the city, harbour and ocean. Great for picture taking, too. The pedestrian way over the bridge is on the eastern side of the span. (The western side is reserved for cyclists.) From the Rocks area, take the pedestrian access way from Cumberland St. Check location of access points on your Rocks map, free from the Rocks visitor centre.

3. Museums and Galleries

There's free entry to the Art Gallery of New South Wales in The Domain, the Museum of Contemporary Art at The Rocks, and the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour. (A charge applies for special, particularly visiting, exhibitions.) The Yiribana Gallery at the Art Gallery of NSW focuses on Aboriginal and islander art. Free guided tours Tuesday to Saturday at 11am.

4. Darling Harbour

Waterside walks, street performances, concerts on floating pontoons or at Tumbalong Park are among the free Sydney attractions in Darling Harbour, a short walk from the city centre.

5. Beaches

Sydney's beaches run almost all the way from Palm Beach in the north to Cronulla in the south. Go surfing, swimming, snorkeling, or simply lazing away the time, particularly in the warmer months. Take care to be safe.

6. Royal Botanic Gardens

Particularly in the spring when plants and trees start to blossom, a stroll through Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney is a pleasure many like to take. Walk to Mrs Macquaries Point for a perfect view of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge together. Great for picture taking.

7. Government House

Former residence of New South Wales Governors (within the Royal Botanic Gardens) which has now opened to the public with free guided tours every half hour Friday to Sunday from 10.30am to 3pm. Elegant colonial architecture and furnishings, and art collections on display. Stroll through the Government House gardens, too, with great views of the harbour.

8. St Mary's Cathedral

Discover the architectural splendor of St Mary's Cathedral, mother church of Australian Catholicism. Go in for a visit or to pray. The crypt which is renowned for its mosaic floor depicting The Creation is open daily from 10am to 4pm. Free cathedral tours are available Sundays at noon.

9. Bicentennial Park

Visit Sydney's Bicentennial Park which is part of Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush Bay for a day of outdoor and nature-based activity. Barbecue and picnic areas, playgrounds, cycle paths, access to wetlands. Drive, or take the train (which isn't free) to Olympic Park.

10. Pub Music

A number of Sydney pubs feature free band performances on selected nights. (Of course you'd have to pay for your drinks.) Check current entertainment listings during your visit to Sydney.
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