Sydney is touted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Sydney has everything – beaches, wilderness, skylines and nightlife. Let’s face it though, Sydney won’t be ending up on any “cheapest cities around the world” lists any time soon. Especially its vibrant but, frankly, extortionate nightlife. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the oodles of fun free activities dotted around the city. Tonight, leave the purse at home and check out these seven free things to do in Sydney at night.
1. Walk Across The Harbour Bridge
Now, I don’t mean the madly expensive Sydney Bridge Climb (which will take a hit on your wallet!). Not many people know you can just simply stroll across the harbour bridge at your leisure and take in the fantastic views of the surrounding harbour. The pedestrian walkway is on the east-facing side of the bridge, meaning you get some prime views of the opera house and the Sydney skyline. You can access the walkway via stairs at The Rocks, or from Milsons Point.
2. Darling Harbour
You’d be forgiven for thinking Darling Harbour is the money-spending centre of Sydney, with all its chain restaurants and high-end bars. However, Darling Harbour hosts a fair few free activities for all ages. This includes a free weekly firework display every Saturday. Kicking off at 9 pm at Cockle Bay Wharf, this display could put give some of the New Years fireworks a run for their money. Other free activities at Darling Harbour include the Chinese Garden of Friendship and seasonal outdoor movie screenings.
3. Art After Hours
Free admission and a later closing time mean you should head to the art gallery on Wednesdays nights for an evening of creative activities. We’re talking free film screenings, live music, inspiring and intellectual talks. Even if you don’t fancy any of these, the gallery is still open for a nocturnal stroll around all of the latest exhibitions. Head over to the Art Gallery NSW website, for all the latest exhibitions and events.
4. Luna Park
With a view to die for, Luna Park is an amusement park for everyone wanting to act like a huge kid. Don’t let the creepy-face-come-entrance put you off, entry to this heritage-listed park is absolutely free, and you only need to pay for rides and games if you fancy them. There are also heaps of picnic areas dotted around the park, which you are encouraged to use. So pack up some dinner and eat front row overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
5. Penguins In Manly
Did you know Manly, on Sydney’s northern beaches, is home to the cutest colony of Little Penguins? This group of cute birds are the only mainland colony in NSW, and make an appearance at Manly Wharf every night between July and February. They usually return to their burrows at dusk, so you get the added bonus of a beautiful manly sunset.
6. Sunset At Shelly Beach
Speaking of Manly, some of the above offer beautiful night-time views, but none are as serene as watching the sun disappear at Shelly Beach. At one of the only western-facing beaches in the area, you can watch the last of the days light bounce off the clearest water you’ll find around Sydney. You can find Shelley Beach along the seaside walkway from Manly Beach and, on a clear night, you can walk up the hill to see the spectacular moon-lit view of North Head.
7. Royal Botanic Gardens
The oldest botanic gardens in Australia, perfect for a free stroll along the waterfront admiring one of the most iconic places in the world: The Opera House. Quite possibly the best seat in the house for prime Opera House views, the royal botanic gardens are ideal for some evening photography or even a sunset picnic overlooking the harbour. Grab a map of the gardens from the Royal Botanic Gardens website and head off on your own night-time escapade through the flora and fauna.