21 Awesome and Free Things to Do in Sydney during Winter

There’s heaps to see and do in Sydney in winter.

Discover awesome and free activities in Sydney this winter. You’ll love every second of it!

1. Hike to waterfalls

Hiking is evidently good for our health and mind. And close to Sydney, mountains, caves, waterfalls and coastline are just a train or bus ride from the CBD.

Some spectacular waterfalls near Sydney are Fitzroy Falls, Belmore Falls (Morton National Park), Carrington Falls, Minnamurra Falls (Budderoo National Park), Wentworth Falls, Katoomba Falls, Govetts Leap Falls, Minnehaha Falls (Blue Mountains National Park), Kanangra Falls, Kanangra Falls (Kanangra-Boyd National Park).

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2. Mountain walks

Some of the best mountain walks near Sydney are Mount Banks, Mount Solitary (Blue Mountains), Careys Peak, Pieries Peak (Barrington Tops National Park), The Castle, Pigeon House Mountain (The Budawangs), Burning Mountain (Scone), Donkey Mountain (Wolgan Valley).

3. Explore caves near Sydney

Some caves near Sydney include Pindar Cave (Brisbane Waters) (for open space or a party), Gooches Crater (Wollangambe) (for wilderness), Dadder Cave (Lower Blue Mountains) (for river views), Psyn Cave (near Katoomba) (for car camping), 100 Man Cave (Kanangra Boyd National Park) (for something very old) and Little Cave (Nielsen Park) (for city views).

4. Coastal walks

Students at Scots English took a nice walk on Manly.

Some of the best coastal walks in Sydney are Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay walk for Harbour views, Chinamans Beach to Balmoral Beach for yacht watching, North Head for a coastal bushwalk, Manly to Spit Bridge scenic walk, Middle Head for panoramic views, Cockatoo Island for historic sights and Bondi to Coogee for a true sense of Sydney’s coastal beauty.

5. Walk across the Sydney Habour Bridge

Walk across the Bridge for free and have a bird’s eye view. Start from The Rocks at the Southern end and gently stroll across the Bridge to Milsons Point at the Northern end. You can choose to either walk back or take a train from Milsons Point Station to Circular Quay Station.

6. Travel back in time at Sydney’s Lighthouses

Visit lighthouses to travel back in time, have dazzling views, visit beautiful beaches and perhaps even spend the night in an original light keeper’s cottage. Some lighthouses to choose from are Norah Head Lighthouse (Central Coast), Barrenjoey Lighthouse (Palm Beach), Fort Denison (Sydney Harbour), Grotto Point Lighthouse (Middle Harbour), Hornby Lighthouse (South Head), Point Perpendicular Lighthouse (Jervis Bay), Cape Bailey Light (Botany Bay) and Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse (Wollongong).

7. Whale watching

Image via Fishing Charters Base

The New South Wales (NSW) coast is one of the world’s best spots to catch these majestic sea creatures in action. Put on hiking shoes, bring your binoculars, some snacks and picnic blankets, and head to these places for whale watching: Caves Beach Coastal Walk (Lake Macquarie), Pat Morton Lookout (Lennox Head), Sawtell Headlands (Coffs Harbour), Muttonbird Island (Coffs Harbour), Nambucca Heads, Gerrin Point Lookout (Bouddi National Park), Broken Head Nature Reserve (North Coast), Cape Byron Lighthouse (Byron Bay), Nobbys Headland (Newcastle) and Barrenjoey Lighthouse Headland (Palm Beach).

8. Borrow a dog

Australian Dogshare service helps connect dog owners with dog loving people (dog borowers). The borrowers will act as a pup sitter.

9. Take a long bike ride

One of best ways to warm yourself up in this winter is taking bike rides through expansive parks, around calming lagoons and alongside staggering beaches. Some dedicated and serene bike routes in Sydney are Centennial Park (for trees), Olympic Park (for art and shipwrecks), the Bay Run (Iron Cove) (for waterfront), Parramatta Heritage Trail (for history), Narrabeen Lagoon (for black swan and owls), Cooks River (for tranquility), Prospect Reservoir and Orphan School Creek (for views), Lady Carrington Drive (Royal National Park) (for lyrebirds and echidnas), Ettalong To Umina (for beaches)and Narrow Neck (Katoomba) (for wilderness).

10. Visit Government House

Located in the Domain and overlooking the Royal Botanic Gardens, Government House is the most sophisticated example of Gothic Revival architecture in NSW. It is open Friday — Sunday from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm and on NSW public holidays.

11. Take a free bus shuttle

Don’t want to walk? Then take route 555, which runs every 10 minutes on a loop from Central Station to Circular Quay, via Elizabeth and George Street. Shuttle bus 555 operates seven days a week, and it takes around 30–40 minutes to do the whole loop.

12. Hit the markets

Visiting the markets in Sydney is another interesting thing to do here. Some of the best markets to enjoy include Bondi markets, Paddington markets, Paddy’s markets and Sydney fish market.

13. Explore the Art Gallery of NSW

The Art Gallery of NSW is one of leading art museums in Australia. Here you have such a great chance to admire Australian, Aboriginal, European, Asian and contemporary art works. They are displayed in expansive, light-filled spaces, giving stunning views of Sydney and the harbour.

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14. Be mesmerised by Vivid Sydney

Held between May and June each year, this is a 23-day Australian festival of light, music and ideas. It features many of the most important creative industry forums in the world, a charming free public exhibition of outdoor lighting sculptures and installations and a leading-edge contemporary music program.

15. Join Sydney Film Festival

From June 7–18, Sydney celebrates the silver screen with the annual Sydney Film Festival. This year brings more than 300 screenings of over 180 films from 50+ countries, and features engaging talks, parties and special events. Come in from the cold and enjoy to the fullest.

16. Discover Sydney Town Hall

While it’s cold outside, sometimes there’s nothing better to do than wander through the interiors of Sydney Town Hall and enjoy its historic collection of artifacts. The Hall is Australia’s largest and most ornate late 19th century civic building. It is open Monday — Friday from 8 am to 6 pm.

17. Feast your eyes on publications at the MCA Zine Fair

The MCA Zine Fair is an annual festival celebrating independent and DIY publishing and art-making. This year, the fair runs from Sunday, May 21 at the MCA Foundation Hall and is open from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.

18. Celebrate NAIDOC week

Celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Australia’s First People during NAIDOC Week. For a fabulous and free day outdoors with dance performances, weaving workshops and heaps more, join NAIDOC in the city in Hyde Park on July 3.

19. Get excited with Sydney Tea Festival

Sydney Tea Festival is set to indulge tea lovers this August 20 at Carriageworks. It allows visitors to spend the day wandering through the tea market, discovering some of the best artisanal teas from every corner of Australia, grabbing a bite to eat from a food truck, indulging in a sweet treat or enjoying a cup of tea in the brew lounge. There are also workshops hosted by top-notch specialists where you can join to learn about tea basics, discover more about the history and health benefits of tea, etc.

20. Snuggle up with books in the libraries

Seek comfort from the cold and seek peace from the hustle and bustle in the city libraries. Relax reading, study, or watch the world go by through the glass windows.

21. Enjoy free Wifi in Sydney

More and more free Wifi hotpots are being installed in Sydney. Bring your laptop or mobile device and connect to free Wifi at city libraries, Starbucks locations, McDonalds and Circular Quay, etc. You can use Urban Spoon to search cafes and restaurants with free wireless.

Originally published at scotsenglish.edu.au.