The best free attractions Australia’s capitals have to offer

In Brisbane's CBD, you'll find an inner-city beach that's free to enter.

In Brisbane's CBD, you'll find an inner-city beach that's free to enter. Photo: Getty

Being a tourist can be very expensive, with travel costs and accommodation hitting bank accounts hard.

Activities or sights that are must-sees when travelling also cost but, fortunately, there are plenty of things to do in Australia’s major cities that won’t cost a thing.

From botanical gardens and stunning beaches to the vibrant urban environment, there are plenty of places to explore that won’t set you back a cent.

From well-known sights and activities to things you probably didn’t know about, here are some of the country’s best free attractions.

Sydney’s free attractions

From Sydney Harbour to Bondi Beach, Sydney is renowned for its natural beauty and it’s free to take full advantage of that.

Bondi to Coogee walk

Did you really go to Sydney if you didn’t go to Bondi?

Even in the winter, so long as it is a nice day, it’s worth checking out a beach in Sydney.

If you do the Bondi to Coogee walk, you’ll find six beaches along the way, plus plenty of cafes, restaurants and pubs if you’re feeling peckish.

The view of the footpath in Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk in the golden hour of the sunrise

The Bondi to Coogee walk is a great free attraction.

Sydney Harbour

The city’s harbour is famous for a reason and you can really make a day out of it.

You can walk all the way from the Rocks to the Opera House and then make your way into the Royal Botanical Gardens, all for free.

Art Gallery of NSW

Sometimes Sydney’s weather isn’t the best, but when you’re on holidays, you can’t let the rain stop you.

The Art Gallery of NSW is one of the best in the country and admission is free, as are most of the exhibitions and events.

Melbourne’s best free attractions

Melbourne certainly has that cool factor, so there are plenty of things to see and do around the city.

Tour Melbourne’s laneways

Melbourne’s laneways are iconic and it’s free to get lost wandering around, taking in all the vibrant art.

It’s best to take advantage of the CBD’s free tram service and have a stroll through the city taking it all in.

State Library Victoria

To escape the chill of winter, or the four seasons in a single day Melbourne is famous for, why not head indoors to the State Library?

Entry is free and there are also plenty of free events at the library.

Federation Square

Not only is it nice to have a stroll around Federation Square, but it  also offers free events.

There’s workshops, classes and sometimes free live music, plus, it’s easily accessible, as it is right across from the equally iconic Flinders Street Station.

Pictured is Melbourne's Federation Square.

Melbourne’s Federation Square is always bustling and usually has free things to do.

Brisbane’s best free attractions

Away from the theme parks and the party people that flock to Surfer’s Paradise, there are plenty of cool things to do for free in Brisbane.

Walk on water

Located two kilometres off the Redlands coast, King Island is small and uninhabited and you can walk there from Wellington Point Recreation Reserve at low tide.

The “natural bridge” is free, but checking the times for the tides is a must.

Go to the beach

It would be a crime to go to the capital of the Sunshine State and not go to the beach.

If you want something a little different, there’s Streets Beach, which is Australia’s only man-made, inner-city beach.

See a koala

You can see Australia’s beloved koalas at the the Daisy Hill Koala Centre.

Located south of the CBD, the facility is run by the government and it is completely free.

Adelaide’s best free attractions

There’s plenty of culture and good wine to lap up in Adelaide, plus plenty of free experiences that are perfect for the whole family.

The Botanic Gardens

You can take a free guided walk of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, thanks to the Friends of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide.

The groups meets outside the Visitor Information Centre on the Schomburgk Pavilion at 10.30am daily.

The Bradman Collection

At the Adelaide Oval you can explore the Bradman Collection, which is on loan from the State Library of South Australia, and has Sir Donald Bradman’s memorabilia from 1927 to 1977.

pictured is Adelaide Oval, where the Brandman Collection, a free attraction is.

The Bradman Collection is a free attraction that is perfect for any cricket fan.

Perth’s best free attractions

Perth is arguably home to the best beaches in Australia and watching the sun set over the water in the West, should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Cottesloe and Scarborough

Perth’s famed Cottesloe and Scarborough beaches are just moments away from one another, so it’s worth checking out both.

Either one will make for a great spot to watch the sun go down.

Pictured is Perth's Cottesloe Beach

The beaches in the West make for the perfect spot to watch the sun go down.

Kings Park

It’s free to explore Perth’s Kings Park, where you can take in city views, while feeling as though you’re hidden from urbanisation.

There’s the famed Floral Clock, the State War Memorial and plenty of areas to sit and enjoy a day in the sun.

Hobart’s best free attractions

The island state is small but has plenty to offer, especially when it comes to free attractions that are unlike anything on the mainland.

Mount Wellington

Just a half-hour drive from the heart of Hobart, you’ll get to take in a spectacular view from Mount Wellington.

The surrounding Wellington Park spans 18,000 hectares and entry is free.

pictured is Mount Wellington

Mount Wellington offers some of the best views in Tasmania.

Battery Point Sculpture Trail

Take in the sights of Hobart by walking the Battery Point Sculpture Trail.

On the two-kilometre walk, you’ll see nine large sculptures and learn about Hobart’s history.

Darwin’s free attractions

The tropical capital has a lot to offer, even for those hoping to not spot a croc.

Unwind by the water

The Darwin Waterfront is free and has year-round activities and events.

There’s something for everyone: You can enjoy some food by the man-made beach along the saltwater recreation lagoon or explore the parklands.

Go wildlife spotting

East Point Reserve not only serves up stunning views, but also a picturesque walk and home to the Darwin Military Museum.

Additionally, you might be able to spy a wallaby when the sun starts setting.

Canberra’s free attractions

One might think Australia’s capital is boring, but beyond politics, there’s plenty to explore.

Australian War Memorial

From the shrine, the museum, and the extensive archive, it’s hard to believe the Australian War Memorial is free.

There’s plenty to see inside and out, and it’s a good way to commemorate the lives lost.

Australian War Memorial

Lake Burley Griffin

By visiting Lake Burley Griffin, you’ll be able to take in the sights of Canberra.

Walking around the lake, you’ll find the National Library of Australia and Parliament nearby.

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