The long weekends, it’s something we all count the days down until it arrives! But, what if there’s some of us out there who just have no money and still want to have a great time on the cheap? Fear not, I’ve got you sorted for a fab weekend right in the middle of Sydney!
Here’s my 16 cheap long weekend ideas: staying in Sydney
1. Bondi Coastal Path
I know the Bondi coastal walk is hardly anything new to write about, but in my guide, you’ll find the most beautiful rock pools, best eats, coastal walks WITHOUT the crowds and the most amazing photograph spot that’s still a bit of a secret gem, you’ll start to wonder if you were in Greece for a second.
2. Spend the day on the other side of the bridge – Kirribilli
It seems to be a known fact that if you don’t live over the other side of the bridge (this means Lower North Shore) then it’s not worth visiting. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’ve not ventured over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, there’s loads to keep you entertained for the day. From swimming in Sydney’s most scenic pool, to visiting the iconic Luna Park (fun park), and plenty of restaurants with harbour views which are a fraction of the cost you’ll pay in Circular Quay, it’s a must check out.
There’s also a rooftop cinema in Luna Park which finishes on the October Long weekend. Catch the last couple of movies before it finishes here.
3. Secret Gardens
Speaking of Kirribilli, there’s some awesome secret gardens on the other side of the bridge around the Lower North Shore. You don’t need to leave Sydney to go on an adventure! Best of all, it won’t cost you a thing to find these gardens! You’ll wonder how on earth these exist and how you didn’t know about them before.
4. Experience A Proper British Afternoon Tea
When I found The Tea Cosy recently, I felt like I’d hit the jackpot. This awesome kitsch afternoon tea cafe is located in The Rocks. Now, The Rocks isn’t usually somewhere I’d spend a lot of time as it’s more geared up for the tourists but I couldn’t believe it when I came across this place. I’d been looking for a British style afternoon tea cafe for ages and this couldn’t be anymore perfect if it tried!
5. Secret Beaches In Sydney
If the weather is nice then you must check out my favourite secret beaches in Sydney. There’s much more to Sydney than Bondi Beach and you’ll be surprised how amazing all of these finds are. I cannot wait to go back and visit them all this summer!
Or if you want to stay around the Eastern Suburbs and find parking, check out this post:
Absolutely beautiful spa at Gillian Adams Spa
Bath Houses recommend you start with their famous baths, which at 39C will relax you in no time. For $31 for 30 minutes, this is a good way to start the weekend. They also offer loads of other treatments including massages and tarot reading and with their three locations, you should be able to get to one of them quite easily.
For those of you living in the North Shore, I found the gem, Gillian Adams Spa. The pool and steam will set you back $70 for 50 minutes and they have load of other services as well to try such as microdermabrasion, massage, full body exfoliation and many more. The pool looks absolutely beautiful though (pictured above).
7. Cycle around Sydney
If you haven’t bought a bike yet, check out how I bought a $500 bike and used it for 2 years to get to work each day. There’s something absolutely special about cycling over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and down through Barangaroo, this is your opportunity to do it on the long weekend. If you haven’t bought a bike, fear not – you could hire one out in Centennial Park for a fun day out with friends or family.
8. For The Foodies
If you’re interested in becoming a bit more healthy with your food choices, then check out my top vegan eats in Sydney or my top Acai bowls if it’s a really hot weekend. You’ll be surprised how amazing some of these places really are!
9. Art Galleries
White Rabbit art gallery tea rooms, Chippendale
An obvious one, but I find that visiting Sydney’s galleries like the MCA, Art Gallery of NSW or the world’s largest Chinese art collection at White Rabbit perfect for a cheap activity in Sydey. If it’s the right time of year (October long weekend) you’ll be able to catch the famous Archibold Prize Exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW.
Don’t forget Brett Whitely’s Studio in Surry Hills as well. He famously married Wendy of Wendy’s Secret Garden and it’s definitely on my list to visit. I’ve heard White Rabbit have a fantastic tearooms and how could I forget to mention the beautiful cafe on the rooftop of the MCA?!
Although, technically this would mean an activity outside of the city, this is a super cheap weekend away. If you haven’t bought into the whole camping thing yet, you really should. If there’s one thing Australian’s do well at, it’s camping. Since I bought into it last year, it’s opened up a new world to me. I no longer have to worry about spending so much money on the long weekend and can just grab my camping essentials, find a free campsite and enjoy the great outdoors for the weekend. The key to it, is buy a decent sized tent. We invested in a 6 man tent for the two of us and it’s a dream when camping.
11. Wild Swimming Spots
If it’s warm enough during the long weekend why not try and find some of my favourite wild swimming spots around Sydney? You’ll feel like you’re in paradise and be wondering how on earth you’re so close to Sydney and never knew any of these places existed?
12. Manly Jazz Festival
Image taken from manlyaustralia.com
How about getting a seat to one of the best festival views you’ll ever see at the Manly Jazz Festival, right on the famous beach! It’s a free annual festival which takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of the October long weekend , so take the family down there for the day for some fun in the sun. I’d also recommend having a stroll down to Shelly Beach and stopping off for lunch at The Boathouse or pop over to Bare Naked Bowls for an acai bowl to help you keep cool in the sun.
The Aussie took me out on a tall ships cruise with Sydney Tall Ships and it was honestly one of the best things I have ever done in Sydney. Leaving at night time in Circular Quay, you’re on this big pirate ship entertained by a guitarist singing songs and free flowing alcohol and canapes for 2 hours before sailing back into the city lights of the harbour. It’s really fun and there are loads of offers always on Groupon to get a cheap deal ($59 per person!). You can even climb the mast as well if you’re feeling adventurous!
Bring out your inner child and go have some FUN on the long weekend. Trampolining at Sky Zone is the world’s first trampolining centre and is sure to bring in some laughs! Prices start from $20 per person.
There’s probably nothing more random than Maniax, an axe throwing centre with a brewery next door! Grab your friends and go and have a laugh in teams whilst you battle it out to become the axe throwing champion! You’ll need 8 people to play and it’s $50 per person for 2 hours.
16. In the rain ideas
Unfortunately, we always have to prepare for the rain. I can honestly say, whenever I’ve taken any time off work to go on holiday in Australia, it’s always rained. Good job I’ve created an awesome top 18 things to do in the rain Sydney post to keep you entertained! Regardless of whether it’s raining or not, there are some fantastic activities to do in this post, especially for families!
Also worth a mention is my Top fun date ideas in Sydney post as there’s loads of cheap activities in there as well!
What will you be doing this long weekend? I think the beach might be on the agenda for me!
Thanks for reading!
If you’re thinking of going away for the long weekend, make sure you read the below post!