Some aspects of travel make it difficult to cheap out. Hotel accommodations, for instance, run along a fairly reliable cost-to-quality curve. However, in some cases cutting costs is as easy as turning left, rather than right. If you know where to go, there are a nearly limitless number of ways to fill a day cheaply – and there’s nothing cheaper than free. Australia’s government, and its people, have seen to it that the country is packed with complimentary activities. Here are just a few of them.
Walk Coles Bay to Wineglass Bay
Experience untouched coastal beauty by walking from Coles Bay to Wineglass Bay in Tasmania – arguably the best-known natural attraction on Tasmania’s spectacular east coast.
King's Canyon walk
The spectacular towering vertical walls and pockets of lush vegetation make Kings Canyon, Northern Territory a sight to remember. The Canyon Walk takes 3-4 hours and includes a steep climb to the top of the canyon, but it’s all worth it for the views.
Roma Street Parklands
Have a wander around the Roma Street Parklands in Brisbane, Queensland – the world’s largest subtropical garden in a city centre. The parklands are home to grassy picnic spots, subtropical plant displays, colourful flower displays, fern groves, rocky peninsulas, barbeque areas and playgrounds for kids.
Australian Open of Surfing
Celebrate youth culture at the Australian Open of Surfing, held over nine days at iconic manly Beach in Sydney, New South Wales each February.
In August, enjoy the best of Indigenous and contemporary Australia at the Darwin Festival, with free concerts, theatre, dance, music and more all taking place at outdoor venues across the city. Don’t miss the Santos Opening Concert at the Amphitheatre in George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens.
The Melbourne Festival
Whether you’re into art, dance, theatre, music or film, the Melbourne Festival in Victoria has something for everyone, including free events across the city. The Melbourne Festival takes place in October and is one of Australia’s flagship international arts festivals.
Alice Desert Festival
Situated between the red sands and the clear blue skies, experience a festival with a difference at the Alice Desert Festival, Northern Territory. Join the locals to share stories and songs and celebrate the unique lifestyle of Central Australia’s arid region in September.
Crave Sydney International Food Festival
If you’re a food lover then don’t miss Crave Sydney International Food Festival, a month long celebration of all things gourmet held each October. With activities such as the Night Noodle Markets, large scale food events, Breakfast at Bondi and family days out – there’s something for everyone.
In the tradition of the world’s busiest public spaces, Federation Square in Melbourne buzzes with a daily program of events, restaurants and cafes and bold galleries. Grab a coffee and take a stroll to absorb the atmosphere.
Famed for spectacular sunsets, there are an abundance of locations around Australia which are perfect to take in a spectacular end to the day. Top spots to enjoy watching the sun go down include Cottesloe Beach in Perth, Mindil Beach in Darwin, Uluru in the Northern Territory and Cable Beach, Western Australia.
Staircase to the Moon
Witness the annual Staircase to the Moon in Broome, Western Australia. Between March and October each year, when conditions are just right, this natural phenomenon occurs when the full moon rises over the exposed mudflats of Roebuck Bay at extremely low tide creating the optical illusion of a staircase reaching for the moon.
Check out the surf – that’s not made of water – at Wave Rock, Western Australia. A unique rock formation sculptured by time and the elements, Wave Rock stands at 15m high and 110m long. Its colour variations, created by spring water trickling down, are spectacular and visitors are able to walk beneath the ‘wave’ taking in the splendour from all angles.