There’s no two ways about it, Syndey is an expensive city! A bustling city with a vibrant beach life, there’s never a dull moment here. However, when you’re main objective in Australia is to see as much of the country as you can, that doesn’t leave much spending room for pricey nights out on the town! With busy (and exhausting) work schedules, there’s nothing I love more than to spend some quality time with my other half.
With tightened purse strings, we’ve learned how to navigate Sydney on a budget and still squeeze in some fun (and romantic!) dates. Here I’ve listed out favourite things to do when our pockets are feeling a little lighter than usual:
1. Fireworks at Darling Harbour
Can you think of a more romantic date than watching fireworks over the water at one of Australia’s most beautiful harbours? The fireworks take place every Saturday night after 9pm and, best of all, are completely free! Just gab a spot on the canal or if you want to invest a little money, get a spot in one of the outdoor bars and order a cocktail.
2. Sunset at Sydney Opera House
Tickets to events at the Opera House can be pricey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ambiance of the harbour. Get dressed up, take a stroll over around 6pm, and watch the sky change colours as the sun goes down over the Sydney Harbour Bridge…very romantic!
3. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
In my opinion, the best thing to do in Sydney is this coastal walk, and it doesn’t cost a penny! Put some sunscreen on, pack your cossie (that’s Aussie for swimsuit) and hit the trail from Bondi all the way to Coogee and back. It can take roughly three hours to complete, so plenty of time of first-date chit-chat!
4. The Royal Botanical Gardens
If you’re skint on cash, but still looking for a great date spot, the Botanical Gardens are the perfect getaway to spend a few hours. Take a break from urban life and explore in the green oasis situated in the middle of Sydney’s concrete jungle. Free walking tours are held every day at 10.30am. Also make sure to check out Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, a spot carved out in rock facing Sydney Harbour, a great photo-op spot!
5. Luna Park
This iconic Sydney theme park has been on the go since 1935! Luna Park is vintage, fun and best of all, FREE! Entry into the park is completely free of charge, with each ride costing ten dollars. If you want to keep the date as cheap as possible, take a stroll through the amusement park, grab some candy floss and jump on the Ferris wheel for amazing views of the city!
6. See the Bats at Hyde Park
Some of the best date nights I’ve been on, are the simplest ideas! Take a stroll through Hyde Park at dusk and watch the bats fly overhead. Since arriving in Sydney we’ve become obsessed with the bats, some are as big as my arms! These bats (flying foxes) are still such a novelty for me, they’re loud and so huge! After a day spent at the harbour or botanical gardens, take a detour home through the park and have some fun spotting the colonies of bats swooping overhead!
7. Picnic in Maroubra
Maroubra has to be one of the best kept secrets in Sydney! If the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is a little too touristy for your liking, take a bus to Maroubra Beach and hit the seaside trek there. With overhanging cliffs and beautiful rock formations, this walk is too beautiful! It’s very remote as well, so it’s the perfect location for a first-time kiss!
8. Little Penguins at Manly
The only thing that’ll cost you on this date night is the scenic ferry ride across to Manly Beach. This beach is stunning, with the added delight of penguins! Yep, that’s right, beach penguins! A colony of little penguins (that’s actually they’re official name, adorable!) live on the North end of the beach. Breeding season is between May and February so get over to Manly for a chance to see these cuties in their natural habitat!
9. The Blue Mountains
Tempted to spend that Sunday morning in bed binging on Netflix?? Don’t! A two hour car journey or train ride to the Blue Mountains is a much better way to spend those early hour mornings. Leave early, beat the crowds, and ignore all those guides trying to sell you rip-off tours! The Blue Mountains are completely free to enjoy, so grab your better half, put on those trainers and pack some water, it won’t be a date to forget! PS: public transport is only $2.50 (anywhere, anytime, any journey) return on a Sunday!
10. Dog Walk
Trust me, if there’s one sure way to a girl’s heart, it’s with a four-legged friend! I recently took up dog-walking in my suburb. Some of the best Friday evenings my boyfriend and I have had has been walking a gorgeous little beagle along the shorelines of Sydney! Dogs give your walk more purpose and if it’s a first date, they are a great ice a breaker! Put up an add on Gumtree advertising your dog services, join Borrow My Doggie and troll Facebook for dog sitting groups. You’ll eventually find yourself a new walking companion to help win over that someone special!