New South Wales Travel Guide: Best Tips to Explore Sydney on a Budget

When talking about Australia travel, one shouldn't forget about Sydney. The city is not only the largest city in Australia, but Sydney Opera House is also the country's icon that most people prioritize visiting when traveling to Australia for the first time.

Unfortunately, Sydney isn't exactly a budget-friendly travel destination in Australia, especially if compared with cities like Melbourne or Brisbane. The living cost in Sydney is known as one of the highest in the world, and it's easier to find some luxury travel in Sydney than the budget-friendly ones. 

However, David from Delve Into Australia will share some tips to explore Sydney on a budget so you can save a few bucks while making the most of your stay in the capital city of New South Wales. 

So, what can you do in Sydney on a budget? Let's dive in!

Best Tips to Travel Around Sydney on a Budget

Sydney is an expensive city to visit, but it doesn't mean you can travel around the city on a budget. With the right strategies, it's pretty easy to plan a trip to Sydney without breaking the bank. Here are some tips you can apply to minimize your travel expenses in Sydney!

Get an Opal card

One of the best things to do in Sydney is to take a ride on a harbor ferry. In order to use public transport in Sydney, you need to obtain an Opal card which you can then use on all ferries, buses and trains. You can also join the hop-on hop-off Harbour Cruise with a guide for a more touristic experience in Sydney.

The best ferry ride of all is the F1, which runs form ferry hub Circular Quay to the seaside suburb of Manly, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

The one time of the week you can get there and back for less than US $10 is a Sunday, when fares across the entire network are slashed to just A$2.50 (US $ 1.93!) for unlimited travel throughout the day. On other days of the week, the return on an Opal ticket works out at A$ 14.70, which at $11.37 takes us slightly over budget.

The Manly ferry is one of the best public transport journeys in the world. As it leaves Circular Quay, you pass Sydney Harbour Bridge on your left and Sydney Opera House on your right, before heading out towards the ocean, passing North and South Heads before finishing the half-hour journey in Manly Cove, which is part of North Harbour.

What to Do in Manly, Sydney

Manly is a beautiful suburb, with the still turquoise waters of the harbour on one side and the famous Pacific Ocean surf pounding the beach the other, just 400 metres away.

There are several harbor beaches, including Delwood and Fairlight, a few minutes’ walk from Manly ferry wharf.  The ocean-facing Manly beach is one of the best surfing beaches in Sydney, and it’s always busy with surfers catching the many waves.

Nearby, Shelly Beach is much quieter and more sheltered, and it’s the starting point for a great coastal walk to North Head.

All of this is, of course, free, and you still have the equivalent of just over $8 USD burning a hole in your pocket. A coffee in Manly normally sets you back A$4-5, and you often find coffee and cake deals for $8-10 AUD ($6.50-8 USD), a perfect way to use up the rest of your budget, sitting back and savouring this wonderful spot.

Contributor: David Angel from Delve into Australia

David Angel is a professional writer and photographer who has traveled the world – and Wales, his home country – for the last 30 years. Delve into Australia is a newly launched travel blog with the aim to be an online expert travel resource for people who are planning to travel within Australia. For the past 8 years, David has been making a yearly trip down under with his Australian-born wife, Faye. 

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