Sunrise coming through the top of a tree

Free things to do in Sydney during the break

Budget-friendly events across Sydney

From Vivid to NAIDOC, World Yoga Day to Plastic Free July, there are plenty of free events happening in Sydney over the semester break. We’ve done the hard work for you and collected the best of the bunch.

Pride at the Powerhouse

Celebrate contemporary queer creativity this Pride Month at the Powerhouse Museum.

On now, free exhibition Absolutely Queer showcases Sydney’s leading queer creatives, their work and their personal stories through costume, design, artwork, fashion, activism and multimedia.

Check out other LGBTQIA+ events happening across Pride Month on the Sydney Pride Festival website.

See the best of Vivid, for free

It’s Vivid mayhem again in Sydney until 17 June, and there are heaps of amazing events to see for free.

Close your wallet, tie up your laces and embark on the 8.5km Vivid Light Walk, spend an evening learning how First Nations knowledge and connection to Country are key to the future, or watch a jaw-dropping, nine-minute light and audio show spectacular.

Check out the Vivid website to build your own itinerary of free events.

Five people standing on a beach doing making a prayer guesture with their arms up facing the ocean.

Find Zen on World Yoga Day

Celebrate the 9th International Day of Yoga with your fellow yogis on 24 June at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney CBD. A collaboration between Art of Living Sydney and the Consulate General of India, you’ll practise yoga, breathwork and meditation at this free community event. There's also stalls, face painting and live music, so it’s a family-friendly affair.

Nourish your sustainable mindset

With Plastic Free July and National Tree Day on 30 July, there’s no better time to get involved with reducing our impact on the environment. 

From 3-7 July, join City of Sydney waste and recycling experts for a free 30-minute webinar to uncover more about how to reduce, reuse and recycle the plastics we use every day. 

Take part in local efforts to revegetate the landscape and create a greener community this National Tree Day. With hundreds of planting events happening around Australia, visit the Planet Ark website to find a site near you.

Celebrate First Nations history and culture at NAIDOC

This year, the theme for NAIDOC is For Our Elders. Celebrations across the city are held from 2-9 July. 

Returning to Gadigal land at The Rocks, see creations and performances from First Nations artists, designers and makers and participate in workshops at the unmissable National Indigenous Art Fair 2023 on 1-2 July. 

NAIDOC in the City on 8 July is a fantastic annual event to discover food, song, art, dance and stories in Hyde Park.

You can also share knowledge and culture with your community at the Penrith Twilight Markets on 14 July.

USU is back with semester break Day Trips

Make new friends and discover the best parts of Sydney with one of the USU’s popular Day Trips.

Trek along the coastline from Coogee to Bondi, stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens, explore perspectives of what makes a dream home at the Art Gallery of NSW, or get up-close and personal with your favourite celebrities at Madame Tussaud’s.

Whale jumping out of the ocean.

Watch whales by the sea

Admire the Big Blue and the power of her inhabitants by witnessing a humpback whale journey north to warmer waters. As a city on the sea, Sydney is a prime spot to watch these magnificent creatures traverse across the NSW coastline from May through till August.

Try your luck to get a glimpse of the gentle giants at Barrenjoey Lighthouse at Palm Beach, Cape Solander in Kamay Botany Bay National Park, or anywhere along the Coast Track walking trail in the Royal National Park.

Chuckle and chortle at The Laugh Inn

Every Wednesday at 9 pm, Newtown Hotel hosts the freshest and funniest upcoming talent on the comedy scene with its Amateur Open Mic night. While not exactly free, entry is only $7. But a belly full of laughs? Priceless.

Visitor walking through Chau Chak Wing Museum exhibition with 'LOVE' artwork in the background.

Events on campus

If you plan to visit or stay at the University of Sydney over the break, you don’t have to go far – the Chau Chak Wing Museum (CCWM) and the Seymour Centre call our campus home.

At the CCWM, join a free curator floor talk to gain insights into the art exhibition 'The Staged Photograph' on 1 July, or listen to music while sipping a beverage and wandering through the museum at Beats and Bars 6 July.

The Seymour Centre offers discounted tickets to USYD students, so don’t miss your chance to see a theatrical adaptation of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, starting 21 July.

13 June 2023

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