Free Sydney Walking Tours

by Brooke on August 22, 2011

by Brooke | August 22nd, 2011  

Sydney postcard viewThe best way to explore a new city is to get on your feet. Walking brings you face-to-face with shops, people and landmarks like you could never experience by a hop-on hop-off bus or taxi ride. You’ll smell the smells, whether those be good or bad, hear the sounds and interact. Let’s not also forget about the exercise benefits that come from choosing to walk! Those will let you better tackle those once-in-a-lifetime meals and splurges you are more likely to get involved in during your travels.

In addition to all of this, did you know that walking can save you money on tours in Sydney? It’s true! There are actually several free, guided walking tours that operate in various parts of Sydney that can show you around without any charge to you whatsoever (unless you choose to tip).

I’m Free Tours

The I’m Free Tours walking tour of Sydney operates twice daily at 10:30am and 2:30pm. There’s no need to sign up; just show up at the Town Hall anchor before the tour takes off, rain or shine (every day except for Christmas). Some of the sites on the list include: Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Rocks District, Pitt Street Mall, the ‘Rum’ Hospital, Cadman’s Cottage, Hyde Park and Circular Quay. The walking tour lasts around 3 hours and comes with a free map.

Visit the official website.

Peek Tours

Peek Tours also offers free walking tours of Sydney twice a day at 10:30 am and 2:30pm. The setup is surprisingly similar to that of I’m Free Tours – except that this group meets in front of the Customs House before setting off. The tour last for 3 hours and takes you to the big Sydney sites: Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Rocks District, Parliament House, the Government House and the Botanic Gardens.

Visit the official website.

Government House Guided Tours

The Government House, located in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, offers guided walking tours during the weekends. They run for a half hour and start at 10:30am and end at 3pm. The tour will show the grounds and provide the rich history of this unique working museum.

walking sydney botanic gardens

 

Self-Guided and Audio Tours

Not all tours need to come with a guide. In fact, those without an actual person-guide will more than likely be cheaper in the long run (you won’t feel obligated to tip the guide). There are now several types of walking tours from those put together in a text or map form to those that make use of an audio recording that you can download onto your iPhone or Mp3 player.

Walking Tour Apps

Audio Tours Australia has created a few Sydney walking tour apps, one of which is free to those using the iPhone. This tour – the Sydney Historical Tour – takes the tourist around the city for 3-4 hours and introduces them to the locations important to the molding of Sydney today. Visit the Rocks district and learn the ins and outs of what happened after the first group of convicts landed in Australia.

GPSmyCity.com has put together a Sydney Map and Walking Tour app that comes with a free lite version. The lite version doesn’t contain any navigation assistance (help from getting from one point to the next), but it has the details of what is important to see so that you could make your way around the city to some of the best sites.

Powerhouse Museum Walking Tours is a free app that was put together by two curators of the famous Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. With the app comes two guided walking tours to the suburbs of Pyrmont and Ultimo (those that surround the museum).

sydney city at walking level

Sydney Walking Tours in Pdf

The City of Sydney website actually has put together an excellent resource full of free walking tours. The only catch is that you have to actually download the Pdf and print them out before heading off, but did you hear that I said they are free? No tipping involved either! Some of the tours include: Aboriginal Sydney, Historical Walking Tours (of the subjects of Commerce, Colony, Community and Passion) and the Rock and Roll Walks of Fame and Shame. One can easily learn a lot about the history of this great city with this resource.

sydney street level

Know of any free Sydney walking tours that I missed? Leave a comment below!

>> You might also be interested in these other free things to do in Sydney.

Photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4.

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