Aus qld brisbane north stradbroke island north gorge walk
Aus Barramundi Gorge Kakadu National Park NT
Aus Mindil Markets Darwin NT
Aus victoria wildlife koala
Aus qld brisbane north stradbroke island north gorge walk
Aus Barramundi Gorge Kakadu National Park NT
Aus Mindil Markets Darwin NT
Aus victoria wildlife koala

10 of the best free things to do in Australia

Fulfil your wanderlust in Australia - for free! With so many amazing things to do and see, why not start with a few free activities and attractions. With a lifestyle that revolves around the great outdoors, there are plenty of things to do for free in Australia. We have selected 10 of our favourites.

Spot Dugong in Western Australia
© Tourism Western Australia
Go waterfall hopping
© Tourism Western Australia

1. Go beach hopping!

With over 10,000 beaches there are plenty of opportunities for beach moments in Australia. Pack a picnic, your beach gear and head to the countless, beautiful beaches. Here, you can read a book, go body surfing, take long walks, meet locals and more. A perfect and free way to spend your time in Australia.

If you visited one Australian beach every day, it would take 29 years to see them all

2. Have close encounters with wildlife

Australia is a paradise for wildlife lovers. And of course, that means there are plenty of opportunities to have close encounters with Australian wildlife. From spotting koalas and whale watching to seeing dolphins surf the waves and lizards sunbathing in the sun. There are also many other opportunities. For example, at The Entrance in New South Wales. Here, generally every day at 3:30 pm, you can watch pelican feeding.

"My favourite thing to do in Australia is to have close encounters with wildlife. Either organised with a local guide or by myself, it always fascinates me!"

Nicole, Travel specialist
A child playing with a kangaroo
Meet the locals!
© TravelEssence
Snorkeling in South Australia | Australia holiday
Swim with dolphins at Kangaroo Island

3. Visit national parks

Australia has thousands of national parks to discover and many of them are free to enter. Due to the diversity of flora and fauna in Australia, there is so much to explore. From ancient rainforests in Tropical North Queensland to Eucalyptus forests spread throughout the country. Visiting Australia’s national parks is something not to be missed when visiting the country!

Birds South Kakadu | Australia holiday
Australia has approximately 800 species of birds
Aboriginal rock art | Australia cultural holiday
Marvel at ancient rock paintings

4. Take a free tour with a local

There is no better way to experience the real and authentic Australia than through the eyes of a local. Throughout the country, you can find free local tours. Most cities offer a free walking tour. Here, you can learn about the history and culture of the place. A perfect way to get to know Australia - for free!

"I recommend joining a guided bike tour when arriving in any Australian city. The local guide provided me with a lot of insider tips, away from the main attractions."

Gerrie, Travel specialist
Learn about the oldest culture in the world with an Indigenous guide
© TravelEssence
Discover the hidden gems of Australia
© TravelEssence

5. Wander through botanical gardens

In every city, you will find botanical gardens. Generally, they are free to enter and each has its own unique characteristics, flora, and fauna. It’s a great way to experience the nature of each place. For example, in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, you can marvel at possums wandering around and climbing trees. And the Cairns Botanical Gardens, a paradise that showcases exotic tropical plants.

Western Australia has one of the most spectacular collections of wildflowers in the world
Spot koalas up in Eucalyptus trees
Spotting Dolphins in Kaikoura | New Zealand wildlife

Experience Australia in a uniquely local way

Our travel specialists are happy to answer any questions that you may have. They love to share their expert advice and local tips about Australia.

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6. Discover Australia’s best walks and hikes

Australia - a walker’s paradise. Discover the country on foot via the endless walking and hiking tracks. A perfect way to connect with nature and it’s for free! The hikes/walks range from short, medium to challenging. Mountain climbs, waterfalls to a walk around the base of Uluru. There is really something for everyone in Australia. And suitable for any fitness level.

Discover Daintree | Australia holiday
Explore places away from the mainstream
Discover the beauty of Mount Barney in the Scenic Rim region
© Tourism and Events Queensland

7. Explore neighbourhoods

There is no better way to discover a place than going neighbourhood hopping! Every city tells a story and each neighbourhood is different from the next. Sydney is an amazing place to uncover the unique individual character of each district. Pop into the vibrant Surrey Hills. Visit the eccentric Newtons, an alternative haven. Or visit colourful art galleries in Chippendale.

Melbourne street art | Australia holiday
Admire Melbourne's street art
© Maarten van Engelen
Street art Melbourne | Australia holiday
Go neighbourhood hopping

8. Pop by art galleries and museums with free admission

Australia is brimming with culture. There is no better way to embrace this than by visiting the local galleries and museums. It’s a great way to learn, interact and experience the country. Many ask for an entrance fee. However, there are still places that have free admission. For example, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney is free and often features controversial exhibitions. Of course, there are many more!

Hobart | Tasmania holiday
Hobart is renowned for MONA, a museum boasting fabulous art
Be inspired by the changing exhibitions at MONA museums
© TravelEssence

9. Visit the local markets

Local markets are found throughout Australia. They are a fantastic way to connect with the locals, learn about the place, and sample the local flavours. Often, you will find local entertainment too! Farmer’s markets sell many homemade goodies and locally-grown produce. Try local cheese, chocolates, and jam. Meet locals and let them tell you a story or three!

Fruit market | Australia holiday
For local weekend markets, visit Salamanca Place in Hobart
© Kathryn Leahy
Sample Australia's flavours at the local markets

10. Take a photo at one of Australia’s ‘big things’

Australia has many 'big' icons scattered throughout the country. These range from a ‘big banana’ and a ‘big prawn’ to a ‘big guitar’ and a ‘big koala’. Keep a lookout for these quirky structures! And of course, it is custom to take a photo in front of it to share with your friends and family.

Visit the Big Banana, along the Pacific Highway in Coffs Harbour
© Matthijs Photography / Unsplash

Discover more

Storytelling | Australia holiday

Things to do in Australia. 7 of the best activities

Beach in Western Australia | Australia holiday

5 highlights of Western Australia

Ready for the holiday of a lifetime?

Discover a world beyond ordinary

At TravelEssence, we specialise in crafting custom-made holidays that take you off the beaten path and create memories to last a lifetime. We believe in connecting with the heart and soul of a place, introducing you to the locals who call it home. Engage in conversations with fascinating individuals who will share their stories, traditions, and way of life, leaving an indelible mark on your journey.