Free ways to enjoy your NSW long weekend

Fun and easy ways to enjoy a day off without busting your budget

Everyone loves a long weekend! You get that precious extra day to sleep in and unwind, and to get out and about with family and friends. But having a fun day out doesn’t have to mean blowing your budget.

Wherever you are in New South Wales, here’s some fun and free ways you can enjoy an extra day off this long weekend.

Photography on foot

  • If you fancy a wander around Sydney’s CBD, head to Hyde Park North and take in the free Australian Life photography exhibition.
  • This stunning and diverse range of large-format prints are an insight into a broad range of perspectives on Australian Life, from the suburban to the surreal.
  • Don’t miss this free event – it’s open from 7am to 9pm each day until Sunday 9th October.

Get Jazzy

  • If you’re a bit of a jazz music fan, head to beautiful seaside Manly this long weekend for the famous Manly Jazz Festival.
  • The range of performances includes acclaimed international artists, local talent, community bands and up-and-coming youth performers.
  • With loads of free indoor and outdoor concerts, check out the program here.
  • Pack a picnic or grab yourself a bite to eat from one of the food stalls, cafes or pubs.
  • Getting there is easy – check here for info on ferries, bus and parking info. 

Life on the fringe

  • In the Gong, check out the Wollongong City Fringe Festival, Yours and Owls.
  • This edgy and eclectic mix of music, art, film and innovation is spread across 30 venues around the Gong.
  • Events include outdoor cinema, tech talks and workshops, light installations, art exhibitions, beer and wine evenings, comedy, bush tucker tours, poetry.
  • You’ll find the full program and details here. 

Foodies unite!

  • Heading further south of Sydney, foodies will love the Southern Highlands Food and Wine Festival.
  • In Bowral’s scenic Corbett Gardens from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd October, this tasty festival is walking distance from the train station, allowing you to sample more from the region’s vineyards, craft beer brewers, cider producers and liqueur makers.
  • On arrival you’ll receive a commemorative “festival glass” to keep and use to taste all the delicious wines on offer at the festival for free.
  • There’s plenty of tasty produce too including cheeses, locally farmed trout, organic meats, local honey, truffles – and gelato, for the kids!
  • There will also be cooking demonstrations, classes and entertainment for you to enjoy.
  • And if you’re keen for more, on Saturday night the festival reopens from 5:30pm for food, drink and entertainment for just $12 a ticket if you buy online.

Got a green thumb (or wish you did?)

Head to the Country

  • If you’re a country music fan, head to Parkes in the Central West for the 2PK Parkes Country Music Awards.
  • Featuring street busking, competitions, walk-up talent quests with fantastic trophies and prizes, plus feature guest artists, there’ll be loads of action to keep you entertained.
  • And of course a visit to Parkes wouldn’t be complete without seeing ‘The Dish’! It’s free to visit the famous CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope.