Sydney Festival & Freebies

Sydney-siders love an excuse to party, and there’s no better place to do it than at the Sydney Festival, taking place throughout January. Best of all, there’s a tone of free events throughout the month, from outdoor opera concerts to ferry races and aboriginal performances.

Here’s our top pick of what’s on for FREE - and where to stay close to the action at bargain rates:


9-27 January 2019 - Festival Garden

Festival Garden

Hang out in Hyde Park for the perfect summer nights, with live entertainment on the big stage, and free DJs in the famous Spiegeltent Friday and Saturday nights until late.

Keep the eclectic vibes rolling by staying at Glebe Point YHA, in this trendy inner city hub.


19 January 2019 – Opera in the Domain

Opera In The Domain

Hear Australia's biggest operatic stars, under the stars, sing arias from around the world. Pack a picnic blanket, or settle in at the pop-up bar.

Stay at Sydney Central YHA – in the heart of the city.


25 January 2019 – The Vigil

The Vigil

Learn about indigenous culture at this free outdoor experience. As dusk falls at Barangaroo Reserve in the city, a vigil will be held overnight to reflect on the impact of colonisation and the significance of the day before the ‘First Fleet’ arrived on Australia’s shores. A ceremonial lighting of the fire will take place, accompanied by musical performances and stories from the aboriginal community.

Stay at Sydney Harbour YHA – strolling distance from this unique and moving event.


26 January 2019 – Ferrython


Kick off Australia Day by the harbour, watching flotillas of ferries race from Circular Quay to Shark Island and back to the finish line under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Cheer on your favourite Ferry McFerryface from the foreshore.

To keep up the nautical theme, head to Pittwater YHA – just an hour from the centre of Sydney; accessible only by boat.

For the full festival program head on over to Sydney Festival.

For details on where to stay, check out - offering 75 great value properties to stay around Australia, from dormitory-style to private ensuite rooms – all in incredible locations.

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