If the best things in life are free, then the second-best things must cost just under ten bucks. To that end, budget travel hound Sarah Tierney has come up with some great ideas for saving money on travel in these lean times.
1. Go barefoot bowling at Balmain Bowling club. From Tuesday to Sunday you can learn how to bowl for just $10 per head. If you don’t know how to bowl, they give you free instructions and even prepare competitions for you if you want. www.balmainbowls.com.au
2. Take a free tour of Lightning Ridge, one of the quirkiest towns in Australia, with the Car Door Tours. Simply choose which car door to follow along the side of the road (colours are blue, green, red and yellow). Highlights include Lunatic Lookout, where a 2.5 million dollar opal was found, or the Bird of Paradise gallery. www.lightningridgeinfo.com.au
3. Play a game of tennis on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour for just $10 an hour (BYO racquets). Before you go, download a free audio tour onto your MP3 player and learn all about the interesting history of the island. www.cockatooisland.gov.au
4. Visit the Sydney Jewish Museum for just $10 for an adult. The museum focuses on Judaism from its roots to Australia. The current exhibition also focuses on South African Jewish history with events such as Team Beat Drumming, and interactive drumming workshop. www.sydneyjewishmuseum.com.au
5. If you’re an artist (or even if you just want to try it out) the ArtHouse Hotel in Sydney has a life drawing class for just $3 and is held every Monday from 6-8pm.
6. Go behind the scenes at a TV studio by taking a tour of ABC in Ultimo. Visit sets, news studios and radio studios in this thoroughly interesting tour. Weekdays at 9.50am and 12.20pm. $7.50. www.abc.net.au/tours/ultimo/about.htm
7. Explore Gulgong, a gold mining town about four hours northwest from Sydney with a free self-guided historic walking tour. Most famous for being the place where Henry Lawson grew up, Gulgong offers 130 National Trust-listed buildings to explore, including the Prince of Wales Opera House where Dame Nelly Melba once sang. www.gulgong.net
8. Port Macquarie is home to the world’s first koala hospital. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is open to visitors all day, with a tour held at 3pm. The hospital even has a new viewing area for the operating theatre. Free, but donations are appreciated. www.koalahospital.org.au
9. Pick your own berries in the Southern Highlands at the Montrose Berry Farm. Depending on the season, you can handpick as many berries as you can find, given that the cost is $10 (cost varies). www.montroseberryfarm.com.au
10. Relax with a yoga class at Byron Bay Yoga Centre. As the longest-running yoga school in Byron, the Centre offers classes for $5. You can salute the sun at the 6am class, or if you’re not a morning person, 4pm and 6pm classes are also available. www.byronyoga.com