For both travellers and locals, finding free wifi can make or break a day in the city. While public wifi and cheap mobile data has made getting online easier, Australia is still lagging behind. There aren’t as many businesses with wifi as in North America, and data down under is some of the world’s most expensive.
Whether it’s sharing photos, touching base with family, or finishing that report, here’s GoGet’s guide to free interwebs in Australia’s biggest city.
Free Wifi in Cafes
Many an overseas traveller has associated the Starbucks logo with free internet. But in Australia, that doesn’t work quite so well. The brand expanded aggressively around 2000, but reduced the number of locations soon after, with just 4 left in Sydney’s CBD
The good news is Australia is overflowing with independent cafes, which is part of the reason Starbucks didn’t stick. In 2018, the large majority of Sydney cafes offer free wifi. Just ask for the password at the counter and they should give it to you.
You’ll probably need to buy something though – so it’s not technically free wifi. But Sydney has some of the world’s best coffee, so you might as well grab a cup!
Free Fast Food Wifi
If you need free wifi, looks for the golden arches. Known as Maccas in Sydney, there’re McDonald’s in most suburbs and all through the Sydney CBD, all with free wifi. After McDonald’s, KFC and Oporto are the most common chains with free wifi.
Free wifi in Sydney is also found in most major shopping centres. Westfield, the biggest chain, offer 3 hours connection and 1GB of free data each day. That includes the Westfield centre at the bottom of Centrepoint Tower. Finally, you’re likely to find free wifi at technology stores like Apple, Samsung, and Telstra shops. Just be ready to get a sales pitch or two!
Wifi Friendly Beaches
Some of Sydney’s best beaches let you surf while you surf! Councils north and south provide free wifi on the beach, whether you’re taking a dip or soaking up the rays (all kinds!).
Free Wifi at Major Landmarks
While hitting Sydney’s tourist hot spots, it’s easy to share your experience right away, thanks to generous free wifi. Here’re some of the best spots to take a selfie, then share it right away!
Libraries – including the NSW State Library, Customs House Library, and the Haymarket (Chinatown) Library.
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Free Wifi on the move
There’s also free wifi available getting around Sydney, including aboard most Sydney Ferries. So whether you’re on the Manly Ferry, the Parramatta Rivercat, or a ferry to Cockatoo Island, you can wifi on the water.
You’ll also find free wifi at Central and Circular Quay train stations, and Sydney Airport. There’s currently a trial underway for free wifi onboard Sydney busses, but don’t count on that one just yet.
That’s a good place to start, but there’s another option to consider. Facebook has a feature called ‘Find Wi-Fi’, which searches for nearby businesses with free wifi listed.
But you need to be on the internet for this to work! So it won’t help when you’re out and about, scrambling to check your email. But if you’re heading somewhere and want some options ahead of time, this could be very useful.
This post is an update of “Top 5 Free Wifi locations in Sydney”