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Getting Fit in Sydney

The importance of keeping physically fit can’t be overstated, with good physical health and regular exercise often having a profound impact on mental health as well as physical health. As a result, it’s very common to come across an Aussie with a gym or health club membership to help stay in shape. 

However, you don’t need a gym membership to keep fit in Sydney. With plenty of outdoor spaces, beaches and group fitness activities, staying active doesn’t have to cost a small fortune – especially if you’re on a budget as a student. Whether you like swimming, running, cycling or simply being in the great outdoors, this article outlines some of the best ways to exercise in Sydney.


While traditional gyms can put a dent in your budget, there are many affordable and budget-friendly options to ensure you can still get your workout fix. Some gyms offer student discounts or first-time discounts so be sure to shop around. 

Other gym options can include:

Outdoor gyms – Sydney has some of the most picturesque and beautiful outdoor gyms in Australia. These are free to use with some in Bondi Beach and Observatory Hill.

University gyms – Don’t forget to check out your university or institution as they may have an on-site gym that is usually more affordable than those open to the public. 

Apartment complex gyms –  If you’re lucky enough, you may be living above a gym in your very own apartment. Make use of your building’s gym equipment that you can usually use for free as a resident. 

Outdoor activities

Make the most of Sydney’s beautiful weather and green spaces with one of these great options to help you stay fit. From cycling to jogging, and even a game of basketball with friends, we have you covered:

Cycle paths – There are plenty of great spots to hop on your bike along one of Sydney’s many cycle paths

Price Alfred Park – Located in Surry Hills, this 7.5-hectare park offers an outdoor heated swimming pool, fitness stations, basketball courts and an exercise circuit path.

The Bay Run – This 7km loop takes you along the beautiful shores of Iron Cove Bay. Take in the views as you walk, jog and cycle along this harbourside track.

Surfing – Take your surfboard out and catch some waves while getting in a cardio workout at some of Sydney’s most iconic beaches like Bondi, Coogee and Freshwater.

Hiking – There is no shortage of stunning hikes in Sydney and the surrounds. Choose from Bondi to Manly, the Mt Ku-Ring-Gai to Berowra track, the Manly Dam Loop and more.

City2Surf – This annual “fun run” event covers a 14km course. It’s perfect for both competitive runners and community participants who can choose to run or walk the route.

Group classes and community fitness

Getting your sweat on can be a great opportunity to make friends, especially if you’re new to Sydney. Try activities like yoga, cycling, dance to some unconventional forms of fitness like rock climbing. These can include:

Sky Lab – Take to the skies and try aerial yoga, taking cues from pilates, barre, suspension training and aerial arts. 

Dance Kool – Get your feet moving with street dance classes offering a number of different styles of dance.

Sydney Salsa Scene – A complete guide to Latin dance classes, events, clubs and performances across Sydney. Get your dancing shoes on!

ClimbFit – With three locations around Sydney, challenge yourself to rock climbing, no matter your experience.

Sydney Gymnastics and Aquatic Centre (SGAC) – Aquatics, gymnastics and fitness club designed for those who want recreational fun to those focused on high-level fitness from basic skill development to elite-level competition.

Outdoor bootcamps – All year-round, you can find outdoor fitness bootcamps in Sydney through companies like The Outdoor Squad – a great way to get some fresh air and stay fit at the same time. This spring, Australian fitness legend, Kayla Itsines, will also be hosting a free outdoor bootcamp in Sydney on 19 September 2023. Tickets are free but bookings are essential, so get yours now!

Sports clubs and university societies

If you haven’t already noticed, Australia is big on sports. Check out a wide range of local sports clubs that cater to everything from AFL, cricket, hockey, water polo and plenty more. Don’t forget to see what your university or university societies might be offering, too. If you’re interested in joining a sporting club see Playing Sport in Your City.

Take a look at some sporting organisations and university clubs around Sydney like:

Rowing NSW – Find your local rowing clubs, racing events, regattas, and get out on Sydney’s magnificent waterways.

Cricket NSW – Play, learn and get in a workout with a game of cricket. 

NSW Weightlifting Association – Find your local club and try weightlifting as part of an association that’s over 80 years old.

Sydney University Sport and Fitness – Get a discounted membership as a Sydney University student to a number of clubs including soccer, netball, wrestling, squash, badminton and more.

UNSW Sports – Choose from over 30 different sporting clubs ranging from AFL to windsurfing.