Free Elopement Ceremony Locations in Sydney
- Free Elopement Ceremony Locations in Sydney
- Elopement Ceremony Location Tips
- North Sydney Free Elopement Locations
- 1. Anderson Park
- 2. Badangi Reserve
- 3. Balls Head Reserve
- 4. Berry Island Reserve
- 5. Beulah Street Reserve
- 6. Blues Point Reserve
- 7. Bradfield Park
- 8. Brennan Park
- 9. Brightmore Reserve
- 10. Cammeray Park
- 11. Carradah Park
- 12. Captain Henry Waterhouse Reserve
- 13. Clark Park
- 14. Colindia Reserve
- 15. Copes Lookout
- 16. Cremorne Reserve
- 17. Mary Booth Lookout Reserve
- 18. Folly Point Reserve
- 19. Hayes Street Beach & Foreshore
- 20. Henry Lawson Reserve
- 21. Hodgsons Lookout Park
- 22. Kesterton Park
- 23. Kurraba Reserve
- 24. Lady Gowrie Lookout
- 25. Lavender Bay Parklands & Foreshore
- 26. Milson Park
- 27. Mortlock Reserve
- 28. Oyster Cove Reserve
- 29. Primrose Park
- 30. Quibaree Park
- 31. Sawmillers Reserve
- 32. Smoothey Park
- 33. Sugar Works Reserve
- 34. Waverton Park
- 35. Watt Park
- City of Sydney Free Elopement Locations
- Eastern Suburbs of Sydney Free Elopement Locations
- Mosman Elopement Locations
- Sydney City Councils to ask about a free elopement wedding ceremony
- Final Words on Free Elopement Locations
Free elopement ceremony locations in Sydney. Yes, you read the title correct. There are locations in Sydney where you can have a free elopement or wedding ceremony. Free! You pay nothing!
But they are only available to couples who have elopements or small intimate weddings. They are not available for couples who have bigger more traditional weddings of 80+ guests. These are low impact elopement ceremonies that won’t disturb the general public, the environment, the flow of traffic and won’t create a mess or require a cleanup.
Public parks are around so that the public can freely enjoy the outdoors. They are run by local councils and some of the councils will allow small intimate elopements. Not all council in NSW will allow free wedding ceremonies. Many require an application and a fee no matter what size ceremony you are having.
Elopement Ceremony Location Tips
These locations in Sydney are free, so don’t expect a fully private experience. But they are a good alternative to having just a registry wedding. The beauty of these locations is that you can have your ceremony then easily walk around the area for some beautiful wedding photos. Some of these locations are amazing, and you won’t believe that they are free. So here are some tips to get the best experience from them:
- Have a mid-week elopement – Most of these locations are busy on weekends and I would not recommend having a free elopement at these locations. If it is a nice day they will be full of people. Families will be out and couples will be enjoying the sun. So it might not be the ideal time for an intimate elopement.
- Pay a fee if you want a weekend – The reason I say that you should pay if you want a weekend so that you can have an area for yourselves. When you pay a fee, you will be able to set up your area with chairs and an aisle. Depending on the council, you may be able to put up a sign. It won’t necessarily give you exclusive use of the park, so you can’t kick people out… it is a public park so they are allowed to be there. But it will give you an obvious area for your ceremony. If you don’t pay for an area you also risk the location being booked by an event or a larger wedding.
- Avoid school holidays – For most of these locations, school holidays will be a busy time for these locations. And you risk the area being full of people.
- Off-peak times – Some areas may be ok for a weekend or school holiday and bad for mid-week. If you choose a park in the CBD for instance, many of the parks are thoroughfares for pedestrian traffic as people walk to and from work. SO just use your common sense and try to choose an off-peak time.
- Time your ceremony with the best light of the day – If you care about photography or your wedding photos, talk to your photographer, and try to time the ceremony so you will get beautiful light. The best light of the day is at sunrise or sunset. So you could have a sunrise elopement and then take photos around the morning light. Or you could have a late afternoon ceremony and then take photos around the area till it is dark. Avoid having a ceremony in the midday sun. The light is harsh and unflattering.
- Choose an awesome photographer – Just because you are having a free elopement ceremony doesn’t mean you have to have cheap or average looking wedding photos. An awesome wedding photographer can still capture beautiful photos in an average location if they have good light. So choose an awesome photographer and take their advice.
- Check its availability – Once you have decided on a date and time, you should send a quick email to the council and just check that it is available. You could just have your elopement without checking, but there would be nothing worse than showing up for your elopement and finding an event happening at your location. A quick email is all you need to do to put your mind at ease.
We have done all the research for you and found 50 Free Elopement Ceremony Locations in Sydney.
North Sydney Free Elopement Locations
These parks and reserves come under North Sydney Council. North Sydney Council allows free wedding ceremonies for less than 60 people in ‘passive’ parks or less than 30 people in bushland reserves.
Numbers above this will require a permit and they have a number of conditions when using the parks and reserves. Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden cannot be used for free and you must get a permit, regardless of size.
The beauty of an elopement on the north side of the bridge is that you can have the city skyline as you backdrop. And because it is not in the city itself, there are slightly less tourists at a lot of the locations.
Here are the locations in North Sydney that are free and available for elopements. We recommend that you make a short-list of the parks that you like and check them out in person to make sure they will work for you. The numbers next to the park will relate to the map below.
1. Anderson Park
Address – Clark Rd, Neutral Bay MSW
Anderson Park is an urban recreation park situated on the shores of Sydney Harbour. It was built on land reclaimed from the bay in the 1890s, and was dedicated on 8 October 1899.
2. Badangi Reserve
Address – Tryon Ave, Wollstonecraft NSW
Badangi Bushland Reserve, with its enviable position overlooking Balls Head Bay and Oyster Cove, boasts great views and a fascinating history, not to mention plenty of native flora and fauna.
3. Balls Head Reserve
Address – Balls Head Dr, Waverton NSW
Is nice hectares of beautiful Australian bush, that is only 1.5km ‘as the crow flies’ from the middle of Sydney. It has some spectacular views of the Sydney skyline, Harbour Bridge, Goat Island and Darling Harbour.
4. Berry Island Reserve
Address – 10 Shirley Rd, Wollstonecraft NSW
This is a beautiful secret location located in the quiet suburb of Wollstonecraft. It features stunning views of Sydney Harbour, bush areas, picnic areas and a fenced playground.
5. Beulah Street Reserve
Address – Beulah St, Kirribilli NSW
Tiny little reserve located in Kirribilli that back onto Beulah St Wharf. It is small but it does have one of the best front on views of Sydney Opera House.
6. Blues Point Reserve
Address – Blues Point Rd, North Sydney NSW
If you are looking for the perfect side-on view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, then this is the perfect location for your elopement. Very popular location. Definitely worth checking out.
7. Bradfield Park
Address – Alfred St S, Milsons Point NSW
Scenic waterfront park that is situated underneath and to the side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
8. Brennan Park
Address – King St, Wollstonecraft NSW
A lovely popular local park with some big beautiful trees.
9. Brightmore Reserve
Address – Young St, Cremorne NSW
Bush reserve with lots of trees located in the Cremorne area. Very popular on weekends with families.
10. Cammeray Park
Address – Park Ave, Cammeray NSW
Cammeray Park is a local suburban park in Sydney that has a golf course and sporting facilities. There are also some nice trees and grass areas for a small ceremony.
11. Carradah Park
Address – Larkin St, Waverton NSW
Carradah Park is located between Waverton Park and Balls Head Reserve, on the former BP Site at Berry Bay. It is accessible from Larkin Street, and from the bottom of Balls Head Road via a short walkway. It features some beautiful views of the Sydney skyline.
12. Captain Henry Waterhouse Reserve
Address – 2 Jeffreys St, Kirribilli NSW
Located on the foreshore of Kirribilli and near to the start harbour bridge, Captain Henry Waterhouse Reserve is the ideal location for an epic elopement ceremony on the waterfront. With stunning views of the iconic harbour and the Sydney Opera House, this area offers the unique option for boat or water taxi arrivals and departures.
13. Clark Park
Address – Harbourview Cres, Milsons Point NSW
Clark Park is part of a few adjoining park located around Lavender Bay. It is the highest park in the area featuring some stunning views over Sydney Harbour with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the city. Very popular wedding location.
14. Colindia Reserve
Address – Peel St, Kirribilli NSW
Colindia Reserve is a cute little park with water views In Kirribilli. Probably best for a local who has a connection to the area.
15. Copes Lookout
Address – Jeffreys St, Kirribilli NSW
Copes Lookout is located opposite Jeffreys Street Wharf and is one of the best locations in the North of Sydney for an elopement ceremony. It sits at the base of the Harbour Bridge and overlooks the Sydney Opera House and the city skyline. Very popular location with tourists due to the location and very busy on weekends.
16. Cremorne Reserve
Address – Milson Rd, Cremorne Point NSW
Cremorne Reserve is a 100 foot reservation extending around the Cremorne Point Peninsula for approximately 3 kms. It is a really lovely location for an elopement.
17. Mary Booth Lookout Reserve
Address – 7 Waruda St, Kirribilli NSW
Another beautiful reserve in Kirribilli with some of the best views of Sydney Harbour. This is another location you should definitely check out.
18. Folly Point Reserve
Address – Cammeray Rd, Cammeray NSW
Cute little local reserve in Cammeray. Might be a nice choice for a local with an affinity to the area.
19. Hayes Street Beach & Foreshore
Address – Hayes St, Neutral Bay, NSW
This is the only beach in Neutral Bay and is a cute 50m long beach that is 10 metres wide.
20. Henry Lawson Reserve
Address – Henry Lawson Ave, McMahons Point NSW
This reserve is located right across the road from Blues Point Reserve and a prime location. It sits right on Sydney Harbour with some of the best views of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the city. This location should be high up on your list of potential locations for your elopement ceremony.
21. Hodgsons Lookout Park
Address – Kurraba Rd, Neutral Bay
This is a beautiful elevated foreshore park location that has Sydney Harbour and city views and it is away from the busy tourist areas of Sydney.
22. Kesterton Park
Address – High St, North Sydney NSW
Kesterton Park is a lovely, unassuming local park in North Sydney that sits right on the harbour. It boast some stunning views of Sydney Harbour, although you can’t quite see the Sydney skyline from this location.
23. Kurraba Reserve
Address – Kurraba Rd, Neutral Bay NSW
Kurraba Reserve sits just below Hodgsons Lookout Park and sits right on the water’s edge. It has beautiful views of the harbour, some grand rocky outcrops and trees and grassland.
24. Lady Gowrie Lookout
Address – Kirribilli Ave, Kirribilli NSW
A charming little location that sits right next to Kirribilli House. There are views of the harbour but you can’t see the city skyline from this location.
25. Lavender Bay Parklands & Foreshore
Address – Lavender Cres, Lavender Bay NSW
The Lavender Bay Parklands and Foreshore is a beautiful area near North Sydney that you have to check out if you want a beautiful garden ceremony. There are four parks in the area and each one can be used for an elopement ceremony. The foreshore itself is a narrow strip of waterfront land that links Quibaree Park to Luna Park.
26. Milson Park
Address – McDougall St, Kirribilli NSW
Milson Park is a big beautiful park located on the Sydney foreshore at Kirribilli. It is located on the famous McDougall Street, which is a street lined with Jacaranda trees that get packed. Very busy place on weekends.
27. Mortlock Reserve
Address – Brothers Ave, Cammeray
Mortlock Reserve is a lovely little waterfront location in Cammeray and is located on the east of Tunks Park.
28. Oyster Cove Reserve
Address – Wondakiah Dr, Wollstonecraft NSW
This reserve is located right on the waterfront in Wollstonecraft. It offers beautiful water views.
29. Primrose Park
Address – Grafton Street, Cremorne NSW
Primrose park is a big sporting field park but it is situated on the waterfront. If you are someone who lives or loves the area then an off-peak elopement at sunrise or sunset at the waters edge might be beautiful.
30. Quibaree Park
Address – Railway Ave, Lavender Bay NSW
Located at Lavender Bay, Quibaree Park is right on the waters edge and is in a prime location. It is a busy, popular location and there is zero shade, but if you have your elopement at an off-peak time it will be a lovely ceremony.
31. Sawmillers Reserve
Address – 2 Munro St, McMahons Point NSW
This is one of the best hidden gems in Sydney. A large beautiful reserve right on the waterfront. It is a former timber yard and is the remains of a shipwreck. There aren’t views of the Opera House or Bridge but it is a lovely secluded location with lots of trees and options.
32. Smoothey Park
Address – 86 Milray Ave, Wollstonecraft NSW
If you are looking for a location that makes you feel like you are deep in the Australian bush, then this location just might work for you.
33. Sugar Works Reserve
Address – 14 Ross St, Waverton NSW
Sugar Works Reserve is a tiny reserve in Waverton located right on the water. There is an old stone pier that would be lovely for an elopement ceremony. Sugar Works Reserve is situated close to Berry Island.
34. Waverton Park
Address – Woolcott St, Waverton NSW
Waverton Park is a park, playground, bushland reserve and also a sports ground. It is a big park and has panoramic view over the water at Berrys Bay and towards the Sydney skyline. There are also some beautiful fig trees which would also make a nice backdrop for a marriage ceremony.
35. Watt Park
Address- 7 Lavender Cres, Lavender Bay NSW
Watt Park is part of the Lavender Bay area and is a beautiful location for an intimate wedding and elopement ceremony. It is a much quieter area as it is set just behind the harbour foreshore.
The Park has some significant and some rare trees which look beautiful in photos. Some huge fig trees and some rare pine trees. The wonderful thing also with this park is that you can have a quiet and special ceremony there without any crowds and then walk around the rest of lavender Bay and the foreshore for photos afterwards.
City of Sydney Free Elopement Locations
The city of Sydney and the parks and reserves are run by a few different government departments. Most do not allow free elopement or wedding ceremonies no matter the size.
These are the major parks and locations that do not allow free marriage ceremonies:
Property NSW (Formerly known as the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority) – Looks after The Rocks, The Goods Line, Ballast Point Park, King Street Wharf and Darling Harbour. None of these locations is free to use.
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney – is run by a Trust which is responsible for the management of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, The Domain The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah. None of these stunning locations is available for free.
Centennial Park – is also run but a Trust appointed by the NSW government and therefore this major Sydney park is also not available for free.
BUT the City of Sydney Council does allow free small wedding and elopement ceremonies in their parks and reserves.
They do have some requirements and you still should contact via email to ensure no other events are on and that the park is ok to use. It is also just good practice to get things like approval for a ceremony, in writing.
- There should be no infrastructure at the ceremony. So no chairs, tables, arbours or arches etc.
- No amplification. So no microphones or amplified music.
- Less than 20 guests.
- No vehicles are permitted. So you can’t get driven, off-road, to the exact location where the ceremony is.
If you do want any of these things, or you have larger numbers, then you will have to apply for a permit. Permits vary in price depending on what park you choose. But they start from $385 for a 3-hour block at a local park to $700+ for a major park.
The only park where no wedding ceremonies allowed at all, is the Paddington Reservoir Gardens.
There are over 400 parks within the City of Sydney council and you could possibly have your elopement at any of these four hundred parks. But here are some of our favourites from this area.
36. Alexandria Park
Address – 10 Buckland St, Alexandria NSW
Alexandria Park is a large sporting type park located in the inner city suburb of Alexandria. It is mainly used for outdoor activities and sporting events. It’s not the best location for an elopement but if you are a local and love the area it could work nicely. As it does have some huge trees which would make a nice backdrop for an elopement. You would just have to go at the right time of day otherwise it could be full of people.
37. Cook + Phillip Park
Address – 4 College St, Sydney NSW
This park is located just opposite Hyde Park and is also the location of an Aquatic and Fitness Centre. It is a lovely park with large trees, gardens, waterfalls and fountains.
During the week it is very busy with foot traffic but is much quieter on weekends. So a weekend elopement here would be preferable. It is the location for many events throughout the year, including the starting assembly point for City2Surf. So always check with the council first.
38. Glebe Foreshore Parks
Address – Chapman Rd, Annandale NSW
Located in the city’s west, at the Glebe foreshore, there are seventeen hectares of grasslands, sporting fields, wetlands and big shaded trees which make the Glebe Foreshore Parks. They consist of four parks all in the one area and it is a popular location for locals, especially on weekends. The parks here are:
- Federal Park
- Jubilee Park
- Bicentennial Park
- Blackwattle Bay Park
If you are thinking of having a small elopement ceremony here, my advice would be to walk around the area and scout out a couple of lovely locations. Then go back to that located around the same time of day you were thinking of having to ceremony, just to see how busy it is. But this could be a stunning location.
39. Hyde Park
Address – Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW
Hyde Park is Australia’s oldest park and is 16 hectares of beautiful spaces located right in the heart of Sydney. And it is a beautiful location for a small wedding or elopement ceremony.
Located in the park is the Anzac Memorial, the Archibald Fountain and themed gardens. It also has a long tree link of old Moreton Bay fig trees and is a very popular location for wedding photos.
There are a number of lawns and an amphitheatre that are beautiful for a wedding ceremonies. It is a very, very busy location both midweek and on weekends. So I would consider carefully when and where to have it and to discuss everything with the City of Sydney Council to make sure there are no issues for you.
40. Observatory Hill Park
Address – 1001 Upper Fort St, Millers Point NSW
Observatory Hill has arguably, some of the best views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the harbour and The Rocks area and is an extremely popular location for tourist and weddings.
You can have your elopement or wedding ceremony under one of the ancient Moreton Bay fig trees or in the elevated rotunda.
If you want to have a free elopement wedding ceremony here, I would be doing it mid-week only and I would avoid all Australian holiday periods. Especially the summer holidays. It is just too busy otherwise and you probably wouldn’t get approval from the council anyway. It is also always a very popular location at sunset.
If you want a weekend you would have to pay for it. It is just too busy and chances are that it will be booked for a wedding already. But discuss your thoughts with the City of Sydney Council as I am sure they will be able to assist you.
41. Pirrama Park
Address – Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW
Pirrama Park is located around the Pyrmont area and is 1.8 hectares of total harbourside land with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is a large park with a variety of landscapes, including grasslands, playgrounds, trees and boardwalks.
It is a slightly quieter area, especially if you are not near the playground or the BBQ areas, and is a great location for an elopement or wedding ceremony.
42. Prince Alfred Park
Address – Chalmers St, Surry Hills NSW
Prince Alfred Park is one of Sydney’s great urban parks. It is 7.5 hectares and has lots of big green open areas and plenty of trees. There are a lot of beautiful design elements to this park and it has won a Landscape Architects award in 2013.
It is a lovely park and a good option for an intimate inner city are elopement ceremony.
43. Redfern Park and Oval
Address – Redfern St, Redfern NSW
This 4.8-hectare park was designed as the typical Victorian 1880s ‘pleasure ground’. It is a lovely park and has some lovely spots where you could have a small wedding ceremony. It would be perfect for those couples who live and love this area of Sydney and a great option for a free elopement ceremony locations in Sydney
44. Sydney Park
Address – 416 Sydney Park Rd, Alexandria
Sydney Park is the third largest park in the inner-city of Sydney at 41.6 hectares. Because of its size and the large variety of landscapes, we would consider this an excellent option for a free elopement ceremony locations in Sydney.
There are beautiful grassy areas, rolling hills, landscaped gardens, lots of trees, creeks and wetlands.
Be aware that this park does get very busy on weekends and during school holidays.
45. Victoria Park
Address – Parramatta Rd, Broadway NSW
Located near right next to the University of Sydney, Victoria Park is a great nine-hectare park that is a good inner-west option for a small elopement ceremony. Grassy fields, a lake and lots of trees. Probably best to avoid mid-week as the university and park will be very busy.
Eastern Suburbs of Sydney Free Elopement Locations
The east of Sydney comes under Waverley Council, Randwick Council and Woollahra Council and there are some beautiful locations available for free in the Eastern Suburbs.
Woollahra Municipal Council looks after suburbs like Bellevue Hill, Darling Point, Double Bay, Paddington, Point Piper, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Watsons Bay and of course Woollahra. Unfortunately, Woollahra Council does not offer any free elopement or wedding ceremonies in their parks, reserves or beaches, no matter the size. You must put in an application and there is a minimum $230 fee for booking a park.
Randwick Council does require a fee, however, they are currently waiving all fees due to Covid-19 (current as of June 2020).
Waverley Council allows elopements and weddings that are less than 100 people and don’t require any equipment. This includes chairs, tables, PA system and a wedding arch. Making it an awesome free option for an intimate elopement or small wedding.
If you want chairs, a signing table, PA system and a wedding arbour, you will need to pay for a permit.
You will still need to fill out an online application with the council so that they are aware of your elopement and can manage the outdoor spaces.
46. Dudley Page Reserve
Address – Military Rd & Lancaster Road, Dover Heights NSW
Dudley Page Reserve has some of the most wonderful views over Sydney Harbour and the Sydney CBD. There is not much shade, but if does offer you an amazing backdrop for your wedding ceremony and photos.
47. Ray O’Keefe Reserve
Address – North Bondi NSW
Have your elopement wedding ceremony high up on a hill on the northern end of Bondi, overlooking the iconic Bondi Beach. This is what Ray O’Keefe Reserve offers you. I would be avoiding this place on a weekend in Summer as it will be packed with people.
48. Marks Park
Address – Fletcher St/Marks Lane/ Kenneth St Bondi, Tamarama NSW
Marks Park is located in the Southern end of Bondi and also has stunning views over Bondi Beach and south towards Coogee. There is more grass and shade in this park compared to Ray O’Keefe Reserve.
49. Diamond Bay Reserve
Address – Craig Ave, Vaucluse NSW
Diamond Bay Reserve is another awesome location for an elopement wedding ceremony in the Eastern Suburbs. There are beautiful views out over the ocean but what is even better is the dramatic sheer cliff faces.
50. Gordons Bay
Address – Major St, Coogee NSW
Gordons Bay is a beautiful hidden gem that only locals really know about. It is a compact little beach that is protected from the elements. It is surrounded by local boats on the shore and beauiful rocks on either side. Popular location on weekends and there can be a lot of foot traffic from the boardwalk that runs behind it.
Mosman Elopement Locations
Mosman, on the North Shore, has some of the most scenic and popular locations around for a outdoor wedding ceremony. But unfortunately, there are no free locations available around the Mosman area. All weddings and elopements are required to apply, book and pay with the council. Regardless of size wedding or length of the ceremony.
Mosman Council has a policy that all legal ceremonies that take place on council land must have the necessary permit. The list of locations below start from $562 and go up from there depending on the location and the length of time required.
- Balmoral Beach Rotunda
- Rocky Point Island
- Balmoral Foreshore and Edwards Beach (Northern end)
- Balmoral Reserve South
- Rosherville Reserve(behind Chinaman’s Beach)
- Clifton Gardens
- Little Sirius Cove
- Spit West Reserve and Pearl Beach
- Reid Park
- Reservoir Park
Sydney City Councils to ask about a free elopement wedding ceremony
There are plenty more free elopement and small wedding ceremony locations all over Sydney, New South Wales and the rest of Australia.
From our research, we have found that public parks and beaches that are run by the local council are your best way to get a free location in a scenic place.
If the council doesn’t have to do any work, if you don’t make a mess, damage anything or disrupt other people in the area… then they are much more likely to allow a small wedding ceremony.
Here is a list of most of the other councils in the Sydney region that may allow a free ceremony. Find a local park, reserve or beach and contact your council via email and get your answer in writing.
Final Words on Free Elopement Locations
So there you have it. 50 free elopement ceremony locations in Sydney. Locations that are beautiful and totally free and perfect for couples that are on a tight budget.
And there are much more than just fifty free elopement ceremony locations in Sydney. There are literally hundreds of free locations around Sydney, greater Sydney, NSW and all over Australia.
Keep your numbers low, don’t bring any equipment in and you could have a beautiful outdoor and totally free wedding & elopement marriage ceremony. Just check with your council. That is the beauty of eloping!