It’s true, we’ve become a society of data-gobbling Internet addicts! It’s not our fault … so much of our lives exists online these days. We do our research, our banking, our shopping, our communicating, our reading, listening to music and even watching TV and movies.
So when we’re out and about, we don’t want to be disconnected. And sure, we’ve all got data on our phone plans but if you go over your limit, it can be expensive to pay for more. So free WiFi is the answer. But where can you get free WiFi in Australia? We’re about to tell you.
In the following places, you’re almost guaranteed to get a good dose of free WiFi, anywhere in Australia that these places exist.
- Fast food chains. McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks give you free WiFi and want you to loiter in their restaurants to use it. Of course you’re going to buy food too! So there’s method to their madness, but hey, if it works for you and for them, it’s win/win. Also try Oporto and KFC stores.
- Shopping centres. Even if you don’t go looking for it, the minute you pull up a browser on your phone, you’ll be asked if you want the free WiFi. Go ahead, grab it and you’ll be able to compare online prices for anything you want. Westfields and other majors such as IKEA will have free WiFi and many smaller ones will too.
- Apple Genius stores. You can pretty much walk into an Apple store and piggy-back on their WiFi. They won’t mind, even though it’s meant as a courtesy for their customers. Same goes for Samsung, Optus and Telstra shops.
- Public libraries. You’re there for the books but you’re bound to need to consult your smartphone or tablet at some point. You can even use the free WiFi for your laptop if you’ve gone to hang out and do some work in the bean bags at your local library.
- Public transport – Many cities offer free WiFi on buses, trains, ferries and light rail services.
- Cafes. A lot of independent cafes will offer free WiFi because they want more clientele. Unless they’re hugely busy every day, they like to have people sitting in there because it makes other people want to go in and buy something. You may have to ask for the WiFi password, and some will request that you purchase a coffee in order to get it.
- Airports. You really need your data at an airport. Sometimes you might be transiting and not using a local SIM so you need data in order to communicate. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, it’s comforting to know you can stay connected. Airports also increasingly have free USB ports and power points for you to charge your devices.
- Public spaces – We’ve already mentioned libraries but there are also art galleries, museums, City Halls, sporting venues, gardens, universities and hospitals also frequently have free WiFi facilities.
Interestingly, Australia is a bit behind on this but things are changing. Not all hotels in Australia offer free WiFi for guests though they’ll often make it available in the public areas such as the lobby, café or restaurant.
Not only do you get the free WiFi in Sydney, but it sometimes comes with spectacular scenery! How about free WiFi on the beach? Can do!
- Beaches – Bondi Beach; Manly Beach; Tamarama Beach; Collaroy; Bronte; Dee Why.
- Public spaces – Sydney Opera House; Taronga Zoo; Luna Park; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Capitol Theatre; State Library of New South Wales; Customs House; Customs House Library.
- Retail sites – Queen Victoria Building; Westfield and other major shopping centres; DFO Homebush; Samsung, Apple and Telstra shops.
- Cafes – Simply ask for the WiFi password which may or may not entail buying a coffee. But the coffee’s excellent in Sydney so drink up! Also Starbucks; Gloria Jeans; The Coffee Club.
In Melbourne, you can access free outdoor WiFi courtesy of the City. Look up the available networks on your device and select ‘VicFreeWiFi’. Accept the terms and conditions and you can use up to 250MB per device per day, with no pop-up ads.
- Retail – Bourke St Mall, Queen Victoria Market.
- Public spaces – Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre; Federation Square; Melbourne Zoo; Melbourne Museum; train station platforms.
- Cafes – Starbucks; The Coffee Club; Auction Rooms Café in North Melbourne; many independent cafes.
The Sunshine State’s capital will help you stay connected.
- Retail – Westfield shopping centres; Stafford City and Indooroopilly Shopping Centres; Skygate; DFO.
- Public spaces – Queen St Mall; Southbank Parklands; Stones Corner; Roma St; Brunswick St and Chinatown Mall, Fortitude Valley; King George Square; James St, New Farm; Newstead. WiFi is available on dozens of Brisbane trains, including the Airtrain to the airport. Also on Citycat ferries. Brisbane’s City Council libraries and the State Library; Queensland Museum and GOMA have it too.
- Parks – Kangaroo Point Cliffs; New Farm Park; Oriel Park; Kalinga Park; Brisbane Botanic Gardens; Forest Lake Parklands; 7th Brigade Park, Chermside.
- Cafes – The Coffee Club; Starbucks; many independent cafes.
Adelaide City Council has rolled out a large number of free WiFi hot spots around the city.
- Public spaces – Adelaide Aquatic Centre; Adelaide Library; Colonel Light Centre; Internode House; North Adelaide Library; National Wine Centre; Gouger St carpark; Women’s and Children’s Hospital; Botanic Gardens kiosk; Art Gallery of SA; Royal Institution of Australia; Queen’s Theatre; Adelaide Zoo. Also available on trams.
- Retail – Rundle Mall; Topham Mall; Adelaide Central Market
- Cafes – Cibo Espresso chain; Hungry Jacks; many more independent cafes.
Tiny little Hobart does Australia proud with its ever-increasing number of WiFi hotspots. You can check out a full, regularly-updated list here.
- Public spaces – The Mercury Building, Salamanca Square; University of Tasmania campuses; public libraries; Port Arthur Historic Site; Sorell Visitor Information Centre; Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens.
- Cafes/restaurants – Doctor Coffee, Salamanca Place; T42 restaurant, Elizabeth St Pier; Fish Frenzy Elizabeth St Pier; San Churro Salamanca Square; Island Espresso, Elizabeth St; Hudson’s Coffee, 66 Murray St; Richmond Bakery.
Perth was actually Australia’s first city to offer free WiFi across its entire CBD. Simply select ‘Perth WiFi’ and get connected.
- Public spaces – Local libraries; Perth airport; selected Transperth buses and trains; Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre; Perth Children’s Hospital; Royal Perth Hospital; Perth Cultural Centre; Yagan Square; Northbriddge.
- Retail – Lakeside Shopping Centre; Rockingham Shopping Centre; Westfield shopping centres; DFO.
- Cafes – San Churro; Dome; many independent cafes.
The nation’s capital won’t let you down when it comes to free WiFi. The ‘CBRfree’ public WiFi system stretches across the city’s CBD and suburbs.
- Public spaces – Canberra Airport; Canberra Institute of Technology and other universities; Australian National Botanic Gardens; Parliament House; National Convention Centre; Gorman House; EPIC; Stromlo Forest Park; selected ACTON buses; Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium; Canberra Hospital; Calvary Bruce Private Hospital.
- Retail – Westfield shopping centres; Canberra Centre; Canberra Outlet Centre; Northland Shopping Centre
- Cafes – Canberra’s superb café culture means there are tons of independent cafes with free WiFi facilities.
It’s easy to stay connected in Australia’s major cities with free WiFi almost everywhere you look!