In these days of austerity and tight wallets, it can be refreshing to find things to see and do while out on the road that won't test your credit card to its limits. In and around Sydney, there are a plethora of value-for-money activities, eateries and offbeat attractions for the money-conscious motorist, so hire a vehicle from East Coast Car Rentals and get exploring. You don't need to have won the lottery to experience the best that Sydney has to offer!

Grab some of Australia's best fish 'n chips  

Treat yourself to some seaside delights at one of Sydney's three award-winning 'Monger' fish and chip shops. The Sydney Morning Herald voted the Bondi branch as serving Sydney's No. 1 chip, but the seafood isn't far behind. With a selection of daily fish specials, you can eat your fill on the rustic benches of the shop or takeaway to Australia's most famous beach. The Manly branch is Bondi's equal, specialising in deep friend kumera and crumbled calamari served in an intimate cafe. The Byron Bay edition is the place to go if you're an oyster fiend – they'll be shucked to order, served alongside fresh salads hand-cut chips and tempura vegetables.

Scream if you wanna go faster

Luna Park may give the appearance of an average fairground, but peel away the layers and you'll find an entertainment behemoth with something for people of all ages. Built as a classic theme park in 1935, you'll find traditional rides such as a Ferris wheel and ghost train alongside more modern attractions. It's not just an amusement park either, as the Big Top is in constant use, hosting big-name concerts and grandiose theatre performances. For just $49.95, you can purchase an Unlimited Rides Pass, meaning you can ride away to your heart's content (or until you throw up!)

Climb yourself fit

This indoor jungle is Sydney's biggest under cover climbing facility and for just $26, you'll receive your specialist climbing shoe and harness. Climbing is a fantastic way to keep in shape – your body will take on a full workout before the day is done and what's more, it's incredibly fun, too. Some of Climb Fit's​ ascents are almost nine metres in height, but there are smaller, less intimidating walls dotted about the place. Aside from the walls, you'll find ladders, boulders and cargo nets to try out and for those that fancy a challenge, take a crack at the inward leaning walls with overhangs, or even the insane-sounding vertical treadmill. 

Crime & Passion

The Crime & Passion tour is as infamous as it sounds. Sydney's most notorious suburb, Kings Cross, is explored on this exciting journey. You'll discover the dark past of the area, including a reputation it revels in – a former hive of booze, prostitution, drugs and romances. Learn all about the brutal razor gangs that ruled the area in the 1920s – they ran the sly grog rackets that Kings Cross is also known for. Try and decipher one of Sydney's oldest mysteries before winding your way to a local bar, concluding the tour – the first drink is on the guides, so hopefully it isn't sly grog!

Sip a cocktail on a deck chair

The Cockatoo Island Bar isn't your run-of-the-mill cocktail bar. For a start, it's built from recycled shipping containers, lending it a unique aesthetic appeal and with a knowing nod to Cockatoo Island's rich shipbuilding past. Replete with an acre of deck chairs for relaxing with one of Cockatoo's trademark cocktails, as well as covered sections for those rare occasions when the skies open, the Island Bar is a venue well worth visiting as a wind-down destination at the end of the day.