CODE: FELIX10

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Woman using free WiFi in cafe

Where to find free WiFi in Australia

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When you reach your mobile data limit, keeping up with life becomes a struggle. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to connect to the internet for free around Australia.

In this Canstar Blue guide, you’ll find out where to connect to free WiFi hotspots and networks in major Australian cities.

Where can I get free WiFi in Australia?

Most Australians have some form of internet connection at home, but what about when you’re in the city and need to log onto free WiFi?  Free WiFi can typically be found at:

  • City centres
  • Airports
  • Public transport
  • Government-owned buildings such as libraries, museums and town halls
  • Shopping centres
  • Hotels
  • McDonald’s
  • Starbucks
  • Apple stores
  • Select local cafés and restaurants

If you’re planning to visit a major city, there’s a good chance you’ll find free WiFi if you search for it. Many cafés, restaurants, and hotels offer free WiFi to customers, but it’s always smart to check online beforehand.

What are free WiFi hotspots?

There are a number of different WiFi hotspots available in Australia, although not all of them are free to access, or are only available under certain conditions:

  • Free and open – free WiFi connections that require no password. These are generally found at your local café.
  • Free with conditions – connections that can only be used once you agree to the terms and conditions. These are generally found at airports, libraries and on public transport.
  • Free for customers – where you’ll receive the WiFi password or connection information once you have purchased goods from a business. You’ll generally find these at places like cafés and restaurants.
  • Fee for service – where users have to pay to use the WiFi. These may be found at hotels and other places of business.

How to connect to public WiFi hotspots

Once you’ve located public WiFi, you’ll need to connect to it. Here’s a quick guide on connecting to public WiFi networks on your phone, tablet, or laptop.

  • To connect on your mobile or tablet, turn on WiFi in your settings. Public hotspots will usually appear as you approach them. Tap on the network to connect.
  • On a laptop, click the connection symbol (bottom right for Windows, top right for Apple) to see available networks. Choose your desired network and follow the prompts to connect.
  • Most free WiFi networks will include words such as ‘Free’, ‘Guest’ or ‘Public’ in the title, making them easy to identify.

Things to know about connecting to public WiFi

Before connecting to free or public WiFi, be aware of potential limitations on usage, including:

Data limits

Free WiFi often comes with data limitations, so avoid data-heavy sites like YouTube or Netflix to prolong your session. Data caps vary by location and typically reset every 24 hours.

Restricted access

Free WiFi may restrict access to certain websites or functions, especially those requiring you to agree to terms and conditions. Reviewing the fine print before connecting can clarify permitted usage.

Cybersecurity

Free WiFi is open to everyone, but this openness poses security risks. While business or government networks are typically monitored for safety, it’s wise to limit sharing personal information on public WiFi.

Big data phone plans in Australia

Being caught away from WiFi is less of a concern if your phone plan is packed with data. Here’s some big gigabyte postpaid and prepaid SIM-only mobile plans to keep you connected on the go.

The following table shows a selection of SIM-only postpaid plans with a minimum of 40GB data on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of their standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for simple mobile phone plan comparison to easily compare plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a selection of SIM-only prepaid plans with a minimum of 40GB data on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of their standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for simple mobile phone plan comparison to easily compare plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Free WiFi locations in Australia

Below is an overview of free WiFi locations in major Australian cities.

Free WiFi in Sydney

Below are a number of areas in Sydney that offer free WiFi:

  • Beaches
  • Westfield Shopping Centres
  • Landmarks
  • Libraries and art galleries
  • Sydney Airport
  • Public transport
  • Cafés and restaurants

Beaches in Sydney

Beaches with free WiFi include Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama in the Waverley area, while Collaroy and Dee Why beaches will also get you connected.

Westfield Shopping Centres in Sydney

In Sydney, Westfield Shopping Centres offer free WiFi to shoppers, providing a 3-hour connection and up to 1GB of data daily.

Landmarks in Sydney

Sydney’s famous landmarks like Luna Park, the Royal Botanic Garden, and the Sydney Opera House offer free WiFi.

Libraries and art galleries in Sydney

Libraries like the NSW State Library, Customs House Library, and Haymarket Library offer free WiFi access, even for non-members. Art lovers can also enjoy free WiFi at places like the Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art, Wentworth Gallery and Manly Art Gallery.

Sydney Airport

You can access free WiFi in both the international terminal T1 and domestic terminal T2 at Sydney Airport. Just choose ‘FreeWifi@SYD’ from the available networks, respond to the prompts, review the terms and conditions, and click ‘Proceed’. You’ll then see a sponsored message before being redirected to a website.

Public transport in Sydney

Sydney offers various public transport options, including buses, trains, and ferries, to help you reach your destination efficiently. However, WiFi is not available on Sydney buses or trains. Sydney ferries do offer a limited WiFi connection: 30 minutes or 30MB (twice a day). Additionally, free WiFi is available at both Central and Circular Quay stations.

Cafés and restaurants in Sydney

Many cafés and restaurants, especially small businesses, now offer free WiFi with your purchase. If you’re unsure about  local cafés, global chains like McDonald’s and Starbucks provide free WiFi at all their locations.

Free WiFi in Melbourne

Melbourne offers visitors and residents plenty of free WiFi options. Places you can connect include:

  • Public spaces
  • Libraries and art galleries
  • Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
  • Melbourne Zoo
  • Public transport
  • Melbourne Airport
  • Cafés and restaurants

Public spaces in Melbourne

Victoria’s public WiFi project, VicFreeWiFi, is available outdoors  at more than 500 hotspots across the Melbourne, Bendigo and Ballarat CBDs and Lake Wendouree.

The public network allows users to access 5GB per day, per device.

Libraries and art galleries in Melbourne

Libraries such as the State Library Victoria, City Library, Southbank Library, and others offer free WiFi, with further information available online. Additionally, art galleries like the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art also offer complimentary WiFi.

Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

Australia’s largest sporting stadium, the MCG is an iconic ground in Melbourne, where  visitors can also access free WiFi.

Melbourne Zoo

In addition to plenty of animals to see and learn about, visitors to Melbourne Zoo also have access to free WiFi.

Public transport in Melbourne

Those who usually catch the train or bus from Melbourne CBD will also be treated to free WiFi service, although this will only be available at the stations themselves, rather than on the train or bus.

Melbourne Airport

You can access free WiFi around Melbourne Airport no matter which terminal you’re in. The Melbourne Airport WiFi hotspot is available in all public areas and aircraft gate lounges, as well as T2, T3 and T4.

Cafés and restaurants in Melbourne

Melbourne is known for its café lifestyle, meaning there’s a good chance you can log on to a free WiFi network while you wait for your morning coffee. But this will come down to the individual café, as not all places of business will provide the service. You can, however, find free WiFi at chain coffee shops and fast food outlets such as McDonalds or Starbucks.

Free WiFi in Brisbane

Below are just some of the locations you can find free WiFi while in Brisbane:

  • Public spaces
  • Shopping centres
  • Libraries, museums and art galleries
  • Brisbane Airport
  • Fast food chains
  • Public transport

Public spaces in Brisbane

In Brisbane, numerous public spaces, such as Queen Street Mall, Roma Street, Southbank Parklands and iconic parks like the Botanic Gardens and New Farm Park, all offer free WiFi, courtesy of the Brisbane City Council. This service is available round the clock, seven days a week, enabling visitors to enjoy these areas at any time. To connect, find the ‘Brisbane Free Wifi’ network.

Shopping centres in Brisbane

In the CBD, both The Myer Centre and Macarthur Central shopping centers offer free WiFi. If you’re located further out, Westfield Chermside and Westfield Carindale also provide free WiFi access to shoppers, allowing 1GB or 180 minutes of usage per day upon connecting to their WiFi networks.

Additionally, free WiFi can be accessed at Northside’s Stafford City Shopping Centre, Indooroopilly Shopping Centre and Skygate, situated near the domestic and international airports.

Libraries, museums and art galleries in Brisbane

Similar to other major cities, Brisbane offers free WiFi access across a number of art galleries, libraries and museums. These locations include the State Library of Queensland, Brisbane Square Library, Queensland Museum and the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.

Brisbane Airport

Brisbane Airport offers complimentary high-speed WiFi throughout the International Terminal and in the central area of the Domestic Terminal. To connect, just choose ‘BNE Free Wi-Fi’ from the list of available networks.

Fast food chains in Brisbane

Food chains such as McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks, KFC, Starbucks and The Coffee Club offer free WiFi at select locations.

Public Transport in Brisbane

Newer trains in Brisbane offer free WiFi, as does the entire fleet of Citycat ferries.

Free WiFi in Adelaide

Here are some of the locations where you’re likely to find free WiFi access in Adelaide:

  • City Centre and public spaces
  • Adelaide Airport
  • Public Transport

City Centre and public spaces in Adelaide

In late 2023, Adelaide finished upgrading a free WiFi network across the city. The public can now access free, high-speed WiFi across 251 hotspots across the CBD, North Adelaide and the Parklands. Other WiFi spots include the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, Adelaide City Council Library, the National Wine Centre and the Royal Institution of Adelaide. Popular tourist spots such as Rundle Mall, Adelaide Central Market, Adelaide Zoo, as well as certain areas of the Botanic Gardens, also offer free WiFi access, to help make your day out more enjoyable.

Adelaide Airport

Similar to other airports around Australia, both the domestic and international terminals at Adelaide Airport are equipped with free WiFi. To connect, select the network ‘Adelaide Airport Free Wi-Fi’. Open your web browser and the login page should appear.

Public Transport in Adelaide

Adelaide provides a number of public transport options for visitors, including buses, trains and trams, many of which feature free WiFi. Free WiFi is also available at major train stations.

Free WiFi in Canberra

Some of the places you can find free WiFi in Canberra include:

  • City Centres
  • Libraries, museums, shopping centres and art galleries
  • Cafés, restaurants and fast food outlets

City centres

CBRfree is Canberra’s public WiFi network and provides users with access up to 1GB per day.

CBRfree public WiFi is currently available around the town centres of Belconnen, Gungahlin, Tuggeranong, Civic, Woden, Amaroo, Calwell, Chisholm, Erindale, Hawker, Jamison, Kaleen, Kambah, Kingston, Kippax, Lanyon, Mawson and Wanniassa. 

Libraries, museums, shopping centres and art galleries in Canberra

Group shopping centres at Dickson, Cooleman Court and Manuka all provide CBRfree WiFi. 

Community locations including the Canberra Theatre, Belconnen Arts Centre, EPIC, Botanical Gardens, Kingston Foreshore, Havelock House, Tuggeranong and Belconnen Basketball Centres and Stromlo Forest Park also have free WiFi.

Cafés, restaurants and fast food outlets in Canberra

Most chain fast food outlets also offer free WiFi, as well as selected cafés and restaurants

Free WiFi in Perth

Below are some of the locations and landmarks that offer free WiFi in Perth:

  • City Centre
  • Libraries, museums and art galleries
  • Cafés, restaurants and fast food outlets

Perth City Centre

Perth City Council provides free WiFi around the CBD and other major public areas, including East Perth and Northbridge, available under the ‘Perth Wi-Fi’ network. The free connection around the CBD brings a download limit of 2GB per user per day, with the limit resetting after midnight.

Libraries, museums and art galleries in Perth

South Perth Library, the State Library of Western Australia and the City of Perth Library provide free WiFi for visitors to use, even if you aren’t a member. The Art Gallery of Western Australia also offers free WiFi, as does the WA Maritime Museum and Western Australian Museum.

Cafés, restaurants and fast food outlets in Perth

As with many cities around Australia, both small, locally-owned cafés and the larger, global brands offer free WiFi for customers. Larger brands such as McDonald’s generally offer free WiFi at all locations, while you might have to double check with smaller cafés.

Free WiFi in Hobart

Here are some locations that offer free WiFi in Hobart:

  • City Centre and Waterfront
  • Libraries, museums and galleries
  • Cas and restaurants

City Centre and Waterfront

The Tasmanian Government offers free WiFi across Hobart’s CBD, Waterfront and Salamanca. Users are able to access 30 minutes of free WiFi per location/device/day. You can get online by connecting your device to the ‘TasGov_Free’ network and accepting the terms and conditions.

Libraries, museums and galleries in Hobart

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery offers free public WiFi services in specific areas of the museum and art gallery, which are designed to allow tourists and locals to access the internet.

Free public WiFi services are also available at local libraries and some Online Access Centres.

Cafés and restaurants in Hobart

Some cafés and restaurants offer free WiFi for their customers. However, if you’re short on time, stopping by a chain fast-food restaurant like McDonald’s or Hungry Jacks almost guarantees you access to free WiFi.

Should I use free public WiFi?

In Australia, where outdoor activities abound, staying connected while out and about can be a challenge. Free WiFi in major cities offers a solution, allowing access to social media and maps without worrying about data limits. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or trying to conserve data, free internet can enhance your experience. Just be sure to adhere to network instructions and conditions.

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