Adventure, baby!

Sydney

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies

“I can see a fairy!” the children scream as a pair of wingers flutter through the trees. We are sitting on a picnic blanket in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden waiting for the performance of Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies: Adventure to Bubble Land to begin. The stage is the lawn in front of us, a fitting location for a production about the adventures of fairies.

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies

The fairies flutter to the “stage” and the show kicks off with catchy songs sung by gorgeously costumed and very talented fairies. The children are captivated seeing their dreams come to life before them – real fairies in a real garden! The adults relax and enjoy their children’s joy.

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies

This is a “theatre” where there’s no need to hush your little one or beg them to sit still in a seat. Dancing is allowed, interaction encouraged. This production is a dream come true not just for kids but for their parents, too. With age appropriate content, gentle music and a relaxed environment, this is a show for families to truly enjoy themselves.

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies: Adventure to Bubble Land arrived in Sydney for the Easter holidays fresh from a sell out tour in London’s Kew Garden. Created by the award winning artistic director of the Australian Shakespeare Company, Glenn Elston, Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies was imagined especially for a young audience after years of experience creating theatre in magical garden settings.

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies
The storyline for the show is simple: the adventurous Tinkerbell happens upon the fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Travelling from the Dream Land, the cheeky Mustardseed, fluttery Moth, daring Cobweb and sweet Peasblossom all go on a magical quest with Tinkerbell to find her wings,  learning about the different worlds they are from along the way.

Plenty of upbeat songs and dances pepper the show, with simple actions the young audience are able to follow. The fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream drop in and out of Shakespearean language which lends a poetic tone to the dialogue, but amazingly in a way that the children were still able to understand and be engaged by what was going on in front of them. I would call this a young child’s first introduction to Shakespeare!

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies

There is no set seating for this performance, just a large space to throw down a picnic blanket to enjoy the show. After about half an hour of singing and dancing, the fairies encourage the children to join them on a seperate part of the lawn where bubble machines are set up.

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies

There is much bubble-popping and dancing by the children, followed by forming small groups to assist the fairies in their quest to find Tinkerbell’s wings. How lovely for kids to join in the action rather than being forced to sit for an entire performance! It was not at all surprising to read afterwards that the show was developed with early learning experts to ensure it truly engages and inspires young minds and bodies.

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies

After the show the fairies returned to meet their fans and have a photo opp. These talented young performers gave an enchanting performance that many of these children will remember for a long time to come.

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies: Adventure to Bubble Land
The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney
Dates: Sunday 9 to Sunday 30 April
Times: 10am & 12.30pm (No Shows Good Friday/Easter Monday)
No Shows (Monday 24 – Friday 28 April)
Prices: $25 for weekday/Sunday performances; $30 Saturdays
Group price 4 tickets $90 weekday/Sundays & Saturday $110
Bookings: shakespeareaustralia.com.au and ticketmaster.com.au
Cash and card sales available at the on-site box office unless sold
out, box office opens one hour prior to each performance.

We were provided with tickets for reviewing purposes. All opinions my own. Additional images courtesy of Shakespeareaustralia.com.au.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

A tale as old as time has captured the imagination of a new generation. I never thought when I sat down to watch Beauty and the Beast in a movie theatre in 1991 that 16 years later I would be sharing the same classic experience with my own daughter.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel is heritage-listed 5-star hotel located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD and shopping district. We often stop by for high tea because they are brilliant at theming them to current cultural events such as the release of the new live action version of Beauty and the Beast. (In the past I’ve enjoyed their Sleeping Beauty and Archibald high teas, run in collaboration with the Australian Ballet and the Art Gallery of NSW).

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

This tea could not have been a more perfect fit for my little Belle-want-to-be. She is deep in the “Disney princess” stage and was enchanted at the beautiful decorating inside the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel.

I couldn’t hold her back as she fluttered from one themed area to the next – from the gorgeous rose inside the glass dome at the check in desk to the roses and books in the foyer and the gigantic rose inside the Soiree, where the high teas are served.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Our table was made up with exquisite attention to detail: rose-shaped napkins in the tea cups, themed menus and a gold leaf runner that all hinted at the enchantment to come.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

A Beauty and the Beast activity pack kept the little one well and truly occupied until our food arrived. The look on her face when she saw the platters of rose-themed goodies? Priceless. The smile says it all.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Savouries
Tomato tartlet
Roasted Angus beef on whole wheat bread
Salmon gravlax and tomato on Viennese baguette
* Vegetarian alternative to these were two avocado and tomato sandwiches

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Desserts
Strawberry tartlet
Rose and Raspberry Religieuse
Passion cheesecake
Berry macaron
White chocolate dome

Homemade scones
Cream and homemade jam

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

The children’s high tea was almost the same as the adult one, with one less sandwich and the white chocolate dome replaced with a more kid-friendly cupcake with a rose on top.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

As the high tea is light on savouries with more of a focus on the sweets, I would recommend having this high tea as an afternoon tea rather than as a substitution for lunch.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

We both really enjoyed the variety of sweets. My favourites were the passion cheesecake with its tart notes of passionfruit and the exquisite rose and raspberry religieuse topped with delicate gold leaf, while Cheese loved the berry macaron, the rose cupcake – not to mention the avocado and tomato sandwiches, of which she ate all, even mine.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
After the kid polished off her food and completed the activity book we took a walk around the hotel to see the rest of the Beauty and the Beast theming. A Belle-inspired dress rests in the back of the foyer, near the entrance to the Wentworth Library, where a special corner has been set aside to become “Belle’s Reading Corner”.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
We sat and read through all three versions of Beauty and the Beast that were available, then decided it was time to check into our room.

I’ve never had a hotel check in into a room feel like a special experience before, so it was a first for me, too, when we were presented with a gorgeous silk rose along with our room keys.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Inside our junior suite on the 12th floor, another surprise awaited us – a delightful display of rose cupcakes, a Beauty and the Beast book and activity pack, plus the masterpiece of the theming, an Enchanted Rose Bluetooth Speaker that played music from our phones and lit up like magic.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

I’m not exaggerating when I say that we spent a lot of time that evening just playing with the speaker ….
Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

After a night sleeping on some of the most comfortable beds ever, we head down stairs for breakfast in the Garden Court. A buffet breakfast is included in our package, as is a complimentary dinner for kids up to age 12. The buffet has a fantastic array of breads, cheeses, meats, cereals, fruit and yogurt, with a hot section where you can also order eggs, waffles, French toast and pancakes to order.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

We check out of the hotel rested and enchanted after our special Beauty and the Beast night at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. Most of our hotel stays are purely functional, but this one has been special. As we walk out of the lobby, Cheese turns to us and says, “We have special memories here”. That we do.

Beauty and the Beast High Tea and Stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Beauty and the Beast High Tea prices:

$69* per adult
$29** per child

$79* per person including a glass of sparkling wine
$89* per person including a glass of Veuve Clicquot

*Subject to availability and conditions apply. Available daily in Soirée 11am till 5pm until 30/06/2017. Bookings are required. Accor Plus discount does not apply.
**Available for children aged 3-12 years, includes “Beauty and the Beast” activity kit.

Offer available during the promotional period 9 March – 30 June 2017

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
61-101 Phillip Street, Sydney
Contact 02 9228 9188 for reservations

Thanks so much to Disney and the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth for hosting us for this magical experience. All opinions are my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

It’s our third year bringing Cheese to the Sydney Royal Easter Show, and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been since I was a kid. It’s a highlight day for us every year and previously I’ve written my tips for the show with a little kid.

This year I wanted to share how we spend our day at the show.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

9:15am: Park in P8. I wish we could manage the public transport because it’s included in the ticket price, but it’s just too hard from the area where we live. The $25 parking fee is a necessary evil for our day at the show, and it always makes me happy at the end of the day when I have a super tired kid to know we can just jump in the car and get home quickly.

9:20am: We already have our tickets (buy them in advance for a bit of a discount) so we head in. We try to get into the Woolworths Dome to use the bathrooms but discover everything is still closed! It’s the first year we’ve been too early to get into anything.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

9:30am: The Animal Walk is a fave of ours so we head there first, and line up at the first animal pavilion waiting for the doors to open. We stroll past the sheep and into the chicken pavilion where we make a beeline for the freshly hatched chicks in the incubator. Cheese wants to pat a chick, but it doesn’t open until 10am so we tell her we will come back and keep going.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

9:45am: In the goat pavilion we stop to watch the goats being judged. “Why is one better than another” Asks Cheese. “Why did that one win?” We have no idea about the intricacies of goat judging so we do what any good parent does and ask her, “Why do YOU think that one won over the rest?”.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

9:50am: In the pig pavilion we are a few minutes early to pat the baby pigs. The benefit of being early – it’s so empty everywhere! The downside – nothing’s open! We wait for the pigs since it’s only 10 minutes.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

10am: Pat a pig time! We sit down and a herd of piglets charge towards us in search of food.They like to nibble on shoes and bare toes, so be quick with your feet.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

10:15am: We enter the Woolworths Food Farm pavilion. It’s one of Cheese’s favourite places at the show. We spend the next hour and 15 minutes grinding wheat, shaping dough, watching pies back, “pollinating” flowers, climbing into the giant tractor and playing with the farm toys. She doesn’t want to leave. I buy a cored apple in a coil ($2) and a pear smoothie ($4) for us to share.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney
11:30am: It’s off to meet the in laws for lunch near the Woolworth Fresh Food Dome. They’ve managed to grab a prime table in the shade while they were waiting for us, which is a massive score. We all have the same meal for lunch – a cheese toastie and flavoured milk ($5) and corn on the cob ($5). Alec buys a $5 coffee then moans about the price.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

12:15pm: Cheese gets restless so we head off to explore more and leave her dad chatting with the grandparents. We head into the Woolworths Fresh Food pavilion to check out the fruit and vege displays. Cheese can’t quite believe that they’re all made from food and you can eat them.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

12:30pm: We walk into the Home, Garden & Lifestyle pavilion next door. Cheese climbs into a police car with glee then makes a beeline for the Artline stall where we stock up with textas each year. It takes a good 15 minutes to get her to finish her drawing so we can leave. We keep walking through the new Pet Pavilion next door but we can’t see much. The cats are behind a high barrier and a net. Better for the cats’ stress levels I’m sure, but hard for us to see anything.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

1:15pm: We exit the pavilion and I see what I think is a great photo opp with balloons and the ferris wheel in the background. I beg Cheese to stand in a spot while I take photos and she counters me with a bargain: “I’ll stand in front of the balloons if you let me have one.” I say OK without checking the price, then spend the rest of the day hauling around a $20 BB8 balloon that attacks people we walk past thanks to the strong breeze.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

1:30pm: We head back to the Pat a Chick station in the chicken pavilion and line up. There’s lots of lining up this year as it seems like every Sydneysider also thought today would be an excellent day for the show. The chicken display is put on by Steggles and they ply us with merchandise. It’s a bit awkward being vegetarian and just wanting to pat a chicken, not eat one.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

1:45pm: We finally make it to the front of the line and meet the chicks. They’re only three days old and cheeping like mad. I hope we don’t freak them out too much. The photographer is super kind and not only takes a really lovely photo on her own camera that gets emailed to us and sent to their print station for free printing but also takes one on my camera too. You can never have enough photos with everyone in them.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

2pm: Lining up again, this time at the Farmyard Nursery. The line moves quickly though and we are in the nursery buying a $1 cup of animal feed before too long. The pavilion is absolutely jam packed with people – so many it’s literally impossible to move without running into people, sheep, goats or chickens. The big goats are aggressive and freak Cheese out. We run interference for her so she can feed the smaller animals that don’t headbutt.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

Cheese just wants to hug everything – no goat or chicken is free from her hugs this year, even though I’m sure they wish they were.

2:30pm: We keep going on the animal walk through the dairy pavilion and to the horses. We see cute calves, cows being blowdried and and majestic horses being led past.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

3pm: It’s showbags time! The pavilion is teaming with people and I pick up Cheese so she can see the displays above the heads. I know it’s a better idea to get the showbags first and then dump them in a locker for the day, but the anticipation of the show bags being at the end of the day is just too much fun to do it any other way. We have a two showbag rule each year. Cheese likes the character bags and chooses two very expensive bags filled with various types of plastic and paper: The Littlest Pet Shop ($28) and the Tokidoki bag ($26).

3:30pm We sit down at the dog pavilion for some rest. Cheese empties out her showbags to play with while we watch the dogs being judged. It’s a blissful half hour watching shiny dogs trotting past. We need more food so delve into the snacks that I had brought with us – pistachios and Vita-weats with Vegemite, and drink our water that we brought in refillable bottles. It’s crazy hot so I buy us a Gaytime ($4) and chocolate Paddle Pop ($3) to share.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

4pm: We are all shattered and decide to hobble back to the car. My Fitbit tells me I did about 11K steps but honesty it feels like more! We’ve spent the whole day here and I still feel like there is more to see than we were able to get around to.

4:15pm In the car we are happy we forked out the $25 for an easy trip home. Cheese says, “That was the best day I’ve ever had!” which makes the sore feet, empty wallet and crowd navigating all worth it.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

The Sydney Royal Easter Show is on at Sydney Olympic Park until Wednesday, April 18, 2017.

1 Showground Rd, Sydney Olympic Park
Online

We received media passes to attend the Sydney Royal Easter Show. All opinions are my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Camperdown Commons: A Touch of Country in Sydney

Camperdown Commons, Sydney

We are city folk, it’s true, but we also love our green spaces. Camperdown Commons, in Sydney’s Inner West, opened up in 2016 as a collaboration between Camperdown Project Pty Ltd and their key partners acre and Pocket City Farms. It’s a place for the community to relax, order a drink or meal from a sustainably-focused eatery, while the kids play nearby.

Camperdown Commons, Sydney

Camperdown Commons is a great example of an urban revival of a piece of land no longer in use. Camperdown Bowling Club once stood in its place, closing down in late 2012. The former bowling greens have been replaced with a 1,200 square metre urban farm and recreation pavilion.

Camperdown Commons, Sydney

In terms of the food offered at the Commons, Acre Eatery is at the heart of the venue. It has a large, sit down restaurant and bar, container with takeaway coffee and snacks, and a casual outdoor area on the terrace or lawn area outside. Many of the ingredients in the dishes come directly from the pocket gardens onsite, making the dining experience very literally farm-to-table.

Camperdown Commons, Sydney

The food is very colourful and healthy – above is the Yogurt bowl with homemade granola, fresh fruit and flowers and below is the Chia coconut bowl, fruit and granola both from the brunch/breakfast menu, followed by items from the kids menu.

Camperdown Commons, Sydney Camperdown Commons, Sydney Camperdown Commons, Sydney

Families will particularly love the outdoor area with its interactive kids’ play space and chicken coop where rescue hens from battery farms now live a life of luxury.

Camperdown Commons, Sydney Camperdown Commons, Sydney

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Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: Yes (in the disabled toilet).
Kids’ menu: Yes.

Camperdown Commons
31a Mallett Street
Camperdown
Phone: (02) 9559 0050
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Thu 12pm–3pm, 5pm–10pm, Fri-Sun 8am–3pm, 5pm–10pm

Food operating hours
Container: Mon-sun: 7am-3pm
Restaurant and bar: Wed- Sat: 12pm-10pm, Sun midday-9pm
Garden terrace: sat- sun: 8am-3pm
Get Directions

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

A mischievous wombat called Mothball has stolen our hearts. While we have known Mothball for years through the multi award-winning picture book, Diary of a Wombat, seeing her live before us on stage really makes this iconic wombat a real, three-dimensional character that we can dream of cuddling, tickling and rousing on for her naughty behaviour.

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

Monkey Baa Theatre Company has lovingly brought Mothball to life in their new production Diary of a Wombat, which is based on the book of the same name by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley.

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

If you’re new to the story, Diary of a Wombat is the perfect way for kids to meet Mothball, the naughtiest wombat in Australia. She’s a bit bored of her daily routine, so goes on a little adventure to find food and shelter, creating absolute chaos for the humans who happen to live nearby.

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

The show follows the same simple storyline as the book. Each day of the week, Mothball destroys doormats, bins and washing lines in her search for happiness. Through her busy schedule of sleeping, scratching and generally disturbing the peace, Mothball discovers that humans will do pretty much anything for a big of peace and quiet!

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

This gorgeous production is everything a performance for kids should be. It has a quiet poetry about it, with almost no dialogue and the only sound for the most part being the exquisite live cello that joins the characters on stage.

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

There are moments of quiet, joy, chaos and humour – a wide range of emotions beautifully communicated through the expressive wombat puppet paired with its emotive cello accompaniment.

According to my five-year-old reviewer, “The show is really funny. I like when she scratched and dug a hole in the door, and when she turned around and you could see her bum.” There you have it, from the mouths of babes: this show is a winner for the little kid theatre set.

Diary of a Wombat by the Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

Diary of a Wombat was created by Monkey Baa Director, Eva Di Cesare, with a team of artists including Puppetry and Movement Director, Alice Osborne (the Puppetry & Movement Director on War Horse 2012/13), Designer Imogen Ross (Hitler’s Daughter) and accomplished composer/cellist, Oonagh Sherrard.

Diary of a Wombat by the Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

You can catch Diary of a Wombat on its national tour, where it will be performed in 59 venues. Get all the tour dates online.

Diary of a Wombat by the Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

If you’re in Sydney, the show is playing during the school holidays at the Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre: 18 – 24 April / 27 May

Diary of a Wombat by the Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

Diary of a Wombat by the Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

Time: 10.30am & 12.30pm
Relaxed performance 20 April, 12.30pm
Suitable for ages 3+
Duration: 45 minutes
Tickets: (no booking fees)
$29 (adult/child), $104 (family of four), $125 (family of five), $25 each (groups 10+) $19 (relaxed performance)

Get more info on Diary of a Wombat

Produced in conjunction with the Monkey Baa Theatre Company. We genuinely love this company and the performance. Show stills thanks to Heidrun Lohr.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Sydney’s Best Beaches: Clifton Gardens Beach, Baths & Playground, Mosman

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

Yet another stunning beach in Sydney! Clifton Gardens is a suburb in Mosman, on Sydney’s north shore. The beach is where the suburb meets the sea, and it’s a gorgeous little secret that the locals have kept well for years.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

Clifton Gardens features a gorgeous, sheltered beach, including a section with a shark net. There are minimal waves, making it perfect for kids. Large trees offer plenty of shade and there are BBQs available as well as picnic tables with shelter.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

On the northern side of the beach is Bacino Café, offering coffee, juice and snacks. We brought out own and set up a picnic underneath the trees and next to the large, sheltered playground.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

The beach has a big block of bathroom amenities for public use.

Driving is the easiest way to get to Clifton Gardens, but be warned that the metered parking is extremely expensive. On a Sunday it cost us $20 for three hours parking. If you can park further up on Morella Road parking is free, but it’s a bit more difficult if you have a kid in tow.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

There is a flat path to ride scooters and bikes, and a walking trail from the south end of the beach that leads up into the bush-covered headlands and gives amazing views of the harbour.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

Clifton Gardens Beach
Get directions
If you are travelling by bus, the best way to get there is by bus number 228 which stops near the entrance or alternative take bus number 233, 238 or 247.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Easter in Sydney 2017

Easter in Sydney 2017

I have to be honest, I call Easter the “chocolate holiday” and it’s my absolute favourite time of year, because I can eat ALL THE CHOCOLATE and have zero guilt about it. I also really love that Sydney puts on so many really fun events for families to enjoy and I can pretend that we’re doing them all for the kid.

With the exception of the Sydney Royal Easter Show, all these activities tend to sell out so I highly recommend booking in advance!

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me
The Great CP Egg Hunt
We love this annual Easter Egg hunt! A long-running favourite for Sydney-siders, kids follow a trail map around Centennial Park on a series of challenges to get to the end and claim their sweet prize (hint: it’s from Darryl Lea!). The focus of the five activities on the trail is getting kids active outdoors with old fashion activities such as egg hunts and egg and spoon races. Bring your camera for a family pic with the Easter Bunny and Easter Bilby at the end. The hunt sells out every year so book in fast.

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me

Age: All ages
Location: Learning Centre, Education Precinct, Dickens Drive, Centennial Park. Please see location map below.
Times: Choose your start time between 9.30 am–2.45 pm. Please come at your pre-allocated start time. The course will take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete.
Cost: $17.50 per map. Prizes and photos will only be available for Children with Trail Maps.
Dates: Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 April
More info: centennialparklands.com.au/whatson/events/the_great_cp_egg_hunt

Easter at the Australian Museum

The Australian Museum Egg Hunt
Take the family to the Australian Museum for a family EGG-stravaganza! Pick up a trail map and search for Australian animals and their eggs in the Museum galleries.

Age: 4 – 12
Location: 1 William St, Sydney
Time: 10am-2pm
Cost: $13 Members child or limited early-bird price; $15 Non-Member child. Adults are free after general admission.
Date:15 April 2017 and 16 April 2017
More info: australianmuseum.net.au/event/school-holidays

Royal Botanic Garden Easter Sydney

The Great Garden Egg Hunt
The stunning Royal Botanic Garden Sydney are the home of a fun Easter Egg Hunt where children will follow their trail map around the gardens and complete five activities along the way. There is a a photo opp with the Easter Bunny at the end.

Age: 3 – 8
Location: The Band Lawn, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Times: Start times staggered every 15 minutes between 9:30 AM and 2:45 PM. The course will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
Cost: $17.50
Date: Saturday 15 April
More info: rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/whatson/egg-hunt

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me


Egg-cellent Easter Trail: Vaucluse House 
This is Easter, old school! We felt like we’d stepped back in time enjoying traditional Easter activities from egg rolling to egg-and-spoon racing, as well as vintage sports and craft, at historic Vaucluse House. At the end of the activities kids can claim your chocolate treat before exploring the gardens, meeting the farmyard animals, and sitting down for a picnic lunch on the lawn. The tearoom is open for a splurgy Easter lunch, including their high tea menu.

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me
Age: 5+
Location: Vaucluse House, Wentworth Road, Vaucluse
Times: 11.30AM–12.30PM, 1PM–2PM and 2.30PM–3.30PM
Cost: $15
Date: Sunday 16 April
More info: sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/great-egg-hunt-vaucluse-house

Egg-cellent Easter Trail: Elizabeth Farm
Explore Elizabeth Farm on an Easter-inspired kids trail. Try your hand at traditional Easter activities from egg rolling to egg-and-spoon racing, as well as vintage sports and craft, then claim your chocolate treat. After the trail, spread out on the lawn and enjoy a home-packed picnic or treats from the tearooms.

Age: 5+
Location: Elizabeth Farm, 70 Alice St, Rosehill,
Times: 11.30AM–12.30PM, 1PM–2PM and 2.30PM–3.30PM
Cost: $15
Date: Sunday 16 April
More info: sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/egg-cellent-easter-trail-elizabeth-farm

 

10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

Sydney Royal Easter Show
One of our fave events of the year! My family has been attending the Sydney Royal Easter show not just since I was a kid, but since my mum was a kid! it’s Australia’s largest annual event and attracts over 800,000 every year. The Sydney Royal Easter Show has been held annually at Easter since 1823 and is the perfect way for city kids to learn about the country through fourteen days of agricultural competitions, animal experiences, live entertainment, carnival fun and eating lots of delicious food. It’s a crazy, busy and expensive day, but we absolutely love it. Get my tips from 2016 and 2015 on how to have an amazing time at the show.

10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

Age: All ages
Location: Sydney Olympic Park
Times: 9am-9:30pm
Cost: Ticket deals available online
Dates: 6-19 April
More info: eastershow.com.au

#Easter At The Grounds of Alexandria #eastereggs #Easteregghunt via christineknight.me Grounds of Alexandria Kids Easter Egg Hunt
The Grounds is busy every day of the year, so you can imagine the chaos of a free Easter egg hunt! While the event is chaotic and I certainly wouldn’t take a littlie there or a stroller, it’s a lot of fun. The staff lay out literally thousands of eggs for kids to find. There were so many eggs the year we went that people were treading on them.  The Grounds also has delicious Easter-themed treats in the lead up (their hot cross buns are so good), a massive chocolate Easter Egg to see and potentially eat when it is cracked open on Easter Sunday, and a whole host of fun workshops for kids over the entire school holidays. 

#Easter At The Grounds of Alexandria #eastereggs #Easteregghunt via christineknight.me

Age: All ages
Location: The Grounds of Alexandria, 7a/2 Huntley St, Alexandria
Time: 8:30am
Cost: Free
Date: Saturday 15th April
More info: thegrounds.com.au/Spaces/easter

Easter Family Fun Day
An all-age event in Penrith will see over 6,000 eggs hidden for kids to discover. Enjoy face painting, animal farm and interactive games or get dizzy on the carnival rides: an Unlimited Rides Pass is $12 online or $15 on the day.

Age: All ages
Location: ImagineNations Church, 1 Simeon rd, Orchard Hills
Time: 10:30am-2:30pm
Cost: Easter egg hunt is free.
Date: Good Friday, April 14th
More info: inchurch.com.au/easter

Additional images courtesy of the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens and the Australian Museum.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

I’m thrilled to be trying what I think is the first 100% vegan high tea in Sydney, at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel. While I’m not vegan myself I am vegetarian and more than happy to eat vegan where available, so this high tea was an exciting one to try with a friend who is lactose and egg-free.

Eating high tea when you have a dietary requirement like this is often a major hassle (it’s even a major hassle if you’re vegetarian!) and it’s wonderful to see hotels like the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney cater to people of all dietary requirements (they also serve a gluten-free high tea and kids’ high tea!).

A new vegan chef is behind the additional high tea menu. Chef June Liu joined the Radisson Blu Plaza Sydney after working for several years in other iconic vegan restaurants in Sydney and Sydney’s Inner West. She is passionate about vegan cuisine and healthy eating, which is evident in the new menu.

Radisson Blu Sydney

High tea is served on an elegant three tier stand in the relaxing Lady Fairfax lounge area. We are first brought a “welcome drink” of watermelon and red berry that is delightfully refreshing and a touch fizzy.

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

Tea orders are taken and we select from a menu that includes classic choices as well as more interesting ones such as the Queen Of Hearts Tea that I select. The menu describes it as Light spice of delicate, young rose buds atop the sweet full ness of China black tea.

Soon after, both the tea and food arrive.

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

Savoury items
Spiced lentil pies
Stuffed Moroccan pumpkin flowers
Sweet potato and cashew empanada
Grilled zucchini, asparagus and hummus sandwich
Avocado, alfalfa sprout and Spanish onion sandwich

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

The savouries are excellent. I’ve commented before on how well the Radisson Blu does these, and the vegan delicacies were no exception. It was so novel to have three entirely different pastries I could eat! My fave was the empanada – a touch of spice and filled with creamy pumpkin. The sandwiches were delightful triangles of light produce on fresh bread, exactly what should be served with a high tea.

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

Sweet treats
Chocolate cake with beetroot frosting
Salted caramel cheese slice
Mango passionfruit cake
Chocolate and hazelnut slice with lychee and raspberry
Tutti-Frutti jelly

Roasted pumpkin and herb scones with soy cream and jam

Vegan High Tea, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

I was pleased to see the scones were large and fluffy, with the same dry taste and texture that a scone should have. The soy cream was a wonderful addition as it’s rarely possible for people who can’t eat lactose or dairy to be able to enjoy whipped cream when dining out.

The sweets section was a delight for the senses with the gorgeous chocolate cupcake topped with the most delicious beetroot (again, SOY!!) frosting, and a mango cake that packed an incredibly fruity punch. The jelly was a bit tougher than I had imagined it would be (not sure what it was made with – pectin perhaps?) I don’t eat gelatine and was happy to know I was able to eat the jelly, even if it was a bit unusual texture-wise.

The salted caramel slice was very much like a little mini banoffee pie with the banana on top – a delectable morsel that was also super creamy even with no dairy in it.

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

The vegan high tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel is a fantastic addition to the Sydney food scene. I can’t say how wonderful it is to be able to sit down to a high tea and be able to eat everything on the menu, for people who don’t eat animal products for ethical reasons such as me, or for food intolerances and allergies such as my friend.

Traditional high tea
Served with tea and coffee, $54pp

Sparkling high tea
Served with a glass of sparkling wine, $64pp

Champagne high tea
Served with a glass of Moet & Chandon, $74pp

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

Please note that the vegan high tea requires advance booking. Walk-in guests with no booking who would like to order the vegan high tea may have to wait up to 45 minutes while the dishes are prepared.

Vegan High Tea, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney
27 O’Connell St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: 02 8214 0000
Online
Reservations required: communications@radisson.com or 02 8214 0400.
High tea is served daily from 10:30am-4:30pm

Get Directions

Produced in partnership with the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney. All opinions are our own. Additional images thanks to the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Travel Guide: Visiting UNESCO World Heritage Site Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Sydney’s history hides itself in plain sight. Scattered around the sparkling harbour and lush bush are pieces of a past that was built on the backs of convicts sent to the colonies to pay for their crimes committed far across the ocean.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

It’s easy to forget the past when you’re faced with the present and future. Sydney is a vibrant city renowned for its pristine beaches, foodie scene and wildlife – but scratch beneath the surface a little and you’ll find two hundred years worth of history ready to be explored by the next generation.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Cockatoo Island is one such place that is sitting right there in the middle of Sydney Harbour, rich with the past and full of tales to tell. Before the First Fleet arrived at our shores, the island was frequented by sulphur-crested cockatoos and the Eora people, Aboriginals from Sydney’s coastal region. They called the island Waremah and would have used it as a base to fish from, making their canoes from the bark of the red gum forests that once covered the island hill.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

In 1839 the Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Sir George Gipps, chose Cockatoo Island as the site of a new penal establishment and put convicts to work building prison barracks, a military guardhouse and official residences – a rather less idyllic island life than the previous residents had enjoyed.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

In the 175 years that follow, the island is used as a jail for “the worst of the worst”, a graving dock, a site for a girls’ reformatory, and a major shipbuilding site.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

After the closure of the last ship dockyard in 1992 the island lay dormant until the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust restored the island and opened it to the public in 2007.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Since its reopening it has been used as a site for major films (see below for more details), events and art exhibitions, as well as a place for Sydney’s locals and visitors alike to discover the forgotten tales of its former residents.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

In 2010 Cockatoo Island, together with 10 other historic convict sites in Australia, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, ensuring its stories will be preserved for all future generations to learn from.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

A visit to Cockatoo Island is perfect for the whole family, for people of all ages and abilities. It can be as relaxing or active as the participants in your group want it to be. We visited with our very active five-year-old and have plenty of tips for those visiting with a similarly energetic party!

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Bring the scooter
The island has plenty of flat cement ground for kids to scoot everywhere on. While we were reading the fine details on the history of the island, the kid was scooting off a storm and having the time of her life. There was no complaining about tired legs or being bored, just one very happy scooting child.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Pick up a kids’ activity pack
Ask at the Visitor’s Centre when you get off the ferry for a free kids’ activity pack. It sends kids on a treasure hunt around the island in a quest to find various clues and complete activities that engage them in the history of the island. Love it when you can blend education with some fun.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Break for lunch
You’re free to bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy it on the island, but we really enjoyed our late breakfast from Societe Overboard, one of the two cafes on Cockatoo Island. Societe Overboard is right near the ferry terminal and serves breakfast plus lunch items (we ordered the Brekky Roll for $9.50 and the Euro Bruschetta for $16.50).

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

The second cafe is the Marina Café & Bar which is located just a short stroll through the Dogleg Tunnel from the main ferry wharf or through the Main Tunnel from the campground. Their menu offers pizza, nachos, toasted wraps and more, including vegetarian options.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Stay the night
While there is comfortable accomodation available in the gorgeous heritage housing, the most fun to be had is glamping overnight in a tent with a killer view! The Cockatoo Island staff set up the tent and bedding, even providing toiletries from Appelles Apothecary.
All glampers have access to hot showers and communal camp kitchen with ten BBQ areas, fridges, microwaves and a boiling water system.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Imagine life as a convict
The Convict Precinct on Cockatoo Island is a lesson in the harsh living conditions and deprivations endured in prison labour.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Convicts were put to work quarrying stone, building prison barracks, a military guardhouse, granary silos and official residences, forged their own prison bars and constructed the Fitzroy Dock with their bare hands, often waist deep in water and shackled with leg irons. It’s easy to imagine the despair faced by the convicts who lived in appalling conditions on the island when you see first hand the brutal life they endured.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Escape to the past down (kinda creepy) tunnels
There are two tunnels that cut through the middle of the island, Tunnel 1 and the Dogleg Tunnel. Both were built in 1915 to facilitate the movement of workers and materials from one side of the island to the other, and were later modified to become air-raid shelters during World War II. The Dogleg tunnel is seriously spooky as it has a giant kink in the middle (the “dogleg” for which it is named) so when you enter the 180m tunnel you can’t see where it ends.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Take in the view
Walk up the hill or steep stairs (your Fitbit will thank you for it later) to Biloela House for stunning views of Sydney Harbour.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

The sandstone house was built in 1841 and intended for the island’s Superintendent, hence the gorgeous location and building. If you have time (and patient children) go inside Biloela House to check out the Shipyard Stories exhibition.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Leave the kids in solitary confinement
I kid, I kid! Seriously though, a brief look into these cells where prisoners were kept as punishment will give you and the kids a very quick education in how bad it would have been to be a convict on the island.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Get a glimpse at Australia’s navel history
Cockatoo Island was also the site of one of Australia’s biggest shipyards that operated between 1857 and 1991. A walk through the yard will leave you in awe at the pure size and scale of the ships built here – and the cranes are always a favourite with the kids.

Cockatoo Island Chess

Play a game of chess
A life-size chessboard is set up near the ferry terminal for anyone to play – it’s the perfect way to teach young ones the rudiments of the game.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Spot movie filming locations
In 2008 X-Men Origins: Wolverine was filmed on Cockatoo Island. If you look carefully you’ll be able to see the remnants of the film set where the island was used as Stryker’s laboratory and a “mutant containment area.”

Cockatoo Island was also transformed into Japan’s most notorious Prisoner-Of-War camp Naoetsu during the 2013 filming of Angelina Jolie’s film, Unbroken.

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Want to know more about Cockatoo island? I highly suggest dropping by on Sunday March 26 to enjoy their open house event, a rare opportunity to take a sneak a peek inside the heritage houses and apartments.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Getting to Cockatoo Island 
Catch the F3 or F4 ferry directly to the island. Our big tip is to use the unlimited travel on public transport for $2.50 on a Sunday.

Learn more about visiting Cockatoo Island online.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

One of the most defining moments of my childhood was a trip we took when I was nine to Egypt. It was amazing. I will never forget seeing the pyramids and sphinx in Giza, and learning about their ancient world became an obsession I’ve never managed to shake.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

I was thrilled to see the Powerhouse Museum’s new exhibition for autumn is Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives because, let’s be honest, it’s not so easy to pop over to Egypt to teach your kids about these kinds of things.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

The exhibition is really best for kids aged 7+ but I would also say it depends on the kid. We saw children with their families of all ages enjoying it, so I would advise making a judgement call on your own circumstances.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives is on display until 30 April 2017, making it a perfect outing in the upcoming school holidays. The exhibition gives visitors the chance to meet six ancient Egyptian mummies and see how the latest technology has enabled us to go beyond the wrappings and discover the lives and customs of these people from the past.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

The six mummies were selected from the British Museum collection. They lived and died in Egypt between 1800 and 3000 years ago – the information gathered on their lives is on display alongside their 3D CT scan visualisations allowing visitors to not just view for themselves the amazing end result of mummification, but also see what lies underneath – and fully appreciate the whole mummification process.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

Through the exhibition visitors will learn about the lives of regular people in ancient Egypt. What is the mummification process? What were their beliefs? What do the symbols in their artworks and on their coffins mean? Quite simply, it’s all fascinating.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

I would suggest visiting the exhibition with kids on a Sunday for the museum’s Egyptian Mummies: Family Sundays.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

Each Sunday in March, from 10am–4pm, kids can enjoy ancient Egypt through a fantastic kids play area complete with a dig zone, building area, oasis for reaching and craft area. During the school holidays the dig zone will be open every day.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney
Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

On an upper level you’ll find Senet, what is possibly the world’s first board game, recreated for you to have a go. It looks kind of like chess, ancient Egyptian-style.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

You might even come across a mummy or pharaoh wandering around the museum.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

More information about the Egyptian Mummies exhibition:

The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Visitors are advised that this exhibition contains human remains and CT scan images of mummified human remains.

Strollers must be parked at the cloaking desk on level 3 of the Museum prior to entering the exhibition.

Prices: Adult $27, Concession $25, Child (4–16) $16, Family (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) $65.

Pre-book online now and save.

Tickets include general admission to Powerhouse Museum.

Powerhouse Museum
The Egyptian Mummies family activities are free with museum admission.
500 Harris St, Ultimo NSW 2007

Thank you to the Powerhouse Museum for our entry tickets. All opinions are our own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.