Let’s be honest, it’s always a good time for gelato in Sydney, regardless of the season! It’s hard to choose a favourite but these are a few we head to regularly all over Sydney.
Renowned for their wacky flavour combination and fresh ingredients, Gelato Messina produce over 40 gelato and sorbet flavours in small batches daily. We love the Salted Caramel with White Chocolate and Yogurt Berry, but always try one of their wacky weekly specials too. Gelato Messina: various locations
N2 Extreme Gelato
Liquid nitrogen is used to flash freeze gelato, right in front of your eyes. N2 favours innovative flavours and techniques such as their creme brulee where the top is torched, and others with a chocolate or caramel-filled syringe to inject into the centre of the dessert. The flavours change weekly so there is always something new in store to try. N2 Extreme Gelato: CBD and Newtown
Famous for their blue Sea Salt soft serve, this Japanese-inspired ice creamery focuses on adventurous and innovative flavours, often with an Asian twist. AquaS: CBD, Macquarie Centre, Chatswood
La Mamma Del Gelato Anita
Hand-made boutique ice creams, sorbet and frozen yoghurts. With over 150 flavours, it’s difficult to choose! Try their popular Cookieman or one of their innovative creations such as Pavlova, Banoffee or Mascapone Ricotta Strawberries. La Mamma Del Gelato Anita: Central Park Mall, 28 Broadway, Chippendale
Cow & The Moon
This family-owned inner west gelataria won the title of the world’s best ice cream at the Gelato World Tour in Rimini, Italy, in 2014 for its Mandorla affogato-flavoured gelato. Sample a few of the 25 flavours on offer, all hand-made out the back of the store daily. A few favourites include blackcurrant and blueberry, strawberry and balsamic, salted caramel and passionfruit cream. Cow & The Moon: 181 Enmore Rd, Enmore
Gelato is freshly made daily in store, with a rainbow of flavours available daily. Their mango sorbet is bright, refreshing and a firm favourite of ours, but there’s something for everyone with their wide variety of flavours that include dairy-free, nut-free and gluten-free options. Gelatissimo: Various locations
C9 Chocolate and Gelato
Choose from a wide variety of freshly churned flavours and either have it drizzled with chocolate or sandwiched on a cookie. C9 likes to add a bit of chocolate to everything! C9 Chocolate and Gelato: Newtown and Bankstown.
Riva Reno Gelato
Authentic Italian gelato, made daily in Sydney with fresh ingredients. Choose from the set flavours or try one of five weekly specials from a menu that includes gelato, sorbet, granita as well as waffles and crepes. Try the “Alice”: mascapone, premium marsala “vergine soleras” and lashings of gianduia. Yum! Riva Reno Gelato: Darlinghurst and Barangaroo
Luna Park Sydney might just be the most gorgeously positioned amusement park in the world. Perched on the shorefront of Milson’s Point, the juxtapositioning of the old-world carnival colours against the stunning blue of Sydney Harbour makes it an incredible spot to visit, even if you’re not planning on actually riding anything.
While children and adults flock to the park to enjoy hair-raising rides, Luna Park is also an historical icon in Sydney, being listed on the State Heritage Register in 2010.
Whether rides are or aren’t your thing, Luna Park is a fascinating piece of Australian history. The fist Luna Park opened in St Kilda, Melbourne, in December 1912, with a second opening in Glenelg, South Australia, in 1930. The later, however, encountered push back from the locals, who thought the park was a haven for unsavoury types – as a result, the park was packed up and shipped to Sydney.
Sydney’s Luna Park was constructed at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1935, and, once open, ran for nine-month seasons until 1972, when it was opened year-round. The park closed in mid-1979 following the infamous Ghost train fire, which killed six children and one adult.
The park has been partially demolished, renovated, re-opened and closed again several times since due to various problems – the most recent being the noise pollution complaints from locals surrounding the Big Dipper rollercoaster that caused the ride to be heavily restricted and, as a result, saw a drop in attendance that lead to the park’s closure in 1996.
After further redevelopment, the park re-opened in 2004 and has been open ever since.
In 2010 the Luna Park Face was listed as an item of national heritage by the National Trust of Australia, making it one two amusement parks in the world that are protected by government legislation; several of the buildings on the site are also listed on the Register of the National Estate and the NSW State Heritage Register: most notably Luna Park’s Coney Island Funnyland, which is the only operating example of a 1930s funhouse left in the world.
Coney Island was built in 1935, and although there have been some changes made over the years, the layout is almost identical to when it opened, including the rotating barrels, moving platforms, long slides and arcade games that line the walls.
I recently took the little Cheese to experience Luna Park for the first time and have some tips if you’re intending to go:
Luna Park Tips
Buy your tickets online
They are cheaper to buy from the Luna park website than in person at the park. You will also avoid the queues this way.
Look for special deals
Take a look for even better deals before you buy them directly from the park. For example, try Groupon, or Telstra and Optus perks. I received the best deal through Optus.
Adult accompanying rider tickets cost some serious money
If you’re not planning to buy an adult ticket for yourself but your child isn’t tall enough to ride everything on their own, you will need to buy an accompanying adult ticket. These are not available for discount purchase online at all – they must be bough at the park, full price, and they are EXPENSIVE! They are also only valid for rides where accompanying the riders who are too short to ride by themselves – so you can’t ride without them, either.
Pack your own food
There is basic food available at the park, like hot dogs, burgers and chips kinda stuff, and they are expensive. I suggest packing healthier food for lunch and bringing it with you to save money.
Prepare for the weather
There is very little shade in much of the park, particularly in the little kids’ area out the back. Pack wide brimmed hats and plenty of sunscreen.
This is my mantra for theme parks in general. Go as early as possible when the queues are shorter and the sun isn’t as hot.
Be aware of height restrictions
Make sure your kid is big enough to get the most out of the cost of park entry. You can find a list of the height requirements for each ride here
Know how much money it’s going to cost if you buy tickets at the park
Unlimited Rides Pass – Yellow (130cm+) $52 (vs $48 online)
Unlimited Rides Pass – Green (106-129cm) $42 (vs $38 online)
Unlimited Rides Pass – Red (85-105cm) $22 (vs $22 online)
Accompanying Adult – Green $42
Accompanying Adult – Red $22
The cheapest day to go is Mondays
During the school holidays this is an excellent deal for school kids
Mini Money Mondays – Yellow (130cm+) $40
Mini Money Mondays – Green (106-129cm) $30
Mini Money Mondays – Red (85-105cm) $16
Other ticket options A Coney Island Pass ($12) lets you access just Coney Island all day. Coney Island was our kids’ favourite of the whole day, and is blissfully indoors!
How to get there
Luna park is so easy to reach by public transport. Catch the ferry or train directly to the park, or, if you have to drive, park in their car park. Either way, there is very little walking involved, so great for little ones.
Luna Park 1 Olympic Dr, Milsons Point NSW 2061 Hours: The days and hours Luna Park opens varies. Please check the website before going. lunaparksydney.com
Sculpture By The Sea is the largest free public sculpture exhibition in the world, and in 2016 celebrated its 20th anniversary. The exhibition runs for two weeks every year in October/November, along the cliff top walk from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach.
While the majority of the sculptures are not able to be touches, each year there are several that are designed to be interacted with by visitors, be it walking through them, on them or climbing over them – the placards in front of the sculptures lets people know which ones are able to be touched and which ones are too fragile.
A big hit this year was the ship with wooden blocks that were able to be manipulated, so visitors were able to change the shape of parts of the ship.
Please enjoy the photos of this spectacular exhibition, and scroll down to the bottom for tips on attending.
Tips for attending Sculpture By The Sea
Go early, like 6am early. We arrived at 7am and it was already really busy. If you arrive at midday, forget about being able to get near a sculpture without 20 people right on top of you.
Parking is a nightmare. Go early and look for a spot around Tamarama or Bronte.
Bring lots of water, sunscreen and a hat. The sun is brutal on the walk and there is no shade.
Bathrooms are located at Tamarama Beach, Mark’s Place and Bondi Beach.
Food is also located at Tamarama, Bondi and Mark’s Place. In 2015 and 2016 The Grounds of Alexandria had a pop-up cafe at Mark’s Place.
The walk is not stroller friendly at all. If you cannot bring your child in a baby carrier, walk/drive to Mark’s Place – it’s the only stroller accessible point of the walk.
Try for dawn or sunset for pictures with truly stunning light and less people around.
There are two kids’ playgrounds on the walk – one at Tamarama Beach and one at Mark’s Place.
Week days are much less busy than weekends.
Keep an eye on small children. Not only is the walk crowded, it runs along the cliff tops where there are no guard rails or barriers to stop children from falling over the edge.
Not all scuptures are designed to be touched. Please respect the signs and only touch those that are designated for interaction.
Photography tip: It might look like we were pretty much by ourselves on the walk but this was thanks to careful shooting and editing. For pics like these, be extremely patient and wait until other people leave the frame, or step around them and find an angle with no-one in it. If you can’t do either, then crop in close.
This branch of Jamie Oliver’s popular dining chain is an excellent spot in Sydney’s South-West region for dining with the whole family. We’ve been a few times now, for both date nights and family lunches, and always enjoy the food and ambience of the restaurant, as well as it’s top location in Centenary Square, right next to the fountain.
The first Jamie’s Italian opened in Oxford, England, in 2008. Since then the brand has expanded to open more than 40 restaurants worldwide. The restaurant chain is designed to be accessible and affordable, providing “good food for everyone”, as is Jamie’s ideology.
We most recently dined with our family and enjoyed a number of dishes: the Mezzaluna Caprese (Buffalo ricotta & spinach ravioli tossed through tomato sauce with torn mozzarella & sweet baby basil – while I ordered a small size, a large portion is $23.50), Turbo Rigatoni Arrabbiata (A fiery tomato sauce with garlic, basil, Scotch bonnet chillies, vegetarian pecorino & herby breadcrumbs – this was also a smaller portion, with the regular sized priced at $19.90), Italian Hot Pizza (Crushed tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, spicy pepperoni & wild oregano, $24.50) and the Italian Steak & Fries (Flash-grilled prime beef steak with Italian-spiced skinny fries & rainbow slaw, $26.50).
Jamie’s Italian is renowned for their excellent kids’ menu. We ordered the Secret Seven Tomato Pasta (Homemade curly wurly pasta in Jamie’s seven-veg tomato sauce with pecorino cheese & crunchy, herby breadcrumbs).
It’s available in two sizes for kids of different ages and appetites and priced at $9.50/12.50. The meal came with a drink (my daughter chose milk) and the cutest salad. She was so delighted by how adorable the salad was that she actually ate it, which is a miracle for anyone who knows my vegetable-hating daughter.
If you want to order dessert, which we didn’t, they have some good and reasonably priced kid’s options worth mentioning: Ice Cream or Sorbet ($2.50, served with an Italian cookie and chocolate sauce), Seasonal Fruit ($2.50), Gooey Chocolate Brownie ($5, with vanilla ice cream, crunchy toffee popcorn & chocolate sauce).
We booked a table for our large group well in advance, but the restaurant is quite large so I would think you would be able to waltz in and grab a table for a small group at any time without a booking.
As well as the excellent kid’s menu, Jamie’s delivered the kid a really cute colouring in sheet and pencils. I really like when restaurants put in the little bit of effort to print their own colouring in sheets for some reason – maybe the effort shows they care that little bit more?
Anyway, while the salad was a hit, our fussy daughter wasn’t overly keen on the pasta. It was clearly handmade and while I thought it was delicious she prefers the store-bought kind she’s used to. I’ll have to take her to more places serving freshly made pasta!
As noted in the list of dishes above, Jamie’s Italian lets you order a small portion of the pasta dishes instead of the main size that is listed on the menu. I didn’t know this was an option as it wasn’t listed on the menu, but my cousin had dined there previously and let us know, which I appreciated. My Mezzaluna Caprese was excellent and I will order the larger sized version next time I go in, for sure. Creamy filling inside perfectly cooked pasta sheets. Delicious. The pizza didn’t get the best wrap, with the recipient saying it was a bit bland despite being spicy. Hubbie had the steak and liked it enough to hover it before I could ask him any questions, so that was clearly a success.
There are many restaurants in Parramatta, several Italian ones too, but Jamie’s Italian manages to hold its own among them, in part because of their excellent brand name, but also because the food is of a high quality while being decently priced. It will remain out go-to restaurant in the area, with and without our munchkin, but particularly with her, as it’s one of the best kid-friendly restaurants we’ve found in Sydney.
The Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park is a great spot to run off steam with kids if you’re taking in a show at the nearby Riverside Theatre or grabbing lunch at one of the restaurants on Church street.
Built into the slope of the hill on the river’s foreshore, it’s got some really cool features like a 4 metre slide and rock climbing. In summer, water features are turned on near the sand play area.
Be aware that the playground is not fenced, not does it have any shade cover or bathrooms.
Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park
Elizabeth St Footbridge Parramatta NSW
Halloween has been taking off slowly over the years in Sydney, with more and more families like ours wanting to mark the occassion with fun activities. This year Cheese was finally old enough to try the Swamp Monsters program at Centennial Park.
Swamp Monsters is a Halloween trail through Centennial Park, starting at the Eduation Centre. The event often sells out far in advance so buying tickets before the event is highly recommended. The day is broken up into time slots to start the activities. Arrive any time during your time slot, sign in at the desk and pick up your trail map, then take as long as you like.
The trail has five activity stations for kids to complete, with each spot spookyily themed and requiring kids to complete a task. The kids loved the (fake) spiders and cobwebs, and screamed with delighted terror at the “zombies” as they darted through a course that included navigating their way thorough a giant spider web, feeding a giant venus fly trap, guessing the ghoulish item in the mystery boxes, shooting zombies with nerf guns and bolting through a swamp infested with creatures from the dead.
After completing the five activities, the last stop is the completion tent where kids get their maps stamped and can choose a treat. While that marks the end of the trail, they are welcome to repeat any part of the course that they like.
At the start and end of the trail, back at the education centre, a pumpkin patch is set up for kids to make their own scarecrows. Our kids didn’t care so much about making the scarecrows – they were more enthused about pretending they were ponies munching on the hay. Great imaginations.
We chose the 11:30 time slot and found a tree to sit under for a picnic lunch at 12:30, thinking we would take a break and then do one of the activities after our lunch break, not realising that the whole course stopped for a lunch break between 12:30 and 2pm. I would highly recommend if you’re planning to do the activities again that you choose an earilier time slow or the one after lunch break.
While the day is recommended for kids aged 5-12 there were definintely some younger kids there. The littlies enjoyed several of the stations but were also scared of a few, so it all depends on the kid.
Age: 5-12 years
Times: Start times are available every 15 minutes between 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4:30pm
Meeting Point/Venue: Start at The Learning Centre in the Education Precinct, off Dickens Drive, Centennial Park
Price: $17 per child Online
Show your online ticket on the day to receive your Trail Map. Tickets can be shown on mobile devices or printed out.
Event will go ahead in all weather. No refunds will be given.
Children must be accompanied by an adult. Adults do not require a ticket
One Trail Map per ticket and all participating children require their own trail map.
Coffee, ice cream and small snacks will be available for purchase from food vans.There is plenty of free parking usually available in Centennial Park, or you can take public transport.
“We’re going to the circus!” I announce to my five-year-old daughter, wanting to surprise her with a special treat. “Not with animals?” she looks at me somewhat confused. “No, with people!” I explain. “Ahhh, acrobats!” she crows, delighted at her good fortune of being taken on a special date, just the two of us.
“Will there be tightrope walkers? And jugglers?” she asks, her only point of reference for a circus a traditional one from well before the time she was born. “Ummmm,” I reply, not sure how to answer. When you’re going to watch Cirque Du Soleil, all expectations on what you’re actually going to see on stage go out the window. It could be literally any physical feat, and usually more bizarre than your imagination can dream up. “I guess we’ll see,” I finally say, and off we go to the big top in Sydney’s Moore Park, and excitedly take our seats.
Cirque Du Soleil has been wowing audiences with electrifying shows since their humble beginnings as a group of 20 street performers in Baie-Saint-Paul, a small town near Quebec City, in Canada. The band of colourful characters entertained people on the streets with stilt-walking, juggling, dancing, breathing fire, and playing live music. Old-school circus acts, performed with what would become their trademark drama and flair.
The company is still based in Quebec, and now has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from around 50 countries around the world. They’re performed in over 300 cities in over 40 countries on six continents – and tonight, they’re in Sydney, Australia.
Much to my delight, Kooza pays homage to Cirque Du Soleil’s traditional circus roots with a combination of acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The acts my daughter mentioned? They’re all there and she is thrilled. Stilt-walkers, jugglers, dancers, contortionists and tight-rope walkers. Every single circus act we could have possible hoped for was entwined in Kooza’s thrilling story of an Innocent’s discovery of light and dark magic.
Kooza cleverly weaves a tale about discovery, fear and power through a jam-packed show filled with acrobatic acts and tension-breaking light humour. The central character, The Innocent, is our guide on a journey of thrills, suspense and moments where our hearts almost stop watching the death-defying feats in front of our eyes.
While the adult in me sees the occasional safety gear go up for some of the more terrifying acts, my daughter is focussed only on the action and is genuinely worried about the well-being of the acrobats. “That doesn’t look very safe,” she whispers in my ear as a man dressed as the devil jumps on top of a spinning “wheel of death” that soars right to the top of the tent roof and proceeds to flip into the air.
She’s right – it’s part of the show’s illusion to make every act look effortless, while tapping into our sub conscious desire to see how far a human body can be pushed before it breaks. Will they fall? In a few spots, they almost do, and a collective gasp goes up in the audience to see a wobble or slight slip. They are fragile human beings and this is real life, not a movie with trick photography at work. If they fall it’s a long way down.
I point out the safety net that springs up when the tightrope walkers get particularly daring, and the hook that is attached to the man who balances with one hand on top 10 chairs to show her there is nothing to fear. “Even if they fall, they’ll be ok,” I whisper back, and she lets out the biggest sigh of relief I’ve heard from her, and spends the rest of the show pointing out the safety equipment to me, so I won’t be scared either.
The show draws to its close and I realise I’ve been holding my breath for much of it, perched on the edge of my seat. For two hours, we’ve been thoroughly immersed in a fantastical dreamscape world where acrobats are able to do the impossible – perform tricks that my mind can’t comprehend as possible for a human body to be able to do.
My daughter, after her first circus experience ever, is forever changed. Her world has expanded and her imagination unlocked. She’s seen with her own eyes the heights and athletic ability that a human body can reach, and the daring that some souls possess to push themselves past limits the rest of us would quite frankly baulk at. She is among many children in the tent, the next generation who are growing up with Cirque Du Soleil being the the only circus they’re likely to experience.
The audience leaves the tent uplifted and with stars in their eyes. We’ve seen great things today and will tell our friends about that time we saw a man leap aboard a spinning wheel of death and survive what looks impossible, or about the lady who spun from a hoop high in the air, saved from plummeting to the ground only by her neck. It’s the kind of stuff you never forget that you’ve seen.
My five-year-old wants to run away and join the circus. Come to think of it, so do I. We’d better start working on our acts.
Tips for seeing Kooza by Cirque Du Soleil
Parking at the Entertainment Quarter is actually quite reasonable. 3-4 hours is only $10.
If you’re taking kids, ask for a booster seat when you enter the seating pavilion.
Bathrooms are outside the pavilion so go beforehand.
Find your seats at least 10 minutes before the show starts so you don’t miss the pre-show entertainment.
The best place to see the show is smack bang right in the middle of the front section as this is where much of the action faces. Don’t fret if you’ve already bought tickets on the side though as the whole show is still visible from the entire ring.
The show is quite long for littles to sit through – an hour and a bit for the first half, followed by a 30 minute interval and then 45 minutes for the 2nd half.
If you are considering taking little ones, be aware that there are loud noises at times and a few scary themes like skeletons.
Water is provided for free near the bar areas so you can take your own water bottle as long as it’s not glass, and refill it.
Snacks and drinks are permitted into the pavilion.
Catch KOOZA by Cirque du Soleil in a city near you:
Sydney – Now playing until November 13 2016, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
Brisbane – From November 24 2016, Skygate Brisbane Airport (near DFO)
Melbourne – From January 20 2017, Flemington Racecourse
Perth – From April 13 2017, Belmont Park Racecourse, Victoria Park Drive (off Farmer Freeway), Burswood
Tickets at http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/kooza
Thank you Cirque Du Soleil for tickets to see the show. All opinions are my own.
With hundreds of stunning beaches running up and down the NSW coast, it’s hard to choose which one to visit.
On a sparkling Sunday we chose Palm beach, the northernmost suburb of Sydney, for a day trip. It’s an hour’s drive from the Sydney CBD, making it the perfect spot to get away from the hustle of the city without an epic drive to get there.
Palm Beach is often called the “jewel” of the Northern Beaches. Situated on a peninsula it has a gorgeous combination of lush evergreen bushland, beaches with soft golden sand and surrounded by the bright blue Pacific Ocean on one side, and calm Pittwater waterway on the other.
The beach might look very familiar if you watch a lot of soap TV – in particular Home & Away. The show has been filmed on location here since its beginnings in 1988. As a result the beach has been a popular tourist attraction, particular for Brits.
There’s plenty to do at Palm Beach to spend a gorgeous day outside. The main beach is soft and inviting – be sure to swim between the flags, or take kids to the south end to paddle where the water is most shallow.
If swimming in the waves isn’t your cup of tea, try a dip in the 35m ocean pool. It’s perfectly designed for both lap swimmers and also paddling with children in the shallow end.
For more exploring, follow the path around the pool where there are rock pools to be found. Be careful with the timing of your rock pool walk, however, as it can be unsafe when the tide comes back in.
When it’s time for lunch there are a few cafes to try. We enjoyed a late breakfast at 2108 Espresso, with an Aussie standard dish of toasted sourdough, avocado, fresh tomato and feta for $14 (eggs an additional $3). For the kids there is a grilled cheese toastie and babyccino with a cute blue marshmallow.
For dessert, we decided to give the cafe next door that serves scooped ice cream a miss and go old school with Gaytimes.
To walk off the ice cream there are a few options for the afternoon. Nearby is a large grassy park with a sprawling playground. While there were picnic tables in the park we didn’t spot any bathroom amenities, and the playground equipment didn’t have much shade.
The more athletic option for the whole family is to take the scenic 1.2km walk from the beach to Barrenjoey Head to visit the historic lighthouse that sits on Sydney’s most northerly point. It’s a 25 minute walk each way so take water and go to the bathroom before hand (no bathrooms at the top!). From the top you’ll have a great view of Broken Bay, the Central Coast and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
The sleepy inner west suburb of Forest Lodge has been undergoing a massive development over the past year or so, particularly with a mass of apartment buildings going up around the Harold Park area. We’ve been driving past frequently watching the development spread and wondering what kinds of businesses would be opening nearby to services the burgeoning community.
The answer is the Tramsheds at Harold Park. The old Rozelle Tramway Depot, originally built in 1904, has been beautifully refurbished to create a place for locals in this growing area a place to meet, eat and fulfil other vital day-to-day needs.
While the Tramsheds was obviously built to satisfy the need for services in this area (where previously there has been none), it’s also a gorgeous destination for people all over Sydney to drive to and enjoy as an outing.
The building is home to a variety of businesses, the majority being food-related, but also including a medical centre, nail bar, hair salon and supermarket. There are grab-and-go type of outlets and seating areas that look a bit like an upmarket food court, as well as table service cafes and fancier restaurants. Something, really, for everyone.
When driving to the Tramsheds, be aware that if you park inside their parking lot it will cost you. Under 1 hour is $3, between 1 and 1.5 hours is $8. 1/5-2 hours is $13. A bit steep in my opinion, so we exited before taking a ticket and found street parking across the street – free for two hours.
Inside the Tramsheds you’ll notice a full-size restored tram as the centrepiece to the building. If you want to go inside, enter through the door for the Butcher and the Farmer cafe that is on the outside, next to the main entrance.
If your kid is particularly enamoured with the tram you can eat inside it on the tiny tables. We found the tram to be fantastic entertainment for our daughter while we waited the 20 minutes for our table in the cafe.
As we visited on the 2nd weekend after opening, I expected that it would be somewhat chaotic, and that it was. It felt to us like the staff are still finding their feet. I’m sure that in a few weeks they will have settled into a routine and the whole centre will be running smoothly.
We chose to dine at the Butcher & The Farmer mainly because it was next to the tram. The waitstaff seemed a bit overwhelmed at the large amount of people who had come to dine, but were friendly and helpful during our stay.
The breakfast menu we ordered from was on the small side, but had all the types of food we would regularly want to order – wholesome food with enough vegetarian options for me to choose from, and something plain for the fussy five-year-old. (It’s worth noting the adorable Splashlings toys that accompanied us – they’re so great for taking out dining.)
My husband and I both ordered the Avocado, Tomato & Meredith Sheep’s Feta (with basil on farmer’s toast, $16), plus a coffee for the hubbie ($3.5).
We ordered the little one the Poached Eggs (on farmer’s toast, $12) which they obligingly scrambled for her when we asked, plus a Blueberry, Strawberry & Raspberry Smoothie (with yoghurt and milk, $8).
The avocado on toast dishes hit the spot. Fresh soft bread, creamy avocado, tomatoes bursting with flavour. The coffee, according to my java-addicted spouse, was excellent, and he was thrilled with how large it was. Our daughter’s smoothie was similarly massive, so best shared between two. Her scrambled eggs were absolutely delicious – so good it’s a shame they’re not on the menu.
I did think the dishes were a tad bit expensive for what they were, however. Similar dishes cost a few dollars less in other up-market cafes in the inner west.
We strolled around the rest of the Tramsheds to check it out and were impressed with the various businesses we saw. At the moment, they include:
Middle Eastern spiced grilled meats, vegetables and exotic salads.
Belle’s Hot Chicken
Famous fiery chicken and natural wines from Australia and abroad.
Serving up simple and delicious Latin American and Spanish inspired tapas.
Boxing Works (gym)
Butcher and the Farmer
A paddock to plate restaurant, retail butchery and takeaway.
Takeaway coffee and pastries.
Chambers Cellars (bottle shop)
A new bakery, pizzeria and mill.
Fish and Co.
Connecting diners to the ocean, with a food story showcasing sustainable and local seafood.
Flour Eggs Pasta
Fresh authentic pasta made the original Italian way.
By The Little Marionette, the perfect place for your morning coffee or afternoon pick me up.
My fave gelato of all time. Choose from 35 flavours on their regular menu, plus 5 daily specials.
Harold Park Medical Centre
A family medical practice open 7 days a week for appointments or walk-in consultations.
An authentic Vietnamese restaurant.
Moe & Co. (hair salon)
My Donut Box
We love their Nutella-filled donuts.
Organic bulk foods, nuts, seeds and spices.
Osaka Trading Co.
A modern Japanese menu with a seafood focus.
An Old World England-themed bistro and brewery.
Local, market and farm fresh produce, a delicatessen and daily supermarket staples.
The Depot Nail Bar
One final note about the Tramsheds: they have the fanciest parents’ bathroom I’ve ever seen. It’s massive, clean and, dare I say it, almost elegant! An absolute winner for all the families.
The Tramsheds 1 Dalgal Way Forest Lodge, NSW 2037 Hours: Daily, 7am-late Phone: 02 8398 5695 Online: tramshedsharoldpark.com.au Get Directions Access: The building is fully accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. The path leading to the Tramsheds, however, has some steps on the footpath, so strollers and wheelchairs will need to go up the main road instead. The cafes we dined in had tables that were very close together so not suitable for wheelchairs or strollers. The rest of the Tramsheds, however, had wide spaces and seating that looked much more suitable.
Have you ever wondered where the famous caldron from the 2000 Sydney Olympics ended up once the games were over? The answer is it didn’t go very far at all.
After the magical opening and closing ceremonies (who can forget Cathy Freeman lighting the cauldron and it rising through the air simultaneously dripping with fire and water?) the cauldron was taken down and moved just a few hundred metres to its permanent home – in the appropriately named Cathy Freeman Park.
Located very conveniently next to the Allphones Arena, Cathy Freeman Park has 2 playgrounds – one for young kids and one for older – huge shady trees and easy access to bathrooms and cafes.
We often end up in the park when attending a show at the Allphones Arena – it’s great to burn off energy after a long drive before needing to sit still for a long time while watching a show.
The cauldron is a popular feature for tourists and kids, who particularly love running underneath it in the puddles, and trying to judge when the fountain is about to turn on. There’s always one kid who times it poorly and gets absolutely soaked. Bring extra clothes in case this is your kid!