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Sydney

The Cortile InterContinental: Sydney’s Best High Teas

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

No longer missing from my adventures in high tea, is the very elegant high tea at The Cortile, InterContinental, Sydney.

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

This is definitely the most beautiful building of all the high teas so far. The InterContinental Hotel was built inside the restored Sydney Treasury Building of 1851. The outside facade of the building is just gorgeous, with sandstone blocks and even some lions to welcome you, and inside the atrium that is where The Cortile is situated,is a gorgeous blend of old meets new. Soaring ceilings, brick archways, with modern fittings and elegant lighting. Just beautiful.

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The InterContinental is in a superb position too – just a few blocks from the Sydney Opera House and across the road from Sydney’s Botanic Gardens, it’s a wonderful spot to stay for a few days, or just to experience a high tea like we did.

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High Tea at the InterContinental is a truly elegant affair. It consists of a plate of sandwiches, followed by a three tier stand filled with pasties, scones and sweets.

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

The Three Tier High Tea Stand is served Monday to Friday from 11am–5pm and costs $55 per person (including a glass of sparkling wine).

As a vegetarian I was given a seperate plate of sandwiches and pastries which i thought was very considerate of the staff to arrange.

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

Sandwiches
• Club sandwich, roasted chicken with crispy bacon & tomato
• Tasmanian smoked salmon, cucumber, horseradish & lemon on laugen bread
• Paprika prawns, chili, lemongrass, green shallots, thai basil, red quinoa

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

Vegetarian sandwiches included mixed vegetables, a tomato, cheese and basil salad.

The sandwiches were light and fresh. I really enjoyed the inclusion of the salad.

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

Hot Savoury Treats
• Tuscan chicken & roasted vegetable roll
• Caramelised onion & goat’s cheese quiche
• Beef and Guinness pie

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

Vegetarian savoury treats included the same quiche plus a pumpkin piece and Moroccan sausage roll.

Nice bite-sized treats. The pumpkin in particular was great – a slightly spicy mix with creamy pumpkin.

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

Tea Treats
• Lemon & herbal infusion tea cup
• Jasmine Gold tea crème brulée
• Punnet of passionfruit, Matcha Horai green tea & chestnut
• Hazelnut biscuit, crunchy praline & milk chocolate chantilly
• Lemon, lime & bitter macaron

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

My fave was the perfect creme brulee and the lemon and herbal infusion cup, with its light, fresh creaminess.

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

Hot Sweet Treats
• Buttermilk vanilla scones, vanilla whipped cream, cherry jam

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

Delicious, warm, fresh scones.

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me
To Finish
• Green Tea Affogato; the classic Italian dessert with a twist.

The finale to this meal is a shot of Matcha poured over vanilla bean ice-cream. Our lovely waitress mixed the matcha in front of us and poured it, hot, over a large scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. The fresh ice cream was the perfect way to finish the high tea – refreshing and light.

The Cortile, InterContintental: Sydney's best high teas via christineknight.me

If you dine at the InterContinental on weekends, you can try the Weekend High Tea Buffet. It’s served Saturday & Sunday from 1pm–2:30pm and 3pm–4:30pm. It costs $60 per person includes a glass of sparkling wine.

The Cortile, InterContinental Sydney
117 Macquarie St, Sydney
Phone: 02 9240 1396
Reservations reocmmended restaurant.reservations@interconsydney.com
Get Directions

The Cortile Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

We Will Rock You: Sydney’s Best Stage Shows

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Brought to you by Nuffnang and We Will Rock You

I first saw We Will Rock You, the brilliant show blending Queen’s legendary songs with Ben Elton’s comic genius, in London 10 years ago. When I saw the show, I thought it was groundbreaking, hilarious, uplifting and wildly entertaining. In short, everything a good theatre show should be.

We Will Rock You the musical via christineknight.me

Lucky, lucky us, We Will Rock You is touring Australia right now. It’s an updated version of the production that retains the brilliance of the original, with a bit of a modern facelift and location-relevant references.

We Will Rock You the musical via christineknight.me

The show is set in the year 2350, where live music is banned on Earth. A rebellious few fight against their force-fed diet of synthesized pop and controlling government, choosing individualism, real-life interactions and creativity over lives lead on the internet and assimilating into assigned groups, leading pre-arranged lives.

We Will Rock You the musical via christineknight.me

We Will Rock You has been a smash hit show since it debuted in London in 2002. Since then it has won the Olivier Audience Award for Most Popular Show in 2011 (British theatre’s
answer to the oscars), played over 3600 performances in the UK (with over 3600 standing ovations), selling over 6 million tickets in the UK alone, and over 16 million tickets in 28 countries worldwide.

We Will Rock You the musical via christineknight.me

Walking into the theatre it’s impossible not to notice the wide variety of people who are there to see the show. A large group of high school students, posing for pics with their tongues sticking out, couples on dates, senior citizens. The appeal of Queen reaches all generations, with their hit songs all showcased in this lively show: We are the Champions, Radio Ga Ga, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Somebody to Love, Killer Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now, Under Pressure, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites The Dust and of course We Will Rock You.

We Will Rock You the musical via christineknight.me

A lot has changed in the world since We Will Rock You premiered, and the show has kept up. New cultural references pepper the witty dialogue: Twitter, Facebook, hashtags, Miley Cyrus and gangnam style all get a mention, as does Prince in the most moving moment of the show, a tribute to music stars lost too soon.

We Will Rock You the musical via christineknight.me

Several nods to their Australian audience also garnered plenty of laughs – Australian Idol (especially entertaining as Casey Donovan, playing the key role of Killer Queen was discovered on the show), Molly Meldrum, the Wiggles, John Farnham’s anthem “You’re The Voice” and even Canberra as a place no one wants to go.

We Will Rock You the musical via christineknight.me

The cast of We Will Rock You is superb and does an excellent job of performing iconic songs that had the audience cheering, clapping and waving their arms throughout the show. Gareth Keegan, in the lead role of “Gallileo Figaro” and Erin Clare as “Scaramouche” were particular scene stealers, with their exquisite vocals, dynamic stage presence, and genuine chemistry.

We Will Rock You the musical via christineknight.me

We Will Rock You is a show that endures because it’s not only entertaining, it’s also relevant – even more so today perhaps, than when it debuted in 2002. Yes, kids, get off social media, make a real friend instead of a Facebook one, and create real joy in your lives that makes your soul soar.

We Will Rock You is currently playing at the Lyric Theatre, Pyrmont.
Suitable from the age for 13 years and above

Thank you to We Will Rock You and Nuffnang for providing me with tickets for reviewing purposes.

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

The Central Gardens Nature Reserve Merrylands: Southwest Sydney with Kids

Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me
We have been exploring a lot of southwest Sydney lately, looking for parks and playgrounds in particular. I was recently re-introduced to the Central Gardens Nature Reserve in Merrylands, where I spent a lot of my childhood while my parents played their weekly tennis game with friends. At the time, the gardens were closed so I never was past the tennis court. It was amazing to see the park in daylight, and open! I remember in my errant youth scaling the tennis court bathroom walls in an attempt to see the closed off garden at night – so to see it during the day brought back memories of our night time stealth mission that ultimately failed and left us somewhat in trouble as a result.

Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me

The Central Gardens Nature Reserve, also called the Central Gardens, is a nature reserve in the southwest Sydney suburb of Merrylands. The 12 hectare park features two playgrounds, animal enclosures, BBQ areas, a flat path perfect for scooters and bikes, plus a small waterfall feature.

Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me

The playground we found was fantastic, with the biggest shade cloth I’ve ever seen over a playground. It was so wonderful to visit in the middle of the day and not worry about sunburn.

Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me

Behind the playground lies the animal enclosures. It’s free to wander through them and see the very well cared for animals, including birds, particularly scary emus, wallabies with babies in their pouches, and kangaroos.

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Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me Central Gardens, Merrylands: The best of southwest Sydney for families via christineknight.me

We didn’t find the waterfall this visit, but will be back to find it next time.

Do you know of any more great southwest Sydney parks for us to discover?

The Central Gardens Nature Reserve
Cumberland Hwy, Merrylands West
Bathrooms: Yes
Picnic tables: Yes
Shade cover: Yes
Cafe: No
Skatepark: No
Off-street parking: Yes
Children’s playground: Yes
Water features: No
Get Directions

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

Plough and Harrow Park: The Best of Southwest Sydney for Families

Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me

Southwest Sydney really has some fantastic places for families to enjoy the great outdoors. One of our faves is the Plough and Harrow Park in Abbotsbury. The park is part of the massive Western Sydney Parklands that spans across the suburbs of Abbotsbury, Eastern Creek, Prospect and Horsley Park. The entire parklands covers 5,280 hectares, and includes several playgrounds, events centres and sporting venues.

Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me

We end up at the Plough and Harrow in Western Sydney Parklands East a fair bit. It has a fantastic playground, 22 electric BBQs, parking for over 200 cars, 24 picnic shelters, a pond with ducks and other water birds, public bathrooms and a cafe/restaurant: Amoretti’s.

Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me

The big draw for us is the playground. It’s spread out across a large area, interspersed with trees and other Australian bush pants. The play features include a hamster wheel, flying fox, sand pit, little kid play area, large climbing spiderweb, basket swing, big kid swings and a water pump feature. The park has play equipment for all different ages, so it’s a suitable venue for families with kids of all ages.

Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me

The only downside to this playground is the lack of shade. It could do with some shade cloth!

Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me

Make a day of your visit to the park by booking into Treetop Adventure Park too, which is located in this part of Western Sydney Parklands, too.

Plough and Harrow Park
Western Sydney Parklands,
Elizabeth Drive, Abbotsbury
Bathrooms: Yes
Picnic tables: Yes
Shade cover: No
Cafe: Yes
Skatepark: No
Off-street parking: Yes
Children’s playground: Yes
Water features: Yes
Get Directions

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

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park: The Best of Southwest Sydney for Families

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park: The best of southwest Sydney for families

Parramatta Park is one of Sydney’s most historic places. In the centre of the park is Old Government House, which, along with the surrounding pack, is one of 11 sites that form the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage property. The park is also notable for its Aboriginal heritage: Evidence of Aboriginal occupation from over 200,000 years ago has been found there.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

Sydney-siders have been enjoying Parramatta Park for recreation for a long time – it became a public park in 1858 – making it one of the earliest designated public parks in the world.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

We particularly love the recently renovated Domain Creek Playground in Parramatta Park – it’s located on the Westmead side of the park, opposite the Queens Road Gatehouse.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

The playground features activities for all ages and abilities, including flying foxes, swings, slides, trampolines, water pumps, sand pits, small trampolines built into the ground and spinning carousels.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

Each section is connected by ramps and walkways, making it easy for strollers and wheelchairs to get between each area.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

The double flying fox is a particularly popular feature of the new park, with one of the flying foxes adapted to be used by people with disabilities. The seatbelt feature makes it popular with young children too, who are a bit scared to use the regular one.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

Adventurous kids will also enjoy the slide, which requires thrill-seekers to climb up a rope ladder to the top, and then scoot along to the top of the slide. Getting up was a bit scary for little Cheese due to the lack of handholds to pull herself up at the top of the rope ladder, but she had no problem climbing it, or going down the slide, either.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

Other sections of the playground worth noting include water pumps that flow into a sand pit, a climbing net that looks like a spider’s web, a second sand pit with equipment for bigger kids like sand diggers, swings, and one last sandpit in the shade that was ideal for small kids.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

The playground is beautifully designed to blend into the bush surrounding it, with plenty of fun surprise activities to discover. In the bush section in the middle of the playground few discovered a bush xylophone and cubby house, and there are also small metal sculptures of native Australian animals and a few roses dotted around the park.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

The playground doesn’t have a shade cloth over it and there are very few sections with tree coverage, making it a bit of a scorcher on a hot day – particularly the metal play equipment. I would suggest this playground for milder to cold weather!

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

Bathrooms are also scarce – the nearest ones are a good 10 mins walk away at the Parramatta park Cafes, near the Queen Gate Entrance.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

Near the playground is the river and lake, which is home to many birds such as ducks and ibis. Watching the birds is also an excellent way to entertain the little ones.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park:  The best of southwest Sydney for families

 

 

Hungry? Grab breakfast, lunch or a coffee to go from Parramatta Park Cafe.

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park
Pitt St & Macquarie St, Parramatta
Bathrooms: No – nearest one is a few mins walk away at nearby Parramatta Park Cafe.
Picnic tables: Yes
Shade cover: No
Cafe/Kiosk: No
Skatepark: No
Off-street parking: Yes
Children’s playground: Yes
Water features: Yes (but minimal)
Get Directions

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

The Australian Botanic Gardens Mount Annan + Melaleuca House Cafe

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We are frequent visitors to The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney’s CBD, but had never been to the Australian Botanic Gardens at Mount Annan, in Sydney’s southwest, until recently.

The gardens are massive! 416 hectares of botanic gardens set in a hilly area of the southwestern Sydney suburb of Mount Annan. I’ve driven past the gardens many times on my way between Campbelltown and Camden, and decided that it was time to see what beautiful plants they had on offer for myself.

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

The Australian Botanic Gardens Mount Annan are free to enter. They are popular place for families in Sydney’s west and south-west to visit for picnic lunches, due to their large grassed areas and excellent facilities. At the entrance to the gardens you can find the welcome centre (pick up a map!) and the public bathrooms, including a baby change/disabled toilet.

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

We had lunch at the on-site cafe, Melaleuca House. The prices were higher than I’d expected for a cafe inside a garden, but the food was excellent quality and apart from the “Vintage Tea Pyramid Selection” tea that I ordered for $3.90 that turned out to be a Twinings teabag dropped in water, I felt like it was a great meal.

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

As we arrived after the breakfast menu had finished, we ordered the Roast Pumpkin Salad (with zucchini, roast capsicum, goat’s cheese, oak leaf toasted pine nuts & pesto dressing, $20.90) Jumbo Scone (served with jam and cream, $4.90), Herb Crusted Chicken Tenders (with paprika lime dipping sauce, crisp garden salad & honey-lemon dressing, $19.90), Grilled Barramundi Fillet (served with bush tomato relish fresh lemon wedge & crisp garden salad & chunky chips, $24.90).

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

Kids aged 10 yrs and under can order off the reasonably-priced kids’ menu, which includes Grilled Sausage & Chips, Toasted Ham, Cheese Sambo & Chips, Cheese Burger & Chips and Chicken Nuggets & Chips. All kids’ meals cost $12 and include a Pop-Top Fruit Juice.

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

When we arrived the table next to ours had been waiting a long time for their meals and we were a bit concerned that ours would similarly take ages, but the food all arrived quickly, and the unanimous agreement was that it was all delicious.

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me
Just past the cafe is a fenced playground with decent shade. It includes several climbing structures, swings and a flying fox. We had a hard time removing Cheese to go and explore the gardens, but promised her lots of rocks to climb as an incentive.

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

The gardens are quite spread out, and if you have the time and inclination there is a lot of walking you can do. We did a shorter route through the main gardens up and down the main hill area, climbing over rocks and running down grassy slopes. Along the way we explored native Australian plants and wandered through flower beds with butterflies dancing around us.

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A flat, cement path winds around the gardens making them fully accessible for strollers and wheelchairs (it’s worth noting that the cafe area, particularly the outdoor seating, is also very suitable for large strollers or wheelchairs, too).

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

The Australian Botanic Gardens Mount Annan are just beautiful, and are a welcome place to enjoy the beauty of nature in the heart of southwestern Sydney.

The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan
Narellan Road, Mount Annan 2567
Australia
The Garden is open every day of the year.
Autumn, Winter and Spring: 8am-5pm
Summer: 8am-7pm
Prices: FREE
Online

Melaleuca House is open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat & Sun 8am-4pm.

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

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney

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Do you have a kid who loves climbing, heights and physical challenges? Then TreeTop Adventure Park is a must-do for your family. TreeTop Adventure Park operates three parks, in Wyong, Newcastle and Sydney – we visited the Sydney one which is located inside the Plough & Harrow Park in South-West Sydney.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

TreeTop Adventure Park has courses for kids and adults, with the children’s course suitable for little ones aged 3 – 9. The next group, “Juniors”, consists of three courses for kids aged 10 – 17 who are at least 1.4m tall.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

The children’s course is made up of four courses with different degrees of difficulty, and four flying foxes.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

While booking isn’t mandatory, the sessions are so popular that I highly advise booking a few days in advance to ensure you can take part in the timed session of your choice on the day. One the website TreeTop advises you arrive half an hour before your timed session, and if the weather is nice you may as well arrive early to make a day of it. The Adventure Park is right next to a massive playground in Plough & Harrow Park so kids can play there until they need to put on their helmets and harnesses.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

We were incredibly unlucky with the weather on our day. The skies opened and it poured just when we arrived. The session before ours climbed in the rain, but thankfully it eased up when our session was beginning to a slight drizzle. The sessions go ahead unless there is lightning or heavy winds, in which case the courses are suspended until they can begin again. I advise bringing a rain coat if there is a chance of rain, or investing in a $2 rain poncho from TreeTop like we did on the day.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Each group is restricted with numbers for safety reasons. The kids are strapped into the harnesses and helmets by TreeTop staff, and then given a very detailed talk on safety. The instructors drill the kids on the number of kids allowed on each platform, challenge and flying fox at a time, and ask the kids repeatedly to make sure the kids understand all the information.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Each child’s harness has it’s own metal pulley that is used to hook onto the wire that runs above each course for safety. They are large and heavy, making them quite dangerous for little kids to be trusted with, but the instructors had an excellent way of teaching the kids about how to use the pulleys, calling them a “froggy”, and using terms that kids would understand – like the “froggy” had to be put onto the wire “frog to the log” so he could “eat his food” (AKA the wire). The rope dangling down was called the “tail”, so we were calling out repeatedly “hold onto the tail!” and so on to describe how to get across the challenges.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

The first course, “white”, was the easiest, and designed low to the ground so parents could hold their child’s hand if needs be. It also allows parents to assist kids with getting the pulley over the connectors at each platform – this, for the little kids, proved to be the hardest element of the courses. It was really difficult to swing the rope hard enough to get enough momentum to push it over the edge of the connectors at each platform. Once the kids are up on the higher courses, they must to every element on their own, as adults are on the ground and can’t reach to help.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

For my four-year-old, the courses were exceptional for not just physical enjoyment, but also to help her self-confidence and resilience. Quite a few times she struggled to get her pulley over connectors, but had to work it out herself – and while she got frustrated, she managed to do it, every time. She also lost a shoe at one stage, while she was several metres over our heads. Even though she couldn’t reach her feet with her hands, and she was balancing high up on a tiny platform, she managed to use her foot to place the shoe in the right position and jam her toes inside so it was on well-enough to get to the next platform where an instructor could fasten it for her.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

As an only child, Cheese is used to us doing a lot of things for her that she could probably work out herself, so this ropes course was just what she needed to realise that she was more than able to conquer many difficult things on her own. As the courses got harder, they involved more problem solving skills as well as balance, agility and also confidence! The last two courses involved a lot of moving logs and sections that were quite far apart – pretty hard and scary for little kids whose arms and legs couldn’t reach them. I was so incredibly proud of how Cheese conquered all of the four courses.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

The minimum age for participation is three, with no height minimum, and, while there were three year olds on the course, there were a few who attempted the harder courses, got stuck or scared, and then couldn’t get down. The way the courses are created, you hook on at the start and unhook at the end. There is no way to unhook in the middle – AKA there’s no going back if you get scared or can’t physically finish the course. We had a moment during one of our courses where the kids all had to reverse backwards through the course to the beginning and unhook to allow a smaller child to leave the course.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

On the website it’s advised that you buy or bring gloves, and while we didn’t this time, we will definitely buy a pair when we return. Shoes must be closed toe like sneakers, and I would suggest long tights for girls so their legs don’t rub on the harness.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Looking around the courses I was pleased to see that they were set up in a way so as to not harm the trees – there was no drilling used to attach the platforms, and the structures were designed to allow trees to grow free of restrictions.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

The children’s course costs $28 per child. While initially I thought it sounded pricey, the you have two hours to spend on the courses. Time absolutely flies by and I really thought that it was money well spent.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Cheese finished the day feeling strong, brave and incredibly happy! She told us she had the best day ever and can’t wait to go back.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

TreeTop Adventure Park
Plough & Harrow, Western Sydney Parklands,
Elizabeth Drive, Abbotsbury
Online

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

Little Tastes Cafe: Kid-Friendly Restaurants St Peters Sydney

CLOSED ——————

Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me

I knew we had stumbled on one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney when we were greeted with “the kids can draw on anything!” at the door by the very friendly staff at Little Tastes Cafe St Peters.

Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me

Inside the cafe is the much-lauded play area. It’s a great size with loads of toys, and the walls and tabletops are covered in chalk paint, so kids are literally welcome to draw on the walls. I’ve heard that on Saturdays the cafe hangs paper on the walls for kids to paint on, but we arrived on a quiet Thursday during the school holidays just after a massive group, and had the playroom all to ourselves.

Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me

Our friendly server let us know that babyccinos were on the house, officially making it the best deal in Sydney. They usually come with a marshmallow, but had had an unfortunate incident on the day we arrived that deprived our kids of their marshmallow. Not like they even noticed, however, they were having so much for playing that we had to beg them to sit down to eat. As an indication of how this compares to our usual cafe outings – if a babyccino arrives without a marshmallow, it’s usually met with a turned up lip and serious attitude.

Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me

The cafe serves all-day breakfast and simple burgers, rolls and salads. They have a great kids’ menu with items like toast with jam, toasted sandwiches, the “Big Bubba Breakfast” with eggs, bacon sausages and toast, “Eggs with Toast Soldiers” and a fruit salad. All of the kids’ meals are under $10, with cheapest being $3 for the toast with jam, peanut butter or Vegemite.

Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me

All of the meals at the cafe are reasonably priced, which is another massive plus in my book. We love eating out, and often with kids you end up needing to eat out even if you hadn’t planned to, so it can seriously add up to be very expensive, very fast. With prices like these, however, we will be dropping by all the time rather than just on special occasions. The meals for adults at Little Tastes range from $6 for an egg and bacon roll to $10 for the “Budget Brekkie” (two eggs, bacon or spinach, feta on thick toast) and $17 for the most expensive dish on the menu, the “Big Breakfast” (two eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, haloumi, grilled tomato, toast).

Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me

We ordered toast with jam and a grilled cheese sandwich for the kids, and a Spanish Omelette ($14, three egg omelette with red onion, tomato, chorizo and paprika served with thick cut toast) and Smashed Pumpkin ($16, two eggs your way on a bed of smashed pumpkin and feta with bacon and tomato served with thick cut toast). They happily swapped my bacon for spinach which I appreciated too.

Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me

While we waited for the meals, the kids played and played and played. The kids’ meals arrived first, and they sat relatively peacefully at their table to eat. It was a bit of a wait for our meals, but with such a small cafe and only two staff members working there, it was understandable.

Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me

I really enjoyed my smashed pumpkin dish. It really hit the spot for me, and I loved the thick cut toast, plus the delicious pumpkin and feta. All of the dishes were very generous in portion size, too.

Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me

The bathroom is around the back of the cafe, and has a change table – hallelujah!

The cafe has both a fantastic and terrible location. It’s wonderful as it is right across the road from the massive Sydney Park, making it a great cafe to team up with a park visit. It’s also on a very busy road however, so keep a close eye on kids when you’re walking to the cafe. The cafe itself is quite small, so if you arrive on a busy day and need to sit outside, you’ll need to also keep a very close eye on little ones.

Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me Little tastes Cafe St Peters via christineknight.me

We loved our lunch at Little Tastes and can’t wait to go back.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: Yes.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

Little Tastes Cafe
641 King St,
St Peters
Phone: (02) 8084 0015
Prices: $
Hours: Mon-Fri 6am-3pm, Sat 7am- 3pm, closed Sunday.
Get Directions

Little Tastes Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

Hubby and I have been big fans of the Ice Age movies for a long time, so when I saw Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure was coming to town, I was pretty excited at the chance to see characters I love come to life on ice.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

It was also an opportunity to introduce young Cheese to the show as she has been too young thus far to watch the movies (mainly because she is a very sensitive soul).

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure tells the story of the latest batch of Ice Age characters from the movie, including Manny (Cheese’s favourite), and Peaches, the new baby. Without giving the story away too much, I really enjoyed how simple the storyline was. Peaches gets kidnapped by a scary bird, Shadow (Cheese kept calling him “The Boss”), and the rest of the gang need to bring Peaches home.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

The simple storyline meant that little kids could easily follow what was happening, leaving them enraptured in the spectacular costumes, puppets and areal acrobatics.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

I was incredibly impressed with how well the movies translated to a show on ice, which I think was mostly due to the superb designs by co-director Michael Curry, who has worked on Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney’s The Lion King. The puppetry was extremely well done, with the characters making very life-like movements, blinking, lip-syncing, as well as skating. It looked like hard work!

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

When I saw the large characters lumbering out onto the ice, I did wonder if the people inside them were going to do much skating, so I was thrilled when I saw them emerge from the suits, still in character, to engage in breathtaking acrobatics. It was a really clever way of ensuring the people inside the suits had a chance of showing their exceptional skills off as well as portraying these huge creatures in their amazing puppets.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

I also enjoyed the set design. The ice stalactites on the roof glowed with various colours, and a video screen integrated into the back set really enhanced the feeling of moving over vast distances as the group travelled on their big adventure.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

Cheese, who is 4.5, loved the show. She is extremely sensitive to anything “scary” and was a little bit worried when Peaches was stolen, but she very quickly relaxed when she began to understand that nothing bad was going to happen to any of the characters. There was so much light, joyful music and a celebratory tone to the show that she was swept up in the mood and when it ended, said “Is it over? That was fast!”. The show went for almost two hours including interval, so I think that’s incredibly good, for a show to be so long and leave a preschooler with a short attention span wanting more.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

If you or your family enjoy Ice Age, or if you’re wanting to introduce your little ones to the characters, this is the show for you. We highly enjoyed Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

The show is currently touring around Australia – next stop is Perth! Check here for tickets.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

Thank you so much to Ice Age Life: A Mammoth Adventure for hosting us. All opinions are, as always, my own.

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

The Junction: Kid-Friendly Cafes, Ultimo

The Junction via christineknight.me

Inner city cafes that are kid-friendly with room to run are extremely rare. The Junction, a cafe attached to the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo, is an oasis of space for families to relax, eat and take time to relax on a busy day in the city.

The Junction via christineknight.me

The Junction is located on the lower street level of the Powerhouse Museum complex, positioned so you can enter the cafe and enjoy the courtyard and playground without entering the museum. This means, of course, that you can drop by any time for a coffee, snack, play or bathroom break.

The Junction via christineknight.me

The cafe has a very simple menu. Burgers, fries, kids’ meals, milkshakes. It has a wide selection of snacks like fruit, yoghurt, pre-made sandwiches, banana bread, donuts, pretzel cups and a crazy amount of lollies.

The Junction via christineknight.me

Order at the counter and take your number to a table. I’m not sure what the numbers were for, however, as when the order was ready it was placed on the counter to be collected, rather than brought to our table.

The Junction via christineknight.me

The cafe has indoor and outdoor seating in a bright, open space. It’s a very light and airy environment, with open panels so the air flows freely, and there is plenty of ambient sound to cover the noise of cranky kids, but also no loud music to prevent conversation. My favourite!

The Junction via christineknight.me

The walls are glass or open to the courtyard so when dining inside there is a clear view of the playground – both from inside and outside the cafe. It’s a fantastic design so if you have young children you can sit at the end of the cafe outside, right next to the playground.

The Junction via christineknight.me

The playground itself is pretty big, with shade cloth covering. It’s clean, big and well-designed. There are several public bathrooms inside the courtyard including a disabled and baby change toilet.

The Junction via christineknight.me

I was impressed at how the entire set up was stroller and wheelchair assessable. The entry from the street into the cafe and courtyard is wide and smooth, and the cafe has plenty of space to enable wheelchairs and strollers to maneuver.

The Junction via christineknight.me

We had eaten lunch earlier when we visited, so we only tried the donuts ($4.50 each, delicious!) and milkshakes. The milkshakes were incredible value for Sydney – $7 for a massive shake.

The Junction via christineknight.me

The Junction is a great cafe to try if you’re in the area or visiting the Powerhouse Museum.

The Junction, Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris St, Ultimo NSW 2007
Hours: Daily from 8:30am
Online

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