Adventure, baby!

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Historical Sydney: Visiting Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park

Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park

Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park

Visit the world heritage-listed Newington Armory in Sydney Olympic Park. The former Royal Australian Navy armament depot is now a place to enjoy cycling, art, picnics, wildlife and history.

The Newington Armory was built from 1897 by the Royal Australian Navy. It was designated as a world heritage site on 14 January 2011. What was once an industrial military site is now an arts precinct with a theatre, outdoor amphitheatre, artist studios and an exhibition space, as well as a place to cycle/scoot, picnic and play.

Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park

There are over 100 heritage buildings at the Armory, across 52 hectares of riverside hills and woodlands. You can learn more about the heritage buildings at the Armory through a heritage interpretation program at the original 1897 gate house.

The Armory usually free exhibitions throughout the year (not in 2020 sadly), plus film festivals, public art, cultural activities and kids activities.

Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park

Riverside walking and cycling

Enjoy the Parramatta River by foot, bike or scooter. There are sculptures dotted along the path to enjoy.

Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park

You can hire a bike from Bike Hire @ Sydney Olympic Park (open 9am-5pm,  last hire 4pm, weekends, public holidays and school holidays.

Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park

Armory Wharf Cafe

The Armory Wharf Café in Sydney Olympic Park is a family-friendly, waterfront cafe with a casual vibe and al fresco seating. 

Read more about visiting the Armory Wharf Cafe.

Armory Wharf Cafe

Blaxland Riverside Playground

Blaxland Riverside Park is home to the biggest playground in Sydney. Equipment to suit kids for all ages and abilities is set among three hectares of rolling green hills and big open spaces. The playground includes a fantastic water play area, moving play elements, high and steep landforms and hidden and confined spaces. There’s a double flying fox, mega-swing, tunnel slides, scramble wall, spinning play disk, Viking swing and a multi-level tree house to be discovered and enjoyed.

Read more about visiting Blaxland Riverside Playground.

Blaxland Riverside Playground Sydney Olympic Park

Armory Gallery

The Armory Gallery is housed in Building 18, one of the largest armament storehouses constructed prior to World War Two. The gallery is a flexible exhibition space which features the longest continuous gallery wall in Australia. While the gallery usually hosts large-scale exhibitions like ArtExpress as well as kids activities and other events, it is currently closed.

The Amory Gallery is accessed by walking through a tunnel along the railway tracks.

Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park

Heritage Railway Discovery Tour

While the tour was closed when we visited, the guided Heritage Railway Discovery Tour, “Riding the Rails”, usually runs every Sunday from 9.30am to 10.45am, on the historic railway that was once used to move missiles and torpedoes around the Armament Depot. The tour usually runs every Sunday 11am to 1pm, every half hour. If you have kids, be aware that the tour is suitable for kids aged 10+. There is a tour during the school holidays suitable for younger children. On the first Sunday of every month is the Heritage Railway Discovery Tour.

BirdLife Discovery Centre

Also sadly closed at the moment is the BirdLife Discovery Centre, a great place to learn about birds living in the area. Watch the centre’s resident pair of White-bellied Sea-Eagles on their nest using EagleCAM or take a free guided bird walk around the Newington Armory (they run on the last Sunday of the month at 10am for one hour).

Call (02) 9647 1033 or email southernnsw@birdlife.org.au with queries.

Get more information on the BirdLife Discovery Centre.

Segway Tours

Take an exhilarating Segway tour of the Newington Armory. The tours give historical commentary on the site and include a stop at the Building 39 armament exhibition. Segway tours run 10am-3.30pm weekends and school holidays. 
Get more information on Segway tours.

Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park

Must-know information about visiting the Newington Amory

Opening hours: Daily, 9am-5pm

Free 3 hour parking is available. Parking is limited to arrive early on weekends and during holidays.

Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park

There is a kiosk offering basic snacks, drinks and ice blocks open Mon-Sun.

Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park

Picnic and barbecue facilities are available next to the Armory Wharf Cafe.

Armory Wharf Cafe

Public restrooms are also located near the cafe.

Newington Armory
Jamieson St, Sydney Olympic Park NSW
https://www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/parks/newington-armory

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney.

Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park

Armory Wharf Cafe: Waterfront & Family-Friendly Cafe in Sydney

Armory Wharf Cafe

Armory Wharf Café

The Armory Wharf Café in Sydney Olympic Park is a family-friendly, waterfront cafe with a casual vibe and al fresco seating. 

Armory Wharf Cafe

Located on the edge of the Parramatta River in the Newington Nature Reserve, the Armory Wharf Café is a licensed venue that has stunning 270-degree water views of mangroves and the industrial Armory wharf. 

Armory Wharf Cafe

The Armory Wharf Café has a mix of shaded outdoor and indoor seating, and a menu that offers fresh, seasonal cuisine.

Armory Wharf Cafe

There are daily specials and a decent amount of options for kids.

Armory Wharf Cafe Armory Wharf Cafe

The cafe is an extremely popular spot for families in particular, with its close proximity to Blaxland Riverside Playground. There is a section of the playground close enough for older kids to enjoy while their parents are waiting for meals to arrive in the cafe. 

Armory Wharf Cafe

Our group ordered the Beer-battered Fish n Chips (served with mushy peas and tartar sauce, $24), Grilled Salmon (served with a spinach, nut and grain salad and beetroot hummus, $28), Berry Good Smoothie (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and skim milk, $8), Loaded Focaccia (housemate focaccia topped with scrambled eggs, haloumi, spinach, tomato relish and avocado, $20), Kids’ Mini Pizza Pocket (cheese and tomato pizza pocket, $12).

Armory Wharf Cafe Armory Wharf Cafe Armory Wharf Cafe Armory Wharf Cafe

The fish and chips, salmon and loaded focaccia meals were all excellent. Great sized services, bright, fresh produce and excellently cooked. All meals arrived quickly and were very well made.

The only dish that was a let down was the pizza pockets. They were a bit sweet and weird tasting, and not a hit with any of us unfortunately.

I would highly advise making reservations to secure a spot. Parking is available nearby however is limited and is also used for the playground, so arrive early enough to wait for a spot to become available if you are visiting on a weekend. 

Afterwards, take kids to Blaxland Riverside Playground or to explore the Newington Armory.

Armory Wharf Cafe
Blaxland Riverside Park, Jamieson Street, off Holker St, Newington NSW
Hours: Wed-Sun 9am–2pm
http://www.armorywharfcafe.com

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney.

Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Quizzic Alley Canberra: Harry Potter Magic in Australia

Quizzic Alley Canberra

Quizzic Alley Canberra: Harry Potter Magic in Australia

Visit Australia’s most magical Harry Potter-themed store, Quizzic Alley, located in Fyshwick, ACT. 

Quizzic Alley is the passion project of Michael and Penni Milton. Michael and Penni have stocked the store with the most incredible range of Harry Potter goods from all over the world, including lollies, board games, jewellery, toys, clothing and accessories like bags and wallets. Quizzic Alley carries the biggest range of Harry Potter merchandise in Australia.

Quizzic Alley Canberra

The store has brought the magic of Harry Potter to life with incredible care to detail, with a flying Ford Anglia car that visitors can pose in, and amazing decorations hanging from the ceiling. It’s truly a transformative visit for any Harry Potter fan wishing to duck inside J.K Rowling’s magic world and lose themselves for a few moments.

Quizzic Alley Canberra

Quizzic Alley also offers customers the opportunity to try their “QBrew” (the beverage of choice for witches and wizards everywhere).

Quizzic Alley Canberra

Locals can book kids’ birthday parties at Quizzic Alley, or attend an adult-focused evening event.

Quizzic Alley Canberra

Can’t make it to Canberra to visit in person? All good, Quizzic Alley delivers Australia-wide.

Quizzic Alley Canberra Quizzic Alley Canberra Quizzic Alley Canberra Quizzic Alley Canberra

Find more things to do in Canberra with kids here.

Quizzic Alley
5 Pirie St, Fyshwick ACT
Phone 02-61798856
Hours: Wed-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat & Sun 10am-4pm, closed Mon & Tues
quizzicalley.com

Corin Forest Mountain Resort: The Perfect First Snow Experience

Corin Forest Mountain Resort Snow Experience 

Corin Forest Mountain Resort: The Perfect First Snow Experience

Give kids their first snow experience at Corin Forest Mountain Resort in the ACT. Corin Forest is the closest snow experience to Sydney.

Corin Forest is located in the Tidbinbilla Mountain Ranges, 45 minutes from Canberra. During the warmer months, Corin Forest is a place to picnic, ride the 1.2km Alpine Slide and visit neighbouring Square Rock, Gibraltar Falls and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

You can read more about visiting nearby Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve here.

In the winter months (often extending into spring), Corin Forest is the place to take kids to enjoy an affordable and fun first snow experience.

The Corin Forest Mountain Resort is a rustic lodge set among tall trees, in a beautiful secluded valley. 

During the winter season, the lodge is a place to sit back and enjoy a wood fire pizza or hot chocolate after an exhilarating snow session. (In 2020, the lodge is open for takeaway only).

Beyond the lodge are an array of picnic tables around a picturesque lake, and the snowfields. 

Corin Forrest offers very popular snow play sessions, beginner skiing or snowboarding.

Snowplay

We drove down to Corin Forest to experience the snow with their two-hour snowplay experience. The sessions for the school holidays and weekends book out a long way in advance, as they’re a bit of a bargain and the easiest way for most families to experience the snow.

During the snowplay sessions, families can ride a toboggan, build a snowman and generally just play in the snow. We had a lot of fun throwing snowballs at each other.

There are two snowplay areas that run next to each other, with staggered start times.

The capacity is limited, particularly in 2020, with 100 people per sessions permitted. Snow play is open until October 11th in 2020.

Entry to the snowplay area is a bargain $20 per person. You can hire a toboggan for an extra $5 and snow boots for $15. Jacket and pants rental as been suspended for 2020.

We visited in the middle of July and found it not overly cold temperature wise, but still were glad that we had rugged up. I would suggest wearing warm clothes with waterproof pants and jacket, gloves, water resistant boots, sunglasses and a beanie. Bring sunscreen as the glare can burn, and a change of dry clothes for the trip home. 

Make sure to book your session as soon as possible so you don’t miss out.

Snowsports School

Corin Forest is also a great spot for beginners to learn to ski and snowboard. The ski slope features a “magic carpet” ski lift and is a nice, gentle slope to make learning to ski or board as easy as possible. 

In 2020 ski and snowboarding lessons are operating with private lessons for groups of up to four people including an instructor. Lessons are available for adults and children over the age of 8.

Lessons include the use of ski/snowboard and helmets. 

Lessons will be operating until September 7th 2020.

Ski + Ride

Experienced skiers or snowboarders can also enjoy the snow during the designated Ski + Ride sessions.

The Ski Hill will be operating until September 7th 2020.

Alpine Slide

The Alpine Slide descends 1.2km through the Mountain Ash forest. An hour session costs $25 per person.

In 2020 all sessions have a maximum capacity of 25 people so tickets will need to be booked in advance online.

General Info about visiting Corin Forest

For the majority of the winter season, Corin Forest is accessible to all cars. 4WD or snow chains are only needed a few days a season.

The snow at Corin Forest is mostly man-made. Natural snow falls around 6 days each winter.

Parking is unlimited and free.

There is no entry cost to Corin Forest. 

You are welcome t bring your own food and enjoy it in the picnic area. Food is available for purchase in the cafe that serves hot and cold drinks, snacks and meals, and features a wood fired pizza oven. In 2020 the cafe is doing takeaway only.

I would suggest booking the first session of the day as that’s when the snow is freshest.

Every person entering the snowfield needs a ticket, even it it’s just to watch.

If you forget to bring gloves, you can buy a pair at the retail shop.

Clothing rental is usually available from the age of 4 to adult 5XL – however rentals are suspended in 2020.

I strongly suggest booking ahead as Corin Forest is extremely popular.

Find more things to do in Canberra with kids here.

Corin Forest Mountain Resort
1268 Corin Dam Rd, Paddys River ACT
https://www.corin.com.au

Sydney Day Trips: Wollongong Botanic Garden

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Sydney Day Trips: Wollongong Botanic Garden

The Wollongong Botanic Garden is a 30-hectare garden in the suburb of Keiraville featuring a large collection of native and exotic plants from around the world. 

The site of the Wollongong Botanic Gardens was originally occupied by the by local Aboriginal peoples, the Dharawal, who occupied the land for tens of thousands of years. They remain the Custodians of the Land. European settlers in the 1880s used the land for farming until it was bought by the Hoskins family in 1929, who built their home, Gleniffer Brae, on the site in the late 1930s. The house still stands today within the Botanic Garden. 

The Hoskins family dedicated a large part of their property to Wollongong City Council in the 1950s to create a Botanic Garden. The garden was established in 1964 and officially opened to the public in January 1971.

Today, the Wollongong Botanic Garden is a beautiful spot to spend the day, either exploring the various collections or setting up folding chairs or a picnic blanket under one of the many shady trees and enjoying a picnic or bbq.

Tips for visiting the Wollongong Botanic Garden

There are seven entry points for the garden, most without maps or signposting of directions. I highly recommend if it’s your first visit entering at the main entrance located at Murphys Avenue and Paulsgrove Street and collecting a map (or downloading it to your phone).

Wollongong Botanic Garden

The garden is huge and it will take quite some time and leg power to see everything, so allow plenty of time to stroll and take everything in – at least two hours. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden

There are paved paths throughout the majority of the garden, making it extremely accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. There is a disabled toilet located at the entrance. Scooters and bikes are also allowed – a great idea for kids to help little legs get around.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Pack your own food, folding chairs or picnic blanket to really enjoy a full day at the garden.

There is a cafe near the main entrance, the Garden Grounds Cafe, which serves coffee and light snacks daily between 9am and 2pm. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden

There are picnic tables scattered around the garden, and free barbecues near the playground.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Wollongong Botanic Garden Collections

The Wollongong Botanic Garden is divided into 11 collections, all seamlessly connected. There are large signs that give information about each section but largely it’s a case of wander, explore and enjoy. The sections are: Australian Open Forest, Azalea Bank and Middle Creek, Dryland Collection, Flowering Trees and Shrubs, Palm Collection, Rainforest Collection, Rose Garden, Sir Joseph Banks Glasshouse (closed at time of print), Succulent Collection, Towri Bush Tucker Garden, Woodland Garden.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

We particularly enjoyed the Succulent Collection, which looks like a landscape from another world. Best visited in June / July when the Agave and Aloe plants produce amazing flower spikes, it’s also pretty spectacular in late August (when we visited) and in spring when a carpet of mesembryanthemum flowers blooms.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

The Azalea Bank and Middle Creek collection is also stunning, featuring plants found in Asiatic regions including China, Japan and Korea. Of note are the beautiful Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Camellias, Dogwoods (Cornus alba), Maples (Acer palmetum) and Dawn Redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), many of which were blooming when we visited, and a row of white flowering-cherry trees,  near the Japanese Tea House.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

We were fascinated by the aerial roots of the Swamp Cyprus (Taxodium distichum) in this section, too. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden Features

While you can read in detail about the features of the garden here, I have highlighted our favourites below.

Kawasaki Bridge

Wollongong Botanic Garden

One of the most stunning features of the garden is the Kawasaki Bridge. The traditional Japanese bridge and tea house were presented as a gift to the City of Wollongong from the City of Kawasaki in 1993 to mark the fifth anniversary of their Sister City relationship. 

The shape of the bridge is called taiko-bashi (drum bridge) in Japanese. If you look into the water from the top of the bridge you’ll see its reflection in the shape of a drum.

All Abilities Playground

Wollongong Botanic Garden

The fully-fenced all-abilities playground is perfect for kids aged 2-12. The playground includes swings, a sandpit, no-step slippery dip, climbing net, viewing platform and a maze. There is also an edible herb garden along the southern wall with seasonal herbs available for picking such as rosemary, chives, basil, parsley and mint.

Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden

Outdoor Reading Rooms

What a fantastic idea to include little book libraries inside the garden! There are two with a range of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books located next to the Cafe at the Murphys Avenue entrance and along the main path near the Flowering Trees and Shrubs collection.

The Mercury Fountain

Wollongong Botanic Garden

While the fountain was turned off when we visited, it is still a striking piece to behold and for kids to climb, no matter the season. The Mercury Fountain was designed by Robert Woodward. It was inspired by Wollongong’s industrial and mining history, and the five islands off the coastline.

Duck Pond

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Who doesn’t love feeding ducks? The duck pond has a beautiful rotunda in the middle which is the perfect spot to feed the native ducks and watch the eels swim past. If you want to feed the ducks, please either buy the peas and corn from the cafe at the entrance or bring an approved feeding option from home. No bread.

Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden

Insect Hotels

Wollongong Botanic Garden

We have made our own insect hotel at home, which pales in comparison to the beauties found inside the garden. The hotels give insects a sanctuary from the cold of winter and a nesting space in summer. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Events and programs

The Wollongong Botanic Garden runs a wide range of educational events throughout the year for adults and kids. During the school holidays kids can enjoy interactive hands-on activities relating to the environment. Find out about upcoming programs here.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Getting to the Wollongong Botanic Garden

By car: Take the M1 Princes Motorway, then the Keiraville exit and follow the signs to the Wollongong Botanic Garden.

Parking: All parking is free (2 hour limit). There are four car parks and also street parking available. 

Public Transport: Take the free Gong Shuttle Bus or catch the train to North Wollongong. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden

Wollongong Botanic Garden
Murphys Avenue, Keiraville
Hours: Daylight saving hours 7am to 6pm weekdays, 7am to 6.45pm weekends and public holidays. Non-daylight saving hours 7am to 5pm daily

Phone: (02) 4227 7667
wollongong.nsw.gov.au

More things to do in Wollongong

Visit nearby Austinmer Beach.

Visit the Early Start Discovery Space

More things to do in Sydney and surrounds

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney.

Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park: Kid-friendly Cafes in Sydney

Sotto on Ryde

Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park: Kid-friendly Cafes in Sydney

Sotto on Ryde Cafe is a family-friendly gem, located in Ryde Park, Sydney. The cafe features outdoor seating, overlooks a playground and is a few steps from a bike and scooter track.

The cafe features a very reasonably-priced menu, with all-day breakfast, weekday lunch specials, and an excellent kids’ menu.

Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney

The cafe is open-air, with plenty of tables, and overlooks the playground and park.

Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney Ryde Park, Sydney

The service is efficient and fast. The food fresh and served quickly.

Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney

There are easily-accessible public restrooms at the rear of the cafe.

Sotto on Ryde Cafe, Ryde Park, Sydney

The playground is best suited to preschool/ lower primary-aged kids.

Ryde Park, Sydney Ryde Park, Sydney Ryde Park, Sydney

Read more about visiting Ryde Park and Ryde Park scooter and bike track..

Sotto on Ryde Cafe
30 Argyle Ave, Ryde
Hours: Daily, 7am-5pm
sotto-on-ryde.business.site

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney.

Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Bodhi Restaurant Bar: Vegan Yum Cha Sydney

Bodhi Restaurant Bar: Vegan Yum Cha Sydney

Bodhi Restaurant Bar: Vegan Yum Cha Sydney

Enjoy vegan yum cha in the heart of Sydney at Bodhi Restaurant Bar. Located under St Mary’s Cathedral, diners can relax under fig trees while being served bright, fresh yum cha dishes. 

Bodhi Restaurant Sydney

Bodhi is a Sydney dining institution. Perfectly situated in the centre of the CBD, overlooking Cook + Phillip Park, the restaurant and bar features a large outdoor dining area as well as inside seating. 

Bodhi Restaurant Sydney

The restaurant opened in 1988 as one of the first vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Sydney, and has been a family-owned and operated business for three generations. Bodhi today is the longest running and largest vegan establishment in Australia. 

Bodhi has a strong emphasis on fresh ingredients, with a company ethos of “do no harm”, and “minimize your impact”. Their chefs follow aBuddhist vegan cooking philosophy, using no garlic, onion, chives, scallions and leek in their dishes. As a result, the food is quite subtle in flavour. 

Bodhi Restaurant Sydney

Bodhi also has a large variety of dishes catering to special dietary needs such as gluten or nut allergies.

​The vegan yum cha menu includes dumplings (my fave are the sweet Japanese pumpkin dumplings), fresh items such as blanched fresh kalian vegetables and Vietnamese rice paper salad wraps, steamed dishes, including the delicious green vegetable bread buns, oven-baked/fried/sauteed dishes (the vegetable curry puff is a must-try) and sweets. We loved the adorable custard lava buns shaped like pigs.

Bodhi Restaurant Sydney

Inside the dumplings and buns you’ll find a mix of vegetables, tofu and mock meats. The menu is extremely wide and varied, so even the pickiest of eaters will be able to find something that they like.

Bodhi Restaurant Sydney

We are frequent visitors to Bodhi and always find the staff to be extremely knowledgable about ingredients and accomodating.

Bodhi Restaurant Sydney

It’s a great place to take kids to try some new dishes, too. With the open-air dining area and wide tables with plenty of space in between, it’s an easy place to bring the family and relax. 

There is parking under St Mary’s Cathedral nearby, or in the Domain car park. Both have reasonable weekend rates. Read more about where to find cheap parking in Sydney.

Make a day of it – find the best things to do in the Sydney CBD with kids.

Bodhi Restaurant Bar
2/4 College St, Sydney
Hours: Yum cha Wed-Fri 11am-3pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm. Dinner (a la carte) Tue-Sun 5pm-10pm.
https://www.bodhirestaurant.com.au/

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney.

Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Bodhi Restaurant Bar: Vegan Yum Cha Sydney

Wentworth Common at Bicentennial Park Sydney

Wentworth Common, Sydney

Wentworth Common at Bicentennial Park Sydney

A hidden gem inside the sprawling Sydney Olympic Park, Wentworth Common is a quiet, grassy park with wetlands, a playground and picnic facilities. 

Wentworth Common is easy to find, with a car park directly outside, off the main road (Marjorie Jackson Pkwy). It’s often overlooked, making it a lovely spot for those seeking solitude. 

Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park

The park features a huge grassy area, with lots of trees around the perimeter for shade. There are several sheltered picnic areas and free barbecues, plus a large, modern bathroom block. 

Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park

There is a large adventure playground with a huge sandpit, slide, climbing frame, swings and flying fox.

Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park

Little kids will love the stone sculptures of the lizard and frog in a smaller sandy play area. 

Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park

There is a small water play feature connected to the sandpit in this part of the park for play during the warmer months.

Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park

There are some lovely wooden beams linking the two small play areas though the wilderness as well as low circular stepping stones dotted throughout the bush – great for balance as well as imaginative play.

Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park

Dogs are allowed on-leash. 

If you want some exercise, walk or cycle to the top of Bay Marker lookout for views of the wetlands, Haslams Creek, Homebush Bay and the city skyline.

Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park

Look for ducks and other water birds in the wetlands.

Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park

Afterwards, check out nearby Brickpit Ring Walk.

There is more of Bicentennial Park to explore as well, plus nearby Blaxland Riverside Playground and the Olympic Cauldron in Cathy Freeman Park. Or, take a dip in the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre. Scoot or bike around the Newington Armory.

Wentworth Common at Bicentennial Park Sydney
Marjorie Jackson Pkwy, Sydney Olympic Park
sydneyolympicpark.com.au/parks/wentworth-common

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Brickpit Ring Walk at Bicentennial Park Sydney

Brickpit Ring Walk, Sydney

Brickpit Ring Walk at Bicentennial Park Sydney

The Brickpit Ring Walk is an urban park and elevated walkway over a frog habitat and water storage facility in Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park.

Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park

The Ring Walk is accessed by an elevated walkway in two spots – the easiest is at the Brickpit Ring Walk carpark.

Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park

A circular walkway 550m in circumference and raised 18.5 metres above the sandstone floor of the Brickpit, the Ring Walk  allows visitors to experience what was once the State Brickworks and is now a habitat for the endangered Green and Golden Bell frog and other native Australian animals. 

Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park

It’s only a short walk to complete the circuit, however it’s a fascinating one with information panels outlining the significance of the Brickpit’s heritage and environmental significance. 

Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park

Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park

There are stunning views on the walk as well, to the chorus of frog and bird calls, and the recorded voices of the pit workers as they discuss their experience working to make the clay bricks in this spot that were sent all over Sydney to build our city.

Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park

Afterwards, check out nearby Wentworth Common. It has excellent picnic facilities and a large nature-based playground.

There is more of Bicentennial Park to explore as well, plus nearby Blaxland Riverside Playground and the Olympic Cauldron in Cathy Freeman Park. Or, take a dip in the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre. Scoot or bike around the Newington Armory.

Brickpit Ring, Sydney Olympic Park
Marjorie Jackson Parkway
Sydney Olympic Park
Sydney
https://www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/things-to-do/school-holiday-activities/brickpit-ring-walk

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney.

Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

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Plan amazing NSW road trips.

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Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden: Sydney’s Best Parks & Gardens

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden: Sydney’s Best Parks & Gardens

The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is a 123-hectare garden on Sydney’s north shore. Established in 1968, the garden is dedicated to preserving and showcasing Australian plants.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Located adjacent to the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, the garden is home to two endangered ecological communities; Duffys Forest and Coastal Upland Swamp as well as 18 threatened species of flora and fauna.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is a beautiful spot to picnic, bushwalk and learn about Australian flora and fauna. 

While some areas of the garden have been cleared from bush such as Lambert’s Clearing, which has a large grassed area with picnic tables and a children’s playground, most of the garden is in a natural bush state.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is tended by volunteers from the Australian Plants Society, who cut samples of common wildflowers in bloom and place them on a labelled stand in front of the St Ives Visitor Centre.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

When visiting the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, your first stop should be the aforementioned St Ives Visitor Centre to collect a map, and take a quick look at the stick insects and snake on display inside. The visitors centre sells cold drinks and ice blocks. 

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

There is no cafe inside the garden so bring a picnic lunch and plenty of water. There are lots of picnic tables dotted around the gardens for use.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

There are bathroom facilities in several places around the garden, including at the visitors centre.

While most of the garden is quite wild, there are a few features of interest: The Knoll Garden
(a display garden containing native plants from around Australia), the Fern House, Caley’s Pavilion Gardens (featuring a wide variety of showy native flowers, rainforest trees and bush foods such as macadamia, Davidson’s Plum and native ginger).

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Use the map to take one of many walks around the garden. We took the Solander Trail which took about 40 minutes to complete and had plenty of lovely wildflowers along the path. 

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Plenty of the trails are step-free and paved, suitable for strollers or wheelchairs. Other “adventure tracks” offer an off-road trekking experience. 

Step-free paths
The Senses Track
The Senses Track is located at the top of the Wildflower Garden opposite the Visitor Centre.

There are two loops of 400m and 500m respectively, which each take ten minutes or so at a steady pace. Interpretive signage reveals interesting facts about the bushland. This is a great track for kids to enjoy.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

The Solander Trail
The Solander Trail is an almost 2km circuit that takes visitors past some of the best wildflowers in the garden. It takes about 40 minutes to an hour to complete. 

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

The Brown Trail
The Brown Trail is a short detour off the Solander Trail route that offers a view of Donnelly’s Swamp and access to the Mueller Track.

There is also a short, step-free path that winds through Caley’s Pavilion Gardens and boardwalk over the wetland area.

All of these paths are adjacent to accessible picnic areas and toilets.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Short adventure tracks
Banks Track
The Banks Track is 200m in length and takes about 5 minutes.

Smith Track
Smith’s Track is 400m in length and takes 10-15 minutes.

Bentham Track
The Bentham Track is 400m long and takes about 10 minutes.

Caley Track
Caley Track is 200m long and takes about 5 minutes.

Wilderness path
Mueller Track
A strenuous walk of 4km in length.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

I really enjoyed looking around the  Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Nursery, located inside the Visitors Centre. The nursery specialises in local indigenous plants. It also stocks a variety of native plants suitable for planting in Sydney gardens.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Garden runs programs for kids throughout the year. You can see what’s coming up online.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, 
420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives (entry off Richmond Avenue).
kmc.nsw.gov.au

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

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Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden