Adventure, baby!

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Top Tips For Visiting The Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The Maui Ocean Center is an aquarium and oceanography center located on the island of Maui, Hawaii, and is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere.

The Maui Ocean Center mission is to foster understanding, wonder, and respect for Hawaii’s marine life with local residents and visitors from around the world. The center is home to many of Hawaii’s unique marine life, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

Take the behind the scenes tour

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The one-hour guided tour takes you into the Aquarium Lab to learn about sharks and turtles and how the centre cares for marine life. We touched coral, jelly fish and learned about how the centre will be evolving in the future to become a turtle rescue facility. The highlights were assisting in turtle feedings both behind the scenes and at Turtle Lagoon in the aquarium, plus feeding the fish at Nursery Bay.

Appropriate for ages 5 and up. Space is limited to 12 guests, advance reservations recommended.https://mauioceancenter.com/product/behind-the-scenes-tour/

Meet the barracuda

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

This fish who loves shiny things can be found in Nursery Bay. He really does love shiny objects and loves to stalk visitors observing him.

Visit the Turtle Lagoon

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Our favourite part of the aquarium! This is the spot to meet Hawaiian green sea turtles, with a top and underwater view. Native to Hawaii, the green sea turtle is the largest hard-shelled sea turtle in the world. Up to six sea turtles on display at all times. The centre is part of a breeding program and receives turtles as babies to grow in the aquarium until they are old enough and big enough to be released into the wild.

Learn about Hawaiians and the sea

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

We really enjoyed this educational area. The “Hawaiians and the Sea” exhibit celebrates the culture and traditions of early Hawaiians and teaches visitors about the history, culture, and unique traditions of the early Hawaiian villages.

Immerse yourself under water

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

We were mesmerised by the “Open Ocean” exhibit, a 750,000-gallon exhibit with 240-degree view acrylic tunnel. The exhibit features up to six species of sharks, numerous stingrays, and hundreds of fish.

Go into the reef

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The “Living Reef” exhibit is home to one of the world’s largest display of live rare and endemic Pacific corals, with over 40 Hawaiian coral species that range from the shallow to deep reef environments.

Get educated about Kaho‘olawe

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The smallest of the Hawaiian islands, Kaho‘olawe is a sacred place to Native Hawaiians. The  “Kaho‘olawe: A Story of History and Healing” exhibit gives insight into the island’s history, its role in navigation and the marine life that inhabit its waters.

Encounter Humpback whales

An immersive new exhibit, “Humpbacks of Hawaii Exhibit & Sphere: An underwater encounter” takes visitors under the sea to explore the their world, learn their secrets, and discover the dynamic life, journeys and social bonds of these intelligent and spiritual creatures.

Collect a Kids Passport

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

The free passport was a lot of fun! It takes families on a scavenger hunt around the aquarium to find the various Hawaiian symbols and rub them into passport. Upon completion kids can collect a small prize, but honestly the collection of the symbols and learning what each meant was so much fun the prize wasn’t necessary.

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii
192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku
Hours: Daily, 9am-5pm
mauioceancenter.com
Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii

We were hosted at the Maui Ocean Centre. All opinions are my own.

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

When visiting Hawaii, the Polynesian Cultural Center, located on the northern shore of Oahu, is a must-see to fully experience the cultural diversity of the Pacific Island community.

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum, featuring six Pacific Island villages, exhibits and activities. The PCC offers an authentic luau dining experience and award-winning evening show “Hā: Breath of Life”, making it an all-day educational and entertaining experience that is perfectly suited for the entire family.

Set on 42 acres, tThe six island villages representing the unique island cultures of Hawaii, Fiji, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga, tied together by a vibrant daily Canoe Pageant.

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center

Arrive early and visit the Hukilau Marketplace 

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The Hukilau Marketplace is located outside the PCC and is packed with food stalls and souvenir stands. It opens at 11am and is free to enter – and the parking is free, too. Inside the PCC the food options are snack stands or the luaus, so if you need proper food and aren’t doing a luau or want lunch, the Hukilau Marketplace is your best bet.

Hit up the Polynesian Cultural Center when it opens

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultual Center Oahu Hawaii

The PCC opens at 12pm but most people arrive a few hours later, which makes it hard to fit in all the activities. Arriving at 12pm not only means that you have enough time to experience everything, but also that the first few hours are free of crowds.

Grab a Passport to Polynesia for kids

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

A great way to engage kids, the free Passport to Polynesia is a guidebook to the PCC aimed at little ones.

Look at the schedule – and don’t freak out

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

If you’re a planner and organiser like me, looking at the very detailed schedule of events at the PCC is likely to cause a panic attack. Take a few deep breaths and head around the villages in some kind of order, knowing you will see a lot but not everything, and be ok with that.

Each village alternates a show with activities. We found that you can participate in the activities after the shows, so timed our visits to each village in time to see the shows and then do a quick activity or two before heading to the next. The villages are open from 12-5:30pm.

Go native!

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The real fun at the PCC is trying your hand at traditional activities such as throwing a spear or learn to cook in an umu (Samoan aboveground oven).

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

We particularly loved learning the Tahitian dance, twirling poi balls and sampling the incredible Tahitian coconut bread. It was so good we went back twice. The “Go Native” experiences let guests try traditional Polynesian aspects of daily life, including games, crafts, cooking and ceremonies.

Take a canoe ride

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The canoe ride is included in entry and goes from one end of the PCC to the other. You can also paddle your own canoe at the Tongan village. Canoe rides are available from 12-5:30pm.

Watch the spectacular canoe pageant

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The canoe pageant, which runs daily from 2:30-3pm was a highlight for us. The show is filled with dancing and storytelling, with the cast in incredible traditional dress. We were absolutely wow’d. Note: go to the platform seating area at least 15/20mins ahead of the pageant as otherwise you could struggle to find a seat.

Talk to the performers

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

We highly enjoyed chatting with all of the amazing people who staff the PCC island villages. Many are students from the islands who are studying at the university next door and perform at the PCC as part of an exchange program.

Be prepared for the weather

It can be hot, cold or raining, and the show will go on. Bring a hat, plenty of water and sunscreen and a poncho/umbrella if it looks even slightly like rain.

Witness a wedding

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Another highlight for us was watching the traditional Tahitian wedding ceremony that is on during the afternoons.

Enjoy a traditional luau

There are three luaus to choose from. The Ali’i Luau features traditional Polynesian food and entertainment. Other options include the Prime Rib Buffet, with fine dining in a casual atmosphere, and the Island Buffet, which is served in a dining hall reflecting the islands of the Pacific.

End your day with a bang

The PCC day finishes with the spectacular live show “Ha: Breath of Life”, featuring over 100 performers and Samoan fireknife dancing.

“HA:Breath of Life” Show runs from 7:30pm-9pm, with seating commencing at 7pm. All seats are reserved and advance reservations are highly recommended as this is a very popular show.

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The Polynesian Cultural Center
Hours: Monday – Saturday (closed Sunday), 11:45am -9:30pm.
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie
polynesia.com

Looking for more things to do on Oahu? This list of free activities and attractions will help.

We were hosted at the PCC. All opinions are our own.

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Fitzroy Falls Morton National Park NSW

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

The spectacular Fitzroy Falls is located inside the Morton National Park, in the Southern Highlands of NSW, a two hour drive from Sydney or Canberra and 60mins from Wollongong. The 81-metre waterfall is easy to access and makes for a stunning day trip.

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls are viewable from several lookout points, the first of which is only a short walk from the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre and is full accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Continue along the West Rim track to see the falls from more lookout locations. Continue the walk to the Twin Falls for another beautiful waterfall.

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

The entire West Rim track is 3.5km return, however the Twin Falls are located around halfway along this walk.

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

The Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre has information on local history, wildlife and birdwatching plus a basic cafe with a kids’ play area and picnic tables and bathrooms outside.

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

During spring, the East Rim Wildflower walking track offers beautiful blooms.

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

There is plenty of wildlife to discover along the way. We came across a giant termite mound not far past the first lookout and a lyrebird in full song.

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

The bush blooms even in summer are beautiful to discover.

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Opening times
9am to 5pm daily. Closed on Christmas Day. Opening times can vary depending on the season.

Accessibility
Disability access level – easy
This area is fully wheelchair-accessible
Toilets, elevated walkway to main lookout, visitor centre and cafe are wheelchair-accessible.
A wheelchair is available on request

Parking
Parking is available at Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre, including several designated disabled spots. Bus parking is available. A daily motor vehicle entry fee applies at the visitor centre carpark. There are coin-operated ‘pay and display’ machines – bring correct change!

Get more info about Morton National Park here.

Get Directions

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney Chocolate High Tea

Chocolate High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney Chocolate High Tea

Dive into a Willy Wonka-esque world of whimsical chocolate delights with a chocolate high tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney.

The new chocolate high tea menu was created by pastry chef Noa Nisell-Hauser, who designed the menu to be enjoyed by both little kids and kids at heart.

Inspired by Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, the high tea brings the excitement of treats made out of candy and chocolate to life.

Chocolate High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Chocolate High Tea Menu

Chocolate High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Savoury items

Salmon and dill cream sandwich *
Cucumber and cream cheese sandwich
Mushroom quiche
Chicken curry puff *

(A pumpkin curry puff and vegetable sandwich were substituted in the vegetarian version)

Chocolate High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Sweet treats

Chocolate mud cake
Oreo macaron
Caramel popping candy tart
Chocolate mousse
Passionfruit lollypop

Chocolate High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Scones

Chocolate chip scones and cacao cream and jam

Children’s Chocolate High Tea Menu
(kids under 10 years of age)

Chocolate High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Savoury

Sausage roll
Mini beef pie
Peanut butter sandwich
Nutella sandwich

Chocolate High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Sweet treats

Oreo macaron
Caramel popping candy tart
Chocolate mousse
Passionfruit lollypop

Chocolate High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Scones

Chocolate chip scones and cacao cream and jam

Chocolate High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Each high tea comes with a choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. There is an extensive tea menu to select from with black, white and green teas available.

The savoury items are the perfect bite-sizes of nourishing food to ensure there isn’t a sugar-overload from the next two tiers of chocolatey goodness.

We found the chocolate chip scones to be a welcome addition to the scone menu and a nice differentiation from the standard plain scones that are usually served with traditional high teas. We also enjoyed the lightly flavoured cacao cream accompanying them.

The sweets platter was a delight to the senses, both visual and taste! Such beautiful, creative presentation of the little treats was a delight to behold.

The chocolate mousse was my favourite from the dessert selection, as it was light and fluffy and not too sweet. The passionfruit lollypops were a deliciously refreshing way to finish the meal.

Chocolate High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Chocolate High Tea is available for $49 per person, or $125 for families of 2 adults and 2 kids under the age of 10.

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

Get Directions

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

TreeTops Adventure Park Sydney – The Hills

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

TreeTops Sydney – The Hills

Climb, weave and fly through the tree tops on self-guided rope courses and elevated obstacles at TreeTop Adventure Park. Put yourself to the test at TreeTops with over 100 challenges suspended in the air, including rope ladders, wobbly bridges, tunnels, cargo-nets and zip lines.

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

There are five Tree Top Adventure Park locations: Western Sydney, The Hills, Newcastle, Central Coast and Coffs Harbour. Each location is different but shares the same basic principles.

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

We have previously visited the TreeTop Adventure Park in Western Sydney – you can read about it here.

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

Children’s courses
While all TreeTop Adventure Parks have similar difficulty levels the average height of the challenges at TreeTops Sydney – The Hills is 10m, and supervising adults must stay on the perimeter path rather than there being paths underneath the courses allowing on-ground adult supervisors to be close as there is at other TreeTops parks. These two factors makes the TreeTops Sydney – The Hills slightly more challenging for younger or less confident kids.

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

There are four children’s courses: White, Yellow, Orange and Purple.

  • Children MUST be 3 years and older.
  • Children’s courses designed for children 3-9 years old.
  • 2 hour session including approx. 30 minutes ‘gearing’ time and training; and approx. 1.5 hours climbing time.
  • Children can complete the courses as many times as they like within their session.
  • At least one adult is required to supervise the children at all times from the ground (no fee. Adult supervisors are responsible for ensuring children in their care follow the safety rules and are behaving appropriately.
  • Adults can NOT climb on the children’s courses.
  • The children are also supervised by instructors.
  • All parks have similar difficulty levels, determined by each individual climber.
  • Sydney – The Hills could be slightly more challenging for younger or less confident children and a fantastic challenge for older or more confident children. Average height is 10 metres.
  • Central Coast, Newcastle, Western Sydney and Coffs Harbour parks have paths underneath the courses allowing on-ground adult supervisors to be close. Sydney – The Hills supervising adults remain on the perimeter path.

Adult/junior courses
As with the kids courses, Sydney – The Hills adult/junior courses are slightly higher than other TreeTops parks, with the maximum height of some challenges being around 25 metres.

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

There are four adult-junior courses: Green, Blue, Red and Black.

  • Participants MUST be 10 years and older, at least 1.4m tall and under 120kg.
  • One adult MUST accompany juniors 10-15 years old on the courses. One adult can supervise up to four juniors.Adult supervisors are responsible for ensuring juniors in their care follow the safety rules and are behaving appropriately.
  • It is recommended courses are completed in order as instructed as they get progressively harder and higher. Courses can be completed once only per day (cannot be repeated).
  • Participants MUST be over 16 years old to climb the black course.
  • There are NO exceptions to age, size or weight. Check our booking Terms and Conditions.
  • Participants MUST complete a safety training session prior to starting the courses. Sessions are led by qualified instructors and start at the booked time. Total time required to complete the safety training session and courses varies and is approximately 2.5-3.5 hours.
  • All parks have similar difficulty levels, determined by each individual climber.
  • Sydney – The Hills could be slightly more challenging for younger or less confident climbers and a fantastic challenge for older or more confident climbers. Highest point is 25 metres.

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

What you need to know before you go

Book your session online well in advance. The courses are popular and book out fast particularly during school holidays.

Arrive early – 30 minutes for TreeTops The Hills. The car park is a short walk from the main office where you must check in and sign a waiver, and a long walk from the actual courses.

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

Participants must wear fully enclosed shoes (sporting shoes are recommended); no exposed skin from the ankle down (skin must be covered by shoes not socks).

The course sessions have time limits and participants can do the courses as many times they like during that period. Kids have two hours including briefing and equipment preparation which takes about 30 minutes. Adult/junior course has three hours.

Gloves are available to purchase at the office for $5 for kids. We didn’t feel like they were needed and bare hands were fine.

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

Bring lots of water as it’s thirsty work.

The bathroom is located near the main office so go before you walk to the start of the courses as it’s a long way back again.

I would suggest leggings or long shorts/track pants to be worn as we had some banged knee incidences.

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

Tie back long hair and remove jewellery.

Bring sunscreen and insect repellent.

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

TreeTops is open in all weather conditions (except lightning and extreme high winds). Bring a rain jacket or poncho if it looks like rain on your scheduled day.

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

There are no lockers available for valuables.

No items can be taken on the course including phones and cameras. Adults climbing should leave their keys at the TreeTops office. Once you are in your safety harness absolutely nothing is allowed in your pockets or hands, this includes jewellery, phones, wallets, keys and cameras.

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

Treetops Sydney - The Hills, Sydney Australia

Facilities on site
Toilet facilities, ample picnic / lunch areas, free, unlimited onsite parking, BBQ facilities. No food sold on site, however there is Cafe Saligna inside the forest area.

TreeTops Sydney – The Hills
Cumberland State Forest, 95 Castle Hill Rd, West Pennant Hills
treetops.com.au
Get Directions

 

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

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

The Best Things To Do In The Sydney CBD With Kids

The Best Things To Do In The Centre Of Sydney With Kids

The Best Things To Do In The Sydney CBD With Kids

Heading to Sydney for a few days and want to entertain the kids without leaving the CBD? We’ve got you covered! There are so many fun ways to enjoy the beautiful harbour city all within the centre of Sydney.

The Rocks

The Rocks, Sydney, Australia
Visit the place of the first European settlement in Australia, as well as the traditional home of the Gadigal Aboriginal people in the Rocks. Wander the cobblestone streets, enjoy panoramic views of Sydney Harbour including the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge and take a look at a few of the heritage sites and buildings in the area.

There are over 100 historic sites and buildings, the oldest house being Cadman’s Cottage, built in 1816.  Drop by the Rocks Discovery Museum, a free museum located inside a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse with an interactive kids corner upstairs, or grab one of the best scones in Sydney at The Tea Cosy (their kids’ Devonshire tea is adorable and delicious). A visit to the Rocks is one of our favourite things to do in Sydney with kids.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour

The world’s tallest steel arch bridge connects the northern suburbs of Sydney with the CBD. Take a stroll over the Sydney Harbour Bridge – the two access points to the pedestrian walkway are up Cumberland Street in The Rocks in the CBD and near Milsons Point train station in the north. If you and the kids are feeling energetic, climb 200 stairs to the Pylon Lookout for stunning views (admission fees apply).

Observatory Hill Park and the Sydney Observatory

Observatory Hill, Sydney, Australia
Located in The Rocks, the hill is is a gorgeous spot for a picnic with a view, as well as being home to the Sydney Observatory, a heritage-listed museum and public observatory. Sydney Observatory runs and family tours and activities throughout the year which are perfect for mini star gazers.

Image credit: Destination NSW

State Library of NSW

State Library of NSW Australia

It’s free to wander into Australia’s oldest library (it was established in1826) and check out their exhibitions which include, at time of print, the touring May Gibbs: Celebrating 100 Years exhibit. The library also runs free activities for kids during school term for under 5s and school holidays for older children. Check out their calendar to see what’s on when you visit.

Powerhouse Museum

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

Located in the old Ultimo Power Station building adjacent to Darling Harbour, the Powerhouse Museum is the flagship branch of the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences ((MAAS) in Sydney.

Powerhouse Museum Sydney

The museum’s collection encompasses science, technology, design and decorative arts, engineering, architecture, health and medicine, fashion and contemporary culture.

Locomotive No. 1, the first steam locomotive to haul a passenger train in New South Wales, is a popular drawcard just inside the museum’s entrance, as is the ever-popular interactive Wiggles Exhibition.

#Wiggles #Exhibition at the #PowerhouseMuseum #Sydney #australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Throughout the year the Powerhouse Museum hosts temporary exhibitions plus a wide range of kid-focussed activities and workshops with a strong focus on science and coding, particularly during the school holidays. The focus on science and technology in a very family-friendly environment makes the Powerhouse Museum a top choice for things to do with kids in Sydney. Check out their calendar for upcoming events.

Get info on visiting the Wiggles Exhibition here.

Museum of Sydney

Museum of Sydney, Australia


Located on the site of the first Government House of NSW, the Museum of Sydney tells the story of Sydney’s history and its people.

Museum of Sydney, Australia

The Museum of Sydney offers family-friendly exhibitions and programs year-round (check what’s on here) and kids eat free with each adult meal purchased at the downstairs restaurant, The Governors Kitchen.

Get more info on the Museum of Sydney here.

Justice and Police Museum

Justice & Police Museum, Sydney Australia

Housed inside the sandstone buildings that contained the original Water Police Court (1856), Water Police Station (1858) and the Police Court (1885), the Justice and Police Museum features 1890s holding cells, offices, charge room and courts, forensic evidence, historic weapons and forensic photography.

The Justice and Police Museum runs family-friendly programs throughout the year for kids to learn about the law, hear true life tales and take park in mock trials. Get info on events here.

Find out more about visiting the Justice and Police Museum here.

Image credit: Police Station Charge Room, Justice & Police Museum

Hyde Park Barracks Museum

Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney Australia

This UNESCO world heritage site was built in 1819 at the top of Macquarie Street to house convict men and boys. Among with 10 other sites in Australia, Hyde Park Barracks represents “the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts”. Tens of thousands of people passed through the barracks, during the world’s largest and longest-running transportation of convicts.

Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney Australia

The Hyde Park Barracks runs family-friendly programs year-round to engage children in its history such as their “Convict Escapades” event, where kids can experience life as a convict. Get info on upcoming events here.

Find out more about visiting the Hyde Park Barracks Museum here.

Image credit: Hyde Park Barracks

Australian Museum

Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia
When it opened in 1897, The Australian Museum became the first museum in Australia, with an international reputation in the fields of natural history and anthropology. The museum’s dinosaur exhibition, containing 10 complete dinosaur skeletons and eight life-sized models is very popular with kids.

Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia

The dedicated Kidspace area is a hit with littles aged five and under (as well as the slightly bigger kids who still like to sneak in!) while older kids will love the Search & Discover research centre.

The Australian Museum also runs family-focussed programs year round for kids aged 9 months and up. School aged kids always have a large range of science-based activities to choose from during the school holidays.

Read more about visiting the Australian Museum here

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the Domain

Roytal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia

The gardens and Domain are gorgeous all year round. Wrapped around Farm Cove just south of the Sydney Opera House, the gardens, which were established in 1816, occupy one of Sydney’s most spectacular waterfront positions. A relaxing day exploring the gardens is one of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

The Royal Botanic Gardens runs plenty of family and kids’ programs all year ’round (check their calendar for upcoming events) but we have the most fun practicing cartwheels on the shady lawns, watching eels in the pond and climbing rocks and trees.

The Art Gallery of NSW

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia

Stroll through five levels of masterpieces including an extensive collection of Aboriginal art, European masters, Asian art and visiting exhibitions. The general galleries at the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) are all free to enter.

The Art Gallery of NSW for Families via christineknight.me

Children can use online booklets to explore artworks or download free audio tours that have been created just for kids. The AGNSW frequently runs free activities for kids on Sundays and school holidays. As you’ve probably noticed, this is a great place to visit if you’re on a budget! The AGNSW is full of free things to do in Sydney with kids, making it one of our most-visited spots year-round.

Get info on visiting the AGNSW with kids here.

Museum of Contemporary Art

MCA Cafe via christineknight.me

Wander through galleries of exciting modern art from leading Australian and international artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). Grab a coffee at the rooftop cafe and sculpture terrace and enjoy the stunning harbour view. How lucky are Sydney kids to enjoy this view every day?

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney via christineknight.me

The MCA runs lots of free and small donation activities for kids throughout the year too, from their monthly Sunday Family Fun Days to a drop in activity room and school holiday crafts.

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is a performance venue on Bennelong Point, well-known for its distinctive series of “shells” covering the roof. The Sydney Opera House opened in 1973 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

The Sydney Opera House offers a great program of shows for Sydney kids of all ages (check their calendar beforehand) and it’s usually possible to get last-minute tickets.

Sydney Opera House Day pack via christineknight.me

The Junior Adventure Tour also takes kids behind the scenes on a family-friendly tour of the Sydney Opera House. If there aren’t any shows on, it’s still fun to walk around the outside, including up the famous steps, and inside the box office area to take a peek. A visit to the Opera House is a must when visiting Sydney with kids!

Get more info on the Junior Adventure Tour.

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Cockatoo Island and step back in time at one Australia’s World Heritage-listed convict sites. Bring a picnic lunch and scooters for the kids, who will also enjoy the free Convict Clues Challenge.

Get more info on a day at Cockatoo Island.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park, Sydney, Australia

Australia’s oldest park is located in the centre of Sydney’s CBD. Divided by the major traffic artery Park Street, in the northern section you’ll find the Archibald Fountain and various themed gardens, while the southern section is home to the ANZAC Memorial building and visitor centre and the pool of reflection. Hyde Park is the perfect spot for a picnic or just a rest under one of the many large fig trees that give the park shade.

Barangaroo

Barangaroo Sydney via christineknight.me

Sydney’s newest harbour precinct is the result of a transformation from a disused container terminal into a stunning 22-hectare waterfront destination. Pack a picnic lunch and sit on the hill facing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or unleash the child within and roll all the way down to the bottom. Kids will adore climbing the large rocks around the waters edge or scooting up and down the wide path. Check the Barangaroo calendar for upcoming events.

Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney Tower Eye, Australia

Sydney’s tallest structure and the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere is also a great spot to take kids. The Sydney Tower Eye – which you might hear locals call Centrepoint Tower, AMP Tower, Westfield Centrepoint Tower or Sydney Skytower rises 309m in the sky, giving visitors a birds-eye view over Sydney. Little ones will enjoy peering out of of the telescopes on the enclosed Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck while older visitors can step outside as part of the SKYWALK experience (an additional cost). Get more info here.

Darling Harbour and Pyrmont

Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

A recreational precinct in Sydney where you’ll find waterfront restaurants, wildlife, tall ships, one of the best playgrounds in Sydney and plenty more to entertain the kids in this one neighbourhood. During school holidays there are usually plenty of free activities for kids, too. Check their calendar for upcoming events.

Image credit: Destination NSW

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum
The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) is Australia’s national centre for maritime collections, exhibitions, research and archaeology. Grab a free ticket from the front desk for admission into the permanent indoor galleries and under 5s play area “Mini Mariners”.
 
Australian National Maritime Museum
 

For entry into our fave spot, the “Kids on Deck” craft area, visiting exhibitions and the ships, a paid ticket is required. The ANMM runs lots of programs for kids  all year round including live shows, “Mini Mariners” for kids aged 2-5 and the cabinet of curiosity that contains all kinds of wonders for kids to touch, like the tooth of a blue whale. Check their calendar for upcoming events and look out for when Bailey, the museum dog, is scheduled to make an appearance.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Australia

Get up close to a more than 700 species of Australian aquatic life in 12 themed zones at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. An impressive 13,000 animals live in the aquarium in six million litres of water, including dugongs, rays, tropical reef fish and sharks. A popular exhibit is Penguin Expedition, allowing guests to sail past a colony of King and Gentoo Penguins on a boat ride. The SEA LIFE aquarium is top kids attraction in Sydney and can get busy on public holidays and school holidays.

Get more info on Penguin Expedition and on SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

Image credit: Sydney Aquarium

Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

Meet iconic Australian animals at Wild Life Sydney Zoo. This small zoo is the perfect size to take young kids, and is easy to navigate with a wide, flat path, perfect for strollers. Get up close to the Cassowary, echidna, sugar gliders, koalas and kangaroos, plus a giant croc!

Get more info on Wild Life Sydney Zoo.

Madam Tussauds Sydney

Madame Tussauds, Sydney, Australia

A wax museum where visitors can take a selfie with Barak Obama in the oval office, or shake it off with Taylor Swift. Aussie legends like Steve Irwin and Ned Kelly are also photo-ready.

Madam Tussads Sydney

The Justice League exhibition is especially fun, an immersive and interactive experience to make you feel like you’re in the movies with your favourite stars.

Get more info on visiting Madame Tussauds Sydney here.

Image courtesy of Madame Tussauds.

Chinese Garden of Friendship

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

A calming place to let kids wander past waterfalls and exotic plants, through pavilions and up hidden pathways. Count the koi carp swimming in the lakes, try Chinese tea in the teahouse and dress up in traditional Chinese costumes* at the Chinese Garden of Friendship.
* For an additional fee

Get more tips on a day at the Chinese Garden of Friendship here

Darling Quarter Playground

A Day In The Darling Quarter #darlingharbour #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

The most centrally-located Sydney playground features a 21-metre flying fox, water play area with pumps and buckets and plenty of slides, climbing structures and swings. It’s a must for kids visiting the city.

Get more info on the Darling Quarter Playground.

Yum Cha at Fisherman’s Seafood Restaurant, Pyrmont

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Take your pick from carts brimming with dim dum, dumplings, noodles and spring rolls. Yum cha is one of the most kid-friendly dining experiences you can have, and the Fisherman’s Seafood Restaurant is the place to try it.

Get more info on Yum Cha at Fisherman’s Seafood Restaurant, Pyrmont here.

Pirrama Park Playground Pyrmont

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me
This beautiful playground in Pyrmont has shiny, well-designed equipment, a water play area, sand pit with shade cloth, new, well-maintained bathrooms (including baby change facilities) and a cafe with shaded seating. Street parking is available. Pirrama Park features grasslands, wide avenues for scooting and entry into the harbour for swimming.

Get more info on Pirrama Park Playground here.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park, Camperdown

A 9 hectare green space connecting to Sydney University, Victoria Park features a beautiful lake, playground for kids of all ages and plenty of shady trees, right in the middle of the city.

Get more info on Victoria Park here.

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

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

The Best Things To Do In The Centre Of Sydney With Kids

Fairfield Adventure Park Playground in Western Sydney

Fairfield Adventure Playground, Sydney Australia

Fairfield Adventure Park Playground in Western Sydney

The Fairfield Adventure Playground has been on our list to check out for quite a while. It’s a gem of a spot in South-West Sydney and worth a drive out to if you’re not a local.

Especially designed to provide a play space for kids of a variety of ages, the Fairfield Adventure Playground brings the “wow” factor in spades. The park opened in 2015 after a $1.4 million council investment. With the star attractions designed specifically for teens, this is a unique playground that provides a much-needed recreational space for older kids.

The park is divided into three sections, aimed at three different age groups.

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

For tweens/teens:

Next to the car park and across from the Fairfield Leisure Centre is the main equipment area, designed for older kids. It features an 11 metre high giant climbing net, sky bridge and three-slide combination, one of the tallest of its kind in Australia. The three long tube slides are terrifyingly tall. There is also a 33-metre-long double flying fox, a small trampoline swings, a balancing rope, a sandpit and two spinning wheels.

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

The sand at the bottom of the climbing structure is ideal for younger kids to enjoy playing with if their older siblings are in the mighty silver climbing frame, so bring a bucket and spade.

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

For primary-aged kids:

Behind the main play area there is a beautifully-designed nature playground that is perfect for primary school kids. Made with a mix of industrial pieces like tyres and metal, with lots of natural wood, it was inspired by nature and designed to help kids keep active and fit. It features suspended bridges and platforms, a double flying fox and climbing frames.

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

For littlies:

Between the nature-play area and teens zone, there is an area that suits littlies too, with a climbing frame and slippery dip and a cone-shaped merry-go-round contraption. With all of the trees and sand around the park there is plenty to occupy the little kids here.

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Facilities: bathrooms (including a disabled toilet), sheltered picnic areas, bbqs, sporting grounds and a fitness circuit.

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

The park is not enclosed so keep a close eye on littlies. There is not much shade in the main teen area, however the nature playground has plenty of trees.

Getting to Fairfield Adventure Playground 

Fairfield Adventure Playground is a 10 minute walk from Fairfield Railway Station, which is on the Sydney Trains T2 Inner West & South and T5 Cumberland lines. The station is both wheelchair and stroller accessible. There is a bus stop nearby and plenty of free all-day parking available.

Fairfield Adventure Park
Vine Street, Fairfield
Get directions

Fairfield Council

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

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

What To Expect When Staying At Aulani A Disney Resort And Spa, Hawaii

What To Expect When Staying At Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa Oahu Hawaii

What To Expect When Staying At Aulani A Disney Resort And Spa, Hawaii

We visited Aulani back in June 2016 and have wanted to return ever since because we loved our holiday so much. You can read the full hotel review from our previous visit here. This time I thought I would do a diary-style write-up to give an idea of what life is like when staying at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.

We booked our stay using Disney Vacation Club point rentals. You can read more about the DVC point rental system here

Day one: Arrival

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We fly in late in the afternoon, pick up our car rental and drive to Target at Kapolei Commons for groceries, then head to Aulani, arriving around 5pm.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

When we check in the staff tell us that there are hundreds of Menehune  – the legendary “little people” responsible for mysterious happenings on the islands – hidden all over the resort, so we start what will be a week-long search for these mischievous creatures and find them absolutely everywhere!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

At check in I inquire about the Disney buttons that we collect from the other Disney resorts. We are in luck and are given buttons for first visit, wedding / anniversary and birthday, plus a special one for Mickey’s 90th birthday.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Our garden-view room is on the 16th floor of the Ewa tower (1671) and features an excellent view of the luau lawn and even some ocean. Inside the room we are given a queen sized bed and a pull-out sofa bed.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The bathroom features a rain shower/tub combo, and we also have a microwave and mini fridge.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We booked our room using Disney Vacation Club (DVC) rental points. Basically this meant we were able to stay at the hotel for a bit cheaper by “renting” points off someone who owned a timeshare through DVC. DVC members get a range of special benefits – however since we were only renting points and now owners of them, we were only able to benefit from the free daily parking. This saved us $37USD a day so it was an excellent benefit. You can read more about the Disney Vacation Club here and David’s Vacation Rentals (where we rented the points from) here.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Pizza Corner

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After unpacking the basics we walk across the road to grab dinner at Pizza Corner at the Ko Olina Center. At $29 the pizzas are not cheap, but they are huge, big enough for two adults and one kid with still some left over.  We also ordered a $10 pasta – penne and marinara sauce, which was also massive.

Kalepa Store

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While Alec take Cheese to the room to get her ready for bed, I head down to the Kalepa Store to pick up a PhotoPass card and waterproof wristbands. While the photographers do also hand these out, I like to be prepared. The store stocks general grocery items plus beach supplies and a wealth of Aulani merchandise.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

I can’t resist buying Cheese one of the new Ulu plushies.

Back at the room we watch the luau from our room before heading to bed.

Day 2: Auntie’s Beach House, Meeting Moana and “Menehune Mischief” Character Dinner 

Auntie’s Beach House

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

First up today we check into Auntie’s Beach House, the Kids’ Club at Aulani. I had registered Cheese in advance online but still needed to fill in some extra info when we arrived, as well as getting our photos taken for identification purposes, choosing a secret password for child collecting and getting Cheese’s Kids’ Club wrist band fitted. The wrist band is water proof so it can stay on the entire time you’re at the resort – return it before you leave to get your security deposit back!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

As it was open house at Auntie’s we went in to take a look around. Auntie’s features two different wings, with dress ups, a movie screening room, arts and crafts tables, a stage and video games. Outside there is a huge yard with a climbing structure and shade cloths.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Auntie’s Beach House is open 8am-9pm daily and is included in your stay – AKA it’s free! Open House is 8am-9:30am daily (no check-ins or drop-offs during this time). Auntie’s is available for drop-offs for kids aged 3 to 12 and all ages during the open house (kids must be accompanied by an adult).

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Pre-register your child at least two days before your arrival here.

Meeting Moana

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After leaving Auntie’s we chanced running into Moana and had a photo taken with her. You can call the hotel character hotline each morning to find out where the characters will be each day and at what time. Some characters come out every day but some only come out every few days.

Swimming in the pools

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next: pools! We collect our wristband that shows we are guests of the hotel (you need to collect a new wristband daily) and head to the Waikolohe Stream. Waikolohe means “mischievous water” in the Hawaiian language, which is the perfect name for this part of the resort. We grab a donut-shaped tube and jump aboard, letting the gentle current of the lazy river carry us through the Waikolohe Valley.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We sail past Menahune, rocks, trees and water features, then head up the top of Pu’u Kilo (the volcano-shaped peak in the middle of the pools) to try the two slides. Volcanic Vertical is a single-rider enclosed slide that is extremely fast and deposits you in the Waikolohe Pool below. We prefer the Tubestone Curl, which is an open-air slide that you take while sitting on a tube and can be ridden solo or with a partner. It ends up in the Waikolohe Stream.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

A note on water temperature: Aulani Resort pools are heated year-round. The Waikolohe Stream is approximately 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit or 27 to 30 degrees Celsius.

Menehune Bridge

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next Cheese wants to head to the 2,100 square feet, Menehune Bridge water play space for kids 48 inches in height or shorter. The Menehune Bridge features two water slides, interactive water elements, spinning gourds and a climbing play structure. There are also lots of Menehune hidden everywhere!

Keiki Cove

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

There is a cute toddler play area nearby, Keiki Cove, which is designed for kids aged 5 and under and open to all ages. It features rainbow water jets and more hidden Menehune.

Kakamora Chaos with Moana

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After swimming we drop Cheese off at Auntie’s for her special activity Kakamora Chaos with MoanaThe 90-minute drop-off activity involves playing traditional Hawaiian children’s games with Moana, who teaches her new friends a game from her home island of Motunui—the Kakamora Relay.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Kids also stamp their own take-home oar and also receive a cute little Kakamora luggage tag. Kakamora Chaos with Moana is a premium activity, available Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 12:30 – 2:00pm and costing $59USD plus tax per child. We make sure Cheese has her PhotoPass wrist band on so later we can receive the photos taken at Auntie’s when we collect the PhotoPass disc at the end of our stay.

Off The Hook

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While Cheese is at Auntie’s, Alec and I enjoy a casual poolside lunch and cocktail at Off The Hook. It’s a basic lunch and we aren’t overly impressed by the food which is soggy and doesn’t taste amazing, but the cocktails are great, so cheers to that!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We take a walk around the resort and check out the beautiful beach and facilities. There is a great lagoon walk that runs from the Aulani resort front down south to the Marriot resort. To the right of Aulani is the Four Seasons and where the trail ends. You can walk over the rocks to Paradise Beach next door where turtles are often see in the ocean and on the beach.

Popcorn and Shave Ice

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

I pick up Cheese from Auntie’s after her activity ends and we pick up a popcorn bucket from Ulu Cafe and a Mickey-shaped shave ice from the Papalua Shave Ice stand.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Menehune Mischief Character Dinner and Show 

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next is dinner and we are booked into the early session of “Menehune Mischief” Character Dinner at Makahiki restaurant. The dinner is a buffet with musical entertainment from “Uncle” and a few Disney Characters. Uncle tells the story of the Menehune – magical little people of Hawaiian legend – with songs and interactive fun for kids, while Disney characters join in and roam around the tables before and afterwards for photos.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The buffet is very meat and seafood heavy with only a few vegetarian options, however the chef very kindly offered to make a few other options for us to eat, which was extremely appreciated.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The food quality was great, especially our custom food. There is a dedicated kids section of the buffet as well as a dessert section. So much food!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Before and after the meal we met Stitch, Chip and Dale. We also met Donald Duck who was stationed at the entrance to the restaurant.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The Menehune Mischief Character Dinner and Show runs Sunday, Monday and Thursday – 2 shows each day. Show times and seatings are:
Show #1 – 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM
1st Seating – 4:30 PM, 4:45 PM, 5:00 PM – No seating from 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM

Show #2 – 7:15 PM – 8:00 PM
2nd Seating – 6:30 PM, 6:45 PM, 7:00 PM – No seating from 7:15 PM to 8:15 PM

Price for Character Show Dining: Adults: $54USD, Keiki (Ages 3 to 9): $27USD.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Day 3: Paint The Sky Spa, Fish Are Friends, North Shore Drive and KA WA‘A Lū‘au

Paint The Sky Spa

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The day began with a special “makeover” for Cheese. We took her to Painted Sky, the spa facility, to enjoy a HI Style fashion transformation. The “transformation” or “makeover” is suitable for girls and boys aged 3-12 and includes hair styling, clothes and accessories.  There are several options to choose from, with Cheese selecting the Luau Bound option as we were heading to the Luau that evening.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After choosing and changing into her outfit, Cheese selected her hairdo and was seated in the luxe chairs for a fancy new ‘do and a bit of kid-friendly “make-up”. The whole experience took about an hour, and she was thrilled with her new look.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Luau Bound!
Girls
Prices starting at $160 (plus sales and service tax)

Hairstyling
Organic Shimmer Makeup
Aulani Dress
Plumeria Color Changing Necklace
Plumeria Color Changing Bracelet
Aulani Resort Flower Clip Set

Fish Are Friends

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Once the “transformation” is complete, I drop Cheese off at Auntie’s again for the Fish Are Friends premium activity. During the activity Cheese learns about the colourful fish of Hawaii including how the animal specialists train, feed and care for the marine life at Aulani Resort. The highlight for the kids is preparing fish food and feed it to the fish. During the three-hour activity, kids are fed lunch. Since Cheese is a pescatarian I enquire about the meals and was thrilled that they not only made sure to cater for her, but that the chef also gave me a call to make sure we were happy with the food they would be serving her. Really thoughtful.

All the kids took home a “Fish Are Friends” logo cinch bag with a DVD of Disneynature Oceans and a water bottle.

Fish are Friends is available Monday and Friday and runs from 11:00am – 2:00pm. Cost: $69 plus tax per child, lunch included.

North Shore Drive

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While Cheese was at Auntie’s, Alec and I went for a drive up the North Shore for lunch. It’s a long way to get there, about an hour to an hour and a half in each direction, so it was a long drive for a quick lunch, but also nice to spend some time together. We stopped in Haleiwa for delicious acai bowls at Hale’iwa Bowls and checked out Waimea Bay before driving back to the resort.

KA WA‘A – A Lū‘au

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After picking up Cheese from Auntie’s it was time to head to the KA WA‘A Lū‘au. We selected the VIP Package from the options as we wanted a table that was closer to the front. The whole VIP area was sold out on the night we attended and consisted of the front four rows, so I was glad that we had selected this option.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The KA WA‘A Lū‘au is a beautiful evening of storytelling and singing, with Hawaiian stories brought to life on stage. Held on the Hālāwai Lawn, the festivities begin at 5pm with seating and pre-show activities.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Tables are assigned however not the seats at the individual tables, so I advise lining up earlier to get the best seats possible at your table. We lined up at 4:40pm and were second to our table, which meant while we had a decent view, there were still heads right in front of us we had to dodge around to see.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

As VIP we receive an “upgraded lei” which was really quite fancy and we are really happy to be taking them home. We also receive unlimited alcoholic drinks as part of our package and enjoy an evening full of cocktails.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The pre-show activities include traditional arts such as kapa printing, flower arranging, temporary kakau tattoos, ukulele playing and paʻi ai taro pounding. The activities are really fun and we do some of them twice before the luau introduction and welcome begins.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The buffet opens before the show, and we enjoy a wide variety of food. It’s also very meat heavy as you would expect, but there are still plenty of things for vegetarians to eat among the tables filled with seafood, salads and the carving station, plus the chef very kindly makes me a special pasta dish incase I couldn’t find enough to eat at the buffet. There is a special table just for kids with things like mac and cheese and Moana cupcakes, and an entire dessert table with cakes and fruit.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The show is fantastic. Beautifully told stories accompanied by talented dancers and singers. Some numbers are breathtakingly beautiful and the fire dancing leaves us in awe. There are several interactive moments for the kids, including a section where they learn the hula and at the end where they are invited to play instruments up on stage with the cast. Afterwards we have the opportunity to take photos with the wonderful cast on the way out.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

VIP Seating – $169 Adults/$109 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.*
General Admission – $129 Adults/$79 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.**

Beginning May 1, 2019, the seating package prices are changed to the following:

VIP Seating – $179 Adults/$109 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.
General Admission – $139 Adults/$89 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.

VIP Guests receive early check-in, priority up-front seating, complimentary beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and an enhanced welcome lei.

Day 4: Swimming pools, Ukulele playing and the Ko Olina Center

After a morning walk, I line up at the Pau Hana Room to sign up for ukulele class.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After collecting the sleepyheads, we start the day off with swimming in the Ka Maka Grotto, which is stunning infinity pool overlooking Ko Olina Beach and an incredibly cool grotto attached, which has a whirlpool spa.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Then it’s off to Cheese’s fave, the  Waikolohe Stream, where we float around in tubes until it’s time for lunch.

Island Vintage Coffee

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Today we head across the road to the Ko Olina Center for bagels at Island Vintage Coffee. I get a vegetarian one that is overflowing with sprouts, tomato and avocado. They have great options for kids and also fantastic iced tea.

Two Scoops Ice Cream Parlour

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Since it’s hot we stop at the Two Scoops Ice Cream parlour next door before heading back to the resort.

Ho‘okani Pila – Learn the ‘Ukulele

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

In the afternoon we head to ‘ukulele class and learn the history of several Hawaiian instruments as well as the basic four chords on the ‘ukulele. By the end of the class we are able to play several popular songs, much to my amazement. We decide to buy our own ‘ukulele to take home after the class, we love it so much.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The 45 minute class is free and books up fast. I suggest lining up at 8am to book it in.

Menehune Adventure Trail

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next we sign out a tablet for the Menehune Adventure Trail at the Pau Hana community center, a free high-tech scavenger hunt around the resort. There are two trails, one short one in the lobby and one longer one outside in the resort grounds. Using the tablet we solve riddles, discover magic and have a really great time. The Menehune Adventure Trail is only available at certain times of day – ask at the community center for the updated hours. The scavenger hunt is best suited to older kids due to the difficulty of the clues, but younger kids can also enjoy it with the help of their parents.

Monkeypod Kitchen

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

For dinner we head back across to the Ko Olina Center to our fave restaurant in the area, Monkeypod Kitchen. The food is always excellent and they have options for kids as well as vegetarians (not a lot, but at least some!). We always dine here when we come to Oahu.

Day 5: Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki, animation class

Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After signing up for animation class at the Pua Hana community center, it’s time for
Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki, AKA the character breakfast. Mickey awaits outside for a photo op, while inside awaits a buffet breakfast, roaming Disney characters, singing and entertainment.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The buffet breakfast includes a custom omelette station, pancakes, waffles, French toast, fruits, Asian offerings, house-baked pastries, lots of sliced meats, plus a dedicated kids section. The excellent server brings me iced tea after iced tea, which is all included in the price.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Disney character roam around the room – Minnie and Goofy both visit our table.

“Auntie” leads the entertainment with singing and interactive fun for the kids including musical instruments and parading around the room. The breakfast is a really fun experience that we highly enjoy – it’s the third time we’ve done it!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Price Adults: $41USD, Keiki (Ages 3 to 9): $21USD. The Mickey photos are separate from the PhotoPass and have to be purchased separately.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Waikolohe Valley pool

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After breakfast we hit up the Waikolohe Valley pool area for a swim. It’s a beautiful lagoon pool with a graduating slope leading in, perfect for little kids.

Disney Family Fun Animation

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next is animation class, another free class that goes for an hour and includes learning to draw a Disney character in pencil, and then painting an animation cell.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The class is really fun and all three of us really enjoy it.

Character meet and greets

Earlier in the day I called the character hotline and found out where Pluto and Daisy would be meeting guests later in the day. The characters are popular to meet so I suggest lining up a few minutes before the scheduled meeting times.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Daisy and other “minor” characters aren’t scheduled every day so get in to see her quickly if she’s a fave of yours. She is one of the most fun characters to meet (along with Stitch) and always makes us laugh.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Pluto is another favourite and will often try to “lick” or sniff guests.

Sunset on the beach

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We have a lazy afternoon and head down to the beach to watch the sunset. Every evening around sunset, Disney PhotoPass photographers can be found on the waters edge taking photos on request. We pose for some photos before heading out to dinner across the road at Monkeypod again.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Day 6: Pools, Characters, Kāpala Ki’i t-shirt stamping and sunset at ‘AMA‘AMA

I sign us up for Kāpala Ki’i  t-shirt stamping at 8am, then we all swim for the last time in the beautiful Aulani pools. After our swim we head to Island Vintage Coffee one last time for lunch.

Kāpala Ki’i t-shirt stamping

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Our next activity today is Kāpala Ki’i t-shirt stamping, where guests stamp their own designs on white T-shirts based on the art of Native Hawaiian kapa printing. The stamps are nice big blocks, easy to stamp with, so it’s an ideal activity to do with kids and take home a really unique souvenir of your stay. The price for this activity is adult $15 per shirt plus tax and kids $12 per shirt plus tax, and the class runs for around 30 minutes.

Chip and Dale

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While leaving the community center with our wet tees we see Chip and Dale arriving for a character meet and greet.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

It’s a great photo op so we ditch the tees in our room and run back in time to get a photo with the mischievous pair.

Mickey and Minnie

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We’ve had many Mickey and Minnie photos in our time with the characters separately, but never together, so this was a great opportunity to get a shot with both iconic characters together.

‘AMA‘AMA – Contemporary Island Cooking

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

For our last day at Aulani we book a sunset dinner at ‘AMA’AMA, the upmarket restaurant within the resort, overlooking the beach.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The view is sensational and it’s the ideal spot to watch the sun go down. I am delighted to discover the restaurant has an entire vegetarian menu as well as kids’ options, so we are more than well catered for.

Mo‘olelo Fire Pit Storytelling

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While we eat, we watch the Mo‘olelo Fire Pit Storytelling right outside the restaurant, with a special visit from Moana. Moana only comes to some of the storytellings, not all, and there is no way to know which one she will show up to. Lucky us!

Sunset photos

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

It becomes clear that sunset this night is going to be extraordinary, so we head back down to the beach to get some more photos with the Disney PhotoPass photographers.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

What a way to end our amazing week at Aulani!

To purchase your PhotoPass photos, head to Kālepa’s Store at the end of your stay. Once the CD is printed no more photos can be added to the disc.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
92-1185 Ali’inui Dr, Kapolei, HI 96707
disneyaulani.com

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

 

Read more about our most recent stay at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa here.

Read a full review of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa here.

Read a full review of the Grand Californian Hotel here.

Get tips for Disneyland first-timers here.

Read about celebrating Halloween at Disneyland here.

Find out about celebrating the holidays at Disneyland here.

Read about saving money at Disney hotels by using the DVC Point Rental System here.

Thinking about a Disney cruise? Here’s why you should!

Get Disney Cruise planning tips & tricks here

Sail to Alaska aboard the Disney Wonder here.

Milk Beach Sydney: Australia’s Best Beaches

Milk Beach Sydney Australia

Milk Beach is located at the base of Hermit Bay in the Sydney National Park, in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. A small, isolated beach, Milk Beach is known for its breathtaking views of Sydney in the distance.

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

The beach has calm water thanks to protection on both sides, its gentle waves making it great for kids to splash around, or for bringing novelty pool floaties.

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

There is a rock shelf to the right of the beach which is often full of sun-seekers but is also great for little rock pools. Watch out for sharp barnacles if you wander this way.

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Also to the right of the beach is a large rock pool area that is great for wading in – it is only around ankle deep.

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

To the left of the beach are rocks that are great for climbing on and around, and a gorgeous wave rock feature.

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach is great for snorkelling, so BYO flippers and goggles.

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

There are no cafe or toilet facilities at Milk Beach so bring a picnic lunch and visit the bathrooms at either Nielsen Park or Shark Beach if needed. There are picnic tables in the park area behind the beach.

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

While Milk Beach can be reached by taking the Hermitage Foreshore Walk, the easiest way is to park on Vaucluse Road as near as possible to Strickland House. Walk down the driveway entrance to Strickland House, pass the house and keep walking down the track to the right and you will reach the beach.

Parking is limited so if you’re heading there on a weekend, consider taking a bus. The 325 stops nearby.

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach
52 Vaucluse Rd
Vaucluse
Get Directions

 

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

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

Check out these gorgeous kid-friendly beaches around the world!

Restaurant Review: The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

Kick back in the sun and enjoy the waterfront views while dining on super delish food at the Galley at Sydney Boathouse. The rustic, beachy vibes are reminiscent of seaside holiday while the food is fresh, colourful and seriously tasty.

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse has stunning harbour views, while nestled into a little nook near the White Bay Cruise Terminal in Rozelle. It’s a quiet spot, ideal for whiling the morning away with a solid meal and big iced coffee.

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

Kids and dogs are both welcome at The Galley. Dogs have to stay outside but it’s good to know you can bring your furry friend and grab a pretty harbourside spot to dine with them.

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

Kids, however, can step inside with their parents and head straight for the toy area that offers a selection of entertainment options for the tiny diners who visit – so very thoughtful and much appreciated. There are also kids’ offerings on both the brekkie and lunch menus.

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

Brekkie is served 7-11:30am, lunch 11:30am-3pm. We arrived for lunch and were delighted to see how many vegetarian options were on the menu, and also a veggie option for kids.

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

We highly enjoyed the Avocado and Haloumi Tortilla (with pesto, rocket, roast tomato, spinach, $18) plus Beer Battered Chips ($3), Black Sausage (with spinach, scrambled egg, pomegranate, dill yoghurt, roast tomato, herbs, sourdough, $22), kid’s Corn Omelette (with tomato sauce, $10) and Iced Coffee ($6).

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

We found the food absolutely delicious, the staff friendly and the atmosphere relaxing. It was a perfect dining experience and we will be returning to try the brekkie menu next.

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse

To find The Galley, take James Craig Road off The Crescent and then right onto Waterways Court at the first roundabout. There’s easy free 1 hour parking.

The Galley at Sydney Boathouse
2 Waterways Court
Rozelle, NSW 2039
Ph: 0455 723 555
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-2:30pm, Sat & Sun 7:30am to 3pm
Online: thegalleycafe.com.au
Get Directions

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: Not seen.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

 

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

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