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Sydney

11 Fun Things To Do In Darling Harbour

The Best Things To Do In Darling Harbour, Sydney

11 Fun Things To Do In Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

Darling Harbour is 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 in Darling Harbour. 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.

Yots Cafe

Yots Cafe, Sydney via christineknight.me

Located underneath the Maritime Museum, Yots is a fab waterfront dining spot for families with its casual atmosphere, a special kids’ menu and colouring-in activities for kids. A giant Connect Four and building blocks also keeps them buys.

Read more about Yots Cafe here.

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 Tussads 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.

Harbourside Shopping Centre

Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney

A large shopping centre in Darling Harbour, Harbourside has plenty of family-friendly restaurants as well as a food court and shops. Kids will adore Caterpillar Lane, a free area for kids to play.

Fratelli Fresh

Fratelli Fresh, Darling Harbour

Our fave eatery in Darling Harbour! Fratelli Fresh is located underneath the new ICC and serves up plenty of Italian pizza and pasta faves in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Read more about Fratelli Fresh Darling Harbour here.

Dancing Brolgas, Cockle Bay Wharf

Cockle Bar Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney

This iconic fountain encircled by the Dancing Brolgas is a favourite spot for children to play in Cockle Bay Wharf, while their parents sit nearby at one of any waterfront dining options. The sculpture is by Australian artist Terrance Plowright.

Darling Harbour Woodward Water Feature

Darling Harbour, Sydney

Any child who grew up in Sydney will remember running up and down this spiral water feature, which has been enthralling kids since its completion in 1988.

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.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Victoria Park, Sydney CBD

Victoria Park, Sydney CBD

Right in the middle of Sydney lies Victoria Park, a 9 hectare public park adjoining Sydney University.

Victoria Park features historic structures such as the entrance gates, Gardener’s Lodge, a Canadian totem pole and ornamental wooden bridge.

Victoria Park, Camperdown

Grass fields sprawl across the park and frame Lake Northam, a quiet space where you can find a secluded and peaceful spot under the shade of a nearby tree.

Victoria Park, Camperdown

There is the picturesque Lake Northram in the middle of the park with plenty of chairs around it for relaxing ad admiring the view. In spring, the jacaranda trees in the park come into full bloom.

Victoria Park, Camperdown

Beyond the lake is a modern playground with equipment for a variety of ages. The play area is partially shaded.

Victoria Park, Camperdown Victoria Park, Camperdown

There is a half basketball court nearby, and BBQ facilities.

Victoria Park, Camperdown

The park also features plenty of paths perfect for scooters or bike riding, wide expansive grassed areas and plenty of shade thanks to the trees.

Victoria Park, Camperdown

Victoria Park Pool also located within the park, featuring the 50m King George VI Memorial Swimming Pool and a shaded children’s wading pool with water deck. The pool also has a fully-equipped gymnasium, child minding crèche, swim shop and a café.

Victoria Park, Camperdown

Get to the park via bus along Parramatta Road and City Road, or catch the train to Central Station and walk. Car Parking is available – free two hour parking on the City Road entrance.

Victoria Park
Parramatta Rd, Broadway
cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/facilities/parks/major-parks/victoria-park

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Mary O’Brien Reserve, Zetland, Sydney

Mary O'Brien Reserve, Zetland

The high-density suburb of Zetland is home to an excellent park, Mary O’Brien Reserve. The park features two playgrounds including a water play area, a large green space, barbeques and a bike / scooter path.

Mary O’Brien Reserve has been a feature of Zetland since the 1960s and was named for a former member of Waterloo Council who championed a wide variety of charitable organisations for 50 years.

Mary O'Brien Reserve, Zetland

The park features two playgrounds. One is larger and for older kids and the other is smaller and for younger kids. Both playgrounds now have shade cloths.

Mary O'Brien Reserve, Zetland

Next to the playground for older kids is a splash park area featuring water jets. The water jets turn on when you step on a large button on the ground, ensuring water isn’t wasted when there are no kids to enjoy it.

The playground for older kids features a large climbing frame and large slide.

Mary O'Brien Reserve, Zetland

The playground for smaller kids features a smaller slide and some interactive features.

Mary O'Brien Reserve, Zetland

There are two barbeque areas in the park. One, near the playground, has some shade.

Mary O'Brien Reserve, Zetland

While there are no bathrooms in the park, there is a public library across the road where toilets may be used.

Mary O'Brien Reserve, Zetland

Mary O'Brien Reserve, Zetland

Outside the park is a wide path that can be used for bike riding or scooting.

Mary O’Brien Reserve
8 Tilford St & Joynton Ave, Zetland
http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/facilities/parks/playgrounds

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.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

Do you have a Shokins fan in the house? We do! I don’t know who was more excited to head to The Langham Sydney this weekend to check out the new Shopkins Afternoon Tea, me or the kid!

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

The Langham is renowned for their excellent high tea (or afternoon tea), which is always elegantly served on tailor-made “Langham Rose” Wedgwood teaware made exclusively for the hotel.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

I love so much when hotels such as The Langham put on a special kids’ afternoon tea or kids high tea. They give families a chance to experience a high tea with the pressure off. No one expects kids to be perfectly behaved when the tea is especially put on for them! The kids’ high teas also give kids a chance to dress up in their fanciest outfits and spend quality time with their parents, while feeling very grown up and sophisticated.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

For a short time only, kids can get fancy and head to The Langham Sydney to enjoy the special Shopkins High Tea.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

The afternoon tea is adorably designed to feature beloved characters in sweet form! Kids will get such a kick out of trying a D’lish Donut, Twinkle Cupcake, Macca Roon, Suzie Slice, Molly Cake Pop and many more delicious treats.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

Kids are presented with a special Shopkins gift bag on arrival, which includes two special edition Shopkins, a Shopkins magazine and a Pikmi Pop.

Shopkins-themed colouring-in supplies are available, too. We didn’t need them because we brought our own Shopkins from home to play with.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

The really special moment of the high tea for most of the kids was the Shopkins character meet and greet (available between 1pm-4pm). We met Kooky Cookie when we entered the tea room and then again when she came around the room to each table to say, “Hello”.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

Kooky Cookie and her good natured minder entertained the kids for a solid half an hour with an impromptu dance party and answering some of the kids’ pressing questions. “Can Kooky do a cartwheel?”, “Can she stand on her head” and “Who took a bite out of her?” featured highly.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

Savoury Snacks

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

Cheesy Popcorn
Brioche cheese and beef slider *
Mushroom arancini, Napoli sauce
Mini cheese and smoked ham pizza *

* We received the following vegetarian substitutes:
Cucumber sandwich
Veggie burger
Mushroom sandwich

Something Sweet

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

D’lish Vanilla Donut
Twinkle Strawberry Cupcake
Lemon Macca Roon
Suzie Chocolate Slice
Molly Raspberry Cake Pop
Yvonne Scones with homemade jam and cream

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

Beverages

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

Watermelon Melissa Sips (add’l $12)
Hot chocolate with marshmallows
Tea & coffee

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

The food is delicious and absolutely suited to adults as well as the kids. I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh sandwiches on light, fluffy bread, little sliders, warm scones and mini pizzas.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

With our stomaches groaning we tried one of everything, including the sweets. They’re so delicate and delicious, and particularly adorable for this tea with the beautiful theming.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

For my tea I ordered an iced tea, which was delicious and refilled as part of the package. Cheese chose chamomile which was served in a delicate silver pot with real chamomile flowers inside, and later a hot chocolate.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

As always the tea never looks “that big” but we struggled to finish it all.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

Adults young at heart (ahem like me) can indulge in the Shopkins Afternoon Tea or choose to enjoy Palm Court’s Spring Afternoon Tea.

Shopkins Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney, Australia

The Shopkins Afternoon Tea is only available on Sunday 18th November

Session 1

12pm-2:30pm

Session 2

3pm-5:30pm

The Shopkins High Tea costs $45 per child includes Shopkins gift and activities and $80 per adult. $95 per adult includes glass of sparkling on arrival.

To make your booking or for any enquiries please contact Langham Service on +61 (2) 9256 2222 or email tlsyd.rsvn@langhamhotels.com
http://www.langhamhotels.com/en/the-langham/sydney/offers/dining-offers/shopkins-afternoon-tea/

We were hosted by The Langham Sydney. All opinions and cake-eating antics are our own. We genuinely love high tea at The Langham.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Darling Quarter Playground, Sydney

Darling Quarter Playground, Sydney
The Darling Quarter playground is one of the best playgrounds in Sydney. With a huge water play area, climbing ropes for big and little kids, swings, slides, and a flying fox, there’s enough to entertain (and wear out) kids for an entire day.

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

The playground is fantastic for kids of all ages – note however that it is not contained and is in a very busy area, so keep a very close eye on your kids.

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

Water scoop: turn the wheel, get wet!

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

Lots of shade over rest and play areas.

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

An Archimedes water screw!

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

Three-metre high giant slide and supanova wheel.

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

3D ring swing.

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

10-metre high octanet.

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

Baby ropes.

Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

21-metre long flying fox.

Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

There are bathrooms in the park as well as extra bathrooms that can be used at the nearby Lendlease Theatre.

Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

The old fountains that we used to love to play in have been given a facelift of late and have turned into a water feature that is also popular for wading in in summer.

There are plenty of food options in all directions – our fave is Fratelli Fresh.

Fratelli Fresh, Darling Harbour

Read more about Fratelli Fresh Darling Harbour here.

Darling Quarter Playground
1-25 Harbour Street, Sydney
Bathrooms: Several very clean bathrooms with change facilities.
Picnic tables: No
Shade cover: Partial (not over the water area)
Cafe: Yes
Skatepark: No
Off-street parking: No (Use the Darling Quarter Wilson car park)
Children’s playground: Yes
Water features: Yes
Get Directions

Darling Quarter Playground, Sydney

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Putney Park Playground and Water Park

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park Playground and Water Park

A fantastic playground for kids of all ages, Putney Park has some really unique features.

The large climbing structure dominating the playground is best for older kids, had has a long slide that looks scarier than it actually is to ride inside.

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

At the bottom of the slide and climbing structure is a water park that is semi enclosed by a stone retaining wall.

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

The Putney water park has two shallow pools connected by a pebble stream. The upper pool is best suited for toddlers as it is the most shallow of the two pools, but it is not covered by a shade cloth. This does however mean the water is warmer in this pool.

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

The lower pool is a bit deeper. Neither pool is very deep – the deepest part would be around 30cm.

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Around the pools are brightly coloured shapes that the kids enjoy trying to climb.

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

There are plenty of places for parents to sit in the shade around the edges of the park.

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

A few steps down from the main playground is a large climbing frame inside a sandpit.

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

There is a small, traditional kids playground next to it.

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park is located on the western foreshore of Putney, giving the park excellent water views.

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

There are plenty of shady trees for picnics, barbeque facilities and shaded picnic tables.

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Clean, maintained public bathrooms are located near the playground.

There is an on-site, free public car park at the entry from Pellisier Road near Jetty Road.

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

At the southern end of the park, near Pillisier Road, is another small, traditional kids’ playground with swings and small slides.

Putney Park

Putney Park

Putney Park

Putney Park

Putney Park

Putney Park

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Harold Park and Playground, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park and Playground

Created on the site of a former paceway, the new Harold Park is a 3.8 hectare green space that leads to the Glebe foreshore and links to Bicentennial, Federal, Jubilee, Pope Paul and Blackwattle Bay parks. The result is a continuous 20.6-hectare green corridor.

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park is located next to the Tramsheds food precinct in Forest Lodge. You can read more about the Tramsheds here.

Harold Park, Sydney

The park features a custom-designed playground with two slides and rope climbing structures, walking and balancing planks, a toddler swing, a regular-sized swing and a nest swing, sand pit, plus climbing logs and structures.

Harold Park, Sydney

Shade cloths have been placed over picnic tables and the main parts of the playground. There are also barbeque areas available for use and plenty of wide open green spaces.

Bathrooms are located inside the nearby Tramsheds.

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney

Harold Park, Sydney < img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-30924" src="https://christineknight.me/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/tramsheds-blog-15.jpg" alt="Harold Park, Sydney" width="700" height="525" />

Harold Park, Sydney

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The best places to stop on a Sydney to Brisbane drive

The best places to stop on a Sydney to Brisbane drive - Australia

The iconic Sydney to Brisbane drive is a breathtaking 920km, or 10 hour, road trip past some of the most beautiful towns and peaceful beaches Australia’s coastline has to offer. While you can do the drive in a single day, why not spread it out over a few days or even weeks, and soak up the pristine beaches, delectable cafes and fascinating history that is on offer throughout the Sydney to Brisbane road trip.

The best places to stop on a Sydney to Brisbane drive

Main Beach, Byron Bay

Central Coast

Avoca, NSW, Australia

The Central Coast is only an hours drive north of Sydney, and is home to beautiful beaches and delightful cafes. Set aside a few days if you can to visit beaches and seaside towns like Copacabana, Macmasters Beach, Terrigal and Avoca Beach. We loved visiting the Australian Reptile Park in Gosford, and have often enjoyed the daily pelican feeding at The Entrance.

Read more about things to do on the Central Coast here.

Newcastle

For Scratchley, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

The industrial and coastal city has so much to offer. We love Newcastle’s gorgeous beaches, delicious cafes and stunning ocean baths. You can also visit historic Fort Scratchley, the Newcastle Museum and Nobbys Lighthouse.

Read more about things to do in Newcastle here.

Port Stephens

Mount Tomaree, Port Stephens, NSW, Australia

Located 2 1/2 hours drive north of Sydney, the area has a stunning 26 beautiful beaches and bays to explore. Port Stephens is renowned for whale and dolphin watching, sand dunes and gourmet restaurants.

Read more about things to do in Port Stephens here.

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia

Located four hours drive north of Sydney and six hours south of Brisbane, Port Macquarie is a seaside town at the mouth of the Hastings River. It’s a gorgeous spot to spend a few days enjoying the beaches, wildlife and penal colony history.

Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia

Visit the Port Macquarie’s Historic Courthouse that was built in 1869 and is located in the town centre. Read more about historic and cultural attractions in Port Macquarie here.

We loved the colourful graffiti rocks on the break wall that stretches down to the very popular Town Beach. Along the walk we spotted plenty of dolphins frolicking in the bay.

Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia

Town Beach has modern bathroom and shower facilities, grassy areas, picnic facilities, a skate park, kiosk, an outdoor gym and a modern playground.

We also loved Mrs York’s Garden, a peaceful spot with lovely water views. Read more about Mrs York’s Garden here.

Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia

Other popular attractions in the area include the 19th-century Tacking Point Lighthouse, whale watching, Billabong Zoo, the Koala Hospital and the hand-painted giant koala sculptures on the Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail.

Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia

Dining at the Pancake Place is an absolute must. They serve up delicious pancakes and crepes for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, making it a popular stop on the quintessential coastal road trip. While the mid north coast town might be just a convenient place to stay a night or two for those making the longer journey, we were pleasantly surprised to find so many things to do in Coffs Harbour, and would recommend it for a holiday destination.

Read more about things to do in Coffs Harbour here.

Yamba

Yamba, NSW, Australia

Around 7.5 hours north of Sydney and 3 1/4 hours south of Brisbane, Yamba is a quiet little gem with beautiful beaches, fresh seafood and stunning national parks surrounding it. We loved the chilled out vibe in this little seaside town and its excellent cafes.

Yamba, NSW, Australia

Take a dip in the usually calm waters of Main Beach, or try the ocean pool at its south end if the waves are choppy.

Yamba, NSW, Australia

Stroll up a bit further to Turner’s Beach where you’ll find a rock shelf and the South Break Wall, plus a path and steps that lead up to the Lighthouse. We spotted pods of dolphins in the water from the break wall.

Yamba, NSW, Australia

The Lighthouse, built in 1955, offers gorgeous views up and down the coast.

Ballina

Ballina, Big Prawn, NSW, Australia

Located roughly 8.5 hours north of Sydney and 2 hours south of Brisbane, Ballina is an old school seaside town that’s a great base for exploring the local attractions. Check out the local beaches, take a river cruise or enjoy a kayaking tour if you like being on the water. The town is close to Broadwater and Bunjalong National Parks for nature-lovers.

We highly enjoyed Ballina’s Big Prawn, which was built in 1989 and given a $400,000 makeover in 2013. It’s located adjacent to Bunnings Warehouse in River Street.

While in Ballina we stayed at the Ballina Homestead Motel and highly recommend it.

Read more about things to do in Ballina here.

Lennox Head

Lennox Heads, NSW, Australia

A 10 minute drive north from Ballina is Lennox Head, a charming little seaside village with oodles of charm. We loved the beautiful 7 Mile Beach and strolling the main street with its boutiques and cafes. There’s a great playground for kids in the park near the beach.

Lennox Heads, NSW, Australia
We enjoyed the most delicious Italian dinner at the supremely kid-friendly Quattro Classic Lennox Head and homemade gelato from gelato from Lennox Gelato & Coffee Co. They had chilli gelato on the menu but we weren’t game to try it!

Byron Bay

Cape Byron

8.5 hours north of Sydney and 2 hours south of Brisbane lies the ever-popular Byron Bay. Once a hippy town Byron has of late attracted more of an upmarket, hipster clientele, and the hotels, restaurants and shops have started to reflect the new visitors. The vibe is still relaxed, but the town has started to get a whole lot trendier!

Main Beach, Byron Bay

Byron Bay has plenty of natural attractions on offer, including stunning beaches included Main Beach, Clarkes, Wategoes and Little Wategoes. The later is Australia’s easternmost beach. Main Beach has an excellent playground for kids.

Wategoes Beach, Byron Bay

There are also plenty of bushwalks in hinterland rainforest, coastal trails and loads of wildlife to spot.

Byron bay Hinterland

We love visiting Cape Byron, the easternmost point of the mainland of Australia and home to Australia’s most powerful lighthouse.

Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

Take the easy 4km Byron Bay Lighthouse walk (parking is available if you prefer to drive) and look out for marine life in the Cape Byron Marine Park below. Dolphins, turtles, rays and whales can all be spotted – we were lucky enough to see a few whales.

Cape Byron

The Cape Byron Lighthouse and lighthouse keepers cottages were built in 1901. Light food and drinks are available.

Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

We highly enjoyed dining at Bayleaf Cafe, which really embodies how far Byron has come and what its future might hold. Delicious, fresh food, beautifully prepared and creatively presented, in a buzzy cafe with open windows and tables spilling out onto the footpath.

Crystal Castle, Byron, NSW, Australia

To get a real feel for the spiritual side of Byron Bay, visit the Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens. The gardens are speckled with the beautiful crystals and statues that pay tribute to various spiritualities around the world, including the largest stone Blessing Buddha in Australia. Our daughter loves crystals, so we visited to see the world’s tallest geode pair. We really enjoyed the gardens but thought it was an extremely expensive outing for what it was.

We found the accommodation in Byron Bay to be double the price of neighbouring towns, so opted to stay in nearby Coolangatta instead.

Gold Coast

Queensland’s Gold Coast is a family-friendly stretch of coast lined with spectacular beaches, famous theme parks and lush hinterland rainforests.

Coolangatta

9 hours north of Sydney and 1 1/4 hour south of Brisbane, Coolangatta is the southernmost suburb of the Gold Coast, just over the NSW border. It was named after the schooner Coolangatta, which in 1846 was wrecked there.

Coolangatta is only a short drive from Surfers Paradise but it feels like a different world. The town has a relaxed vibe to it and a stunning beach so that when combined with its excellent restaurants and hotels, makes for the perfect Gold Coast destination in our opinion.

Kids will love the excellent, shaded playground just across from the main strip of restaurants and the wide path that runs along the beach for scooting.

Sunset at Snapper Rocks is incredible. If you visit during winter you might see whales passing by like we did.

We dined at O Sushi which had a huge variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes including haloumi skewers. Gelato Messina is not to be missed.

While in Coolangatta we stayed at the Greenmount Beach Hotel, which was an excellent budget find.

Currumbin

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin is famous for the beautiful Currumbin Creek waterway that offers sheltered conditions for swimming and watersports –  Tallebudgera Creek is particularly popular with the locals.

You’ll also find the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in this peaceful beach suburb. Arrive at8am to participate in their daily free lorikeet feeding.

Read more about visiting Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary here.

Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads, Qld, Australia

The relaxed vibe in Burleigh, as the locals call it, gives it an entirely different feel to its neighbouring beaches to the north. While you can see the Surfers Paradise high rises in the distance, it feels like a whole world away.

Burleigh Heads, Qld, Australia

The beach is protected and calm, making it popular with families. We loved climbing rocks and trees at the south end and sitting on the headland and watching surfers showing off their moves.

Paddock Bakery, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

We dined at the excellent Paddock Bakery in the neighbouring suburb of Miami. With its relaxed vibe and pretty, tasty food, it’s an iconic Gold Coast cafe well worth the visit.

Broadbeach

Gold Coast With Kids via christineknight.me

Getting further into the bustling centre of the Gold Coast, Broadbeach has a wide variety of cafes, restaurants, boutiques and accommodation choices, with a family-friendly vibe. It’s a great base for a Gold Coast holiday if you’re after plenty of things to do and see. Broadbeach also has a beautiful beach, large playground for kids, and the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre.

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Surfer Paradise, which was located halfway between Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise.

Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Read more about our stay at the Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise here.

Surfers Paradise

Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Surfers is a hotspot for tourists visiting the Gold Coast. The iconic Surfers Paradise Beach and its sign draw in overseas visitors while the nightlife attracts school leavers. There are loads of attractions in Surfers Paradise that make it a great spot to stay if you’re keen to do and see the sights, especially with older kids. Attractions include SkyPoint Observation Deck,  Infinity Attraction, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and Timezone.

Surfers Paradise is also where you’ll find all of the Gold Coast’s theme parks.

Read about things to do on the Gold Coast with kids here.

The Sydney to Gold Coast drive is one of our favourite holidays trips to make, and often we will stop here rather than proceeding on to Brisbane. The Sydney to Gold Coast road trip is around 9.5 hours drive, or 848km.

Brisbane

Brisbane

The capital city of Queensland, Brisbane is a 10 hour drive from Sydney. It’s a vibrant city, filled with art, music, restaurants, man-made beaches and the beautiful river that runs through the middle.

In Brisbane, we stayed at the Novotel Brisbane, which we highly recommend.

Read about our stay at the Novotel Brisbane here.

Read about things to do in Brisbane with kids here.

The best places to stop on a Sydney to Brisbane drive, Australia The best places to stop on a Sydney to Brisbane drive, Australia

The best places to stop on a Sydney to Brisbane drive, Australia

And thats it! The Sydney to Brisbane drive is an epic journey through some of Australia’s most beautiful scenery. I highly recommend taking your time to see the sights along the way.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Pirrama Park and Playground, Pyrmont, Sydney

Pirrama Park and Playground, Pyrmont, Sydney, Australia

Pirrama Park is a beautifully landscaped harbour front recreational area in Pyrmont, Sydney. With grasslands, a playground, cafe, public bathrooms, sheltered bay for swimming and wide avenues, it’s the perfect spot for a family gathering.

Pirrama Park, Pyrmont, Sydney

The former water police base was given a complete overhaul to create a space where inner city families could relax on the waterfront. Watch out for the markers that designate the original shoreline on the esplanade.

Pirrama Park, Pyrmont, Sydney

Pirrama means ‘rocking stone’ in the Gadigal language, with the name given to the park in tribute to the first Australians who lived in the area.

Pirrama Park, Pyrmont, Sydney

The Pirrama Park Playgound has plenty of excellent features including an accessible spinner that ensures kids of all abilities can enjoy the play equipment.

In the warmer months, water fountains spurt out of the ground in sporadic patterns, and a shade cloth over the sand pit gives kids a place to play without getting burned.

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Undercover barbecues mean the park is great place for picnics and birthday parties, too.

Modern, well-maintained bathrooms (including baby change facilities inside a disabled toilet) are a welcome addition to the park, and lunch is taken care of with the excellent Call Me Harris cafe. The open-air cafe features plenty of shaded seating.

Call Me Harris, Pyrmont Sydney

Read more about Call Me Harris cafe here.

Pirrama Park is located at the end of Harris Street Pyrmont. There is metered parking available on the streets, or you can catch the 389 bus.

Pirrama Road, Pyrmont
Get directions.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Call Me Harris: Kid-Friendly Cafes Sydney

Call Me Harris, Pirrama Park and Playground, Pyrmont, Sydney, Australia

Located on at the end of Harris Street, Pyrmont, Call Me Harris offers beautiful water views along with fresh baked foods, all day brekkie and a great range of healthy meal choices.

Call Me Harris, Pyrmont Sydney

Sitting next to Pirrama Park and Pirrama Playground, it’s a great location for families to drop by to stave off the hangar attack or to get a much needed caffeine hit.

With coffee by Three Pence Roasters, Call Me Harris has a reputation for serving excellent coffee.

Call Me Harris, Pyrmont Sydney

The open air cafe is casual and fun. Choose a seat and order at the counter, and be sure to take a selfie in the blue throne chair when you do.

Call Me Harris, Pyrmont Sydney

We love the all-day brekkie menu, choosing the Smashed Avocado and Sumac Tomatoes ($18)  and Poke Salad, made with chicken or salmon ($18) as our meals of choice. There is a kids’ lunch menu but not breakfast, but a Eggs and Bacon on sourdough dish ($14) does the job, substituting the bacon for a hash brown. We also choose a Fruit Tingle smoothie, which is made from mixed berries and pineapple juice.

Call Me Harris, Pyrmont Sydney Call Me Harris, Pyrmont Sydney Call Me Harris, Pyrmont Sydney

If baked goods are you thing then you will love the fluffy and fresh treats made daily on site. Cruffins are a regular feature, as are red velvet croissants. Today however, these cronuts are on offer and they look delicious.

Call Me Harris, Pyrmont Sydney

Kids will love the child-sized tables and chairs that are scattered around. Adults will love the cheerful ambiance, excellent food and friendly staff.

Call Me Harris, Pyrmont Sydney

Public bathrooms are around the back of the kitchen, including a disabled toilet and baby change table.

Read more about Pirrama Park and Playground here.

Call Me Harris
20 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, Sat & Sun 8am-5pm
Phone: 0431 694 002
Online facebook.com/callmeharrispyrmont

 

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.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!