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18 Rainy Day Activities For Kids in Sydney

Rainy Day Activities For Kids In Sydney Australia

Kids + rainy weather = cabin fever! When it’s too wet for the beach or parks, entertain the junior set with one of these 18 rainy day activities for kids in Sydney.

18 Rainy Day Activities For Kids in Sydney

See a movie

Event Cinemas, Australia

Is there anything more relaxing than cozying up watching the latest flicks on the big screen? Check movie times at a cinema near you by clicking here.

Image credit: Event Cinemas

Watch a live show

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

Check out what’s on at the Sydney Opera House, the Capitol Theatre, Sydney Lyric Theatre or Parramatta Riverside Theatre. Each venue shows for all ages and demographics.

Check out the Monkey Baa Theatre Company for shows the kids will love.

Image credit: Daniel Boud

Zap and chase at laser tag

 

Dashing through the dark with neon lights and laser guns sound like fun? Team up and challenge your friends and family to a game of laser tag.

M9 Laser Skirmish at Darling Harbour, laser tag at AMF (various locations), laser tag at Kingpin Bowling (North Strathfield and Darling Harbour), Laser Siege (Turrella), laser tag at Strike Bowling (various locations)

Indoor skydive with iFLY

iFLY, Australia

See what it feels like to fly without jumping out of a plane at iFly in Penrith (second location coming soon to Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park. Anyone aged 3 and up can iFly!

Let the wind take you higher in an state-of-the-art, fully-controlled, ultra-safe vertical wind tunnel.

How does it work? Just lean into the wind inside our giant glass tunnel and a column of air lifts you up! You’ll float effortlessly into flight, guided by qualified instructors.

Get more info on iFLY here.

Image courtesy of iFLY.

Strike it lucky at ten pin bowling

Retro fun all across Sydney. Challenge the whole family to a game of ten pin bowling.

Check out locations and prices at AMF Bowling (various locations) Ten Pin City (Lidcome), Strike Bowling (various locations), King Pin Bowling (various locations).

Find your inner Pac-man playing arcade games

Go old school with classic and new arcade games. From air hockey to dodgem cars and a bit of Street Fighter, there’s something for everyone to play.

Find arcade games at Playtime (various venues) and Archie Bros Cirque Electric at Alexandria for a circus-themed arcade extravaganza.

Burn off steam at an indoor play centre


Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney
Kids going bananas? Take them to an indoor play centre to run out their crazies. There are plenty all around Sydney to choose from!

Check out this list of indoor play centres in Sydney to find one near you.

Bounce the day away at a trampolining centre


Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria
Visit an indoor trampolining centre to literally bounce your cares away. Check each centre to see that facilities they have for kids before taking little ones – some have special toddler times available.

Find a trampolining centre in Sydney on this handy list of indoor play spaces.

Test your agility indoor rock climbing

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

Kids and adults can all enjoy scampering up walls at indoor rock climbing centres. Start at the easiest level and work your way up to pro. Kids can try the beginner walls or special areas designed just for little ones.

Find an indoor rock climbing gym in Sydney on this handy list of indoor play spaces.

Spend the day at an art gallery or museum

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia

Enjoy the peaceful calm of one of Sydney’s excellent museums and art galleries. All are extremely kid-friendly as well as having top-notch exhibitions year-round. The Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art, the Powerhouse Museum, the Early Start Learning Centre and the Australian Museum head up a long list of excellent galleries for kids in Sydney.

Check out this list of Sydney’s art galleries and museums to find one near you.

Take a dip in an aquatic centre

Ryde Pool Sydney Aquatic Centre

It may seem counter intuitive but rainy days are perfect for getting even wetter indoors! Swim some laps and take kids to splash in the water features of these excellent centres all across Sydney.

Check out this list of aquatic centres in Sydney to find one near you.

Chase sharks at 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

Catch a croc at 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.

Up your selfie game at 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.

Get your Tonya Harding out ice skating

Macquarie Ice Rink, Sydney

Trying to twirl on ice is the perfect way to forget miserable weather outdoors. Spend a few hours getting exercise as well as having fun working on your triple axel.

Check out this list of ice skating rinks in Sydney to find one near you.

Image courtesy of Macquarie Ice Rink.

Read a good book at a library

State Library of NSW Australia

Head to the stunning State Library of NSW to check out their exhibitions or read a book. Established in 1862 it’s the oldest library in Australia. I personally love the idea of reading when it’s raining, so a library always tops my list of things to do in Sydney on a rainy day!

Get more info on visiting the State Library of NSW here.

You could also visit your local library! Check this site for the City of Sydney libraries and locations. You can also visit here to find the location of every library in NSW.

Find your inner Picasso while plaster painting

Plaster Painting Sydney

Little and big kids will love painting up a masterpiece at one of these plaster painting studios across Sydney. Candyland Playhouse even offers ceramic painting, which is where the art work is baked in a kiln after being painted.

Check out your nearest plaster painting venue: Little Plaster House (Bella Vista), Candyland Playhouse (Hawkesbury) who offer plaster and ceramic painting, Plaster Painting Studios (Moore Park), Plaster Master Fun (North Bondi), The Little Plaster Shop (Concord).

Head to the shops

Most of the major shopping centres have indoor play areas for kids, mostly of the soft play variety. It’s easy to pass several hours with snacks, free fun and a bit of shopping – with free parking to boot – at your local shopping centre. A top pick with us for rainy day activities for kids!

Tried and tested shopping centres with free indoor play areas:

Rhodes Waterside
Harbourside, Darling Harbour
Westfield Liverpool
Supa Centa Moore Park
Westfield Bondi Junction
Broadway Shopping Centre has a small play are for kids aged five and under.
Westfield Warringah Mall
Birkinhead Point
IKEA (Tempe and Rhodes)

IKEA is such a gem. Drop kids aged 3 – 9 years of age off at their Småland Magical Forest that includes a ball pit, slides and watching kids movies. Age: 3 – 9 years old, time limit: 60 minutes.

Find your closest Westfield here.

Rainy Day Activities For Kids In Sydney Australia

Do you have any more ideas for rainy day activities for kids?

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!

The Best Things To Do In Parramatta And Western Sydney With Kids

Things To Do In Parrmatta and Western Sydney, Australia, with Kids

I grew up in Sydney’s South West suburbs, so have spent much of my life in the Parramatta and Western Sydney area. Sydney’s South West and Western suburbs are an incredible mix of history, nature and delicious food, a perfect place to bring up kids or visit for the day. Check out the best things to do in Parramatta and Western Sydney with kids!

The Best Things To Do In Parramatta and Western Sydney With Kids

Casula Powerhouse


Casula Powerhouse, Sydney Australia
Located in South West Sydney, the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre is a place to experience the arts including performances and exhibitions. As well as featuring six galleries with rotating exhibitions, the Powerhouse also has a pair of three-story decommissioned tanks that are open to the public as legal graffiti spaces.

Casula Powerhouse, Sydney Australia

Located in South West Sydney, the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre is a place to experience the arts including performances and exhibitions. As well as featuring six galleries with rotating exhibitions, the Powerhouse also has a pair of three-story decommissioned tanks that are open to the public as legal graffiti spaces.

The Casula Powerhouse runs family-friendly art programs throughout the year. Check out their upcoming events and workshops here.

Get more info on visiting the Casula Powerhouse here.

Image credit: Casula Powerhouse

Blaxland Riverside Park

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

A gorgeous spot for families with one of the biggest playgrounds in Sydney set among three hectares of rolling hills and big open spaces. The playground caters for kids of all ages and abilities with a fantastic water play area (the largest outdoor water play facility in NSW), moving play elements, high and steep landforms and hidden and confined spaces. There’s a double flying fox, mega-swing, tunnel slides, scramble wall, spinning play disk, Viking swing and a multi-level tree house to be discovered and enjoyed.

Get more info on Blaxland Riverside Park.

Museum of Fire

The Museum of Fire, Penrith

Enjoy exhibits focusing on fire safety and firefighting and explore historic fire trucks at the Museum of Fire in Penrith.

Junior firefighters will enjoy puzzles, dress-ups, fire safety activities and computer games.

Get more info on visiting the Museum of Fire here.

Image credit: Destination NSW Adam Hollingsworth

Museums Discovery Centre (MDC)

Inside the Museums Discovery Centre you’ll find millions of treasures and the opportunity to learn about museum collecting, conservation and research practices.

Get more info on the MDC here.

NSW Rail Museum

NSW Rail Museum Australia
Bring your locomotive-loving kids to get up close to trains at the NSW Rail Museum in the historic town of Thirlmere. Since 1975 this little town has been home to a large collection of NSW’s railway heritage, including over 100 vehicles that move on a railway including locomotives, railroad cars and more.

Get more info on visiting the NSW Rail Museum here.

Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

Explore Australia’s unique plant life at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, a 416-hectare botanical garden located in Mount Annan, between Campbelltown and Camden. The wide, flat paths are a delight to follow as they weave in and around the garden areas, as are the grassy hills to roll down!

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan has free entry, picnic shelters, barbecues and a playground with an excellent flying fox, making it the perfect outing for families.

Get more info on visiting the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.

Featherdale Wildlife Park

The Best Place To Meet A Koala in Sydney
A privately-owned zoo in Doonside, near Blacktown, Featherdale Wildlife Park specialises in Australian native wildlife and birds, as well as reptiles and marsupials.

Get more info on visiting Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Calmsley Hill City Farm

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

The place to introduce city kids to a farm! Calmsley Hill City Farm has plenty of farm animals to get up close to, plus tractor rides and interactive shows such as sheep shearing, a small playground, picnic area and cafe.

Get more info on visiting Calmsley Hill City Farm.

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown Sydney

Watch a movie under the stars at Sydney’s last remaining drive-in movie theatre. Introduce kids to the movie experience of a bygone era complete with a Happy Days-style diner, spiders and choc-tops. The gates open at 5:30pm, with parking allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Tune your car’s FM radio or bring along a portable radio to hear the movie. Before you leave home, check session times for what’s on.

Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic Park

The site of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games is now a monument to sporting legends and a peaceful parkland. Visit Cathy Freeman Park to see the Olympic Cauldron that was used throughout the games and has been transformed into a water feature that kids love to play under in summer, located next to a shady playground and vast grassy field.

To get there: Take a 30 minute train trip from Central Station to Olympic Park Station or a ferry from Circular Quay to Sydney Olympic Park Wharf.

Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre


While adults will enjoy swimming in the same pool that Ian Thorpe won his Olympic gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, kids will go wild over the water slide, Splasher’s Water Playground that caters for kids aged toddler and up, and Rapid River Ride that caters to all ages. Comfortabley heated to 26 degrees, the Aquatic Centre is year-round fun.

Get more information on visiting the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

To get there: Take a 30 minute train trip from Central Station to Olympic Park Station or a ferry from Circular Quay to Sydney Olympic Park Wharf.

Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park, Sydney, Australia

A fave for families with its wide expanses of undulating hills, plenty of shade and picnic spots. Bicentennial Park is a beautiful location that combines mangrove wetlands with 40 hectares of gentle hills, meadows, lakes, playgrounds and picnic shelters. Driving to this park is the best option but parking can also be a challenge so arrive early.

Ryde Park: The Groundskeeper Cafe, Playground & Scooter Track

Ryde Park, Sydney, Australia
What a gem of a spot! Ryde Park has a shaded playground outside of the excellent Groundskeeper Cafe, and a new scooter/bike track. The park also has sporting fields and picnic areas.

Get more info on Ryde Park here.

Western Sydney Parklands

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

An urban park and nature reserve located in Sydney’s western suburbs, the Western Sydney Parklands contains various parks and attractions that are perfect for families to enjoy.

Plough and Harrow

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

This popular picnic spot is surrounded by bush and features a playground, cafe, high ropes course and wide open spaces for kids to run free. The playground’s hamster wheel is particularly popular!

Get more info on visiting Plough and Harrow.

Lizard Log

Lizard Log, Sydney, Australia

A nature-themed playground with a bush setting, Lizard Log also features walking and cycling tracks plus barbecue stations.

Image credit: Western Sydney Parklands Trust

Treetop Adventure Park

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Adventurous kids will adore getting up high in the gum trees with the Treetop self-guided rope courses. With rope ladders, wobbly bridges and zip lines to navigate, it’s the perfect place for kids to test their problem-solving ability as well as push physical boundaries. Kids must be aged three and older to participate, with the children’s rope course designed for ages 3-9. Treetops Adventure park is located at the Plough and Harrow park.

Get more info on visiting Treetop Adventure Park.

Wet’n’Wild SYDNEY

Wet 'n' Wild, Sydney, Australia

Cool down at Wet’n’Wild SYDNEY, a water theme park filled with over 40 slides, a zone dedicated to kids under 5 and a sandy beach. Popular with younger kids is the Nickelodeon Beach water splash park area that features characters like Dora, Spongebob and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Get more info on visiting Wet’n’Wild SYDNEY.

Image credit: Havewheelchairwilltravel.net

Bungarribee Park

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands
Opened in 2017, Bungarribee is a 200-hectare recreational space that features walking and cycling tracks, 20 barbecues, 13 picnic shelters and a playground with a climbing tower, flying fox, plenty of slides, swings and a water play area.

Get more info on visiting Bungarribee Park.

Parramatta

Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park

The second oldest city in Australia, Parramatta was founded in 1788 – the same year as Sydney. Walk up Church street to discover its vibrant, multicultural food scene, or walk along the river to discover the city’s rich history.

Parramatta CBD Riverside Foreshore Park

Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park

We love this playground with its tall slides and sand play area, situated right on the banks of the Parramatta River.

Get more info on the Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park here.

James Ruse Reserve Playground

James Ruse Reserve Playground via christineknight.me
Our go-to when it’s hot, this playground has an undercover water play area that is a fave of ours. It also features climbing structures.

Get more info on the James Ruse Reserve Playground here.

Parramatta Park

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

This World Heritage Listed park is a must see. Gazetted as a People’s Park in 1858, Parramatta Park been a place for locals to enjoy for over 150 years. It’s also home to Old Government House, a historic site and museum and Australia’s oldest surviving building.  Parramatta Park also features wide open spaces with shady trees for picnics, a large formal rose garden, a creek and two playgrounds. Get info on upcoming events in Parramatta Park.

#Parramatta Park Cafe - #kidfriendly #restaurants #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

While picnicking in the park is the easiest option, we really enjoyed the very kid-friendly Parramatta Park Cafe, or a high tea at Lachlan’s Restaurant inside Old Government House for something special.

Get more info on Parramatta Park Cafe here.

Domain Creek Playground Parramatta Park

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park: The best of southwest Sydney for families
The largest and most modern playground in Parramatta Park, the Domain Creek Playground is nature-based and features mazes made from branches and wires, water pumps and sand diggers, a flying fox and sunken trampolines.

Get more info on visiting Domain Creek Playground.

Elizabeth Farm

Elizabeth Farm, Sydney, Australia

Built in 1973 for John and Elizabeth Macarthur, Elizabeth Farm is one of the oldest homes in Australia. Inside the house you’ll find reproductions of furnishings and objects that belonged to the home’s original owners. Wander the recreated 1930s garden or enjoy a Devonshire tea at the tea room. The scones are some of the best we have ever tasted.

Elizabeth Farm, Sydney, Australia

Elizabeth Farm runs year-round family tours and programs to engage kids in the history of the property and introduce them to what life was like during the early 19th century. Kids will get a kick out of trying to do the laundry in a tub, throwing quoits or doing some craft. Get info on upcoming events and programs here.

Things To Do In Parramatta and Western Sydney, Australia, with Kids

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!

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Oh la la it’s a fancy outing today! It’s off to the classy Shangri-La Hotel Sydney in the Rocks for a very pink high tea with friends. From June 15 – 29 2018, the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney is hosting a very special Barbie High Tea, created by their executive pastry chef, Anna Polyviou.

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Anna Polyviou is often called the Punk Princess of Pastry, and with her bright pink mohawk she is the perfect poster girl for a new Barbie cookbook, which Polyviou has created in collaboration with the iconic Barbie brand and The Australian Woman’s Weekly.

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

The cookbook is a fantastic edition to a young chef’s collection, containing a combination of recipes that range from simple enough for kids to do either on their own or with help from adults, to some harder ones that definitely need adult intervention, but that are so imaginative that they will inspire kids to create their next birthday party around the designs.

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Our young Barbie (and Anna Polyviou!) fans were keen to try some of the special recipes, which are reflected in the Barbie High Tea.

Each young guest is given their own Barbie Cookbook to take home, which our three discerning diners perused eagerly while waiting for their tea, choosing which recipe they would try at home first.

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

High teas are best experienced with friends, and for this special Barbie outing, we invited our usual high tea accomplices, with whom we’ve been sampling sugary treats in fancy frocks for quite a few years now. There is something so special about getting dressed up and having tea in delicate china cups that little girls just adore, and it’s a really wonderful occasion for both us mums and the kids.

The three-tiered silver stands arrived quickly, brimming with so much pink that the girls’ eyes popped out of their heads.

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

It’s clear that Polyviou knows her target audience well, and the creative, beautiful AND delicious menu was 100% on pointe with this young audience who are drawn to all things pink and sparkly.

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Adults and kids can both order the Barbie high tea. If you’re dining with a few other adults or kids however, you might want to consider ordering the Barbie tea for the kids and the traditional high tea for the adults, and then trying a bit of everything! You can read about our delicious experience trying the traditional high tea here.

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Barbie High Tea

Barbie Shake

Coconut Raspberry jelly pops
Rocky road cup
Finger bun doughnuts
Rainbow cupcake

Cheesy chicken strips
Vegetable frittata
Ham cheese stars

(As vegetarians were given a slightly different savoury option, with a deconstructed egg sandwich, beetroot tart and cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches.)

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

The savouries are a great kid-friendly twist on a traditional high tea. Super accessible for even the fussiest of kids to enjoy.

The sweet treats were a hit, both visually and also to eat. The rainbow cupcakes were the fan favourite, with the added bonus of sprinkles spilling out of the middle when they were bitten into.

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Mine and my friend’s favourite dessert was the rocky road cup – a mix of packet chips and lollies covered in chocolate, it was so nostalgic of our childhoods that we just kept going back for more. Note: the rocky road cup does contain nuts.

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Another favourite was the Barbie shake. The strawberry milkshake base on its own was delectable, and with the addition of the Persian fairy floss and lollies it was just a mouth-watering treat that was devoured by all parties.

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

The Barbie High Tea is available from 15 June to 29 July 2018 at $45 per child. It includes a complimentary Australian Women’s Weekly Barbie Cookbook which features some of Polyviou’s Barbie inspired creations. For adults, it is priced at $55 per person with a glass of sparkling and at $65 per person with a glass of Champagne.

The Barbie High Tea is available daily at The Lobby Lounge, between 11:30am and 1:30pm and between 1:45 and 3:45 pm.

Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
176 Cumberland Street,
The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9250 6000
Prices: $$$
Bookings are essential. Please call (61 2) 9250 6144 or email dine.slsn@shangri-la.com
Get more information on the Barbie High Tea here.
Get Directions

Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel-Sydney

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.

Thank you to the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney for hosting us for this very special high tea. All opinions and sugar-high kids are our own. 

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

The beachside suburb of Maroubra is 10km south-east of Sydney’s CBD. It’s less developed than its neighbours Bondi and Coogee, giving it a more relaxed vibe than its popular cousins. Maroubra Beach and nearby Mahon Pool are a beautiful part of Sydney, making for the perfect day out in any season (ok, maybe not when it’s raining …).

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Maroubra Beach

“Maroubra” comes from the Aboriginal word meaning “like thunder”, which is the perfect name for this beach with giant waves that pound the shore. One of Sydney’s most popular surfing spots, Maroubra is also one of only two National Surfing Reserves in Australia.

The beach has two surf life saving clubs and is patrolled year-round by lifeguards.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Maroubra is less sheltered than other beaches, with can result in bigger waves. Swim between the flags only, as the waves can be dangerous. If you or your family aren’t strong swimmers, consider visiting another nearby more sheltered beach.

Despite its strong waves, Maroubra is still an excellent beach for families.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

The kilometre-long sandy stretch of beach has a wide, flat path running adjacent to it, bathroom facilities at the surf club, a large, nautical-themed fenced playground and excellent skate park.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

We were really impressed with the skate park and kids in it. There were a lot of younger kids from ages 3 to about 10, then teenagers and even a few adults, all skating in the park. The older skaters took a lot of care around the younger kids, which was so great to see.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

There’s also a free outdoor gym, free BBQs, outdoor showers, changerooms and bathrooms.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

A cafe-kiosk on the beach provides an excellent location for sitting in beanbags and enjoying the waves. You can also walk across the street to the strip on cafe and restaurants that are located on Marine Parade, directly opposite the beach.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

We walked up the hill to try Pool Cafe, located across the road from Jack Vanny Reserve. The cafe is excellent. Delicious food, fast service, cute wall art and really fun vibe. Highly recommend. Note there is no kids’ menu, but lots of food kids will eat.

Pool Cafe is located at 94 Marine parade Maroubra. Get more info on the Pool Cafe here. 

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Free parking is available behind the beach and in its side streets. The parking closest to the beach is 4 hours, side streets unlimited. There are also car parks north of the beach at Jack Vanny Reserve and at South Maroubra Beach.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

In the middle of the beach is a large Rubix cube. While this may look like an art work it’s actually a storm water drain cover. The Rubix cube is popular for climbing.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

If you have time, go exploring. South of the beach lies Arthur Byrne Reserve and headland, Broadarrow Reserve is to the west and Jack Vanny Memorial Park, Mahon Pool and the rocky headland are situated to the north.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Mahon Pool

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

The spectacular Mahon Pool is located 500 metres north of Maroubra Beach, up a steep-ish hill. Enter via Jack Vanny Reserve. Follow the path and steep steps leading down from the reserve to the pool.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Mahon Pool was carved into a rock flat in 1932, a 30-metre pool where you’ll find waves crashing over the sides at high tide. Visit at low tide to enjoy the pool with calm water (and plenty of fish inside!).

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

There is a free car park, toilet block with showers and change rooms located at the top of the reserve.

The rock flat is a great place to climb rocks up to the headland. An excellent view of the coast is available year-round, and migrating whales can be spotted from here between June and July.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

Jack Vanny Reserve
15R Marine Pde
Maroubra

Get more info about Maroubra Beach here and here

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, Sydney, Australia

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!

Top Tips For Visiting and Photographing Vivid Sydney

Top Tips For Visiting and Photographing Vivid Sydney, Australia

Vivid Sydney is, without a doubt, one of my favourite times of year. 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas. From 25 May to 16 June the event lights up Sydney over 11 precincts, each featuring their own unique light sculptures.

Top Tips For Visiting and Photographing Vivid Sydney

What’s on at all 11 precincts

This year Vivid Sydney is spread across 11 precincts. Each features their own specific light installations.

Barangaroo
Photo by Ken Leanfore

This incredible, giant puppet, was made by Erth, the creators of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo. It has to be seen to be believed!

Read about Vivid Sydney at Barangaroo

Chatswood
Vivid Sydney
Photo by Steve Christo

The octopus returns! Chatswood is a top pick for taking kids to see Vivid. Lights go on at 5:30pm at Chatswood! Perfect for taking the kids. Grab some food at around 5pm and you’ve got yourself the perfect early night Vivid experience.

Read about Vivid Sydney at Chatswood

Circular Quay

Vivid Sydney

The best view of the Sydney Opera House is from the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Read about Vivid Sydney at Circular Quay

City and Surrounds

Vivid Sydney

A must-see tis year is the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie projection on the Customs House.

Read about Vivid Sydney in the Sydney CBD

Darling Harbour

Vivid Sydney
This year Darling Harbour will feature an inclusive light playground, Tumbalong Lights. The light display has four interactive play installations that give children of all ages and abilities an inclusive and accessible experience.

Darling Harbour is a top pick for families.

Read more about Tumbalong Lights.

Read more about Vivid Sydney at Darling Harbour

Harbour Lights

Vivid Sydney: The Highlights via christineknight.me

Read more about Vivid Sydney Harbour Lights

Kings Cross

Read more about Vivid Sydney at Kings Cross

Luna Park
Vivid Sydney
Photograph by Dallas Kilponen

Read more about Vivid Sydney at Luna Park

Taronga Zoo

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

We attend Vivid at Taronga Zoo every year. Their “Lights for the Wild” display focuses on animal conservation. Over 100 sculptures are ready to be discovered on a light trail through the zoo.

Read more about Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

The Rocks

Vivid Sydney

Duck in and out of historic laneways and discover a treasure trove of light sculptures.

Read more about Vivid Sydney at The Rocks

The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Vivid Sydney
Photo by Steve Christo

Always a beautiful location to see light sculptures by the ocean, with the Sydney Opera House in the background.

Vivid Sydney
Photo by Steve Christo

This year, grab a cupcake ($7) from a Sprinkles cupcake vending machine on the trail.

Read more about Vivid Sydney at The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

General Vivid Sydney Tips

Vivid Sydney

Arrive BEFORE the lights turn on

Find a prime position near the lights that you want to see the most without a hoard of people and wait patiently until the lights get switch on. BAM – lights minus the crowds.

Lights go on at 6pm at all locations other than Taronga Zoo, where the lights go on at 5:30pm.

Hit up the most popular installations first

This has always been a key for me in conjunction with the point above. I circle back to those that it’s easy to see even with a crowd last, such as the Customs House, MCA and Sydney Opera House.

See the lights without the crowd

There are a few spots where you can see Vivid lights that are away from the general crowd. For a good view of the Harbour head to the top of the Cahill Expressway (lift at Circular Quay).

You can also visit the Observation Deck of the Sydney Tower Eye for a birds-eye view of the lights, zero crowds!

Lastly, walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s free to walk the pedestrian and bike path. I would suggest walking in one direction from The Rocks to Milsons Point, and catching the train back again.

Dedicate several nights to see it all

I’m sure it’s possible to see everything in one go, but why do it if you can spread it out? With so many locations, Vivid really needs at least three nights to see everything. Break it down into sections that can be covered together. Taronga and Chatswood or Luna Park, Circular Quay, Martin Place and Botanic Gardens plus Barangaroo and the Rocks, and lastly Darling Harbour, which can be done with another of the options with a bit of commuting in between.

Rug up!

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

It gets cold at night, especially near the water. Dress warm including a coat and a beanie and gloves.

Take the kids to Taronga

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

This is my pick for kids because it’s ticketed, so less people, and the lights go on earlier than the other locations.

Read about what to expect from Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo here.

Don’t bypass the smaller Vivid locations, especially with kids

With kids in tow, the locations such as Darling Harbour and Chatswood are also an excellent idea as these spots don’t get as large crowds as the CBD does.

Pick a quiet day to go

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

We always go the first weekend or Monday to Thursday. The first few days are always the quietist, before photos start appearing in the news and reminding people that it’s on. The second weekend, from Friday onwards, is when it starts to get really busy. If there is a big event on elsewhere while Vivid is on, that is also a great night to go!

Take public transport to the city or pre-book parking

Pre-book a car spot if you ca’t take public transport as parking is an absolute nightmare. When taking public transport, be aware that Circular Quay train station might be busy and be prepared to walk to another station if needed.

Find the best places to park for Vivid here.

Bring carriers or strollers for kids

This is for two reasons – one, because it’s night time and little people get tired, but also to keep them out of the way of being stepped on by adults.

Eat food first

We always arrive early in the city and eat before the lights even turn on. My pick is Gateway Sydney for casual, great food.

Tips for seeing Vivid with kids

Vivid Sydney: The Highlights via christineknight.me
Take them to Taronga or Chatswood, where lights go on at 5:30pm instead of 6pm and the crowds aren’t as bad. Darling Harbour, with its interactive light playground, is an excellent choice for families as well.

Take a stroller or baby carrier for little ones.

Feed them first or bring plenty of food for on the go.

Pick up free Lost Child Wristbands for the kids at info booths located on near the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Customs House and Darling Harbour.

Dress kids in high visibility clothing and keep them in sightline at all times.

Photography Tips

Take a good camera

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Take the best one you have. If you have an SLR, bring it. If the best you have is a point and shoot or your phone, then that will do. One of my old photography teachers once said “the best camera is the one you’ve got” and I’ve always remembered it!

A better camera will however produce better results, so when you’re in a tricky lighting situation such as an event after dark, I find it’s always worth bringing the best camera you’ve got.

Turn off the flash

Please, please, please turn off your flash! A good flash on an SLR camera only has a range of about a metre, so a flash on a phone is even more ineffectual. Use light from the installations to illuminate your subject matter rather than the flash.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Caveat: If your subjects are standing in front of an extremely large light sculpture and you want them facing the camera with the object BEHIND them, then this is the one time when I would suggest using the flash. There is a photography op at Taronga with gorillas that is exactly this circumstance.

Use the sculptures to light faces

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Instead of using the flash, position people near the sculptures with the light directing onto them faces. Move yourself into a position where you can see the faces illuminated. Then take the photo.

Take a tripod 

Obviously this is a “if you have one” scenario. In any lowlight situation a tripod is your best friend to providing camera stability and resulting in sharper images without needing to over compensate for the low light by adjusting other camera settings as much.

Lean on fences or props

If you don’t have a tripod or, like me, don’t take one because they’re quite hard to manage with a crowd or you’ve got kids in tow, wedge your camera on solid, immovable objects to get sharper shots. I use fences, the backs of chairs, you get the picture.

Bump up the ISO

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

If you have manual settings on your camera, bump up the ISO A LOT. I bump mine way up to ensure that the photos are in focus. The photos are grainier as a result, but at least they’re in focus.

Give kids an old camera or phone

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

I gave Cheese my iPhone to shoot with this year and I loved the photos she came up with. Kids have a different perspective to adults so the angles and perspectives she shot were completely different to mine.

Get more info on Vivid Sydney here.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Tips For Visiting Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo is back for its third year! One of our fave family nights of the year, it’s also our top pick for taking kids to see to see the lights at the annual Vivid festival of lights in Sydney.

In 2018, Vivid Sydney at Taronga runs from May 25 – June 16.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

While you do pay an entrance fee for Vivid at Taronga Zoo, the timed and ticked sessions mean that the crowds are way less and it’s much better managed than the other areas of the festival.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

In line with Taronga Zoo’s focus on conservation, the light show, “Lights for the Wild”, aims to entertain, but also educate the public on 10 of the special animals they are trying to save from extinction in the next 10 years. Each light installation and sculpture tells an important story about conservation.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

While “Lights for the Wild” isn’t as interactive as it was last year (sadly the multimedia bracelets have gone), with only one sculpture that can be touched and manipulated, it’s still a beautiful series of light sculptures in an extremely family-friendly environment.

What you need to know about Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo 2018

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

What’s new this year?

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

While many favourites from the past two years return again, including the gorillas, Tasmanian devil and Sumatran tiger, there are 19 brand new and three revamped sculptures to experience including a goanna, weedy sea dragon, red back spiders and school of blue devil fish.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

The entrance to the light show is completely new. The video projection onto the front of Taronga is gone. In its place is the two-story tall Port Jackson Shark that is now the official exit.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Also new this year is the Taronga Centenary Theatre which shows the multi-award winning animated film, presented as a 270-degree cinematic experience. It’s a great place to stop for a rest beneath a canopy of stars and a glowing planet earth as designed by children, before continuing on the journey back to the top of the zoo.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Visitors can show their support to conservation by tying a glowing yellow ribbon at Ties for the Wild. For each ribbon tied, American Express will make a donation to Taronga’s wildlife conservation.

Getting there

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

While you can catch the ferry, we prefer to drive. If you stay under 90 minutes it’s free. Unlimited parking is $18. We never have any problems finding parking or with traffic either getting there or going back home again.

Pick your session

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

There are now THREE sessions each night: 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, with last entry at 8:30pm.

Buy tickets in advance

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Buy your tickets from the Taronga Zoo website. There is a slight price increase this year.

Prices: Monday – Thursday (Ex Public Holiday) Adults: $23.95 Children: $17.95 Concession: $21.56 Friday – Sunday & Public Holidays Adults: $26.95 Children: $18.95 Concession: $24.26 Children under 4: Free

A limited number of Blue Pass tickets are available each night and include a round trip on the Sky Safari. The Blue Passes cost the same as the regular tickets so I suggest getting them if possible. The Sky Safari DOES NOT STOP, it runs along a loop from the top of the pack back to where it started from.

While I saw a lot of people heading straight to the sky safari when they entered, I suggest seeing the other lights first to get ahead of the crowds, and taking the Sky Safari last before you go home when there is no queue.

Make a day of it

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

If you plan to visit the Zoo during the day before your evening Vivid outing, either buy the tickets online in advance at the same time as your Vivid tickets, or you can buy your Zoo day entry tickets at the Zoo ticket desk on arrival to enjoy a 30% discount off General Admission prices*

Please note: Taronga Zoo closes at 4.30pm and Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo commences at 5.30pm. If you are staying on you will be asked to come up to the main entry plaza to get ready for the beginning of your Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo experience. There is a cafe in the main entry plaza and plenty for the kids to enjoy while you’re waiting for the Vivid lights to turn on.

The Zoo Admission ticket is only valid for use on the same day as your Vivid ticket.

Pack food

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

While there are cafes open with basic food if you don’t have time to do this, we always like to bring our own.

Get there early

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

This is really my mantra for anything we go to! Arrive before the lights go on at 5:30pm so you get in ahead of most of the people in your timed session. I would suggest 5pm. Kids can run through the shark and see the first batch of sculptures inside the entrance before the sessions begin, and you’ll be first in line when 5:30pm strikes and the doors open.

Follow the trail

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

The trail winds throughout Taronga Zoo on a circular path. It is completely stroller and wheelchair accessible. The multimedia light sculptures are dotted along the path.

Final Taronga Tips

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

The light trail takes about 60-90 minutes to complete. While the whole trail is stroller and wheelchair accessible there are some steep sections.

There are family-friendly and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms available for use at the entrance at throughout the trail (please check the map).

Catch Vivid at Taronga Zoo from May 26th to June 17, 2017.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Vivid Sydney Tips

Arrive BEFORE the lights turn on

Find a prime position near the lights that you want to see the most without a hoard of people and wait patiently until the lights get switch on. BAM – lights minus the crowds.

Hit up the most popular installations first

This has always been a key for me in conjunction with the point above. I circle back to those that it’s easy to see even with a crowd last, such as the Customs House, MCA and Sydney Opera House.

Dedicate several nights to see it all

I’m sure it’s possible to see everything in one go, but why do it if you can spread it out? With so many locations, Vivid really needs at least three nights to see everything. Break it down into sections that can be covered together. Taronga and Chatswood or Luna Park, Circular Quay, Martin Place and Botanic Gardens plus Barangaroo and the Rocks, and lastly Darling Harbour, which can be done with another of the options with a bit of commuting in between.

Take the kids to Taronga

This is my pick for kids because it’s ticketed, so less people, and the lights go on earlier than the other locations.

Don’t bypass the smaller Vivid locations, especially with kids

With kids in tow, the locations such as Darling Harbour and Chatswood are also an excellent idea as these spots don’t get as large crowds as the CBD does.

Pick a quiet day to go

We always go the first weekend or Monday to Thursday. The first few days are always the quietist, before photos start appearing in the news and reminding people that it’s on. The second weekend, from Friday onwards, is when it starts to get really busy. If there is a big event on elsewhere while Vivid is on, that is also a great night to go!

Take public transport to the city or pre-book parking

Pre-book a car spot if you ca’t take public transport as parking is an absolute nightmare. When taking public transport, be aware that Circular Quay train station might be busy and be prepared to walk to another station if needed.

Find the best places to park for Vivid here.

Bring carriers or strollers for kids

This is for two reasons – one, because it’s night time and little people get tired, but also to keep them out of the way of being stepped on by adults.

Eat food first

We always arrive early in the city and eat before the lights even turn on. My pick is Gateway Sydney for casual, great food.

Get more info on Vivid Sydney here.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Where To Find Cheap Parking In The Sydney CBD

Where To Find Cheap Parking Sydney CBD, Australia

Where To Find Cheap Parking in the Sydney CBD

Finding cheap parking in Sydney is like a competitive sport. The city is littered with parking stations and metered parking zones, but they are not made equal. Some are cheaper than others and some are in sneaky locations that not many people know about. While I prefer to take public transport where possible, I will often drive into the city for events at night and on weekends when I have the kid in tow. Over the years I’ve found what I think are best places for cheap parking in Sydney CBD.

Note: these great rates are for after 5pm and weekends. During the week the Sydney CBD parking prices are outrageous so I never take the car.

The best early bird parking options are the Sydney Opera House and Darling Square car parks. See below for more details.

I highly recommend booking parking in parking stations in advance where possible (called “Book a Bay” on the websites) as they are almost always a few dollars cheaper when you book online. I have noted with each parking station if they do not offer an added discount when booking online.

While the prices below were correct at time of writing this article they are subject to change, so please check the website before going if you are concerned about price increases.

Attractions: Museum of Contemporary Art, Vivid Sydney CBD

Vivid Sydney: The Highlights via christineknight.me

Location: Circular Quay, The Rocks

There are three parking garages that have decent evening rates from 5pm Mon-Fri. Note: Sat & Sun are much pricer, although they are available at a discount when booked in advance through the websites below.

Gateway Car Park
25 Reiby Pl, Sydney
Night: Mon – Fri $15.00
Entry after 5pm, exit before 6am following day
Weekend: Sat – Sun $20.00

Online

155 George St Car Park
155 George Street, The Rocks

Night: Mon – Fri $15.00
Entry after 5pm and exit before close.
Weekend: Sat – Sun $20.00
Online

Clocktower Car Park
55 Harrington Street, The Rocks

Night: Mon – Fri $10.00
Entry after 5pm, exit before car park closes
Weekend: Sat – Sun $25.00

Online

Attractions: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madam Tussauds Sydney

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

Location: Darling Harbour

Car Park: Darling Park Car Park
201 Sussex Street, Sydney

Night: Mon – Wed $10.00, Thurs – Fri $12.00
Entry after 5pm, exit before 6am the next day
Weekend: Sat – Sun $12.00
Online

Attractions: Darling Quarter playground, Monkey Baa Theatre

Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

Location: Darling Quarter

Darling Quarter Car Park
1-11 Harbour Street, Sydney

Night: Mon – Wed $12.00, Thu – Fri $15.00, Sat – Sun $12.00
Entry after 5pm, exit before 6am the next day
Weekend: Sat – Sun $15.00
Online

Attraction: Maritime Museum, Star City Casino, Lyric Theatre

Australian National Maritime Museum
Location: Pyrmont

The Star
80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont

This parking garage has odd hours as it’s underneath a casino, so read carefully! The best rates are during the day.

11:00pm to 5:00pm
Monday to Thursday: $15
Friday to Sunday: $20
Public Holiday: $20

5:00pm to 11:00pm
Monday to Thursday: $20
Friday to Sunday: $25
Public Holiday: $25

No discounts available online

Online

Attractions: QVB and shopping

Afternoon Tea at the QVB: #hightea #kidfriendly #Sydney via christineknight.me
Location: CBD Centre

QVB Car Park
I suggest parking here after 5pm only. Weekends are not discounted.
Night: Sun – Wed $12.00, Thu – Sat $15.00
Entry after 5:00pm & exit before car park closes

No discount available online.

Online

Citipark Car Park
431 Kent Street, Sydney

Night: Mon – Wed $9.00, Thu – Fri $12.00, Sat – Sun $9.00
Entry after 5pm, exit before 6am the next day
Weekend: Sat – Sun $12.00

Online

Attraction: Seeing a show at the Capitol Theatre

Location: CBD near Central Station

Goulburn Street Car Park
101 Goulburn Street, Sydney

Night: Mon – Fri after 5pm $10
Weekends:Sat, Sun & public holidays $12.00

No discount available online
Online

Attraction: Sydney Tower Eye, Pitt Street shopping, AGNSW, Royal Botanic Gardens

Sydney Tower Eye, Australia
Location: The Domain

The Domain Car Park
St Mary’s Road, Sydney

Night: Mon – Fri $12.00
Entry after 5pm, exit before 12am
Weekend: Sat – Sun $12.00

Online

Attraction: Barangaroo

Barangaroo Sydney via christineknight.me
Location: Barangaroo

Barangaroo Reserve Car Park
Towns Place, Sydney

Night: Mon – Fri $10.00
Entry after 5pm, exit before 12am
Weekend: Sat – Sun $12.00

Online

Attraction: ICC Sydney Theatre, Powerhouse Museum, Chinese Garden of Friendship

Powerhouse Museum Sydney
Location: Darling Square

Darling Square Car Park
Zollner Circuit, Haymarket

Cheapest parking in the city and best early bird parking rate. My number one find for cheap parking in Sydney CBD.

Early Bird: Mon – Fri $16.00
Entry between 6am & 9.30am, exit between 3pm & 7pm
Night: Mon – Sun $3.00, Event Night* $19.00
Entry after 5pm, exit before 6am following day
Weekend: Sat – Sun $9.00, Event Day* $19.00

Online

Attraction: Chinatown, Sydney’s Paddy’s Markets

Location: Chinatown

Market City Car Park
2 Quay Street, Haymarket
Night: Sun-Thur $11.00, Fri-Sat $13.00
Entry after 5pm
No discounted weekend day parking

Online

Attraction: Sydney Opera House


Location: Bennelong Point

They have an amazing early bird day rate and weekend rates, but evenings are expensive. Book a Bay online for a good discount. We often park here for shows on weekends and it’s a great deal – one of my best finds for cheap parking Sydney CBD.

Early Bird: Mon – Fri $16.00
Entry between 6am and 10am, exit between 3pm and 7:30pm
Not valid Public Holidays

Weekend: Sat – Sun $15.00

Online

Have I missed anything? Please tell me if You have a cheap parking in Sydney CBD find that I can add to the list. 

Where To Find Cheap Parking Sydney CBD, Australia

More things to do in Sydney

Sydney Harbour Bridge

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!

Boronia House High Tea, Sydney

Boronia House High Tea, Sydney Australia

Dine inside a Victorian mansion built in 1885 at Boronia House, situated on Sydney’s North Shore. We experienced the Boronia House High Tea when celebrating a wedding at the venue. The historic Boronia House, surrounded by a beautiful garden, is the perfect location for a special function such as a baby or bridal shower, special birthday party or wedding reception.

Boronia House, Sydney, NSW

The Classic High Tea Experience includes a selection of light breads, sophisticated savoury bites, house-made scones with double cream and jam, desserts and cakes, served with a choice of a T2 tea or coffee.

Boronia House, Sydney, NSW

Kids aged 3-12 can enjoy the Little Ladies High Tea, which includes ham and cheese finger sandwich, scone with cream and jam, fairy bread, Remi’s homemade chocolate chip cookie, chocolate fondue with fresh fruit, homemade sweet treat of the day, mini pancake stack with maple syrup and a choice of T2 tea, hot chocolate, iced chocolate, fruit juice, pink lemonade or soft drink.

Boronia House, Sydney, NSW

A Devonshire Tea is also available and includes six bites per person; two finger sandwiches, two scones with cream & jam, two dessert bites and a choice of T2 tea, coffee, hot chocolate, iced chocolate or soft drink.

Boronia House, Sydney, NSW Boronia House, Sydney, NSW Boronia House, Sydney, NSW Boronia House, Sydney, NSW

Boronia House
624 Military Rd, Mosman
Online

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!

Featherdale Wildlife Park: Behind-The-Scenes Experiences

Featherdale Wildlife Park Behind-The-Scenes Experiences, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park has long been the place in Sydney to take kids and tourists for an up close experience with Australian animals. Established on 7 acres of land 1953, Featherdale has evolved from a poultry farm into one of the best privately owned wildlife parks in Australia. With the largest collection of Australian animals in the world, Featherdale is a must-visit for locals and visitors alike.

Featherdale Wildlife Park: Behind-The-Scenes Experiences

While we have visited Featherdale many times of the years (you can read more here about our experiences at Featherdale Wildlife Park) this was a special visit, both because we were treated to a VIP behind-the-scenes tour, but also because we learned so much about the animals and the park’s conservation efforts.

I was so inspired after visiting that I did a bit of extra research into the breeding and conservation programs run by Featherdale (a bit of info on a few of the programs is below).

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park is one of the only Wildlife Parks in New South Wales to be endorsed by the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF). The park has also partnered with The Australian Museum on the Koala Genome Program, a conservation program where scientists have mapped the entire genome of over 20,000 specific koala genes which is contributing to the health and survival rate of future koalas worldwide.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

With koala reproduction has been in serious decline, our little furry friends need this research to help them survive.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

On our tour we learned that the majority of wallabies and kangaroos in the park were either rescued as joeys after their mums were killed, or were born at Featherdale. We met Flo, a baby wallaby whose mother had rejected her and is now being reared by hand until she is able to be released into the wallaby enclosure.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

We also met a gorgeous wombat baby whose mother had been hit by a car. Luckily a good Samaritan checked the pouch and found the baby inside, unharmed. He is now being hand-raised at Featherdale.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

It’s not surprising to learn that Featherdale works with NSW Emergency Services, State Emergency Services (SES), WIRES and local council to operate as a Native Animal Rescue Hospital. They take in thousands of sick, injured and orphaned animals from the community and surrounding parklands every year, including this tawny frogmouth bird who was found with a hole in his beak and unable to be released back into the wild as a result.

You can read more about the breeding and conservation programs at Featherdale here.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Since so many of the animals have been rescued or hand-raised, a lot of them are really tame and happy to be handled by humans.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Visitors to Featherdale can choose from a variety of personal encounters with animals like the ones we met. Options include getting to meet unique birds, scaly reptiles, friendly wallabies and other furry marsupials.

Not only are you able to touch the animals, but you’ll learn so much about their lives and challenges faced by the breed in the wild. It’s an incredibly educational experience as well as engaging and interactive. Plus you get a great selfie out of it!

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

A few options at the moment include a personal dingo encounter, saltwater croc encounter, private mammal or reptile encounter, or personal koala encounter. Each encounter includes a souvenir photo to take home. Get more info on the current options for animal encounters and prices online.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

During our tour we also learned a lot about some incredible Australian animals such as the Cassowary. I’ve long thought they were beautiful birds but I had no idea that, firstly, they were the world’s most deadly bird and are the only bird to have killed humans (note it was through self defence), but also that they have talons on their feet and are descended from velociraptors. Incredible!

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

We also got up close to some saltwater crocs during the croc feeding. The big man croc came to Featherdale 26 years ago after he was being a bit of a pest and eating local pet dogs.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

It’s mind blowing to think that when he was one year old he was this size!

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

In the Reptile House we met a gorgeous python and a shingleback lizard (who apparently make great pets!). We learned that lizards smell through their tongues. As we were holding the shingleback he flicked out his tongue “smelling” us in a ticklish move that left us both giggling.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Our last stop for the day was feeding one last Aussie icon – the wallabies. We’ve fed them so many times but it’s never enough. They’re such cute little creatures it’s always a joy to end our day with a furry encounter of the macropod kind.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park
217-229 Kildare Road,
Doonside, Sydney NSW 2767
(near Blacktown) Australia
Phone: 02 9622 1644
Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
Get Directions

Get more ideas on things to do in Sydney with Kids!

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.

Our VIP tour was hosted by Featherdale Wildlife Park. All opinions are our own. 

Featherdale Wildlife Park Behind-The-Scenes Experiences, Sydney, Australia

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Bitton Oatley: Sydney’s Best Cafes For Families

Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney

We have been fans of the flagship Bitton cafe in Alexandria for years, so were extremely happy to hear about the new Bitton Oatley site when it recently opened. Both Bitton cafes offer a French-inspired menu and share the same philosophy of “five star gourmet at café prices in a friendly atmosphere”.

Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney

The new Bitton Oatley has a huge outdoor area wth a little play area and some cute landscaping features to discover. The menus are seasonal and baristas serve Grinders coffee.

Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney

The family-friendly atmosphere of Bitton Alexandria is mirrored here, and on our mid-week visit we see mums and bubs enjoying babyccinos in the spacious yard.

Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney

The cafe is extremely accessible for strollers and also wheelchairs. There is a flat path that leads from the front all around the back and directly into the back of the cafe and yard. There is also clear access to the bathrooms and a large family and wheelchair accessible bathroom with a change table and even a few spare nappies and wipes.

I also appreciated how easy it was to park at the cafe! There is plenty of street parking available on the site streets.

Bitton: #kidfrindly #cafes #alexandria #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

There is a dedicated kids’ menu featuring Scrambled Eggs, Crispy Bacon and Toast, French Crêpes, Steak and Fries, Chicken & Mushroom Pasta, Crumbed Fish Fillets and a Kids Beef Burger (French Crêpes pictured above).

Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney

We ordered Breakfast Salad Bowl (Soft Boiled Egg, Avocado, Quinoa, Pistachios Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Kale, Crispy Bacon, Baby Spinach, GF, $17) and the Tomato and Goat’s Cheese Sourdough Toast with Basil Oil ($17).

Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney

I always know what to expect when we dine at Bitton and this time was no exceptions. Delicious food made with the freshest of ingredients and served quickly. Impeccable and friendly service. A thoroughly enjoyable experience, every single time.

Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney

This brunch was made even sweeter by the surprise gift of two free mini creme brulees for dessert. Yum!

Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney Bitton Oatley: Kid-Friendly Restaurants Sydney

Bitton Oatley
119a Mulga Rd, Oatley
Hours: Tues & Sun 7am-4pm, Wed-Sat 7am-9pm, Mondays closed. 
Phone: 02 9570 5777

bittongourmet.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.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!