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Sydney

Sydney Guide: Tips For First-time Visitors

Sydney Guide: Tips For First-time Visitors

Welcome to Sydney! I’m thrilled you’re visiting my hometown. Sydney is a beautiful, safe city and there’s so much to do. This Sydney guide will help you navigate the city and enjoy your visit.

How to get around

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

Sydney has an extensive public transport system that includes trains, buses, ferries and light rail. If you’re in Sydney for a few says, buy an Opal card to use public transport – the one card gives you daily travel caps and enables you to use all four transport systems, plus lets you use the $2.50 per person Sunday cap. Taxis and Uber in Sydney are expensive so walking plus public transport are your best options.

Driving in Sydney

To see a lot of Sydney and its surrounds, it’s advisable to hire a car. International visitors may use a foreign driver’s licence in NSW. Note that all speed limits are strictly enforced with cameras and it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent or higher, or to drive under the influence of illegal drugs.

When to visit

Sydney is the perfect year-round travel destination due to its temperate climate. It does, however, get extreme heat in summer (December to February). While the average maximum temperatures are around 26°C (78.8°F), it can reach over 40°C (104°f) during this time of year. Summer is also the most humid time of year to visit, with average humidity of 65%.

Winter (June – August) average maximum temperatures are around 16°C (60.8°F). Sydney’s highest rainfall is between March and June.

National Emergency Services

The national phone number for all emergency services in Australia, including ambulance, fire and police, is 000. You can dial Triple Zero within Australia from any fixed line, mobile phone, pay phone and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. If you have a GSM digital mobile phone, you can also dial the international standard emergency number 112.

Hotel Review: The Langham Sydney, Australia

Where to stay

For a short stay, hotels in the CBD particularly around Circular Quay and The Rocks will make it easy to get around as they’re close to public transport as well as main attractions. Darling Harbour is also a good choice particularly for families.

Get reviews on my fave hotels in Sydney: The Langham Sydney in The Rocks and the Shangri-La, Sydney.

For longer stays try renting a house or apartment on Stayz.com.au or airbnb.com.au.

Get hotel rates in Sydney from Booking.com or find special up-to-date deals below.



Booking.com



Booking.com

 

Things to do in Sydney

Sydney Opera House Day pack via christineknight.me

Get ideas of things to do in Sydney and beyond.

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

Find things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

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

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Where to find the best views in Sydney.

Travelling further afield? Get ideas on places to visit around Australia here.

Get tips on travelling Australia on a budget here

The Best Indoor Play Centres in Sydney

The Best Indoor Play Centres In Sydney

Looking to entertain the kids when it’s raining and cold? Try an indoor play centre or indoor playground in Sydney.

Below you’ll find a list of the best indoor play centres in Sydney.

The Best Indoor Play Centres In Sydney

Nubo

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Location: Alexandria
Nubo is our favourite indoor play centre in Sydney. The purpose of Nubo is to let kids explore, create, rest and wonder. Each section of the centre focuses on a different purpose and activity that matches it, resulting in a space looks more like a children’s museum than a traditional play gym. For kids ages 7/8 and younger, Nubo is my number one pick for indoor play centres in Sydney.

Get more info on visiting Nubo Alexandria.

Twinkle Kids Cafe

Twinkle Kids Cafe Burwood

Location: Burwood

Kids and parents will adore Twinkle Kids Cafe, a light and bright cafe with an indoor playground located in Burwood Plaza, Sydney.

Designed for kids up to age 10, the cafe I think is best suited to slightly younger kids, although my eight-year-old was desperate to get in there and have a play.

Twinkle Kids Cafe features a large ball pit and soft play climbing area, plus dress up and role play activities such as a play kitchen. 

Get more info on visiting Twinkle Kids Cafe.

Jungle Buddies

Jungle Buddies Play Centre, Five Dock via christineknight.me

Location: Five Dock
Jungle Buddies at Five Dock is a huge, clean and bright play centre. The climbing structure is massive, with plenty of nocks and crannies and levels to keep kids entertained for hours. An onsite cafe serves a good selection of healthy food. The equipment is all extremely clean and new, which is an added bonus for me and my hatred of dirty sticky things.

Get more info on visiting Jungle Buddies here.

Little Dynamos

Location: Alexandria
This outdoor-themed centre for kids features a a multi-level playscape, a cafe for snacks and an inflated jumping area. Little Dynamoes is a constant favourite among locals as it’s basically a huge kids’ indoor playground. There is a dedicated area for under 3s and free parking outside. The cafe serves a wide variety of well-priced food.
Website: littledynamos.com

Monkey Mania

Monkey Mania, SydneyLocations: Ryde, Bankstown, Entertainment Quarter, Casula, Gosford, Campbelltown, Penrith
Kids can run off steam climbing large play structures and hurtling down slides. We’ve been to Monkey Manias in various locations. They’re a good bet when you need to let kids run off steam!
Website: monkeymania.com.au

Shine Shed – All Abilities Play Centre

Shine Shed

Location: Campbelltown
Sydney’s only all abilities play centre, Shine Shed is an amazing place for kids with and without disabilities to enjoy playing in a safe environment. 

Feature inside this amazing play centre include a purpose built wheelchair accessible swing, large foam pit, flying fox with adaptable seating options, a long trampoline, a room with lowered lights set aside away from the hustle and bustle for children who may need a low sensory visit and much, much more.

Get more info on visiting the Shine Shed

Image courtesy of Have Wheelchair Will Travel.

Planet Mino


Location: Chatswood

Planet Mino is a new two-story play center for kids, featuring multiple playgrounds, giant slides, a sand pit, play toys, crafts, legos, jumping castles, trampolines, AR play walls and an in-house cafe. All kids must wear ANTI SLIP socks. Adults must remove shoes and wear socks as well. If you don’t have socks, they can be purchased at reception. 

Website: facebook.com/planetmino

Image courtesy of Planet Mino.

Chipmunks Playground & Cafe

Locations: Bankstown, Macquarie Centre, Prospect, Villawood
The Chipmunks play spaces feature large climbing structures made from soft equipment. It’s a great spot for when it’s cold and raining, as there is plenty of room for kids to run wild.
Website: chipmunks.com.au

Ultimate Family Fun Centre Sydney

Location: Northmead
Enjoy 2500sqm of fun including over 750sqm of trampolines, a massive foam pit with a climbing wall at the back, the largest indoor play centre/jungle gym/soft play setup in Australia (split into 0-5 years and 5-12 years), dodgem cars and a party room.
Website: ultimate.sydney

Wannabees Family Playtown


Locations: Frenchs Forest, Hornsby
In the Wannabees child-sized city, kids can discover what they want to be when they grow up. Wannabees is a great place for imaginary play and roleplaying, as kids can pretend to be firefighters, police officers, doctors, beauticians and more the Wannabees City buildings.
Website: wannabees.com.au

Little Rascals

Location: Brookvale
This indoor play space features enclosed climbing areas for both older and younger kids. Little Rascals is fully air-conditioned and features a giant three-lane slide, toddler zone for kids aged 4 and under, 300m2 climbing frame, fun ball zone, web climb, trampolines, spiral slide and a cafe.
Website: littlerascalsplayland.com.au

Lollipops Playland

Lollipops Penrith

Location: Penrith
There’s plenty of climbing and sliding to be had at this indoor playground designed for kids aged 1 – 11 year.  Lollipops Playland features a Multi level Play Frame, Free Merry-Go-Round, Bouncie Castle, Dedicated Toddler Area, Ride On Cars, Dress Up & Play Believe Areas. There’s also a cafe’ and seating area for adults to enjoy.
Website: penrith.lollipopsplayland.com.au

Image courtesy of Lollipops.

Monkey Bar Playground

Rhodes Waterfront Shopping Centre
Location: Rhodes Waterside Shopping Centre
A free play area that is enclosed on three sides featuring a mini obstacle course for toddlers and two spiralling towers with a tunnel that runs over the top of an escalator.
Website: rhodeswaterside.com.au

Supa Play Zone

Location: Supa Centre Moore Park
The Supa Centre has two free play areas on level 1: the Supa Crawler, for kids aged 1-5 years, and the Supa Climber, for kids aged 3-8 years.

Both play areas are completely enclosed. The larger Supa Climber is a massive structure including a slide. The Supa Centre has excellent family bathrooms, cafes and free parking.

Website: supacentamoorepark.com.au

The Best Trampolining Centres In Sydney

Sky Zone

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

Locations: Alexandria, Miranda
Australia’s premiere trampolining features more than 117 interconnected trampolines. Kids can also tackle 30 different climbing challenges at Sky Climb. Little kids can try the “Little Leapers” session where they can bounce safely without bigger kids around.

Get more info on visiting Sky Zone Little Leapers program here.
Website: skyzone.com.au

Flip Out

Flipout Brookevale

Locations: Blacktown, Brookvale, Caringbah, Castle Hill, Penrith, Prestons, Punchbowl
There’s plenty of jumping to be had at these trampolining parks. The Flip Out chain is an excellent choice for an indoor play centre in Sydney West.
Website: flipout.net

Image courtesy of Flip Out.

The Best Parkour Centres in Sydney

Australia Academy of Parkour

Locations: Tempe, Pyrmont, Chullora
Kids will be bouncing off the walls literally as they learn the art of parkour.

Website: aapes.com.au

Moving Bodies

Location: Mt Kuring-gai
Moving Bodies is an indoor leisure centre that includes two indoor parkour centres. Kids parkour lessons are available for ages 5+.

Parkour methods involve crawling, running, jumping, climbing, hanging, rolling and balancing. The parkour obstacle course is open to the public Monday – Friday from 10.30am – 3:30pm.  Outside of these hours, please contact Moving Bodies for available times.

The Best Inflatable Play Centres in Sydney

Inflatable World

Inflatable World, PeakhurstLocations: Blacktown, Campbelltown, Castle Hill, Liverpool, Miranda, Narellan, Mt Kuring-gai, St Marys, Peakhurst.
The biggest indoor inflatable playgrounds in Australia. Kids won’t want to leave this giant indoor fun park, with seperate areas for little and big kids and a wide range of inflated activities to try. There is an onsite cafe and plenty of supervision from the staff throughout the centre.
Website: inflatableworldoz.com.au

Cool Cats Inflatable World

Location: Randwick
Kids are kept active, entertained and challenged on their interactive inflatable games. A really popular spot with my daughter and school groups!
Website: coolcatsfun.com.au

The Best Indoor Climbing Gyms in Sydney

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

While kids aged 5-6 and over can generally have a go at any climbing gym on the easiest courses, these three facilities cater specifically to kids.

Sky Zone

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria
Locations: Alexandria, Miranda
As well as trampolines, Sky Zone has an excellent space called Sky Climb, where kids can tackle 30 different climbing challenges. All the climbs at Sky Zone have an “auto belayer” which means the rope system is automatic and doesn’t require an adult to be clipped into the harness and lower them down to the ground again, which is the case at the majority of climbing gyms. For that reason alone, Sky Zone is our fave place to climb in Sydney.
Website: skyzone.com.au

Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym

Locations: St Peters, Villawood
While both locations have a designated kids’ climbing area, the Villawood gym has a much larger area than St Peters. Both locations have at least one party room. Villawood has several tunnels for kids to climb and crawl through. We’ve been climbing for years at both locations. Highly recommend.
Website: indoorclimbing.com.au

ClimbFit

Climbfit

Location: St Leonards
Kids as young as 4 years old can experience indoor rock climbing at Climb-fit, using their designated kids area, crawling through the Groove Tube or holding a birthday party in the party room. Another gym I’ve been climbing at since pre-kids, it’s an excellent facility.
Website: climbfit.com.au

Image courtesy of Lyndon Marceau @marceauphotography

Peak Pursuits

Peak Pursuits Castle Hill

Location: Castle Hill
A bright, new climbing centre, Peak Pursuits features 10 high ropes course activities, 13 vertical activities, two “Leaps of Faith”, “Kung Fu Poles” and a big drop giant slide. Peak Pursuits also runs weekend climbing classes for kids aged 5-12 years old, who have no prior climbing experience.
Website: peakpursuits.com.au

Turbo Climb

Turbo Climb
Location: Bankstown
A brand new climbing gym inside Bankstown Sports Club, Turbo Climb, features 26 indoor climbing walls up to 10 metres tall, suitable for ages 5 and up. Race to the top of a magical beanstalk or climb a roaring volcano. Turbo Climb infuses a traditional indoor climbing experience with new technology and exciting innovations.

Website: turboclimb.com.au

Image courtesy of Turbo Climb.

The Best Ninja Warrior Gyms in Sydney

Ninja 101

Ninja 101

Location: Prospect
Ninja 101 has three seperate areas. The main ninja section has 28 ninja obstacles for kids and adults to test their strength, agility and fitness, plus a three-level warped wall and basketball hoop. There is also an inflatable ninja course that is easier and best suited for young kids, and a futsall court. Coming this year: an under 5s Ninja Playhouse.

Ninja 101

​Note: if attending during the school holidays the centre takes in large groups from school vacation care and the place can be absolutely packed to the rafters. 

There is a cafe onsite with basic snacks and drinks.

Website: ninja-101.com

Warehouse 11 Studio

Warehouse 11

Location: Artarmon
Warehouse 11 Studio is an indoor action sports centre where kids can skate, scoot, BMX and ninja. The ninja gym section caters to wannabe ninja warriors, big and small, while the rest of the studio features ramps for skating/bikes/scooters.

Warehouse 11

All sessions are closely supervised. There is a cafe onsite. 

Website: warehouse11.business.site

Images courtesy of Warehouse 11.

Location: Mount Ku-ringai

Moving Bodies

The Moving Bodies leisure centre has a ninja course including various sized warped walls, cargo nets, floating doors, rope climb, floating steps, spider wall, peg wall and more. The ninja course is open to kids aged 5+.

Website: movingbodies.com.au

The Best Miniature Golf Courses In Sydney

Putt Planet, Miranda

Putt Planet, Miranda

This indoor miniature golf course is travel themed and accessible, so a great option for strollers or wheelchairs. The theme of the mini golf course is a trip to Mombasa, with a plane at the entrance symbolising the start of your journey.

The Putt Planet website says, “Discover another time and place when you board your Putt Planet flight from Miranda to Mombasa. Putt through the bustling market places, homes and even the sewers of Old Mombasa whilst exploring this ancient doorway to Eastern Africa. We’ve put a roof over the charming streets and laneways so any time is a good time to visit; the weather is always fine!”

Get more info on Putt Planet.

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.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney here.

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

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

Where To Find The Best Ice Skating Rinks In Sydney

Where To Go Ice Skating In Sydney

Ice skating is so much fun for kids and adults alike. Kids can enjoy a public skating session at any of these rinks, as well as joining a learn-to-skate program from an early age (most programs start at age 4). In this post you will find the locations of each ice skating rink in Sydney.

Ice Skating Rink Sydney

Ice Skating Canturbury, Australia

Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink
Sydney’s best value rink hosts a wide variety of public sessions plus learn-to-skate classes and disco events. At this Olympic-sized rink, parking is plentiful, unlimited and free. We love their learn-to-skate lessons because they are drop-in for a bargain price of $17 for a 30 minute group lesson plus 1 hour practice session directly after the lesson (other rinks may offer a 30 minute practice session, a free practice session at another time or none). Facilities also include a heated canteen, coin-operated lockers and disabled access toilets. The ice rink also offers birthday parties, school holiday clinics and learn-to-skate programs plus disco nights and special holiday events. Canterbury is a great, cost-effective ice rink in Sydney.

Check session times and prices on their website.

Macquarie Ice Rink, Sydney

Macquarie Ice Rink
Located in Macquarie Shopping Centre at North Ryde, this ice rink has the added bonus of being a place to skate and shop at the same time. Macquarie Ice Rink has general public sessions as well as offering term-time and school holiday learn-to-skate programs, an all-day mega skate session with unlimited skating from $20, live DJ sessions, and soccer bubbles on ice. Macquarie Ice Rink has recently had a multi-million dollar renovation and is looking very nice as a result! They offer group bookings and birthday parties, and will validate your parking ticket so you can get an extra hour of free parking. After skating, head to Vogue, our fave cafe in the shopping centre, for lunch. More info on Vogue Cafe here. Macquarie is an excellent all-day entertainment venue with an ice rink in Sydney.

Check session times and prices on their website.

Image courtesy of Macquarie Ice Rink.

The Ice Zoo Alexandria
While the Ice Zoo has the traditional public skating and learn-to-skate sessions, it’s also the place to try some added fun on ice such as ice fitness classes and live DJ nights with light shows. The Ice Zoo has a wide range of facilities and programs on offer, including adult and kids learn-to-skate classes, disco on ice, birthday parties, hockey development classes for kids aged 5 and up and the popular “Snow Play” $15 sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays for kids aged 6 and under to experience snow all year ’round. The Ice Zoo also has penguin skate aids for hire and free parking.

Check session times and prices on their website.

Penrith Ice Palace
Western Sydney’s Olympic-size ice skating centre has state-of-the-art facilities and programs including general public skating sessions, figure skating clubs and lessons, children’s birthday parties, synchronised figure skating and learn-to-skate programs. Penrith Ice Palace also offers Penguin Skate Aids for hire, 2.5hr weekend skate sessions, the ice sport Broomball, kids’ birthday parties, Friday night disco sessions and ice hockey. Car parking is available in the car park or on the street.

Check session times and prices on their website.

Liverpool Catholic Club Ice Skating Rink, Sydney

Liverpool Catholic Club (LCC)
The LCC Ice Rink offers public skating sessions, learn-to-skate programs, penguin skate aids for hire, ice disco sessions and playgroup sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays for kids aged 2-6. The $13 session includes lessons, games and snow play, small chips and a poppa, plus parents can hop on the ice for an extra $4. There’s plenty of free parking available in the LCC car park. Members pay a discounted rate.

Check session times and prices on their website.

Sydney’s Best Playgrounds: Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

This brand new playground in Waterloo is a joint venture between the City of Sydney and property developer Meriton, as part of their residential development plan for the area. As you can see from these images, Wulaba Park is situated right in the middle of high rise housing developments. Having lived in this area ourselves previously, it’s wonderful to see more play spaces for kids opening up for the community.

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

Wulaba Park features an exciting playground designed by a landscape architect in conjunction with Sydney artist Nuha Saad. The result is an elegant design that is quite beautiful to look at with soaring lines and bold colours.

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

The name of the park, “Wulaba” is an Aboriginal word of the Gadical people meaning rock wallaby. Until the development of the early 20th century, Waterloo was the largest swamp in the area and home to many rock wallabies. Nowadays, the park is a place for human wallabies to hop around and burn off some energy.

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

Waluba Park features a giant mega slide, a tall climbing tower, tunnels for kids to run through, nets and ladders to climb and a swing set on a soft-surface floor. The 4,000sqm of outdoor space also features a landscaped picnic and bbq area, bike tracks and handball and table tennis courts.

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

Our verdict

While we loved the design and Cheese found it incredible inviting, there wasn’t overly much for her to do there and she wanted to leave sooner than we had expected. The park isn’t fenced so parents have to keep an extra close eye on littlies, and there is very little shade. No shade clothes have been built into the park, and the trees are new and small.

Bathrooms: One toilet with baby change facilties
Cafes: None – you’ll have to walk to the nearby shopping complex in Zetland
Parking: Limited but do-able. We parked at the Zetland shopping complex and walked over.
Public Transport: Bus stop nearby. Nearest train station is Green Square.

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo
54–60 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo

 

Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean at the MCA Sydney

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

Sip my Ocean is a brand new exhibition by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist, exclusively on display in Sydney. Pipilotti Rist is known for her experimental video art and multimedia installations where she uses video and sculpture to immerse viewers in colourful projections.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

As viewers weave their way through the exhibition, they pass through a series of rooms, each set up to project light and video onto the walls, floor and objects. Pillows and beds on the floor invite the viewer to sit or lay down and watch the kaleidoscopic presentations.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

The exhibition is an excellent choice to introduce children to contemporary art. They can sit, watch and engage with the exhibition and take from it their own interpretation, be it a symphony of light and colour, or a delightful array of images, many of them from nature.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

In one room, the work called 4th Floor to Mildness invites viewers to lie down on one of 18 beds and look up at two large panels on the roof where underwater images of plants, limbs and sea glass are projected. It’s an experience that feels very much like being underwater.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia
The highlight for us was the piece of light art called Pixelwald (Pixel Forest), which imagines a TV screen exploding in a room. The pixels are represented by lights hanging from the ceiling that twinkle and surge in response to music.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia
In the adjacent National Centre for Creative Learning, kids can experiment with mirrored light and projections in the free drop-in art space “Sundays with Pipilotti”. Note: You do not need a ticket to the exhibition to visit the drop-in space.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean at the MCA Sydney
5 November 2017 – 18 February 2018
Adults: $22

Concession: $17
Youth: $12 (Children and young people aged between 12 and 18 years)
Family: $56 (Valid for 2 adults and up to 3 children. This ticket is for families with children ages 12–18)
Children 12 and under are FREE.
Buy tickets here

Sundays with Pipilotti
Free entry
Open every Sunday during the exhibition*, 10.30am – 4pm
Location: National Centre for Creative Learning, Level 3
*Exceptionally on 10 December the space will close at midday

Hungry? Check out the MCA Rooftop Cafe and Sculpture Terrace.

Pipilotti Rist - Sip my Ocean Exhibition at the MCA Sydney, Australia

Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

Nestled in the heart of Sydney’s Centennial Park, the newly opened Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden is designed to connect children with nature and engage all five of their senses.

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, AustraliaInside the Garden, children can indeed run wild and explore the environment which includes around 12,000 plants, a water play area featuring 11 water jets and mist machines, a 7-metre tall treehouse with a bridge leading to it and slide leading down, a 10-metre tunnel, a bamboo forest, a sand pit, and, our favourite, a wide open space with logs and rocks for climbing and branches for building teepees or cubby houses.

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

The Garden was created for children aged 2 – 12, of all abilities. Within each of the “spaces” of the garden there are plenty of ways for kids to engage with their surroundings regardless of their age or background. Every section of the Garden has been created in a way that it is a blank canvas that is open to interpretation by the child to project their own imagination onto, and create their own world and games inside.

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

We visited the Garden on its opening weekend and it was absolutely packed, which is understandable. It’s a delightful place with a lot of attention to small details such as trails for kids to run down and a forest of bamboo that they can disappear into.

While the garden is a decent size it’s not massive and it wasn’t big enough to cope with the amount of people who visited when we were there. Plants were getting trampled and even ripped out by kids (where were their parents???? I have no idea!!), and the line to get up into the treehouse and slide back down again was so crowded it looked unsafe for littles to get involved.

Hopefully when its newness has worn off the Garden will have less less people there on a regular basis so it’s able to be a safe and enjoyable environment for the little kids it was designed for.

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

We spent the majority of our time in the garden building a cubby house made out of the big sticks that are provided and decorating it with rocks, bark and ferns we found lying around. Unfortunately the greenery had been ripped off plants by other kids before we arrived – we used it to decorate since it was already on the ground, but did tell Cheese that we don’t rip branches off trees.

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

Entry to the Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden is free. There is a van serving coffee, drinks and snacks inside the garden plus excellent bathroom facilities.

Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden
Centennial Park
Hours: The Garden is open daily, 10am-5pm. 
Where to find the Garden: Located in Centennial Park, off Grand Drive and adjacent to the Education Precinct.

Sculpture By The Sea 2017

Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney, Australia

It’s time for the 21st annual Sculpture by the Sea, the largest free to the public sculpture exhibition in the world. This year in Sydney, Sculpture by the Sea runs from 19 October – 5 November 2017, along the cliff top walk from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

While the majority of the sculptures are not able to be touched, each year there are several that are designed to be interacted with by visitors, be it walking through them, on them or climbing over them – the placards in front of the sculptures let people know which ones are able to be touched and which ones are too fragile.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

This year we found that there weren’t any interactive sculptures like in previous years sadly, but still some that could be crawled through and touched.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

Please enjoy the photos of this spectacular exhibition, and scroll down to the bottom for tips on attending.

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Tips for attending Sculpture By The Sea

  • Go early, like 6am early. Last year we arrived at 7am and it was perfect. This year we arrived at 9:45am and it was absolutely packed.
  • Parking is a nightmare. Go early and look for a spot around Tamarama or Bronte.
  • Bring lots of water, sunscreen and a hat. The sun is brutal on the walk and there is no shade.
  • Bathrooms are located at Tamarama Beach, Mark’s Place and Bondi Beach.
  • Food is also located at Tamarama, Bondi and Mark’s Place. In 2017 there is a new fast food service at St Mark’s Place serving basic breakfast food from 7am-10am like granola, fruit salad, croissants and quiche, and, from 10am, pies, sausage rolls and quiche plus burgers, gnocchi and fries. There are also sweet treats and drinks including freshly squeeze juice. Kids meals: nuggets and chips, tuna wrap, ham and cheese toastie.
  • The walk is not stroller friendly at all. If you cannot bring your child in a baby carrier, walk/drive to Mark’s Place – it’s the only stroller accessible point of the walk.
  • Try for dawn or sunset for pictures with truly stunning light and less people around.
  • There are two kids’ playgrounds on the walk – one at Tamarama Beach and one at Mark’s Place.
  • Week days are much less busy than weekends.
  • Keep an eye on small children. Not only is the walk crowded, it runs along the cliff tops where there are no guard rails or barriers to stop children from falling over the edge.
  • Not all sculptures are designed to be touched. Please respect the signs and only touch those that are designated for interaction.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Australia

Photography tip: It might look like we were pretty much by ourselves on the walk but this was thanks to careful shooting and editing. For pics like these, be extremely patient and wait until other people leave the frame, or step around them and find an angle with no-one in it. If you can’t do either, then crop in close.

Sculpture By The Sea

100+ Things To Do In Sydney With Kids

The Best Things To Do In Sydney With Kids #sydney #australia #familytravel

Sydney kids are so spoiled! There are literally so many things to do in Sydney with kids that it will take you an entire childhood here to discover them all. If you’re visiting for a day, a week, a month or are a local, here you’ll find a multitude of things to do in Sydney with kids.

The Best Things To Do In Sydney With Kids

In The City Centre

The Rocks

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

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

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour

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

Observatory Hill Park and the Sydney Observatory

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

Image credit: Destination NSW

State Library of NSW

Children's Library and Family Spaces inside the State Library of NSW

It’s free to wander into Australia’s oldest library (it was established in1826) and check out their exhibitions, brand new Children’s Library and family spaces. The library also runs free activities for kids during school term for under 5s and school holidays for older children. Check out their calendar to see what’s on when you visit.

Read more about the Children’s Library and family spaces at the State Library of NSW.

Powerhouse Museum

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

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

Powerhouse Museum Sydney

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

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

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

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

Get info on visiting the Wiggles Exhibition here.

Museum of Sydney

Museum of Sydney, Australia


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

Museum of Sydney, Australia

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

Get more info on the Museum of Sydney here.

Justice and Police Museum

Justice & Police Museum, Sydney Australia

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

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

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

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

Hyde Park Barracks Museum (closed for 2019)

Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney Australia

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

Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney Australia

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

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

Image credit: Hyde Park Barracks

Australian Museum

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

Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia

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

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

Read more about visiting the Australian Museum here

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the Domain

Roytal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia

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

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

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

The Art Gallery of NSW

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia

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

The Art Gallery of NSW for Families via christineknight.me

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

Get info on visiting the AGNSW with kids here.

Museum of Contemporary Art

MCA Cafe via christineknight.me

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

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

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

Sydney Opera House

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

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

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

Sydney Opera House Day pack via christineknight.me

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

Get more info on the Junior Adventure Tour.

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Get more info on a day at Cockatoo Island.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park, Sydney, Australia

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

Barangaroo

Barangaroo Sydney via christineknight.me

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

Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney Tower Eye, Australia

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

Darling Harbour and Pyrmont

Darling Harbour

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

Australian National Maritime Museum

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

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

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Australia

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

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

Image credit: Sydney Aquarium

Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

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

Get more info on Wild Life Sydney Zoo.

Madam Tussauds Sydney

Madame Tussauds, Sydney, Australia

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

Madam Tussads Sydney

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

Get more info on visiting Madame Tussauds Sydney here.

Image courtesy of Madame Tussauds.

Chinese Garden of Friendship

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

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

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

Darling Quarter Playground

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

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

Get more info on the Darling Quarter Playground.

Darling Square Library at The Exchange

The Exchange, Darling Square Library

This brand new library is houses inside The Exchange “birds nest” building. It has a great kids’ section with little nooks for kids to curl up and read with a book and family activities throughout the week and school holidays. 

The Exchange, Darling Square Library

Get more info on the Darling Square Library

Yum Cha at Fisherman’s Seafood Restaurant, Pyrmont

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

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

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

Pirrama Park Playground Pyrmont

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

Get more info on Pirrama Park Playground here.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park, Camperdown

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

Victoria Park, Camperdown

Get more info on Victoria Park here.

LEGO Certified Store at Broadway Sydney

LEGO Store Broadway Sydney

Take little builders to Sydney’s 2nd LEGO Certified store inside the Broadway Sydney shopping centre. Kids will love playing with bricks, building their own minifigure and more.

Get more info on the LEGO Store Broadway Sydney.

In Sydney’s North

Wendy Whitley’s Secret Garden

Wendy's Secret Garden, Sydney via christineknight.me

A serene spot in Lavender Bay, the garden was created in 1992 by Wendy Whiteley, wife and muse to artist Brett Whiteley, following her by then ex-husband’s death.

Wendy's Secret Garden, Sydney via christineknight.me

We love Wendy’s Secret garden. It’s a really special space for kids to follow the weaving pathways through lush foliage and discover little secrets hidden in nooks and crannies.

Get more into on Wendy Whitely’s Secret Garden.

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia Taronga is a not-for-profit organisation that supports wildlife conservation. Opened in 1816 overlooking Sydney Harbour, the zoo is home to over 4,000 animals; Australian native wildlife plus rare and endangered exotic animals. Catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo for a scenic 12 minute voyage, then catch the Sky Safari, Sydney’s only cable car, to the top of the zoo.

Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Zoo highlights include the QBE Free-Flight Bird Show that features spectacular birds flying against the stunning Sydney Sydney Harbour, the new Tiger Trek exhibit and Lemur Forest Adventure where visitors can walk into the lemur enclosure.

There are two excellent playgrounds at Taronga Zoo, one at the Lemur Forest Adventure and the other at the farm animals section.

Get more info on visiting Taronga Zoo with little kids here.

Wild Ropes at Taronga Zoo

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Take adventurous kids and adults to Wild Ropes at Taronga Zoo for a challenging walk among the trees, with the best view in Sydney to boot. Wild Ropes is located right in the heart of Taronga Zoo Sydney, winding through the treetops above the Australian Walkabout. It’s seperate entry to the zoo, however, so if you want to visit the zoo as well, you will need to buy a combined ticket that includes entry to both.

Get more info on visiting Wild Ropes at Taronga Zoo here.

Nutcote

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

Nutcote is the house of renowned children’s author and illustrator, May Gibbs, creator of the Gumnut Babies. The house is now a museum dedicated to Gibbs’ life and work. While parents and older kids will enjoy reading about the history of the property and author while walking through the museum, littlies will love darting around the gardens and spotting Gibb’s characters and dressing up as a gumnut baby.

Get more info on visiting Nutcote.

Luna Park

Luna Park Sydney

Located at Milsons Point right on the waterfront, Luna Park is a superbly restored 1930s amusement park. Particularly popular is Coney Island, an old-school funhouse that has been entertaining families for almost 80 years.

Get more info on visiting Luna Park.

North Sydney Olympic Pool

North-sydney-olympic-pool

This pool, located next to Luna Park on the waterfront, has the best views in Sydney! Swim with the iconic Sydney Harbour as your backdrop. The North Sydney Olympic Pool features an outdoor 50 metre pool, toddler pool and baby splash pool, plus an indoor 24 metre pool, wading pool and spa.

North Sydney Skate Plaza

North Sydney Skate Plaza

A great spot for kids to bring their scooters, skateboards and bikes to try the various angled ramps, grinding edges and bars. There are bubblers and public toilets available. park on Earnest Street.

Four Cats Art Studio Linfield

Four Cats

We have been dropping in for family art workshops at the Four Cats studio for years. Four Cats runs regular kids, family and adults workshops that include drawing, painting and pottery year-round, with plenty of seasonal events to make something special for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas and so forth. The workshops and cheap and you come away with some really fun piece to keep and use at home.

Get more info on Four Cats Art Studio

In Sydney’s Inner West

The Bay Run

The Bay Run, Sydney, Australia
Walkers, runners and cyclists all enjoy the Bay Run, is a 7-kilometre-long path that encircles much of Iron Cove. The scenic path runs right on the water front and is an enclosed loop which makes for an easy start and finish location. Popular places to begin are King George Park, Leichhardt Park or Callan Park. If your kid is into cycling or scooting, this is a gorgeous place to take them. There is a playground right off the path where it passes Leichhardt.

Ballast Point Park

Ballast Point Park, Sydney, Australia

Located at the very tip of the Balmain peninsula, Ballast Point Park was once home to local Aboriginal tribes before European settlers arrived in the early 19th century. The park’s indigenous history is recognised in a dual name – Walama – which means ‘to return’. The 2.6-hectare park opened in 2009 with several design features that highlight its history. Ballast Point Park has stunning harbour views and is a popular picnic and barbecue spot for families.

Newtown street art and cafes

Newtown Graffiti via Christineknight.me

Catch the train to Newtown Station and wander the streets of one of Sydney’s most vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods. Walk down alley ways to discover works of art painted on buildings around almost every corner, grab a bite to eat on King Street and let kids run off steam at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park. There is an excellent gated playground in the park.

Get more info on seeing street art in Newtown.

Camperdown Memorial Rest Park

Camperdown Memorial Rest Park

We love this large, shady park with its gated playground, right in the heart of Newtown. Kids love the climbing equipment and sand pit.

Camperdown Memorial Rest Park

There are benches for sitting and a water bubbler. There are no bathrooms in the park. Camperdown Memorial Rest Park is located at Federation Road, Lennox and Church Streets, Newtown.

Enmore Park, Marrickville

Enmore Park, Marrickville, Sydney

Kids can play astronauts at this excellent park which features two space rockets, a large grassy area with plenty of trees, swings, slides, a climbing net and see-saw. The park has partial shade so bring a hat and sunscreen.

Enmore Park, Marrickville, Sydney

The Annette Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre is located in the park so bring swimmers if it’s hot. There are plenty of kid-friendly cafes nearby, including Petty Cash, which is just across the road from the playground.

Read more about Petty Cash Cafe.

Marrickville Library and Pavilion

Marrickville Library

This brand new library opened in September 2019 with a collection of 85,000 books. The Marrickville Library and Pavilion also features a landscaped outdoor garden and children’s playground and a cafe with indoor and outdoor seating.

Get more info on visiting Marrickville Library and Pavilion.

Photo courtesy of Inner West Council.

Sydney Bus Museum

The 100-year-old Leichhardt Tramshed is home to a vast collection of historic buses, open to the public every first and third Sunday of the month. Jump aboard a vintage double-decker bus over the ANZAC Bridge to the Queen Victoria Building in the CBD and back again.

Get more info on visiting the Sydney Bus Museum here.

Tramsheds and Harold Park

The Tramsheds, Harold Park, Sydney

One of our fave places to eat and play in Sydney! The Tramsheds is home to a full-size restored tram that kids can climb inside, plus a wide range of family-friendly restaurants.

Harold Park, Sydney

Outside the Tramsheds lies Harold Park, an expansive park featuring a custom-built playground.

Read more about the Tramsheds here.

Read more about Harold Park here.

Pioneer Memorial Park, Leichhardt

Pioneers Memorial Park Leichhardt

This beautiful park is an oasis of calm on busy Norton Street. There is a large playground with sand play area, a memorial to the service people of Leichhardt who lost their lives in WW1, a rotunda and lovely rose garden as well as plenty of shady space under trees to enjoy.

In Sydney’s South West and West

Fairfield Adventure Park Playground

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

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

Get more info on visiting the Fairfield Adventure Park Playground here.

Bigge Park, Liverpool

Bigge Park, Liverpool, Sydney, Australia

Bigge Park in Liverpool, a south-west suburb of Sydney, received a $5 million upgrade a few years back. The upgrade included a fantastic free water play area. Bigge Park also includes an accessible playground, a regular playground and climbing equipment.

Get more info on visiting Bigge Park.

Ollie Webb Reserve Parramatta

Ollie Webb Reserve Parramatta

Parramatta’s first all-inclusive playground opened in early 2019. It features climbing structures, water play with a splash play area and water pumps, an elevated sandpit, an accessible carousel, swings, BBQ facilities and excellent bathrooms.

Read the full review of Ollie Webb Reserve playground here.

Variety Livvi’s Place, Bankstown

Variety Livvis Place Playground Bankstown Sydney Australia

The Canterbury-Bankstown area’s first all-abilities playground opened in late 2018, a joint project between Variety, the Children’s Charity, and the Touched by Olivia foundation. The fully-fenced playground features picnic and bbq facilities, bathrooms, Variety Livvi’s Place includes a sensory zone, flying fox with accessible seats, a climbing net, trampoline, swings with accessible seats, water play area, a climbing tower with ground level play features, two nest swings, roller table, accessible carousel, slides, a nature trail, sand play and a lizard log carved from wood.

Get more info on visiting Variety Livvi’s Place here.

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre Sydney
Located in South West Sydney, the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre is a place to experience the arts including performances and exhibitions. 

Casula Powerhouse, Sydney Australia

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 Arts Centre Sydney

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

Casula Parklands Adventure Playground

Casula Parklands Sydney

The brand new Casula Parklands has something for everyone, from toddlers to adults. Located near the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, the park features play equipment and fitness training for all ages.

Casula Parklands Sydney

The $15 million park includes a ninja warrior training course for teens and adults, toddler climbing equipment, older kid / tween climbing equipment, flying foxes, swings, on and off-leash dog parks and a fitness area.

Get more info on visiting Casula Parklands Adventure Playground.

The Central Gardens Nature Reserve Merrylands

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

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

Read more about visiting the Central Gardens Nature Reserve here.

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.

Read more about visiting Cathy Freeman Park here.

Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre

©Sydney Olympic Park Authority
©Sydney Olympic Park Authority


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. Comfortably 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 Playground & Scooter Track

Ryde Park, Sydney, Australia
What a gem of a spot! Ryde Park has a new scooter/bike track, sporting fields and picnic areas.

Get more info on Ryde Park here.

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.

Carnes Hill Community & Recreation Precinct & Skate Plaza

Carnes Hill Skate Plaza October 2016

This lively community precinct includes an excellent library with large kids’ area, excellent playground, community centre, outdoor fitness stations, gym, cafe, sports courts and picnic areas. The Carnes Hill Skate Plaza is also located in the precinct, a fab spot for kids to bring their scooters and bikes and enjoy a sprawling park that is suitable for all ages and levels of experience. 

Images courtesy of Liverpool City Council

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 River Foreshore Park

Two excellent playgrounds in Parramatta are the Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park, which features tall slides and a sand play area, and James Ruse Reserve Playground with its climbing structures and undercover water play area.

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.

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.

Paperbark Playground

Parramatta Park Playground

Paperback Playground is the newest playground in the park and has some inclusive features. Located in the historic Gardens Precinct near the George Street Gatehouse, the playground is best suited to children and toddlers. Features include an accessible sandpit, swings and a carousel which kids with varied mobility, including wheelchair users, can use, as well as the ‘explorer dome’ centrepiece – a maze made of nets, ropes, ladders and tubes best suited to older children. The playground floor is covered with ‘Softfall’ pavements and there’s plenty of seats for parents and carers.

Parramatta Park Playground

Thank you to Have Wheelchair Will Travel for the images. 

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.

Raging Waters Sydney

Wet 'n' Wild, Sydney, Australia

Cool down at Raging Waters Sydney (formerly Wen ‘n’ Wild), 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 Raging Waters 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.

In Sydney’s North West

Livvi’s Place Ryde

Livvi's Place Ryde, Yamble Reserve, Sydney, Australia

Livvi’s Place is a full-enclosed playground located in Yamble Reserve, Ryde. The reserve features formal gardens, deciduous trees, picnic shelters, large green grassed areas, barbecues and the excellent all-abilities playground, Livvi’s Place. Livvi’s Place playground includes a water pump play area, dual flying fox, nest swing, musical instruments, climbing frame and tunnels.

Read more about Livvi’s Place Ryde here.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Designed especially for children to get close to farm animals, at Golden Ridge kids can hold baby chicks, ducklings and rabbits, milk a cow and bottle feed baby lambs.

Get more info on visiting Golden Ridge Animal Farm.

Putney Park: Playground and Water Park

Putney Park and Playground, Sydney

A great spot to take kids in summer, Putney Park features climbing equipment for kids of all ages plus two shallow pools connected by a pebble creek and a large climbing web.

Read more about Putney Park here.

In Sydney’s East

Vaucluse House

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me
Vaucluse House was built in 1803 and was once owned by William Charles Wentworth, father of the Australian Constitution. It’s oOne of Sydney’s few remaining 19th-century mansions that is still surrounded by its ten hectares of original gardens and grounds.

Take a tour through the house for a glimpse of what life was life for the families who once lived there, stroll around the beautiful gardens and enjoy a high tea at the tea rooms.

Vaucluse House runs year-round family-friendly programs to immerse kids in colonial life. Get info on events here.

Get more info on high tea at Vaucluse House here.

Nubo Play Centre

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney
A play centre like no other in Sydney, Nubo is an innovative and educational play space that is designed to spark children’s creativity and imagination. Connect with your children as they explore the library, art studio, dramatic play room and ball pit. There’s even a rope climbing structure with slides and a cafe serving healthy food.

Get more info on visiting Nubo.

Watson’s Bay

Sydney's Best Family Day Trips: Watson's Bay via christineknight.me

Located at the southern head of the entrance to Sydney Harbour, Watson’s Bay is a very popular place for families to spend weekends. It features stunning Sydney Harbour view, gentle waves on the shore that are perfect for kids to paddle in, a massive park with a shaded and gated playground, plus the iconic Doyle’s fish and chips. Catch a ferry from Circular Quay for the ultimate family day trip.

Get more info on Watson’s Bay and other Sydney beaches.

Bondi to Bronte Walk

Sculpture By The Sea #Bondi via christineknight.me

This 6km return walk will take you past some of Sydney’s most breathtaking scenery. Starting at the iconic Iceburgs Dining Room and Bar at the south end of Bondi Beach, the walk winds south along the rocky cliff face past Tamarama to Bronte Beach.

Start at either end and either walk or take a bus back to the starting point. There are plenty of cafes and facilities at Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte Beach, or you can bring a picnic lunch. At the halfway point there is a playground for kids to enjoy. Note: the path is too rocky for a stroller and runs along a sheer cliff face so take older kids or babies in carriers.

Green Square Library

Green Square Library, Sydney Australia

The underground Green Square Library opened in late 2018. It features a water play area in the outside plaza, public artworks, dedicated kids zone with books and DVDs, vintage game stations for rent, a piano for hire, a sunken garden, kid-friendly cafe and take-home makerspace kits for kids aged 5+. The library also runs school holiday workshops and story time sessions.

Get more info on Green Square Library here.

LEGO® Store Westfield Bondi Junction

LEGO® Store Westfield Bondi Junction, Sydney, Australia

Sydney’s first certified LEGO® store is located in Westfield Bondi Junction. The Store features inspiring creations built out of LEGO® bricks, hands-on LEGO® experiences and plenty of LEGO® kits to buy.

Read more about the  Sydney LEGO® store here.

Sydney Park

Sydney Park, Sydney Australia

A 40 hectare green space near St Peter’s, Sydney Park was built in the space once occupied by Bedford Brickworks – the chimneys of which have been left and are a feature of the park that can be seen from some distance away. Features of the park include a large playground on its western side, the Sydney Park Cycling Centre on its northern side, winding pathways over hills for walking and cycling, wetlands, a kiosk and bathrooms.

Get more info on Sydney Park.

Centennial Parklands

Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

Consists of 360 hectares including Centennial Park, Moore Park and Queen’s Park. The Parklands are listed on the NSW Heritage Register.

Centennial Park

Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

The largest of the three parks that make up Centennial Parklands, Centennial Park is one of Australia’s most famous parks, and a haven for inner city families to ride bikes, horses (there are several horse riding stables located in the park as well as pony ride on weekends), picnic, play and explore. The park features ponds with ducks, formal gardens, statues, playgrounds and picnic areas.

Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia

The brand new Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden opened in Centennial Park in October 2017. The 6500sq m nature-based play area features a 7m-high climbing tower, wooden bridge, water play area and an open play area where kids are encouraged to use sticks and natural materials to make their own shelters, artworks and games.

Get more info on visiting the Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden here.

Moore Park

Entertainment Quarter Sydney via christineknight.me

This park consists of 115 hectares of  open spaces and playing fields, including the ES Marks Athletics Field, an 18-hole public golf course and golf driving range, tennis courts and netball courts.

The Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park has plenty for kids to do, from plaster painting, a Hoyts movie cinema, Monkey Mania play centre, Strike Bowling as well as two partially shaded playgrounds with excellent bathroom facilities.

Queen’s Park

Queens Park Shed: #kidfriendly cafes #Sydney via christineknight.me

A 26-hectare urban park with panoramic views and natural sandstone cliffs. Queen’s Park has an excellent gated and partially shaded playground for kids next to a kid-friendly cafe, Queen’s Park Shed (read more here).

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

Bounce it out with more than 117 interconnected trampolines at Sky Zone, Alexandria. Kids can also tackle 30 different climbing challenges at Sky Climb.

Get more info on Sky Zone’s program for toddlers, Little Leapers, here.

Waluba Park, Waterloo

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

A beautifully designed and landscaped park featuring a mega slide, three-story climbing tower, swings, picnic and BBQ area and bike paths.

Get more info on visiting Waluba Park here.

Mary O’Brien Reserve, Zetland

Mary O'Brien Reserve, Zetland

A lovely park with seperate playgrounds for kids of different age groups, a water play area and BBQ facilities.

Read more about visiting Mary O’Brien Reserve here.

In Sydney’s South

Symbio Wildlife Park

#Symbio #Wildlife Park via brunchwithmybaby.com
Home to hundreds of animals including a koala breeding sanctuary, reptile house and a Sumatran tiger, Symbio Wildlife Park is a great family outing particularly for little kids thanks to its relatively small size. The kangaroo paddock with roaming roos happy to be pat and pose for photos is a particular favourite.

Get more info on Symbio Wildlife Park.

Oatley Park Inclusive Adventure Playground

Oatley Park Playground

The Oatley Park Inclusive Adventure Playground is an adventure playground designed to blend into its bush setting, incorporating nature-based play elements and built with predominantly natural materials. 

The park features seperate play zones with a toddler play area, a flying fox with river views, an active play zone, giant tube slides and a teen zone. 

Read more about visiting Oatley Park Playground.

Putt Planet, Miranda

Putt Planet, Miranda

This indoor miniature golf course is travel themed and accessible, so a great option for strollers or wheelchairs. The theme of the mini golf course is a trip to Mombasa, with a plane at the entrance symbolising the start of your journey. The Putt Planet website says, “Discover another time and place when you board your Putt Planet flight from Miranda to Mombasa. Putt through the bustling market places, homes and even the sewers of Old Mombasa whilst exploring this ancient doorway to Eastern Africa. We’ve put a roof over the charming streets and laneways so any time is a good time to visit; the weather is always fine!”

Get more info on Putt Planet.

Early Start Discovery Space, Wollongong

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me

Australia’s only dedicated children’s museum is located on the campus of the University of Wollongong in Sydney’s south. The Early Start Discovery Space is designed for kids aged 12 and under and features 14 interactive spaces designed to spark the imagination as they build, create and explore through play. A particular hit is the Tummy Tour, where kids can imagine themselves as a piece of food and crawl through an inflatable digestive system.

Get more info on visiting the Early Start Discovery Space.

Royal National Park

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia


The Royal National Park is one of the oldest in the world. Established in 1879 the park spans 160 square kilometres and makes for the perfect family day trip with plenty of spots for picnics, bbqs, bushwalking, swimming, fishing and whale watching. There’s wildlife to discover and Aboriginal heritage to explore. Enter the park by car, ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena or a tram from the Sydney Tramway Museum in Loftus.

Get more info on visiting the Royal National Park.

Wattamolla Beach

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

A popular spot for families in the Royal National Park, Wattamolla is the name of a cove, lagoon, and beach. It’s an absolutely stunning spot with a flat lagoon for kids to swim in, a waterfall and a beach with rocks to climb on.

Get more info on visiting Wattamolla.

Space Science

Science Space Wollongong

Science Space is the only dedicated science experience in NSW and is home to DIGISTAR 6, Australia’s most digitally advanced Planetarium. 

Science Space Wollongong

The museum focuses on educating and inspiring through hands-on learning with over 100 interactive exhibits, science shows and workshops.

Get more info on visiting Science Space here.

All Around Sydney

Libraries

City of Sydney Libraries

Visit local libraries across Sydney to spend a few hours perusing books in quiet children’s areas. There are 11 public libraries in inner Sydney alone, with many offering activities for kids. Find an inner Sydney library and what’s on.

Aquatic centres

©Sydney Olympic Park Authority
©Sydney Olympic Park Authority

On hot days, head to the pool! The following aquatic centres around Sydney have family-friendly facilities.

Sydney CBD
Cook and Phillip Park Aquatic Centre
Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre

Inner West
The Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre
Leichhardt Aquatic Centre

South West
Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre
Fairfield Leisure Centre
Prairiewood Leisure Centre
Whitlam Leisure Centre

North Shore
Lane Cove Aquatic Centre
Willoughby Leisure Centre
Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Northern Beaches
The Warringah Aquatic Centre

North West and West
Ryde Aquatic and Leisure Centre
Ripples Leisure Centre, St Mary’s

South Sydney
Hurstville Aquatic and Leisure Centre
Sutherland Leisure Centre

Get more info about Sydney Aquatic Centres.

Playgrounds

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me
Find our top picks for playgrounds in Sydney here.

You can also find a playground near you using this excellent map by the City of Sydney.

Beaches

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

Sydney has over 100 beaches to explore! From bustling surf scenes to tranquil bays, there is a beach for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Get tips on the best beaches in Sydney to visit, from iconic Bondi and Manly to hidden gems like Parsley Bay, and plan which beaches are on your hit-list.

The entire NSW coastline is full of spectacular beaches. Take a look at this list and plan a road trip to visit as many as possible.

Ice Skating Rinks

Ice Skating Canturbury, Australia

Ice skating is the perfect activity for both super hot and cold, rainy days. Get the full list of ice skating rinks in Sydney here.

Indoor Play Centres

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney
For those days when it’s raining and cold, it’s an easy option to entertain the kids!

Get the full list of indoor play centres, inflatables worlds and trampolining centres here.

Tips on visiting Sydney

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

How to get around

Sydney has an extensive public transport system that includes trains, buses, ferries and light rail. If you’re in Sydney for a few says, buy an Opal card to use public transport – the one card gives you daily travel caps and enables you to use all four transport systems, plus lets you use the $2.50 per person Sunday cap. Taxis and Uber in Sydney are expensive so walking plus public transport are your best options.

Driving in Sydney

To see a lot of Sydney and its surrounds, it’s advisable to hire a car. International visitors may use a foreign driver’s licence in NSW. Note that all speed limits are strictly enforced with cameras and it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent or higher, or to drive under the influence of illegal drugs.

When to visit

Sydney is the perfect year-round travel destination due to its temperate climate. It does, however, get extreme heat in summer (December to February). While the average maximum temperatures are around 26°C (78.8°F), it can reach over 40°C (104°f) during this time of year. Summer is also the most humid time of year to visit, with average humidity of 65%.

Winter (June – August) average maximum temperatures are around 16°C (60.8°F). Sydney’s highest rainfall is between March and June.

National Emergency Services

The national phone number for all emergency services in Australia, including ambulance, fire and police, is 000. You can dial Triple Zero within Australia from any fixed line, mobile phone, pay phone and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. If you have a GSM digital mobile phone, you can also dial the international standard emergency number 112.

Hotel Review: The Langham Sydney, Australia

Where to stay

For a short stay, hotels in the CBD particularly around Circular Quay and The Rocks will make it easy to get around as they’re close to public transport as well as main attractions. Darling Harbour is also a good choice particularly for families.

Our fave hotels to stay at are The Langham Sydney in The Rocks and the nearby Shangri-La, Sydney.

For longer stays try renting a house or apartment on Stayz.com.au or airbnb.com.au.

Get hotel rates in Sydney from Booking.com.

Looking for more things to do in Sydney? Find out the best things to do in Sydney for free here.

Join the Sydney With Kids Facebook Group

Ask locals for ideas on things to do in Sydney with kids.

Things to do beyond Sydney with kids

Scenic World: Blue Mountains

Sand Dune Quad Biking in Newcastle

Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo

Things To See & Do In Bathurst

Bathurst With Kids

The Best Things To Do In Sydney With Kids #sydney #australia #familytravel

This blog post contains affiliate links. This means if you book a hotel after clicking on a link through my site I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Adventure, baby!

The Best Free Things To Do In Sydney

The Best Things To Do For Free In Sydney Australia

Sydney can be quite a pricey city. Food, hotels and attractions can see visitors spending quite a lot of cash on a visit. If you’re visiting and have a budget to stick to, you can still have an incredible trip with this list of the best free things to do in Sydney.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Image credit: Destination NSW

In the City Centre

Step back in time at the Rocks

The Rocks, Sydney, Australia

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

The Rocks, Sydney, Australia

There are over 100 historic sites and buildings, the oldest house being Cadman’s Cottage, built in 1816.  Drop by the Rocks Discovery Museum, a free museum located inside a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse with an interactive kids corner upstairs.

Image credit: Destination NSW

Walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge

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

Read a book at the State Library of NSW

State Library of NSW Australia

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

Enjoy a Million Dollar View At Observatory Hill Park

Observatory Hill, Sydney, Australia

A gorgeous spot for a picnic and to enjoy the sweeping views over Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge. Located in The Rocks, the hill is also home to the Sydney Observatory, a heritage-listed museum and public observatory. Sydney Observatory runs adult-only and family tours and activities throughout the year.

Image credit: Kajo Merkert; Destination NSW

Stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the Domain

Roytal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia

The gardens and Domain are gorgeous all year round. Take a leisurely walk through 30 hectares of lush foliage in the Royal Botanic Gardens down to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair (for perfect harbour photos!), and then back up through the Domain to the Art Gallery of NSW for one of the most scenic garden walks you’ll ever find. Wrapped around Farm Cove just south of the Sydney Opera House, the gardens, which were established in 1816, occupy one of Sydney’s most spectacular waterfront positions.

Get close to the masters at the Art Gallery of NSW

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia

Stroll through five levels of masterpieces including an extensive collection of Aboriginal art, European masters, Asian art and visiting exhibitions. The general galleries at the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) are all free to enter. Visiting with kids? Children can use online booklets to explore artworks or download free audio tours that have been created just for kids. The AGNSW frequently runs free activities for kids on Sundays and school holidays.

Get avant-guarde at the Museum of Contemporary Art

MCA Cafe via christineknight.me
Wander through galleries of exciting modern art from leading Australian and international artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). Grab a coffee at the rooftop cafe and sculpture terrace and enjoy the stunning harbour view. The MCA runs lots of free and small donation activities for kids throughout the year too, from their monthly Sunday Family Fun Days to a drop in activity room and school holiday crafts.

Wander around the Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is a performance venue on Bennelong Point, well-known for its distinctive series of “shells” covering the roof. The Sydney Opera House opened in 1973 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. While you need a ticket to see a show, visitors can walk around the outside, including up the famous steps, and inside the box office area to take a peek.

Uncover Sydney’s convict past at Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Get more info on a day at Cockatoo Island.

Cool down at Hyde Park

Hyde Park, Sydney, Australia

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

Picnic at Barangaroo

Barangaroo Sydney via christineknight.me

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

Gaze at St Mary’s Cathedral

ST Mary's Cathedral, Sydney

The beautiful St Mary’s Cathedral, located across the road from the northern end of Hyde Park, is the seat of the Archbishop of Sydney and stands on the site of the first Catholic Chapel in Australia. Take a walk through the cathedral, built from local sandstone in the Gothic Revival style, and enjoy the soaring roof and lovely stained glass windows.

Get nautical at the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM)

Australian National Maritime Museum

The 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.

In Sydney’s North

Uncover Australia’s Indigenous heritage

Ku-rin-gai Chase National Park, Sydney, Australia

In Sydney’s north you’ll find Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, famous for its Aboriginal heritage site. Take the Red Hands Cave walking track from the Resolute picnic area along an easy bush track to see rock art of the Aboriginal people of the Guringai North. It’s only a short walk to the cave with ochre handprints left behind by the people who once lived in this part of Sydney.

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Spook yourself at Q Station

Q Station, Sydney, Australia

Located on the North Head of Manly, Q Station is a 30 hectare site once used as a Quarantine Station for migrants entering Sydney via boat. As of 2008, Q Station is now a hotel and function venue. Wander the grounds on foot enjoying the beautiful bush lands and harbour views or take the complementary onsite shuttle buss that runs 24/7 between locations. Be warned, Q Station is rumoured to be haunted. Take a ghost tour if you’re feeling brave.

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Walk through Sydney’s military history at Georges Head

Georges Head, Sydney, Australia

The Georges Head battery, located in Mosman, is a must to see military fortifications daring back to World War 2. Wander through tunnels and passageways while enjoying spectacular views of Sydney’s North and South Heads. It’s also a great spot to let kids run off steam while exploring all of the nooks and crannies.

Relax in Wendy Whitley’s Secret Garden

Wendy's Secret Garden, Sydney via christineknight.me

A serene spot in Lavender Bay, the garden was created in 1992 by Wendy Whiteley, wife and muse to artist Brett Whiteley, following her by then ex-husband’s death. Follow the weaving pathways through lush foliage and past beautiful sculptures.

Get more into on Wendy Whitely’s Secret Garden.

In Sydney’s Inner West

Walk (or run!) the Bay Run

The Bay Run, Sydney, Australia
Walkers, runners and cyclists all enjoy the Bay Run, is a 7-kilometre-long path that encircles much of Iron Cove. The scenic path runs right on the water front and is an enclosed loop which makes for an easy start and finish location. Popular places to begin are King George Park, Leichhardt Park or Callan Park.

Enjoy a barbecue with a view at Ballast Point Park

Ballast Point park, Sydney, Australia

Located at the very tip of the Balmain peninsula, Ballast Point Park was once home to local Aboriginal tribes before European settlers arrived in the early 19th century. The park’s indigenous history is recognised in a dual name – Walama – which means ‘to return’. The2.6-hectare park opened in 2009 with several design features that highlight its history. Ballast Point Park has stunning harbour views and is a popular picnic and barbecue spot for families.

Peruse street art in Newtown

Newtown Graffiti via Christineknight.me

Catch the train to Newtown Station and wander the streets of one of Sydney’s most vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods. Walk down alley ways to discover works of art painted on buildings around almost every corner, grab a bite to eat on King Street and let kids run off steam at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park. There is an excellent gated playground in the park.

In Sydney’s South-West

Discover sporting greatness at 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.

Get more info on visiting Sydney Olympic Park here.

Bicentennial Park, Sydney, Australia

Nearby Bicentennial Park is a beautiful park that combines mangrove wetlands with 40 hectares of gentle hills, meadows, lakes, playgrounds and picnic shelters. Driving to this park is the best option.

In Sydney’s East

Step into the past at Paddington Reservoir Gardens

Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Sydney, Australia
Located on Sydney’s busy road, Oxford Street, the Paddington Reservoir Gardens are an oasis of calm. Built completed in 1864 as part of Sydney’s third water supply to contain water pumped from Lords Dam at Botany Bay, the Paddington Reservoir was restored and opened as a garden in 2009. The Paddington Reservoir Gardens are now state heritage-listed.

Get more info on the Paddington Reservoir Gardens.

Stroll the Bondi to Bronte Walk

Sculpture By The Sea #Bondi via christineknight.me

This 6km return walk will take you past some of Sydney’s most breathtaking scenery. Starting at the iconic Iceburgs Dining Room and Bar at the south end of Bondi Beach, the walk winds south along the rocky cliff face past Tamarama to Bronte Beach. Start at either end and either walk or take a bus back to the starting point. There are plenty of cafes and facilities at Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte Beach, or you can bring a picnic lunch.

All Over Sydney

Run off steam at a playground

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

Travelling with kids? Sydney has plenty of playgrounds to enjoy, the most centrally-located, as well as one of the best, being the playground at the Darling Quarter, in Darling Harbour. With 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.

Excellent playgrounds near the city centre include: 

Darling Quarter Playground

Pirrama Park in Pyrmont

Wulaba Park in Waterloo

Splash at the beach

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

Sydney has over 100 beaches to explore! From bustling surf scenes to tranquil bays, there is a beach for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Get tips on the best beaches in Sydney to visit, from iconic Bondi and Manly to hidden gems like Parsley Bay, and plan which beaches are on your hit-list.

See Sydney by foot

Sydney Australia

Take a scenic walking tour of the city and see what Sydney does best – stunning nature. Choose a walk that takes you through the city and past its stunning coastline and through lush national parks. For ideas on the best walks in Sydney head here.

Image credit: Destination NSW

Please note that Australia has expansive areas of bush where it’s easy to get lost. Take a map or compass with you on all bush walks plus water and snacks, and always tell someone where you are going.

Tips on visiting Sydney

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

How to get around

Sydney has an extensive public transport system that includes trains, buses, ferries and light rail. If you’re in Sydney for a few says, buy an Opal card to use public transport – the one card gives you daily travel caps and enables you to use all four transport systems, plus lets you use the $2.50 per person Sunday cap. Taxis and Uber in Sydney are expensive so walking plus public transport are your best options.

Driving in Sydney

To see a lot of Sydney and its surrounds, it’s advisable to hire a car. International visitors may use a foreign driver’s licence in NSW. Note that all speed limits are strictly enforced with cameras and it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent or higher, or to drive under the influence of illegal drugs.

When to visit

Sydney is the perfect year-round travel destination due to its temperate climate. It does, however, get extreme heat in summer (December to February). While the average maximum temperatures are around 26°C (78.8°F), it can reach over 40°C (104°f) during this time of year. Summer is also the most humid time of year to visit, with average humidity of 65%.

Winter (June – August) average maximum temperatures are around 16°C (60.8°F). Sydney’s highest rainfall is between March and June.

National Emergency Services

The national phone number for all emergency services in Australia, including ambulance, fire and police, is 000. You can dial Triple Zero within Australia from any fixed line, mobile phone, pay phone and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. If you have a GSM digital mobile phone, you can also dial the international standard emergency number 112.

Hotel Review: The Langham Sydney, Australia

Where to stay

For a short stay, hotels in the CBD particularly around Circular Quay and The Rocks will make it easy to get around as they’re close to public transport as well as main attractions. Darling Harbour is also a good choice particularly for families. My fave hotel to stay at is The Langham Sydney in The Rocks.

Get hotel rates in Sydney from Booking.com.

The Best Things To Do For Free In Sydney Australia

This blog post contains affiliate links. This means if you book a hotel after clicking on a link through my site I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Adventure, baby!

Secret Sydney: Uncovering The Paddington Reservoir Gardens

The Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Sydney, Australia

If you didn’t know it was there, you would walk straight past this unique slice of Sydney history, situated on busy Oxford Street, Paddington. I have actually walked past the Paddington Reservoir Gardens hundreds of times myself and never noticed the signs or just looked down!

Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Sydney, Australia

Paddington Reservoir Gardens is an award-winning location in Sydney’s east. It was completed in 1864, created as part of Sydney’s third water supply to contain water pumped from Lords Dam at Botany Bay.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Sydney, Australia

The reservoir operated between 1878 and 1899 when the Centennial Park Reservoir was commissioned. After it closed Paddington Reservoir was used by Sydney Water for storage, a garage and workshop. In 1934 the reservoir was sold to Paddington Municipal Council. The western chamber was leased for a service station while the eastern chamber was still occupied by the Water Board well into 1950s.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Sydney, Australia

After a roof collapse the reservoir was closed off and inaccessible until its regeneration project, opening in 2009 following major renovation and landscaping, which also  included the surrounding the Walter Read Reserve and John Thompson Reserve.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Sydney, Australia

The restoration project salvaged as much of the reservoir’s original framework and materials as possible, fusing them with contemporary and sustainable elements.

The garden contains wide boardwalks and green spaces free for the public to use. Pull up a deck chair or lie on the grass with a book. It’s a quiet spot in an otherwise very busy part of Sydney.

The Paddington Reservoir Gardens are now state heritage-listed.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Sydney, Australia

 

Paddington Reservoir Gardens
251-255 Oxford Street
Paddington NSW 2021

The gardens are accessible and entry is free. There is an elevator from the top that takes you directly down to the boardwalk. Bus routes 378, 382 and 380 stop nearby.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Sydney, Australia

Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Sydney, Australia