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Sydney

Camperdown Commons: A Touch of Country in Sydney

Camperdown Commons, Sydney

We are city folk, it’s true, but we also love our green spaces. Camperdown Commons, in Sydney’s Inner West, opened up in 2016 as a collaboration between Camperdown Project Pty Ltd and their key partners acre and Pocket City Farms. It’s a place for the community to relax, order a drink or meal from a sustainably-focused eatery, while the kids play nearby.

Camperdown Commons, Sydney

Camperdown Commons is a great example of an urban revival of a piece of land no longer in use. Camperdown Bowling Club once stood in its place, closing down in late 2012. The former bowling greens have been replaced with a 1,200 square metre urban farm and recreation pavilion.

Camperdown Commons, Sydney

In terms of the food offered at the Commons, Acre Eatery is at the heart of the venue. It has a large, sit down restaurant and bar, container with takeaway coffee and snacks, and a casual outdoor area on the terrace or lawn area outside. Many of the ingredients in the dishes come directly from the pocket gardens onsite, making the dining experience very literally farm-to-table.

Camperdown Commons, Sydney

The food is very colourful and healthy – above is the Yogurt bowl with homemade granola, fresh fruit and flowers and below is the Chia coconut bowl, fruit and granola both from the brunch/breakfast menu, followed by items from the kids menu.

Camperdown Commons, Sydney Camperdown Commons, Sydney Camperdown Commons, Sydney

Families will particularly love the outdoor area with its interactive kids’ play space and chicken coop where rescue hens from battery farms now live a life of luxury.

Camperdown Commons, Sydney Camperdown Commons, Sydney

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Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: Yes (in the disabled toilet).
Kids’ menu: Yes.

Camperdown Commons
31a Mallett Street
Camperdown
Phone: (02) 9559 0050
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Thu 12pm–3pm, 5pm–10pm, Fri-Sun 8am–3pm, 5pm–10pm

Food operating hours
Container: Mon-sun: 7am-3pm
Restaurant and bar: Wed- Sat: 12pm-10pm, Sun midday-9pm
Garden terrace: sat- sun: 8am-3pm
Get Directions

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

A mischievous wombat called Mothball has stolen our hearts. While we have known Mothball for years through the multi award-winning picture book, Diary of a Wombat, seeing her live before us on stage really makes this iconic wombat a real, three-dimensional character that we can dream of cuddling, tickling and rousing on for her naughty behaviour.

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

Monkey Baa Theatre Company has lovingly brought Mothball to life in their new production Diary of a Wombat, which is based on the book of the same name by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley.

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

If you’re new to the story, Diary of a Wombat is the perfect way for kids to meet Mothball, the naughtiest wombat in Australia. She’s a bit bored of her daily routine, so goes on a little adventure to find food and shelter, creating absolute chaos for the humans who happen to live nearby.

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

The show follows the same simple storyline as the book. Each day of the week, Mothball destroys doormats, bins and washing lines in her search for happiness. Through her busy schedule of sleeping, scratching and generally disturbing the peace, Mothball discovers that humans will do pretty much anything for a big of peace and quiet!

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

This gorgeous production is everything a performance for kids should be. It has a quiet poetry about it, with almost no dialogue and the only sound for the most part being the exquisite live cello that joins the characters on stage.

Diary of a Wombat by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

There are moments of quiet, joy, chaos and humour – a wide range of emotions beautifully communicated through the expressive wombat puppet paired with its emotive cello accompaniment.

According to my five-year-old reviewer, “The show is really funny. I like when she scratched and dug a hole in the door, and when she turned around and you could see her bum.” There you have it, from the mouths of babes: this show is a winner for the little kid theatre set.

Diary of a Wombat by the Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

Diary of a Wombat was created by Monkey Baa Director, Eva Di Cesare, with a team of artists including Puppetry and Movement Director, Alice Osborne (the Puppetry & Movement Director on War Horse 2012/13), Designer Imogen Ross (Hitler’s Daughter) and accomplished composer/cellist, Oonagh Sherrard.

Diary of a Wombat by the Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

You can catch Diary of a Wombat on its national tour, where it will be performed in 59 venues. Get all the tour dates online.

Diary of a Wombat by the Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

If you’re in Sydney, the show is playing during the school holidays at the Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre: 18 – 24 April / 27 May

Diary of a Wombat by the Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

Diary of a Wombat by the Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Sydney

Time: 10.30am & 12.30pm
Relaxed performance 20 April, 12.30pm
Suitable for ages 3+
Duration: 45 minutes
Tickets: (no booking fees)
$29 (adult/child), $104 (family of four), $125 (family of five), $25 each (groups 10+) $19 (relaxed performance)

Get more info on Diary of a Wombat

Produced in conjunction with the Monkey Baa Theatre Company. We genuinely love this company and the performance. Show stills thanks to Heidrun Lohr.

Sydney’s Best Beaches: Clifton Gardens Beach, Baths & Playground, Mosman

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

Yet another stunning beach in Sydney! Clifton Gardens is a suburb in Mosman, on Sydney’s north shore. The beach is where the suburb meets the sea, and it’s a gorgeous little secret that the locals have kept well for years.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

Clifton Gardens Mosman

Clifton Gardens Reserve features a gorgeous, sheltered beach, including a section with a shark net. There are minimal waves, making it perfect for kids. Large trees offer plenty of shade and there are BBQs available as well as picnic tables with shelter. As well as having plenty of facilities, Clifton Garden is one of the most beautiful beaches in or near Mosman.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

On the northern side of the beach is Bacino Café, offering coffee, juice and snacks. We brought out own and set up a picnic underneath the trees and next to the large, sheltered playground.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

The beach has a big block of bathroom amenities for public use.

Clifton Gardens Parking

Driving is the easiest way to get to Clifton Gardens, but be warned that the metered parking is extremely expensive. On a Sunday it cost us $20 for three hours parking. If you can park further up on Morella Road parking is free, but it’s a bit more difficult if you have a kid in tow.

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

There is a flat path to ride scooters and bikes, and a walking trail from the south end of the beach that leads up into the bush-covered headlands and gives amazing views of the harbour. The view plus calm waters are the reason people flock to Clifton Gardens in Sydney!

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach SydneyClifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

Clifton Gardens Beach (often misspelled as Cliffton Gardens or Clifton Beach NSW)
Get directions
If you are travelling by bus, the best way to get there is by bus number 228 which stops near the entrance or alternative take bus number 233, 238 or 247.

Want to see more Mosman beaches Sydney? Try Chinamans Beach (click here for info)

Looking for more Sydney beaches to visit? Click on over here.

Get more info on Mosman parks here.

Easter in Sydney 2017

Easter in Sydney 2017

I have to be honest, I call Easter the “chocolate holiday” and it’s my absolute favourite time of year, because I can eat ALL THE CHOCOLATE and have zero guilt about it. I also really love that Sydney puts on so many really fun events for families to enjoy and I can pretend that we’re doing them all for the kid.

With the exception of the Sydney Royal Easter Show, all these activities tend to sell out so I highly recommend booking in advance!

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me
The Great CP Egg Hunt
We love this annual Easter Egg hunt! A long-running favourite for Sydney-siders, kids follow a trail map around Centennial Park on a series of challenges to get to the end and claim their sweet prize (hint: it’s from Darryl Lea!). The focus of the five activities on the trail is getting kids active outdoors with old fashion activities such as egg hunts and egg and spoon races. Bring your camera for a family pic with the Easter Bunny and Easter Bilby at the end. The hunt sells out every year so book in fast.

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me

Age: All ages
Location: Learning Centre, Education Precinct, Dickens Drive, Centennial Park. Please see location map below.
Times: Choose your start time between 9.30 am–2.45 pm. Please come at your pre-allocated start time. The course will take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete.
Cost: $17.50 per map. Prizes and photos will only be available for Children with Trail Maps.
Dates: Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 April
More info: centennialparklands.com.au/whatson/events/the_great_cp_egg_hunt

Easter at the Australian Museum

The Australian Museum Egg Hunt
Take the family to the Australian Museum for a family EGG-stravaganza! Pick up a trail map and search for Australian animals and their eggs in the Museum galleries.

Age: 4 – 12
Location: 1 William St, Sydney
Time: 10am-2pm
Cost: $13 Members child or limited early-bird price; $15 Non-Member child. Adults are free after general admission.
Date:15 April 2017 and 16 April 2017
More info: australianmuseum.net.au/event/school-holidays

Royal Botanic Garden Easter Sydney

The Great Garden Egg Hunt
The stunning Royal Botanic Garden Sydney are the home of a fun Easter Egg Hunt where children will follow their trail map around the gardens and complete five activities along the way. There is a a photo opp with the Easter Bunny at the end.

Age: 3 – 8
Location: The Band Lawn, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Times: Start times staggered every 15 minutes between 9:30 AM and 2:45 PM. The course will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
Cost: $17.50
Date: Saturday 15 April
More info: rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/whatson/egg-hunt

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me


Egg-cellent Easter Trail: Vaucluse House 
This is Easter, old school! We felt like we’d stepped back in time enjoying traditional Easter activities from egg rolling to egg-and-spoon racing, as well as vintage sports and craft, at historic Vaucluse House. At the end of the activities kids can claim your chocolate treat before exploring the gardens, meeting the farmyard animals, and sitting down for a picnic lunch on the lawn. The tearoom is open for a splurgy Easter lunch, including their high tea menu.

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me
Age: 5+
Location: Vaucluse House, Wentworth Road, Vaucluse
Times: 11.30AM–12.30PM, 1PM–2PM and 2.30PM–3.30PM
Cost: $15
Date: Sunday 16 April
More info: sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/great-egg-hunt-vaucluse-house

Egg-cellent Easter Trail: Elizabeth Farm
Explore Elizabeth Farm on an Easter-inspired kids trail. Try your hand at traditional Easter activities from egg rolling to egg-and-spoon racing, as well as vintage sports and craft, then claim your chocolate treat. After the trail, spread out on the lawn and enjoy a home-packed picnic or treats from the tearooms.

Age: 5+
Location: Elizabeth Farm, 70 Alice St, Rosehill,
Times: 11.30AM–12.30PM, 1PM–2PM and 2.30PM–3.30PM
Cost: $15
Date: Sunday 16 April
More info: sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/egg-cellent-easter-trail-elizabeth-farm

 

10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

Sydney Royal Easter Show
One of our fave events of the year! My family has been attending the Sydney Royal Easter show not just since I was a kid, but since my mum was a kid! it’s Australia’s largest annual event and attracts over 800,000 every year. The Sydney Royal Easter Show has been held annually at Easter since 1823 and is the perfect way for city kids to learn about the country through fourteen days of agricultural competitions, animal experiences, live entertainment, carnival fun and eating lots of delicious food. It’s a crazy, busy and expensive day, but we absolutely love it. Get my tips from 2016 and 2015 on how to have an amazing time at the show.

10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

Age: All ages
Location: Sydney Olympic Park
Times: 9am-9:30pm
Cost: Ticket deals available online
Dates: 6-19 April
More info: eastershow.com.au

#Easter At The Grounds of Alexandria #eastereggs #Easteregghunt via christineknight.meGrounds of Alexandria Kids Easter Egg Hunt
The Grounds is busy every day of the year, so you can imagine the chaos of a free Easter egg hunt! While the event is chaotic and I certainly wouldn’t take a littlie there or a stroller, it’s a lot of fun. The staff lay out literally thousands of eggs for kids to find. There were so many eggs the year we went that people were treading on them.  The Grounds also has delicious Easter-themed treats in the lead up (their hot cross buns are so good), a massive chocolate Easter Egg to see and potentially eat when it is cracked open on Easter Sunday, and a whole host of fun workshops for kids over the entire school holidays. 

#Easter At The Grounds of Alexandria #eastereggs #Easteregghunt via christineknight.me

Age: All ages
Location: The Grounds of Alexandria, 7a/2 Huntley St, Alexandria
Time: 8:30am
Cost: Free
Date: Saturday 15th April
More info: thegrounds.com.au/Spaces/easter

Easter Family Fun Day
An all-age event in Penrith will see over 6,000 eggs hidden for kids to discover. Enjoy face painting, animal farm and interactive games or get dizzy on the carnival rides: an Unlimited Rides Pass is $12 online or $15 on the day.

Age: All ages
Location: ImagineNations Church, 1 Simeon rd, Orchard Hills
Time: 10:30am-2:30pm
Cost: Easter egg hunt is free.
Date: Good Friday, April 14th
More info: inchurch.com.au/easter

Additional images courtesy of the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens and the Australian Museum.

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

I’m thrilled to be trying what I think is the first 100% vegan high tea in Sydney, at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel. While I’m not vegan myself I am vegetarian and more than happy to eat vegan where available, so this high tea was an exciting one to try with a friend who is lactose and egg-free.

Eating high tea when you have a dietary requirement like this is often a major hassle (it’s even a major hassle if you’re vegetarian!) and it’s wonderful to see hotels like the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney cater to people of all dietary requirements (they also serve a gluten-free high tea and kids’ high tea!).

A new vegan chef is behind the additional high tea menu. Chef June Liu joined the Radisson Blu Plaza Sydney after working for several years in other iconic vegan restaurants in Sydney and Sydney’s Inner West. She is passionate about vegan cuisine and healthy eating, which is evident in the new menu.

Radisson Blu Sydney

High tea is served on an elegant three tier stand in the relaxing Lady Fairfax lounge area. We are first brought a “welcome drink” of watermelon and red berry that is delightfully refreshing and a touch fizzy.

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

Tea orders are taken and we select from a menu that includes classic choices as well as more interesting ones such as the Queen Of Hearts Tea that I select. The menu describes it as Light spice of delicate, young rose buds atop the sweet full ness of China black tea.

Soon after, both the tea and food arrive.

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

Savoury items
Spiced lentil pies
Stuffed Moroccan pumpkin flowers
Sweet potato and cashew empanada
Grilled zucchini, asparagus and hummus sandwich
Avocado, alfalfa sprout and Spanish onion sandwich

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

The savouries are excellent. I’ve commented before on how well the Radisson Blu does these, and the vegan delicacies were no exception. It was so novel to have three entirely different pastries I could eat! My fave was the empanada – a touch of spice and filled with creamy pumpkin. The sandwiches were delightful triangles of light produce on fresh bread, exactly what should be served with a high tea.

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

Sweet treats
Chocolate cake with beetroot frosting
Salted caramel cheese slice
Mango passionfruit cake
Chocolate and hazelnut slice with lychee and raspberry
Tutti-Frutti jelly

Roasted pumpkin and herb scones with soy cream and jam

Vegan High Tea, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

I was pleased to see the scones were large and fluffy, with the same dry taste and texture that a scone should have. The soy cream was a wonderful addition as it’s rarely possible for people who can’t eat lactose or dairy to be able to enjoy whipped cream when dining out.

The sweets section was a delight for the senses with the gorgeous chocolate cupcake topped with the most delicious beetroot (again, SOY!!) frosting, and a mango cake that packed an incredibly fruity punch. The jelly was a bit tougher than I had imagined it would be (not sure what it was made with – pectin perhaps?) I don’t eat gelatine and was happy to know I was able to eat the jelly, even if it was a bit unusual texture-wise.

The salted caramel slice was very much like a little mini banoffee pie with the banana on top – a delectable morsel that was also super creamy even with no dairy in it.

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

The vegan high tea at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel is a fantastic addition to the Sydney food scene. I can’t say how wonderful it is to be able to sit down to a high tea and be able to eat everything on the menu, for people who don’t eat animal products for ethical reasons such as me, or for food intolerances and allergies such as my friend.

Traditional high tea
Served with tea and coffee, $54pp

Sparkling high tea
Served with a glass of sparkling wine, $64pp

Champagne high tea
Served with a glass of Moet & Chandon, $74pp

Vegan High Tea at the Radisson Blu Sydney

Please note that the vegan high tea requires advance booking. Walk-in guests with no booking who would like to order the vegan high tea may have to wait up to 45 minutes while the dishes are prepared.

Vegan High Tea, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

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

Get Directions

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

Travel Guide: Visiting UNESCO World Heritage Site Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Sydney’s history hides itself in plain sight. Scattered around the sparkling harbour and lush bush are pieces of a past that was built on the backs of convicts sent to the colonies to pay for their crimes committed far across the ocean.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

It’s easy to forget the past when you’re faced with the present and future. Sydney is a vibrant city renowned for its pristine beaches, foodie scene and wildlife – but scratch beneath the surface a little and you’ll find two hundred years worth of history ready to be explored by the next generation.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Cockatoo Island is one such place that is sitting right there in the middle of Sydney Harbour, rich with the past and full of tales to tell. Before the First Fleet arrived at our shores, the island was frequented by sulphur-crested cockatoos and the Eora people, Aboriginals from Sydney’s coastal region. They called the island Waremah and would have used it as a base to fish from, making their canoes from the bark of the red gum forests that once covered the island hill.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

In 1839 the Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Sir George Gipps, chose Cockatoo Island as the site of a new penal establishment and put convicts to work building prison barracks, a military guardhouse and official residences – a rather less idyllic island life than the previous residents had enjoyed.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

In the 175 years that follow, the island is used as a jail for “the worst of the worst”, a graving dock, a site for a girls’ reformatory, and a major shipbuilding site.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

After the closure of the last ship dockyard in 1992 the island lay dormant until the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust restored the island and opened it to the public in 2007.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Since its reopening it has been used as a site for major films (see below for more details), events and art exhibitions, as well as a place for Sydney’s locals and visitors alike to discover the forgotten tales of its former residents.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

In 2010 Cockatoo Island, together with 10 other historic convict sites in Australia, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, ensuring its stories will be preserved for all future generations to learn from.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

A visit to Cockatoo Island is perfect for the whole family, for people of all ages and abilities. It can be as relaxing or active as the participants in your group want it to be. We visited with our very active five-year-old and have plenty of tips for those visiting with a similarly energetic party!

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Bring the scooter
The island has plenty of flat cement ground for kids to scoot everywhere on. While we were reading the fine details on the history of the island, the kid was scooting off a storm and having the time of her life. There was no complaining about tired legs or being bored, just one very happy scooting child.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Pick up a kids’ activity pack
Ask at the Visitor’s Centre when you get off the ferry for a free kids’ activity pack. It sends kids on a treasure hunt around the island in a quest to find various clues and complete activities that engage them in the history of the island. Love it when you can blend education with some fun.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Break for lunch
You’re free to bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy it on the island, but we really enjoyed our late breakfast from Societe Overboard, one of the two cafes on Cockatoo Island. Societe Overboard is right near the ferry terminal and serves breakfast plus lunch items (we ordered the Brekky Roll for $9.50 and the Euro Bruschetta for $16.50).

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

The second cafe is the Marina Café & Bar which is located just a short stroll through the Dogleg Tunnel from the main ferry wharf or through the Main Tunnel from the campground. Their menu offers pizza, nachos, toasted wraps and more, including vegetarian options.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Stay the night
While there is comfortable accommodation available in the gorgeous heritage housing, the most fun to be had is glamping overnight in a tent with a killer view! The Cockatoo Island staff set up the tent and bedding, even providing toiletries from Appelles Apothecary.
All glampers have access to hot showers and communal camp kitchen with ten BBQ areas, fridges, microwaves and a boiling water system.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Imagine life as a convict
The Convict Precinct on Cockatoo Island is a lesson in the harsh living conditions and deprivations endured in prison labour.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Convicts were put to work quarrying stone, building prison barracks, a military guardhouse, granary silos and official residences, forged their own prison bars and constructed the Fitzroy Dock with their bare hands, often waist deep in water and shackled with leg irons. It’s easy to imagine the despair faced by the convicts who lived in appalling conditions on the island when you see first hand the brutal life they endured.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Escape to the past down (kinda creepy) tunnels
There are two tunnels that cut through the middle of the island, Tunnel 1 and the Dogleg Tunnel. Both were built in 1915 to facilitate the movement of workers and materials from one side of the island to the other, and were later modified to become air-raid shelters during World War II. The Dogleg tunnel is seriously spooky as it has a giant kink in the middle (the “dogleg” for which it is named) so when you enter the 180m tunnel you can’t see where it ends.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Take in the view
Walk up the hill or steep stairs (your Fitbit will thank you for it later) to Biloela House for stunning views of Sydney Harbour.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

The sandstone house was built in 1841 and intended for the island’s Superintendent, hence the gorgeous location and building. If you have time (and patient children) go inside Biloela House to check out the Shipyard Stories exhibition.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Leave the kids in solitary confinement
I kid, I kid! Seriously though, a brief look into these cells where prisoners were kept as punishment will give you and the kids a very quick education in how bad it would have been to be a convict on the island.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Get a glimpse at Australia’s naval history
Cockatoo Island was also the site of one of Australia’s biggest shipyards that operated between 1857 and 1991. A walk through the yard will leave you in awe at the pure size and scale of the ships built here – and the cranes are always a favourite with the kids.

Cockatoo Island Chess

Play a game of chess
A life-size chessboard is set up near the ferry terminal for anyone to play – it’s the perfect way to teach young ones the rudiments of the game.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Spot movie filming locations
In 2008 X-Men Origins: Wolverine was filmed on Cockatoo Island. If you look carefully you’ll be able to see the remnants of the film set where the island was used as Stryker’s laboratory and a “mutant containment area.”

Cockatoo Island was also transformed into Japan’s most notorious Prisoner-Of-War camp Naoetsu during the 2013 filming of Angelina Jolie’s film, Unbroken.

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Want to know more about Cockatoo island? I highly suggest dropping by on Sunday March 26 to enjoy their open house event, a rare opportunity to take a sneak a peek inside the heritage houses and apartments.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

Getting to Cockatoo Island 
Catch the F3 or F4 ferry directly to the island. Our big tip is to use the unlimited travel on public transport for $2.50 on a Sunday.

Learn more about visiting Cockatoo Island online.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

One of the most defining moments of my childhood was a trip we took when I was nine to Egypt. It was amazing. I will never forget seeing the pyramids and sphinx in Giza, and learning about their ancient world became an obsession I’ve never managed to shake.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

I was thrilled to see the Powerhouse Museum’s new exhibition for autumn is Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives because, let’s be honest, it’s not so easy to pop over to Egypt to teach your kids about these kinds of things.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

The exhibition is really best for kids aged 7+ but I would also say it depends on the kid. We saw children with their families of all ages enjoying it, so I would advise making a judgement call on your own circumstances.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives is on display until 30 April 2017, making it a perfect outing in the upcoming school holidays. The exhibition gives visitors the chance to meet six ancient Egyptian mummies and see how the latest technology has enabled us to go beyond the wrappings and discover the lives and customs of these people from the past.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

The six mummies were selected from the British Museum collection. They lived and died in Egypt between 1800 and 3000 years ago – the information gathered on their lives is on display alongside their 3D CT scan visualisations allowing visitors to not just view for themselves the amazing end result of mummification, but also see what lies underneath – and fully appreciate the whole mummification process.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

Through the exhibition visitors will learn about the lives of regular people in ancient Egypt. What is the mummification process? What were their beliefs? What do the symbols in their artworks and on their coffins mean? Quite simply, it’s all fascinating.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

I would suggest visiting the exhibition with kids on a Sunday for the museum’s Egyptian Mummies: Family Sundays.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

Each Sunday in March, from 10am–4pm, kids can enjoy ancient Egypt through a fantastic kids play area complete with a dig zone, building area, oasis for reaching and craft area. During the school holidays the dig zone will be open every day.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney
Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

On an upper level you’ll find Senet, what is possibly the world’s first board game, recreated for you to have a go. It looks kind of like chess, ancient Egyptian-style.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

You might even come across a mummy or pharaoh wandering around the museum.

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

More information about the Egyptian Mummies exhibition:

The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Visitors are advised that this exhibition contains human remains and CT scan images of mummified human remains.

Strollers must be parked at the cloaking desk on level 3 of the Museum prior to entering the exhibition.

Prices: Adult $27, Concession $25, Child (4–16) $16, Family (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) $65.

Pre-book online now and save.

Tickets include general admission to Powerhouse Museum.

Powerhouse Museum
The Egyptian Mummies family activities are free with museum admission.
500 Harris St, Ultimo NSW 2007

Thank you to the Powerhouse Museum for our entry tickets. All opinions are our own.

The Wiggles Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum: An Update

The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

We had an incredibly fun day at the Powerhouse Museum checking out the changes to our favourite Wiggles Exhibition.

The exhibition has been closed for a while while it was being “updated”, and was reopened over the weekend to the public.

You can read my original post on the Wiggles Exhibition here. Basically the update was a much-needed renovation that focuses the exhibit on the current Wiggles rather than the previous ones. The exhibition now focuses on the four current Wiggles, Anthony, Simon, Lachy and Emma in the front section, with mentions of the original Wiggles through out the museum.

The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

The popular interactive features of the exhibit have all remained, with the screening section expanded to look like a stage for all the little Wiggles fan to dance.

The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

A few other items have been moved around to create more space in various areas, but otherwise remain as they were before.

The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

The update is fantastic for kids who are growing up with the Wiggles right now, while still containing plenty of information on their origins and achievements.

The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris St, Ultimo
Hours: Daily, 10am-5pm
Prices: Adults $15, children 16 and under free.
Online

Thank you to the Powerhouse Museum for entry tickets. We love the museum and all opinions are our own.

The Picnic, Burwood: Kid-Friendly Restaurants, Sydney

The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney

The Picnic at Burwood is a whimsical elevation of the humble outdoor dining experience. The outdoor cafe is located inside a pavilion in a park in Burwood, a few metres from a large, fenced in playground. The location is a big part of the appeal for families and has lead to its popularity among with parents who like great food, but who have small kids who like to swing on things.

The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney

Another drawcard is picnic-inspired design, with a white and yellow colour scheme and plenty of greenery through out the gazebo. It feels like al fresco dining in Europe, yet is a stones through from a huge Westfields, in the middle of suburban Sydney.

The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney

The Picnic doesn’t take bookings on weekends, so expect to wait around 30 minutes in peak times. Arrive early for a shorter wait time. We turned up at 10am, were told there would be a 15 minutes wait for our party of 3, but our table was ready five minutes later. Don’t be turned off by given a lengthy wait time – you’ll be put on their waitlist and send an SMS when your table is ready, meaning you can head up to the playground and let your kids run their steam off before their meal, which is a win in my book.

The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney

If you don’t fancy waiting at all, you can borrow a picnic rug and order food from the kiosk.

The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney

The menu is broken up into Breakfast (until 12pm) and Lunch (from 12pm). We are in time for brekkie and order the Pavlova Hotcake ($18.50, soft pancake with house made coconut crumble, berries, meringue, lemon curd, passionfruit cream and mango sorbet), Super Breakfast Bowl ($21.50, dukkah poached egg with quinoa tabouli, kale, avocado, shredded carrot, cucumber, pickled cabbage, edamame beans and sweet potato, served with organic sprouted bread), from the kids’ breakfast menu The Bear ($7, bear-shaped toast with banana and blueberries and your choice of peanut butter, butter, Nutella or Vegemite), Kids’ Size Classic Shake ($5, choice of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or banana).

The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney

The husband orders a coffee, which takes the longest because it’s an incredibly busy coffee day, apparently, our server apologises profusely. It’s no matter because our food arrives quickly and the coffee arrives as a dessert for hubby to happily sip as our daughter is entertained by colouring in.

The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney

This cafe is an Instagram dream with it’s beautifully presented dishes and bright natural light. Thankfully the meals are not just pretty – they’re delicious. The food vanishes and the plates are clean. It’s thoughtfully designed not just for a pretty photo but to satisfy their diners’ hunger, too.

The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney The Picnic, Burwood: The Best Kid-Friendly Cafes, Sydney

The Picnic ticks every box for us, and is sure to become one of our favourite cafes in Sydney.

 

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

The Picnic Burwood
Burwood Rd & Park Ave,
Burwood NSW
Prices: $$
Hours: Tue-Sun 8am-4pm. Closed Mondays.
Get Directions

The Picnic Burwood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Burnt Orange, Mosman: Sydney’s Best High Teas

Burnt Orange, Mosman: Sydney's Best High Teas

“Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady, 1880.

The above inscription inside the menu at Burnt Orange could not describe our afternoon any more perfectly. High tea is one of my favourite guilty pleasures that I love to indulge in with friends and family to celebrate basically every occasion possible – in this case, it was a baby shower for a friend.

Burnt Orange, Mosman: Sydney's Best High Teas

Burnt Orange is a cafe known for it’s delicious food and stunning views from the wraparound verandah. It’s a popular place for celebrating special occasions, and it’s common to see groups of hens or baby showers on the verandah taking in the view with a delectable high tea offering.

Burnt Orange, Mosman: Sydney's Best High Teas

High tea is served from 3:30pm onwards. The cafe closes at 5:30pm on weekends, so the only time slot is actually 3:30-5:30.

Burnt Orange, Mosman: Sydney's Best High Teas

Each member of the party was served their own large tea pot that gave around 3 full cups of tea. The tea menu was on the basic side compared to some high tea venues, but it still included all the popular favourites like English Breakfast and Earl Grey, as well as options such as Orange Pekoe (which we all chose), Organic Berry and Russian Caravan.

The food is the focus at Burnt Orange, and we found the high tea to be a perfect size for mid afternoon tea – a great mix of savoury and sweet without being cloyingly sugary.

Savoury
Pumpkin & goats cheese tart with carrot jam
smoked salmon on brioche with avruga caviar and herb ricotta
Poached chicken & tarragon on Avoca brown bread

Freshly baked scones with homemade jams and cream

Sweet
Salted caramel and chocolate tart
Moroccan orange & almond cake with sugared almonds
Classic lemon tart with blueberries & cream

Burnt Orange, Mosman: Sydney's Best High Teas

As the token vegetarian I was served the same tea with a different sandwich option – a really delicious vegetable medley on its own plate.

The food was of the high quality one expects from a venue such as this. The sandwiches were fresh, the scone a good size and fluffy inside, a delicious jam and thick cream, plus the perfect amount of deserts with a variety of flavours. I really enjoyed how different each was – a tart lemon, a salted caramel combined with dark chocolate and an orange cake. The perfect flavour combination.

Burnt Orange, Mosman: Sydney's Best High Teas

The tea is reasonably priced at $40 per person. An additional $10 for a glass of bubbly.

High tea is available by reservation only, and a deposit must be paid over the phone equal to 50% of the booking. Deposit is refundable for cancellations made up to 24 hours prior to scheduled booking.

A 10% surcharge applies on weekends and public holidays.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

Burnt Orange
1109 Middle Head Rd,
Mosman NSW 2088
Phone: 02 9969 1020
Prices $$$
Hours: Daily 8:30am-5:30pm
Get Directions

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