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The Best Father’s Day Gifts For Dads Who Love The Great Outdoors

The Best Father’s Day Gifts For Dads Who Love The Great Outdoors

The Best Father’s Day Gifts For Dads Who Love The Great Outdoors

Stuck with ideas for Father’s Day gifts? Gift an experience and make this Father’s Day one that the dads in your family will never forget. 

We are family who thrive on experiences over possessions. Our family values time together and the memories built as the number one most important thing in our lives. When it comes to special occasions like Father’s Day, we love to gift experiences that we can do together and spoil the dads in our lives while having a special outing. Some previous Father’s Day gifts have included lunches by the beach and outings to the Southern Highlands.

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

For Father’s Day presents this year, with all of the uncertainty surrounding travel, I’m
considering a gift voucher that can be redeemed when the time is right. A gift such as an
experience through RedBalloon offers a good mix of thoughtfulness and flexibility – and if you’re
completely stuck on what to get there’s a gift voucher option so Dad can choose exactly what
would suit himself best. (RedBalloon offers experiences in every state and territory by the way!)

For hubby, who loves the outdoors, here are some options I’m considering:

Quad Bike Adventure Tour

The largest coastal sand dunes in Australia are located in Port Stephens, NSW, and this gift
involves quad biking over them! The sand dunes are as high as 100 feet, with breathtaking
views of the ocean. For an hour, the tour will take us through the coastal grassland and scrub,
then up and down the magnificent sand dunes. This could be my favourite Father’s Day gift idea because we can end the day at the beautiful beaches of Port Stephens.

Discover this experience: Quad Bike Adventure Tour

Shark Dive at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

For dads who live wildlife, take a look at the Shark Dive experience at SEA LIFE Sydney
Aquarium. Divers get to come face-to-face with sharks and other marine life in a safe, controlled environment, with a qualified instructor. A professional photo and video of the dive is included in the package.

The dive takes place in SEA LIFE Sydney’s four million litre Oceanarium with grey nurse sharks, seven gill sharks, giant stingrays and an abundance of exotic fish. The dive is suitable for both certified and non-certified divers, with a scuba skills session and afternoon theory class included.

Discover this experience: Shark Dive at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Double Kayak Hire in Manly

A serene day trip to one of the most beautiful parts of Sydney, this experience includes the hire of a double kayak for four hours to paddle along the beautiful shorelines of North Harbour.

Some of the most exclusive beaches in Sydney are accessible by kayak, so on this aquatic adventure we will explore different beaches we’ve never seen before, and visit a secret waterfall! This experience is a self-guided one, where you can explore Manly at your own pace.

Discover this experience: Double Kayak Hire in Manly

Guided Kayak Tour with Bushwalking in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

We haven’t seen much of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park so this would be a gift for us all. The guided tour takes kayakers through the National Park’s waterways and bays to secluded
beaches, all only accessible by water. Included in the tour is exploring Scotland Island and
Lovett Bay waterfall, morning tea on a tranquil beach, and kayaking photos of the group.

Discover this experience: Guided Kayak Tour with Bushwalking

Whale Watching Cruise in Sydney Harbour

A cruise on Sydney Harbour is spectacular at any time of year, even for us locals! From May to December humpback whales (and the odd southern right whale) migrate along the coast and can be seen up close on a whale watching cruise. The three-hour cruise of both the inner
harbour and outside of the Sydney headlands is a beautiful way to enjoy the city, which I always think looks best from the water, and also spot whales!

Humpback whales migrate north in June and July and back south from September with their
calves, while the southern right whales do not migrate, instead moves along the coast finding
protected shelters for their young. The tour has a 99% success with whale sightings, with a
Whale Guarantee that entitles you to another free morning cruise if you don’t see one of the
magnificent sea creatures during your cruise.

Discover this experience: Whale Watching Cruise in Sydney Harbour

Book Father’s Day Gifts online and spoil Dad with an experience he will love!

Written in partnership with RedBalloon.

The Best Father’s Day Gifts For Dads Who Love The Great Outdoors

The Best Father’s Day Gifts For Dads Who Love The Great Outdoors

More things to do in Sydney

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

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.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

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.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Gordons Bay Clovelly: Sydney’s Best Beaches

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

Gordons Bay Clovelly: Sydney’s Best Beaches 

Gordons Bay is a secluded beach in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Teaming with sea life and protected by an offshore reef, the calm bay is a popular spot for snorkelers and divers.

Located between Clovelly Beach and Coogee Beach, Gordons Bay (sometimes referred to as Gordon’s bay or Gordon Bay) is a bit tricky to reach. Access is limited to pedestrians via the Cliffbrook Parade coastal walk or the surrounding neighborhood streets.

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

We entered via Thorpe Street, walking down a long flight of stairs to join the coastal walk, which you can see marked in green on Google Maps.

The coastal walk is a stunning and offers tantalising glimpses of Gordons Bay below, plus a beautiful array of native plants.

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

Access to the beach itself is via stairs and a ramp. The beach is quite small and is surrounded by some interesting old wooden boat ramps.

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

The water is calm and quite shallow at the shore, but as there are no lifeguards here, keep an eye on small children. 

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

Inside the aquatic reserve are a wide range of fish. There are 18 species who are commonly seen including; blue gropers, stingarees, old wives, drummer, luderick, goatfish and mados. There is a legendary groper “bluey” who lives in the bay.

Gordons Bay

If you are into snorkeling or diving, try the self-guided Gordons Bay Underwater Nature Trail. The 600m trail takes about 40 minutes to complete. There are concrete drums linked with a chain to form the trail, and steel plaques with info on them to guide you.

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

We visited in winter and as it was too cold to swim, enjoyed instead climbing the rocks. There are some beautiful little caves to discover.

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

If you want to visit a cafe, I highly recommend nearby Gordon’s. It is a walkable from Gordons Bay and extremely kid-friendly.

Read more about visiting Gordon’s Cafe.

If you need a bathroom, the closest public toilets are south at Coogee Beach or north at Clovelly Beach.

Read more about visiting Gordons Bay.

Get Directions

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

More things to do in Sydney

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

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.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

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.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Gordon’s Cafe Clovelly: Kid-friendly Cafes in Sydney

Gordon’s Cafe Clovelly: Kid-friendly Cafes in Sydney

Gordons Cafe Clovelly Sydney

Family-friendly Gordon’s is a relaxed cafe in Sydney’s Clovelly, serving healthy fresh food, a stone’s throw from Gordons Bay.

Gordons Cafe Clovelly Sydney

Gordon’s is open 7 days a week, serving all-day breakfast and lunch, plus selected evenings (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). This is a friendly neighbourhood cafe where the focus is on serving the locals delicious, wholesome, seasonal food. Gordon’s is fully licensed and has a collection of Australian and Italian wines plus Mountain Goat craft beer on tap.

There is seating available both inside and out. The cafe is extremely popular so on weekends, I suggest calling ahead for a reservation.

Gordons Cafe Clovelly Sydney

The friendly staff offered us a kids’ menu/colouring-in sheet plus crayons on arrival (thanks!). The kids offerings are pretty standard and reasonably priced. Even though it was only 10am, a kids’ pasta was ordered – a excellent sized portion and thanks for being so flexible to the staff.

Gordons Cafe Clovelly Sydney

Hubby and I both ordered the Gordons Stack (with layered tomato, haloumi, avocado, poached eggs & bacon on sourdough topped w. hollandaise & served w. mixed leaf
$19). I requested mine without hollandaise and bacon and was offered a vege alternative – I chose spinach.

Gordons Cafe Clovelly Sydney Gordons Cafe Clovelly Sydney

We also ordered the Mixed Berry Smoothie ($7.50).

Gordons Cafe Clovelly Sydney

The food arrived quickly and was fresh, pretty and delicious. An absolute neighborhood gem! 

Burnie Park-Clovelly Burnie Park-Clovelly

Just down the street is Burnie Park, which is a lovely bit shady park, including a nice sized playground.

Gordons Bay is about a 600m walk to get to from the cafe. Read more about visiting Gordons Bay.

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

Gordons Cafe
353/355 Clovelly Rd,
Clovelly NSW
Reservations: (02) 9665 2342
Hours: Mon-Thurs 6:30am-2:30pm, Fri 6:30am-3pm, Sat & Sun 7am-3pm
gordonscafe.com.au
Get Directions

 

More things to do in Sydney

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

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.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

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.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

 

Historical Sydney: La Perouse and Bare Island

La Perouse and Bare Island, Sydney

Historical Sydney: La Perouse and Bare Island

La Perouse is located on the north headland of Kamay Botany Bay National Park. The headland is an historic part of Sydney as well as a place to enjoy stunning beaches, explore rock pools and spot wildlife.

La Perouse

Named for the French explorer Jean-François de Galaup – the Comte de la Perouse – who arrived a few days after the First Fleet, La Perouse is steeped in Aboriginal and colonial history.

The Indigenous community have had strong ties to the headland for centuries. To learn more about the Aboriginal history of la Perouse, take an Indigenous-led Kadoo Tour, with Tim Ella of the Dharawal–Yuin people. The tours in Kamay Botany Bay National Park include stories of the local indigenous population, the chance to try bush tucker and experience a ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony. 

La Perouse

La Perouse is also where Captain Arthur Phillip’s First Fleet initially landed in 1788, before deciding on Sydney Cove. The La Perouse Museum, housed inside the heritage-listed Cable Station, has exhibits on the voyage of Comte de la Perouse as well as local Aboriginal stories.

La Perouse Bare Island

Nearby Bare Island is home to the 1880s-built Bare Island Fort, built to protect Sydney from the Russians and since used as a retirement home for WWI veterans and film set for the Tom Cruise film Mission: Impossible 2. To see inside the fort, you need to book a guided tour of Bare Island, which runs on Sundays. Tickets can be booked online, at the island’s gate or La Perouse Museum. Check upcoming tour dates and book tickets here.

The Blak Markets also run on Bare Island four times a year, featuring traditional Aboriginal dance performances, indigenous arts and craft stalls as well as local bush tucker. Find upcoming market dates here

La Perouse Bare Island

The sea life in the water around Bare Island is bountiful, making it a popular spot for scuba diving, snorkelling and fishing. Also for sea birds to make an appearance while they contemplate catching dinner.

La Perouse Bare Island

At the base of the island is a large, flat rock shelf, popular with families for its rock pools.

For a bit of exercise, take the Henry Head walking track on the headland, a 4km return trail to Endeavour Lighthouse and World War II battlements. For breathtaking ocean views, walk to Cape Banks.

Frenchmans Bay La Perouse

The beaches of La Perouse are absolutely stunning as well as extremely calm thanks to their sheltered location. 

Read more about visiting the La Perouse beaches.

There is plenty of space on the headland to spread out a picnic blanket and bring your own lunch, however, we absolutely love the Boatshed, perched overlooking Frenchmans Bay.

There are public bathrooms available near Frenchmans Bay and also near the start of the walk to Congwong Beach.

La Perouse is easily accessed by public transport, with direct buses from the city centre. The route from the CBD will take you through inner city Surry Hills, through Randwick and Kingsford before getting to beachside Maroubra, Malabar and Little Bay. 

If you drive, be aware that it’s a popular spot and parking can be hard to find.

La Perouse La Perouse La Perouse Bare Island La Perouse Bare Island La Perouse Bare Island La Perouse Bare Island La Perouse Bare Island La Perouse Bare Island

Read more about visiting La Perouse.

Get Directions

La Perouse and Bare Island, Sydney

More things to do in Sydney

Visit one of the La Perouse Beaches.

Dine at the Boatshed La Perouse.

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

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.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

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.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Central Gardens Nature Reserve Merrylands, South-West Sydney

Central Gardens Nature Reserve Merrylands

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

The Central Gardens Nature Reserve, also known as Central Gardens Merrylands, is a nature reserve in south-west Sydney. The 12-hectare park features two playgrounds, animal enclosures, BBQ areas, a flat path perfect for scooters and bikes, plus a small waterfall feature.

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

Both playgrounds were updated this year (you can see what the park looked like last time we visited here) with an accessible design.

The main playground is located closest to Paton St. It has a massive shade cloth over the bulk of the playground, with an inclusive ramp structure and slides at the end, sand pit with water feature, swings, liberty swing, tyres that make music when you jump on them, merry go round, in-ground trampolines, walking see-saw, a rock climb feature on the ramp structure on the centre, talking tubes, a tunnel and a spinning teacup. 

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

There is also a large rope climbing structure outside of the shade cloth area and a toddler play area.

The second playground is a much smaller one located near Merrylands Street car park. It is also all-abilities and has a liberty swing.

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

Behind the main playground you’ll find the native animal exhibits. It’s free to wander through them and see the very well cared for animals, including birds, particularly scary emus, wallabies with babies in their pouches, and kangaroos.

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

There is also a nocturnal house with possums and fruit bats.

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

Central Gardens Merrylands also features a waterfall right in the middle of the park. It’s a lovely spot to wander around, with water birds and cockatoos in abundance. Behind the waterfall is a koala sanctuary.

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

The park has plenty of wide open green space for kids to run around and picnics, plus free barbecues and picnic tables.

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

Near the main playground is a Bush School that meets monthly.

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

Central Gardens can be accessed from Merrylands Road or Paton Street, where there is a free car park. If you are going via public transport, take bus 806 (from Parramatta to Liverpool) or 818 (from Westmead to Merrylands).

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

Central Gardens Nature Reserve
Cumberland Hwy & Merrylands Road, Merrylands West
https://www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/central-gardens-nature-reserve
Get Directions

More things to do in Sydney

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

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.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

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.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

The Coal Loader and Coal Loader Cafe, Waverton

The Coal Loader Waverton Sydney

The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability and Coal Loader Cafe, Waverton

The Coal Loader is an historic venue in North Sydney, including a large green space, community garden, elevated platform with harbour views, bush walks and the Coal Loader Cafe.

The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability is located on the Waverton peninsula. It’s a fascinating place to delve into Sydney’s past and also learn about its sustainable future. 

The Coal Loader Waverton

Coal Loader History

The Aboriginal Cammeraygal people called the peninsula home for thousands of years. A large rock engraving of a whale survives at the entrance to the Coal Loader site, and there is further evidence of the indigenous community carved into rocks on the bush walks. 

The Coal Loader Waverton

The Coal Loader opened in the early 1920s to serve as a transfer depot for coal to be moved from bulk carriers to smaller coal-fired vessels or to be distributed by road. The elevated platform which is now a place for the community to gather as well as the face of North Sydney’s sustainability plan, once housed a large coal stockpile.

Underneath the platform are a series of tunnels through which coal was transported into coal ‘skips’. The site was decommissioned in the early 1990s. After being dedicated a public open space in 1997, North Sydney Council took over management of the site in 2003, working with a grant from the Australian and NSW Governments to transform the space into the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability.

The site operated for over 70 years before being decommissioned. The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability was opened in July 2011, and the Coal Loader platform opened in March 2018.

Today, the Coal Loader is a place for the community to gather and relax, dine, and learn about sustainable living practices. 

Genia McCaffery Centre

The Genia McCaffery Centre, located inside the historic sandstone building onsite, is a place to visit and be inspired by sustainable concepts. Visitors can get information on how to “green up” their lives, participate in book swaps, and drop off batteries, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, toner cartridges, corks, soft plastics or mobile phones and their accessories for recycling.

The Coal Loader Waverton

Coal Loader Platform

The platform is one of Sydney’s largest publicly accessible green roof spaces. At one hectare in size (or seven Olympic swimming pools next to each other), the concrete and sandstone platform is a multipurpose recreational space displaying sustainable technology and community gardens.

The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton

Coal Loader Cottage Community Garden

Dotted around the Genia McCaffery Centre, cafe and platform are an array of community gardens and the native bush nursery. In total there are 40 raised garden beds, aquaponics facilities, fruit trees and herb planters. Visitors are welcome to admire the gardens and have a bit of a sniff at the produce as it grows – but must be a member of the community gardens to access any produce. 

The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton

Aboriginal Bush Foods Garden

The ‘bush foods’ garden has a variety of edible and otherwise useful native plants from the local area.

Chook Run

While the chickens were on holiday when we visited, they usually live at the Coal Loader and visitors can learn how to keep their own chooks at home.

Coal Loader Cafe

The Coal Loader Cafe is currently open Wednesday to Sunday serving delicious light breakfast and brunch meals. Book a table or be prepared for a bit of a wait. The cafe has a kids’ menu and options for vegetarians.

The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton

Coal Loading Tunnels

Take the elevator or stairs down to the Coal Loader tunnels and explore tunnel 1, features the original coal feeder and cart, and tunnel 2, which takes visitors 160m through the dark to bushland of Balls Head.

The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton

Foreshore Park and Walks

Past the tunnels is the foreshore park with plenty of bush walks. You can also access the park by road if you won’t wish to go through the tunnel. The 2.8 hectare park features a native havens demonstration garden (habitat for fauna), wetlands, picnic areas, and foreshore walk. Along the walk are interpretive signs which talk about the site’s heritage and sustainable transformation. The walk to Balls Head Reserve traverses through the largest bushland remnant in North Sydney.

The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton The Coal Loader Waverton

Digital Kids Trail

While our kid was easily entertained during our visit with scooting, exploring and bushwalking, families can also check out the free digital kids trail, which helps kids discover the Coal Loader’s history, sustainability features, native planting, food gardens, bats, chickens and more. Visit http://www.TheCoalLoader.com.au on your mobile device to begin.

The Coal Loader Waverton Sydney

The Coal Loader
2 Balls Head Dr, Waverton
https://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/Environment_Waste/The_Coal_Loader
https://www.facebook.com/Coal-Loader-Cafe-543816115654540
http://www.coalloadercafe.com.au/

More things to do in Sydney

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

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.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

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.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

The Coal Loader Waverton Sydney

The Canopy Precinct at Lane Cove, Sydney

Canopy Lane Cove

The Canopy Precinct at Lane Cove, Sydney

The Canopy is a vibrant new precinct in Lane Cove, featuring a village green and children’s playground, restaurants, living green wall and solar arbour.

Located in the heart of Sydney’s lower North Shore, the Canopy is a destination to shop, dine, play and relax. It also includes Coles and Aldi supermarkets and a 500-space underground car park, making accessing it and grabbing your groceries at the same time a breeze.

Village Green

The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney

This lovely green space has a stage set up for entertaining, and sculptures dotted around.

The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney

Playground

The playground is a special place, featuring a shaded toddler area with slippery dip, tunnel and water pump with park.

The Canopy

The Canopy

Older kids can enjoy the adventure playground which includes the solar arbour, trampolines, accessible swing and the incredible climbing structure. Reaching 8 metres high and over 15 metres in width, the structure includes vertical climbing nets, a fire pole, pommets, sagging bridge, junior and spiral slides and upper/lower play decks.

The Canopy The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney

Sustainability Features

The Canopy was designed with several sustainable features, including a living, breathing green wall, 230 solar panels, electric vehicle charging points and a bespoke galvanised arbour. 

The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney

The solar arbour is a stunning sight to behold. Featuring printed solar cells developed by the University of Newcastle, this arbour in Lane Cove is the only public place in Australia where you can see these cells in action. From 5:00pm each day visitors can trigger the motion sensors to display LED lighting which is powered by these ultra light-weight, flexible and recyclable solar cells. 

 The 20 square metre green wall houses plant species scientifically developed to improve air quality including Philodendron Xanadu, Alternanthera Dentata, Philodendron Imperial Green, Philodendron Hope and Westringia Fruticosa. The green wall also acts as a sound barrier, improves acoustics and cools the immediate surrounding air temperature.

Rainwater Harvesting & Fountain

The Canopy features 90,000 litres of water harvesting capacity, with rain water from the water feature and the building roofs captured and reused for landscape irrigation. The Canopy’s fountain features 46 jets and is going to be very popular in summer.

The Canopy, Lane Cove, SydneyBathrooms

A quick note about these excellent new bathroom facilities, which feature disabled and family areas.

The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney

The Canopy
2 Rosenthal Ave, Lane Cove
thecanopylanecove.com.au

Thanks to Lane Cove Council for the additional images.

More things to do in Sydney

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

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.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

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.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Top Tips For Visiting Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo

Top Tips For Visiting Sydney Zoo

Located next to the sprawling Western Sydney Parklands, Sydney Zoo is home to over 2000 animal species, housed in 30 custom, state-of-the-art exhibits. 

Sydney Zoo

Created out of a desire to educate the community on animal welfare and conservation, while providing amazing experiences, Sydney Zoo has used of state-of-the-art technology to provide an immersive and engaging visitor experience, while providing animals with spacious, enriching homes.

Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo is divided into five areas: Aquarium, which features Aussie fish and fairy penguins, Australia, with iconic wildlife and the country’s largest nocturnal and reptile house, Africa, Asia with the Primate Boulevard running straight through the centre.

Plan your visit

Sydney Zoo

When visiting Sydney Zoo, start at the entrance map and decide on an organised approach to ensure you see both sides of zoo. We started with the Primate Boulevard, which runs down the centre to the ferris wheel, shaded picnic tables and kids’ play space.

Sydney Zoo

The beautiful wide spaces of the exhibits plus the huge amount of space between them makes Sydney Zoo a very enjoyable experience for visitors. There’s no cramming up against barriers to see animals, no sad animals in tiny cages, just absolutely massive spaces filled with enriching activities for animals, including areas for them to retreat from the public view if they so wish. It’s no wonder the animals looked so happy and chill. 

Start with Primate Boulevard

Sydney Zoo

On Primate Boulevard we enjoyed seeing agile spider monkeys and tufted capuchins, as well as regal chimpanzee and mischievous baboon babies. 

Sydney Zoo

The ferris wheel is $7 per person a spin ($6 for members), which a portion of proceeds going to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program.

Go under the sea

Sydney Zoo

From here we headed into the aquarium to see the fish and fairy penguins, followed by the barn animals (closed for petting at the time), then into the Australia area. The fairy penguins are particularly fun to watch enjoying swimming.

Meet the Aussie icons

Sydney Zoo

We particularly enjoyed the Australia section, with its free roaming kangaroos and wallabies, and very friendly emus. We saw a snoozing wombat, a joey emerging from its mothers’ pouch and pat one of the persistently sociable emus. 

Sydney Zoo

Inside the nocturnal and reptile house we saw an incredible range of creatures, including the world’s most venomous snakes, and a lizard shedding its skin. We also saw a bilby and a spotted quoll.

The Australia section brought us back to the entrance, and we headed on to the Asia section.

Meet diverse species from Asia

Sydney Zoo

The Asia section is home to beautiful orangutang, a pair of river otters, red pandas, sumatran tigers and the beautiful Saigon, a retired circus elephant.

Go on safari in Africa

Sydney Zoo

The absolute highlight of Sydney Zoo is the spectacular African section. An elevated boardwalk takes visitors high about the ground to view the animals from a birds-eye view. It really does feel like being on a safari, watching animals engage in their natural behaviours, mostly not even noticing people were watching them. 

Sydney Zoo

We watched African painted dogs frolicking, hyenas napping, and lions stalking their prey – the completely oblivious giraffe, zebra and ostriches in the enclosure next door. 

Sydney Zoo

The African section brought us back to the end of Primate Boulevard and a large food court, with an eating area overlooking the cheeky meerkats. 

Dine in or BYO

Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo has plenty of kiosks dotted around, plus the one major dining area. There are also lots of shaded picnic tables, so it’s completely up to you if you splurge on a meal out, or bring a picnic lunch.

Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo

The kiosks and dining hall offer a range of meal options, with the kiosks obviously more limited compared to the dining hall. Salads, fruit, sandwiches, muffins and other snacks can be bought at the kiosks, while proper meals are on offer in the dining hall, including burgers and meal deals for adults and kids. There are options for various dietary requirements as well.

Sydney Zoo

Roll though the entire zoo

Sydney Zoo

I was incredibly impressed at how well designed Sydney zoo is, with particular care to create an accessible experience for wheelchairs, mobility scooters and strollers. there wasn’t a single step in the zoo that we could find. The zoo is flat with wide pathways, and offers stroller and mobility device hire at the entrance.

You can read an accessible review of Sydney Zoo here.

Learn about the local Indigenous people

Sydney Zoo
Throughout the Australia precinct are interpretive signs and information on the local Indigenous community, the Darug People, and physical examples of things like the food they ate and the shelters they slept in. In the future Sydney Zoo will be offering a unique, integrated Aboriginal and natural heritage program, called the Bungarribee Dreaming experience, with Aboriginal guides who will provide interpretation and information within the Australia Precinct.

Sydney Zoo has also committed to a 10% full time equivalent Aboriginal employment target.

Future conservation plans

Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo has plenty of plans under way to local and international conservation efforts as they grow, and educate visitors on the importance of conservation. Their plans include participating in breeding programs for endangered species, creating partnerships with conservation experts and organisations in the Greater Western Sydney Area to protect wildlife and raising awareness of the value of protecting animals and the environment within communities through education programs.

What to take for a day at Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo

The zoo doesn’t have a great deal of shade, so bring a hat and sunscreen even in winter. Wear layers and very comfortable shoes. We visited in July and had a freezing morning where we needed jackets, then were blazingly hot by lunch time.

Take water bottles and plenty of snacks, and I would suggest also bringing lunch to cut down on costs.

How to get to Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo

We drove to Sydney Zoo, and found it easy to access thanks to the M4 and M7 Motorways. There is plenty of free onsite parking.

The Sydney Zoo website has plenty of tips on how to get there by all forms of transport.

Make a day of it

Sydney Zoo is located next to the Western Sydney Parklands as well as other Western Sydney attractions. I highly suggest heading afterwards to one of these awesome spots:

Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo
700 Great Western Highway, Bungarribee NSW
Phone: 02 7202 2560

Hours: sydneyzoo.com/about/contact-us
https://sydneyzoo.com/
Get Directions

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The African Savannah Precinct Opens at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

African Savannah at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

The African Savannah Precinct Opens at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

What’s new at the Zoo? A new state-of-the-art African Savannah precinct! The new precinct lets guests at Taronga Zoo Sydney experience a beautiful savannah full of roaming lions, fennec foxes, meerkats, giraffe and zebra.

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Educational as well as visually stunning, the new African Savannah precinct takes Taronga guests on a journey to Africa while sharing with them the conservation challenges facing these species and some of the solutions that are supporting communities and wildlife in Northern Kenya.

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

At the heart of the new precinct is the giraffe habitat, overlooking Sydney Harbour, which includes Giraffes Jimiyu and Zarafa and new arrivals Kito and Ebo, a mother and calf who recently arrived from Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Interestingly, giraffes have the largest eyes of any land mammal, and great eyesight that allows them to see clearly up to 2km away, while also being able to perceive colours. 

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Taronga Zoo, Sydney Taronga Zoo, Sydney

The giraffes share The Waterhole exhibit with zebras Kaya and Bwana, who recently arrived from Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Did you know that each Zebra has a unique pattern of stripes, as individual as a human’s fingerprint?

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Nearby are Taronga’s pair of Fennec Fox, Zinder and Zalika. Their custom-built exhibit includes full height glass walls to protect their sensitive ears, heating pads, natural spaces for sitting and gathering as well as logs for darker sleeping spots. 

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

A mob of meerkats has moved in next door, in a fantastic new interactive space with plenty of enrichment opportunities for them to enjoy. Meerkats usually live in a mob of up to 30 individuals, who share roles of babysitting, surveillance and foraging.

Taronga Zoo, Sydney Taronga Zoo, Sydney Taronga Zoo, Sydney

The much-loved lions have returned to Taronga Zoo, inside the African Savannah. Lwazi and Ato, two male lions, can be found in a huge sprawling exhibit.

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

The lions are part of a crucial breeding program supporting insurance populations for lions, which are sadly now extinct in 27 African countries.

Taronga Zoo, Sydney Taronga Zoo, Sydney Taronga Zoo, Sydney Taronga Zoo, Sydney

When visiting Taronga Zoo this winter, note that the zoo has made some changes to the usual guest experience. Daily visitor numbers are currently limited to lower than normal capacity, and guests, including Zoo Friends, will need to register their visit online before attending the Zoo. Hygiene measures including extra sanitizing stations, signage encouraging social distancing and increased cleaning have also been put in place throughout the Zoo.

Taronga Zoo Sydney is located 12 minutes by ferry from Circular Quay wharf, or a short bus trip from the city or North Sydney. Parking is currently $9 all day.

Tickets are only available to purchase online at Taronga.org.au. Online tickets for adults are $44.10 and children 4-15 years old are $26.10.

Taronga Zoo
Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman
Taronga.org.au

African Savannah at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

More things to do in Sydney

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

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Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Where to Find the Best Kids’ High Tea in Sydney

Kids High Tea Sydney

Where to find the best Kids’ High Tea in Sydney

Take your tiny diner out and enjoy scones, cakes and treats galore at these gorgeous kids’ high tea offerings in Sydney. Pinkies up!

Gunners’ Barracks, Mosman

Gunners' Barracks, Sydney

The Children’s High Tea is a gorgeous affair, featuring fairy bread, kid-friendly pastries and some hot chips for good measure. High tea comes with a hot chocolate or juice, but kids can also select from the tea menu if they like. The nearby Bradley’s Head is great for exploring afterwards.

Read more about high tea offerings at the Gunners’ Barracks.

gunnersbarracks.com.au

InterContinental Sydney Double Bay

Intercontinental Double Bay High Tea, Sydney, Australia

The kids’ high tea is very thoughtfully designed, with a great selection of kid-friendly food including fairy bread, a chicken & cheese toastie, brownie, watermelon lollypop, banana and chocolate cupcake, macaron and strawberry fondue. It’s extremely reasonably priced at $25 .

Read more about our high tea experience at the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay.

https://doublebay.intercontinental.com/

Gatehouse Tea Rooms Parramatta

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

Located in historic Parramatta Park, the Gatehouse Tea Rooms are the perfect spot for introducing kids to high tea. Their “High Tea for Tin Lids” is for littles 3-12 and includes mini cheese sandwiches, fairy bread triangles, mini cupcake and assorted sweet bites plus a juice or soft drink. Run off the sugar afterwards in Parramatta Park on the awesome playgrounds.

Read more about our high tea experience at the Gatehouse Tea Rooms.

gatehousetearooms.com.au

InterContinental Sydney

 

High tea takes place in the elegant Cortile dining area, at the InterContinental Sydney. The “Children’s Tea Party” is served daily from 11am-5pm and includes quintessential Aussie treats, including a lamington, fairy bread, macaron, cupcake, gingerbread man, scones, mini quiche and rainbow slider. The high tea comes with a milkshake or iced tea.

Read about our high tea experience at the InterContinental Sydney.

icsydney.com.au

Shangri La, Sydney

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Pastry chef Anna Polyviou creates a wonderland of delights for kids with her special themed high teas. Past night teas have included Barbie and Easter.

Read about our high tea experience at the Shangri La, Sydney.

shangri-la.com

Tea Room QVB

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

One of Sydney’s most iconic venues, the QVB, is famous for their high tea. Kids can also enjoy dining in style with the Children’s High Tea, including a range of finger sandwiches, scone with strawberry and raspberry jam and clotted cream, choice of tea, hot chocolate, juice or soft drink. Afterwards, take kids to the gorgeous toy shop on the top floor.

Read more about our high tea experience at the QVB.

thetearoom.com.au

The Langham, Sydney

"The Tale of Mr Rabbit" Easter Afternoon Tea at the Langham, Sydney

The Langham offers some delightful themed high teas, usually during the school holidays. Past high teas have included Easter, Shopkins and Barbie themes. Kids can also enjoy the standard high tea throughout the year.

Read more about the Classic Afternoon Tea with Wedgewood.

langhamhotels.com

Tea Cosy, The Rocks

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me

Kids can enjoy a special Kids’ Devonshire Tea which includes one plain scone, served with strawberry jamand double thick cream, with a babycino. The babycino is pretty fancy, and the scones are the best in Sydney.

Read more about our experience at the Tea Cosy.

theteacosy.com.au

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Frosted High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

This iconic Sydney hotel holds themed high teas throughout the year, especially during school holidays. Past teas have included Beauty and the Beast and Frozen.

sofitelsydney.com.au

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney

The Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour hosts the most divine Claris-themed high tea at various times of the year. Check their website for updates on when the Claris high tea will be back.

Read about our Claris high tea experience.

sofitelsydneydarlingharbour.com.au

Boronia House, Mosman

Boronia House, Sydney, NSW

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

Read more about our high tea experience at Borona House.

mosmancatering.com

Sir Stamford at Circular Quay

Sir Stamford High Tea: Sydney Australia

The Sir Stamford regularly runs special themed high teas, however they also offer a standard kids high tea menu for children aged 5-12. The high tea is very similar to the adult one. When we visited, it included sandwiches, scones and sweets including a brownie, macaron, chocolate mousse cup and cheesecake square, plus a glass of juice or hot chocolate.

Read more about our high tea experience at the Sir Stamford.

stamford.com.au

Radisson Blu, Sydney

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel: Sydney's Best High Teas

The Radisson Blu offers a special “Kids in the City High Tea”, which is designed by kids, for kids. The kids high tea includes a selection of sweet and savoury delights with by a special mocktail, juice, soft drink, or tea. Prices start at $25 per child under 10.

Read more about our high tea experiences at the Radisson Blu.

radissonhotels.com

Burnt Orange, Mosman

Burnt Orange, Mosman: Sydney's Best High Teas

Overlooking Middle Harbour, Burnt Orange is a gorgeous spot for high tea. Their children’s high tea (for kids under the age of 12), includes a selection of treats including banana raspberry musk sticks and sour snakes, house-made chocolate freckles, kid-friendly sandwiches and scones. Kids will also receive fresh fruit and a choice of flavoured of pain milk, hot chocolate or juice.

Read more about our high tea experience at Burnt Orange.

burntorange.com.au/high-tea/

Kids High Tea Sydney

More things to do in Sydney

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

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.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.