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7 Awesome Day Trips On Sydney Harbour Ferries

Awesome Day Trips On Sydney Harbour Ferries #sydneyharbour #sydney via Christineknight.me

Sydney Harbour is such a showoff. Sparkling blue water with white cut cliffs, pristine beaches and fascinating history to boot. It’s easy to see the best Sydney has to offer by simply heading out for a day trip on the Sydney Harbour ferries.

7 Awesome Days Trips On Sydney Harbour Ferries

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

The largest island on Sydney Harbour is also a fascinating historical site. Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the only remaining dry dock in Australia built using convict labour. Before the First Fleet arrived and used convict labour to turn the island into a prison and then shipbuilding dock, the island was a base for the local Aboriginal tribe, the Eora people, to fish from and built canoes.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

After a significant restoration, Cockatoo Island has been opened to the public and makes for an incredible day trip exploring the convict relics, industrial buildings and historic maritime dock.

The island also plays host to events and exhibitions such as the Biennale of Sydney,  Australia’s largest contemporary visual arts event. Open until June 11, 2018, the exhibition is held in multiple venues across Sydney. On Cockatoo Island the artworks reflect the history of the site around themes such as movement, migration, production and participation. The artworks, by 20 artists from all over the world, are designed to evolve over the course of the Biennale.

The Biennale of Sydney is brought to Cockatoo Island this year with the support of principle partner TWT Property Group, whose mission is to enrich the communities they create with art.

You can read more about a day trip to Cockatoo island here. 

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Catch the ferry directly to Taronga Zoo for a walk on the wild side. A non-profit organisation supporting wildlife conservation, a visit to Taronga is as educational as it is entertaining. There are over 4,000 animals to meet at the zoo, including Australian native wildlife and rare and exotic animals.

Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

The QBE Free-Flight Bird Show is a highlight for us, to witness spectacular birds, most of whom have been rescued and rehabilitated, soar across the sky with the Sydney Harbour as an impressive backdrop.

Kids will love the two playgrounds, water features, up-close animal experiences such as the lemur walk-in enclosure and the new Wile Ropes adventures through the treetops.

Get more info on a day at Taronga Zoo with kids here. 

Watson’s Bay

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

A short 20 minutes ferry trip from Circular Quay will take you to Australia’s oldest fishing village, Watson’s Bay. This sparkling gem of a spot is home to the iconic seafood institution Doyles, perfect for grabbing takeaway fish and chips or, for a more upmarket dining experience, try the celebrated restaurant Doyle’s on the Beach.

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

We love Robertson Park, the large, leafy park behind the beach, for a picnic or a run around the excellent playground.

Don’t forget to pack the swimmers as Watson’s Bay is excellent for a splash on the beach with the gorgeous city view behind you.

Get more info on a day trip to Watson’s Bay here. 

Manly Beach

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

A 30 minute ferry trip will take you to Manly, the site of the first world surfing competition in 1964. Manly Wharf has plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants to enjoy, and, if you’re lucky, you might even see some of Manly’s Little Penguins underneath the wharf.

Stroll down the Corso, a pedestrian mall filled with cafes, surf shops and pubs, to the ocean beach.

At the beach you’ll be enticed by the white sand and sparkling water to dive on in. If you want to give surfing a go, local businesses Manly Surf School and Manly Surf Guide can lend a hand.

#Manly #Beach #Sydney With Kids via brunchwithmybaby.com

We love to take the scenic walking path south to Fairy Bower Pool and Shelly Beach, the later of which is the perfect family spot for a swim in calm waters.

Get more info here on a day trip to Manly.

Luna Park, Kirribilli

Luna Park Sydney

Catch a Sydney Harbour ferry to Kirribilli and Luna Park, an historical Sydney icon that was listed on the State Heritage Register in 2010. Constructed in its current scenic spot at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1935, Luna Park is an amusement park with the best view in town.

We particularly love Cony Island Funnyland, which is the only operating example of a 1930s funhouse left in the world.

Luna Park Sydney

Coney Island was built in 1935, and although there have been some changes made over the years, the layout is almost identical to when it opened, including the rotating barrels, moving platforms, long slides and arcade games that line the walls.

Get more info on visiting Luna Park here. 

Darling Harbour

Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney Australia

This entertainment precinct is jam packed with attractions that the whole family will enjoy. Get up close to rescued dugongs and king and gentoo penguins at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, meet a koala and gigantic croc at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, or take a selfie with a celebrity at Madame Tussauds, the famous wax museum.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

We also love the ever-changing exhibitions at the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM), which is particularly kid-friendly and offers plenty of kid-focussed activities during school holidays, and the Chinese Garden of Friendship for a tranquil afternoon.

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

The Darling Quarter Kids Playground is one of the best in Sydney. The slides, flying fox, swings, climbing ropes and splash area are not to be missed.
Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

Parramatta

Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park

Catch a Sydney Harbour ferry along scenic Parramatta River to Parramatta Wharf and enjoy a day exploring Australia’s fascinating past and vibrant, culturally-diverse present.

Parramatta was founded in 1788 and is the second-oldest city in Australia, only 10 months younger than Sydney. It’s home to two UNESCO World Heritage Australian Convict Sites: the Convict-built Old Government House, which was the country residence of the first 10 Australian governors, and Parramatta Park, where colonists, both convict and free, grew their crops before being gazetted as a People’s Park in 1858.

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

Parramatta Park has two playgrounds, including the exceptional Domain Creek Playground, and an enclosed, formal rose garden featuring a are collection of heritage roses.

Stroll down Church Street for a diverse variety of restaurants and a scoop of innovative gelato at Messina Gelato.

Elizabeth Farm, Sydney, Australia

We love nearby Elizabeth Farm, family home of wool pioneer, John and his wife Elizabeth Macarthur, and Australia’s oldest European building.

Get more info on visiting Parramatta, the Domain Creek Playground and Elizabeth Farm

Sydney Ferry Map

Get more info on catching a Sydney Harbour Ferry here. 

More things to do in Sydney

Sydney Tower Eye, Australia

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

Awesome Day Trips On Sydney Harbour Ferries #sydneyharbour #sydney via Christineknight.me

This post is a collaboration with TWT Property. All opinions are my own. 

Ryde Park: The Grounds Keeper Cafe, Playground & Scooter + Bike Track

Ryde Park: The Grounds Keeper Cafe, Playground & Scooter Bike Track, Sydney, Australia

Sydney’s Northwest is spoiled for choice with excellent parks, playgrounds and cafes. Ryde Park, in particular, is a special spot. It’s a huge park complete with sporting grounds, basketball court, playground, picnic facilities, a brand new scooter and bike track, plus the excellent Grounds Keeper Cafe.

Ryde Park: The Grounds Keeper Cafe, Playground & Scooter + Bike Track

Grounds Keeper Cafe, Ryde, Sydney, Australia

The Grounds Keeper Cafe was formerly known as Ryde Park Cafe before its makeover in 2013 by owner Sam Hayek. The menu has a Middler Eastern flavour to it, with dishes on offer such as Kafta Tagine Eggs (Clay pot baked free range eggs with spiced lamb kafta and served with pita bread and labna, $19) Chilli Eggs (Spicy avocado and tomato salsa on toasted sourdough, free range poached eggs, topped with Dukkah and drizzled with balsamic glaze, $19) and Hummus Awarma (Traditional Lebanese breakfast of hummus topped with fried eggs, slow cooked lamb, toasted almonds and fresh mint served with Lebanese bread, $22).

Brekkie is served until 11:30am, when the lunch menu kicks in. There are plenty of options for vegetarians and also those on a gluten-free diet.

Grounds Keeper Cafe, Ryde, Sydney, Australia

Kids can choose from the Little Grounds Keeper Breakfast Menu, which features dishes from $6.50-$9.50 including choice of eggs with bacon with toast $9.50, ham and cheese omelette with toast, pancakes and a ham and cheese toastie. The Little Grounds Keeper Lunch Menu has dishes from $9.50-12.50 including wagyu cheese burger, penne napolitana, grilled chicken tenderloins with fries and kafta skewers with fries.

Tables are able to be booked in advance – which I highly recommend for weekends as it’s a very popular cafe. We didn’t book and were lucky enough to get a table straight away for our party of 7. Food came quickly after it was ordered and was cooked to perfection.

Grounds Keeper Cafe, Ryde, Sydney, Australia

My Pancakes On The Grounds (layered home made pancakes topped with mascarpone, fresh strawberry, crushed pistachio, pure maple and caramel syrup and dusted with icing sugar) were a work of art and incredibly delicious.

Grounds Keeper Cafe, Ryde, Sydney, Australia

The eggs on toast with added sides got a thumbs up from hubby and our friend who ordered the same.

Grounds Keeper Cafe, Ryde, Sydney, Australia

The Grounds Keeper Cafe is incredibly popular with families in particular and it’s easy to see why. The food is incredible and service fast, even on a super busy day.

Grounds Keeper Cafe, Ryde, Sydney, Australia

There is a reasonably-sized playground under shade directly outside the cafe, which is particularly good if you have to wait for a table or your meal. There are bathrooms behind the cafe including a baby change table and disabled toilet. The cafe and playground are also extremely accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. Wheelchairs are able to wheel directly into the cafe and up to the tables.

Ryde Park Scooter and Bike Track

Ryde Park, Sydney, Australia

A brand new scooter and bike track was added in March 2018. It’s a great little area with stop signs and roundabouts, making it fun and educational at the same time. There are three picnic tables with shade scattered around the track. Trees have been planted but it will be a while before they will give any shade. A water fountain at the entrance of the park is handy if you visit on a hot day.

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Ryde Park
Ryde Park, Blaxland Road, Ryde

The Grounds Keeper Cafe
30 Argyle Ave, Ryde
Hours: Mon, Wed-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat & Sun 8am-4pm (Closed Tuesdays)
Kids’ Menu: Yes
Change Table: Yes
High Chairs: Yes
Easy stroller access: Yes
Playground: Yes
groundskeepercafe.com.au

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

Balmoral Beach Sydney: Sydney’s Best Beaches

Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia

Balmoral Beach Sydney is our absolute favourite beach. There is something special about this quiet beach in the north shore suburb of Mosman. Despite its popularity, Balmoral still feels like a quaint seaside town, with low rise properties, lack of giant hotels, and just the right amount of quaint cafes to dine at.

Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia

Balmoral Beach Sydney

The little harbour beach of Balmoral has been a popular spot since well before the colonisation of Australia in 1788. Local Aborigines lived in the area before they were displaced by white settlers (you can find their cave preserved near the entrance to the oval).

Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia

In the late 1880s artists, including Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts, were lured to Balmoral by it beauty and set up camps at the water’s edge at the foot of Awaba Street and nearby Sirus Cove.

Today, Balmoral Beach Sydney is even more popular than ever. A huge draw is its calm water, making it the prefect beach for families.

Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia

Balmoral is technically two beaches, split in the middle by Rocky Point Island. South of the island is Balmoral Beach, with an enclosed swimming area and playground, and north lies Edwards Beach, where you’ll find the heritage-listed 1920s Balmoral Bathers Pavilion, which houses the Bathers’ Pavilion Restaurant.

Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia

A wide esplanade runs behind both beaches, perfect for scooting, pushing prams and wheelchairs, walking and walking dogs.

Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia

Behind the esplanade, adjacent to the bridge that joins the path to Rocky Point Island, is the Balmoral Beach Rotunda, popular for weddings as well as for kids to play in. We recently discovered a statue of a dog named “Billy” near the rotunda. It was erected a few years back to recognise the work of a local street sweeper, Cliff “Inky” Williams, and his canine companion, a dog called Billy.

Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia

Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia

Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia

There are plenty of shady spots for a picnic at Balmoral Beach Sydney, or you can choose a local face for dining in and takeaway.

How To Get To Balmoral Beach Sydney

The easiest way is to hop on a ferry at Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo and catch a connecting bus. You can plan your trip here.

If you drive, prepare for a parking battle as the beach gets very popular particularly on weekends. Parking near the beach costs $7 an hour, but you can park in the backstreets for free.

Or bring a picnic hamper and relax in the pretty parklands next to the beach. Getting to Balmoral Beach is easy by public transport. Hop on a ferry at Circular Quay and glide across the sparkling harbour to Taronga Zoo in Mosman for a connecting bus. The total trip takes about 30 minutes.

While we love scooting and exploring on foot, you can also learn to sail or hire kayaks, sailboards and stand-up paddleboards from the Balmoral Surf School.

There are plenty of changing and bathroom amenities available at Balmoral Beach.

Find more Sydney beaches to visit here

Check out some of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia

Balmoral Beach Sydney Australia

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Sydney, Australia

A peaceful way to spend a few hours in Sydney is with a stroll through the Chinese Garden of Friendship at the south end of Darling Harbour.

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

The gardens were built in 1988 as a symbol of friendship between Sydney and the southern Chinese city of Guandong. It was designed and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners to reflect the “yin-yang” Taoist principles and the elements of earth, fire, water, metal and wood.

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

The two lions at the entrance, guarding the gardens, also represent yin and yang. If you’re into in Feng Shui, you’ll be interested to know that the garden is also designed to encourage the flow of “qi”, or “life force”.

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

We really enjoyed strolling through the gardens. They are serene, even when travelled through at high speed by a six-year-old. The gardens feature waterfalls, lagoons with lotus plants, lakes, pavilions, sculptures, and wildlife such as koi carp, birds and water dragons.

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

A feature we particularly liked was the Dragon Wall with its two imperial dragons. The brown dragon represents Guangdong and the blue New South Wales, playing with the pearl of friendship. It’s just stunning.

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

Kids will enjoy the free Emperor’s Quest, a self-guided adventure for ages 5-12. The quest takes visitors to find the 12 animals of the Chinese lunar calendar hidden throughout the garden. Each animal has a clue to help find it, and information on it once it’s found.

Visitors, both adult and children, can also dress up in traditional Chinese costumes from the Ming and Ching dynasties (costs and extra $10 adult $5 kids).

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

The gardens holds plenty of free programs throughout the year including school holidays, with activities such as tai chi classes and lantern painting.

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

Visitors can also enjoy the daily koi feeding at 11:30 am.

Last stop before leaving the gardens is the Teahouse, where a range of traditional Chinese refreshment are served. I’ve heard the scones are fantastic.

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

Chinese Garden of Friendship
Darling Harbour
Hours: Open daily 9:30am-6pm (Apr-Sep), 9:30am-5:30pm (Oct-Mar). Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day. 
Cost: Adult $6, kids under 12 $3, family (2 adults, 2 kids) $15, concession $3, senior $4.50.
Accessibility: the lower pathways and pavilions are very accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. The steps and rocky pathways in the upper garden are more difficult.  
Facilities: Accessible toilet and baby change facilities.
Online: chinesegarden.com.au

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

12 Of The Best Ocean Pools in Sydney

Ocean Pools Sydney Australia

Cool off in one of these 13 spectacular ocean pools in Sydney. These seaside pools offer a great way to relax, unwind, and splash at leisure, while admiring breathtaking ocean views of Sydney harbour and beaches. Most ocean pools are great for kids, making these spots a top choice for families in hot weather.

12 of the Best Ocean Pools in Sydney

Ocean Pools in the North

Dee Why Rockpool

Dee Why Beach, Sydney, Australia

A popular spot for families, the 50-metre rock pool and toddlers pool likes at the southern end of Dee Why Beach. The toddler pool is one of the best in Sydney for kids – especially designed with littlies in mind, it’s shallow and perfect for splashing around. Facilities nearby include public toilets and showers.

Image credit: Destination NSW

Fairy Bower Ocean Pool, Manly

Fairy Bower Manly, Sydney
Take a ferry from Circular Quay for a gorgeous day out to Manly Beach and the Fairy Bower ocean pool. Walk south down the coastal path past the beach to find the ocean pool, where locals have been frolicking in the water for almost 100 years. As well as being a great option for families to splash around, Fairy Bower is also home to plenty of marine life. In the water next to the pool lives plenty of fish, seadragons and coral, so bring your snorkel.

Get more tips on a day at Manly Beach.

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Palm Beach Rockpool

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

Just over an hour’s drive from the CBD, Palm Beach is Sydney’s northernmost suburb. At the southern end of Palm Beach lies a rockpool that graduates from shallow to deep water. As the southern end of Palm Beach is protected from rough seas, the ocean pool water is calm – perfect for kids. The rockpool is 50 metres long, and has change rooms/showers/toilets nearby.

Get more tips on a day at Palm Beach.

Whale Beach Rockpool

Whale Beach, Sydney, Australia

A small beach located 40km from Sydney’s CBD, Whale Beach features a 25-metre pool and a natural rock pool area to explore. One of the best rockpools for kids, the Whale Beach Rockpool is shallow and calm, only filling at high tide. There are public toilets, showers and a playground nearby.

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Ocean Pools in the East

The Geoff James Pool (Clovelly Ocean Pool)

Clovelly Beach, Sydney Australia

At the southern end of tranquil Clovelly Beach lies the Geoff James Pool, a 25-metre saltwater lap pool. Clovelley itself is extremely calm to swim, making it a popular spot for families. The area is also home to plenty of marine life, making it a great spot for snorkellers.

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Bronte Baths

Bronte Beach and BathsAt the southern end of Bronte Beach lies the Bronte Baths, an ocean pool built into the cliff face in 1887. Stairs lead down to the pool, which starts shallow and gets deeper. In rough surf conditions the pool isn’t suitable for smaller kids due to the waves crashing over the wall and into the pool. Nearby you’ll find toilet and changing facilities, plenty of cafes, and a large park with shady trees for picnics.

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

North Bondi Wally Weekes Pool and Mermaid Baths

Bondi Beach, Sydney

At the northern end of Bondi you’ll find the Wally Weekes Pool, a modified tidal rock pool that was the first ocean pool south of Sydney Harbour. The Wally Weekes pool borders the North Bondi Children’s Baths, also called Mermaid Baths. There are plenty of cafes nearby and bathroom facilities at the surf club. The Bondi Children’s Pool is one of our top choices for ocean pools in Sydney.

Get more tips on a day a Bondi Beach.

Bondi Icebergs Pool

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
Australia’s most famous and photographed ocean pool, the Bondi Baths have been a popular landmark for over 100 years. The baths are located below the start of the Bondi to Coogee cliff walk, making it a popular spot for tourists to rubberneck the swimmers. They include a 50-metre saltwater lap pool and smaller kid’s pool, with a lifeguard on patrol all year round.
Casual entry to the pool is $6.50 at time of publishing. You cannot visit and not swim at this ocean pool in Sydney.

Visiting Bondi with a wheelchair? Check out Have Wheelchair Will Travel for tips.

Ross Jones Rockpool, Coogee

Coogee Beach #sydney #australia via christineknight.me

At the southern end of Coogee Beach lies the Ross Jones Memorial Pool. Built in 1947, the “pool” is actually two adjacent pools, jutting out from the rock face. The pools get a lot of crashing waves from the ocean and are quite deep. You can find the Ross Jones Memorial Pool directly underneath the Surf Life Saving Club. Bathroom and change facilities are easily accessible and there are lots of cafes nearby.

Get more tips on a day at Coogee Beach.

Wylies Baths, Coogee

Wylies Baths, Coogee, Australia


A few hundred metres south of Coogee Beach, you’ll find Wylie’s Baths, a heritage-listed tidal swimming pool. Established in 1907, Wylies Baths was among the first mixed-gender bathing pools in Sydney. You’ll pay a few dollars each to enter the baths, which is worth it along for the retro Australian vibe at the baths and kiosk perched above. There are bathroom and shower facilities for use (hot water shower will cost you a small fee), and a free shower for rinsing off on deck.

Image credit: Destination NSW

McIvers Ladies Baths, Coogee

Australia’s last remaining ladies only seawater pool, McIver’s Ladies Baths, are located between Coogee Beach and Wylies Baths, perched on a cliff face and rock platform. Steps lead down to the baths from Grant Reserve. The baths are open to women and children only, and cost a small fee. Facilities include a brick sunbathing area, change rooms and amenities, plus a small clubhouse.

Mahon Pool, Maroubra

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

Walk a few hundred metres north of Maroubra Beach Jack Vanny Reserve, and follow the steps to Mahon Pool. Built in 1932, this 30-metre-pool was carved into a rock flat at the base of a steep hill. During high tide the pool is unsafe to swim, so be sure to visit at low tide when the water is calm. Because it’s such an unusual spot, Mahon Pool is one of our top choices for ocean pools in Sydney.

Get more info on visiting Mahon Pool here.

Coogee Beach, Sydney

Tips for visiting Sydney ocean pools

Go early or off season
Sydney summers are brutally hot and the beaches get packed in peak season. If you’re going in summer particularly on a weekend arrive early if you want to be able to park your car anywhere remotely near the beach. I particularly love Sydney’s beaches in spring and autumn as there are less people and they’re also less hot!

Be prepared for the heat
Pack well with long-sleeved rashies and cotton cover ups, plus wide-brimmed hats and slip off shoes (Natives or Crocs are good).

Slap on sunscreen
Not just once: reapply SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours or after swimming.

Stay hydrated
Take large bottles filled wiht ice cubes or frozen overnight. We have insulated water bottles that stay cold for 12 hours.

Take a break at high noon
When the sun is at its most brutal, get out of the heat. Have lunch at a cafe or sit under a tree with books or games.

Find out the best beaches to visit in Sydney here.

Ocean Baths Sydney Australia

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

Chinamans Beach, Mosman: Sydney’s Best Beaches

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia
The beautiful residential suburb of Mosman, on Sydney’s north shore, is home to several stunning beaches including Chinamans Beach. We happened upon this little gem on a hot summer’s day, when we weren’t able to find parking at nearby Balmoral and thought we’d give its smaller neighbour a try instead.

Chinamans Beach is a smaller beach, a 250m stretch of sand that sits inside Middle Harbour. The result is a quiet, calm beach with very gentle water, perfect for families with little kids.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

It was named after the areas local Chinese residents who once organised market gardens in the park.

If you want to visit both beaches, Balmoral is only a 1km walk around the rocks to the south. On the day we visited the water was too high so we didn’t attempt it, but it is possible.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

There is no shade on Chinamans beach, so bringing an umbrella or tent is advisable. We were lucky enough to score a spot at the south end of the beach under a tree up on some rocks near the path. Not an idea spot, but at least we had some shade.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

You also won’t find any cafes or kiosks on Chinamans Beach, so bring plenty of water and food (and sunscreen!). A very enterprising person was selling beach patrons snacks and ice blocks from his little boat when we visited.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

There are no lifeguards at Chinamans Beach, however the water is so calm that it’s considered a very safe beach. It does, however, get quite deep as it goes out further into Shell Cove, the bay in front of the beach that is popular for yachts to park.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

At the south end, the rocks that lead to Balmoral Beach are fun to climb on and have small rockpools with sea life in them. Be careful as the rocks are slippery and have sharp barnacles on them.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

Behind the beach is Rosherville Reserve, a large, quiet park area, perfect for picnics or barbeques. It has plenty of trees and shade, a small playground and decent shower and toilet.

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

Getting to Chinamans Beach

CAR
The park has a very small car park which is metered (paid). You can also park for free on the streets surrounding Rosherville Reserve, which has a path to the beach.

PUBLIC TANSPORT
Catch a bus that goes through Mosman from the Sydney CBD and Neutral Bay. Check bus timetables here.

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

Sydney’s Best Playgrounds: Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands, Australia

The Western Sydney Parklands is a top spot for local families to stretch their legs and really enjoy the great outdoors. The newest park in the precinct, Bungarribee, opened in March 2017 – a 200-hectare recreational facility that gives locals plenty of wide open space to play, cycle, scoot, walk, run and even walk their dog at one of Sydney’s largest off-leash dog areas, the Warrigal Dog Run.

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

At Bungarribee you’ll find plenty to entertain the family all day. The ultra-modern playground will be a total hit with the kids, with its 14-metre-high playtower, 50-metre-long flying-fox, giant and baby swings, water play area and sand pits.

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

The playtower is unlike anything we’ve seen in a Sydney playground before, with multiple levels giving kids challenges to climb over and through various levels. It’s a great space for tweens to enjoy in particular.

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

Other facilities at Bungarribee include walking/cycling/scooting tracks, 20 barbecues, 13 picnic shelters (8 are available for hire, the rest are free of charge, on a first-come first-served basis), plenty of car parking (the area we parked had free all-day parking), large, clean bathrooms, and wide open fields to run around.

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

Personally, I thought the space was pretty good, but could use a few improvements:

  1. The park needs better shade cloths instead of the rather weird netting that was used.
  2.  The park has no all-ability features in it. I can’t understand why 15 million dollars was spent on a huge new park that excludes kids with disabilities.

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

Get more information on Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee here.

Bungarribee
Western Sydney Parklands
Entrance Intersection of Holbeche and Doonside roads, Bungarribee.

 

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

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

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

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

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

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

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

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

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

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

Our verdict

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sculpture By The Sea 2017

Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney, Australia

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

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

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

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

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

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

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

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Tips for attending Sculpture By The Sea

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

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, Australia

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

Sculpture By The Sea