Adventure, baby!

Sydney Life

Sydney Guide: Tips For First-time Visitors

Sydney Guide: Tips For First-time Visitors

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

How to get around

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

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

Driving in Sydney

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

When to visit

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

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

National Emergency Services

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

Hotel Review: The Langham Sydney, Australia

Where to stay

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

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

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

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



Booking.com



Booking.com

 

Things to do in Sydney

Sydney Opera House Day pack via christineknight.me

Get ideas of things to do in Sydney and beyond.

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

Find things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

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

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Where to find the best views in Sydney.

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

Get tips on travelling Australia on a budget here

The Best Indoor Play Centres in Sydney

The Best Indoor Play Centres In Sydney

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

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

The Best Indoor Play Centres In Sydney

Nubo

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

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

Get more info on visiting Nubo Alexandria.

Twinkle Kids Cafe

Twinkle Kids Cafe Burwood

Location: Burwood

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

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

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

Get more info on visiting Twinkle Kids Cafe.

Jungle Buddies

Jungle Buddies Play Centre, Five Dock via christineknight.me

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

Get more info on visiting Jungle Buddies here.

Little Dynamos

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

Monkey Mania

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

Shine Shed – All Abilities Play Centre

Shine Shed

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

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

Get more info on visiting the Shine Shed

Image courtesy of Have Wheelchair Will Travel.

Planet Mino


Location: Chatswood

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

Website: facebook.com/planetmino

Image courtesy of Planet Mino.

Chipmunks Playground & Cafe

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

Ultimate Family Fun Centre Sydney

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

Wannabees Family Playtown


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

Little Rascals

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

Lollipops Playland

Lollipops Penrith

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

Image courtesy of Lollipops.

Monkey Bar Playground

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

Supa Play Zone

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

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

Website: supacentamoorepark.com.au

The Best Trampolining Centres In Sydney

Sky Zone

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

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

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

Flip Out

Flipout Brookevale

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

Image courtesy of Flip Out.

The Best Parkour Centres in Sydney

Australia Academy of Parkour

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

Website: aapes.com.au

Moving Bodies

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

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

The Best Inflatable Play Centres in Sydney

Inflatable World

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

Cool Cats Inflatable World

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

The Best Indoor Climbing Gyms in Sydney

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

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

Sky Zone

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

Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym

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

ClimbFit

Climbfit

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

Image courtesy of Lyndon Marceau @marceauphotography

Peak Pursuits

Peak Pursuits Castle Hill

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

Turbo Climb

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

Website: turboclimb.com.au

Image courtesy of Turbo Climb.

The Best Ninja Warrior Gyms in Sydney

Ninja 101

Ninja 101

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

Ninja 101

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

There is a cafe onsite with basic snacks and drinks.

Website: ninja-101.com

Warehouse 11 Studio

Warehouse 11

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

Warehouse 11

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

Website: warehouse11.business.site

Images courtesy of Warehouse 11.

Location: Mount Ku-ringai

Moving Bodies

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

Website: movingbodies.com.au

The Best Miniature Golf Courses In Sydney

Putt Planet, Miranda

Putt Planet, Miranda

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

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

Get more info on Putt Planet.

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney here.

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

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

Where To Find The Best Ice Skating Rinks In Sydney

Where To Go Ice Skating In Sydney

Ice Skating Rink Sydney

Ice skating is so much fun for kids and adults alike, plus has a lot of health benefits! Kids can enjoy a public skating session at any of these rinks, as well as joining a learn-to-skate program from an early age (most programs start at age 4).

In this post you will find the locations of each ice skating rink in Sydney.

Ice Skating Canturbury, Australia

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

Check session times and prices on their website.

Macquarie Ice Rink, Sydney

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

Check session times and prices on their website.

Image courtesy of Macquarie Ice Rink.

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

Check session times and prices on their website.

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

Check session times and prices on their website.

Liverpool Catholic Club Ice Skating Rink, Sydney

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

Check session times and prices on their website.

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

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

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

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

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

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

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

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

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

Wulaba Park, Green Square, Waterloo, Sydney

Our verdict

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

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

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

 

Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean at the MCA Sydney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sculpture By The Sea 2017

Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney, Australia

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

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

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

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

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

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017

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

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2017
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

28 Of The Best Beaches For Kids In Sydney

With hundreds of stunning beaches in Sydney to choose from, sun seekers are spoiled for choice! Take the kids for a dip at one of the best family-friendly beaches in Sydney, spread across the north, east and south. From calm, sheltered beaches and bays to bustling surf scenes, there are so many kid friendly beaches in Sydney that this list just keeps on growing!

Take your pick from some of the best beaches for kids in Sydney!

28 Of The Best Beaches For Kids In Sydney

Beaches in the North

Chinamans Beach

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.

Get more tips on visiting Chinamans Beach.

Balmoral Beach

Balmoral Beach, Sydney, Australia

Often called the best beach for kids in Sydney thanks to the gentle water in the enclosed swimming area. Balmoral has a gorgeous view between the two headlands that form the gates to Sydney Harbour. It also features a wide boardwalk, plenty of cafes and bathrooms / change room facilities at the rear of the Bathers’ Pavilion. Balmoral is renowned as one of the best calm beaches in Sydney.

At the northern end, a short walk through the streets or around the rocks will take you to Chinamans Beach. Little Sirius Cove is also nearby – an under-the-radar spot with sheltered beaches, a playground and a netted tidal pool. To reach Little Sirius Cove follow the trail that leads to Taronga Zoo.

Get more info on visiting Balmoral Beach here.

Clifton Gardens

Clifton Gardens Beach Sydney

One of Sydney’s best beaches for families, Clifton Gardens features a gorgeous white sand beach, baths and a playground, excellent facilities and access to bush walks. The water is flat and calm, there is a wide path for scooters and bikes, plus a sheltered playground. A big grassy area is perfect for kite flying. At the southern end follow the path to take a short bush walk. Another of the best calm beaches in Sydney, Clifton Gardens is a beautiful spot all year-round.

Get more tips on a day at Clifton Gardens.

Collaroy Beach

Colleroy Beach, Sydney Australia

Collaroy is well-known for being a fully accessible beach reserve and playground. The recently upgraded playground is excellent – it’s gated, has partial shade and has equipment for children of all-abilities. Collaroy Beach also has public toilets, accessible picnic areas, rockpool and paths perfect for scooters, strollers and wheelchairs.

Visiting Collaroy with a wheelchair? Check out Have Wheelchair Will Travel for tips (also thanks for the pic!).

Curl Curl


One of Sydney’s best surfing beaches. At the northern end of Curl Curl you’ll find a lagoon which flows to the sea. Kids can walk through the shallow water in this area, look for sea life or play in the sand. At the southern end lies a family-friendly ocean swimming pool.

Dee Why Beach

Dee Why Beach, Sydney, Australia

A popular beach for families with its ocean swimming pool and toddler’s area, spots for picnics and plenty of beach cafes and boutique stores. Dee Why is located around 20km from Sydney’s CBD, to the north of Curl Curl. Ramps leading down to the beach make it easily accessible for strollers.

Image credit: Destination NSW

Manly Beach

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

One of the best beaches in Sydney period, Manly is a fantastic day trip for families. While the beach is famous for surfing – the first world surfing championship was held here in 1964 – it’s also a place to shop, dine and play. The easiest way to get to Manly is to catch a ferry from Circular Quay, near the Sydney Opera House, across Sydney Harbour to Manly Wharf (it takes 30 minutes). Walk from the wharf up the Corso, where you’ll find shops and cafes, to Manly Beach.

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

Walk south down the beach to Shelly Beach, a sheltered area that’s perfect for kids to paddle and swim, as well as being popular for snorkelling. Thanks to the calm waters, Shelly Beach is a particularly great beach for kids.

Get more tips on a day at Manly Beach.

Freshwater Beach

Accessible by foot from Manly Beach, Freshwater is popular with families thanks to its sheltered position. Freshwater also features public toilets with showers, a playground, BBQs, kiosk and picnic areas.

Narrabeen Beach

Narrabeen

Narrabeen Beach stretches over 3km from Long Reef to Narrabeen Lagoon. It features some of the most beautiful rock pools of all the northern beaches. North Narrabeen Beach is particularly family friendly with Narrabeen Lagoon and Birdwood Park adjacent, featuring grassed spaces and a small playground.

Narrabeen Lagoon is flat and calm – perfect for kids to paddle around on a boogie board or paddle board.

Palm Beach

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

Famous for its starring role in the TV show Home & Away, Palm Beach is also the northernmost suburb of Sydney. Just over an hour’s drive from Sydney’s CBD, Palm Beach is also home to the historic Barrenjoey Lighthouse and keeper’s cottages (which can be accessed by foot if you feel like a good walk). The southern end of Palm Beach has a protected section of water suitable for small kids as well as the ocean tidal that graduates from shallow to deep. We enjoy following the trail past the tidal pool to climb on the rocks. We love Palm Beach and rate it as one of the best beaches for kids in Sydney cos it’s just such a great day trip as well as having lots to do.

Get more tips on a day at Palm Beach.

Whale Beach

Whale Beach, Sydney, Australia

A small beach located 40km from Sydney’s CBD, Whale Beach features a smaller pool and a natural rock pool area to explore.

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Pittwater Beaches

Pittwater, Sydney, Australia

There are several beach options in Pittwater, located an hours drive from the Sydney CBD. The flat water in this area is a major draw for families. Try The Basin, a calm lagoon best reached via ferry from Palm Beach, Clareville Beach with its tidal baths, Salt Pan Cove which has a playground and Paradise Beach, a little gem of a spot that has a swimming enclosure. With such flat water in the area, kayaking is a popular sport.

Image credit: Destination NSW

Greenwich Baths

This fully-enclosed harbour beach is located at the tip of Greenwich Point and is the only privately operated swimming spot on the list. For a small admission fee, visitors can access the beach and change room facilities, as well as enjoy the provided beach toys and sun-loungers. A kiosk supplies food all day. Greenwich is often called one of the most kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Read more about visiting Greenwich Baths.

Beaches in the East

Clovelly Beach

Clovelly Beach, Sydney Australia

A small and tranquil beach, Clovelly is popular with families and snorkellers, as well as being home to plenty of marine life. A Blue Groper nicknamed “Bluey” frequents the area. With access steps into the water, Clovelly resembles a large ocean pool more than a beach. At the southern end of the beach you’ll find a saltwater lap pool.

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Bronte Beach

Bronte Beach, Sydney, Australia

A gem of a beach only 2km south of Bondi, Bronte has a beautiful park with picnic and BBQ facilities, plenty of cafes and can be used as a base to start the coastal walk to Bondi Beach and beyond.

While the surf conditions might now always be suitable for small kids, at the southern end of the beach lies an area where rocks create a sheltered paddling area for kids, plus the Bronte Baths, an ocean pool constructed in 1887. Bronte Beach is one of our fave kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach #Sydney via christineknight.me

Sydney’s most iconic beach is always busy – and for a good reason. For many reasons, Bondi is always regarded as the best beach in Sydney. With plenty of great cafes to grab a bite, the stunning Bondi to Bronte coastal walk at the south end, plus a gated playground near the surf club and a children’s ocean pool at the north end, it’s the perfect family beach in Sydney.

Parking is difficult so allow plenty of time to find a spot, or catch the bus. Despite it’s popularity with tourists and constant business, we love Bondi and think it’s one of the best beaches in Sydney for kids.

Get more tips on a day a Bondi Beach.

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

Coogee Beach

Coogee Beach #sydney #australia via christineknight.me

With calm surf, a flat path along the water’s edge for scooting and plenty of kid-friendly places to eat like the Coogee Pavilion, Coogee is a local fave hangout for families. At the southern end is a great playground with bathrooms. You can also make Coogee your starting point for a coastal walk – a few hundred meters past the beach lies Wylie’s Baths, a beautiful ocean tidal pool. Coogee is is one of the best Sydney beaches for kids!

Get more tips on a day at Coogee Beach.

Nielsen Park 

Nielson Park, Sydney, Australia

In the suburb of Vaucluse you’ll find some the most family-friendly beaches in Sydney. Shark Beach at Nielsen Park, located in the Sydney Harbour is a haven for families, with a netted swimming area in its placid bay, large fig trees for shade, plus a beautiful pavilion with bathroom and changing facilities that was built in 1932.

Bring a picnic lunch or try the Nielsen Park Kiosk. Parking can be tricky to find so arrive early. This is one of the most kid-friendly beaches in Sydney, so it’s always popular.

Milk Beach

Milk Beach, Sydney Australia

Milk Beach is located at the base of Hermit Bay in the Sydney National Park, in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. A small, isolated beach, Milk Beach is known for its breathtaking views of Sydney. The beach has calm water thanks to protection on both sides, its gentle waves making it great for kids to splash around. While there are no bathrooms or cafes at this beach it does feature a rock shelf, rock pools and a wave cave, making it one of our faves to stop by in any season to explore.

Get more tips on a day at Milk Beach here.

La Perouse Beaches

La Perouse is a little gem of a spot, with three beaches to choose from all on the one little peninsula. The three beaches, Frenchmans Bay, Congwong Beach and Little Congwong Beach are all calm, sheltered beaches, making them perfect for kids. 

Frenchmans Bay

Frenchmans Beach, La Perouse, Sydney

In terms of accessibility, Frenchmans Bay wins first place, located right next to the road with only a few steps needed to be taken to reach the soft sand. It’s also closest to amenities including public toilets and cafes. 

Read more about La Perouse Beaches including Frenchmans Bay.

Congwong Beach

Congwong Beach, La Perouse, Sydney

Congwong Beach requires a 100m walk down through the bush and down stairs, so is best suited to older kids. 

Read more about visiting Congwong Beach.

Parsley Bay Reserve

Parsley Bay: Sydney's Best Beaches For Kids via christineknight.me

A personal fave our ours with the calmest swimming waters we have ever encountered thanks to the bay’s sheltered position. The water is also very shallow, making Parsley Bay the perfect kids beach. Behind the beach you’ll find bathrooms (they’re a bit of a walk), a little kiosk, shady trees, a playground and a short bush circuit that’s perfect for kids. You might even spot an Eastern Water Dragon sunning itself.

A small carpark is accessible from Parsley Road (Horler Avenue) but we found a great spot on the street last time we visited. Parsley Bay Reserve is stunning and one of the best beaches for kids, as well as being one of the best beaches for toddlers in Sydney.

Get more tips on a day at Parsley Bay.

Watsons Bay

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

A perfectly calm beach in Sydney, with a stunning view! Catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay and enjoy fish and chips on the beach from the famous Doyle’s. Splash in the ocean, play in the gated and shaded playground, or picnic in the large park. Kids can also take a tip in the recently renovated and completely enclosed Watsons Bay Baths. The harbour views from Watsons Bay are stunning and a reason to go on their own. The perfect day trip for locals and visitors alike, Watson’s Bay is a super kid-friendly beach.

Get more tips on a day at Watsons Bay.

Camp Cove Beach

Camp Cove Beach

This gorgeous little beach around the corner from Watsons Bay has calm, flat water and an abundance of sea life. There is very little shade so take an umbrella or beach tent. Camp Cove Beach has no lifeguards so keep a close eye on kids. Parking is limited so get there early.

Get more tips on visiting Camp Cove Beach.

Gordons Bay

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

This secluded beach is best for older kids as there are no lifeguards or bathrooms and access is a bit tricky. It is, however, a calm bay to swim in, teaming with aquatic life, and has a fantastic rock shelf for climbing.

Read more about visiting Gordons Bay.

Beaches in the South

Cronulla Beach

Cronulla Beach, Sydney Australia

Located 50 minutes by train from Sydney’s CBD, Cronulla is a thriving beach community. Enjoy the rock pools at both the north and south ends of the esplanade or try one of the many kid-friendly cafes. Cronulla’s Shelly Beach has a rocky shoreline with a rock pool for swimming that’s popular for younger children, plus a large grassed area with a fenced playground.

Image credit: Destination NSW

Malabar Beach


A lesser-known beach, Malabar is a local hangout particularly for families. With placid surf conditions, a rock pool located on the southern foreshore below Randwick Golf Club and a park directly behind the beach with a playground and public toilets, it’s easy to see why.

Maroubra Beach

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

A popular spot for both expert and beginner surfers, Maroubra, which is easy to access by bus from Central Station. The beach also features a shaded kids playground and a skate park in Arthur Bryne Reserve, adjacent to the beach. Walk to the northern headland to Jack Vanny Reserve, and follow the steps to Mahon Pool, a popular rock pool.

Get more info on visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool.

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

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

Tips for visiting Sydney beaches

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.

Swim between the flags
Particularly with kids, stay in parts of the beach that are patrolled by life savers and stay within the flags.

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.

The Best Beaches For Kids In Sydney Australia

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.

Explore the best Sydney gardens and parks.

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.

Visit the most beautiful Sydney gardens.

Explore Sydney’s best parks.

Find things to do in Wollongong.

Theatre Review: ERTH’s Prehistoric Aquarium

Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium: The Best Live Shows For Kids

Dive into the past and get up close with the mysterious creatures of the deep who roamed our oceans eons ago with ERTH’s Prehistoric Aquarium.

We love ERTH’s creative and educational productions. You can see my review of ERTH’s Dinosaur Zoo here. An Australian company, founded in Victoria and now based in Sydney’s Inner West, ERTH’s works are globally relevant, with local influences and themes. They specialise in eye-popping visual effects including giant puppetry, stilt-walkers, inflatable environments, aerial and flying creatures.

Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium: The Best Live Shows For Kids

ERTH’s current touring show, Prehistoric Aquarium, immerses the audience in a giant fishbowl at the bottom of the ocean and back in time, where they meet some of the world’s most amazing prehistoric marine reptiles.

Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium: The Best Live Shows For Kids

Through clever puppetry and special effects, the audience is able to dive into the giant aquarium and meet creatures up close in a delightful and educational show that introduces kids to palaeontology at the same time as filling them with wonder and delight.

Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium: The Best Live Shows For Kids

Two thoroughly entertaining narrators take the audience on a voyage through the beginnings of life as single cell creatures, to the first apex predator and onwards through various geological periods and the creatures who ruled the ocean during those times.

Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium: The Best Live Shows For Kids

We met prehistoric marine animals (NOT DINOSAURS, let’s be very clear, dinosaurs did not swim underwater) such as the Dickinsonia Rex, who was the first complex life form that developed the ability to move, and for whom the first fossil recorded was found right here in Australia.

The showstopper was the plesiosaur, whose enormous size drew “wows” from adults and kids alike.

Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium

What we enjoyed about the show

The narrators have a perfect balance of educational and entertaining commentary. The adults and kids BOTH learned a lot about these prehistoric creatures in a show that was as fun as it was packed with facts. It’s an absolute MUST for kids who are keen on dinosaurs (yes, even though they are not ACTUALLY dinosaurs!).

While being incredibly educational, the show is also interactive which makes kids not even realise they are learning. At the start of each performance a small group of kids are selected from the audience to participate in the show. The lucky kids chosen following the narrator through the “aquarium” and get up close to the creatures.

For kids left remaining in the audience, it is still interactive, with plenty of opportunities to respond to the narrators as well as get close to the creatures as they soar overhead within hands reach.

The majority of creatures mentioned (possibly even all of them!) had strong links to Australia, with their fossils being found in locations such as Coober Pedy. It really helped localise the experience for the audience and help the kids imagine what their own city might have looked like millions of years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

We also found the show to be highly engaging and interesting for the adults as well as kids. Let’s be honest, if you’re paying money and sitting through a show, even if it’s really for your kids, you want to enjoy it too!

Sydney Circular Quay

Suitable for kids ages 5+

I would highly agree with the age suggestion. There were scary bits as well as a lot of language that is hard for younger kids to follow.

Sydney Opera House

If you arrive early, kids will enjoy Stringdom, the new free creative play area that is inside the Sydney Opera House these school holidays.

After the show, grab a casual sandwich or hot meal like pasta from the Portside Sydney cafe inside the Opera House (they have a Kid’s Lunch Box for $12.50 that includes a wrap, donut, fruit, juice or water) or duck down to Opera Bar and Opera Kitchen for food with a view. Both have kid-friendly meals.

Sydney Circular Quay

ERTH’s Prehistoric Aquarium is showing at the Sydney Opera House September 23 – October 8, 2017.

Saturday, 23 September at 10.30am and 1.30pm
Sunday, 24 September at 10.30am and 1.30pm
Wednesday, 27 September at 10.30am and 1.30pm
Thursday, 28 September at 10.30am and 1.30pm
Friday, 29 September at 10.30am and 1.30pm
Saturday, 30 September at 10.30am and 1.30pm

Sunday, 1 October at 10.30am and 1.30pm
Wednesday, 4 October at 10.30am and 1.30pm
Thursday, 5 October at 10.30am and 1.30pm
Friday, 6 October at 10.30am and 1.30pm
Saturday, 7 October at 10.30am and 1.30pm
Sunday, 8 October at 10.30am and 1.30pm

Buy your tickets online

Show time is one hour.

Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney

We received tickets to the show courtesy of the Sydney Opera House. All opinions are my own.

Sydney School Holiday Activities: The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket

The Bockety World of Henry and Bucket, Sydney, Australia

Looking for school holiday fun in Sydney? Take the kids to see a show the whole family will enjoy – and yes, I mean the adults, too. During the September school holidays catch a hilarious new show, The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket at Monkey Baa Theatre Company in Darling Harbour.

The Bockety World of Henry and Bucket, Sydney

The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket is a work by Irish theatre company Barnstorm, and is presented in Australia thanks to Monkey Baa, the preeminent Australian children’s theatre company.

What can you expect from the show? The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket is a story about friendship, told through a day in the life of two friends.

Henry and Bucket are best friends. Like all friendships, their have their ups and downs, battles and reconciliations and shared adventures. Sometimes things go badly and the pair have a falling out. What can they do to fix the problem and make their friendship work?

Through Henry and Bucket’s relationship the audience can explore what it means to be someone’s friend, and how to fix it when things go wrong. Told with humour, poetry and visual antics, The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket is a show that will reinforce the importance of friendship for viewers of all ages.

Monkey Baa are Australia’s widest-reaching touring company, having conducted over 25 national tours to 135 regional and remote communities across every state and territory of Australia, 3 international tours and over 2,500 performances, and engaged with 1.3 million young people.

Make a day of it
Monkey Baa usually has free craft activities and books inside the foyer for kids to enjoy prior to the show.

You can also get lunch at a nearby cafe or bring your own to picnic on the grass if the day is fine.

The Darling Quarter Playground is right outside the theatre, a great spot for kids of all ages although it can get very busy so keep a close eye on kids.

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

Getting there
Catch the train to Town Hall and walk down to the theatre or, if you’re driving, park at the Darling Quarter Car Park (weekend rates are excellent).

The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket

Dates: 25 – 30 September, 2017
Location: Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre, Terrace 3, 1-25 Harbour St, Sydney

Times: 10.30am & 12.30pm, Sat 30th 12.30pm performance only

Relaxed performance: 28 September, 12.30pm

Suitable for ages 4+

Duration 45 minutes

Tickets (no booking fees) $29 (adult/child), $104 (family of four), $125 (family of five) $19 (relaxed performance)

https://www.monkeybaa.com.au/shows/bockety-world-henry-bucket/

This post is a collaboration with Monkey Baa. All opinions are my own. I genuinely love attending shows at Monkey Baa and always find them to be the highest quality and really entertaining.