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Sydney Life

Travel Guide: Visiting UNESCO World Heritage Site Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island Chess

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

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

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Learn more about visiting Cockatoo Island online.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

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

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

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

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

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

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

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

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

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

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

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

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

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

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

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

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

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

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

Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives at the MAAS Sydney

More information about the Egyptian Mummies exhibition:

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

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

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

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

Pre-book online now and save.

Tickets include general admission to Powerhouse Museum.

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

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

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Wiggles Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum: An Update

The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

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

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

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

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

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

The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

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

The Wiggles Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

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

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

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

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Funatorium: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Join the maddest tea party in town this summer, with the Sydney Opera House’s brand new tea party with a twist – The Funatorium.

Directed by former Circus Oz Artistic Director, Mike Finch, the Funatorium is a wild show for kids full of top talents from the worlds of circus and cabaret.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic story, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, the Funatorium is a completely immersive, engaging and absolutely crazy cabaret that is designed to enthral the littlest guests and leave them wondering if what they’ve seen on stage is magic or trickery, or just absolute mayhem.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Kids who love the story will adore seeing some of their favourite characters brought to life, such as the Mad Hatter, March Hare and the Red Queen. Those who aren’t familiar with the story will still enjoy the show immensely however, as, just as the tea party in Alice in Wonderland is a manic array of nonsense, so to is this one. It’s funny, silly and breathtaking as a stand alone show.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

The feverish blend of acrobatics, juggling, singing, hula-hooping, balancing, aerial acts, singing and comedic acts is the perfect mix of charm, delirium and total chaos. So, basically, the most perfect tea party a kid (or their parent!) could imagine.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Tips For Attending The Funatorium

Most searing is General Admission. Queues begin to form about 45 minutes before the show starts, so I would advise lining up early to get good seats.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Kids hungry? The snack bar has a Mad Hatter’s Kids’ Tea available for $15 that includes a juice box, small cupcake, popcorn, fruit and Smarties.

If you’re coming in on a week day, the cheapest option is bus and train to Circular Quay. On weekends, use Book-A-Bay to get a cheaper parking spot under the Sydney Opera House.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Give the kids plenty of time before and after the show to enjoy the free Summer Playground, which is run both inside and outside the Playhouse until January 29, 2017 and includes plenty of large games and a large sandpit.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

The Funatorium
January 7 – 22nd, 2017
Recommended for ages 5 and up
The Studio, Sydney Opera House
Buy Tickets

Thank you so much to the Sydney Opera House for hosting us. All opinions are our own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Beach at the Cutaway, Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney Festival

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

This summer in Sydney, you can visit a beach where you won’t get a sunburn or sand in your cossies. For the first time in Australia, The Beach, an interactive art exhibition, is available for Sydney-siders to play in an ocean made up of 1.1 million recyclable polyethylene balls, gently lapping against a 60-metre wide shoreline free of sand.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

The Beach is the creation of Snarkitecture, a New York-based art and architecture collaborative practice, whose name is drawn from Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of The Snark, a poem describing the “impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature.” In its search for the unknown, Snarkitecture creates architectural-scale projects, installations, and objects.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

By transforming the familiar into the extraordinary, Snarkitecture makes architecture perform the unexpected – which is exactly what we experienced at The Beach.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

To take a dip in The Beach, you can either do what we did, which is visit between 10am and 5pm and get free access, or skip the queues with one of their paid ticketed sessions. Every morning there is an all-ages ticket session from 9am-10am as well as an 18+ only session on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

We decided to arrive at 9:20am on a Sunday and thought we might be the first people there – how wrong we were. The line already had a lot of people in it, but we took turns waiting in the line and taking Cheese rock climbing around the Cutaway so time went fast.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

At 10am on the dot we were ushered in and made a beeline for the area next to the shallow end. We had hoped to grab a giant floatie but sadly were too late. You are permitted to bring your own, but who can fit a huge flamingo on the train? People tended to latch on to the equipment and not let it go even when they’d stopped using it, so I had no problem asking someone who had finished playing with the one they’d held on to for a long time if we could have a turn, and similarly was happy to pass ours on to other people when we’d had one for a good amount of time.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

At first leap in, the ball pit was somewhat scary for Cheese. At its deepest the ball pit is one metre deep, which is pretty much as high as she is. Initially it was a frightening experience for her to sunk under the balls and not be able to get back up again, but after she realised she wasn’t going to get hurt if she was swallowed by them, she started to really have fun and didn’t want to leave.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

The ball pit was a lot more work than I had expected it to be! Once your feet are swept out from underneath you, it takes a massive amount of effort to stand back up and haul yourself out. I would say that’s my gym work out done and dusted for the entire week.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

We had the most fun jumping into the pit both front ways and also backwards, and playing catch with the giant blow up balls. Cheese tried surfing on a huge ice cream cone floatie and found a bucket to fill and move balls around, including dumping them over her head, our heads, anyone’s heads.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

There is a great little shallow end at one side of the beach that is perfect for wheelchairs and little kids. It’s nice for small ones to be able to sit and play with the balls without sinking to their heads, which is what happens in the main area.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

Tips for visiting The Beach

If you lose something in the ball pit you will have to wait until they drain it at the end of Jan to retrieve it, so leave all valuables like phone, keys, loose jewellery in the buckets provided.

It’s pretty hot in the ball pit, and sweaty work getting in and out. Take lots of water and leave it with your bag on the beach.

If you arrive early for the first session you will wait the least amount of time during the day as once you are in you can stay as long as you want. Most people stay around 45 minutes, but we stayed for an hour and a quarter.

There is no pass to leave and return, so go to the bathroom beforehand.

There are baby changing facilities available in the restrooms outside, opposite the elevator.

You can take your phone/camera into the ball pit but be very careful not to drop it. I would suggest taking a camera with a neck strap.

There is a coffee cart and food vans outside for before/after snack attacks.

Strollers must be left in the designated parking area outside The Beach.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

Final important Q&A thanks to the Barangaroo website

ARE BALL PITS UNHYGIENIC?

GermBLOCKTM antimicrobial balls have been used to create The Beach. This safe, powerful agent provides antimicrobial protection for everyone against 50 different germs and bacteria for the life of the ball. It cannot be rubbed, scrubbed, or wiped off. Each ball is moulded from 100% recyclable nontoxic materials.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

CAN THE BALLS BE RECYCLED?

Yes, in fact The Beach balls have already been recycled once thanks to the generous assistance of the Vinik Family Foundation and The Beach Tampa. The Sydney Festival is working with local plastic recycling services to make sure every single ball is recycled after the event. They are composed of a nontoxic Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) which makes them a “Type 4” Plastic for recycling purposes.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

ACCESS

The Beach provides wheelchair access by way of an accessible ramp that can accommodate guests using a push or electric wheelchairs. Guests will have full access to all areas of the shore, out onto the piers and onto a shallow ball area along one of the mirrored walls. This area is clearly marked with white and grey flags. Between these flags, the balls have a maximum depth of 250mm. This will allow guests to remain in their wheelchairs and move around the balls. Check out this great blog post on Have Wheelchair Will Travel for more info.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

HOW DO I GET THERE?

There are entrances to Barangaroo Reserve from Towns Place, Hickson Road, Munn Street Reserve and Merriman Street. The entrance to the Cutaway is near Hickson Road and Nawi Cove.

Public transport: Catch the train to Wynyard and Circular Quay and walk (approximately 1.1km). The closest bus stops are on Hickson Road at the Nawi Cove entrance, and are serviced by routes 324 and 325, which depart from Town Hall; and route 311, which runs between Central Station and Argyle Street.

By car: An underground carpark is located off Towns Place. You can also park on Hickson Road.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

The Beach at the Cutaway, Barangaroo Reserve
Dates: 7–29 January, 2017

Free Entry
7–8, 10–15, 17–22, 24–29 January from 10am–5pm
Tue–Sun, closed Mondays
Last admission for free entry at 3:30pm

All Ages Ticketed Sessions
7–8, 10–15, 17–22, 24–29 January at 9am-10am
Tue–Sun, closed Mondays
Tickets only valid for stated session times
Cost: $15 pp

The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve
Hickson Road Entrance
Barangaroo 2000

sydneyfestival.org.au/2017/beach

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Wattamolla Beach, Royal National Park, NSW, Australia

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

One of the absolute best things about living in Australia is the stunning natural environment we live in. A hour and 15 minutes south of Sydney is a gorgeous spot called Wattamolla, located in the Royal National Park.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

While it’s well-known as a spot to swim, snorkel, picnic and generally laze about, it’s also an historic area, with “Wattamolla” being the name the local Aboriginal people gave it many years before Europeans arrived.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

“Wattamolla” means “place near running water” – a highly appropriate name for an area that is a cove, lagoon and beach. In 1796 Matthew Flinders, George bass and William Martin came across the cove while exploring, and recorded its name as “Watta-Mowlee”, but is today spelt Wattamolla.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Today, Wattamolla is a popular spot for families, as well as groups of all ages, due to the wide variety of activities to do there. The beach has sparkling clear water, edged by rocks that are fun for climbing.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Then there’s the lagoon deeper into the cove, which is perfect for little kids to swim in. It’s shallow and calm, so kids of all ages can paddle, swim and play at its shore safely. Adults love to bring giant floats and canoes to the lagoon and wile away the day floating around.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

A pretty waterfall flows over the rocks at the back of the lagoon, and is a popular spot for daredevils to jump from into the water below, despite a large fence being erected and big warning signs cautioning people not to dive or jump from the rocks.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Tips For Visiting Wattamolla
Arrive early! Wattamolla is extremely popular and there is limited parking near the beach. We arrived at 10:30 and the parking lot was almost completely full. I would suggest arriving no later than 9:30 to enjoy the beach with few people there.

It’s a 250m walk from the car park to the beach along a narrow rocky path with lots of stairs.
There is no stroller access or paved path on the beach.

The lagoon is edged with plenty of trees to set up a blanket and picnic spot, but many visitors choose to bring their own tents with them.

There is no food available at Wattamolla, so bring a picnic with you down to the beach, or use the free barbeque areas near the parking lot to make your own lunch.

There is also no water available, so bring plenty with you.

While there are bathrooms at Wattamolla, they are located next to the parking lot so go before you walk down.

The beach is free to visit but entry to the Royal National Park costs $12 per vehicle per day and payment is cash only.

There is little to no mobile reception at Wattamolla.

The Royal National National Park is open 7am to 8.30pm but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents.
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Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Wattamolla Beach
Royal National Park, Coast Track, Sutherland Shire NSW 2232
More info
Get Directions

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Sydney’s Best Shows For Kids: Swamp Juice

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For KidsThese school holidays, treat the kids to Swamp Juice, the award-winning show that’s toured the world and is now coming to Sydney this January.

Swamp Juice is a ridiculously fun shadow puppetry show for kids aged seven and up. It was a sell-out hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with theatre critics calling the show “ Innovative” and “memorable”, from the Times, and “Breathtaking… Wonderfully enchanting… A heartwarming, funny show for children of all ages”, from the Evening Standard.

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For Kids

The show creatively makes shadow puppets out of bits of rubbish and household objects to tell the story of bickering snails, a neurotic snake and an opera singing mouse with a jaw-dropping 3D finale! This is a swamp like no other!

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For Kids

Swamp Juice is presented in Australia by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, based at the Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre in Sydney. We’ve been seeing their excellent productions for the past two years, and are always impressed by the exciting, inventive and fun shows that they put on for kids.

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For Kids

Monkey Baa is actually 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 1.2 million young people. It’s Monkey Baa’s goal to provide young people with fantastic theatre experiences no matter where they live or what their economic situation might be.

The company is also passionate about showcasing Australian cultures and stories, and work hard to create shows that offer young people a truly multifaceted reflection of the world we all inhabit.

SWAMP JUICE

A Bunk Puppets production, presented by Monkey Baa Theatre Company

Where: Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre, Terrace 3, 1-25 Harbour Street, Sydney (opposite the Darling Quarter children’s playground)

When: 17 – 21 January, 10.30am & 12.30pm

Suitable for: ages 7+

Duration: 55 minutes

Tickets: $29 adult/child; $104 family of 4; $125 family of 5

More info: http://www.monkeybaa.com.au/shows/swamp-juice/

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

What’s nearby?

After the show, check out the Darling Quarter playground directly opposite the theatre and enjoy lunch in one of the area’s many cafes, or bring a picnic and enjoy it in the sun on one of the many green areas.

This article was produced in conjunction with the Monkey Baa Theatre Company. All opinions are, as always, my own. We genuinely love their productions and think readers will enjoy their new show.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Room On The Broom: Sydney’s Best Shows For Kids

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

Room On The Broom is a classic story, written by Australian author Julia Donaldson. The story has been adapted into a gorgeous stage show that has returned this December to the Sydney Opera House to wow children and their accompanying adults with its wit, joy and fun.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

The very simple story of a witch and her cat who are happily flying on their broom until a stormy wind blows the witch’s hat, bow and wand away is a lyrical adventure performed with clever dialogue and catchy songs by a colourful cast of endearing characters.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

This lively performance with gorgeous puppetry takes the audience on a delightful journey to find the lost things, make new friends, and come face-to-face with a dragon.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

Along the way, the characters learn the importance of friendship, sticking together and realise that there is, in fact, room on the broom for everyone. A very simple story with an important message for us all. No matter our kind or creed, there is room for us all.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

Room On The Broom is a highly engaging show for children ages three and up. Limited seats are still available to its two remaining shows.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

 

Room On The Broom
Sydney Opera House
Dates: 9 – 23 December
Prices: Standard $30 – $40, Insiders $24 – $32 (Booking fee applies per transaction)
Tickets: sydneyoperahouse.com

We were guests of the Sydney Opera House for reviewing purposes, and were under no obligation to write about our experience. Both the kid and I really enjoyed this show and highly recommend it.

Photos care of the Sydney Opera House.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney – LEGO Exhibition

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

If LEGO is your kids’ jam, then you simple must take them to see the new Brickman Wonders of the World LEGO exhibition in Sydney this summer.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

Brickman Wonders of the World features over 50 amazing LEGO sculptures of famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Arc De Triomphe and the Great Wall of China, taking visitors on a fascinating journey through history through time.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

The exhibit has been curated by the only LEGO® Certified Professional in the Southern Hemisphere (and one of only 14 in the world) Ryan McNaught and his team.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

While most exhibits are “look but don’t touch”, this one is incredibly well thought out and very interactive for kids. Several of the sculptures have large bricks pits built around their base, encouraging kids to build their own pyramid, race car or Leaning Tower of Pisa. I thought we would be in an our in an hour, but we honestly could have stayed inside building for most of the day.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

The sculptures feature are more than just statues, too. When looked at closer, they reveal amazing set ups with tiny LEGO people in the scenarios that are even more fascinating than the buildings themselves. We searched for “Leo the explorer” in each sculpture, with the aim to discover them all and enter to win a prize at the end, and in the process found ourselves swept up in the tiny detailed lives of the LEGO people in each creation. The level of detail is extraordinary.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

The only downside to the exhibition is that there are no bathrooms or food available inside, so you need to exit the exhibition for both. While they will allow children to exit and return again for “bathroom emergencies” when we asked if we could get some food for the kids and then go back inside again the answer was no. My advice: Go first thing in the morning or straight after lunch when kids can last the longest without food.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

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Brickman Wonders of The World
ICC Sydney, International Exhibition Centre, Exhibition Hall 1
20 December 2016 – 5 February 2017

Open daily. Booking is advisable.
Tickets on sale now at http://www.ticketek.com.au
http://www.brickmanwonders.com.au
Prices: Adult $35, Concession $30, Family of Four (Admits 4) $95, Junior (age 4-16) $25. Kids aged 3 and under are free.

We were provided with tickets to see the Brickman show for reviewing purposes but were under no obligation to write about the experience. I genuinely enjoyed the show and am planning to return over the summer.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

From the creators of the biggest-selling magic show internationally, The Illusionists, and the award-winning puppeteers of War Horse comes Circus 1903, a show that blends the best of both predecessors into a breathtaking performance inspired by the golden age of circus.

This all-age show features turn-of-the-century circus acts with a modern twist. Authentic period costumes and careful set design combined with dangerous and jaw-dropping acts left this theatre goer and her five-year-old daughter completely captivated, often gaping in awe, and occasionally hiding behind our hands when some of the more thrilling acts were being performed.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

The cast of talented performers have been sourced from all over the globe – strong men, contortionists, acrobats, knife throwers, high wire and tumblers. So much incredible talent left our hands numb from clapping and cheering.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

Traditional circuses of this era used live performing animals such as elephants – an incredibly inhumane practice that is thankfully dying out. Circus 1903 does an excellent job of paying homage to the magnificent animals that spent their lives entertaining the public through incredibly innovative puppetry.

To say that the moment with the enormous elephant puppets on stage is show stopping would be an understatement. The clever puppeteers did a tremendous job bringing these enormous pachyderms to life, creating true works of art that are beautifully nostalgic as well as exciting to watch.

This is a truly captivating circus extravaganza that is perfect for audiences of all ages.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

TOUR FAQ

Q:  Is this family friendly?  Can I bring my kids?

A:  Absolutely.  This is a show for all ages!

Q:  Does Circus 1903 feature a live elephant?

A:  No. The elephants featured in Circus 1903 are puppets, brought to life by the talented team at Significant Object (the award-winning puppeteers from War Horse). Circus 1903 is a very unique show in that it takes aspects of the traditional circus but puts a fresh, innovative and more humane spin on them. One of those new directions is using carefully constructed and realistic puppets in place of actual animals.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus
Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Sunday, December 18 – Thursday December 29, 2016.
Prices: Standard from $74.90, child from $48.90 (plus transaction fee of $5 – $8.50per order)
Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or sydneyoperahouse.com
More Info: sydneyoperahouse.com/whatson/circus_1903 or circus1903.com

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

We attended the show as guests and under no obligation to promote or write about it. We generally absolutely loved the show.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!