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Sydney Life

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden: Sydney’s Best Parks & Gardens

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden: Sydney’s Best Parks & Gardens

The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is a 123-hectare garden on Sydney’s north shore. Established in 1968, the garden is dedicated to preserving and showcasing Australian plants.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Located adjacent to the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, the garden is home to two endangered ecological communities; Duffys Forest and Coastal Upland Swamp as well as 18 threatened species of flora and fauna.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is a beautiful spot to picnic, bushwalk and learn about Australian flora and fauna. 

While some areas of the garden have been cleared from bush such as Lambert’s Clearing, which has a large grassed area with picnic tables and a children’s playground, most of the garden is in a natural bush state.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is tended by volunteers from the Australian Plants Society, who cut samples of common wildflowers in bloom and place them on a labelled stand in front of the St Ives Visitor Centre.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

When visiting the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, your first stop should be the aforementioned St Ives Visitor Centre to collect a map, and take a quick look at the stick insects and snake on display inside. The visitors centre sells cold drinks and ice blocks. 

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

There is no cafe inside the garden so bring a picnic lunch and plenty of water. There are lots of picnic tables dotted around the gardens for use.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

There are bathroom facilities in several places around the garden, including at the visitors centre.

While most of the garden is quite wild, there are a few features of interest: The Knoll Garden
(a display garden containing native plants from around Australia), the Fern House, Caley’s Pavilion Gardens (featuring a wide variety of showy native flowers, rainforest trees and bush foods such as macadamia, Davidson’s Plum and native ginger).

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Use the map to take one of many walks around the garden. We took the Solander Trail which took about 40 minutes to complete and had plenty of lovely wildflowers along the path. 

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Plenty of the trails are step-free and paved, suitable for strollers or wheelchairs. Other “adventure tracks” offer an off-road trekking experience. 

Step-free paths
The Senses Track
The Senses Track is located at the top of the Wildflower Garden opposite the Visitor Centre.

There are two loops of 400m and 500m respectively, which each take ten minutes or so at a steady pace. Interpretive signage reveals interesting facts about the bushland. This is a great track for kids to enjoy.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

The Solander Trail
The Solander Trail is an almost 2km circuit that takes visitors past some of the best wildflowers in the garden. It takes about 40 minutes to an hour to complete. 

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

The Brown Trail
The Brown Trail is a short detour off the Solander Trail route that offers a view of Donnelly’s Swamp and access to the Mueller Track.

There is also a short, step-free path that winds through Caley’s Pavilion Gardens and boardwalk over the wetland area.

All of these paths are adjacent to accessible picnic areas and toilets.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Short adventure tracks
Banks Track
The Banks Track is 200m in length and takes about 5 minutes.

Smith Track
Smith’s Track is 400m in length and takes 10-15 minutes.

Bentham Track
The Bentham Track is 400m long and takes about 10 minutes.

Caley Track
Caley Track is 200m long and takes about 5 minutes.

Wilderness path
Mueller Track
A strenuous walk of 4km in length.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

I really enjoyed looking around the  Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Nursery, located inside the Visitors Centre. The nursery specialises in local indigenous plants. It also stocks a variety of native plants suitable for planting in Sydney gardens.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Garden runs programs for kids throughout the year. You can see what’s coming up online.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, 
420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives (entry off Richmond Avenue).
kmc.nsw.gov.au

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

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

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Berry Island Reserve & Playground

Berry Island Reserve

Berry Island Reserve & Playground

Enjoy some of the most beautiful harbour views in Sydney from Berry Island Reserve, a bushland island in North Sydney. 

Berry Island Reserve is a small, circular island, connected to the mainland by a grassed causeway.

Berry Island Reserve, Sydney

The grassed causeway is a nice, wide, open space, perfect for picnics. Public toilets and free barbecues available for use, and some seats dotted around. I would suggest bringing picnic blankets and chairs however. 

Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney

There is a lovely little fenced adventure playground tucked into the side of the island. It has some of the best views of any playground we have seen. The playground is designed to blend into the bush setting and has equipment suitable for toddlers to primary aged kids.

Berry Island Reserve, Sydney

The Berry Island playground is fenced on three sides, with a rockface creating the fourth wall. At the entrance to the playground can be equipment suitable for younger kids, while the harder equipment is in the rear. 

Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney

Take the Gadyan Track around the island for some exercise, stunning views, and to learn about Berry Island’s Aboriginal history. The 20 minute bush walk has interpretative signs posted along the way and there are some Aboriginal midden sites, a watering hole and rock engravings to be discovered.

Berry Island Reserve, Sydney

Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney

Berry Island was a fishing, hunting and camping site for Aboriginal communities. The island was attached to the mainland with the construction of a stone causeway in the early 19th century by Edward Wollstonecraft, and was dedicated as a public nature reserve in 1926.

Dogs are permitted on Berry Island Reserve, however they must be kept on a leash in bushland areas and they are not permitted within 10m of the playground.

Berry Island Reserve, Sydney Berry Island Reserve, Sydney

Berry Island Reserve is quite easy to reach by driving straight down Shirley Road in Wollstonecraft, however parking is a bit tricky – there is limited on-street parking on Shirley Road. If you’re catching the train, Berry island Reserve is a 10-minute walk from Wollstonecraft railway station.

Berry Island Reserve
10 Shirley Rd, Wollstonecraft
https://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/Recreation_Facilities/Parks_Reserves/Search_Parks/Berry_Island_Reserve

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

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

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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

Berry Island Reserve

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

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

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

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

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

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

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

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

Quad Bike Adventure Tour

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

Discover this experience: Quad Bike Adventure Tour

Shark Dive at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

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

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

Discover this experience: Shark Dive at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Double Kayak Hire in Manly

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

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

Discover this experience: Double Kayak Hire in Manly

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

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

Discover this experience: Guided Kayak Tour with Bushwalking

Whale Watching Cruise in Sydney Harbour

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

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

Discover this experience: Whale Watching Cruise in Sydney Harbour

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

Written in partnership with RedBalloon.

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

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

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

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

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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

Gordons Bay Clovelly: Sydney’s Best Beaches

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

Gordons Bay Clovelly: Sydney’s Best Beaches 

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

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

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

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

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

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

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

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

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

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

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

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

Gordons Bay

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

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

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

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

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

Read more about visiting Gordon’s Cafe.

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

Read more about visiting Gordons Bay.

Get Directions

Gordons Bay Clovelly Sydney

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

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

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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

Central Gardens Nature Reserve Merrylands, South-West Sydney

Central Gardens Nature Reserve Merrylands

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

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

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

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

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

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

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

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

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

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

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

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

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

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

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

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

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

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

Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney Central Gardens Merrylands Sydney

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

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

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

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

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

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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

The Canopy Precinct at Lane Cove, Sydney

Canopy Lane Cove

The Canopy Precinct at Lane Cove, Sydney

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

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

Village Green

The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney

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

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

Playground

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

The Canopy

The Canopy

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

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

Sustainability Features

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

The Canopy, Lane Cove, Sydney

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

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

Rainwater Harvesting & Fountain

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

The Canopy, Lane Cove, SydneyBathrooms

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

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

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

Thanks to Lane Cove Council for the additional images.

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

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

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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

Top Tips For Visiting Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo

Top Tips For Visiting Sydney Zoo

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

Sydney Zoo

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

Sydney Zoo

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

Plan your visit

Sydney Zoo

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

Sydney Zoo

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

Start with Primate Boulevard

Sydney Zoo

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

Sydney Zoo

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

Go under the sea

Sydney Zoo

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

Meet the Aussie icons

Sydney Zoo

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

Sydney Zoo

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

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

Meet diverse species from Asia

Sydney Zoo

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

Go on safari in Africa

Sydney Zoo

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

Sydney Zoo

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

Sydney Zoo

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

Dine in or BYO

Sydney Zoo

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

Sydney Zoo Sydney Zoo

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

Sydney Zoo

Roll though the entire zoo

Sydney Zoo

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

You can read an accessible review of Sydney Zoo here.

Learn about the local Indigenous people

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

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

Future conservation plans

Sydney Zoo

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

What to take for a day at Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo

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

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

How to get to Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo

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

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

Make a day of it

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

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

Sydney Zoo

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

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

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

The African Savannah Precinct Opens at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

African Savannah at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

The African Savannah Precinct Opens at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

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

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

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

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

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

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

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

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Taronga Zoo, Sydney Taronga Zoo, Sydney

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

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

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

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

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

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

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

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

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

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

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

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

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

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

African Savannah at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

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

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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

Livvi’s Place Five Dock: All-Abilities Playground

Livvi's Place Five Dock, Sydney Playgrounds

 

Livvi’s Place Five Dock: All-Abilities Playground

Livvi’s Place in Five Dock, Sydney, is a playground designed for children of all abilities. The equipment and unique design of the playground ensures that all kids, including those with special needs, are able to enjoy playing side-by-side.

Livvi's Place Five Dock

Livvi’s Place playgrounds are an initiative of the Touched by Olivia Foundation. There are now a series of Livvi’s Place playgrounds in Sydney, each designed in consultation with leading academics, play, disability, and landscape experts and the local community.

Livvi's Place Five Dock

The aim of Livvi’s Place playgrounds is to reduce the barriers experienced by children with special needs and their families, helping to give them a level playing field for life.

Livvi's Place Five Dock

Livvi’s Place was designed to cater to children with all forms of disability, including mobility, vision and hearing impairment as well as spectrum disorders such as autism.

Livvi's Place Five Dock

Walking into Livvi’s Place is akin to entering Wonderland. The playground is beautifully bright, with exciting elements to be explored across a large, enclosed space, all linked by a paved, flat track, perfect for cycling, scooting, prams or wheelchairs.

Livvi's Place Five Dock

Central to the playground is a shaded merry-go-round, with buttons to press to make it go different speeds. Nearby are slides that have ramps to access them, a mini ropes course and large musical instruments.

Livvi's Place Five Dock

There is a flying fox with a bucket seat so all kids can have a ride.

Livvi's Place Five Dock

More features include a toddler area with swings, a small slide and a spinning purple flower.

Livvi's Place Five Dock

There are several shaded picnic tables inside the playground plus a BBQ.

Livvi's Place Five Dock

A small, sandy water play area is a fun place for summer, with taps and sinks for kids to fill buckets with and create all kinds of fun in the sand. 

Livvi's Place Five Dock

Dotted around the hills of the playground are imaginative play areas, like a little cafe front. 

Livvi's Place Five Dock

Outside the gated playground is a kiosk (is was closed when we visited). The kiosk usually sells basics like banana bread and milkshakes, and some of the profit is returned to the Touched by Olivia Foundation. 

Livvi's Place Five Dock

The bathrooms are also outside the playground and include an an electric adult sized change table which can be accessed with an MLAK key.

Livvi's Place Five Dock

There is accessible parking available nearby – we parked in a nearby side street however.

Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock Livvi's Place Five Dock

Livvi’s Place Five Dock
19 Henley Marine Dr, Five Dock
Get Directions

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

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Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

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Lizard Log Park & Playground, Western Sydney Parklands

Lizard Log Park & Playground, Western Sydney Parklands

Lizard Log is a bushland park in the Western Sydney Parklands. This beautiful green space features a nature-themed playground, scenic walks, cycling tracks and a dam.

Lizard Log Park and Playground

As part of the sprawling Western Sydney Parkland nature space, Lizard Log park is often overlooked in favour of its bigger, brighter cousins. As such, the park is generally a quiet one in comparison to the other better known areas, and is a quiet, relaxing space to enjoy nature with less people around.

Lizard Log Park and Playground

Lizard Log playground sprawls through the natural landscape, with features designed to blend into the bush. The park as a result is full of surprises, with hidden features waiting to be discovered while running through the various paths among the trees. 

Lizard Log Park and Playground

The playground features an extremely long dual flying fox and single flying fox that are perfect for thrill-seekers. 

Lizard Log Park and Playground

Nearby is a climbing wall with a slide.

Lizard Log Park and Playground

Through some trees are a giant sand pit with digging implements, two massive basket swings and a turning circle.

Lizard Log Park and Playground

Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground

Hidden nearby in the trees is a water pump with a water play deck.

Lizard Log Park and Playground

Our favourite feature was the sand pit area with logs and ropes for balancing. We made challenges to see who could get through the circuit quickest.

Lizard Log Park and Playground

There are also wood-carved animals in the section, including the lizard.

Lizard Log Park and Playground

Around the playground are paths that loop around the park, nice and flat, so perfect for bikes, scooters, wheelchairs and strollers. 

Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground

For a short walk, take the 1.6km Pimelea Loop path that circles around Lizard Log. For a longer walk or cycle take the Parklands Track, which connects Lizard Log to The Dairy, Calmsley Hill City Farm, Moonrise Lookout, Sugarloaf Ridge and Prospect Reservoir. 

Lizard Log

Lizard Log park has excellent barbecue and picnic facilities which make it an excellent choice for family gatherings and parties. There are 20 picnic shelters, most free and readily available, with 10 able to be booked for parties and special occasions.

Lizard Log Park and Playground

There are 24 electric barbecues and 10 coal barbecue stations (concrete platforms for you to use your own barbecue on) are available free of charge for the public to use. Please leave them clean after use! Portable gas barbecues can also be used.

Lizard Log Park and Playground There is a little cafe, Saluti Cafe by Novella, near the park entrance to grab a coffee. It was closed when we visited. There is often an ice-cream van in the park for old school soft-serves. Every Saturday, Lizard Log Markets, are held in the park.

Lizard Log Park and Playground

The entrance to Lizard Log park and playground is at the corner of Cowpasture Road and The Horsley Drive, Abbotsbury. There are two carparks, one on the east and one on the west side of Lizard Log. Time restrictions apply in some areas. 

Lizard Log Park and Playground

There are two modern, clean toilet blocks with accessible facilities, can be found at two locations in the centre of Lizard Log, close to picnic shelters.

Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground Lizard Log Park and Playground

Lizard Log Park & Playground, Western Sydney Parklands
The Horsley Dr &, Cowpasture Rd, Abbotsbury NSW
westernsydneyparklands.com.au/places-to-go/lizard-log/

Western Sydney Parklands

More things to do in Sydney

Try nearby Bungarribee Park.

Also nearby is the Plough and Harrow Park and TreeTop Adventure Park.

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

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

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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