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Sydney Life

12 Of The Best Ocean Pools in Sydney

Ocean Pools Sydney Australia

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

12 of the Best Ocean Pools in Sydney

Ocean Pools in the North

Dee Why Rockpool

Dee Why Beach, Sydney, Australia

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

Image credit: Destination NSW

Fairy Bower Ocean Pool, Manly

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

Get more tips on a day at Manly Beach.

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Palm Beach Rockpool

Sydney Day Trips: Palm Beach

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

Get more tips on a day at Palm Beach.

Whale Beach Rockpool

Whale Beach, Sydney, Australia

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

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Ocean Pools in the East

The Geoff James Pool (Clovelly Ocean Pool)

Clovelly Beach, Sydney Australia

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

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Bronte Baths

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

Image credit: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

North Bondi Wally Weekes Pool and Mermaid Baths

Bondi Beach, Sydney

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

Get more tips on a day a Bondi Beach.

Bondi Icebergs Pool

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

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

Ross Jones Rockpool, Coogee

Coogee Beach #sydney #australia via christineknight.me

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

Get more tips on a day at Coogee Beach.

Wylies Baths, Coogee

Wylies Baths, Coogee, Australia


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

Image credit: Destination NSW

McIvers Ladies Baths, Coogee

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

Mahon Pool, Maroubra

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

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

Get more info on visiting Mahon Pool here.

Coogee Beach, Sydney

Tips for visiting Sydney ocean pools

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

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

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

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

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

Find out the best beaches to visit in Sydney here.

Ocean Baths Sydney Australia

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

Chinamans Beach, Mosman: Sydney’s Best Beaches

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

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

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

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

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

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

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

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

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

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

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

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

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

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

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

Chinamans Beach, Sydney, Australia

Getting to Chinamans Beach

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

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

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

Sydney Aquatic Centre Round-up

Sydney Aquatic Centre Round-up, Australia

On hot days, head to the pool! Sydney aquatic centres are great as they’re indoors, so sheltered from the sun, and most have some great splash facilities for kids. Check out this Sydney aquatic centre round-up for a great pool near you.

Sydney Aquatic Centre Round-up

Ryde Aquatic Centre, Sydney

Sydney CBD

Cook and Phillip Park Aquatic Centre

 

Choose from three indoor heated pools, including the 50-metre lap pool with ‘easy steps’ for assisted entry and hoist (26.5°C) and leisure pool leisure pool (30°C) with a ‘beach style’ entry and 35-metre wave pool that is activated on weekends from 12pm.

Cook and Phillip Park Aquatic Centre

Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre

 

Facilities include three indoor heated pools, including a 50-metre lap pool and a leisure pool with a spa, water fountain and bubbles. There’s also a spa, sauna and steam room.

Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre

Inner West

The Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre

Enjoy the 50m indoor pool, heated learn-to-swim pool and splash pool with play features for kids.

The Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre

 

Leichhardt Pool and Aquatic Centre

 

Choose from 6 pools including indoor and outdoor heated. kids’ pools (including an outdoor mushroom pool with an aquatic playground area) and a dive pool.

Leichhardt Pool and Aquatic Centre

South West

Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre

olympic-park-aquatic-centre

olympic-park-aquatic-centre

Take a dip in the indoor heated pool in this state-of-the art facility. Kids will love the huge family aquatic playground area with spurting volcano and water slide, while serious swimmers can try the competition pool, training pool, utility pool or diving platforms. The Sydney Olympic park Aquatic Centre is our number one pick on this Sydney aquatic centre round-up.

olympic-park-aquatic-centre

Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre

North Shore

Lane Cove Aquatic Centre

Facilities include an indoor 25 metre eight-lane pool, outdoor 50-metre 7 lane pool and leisure pool for families with splash play features.

Lane Cove Aquatic Centre

Willoughby Leisure Centre

 

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Try the eight-lane, 25 metre indoor heated or children’s pool.

Willoughby Leisure Centre

Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre


A new aquatic centre featuring with three heated pools, splash play for kids, a cafe, gym and water slide.

Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Northern Beaches

The Warringah Aquatic Centre

Dive into the indoor Olympic-size swimming pool or diving pool. Outdoors you’ll find a 25 metre solar-heated lap pool and kids’ splash pad area.

The Warringah Aquatic Centre

North West and West

Ryde Pool Sydney Aquatic Centre
Ryde Aquatic and Leisure Centre

One of our top picks for aquatic centres in Sydney, it features a 50m indoor Olympic pool, , 25m indoor pool, warm water program pool, 40m wave pool, children’s wading pool, bubble whirl pools, Rapid River and 56m giant water slide.

Ryde Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Ripples Leisure Centre, St Mary’s

Enjoy the indoor pool that’s always heated to 29dC! Facilities include a 25 metre lap pool and a designated children’s area that includes a slide, water buckets, plus a mini spa.

Ripples Leisure Centre, St Mary’s

South Sydney

Hurstville Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Try the 25 metre 8-lane pool, leisure pool that includes a splash area for kids, warm water program pool, sauna, steam room and spa, plus the indoor and outdoor slide.

Hurstville Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Sutherland Leisure Centre

Facilities include a 50-metre outdoor pool, outdoor utility pool, indoor programs pool,  indoor children’s play area/pool, indoor 25-metre pool, spa, steam room and aquatics inflatables. All pools are heated.

Sutherland Leisure Centre

 

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

Kids’ Theatre Review: Brainiac Live

Brainiac Live

Live at the Sydney Opera House, for a short time only, kids who love science and explosions can catch the wildly entertaining show Brainiac Live.

Based on the British documentary TV show Brainiac: Science Abuse, the show is a fast-paced journey through a series of experiments that answer a question or challenge a common conception, or just simply makes a big bang.

Brainiac Live

Brainiac live is an action-packed hour of science on speed. Impressive explosions, loud rock music, high energy action and daredevil stunts are the perfect way to engage kids in science and remind them that chemistry, biology and physics are not only important, but also a whole lot of fun.

Brainiac Live

The show contains a lot of loud noises and music, so might not be suitable for sensitive kids. After the show I found out that there were earplugs that could be collected and used for free – it would have been good if they had been passed to us as we were walking to our seats however, as the noises were extremely loud during the show and we could have used them.

Brainiac Live

As the parent of a daughter, I was happy to see a woman in the cast of Brainiacs, even though she was a minor character. It’s important for girls to see women in careers in science to encourage them to dream of a career in the sciences themselves.

Brainiac Live

The cast are an engaging crew in general, and kept the kids highly entertained for the duration of the show. My very sensitive daughter was concerned that people were going to get hurt while conducting the experiments, so either think twice about taking super sensitive kids, or prepare them in advance that what they will see on stage is a performance, with no one in danger.

Brainiac Live

Brainiac Live
Duration: 1 hour
Suitable for ages 6+
Dates: Tuesday 16th January – Thursday 25th January, 2018.

 

Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point Sydney

You can reach the Opera House by:

Car – park in the onsite Opera House car park. For discounted parking, book online with Wilson car parks and check the Sydney Opera House website for any current promo codes.

Buses, trains and ferries – all service nearby Circular Quay which is an easy 5-10 min walk to the Opera House.

A huge thank you to the Sydney Opera House for hosting us on this fantastic day. All opinions are my own.

NSW Rail Museum: Things To Do In Southwest Sydney

NSW Rail Museum: Things To Do In Greater Sydney

Bring your locomotive-loving kids to get up close to trains at the NSW Rail Museum in the historic town of Thirlmere. Since 1975 this little town has been home to a large collection of NSW’s railway heritage, including over 100 vehicles that move on a railway including locomotives, railroad cars and more.

NSW Rail Museum Australia

Thirlmere is approximately 90km from Sydney in its southwest region, a town built with the arrival of the Great Southern Railway in 1863 to 1867.

The NSW Rail Museum is divided into three sections:

NSW Rail Museum Australia

The Main Exhibition Building  
This is the indoor building where you’ll find plenty to learn about life on the railways, their purpose and development and information on their engineering and design. Kids will love the interactive elements in this building, such as the train play table, colouring in, crafts and train carriages that can be entered.

NSW Rail Museum Australia

We enjoyed looking at ​the Governor General’s Carriage, which looks like a palace on wheels, the Prison Van, even though it freaked out youngest member out a tad, the Steam Machine which kids can pretend to drive, and the mail van, which led to discussions about how mail was and is delivered.

NSW Rail Museum Australia

In this building you’ll also find Steam locomotive E18; built in 1866, this is the oldest train in the collection.

Worker’s Walk
Linking the Main Exhibition Building to the Great Train Hall, this is where you can learn about the jobs that keep the railways running.

NSW Rail Museum Australia

The Great Train Hall
Here you’ll find the biggest collection of “rolling stock” (which means anything that runs over railway tracks) in Australia.

​Keep an eye out for:

6040 Garratt: The heaviest and most powerful steam train to ever turn a wheel in Australia.

Steam locomotive 1905: The first train to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Rail Pay Bus: Used to transport employees’ wages, some carriages are able to be boarded.

Roundhouse
Take a look at the trains being restored and maintained inside the Roadhouse.

NSW Rail Museum Australia

Special Events
Several times a year, the NSW Rail Museum runs special events (check their page to see what’s next), such as their Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine, Annual Festival of Steam and Summer Heritage Train Rides.

NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia NSW Rail Museum Australia

NSW Rail Museum
10 Barbour Road
Thirlmere NSW 2572
​Tel: 1300 11 55 99​
The NSW Rail Museum is open 7 days a week.
Hours: Open daily, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat & Sun 9am-5pm
nswrailmuseum.com.au

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

Sydney’s Best Playgrounds: Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands, Australia

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

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

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

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

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

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

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

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands

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

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

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

Get more information on Western Sydney Parklands Bungarribee here.

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

 

Kids’ Theatre Review: Operation Ouch!

Operation Ouch

Science-loving kids will highly enjoy this new show about the incredible human body, Operation Ouch!, based on the hit ABC Me series.

Twin doctors, Dr Chris and Dr Xand, have brought their incredible medical stunts and crazier experiments to Sydney in a kid-friendly live show.

Operation Ouch
The 75 minute show is packed with fascinating facts about the body, such as our ears, eyes, digestive system and brain. It’s education at it best – highly entertaining and informative all at once.

Operation Ouch

We went into the show with no knowledge of the TV program. While I do think it’s beneficial to watch the TV show first so you have a connection to the doctors and know what to expect, it’s not crucial to enjoying the performance.

Dr Chris and Dr Xand are extremely personable as well as smart, and it was really interesting hearing their stories about growing up, not being so good at school, and how and why they became doctors. I thought it was great for kids to hear from successful people how they overcame adversity to become professionals in a demanding field.

Operation Ouch

I also thought it was great for kids to see science presented from a kid-friendly angle but not dumbed down in any way. All the proper medical terms were used for each part of the body, and the experiments were equally interesting for adults as they were for the kids.

My favourite part of the show involved the doctors explaining how germs spread and the importance of vaccinations in an interactive and easy-to-understand way. We’ve been trying to explain this for a while to the 6-year-old, but it’s a lot of concepts that aren’t easy to visualise, so big props to Dr Chris and Xand for making the topic accessable.

 

Operation Ouch! is entertaining for the whole family – including the adults. The husband and I found it highly enjoyable to watch and both learnt a few things along the way, too!

Sydney Opera House

Operation Ouch!
Saturday, 6 January 2018 at 1.15pm and 3.45pm
Sunday, 7 January 2018 at 10am and 12.45pm
Show length – 75 mins
Suitable for ages 6+
Book your tickets here.

Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point Sydney

You can reach the Opera House by:

Car – park in the onsite Opera House car park. For discounted parking, book online with Wilson car parks and check the Sydney Opera House website for any current promo codes.

Buses, trains and ferries – all service nearby Circular Quay which is an easy 5-10 min walk to the Opera House.

A huge thank you to the Sydney Opera House for hosting us on this fantastic day. All opinions are my own.

Learn & Play! teamLab Future Park at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum #Sydney Australia
This summer, the Powerhouse Museum is presenting one of the most incredible exhibitions Sydney seen: the innovative, playful and completely immersive Learn & Play! teamLab Future Park. Exclusive to the Powerhouse Museum, Future Park is the latest exhibition by Japanese art collective teamLab.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

The exhibition feature eight interactive light installations that respond to real-time interaction. A stunning blend of science and creativity, Future Park challenges visitors to dream up collaborative artworks in a playground for children and adult alike.

Future Park is broken up into the following distinct areas or activities:

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Sketch Town allows participants to create their own vehicle or building that, when scanned, comes to life on a massive screen as part of the town. Creators can interact with their designs or print them out to take home and create as a 3D model.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Light Ball Orchestra was a winner with us – two pits of large and small light balls that are suspended from the ceiling and rolling around loose on the ground. As we interact with them, they change colour, creating an ever changing brilliant light show.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Graffiti Nature – Mountains and Valleys was incredibly hard to photograph but looks incredible to the eye. A digital environment populated by visitor drawings of plants and animals, add your own creature and slide into the imaginary world filled with giant, colourful creatures that have come directly from your own imagination.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Hopscotch for Geniuses is one for the music lovers – or those of us who remember hopscotch from our own childhoods! This digital twist on an old favourite game changes the rules and transforms a standard hopping game into a pathway to create an interactive dance and musical symphony.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Connecting: Block Town! lets participants create their own townscape by moving physical wooden blocks on the table. As each block is moved, cars, trains and buildings appear in the landscape.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Sketch People gives visitors the opportunity to draw themselves or a completely new character and then see them move on a large screen right in front of them. The drawings interact with other drawings, forming relationships. Sketch people respond to being touched, so give yours a (gentle!) poke and see what actions you get in return!

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

A Table Where Little People Live was our other firm favourite installation. While it looked the least impressive from the outset – a dark room with pretty plain looking round tables – it was actually incredibly fun for us both.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

On each interactive screen tabletops, little people run around rather similar to the old computer game Lemmings. By placing physical objects on the table, visitors an interact with the little people, prompting them to jump, climb and fall accordingly.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

This activity really did provide outbursts of giggles as the little people responded in silly ways, and together we created bigger and crazier object towers to see what would happen to the little people (and these strange random cows that popped up!) next.

Just before the exit, kids can create their dream car of the future through Principal Partner Toyota’s global Dream Car design competition. The winning designer will travel to Japan to present their Dream Car to Toyota.

teamLab FUTURE PARK at the Powerhouse Museum

Future Park is an exhibition that absolutely has to be on your must-see list this summer. It’s engaging, creative, exciting, and, most importantly, fun! Cheese and I played together with each installation, and it was such a pleasure for us to spend quality time doing something we both enjoyed equally.

Learn & Play! teamLab Future Park
24 November 2017 – 30 April 2018
Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007

Book online for a session taking place between 24 November–10 December and save 10% using the code FUTURE10.

Book your tickets online.

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.