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Sydney Life

Wild Ropes at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Is your family looking for a thrill on their next outing in Sydney? Take adventurous kids and adults to Wild Ropes at Taronga Zoo for a challenging walk among the trees, with the best view in Sydney to boot.

Wild Ropes is located right in the heart of Taronga Zoo Sydney, winding through the treetops above the Australian Walkabout. It’s seperate entry to the zoo, however, so if you want to visit the zoo as well, you will need to buy a combined ticket that includes entry to both.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

The entry to Wild Ropes is right through the historic Taronga Zoo entrance on the left. Look out for the big signs, you can’t miss them.

There are six courses, two children’s courses and four adult / junior courses.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Children’s Courses

The two children’s courses, Koala and Possum, are suitable for kids aged 3 – 8, up to a height of 140cm. Children are allocated one hour to complete both courses as many times as they like during the session. The Koala course must be completed before kids are allowed to attempt the harder Possum course.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

The hour time session includes briefing and being fit with safety gear, so actual climbing time is around 45 minutes.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Parents can observe their kids from a viewing platform but are not able to assist kids if they get stuck. Kids should feel confident about being separated from their parents in order to complete the courses by themselves.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Cheese was a month shy of her 7th birthday when completing the Wild Ropes Children’s Courses. She found the Koala course easy and Possum challenging in places. She repeated the courses over and over again until her time was up and we had to make her stop.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

She loved the courses and has enthusiastically recommended them as a fun activity for kids. Two thumbs up, five stars.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Adult and Junior Courses

Juniors aged 8 – 17 and adults aged 18 + can take on the four full Wild Ropes courses. There are two low and two high courses to complete. The two low courses are slightly easier than the high ones, and the courses sit above each other, so the “high” ones are a few metres higher than the low ones.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

When signing up for the courses you can choose between the Adventure Package, which includes one low course and your choice of a high or low course, and the Ultimate Challenge, which includes entry to two low and two high courses.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

If you decide to do more courses you can add them on when you are there, but it’s always cheaper to buy things in advance!

Juniors must be at least 8 years and 140 cms tall. Juniors aged between 8 and 13 years old must be accompanied by a climbing Adult on the course. There is a minimum ratio of 1 x Adult per 4 x Juniors allowed.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

A low course must be completed before climbers can take on a high course. Each course contains approximately 17 challenges, including bridges, tunnels, aerial rock climbing walls, flying fox and even a hover board (I found this particularly nerve-wracking!).

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Depending on your group size, allow around 60 minutes to complete two courses. If there aren’t any people ahead of you and your group is particularly agile, it can be completed in about 30 minutes.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

I did the two adult / juniors courses while Cheese was taking on the kids’ courses and I found it an exhilarating challenge. Physically, muscles I hadn’t used in years were required to come out of retirement to complete the various challenges, but the biggest challenge I found was mental. It’s quite mentally challenging to get over a fear of falling, even though your rational brain is telling you that you’re hooked up to a harness and completely safe!

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

The courses were incredibly fun and I would absolutely return to do the other two courses. I enjoyed feeling challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone. I’m usually watching from the sidelines these days instead of participating in activities like this, so it was really fun and exciting to take on a physical and mental challenge for the first time in years!

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Information about safety

All safety equipment is supplied and participants must complete a safety briefing before beginning the course. Safety equipment includes:

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Harness
Continuous belay system
Pulley
Helmet
Once fitted with all necessary equipment participants will receive a comprehensive safety briefing from an instructor. Once you have demonstrated that you are safe to go, you will be allowed onto the courses.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

What to wear / bring

Fully enclosed shoes with rigid soles must be worn on the courses.
Hair should be pulled back.
Jewellery (including piercings) must be removed or taped over.
Glasses, including prescription glasses, may only be worn with a strap.
You must remove anything that could fall off or out of your pockets before accessing the Wild Ropes course. This includes: keys, coins, phones, cameras, bags, watches, loose jewellery. Free lockers are provided to participants.
Genuine Chest and Helmet Go-pro mounts are the only attachment allowed for actions cameras on the courses for safety reasons.
No exposed skin from the ankle down.
Your waist should be covered and any piercings should be taped over or taken out.

Plan to arrive at Wild Ropes at least 15 minutes prior to your session start time. If you are entering Taronga Zoo from the ferry allow an additional 20 minutes to ascend to the top entry where the entry to Wild Ropes is located. A trip on the Sky Safari is included in your Wild Ropes ticket. Note the Sky Safari operates from 9.30am and may not operate due to bad weather. Please note that Children 15 years or under must be accompanied by an adult on the Sky Safari Cable Car.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Opening Times
First session starts at 9.30am
Last session starts at 3.00pm (May – Aug) and 3.30pm (Sept – Apr)

Wild Ropes is open 7 days a week, 364 days a year (closed Christmas Day).

Wild Ropes is open during wet weather, but activities may be cancelled in cases of heavy winds or lightning. Please arrive 20 minutes earlier than your booked session time. Your Wild Ropes challenge can be completed on it’s own or added to your same-day Zoo experience.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Prices

Head to the website for the latest prices and to book. I highly recommend booking online as it’s cheaper, and you also don’t have to worry about sessions selling out.

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Wild Ropes, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Get more info on Wild Ropes at Taronga Zoo online.

We were hosted for our visit to Wild Ropes. All opinions are my own. 

The Hunting of the Snark: Theatre Review

The Hunting Of The Snark

Come on a voyage of the ridiculous in the weird and wonderful world of Lewis Carroll. Will our fearless adventurers find the mythical snark on their voyage? Or will they find something else more important instead?

From July 7 – 22 at the Sydney Opera House, the entire family can enjoy searching for the legendary snark in this hilarious quest adapted from Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark.

Life-like puppets, fantastical creatures, lively songs and a knitting beaver sidekick will enchant the young and young at heart in this modern adaptation that blends a classic tale with current and local references. We couldn’t help but be swept up on this silly but heartfelt journey.

Join Boy, the Banker, the Butcher, the Baker, the Bellman and the Beaver as they sail across the ocean to Snark Island in search of the mythical creature. Can the snark be caught? And should it be caught? Are there more important things than the money to be made from such a capture?

The Hunting Of The Snark

This fast-paced show will please little ones and their adults alike with its humour, catchy songs and colourful puppets.

Cheese, who is almost 7, and I saw the show and both really enjoyed it. As we left the theatre she turned to me unprompted and said, “I loved it!”. You can’t get a better review than that.

The Hunting Of The Snark

Before and after the show, kids will enjoy the free, immersive Creative Play that has returned to the Western Foyers with Reach Out Sounds. This interactive installation encourages kids to make music through connections. Complete a circuit with your little one to create fun noises on the sound pods.

The Hunting of the Snark show days and times:

Tuesday, 17 July at 2.30pm
Wednesday, 18 July at 12.30pm and 2.30pm
Thursday, 19 July at 12.30pm and 2.30pm
Friday, 20 July at 10.30am and 12.30pm
Saturday, 21 July at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday, 22 July at 10.30am and 12.30pm

Show runs for apprx 70 mins (no interval)

Appropriate for ages 6+

Get more info and tickets for The Hunting Of The Snark here. 

Presented by Sydney Opera House, RG Media and Alice House Theatre.

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.

20 Rainy Day Activities For Kids in Sydney

Rainy Day Activities For Kids In Sydney Australia

Kids + rainy weather = cabin fever! When it’s too wet for the beach or parks, entertain the junior set with one of these 18 rainy day activities for kids in Sydney.

20 Rainy Day Activities For Kids in Sydney

See a movie

Event Cinemas, Australia

Is there anything more relaxing than cozying up watching the latest flicks on the big screen? Check movie times at a cinema near you by clicking here.

Image credit: Event Cinemas

Watch a live show

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

Check out what’s on at the Sydney Opera House, the Capitol Theatre, Sydney Lyric Theatre or Parramatta Riverside Theatre. Each venue shows for all ages and demographics.

Check out the Monkey Baa Theatre Company for shows the kids will love.

Image credit: Daniel Boud

Zap and chase at laser tag

 

Dashing through the dark with neon lights and laser guns sound like fun? Team up and challenge your friends and family to a game of laser tag.

M9 Laser Skirmish at Darling Harbour, laser tag at AMF (various locations), laser tag at Kingpin Bowling (North Strathfield and Darling Harbour), Laser Siege (Turrella), laser tag at Strike Bowling (various locations)

Indoor skydive with iFLY

iFLY, Australia

See what it feels like to fly without jumping out of a plane at iFly in Penrith (second location coming soon to Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park. Anyone aged 3 and up can iFly!

Let the wind take you higher in an state-of-the-art, fully-controlled, ultra-safe vertical wind tunnel.

How does it work? Just lean into the wind inside our giant glass tunnel and a column of air lifts you up! You’ll float effortlessly into flight, guided by qualified instructors.

Get more info on iFLY here.

Image courtesy of iFLY.

Strike it lucky at ten pin bowling

Retro fun all across Sydney. Challenge the whole family to a game of ten pin bowling.

Check out locations and prices at AMF Bowling (various locations) Ten Pin City (Lidcome), Strike Bowling (various locations), King Pin Bowling (various locations).

Find your inner Pac-man playing arcade games

Go old school with classic and new arcade games. From air hockey to dodgem cars and a bit of Street Fighter, there’s something for everyone to play.

Find arcade games at Playtime (various venues) and Archie Bros Cirque Electric at Alexandria for a circus-themed arcade extravaganza.

Tee Off at Mini Putt Putt

Holey Moley

Putt putt has gone upmarket with crazy mini golf courses! Holey Moley turns traditional putt putt into a multi-sensory labyrinth of unique holes that’ll keep you on your toes across the craziest round of golf you’ve ever played. Choose between 9, 18 or 27 holes, or try karaoke at one of Holey Moley’s three Sydney locations: Newtown, Darlinghurst or Castle Towers.

Putt Planet in Miranda is 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.

Putt Planet, Miranda

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.

Image courtesy of Holey Moley.

CHANNEL YOUR INNER NINJA

Ninja 101

Try one of several ninja courses or parkour centres popping up all over Sydney. They’re suitable for kids (generally over aged 5) and adults and are designed to test agility and build strength.

Find a ninja gym or parkour centre in Sydney on this handy list of indoor play spaces.

Burn off steam at an indoor play centre


Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney
Kids going bananas? Take them to an indoor play centre to run out their crazies. There are plenty all around Sydney to choose from!

Check out this list of indoor play centres in Sydney to find one near you.

Bounce the day away at a trampolining centre


Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria
Visit an indoor trampolining centre to literally bounce your cares away. Check each centre to see that facilities they have for kids before taking little ones – some have special toddler times available.

Find a trampolining centre in Sydney on this handy list of indoor play spaces.

Test your agility indoor rock climbing

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

Kids and adults can all enjoy scampering up walls at indoor rock climbing centres. Start at the easiest level and work your way up to pro. Kids can try the beginner walls or special areas designed just for little ones.

Find an indoor rock climbing gym in Sydney on this handy list of indoor play spaces.

Spend the day at an art gallery or museum

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia

Enjoy the peaceful calm of one of Sydney’s excellent museums and art galleries. All are extremely kid-friendly as well as having top-notch exhibitions year-round. The Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art, the Powerhouse Museum, the Early Start Learning Centre and the Australian Museum head up a long list of excellent galleries for kids in Sydney.

Check out this list of Sydney’s art galleries and museums to find one near you.

Take a dip in an aquatic centre

Ryde Pool Sydney Aquatic Centre

It may seem counter intuitive but rainy days are perfect for getting even wetter indoors! Swim some laps and take kids to splash in the water features of these excellent centres all across Sydney.

Check out this list of aquatic centres in Sydney to find one near you.

Chase sharks at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Australia

Get up close to a more than 700 species of Australian aquatic life in 12 themed zones at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. An impressive 13,000 animals live in the aquarium in six million litres of water, including dugongs, rays, tropical reef fish and sharks. A popular exhibit is Penguin Expedition, allowing guests to sail past a colony of King and Gentoo Penguins on a boat ride. The SEA LIFE aquarium is top kids attraction in Sydney and can get busy on public holidays and school holidays.

Get more info on Penguin Expedition and on SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

Image credit: Sydney Aquarium

Catch a croc at Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

Meet iconic Australian animals at Wild Life Sydney Zoo. This small zoo is the perfect size to take young kids, and is easy to navigate with a wide, flat path, perfect for strollers. Get up close to the Cassowary, echidna, sugar gliders, koalas and kangaroos, plus a giant croc!

Get more info on Wild Life Sydney Zoo.

Up your selfie game at Madam Tussauds Sydney

Madame Tussauds, Sydney, Australia

A wax museum where visitors can take a selfie with Barak Obama in the oval office, or shake it off with Taylor Swift. Aussie legends like Steve Irwin and Ned Kelly are also photo-ready.

Madam Tussads Sydney

The Justice League exhibition is especially fun, an immersive and interactive experience to make you feel like you’re in the movies with your favourite stars.

Get more info on visiting Madame Tussauds Sydney here.

Image courtesy of Madame Tussauds.

Get your Tonya Harding out ice skating

Macquarie Ice Rink, Sydney

Trying to twirl on ice is the perfect way to forget miserable weather outdoors. Spend a few hours getting exercise as well as having fun working on your triple axel.

Check out this list of ice skating rinks in Sydney to find one near you.

Image courtesy of Macquarie Ice Rink.

Read a good book at a library

State Library of NSW Australia

Head to the stunning State Library of NSW to check out their exhibitions or read a book. Established in 1862 it’s the oldest library in Australia. I personally love the idea of reading when it’s raining, so a library always tops my list of things to do in Sydney on a rainy day!

Get more info on visiting the State Library of NSW here.

You could also visit your local library! Check this site for the City of Sydney libraries and locations. You can also visit here to find the location of every library in NSW.

Find your inner Picasso while plaster painting

Plaster Painting Sydney

Little and big kids will love painting up a masterpiece at one of these plaster painting studios across Sydney. Candyland Playhouse even offers ceramic painting, which is where the art work is baked in a kiln after being painted.

Check out your nearest plaster painting venue: Little Plaster House (Bella Vista), Candyland Playhouse (Hawkesbury) who offer plaster and ceramic painting, Plaster Painting Studios (Moore Park), Plaster Master Fun (North Bondi), The Little Plaster Shop (Concord).

Head to the shops

Most of the major shopping centres have indoor play areas for kids, mostly of the soft play variety. It’s easy to pass several hours with snacks, free fun and a bit of shopping – with free parking to boot – at your local shopping centre. A top pick with us for rainy day activities for kids!

Tried and tested shopping centres with free indoor play areas:

Rhodes Waterside
Harbourside, Darling Harbour
Westfield Liverpool
Supa Centa Moore Park
Westfield Bondi Junction
Broadway Shopping Centre has a small play are for kids aged five and under.
Westfield Warringah Mall
Birkinhead Point
IKEA (Tempe and Rhodes)

IKEA is such a gem. Drop kids aged 3 – 9 years of age off at their Småland Magical Forest that includes a ball pit, slides and watching kids movies. Age: 3 – 9 years old, time limit: 60 minutes.

Find your closest Westfield here.

Rainy Day Activities For Kids In Sydney Australia

Do you have any more ideas for rainy day activities for kids?

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.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney here.

The Best Things To Do In Parramatta And Western Sydney With Kids

Things To Do In Parrmatta and Western Sydney, Australia, with Kids

I grew up in Sydney’s South West suburbs, so have spent much of my life in the Parramatta and Western Sydney area. Sydney’s South West and Western suburbs are an incredible mix of history, nature and delicious food, a perfect place to bring up kids or visit for the day. Check out the best things to do in Parramatta and Western Sydney with kids!

The Best Things To Do In Parramatta and Western Sydney With Kids

Livvi’s Place Ryde

Livvi's Place Ryde, Yamble Reserve, Sydney, Australia

Livvi’s Place is a full-enclosed playground located in Yamble Reserve, Ryde. The reserve features formal gardens, deciduous trees, picnic shelters, large green grassed areas, barbecues and the excellent all-abilities playground, Livvi’s Place. Livvi’s Place playground includes a water pump play area, dual flying fox, nest swing, musical instruments, climbing frame and tunnels.

Read more about Livvi’s Place Ryde here.

Auburn Botanic Gardens

Auburn Botanic Gardens Sydney

The delightfully zen Auburn Botanic Gardens are located in Auburn, in South-West Sydney. Established in 1977, the gardens are surprisingly tucked away in a suburban pocket between rows of houses. Spread over 9.7 hectares, the gardens are a serene place to enjoy nature. They include a waterfall, inclusive playground, Japanese garden and plenty of native animals like kangaroos and wildlife.

Read more about Auburn Botanic Gardens.

Ollie Webb Reserve Parramatta

Ollie Webb Reserve Parramatta

Parramatta’s first all-inclusive playground opened in early 2019. It features climbing structures, water play with a splash play area and water pumps, an elevated sandpit, an accessible carousel, swings, BBQ facilities and excellent bathrooms.

Read the full review of Ollie Webb Reserve playground here.

The Central Gardens Nature Reserve Merrylands

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

The Central Gardens Nature Reserve, also called the Central Gardens, is a nature reserve in the southwest Sydney suburb of Merrylands. The 12 hectare park features two playgrounds, animal enclosures, BBQ areas, a flat path perfect for scooters and bikes, plus a small waterfall feature.

Read more about visiting the Central Gardens Nature Reserve here.

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre Sydney
Located in South West Sydney, the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre is a place to experience the arts including performances and exhibitions. 

Casula Powerhouse, Sydney Australia

As well as featuring six galleries with rotating exhibitions, the Powerhouse also has a pair of three-story decommissioned tanks that are open to the public as legal graffiti spaces.

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre Sydney

The Casula Powerhouse runs family-friendly art programs throughout the year. Check out their upcoming events and workshops here.

Get more info on visiting the Casula Powerhouse here.

Image credit: Casula Powerhouse

Casula Parklands Adventure Playground

Casula Parklands Sydney

The brand new Casula Parklands has something for everyone, from toddlers to adults. Located near the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, the park features play equipment and fitness training for all ages.

Casula Parklands Sydney

The $15 million park includes a ninja warrior training course for teens and adults, toddler climbing equipment, older kid / tween climbing equipment, flying foxes, swings, on and off-leash dog parks and a fitness area.

Get more info on visiting Casula Parklands Adventure Playground.

Blaxland Riverside Park

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

A gorgeous spot for families with one of the biggest playgrounds in Sydney set among three hectares of rolling hills and big open spaces. The playground caters for kids of all ages and abilities with a fantastic water play area (the largest outdoor water play facility in NSW), moving play elements, high and steep landforms and hidden and confined spaces. There’s a double flying fox, mega-swing, tunnel slides, scramble wall, spinning play disk, Viking swing and a multi-level tree house to be discovered and enjoyed.

Get more info on Blaxland Riverside Park.

Museum of Fire

The Museum of Fire, Penrith

Enjoy exhibits focusing on fire safety and firefighting and explore historic fire trucks at the Museum of Fire in Penrith.

Junior firefighters will enjoy puzzles, dress-ups, fire safety activities and computer games.

Get more info on visiting the Museum of Fire here.

Image credit: Destination NSW Adam Hollingsworth

Museums Discovery Centre (MDC)

Inside the Museums Discovery Centre you’ll find millions of treasures and the opportunity to learn about museum collecting, conservation and research practices.

Get more info on the MDC here.

NSW Rail Museum

NSW Rail Museum Australia
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.

Get more info on visiting the NSW Rail Museum here.

Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

Explore Australia’s unique plant life at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, a 416-hectare botanical garden located in Mount Annan, between Campbelltown and Camden. The wide, flat paths are a delight to follow as they weave in and around the garden areas, as are the grassy hills to roll down!

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan via christineknight.me

The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan has free entry, picnic shelters, barbecues and a playground with an excellent flying fox, making it the perfect outing for families.

Get more info on visiting the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.

Featherdale Wildlife Park

The Best Place To Meet A Koala in Sydney
A privately-owned zoo in Doonside, near Blacktown, Featherdale Wildlife Park specialises in Australian native wildlife and birds, as well as reptiles and marsupials.

Get more info on visiting Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Calmsley Hill City Farm

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

The place to introduce city kids to a farm! Calmsley Hill City Farm has plenty of farm animals to get up close to, plus tractor rides and interactive shows such as sheep shearing, a small playground, picnic area and cafe.

Get more info on visiting Calmsley Hill City Farm.

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown Sydney

Watch a movie under the stars at Sydney’s last remaining drive-in movie theatre. Introduce kids to the movie experience of a bygone era complete with a Happy Days-style diner, spiders and choc-tops. The gates open at 5:30pm, with parking allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Tune your car’s FM radio or bring along a portable radio to hear the movie. Before you leave home, check session times for what’s on.

Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic Park

The site of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games is now a monument to sporting legends and a peaceful parkland. Visit Cathy Freeman Park to see the Olympic Cauldron that was used throughout the games and has been transformed into a water feature that kids love to play under in summer, located next to a shady playground and vast grassy field.

To get there: Take a 30 minute train trip from Central Station to Olympic Park Station or a ferry from Circular Quay to Sydney Olympic Park Wharf.

Get info on visiting Sydney Olympic Park here.

Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre

Visiting Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic CenterWhile adults will enjoy swimming in the same pool that Ian Thorpe won his Olympic gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, kids will go wild over the water slide, Splasher’s Water Playground that caters for kids aged toddler and up, and Rapid River Ride that caters to all ages. Comfortably heated to 26 degrees, the Aquatic Centre is year-round fun.

Get more information on visiting the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

To get there: Take a 30 minute train trip from Central Station to Olympic Park Station or a ferry from Circular Quay to Sydney Olympic Park Wharf.

Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park, Sydney, Australia

A fave for families with its wide expanses of undulating hills, plenty of shade and picnic spots. Bicentennial Park is a beautiful location that combines mangrove wetlands with 40 hectares of gentle hills, meadows, lakes, playgrounds and picnic shelters. Driving to this park is the best option but parking can also be a challenge so arrive early.

Read more about visiting Bicentennial Park.

Brickpit Ring Walk

Brickpit Sydney Olympic Park

Search for endangered frogs and learn about Sydney’s brick-making history on this elevated walk over wetlands.

Read more about visiting the Brickpit Ring Walk.

Wentworth Common

Wentworth Common Sydney Olympic Park

Enjoy a quiet picnic at this hidden gem of a park. Kids will love the huge adventure playground and bushland setting.

Read more about visiting Wentworth Common.

Newington Armory

Newington Armory Sydney Olympic Park

The world heritage-listed Newington Armory is now an industrial arts precinct with a fab sculpture walk (or bike) along the Parramatta River.

Read more about visiting the Newington Armory.

Ryde Park Playground & Scooter Track

Ryde Park, Sydney, Australia
What a gem of a spot! Ryde Park has a shaded playground and a new scooter/bike track. The park also has sporting fields and picnic areas.

Get more info on Ryde Park here.

Western Sydney Parklands

Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me

An urban park and nature reserve located in Sydney’s western suburbs, the Western Sydney Parklands contains various parks and attractions that are perfect for families to enjoy.

Plough and Harrow

Plough and Harrow: Best of Southwest Sydney for Families via christineknight.me

This popular picnic spot is surrounded by bush and features a playground, cafe, high ropes course and wide open spaces for kids to run free. The playground’s hamster wheel is particularly popular!

Get more info on visiting Plough and Harrow.

Lizard Log Park & Playground

Lizard Log Park and Playground

A nature-themed playground with a bush setting, Lizard Log also features walking and cycling tracks plus barbecue stations.

Read more about visiting Lizard Log Park and Playground.

Treetop Adventure Park

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Adventurous kids will adore getting up high in the gum trees with the Treetop self-guided rope courses. With rope ladders, wobbly bridges and zip lines to navigate, it’s the perfect place for kids to test their problem-solving ability as well as push physical boundaries. Kids must be aged three and older to participate, with the children’s rope course designed for ages 3-9. Treetops Adventure park is located at the Plough and Harrow park.

Get more info on visiting Treetop Adventure Park.

Sydney Zoo

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. 

Get more info on visiting Sydney Zoo.

Raging Waters Sydney

Wet 'n' Wild, Sydney, Australia

Cool down at Raging Waters Sydney (formerly Wet’n’Wild SYDNEY), a water theme park filled with over 40 slides, a zone dedicated to kids under 5 and a sandy beach. Popular with younger kids is the Nickelodeon Beach water splash park area that features characters like Dora, Spongebob and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Get more info on visiting Raging Waters Sydney.

Image credit: Havewheelchairwilltravel.net

Bungarribee Park

Bungarribee Western Sydney Parklands
Opened in 2017, Bungarribee is a 200-hectare recreational space that features walking and cycling tracks, 20 barbecues, 13 picnic shelters and a playground with a climbing tower, flying fox, plenty of slides, swings and a water play area. Since this photo was taken, shade sails have been put up in the park.

Get more info on visiting Bungarribee Park.

Bigge Park, Liverpool

Bigge Park, Liverpool, Sydney, Australia

Bigge Park in Liverpool, a south-west suburb of Sydney, received a $5 million upgrade a few years back. The upgrade included a fantastic free water play area. Bigge Park also includes an accessible playground, a regular playground and climbing equipment.

Get more info on visiting Bigge Park.

Variety Livvi’s Place, Bankstown

Variety Livvis Place Playground Bankstown Sydney Australia

The Canterbury-Bankstown area’s first all-abilities playground opened in late 2018, a joint project between Variety, the Children’s Charity, and the Touched by Olivia foundation. The fully-fenced playground features picnic and bbq facilities, bathrooms, Variety Livvi’s Place includes a sensory zone, flying fox with accessible seats, a climbing net, trampoline, swings with accessible seats, water play area, a climbing tower with ground level play features, two nest swings, roller table, accessible carousel, slides, a nature trail, sand play and a lizard log carved from wood.

Get more info on visiting Variety Livvi’s Place here.

Fairfield Adventure Park Playground

Fairfield Adventure Playground Sydney

Especially designed to provide a play space for kids of a variety of ages, the Fairfield Adventure Playground brings the “wow” factor in spades. The park opened in 2015 after a $1.4 million council investment. With the star attractions designed specifically for teens, this is a unique playground that provides a much-needed recreational space for older kids.

Get more info on visiting the Fairfield Adventure Park Playground here.

Parramatta

Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park

The second oldest city in Australia, Parramatta was founded in 1788 – the same year as Sydney. Walk up Church street to discover its vibrant, multicultural food scene, or walk along the river to discover the city’s rich history.

Parramatta CBD Riverside Foreshore Park

Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park

We love this playground with its tall slides and sand play area, situated right on the banks of the Parramatta River.

Get more info on the Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park here.

James Ruse Reserve Playground

James Ruse Reserve Playground via christineknight.me
Our go-to when it’s hot, this playground has an undercover water play area that is a fave of ours. It also features climbing structures.

Get more info on the James Ruse Reserve Playground here.

Parramatta Park

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

This World Heritage Listed park is a must see. Gazetted as a People’s Park in 1858, Parramatta Park been a place for locals to enjoy for over 150 years. It’s also home to Old Government House, a historic site and museum and Australia’s oldest surviving building.  Parramatta Park also features wide open spaces with shady trees for picnics, a large formal rose garden, a creek and two playgrounds. Get info on upcoming events in Parramatta Park.

Gatehouse Tea Rooms, Parramatta Park

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

Enjoy high tea in the historic Gatehouse, located in beautiful Parramatta Park. Choose from a traditional high tea, savoury high tea or kids high tea. Gluten-free high tea, dairy-free high tea and vegan high tea are available.

Parramatta Park is rich in colonial history. In 2007 the park and Gatehouse building were granted World Heritage Listing by UNESCO.

Built in 1887, the Gatehouse is one of the oldest high tea venues in Australia, and my favourite spot for high tea in Parramatta.

Get more info on the Gatehouse Tea Rooms here.

Gatehouse Tea Rooms, Macquarie St Gatehouse, Parramatta Park, Parramatta

Domain Creek Playground Parramatta Park

Domain Creek Playground, Parramatta Park: The best of southwest Sydney for families
The largest and most modern playground in Parramatta Park, the Domain Creek Playground is nature-based and features mazes made from branches and wires, water pumps and sand diggers, a flying fox and sunken trampolines.

Get more info on visiting Domain Creek Playground.

Paperbark Playground

Parramatta Park Playground

Paperback Playground is the newest playground in the park and has some inclusive features. Located in the historic Gardens Precinct near the George Street Gatehouse, the playground is best suited to children and toddlers. Features include an accessible sandpit, swings and a carousel which kids with varied mobility, including wheelchair users, can use, as well as the ‘explorer dome’ centrepiece – a maze made of nets, ropes, ladders and tubes best suited to older children. The playground floor is covered with ‘Softfall’ pavements and there’s plenty of seats for parents and carers.

Parramatta Park Playground

Thank you to Have Wheelchair Will Travel for the images. 

Elizabeth Farm

Elizabeth Farm, Sydney, Australia

Built in 1973 for John and Elizabeth Macarthur, Elizabeth Farm is one of the oldest homes in Australia. Inside the house you’ll find reproductions of furnishings and objects that belonged to the home’s original owners. Wander the recreated 1930s garden or enjoy a Devonshire tea at the tea room. The scones are some of the best we have ever tasted.

Elizabeth Farm, Sydney, Australia

Elizabeth Farm runs year-round family tours and programs to engage kids in the history of the property and introduce them to what life was like during the early 19th century. Kids will get a kick out of trying to do the laundry in a tub, throwing quoits or doing some craft. Get info on upcoming events and programs here.

Carnes Hill Community & Recreation Precinct & Skate Plaza

Carnes Hill Skate Plaza October 2016

This lively community precinct includes an excellent library with large kids’ area, excellent playground, community centre, outdoor fitness stations, gym, cafe, sports courts and picnic areas. The Carnes Hill Skate Plaza is also located in the precinct, a fab spot for kids to bring their scooters and bikes and enjoy a sprawling park that is suitable for all ages and levels of experience. 

Images courtesy of Liverpool City Council

Things To Do In Parramatta and Western Sydney, Australia, with Kids

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.

Visiting Sydney? Find places to stay here.

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool

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

The beachside suburb of Maroubra is 10km south-east of Sydney’s CBD. It’s less developed than its neighbours Bondi and Coogee, giving it a more relaxed vibe than its popular cousins. Maroubra Beach and nearby Mahon Pool are a beautiful part of Sydney, making for the perfect day out in any season (ok, maybe not when it’s raining …).

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool

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

Maroubra Beach

“Maroubra” comes from the Aboriginal word meaning “like thunder”, which is the perfect name for this beach with giant waves that pound the shore. One of Sydney’s most popular surfing spots, Maroubra is also one of only two National Surfing Reserves in Australia.

The beach has two surf life saving clubs and is patrolled year-round by lifeguards.

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

Maroubra is less sheltered than other beaches, with can result in bigger waves. Swim between the flags only, as the waves can be dangerous. If you or your family aren’t strong swimmers, consider visiting another nearby more sheltered beach.

Despite its strong waves, Maroubra is still an excellent beach for families.

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

The kilometre-long sandy stretch of beach has a wide, flat path running adjacent to it, bathroom facilities at the surf club, a large, nautical-themed fenced playground and excellent skate park.

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

We were really impressed with the skate park and kids in it. There were a lot of younger kids from ages 3 to about 10, then teenagers and even a few adults, all skating in the park. The older skaters took a lot of care around the younger kids, which was so great to see.

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

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

There’s also a free outdoor gym, free BBQs, outdoor showers, changerooms and bathrooms.

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

A cafe-kiosk on the beach provides an excellent location for sitting in beanbags and enjoying the waves. You can also walk across the street to the strip on cafe and restaurants that are located on Marine Parade, directly opposite the beach.

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

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

We walked up the hill to try Pool Cafe, located across the road from Jack Vanny Reserve. The cafe is excellent. Delicious food, fast service, cute wall art and really fun vibe. Highly recommend. Note there is no kids’ menu, but lots of food kids will eat.

Pool Cafe is located at 94 Marine parade Maroubra. Get more info on the Pool Cafe here. 

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

Free parking is available behind the beach and in its side streets. The parking closest to the beach is 4 hours, side streets unlimited. There are also car parks north of the beach at Jack Vanny Reserve and at South Maroubra Beach.

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

In the middle of the beach is a large Rubix cube. While this may look like an art work it’s actually a storm water drain cover. The Rubix cube is popular for climbing.

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

If you have time, go exploring. South of the beach lies Arthur Byrne Reserve and headland, Broadarrow Reserve is to the west and Jack Vanny Memorial Park, Mahon Pool and the rocky headland are situated to the north.

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

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

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

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

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

Mahon Pool

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

The spectacular Mahon Pool is located 500 metres north of Maroubra Beach, up a steep-ish hill. Enter via Jack Vanny Reserve. Follow the path and steep steps leading down from the reserve to the pool.

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

Mahon Pool was carved into a rock flat in 1932, a 30-metre pool where you’ll find waves crashing over the sides at high tide. Visit at low tide to enjoy the pool with calm water (and plenty of fish inside!).

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

There is a free car park, toilet block with showers and change rooms located at the top of the reserve.

The rock flat is a great place to climb rocks up to the headland. An excellent view of the coast is available year-round, and migrating whales can be spotted from here between June and July.

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

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

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

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

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

Jack Vanny Reserve
15R Marine Pde
Maroubra

Get more info about Maroubra Beach here and here

Tips For Visiting Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool, 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.

Top Tips For Visiting and Photographing Vivid Sydney

Top Tips For Visiting and Photographing Vivid Sydney, Australia

Vivid Sydney is, without a doubt, one of my favourite times of year. 2019 marks the 11th anniversary of Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas. From 25 May to 16 June the event lights up Sydney over 11 precincts, each featuring their own unique light sculptures.

Top Tips For Visiting and Photographing Vivid Sydney

What’s on at all 11 precincts

This year Vivid Sydney is spread across 11 precincts. Each features their own specific light installations.

Barangaroo
Photo by Ken Leanfore

This incredible, giant puppet, was made by Erth, the creators of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo. It has to be seen to be believed!

Read about Vivid Sydney at Barangaroo

Chatswood
Vivid Sydney
Photo by Steve Christo

The octopus returns! Chatswood is a top pick for taking kids to see Vivid. Lights go on at 5:30pm at Chatswood! Perfect for taking the kids. Grab some food at around 5pm and you’ve got yourself the perfect early night Vivid experience.

Read about Vivid Sydney at Chatswood

Circular Quay

Vivid Sydney

The best view of the Sydney Opera House is from the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Read about Vivid Sydney at Circular Quay

City and Surrounds

Vivid Sydney

A must-see tis year is the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie projection on the Customs House.

Read about Vivid Sydney in the Sydney CBD

Darling Harbour

Vivid Sydney
This year Darling Harbour will feature an inclusive light playground, Tumbalong Lights. The light display has four interactive play installations that give children of all ages and abilities an inclusive and accessible experience.

Darling Harbour is a top pick for families.

Read more about Tumbalong Lights.

Read more about Vivid Sydney at Darling Harbour

Harbour Lights

Vivid Sydney: The Highlights via christineknight.me

Read more about Vivid Sydney Harbour Lights

Kings Cross

Read more about Vivid Sydney at Kings Cross

Luna Park
Vivid Sydney
Photograph by Dallas Kilponen

Read more about Vivid Sydney at Luna Park

Taronga Zoo

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

We attend Vivid at Taronga Zoo every year. Their “Lights for the Wild” display focuses on animal conservation. Over 100 sculptures are ready to be discovered on a light trail through the zoo.

Read more about Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

The Rocks

Vivid Sydney

Duck in and out of historic laneways and discover a treasure trove of light sculptures.

Read more about Vivid Sydney at The Rocks

The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Vivid Sydney
Photo by Steve Christo

Always a beautiful location to see light sculptures by the ocean, with the Sydney Opera House in the background.

Vivid Sydney
Photo by Steve Christo

This year, grab a cupcake ($7) from a Sprinkles cupcake vending machine on the trail.

Read more about Vivid Sydney at The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

General Vivid Sydney Tips

Vivid Sydney

Arrive BEFORE the lights turn on

Find a prime position near the lights that you want to see the most without a hoard of people and wait patiently until the lights get switch on. BAM – lights minus the crowds.

Lights go on at 6pm at all locations other than Taronga Zoo, where the lights go on at 5:30pm.

Hit up the most popular installations first

This has always been a key for me in conjunction with the point above. I circle back to those that it’s easy to see even with a crowd last, such as the Customs House, MCA and Sydney Opera House.

See the lights without the crowd

There are a few spots where you can see Vivid lights that are away from the general crowd. For a good view of the Harbour head to the top of the Cahill Expressway (lift at Circular Quay).

You can also visit the Observation Deck of the Sydney Tower Eye for a birds-eye view of the lights, zero crowds!

Lastly, walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s free to walk the pedestrian and bike path. I would suggest walking in one direction from The Rocks to Milsons Point, and catching the train back again.

Dedicate several nights to see it all

I’m sure it’s possible to see everything in one go, but why do it if you can spread it out? With so many locations, Vivid really needs at least three nights to see everything. Break it down into sections that can be covered together. Taronga and Chatswood or Luna Park, Circular Quay, Martin Place and Botanic Gardens plus Barangaroo and the Rocks, and lastly Darling Harbour, which can be done with another of the options with a bit of commuting in between.

Rug up!

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

It gets cold at night, especially near the water. Dress warm including a coat and a beanie and gloves.

Take the kids to Taronga

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

This is my pick for kids because it’s ticketed, so less people, and the lights go on earlier than the other locations.

Read about what to expect from Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo here.

Don’t bypass the smaller Vivid locations, especially with kids

With kids in tow, the locations such as Darling Harbour and Chatswood are also an excellent idea as these spots don’t get as large crowds as the CBD does.

Pick a quiet day to go

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

We always go the first weekend or Monday to Thursday. The first few days are always the quietist, before photos start appearing in the news and reminding people that it’s on. The second weekend, from Friday onwards, is when it starts to get really busy. If there is a big event on elsewhere while Vivid is on, that is also a great night to go!

Take public transport to the city or pre-book parking

Pre-book a car spot if you ca’t take public transport as parking is an absolute nightmare. When taking public transport, be aware that Circular Quay train station might be busy and be prepared to walk to another station if needed.

Find the best places to park for Vivid here.

Bring carriers or strollers for kids

This is for two reasons – one, because it’s night time and little people get tired, but also to keep them out of the way of being stepped on by adults.

Eat food first

We always arrive early in the city and eat before the lights even turn on. My pick is Gateway Sydney for casual, great food.

Tips for seeing Vivid with kids

Vivid Sydney: The Highlights via christineknight.me
Take them to Taronga or Chatswood, where lights go on at 5:30pm instead of 6pm and the crowds aren’t as bad. Darling Harbour, with its interactive light playground, is an excellent choice for families as well.

Take a stroller or baby carrier for little ones.

Feed them first or bring plenty of food for on the go.

Pick up free Lost Child Wristbands for the kids at info booths located on near the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Customs House and Darling Harbour.

Dress kids in high visibility clothing and keep them in sightline at all times.

Photography Tips

Take a good camera

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Take the best one you have. If you have an SLR, bring it. If the best you have is a point and shoot or your phone, then that will do. One of my old photography teachers once said “the best camera is the one you’ve got” and I’ve always remembered it!

A better camera will however produce better results, so when you’re in a tricky lighting situation such as an event after dark, I find it’s always worth bringing the best camera you’ve got.

Turn off the flash

Please, please, please turn off your flash! A good flash on an SLR camera only has a range of about a metre, so a flash on a phone is even more ineffectual. Use light from the installations to illuminate your subject matter rather than the flash.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Caveat: If your subjects are standing in front of an extremely large light sculpture and you want them facing the camera with the object BEHIND them, then this is the one time when I would suggest using the flash. There is a photography op at Taronga with gorillas that is exactly this circumstance.

Use the sculptures to light faces

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Instead of using the flash, position people near the sculptures with the light directing onto them faces. Move yourself into a position where you can see the faces illuminated. Then take the photo.

Take a tripod 

Obviously this is a “if you have one” scenario. In any lowlight situation a tripod is your best friend to providing camera stability and resulting in sharper images without needing to over compensate for the low light by adjusting other camera settings as much.

Lean on fences or props

If you don’t have a tripod or, like me, don’t take one because they’re quite hard to manage with a crowd or you’ve got kids in tow, wedge your camera on solid, immovable objects to get sharper shots. I use fences, the backs of chairs, you get the picture.

Bump up the ISO

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

If you have manual settings on your camera, bump up the ISO A LOT. I bump mine way up to ensure that the photos are in focus. The photos are grainier as a result, but at least they’re in focus.

Give kids an old camera or phone

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

I gave Cheese my iPhone to shoot with this year and I loved the photos she came up with. Kids have a different perspective to adults so the angles and perspectives she shot were completely different to mine.

Get more info on Vivid Sydney here.

Tips For Visiting Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney 2019

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney is back for its third year! One of our fave family nights of the year, it’s also our top pick for taking kids to see to see the lights at the annual Vivid festival of lights in Sydney.

In 2019, Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo runs from May 24 – June 15, Wednesday to Sunday evenings, plus the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, Monday 10 June.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

The beautiful light show on the entrance is back this year, which is mesmerising for kids and adults alike. Set aside time at the beginning and end for this light show.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo  Vivid Sydney is the only ticketed light show. While you do pay an entrance fee for Vivid at Taronga Zoo, the timed and ticked sessions mean that the crowds are way less and it’s much better managed than the other areas of the festival.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

In line with Taronga Zoo’s focus on conservation, the light show, “Lights for the Wild”, aims to entertain, but also educate the public on 10 of the special animals they are trying to save from extinction in the next 10 years. Each light installation and sculpture tells an important story about conservation.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

While “Lights for the Wild” isn’t as interactive as it was last year (sadly the multimedia bracelets have gone), with only one sculpture that can be touched and manipulated, it’s still a beautiful series of light sculptures in an extremely family-friendly environment.

What you need to know about Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney 2019

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

What’s new this year?

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

While many favourites from the past three years return again, there are four new lanterns to experience: Sumatran Tiger cubs, a pride of Lions, a Koala and laser gardens.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

The Taronga Centenary Theatre once again shows an multi-award winning animated film, presented as a 270-degree cinematic experience. It’s a great place to stop for a rest beneath a canopy of stars and a glowing planet earth as designed by children, before continuing on the journey back to the top of the zoo.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Getting there

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

While you can catch the ferry, we prefer to drive. If you stay under 90 minutes it’s free. Unlimited parking is $18. We never have any problems finding parking or with traffic either getting there or going back home again.

Pick your session

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

There are TWO sessions each night for Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney: 5:30pm and 7:30pm, with last entry at 8:30pm. Zoo closes at 9:30pm

Buy tickets in advance

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Buy your tickets from the Taronga Zoo website. There is a slight price increase this year.

Dates: Wednesday- Sunday, Mon 10 June public holiday

Prices:
Adult – $26.95
Child (4-15 years) – $19.95
Under 4 – free

A limited number of Blue Pass tickets are available each night and include a round trip on the Sky Safari. The Blue Passes cost the same as the regular tickets so I suggest getting them if possible. The Sky Safari DOES NOT STOP, it runs along a loop from the top of the pack back to where it started from.

While I saw a lot of people heading straight to the sky safari when they entered, I suggest seeing the other lights first to get ahead of the crowds, and taking the Sky Safari last before you go home when there is no queue.

Make a day of it

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

If you plan to visit the Zoo during the day before your evening Vivid outing, either buy the tickets online in advance at the same time as your Vivid tickets, or you can buy your Zoo day entry tickets at the Zoo ticket desk on arrival to enjoy a 30% discount off General Admission prices*

Please note: Taronga Zoo closes at 4.30pm and Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo commences at 5.30pm. If you are staying on you will be asked to come up to the main entry plaza to get ready for the beginning of your Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo experience. There is a cafe in the main entry plaza and plenty for the kids to enjoy while you’re waiting for the Vivid lights to turn on.

The Zoo Admission ticket is only valid for use on the same day as your Vivid ticket.

Pack food

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

While there are cafes open with basic food if you don’t have time to do this, we always like to bring our own.

Get there early

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

This is really my mantra for anything we go to! Arrive before the lights go on at 5:30pm so you get in ahead of most of the people in your timed session. I would suggest 5pm. Kids can watch the light show on the entrance and see the first batch of sculptures inside the entrance before the sessions begin, and you’ll be first in line when 5:30pm strikes and the doors open.

Follow the trail

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

The trail winds throughout Taronga Zoo on a circular path. It is completely stroller and wheelchair accessible. The multimedia light sculptures are dotted along the path.

Final Taronga Tips

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

The light trail takes about 60-90 minutes to complete. While the whole trail is stroller and wheelchair accessible there are some steep sections.

There are family-friendly and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms available for use at the entrance at throughout the trail (please check the map).

Catch Vivid at Taronga Zoo from May 25th to June 15, 2019.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

Vivid Sydney Tips

Arrive BEFORE the lights turn on

Find a prime position near the lights that you want to see the most without a hoard of people and wait patiently until the lights get switch on. BAM – lights minus the crowds.

Hit up the most popular installations first

This has always been a key for me in conjunction with the point above. I circle back to those that it’s easy to see even with a crowd last, such as the Customs House, MCA and Sydney Opera House.

Dedicate several nights to see it all

I’m sure it’s possible to see everything in one go, but why do it if you can spread it out? With so many locations, Vivid really needs at least three nights to see everything. Break it down into sections that can be covered together. Taronga and Chatswood or Luna Park, Circular Quay, Martin Place and Botanic Gardens plus Barangaroo and the Rocks, and lastly Darling Harbour, which can be done with another of the options with a bit of commuting in between.

Take the kids to Taronga

This is my pick for kids because it’s ticketed, so less people, and the lights go on earlier than the other locations.

Don’t bypass the smaller Vivid locations, especially with kids

With kids in tow, the locations such as Darling Harbour and Chatswood are also an excellent idea as these spots don’t get as large crowds as the CBD does.

Pick a quiet day to go

We always go the first weekend or Monday to Thursday. The first few days are always the quietist, before photos start appearing in the news and reminding people that it’s on. The second weekend, from Friday onwards, is when it starts to get really busy. If there is a big event on elsewhere while Vivid is on, that is also a great night to go!

Take public transport to the city or pre-book parking

Pre-book a car spot if you ca’t take public transport as parking is an absolute nightmare. When taking public transport, be aware that Circular Quay train station might be busy and be prepared to walk to another station if needed.

Find the best places to park for Vivid here.

Bring carriers or strollers for kids

This is for two reasons – one, because it’s night time and little people get tired, but also to keep them out of the way of being stepped on by adults.

Eat food first

We always arrive early in the city and eat before the lights even turn on. My pick is Gateway Sydney for casual, great food.

Get more info on Vivid Sydney here.

Additional images thanks to DNSW.

Featherdale Wildlife Park: Behind-The-Scenes Experiences

Featherdale Wildlife Park Behind-The-Scenes Experiences, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park has long been the place in Sydney to take kids and tourists for an up close experience with Australian animals. Established on 7 acres of land 1953, Featherdale has evolved from a poultry farm into one of the best privately owned wildlife parks in Australia. With the largest collection of Australian animals in the world, Featherdale is a must-visit for locals and visitors alike.

Featherdale Wildlife Park: Behind-The-Scenes Experiences

While we have visited Featherdale many times of the years (you can read more here about our experiences at Featherdale Wildlife Park) this was a special visit, both because we were treated to a VIP behind-the-scenes tour, but also because we learned so much about the animals and the park’s conservation efforts.

I was so inspired after visiting that I did a bit of extra research into the breeding and conservation programs run by Featherdale (a bit of info on a few of the programs is below).

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park is one of the only Wildlife Parks in New South Wales to be endorsed by the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF). The park has also partnered with The Australian Museum on the Koala Genome Program, a conservation program where scientists have mapped the entire genome of over 20,000 specific koala genes which is contributing to the health and survival rate of future koalas worldwide.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

With koala reproduction has been in serious decline, our little furry friends need this research to help them survive.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

On our tour we learned that the majority of wallabies and kangaroos in the park were either rescued as joeys after their mums were killed, or were born at Featherdale. We met Flo, a baby wallaby whose mother had rejected her and is now being reared by hand until she is able to be released into the wallaby enclosure.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

We also met a gorgeous wombat baby whose mother had been hit by a car. Luckily a good Samaritan checked the pouch and found the baby inside, unharmed. He is now being hand-raised at Featherdale.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

It’s not surprising to learn that Featherdale works with NSW Emergency Services, State Emergency Services (SES), WIRES and local council to operate as a Native Animal Rescue Hospital. They take in thousands of sick, injured and orphaned animals from the community and surrounding parklands every year, including this tawny frogmouth bird who was found with a hole in his beak and unable to be released back into the wild as a result.

You can read more about the breeding and conservation programs at Featherdale here.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Since so many of the animals have been rescued or hand-raised, a lot of them are really tame and happy to be handled by humans.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Visitors to Featherdale can choose from a variety of personal encounters with animals like the ones we met. Options include getting to meet unique birds, scaly reptiles, friendly wallabies and other furry marsupials.

Not only are you able to touch the animals, but you’ll learn so much about their lives and challenges faced by the breed in the wild. It’s an incredibly educational experience as well as engaging and interactive. Plus you get a great selfie out of it!

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

A few options at the moment include a personal dingo encounter, saltwater croc encounter, private mammal or reptile encounter, or personal koala encounter. Each encounter includes a souvenir photo to take home. Get more info on the current options for animal encounters and prices online.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

During our tour we also learned a lot about some incredible Australian animals such as the Cassowary. I’ve long thought they were beautiful birds but I had no idea that, firstly, they were the world’s most deadly bird and are the only bird to have killed humans (note it was through self defence), but also that they have talons on their feet and are descended from velociraptors. Incredible!

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

We also got up close to some saltwater crocs during the croc feeding. The big man croc came to Featherdale 26 years ago after he was being a bit of a pest and eating local pet dogs.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

It’s mind blowing to think that when he was one year old he was this size!

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

In the Reptile House we met a gorgeous python and a shingleback lizard (who apparently make great pets!). We learned that lizards smell through their tongues. As we were holding the shingleback he flicked out his tongue “smelling” us in a ticklish move that left us both giggling.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Our last stop for the day was feeding one last Aussie icon – the wallabies. We’ve fed them so many times but it’s never enough. They’re such cute little creatures it’s always a joy to end our day with a furry encounter of the macropod kind.

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney, Australia

Featherdale Wildlife Park
217-229 Kildare Road,
Doonside, Sydney NSW 2767
(near Blacktown) Australia
Phone: 02 9622 1644
Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
Get Directions

Get more ideas on things to do in Sydney with Kids!

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.

Our VIP tour was hosted by Featherdale Wildlife Park. All opinions are our own. 

Featherdale Wildlife Park Behind-The-Scenes Experiences, Sydney, Australia

7 Awesome Day Trips On Sydney Harbour Ferries

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

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

7 Awesome Days Trips On Sydney Harbour Ferries

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

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

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

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

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

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

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

Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

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

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

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

Watson’s Bay

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manly Beach

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

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

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

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

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

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

Get more info here on a day trip to Manly.

Luna Park, Kirribilli

Luna Park Sydney

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

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

Luna Park Sydney

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

Get more info on visiting Luna Park here. 

Darling Harbour

Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney Australia

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

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

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

Chinese Friendship Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

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

Parramatta

Parramatta CBD River Foreshore Park

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

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

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

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

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

Elizabeth Farm, Sydney, Australia

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

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

Sydney Ferry Map

Get more info on catching a Sydney Harbour Ferry here. 

More things to do in Sydney

Sydney Tower Eye, Australia

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

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

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

16 Things To Do In Sydney On A Rainy Day (Or a Stinking Hot One!)

Things To Do In Sydney On A Rainy Day (Or a Stinking Hot One!) Sydney Australia

Sydney is known for it’s beautiful harbour and the great outdoors. But what to do when it’s too wet to go out, or there’s a heatwave, and all you want to do is find entertainment indoors? This list of things to do in Sydney on a rainy day will help you beat the bad weather blues.

17 Things To Do In Sydney On A Rainy Day (Or A Stinking Hot One!)

See a movie

Event Cinemas, Australia

Is there anything more relaxing than cozying up watching the latest flicks on the big screen? Check movie times at a cinema near you by clicking here.

Image credit: Event Cinemas

Watch a live show

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

Check out what’s on at the Sydney Opera House, the Capitol Theatre, Sydney Lyric Theatre or Parramatta Riverside Theatre. Each venue shows for all ages and demographics.

Check out the Monkey Baa Theatre Company for shows the kids will love.

Image credit: Daniel Boud

Zap and chase at laser tag

 

Dashing through the dark with neon lights and laser guns sound like fun? Team up and challenge your friends and family to a game of laser tag.

M9 Laser Skirmish at Darling Harbour, laser tag at AMF (various locations), laser tag at Kingpin Bowling (North Strathfield and Darling Harbour), Laser Siege (Turrella), laser tag at Strike Bowling (various locations)

Indoor skydive with iFLY

iFLY, Australia

See what it feels like to fly without jumping out of a plane at iFly in Penrith (second location coming soon to Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park. Anyone aged 3 and up can iFly!

Let the wind take you higher in an state-of-the-art, fully-controlled, ultra-safe vertical wind tunnel.

How does it work? Just lean into the wind inside our giant glass tunnel and a column of air lifts you up! You’ll float effortlessly into flight, guided by qualified instructors.

Get more info on iFLY here.

Image courtesy of iFLY.

Strike it lucky at ten pin bowling

Retro fun all across Sydney. Challenge the whole family to a game of ten pin bowling.

Check out locations and prices at AMF Bowling (various locations) Ten Pin City (Lidcome), Strike Bowling (various locations), King Pin Bowling (various locations).

Find your inner Pac-man playing arcade games

Go old school with classic and new arcade games. From air hockey to dodgem cars and a bit of Street Fighter, there’s something for everyone to play.

Find arcade games at Playtime (various venues) and Archie Bros Cirque Electric at Alexandria for a circus-themed arcade extravaganza.

Tee off at mini putt putt

Holey Moley

Putt putt has gone upmarket with mini golf courses that have a bar serving drinks and cocktails. Holey Moley turns traditional putt putt into a multi-sensory labyrinth of unique holes that’ll keep you on your toes across the craziest round of golf you’ve ever played. Choose between 9, 18 or 27 holes, or try karaoke at one of Holey Moley’s three Sydney locations: Newtown, Darlinghurst or Castle Towers.

Putt Planet in Miranda is 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.

Putt Planet, Miranda

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.

Burn off steam at an indoor play centre


Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney
Kids going bananas? Take them to an indoor play centre to run out their crazies. There are plenty all around Sydney to choose from!

Check out this list of indoor play centres in Sydney to find one near you.

Bounce the day away at a trampolining centre


Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria
Visit an indoor trampolining centre to literally bounce your cares away. Check each centre to see that facilities they have for kids before taking little ones – some have special toddler times available.

Find a trampolining centre in Sydney on this handy list of indoor play spaces.

Test your agility indoor rock climbing

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Alexandria

Kids and adults can all enjoy scampering up walls at indoor rock climbing centres. Start at the easiest level and work your way up to pro. Kids can try the beginner walls or special areas designed just for little ones.

Find an indoor rock climbing gym in Sydney on this handy list of indoor play spaces.

Channel Your Inner Ninja

Ninja 101

Try one of several ninja courses or parkour centres popping up all over Sydney. They’re suitable for kids (generally over aged 5) and adults – why should kids have all the fun?

Find a ninja gym or parkour centre in Sydney on this handy list of indoor play spaces.

Spend the day at an art gallery or museum

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia

Enjoy the peaceful calm of one of Sydney’s excellent museums and art galleries. All are extremely kid-friendly as well as having top-notch exhibitions year-round.

Check out this list of Sydney’s art galleries and museums to find one near you.

Take a dip in an aquatic centre

Ryde Pool Sydney Aquatic Centre

It may seem counter intuitive but rainy days are perfect for getting even wetter indoors! Swim some laps and take kids to splash in the water features of these excellent centres all across Sydney.

Check out this list of aquatic centres in Sydney to find one near you.

Get your Tonya Harding out ice skating

Macquarie Ice Rink, Sydney

Trying to twirl on ice is the perfect way to forget miserable weather outdoors. Spend a few hours getting exercise as well as having fun working on your triple axel.

Check out this list of ice skating rinks in Sydney to find one near you.

Image courtesy of Macquarie Ice Rink.

Dine in style with a high tea


Langham Sydney, Afternoon Tea With Mr Rabbit, Australia
A rainy miserable day is the perfect excuse to eat something delicious! Take your mind off the weather by dining on scones, finger sandwiches and delectable pastries.

Check this list of high tea venues in Sydney to find the right one for you.

Read a good book at a library

State Library of NSW Australia

Head to the stunning State Library of NSW to check out their exhibitions or read a book. Established in 1862 it’s the oldest library in Australia. I personally love the idea of reading when it’s raining, so a library always tops my list of things to do in Sydney on a rainy day!

Get more info on visiting the State Library of NSW here.

You could also visit your local library! Check this site for the City of Sydney libraries and locations. You can also visit here to find the location of every library in NSW.

Find your inner Picasso while plaster painting

Plaster Painting Sydney

Little and big kids will love painting up a masterpiece at one of these plaster painting studios across Sydney. Candyland Playhouse even offers ceramic painting, which is where the art work is baked in a kiln after being painted.

Check out your nearest plaster painting venue: Little Plaster House (Bella Vista), Candyland Playhouse (Hawkesbury) who offer plaster and ceramic painting, Plaster Painting Studios (Moore Park), Plaster Master Fun (North Bondi), The Little Plaster Shop (Concord).

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.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney here.

Things To Do In Sydney On A Rainy Day (Or a Stinking Hot One!) Sydney Australia