What Can I Do in Sydney with Kids?
Sydney might be all grown up, but it’s still a fabulous playground for kids. Here’s how to keep them occupied, whatever their age.
The views are equally impressive at Taronga Zoo Sydney – and the animals are pretty great, too. Unusual residents include sun bears, Komodo dragons, spider monkeys and red pandas, and there are excellent chimpanzee and tiger enclosures. Kids will love the seal and bird shows and the overnight Roar and Snore camping program.
Darling Harbour has plenty of family-friendly spots, events and festivals. It’s also home to Madame Tussaud’s, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium – whose walk-through underwater tunnels provide up-close views of sharks, turtles and manta rays – and Wild Life Sydney Zoo, where kids will love breakfast with the koalas, all manner of creepy-crawlies, and one of the world’s largest captive crocodiles.
At the Australian National Maritime Museum, kids can clamber around a submarine, naval destroyer and sailing ship from 1606. Darling Harbour also has a great outdoor playground with swings, slides, flying foxes and water features.
BridgeClimb Sydney is guaranteed to thrill the socks right off older children as they ascend to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. See the harbour from a different perspective on a high-speed ride with Thunder Jet Boat, which includes 360-degree spins as you bounce across the water.
Among the particularly child-friendly museums are the Powerhouse, the Australian Museum – which has after-dark visits and special programs during school holidays – and the Museum of Contemporary Art, which has family tours and arts activities for children under 12. Your older kids love a good scare? Then they will love The Rocks Ghost Tours or ghost tours at the former Quarantine Station in Manly.
Take the classic ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly, and pass the day at the beach (with fish and chips for lunch). Walk around the foreshore to Shelly Beach for more tranquil waters. You can bushwalk, hire bicycles or a sailing boat, scuba dive and much more, too.
Looking for safer harbour beaches without waves? Head to Balmoral Beach or Nielsen Park. Or consider surf lessons at Bondi, horse riding in Centennial Park and stargazing at Sydney Observatory. If your family has a head for heights, you can also walk around the outside of the observation deck at Sydney Tower.