Sydney is an amazing city to explore with kids! We spent a week there last month & enjoyed every minute of it. Here’s what the Forty Up family, Mr D & Myself, Oaks & The D-Man (8 & 4.5 years old respectively) loved the most about one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
How We Got There:
We flew Qantas from Perth to Sydney (about 4.5 hours) & Virgin return. We chose these flights by their departure times, we took the ones that suited us the most with the kids rather than the price point.
Where We Stayed:
We are members of the Accor Vacation Club so had the opportunity to stay at the gorgeous The Sebel, The Pinnacles in Darling Harbour. Our apartment was self contained with 2 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms. Easy walk to Darling Harbour & transport. The complex has a lovely rooftop with seating, a bbq & a mini putting green! We loved relaxing up here & chatting with other families also staying. This accommodation suited our family of 4 perfectly!
What Did We Do?:
Taronga Park Zoo
Part of the fun of Sydney is the public transport, namely the harbour ferries. Forget the kids for a minute, I never got tired of the view from those ferries. We had delightful weather during our Sydney stay & catching the ferry to & from the zoo was for me, a gorgeous part of a day out with the family.
If you arrive at the Zoo by ferry & start at the bottom of the hill, your best bet is to then catch the cable car Sky Safari up to the top entry of the zoo & then make your way down the hill taking in the enclosures on your way back down. The cable car is an excellent way to orientate yourself & take in another amazing view of the harbour & the animals below!
We spent the entire day at the zoo & had a ball. A highlight for us was seeing the baby Gorillas & the kids loved the petting area in the Backyard to Bush enclosure.
There are great food options at the zoo, we chose to eat lunch at The View, the zoo’s only a la carte restaurant, no hotdogs & chips here! We had a delicious meal overlooking that dynamite view yet again!
There’s a lot of activities going on at the zoo & it’s a really large space so I’d suggest doing some homework before you go to make sure you use your time wisely!
You can find out all about what’s going on at the zoo & entry prices here.
The Australian National Maritime Museum
I think we picked the hottest summer day that Sydney has experienced this year to visit the Australian National Maritime Museum. Luckily the kids were really excited about seeing the Horrible Histories – Pirates exhibition which was located inside the building – with air conditioning! The exhibition was fantastic, but in reality the kids had just as much fun exploring the regular exhibits as much as the Horrible Histories travelling exhibition.
We all loved the Action Stations exhibit. It was my first time on a submarine & we all found visiting the Oberon Class HMAS Submarine Onslow & Daring Class Destroyer HMAS Vampire really exciting. The guides on board the vessels were brilliant & we all learnt a lot.
Boarding the HMB Endeavour was also a highlight. Oaks was fascinated about the travels of Captain Cook (or Captain Hook as The D-Man kept saying, he was a little confused about this “pirate” ship) & the sailor’s life at sea & their explorations.
This is another venue you could spend the whole day.
We ate at the onsite restaurant Yot’s Café which catered for both kids & adults beautifully.
You can find out what’s on & admission costs here.
Matilda at The Lyric Theatre
My kids LOVE Matilda, the book & the movie so it was a no brainer to take them to see this new theatre production at The Lyric Theatre. They loved it & so did I! This is a Royal Shakespeare touring show with songs by Australia’s own Tim Minchin. Take a look at the Matilda website to see when it’s visiting your city & take your kids along.
The Lyric Theatre is in The Star complex right in Darling Harbour & we ate pre-show in the Star food court along with everyone else attending the show, it was a little crazy & maybe best avoided unless you get there early!
One of the best things about a big city like Sydney is there is ALWAYS something on! We visited the Sydney Festival on a Sunday morning & it was packed with both free & ticketed events for kids. Keep your eyes open for events on in the city while you are there!
IMAX Theatre – Star Wars – The Force Awakens
Using the largest film format in the world, seeing a movie at IMAXZ in Darling Harbour is a great way to kill a few hours to beat the heat or avoid the rain. There’s heaps of food & beverage options & shopping nearby. We saw Star Wars The Force Awakens which I loved!
The Powerhouse Museum
We visited The Powerhouse Museum to see the current exhibition – The Art of the Brick: DC Comics. It is the world’s largest Lego DC Comic artwork, featuring all the classic superheroes & villains & includes loads of amazing facts about how each artwork was built.
We enjoyed all that The Powerhouse Museum had to offer. Many of the exhibits are interactive which my kids loved. They especially loved the Mars drone exhibit & climbing all over the old Tram & we all learnt a lot about steam engines! Go figure!
The Powerhouse Museum has a brilliant on site restaurant run by Black Star Pastry which opens onto a great playground – perfect to let the kids refuel & run around a bit before heading back into see more exhibits!
We spent a really gorgeous day in Manly. We caught the ferry from Darling Harbour to Manly which was fun for the kids & me! I’m not sure Sydney-siders know how good they’ve got it with this amazingly beautiful public transport system!
Manly beach was perfect for our kids, the waves were just right for jumping with no dumping! Oaks even mentioned that the beach looked like a Ken Done painting, I think she nailed it!
We ate at Watervue in the mall, mainly because we could sit outside & the kids played in the nearby water fountains!
Where We Ate:
Because we were staying so close to The Star, we spent a bit of time eating in the food hall & getting take away from there. This is no ordinary food hall though, it’s pretty nice! A few of our faves were Ribs & Burgers, Din Tai Fung, Messina Gelato & of course, Adriano Zumbo Patissier.
Our other fave local haunt was Gourmandise de Paris, Oaks is still raving about her meal there! Gorgeous fresh French food with outdoor seating.
I fulfilled some celebrity chef crushing by eating a fabulous meal at Kylie Kwong’s, Billy Kwong, amazing!
Our fave for breakfast was Cafe XX11, just down the road from our accommodation on Union Street. The food & coffee was great & the kids loved imagining what this charming old building was used for over it’s long life!
Darling Harbour on the water has so many food & beverage options, most of them quite mainstream & touristy, we spent a fun afternoon at Waterfront Grill, drinking chilled white wine watching while the kids played in a mock beach sandpit, perfect!
We had such a sensational week in Sydney. I’ve only touched on each of these places but I hope you feel compelled to look into your Sydney with kids options further when you are next visiting on a family holiday, there really is so much to do in this bright & vibrant city!
Do you live in Sydney – anything you’d add on for me to explore next visit?