Sydney with kids: 20 family activities!
A city break to Sydney with kids is fun! Most families with kids visit Sydney as part of a trip through Australia. Sydney or Melbourne, then, are often the cities where most tourists arrive and depart by plane. We ourselves traveled through Australia for two months and also spent a total of more than two weeks in Sydney. We really thought it was a great city! We list in this blog the best activities you can do in Sydney with kids.
Table of contents
Sydney with kids: beaches
Most families visit Sydney in the months of December and January. These are the months when it is summer in Sydney. There is a wonderful climate then and it is nice to visit the beaches. You can go to several fun beaches in Sydney with kids. We briefly list the best ones below.
#1 Manly Beach: this is one of the most famous beaches to visit in Sydney with kids. A ferry goes to this beach from Circular Quay and this boat ride takes about thirty minutes. You will pass by the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in the process. This is a fun boat ride to take with kids. You have many beach bars located near the beach, and because the beach is in a bay you don’t have waves either. Especially with kids, of course, this is a big plus.
From Manly you can also take a cool walk with some older kids of almost 10 kilometers. This walk goes from Manly to the Spit Bridge and this is a very cool walk along several beaches and harbors.
#2 Shelley Beach: from Manly Beach, you can walk to this beach in about ten minutes. This is a small beach with cozy restaurants near it. Shelley Beach is also a good place to snorkel with kids. At this beach you can have a great lunch at Boat House.
#3 Bondi Beach: while this beach is the most famous beach in Sydney, it is not equal to the most beautiful beach in Australia. Especially because it is so well known, it is also often enormously crowded with tourists. A nice walk from this beach is the hike to Coogee. This walk takes about 1.5 hours and you will pass several beautiful beaches.
At Bondi Beach, you also have a pool that is great for swimming with your kids. After all, there are no waves here, so a lot nicer swimming for your kids. There are also several markets near Bondi Beach on weekends that you can visit with your kids.
Sydney with kids: animal viewing
There are also plenty of opportunities to go wildlife watching in Sydney with kids. This can be done in several ways. We list the various options regarding this.
#5 Whale watching: you can go see these animals in Sydney on a tour. The greatest chance of seeing these magnificent animals is from May through November. The boats leave from Sydney Harbour twice a day and in the harbor there are plenty of vendors willing to sell you this tour.
We also did this whale watching tour in Sydney and loved seeing the animals. In addition, we also encountered dolphins when we were looking for the whales. Just keep in mind that you will be on the boat for about three hours, which can be long, especially with small kids.
#6 Taronga Zoo Sydney: You can also go to the zoo in Sydney with kids. You can also get to this zoo by ferry from Darling Harbour. After this, you will go up by cable car and then descend on foot and admire the animals. From the zoo you also have a great view of the city of Sydney. You have the familiar Australian animals to view here, of course, but also some of the great African animals such as the giraffe, tiger, elephant and various monkeys.
#7 Wild Life Sydney Zoo: in the center of the city near Darling Harbour, you have another small zoo, where you can see different animals with the family. This zoo is indoor and features mostly Australian animals such as the crocodile, koala, tasmanian devil and kangaroo. It is possible to have your picture taken with a koala (of course the koala is behind glass), but this is very pricey.
#8 Featherdale Wildlife Park: this zoo is a little further out of the center and by car you can reach this zoo in about forty minutes. It is a small-scale zoo, where they have only Australian animals. You can buy food and the kids can then feed the kangaroos. You can park your car here in front of the door for free.
#9 Sealife Sydney: You can also go to an aquarium in Sydney with kids. Sydney Sealife is next to the Wild Life Sydney zoo, so the two can easily be combined in one day. The Sea Life branches are all over the world in major cities, and basically the concept is the same everywhere.
You can see many tropical fish, rays, seahorses, sharks and jellyfish in various aquariums here. At Sealife Sydney, it is also possible to see penguins. The highlight of Sealife Sydney is the large underwater tunnel that you can walk through and watch the entire underwater world swim by above your head.
Sydney with kids: water fun
As we mentioned earlier in the blog, it can be quite hot in Sydney. That’s when it can be nice to cool off with kids. This can be done in several ways. We list the best ways below.
#10 Waterpark Raging Waters: If you are looking for a fun waterpark to go to in Sydney with kids, this waterpark may well be a good option. They have several spectacular slides here as well as a pool that produces artificial waves. There is also a kids’ area with water for the kids. Just keep in mind that the water park can be crowded during the summer months and the lines at the slides can be long.
#11 Pools: of course you can go to several pools in Sydney with kids. You have several pools in the center where you can go swimming with the kids. So you have North Sydney Olympic Pool, Andrew Bay Charlton Pool, Greenwich Baths, Northbridge Baths which are all located in the city center. At most pools you pay a few Australian dollars entrance fee for the pool.
Sydney with kids: exploring the city
You can explore the city of Sydney with kids in several ways. We list some of these options below.
#12 Hop on Hop off bus: you can explore Sydney with the family on the famous red double-decker buses with open roof. We always find this an ideal way to see much of a city quickly. In Sydney, these buses run two different routes. You have a red route and a blue route. The red route takes 45 minutes if you stay seated the entire bus ride and stops at 23 places in the city and the blue route takes 2 hours and here the bus stops at 11 different places in the city.
#13 Bicycle Tour Sydney: It is also possible to explore Sydney from a bicycle. The Dutch company BajaBikes offers bike tours of the city center with an English-speaking guide. This bike tour takes 2.5 hours and gives you a nice introduction to the city. They have children’s bikes for kids in different sizes and also child seats to fit on the back of the bike with the parents. You will stop at various sights in the city along the way.
#14 Sydney Harbour cruise: you can take several cruises on the water from this harbor and see the city from the water. One of the most fun cruises you can book is the pirate one. This cruise lasts an hour and a half and is designed for kids. In this, kids can dress up as pirates and play all the way through the story of the pirates searching for gold.
Sydney with kids: other activities
There are even more different activities and sights to do and see in Sydney with kids. We list them briefly below.
#15 Sydney Opera House: surely this is Sydney’s most famous landmark and if you are in Sydney you cannot escape admiring this beautiful building for a while. Surrounding the Sydney Opera House is also a nice neighborhood, Circular Quay, where there are plenty of nice places to eat and drink. You can also see the building inside, but this is less interesting for kids.
#16 Harbour Bridge: this is another landmark that is very well known in Sydney. This bridge is one of the largest arch bridges in the world. You can walk and bike across the bridge, and to drive a car across the bridge you pay a small fee. It is also possible to do an exciting activity here with kids who are eight and older: namely, climbing the bridge. In doing so, you climb the arch of the bridge and get a great view of the city!
#17 Darling Harbour: this Sydney harbor has all kinds of things for kids to do. For example, you have a large Ferris wheel here, there is a water playground, an aquarium and a cinema for kids. The Darling Quarter Kids Playground playground has many different pieces of playground equipment, including several swings and slides. There is also a whole section where kids can play with water. This is also definitely a good place in the summer for kids to cool off.
#18 Botanic Gardens: this is a beautiful park where you can go for a great walk in Sydney with kids. You also have a view of the Sydney Opera House from the park. Admission to this garden is free. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby.
#19 Sydney Tower: this tower is more than 300 meters high and you have a beautiful 360-degree view of the city of Sydney at the top of the tower. You can also take a one-hour walk at the tower at high altitude (Skywalk). The tower is located right in the center of the city.
#20 Luna Park: You can also take the family to an amusement park in Sydney. Located in the middle of the city, this amusement park has several fun attractions for both young and older kids. The park is a bit of a cross between a carnival and an amusement park.
Where to stay in Sydney with kids?
You can stay in Sydney with kids just fine. There are plenty of hotels that offer rooms for families with kids. We have listed the best options in each price range. Click on the blue link for more information.
Budget hotel: Manor Boutique Hotel Sydney
Mid-range hotel: Holiday Inn Express Sydney Macquarie Park, an IHG Hotel
Luxury hotel: SKYE Suites Green Square