Fall in Northern American is actually one of the best times of year to visit Sydney, Australia. So if you’re planning on visiting this awesome city soon, you’ll love this piece written by guest blogger, Michal Johnson of All Things Mom Sydney. Michal is actually from South Africa, but now lives in Australia with her husband and 2 kiddos. They have spent a lot of time exploring what their new home has to offer, so I asked her to share it with the Kind Kiddo readers. Enjoy.
– Britney, Kind Kiddo Founder
Sydney is packed with amazing things to see and do. The city has such natural beauty and is geared toward family visitors. At every corner you’ll find a family friendly restaurant, cafe, activities or playground.
Trying to choose the best of a great bunch is hard, but I’ve chosen the things that we did as tourists before we lived here, and still do now that we’re locals. Everything on this list is pretty central to the city or is accessible from the city. You may notice I haven’t included the Opera House and the Bridge, and that’s because when it comes to little kids, they may not get the significance, and it may be lost on them. But the activities I have included will make sure you walk past it or sail past it. I do hope you get to come visit this beautiful city.
1. Sydney Beaches
Number 1 on the list has to be Sydney beaches. With well over 100 different beaches, there is a beach for every type of beach lover. While Bondi is Sydney’s most famous beach, there are equally great beaches which are more suitable for a family visit. When coming to Sydney with children, Manly beach is a must. It’s on the lower North Shore and is a long stretch of sandy beach, perfect for the whole family. It has waves but, its enclosed by two heads to make it a good swimming spot for kids. There are tons of restaurants and coffee shops across the road and a playground just off of the beach. A short walk along Marine Parade will take you to Shelly Beach (the second picture below), one of our favorite beaches, which is very sheltered and perfect for little kids with rock pools, great snorkeling and barely any waves.
2. Ferry Rides
Sydney is a water lover’s paradise. Between the beaches, rivers, harbours and pools, there is only one way to see it and that is by ferry. There are two ferry rides, which are tops for our family, and those are the ferry ride from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo (more on that later) and Manly to Watsons Bay (for fish and chips). My kids absolutely love the ferry, but if you are a little doubtful as to whether your kids will love it, then opt for a short ferry ride or a fast ferry within the Sydney harbour (maybe from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay).
3. Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo is exceptional. Absolutely spectacular. The animals, a lot of which have been rescued, are beautifully looked after, and the views out across the city are spectacular. If you’re traveling with little kids, you need to take swimming costumes, towels and food, because the kids will no doubt find the water play areas and the playgrounds. Of all the things to do at Taronga, you have to take the Sky Safari, which is a cable car from the wharf to the top entrance of the Zoo. My kids absolutely adore it. Just make sure you take it up and walk down and not the other way around. Be sure to check out all the Australian animal section, and pay a bit extra for the opportunity to take a photo with a koala.
4. Sea Life Sydney
We love Sea Life Sydney. It is absolutely awesome for kids, it has numerous interactive displays and 2 Dugongs and tunnels to walk under the giant fish tanks. The kids can get really close to a variety of fascinating fish and sea life. While down at Sea Life Sydney (not to be confused with the one in Manly) check out the other things that are on offer at Darling Harbour – there are a number of restaurants and eateries, kids’ movies shown on the lawns in the summer, the Chinese Garden of Friendship and a big water play and playground for the kids.
5. Australian National Maritime Museum
The Australian National Maritime Museum, also in Darling Harbour, is an awesome adventure if your kids are into boats and ships. The kids can walk through a submarine, tall ship, patrol boat and a destroyer. There are guided tours, or you can do it alone. There is also a lighthouse to explore and the museum itself. Earlier this year there was a pirate exhibition which was awesome. Check it out if it is on when you are visiting Sydney, because it is a great interactive exhibition for kids.