Local Secrets: 5 fun family adventures in Sydney
Sydney for kids : Settle in on Bondi Beach
Sydney for kids : There's always something on at Circular Quay
Sydney for kids : Kids will love Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary
Sydney for kids : Climb over or walk under Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney for kids : Head out on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
I’ve lived in Sydney for almost 18 years, from back in my single days to now as a mum of three young kids, so I’ve had plenty of practice exploring. When it comes to major Australian cities, Expedia’s travellers choose to travel to Sydney with their kids, so don’t be afraid of exploring the big city with your little ones.
Australia’s largest city is always popular on weekends and school holidays but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal, even at these times. Try booking a midweek mini break for the best rates. Check out Expedia’s Sydney Holidays for packages.
Here are my five favourite family outings in this beautiful city:
Start at Circular Quay
Tick Sydney’s most popular tourist attraction off your list by starting the day at Circular Quay. Expedia’s family travellers love staying at The Menzies Sydney Hotel, which is just a short walk down to the Quay. It’s always busy down here so keep an eye on the kids, they’ll be tempted to run off and watch the buskers. Catch the big Manly ferry straight from Wharf 3 to Manly Wharf. If there’s a swell rolling through The Heads, adventurous kids will love the roller coaster ride up front.
Local secret: on Sunday’s you can buy a Family Funday travel ticket on Sydney Public Transport for only $2.50 each.
Once we get to Manly, our family walks from Manly Beach around to picturesque Shelly Beach, where it’s safer for young children (no waves) and has a large grassy area (free BBQ’s). We also love the Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, where you can get close to some of Australia’s marine animals while learning about conservation and preservation. The big kids (over 14) might be brave enough to take on the Shark Dive Xtreme but we stick to the super cute Penguin Cove.
Over the Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge, nicknamed the coathanger by locals, is the star of Circular Quay. There’s a pedestrian path and a cycle route along the bottom of the bridge (access them from Cumberland St) but why go under it when you can go over it? BridgeClimb Sydney is only for kids over ten and 1.2m tall, and probably not for anyone scared of heights, but takes you to the peak of the bridge. Pause for a photo of the best view in town before descending. Book in advance and try the sunset climb if you’re after something really special.
Once you’ve returned to solid ground, wander back to the city through the historic Rocks area. If your kids enjoy history, there’s plenty here.
Bondi Beach is the beach to be at. Home to the Bondi Rescue TV show and a Sydney icon, it should be on your “must see” list. Take the train and bus from the city for a day in the surf. The beach is one of the few in Sydney to be patrolled year round by Surf Life Savers. There’s plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops along the main promenade.
Bondi to Clovelly Coastal Walk
When the surf’s rough, the beautiful 4.5km walk between Bondi and Clovelly Beach is easy with kids. The footpath takes you along the cliffs from Bondi to Tamarama, around Bronte and down to Clovelly. You can keep going all the way to Coogee but pack the stroller! For a shorter version, park the car at Clovelly and walk around Waverley Cemetery on a cliff-hugging boardwalk that winds across to Bronte. You’ll find plenty of babychinos, milkshakes and ice creams at the Bronte Beach cafes.