The Secrets of Sydney Olympic Park


The Secrets of Sydney Olympic Park

It’s been a few years since the glory days of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Back then Homebush was transformed into a state of the art sporting destination but it still sees plenty of action. I’m lucky enough to live a few minutes away from Sydney Olympic Park and my family and I love visiting. There are so many fantastic family friendly activities and attractions to enjoy – here are some of our favourites.

Take a tour of ANZ Stadium

ANZ Stadium is home to major sporting events all year. Take a tour of ANZ Stadium or visit the Olympic Cauldron. If your kids are old enough, soak up Olympic Park atmosphere at a major sporting event such as the AFL, Tennis, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Swimming etc. ANZ Stadium

If a visit to Sydney Olympic Park is on the agenda with the family, consider booking into a hotel in Homebush for a couple of nights. Novotel Sydney Olympic Park has a prime location overlooking ANZ Stadium. Even better, kids 12 and under stay free when they’re in the same room as adults. Book a superior double and you’ll easily fit in a family of four.

Hire bikes and explore the cycle paths

Mountains Bikes, Road Bikes, Tandem and even adult Trikes! You can hire kids bikes (with or without training wheels) or you can hire a bike with baby carrier or “tag-along” for small children.  Cycle paths are well marked and maintained. Bike Hire @ Sydney Olympic Park 

Splasher’s Water Playground at the Aquatic Centre

Perfect for a hot or rainy day. Kids will spend hours here. The playground area is suitable for toddlers and up, with shallow pools, water fountains, slides and a gigantic bucket that fills with water and splashes into the pool below. Older children will love the big water slide (must be at least 1.2 metres tall to ride) or the Rapid River Ride. The Aquatic Centre is also home to Skywall (a moving mechanical climbing wall) and Urban Jungle (outdoor high ropes adventure course for kids 8+). Splasher’s Water Playground

Parklands

Leave plenty of time to explore Blaxland Riverside Park and the Newington Armory. Spread over 3 hectares, the parklands will capture every kid’s sense of adventure. You’ll find things like a flying fox, a multi level tree house, climbing walls, water play, tunnel slides and huge swings spread out over the rambling parks. Be warned: your kids won’t want to leave! Bring a picnic, grab a bite to eat at the Park Kiosk or sit by the Parramatta River for coffee or lunch at the very child friendly Armory Wharf Café.

Speaking of picnics, Bicentennial Park is a great place. Plenty of cycle paths, ducks to feed, a kids playground, more of those water play fountains that you find scattered throughout the Olympic precinct and a great view if you climb to the top of Treillage Tower. If you don’t feel like a picnic, Lilies on the Park Café is a lovely place to stop for refreshment.

Treasure Trail

Pop into the Visitors Centre, choose a clue trail and grab a map and then follow the clues to solve the hidden message. A fun way to discover the wonders and secret history of Sydney Olympic Park.

If you happen to be visiting during NSW School Holidays, check out the great school holiday activities for “Kids In the Park”.

City Break

If you’re still keen to see Sydney city, trains run directly to Central from Olympic Park station. A bus service will quickly link you to the Parramatta Rivercat for a scenic and traffic free journey to Circular Quay. Catch the Rivercat back and head all the way up the river to Parramatta Wharf. Kids will love the pedestrian bridges with their paddles poking out the sides.

Images by Linda Anderson, ANZ Stadium, Novotel Sydney Olympic Park and Destination NSW

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Linda Anderson

About the Author Linda Anderson

In 2002 Linda Anderson and her husband sold all their belongings, hit "pause" on their respective careers, and spent 365 days travelling the world. This kicked off their extensive travel through South East Asia, Europe, North Africa, South America, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Now a mother of three girls under the age of 5, Linda is raising her daughters with travel in their blood. Linda blogs about her experiences and travel tips on mumsonthego.com.au, inspiring other families to travel with children.   3 travel must-haves? iPad, non-iron clothes, extra large zip-lock bags What's on your travel bucket list? African Safari, visit the Taj Mahal, road trip from Darwin to Broome