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Home Travel The ultimate guide to family-friendly Sydney - Lonely Planet

The ultimate guide to family-friendly Sydney – Lonely Planet

Visiting cities sometimes characterised as traffic-clogged, dense and hectic, it’s simple to balk on the thought of blending an unknown city vacation spot with youngsters. Nevertheless, harborside, fresh-air-swept Sydney is an exception that feels prefer it places households first.

Studded with emerald inexperienced parks and playgrounds, Sydney is exploding at its water-sewn seams with kid-friendly actions. It serves up a coveted mixture of bucket-list icons, world-class museums, wealthy cultural actions and free sights, together with over 100 seashores. Paired with its “no worries, mate” vibes, Sydney is a must-visit vacation spot for any household unit.

People relaxing at Clovelly sandy beach in Sydney
Sydney’s seashores, many with rock swimming pools to swim in, are a success with households © Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock

Is Sydney good for youths?

Sydney is synonymous with sand, sea and solar. It’s additionally stroller-friendly. The pleasant perspective in direction of youngsters is mirrored in its abundance of public facilities; most parks characteristic restrooms, shelter from the solar, play areas and water fountains.

Breastfeeding in public is broadly accepted and navigating your manner by neighborhoods is made simple, thanks to a public transport system that accommodates child buggies with elevators, ramps and extensive doorways. 

Even pubs could be surprisingly kid-friendly in Sydney, with some that includes devoted household consuming areas and playgrounds to maintain younger ones entertained. You received’t have bother feeding your crew, with every part from Japanese sushi to weekend sausage sizzles (barbecued sausages in bread) at beachside surf golf equipment.  

Educative explorations embrace studying extra concerning the conventional custodians of the land – the Gadigal individuals of the Eora Nation – and early colonists on the Rocks, the place Susannah Place Museum depicts working-class life over 150 years. Adrenaline actions embrace climbing to the highest of the Harbour Bridge, or screaming on new rides on the much-loved Luna Park (established in 1935, it was most just lately upgraded in 2021). 

Lots of Sydney’s finest actions are free and ideally suited for households on a funds, like visiting the Royal Nationwide Park, one of many world’s oldest nationwide parks. 

HMS Endeavour Replica moored alongside the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour
A reproduction of James Prepare dinner’s HMS Endeavour is moored alongside the Australian Nationwide Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour © ZambeziShark / Getty Pictures

The place are the most effective areas in Sydney for youths? 

Darling Harbour is a one-stop leisure store. Begin your day by having breakfast with koalas at Wild Life Sydney Zoo, then facet stroke subsequent door to Sea Life Sydney Aquarium to assist put together a dugong its lunch, or clamber right into a submarine on the Nationwide Maritime Museum. Simply subsequent door is Tumbalong Park Playground, one in all Sydney’s finest with a flying fox, climbing ropes, a splash park for warm days and a number of espresso choices inside a froth flick.  

For seashores, catch a ferry to Manly or head to Bondi for coastal walks and photo-worthy views. 

For one thing totally different although, stroll north over the Harbour Bridge to uncover under-the-radar household gems, similar to Maccallum Seawater Pool. Fed by the ocean waters, it has stellar harbor views with the Sirius St playground close by. 

Roughly 3km (1.eight miles) additional on, you’ll discover the Sub Base Platypus. A former torpedo manufacturing unit just lately was a recreation space, it contains a maritime-theme playground and shaded barbecue services. In the meantime, unimaginable cafes like parkside The Flying Bear (housed inside a crusing shed) guarantee nobody will get hangry earlier than you go to the thrilling tunnels of the Coal Loader, a heritage-listed former industrial web site.

A happy father with child in stroller walking at summer park in Sydney
With parks and playgrounds dotted everywhere in the metropolis, Sydney may be very child-friendly © Syda Productions / Shutterstock

The finest issues to do in Sydney with infants and toddlers

Go mountain climbing

With a number of nationwide parks set on its outskirts, a go to to Sydney isn’t restricted to strolling metropolis streets. Lower than 15km (9 miles) from town middle, Lane Cove Nationwide Park is ideal for child backpacking on brief hikes. In the meantime, toddlers will love the laughing kookaburras, colourful lorikeets, paddling pool and river enjoyable (with cabins accessible) at Discovery Parks – Lane Cove.

Different bite-sized hikes embrace Trumper Park’s regenerating bushland within the ritzy neighborhood of Paddington. Or take the stroller-friendly Blackwattle Bay Park observe, beginning with gelato at Forest Lodge Tramsheds (with top-notch Harold Holt Playground discovered adjoining) and ending at Sydney Fish Markets for fish ‘n’ chips. 

Rock-a-bye-baby in a rock pool

Dip into over 30 rock swimming pools stretching from Palm Seaside to South Cronulla. Every is totally distinctive; whether or not convict-hewn from stone, barricaded by boulders, freeform, or with swimming lanes. 

Close to Bondi is McIver’s Girls Baths in Coogee, Sydney’s final women-only rock pool widespread with new moms. Close by, the sheltered Bogey Gap – a semi-enclosed rockpool on the southern finish of Bronte Seaside – is right for tiny tots. Nevertheless, the ultimate rock pool for the youngest in your celebration is Fairy Bower Rockpool at Manly. In-built 1929, it’s a hop from the ferry wharf and flat waters of Manly Cove, the place a shaded grassy space is variety to crawling babes.

The finest issues to do in Sydney with younger youngsters 


Sydney’s playgrounds aren’t simply restricted to a set of swings and a slide; inventive parks could be discovered throughout town. Favorites embrace The Ian Potter Youngsters’s Wild Play Backyard at Centennial Parklands. This nature-based playground contains a tip-to-toe drenching splash park, bamboo forest, treehouse, and tunnels that run by the native banksia bushes.

Sydney Park Playground in Alexandria has slides constructed into the hillside and rocket-like climbing nets. It’s only a 20-minute stroll to the Grounds of Alexandria, a wonderland of greenery with a sprawling cafe, espresso roastery and an animal farm, the place youngsters can observe residents such because the pig “KB” (Kevin Bacon).  

Honorable point out goes to the Blues Level Reserve Playground on McMahons Level, which has the most effective Harbour Bridge view in Sydney. 

Taronga Zoo koala (animal wildlife) looking straight at the photographer (looking at camera)
At Taronga Zoo you’ll be able to spot koalas by day, or hear to the decision of the wild on an in a single day keep © Maria Swärd / Getty Pictures

Spot wildlife

Regardless of its metropolis standing, it’s not exhausting to encounter wildlife in Sydney. Ring-tailed possums and Australian brushturkeys could be noticed in public parks and a flock of sulphur-crested cockatoos resides in King’s Cross. 

Within the twilight hours round Centennial Park, search for: that is when the native colony of flying-foxes (a kind of fruit bat) takes flight. Irrespective of the place you might be, you’ll spot one in all Sydney’s beloved/hated “bin chickens” (Australian white ibises) trying to find a snack. 

For an expertise that may blow the collective household thoughts, it’s glamping at Taronga Zoo within the Roar and Snore tents or on the new, upmarket Wildlife Retreat. Waking up with a koala or kangaroo on the window is an Australia-only lifetime reminiscence ready to be made. 

Go to a free museum or artwork gallery

The Museum of Up to date Artwork has common programming for youths (referred to as ARTplay days), whereas the Australian Museum’s spectacular dinosaur assortment is at all times a roaring hit with youngsters. Better of all, each are free (and air-conditioned; a savior on sizzling days).

Additionally costing nada is the interactive Powerhouse Museum, the place youngsters uncover science, vogue, design and know-how by actions like enjoying with electromagnets. Alternatively, be part of a household tour for stargazing on the Sydney Observatory. Should you time your go to proper, you might be lucky sufficient to take part in an Aboriginal astronomy workshop by Wiradjuri astronomer Kirsten Banks.


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