Things to do in Sydney with Kids

Whether you’re visiting Sydney from out of the city or out of the country, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite family activities from our own visit to Sydney from Canada. From exploring the many coastal beaches to getting to know the Australian wildlife, these are our top things to do in Sydney with kids. Plus, a way to visit them all without breaking the bank.

Top Things to do in Sydney with Kids - Mom vs the Boys

 

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo is a gorgeous world class zoo with sweeping views of the city and a great outing for the whole family. Just getting to and from Taronga Zoo was half the fun as the short ferry ride over from Circular Quay provided gorgeous views of the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower Eye and the Harbour Bridge.

TIP: Take the Sky Ferry to the top of the zoo to start your day and work your way down on foot. You’ll have less steps up and the Sky Ferry can have long wait times at the end of the day.

Sky Ferry Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo has a new Tiger Trek exhibit you should check out and be sure to stop by and get a peek at Jaidee, the new baby elephant. While Taronga is an international zoo with species from across the globe, if you are visiting Taronga as a guest from outside of Australia, you’ll want to see as many Aussie animals as possible. You should be able to spot Echidna, Cassowary, Penguins, Platypus, Emu, Sharks and don’t miss a walk through the Kangaroo and Wallaby exhibit.

Sydney with Kids

Highlights for us were the Seal Show and the Free Flight Bird Show. Check the schedule for all the tours and shows happening, or download the Free Taronga Zoo Sydney App for an interactive map, daily updates on the Sky Safari, and animal talks, shows and encounter times.

Visit Sydney with Kids - Taronga Zoo

Featherdale Wildlife Park

Located less than an hour from the city of Sydney and on route to the Blue Mountains, you’ll find Featherdale Wildlife Park. Featherdale is home to the largest collection of Australian native animals and let’s face it, you want to see ALL the Aussie animals! Kids will be able to keep track of sightings on their Featherdale Passport as they stamp favourites like the Tasmanian Devil, Dingo, Wombat and Salt Water Crocodile. 

Wombat Featherdale Wildlife Park

Highlights for us were watching the Little Penguins, spotting the Ghost Bats in the dark and hand feeding the roaming Kangaroos and Wallabies. 

Featherdale Wildlife Park is a smaller zoo and perfect for young children as the paths are stroller (pram) accessible, viewing the birds and animals is a little easier than a large zoo and you can easily tour the whole park in less than 2 hours.

Featherdale Wildlife Park

To truly get to know the Australian animals book a Private Animal Encounter where you will meet 3 Australian Animals up close and personal! It’s a bit of a splurge, but a unique once in a lifetime experience that I highly recommend. The boys were able to hold a 9 month old Kangaroo, a Sugar Glider and a Ringtail Possum! Read our full experience here.

Featherdale Mammal Encounter

SEA LIFE Aquarium Sydney

While Australia has some of the most interesting and unique land animals, don’t forget about what’s lurking under the water! SEA LIFE Aquarium Sydney houses 13,000 animals from more than 700 species from most of Australia’s water habitats.

Sydney with Kids

Sydney with kids - Sea Life Aquarium

Highlights for us were watching the Dugong eat his lettuce, the Shark Tunnel and of course the Penguins. There is a new Penguin Expedition ride, but unfortunately it was not operating the day we visited. The boys loved exploring the Touch Tank where they got to handle shells, sea cucumbers and other sea life.

Sydney with kids - Sea Life Aquarium

Before leaving the Aquarium, be sure to take the time to visit the Art Aquarium where kids can colour their own sea creature, scan it, and watch it swim through the virtual tank which spans over 10 metres wide along the wall! It’s really neat and was a big hit with the boys!

Sydney with kids - Sea Life Aquarium

Beaches

Sydney has beaches in abundance, we visited a fair number and they were all amazing. The kids love a good beach day and were always excited to check out a new one. It’s a great way to relax after busy sight-seeing days and a low cost day of fun.

Things to do in Sydney with Kids

One of our favourite beach days was at Manly Beach, where the boys loved digging in the white sand and splashing in the waves. Mom and dad enjoyed strolling through the shops looking for souvenirs to bring home. The ferry ride to Manly from Circular Quay was 30 minutes each way and provides gorgeous views. 

Sydney with Kids - Beaches

Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Barrenjoey Lighthouse is located in Palm Beach which is as far North as you can get and still consider yourself in Sydney. The sandstone lighthouse was built in 1881 and will take a bit of a hike to get to but the views get better and better with each step. Wear sturdy footwear and a hat for sun protection and bring lots of water. There are no toilets or food available for purchase at the lighthouse, but the views make it a great spot to have a picnic snack before heading back down.

Sydney with Kids - Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Sydney with Kids - Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Smugglers Track is the shortest of the paths to the top but it’s also the most challenging as it’s a steep climb. Our boys aged 8-11 yrs took this path with ease and frankly left their parents in the dust, smaller children may find the climb more difficult for their little legs.

Tip: Go on a Sunday when guided tours are run by National Parks for a climb to the top of the lighthouse and a peek inside the rooms.

Sydney with Kids - Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Spend the rest of the day playing at the beach, the sand is a gorgeous golden amber colour with fun waves for the kids to splash in.

Interesting Fact: Palm Beach is the setting of the fictitious town of Summer Bay on Australia’s soap opera, Home and Away.

Sydney with Kids - Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney Tower Eye has had many names over the years, but the one thing that remains certain is that it’s an integral part of the famous Sydney skyline. The Sydney Tower experience starts with a short 4D film and then we headed up one of the lifts (elevators) to the Observation Deck. The breathtaking 360-degree, sky-high views allow you to see up to 80km in any direction. The kids loved trying out all the binoculars and the adults loved picking out all of the recognizable landmarks. 

Things to do in Sydney with Kids

For the more adventurous, you can also try the SKYWALK which allows you to walk around the outside of Sydney Tower with an experienced guide. Be aware that children need to be over the age of 8 years to participate and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 18 or over.

Things to do in Sydney with Kids

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Need to wear out the kids? The 6 km Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk should do it! We actually started at Coogee Beach after a quick lunch at Coogee Pavilion (really fun games and movies on the ground floor for the kids) and then started to make our way along the coast. Right away we caught sight of a whale off the coast which was really exciting! The walk is long and will take a few hours but you’ll be rewarded with the most amazing ocean views, sandstone cliffs, golden beaches and crashing waves along the way. Don’t forget your camera!

Sydney with Kids - bondi to coogee coastal walk

Kids will enjoy digging in the sand, playground pit stops and watching the surfers at all the different beaches. Besides Coogee and Bondi, some of the beaches you’ll visit are Tamarama, Bronte and Clovely. 

Visiting Sydney with Kids - bondi to coogee coastal walk

Waverley Cemetery adds some history with elaborate and detailed grave stones dating back as far as the 1800’s!

bondi to coogee coastal walk

The cliff top coastal walk isn’t difficult but it is long and open to the elements so wear comfy shoes, bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and plenty of water. 

Things to do in Sydney with Kids

Scenic World

A trip to Sydney isn’t complete without a visit to the Blue Mountains. Scenic World is located less than two hours from Sydney and the perfect spot to take in the breathtaking views of the World Heritage-listed region including the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls and Jamison Valley.

Things to do in Sydney with Kids

At Scenic World, you’ll journey on the world’s steepest incline railway, glide between clifftops on the glass-floored Skyway suspended 270 metres in the air, descend into the ancient Jamison Valley by Cableway and explore the rainforest along the 2.4 kilometres walkway – the longest boardwalk in the Southern Hemisphere. 

THings to do in Sydney with Kids

If you are an outdoor enthusiast or want to fully explore Blue Mountains National Park there are plenty of trails for you to embark on. When travelling with kids in tow, Scenic World is a perfect option to see some of the best views and still cover the area in just a few hours thanks to the transportation provided, which is just plain fun to ride on anyway!

Visiting Sydney with Kids

Save with the Sydney iVenture Card

Travelling as a family can be costly and Sydney is an expensive city. To keep your budget intact and still see as many attractions as possible, consider purchasing a Sydney iVenture Card.

The iVenture Card combines top attractions like our favourites above, into one pre-paid attractions pass to save you time and money. You choose what you want to do and when you want to do it, by simply presenting your pass upon arrival for cash-free entry, it’s a great way to manage your travel budget!

There are different iVenture Card packages to choose from depending on how many attractions you want or have the time to visit. With iVenture card in pocket you’ll save up to 40% on admission fees for attractions and experiences in and around Sydney. Plus, you’ll be able to  skip the lines at some of the most popular attractions, saving you time and hassle especially in peak times, because we all know how hard it is for kids to wait in line!

Another great feature of the iVenture Card is having the option to pick your card up at one of the Sydney collection points or have it delivered to you. We had our card delivered to the address we would be staying at in Sydney so we could hit the ground running as soon as we arrived. You can also choose to have it delivered internationally and have your whole travel itinerary planned and passes in hand before you even step on the plane.

Flexibility is key when travelling and the iVenture Card allows for you to make changes on the go. If you had planned on using your iVenture Card to visit Taronga Zoo but you wake up to rain in the forecast, you can simply change your plans and visit the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium instead, you are never locked in to any attraction.

To find out more about the iVenture Card, the different plans to choose from and various attractions you can use it at, visit the iVenture Card website. To help you plan your New South Wales vacation visit www.visitnsw.com

Featherdale Wildlife Park feeding Kangaroos

This post is in partnership with Destination NSW. I received iVenture Cards to explore Sydney attractions on my own, all experiences and opinions are mine alone. 

Comments

  1. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Love the photo of the kangaroo, he’s so laid back!
    In Sydney Sundays are special, since travel is then cheaper, this was for trains, buses and ferries. I believe it was only $2.50 per person. That is a really good deal.

  2. Lynda Cook says:

    Oh wow so many great things to do, I would love to see the zoo!!

  3. VIctoria Ess says:

    What a fun and extensive list!

  4. Lots of great options when visiting there.

  5. Judy Cowan says:

    Wow, it does look like there is a lot for the family to see and do, would love to make a trip there one day.

  6. Have always wanted to go to Sydney! <3

  7. Anne Taylor says:

    What an awesome experience for all of you! Maybe someday for us!

  8. Aussie Uncle says:

    😀 😀 😀

  9. Looks like a cool place to visit one day!

  10. kathy downey says:

    I would love to visit the Zoo

  11. kathy downey says:

    Every time i pass this post i have to stop and look at all the great photo

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