When in Sydney with kids you must….5 of the best family orientated activities

When in Sydney with kids…

When in Sydney you can be overwhelmed with choices of things to do, beautiful sites to see and activities to enjoy. It can be hard deciding what to do.

We’ve been tourists to Sydney and are now locals.

Here is my list of the Top 5 Things to do in Sydney as a family.

Welcome and enjoy! 

When in Sydney with kids you must visit a Sydney Beach…

Number 1 on the list has to be Sydney beaches.

With well over 100 different beaches it has 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.

Coming to sydney with children Manly beach is a must visit. On the lower North Shore it is a long stretch of sandy beach which is perfect for the whole family. Manly has waves but its still enclosed by two heads to make it a good swimming spot for kids too. 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, one of our favourite beaches, which is very sheltered and perfect for little kids with rock pools, great snorkelling and barely any waves. It’s so pretty that the famous American Soap Opera, The Bold and the Beautiful recently rented out the whole beach for a wedding scene.

 when in sydney visit shelley beach sydney

When in Sydney with kids you must take a ferry ride… 

Sydney is a water lovers paradise.

Between the beaches and the rivers, harbours and pools there is only one way to see it and that is by ferry. When in Sydney you have to take a ferry ride.

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 and are comfortable with these routes.

If you are unsure wether your kids will love the ferry opt for a short ferry ride or a fast ferry within the Sydney harbour. There are shorter options like Darling Harbour to Circular Quay. Or Circular Quay to Cockatoo Island.

When in Sydney visit the Opera House

When in Sydney with kids you must visit Taronga Zoo… 

Taronga is exceptional. Absolutely spectacular. I’ve written two posts on Taronga as we spend so much time there.

The animals are beautifully looked after, a lot of which have been rescued and the views out across the City are spectacular.

If you’re travelling with little kids you need to take swimming costumes, towels and food with because you’ll land up spending all day there and 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 ($24) for the opportunity to take a photo with a koala. Its best to buy tickets online either from GroupOn or the Cockatoo Island just make sure that buy tickets for the right one – the Zoo in Sydney not the Taronga Zoo in Dubbo. If you’re already heading to the zoo, make sure to read up on how to get the most out of Taronga

When in Sydney visit Taronga Zoo


When in Sydney with kids you must check out Sea Life Sydney Aquarium…

Sydney Sea Life Aquarium is lovely. Its big enough to have a lot of variety but not too big. I prefer Sydney Sea Life Aquarium over the Sea Life in Manly.

It is absolutely awesome for kids, it has numerous interactive displays, 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. Sydney Sea Life Aquarium could take a whole morning or afternoon to visit on its own  so make sure you set aside enough time.

For our full review head over to the Sea Life Sydney post.

 when in sydney visit sea life

When in Sydney with kids you must check out Darling Harbour and visit one of the awesome Museums…

There are two awesome museums accessible from Darling Harbour – the National Maritime Museum and the Power House Museum.

The National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum  provides for the kids to 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, for more information check out the Australian National Maritime Museum website.

The Power House Museum

The Power House Museum has a Wiggles Exhibit, a space dedicated to Space, trains, planes and a couple of tens of thousands of other things. There is also a special area which is used by a local University for the development of robotics and to replicate the type of robots that explored Mars. For more information check out the Power House Museum website.

 when in sydney visit a museum

For more activities in Sydney any of the following are great for families, click on the link for the full review.


Featherdale Wildlife Park

A mini train around the Botanic Gardens

Little Manly Beach

Balmoral Beach, Mosman

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