Top 8 things to do in Sydney with Children

A family holiday to Australia would not be complete if it didn’t include Sydney.  Sydney being Australia’s biggest and most populated city offer a wide range of attractions for the whole family.  Our list below will help you make the most out of your holiday and ensure your children stay entertained the whole time.

  1. Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo is only a short ferry ride from Circular Quay and will give you spectacular views of Sydney CBD when you are on the other side.  Most probably the number attraction for children, Taronga Zoo offers something for the whole family.  With approximately 350 species on display, you could easily spend at least 2 hours here.  Break up the animal watching and give Wild Ropes ago while you are at the zoo.  Wild Ropes is a high ropes courses in which you navigate suspension bridges, climbing walls, flying foxes and more.  There are different courses depending on age so it is great for children and adults.

Taronga Zoo also has an amazing service called Access Taronga Days.  Access Taronga Days is where Taronga Zoo welcomes guests with autism and their family or friends to enjoy early entry to the Zoo.  The Zoo opens their doors 1.5 hours early providing a quiet and peaceful time at the zoo.  You will get access to the Sky Safari Cable Car, extra meet and greets with some of the animals and first access to many of the zoo exhibits.  If interested you do need to register on the Taronga Zoo website.  To Register you can click here

Taronga Zoo is open 9.30am – 5pm every day of the year


  1. Sea Life

Sea Life is an aquarium located on Darling Harbour housing 13000 individual fish and other sea creatures.

The aquarium is divided into different areas including South Coast Shipwreck, Sydney Harbour, Dugong Island, Shark Walk and Shark Valley, Penguin Expedition and Great Barrier Reef. Children will have a wonderful time exploring while rays and sharks gracefully swim over them.

Sea Life has a wide range of animal experiences which is well worth looking at if you want that little more out of your visit.

Although times can vary depending on the season, Sea Life is open Monday – Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm (last entry 5:00pm)


  1. Darling Quarter Playground and Darling Harbour

This FREE playground located in Tumbalong Park will keep your children entertained for quite some time.  With a wide range of equipment like the flying fox, balance ropes, the big slide, the giant rings, the octanet and many water-based activities, the Darling Quarter Playground is a great place to let your children use up some energy.  With a great array of restaurants and cafés near the playground it makes it the perfect spot for some family time.

Darling Harbour is a smorgasbord of activities and entertainment.  Along Darling Harbour you will find Sea Life, Sydney WILDlife, Madame Tussauds, The National Maritime Museum, the Powerhouse Museum and the Chinese Gardens.  Every Saturday there is also a fireworks display.  There is also a wide range of restaurants and cafés to choose from as well.


  1. Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House (along with Sydney Harbour Bridge) would be the most iconic symbol of Sydney and no trip to Sydney would be complete without a trip to the Opera House.   A walk and Circular Quay will give you perfect photo opportunities as you take in the beauty of the Opera House and immerse yourself into the atmosphere that Circular Quay has to offer.  Watch the ferries as they come in and out and even the massive cruise ships that come into Sydney Harbour.  If you are in Sydney between May and June you will see Sydney’s stunning Vivid Festival which is a 23-day-long festival of lights and projections lights up the Opera House into a beautiful sea of colour.


  1. Sydney Harbour Bridge

After the Sydney Opera House the Sydney Harbour Bridge would be the next most recognisable landmark in Sydney.  The Sydney Harbour bridge is free to walk across and is accessible near Circular Quay if you are staying in the city or from Milsons Point on the North side.  You can do the walks by yourself or join a walking tour.

Climbing the Sydney Harbour is another option.  While it is quite pricey and your children need to be at least 8, climbing the Harbour Bridge is a once in a life time experience.


  1. The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains is given its name for the mysterious blue haze that hangs over the park.  Located about an hour and a half from Sydney the Blue Mountains will leave you breathless with dramatic views over the deep valley troughs gouged out over millions of years.  The lookouts at Wentworth Falls, Govetts Leap and Echo Point are spectacular. This is the perfect day trip to expose your children to natural beauty that New South Wales has to offer.


  1. Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney Tower Eye will take you to the highest point above Sydney for breathtaking 360 degree views.  On a clear day you will see from the golden beaches to the distant Blue Mountains.

The Observation Deck includes high powered binoculars and multilingual touch screen panels that tell every visitor interesting facts about the famous landmarks they are looking at.


  1. Whale Watching

The gentle giants of the sea hold a special place in many people’s hearts. Seeing them up close can bring such joy and a sense of fulfilment to children and adults alike.  Whale Watching Sydney offer daily cruises from Darling Harbour and Circular Quay from mid-May to the end of November with a 99% success rate with whales guaranteed or a free return cruise.


Other sites and attractions that are worth a mention are:

  • Lunar park
  • Taking the ferry to Manly
  • Bondi Beach
  • Cockatoo Island
  • The Australian Museum

Sydney, and its surrounding areas have so much more to offer and you could easily spend more than a week here.


If you are also looking at adding Melbourne to your itinerary also check out my post on Melbourne:


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