Travelling with your kids can sometimes be troublesome — you’ll have to keep them entertained or they’ll quickly become restless. But, with a ceaseless slew of family-friendly activities to do and places to explore, Sydney might just be the perfect destination for your next family vacation.
More than just an urban city adorned with architectural gems like the Sydney Opera House, Sydney also offers a wide variety of technicoloured experiences for an unforgettable holiday with the whole family. Indeed, kids can expect to interact with Australia’s amazing wildlife, enjoy some fruit-picking, experience farmstays and outdoor camping or be edu-tained at the country’s top museums – all in the convenient surrounds of Sydney and regional New South Wales.
So, whether it’s surfing by Sydney’s famous beaches, feeding baby kangaroos or simply an afternoon picnic at the Royal Botanic Gardens, you can be assured that your little tykes will have plenty of fun and adventure in the city. To get them started, here are some reasons why Sydney is the best family holiday destination in the Land Down Under!
|Discover the best of Sydney with your family with exclusive Economy Class fares from only MYR 1,968*. Start planning an unforgettable family holiday to this beautiful city and enjoy its teeming wildlife, fresh local produce and stunning coastlines.
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1. Kids will love the cute and exotic wildlife in Sydney and its surrounds
For an excellent wildlife experience right in the heart of Sydney, head to the WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. Conveniently located at Darling Harbour, the zoo will allow you to get up close and personal to native Australian animals like the koala bear and wallabies. Just next door, the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium will also give you a glimpse of what lies below the Harbour. Your kids will exclaim with delight as they walk through the Shark Valley and see the magnificent predators swimming above them.
If you’re heading out to the Blue Mountains, you can visit Featherdale Wildlife Park which is just a short drive outside the main city area. Kangaroos and wallabies roam free in the park, allowing your children to walk right up to them and feed them if they wish.
If your family members are real wildlife enthusiasts, you can even treat them to an extended stay with the animals. The Roar and Snore experience at Taronga Zoo allows your family to spend the night in well-maintained tents after the zoo has closed, where you’ll get exclusive access to some of the animals. Falling asleep to the sound of animals and waking up to those same sounds while watching the sun rise over the Sydney Harbour is an experience not to be missed.
While not quite filled with the crested birds it was named after, Cockatoo Island makes too for a sensational camping experience. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the island’s textured past is matched by the sandstone walls and iron sheds of former shipyards and dockyards. Come find out for yourself why this island campsite is described as one of the world’s most spectacular!
2. Escape from the hustle and bustle of city life with a family farmstay
If an immersive, up-close experience with animals appeals to you, why not opt for a farmstay away from the hustle and bustle of the city? There are many farms located on the outskirts of the city that will provide you with some authentic Australian hospitality and quality bonding time with the family.
Ride a horse around the natural landscapes, admire the unspoilt nature, and feast on some home-cooked food prepared with ingredients grown right on the farm itself. For kids, they’ll have the freedom of wide open spaces to play in, cute baby animals to cuddle, and hands-on activities to learn more about farm life. Opt for a traditional farmstay experience at Tobruk Sheep Station Homestead, a working outback farm near Sydney, but if you’re not one to give up on creature comforts, choose from one of the many luxury farm stays that are sprouting up in Sydney’s surrounds.
You can also visit regional orchards for a spot of fruit-picking! At Bilpin Fruit Bowl, just an hour and a half away from Sydney, over 10,000 fruit trees are ripe for the picking during the spring and summer seasons from November to May. Entry is a mere $2.50, and kids under 3 can enter for free! Your little ones will have fun picking peaches and apples, which you can then consume as well (after you’ve paid for them of course!) If it’s oranges you desire, head to Hillsdale Citrus Orchard in the Hunter Valley to get your fill. Enjoy the fruits of the harvest and teach your kids about naturally sourced food at the same time.
3. Educational opportunities for the kids are aplenty!
With plenty of educational fun to be had in Sydney, your kids might just leave Sydney with a newly acquired interest or two. Surf schools at Sydney’s famed beaches — Bondi Beach and Manly Beach — will have the kids conquering the waves in no time. Or else, have them ride the high seas and explore the deep blue on children’s programmes at the Australian National Maritime Museum.
What’s more, children get in for absolutely free at the Australian Museum and Powerhouse Museum, which number among the country’s finest. With opportunities to sleep among dinosaurs at the former’s popular exhibit (ten complete dinosaur skeletons!) and an out-of-this-world experience at the latter’s wondrous space gallery, there’s simply no reason for you not to bring your kids to these exhibits for an afternoon of edu-fun.
But why stop at pirates and prehistoric reptiles? Add some local flair and culture with Aboriginal dance and didgeridoo performances at Waradah Aboriginal Centre in the Blue Mountains. For more engaging yet informative visits, head over to the Cookabarra Restaurant and Function Centre while in Port Stephens to have your children learn more about sustainable farming practices, all while interacting with fishes at the Barramundi farm.
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4. Your kids can get some sun at the best outdoor playgrounds in Sydney
Many outdoor playgrounds can be found all over Sydney, allowing your little tots to run off and expend their endless energy. In Centennial Parklands, an accessible location near Sydney’s CBD, there are several playgrounds, including the new Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden. Your children will get the chance to reconnect with nature in an urban environment, with dry creek beds, an artesian water play area, a bamboo forest and even a treehouse providing a dramatic landscape for the little tykes to play in.
If you have tweens who feel like they’ve “outgrown” playgrounds, Fairfield Adventure Park and Birriwa Reserve Outdoor Youth Space boast thrilling outdoor equipment specifically for the older kids, including rope-climbing walls, flying foxes, 6-way swings and even mini trampolines.
And for a place combining games and fun rides, there’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned amusement park. At Luna Park Sydney, both the young and the young at heart will have a rollicking good time sitting on retro roller-coasters and playing traditional carnival games. In the evening, sit on the Ferris Wheel for gorgeous views of the Sydney Harbour. Locals recommend getting the unlimited rides pass to make the most of your time there.
Kids craving some adventure? Then have them jumping for joy (quite literally) at the Sky Zone Trampoline Park, or otherwise, skydiving indoors at iFly Downunder! Both places offer classes designed exclusively for children, so you know the little ones will always be in safe and experienced hands. For more air time (pun intended), there is also the unique water jetpacking experience to be had with Jetpack Adventures, one which will surely propel their excitement to new heights.
With easy accessibility from the city centre, consider also indulging the kids’ curiosities in nature in the Blue Mountains. Once there, participate in some family-friendly bushwalking, or for those with younger children, there is always an exhilarating cable car experience available on the Scenic Skyway at Scenic World. At the spectacular Jenolan Caves, some adventure caving can be had at a discounted rate with the purchase of family tickets, while toddlers enjoy admission completely free of charge.
Tickle the kids’ senses even more in the Hunter Valley, where children from as young as five can experience the region’s biggest and fastest Go-Kart track at Go-Karts-Go. Or else, a hot air balloon ride over the wine country will certainly have them exclaiming in delight!
5. All the best sights can be seen on the Grand Pacific Drive
If the family decides to rent a car to travel to Sydney’s surrounds and beyond, don’t miss the opportunity to go on the Grand Pacific Drive for a great time of family bonding. Starting in the Royal National Park just south of Sydney, the drive is a 140-kilometre coastal route that will take you through beaches, rainforests, and quaint Australian towns. One sight not to be missed is the Sea Cliff Bridge, a winding concrete road that extends out and away to the coast. Park your car nearby and walk on foot for some perfect views of the deep blue sea.
The drive will also take you to other smaller cities and towns near Sydney like Wollongong and Kiama, where there’s a wide range of things to do. Near Wollongong, Lake Illawarra is the perfect location for a leisurely stroll with your family. Go on the Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk for a great view of the countryside down to the coast.
Further south in the town of Kiama, check out the Kiama Blowhole, a cavern near the sea that spouts powerful blasts of seawater skywards when the waves hit. Your children will surely be fascinated by this natural phenomenon. These are just a few intriguing places to visit on the Grand Pacific Drive, and you can easily spend a day or more exploring the sights and sounds of the Australian coast.
And for an affordable yet adventurous way to stay, why not go camping in the Australian wilderness? On your way back to Sydney, set up a tent or caravan in the Royal National Park, and bunk in for the ultimate family bonding experience. Whether it’s sharing campfire stories or gazing at the starry sky, this will be an experience your family will never forget.
6. See the best of Australia’s nature at Port Stephens
An easy two and a half hour drive north of Sydney, Port Stephens is a natural paradise for families wanting to escape the city. The dolphin capital of Australia, you can go on a dolphin watch cruise or a whale-watching cruise from May to November, and even swim with wild dolphins at Dolphin Swim Australia. Bring a towel and change of clothes so the kids can go boom-netting on the cruise as well!
If you want to see even more marine animals, visit Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters to get up close and personal with up to 190 sharks and rays. A guide will bring you on a personalised tour inside the lagoons filled with curious rays who will swim right up next to you, and you can even feed or cuddle with them! This is an experience for any age or experience level – you can even bring your babies to interact with their 325 kg stingray, Raspy!
If water isn’t your thing, why not head to the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes for a spot of quad-biking or sandboarding? With over 32 kilometres of the longest moving sand dunes in the southern hemisphere, you’ll have an exhilarating time going up and down the dunes, which can reach heights of up to 40 metres and slopes of up to 60 degrees. Smaller quad bikes are even available for kids aged 7 to 13 years, making it a family-friendly activity.
And to experience the Australian bush like you’ve never seen it before, zip and weave through tree tops at TreeTop Adventure Park in the Central Coast on your way back to Sydney from Port Stephens. With over 100 elevated obstacles and rollercoaster zip lines, as well as dedicated children’s courses and paths for adults to supervise your children, it’s a great place for both you and your children to explore your more adventurous side. What’s more, book as a family (2 adults and 2 children) and get a 5% discount!
|Travel to Sydney with ease, comfort and luxury with regular flights from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Kinabalu with Singapore Airlines.
Keep the children thoroughly entertained throughout the entire duration of the flight with the KrisWorld entertainment system which features over 1,000 movies, television shows, games and music albums. Use the SingaporeAir mobile app to curate the family’s in-flight entertainment and discover personalised recommendations to keep the children occupied for hours on end.
7. These easy family walks allow you and your loved ones to soak in Sydney’s many sights
There’s a reason why Sydney is perhaps Australia’s most walkable city — it offers several sprawling and scenic strolls to take your little ones on.
With beaches and play-areas adorning this seaside stretch, the beautiful coastal walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach promises an afternoon of easy leisure. Measuring 6.5km long, the 90-minute walk will allow the family to experience Australian beach culture at every turn.
Watch surfers take on the waves while the kids take on playgrounds located at every section of the walk from Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly to Coogee. When tired, take a quick breather at local recommendations situated along the Bronte cafe strip, and then cool off at Coogee’s three ocean pools. Just take note that it’s “ladies only” at the McIvers’ Bath!
For more dramatic sights, there are the sweeping views of beaches, cliffs and ocean waves to be discovered on the walk from Manly Beach to North Head. A route serviced frequently by public transport means more time for you and your family to enjoy the walk. Then end the day off with an easy return to the wharf and ferry back to the city centre, perfectly complemented by spectacular evening views of the Sydney Harbour seen from the Manly Ferry.
8. Visit these buzzing farmers’ markets and pack for an afternoon family picnic
Fancy a memorable family picnic with unforgettable views of the world’s most beautiful waterway? Then plan a Saturday out at the Royal Botanic Garden, an expansive green of peace and calm located right in the heart of bustling Sydney, with unparalleled views of the Harbour. In fact, take your pick from the hundreds of gardens in Sydney and its surrounds, from quaint privately-owned gardens to large national parks.
Before that, however, bring the kids out for some morning picnic shopping at some of the farmers markets in the area. At the all-weather Carriageworks Farmers Market (Saturdays, 8am – 1pm), add a dash of local flavour to your picnic with local produce sourced direct and fresh from the New South Wales region. The little ones will more than enjoy the sights and sounds of the lively market as well.
Other options for an afternoon picnic with plenty of family fun include the Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park. Here, various play zones and activities dedicated to children are located in close proximity to the Cambridge EQ Markets (Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am – 2pm), making the Quarter an ideal location for a picnic by the greens while the kids take on ball pits and pony rides.
Seeking out the sun, sand and sea? The Bondi Farmers’ Market (Saturdays, 9am – 1pm) has got the whole family covered. With a picture-perfect waterfront setting at the famous Bondi Beach, a Saturday afternoon picnic by the coast has never been a better idea!
9. There are plenty of family-friendly dining options in Sydney!
While Sydney is better known for its coastal and fine-dining options, the city’s dining scene, however, is rapidly changing with a plethora of family and wallet-friendly arrangements sprouting out about town. From quaint eateries, bistros and family restaurants sporting a range of cuisines, even the pickiest eater in the family will find something to enjoy here.
In a city big on brunch, check out The Grounds of Alexandria with its quirky, communal atmosphere. Other brunch options include places like the Social Brew Cafe or the Playfair Cafe. Gelato Messina also makes for a quick treat for the kids while exploring Circular Quay.
For dinner, lovely eats — all reasonably priced — can be had at the various Italian pizzerias, American diners and Asian restaurants conveniently peppered around suburbs like The Rocks, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills.
10. Bring the family around on Sydney’s comprehensive public transport system
Travelling with children can be tricky and sometimes expensive as well! Especially with young children who still require strollers, the lack of proper transportation can be a huge impediment to your travels and might put you off including certain destinations in your itinerary.
Thankfully, the city centre of Sydney is served by a comprehensive public transport system. The metropolitan train network serves the entire city as well as the suburbs and outskirts, like the Blue Mountains region in the west and the Hunter Valley in the north. Buses run almost 24 hours as well, and you can take a ferry across the harbour to many famous tourist sites like Taronga Zoo and Cockatoo Island.
Payment is simple and affordable too, with the Opal smartcard being the only thing you’ll need to navigate public transport in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, the Hunter Valley and the Illawarra. The card comes with a host of fringe benefits — for example, obtain transfer discounts when switching between different modes of transport and besides daily travel caps, there’s also a fare cap of $2.70 on Sundays, giving you even more reason to head out and about with the entire family.
Get your free Opal Card at any available retailer, and then top it up with funds for you and your kids — you’re now set to take on Sydney and all it has to offer!
11. Get to Sydney in utmost comfort
With regular flights from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Kinabalu, you’ll have the flexibility to choose from where to depart and when to land in Sydney, catering to the needs of you and your children.
Experience the new Singapore Airlines’ A380 Economy Cabin, with ergonomically designed backrests to provide greater comfort for the whole family. The KrisWorld entertainment system also features over 1,000 movies, television, games and music albums. Keep the children well-behaved and entertained throughout the duration of flight playing games like Bejeweled and Pac-Man or you can even request for collectible toys and board games. You won’t have to worry about fussy eaters as well because you can request for a child-friendly meal, specially for the kids. With Singapore Airlines, you will be promised a comfortable and worry-free flight, allowing you to arrive in Sydney feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready to go!
|Spring into action and head to Sydney this Spring with an exclusive Economy Class fares from only MYR 1,968 with Singapore Airlines. With regular flights from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Kinabalu, you and your children will be treated to no less than premium service and world-class entertainment on your flight to Sydney.|
There’s nothing quite like Sydney and New South Wales for that extra-special family experience. The city stands out for its sheer diversity and accessibility to exciting things to see and do — indeed, with stunning coastlines, remarkable natural landscapes, incredible wildlife and a fascinating mix of cultures, there’s something for everyone in the family, especially the littlest ones.
So get the kids ready, go visit Sydney and make some magical moments down under.
Brought to you by Singapore Airlines and Destination New South Wales.