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The perfect Sydney itinerary with kids

Kayaking, Sydney HarbourCREDIT: Destination NSW

One of the most unique ways to explore Sydney Harbour with the family is on kayak.

#ilovesydney

The perfect Sydney
itinerary with kids

Kayaking, Sydney Harbour CREDIT: Destination NSW

One of the most unique ways to explore Sydney Harbour with the family is on kayak.

#ilovesydney

Hashtags #ilovesydney

Sydney is a fantastic city to explore with kids. It’s packed with family-friendly attractions and outdoor experiences that celebrate our glistening harbourside city. Read on for tips to planning the perfect family getaway.  

Highlights: 

  • Experience Sydney Harbour, on, over and above it 
  • Feast on multicultural flavours at markets, restaurants and cafés  
  • Sleep in family-friendly hotels with all the extras 

Where to eat and drink 

Sydney is one of the world’s great foodie cities with cuisine from every corner of the globe. At hawker-style market Spice Alley in Chippendale, on the fringe of the city centre, you can sample delicacies from across Asia, from succulent Singaporean dishes to mouth-watering Malaysian stir fry and flavour-packed Vietnamese street food. Dine outside beneath a string of lantern lights. 

Fratelli Fresh is a Sydney institution with eight restaurants across the city serving up its signature menu of Italian classics. The Darling Harbour outpost is styled like a European dining hall, with different venues for pizza, fresh pasta, rotisserie meats and gelato, as well as a Campari bar and craft beer bar. There’s a full kids’ menu and happy hour on weekdays, meaning everyone is well catered for. 

A destination in itself, The Grounds of Alexandria is a sprawling eatery in the inner-city suburb of Alexandria, housed within a former 1920s-era industrial precinct. It’s an urban sanctuary with laneways housing multiple cafés, bars, bakeries, market stalls and even a petting zoo. It’s ideal for families as kids are free to roam while you enjoy some of Sydney’s best coffee. 

Dine right over the water on the Kirribilli ferry wharf at Celsius Coffee Co. This light-filled café has a short but delicious menu of breakfast and lunch favourites, as well as cold-pressed juice, flavoursome teas and excellent coffee. You can catch the ferry here from Circular Quay. 

Walk through Darling Harbour and past the buzzing bars and restaurants of King Street Wharf to Sydney’s newest harbourside precinct, Barangaroo. You can stop for lunch in one of the many restaurants or pick up supplies at The Canteen or Bel and Brio for a picnic at Barangaroo Reserve. The six-hectare park has incredible harbour views, walking trails and more than 75,000 native plants. 

The Grounds of Alexandria, Alexandria CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Garden at The Grounds of Alexandria, in Sydney’s Alexandria, is a great spot to take the kids.

#ilovesydney

The Grounds of Alexandria, Alexandria CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Garden at The Grounds of Alexandria, in Sydney’s Alexandria, is a great spot to take the kids.

#ilovesydney

Lets Go Surfing, Bondi Beach CREDIT: Lets Go Surfing

Surfing at Bondi Beach with surf school Lets Go Surfing.

#ilovesydney

Lets Go Surfing, Bondi Beach CREDIT: Lets Go Surfing

Surfing at Bondi Beach with surf school Lets Go Surfing.

#ilovesydney

Where to play 

Start your Sydney adventure with a walk across its most famous landmark, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There’s a fenced pedestrian path running beside the road with incredible views over the harbour and Opera House. You can also see the glistening city from above at the Sydney Tower Eye from its wraparound observation deck 250 metres above the ground. Its 4D cinema experience takes you on a thrilling ride through all of Sydney’s most famous landmarks. 

From Circular Quay, hop on the ferry for an afternoon at Taronga Zoo. Opened in 1916, the zoo occupies a prime position in leafy Mosman overlooking Sydney Harbour. It’s home to Australian native animals and exotic creatures from around the world, with opportunities to meet a koala or feed a penguin. 

In Sydney, there are countless opportunities to get out on the water. Every morning you’ll find plenty of keen surfers catching the waves at Bondi, Sydney’s most famous beach. Sign up for a private family surfing lesson with Lets Go Surfing and in just an hour they’ll have you standing up on your board like a pro. Alternatively, head north to the Spit Bridge in Middle Harbour and pick up a kayak from Sydney Harbour Kayaks. Paddle under the bridge, past mansions and million-dollar yachts, then stop for a swim at any of the beautiful beaches that line either side of the harbour.  

Enjoy the requisite fish and chips on the beach at Manly before a short, 15-minute walk along the coastline to Shelly Beach. This quiet cove is one of Sydney’s best snorkelling spots and it’s perfect for beginners, with calm waters and almost no ocean swell. Spot schools of fish, harmless wobbegong sharks and — if you’re lucky — hawksbill turtles. You can rent snorkelling gear from Dive Centre Manly

Take a step back in time at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hyde Park Barracks, a living record of Australia’s fascinating convict history. There’s a dedicated children’s trail running through the museum and special workshops and activities during Australian school holidays. 

Where to sleep  

If you’re looking for some of the city’s most plush accommodation, check into the incredibly stylish two-bedroom harbour view suite at the Pullman Quay Grand right on Circular Quay. The generous suite can be your home away from home in Sydney with a full kitchen, separate lounge and dining areas, and a sunny balcony with unbeatable harbour views. 

Head across the harbour to Manly and you will feel like you’re in a relaxed beachside village, yet are just a 20-minute ferry ride to the city centre. The Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific has modern rooms and apartments overlooking the ocean and just a few steps away from the neighbourhood’s many cafés, restaurants, shops and activities. On the hotel’s rooftop, a resort-style swimming pool is guaranteed to keep kids entertained.  

Whether you’re travelling with toddlers, young children or teenagers, the dedicated kid’s rooms on offer at the Swissotel Sydney in the city centre can be customised to your family’s needs. The staff will set up an adjoining room decked out with special bed linen, bathroom amenities, art, games, toys, DVDs and more. 

Manly Beach CREDIT: Hamilton Lund; Destination NSW

The Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific is right on Manly Beach — the kids will love it.

#ilovesydney

Manly Beach CREDIT: Hamilton Lund; Destination NSW

The Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific is right on Manly Beach — the kids will love it.

#ilovesydney

Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, Manly CREDIT: Destination NSW

Groper swimming in Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve.

#ilovesydney

Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, Manly CREDIT: Destination NSW

Groper swimming in Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve.

#ilovesydney

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