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Sydney Sightseeing

Visiting Sydney with kids and wondering what to do in Sydney with kids?  Well you have come to the right place because I love visiting Sydney and have just returned from there, so have put this handy guide together with all the best things to do in Sydney with the kids. 

The kid’s activities Sydney offers are endless, and not just in the CBD but the surrounding areas too.   Things for kids to do in Sydney include checking out Circular Quay and admiring the world-famous sites of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, hanging out at cool beaches and great playgrounds and visiting fantastic museums and wildlife parks.   

This family things to do in Sydney guide shows you 21 of the best family fun Sydney things to do, including everything you need to know about ticket prices, where to save money booking online and opening times.  As well as all the family activities Sydney has to offer, this guide will cover getting to the Sydney CBD from the airport, getting around the CBD and tips on the best family accommodation Sydney offers.

There are also plenty of great things to do in the surrounding areas of the Sydney, but in this post I am just going to focus on the attractions within the CBD.  

Talk to other families about their tips on Sydney and join our Thrifty Family Travel Facebook Group or be inspired on our Thrifty Family Travel Instagram Feed.

This post may contain compensated links.  Please refer to my disclaimer here for more information.

Best Things to do in Sydney with Kids 

Throughout this section, I have provided a comprehensive guide to all the top Sydney attractions for kids.  I have provided information to make your planning easier, including locations, opening hours and ticket prices.  I’ve also included a map below showing the location of all the attractions covered in this guide to make it easier to plan your itinerary.

You will note that for many of the Sydney family attractions I often recommend that you purchase your tickets in advance from Klook or Experience Oz.  Yes, I will receive a small commission if you do purchase from these sites – but as you will see in most cases, you will save yourself a bit of cash in doing so.  Other times the price may be the same, but you will save time by not having to line up for tickets.  I use these sites myself to book tickets for our travels around the world.

Please note that all prices mentioned were correct at the time of writing and may fluctuate depending upon changes to currency conversion and rate increases.

To check the rate in your local currency, click here. 

 

Opera House and Circular Quay

What to do in Sydney with kids

Every Sydney itinerary must include a visit to the Opera House.  The Opera House is perhaps Sydney’s, (maybe even Australia’s) most iconic landmarks and is usually on most people’s Australia bucket list.  Opened in 1973, the Sydney Opera House is a performing arts centre hosting over 1500 performances each year.

To see the Opera House, head on down to Circular Quay.  This is an ideal place to start your Sydney sightseeing as here you can see all of Sydney’s world-famous sites at once – the Sydney Harbour, Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.  Best of all it’s one of the free things to do in Sydney as looking doesn’t cost anything!

Most people simply take a look at the Opera House from the steps, alternatively there are a variety of guided tours you can take.

If you want to get a photo of the Opera House without a billion other tourists in it – your best bet is to hop on over to Milson’s Point (just by Luna Park) or even jump onboard one of Sydney’s ferries and get a photo from the Harbour. 

Location: Bennelong Point, Sydney

Opening Hours: You can visit the outside anytime

Price: Free to view 

Jet Boat 

If you’re looking for some fun things to do in Sydney for kids, why not take a thrilling jet boat ride on the Sydney Harbour. This exciting ride takes you on a fast lap of Sydney Harbour which is a perfect mix of sightseeing and thrills and spills in the one experience. 

Location: Eastern Pontoon, Circular Key

Opening Hours: Tours depart regularly each day from 9am to 5pm.

Price: $89 per adult | $49 per child (under 16 years) | $229 per family (2A+2C) – Click here to book your discounted tickets. 

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Things for kids to do in Sydney

In terms of the best places in Sydney to visit, then the Sydney Harbour bridge has to be at the top of the list. As mentioned you will see the Sydney Harbour Bridge from Circular Quay, but you can get an even closer look.

For a much, much cheaper option you can walk across it for free and see the same amazing views and take some memorable pictures – just at a lower level.   A great starting point is The Rocks District where you can begin the 1.4 km picturesque walk, across the bridge to Milsons Point.   From Milsons Point you can get some fantastic photos of the Bridge and Opera House too.

You could stroll back or catch a train from Milsons Point Station to Circular Quay Station, but my tip is to get a ferry ride back for a cruise of the Harbour.   It’s not free but it is one of the cheap things to do in Sydney with kids, as opposed to the more expensive cruise options.

The Bridge can be very expensive to climb, however if you do want to climb it, you will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy the iconic views of Sydney from a truly unique viewpoint.   See details below. 

Location: 3 Cumberland St, The Rocks NSW 2000

Opening Hours: Climbs depart from 9am to 5pm with an early morning dawn departure once a month

Price: Pricing varies by the time of day you wish to climb with night climbs starting at $268 and day climbs starting at $328

Pylon Look Out

Another one of the places for kids in Sydney where you can get up close to the bridge is the Pylon Lookout.  You can learn about the history of the Sydney Harbour Bridge by viewing three levels of exhibits, as well as see the fantastic views of Sydney and the bridge.  

Location: South East Pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Opening Hours: Daily 10 am to 4 pm

Price: $19 per adult | $9.50 per child (5-12) | Under 5s are free – Click here for more information.

Susannah Place

Top things to do in Sydney with Kids

One of our favourite things we did in Sydney was visit Susannah Place.  Located in the Rocks, Susannah Place is a couple of old terraces which have been conserved and set us as they would have been many decades ago.

Here your family can have a fun, educational experience where you can discover what it was like to be living in these small houses. Your guide will tell you stories about the people, their chores, what they did for fun and how they went about their day to day life. You can even check out the old corner store, where you can purchase authentic goods and wares of this era.

We all just loved this museum, particularly Myla – so perfect if you’re after a kid’s museum Sydney has to offer.  It is also a great activity if you’re in need of one of indoor activities Sydney offers if you need to escape the hot or rainy weather.

Entry to Susannah Place Museum and Corner Shop is by tour only, which takes an hour.  

Location: 58-64 Gloucester Street, The Rocks

Opening Hours: Tours are on Thursdays and Fridays departing at 10 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm and 4 pm

Price: $12 per adult | $10 per child (aged 5+) | $32 per family (2A+2C) | Under 5s are free – Click here for more information.

The Rocks Discovery Museum 

Just before our tour of Susannah Place, we had a bit of time to spare so I googled what to do in the rocks and came across the Rocks Discovery Museum.

Whilst only a small museum, this is a fantastic museum if you are interested in the Rocks region.  Here you will see a range of items found in the area from many centuries gone by as well as learn about the people who lived here and the area’s traditional custodians.

There is a small area that plays some documentaries about the region as well as a small kid’s area where they can play whilst parents are exploring.

We stumbled across this museum by accident but found it well worth checking out. 

Location: Kendall Lane, The Rocks

Opening Hours: Daily 10 am to 5 pm.

Price: Free 

The Rocks Walking Tour

Discover the living history and heritage of The Rocks district on this 90-minute guided tour. Wander down hidden alleyways, and along cobbled lanes as you discover the nooks and crannies of Australia’s first British settlement.

You’ll be amazed by stories of the First Fleet 1788, the Rum Rebellion 1808, the plague 1900, the Sydney Harbour Bridge 1920s, and the crazy plan in the 1970s to demolish The Rocks and the green bans that saved it. And of course, hear of the characters and rogues who called it home.

Location: Departs from Shop 5 – Clocktower Square, Cnr Argyle & Harrington, The Rocks

Opening Hours: Departs daily at 10.30am and 1.30pm

Price: $35 per adult | $18 per child (5-16) | $88 per family (2A+2C) | Under 5s are free – Click here to book your tickets online.

Barangaroo

Visit Sydney’s newest Harbour foreshore park, Barangaroo Reserve. There is six-hectares of open space for you to enjoy, why not pack a picnic and enjoy a new perspective of Sydney Harbour. If you don’t have your picnic paraphernalia handy, you can purchase a great range of lunch options from the food outlets at Barangaroo’s food and retail precinct.

If you want to discover more about the cultural significance of Barangaroo, there are guided Aboriginal Cultural Tours led by Aboriginal educators, alternatively discover the area yourself on the Wulugul Walk – an easy winding path along the harbour foreshore offering uninterrupted views across the harbour. It is also pram friendly, so great for those with little kids, plus the area is a dedicated car-free zone so you can (slightly) relax when the kids run off in different directions.

Location: Hickson Road, Barangaroo

Opening Hours: Anytime, we would recommend the retail precinct after dark, not the Reserve

Price: Free 

Luna Park

Sydney Sightseeing

When it comes to the kids fun Sydney has on offer, one of the best Sydney things to do with kids has to be a day out at Luna Park, a heritage listed transport exchange built in 1935. It appeals to both thrill seekers and those who just want fun places to go in Sydney for kids and adults alike.

There’s the famous Wild Mouse roller coaster, the legendary Rotor where you stick to the wall and the floor disappears, Coney Island filled with loads of slides and games… and so much more. You’ll get amazing views from the Ferris Wheel and other rides of the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge!

Location: 1 Olympic Drive, Milson’s Point, NSW

Opening Hours: Monday 10am – 3pm | Friday & Saturday 11am – 8pm | Sunday 11am – 6pm | Closed Tuesday – Thursday excepts for NSW school holidays when open 10am to 6pm

Price: Prices vary but start from $44 per adult and $34 for children, for unlimited rides for one day – Click here for more information.

Royal Botanic Gardens and Mrs Macquarie Chair 

If you are looking for things to do in Sydney for free, then visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens is a must experience for your family. Whether you want to take a gentle walk, taking in the amazing bird and plant life, or experience one of the many tours available, or visit the unique Calyx – home to one of the largest green walls in the southern hemisphere – this is one of nice things to do in Sydney with children. I suggest taking a picnic lunch and making a day of it!

As well as the beautiful gardens, you can also check out Mrs Macquarie’s chair. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is a Sydney landmark. The chair was carved out of a sandstone rock ledge by convicts in 1810. It was commissioned by Governor Macquarie for his wife Elizabeth who was known to love the area.

Location: Mrs Macquarie Road, Sydney

Opening Hours: Daily 7am – 5pm

Price: Free entry

Click here for more tips on destinations to visit in New South Wales with Kids 

Museum of Sydney

Kids Family activities Sydney

During our recent visit to Sydney we spent a few hours exploring the Museum of Sydney.  It’s only a small museum across a few levels, and has a focus on Sydney’s history including information about the first fleet, and how Sydney was established by convicts.

When we visited there was a great kids area set up with loads of activities.  There was colouring in, large building blocks where kids were encouraged to make cities and various other interactive displays.  It’s very well done and suitable for kids of a range of ages.  Myla really enjoyed it, as did many other younger kids that were there when we visited – so perfect if you’re trying to find things for kids in Sydney for a few hours.  Just be warned I had to drag Myla away so I could explore the rest of the museum.

Location: Corner Phillip & Bridge Streets, Sydney

Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 5pm

Price: Free – Click here for more information.

Justice and Police Museum 

We didn’t get time to visit this museum during our recent visit to Sydney, but I have on a previous visit and think it’s well worth it for anyone who has an interest in either the legal system or Sydney’s dark history.

The museum is located in historic buildings which were once the jail cells of some of Sydney’s most infamous criminals such as Captain Moonlite and Kate Leigh.  At the museum you can walk the corridors of the cells, check out the collection of criminal weapons and see a range of displays detailing Sydney’s dark history.

This museum is better suited to adults and teenagers, although they have set up a ‘kids trail’ which explores more of the lighter side of justice – uncovering stories of Sydney’s original Water Police station and courts.

Location: Phillip and Albert Streets, Circular Quay

Opening Hours: Weekends 10am to 5pm.

Price: Free – Click here for more information.

Hyde Park Barracks 

At the Hyde Park Barracks, it is estimated that over 50,000 convicts passed through the original barracks between 1819 and 1848.  Now a UNESCO World Heritage listed site, at the barracks you can see what life was like for the convicts and here various stories about their lives. 

Kids will love swinging in the convict’s hammock, trying on leg irons and learning about their ancestors. There is also a ‘kids trail’ with an audio guide to listen for clues and complete activities as they move through the museum. It includes such things as – spot the rats and drawing a convict tattoo. It is aimed at kids aged 5 – 10 years, but we’re sure older kids would love this too! I highly recommend the Hyde Park Barracks as one of the places to take kids in Sydney – fun and history in one!

Location: Queens Square, Macquarie Street.

Opening Hours: Thursday – Sunday 10am to 5pm

Price: $12 per adult | $10 per child (aged 5+) | $32 per family (2A+2C) | Under 5s are free – Click here for more information.

Australian Museum

Looking for one of the best children’s museum Sydney has to offer? Look no further than the Australian Museum. With amazing interactive exhibits showcasing Dinosaurs, sea creatures, gemstones and cultural treasures from Australia and the Pacific, this is one of the best places to visit in Sydney with kids.

There are various child friendly activities to take part in – especially in the school holidays and weekends. Some examples are science workshops, craft activities and even yoga among the animals.  Click here for more information. 

Location: Corner of College & William Street, Sydney

Opening Hours: Daily 10am – 5pm

Price: Free general admission, with some special exhibitions incurring an entry fee.

Watch the Channel 7 Morning Shows

Visiting Sydney with Kids

For something a bit different in Sydney, take the kids down to Martin Place where they can peak into what goes on behind the scenes on the channel 7 morning shows.  Here you can see “Sunrise” and “The Morning Show” – as they have large windows where you can see the hosts and cameras.  It’s a pretty cool insight for the kids to see what goes on behind the scenes of a TV program.

My tip is to put the show on in your hotel room before heading down, so the kids can see what it looks like both on TV and behind the scenes.

Location: Martin Place

Opening Hours: Daily from 6 am.

Price: Free 

Sydney Tower Eye

Fun family activities Sydney

If you are looking for one of the best family experiences Sydney has to offer then you must check out the incredible 360 degree views of Sydney by visiting the Sydney Tower Eye.

Make your way up to the incredible observation deck which lies 250 metres above the Sydney streets and see all of Sydney including the famous landmarks; Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

If you have adventurous children aged 10 and up, you can go on the Sydney Tower Eye SKYWALK – which is the highest outdoor viewpoint in Sydney, at 268 metres up! Alternatively, if you like to take in your views with gourmet dining, you can enjoy a SkyFeast with unlimited Lunch or Dinner in the 360-degree revolving restaurant. Whatever you decide, the spectacular views will be worth it!

Location: Level 5, Westfield Centre, Sydney

Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 8pm

Price: Sydney Tower Eye Ticket – $31.50 per adult | $18.40 per child (3-15) | Under 3s are free – Click here to book your discounted tickets. 

Or if you’re planning on visiting a few other attractions in Sydney, consider purchasing a combo ticket to save.  Click here for further information or to book your tickets. 

Taronga Zoo

Best things to do in Sydney

Looking for fantastic children’s activities Sydney style? Discover the amazing Taronga Zoo, by hopping onto a Ferry departing from Darling Harbour or Circular Quay – not only is this convenient transport, you’ll also be able to take in the stunning views on Sydney Harbour. Plus when you disembark the ferry you are at the entry to the Sky Safari – which is a cable car with a birds eye view of the entire zoo, taking you from the bottom of the zoo to the top (save you walking up the steep hill), included for free with your ticket.

There is so much to do at Taronga Zoo that its recommended to allow the whole day.  There are heaps of animals to check out like gorillas, tigers, giraffes, elephants as well as Australian favourites such as koalas, kangaroos and a range of reptiles too.  Plus don’t miss all the animal shows which include the seal show and my favourite the bird show – definitely don’t miss that one!

There are also a range of other animal talks and feeding demonstrations you can check out.  I recommend that when you arrive at the zoo that you check out all the times and make a bit of a plan to ensure you don’t miss out on seeing anything.

There is also a great kids playground plus a wet-play area (so bring spare clothes, or if you’re there in Summer, wet clothes dry quickly), which no doubt the little ones will want to spend a bit of time here too. And if you’re looking for food, there is a ‘Food Market’ with a variety of food such as burgers, sandwiches salads – or save some money and bring in your own lunch, there’s loads of grassed areas to eat, just watch out for the ibis’ who are known to steal food!

If you’re super keen you can even spend the night and wake with the animals – find out more about it here – or if you prefer to sleep in star-rated accommodation, instead of under the stars, check out the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga which offers stylish eco-accommodation onsite at the zoo.

Make sure Taronga Zoo is on your to do list as it does not only have to be one of the best children’s entertainment Sydney has in its repertoire, but it’s one of the best zoos in Australia and makes for one of the fantastic family day out.

Location: Bradley’s Head Road, Mossman, Sydney

Opening Hours: Daily 9.30am to 5pm

Price: Zoo Entry – $45.90 per adult | $27 per child (4-15) | under 4s are free – Save on combined entry and ferry transfers – Click here to book tickets.  

Take the Ferry Across to Manly

Another family day out Sydney activity, is to take the ferry across to Manly, after all Sydney is one of the most amazing Harbour cities! You will love hopping on the ferry from Circular Quay across to the Northern Beaches to visit Manly – the gateway to the Northern Beaches.

The quick ferry trip is a fabulous way to experience Sydney Harbour and taking in the sights of the Opera House, Botanic Gardens, Harbour Bridge and the amazing Sydney skyline. Arriving at Manly Wharf you’ll be greeted by numerous eateries including the Wharf Hotel which is perfect to grab a bite with the family, with loads of pub-style meals.

Once you’ve eaten, take a stroll down the Corso taking in the lively busking entertainment and enjoy gelato from one of the many (many) ice-creameries. Take your time to discover the protected marine reserve of Shelly Beach and enjoy a swim or snorkel. If you’re still there for the next meal, grab fish and chips to eat on the beach – just watch out for the seagulls who are known to swoop the chips straight from your fingers.

A perfect ending to the day would be to catch the ferry back to the CBD at sunset.

If you fall in love with Manly and want to spend longer exploring – Click here for accommodation options and pricing in Manly.

Sydney Madam Tussauds 

One of the top things to do in Sydney with kids has to be Madam Tussauds Museum in Darling Harbour. You can get up close with your favourite celebrities, with the many interactive tours and experiences it has to offer.

Step into the spotlight and accept your MTV best newcomer award, learn to walk and talk like Royalty at the Royal Academy, step into the world of Marvel or kick goals with soccer legend Tim Cahill, enjoy these fun activities and much much more. 

Location: Aquarium Wharf, 1-5 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 4pm | Over the NSW school holidays 9.30am to 5pm 

Price: $46 per adult | $27.20 per child (3-15) | Under 3s are free – Click here to book your discounted tickets.

Or if you’re planning on visiting a few other attractions in Sydney, consider purchasing a combo ticket to save.  Click here for further information or to book your tickets. 

National Maritime Museum

Kids museum Sydney

For a very different museum experience, you can’t go past the National Maritime Museum. This is also fantastic if you are looking for indoor activities for kids Sydney and surrounds, which will also be fun for the adults.

The Australian National Maritime Museum is Australia’s national centre for maritime collections, exhibitions, research and archaeology. From fascinating artefacts, thought-provoking exhibitions and fun activities for kids (and big kids), the museum gives local and international visitors a chance to connect to Australia’s maritime past and present in surprising ways.

Kids will love climbing onboard real-life tall ships, warships and even a submarine. For the super little ones there is even an under 5s section, although Myla quite enjoyed this too even at 8 years of age.  So perfect if you’re looking for things to do in Sydney with kids under 5 as well as over 5. 

Location: 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour

Opening Hours: 9:30 am – 5pm daily

Price: $25 per adult | $15 per child (4-15) | $70 per family (2A+2C) | Under 4s are free – Click here to book tickets online.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo 

If you’re still craving some animals encounters after your visit to Taronga Zoo, then pop into Wild Life Sydney Zoo which is located in Darling Harbour.

Here you will find a range of animals including cute and cuddly koalas and kangaroos, as well as the city’s most dangerous and interesting animals like snakes and crocodiles.  There is also a range of animal talks and feeding demonstrations you can see – so be sure to check this out and plan your day so you don’t miss out.

A visit to either here or Taronga is definitely among the top things to do in Sydney with kids! 

Location: Aquarium Wharf, 1-5 Wheat Rd, Darling Harbour

Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 4pm | Over the NSW school holidays 9.30am to 5pm 

Price: $46 per adult | $27.20 per child (3-15) | Under 3s are free – Click here to purchase your discounted tickets.

Or if you’re planning on visiting a few other attractions in Sydney, consider purchasing a combo ticket to save.  Click here for further information or to book your tickets. 

Sydney Sea Life Aquarium 

Discover Sydney Sea Life Aquarium where you can face your fears at Shark Walk and watch as sharks glide by over your head. The Aquarium is one of the most interactive fun things for kids in Sydney to do.

If you don’t have a chance to see the actual Great Barrier Reef, you can still encounter some of its most unique marine life at the Reef Theatre and the giant floor to ceiling display.

The kids will adore meeting Mr. Black and Gherkin, the cute little mischievous penguin couple, and love the experience of the newest attraction – Day & Night on the Reef – that offers an interactive experience featuring state of the art technology and over 500 sea creatures. 

Location: 1-5 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour Darling Harbour

Opening Hours:Daily 10am to 4pm | Over the NSW school holidays 9.30am to 5pm 

Price: $49 per adult | $28.80 per child (3-15) | Under 3s are free – Click here to purchase your discounted tickets.

Or if you’re planning on visiting a few other attractions in Sydney, consider purchasing a combo ticket to save.  Click here for further information or to purchase your tickets.

Darling Quarter Playground

Sydney attractions for kids

If you are still searching for more places to go in Sydney for kids, then check out the Darling Quarter playground.  This unique playground provides opportunities for kids of all ages to climb, slide, scramble and much more. They can play with water, explore motion, machines and the working behind it.

A great park for kids of all ages. We definitely recommend bringing a change of clothes for both kids and adults… there is a lot of splash fun that goes on here!

Location: 1 Harbour Street, Sydney

Opening Hours: All hours

Price: Free

Powerhouse Museum 

Located in Darling Harbour, the Powerhouse Museum is some of the best, educational fun your children can experience while in Sydney. If it is a rainy day and you are looking for children’s indoor activities Sydney offers, then this could be the activity for you and your family.

The museum has many interactive exhibits where children can explore and learn all about robots, magnetism, electricity and much much more.

A crowd favourite is a really fantastic space exhibition, which even includes a life size cockpit model which you can explore, another popular exhibit is one which explores climate change and the science behind it. Whilst some of the exhibits are permanent, there are a range of revolving exhibits meaning there’s always something new if you’ve been here before.

Location: 500 Harris Street, Ultimo

Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 5pm | Thursdays 10am to 9pm

Price: Free

Bondi Beach

Free things to do in Sydney

A visit to one of Sydney’s gorgeous beaches is a must whilst in Sydney, and no beach is more iconic then Bondi Beach.  Here you can swim in the ocean, build sandcastles on the beach or get some ice cream along the promenade.

If it’s too cold to swim one of the fun family activities Sydney has on offer is the Bondi to Coogee walk – or the shorter Bondi to Bronte Beach Walk. They are both one of the best, free ways to discover the coast and what lies along on the way. The walk to Bronte is a stunning 1km trail, beginning from the Bondi promenade and such a perfect way to start the day.

You can stop along the way, to wonder at the amazing cliffs, rock pools and bays and of course take lots of pictures to remember the incredible views. Once in Bronte, your children will love to play on the playground and if its warm enough have a swim.

The Coogee walk is a little longer at 6 kms – and has some more steep terrain so may be better suited for slightly older kids, but it offers some stunning views, beaches, parks, cliffs, bays and rock pools which make it worthwhile. You may even like to bring a picnic lunch along the way.

If that’s not active enough for you and you are looking for a surfing activity, why not book a surfing lesson at Bondi? These two hour beginner lessons on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world just might get you hooked on surfing! See details below to  book.

Location: 128 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi

Opening Hours: Lesson times vary pending tide conditions, lessons can be from 7am to 7pm on any given day.

Price: $99 per person – Click here to book tickets online.

If you want to spend longer soaking up Bondi – Click here for accommodation options and pricing in Bondi.

Blue Mountains

Whilst it’s not in the Sydney CBD, travelling to the Blue Mountains is one of the best Sydney road trips for the whole family and well worth the drive.

From seeing such amazing landmarks such as the Three Sisters, to exploring the picturesque townships, and of course the incredible bushwalks and mesmerising waterfalls amongst the backdrop of the mountains. And for a birds eye view of the mountains, don’t miss out on a visit to Scenic World! if you have time to discover this beautiful part of the world you must put it on your to do list.

You can hire a car and explore on your own, the entrance to the Blue Mountains at Glenbrook/Lapstone is only around 50 minutes drive from Sydney. Possibly the most relaxing way to travel to the Blue Mountains is by rail, you can board an air-conditioned double decker Mountains train. Another option is by coach, many coach companies offer day trips to the Blue Mountains. Coaches generally leave from Circular Quay in Sydney.

Alternatively, and a very popular choice is a hop off, hop on bus which allows you to explore the Blue Mountains the way you want to, you can hop off for as long as you like, and then hop on again all with a friendly driver with commentary about the area and insider tips on where to go and what to see in the region. You can easily catch a train to Katoomba, hop off and straight onto the sightseeing bus. See details below.

Location: Departs – Explore Bus ticket office, outside Katoomba Station

Opening Hours: Daily 9.15am to 4.15pm

Price: $49 per adult | $98 per family (2A+5C) | All children ride free –  Click here to book tickets online.

If the Blue Mountains is too far for a day trip for you – Click here for accommodation options and pricing in Blue Mountains.

Family Accommodation Sydney: Where to Stay in Sydney with Family 

When it comes to where to stay in Sydney with family, you will note that Sydney is a large, well spread out city with hotels found in all locations.  Whilst Darling Harbour is the prime tourist area and has some of the best family hotels Sydney offers, it is also very expensive. 

For the best family hotels Sydney has on offer, I personally like the area just past Darling Harbour around Central Station as you can still walk to Darling Harbour, plus you are right by the train station which makes it ideal for getting around. 

You will note however that accommodation in Sydney is expensive!  In terms of budget family accommodation Sydney offers, expect to pay at least $200 AUD a night for a family of 4.  For the really cheap family accommodation Sydney offers, you are going to have to go much further afield or consider a family room in a hostel with shared bathroom facilities. 

If you decide to stay further afield, just ensure you are close a train station and you will easily be able to get to all the attractions mentioned in this guide. 

Novotel Sydney Central 

 

During our recent stay in Sydney we stayed at the Novotel Sydney Central.  Novotel is known across the world for offering families fantastic value for money and they are no doubt a great option if you’re looking for the best place to stay in Sydney with family.

Whilst not located in the heart of the city, you can still walk to all the top attractions for kids in Sydney from the Novotel Sydney Central.  And when everyone’s legs get too tired to walk, the hotel is well located right by Central Station where you can catch trains to all the attractions as well as a range of bus stops and light rail stations being close by. 

I love how it’s right in the heart of China Town so lots of delicious and cheap restaurants close by.  Plus if you do drive to Sydney there is parking here too.

When it comes to family rooms Sydney hotels offer, the Novotel is on point!  These rooms are spacious and come with two queen size beds, with plenty of room for every family member’s belongings.

Each room features comfortable bedding, a TV with cable channels and on-demand movies, high-speed internet access, a minibar and ensuite. There are different accommodation options to choose from, including Standard Rooms, Suites, Balcony Rooms and Executive Rooms. 

In terms of facilities, the kids will love swimming in the heated swimming pool on level 8.  There is even a box filled with a range of pool toys as well.

For parents supervising, there are tables and chairs as well as sun lounges – plus – my favourite – a telephone which puts you straight through to room service if you are need of a wine or something to eat.

Another great area for kids is the kids room located in the foyer of the hotel.  Here you will find a TV playing kids shows, colouring in and a range of games.  I love how the kids area is strategically placed across the foyer, so that parents having a drink in the bar can clearly keep an eye on the kids.

For breakfast you can’t beat the buffet served each morning at the Field House restaurant.  If your room doesn’t include breakfast make sure to book on check in when its only $20 per adult (kids eat free!!!), otherwise its $32 at the restaurant.

The hotel also has 24 hour a day Reception, Concierge, room service and all other services associated with a top hotel.

Click here for the latest prices or to make a booking for Novotel.

Rydges Sydney Harbour

 

Located in the heart of the historic Rocks district, the Rydges Sydney Harbour is where you want to stay if you are after ultimate convenience. Walk out the front door and you’re right in the action, meander around the Harbour to Circular Quay or head up into the CBD – not matter what direction you head in, you’ll be experiencing the sights and sounds of Sydney.

Accommodation is simple and modern with two double beds accommodating up to 4 people. Rooms include tea/coffee facilities a mini fridge and free WiFi.

The onsite facilities are encompassing and include a Lobby Lounge and Bar with café-style meals and beverages – available to consume onsite or ordered through room service. There is a rooftop terrace with spa pool and spectacular views across the Harbour.

If you have some extra budget and are after a great hotel in a premium location, the Rydges Sydney Harbour is worth a look.

Click here for the latest prices or to make a booking at Rydges Sydney Harbour.

Amora Hotel


If you want to be within walking distance from both ferry and train transportation, you can’t go past the Amora Hotel located a short walk from Circular Quay.

This is more of a luxury hotel, and whilst a bit exxy it is not as staggeringly expensive as some of the other 5-star Sydney hotels.

Families of 4 are accommodated in stylish rooms with views of the city from most rooms. Two double beds will sleep the family and there is tea/coffee facilities, a mini fridge and free WiFi. For little kids there is also a bath tub which is a great inclusion not found at many hotels these days.

The facilities at this hotel are next level with an indulgent day spa, indoor heated pool, jacuzzi, sauna and 24-hour room service. A bar and restaurant round out the onsite amenities.

If you’re after a little luxury and ultra convenient location, the Amora Hotel is a beautiful choice.

Click here for the latest prices or to make a booking at Amora Hotel.

Getting Around 

Below we have some tips on getting around Sydney as well as how to get to and from the airport.

How to Get from the Airport to the City

There are different options to get from the Airport to the City, including train, transfers or taxi/Uber.  At around $35 to $60, for a family in most cases taking an Uber will be the most cost effective. 

A train into the city is around $19.53 per adult or $15.97 for a child.  So as you can see for a family it’s cheaper to take an Uber.  See more about the Opal Card below.

Another option of course is shuttle transfers, but the cheapest is still around $10 per person.  

Check out our detailed guide on getting to and from the airport here.

Getting Around in Sydney 

Catching trains and ferries are an easy way to get around in Sydney – you just need to make sure you get an Opal Card. An Opal card is the only ticket you need to travel on all public transport in Sydney and surrounds – including Sydney’s Airport Train.

Opal cards are free smartcard tickets you keep and reuse. Just add value to get started, then tap on and tap off to pay your fares on trains, buses, ferries and light rail.

Opal cards are available from ticket windows at the Domestic Airport and International Airport stations or any sort of convenience store or newsagent.  We got ours at a 7/11 just by our hotel.  Each trip around the city will cost you around $3-$7 and once you reach $16.80 in a day your remaining trips are free.  On Sunday’s its even better as anything after $8.40 is free!

Use the NSW Transport journey planner website to plan your trips and check pricing or download the Opal App.

Again in some cases for families getting an Uber may well still be cheaper and sometimes easier.

If you’re the sort of family that loves the Hop On Hop Off buses, then you’re in luck because Sydney has one of them too!  Click here to book your bus tickets.

Check out our detailed guide on getting around Sydney here.

Our Verdict

Sydney is a fantastic holiday destination for families with loads of great attractions and some gorgeous beaches too.

However Sydney is an expensive place to holiday for families, so do your research in order to get the best value for money, or better still use the tips provided above to save yourself some money where you can.

If you’re coming to Sydney for a family trip, I recommend spending a few days in the city to do the city sights then spending a few days on one of the gorgeous beaches for swimming and relaxing. 

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Hopefully you’ve found this guide on the Best Things to do in Sydney with Kids helpful.  If you decide to venture out of Sydney, check out this guide on Places to Visit in NSW with Kids or the Best Things to do in Canberra with Kids – you’ll find loads more adventures for your family!

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