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The top 10 things to do in Sydney with kids

When visiting Australia most travelers focus on the East Coast. Chances are really high that most of these travelers spend a portion of their time in New South Wales and its capital, Sydney. And that’s not surprising! There’s so much to see and do here that you can easily spend a week in Sydney with your family and probably leave with the urge of coming back. Sydney has so much to offer for young and old that everyone in the family will have a great time in Australia’s most visited city. You’ll find lots of family friendly activities to do in Australia’s largest and oldest city. Do you want to know more about the best 10 things to do in Sydney with kids? I will tell you all about them in this post.

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Why Sydney is a great choice for a family visit

Let’s start with some general information about Sydney, before diving into this list of 10 things to do in Sydney with kids. Lots of people think that Sydney is the capital of Australia. That’s not the case. The capital of Australia is Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Sydney is home to about 5 million people. You’ll find some of the world’s most beautiful beaches here. Who hasn’t heard of Bondi Beach? But also beautiful harbours, lots of beautiful parks like the Royal Botanical Garden and great food. Every part of Sydney has a different vibe and in these neighbourhoods you’ll find people from all over the world. The multiculturalism of Sydney makes it one of the most inclusive and culturally rich cities in the world. You’ll find things to do with kids of all ages, from toddler to teen. There’s really only one negative thing to say when it comes to Sydney. It has the dubious honor of being one of the most expensive cities in the world.

When to visit Sydney

Weather wise, Sydney can be visited throughout the year. Summers are warm and winters are known to be moderately cold, temperatures rarely reach freezing point.

How to get there

If you’re flying in internationally then I recommend you to use a site like Expedia to check which airline offers the best price for your flight to Sydney. Expedia is an online travel agency where you can not only book your flights, but also hotels, rent cars or even excursions. I usually turn to Expedia for flights, but if you like to book everything in one place then Expedia is going to be your best friend.

If you are taking a domestic flight or if you want to travel to Sydney by train, I recommend 12Go. We used them to find the cheapest flight from Darwin to Sydney and from Sydney to Melbourne. It’s a user-friendly website that will show you all the different price options and comparisons as well as reviews from fellow travellers.

Do you enjoy this list of 10 things to do in Sydney with kids?

If so, read more about family travel in Australia

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Now without further ado, let’s dive into the top 10 things to do in Sydney with kids!

10 things to do in Sydney with kids

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Opera House

Darling Harbour

Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Hop aboard a ferry

Sydney Tower Eye

The Rocks Market

Bondi Beach

The Museum of Contemporary Art

Sydney Harbour

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Most people flock to Sydney Harbour first after arriving in Sydney. And that’s very understandable. You can take the ferry from here at Circular Quay station to lots of other harbours in Sydney, eat great food, check out the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House or pay a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s a great starting point for a first visit. So many highlights are located in and around this harbour that it will make the whole family pause for a second to take it all in. And that also applies to the smaller children. Just mention the quest to find Nemo and they’ll be very much into a visit to this harbour.

After wandering around for a bit find yourself a place to have a drink or something to eat and start the rest of your planning form here. If you leave this page with only one take-away, then let it be this: start your Sydney adventure at Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Opera House

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While in the harbour you and your kids will get a first glimpse of the iconic Opera House. It took 14 years to build this impressive building. It did cost a fortune though, 14 times more than the intended price. So it’s a good thing that it attracts so many visitors and is actually the main reason for some to come to Sydney in the first place.

You can get tickets for a show here or a guided tour through this building, but as impressive as the outside is I don’t think one of these activities are high on your kids list. So if your kid’s not into opera or classical music or isn’t interested in architecture I’d only do a tour if there’s another kid friendly activity on the program for the remainder of the day.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Standing next to the Opera House you get a good look at another sight that is known worldwide. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, also known as the coat hanger. It is a really impressive bridge to see in real life. The Harbour Bridge is the tallest steel arch bridge in the world. Our 10 year old was also very impressed and kept taking pictures of it. We decided to walk up to the bridge and it is huge, especially when walking underneath it. You feel so incredibly small under all those tons of steel.

Bridge Climb

A fun activity that you can do here is that you can actually go up the bridge and walk above the cars driving beneath you. We didn’t do it, because it was very hot and it was around lunchtime, but if you’re interested a ticket sets you back about €170 per adult and €115 per child. It is supposed to be a real cool experience, so we will definitely do it when we return to Sydney.

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is the starting point to many kid friendly attractions like Wild Life Sydney Zoo, SeaLife and Madame Tussauds. And their entrances are right next to each other. Two of these sights are added to this best 10 things to do in Sydney with kids list.

You can reach Darling Harbour by ferry. It’s a beautiful harbour with lots of restaurants, most of them being kid friendly. And you get a beautiful view of the bay.

Disclaimer: this post promotes zoo’s and I have to say that after these visits I haven’t been to a zoo of any kind. I simply don’t want to spend money at places that keep animals in captivity. And my believe is that in lots of cases their living space is way too small. This doesn’t mean that I believe that zoo’s or aquariums necessarily treat animals badly, but in my lifetime I did see things that made me cringe. Animals need to roam freely in nature. The other side of the medal is that some animals that are on the verge of extinction are being kept in zoo’s which makes us believe and hope that this way they will survive and hopefully their numbers will grow again. So there are pro’s and con’s to visiting a zoo. That’s why I write about our experiences at both Sea Life Sydney Aquarium and Wild Life Sydney Zoo. It is important to me to mention that at both of these places I didn’t see any signs of neglect.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo

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Next on this list of top things to do in Sydney with your family is a visit to the Wild Life Sydney Zoo. This is a relatively small zoo, where you can spot all of Australia’s big five. This big five consists of the Koala, Kangaroo, Crocodile, Wombat and the Platypus. We did see them all. And in the cafeteria we even saw lots of koala’s chilling and sleeping in trees carrying their babies.

Petting wild animals

We saw a Quokka and even got a chance to pet him while a zoo keeper held onto Davy the Quokka. In hindsight we shouldn’t have taken part in the ‘feed and talk’ that they offered. We also got to touch a python, a lizard and a kangaroo. Now I can’t say for sure, but I do believe that this experience is much more fun for the people than it is for the animals. Therefore we’ll not be partaking in activities where you can pet wild animals anymore.

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

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We started the day by visiting Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. Most of the aquariums are huge, which is great for the animals. We saw lots of sharks in tanks that weren’t only next to us, but all around us. And not just sharks, but also (sting)rays and even dugongs. And don’t forget to check out the penguins. They are always a pleasure to watch. With all these large animals it is easy to forget the small aquariums, but you really shouldn’t. All the cute and colorful smaller fish are beautiful to watch and they’ll make you want to sit in front of the aquarium for hours on end. Of course Dory and Nemo are here too!

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Finding Nemo in Sydney

And while we’re on the subject of Dory and Nemo. Many kids are hoping to find the dentist office of P. Sherman on 42 Wallaby Way in Sydney. Unfortunately this address doesn’t exist. They’ll have to do with checking out all the fish we know from the movies at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Hop aboard a ferry

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We already talked about Sydney Harbour and Darling Harbour, but there are many other harbours you can visit and of course, all are reachable by ferry. A short ferry ride will take you and your children to beautiful areas of Sydney and the activities they have on offer.

For most kids being on a boat is an adventure in itself. And while your on the water you’ll all be rewarded with views of skyscrapers, beautiful houses, beaches and sights like the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. All in all this activity deserves a spot in this top 10 things to do in Sydney with kids.

Sydney Tower Eye

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Next up is Sydney Tower Eye’s observation deck. It’s Sydney’s tallest structure to date and has a lot of names, but this is the one that’s most in use. You get the best views of Sydney and its surrounds from up here.

Visiting an observation deck is something we love to do when visiting any city. This way you’ll get a good sense of direction when you’re staring down for a while. It is also an activity that most children love to do. It speaks to their imagination.

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Multiple Attraction Passes

If you visit the Sydney Tower Eye observation deck, the Wild Life Sydney Zoo, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium or Madame Tussauds you get the chance to buy multiple attraction passes, called the Sydney Big Ticket. The more attractions you want to visit, the more attractive the price will be. We bought tickets to see three attractions and thought it was definitely worth it. It is definitely worth buying the tickets online in advance, because then you will end up with an even bigger discount. Children under age 3 get to go in for free.

Price updated: June 2021 Full Price (per adult) Online Price (per adult) Online Price (per child)
Visit 4 attractions 171 AUD 77 AUD 54 AUD
Visit 3 attractions 125 AUD 67 AUD 47 AUD
Visit 2 attractions 79 AUD 57 AUD 40 AUD
Visit 4 attractions & big bus 218 AUD 99 AUD 70 AUD

The Rocks Market

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The Rock is a nice artistic area in near proximity of Circular Quay. It gave us lots of Euro vibes. And coincidentally we sat down at a German restaurant with a nice terrace where we ordered our drinks and decided to stay for an early dinner. But the real reason to come to the Rocks is The Rocks Market. You’ll find lots of stalls located along Sydney’s oldest cobblestone streets. Lots of handcrafted items by talented artists, also a few who make toys. And you’ll find all kinds of street food here. We really enjoyed the roasted chestnuts.

There are lots of restaurants in The Rock (with tourist prices, so be prepared to cough up some dough) to choose from. Most of them family friendly. The Rocks Market is well worth a visit and deserves a spot on the 10 things to do in Sydney with kids list.

Bondi Beach

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The most famous beach of Australia and maybe even of the world is Bondi Beach. You’ll see lots of surfers starting their day by catching some waves. An activity they also seem to end their (work)day with. This beautiful sandy beach is a great one to spend a day at. Roll out your beach towel, build sandcastles and go for a swim. Bondi Beach is buzzing with people from early morning to night. A great way to relax during your family visit to this city.

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Last, but not least, on this top 10 things to do in Sydney with kids is a place that brings us back to Circular Quay. This time to visit a museum that is also very interesting to children, the Museum of Contemporary Art. Entrance is free and we saw lots of children who were really interested in everything the museum had to offer. Including our own. Maybe not for toddlers, but definitely for ages 5 and up. You can easily spend two or three hours there. Depending on how long your children are amused, of course.

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Do you enjoy this list of 10 things to do in Sydney with kids?

If so, read more about family travel in Australia

You might also like:

Did you enjoy reading our top 10 things to do in Sydney with kids? Do you have any questions about any of the things we wrote about? Let us know in the comments. If we left great things out that other people should know about, then that would also be helpful to know.

If you want to read more about traveling around Australia, check out our ultimate family road trip guide from Perth to Darwin, the top 10 things to do in Melbourne with your family, 8 things to do in NT’s most famous national park: Kakadu or read the top 10 things to do in Western Australia with kids.


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Comments (4)

    Saskia posted on 20 Jun 2021 at 9:06 pm

    I hope you get to check these places out one day :).

    Saskia posted on 17 Jun 2021 at 6:53 pm

    I hope you’ll get to show them this beautiful and diverse city one day!