More than 4.5 million people make their home in Sydney, the capital city of New South Wales.
The Aussies that call this sunny city home know that family fun starts outdoors – with a variety of beach and park activities, interesting sites to see, and plenty of culture and history to explore at entertainment venues, art galleries and museums. Sydney residents like to be on the go, and there’s always something exciting for families to do here.
Next to the famed Sydney Opera House, the most familiar structure against the Sydney skyline is the Harbour Bridge. Older kids with a taste for a few safe but scary thrills will enjoy the Bridge Climb. You make your way to the departure lounge where instructors provide a rigorous training session to prepare you for the climb. People taking this adventure are then suited up in headsets, jumpsuits and attached to an umbilical safety cord, then led up, up and away! There’s a wide walking track on the bridge’s curved span, but the steady climb and height may be intimidating for some. The reward at the top is an unsurpassed and spectacular view –and bragging rights for accomplishing something daring and different! That iconic Sydney Opera House also gives free tours, so if your family has enjoyed a musical or theatre presentation there it’s fun to get a behind-the-scenes look at how it all comes together. The morning tour takes you backstage to peek into star’s dressing rooms and see where sets and costumes are kept.
Sydney has no shortage of museums, but kids especially enjoy the Powerhouse Museum that specializes in exhibits on science, technology and design, and the Australian Maritime Museum that’s a center for history and sea lore.
Sydney’s families love nothing more than being outdoors and enjoying the beautiful scenery, temperate weather and opportunities for recreation this lush city provides. Metropolitan Sydney is home to several national parks including the Royal National Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens. In every corner of the city there are green spaces to enjoy, and bike and hiking paths to accommodate the active Sydney lifestyle. Get your kids out there to walk or hike, rollerblade or just to enjoy a fresh-air picnic. Water-babies can enjoy a day at the beach close by: Biondi Beach is one of the world’s best and located closest to the city center. It boasts consistently good waves, and has kid-favorite salt water sea baths at either end, which are a good alternative when the sea is too rough for swimming. Gather shells, soak up some sun and spend the day playing in the sand with your kids. Beach days are a year-round activity in Australia, and children learn to swim at a very early age here.
Swimming, surfing, and other water sports are very popular in and around Sydney, and this sports-mad city also offers up spectator sports to take in with your kids: the most popular are rugby and cricket, and teams play regular matches to audiences of enthusiastic fans. Other sporting extravaganzas appeal to kids as well: take in the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and watch the City Surf Race.
Visit the city’s numerous open spaces and recreate on the waterways, or visit one of the heritage sites to learn more about the fascinating multicultural history of the country.