Sydney is the perfect holiday destination for everyone - singles, couples and family.
Whatever time of the year, Sydney offers a mind-boggling choice when it comes to shopping, dining, clubbing and tourist attractions. Indulge in the finest food at some of the world's best restaurants or go on a shopping frenzy at the many weekend markets for unique Australia finds. Or better yet, chill out at Bondi and soak in the beach culture, or climb the world-renowned icon- the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a thrilling adventure.
But there's more to Sydney than just the city hub. The close proximity of surrounding regions like the Southern Highlands, Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley and Port Stephens, each with its own unique character and charm allows you to enjoy the best of city and country life. Just hop on a car and go on a fulfilling self-drive experience, or travel on the train, bus or eco-tour to the majestic mountain ranges & World Heritage Rainforests of the Blue Mountains, delightful wine growing areas in the Hunter Wine Country, endless white sandy beaches at Port Stephens, old English country charm at Southern Highlands and idyllic coastline drive along Illawarra region.
It's no wonder Sydney has been voted "World's Best City" for the record ninth time by leading US travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler.
There's truly no place in the world like Sydney.
Sydney For The Family...
Sydney is a great holiday destination for families! Family fun activities in Sydney abound - fun and edutainment experiences for the children, interacting with the koalas and kangaroos at the zoo, getting hands-on experiences at the aquarium and museums, or just having a picnic in the park.
Great family activities are also available at the beautiful countryside- all just within two and a half hours' drive of Sydney. Choose from spectacular Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley wine country or fun-filled Port Stephens.
Here's is a snapshot of Top 10 Reasons Why Kids Love Sydney, Family Cost-Savings Passes, Our recommendations of where to stay and suggested itinerary.
- Fun all day long at Luna Park
Kids will enjoy non-stop fun rides at Luna Park.. There are 17 rides are available for the kids and the kids at heart. Check out Coney Island - Australia's only authentic 1930s fun house takes everyone back to their childhood. Kids will experience the thrill of riding the Slides, stumbling through Barrels of Fun, tackling Ye Olde Turkey Trot or lasting the distance on the Joy Wheel.
- Fun in the City (Sydney Tower, OzTrek & Skywalk)
is a fixture of Sydney's skyline offering unsurpassed views to the mountains and sea. Children will enjoy the multi-million-dollar, 40-minute virtual expedition, OzTrek, which uses state-of-the-art technical wizardry - surround screens, sensory effects, vibrating chairs - to hurtle visitors around some of Australia's most spectacular locations whilst listening in the language of your choice through headsets. The new Skywalk is due to commence August 05. Step outside of the tallest building in Australia - Sydney Tower. Skywalkers will be harnessed to the tower before a 30min tour of two platforms including a glass floor & an electronic moving platform. The tour will be available in 7 different languages and wheelchair accessible. Experience lasts 75min. Only children above 10 years of age may experience the Skywalk.
- Animal encounter at Taronga Zoo
Taronga is said to be an Aboriginal word meaning "water view". Indeed, Taronga Zoo
has one of the most spectacular views in the world, offering beautiful sights of the Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The best way to get to the Zoo is by ferry and is also a great way to explore the Harbour.
The main attractions here are the chimpanzee exhibit and the gorilla forest. There is also a wide range of indigenous animals like koalas, kangaroos, dingoes and wombats. Children love Taronga Zoo because they can interact and ask questions about the animals at the Animal Keeper Talks. and get up-close and personal with cudldy Australian animals.
- Fun discovery at Australian Museum
The reason why kids love the Australian Museum is because they are treated like kings here. Many activities are created specially to spark their interest in natural history and there is plenty of hands-on exhibits to keep the children hooked. Check out the More than Dinosaurs exhibit where children will be able to see a life-size model of a T-Rex's head and also get to assemble the skeletal frame of a Stegosaurus. Visit also the Biodiversity exhibit where children will get a chance to see diverse Australian plant and animal life. They'll enjoy dressing up in insect costumes too!
- Play at Darling Harbour
Located just minutes from central Sydney is one of the world's great waterfront destinations, Darling Harbour
. It is home to an exciting range of attractions, hotels, cafes, restaurants and shops - a fantastic family playground.
This children-friendly place also has carousels, playground and IMAX Theatre to keep the children entertained. What's more, Darling Harbour has a full calendar of entertainment, events and festivals.
- Cruise along Sydney Harbour
Kids love Sydney Harbour because they not only get to go a cruise to appreciate the harbour's beauty, but at the same time, they learn some interesting history about the harbour and discover its landmarks. Scenic cruises, coffee cruises, lunch & dinner cruises are just some of the options for the family. Click here for a list of cruise operators
For kids who love adventure , bring them on an exhilarating jet boat ride which incorporate 270-degree spins, wild fish tails and incredible power brake stops. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult, and they have to be over 1.3m.
- Indiana Jones Adventure at Australian Reptile Park
For kids for would love an Indiana Jones-style adventure, the Australian Reptile Park
reptile park about 45 minute's drive north of Sydney is worth the trip out. On display are a wide variety of reptiles, spiders, marsupials and birds, but what makes this place stand out is its huge alligator lagoon as well as unique exhibits. Check out Spider World, the Lost World of Reptiles and celebrity crocodile Eric who weighs at whopping 500kg!
- Nursery rhyme characters come alive at Hunter Valley Gardens
Kids love Hunter Valley Gardens because while parents enjoy wine tasting
in Hunter Valley wine country, they can troop to the 25-hectare Hunter Valley Gardens
which features 12 beautiful feature gardens including a Japanese garden with a pagoda, rose garden and tea garden with Indian influences. But the highlight must surely be the delightful Story Book Garden featuring favourite characters from nursery rhymes and children's stories. There's Mary and her little lamb, Alice in Wonderland, the Gingerbread Man, Humpty Dumpty, Jack and the Beanstalk and a whole host of others.
- Sand Tobogganing at Port Stephens
Just two and a half hours north of Sydney lies the fun-filled Blue Water Paradise of Port Stephens. Kids love Port Stephens because they get a wild ride here. Go on a 4WD tour on the largest moving coastal sand mass in the Southern Hemisphere and try sand tobogganing for a wild ride down the dunes. A must-try!
Or go on a Dolphin Watch Cruise on Nelson Bay and spot over 160 bottle-nosed dolphins. Don't forget to bring your swimsuit as you'll have an opportunity to ride the boom net which gives you a closer look of the dolphins.
- Fun cable car rides at Blue Mountains
Located at Katoomba, the biggest town in the Blue Mountains, Scenic World's claim to fame is its three fun rides. Kids will love The Scenic Railway, a stomach-churning favourite. It's the world's steepest incline railway, plunging into the valley floor where soul-soothing scenery commands your attention. Next, get on the three-minute Scenic Flyway, a roomy cable-car with floor to ceiling windows. The Scenic Skyway is another cable-car that takes you 200m above the valley floor. Thanks to new-fangled technology, the cable-car floor turns transparent - just imagine the view!
Choices of Hotels:
| ||Ibis Sydney Darling Harbour Hotel|
Located in Darling Harbour, about a 10 minute walk to Star City Casino and Convention Centre. Approximately 15 minute walk to Sydney's CBD.
| ||Hotel Ibis World Square|
Located on the corner of Pitt and Goulburn Streets, next to World Square shopping mall. This hotel is also within walking distance to Darling Harbour (15 minutes), Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centres (15 minutes) and Market City in China Town(10 minutes).
| ||Great Southern Hotel|
This heritage listed, boutique, non-smoking hotel is located on George Street at the southern end of the city. In the heart of Chinatown opposite the popular Paddy's markets and just a few minutes walk to Darling Harbour, central railway station, Queen Victoria Building, shops and theatres. Buses are available outside the hotel and it is just a quick ride to the Star City Casino and Circulay Quay.
| ||Aspire Hotel Sydney|
Located in Ultimo, 1km from the city centre. Airport is 11 km from the hotel, 6km to the nearest beach. 1km to Darling harbour area, near Glebe restaurants and near theatre and the Casino, as well as Chinatown.
| ||Metro Hotel Sydney Central|
Located on the corner of Campbell and Pitt Street in Chinatown and opposite the Capitol Theatre, at city's southern end. About 10 minutes walk to the Sydney Entertainment Centre and Darling Harbour, on 5-10 minutes walk to either Central or Town Hall Station.
| ||Holiday Inn Darling Harbour Hotel|
Located opposite the Sydney Entertainment Centre, directly behind China Town and 5 minutes to the centre of Darling Harbour. Easy access to other tourist attractions by public transport. Light rail and Monorail stations are nearby.
| ||Citigate Central Hotel|
This modern 4-star hotel is located in the southern end of the Sydney's CBD near Chinatown. Darling Harbour is 10 minutes away.
| ||Rydges World Square Hotel|
The hotel is in Sydney's theatre district, right next door to World Square - a large shopping mall. To Circular Quay and the Rocks area, you can take public buses from George Street (2 minute walk). Monorail station is right outside the hotel, taking you around the city and Darling Harbour.
| ||Sebel Surry Hills Hotel|
The hotel is located in Surry Hills, a vibrant inner city village with a reputation for excellent restaurants, pubs and bars. Popular Oxford and Crown Streets are a few minutes walk from the hotel, which is also situated a short distance from Central Station, a major hub for train transport around the city, Olympic Stadium and to regional areas of NSW and interstate. The CBD, including Chinatown, Darling Harbour and the Entertainment Centre, is an easy 10 minute stroll from the hotel.
| ||The Menzies Sydney Hotel|
This very popular hotel is situated right in the centre of Sydney. Opposite Wynyard Station, bus terminals and Wynyard Park, and only a few minutes walk to the Rocks and Circular Quay, with shopping and theatres close by.
| ||Metro Hotel On Pitt Sydney|
Conveniently located on Pitt Street, a 3 minute walk to Town Hall Station. City centre (Pitt Street Mall) is about 10 minutes away on foot. Easily accessible to Darling Harbour and China Town (approximately 10~15 minute walk).
| ||Mercure Sydney Hotel|
A 4 star hotel right next to Central Station, Sydney's major transport hub. Paddy's Market in China Town, Sydney Entertainment Centre and Darling Harbour are all within easy walking distance.
| ||Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour Hotel|
Situated at the southern end of Darling Harbour right next to Sydney Entertainment Centre. Sydney Convention Centre is just 100 meters away. Superb dining outlets in Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay and China Town are all close by. The monorail and lightrail stations are within 2 minutes walk from the hotel.
| ||Swissotel Sydney Hotel|
Swissôtel Sydney is a deluxe five star hotel located in the heart of the city. All of Sydney’s famous landmarks are within walking distance of the hotel, including The Sydney Harbour Bridge, the historic Rocks precinct, Sydney Opera House and the beautiful Botanic Gardens.
| ||Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour Hotel|
The hotel is a prominent building just behind Darling Harbour complex, overlooking Cockle Bay. 200m to the Convention Centre and 10 minutes walk to the city centre. Very handy for those attending conventions, but also a nice spot for tourists.
| ||Radisson Plaza Hotel|
Located at the Circular Quay end of the Sydney CBD, it is a few minutes walk to Circular Quay, Opera House, the historic Rocks and the main shopping area - Pitt Street Mall.
| ||Star City Hotel|
Located at the eastern end of Darling Harbour, this hotel is situated within the Star City Casino complex. Moments from the shops and restaurants of Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay, as well as the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. A pleasant 10 minute walk across Pyrmont Bridge in to the central business district and Chinatown.
| ||Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Hotel|
Centrally located in the heart of Sydney's CBD, only a few minutes walk to Circular Quay, the Rocks and Wynyard train station. There are plenty of dining, entertainment and transport options nearby.
| ||Intercontinental Sydney Hotel|
Perfectly positioned beside Circular Quay and the Royal Botanic Gardens, boasting great views of Sydney. Many of the city's attractions are a short stroll away - the famous Sydney Opera House, as well as the original Convict built part of town known as 'the Rocks'. Shopping is within walking distance.