8 Reasons To Visit Sydney With Kids

One of our favorite places in the world is to be on the back of a ferry cruising around Sydney Harbor

We have a HUGE place in our heart for Sydney.  Not only because some of our best friends in the world live there, but because we all agree this is one city we’d be able to move to and be happy.  The Aussies just seem to get it right…. from their government, socialized medicine, education system, amazing flat white coffee, and don’t get me started on the sausage sarnies.Sydney Australia Opera House

For most of the world, Australia is an incredibly long plane ride and just seems to be ‘too far’. This is true, our circus has made the 16 hr flight from LAX three times with Qantas.  However, each and every time we fall in love with this vibrant city surrounded by water more deeply.  Everyone should have Sydney on their bucket list.

Here are 8 Reasons To Visit Sydney With Kids!

Kids on the ferry, Sydney Harbour bridge in the background

1. Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House sitting on the stunning harborside is incredible, and it’s easy to see why it was named as a finalist for one of the new 7 wonders of the world.

It is one of the most distinctive buildings in the world, famous for the stunning architecture and over 8 million people visit it each year.

Kids looking at Sydney Australia Harbour Bridge

You should really plan to visit the Opera House at different times of the day to see the different light bounce off this beautiful building. It looks completely different when you see it at 8am and 8pm.

2. Sydney Botanical Gardens With Kids

These lush Botanical Gardens are located in a peaceful setting overlooking the Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

They are a fabulous spot to take a break from the fast pace of the city, and to enjoy nature and the beautiful photo opportunities.  Entrance to the gardens is free and I’d highly encourage you to carve out a couple of hours to visit.

Sydney, Australia Manly Beach

3. Manly Beach

Manly is a 30-minute ferry ride from the Circular Quay.  Once you arrive in Manly you immediately relax and feel as though you are in a laid-back surf town. Which you literally are.

Sydney, Australia Manly Beach ferry ride

The air is clear, surfers walk barefoot with their boards tucked under their arm heading to grab a meat pie and a cold one and it’s clean.  Manly has one of the best surf spots in Sydney and the consistent swells make for perfect conditions to catch those perfect waves.

Sydney, Australia Manly Beach ferry
We’ve taken the children to Sydney a couple of times… notice the age differences!

4. Kids Love Sydney Ferry Rides

Since Sydney is surrounded by water, the Sydney Ferries are a unique means of transportation, and an economical and fast way to move around the different areas of Sydney.

There are plenty of schedules, most depart from Circular Quay, and they even operate late at night.  The ferries are so much fun and if you are traveling with children they will love it!

Sydney, Australia ferry rides

5. Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is Sydney’s best family attraction.

Sydney, Australia aquariumIt is located on the stunning Darling Harbor and has over 13,000 aquatic animals from 650 species.

The animals are in unique exhibits and the boys were thrilled to get extra close and personal with the sharks.

One of the most popular areas in the aquarium is the large tunnel where sting rays, sharks, and other animals swim over the top of your heads as you pass through. It’s very thrilling for children and adults alike.

Sydney, Australia aquarium with friends Robert and Penny

The displays are great and there are plenty of educational, hands-on activities for children.

Sydney, Australia aquarium shark

6. Sydney Harbour Bridge 

Sydney Harbor Bridge, Australia
We were fortunate to stay in an apartment overlooking the beautiful bridge and were given a spectacular sunset show every evening!

This bridge is magnificent and the sheer size of the world’s largest steel arch bridge takes your breath away.

Sydney Harbor Bridge, Australia with kids

There is no better place in Sydney to see the magnificence of the Harbor and Sydney than from Sydney Harbour Bridge.

You can walk across the bridge from the city end and catch the train back from Milson’s Point station where you are treated to incredible views.

If you can handle heights there’s the opportunity to actually climb the bridge with a guided tour, however we passed on that option!

Sydney Zoo, Australia
The panoramic views of Sydney are stunning

7. Taronga Zoo With Kids

Taronga Zoo is one of the prettiest zoos we’ve ever visited, as it stands on the hillside overlooking the beautiful Sydney Harbor.

Sydney Zoo, Australia tarongo zoo checking out kangaroos
Baby Julian loved the native wildlife, especially the kangaroos

The zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, including Australian native wildlife, as well as rare and endangered exotic animals.

Taronga Zoo is only 12 minutes from the city by ferry, and the boys absolutely loved getting up close and personal with the giraffes and kangaroos.

Sydney Zoo, Australia tarongo zoo with kids
Just look at that stunning background…

Sydney Zoo, Australia tarongo zoo giraffes

8. The Rocks and Circular Quay

The Rocks is the oldest neighborhood in Sydney and the cobblestone streets are home to more than 100 heritage sites and buildings, including the oldest house in Sydney.

Sydney the rocks, Australia
Always fun to hear a didgeridoo being played

The streets are filled with street entertainers, boutique shops and lovely cafes.

Sydney the rocks, Australia with kids

The Rocks is located next to the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The open-air market is filled with locals and tourists browsing to purchase homemade crafts, souvenirs, street food, and drinks.

Visit Sydney the rocks, Australia

The Rocks has some of Sydney’s oldest pubs and now has many upscale restaurants too.

Sydney the rocks, Australia

The many small restaurants on the water’s edge and cute shops make it a fun place to spend an afternoon in the sun.

***  You’ll notice a huge change in the ages of the kids in some of the pictures included in this post. I blended pictures from our different visits to Sydney!***

What are your favorite things to do in Sydney with kids?

Let me know in the comments below and join me on Instagram and X (Twitter)!

About The Author


I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.

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