By Cindy Lee
Sydney, although modern and cosmopolitan, has many offerings to keep a family entertained. Ranging from world class museums to amusement parks, Sydney has something to interest any family. Key family oriented attractions in Sydney include:
- Darling Harbour
- The Sydney Aquarium
- Taronga Zoo
- The Powerhouse Museum
- Luna Park
- The Australian Museum
- Australian National Maritime Museum
Darling Harbour is the hub of festival type activity in Sydney. Throughout the year, fireworks, concerts and large events are hosted on and around Cockle Bay. Whether it be New Years Eve, the Bacardi Festival, Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Races, Latin Fiesta, Jazz Festival etc. you will find events and happenings here. Lined with restaurants, shops and even playground equipment, Darling Harbour is a fantastic place to visit.
Open 9am to 10pm every day, except Christmas and New Years where it closes at 6pm. Last ticket sales an hour before closing.
Sydney Aquarium has been a tourist landmark for years. It has a fantastic viewing tunnel, where you can literally see the fish / sharks swim around you. There’s also interactive areas for the kids, which allow them to hold some of the sea animals.
Open 9am – 5pm every day of the year!
Buy the family on a Zoo Pass, enjoy a ferry ride on the harbour, and a cable car ride to the top of Taronga Zoo!! Animals from all over the world are on display, my personal favourites being the Gorilla’s, Koalas and Platypi. For those with a bit more money to spare (or a greater interest in the animals), fork out for interactive experiences such as holding the actual koala’s and feeding the giraffes. The Zoo also has a new Night Zoo programme, where kid’s and their family’s can spend the night meeting nocturnal animals and camping out.
The Powerhouse Museum
Open 10am – 5pm every day except Christmas. Extended hours during the school holidays
For those more technology inclined, the Powerhouse Museum contains history of scientists and interactive exhibits for you to experience. A fascinating visit which will interest kids and parents alike!
Luna Park –Free Entry!!!
Rides open to the public everyday
Sitting under the harbour bridge on the Milsons Point side, is the famous big face and mouth which is the gate into a rides and amusement park. Swap your cash for Luna’s and enjoy the maze of mirrors, dodgem cars and the ferris wheel amongst the attractions and sideshow games.
The Australian Museum
Open 9:30am – 5pm every day except Christmas
Located behind Hyde Park in the city, the Australian Museum holds a collection of interesting exhibits ranging from Dinosaurs, Rocks and Australian Flora and Fauna.
Australian National Maritime Museum-Free Entry!!!
Open 9:30 – 5pm every day except Christmas. Open til 6pm in January.
Located on the Pyrmont side of Darling Harbour, the Maritime museum offers shipping enthusiasts a close up look. Besides great exhibitions which are sourced from around the world, depending on what is docking in Sydney patrons have the chance to board submarines or traditional sailing ships. In the summer holidays, the maritime museum also runs water fun parks for the kids.
Photo: Tourism Wollongong 2000. Courtesy Tourism New South Wales