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Sydney isn’t just for adults. With all its wildlife wonder and outdoor entertainment, the city is a great place for kids to have some fun too. Head to one of these top spots for a day full of family fun.
You may not see kangaroos hopping around the city, but you can still see them in Sydney. Grab a ferry at Circular Quay, and head to the Taronga Zoo to see kangaroos, koalas, dingoes and 350 other animal species. Book in advance for one of the daily encounters where the kids can meet koalas, hold snakes and even feed giraffes.
Sydney Sea Life Aquarium and Wild Life Sydney
In Darling Harbour you’ll find two great attractions for kids: the Sydney Aquarium and Wild Life Zoo. Purchase combo passes for entry to these attractions and others at a reduced price, so the kids can venture over shark infested waters on the Shark Walk one day, and have breakfast with koalas the next.
Sydney is known for its surf culture, so why not bring the kids in on the fun? Manly Surf School offers lessons for kids from as young as 5 years old. Located on specially selected beaches to ensure total safety, the school teaches the little ones not only how to stand up on the board, but also the importance of surf safety. Book lessons for yourself and the little ones, and spend a day at the beach.
Bonus Tip: On Sundays, Sydney offers the Family Funday Sunday special where families can enjoy unlimited travel by bus, train or ferry throughout Sydney and its suburbs for only $2.50 per person.
1) Visit Luna Park - Martin Sharp's iconic smiling clown face has attracted kids and adults since 1935 and very successfully so. The rickery wooden rides and the nostalgic decor comes with the best view of the harbour, making it the most-visited tourist spot after Circular Quay in the city. Kids will love it for the rides, the fairy floss and the clown face!
2) A day trip to Taronga Zoo - An island full of animals and interesting ones too - lions, tigers, bears, elepants, giraffe, koala, kangaroo, chimps, the komoda dragon, pygmy hipos and oh so many - how can you not take your kids to this animal kingdom? Take a ferry from Circular Quay, pack a picnic along and spend the entire day giggling along with the kids.
3) Horse Riding at the park - The walking and cycling tracks at Centennial Parklands offers a little something extra for children. It's the only urban park to offer 210 stables and five riding schools - with each school catering to your age and level of experience. Double win!
4) Kids Tour at The Sydney Opera House - This Utzon-designed architectural marvel isn’t just for adult culture vultures. The Opera House offers a little history lesson in architecture and performance - a junior version of the ever-popular Opera House Essential Tour.
5) Surf Lessons - You can't come Down Under without riding the surf and playing with the 3ft high waves. The Manly Surf club offers a kids special - you can make the lessons private or join a small group of other kids. You will learn surf etiquette, the basic rules, how to stand up on the board, and, of course, how to actually stay up on the board.
You’ll find your children — called nippers in local slang — will be just as enchanted by Sydney as you are. Your trip will be even more thrilling for the kids if you visit these five activities recommended by Forbes Travel Guide’s editors.
1. Visit Taronga Zoo. Taronga is generally ranked as one of the world's best zoos, and for good reason. Opened in 1916 and recently renovated, it houses more than 2,000 animals. The zoo has a great variety of species, and visitors can see Australian natives like the koala, platypus or kangaroo.
2. Scale the Sydney Tower. Australia's tallest building, the second tallest in Oceania, offers a spectacular 360-degree view of the city, and the tour includes a 3D movie ride that kids will love.
3. Tour Sydney Aquarium. Located right on Darling Harbour, the aquarium is one of Australia's most-visited attractions. Visitors can take a walkway underneath the tanks, and the Great Barrier Reef exhibit is a beautiful recreation of the colorful diversity the reef hosts.
4. Explore Fort Denison. An easy ferry ride will take you to this tiny island in the middle of Sydney Harbour, where adults and older children will enjoy a quirky historical tour of the former prison site and World War II defense facility.
5. See Olympic Park. A short train ride away, the site of the 2000 Summer Olympics is still in regular use, and was designed as a largely self-contained Olympic Park. You can swim in the same pool or run the same track that the Olympians used, and the huge stadium regularly hosts concerts, rugby, and seasonal events.