Whether you live in Sydney or are there to visit, the fact is that the city has a lot to offer for leisure time. Many parents understand how difficult can be to go sightseeing and exploring with children, but it’s possible and can be fun for the whole family.
Last year, Sydney left the list of the 10 most expensive cities in the world making it more approachable for everyone’s pocket. To give you some ideas, here are things to do in Sydney with kids on a budget that will bring you unforgettable moments.
Things To Do in Sydney With Kids on a Budget
Meet the animals of Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo may seem like an expense, but considering how many animals it houses — it’s a bargain. Getting there is also an adventure the kids will enjoy tremendously.
You will have to take a ferry from Circular Quay and ride in the cable car from the Sky Safari to the zoo. Eating at the zoo is pricey, so pack your own snacks to stay within the budget. Another thing to consider is comfy shoes since there’s a lot of ground to cover and animals to see.
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There are more than 5,000 animals in the zoo, a large number of them considered endangered species. Kids will especially love the opportunity to feed fish to penguins and come up close and personal with koalas. Exhibits, like African Savannah and Tiger Trek, offer an educational and fun activity for kids taking them to meet the animals of other continents.
Picnic at the Royal Botanic Gardens
Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the most famous in the world for the collection of flora. The lawns and gardens here are perfect for kids to play and experience nature without leaving the city.
Families come here all the time for picnics and exhibits that are interesting for all ages and offer a unique chance to see amazing things, like the gold coin collection.
Besides getting to know the plants, the tours also talk about the Aboriginal culture and you can even taste Australian bush foods. A scenic tour on the Choo Choo Express is an adventure for both children and adults, taking you through the landmarks.
The Royal Botanic Garden features a monthly display of seasonal plants so even if you come back every month, there are new things to see.
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Bushwalk in the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains are just outside of Sydney and a favorite spot for families to take a time off from the urban environment. You can turn your time in the Blue Mountains into a weekend getaway and stay at Fairmont Resort, an affordable and family-friendly spot with heated pools, mini-train, and play centers.
Other than that, you can come here for a day and hike through the beautiful nature, by the waterfalls, and under Eucalyptus trees. The Scenic Skyway will take you over the wilderness and give you a 360-degrees view of the area thanks to the glass floors.
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Hike to the Three Sisters rock formation may be too much for the kids, but worry not — there’s plenty of other Aboriginal histories, like 20,000 years old rock art.
Let them play at Darling Harbour Playground
After all the sightseeing it’s fitting to treat your kids to some playtime on the Darling Harbour Playground. It’s located in Tumbalong Park and has a lot of attractions your kids will love, including some that not every playground offers.
Rope climbing, slides, flying fox, and dams are some of the highlights to expect here, as well as sandpits, water fountains, and giant swings. During weekends, the Darling Harbour Playground is crowded, but there’s a lot of space for everyone to play. Afterward, you can grab something to eat in the Darling Quarter and have an in-home roasted coffee to go.
Take kids whale-watching
Sydney offers a lot of whale-watching cruises that will take you to see migrating humpback whales, as well as dolphins. These tours can last for a few hours so you will have plenty of time to do other things during the day. If a cruise is still above your budget, there are some spots in Sydney where you can have a good look at these giants of the sea.
North Head lookout in Manly is a high vantage point where you can not only see whales, but also a panorama of the Sydney Harbour. Lady Bay Beach is another place for whale-watching in the Sydney Harbour National Park, so you may have to pay a small fee to enter. The best time to see the whales is from mid-June to mid-July when the large numbers pass by.
Cycling in the Centennial Park
Centennial Park has a lot to offer for a family with kids of all ages, like playgrounds, ponds with swans, and vast space to run. However, it’s also a nice spot for the whole family to get a healthy dose of physical activity. Grand Drive trail is short, flat, and surrounded by greenery that’s been a popular cycling spot for over 100 years.
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To stay within the budget, find kids bikes for sale at affordable prices and dedicate one day to enjoy the fresh air and have a picnic in the park. If your children are new to cycling, Learners Cycleway is available where they can make their first pedaling steps.
Bird watching is often interesting for children so make sure to bring your binoculars and look for some of the many feathery species occupying Centennial Park.
Go surfing on Manly Beach
Manly beach is an ideal summer spot to take children and try out the waves. Surfing is the number one water sport in Australia so you won’t have any problem to rent a board or take surfing lessons. Fish and chips on the beach are tasty and cheap lunch options but pay close attention to birds since they like to steal a bite.
If you want to spend time on a calmer beach, Nielsen Park and Shelley are close by and wonderful for small children. Make sure to take your kids for some of the excellent ice creams sold along the beach, that range in tastes and varieties.
Visit the Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House is an architectural masterpiece famous all over the world, great to see during the day and at night. Start your visit to the Opera House from Circular Quay which is full of street performers the kids will love. Take a walk around the building, take pictures, and see it from every angle.
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You can pay for the tour and see inside the Opera House which will take around an hour. Tours for children under 5 years old are free, while those aged 6–15 pay half of the price for adults. If you think your kids will like it, you can even buy tickets for shows and see some of the performances firsthand.
The bottom line
Sydney is a big city that will take days to see and experience. Doing sightseeing with children and being on a budget does narrow down the attractions somewhat without lessening their quality.
It’s a unique opportunity to show your children extraordinary Australian nature, wildlife, and cultural heritage. Just find something that will be interesting for everyone and don’t forget to have fun along the way.
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