The Best Things to Do With Kids in Sydney

Admire sharks at Sydney Aquarium
Admire sharks at Sydney Aquarium | © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Amy Blyth
17 September 2021

The family-friendly capital of New South Wales carves a path with cut-above attractions for all ages.

There’s more to Sydney than its world-famous harbour and sail-shaped opera house, especially if you’re travelling with kids. Explore Australia’s diverse wildlife at award-winning parks, or trawl through the Australian Museum to discover ancient dinosaur bones. Stuck for ideas to keep the little ones entertained? Check out these things to do with kids in Sydney.

Meet koalas at Featherdale Wildlife Park

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Koala at Featherdale Wildlife Park
© Ian Bottle / Alamy Stock Photo
Acquaint yourself with Australia’s cutest creature, the koala, at Featherdale Wildlife Park. This out-of-town Doonside destination, a 40-minute drive from the CBD, is known for hands-on animal experiences, which include walk-through kangaroo enclosures and lorikeet feeding. The Pet a Koala encounter allows you to meet some of Featherdale’s furry residents and take home a souvenir photo, while the Koala Mums and Bubs experience involves watching the animals up close and feeding them. A portion of all fees goes to the park’s Koala Plantation Fund to support sustainable food sources.

Take a boat trip through Sydney Harbour

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Australia, NSW, New South Wales, Sydney, Sydney Harbour Bridge, harbor, East Circular Quay, cruise ship, port, water, Thunder Jet, boat, ride, excursi
© Jeffrey Isaac Greenberg 18+ / Alamy Stock Photo
Bundle the kids on board and sail through Sydney Harbour to admire the city’s most famous attractions. Set against a futuristic skyline, you’ll float past the Opera House and Harbour Bridge for prime photo opportunities, accompanied by expert commentary from your captain. Other top cruise sights may include Australian battleships, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair (a sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench) and the former penal island Fort Denison. Choose from a small boat, yacht or sail ship, with options for meal and sunset cruises available.

Plunge the depths of Sydney Aquarium

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Great Barrier Reef aquarium in the Sydney Sea Life Aquarium, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia
© Marc Anderson / Alamy Stock Photo
Don’t miss one of Australia’s best aquariums, home to more than 12,000 marine animals. Kids will love spotting colourful sea life, be it clownfish, turtles and penguins, or huge sharks and stingrays. There are various zones to visit, from Dugong Island to the Jurassic Seas and South Coast Shipwreck. Wander down Shark Valley, surrounded by grey nurse sharks, head to the Discovery Rockpool to touch starfish, and marvel at the interactive Day and Night on the Reef exhibit.

Admire dinosaur fossils at the Australian Museum

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People looking at the displays in the Skeletons Exhibition, Australian Museum, College Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
© David L. Moore - AUS / Alamy Stock Photo
Are your kids obsessed with dinosaurs? Then check out the acclaimed dinosaur exhibition at the Australian Museum. Housed over two levels, the display features more than 10 complete dinosaur skeletons and many life-sized models, as well as educational interactive displays. Australia’s first museum is more than 190 years old and holds more than 21 million objects and specimens. Other popular zones include the Giants of the Ice Age and exhibits such as the Aboriginal Culture area.

Get up close with crocodiles at Wild Life Sydney Zoo

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Crocodile Wildlife Sydney Zoo Australia Darling Harbour AU. Image shot 1000. Exact date unknown.
© Dennis MacDonald / Alamy Stock Photo
Meet Rocky, a huge saltwater crocodile – and one of the largest reptiles in the world – at Wild Life Sydney Zoo. He lives in the Kakadu Gorge area of the zoo, which is packed with fun facts and conservation insights about the semiaquatic species. Set in Darling Harbour, the zoo is also home to the rest of the Aussie Big Five: the koala, kangaroo, wombat and platypus. Explore themed zones such as Nightfall to see nocturnal creatures, Wallaby Cliffs and a replica of Daintree Rainforest, where you’ll find the southern cassowary – a giant flightless bird.
These recommendations were updated on September 17, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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