Glorious Sydney in Australia has (mostly) beautiful temperate weather and a stunning harbour which makes it an ideal place to travel with kids. While the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and the Blue Mountains are must-visits, there are time when as a tourist (or even as a local) we all need easy day trips to get everyone outside without too much effort (or money) required. Here are some ideas for free or cheap day activities to do in Sydney with kids. 

Sydney Park 

For a free public park, Sydney Park boasts impressive play equipment such as a wobbly rope bridge, plenty of swings, a large climbing web and huge sandpit. If you have scooters and bikes there is also the miniature road network for kids to ride with working traffic lights. It is very centrally located in St Peter’s and, most importantly, there is also a kiosk with hot food and an espresso machine for tired parents.

Sydney Park Rd., St Peters, New South Wales, Australia


Manly Ferry

The ferry that runs regularly to Manly is the ideal way to please kids who love transport and boats and parents who want the best view of Sydney Harbour – and it costs no more than the standard public transport ticket (reduced prices on Sundays). From Circular Quay the big green and yellow vessels go straight past the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge to one of the most popular beaches in the city. Ferries are also available to take visitors directly to Taronga Zoo.

Balmoral Beach

While there are a huge number of beaches to choose from, Balmoral is one of the most family friendly. There is a special paddling pool section tastefully designed with rocks to prevent large waves coming in so the kiddies can splash and toddle around. There are plenty of cafes, shops and restaurants right on the beachfront and carparking is (relatively) easy (if expensive).

[For family beach safety tips, see the suitcases&strollers interview with the team from Bondi Rescue here.]

Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk

Since the Bridge Climb only takes kids over 10 years old, walking over the bridge is another unique way to achieve almost the same thing with children. Plus this is free. Whether you start at The Rocks or Milson’s Point, it’s a very straightforward and pleasant stroll with perfect views and where the children can see cars, trains and trucks going past. Alternatively, take scooters and bikes and undertake the cycling path on the other side.

Fishing at Blues Point Reserve

This park in McMahon’s Point is an ideal place to introduce children to basic fishing. As well as being a good spot to try to catch fish like flathead and bream, it has stunning views over the harbor. It’s also equipped with toilets, a water fountain and a playground if the fishing activity all goes under water.

Blues Point Rd., McMahons Point, New South Wales, Australia


For some insider tips on things to do in Sydney, see the suitcases&strollers interview with former Wiggle, Sam Moran, here.

Images: Hamilton Lund; Destination NSW