Taking the ferry over to Taronga Zoo is fun for all the family and the zoo itself is one of the best in Asia, with plenty of interesting exhibits and happy-looking creatures, including lions, elephants, seals, bears, snakes and koalas.
We recommend booking well in advance (and we mean well in advance – every Saturday from now until October is already full) for the Roar and Snore experience. As the name suggests, this is a zoo sleepover where you’ll be put up in specially-designed double- or single-bed tents, enjoy a buffet dinner and get up close and personal with a few of the cuddlier creatures in one-on-one animal encounters. Wake up overlooking the harbour, enjoy 2 behind-the-scenes tours and have a look around the zoo before the gates open to the general public. Children must be 5 years or older.
Spend the day slipping and sliding at Manly Waterworks’ aquatic theme park – perfect for cooling off on a hot Sydney summer day. With a manageable amount of slides, swimming pools and watery attractions, this is a great place to come and spend a few hours of hectic fun in between checking out the cafes, Ocean World aquarium and shops around Manly.
Perfect for outdoorsy types, Centennial Park is the kind of proper space we so sadly lack in Hong Kong – one that brings spacious lawns, pretty lakes, ponds and avenue-lined trees together. Girls will love the equestrian centre (pony leads through the park are available as are park rides for grownups) and it’s always fun renting bikes and going for a whirl around the dedicated cycling track.
Wiggles World: Wiggly Play Centre *PERMANENTLY CLOSED*
Little fans of The Wiggles will love this awesome play centre, which has two locations in Sydney. Offering wriggly kids a way to unleash their energy, they’ll easily spend hours moshing on the bouncy castle, rolling in the ball pits, playing hide-and-seek in the maze and monkey in the jungle gym.
Powerhouse isn’t your traditional fusty museum – packed with interactive exhibits, there’s enough hands-on things to do to keep even the most fidgety of kids entertained. A much-anticipated Harry Potter exhibition is opening on 19th November featuring sets, props and memorabilia from the 8 films, but in the meantime, check out the space, digital and science and transport exhibits.
Hong Kong has Ocean Park; Sydney has Luna Park. Take the ferry from Circular Quay and embark on a journey of fun and discovery at this 1930s amusement park, which has its own Coney Island as well as sedate attractions including a Ferris Wheel, magic castle and carousel – and less sedate rides, including dodgems, a flying saucer and a devil’s drop slide.
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