Sydney Family Holiday Guide

One of the things Sydney does best is solve family holiday dilemmas. From dusk til dawn, there’s a treasure trove of “aww”, “cool”, “sick” and “giggle” inducing sights, entertainment and wallet friendly fodder to ensure an unforgettable time for all the right reasons.

Day 1: We be a swashbuckling harbour city me-hearties, so grab the crew and hoist the anchor, we’re off to sea:

  • At the Australian National Maritime Museum you can jump aboard ships, peer through a periscope, and see fun exhibitions or cool scary stuff like mythical creatures of the deep.
  • Grab a fish and chips lunch at Darling Harbour then cool off in the water fountains - designed for kids to splash around in while hapless parents can only watch on or join in.
  • Walk to Sydney Aquarium to gawk at sharks, rays, octopus and the dungongs, Pig and Wuru – undeniably cute creatures, but the fact they’re ancestors were ever mistaken for mermaids just proves how strong the Rum was back in settlement days.
  • Dinner at the very family friendly Pancakes on the Rocks, with its irresistible menu selections such as Crazy Potato, Alice In Wonderland and the Caterpillar.

Day 2: Go west young family! In less than two hours you’ll be on top of the great wall of Sydney, the stunning Blue Mountains.

  • Take a full day tour to the Blue Mountains, explore the Jenolan Caves and take an almost vertical cliff side ride down into the rainforest on the scenic railway.
  • Or hire a car for the trip and stop off at Penrith Panthers on the way back for a round of mini golf or some wild arcade game action in the Kaos family centre.
  • Then tuck into some cowboy fare at the nearby Silver Spur Steak Ranch with face painting, PlayStation, balloons and a brilliant kids menu.

Day 3: Last chance to smear the town red with those grubby little mitts. We better make it good:

  • If your kids are of creative persuasion, the hands-on art workshops and enchanting storytelling at the Art Gallery of NSW will have them in rapture.
  • The Disco and Magic Cruise is a bit like Siegfried and Roy for kids - without the ticked off kitty cat. The best part is that you can relax while the magician, music games, prizes and lunch keeps the kids spellbound for hours.
  • Step under Sydney’s worst ambassador for cosmetic dentistry, the Luna Park face. Free to get in, open most days and they offer a range of ride passes from Go Silly for the littlies to Go Wild for your thrill seekers.
  • After all that tossed and turned fairy floss, eating may not be high on the agenda tonight. But if is, take the troops down to Harry Cafe de Wheels, grab a pie, dangle your legs off the wharf and have a yarn to half of Sydney’s never-around-when-you-need-one taxi drivers.

Recommended Sydney Family Hotels:

  • Novotel Darling Harbour is a short break mecca for Sydney family fun – swimming pool, tennis court and an honest “not far now darling” walk from the Imax Theatre, Powerhouse Museum, Wildlife World an Aquarium..
  • Kids are treated like rock stars on the verge of a tantrum at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney - child size bathrobes, bedtime milk and cookies. Plus they’ll even arrange babysitting so you can hit the town and leave the divas behind.

See the list below for more Sydney Family Hotels.

Nesuto Chippendale

4 self rated
47 - 49 Chippen Street, Chippendale Sydney 2008 Australia

Nesuto Chippendale offers fully self-contained serviced apartments, located on the fringe of the city of Central Sydney, just 2 km from Sydney’s CBD. It is within a 10-minute walk from the University...more

4 star
389 Pitt Street Sydney 2000 Australia

Perfectly located in the heart of Sydney CBD (Central Business District), Rydges World Square offers luxury accommodation with a flat-screen TV. Guests enjoy a fitness centre, a cocktail bar and a res...more

4 self rated
55 North Steyne Road, Manly Sydney 2095 Australia

Located opposite Manly Beach, one of Australia’s most beautiful and popular beaches, Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific is just 15 minutes' ferry ride from Circular Quay and the Sydney city centre. Guests e...more

4 self rated
860 Victoria Road, Ryde Ryde 2112 Australia

Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant and a barbecue area, Metro Inn Ryde is 30 minutes’ drive from Sydney’s city centre. Free parking is available on site.Set in the north-western suburbs...more

Fraser Suites Sydney

5 self rated
488 Kent Street Sydney 2000 Australia

Offering free WiFi and a fitness centre with a sauna. Fraser Suites Sydney features luxury apartments with modern furnishings, kitchen facilities and views of the city skyline. Located in Sydney CBD (...more

4 self rated
35 Levey Street, Wolli Creek Sydney 2205 Australia

Just 5 minutes' drive from Sydney International Airport, and 10 minutes' drive from the Domestic Terminal, CKS Sydney Airport Hoteloffers modern rooms with free WiFi. Guests also enjoy an on-site rest...more

4 self rated
38 College Street Sydney 2010 Australia

Overlooking the famous Hyde Park, Oaks Sydney Hyde Park Suites offers self-contained accommodation with TVs and DVD players. The hotel features a sauna and rooftop deck with stunning views across Hyde...more

4 self rated
72 Liverpool St Sydney 2000 Australia

Radisson Hotel and Suites is situated in the heart of Sydney CBD (Central Business District), just a 5-minute walk from Darling Harbour and Town Hall train station. Facilities include an indoor swimming...more

4 self rated
Cnr Kent And Bathurst Streets Sydney 2000 Australia

Featuring an indoor heated swimming pool, a fitness centre and sauna facilities, Adina Apartment Hotel is located in Sydney CBD (Central Business District). It offers air-conditioned apartments and st...more

4 self rated
18-40 Anderson Street, Parramatta Sydney 2150 Australia

Holiday Inn Parramatta is within walking distance from Westfield Parramatta Shopping Centre, BankWest Stadium, Eat Street and the Parramatta Railway Station. It is a 30-minute drive from the Sydney ci...more

4 self rated
183 Coogee Bay Road Sydney 2034 Australia

Refurbished in 2019 and situated just 200 metres from Coogee Beach, Adina Apartment Hotel Coogee features an indoor heated pool and fitness centre. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel and cove...more

4 self rated
28 Macleay Street, Potts Point Sydney 2011 Australia

Located in Sydney’s stylish Potts Point area, The Macleay offers accommodation with Sydney Harbour, Opera House or city views. It features massage services and barbecue facilities.Macleay Hotel is loc...more

4 self rated
317 Castlereagh Street Sydney 2000 Australia

Centrally located in Haymarket in Sydney city, Oaks Sydney Castlereagh Suites is just 5 minutes' walk from Central Station and a 10-minute walk from Darling Harbour. Offering various self-contained ap...more

5 self rated
80 Pyrmont Street Sydney 2009 Australia

Offering luxurious accommodation, The Star Grand Hotel and Residences Sydney is situated in The Star Entertainment Complex. It is located in Darling Harbour. The property is a short walk from Sydney C...more

Quest Manly

4 self rated
54a West Esplanade, Manly Sydney 2095 Australia

Located in the seaside suburb of Manly, Quest Manly is situated opposite Manly Ferry Wharf, providing easy access point to Sydney city centre via ferry or fast ferry ride.The property offers an array...more

Nesuto Woolloomooloo

3 self rated
88 Dowling Street Sydney 2011 Australia

Situated on the city centre's edge, Nesuto Woolloomooloo offers spacious studio apartments in a beautiful heritage listed 4 storey building, located amongst traditional Sydney terrace houses in histor...more

5 self rated
98 Gloucester Street, The Rocks Sydney 2000 Australia

Quay West Suites Sydney offers 5-star apartments located in the historic Rocks precinct of Sydney. The hotel is a just a 5-minute walk from Circular Quay where you can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge an...more

2 self rated
485 King St, Newtown Sydney 2042 Australia

Australian Sunrise Lodge is located in Newtown, within 10 minutes' drive from both Sydney CBD and Sydney Airport. It offers free high-speed WiFi in public areas and the rooms.Australian Sunrise Lodge...more

3 self rated
108A Oxford St, Darlinghurst Sydney 2010 Australia

Featuring a rooftop terrace with lovely harbour and city views, Sydney Crecy Hotel is just 5 minutes’ walk from Hyde Park. It offers air-conditioned rooms with a flat-screen TV and DVD player. Some ro...more

4 star
4 Collaroy Street, Collaroy Narrabeen 2097 Australia

Only 50 metres from beautiful Collaroy Beach. Sydney Beachouse YHA features a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool, an onsite cafe, 24/7 secure access and a communal lounge with a log fireplace.Guests...more

3 self rated
42 Parramatta Road, Summer Hill Sydney 2130 Australia

Marco Polo offers budget-friendly accommodation with free unlimited, high-speed WiFi access, just 20 minutes’ drive from Sydney Airport. All rooms come with an en suite bathroom and cable TV.Each room...more

4 self rated
100 Murray Street Sydney 2009 Australia

Located 3 minutes’ walk from Harbourside Shopping Centre in Sydney CBD (Central Business District), Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour offers spacious rooms, some with stunning views of the city skyline....more

4 self rated
243 Pyrmont Street Sydney 2009 Australia

Centrally located in Darling Harbour, Oaks Sydney Goldsbrough Suites offers stylish and self-contained apartment options, free WiFi, an indoor pool, room service and an on-site fitness centre. Situate...more

4 self rated
5 York Street Sydney 2000 Australia

Located in the heart of Sydney CBD (Central Business District), The York by Swiss-Belhotel offers air-conditioned apartments with a private balcony and free WiFi. Guests have access to a fitness centr...more

3 self rated
132 - 136 Sussex Street Sydney 2000 Australia

Metro Apartments are located in Sydney CBD (Central Business District), just a 2-minute walk from Darling Harbour and Sydney Aquarium. All units feature a balcony and full-length windows, many with pa...more

4 self rated
431 - 439 Pitt Street Sydney 2000 Australia

Metro Hotel Marlow Sydney Central is located in Sydney CBD (Central Business District), close to public transport and just 5 minutes’ walk from Central Station. The famous Capitol Theatre is located o...more

4 self rated
383 - 389 Bulwara Road Sydney 2007 Australia

Just 3 minutes’ walk from the Powerhouse Museum, Metro Aspire Hotel Sydney offers refurbished rooms with private balconies. It features a restaurant and bar, function rooms and a tour desk. Guests rec...more

4 self rated
1 North Head Scenic Drive, Manly Sydney 2095 Australia

In the heart of Sydney Harbour National Park - Manly, this unique hotel offers a peaceful and romantic retreat or a fully equipped base for business with stunning views across Sydney Harbour.Sydney's...more

4 self rated
74-80 Ivy Street Sydney 2008 Australia

Adina Apartment Hotel Chippendale offers modern serviced apartments set around a leafy courtyard with an outdoor plunge pool. All apartments include a kitchen or kitchenette. The property is 6 minutes...more

4 self rated
8-13 South Steyne, Manly Sydney 2095 Australia

Set directly opposite Manly Beach, The Sebel is a stylish, boutique hotel offering 2 swimming pools and a spa pool. All accommodation features a private balcony with outdoor furniture. Some offer fabu...more

Mantra Sydney Central

4 star
653 George Street Sydney 2000 Australia

Located in the heart of Sydney, Mantra Sydney Central offers modern, self-contained accommodation with air conditioning and satellite TV. Sydney’s famous Darling Harbour and the International Conventi...more

3 self rated
17-23 Parramatta Road, Haberfield Sydney 2045 Australia

Offering free high-speed WiFi and free parking, the 3.5 star hotel Garden Lodge Sydney offers rooms with a balcony and a 40-inch LED TV. Just 7 km from Sydney's city centre. It is a 15-minute train r...more

Mantra 2 Bond Street

4 star
Cnr Of George And Bond Streets Sydney 2000 Australia

Located close to Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay, Mantra 2 Bond Street is just a 1-minute walk from the heart of the Sydney CBD (Central Business District). The Rocks, with its mix of restaurants, pu...more

Mantra Chatswood

4 star
10 Brown Street Sydney 2067 Australia

Mantra Chatswood provides large, fully self-contained 1 and 2-bedroom apartments with laundry facilities. This hotel is located in the centre of Chatswood's business and shopping districtGuests have a...more

5 self rated
199 George Street Sydney 2000 Australia

Overlooking Sydney's historic Rocks area, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney offers free WiFi, a bar, restaurant, fitness centre and swimming pool. Situated in Sydney CBD (Central Business District), it featur...more

APX World Square

4 self rated
2 Cunningham St. Sydney 2000 Australia

APX World Square offers spacious apartments with a private balcony and full kitchen in the heart of Sydney CBD (Central Business District).APX World Square is a 5-minute walk from the shopping and ent...more

4 self rated
34 The Avenue Sydney 2031 Australia

This 4-star boutique hotel is located in Randwick, close to Sydney's CBD (Central Business District) and Coogee Beach. It offers peaceful surroundings and a relaxed setting.Avonmore on the Park Boutiq...more

3 star
201 William Street Sydney 2010 Australia

Located in the heart of Kings Cross, ibis budget Sydney East offers budget accommodation just 10 minutes’ walk from Hyde Park, Oxford Street and the Australian Museum. The famous Bondi Beach is a 15-m...more

3 star
5 Ross Smith Avenue Sydney 2020 Australia

Ibis budget Sydney Airport is located just 10 minutes’ walk from the domestic terminal and railway station, and a 10-minute drive from the international terminal. All air-conditioned rooms have a priv...more

Nesuto Parramatta

4 self rated
110 - 114 James Ruse Drive, Rosehill Sydney 2142 Australia

Nesuto Parramatta offers modern self-contained apartments with free cable TV and 1GB of free WiFi daily. Guests have access to a fitness centre, outdoor heated pool, restaurant and bar.Located opposit...more

3 self rated
331 Mona Vale Road, Terrey Hills Terrey Hills 2084 Australia

Surrounded by peaceful natural bushland, only 25 km from Sydney city centre, this resort features a large swimming pool, sauna and spa pool.Set on 5 acres of landscaped gardens, Checkers Resort and Co...more

3 self rated
6 Steinton Street, Manly Sydney 2095 Australia

Just 150 metres from Manly Beach, this guest house offers free WiFi and a lounge area with comfortable sofas and cable TV. All rooms have a wardrobe and towels and bed linen are provided.Sandy Bottoms...more

5 self rated
161 Elizabeth Street Sydney 2000 Australia

Situated in Sydney CBD, overlooking Hyde Park, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park (formerly Sheraton On The Park) offers a restaurant, a bar and a 24-hour rooftop fitness centre. Guests enjoy an indoor p...more


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