Category Archives: 2014 Travels

Top 3 things to do on a rainy day in Sydney

After a gorgeous ‘summery’ Spring, our Summer has not been so kind to us. Here are my top 3 things to do in Sydney on a rainy day that you probably won’t find on most rainy day lists. Forget ten-pin bowling, the cinema, or the crowded play centre, wet days don’t have to mean you stop exploring- get out there and really enjoy our city.

Continue reading Top 3 things to do on a rainy day in Sydney

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Sunny Spring Days North & South of the Bridge

Sunny Spring days in Sydney are made for being harbour side. Whether it be a family picnic in a park or a casual lunch and a few drinks by the water with friends, Sydney Harbour is one of the best places to be.

After a friend’s wedding at Hunters Hill Sailing Club, we returned last Sunday for a family picnic at Clarkes Point Reserve. Clarkes Point Reserve sits on the harbour’s edge opposite Cockatoo Island. It is easily accessible by car and there is plenty of parking only a short walk to the picnic ground. Alternatively, it is only a short 15 minute walk from the Woolwich Ferry Wharf. Continue reading Sunny Spring Days North & South of the Bridge

A Day as Tourists in Circular Quay

Festivals and events are great, but sometimes we forget the great free entertainment available in Sydney all year round.

Last Friday, the girls and I headed into Circular Quay on the train. The girls love public transport- and the simple joy (from a child’s point of view anyway!) of watching people coming and going and the scenery whizzing past. The train journey itself becomes part of the adventure.

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It is only a short walk from Circular Quay station to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). The MCA often has kids activities that I have heard are great, but today we just wanted to check out the art. Entry is free but if you stop by the front desk on your way in they will give you a fun worksheet for kids to use as they work their way through the gallery. The sheet is designed for Primary School aged kids but I could easily talk my four year old through it to help focus her attention. It has fun activities like challenges to write down all how many images of birds they see etc.

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There is such a wide variety of art at the MCA from paintings to mixed media, sculpture from found objects to audio visual pieces. The girls loved exploring and were constantly pulling me from one piece to another and pointing out their favourites.

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One of Sydney’s best kept secrets is the MCA Cafe & Sculpture Terrace – normally it has uninterrupted views of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, although we had to settle for just the Bridge on our visit as a large cruise liner was docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. The food is very reasonably priced and it is the perfect spot to take a break in a very relaxed atmosphere.

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Another hot tip is the MCA Gift Shop – it has great gifts for adults and kids alike, much of which you don’t tend to see in a lot of other stores. You can even shop online.

We left the MCA with our minds and our tummies full and began the walk around to the Sydney Opera House in the Sydney sunshine There are always a range of buskers dotted along the Circular Quay boardwalk. The girls were fascinated all the street entertainers, from the silver statue who moved when someone threw their coins in the hat to the talented artist creating detailed and realistic chalk drawings and, of course, the aboriginal music group with their digeridoos. For a few coins we were entertained for a good hour.

The Sydney Opera House is such a great, iconic building and it captures the imagination of young and old. My husband and I got engaged near the Northern Forecourt of the Opera House so it holds a special place in our hearts. We now own a tile on the tallest sail of the Opera House thanks to a recent Own Our House fundraising campaign – you can check out the view from our tile here. My four year old especially loves visiting the Opera House and exploring inside and out so we did just that, climbing the stairs up to check out the view across to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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After a quick ice-cream to cool down we board a ferry to Darling Harbour. A ferry ride is always a source of excitement for the girls and we quickly seek out prime position on an outside seat so we can enjoy watching all the activity out on the water. The ferry’s route takes us under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and past Luna Park‘s smiling face and fun-park rides. After much begging, I agree to taking the girls to Luna Park ‘one day’. We get off the ferry at the Maritime Museum and wander over to the Pyrmont Bay Light Rail stop for the journey home.

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So: three modes of Sydney public transport, one world class modern art museum, some great street entertainment, a wander around one of the world’s most iconic buildings and we easily filled a full day of activities for two small kids at a very minimal cost. Thank you Sydney!

Spring in Sydney: Beaches & Festivals

Spring in Sydney is all about sun, surf, food and festivals. For me, it is the time of year when I wish I could be in more than one place on each day of the weekend. There are the local festivals, school fairs, art & about, and Good Food Month. And then the sunny days beg for trips to the beach, BBQs and picnics. If I wake up on a Spring morning and the sun is shining I jump out of bed with a spring in my step and am desperate to get the day started- trust me… this doesn’t happen in Autumn or Winter!

Today, that is exactly what I did – desperate to get out and make the most of my Sunday, despite my other half being a little worse for wear after the first Sydney FC game of the season!

With no time to lose, we packed a bag full of all the necessities for a beach BBQ and headed to Coogee for a beachside breakfast using one of the public BBQs to cook up a feast. It’s one of the many bonuses of ‘doorstep travel’- you have all the BBQ tools and essentials on-hand, if we were on holidays we would never be so prepared. Continue reading Spring in Sydney: Beaches & Festivals

Girls day out at Art & About Sydney

Spring has sprung in Sydney and with the sun out it was a gorgeous day to explore one of Sydney’s many festivals: Art & About. It was just myself and the two girls (with dad away on a Bucks) and it was really nice to spend some time with them exploring the artworks.

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First stop was Project Five, Volume Six at Darling Quarter. Project Five promotes inclusive, accessible arts and is the longest-running and most popular street art event in Sydney. The girls loved exploring the large scale artworks and each of them were happy running between them and taking photos (in between walking along the edge of the garden wall and testing the temperature of the water in the fountain!) Continue reading Girls day out at Art & About Sydney

Singapore: A Family holiday on Australia’s Doorstep- Part 4

This is the final blog in the Singapore series. We had such a great family holiday and our final day did not disappoint. We wandered down to Clarke Quay to catch a River Cruise that could take us the scenic route to the Marina Bay Sands. After a short wait for more tourists to arrive, we boarded the River Boat.

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The kids were really excited to get on the boat and I was really excited to watch them discover the cityscape from the water…. Continue reading Singapore: A Family holiday on Australia’s Doorstep- Part 4

Singapore Zoo: A Family Holiday on Australia’s Doorstep- Part 3

After a busy few days in Singapore I thought the kids would be tiring however, I couldn’t have been further from the truth. In fact the kids were just building momentum and it seemed they had more energy than ever for our next adventure: Singapore Zoo.

To be absolutely truthful, I wasn’t personally very keen to go to the zoo. I felt that we had been to Taronga Zoo a few times and I thought a zoo is a zoo is a zoo. I thought that there might be more exciting things for us to do that might be more specific to Singapore, but I was out-voted, so Singapore Zoo it was.

The zoo is a little bit out of Singapore CBD but is easy and cheap enough to get to via taxi. The first thing that strikes you about Singapore Zoo is that it doesn’t feel like a zoo at all- it feels like you are wandering around tropical rainforest and you just happen to stumble upon animals in their natural habitat at regular intervals along your way- well that might be a slight exaggeration – there are still Sea Lion shows and Bird Shows, and trams that circle around the Zoo full of tourists but really, it is a very different experience to any other zoo I have visited. Continue reading Singapore Zoo: A Family Holiday on Australia’s Doorstep- Part 3