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Travelling to Sydney with Toddler

  1. #1
    Portia is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Hong Kong

    Travelling to Sydney with Toddler

    We are planning to spend around 2 weeks in Australia in August with our LO who will be around 21 months old by then. Does anyone have recommendations on where to stay and what to do/see in and around Sydney that our LO might enjoy?

    We are thinking of a farmstay for a few days somewhere within a few hours drive from Sydney. We were also thinking of driving down to Melbourne along the coast, but are not sure how the LO would take to being in the car for such a long trip!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    spockey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    During our last days, we stayed at the Vibe over at Kirribilli. (across the harbour bridge). The Sheraton on the Park is great too. Both hotels had wonderful service with a bub in tow especially the Sheraton.

  3. #3
    xcultural mummy's Avatar
    xcultural mummy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    London/Hong Kong
    Hi Portia,

    We were in Sydney when our little one was 6/7 months old and funnily had a budget experience to splurge out later on Hayman Island.

    We found Sydney Central YHA brilliant as I had visited as a single person before. At the time it was perfect for our requirements for a baby just being weaned. It had a laundrette, self-contained family room (we bought a cheap basin for baby's bath as it was shower only), sufficient space, and best of all a kitchen so that we could be as messy as we want with food prep for him - sterilising with steriliser bags, making up his cereal, etc.

    This may not be what you're after, but just be careful that Sydney is not very disabled access friendly, so lots of underground stops only had steps, and older buses often had a few steps up too. Cabs had no baby car seats in the main either. For us, having an Ergo baby carrier as well as an umbrella pram like Maclaren was the best combination.
    Check out my
    for information and my thoughts on real nappies, baby carriers, breastfeeding, baby-led weaning and much more!

  4. #4
    apples is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Hong Kong
    Check out and hotwire for great hotel deals. We stayed in 4-5 star hotels in the city for under A$100 a night.
    Sydney is big so it's important to stay close to the centre unless you like taking public transport everywhere! It's a very walkable city with lots of green areas to run around in.

  5. #5
    Hagrid is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Park Island
    We stayed in the Marriott last time and the Australian Museum next door was actually very good. Other than the dinosaur skeleton and the usual suspects, there is an area dedicated for toddlers and young kids to play (puzzles, fishing magnet fish found in Australia, books related to Australian animals, simple games exploring senses). The Taronga zoo a ferry ride away is a nice outing too.

  6. #6
    cyberfish88's Avatar
    cyberfish88 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Lantau Island
    Hi, I am planning a similar trip for end of this month. What is the best way to get from the airport to downtown hotels if we do not have a car seat with us? We are planning to take our Macclaren stroller and baby bjorn for our 5 month old but I can't quite figure out the transportation part!

    Any suggestions?

  7. #7
    LeahH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong, Mid Levels
    Cyberfish, you can easily pre-book a taxi with a car seat in Sydney to get from the airport to the hotel.

    It was forward facing which was ok for our baby (was 5 months old too when we went earlier this year) but she was quite big for her age. They are very strict on car seats in Oz so taxi companies probably have rear facing ones for a younger babies if you request. Whenever we called for a cab, there was always one available with a baby seat - all super efficient!

    FYI, maxi cosi seats are not legal in Australia so no good taking that.

  8. #8
    kiwiinoz is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hong Kong

    Aside from hiring a 'limo'/shuttle with carseats fitted, you also have the option of taxi's. In Sydney, it is compulsory for kids to sit in carseats/boosters, so a select number of taxi's have them on board. When standing at the taxi rank at Sydney airport, the attendant on duty (or sometimes other drivers if no one is present) will pull you to the side and wait until a taxi with a carseat comes by (normally a station wagon). I am not certain however about baby capsules (and in that case you may need to go through a limo/shuttle service). If your bub can sit upright ok in a carseat though, you should be fine.
    I would recommend Taronga Zoo to those with kids walking, and especially for toddlers. However, make sure you pick up one of the 'Sydney' tourist guide books from the airport before you come through customs as it should have some handy discount coupons for various attractions, as they can add up quickly (and Taronga Zoo is quite expensive)! Taronga Zoo has great photo opportunities back to the city, however it is on a hill, so don't go if it is windy, as the Gondola that takes you up and down inside the zoo doesn't run when it's windy. The bird show at the zoo can be pretty spectacular if you want to see some of Australia's birds 'in action'.
    I can also recommend the Sydney Aquarium as an interesting place to get up close and personal with fish, sharks, seals and a quite spectacular coral reef, including 'Nemo' tanks. They also have 'touch tanks' for the kids.
    If reptiles are your thing, you might want to see if you can hire a car and go see the 'Gosford Reptile Park'. It's got some great snake/croc/gator displays, and the kids can feed kangaroos. There are a good range of Australia animals on display, you can have your photo with a snake around your neck, or cuddling a koala.. and the funnelweb demonstration (even if you're arachnophobic) is pretty cool.
    The Australian Museum is also pretty good (as someone suggested)... and if your little one wants to do something extra special there, for $5 per child (for the first 30 children on select mornings) they run a dinosaur experience for the under 5's, where they get to wear a dinosaur tail and stomp around the museum with a guide who shows them through the dinosaur wing of the museum.
    I'd also strongly suggest a harbour cruise... Sydney harbour is lovely by day and especially by night (although that isn't necessarily easy to do with a child).
    If you're staying in the CBD, go down to Circular Quay and take a ferry to the zoo or Darling Harbour (where the Sydney Aquarium is). Even those short ferry rides are fun for the kids.
    There is a free park (not fabulous, but ok) in the Darling Harbour Precinct, near the IMAX theatre, and if you go on weekends, there is often a merry-go-round running.
    In winter, the beaches aren't all that great, but Manly is ok (another ferry ride and some good food). I've never seen what people see in Bondi, but Coogee which is not far away is nicer.. however parking in that part of Sydney can be difficult.
    The "must-see's"... Harbour Bridge, Opera House, The Rocks, and botanical gardens are all within walking distance of Circular Quay.
    I don't know much about the hotels and motels around the city I'm afraid.. but I do know where most of the big ones are located if you want an idea of proximity to stuff.
    If you need more info on Sydney, feel free to send me a priv msg.

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