The streets of Sydney are a concert of cultures, tastes and sensations; steel and glass obelisks of modernity dwarf historical buildings, holding court on the junction of Bathurst and George.
Trundling the kids through the foot traffic of Town Hall station may be a throat bouncing prospect; the people, the street musicians, the twists and turns and dangers of a rolling underground, before punching a ticket through the gates – Are you scared yet? Fear not. Sydneysiders are family orientated if a little chic, catering to Mum and Dad while stimulating the kids with activities, awesome inspiring secrets (try the top floor of the QVB in December) and elegant flourishes. Budget aware parents don’t need to penny pinch or tighten their belts, it is possible to see the city for $200 dollars a day using the following tips, covering everything from transport, to food and finally (although essentially) entertainment.
Getting around is the forgotten money spinner of travellers everywhere, as we always neglect to research a bus trip or two, how much it costs and what services are available to us. If you’re staying in the CBD, keep an eye out for the green bus running along a loop of the city’s major stops. The 555 Route is locally known as the tourist drive, as the FREE (yes, free) shuttle circulates every ten minutes in both directions, travelling the stops between Central Station and Circular Quay, navigating Elizabeth and George Street.
Running from 9:30am to 3:30pm, or 6:00pm on weekends, the Sydney Shuttle service is provided by the City of Sydney without charge seven days a week. If your mini herd is travelling outside Shuttle hours or further out of town, consider saving your pathfinding excursions for Sunday, when the Family Funday Sunday ticket takes effect and your whole family can travel for $2.50, all day, completely unlimited. Kids under three? They travel free.
The problem with Sydney is you’re spoiled for choice. There is food everywhere, hailing from the far reaching corners of the planet, spicing tongues and sweetening tastebuds. Pleasing everybody is going to be a challenge however, as kids have very individual tastes. It’s hard to imagine food courts anywhere in the CBD; with so many corporate offices and entertainment quarters, the streets and flyers seem to spruik only the latest and trendiest restaurants. On level of the new city Westfield, grab a bit to eat before heading up to see the spire of the Sydney Tower.
The flavours of the famous Din Tai Fung are always a treat or trick the kids into having fun with their food, ordering a mini meal just for them from Guzman y Gomez, finishing the lunch date off with a taste of Happy Lab, the chocolate experts.
Get Out There
There are countless things to do in Sydney, whether you travel as a family, a couple or fly solo for a few days, to recharge the batteries and grab a spot of you time. If you’re staring down the barrel of option A, Sydney is also a place of kid friendly attractions, bundled for your convenience. Feel like taking a walk on the wild side? Grab a Zoo trip and travel for free to Taronga Zoo, as the ferry is included in the price. How much? $146 for two parents and two children (additional children are $26.00 each). Or perhaps you’d like to dive into the depths of our oceans and come face to face with the cheeky Dugong, and other flippered friends at Sydney Aquarium midweek after 4pm for just $60.
See? It’s completely possible to travel with the family within even the most limited means. Don’t limit yourself to caravan stays and no frills camping trips; the big city is made for everyone, your corner is waiting for you.
By Jessica Hannah