Sydney beaches, parks and playground guide

The Whitsunday Islands
January 18, 2011
Hawaii by heart
January 18, 2011

When you’re looking for where to play and swim in any city, we figure that locals always know best. So we’ve asked our Sydney readers to share all their favourite and fun Sydney secrets for families.

Parks & Playgrounds

Blenheim Park, North Ryde. “This is the best playground.  Something for kids from tots (sandpit and wooden speedboat, crocodile obstacle course), to the big kids (flying fox and sideways swings). And best of all? A coffee van visits frequently.” Kate Paterson

Bobbin Head Park, Turramurra.The Kalkari Visitor Center has a nature walk and an auditorium where you can watch Australian animal documentaries and educational Aboriginal cartoons, plus there’s a big playground and plenty of picnic tables.”Cynthia Keithly

Fagan Park, Galston. “The kid’s playground is amazing, complete with its own flying fox, jungle gym, sandpit, interesting swing set, and a swing for the disabled. There are spaces to run, kick a ball, throw a frisbee, and miles of tracks to ride a bike or just wander through the beautiful themed gardens.” Bronwyn Taylor

“We love to feed the ducks, go on a magical walk to
find trolls and fairies, then finish with a play and drink at the park."

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, St. Ives. “We enjoy trekking about the hectares of urban bushland and following the (wheelchair/pram accessible) boardwalks around the gardens. There are picnic areas and playgrounds, as well as organised activities for kids of all ages (bookings required).” Kate Paterson

Centennial Park, East Sydney. “We love to feed the ducks, go on a magical walk to find trolls and fairies, then finish with a play and drink at the park. Plus there’s horse riding, rollerblading and playgrounds aplenty.” Jo McPherson

Sir Joseph Banks Pleasure Gardens, Botany. “This fantastic park is on the former site of Sydney’s first zoo. The gardens have a maze, shady pergolas and an ‘animal’ playground where kids can clamber on animal sculptures and topiary elephants.” Lisa Jansen

Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park. “The bikeways are safe for children and connect to the Bicentennial Park cycleways. There are barbecue areas, fountains, art exhibitions at the Armory and a pleasant cafe next to Parramatta River.” Adele Go

Nurragingy Reserve, Doonside. “The reserve is a 90-hectare open space with picnic areas scattered amongst the bushland. When the waterfall is flowing it’s a terrific place for a picnic." Belinda Burns

The Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney. “We’re big fans of going to the Botanical Gardens on a sunny day. It’s a lovely place for a walk and a picnic lunch in the grass while listening to all the flying foxes screeching in the trees. The kids love it.” Marija Zeko

Town Centre, Rouse Hill. “This is a real hidden gem for families, with secret gardens, hidden stairwells leading to interesting places, a worm farm, fabulous play areas, and lots of free activities (most of which are educational). There's also a good coffee shops for the oldies.” Lisa King

The Walter Read Reserve, Paddington. “It’s been described as Sydney’s own Hanging Gardens of Babylon and this sunken water garden, surrounded by the heritage columns, is a simply beautiful place that my family loves.” Mark Robinson

Bondi to Bronte walk, Sydney. “This is our Sunday morning favourite. We start with breakfast on Bronte Road and then head to Bondi for the markets. From 28 October to 14 November, Sculpture by the Sea will make it even better as the coastline is transformed into an art gallery.” Karen Woods

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