ANGELA SAURINE reveals the best things to see and do and family-friendly restaurants to check out during a stay at Hilton Sydney
Things to do in Sydney with kids
A ferry ride on the world’s most beautiful harbour is a must, so head to Circular Quay and jump on board for a trip to Taronga Zoo to see the more than 350 species it’s home to, including giraffes, Asian elephants, Sumatran tigers and meerkats. Kids aged eight and up who are at least 140cm tall can also tackle the high ropes course, which involves navigating suspension bridges, climbing walls and flying foxes. Luna Park is also just a ferry ride away. Ride the ferris wheel, brave the rollercoasters and challenge yourself in the mirror maze. You can also get up close to Australian animals, including kangaroos, wallabies, quokkas, platypus, numbats, wombats and Tasmanian devils, at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo in Darling Harbour, and see marine creatures including penguins, sharks and dugongs at WILD LIFE Sydney next door. If your kids don’t mind heights, you can take in the view all the way to the Blue Mountains from the top of the city’s tallest building, Sydney Tower Eye, or climb the Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb Sydney (kids must be eight and over and more than 120cm tall). Walk amongst real dinosaur skeletons and life-size models at The Australian Museum, and explore tall ships, navy vessels and a cold war submarine at the Australian Maritime Museum.
Hilton Sydney offers maximum comfort with its family connecting rooms
Its central location in George St in the CBD makes Hilton Sydney a great option for families who want to be close to the action. You can walk to Circular Quay in one direction, Darling Harbour in another, and Chinatown in another. Hilton has also become the first major hotel chain to allow families to easily book and instantly confirm at least two connecting rooms with the help of innovative new technology. It’s called Confirmed Connecting Rooms by Hilton, and is available at participating hotels within any of the portfolio’s 18 brands. The modern Family Connecting Rooms in which we stay overlook the beautiful Queen Victoria Building. I love that they have bathtubs, which is a prerequisite when you have young kids and surprisingly absent from many hotel rooms. Having a clothesline that extends across the bathtub is also a bonus, especially when you have littlies who can require more frequent changes. While it took a while to work them out, the blackout blinds ensured a good sleep, and the large LCD TVs were another winner. While plastic water bottles are still in rooms when you arrive, Hilton plans to cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investment by 2030. This includes dramatically reducing its carbon emissions, removing plastic straws and expanding its soap recycling program so it doesn’t end up in landfill.
Eating Out with Kids: The best family-friendly Sydney restaurants
Sydney Hilton’s restaurant, Glass Brasserie, has semi-circle shaped booths which are ideal for families, and a menu designed by celebrity chef Luke Mangan. Its kids’ menu, which comes with drawings to colour in, is more extensive than most, and includes spring rolls, steak or fish served with chips, mash, vegetables or salad, or pasta or gnocchi with tomato sauce. Not to mention banana splits and sorbet for dessert! In a prime location at Circular Quay, City Extra has novelty newspaper print menus, with staff uniforms and tables to match. As well as offering yummy pancakes (including ones with Nutella!), the menu at Pancakes on the Rocks features savoury crepes, gourmet pizza, beef and pork ribs, and a range of salads. As well as its restaurant in The Rocks heritage district, it has locations at Darling Harbour, Darling Square and Haymarket. Tuck into dumplings, noodles, fried rice, soup and wok dishes at Din Tai Fung at World Square, or enjoy a German-inspired family dining experience at The Bavarian, with dishes including warm, fresh-baked pretzels, roast pork belly, pork knuckle and schnitzel, with seven types of imported German beer available on tap and served in a stein. It’s also worth a trip to The Grounds of Alexandria, where kids eat free at The Potting Shed on Mondays after 3pm when accompanied by a parent or guardian who spends $25 or more.
The writer was a guest of Hilton Sydney.