3 Family Friendly Things To Do North Of The Sydney Harbour Bridge

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I’ve lived in Sydney for 14 years now, and for 10 of those years I’ve called The Northern Beaches home. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the chilled beach vibe and cruisy way of life. I don’t know what it is, but the air just feels different over here!

There’s so much to do, for young and old, for families and even for our four legged friends.

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From stunning coastal walks, amazing restaurants and cafe’s to great playgrounds and of course the beaches themselves. Some of the best in the world in my humble opinion!

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As the side of our garbage truck says, you could easily ‘live, work and play’ here. They don’t call it the insular peninsula for nothing! If I didn’t work in the city, I’d probably never leave! In fact, I have heard of some Northern Beaches people who simply never cross the bridge, ever!

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The surrounding areas are pretty cool too and with most of our family time spent in and around these parts, I thought I’d share 3 family friendly things to do, north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

1. Narrabeen Lagoon Trail

This 8.4km looped trail opened earlier this year and as the Warringah Council  website states “.. the journey around Narrabeen Lagoon will take you through beautiful ecosystems, an abundance of wildlife, cultural heritage and historical icons.”

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Hard to believe this is winter!

It’s a fun, healthy day out for the whole family and the best part is… it won’t cost you a cent! Take the bikes, jog or take a nice slow stroll. There are a few lovely bridges and the terrain is nice and flat. My Master 4 rode his bike the whole way around no problems, whilst I ran along-side him. Win win!

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You may even come face to face with nature like we did, seeing this gorgeous Diamond Python who became a bit of an Instagram sensation.

We’ve done this trail a few times now, stopping for a play in the playground, a coffee and fish & chips for dinner lakeside with the ducks as the sun sets. We really are so lucky to have this on our door step.

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 Location: Narrabeen, with multiple entry points and plenty of car parking. Click here to see an interactive map, a birds eye view video and download the brochure

 Opening Hours: 365 days of the year

Admission: Free!

2. Taronga Zoo

A visit to Sydney is simply not complete without a day spent at Taronga Zoo.

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Just a short drive from The Northern Beaches or a 12 minute ferry from the city, it’s worth it just for the breathtaking views, not to mention the amazing animals.

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Catch one of the 20 free seal or bird shows throughout the day, challenge yourself to the sky high ropes course, or for the ultimate family adventure you can Roar and Snore – camp in safari style tents and wake up to those breathtaking views, just like these lucky giraffes do every day.

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Do you think they realise how lucky they are to have that view!

If you make a full day of it, be sure to pack a picnic lunch and find a shady spot around the grounds to rest those feet. Or you can purchase food there too.

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And in summer, check out Twilight at Taronga – a summer series of concerts featuring performances from iconic Aussie artists, with a contribution from ticket sales going to support the work of the Taronga Conservation Society Australia.

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If you’re a local, it’s worth your while to purchase a Zoo Friends annual pass which gives you 365 days of unlimited zoo fun and $7 parking! {$7 parking in Sydney, that’s unheard of!}

Taronga Zoo… it’s a must do!

Location: Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman

Opening Hours: 9.30am – 4.30pm everyday of the year including Christmas Day

Admission: Adults $46, Children $26, Concession $36, Family Pass $129.60

3. Ice skating

My New York born and bred mum spent her childhood ice skating in central park, so with all her grandchildren together in Sydney for the first time in a year and half, she was itching to take them all to Macquarie Ice Rink to go ice skating. She brought along her own fancy white skates with pom poms on them {sign of a true ice skater} and we all hired ours.

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It had been over a decade since I donned some ice skates, any kind of skates really… so I was a little scared to be honest. What happens to us as adults that makes us scared to take on things we’ve previously done with no fear? Like handstands, going to the dentist and ice skating!

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Me and my little MIss!

Of course, the kids put me to shame. Gosh kids pick things up so easily. Even Master 4 gave it a red hot go and loved it.

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We arrived at five minutes to 3 and the lovely guy on the front desk informed us that if we waited 5 minutes we would save $20 as the last hour of general sessions is discounted. So the $20 we saved bought us all a much needed hot choccie and a donut after.

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my speedy nephew

So much fun, and not one stack!

Location: Macquarie Ice Rink is located in Macquarie Shopping Centre on the corner of Waterloo and Herring Roads, North Ryde

Opening Hours: Open everyday except for Christmas Day. They offer different session times, lessons for all ages and you can even have your birthday party there!

Admission: Child (U16): $22, Student: $23, Adult: $24 with the last hour of every general session discounted (Children (U16)/Students: $17, Adults: $18.


So there you have it, three family friendly things to do in my corner of Australia. I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into my world, and I hope I’ve talked you into a trip across the bridge!

What’s your favourite zoo animal? Have you been ice skating lately? Were you scared like me? I’d love to hear your 3 favourite family friendly things to do in your corner of Australia! Share in the comments below.

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This post is part of the Kidspot voices of 2015 put yourself on the map challenge aiming to #shareaustralia.  You can check out other bloggers’ corners of Australia here

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34 thoughts on “3 Family Friendly Things To Do North Of The Sydney Harbour Bridge

  1. I love Sydney and her beautiful beaches. And I love Taronga Zoo! We were there a couple of years ago, hope to be back again soon. Actually, wish I was there right now in your ‘winter’, freezing my fingers off down here!

    1. Yes come back soon Jodi! Although I reckon this winter has been pretty cold, even by Sydney standards! Stay warm! Xx

    1. Oh how fun Ingrid! Such a great bike ride! Shame they didn’t bring any fish home, but its all part of the fun huh! xx

  2. Love your part of the world Shannon! Gosh we haven’t been to the zoo for years….we’ll have to put that on our list of things to do for sure….the giraffes definitely are spoilt with that view aren’t they!!

    1. Thank you lovely! And yes, you must put the Zoo on your list! Such a great experience for the whole family! xx

  3. I live in the mountains, so I look longingly at those pictures of your beautiful beaches with a great deal of envy. If I lived there I wouldn’t want to leave either!

    1. The mountains are stunning too! A different kind of beauty to the beaches but beautiful all the same… and I swear the air feels different in the mountains too! xx

    1. Oh how cool are those pop up rinks! I bet the girls loved them! The one near hyde park looked amazing with the slides and igloo’s! xx

  4. Oh we love love love Sydney!! We’d totes move there if we could find the right jobs… that paid us the right money for the lifestyle we would want to live down there ha ha! Awesome spots lady- so much to see and do! x

    1. Thanks lovely and gosh, I hear ya!! Sydney is a slog, but she’s pretty special that’s for sure! You’ll just have to come visit and play. xx

  5. I am the world’s worst ice skater – I am like “Nightmare on Ice.” I’m not a huge fan of zoos per se, but I do love Taronga, it’s worth a visit for the gondola ride to the top and the views of the city. Great picks Shannon, with something for everyone!

    1. Oh Sammie… you could not possibly be nightmare anything!
      I feel the same about Zoo’s (I feel sorry for the animals usually) but Taronga they are so well looked after and I dont feel that way at all. xx

  6. I’ve help raise a beautiful girl with a beautiful family. I am so proud of you Shannon. Keep up the good work!
    Dad xxx

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  8. This is a great post Shannon! We plan on a Sydney family holiday in a little bit (when Leni is older). The only times I have been to Sydney are for work (except once) and the Mr has never been at all. Always have wanted to go to Taronga Zoo!

    1. Oh wonderful Cathy! Make sure you let us know when you are coming! Would love to show you around Sydney’s Northern Beaches! xx

  9. I live beside the Grampians so bushwalking is a fave, going to the beach in Port Fairy and lake pertinent for the kids in Warrnambool. Haven’t been to Taronga Zoo in years but remember it fondly.

    1. Oh that all sounds fantastic Paula. I’ve never been to the grampians but its definitely on the list! Thanks for popping by xx

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