From wildlife sanctuaries to amusement parks and more, the state of NSW is full of places and activities that are perfect for children and adults alike. Check out some of the best places in NSW to keep your little ones entertained on your next Australian adventure.
Taronga Zoo & Taronga Western Plains Zoo
With a spectacular location overlooking Sydney Harbour, award-winning Taronga Zoo is an unbeatable destination for animal lovers and budding zoologists. With over 4,000 animals to see and more than 20 shows to catch per day – as well as guided tours and the occasional concert – there’s always something happening at Taronga Zoo.
Those looking for an immersive experience can even stay overnight in safari-style tents, surrounded by the calls of Taronga’s native and exotic inhabitants.
Located in Dubbo, roughly 400 kilometres inland from Sydney, Taronga Western Plains Zoo is Australia’s oldest open range zoo.
Instead of gates, walls and fences, Taronga Western Plains Zoo uses concealed moats to separate visitors from animals, allowing you to imagine what an encounter in the wild would feel like!
Note: Although Taronga is NSW’s most famous wildlife institution, there are plenty of fantastic venues to explore across the state. For more animal adventures, check out Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside, Blackbutt Reserve in New Lambton, Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh, and Mogo Zoo on the NSW South Coast.
Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures
Do your kids have an adventurous streak? Then head to one of NSW’s treetop adventure parks for the chance to embrace this spirit in a safe and scenic environment.
Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is one NSW’s most popular treetop adventure parks, offering different experiences to suit all ages and abilities. The Treetop Walk winds 1500 metres through the beautiful rainforest canopy on a walkway suspended 20-30 metres above the ground. Although this walk is suitable for all ages, Knights Tower (a viewing platform situated at the end of the walkway) is not accessible to prams.
If your children are at least 5 years old and over 105cm tall, they can also choose to embark on a Zipline Tour. This thrilling journey involves crossing suspension bridges and flying along a series of steel cables strung 35 metres above the forest floor!
With professional guidance, breathtaking views, and the option for parents to ride tandem with smaller children, Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is perfect for the whole family.
For some old-fashioned fun with a modern backdrop, there’s no going past Luna Park Sydney. Built in 1935, the huge grin which marks the entrance of Luna Park has become a beloved icon for generations of Sydneysiders.
Take your children to Luna Park to experience the nostalgia and simple joys of times gone by. Here, you can saddle up on the hand-painted carousel, marvel and laugh inside the Big Top, grab a bite to eat at the Coney Island Café, and clatter along the tracks of a rare wooden roller coaster.
Round out your visit with a ride on the ferris wheel, whose colourful carriages enjoy magnificent views of Sydney Harbour and a skyline from a completely different era.
Make a trip to Echuca, found on the NSW-Victoria border, for a crowd-pleasing outing that’s perfect for groups with a range of interests. Billabong Ranch sprawls over 390 acres and includes a fun-filled activity centre with enough activities to interest practically anyone.
Horse lovers will be spoilt for choice – the ranch has a range of trail rides designed for both experienced and inexperienced riders, as well as pony ride options for younger guests. Guests can also get active on the bouldering wall, challenge themselves on the obstacle course, or strike up some friendly competition with a game of table tennis, beach volleyball, or ten-pin bowling.
As if that wasn’t enough, there are also friendly animals for petting, bungy trampolines for bouncing – even camels for riding! The archery and mini-golf courses are especially popular during wet weather, so you can all have a great time at Billabong Ranch at any time of year.
Jamberoo Action Park
Less than two hours south of Sydney, Jamberoo Action Park is one of the wildest places to cool off in NSW. This theme park features 15 rides spread over 40 hectares of landscaped parklands near Kiama.
Ideal for children and parents alike, Jamberoo Action Park delivers high-speed thrills as well as more easygoing entertainment. Take the little ones for a paddle at Billabong Beach – a play area designed specially for young children – or join your budding adrenaline junkies on hair-raising rides such as Funnel Web and The Perfect Storm.
New to the park in 2016, Jamberoo’s latest ride hurls riders along a 290-metre trajectory to reach speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour! Of course, you can always float around in the wave pool instead.
So get organising and plan your school holiday adventure now!
About the Author
Alex is a 23 year old lover of life, brunch & adventure. After moving to Sydney when finishing a journalism degree, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and other along the way!