Family Holidays in Sydney, Australia – The Lavenne Family Visit From Canada

If you’re thinking of bringing the family to Sydney, here’s a good sneak preview for you.

Brad Levenne and his wife, son and daughter visited recently from Canada. Brad got in touch with me before they came, and I asked if he could report back on the family’s trip.

Read what they think about Sydney and view some great family photos from their holiday.

Mum and daughter at carousel in darling harbour

 Do you travel as a family often?

We do large trips last minute, organised within a couple of weeks of leaving. The main reasons are that I work for an airline and fly standby. No point booking a major vacation only to find the flights full.

This time we were either going on a cruise between Spain and Italy or Australia…. we choose Australia.

A good choice I might add too.

You rented a house in Paddington, how did that work out?

The rental house was perfect for us and we booked it through We debated on a hotel but the cost of three meals out per day in the city slid the scale to a house.

We all had our own bedrooms, lots of space and we cooked healthy meals.

Thankfully we meet a Mom on the bus on our first day who told us some of the best grocery stores to shop at. We were able to do a large shopping trip to Coles and bought the rest of our groceries at Thomas Dux only two blocks away from our house at Five Ways in Paddington.

We loaded our day packs with snacks and even bought a loaf of fresh Apple Chutney bread to munch on through out the day. We discovered great fruit and smoothie packs with lids for the kids.

Overall Paddington was an excellent location for us. It was central and 15 minutes by bus to either downtown or from Oxford Street there were connections to the beach.

Five Ways had many amenities like the Thomas Dux, bakery, a phenomenal wine store and much more. We could easily come and stay at the same location again although my son would love to stay at Manly.

 chimp and girl at Taronga Zoo

What were your top five activities or experiences?

* Taronga Zoo
* Manly Beach which we visited twice,
* Bronte Beach
* Baby Proms at the Opera House,
* Darling Harbour especially the park which we visited twice
* Seeing the Wiggles in Concert!!!!

Other good spots?

* Luna Park Coney Island was a good deal for the three hours we were there. My two year old daughter even loved the slides. BUT we did not buy Luna Park ride tickets because overall the prices seemed to be way over priced.
* The free walks and parks all around the city like the one across the Sydney Bridge
* Any of the ferry rides.
* We had limited time at Olympic Park and only went swimming. We would like to go back there

How did you find eating out with the family?

We did not eat out too much. We saved our money for special meals with friends in Darling Harbour, a birthday, and Mother’s Day. We packed snacks for the day or bought snacks along the way.

Any experiences that weren’t so good? Ideas for improvement?

* Overall transit was good but trips were long. For example, we liked your article of Blaxland Riverside Park  but by transit (bus and train) the park would have been about two hours one way.

* Internet – being in a city without internet was hard. We ended up purchasing a Hotspot and used our Canadian iPhones to surf as anywhere in Sydney. A great deal for $99.00 for the device and 6GB of data for our 11 days.

Did you swim??

Yes everywhere we could. Thankfully it was hot while we were there for winter. We swam at Bronte Beach, Manly, and Olympic Park.

big swing at Darling Harbour

What were your children’s thoughts on Sydney?

Our two kids loved their time in Sydney. All the sights, new places and each day was a fun adventure.

Thanks so much for sharing your photos and your thoughts, Brad and family.

Please come back to Sydney one day!

Sydneysiders, what great child-friendly spots would you recommend to a family visiting Sydney from abroad?













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Posted on: August 16, 2012


  • Did they find your tips before they left home so they knew what to do?!

    • Reply August 17, 2012


      Yes, Brad found the website and got in touch, he bought Sydney For Under Fives for Kindle too.

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