Best Areas of Sydney To Stay With Kids

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Hello there, are you planning a trip to Sydney with your family?  Looking for some help on where to stay?

Here’s my overview of the areas of Sydney that suit families best.  Your kids will be different to mine, so have a read here and see which general area would suit your family best.

The areas we think are best are:

Sydney CBD

Darling Harbour

Bondi Beach

Coogee Beach

Watsons Bay 

Manly Beach

North Narrabeen – NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park

Sydney Olympic Park


I’ll write more about the various hotels in each area in other posts. If you’d like to have a general look at accommodation options in the areas you are interested in, see the links below each area.


Best areas to stay in Sydney with kids

Here you will read of the several different area that families find the best areas to base themselves on a trip to Sydney.
If this is your very first trip to Sydney then it’s always tempting to stay right in the city centre. But if you have little kids with you then really you might be wise to choose Darling Harbour or one of the beach suburbs.

One a second or third trip to Sydney you might like to try somewhere different and you’ll find some interesting options below.


Sydney Opera House, lit up during the Vivid Festival

Central Sydney

Sydney CBD

There are many options in the heart of the Sydney central business district from five star hotels to family-friendly apartment hotels and the Sydney YHA hostel. This is the business heart of Sydney so it’s busy but day and quieter at night.

You can walk from the CBD to many of Sydney’s icons like the Harbour Bridge, the Botanic Gardens, Parliament, the best shopping areas, the Queen Victoria Building, the historic Rocks and lots of museums and the major art galleries.

Choose Sydney city centre if:

You want to use the ferries at Circular Quay a lot
You like to be in the thick of the action
You have a family that likes to walk

Check out pricing and availability for Sydney CBD hotels and apartments here.

HomeAway Australia has linked up with the Aussie company Stayz and has apartment and home to rent, check them out here.

There’s also always the trusty AirBnB to check out, find Sydney pages here.


Darling Harbour

This is the area where many child-friendly attractions lie and so it is super-handy to stay close to them. The Sydney Aquarium, Wild Life Sydney, the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Powerhouse Museum, the IMAX cinema and Madame Tussauds are all at Darling Harbour.

So is the fantastic, huge playground in the Darling Quarter section which has cafes and restaurants all around it. And close to hat is the Chinese Garden of Friendship, an oasis of natural beauty in the heart of the city.

There are family-friendly hotels here and apartment hotels too.

Choose Darling Harbour if:
You have young children with you and would like to be close to somewhere they can run around and play
You’d like to have many child-friendly cafes and restaurants within walking distance
You’re keen to visit all the attraction at Darling Harbour

Check out pricing and availability for Darling Harbour hotels and apartments here.


bondi beach families kids

Sydney’s most famous beach, Bondi

The Beach Suburbs

Bondi Beach

The most famous beach in Australia, just one kilometre long but famous throughout the world for its surf and beautiful people. Bondi is a suburb that’s now very trendy and also pretty child-friendly.

You’ll find a kids pool down at the beach, the kids might like to visit the iconic Icebergs pool too. There’s a playground at the beach, plenty space to run and play and heaps of great cafes.

The whole family might fancy a surfing lesson at Bondi, plus you can easily walk – even with a stroller- south along the coastal path which passes many other famous beaches.

There are hotels and apartment hotels and you can rent apartments and houses too.

  • Choose Bondi if:
    You love to be close to the beach
    You’d like to walk the coast, chill at cafes and let the kids run free
    You’re happy to catch the bus into the city centre

Check out pricing and availability of Bondi hotels and apartments here.

Coogee Beach

Both of Bondi this is a slightly less busy beachside suburb which still has hotels, cafes and restaurants and a great beach. There are also two fantastic rock baths to explore here.It’s also on the excellent coastal walking track. There are apartments to let here and also whole houses.

Choose Coogee if:
You are looking for a less busy place to stay
Beaches are your thing, and playgrounds too
You’re happy to catch the bus into the city centre

Click here for Coogee hotels and apartments pricing and availability.

Watsons Bay view-1

Gorgeous views of the city from Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel

Watsons Bay

Watsons Bay is a suburb on the Harbour and it’s got a lot of attractions for families. The Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel here has family rooms, you can also find houses and apartments in this area.

It’s easy to catch a ferry from Watsons Bay into the city centre. The family attractions here are great walks, the sweet beaches, good cafes, Harbour baths for swimming, the lovely Watsons Bay Tea Rooms and the large park with playground.

Choose Watsons Bay if:
You’d like to be on the Harbour but away from the busy city centre
You have small children and would like them to have space to play
You’re happy to catch the ferry to the city

Check out pricing and availability for Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel here.

Read our review of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel here.


20131000 Shelly Beach Manly-007

Shelly Beach at Manly is super child-friendly

Manly Beach

Manly has it all, ocean beaches, harbour beaches, wonderful walks of all descriptions, playgrounds, kid-friendly cafes and restaurants and all sorts of places to stay.

Manly is a 30 minute ferry ride from Sydney’s city centre, but feels like a real holiday destination. It’s busy but not quite so busy as Bondi and the Eastern Suburbs.

Choose Watsons Bay if:
You have young children
You love the beach
You want to spend a lot of time outdoors

Check out pricing and availability for Manly Beach hotels and apartments here.


Camping Narrabeen lakeside holiday park

The water park at Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park

North Narrabeen – NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park

This option is for families who might want to spend a bit less money, stay a bit longer or who have been to Sydney before. If you want to enjoy a laid back family holiday in Sydney, this is a good location on the Northern Beaches.

The Holiday park is terrific for kids, it’s by a lagoon, it has a fun water park and activities for kids in school holidays.
There’s a beach and beautiful rock pool close by, plus cafes and restaurants a short walk or drive away.

Choose North Narrabeen if:
You need a relaxing beach-side holiday
You don’t mind driving to visit other places
You like camping or caravanning
You’re a lover of the great outdoors

Check out pricing and availability for Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park cabins and camping here.

See more pix and read about our stay here on this post Camping At Narrabeen.




Go West

Sydney Olympic Park

There are many attractions for families out here and whilst many would simply get the train out from the centre of Sydney, it’s also worth thinking about a stay here. There are several choices of hotels which are close enough to walk to the places you want to go.

Choose Sydney Olympic Park
If you’ve come to Sydney for a show, a concert or an event
You’d like to explore fully the attractions at Sydney Olympic Park
You’re happy to catch a train to the city centre

Check out pricing and availability of Sydney Olympic Park Hotels here.


There are heaps of places to stay in and around Parramatta and lots of things to do here too, plus great places to eat.

Choose Parramatta if:
You’d like a great hotel but don’t want to pay inner city prices
You have friends and family in western Sydney
You don’t mind hopping on the train to see the main Sydney sights

See the range of hotels and apartments to suit your budget in Parramatta here.

Read our tips on staying in Parramatta and what to do with kids here.


Do you have a question about coming to stay in Sydney with your family?

Please do ask, just email me:  hello at

I’d love to help if I can.

Cheers and happy planning

Seana xx



This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase an item using these links I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This helps support this blog. Disclosure policy is here.

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Posted on: November 2, 2016

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