Hello there, are you planning a trip to our beautiful Harbour City with your family?
Looking for some help on the best areas to stay in Sydney before you make your decision and book accommodation?
Here’s my overview of where to stay in Sydney with family, the general areas that are the most family-friendly.
Where To Stay in Sydney with Kids: What Do You Love?
Your family’s best Sydney family accommodation will be in the area which suits your loves and passions best. Often, in Sydney, this comes down to whether you want to stay in the centre of town, or whether you’d like to stay in one of the beachside suburbs. If you adore swimming and surfing and walking and just love being outdoors then for sure you need to stay at Manly or Bondi or Coogee.
But if you love museums and galleries and zoos and aquariums and the hustle and bustle of town, then either central Sydney or Darling Harbour will be your family’s best place to stay in Sydney.
Best Family Accommodation Sydney: The Beaches
Manly Beach Family Accommodation
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 Manly Beach if:
- You have young children
- You love the beach
- You want to spend a lot of time outdoors
Three Manly hotels our family can recommend to yours are:
Read our full review of the Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific here.
Read our post What To Do in Manly With Kids here.
Bondi Beach Family Hotels
The most famous beach in Australia is just one kilometre long yet is renowned throughout the world for its surf and beautiful people. Bondi is a suburb that’s now very trendy and also pretty kid friendly.
If you love beach culture and have little kids then Bondi is often the answer to the question of where to stay in Sydney
You’ll find a kids’ pool down at the beach, the family 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. For beach loving families, Bondi and Manly are absolutely terrific and we’d say they are the best places to stay in Sydney.
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
Here’s our family’s top pick for the most kid friendly Bondi hotel:
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
The top spot for families in Coogee is the Crowne Plaza, right on the beach front.
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
Best Family Accommodation Sydney: Central Sydney
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. There are many kid-friendly hotels in Sydney city centre. 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
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 so Darling Harbour is best place to stay in Sydney for many families who want to be close to the city action.
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
Here are the top three Darling harbour kid friendly hotel options we can recommend:
Best Family Accommodation Sydney: Budget Options
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
See more pix and read about our stay here on this post Camping At Narrabeen.
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
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.
Best Sydney Family Accommodation: Bargains
If you are keen to find great deals and bargains on the best place to stay in Sydney with kids, and then to book accommodation you know you will love, here is a couple of widgets to use to find current deals and specials.
If you like using Booking.com check out this Deals Finder below.m
NB In terms of payment for Sydney hotels and apartments, you can often pay in advance or pay at the time of staying using a prepaid Travel Money Card.
So there you have it, that’s our general overview of where to stay in Sydney with kids. Hope that you have found an area that looks as if it would work well for you.
Do you have a question about coming to stay in Sydney with your family?
Please do ask, just email me: hello at hellosydneykids.com.au
I’d love to help if I can.
Cheers and happy planning
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.