Skip to main content

Go back to blog

10 Family Friendly Things to do in Darling Harbour & Barangaroo

  • Wednesday 20th March 2019
  • Things To Do

There’s plenty of things to do in Sydney in the Summertime

Whether you’re a tourist, or a local exploring your city, there’s no shortage of things to do in Darling Harbour and Barangaroo with kids. Start your day out in the family-friendly Darling Harbour and Barangaroo precinct. With its fascinating history and modern outdoor spaces, there’s a lot to entertain the entire family. Here are five big ideas to inspire you.


1. A 'Ferry Good' Darling Harbour Activity

Kickstart your day with the wind in your hair. Hop on a ferry that goes from Circular Quay, stopping at Barangaroo and two spots in Darling Harbour: Pier 26 and the International Conference Centre. This iconic ride acts like a highlights reel of Sydney; taking you under the harbour bridge and past the Opera House. It’s a short trip, only 20 minutes long, but it offers the ‘best of’ the city from a boat.


2. Rumble In The Tumble

In the early days of European settlement, Darling Harbour was known as Cockle Bay, for its abundance of shellfish. Convicts would pick their way along the tidal zone, searching for a free meal in the area now known as Tumbalong Park. ‘Tumbalong’ means ‘place of seafood’ in the Dharug language of the Eora Nation. The park features impressive play areas, with swings, a super slide, and a climbing net ten metres high. The water park is an outstanding inclusion, with 26 jets spraying water into the air. The kids can run between them, trying to anticipate where the next geyser will erupt!

As far as family-friendly activities go, Tumbalong park is a definite must-do.


3. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium at Darling Harbour

Get close up to Sydney Harbour’s most charismatic inhabitants at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium; from the famous Little Penguins to the giant Blue Groper with his Instagram-worthy pout. Nemo is here too of course, along with many of the inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef, in the newly opened Day and Night On The Reef exhibit. Ride the encased moving walkway into the dappled depths, as huge sharks and rays sail overhead. If you’re daring, book a shark diving experience and meet these impressive animals, face to fin! For littlies, the Discovery Kids Rockpool is a popular hands-on experience, featuring starfish, shark eggs and shells. And if you’re looking for more creature encounters, visit WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, right next door. Purchase a 2 attraction pass and you'll save over 40% on entry to both the aquarium and the zoo!


4. Do Barangaroo

If you’re looking for fun family-friendly things to do in Barangaroo, the King Street Wharf and Barangaroo areas from the northern end of the Darling Harbour precinct definitely need to be on your list. The area has been completely transformed into a bustling hub of restaurants, bars and shopping. At the northern tip, there’s open green space, with stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Pack a picnic and let the kids run free; this is the great ultimate family-friendly outdoor area outdoors in the heart of the CBD.


Grassy areas are everywhere and provide plenty of things to do in Barangaroo, so you’re spoilt for choice; roll out a blanket, lay out your food, and you’re set for a whole afternoon. The views are breathtaking, and there’s plenty of space for the kids to run around. Balls and kites are a no-no (you could be fined), but there’s plenty to see in the immediate surroundings. Explore the beautiful blocks of sandstone that line the water’s edge, or ride a scooter along the pathways through the park. Stay long enough, and you’ll have ringside seats for one of Sydney’s spectacular sunsets!


5. Cycle around Barangaroo

Imagine the feeling of the sea breeze in your hair, as you cycle along the foreshore under a bright blue Sydney sky! At the northern end of the Barangaroo peninsular, a bicycle track hugs the shoreline, offering some of the best views in Sydney. The track is flat and well-formed, suitable for all ages, but it’s a shared zone, so watch out for pedestrians. The Barangaroo bike path is not the longest in Sydney, but it’s one of the most beautiful, with so much to see you and the family can easily cycle it more than once!


6. Tree's a Crowd

Barangaroo abounds in native flora. The parkland is filled with carefully chosen plants, creating stunning green spaces and garden beds. There are 75,000 different trees and shrubs on the site, so see how many you can find! It’s a fun way to get the kids excited about their environment, and littlies always have a giggle at the funny names – like Hairy Apple Berry, Pigface, Old Man’s Beard, Cheese Tree, Luscious Water Gum, and Broad-leaf Drumstick. 

So bring the kids and extended family for a fun and educational day at Barangaroo and get close to nature while enjoying some of the most beautiful views in Sydney.


7. Art in the Park

If you’re looking for some inspiration then look no further than family friendly Barangaroo, the inspirational thing to do in Darling Harbour and Barangaroo. Can you find the walls of shells? It’s not hard when it’s multiple storeys high! This incredible work of art is installed at the southern end of the Wulugul Walk. It was created over four months by Esme Timbery (a Bidjigal/Eora elder and 4th generation shell artist) and Jonathan Jones (a Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist). The work reflects Barangaroo’s history as an important place for gathering to eat shellfish. More works of art are scattered throughout the parklands. See if you can find the five sandstone rock engravings!


5. Foodtastic Time

Feeling peckish? For an authentic meal, take a short stroll to buzzing Chinatown. Treat the family to some of the best fares from all across Asia; order your favourite dish and soak up the atmosphere. On top of being delicious, the food here is culturally diverse; choose from Malaysian, Thai, Korean, Taiwanese, Hong Kong cuisine, and of course – Chinese. Yum!

Don’t fancy Asian cuisine? Darling Harbour is filled with bustling restaurants and cafes, perfect for a family day out enjoying the sun. If you’re hungry, Darling Harbour is the place to be! Why not grab an ice cream and sit by the water?


6. Pose with a Star

Get up close and personal with your favourite celebrities and become the star of the story with Madame Tussauds Sydney’s immersive experiences. From posing with the stars and experiencing the all-new interactive features, Madame Tussauds in the heart of Darling Harbour Sydney is open daily during these school holidays and promises start-to-finish fun in the heart of Sydney’s CBD in Darling Harbour.


7.  Meet a Tree Kangaroo

A must do this summer for all Sydney-siders – meet Kofi the Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo. With his bright blue eyes and bold colouring, he is hard to miss in the treetops of WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. The adorable fluffy mammal loves climbing trees and munching on boiled eggs! 

Visit all three of Darling Harbour’s top attractions for less than $24 per attraction!  From sharks to superheroes and from tree kangaroos to sub-Antarctic penguins the ULTIMATE KIDS PASS has something for everyone to ensure the school holidays are jam-packed with FUN!


Darling Harbour and Barangaroo is a playground for adults and children alike. There’s always something to do with the family, no matter what the weather. So round up your gang and set out to explore the myriad of attractions in Darling Harbour.

Save up to 25%

  • Price includes Digi Photo Pass with 8 digital photos included – valued at $26!
  • Get your ticket on your phone
  • Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult (18+)
  • Guarantee entry by booking online

Save over 30%

  • Choose from: WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds Sydney or Sydney Tower Eye
  • Visit your second attraction within 30 days after you have visited SEA LIFE
  • Price includes Digi Photo Pass with 8 digital photos included

Save over 45%

  • Choose from: WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds Sydney or Sydney Tower Eye
  • Visit your other attractions within 60 days after you have visited SEA LIFE
  • Price includes Digi Photo Pass with 8 digital photos included

Save over 50%

  • One visit to WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds Sydney and The Sydney Tower Eye
  • Visit your other attractions within 60 days after you have visited SEA LIFE
  • Price includes Digi Photo Pass with 8 digital photos included