Tag Archives: Sydney Aquarium

A life lived vicariously

One thing I really love about having a daughter is doing all the things I love to do, what I loved to do as a kid or what I missed out on doing as a kid. This is definitely what I would call living vicariously.

The weekends become a succession of first time adventures like:

  • First time on the sand in Wamberal
  • First visit to Sydney Aquarium
  • First museum visit
  • First visit to Luna Park
  • First trip to Taronga Zoo
  • First ferry trip
  • First birthday
  • First ride on a Ferris wheel
  • First movie
  • First circus
  • First bushwalk
  • First Halloween
  • First ballet at the Opera House
  • First Chinese New Year
  • First sushi train
  • First award for dancing
  • First big girls ride at Sea World
  • First scooter ride
  • First Vivid night lights
  • First visit to the dentist

The possibilities are almost endless and I honestly don’t know who is enjoying themselves more. Of course there will be less firsts as time goes on and there will be a time when my daughter won’t want me to be a part of her firsts, but I am enjoying the special moments while I can and looking forward to different sorts of first in the future.

What are your favourite firsts with your little ones? What should I add to my list? Would you like to share a story of one of your firsts? Email me on roshan@roshansramblings.com

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10 things to do in Sydney

Here are my favourite places to go in Sydney- a top ten list, if you will. Some of them may seem cliché, but there is a reason that certain places are deemed tourism worthy.

My number one place in Sydney is Taronga Zoo. I love animals and will go to any zoo at any given opportunity. Taronga Zoo is special because you can take a ferry to get there and it has the best views of the city from its grounds. You can even take a gondola from the ferry terminal to the zoo entrance and back again. I also like Sydney Aquarium in Darling Harbour for an animal fix. It has great shark tank viewing tunnels and they have beluga whales too!

The Botanic Gardens is the place to go for its iconic views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. I am lucky because I used to work close enough to the gardens to go for lunch time walks there. I always enjoyed seeing the tourists stopping to take pictures along the way as it reminds me what a lovely city I live in. In summer they have open air theatre shows for kids and they always seem to be setting up for a festival or opera on the harbour side.

The Opera House is the best place to catch a show- pretty much just because you are in the Opera House. My favourite bar, Opera Bar, is also here. It’s often crowded and hard to get a drink, but you can’t beat being under the Opera House looking at the Harbour Bridge while you sip your pre- show cocktail. For a more old skool pub, I also like The London in Balmain. Rustic and sturdy, they have a large selection of beer on tap and decent food. Plus, how can you not love a pub that welcomes dogs?!

One of my favourite restaurants is at The Deck at Luna Park. It has great Spanish style seafood share platters and is not too expensive. It’s also located in my favourite suburb- Kirribilli. I was fortunate enough to live here for a while and there is no place quite like it in Sydney. Lavender Bay is beautiful, the Harbour Bridge is above you and the city is just across the water. You also can’t beat walking to work over the Harbour Bridge.

The European clothing brands have finally landed in Australia! So my new favourite place to shop is the brand new H & M‘s that keep popping up all over Sydney. I must admit that I am a little addicted.

But the best way to see Sydney is to be on the harbour in a boat– preferable at the start of the Sydney to Hobart Race. The harbour is what makes Sydney special, and it is beautiful, so if you ever come here make sure you get out on the water.

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Kid at Heart

I am a kid at heart. I always enjoy a theme park, animals or a museum; and now that I have a daughter it is double the fun.

I will be taking three weeks off from blogging from the end of this week (heading off on a trip to Sri Lanka). So, in the meantime, I will leave you with some fun Sydney activities for kids and kids at heart to keep you all amused over the Easter break.

Royal Easter Show- who doesn’t love a show? The rides, the food and the show bags. The Sydney show this year is on 26 March to 8 April at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park. It’s usually packed and can be quite expensive, but the free displays are pretty mind blowing and the wood chopping and other traditional show events (also free) are always entertaining. The kids will love the farmyard nursery, but I prefer the working dog demonstrations myself- how are they so clever?!

Taronga Zoo- a ferry trip to Taronga Zoo is a fun activity in itself. Although a little pricey to get in, a yearly pass may be worth the money if you plan to go more than once. Apart from the gondola ride and the free daily shows, there is also a kid’s area where farmyard animals and bush turkeys roam free through the park equipment and water play area. My favourite parts are seeing the elephants take their morning shower and the gorgeous views of the city.

Australian Museum- I went here late last year to see the Aztec exhibit. The display had a stamping activity (for kids) and iPad photo activity (for kids at heart). The rest of the museum was free, after paying for the feature exhibition, and is always free for children under 5. This includes a very scary dinosaur’s exhibition- they growl at you and I jumped ok?!- and a great little scientist area where kids can read, play and look through microscopes.

Royal Botanic Gardens- For a free and educational activity, a self-guided walk through the Sydney gardens is a great activity. They are iconic, waterside, beautiful and sometimes you will even find cockatoos feeding on the ground. There is also a Disney Fairy Trails app currently active where you can find and photograph cartoon fairies as you go- very cool.

Sydney Aquarium- not the cheapest, but great for a rainy day. The shark viewing tunnels are unique and the Great Barrier Reef display is very colourful. I love trying to spot the platypus and learning something new every time I visit. There is a touch pool for the little ones and dugongs, but no mermaids contrary to popular advertising- sorry to disappoint.

Museum of Sydney- with a very reasonable entry fee, this museum is at a historic location and not too large, making it easy to navigate. I recently went there to see the Towers of Tomorrow LEGO exhibition which was small but very functional with 4 large Lego troughs for kids to play in next to the awesome tall towers (like the replica Marina Bay Sands) that kids at heart will appreciate. The Lego exhibition is running until 12 July and look out for the Toys through Time display coming on 28 March- showing until 9 August.

Luna Park- for an alternative to the Easter Show (but probably just as expensive!), you can’t beat the location of Luna Park at Milson’s Point where you can gaze over the water at the Opera House, city and Harbour Bridge. The old English merry-go-round and dressed up characters such as Luna Bob are a favourite with kids of all ages. My personal pick is the mouse roller coaster where it feels like you are going to drop right over the edge into Sydney Harbour.

Australian Reptile Park- located one hour out of Sydney, this park has been around since 1948 and has an interesting history to go with it. I cringed at the funnel web milking demonstration, but the kids couldn’t get enough of it. The main attraction is Elvis the crocodile and the free range kangaroo area where an emu sneaked up on me. The dirt paths weave into the trees which lends to a nice bushwalk feel and there is a large play park for the little ones once they tire of the animals.

State Library- I went here last month to see the Lynley Dodd: A Retrospective exhibition. Lynley is the creator of the Hairy McClairy book series for children and the display was definitely designed with kids in mind- very interactive with TV, audio, drawing and book areas. The State Library itself is a beautiful old building with, funnily enough, lots of books. There is even a whole room filled with Don Quixote books. All exhibitions are free of charge and there is always some lovely photography on display.

The Beach- if the weather is good, the beach is the best free fun activity for kids and kids at heart. Water, sun, surf and sand castles provide hours of entertainment. I enjoy going to old favourites like Greenwich Baths and Boat Harbour on the South Coast; and discovering new beaches like Ettalong and Shoal Bay to the North. Just remember to pay attention to life guards and be sun safe.

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