You have reached your destination! So put on your walking shoes, we’ve got a lot to pack in to two days.
It was a great move to stay out of the CBD. Commuting each day on Sydney’s double-decker trains was half the fun. Do you want to take a peek at people’s feet or the tops of their heads today? Who knew that the cabling under the lip of the platform was so interesting?!
First day, first stop. We alighted at Milson’s Point on the north side of The Bridge. This was the starting point for our walk across the impressive span.
Even for seasoned Sydney visitors such as ourselves, you can’t help but feel a little awestruck about such a spectacular harbour.
We took a seat exactly half way across and ate our morning tea of strawberries under the steel girders. It’s not every day you get to picnic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Pylon Museum was the next stop. Forget shelling out mega-bucks to climb the bridge – THIS is the bridge activity you must do. It’s family friendly, interesting and you can take all the photos you like for free. Inside the south-east pylon (the one closest the Opera House) is a trove of information about the bridge. The boys were particularly taken by the mannequins portraying the original construction workers. Swinging over the harbour, suspended by a single cable, with no safety harness; you have to gulp at their bravery and the laissez-faire attitude to WH&S that existed in the 1920s. Finally after climbing your way quite a few floors to the top, you find yourself with a spectacular 360° view – Circular Quay and the Opera House were the most popular but there is plenty more to take in as you walk around all sides. I doubt you’d find a more interesting pylon anywhere in the world!
That afternoon we had booked a tour at the Sydney Observatory. Of all the kid friendly options in Sydney, why choose this? We hadn’t done it before, plus, as it’s situated on a hill on the other side of The Rocks area, it gives you another great vantage point of the city.
The tour involved a show of Sydney’s night sky at the world’s smallest planetarium (seating about 12) and then a viewing of the sun through one of their telescopes especially equipped with a filter. I’m not sure how much John saw as he tended to close both eyes while looking through the viewfinder but Thomas saw spots on the surface of the sun. If you ask the boys, their highlight was watching them close up the roof at the end of the tour.
The weather the next day threatened rain although it looked pleasant enough on the journey in. We thought we’d make the most of the sunshine first and take the iconic Manly ferry across the bay from Circular Quay. Harbour Bridge on one side, Opera House on the other, wide blue expanse before you. No matter how many times we’ve been to Manly, you can’t beat the journey.
The clouds descended on the homeward stretch so it was time to see what Sydney had to offer indoors. A little tram ride took us to The Powerhouse Museum. Although we spent over four hours there, we barely scratched the surface of the displays. Highlights for the kids were anything featuring steam power and the outer-space and space shuttle display.
I found the temporary display of 3D printed objects incredible. And believe it or not, by the end, the extensive Wiggles section gave me a chance to rest my weary feet and curl up in a cubby while the kids maxed out on all things blue, yellow, red and purple.