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HOT: Tumbalong Park, Sydney

I have been to Sydney many, many times as a teenager and adult – and it's amazing to still discover new sights in the city now that I have kids.

Sydneysiders may diss the touristy blandness of Darling Harbour but if you've got children then there is no better place to hang out in the CBD thanks to the exceptional playground at Tumbalong Park .

Tumbalong Park is right by the water so keen transport watchers (which describes most kids I know) will love watching the boats come in and out of the dock.

There's an old-fashioned carousel by pier ($4 per person, under 2s free) Two-year-old Lady AB is quite happy sitting on my lap in one of the carriages and watching the horses bob up and down in front of her.

Tumbalong Park Playground, Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour, Sydney

The playground itself is very busy on weekends but there is enough equipment to keep most kids happy. It's probably more suitable for older kids as there are lots of (very high) climbing structures, flying fox, a jumbo swing and big slides. For little ones there are still toddler swings, a mini rope climbing frame and sandpits with sand diggers.

Tumbalong Park Darling Quarter Sydney

Tumbalong Park Playground, Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour, Sydney

The best part of Tumbalong Park is the water play area! Thanks to Sydney's generally temperate climate the kids are still able to enjoy kicking about in the water in the middle of winter.


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tumbalong park darling quarter

tumbalong park darling quarter

There are water jets, miniature pools and rivulets to splash around in plus pumps, swinging gates, dam walls and channels to move the water around.

tumbalong park

The kids could have spent hours there and it is hard trying to convince them to leave.

There are public toilets nearby to get changed but as I hadn't prepared a change of clothes for Lady AB I just let her clothes dry in the sun while she ran around.

The kids will be hungry after burning off all that energy. On the edge of the playground is a McDonald's plus a series of other restaurants. Between my friends and I we had 3 kids and a baby in tow so it was pretty hard to go past the quick and easy fast food option. So Lady AB had her first Happy Meal on the large grassy area nearby, a much more pleasant dining experience than inside the raucous restaurant. What she didn't know was that her fruit bag could be replaced with fries and the milkshake can become a soft drink. She is very, very happy with her lunch.

Tumbalong Park is one of Australia's best playgrounds.

Click here for more things to do in Sydney with kids.

Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits 1000 X 667

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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