DrupalCon is a great opportunity to bring your family or friends to enjoy a trip to Sydney. Here are some ideas for activities your "Drupalgängers" can get up to while you hunker down in conference sessions:
The Grant Reserve Playground, Coogee
Just 200m from the event venue, this playground has a range of play equipment from a climbing web, a mini sandstone sundial covered with animal images, sloping climbing wall, slippery slides, a raised mini sandpit, swings and a boat shaped structure to wobble in.
The playground is designed with safety and comfort in mind, with raised, shaded seating surrounding the play area for parents to watch from. The ground is soft with rubber softfall and the slides build in to a slope to ensure no falls.
Toilets, barbecue areas and a shaded area for parents are close at hand. The playground is located immediately south of the beach.
Ages: best suited for children 1 to 8 years of age.
The Bondi to Coogee walk
A cliff-top coastal walk, the Bondi to Coogee walk extends for 6km in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. The walk features stunning views, beaches, parks, cliffs, bays and rock pools. The beaches and parks offer a place to rest, swim or a chance to eat at one of the cafes, hotels, restaurants or takeaways. All beaches offer picnic shelters, electric barbecues, play areas, kiosks, toilets and change-rooms. The walk is not difficult, there are medium gradient paths and several staircases with occasional seating. It takes about two hours to complete the Bondi to Coogee Beach section of the walk and another hour and a half if you choose to continue to Maroubra.
Duration: 2 hrs+
Maps and more info: http://bonditocoogeewalk.com.au/
Only 10 minutes from Coogee, learn-to-surf courses at the world-famous Bondi Beach cater to everyone from beginners to regular surfers, helping students improve their skills and boost their confidence in the waves.
Cost: Starting at $49
Duration: 1.5 hours
More info: http://letsgosurfing.com.au/category/lessons/beginners
While Coogee has some surf, more advanced surfers will be drawn to better breaks at nearby Maroubra, Bronte and Bondi beaches.
Gordon's Bay Snorkelling & Diving
A marine reserve extends from Bronte to Coogee beaches, encompassing the stunning Gordon's Bay and Clovelly ocean pools. If the surf is calm, Gordon's Bay is one of the most stunning dive spots in Sydney, with a diverse range of local fish and soft corals.
Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Hailed as Sydney’s newest precinct, Darling Quarter is a must for visitors to Sydney. The playground for children is “one of the most spectacular ever built in Australia.” There are water games, climbing ropes, swings and slides and even a flying fox.
With plenty of restaurants and amenities close at hand, this is a highly recommended spot for visitors (with or without children). The IMAX movie theatre is a stone’s throw away, as are attractions like Madame Tussauds, Sydney Aquarium and Sydney Wild Life. Darling Harbour also connects to various other destinations like Circular Quay, Luna Park and Taronga Zoo by ferry. To the east of Darling Harbour is the City of Sydney, to the south lie the Chinese Garden of Friendship and Chinatown, all within walking distance.
More info: http://www.darlingquarter.com
Sydney Aquarium, Darling Harbour
Set in the heart of Sydney on beautiful Darling Harbour, Sydney Aquarium showcases over 12,000 aquatic animals from 650 species in spectacular habitat displays, including the world's largest Great Barrier Reef exhibit and amazing underwater viewing tunnels.
See Australia's unique aquatic life up close, including one of the world's largest and most impressive collections of sharks, elusive platypuses, beautiful seahorses, giant turtles, jellyfish, thousands of tropical fish, gigantic stingrays, and much, much more.
Cost: For family deals, combo deals and specials visit their website at http://www.sydneyaquarium.com.au
Wild Life Sydney, Darling Harbour
Walk through iconic Aussie habitats and encounter some of the most loved and feared animals that call Australia home. Meet Rex, the huge 5 metre crocodile in Kakadu Gorge, see creatures of the night in the Nightfall habitat, cuddle up to koalas at Koala Encounters and much, much more - there's so much to see and do!
More than just a zoo, WILD LIFE Sydney features interactive displays, inspiring and entertaining daily shows, captivating daily feeding sessions and enhanced walk-through habitats including Koala Encounters, Heart of Australia, and Butterfly Tropics. WILD LIFE Sydney is Australia's most unique and best wildlife park and it's conveniently located right in the heart of Sydney on Darling Harbour.
The aquarium and the wild life centre are accessible on foot from Darling Quarter, or by a ferry ride from Circular Quay.
Cost: Check out their combo deals and specials on their website http://www.wildlifesydney.com.au
The Rocks, Sydney
Visit one of the earliest European settlements in Australia - The Rocks, which derives its name from the local sandstone out of which its early buildings were made. You can easily spend an entire day at The Rocks and its surrounding areas which include:
Museum of Contemporary Art - http://www.mca.com.au
Circular Quay - http://www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-city/circular-quay
Seeing Sydney Harbour by ferry is one of the best ways to see the city. Take the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly and back takes about 1.5 hours and makes for a perfect day or afternoon trip.
Sydney Ferry timetables and fares: http://www.131500.com.au
General information: http://www.sydney.com/things-to-do/tours/sydney-ferries
Luna Park Sydney, Milsons Point
Reopened in 2004, Luna Park Sydney is a restored 1930s amusement park. It is located at Milsons Point, near the northern pylon of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Though accessible by train, a short ferry ride from Circular Quay is highly recommended.
While there are rides for adults and older kids to enjoy, there is also a section which offers rides for small children.
Cost: Entry into the park is free; all-day passes and seasonal/annual tickets to enjoy the rides http://www.lunaparksydney.com/about-luna-park
The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney & The Domain
The Royal Botanic Garden is an oasis of 30 hectares in the heart of the city. Wrapped around Farm Cove at the edge of Sydney Harbour, the Royal Botanic Garden occupies one of Sydney's most spectacular positions. Established in 1816, the organisation is the oldest scientific institution in the country and home to an outstanding collection of plants from Australia and overseas.
The park also offers an opportunity to come into close contact with cockatoos, a species of birds found mainly in Australasia.
The Royal Botanic Gardens is situated behind the Sydney Opera House and offer breathtaking views of the harbour.
More info: http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
The Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
At the other edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens is the beautiful Art Gallery of NSW, one of Australia’s leading art museums. More than one million visitors a year enjoy the Gallery’s collection of Australian, Aboriginal, European, Asian and contemporary art. Located within beautiful parklands overlooking Sydney Harbour and only 15 minutes walk from the city centre.
It has a restaurant, a gallery shop and is committed to providing access to people with disabilities.
Cost: Free entry, donations welcome
More info: http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au
The Queen Victoria Building
An outstanding example of Byzantine architecture, the Queen Victoria Building was referred to by Pierre Cardin as “the most beautiful shopping centre in the world.”
The QVB, as the locals call it, was completed in 1898 and these days houses a variety of shopping outlets, from cosmetics and fashion to footwear, art and jewellery. For an extraordinary dining experience, visit The Tea Room inside the QVB - https://www.thetearoom.com.au/
More info: http://www.qvb.com.au/Homepage
Taronga Zoo is located on the shores of Sydney Harbour and is home to more than 2,600 animals spread over 52 acres. Catching a ferry from Circular Quay is the prefered way to access the zoo. The zoo offers a range of activities such as talks, tours and even an overnight stay complete with dinner and drinks.
Cost: For ticket details visit their website
More info: http://taronga.org.au/taronga-zoo
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
The Bridge Climb is a 3.5-hour guided journey to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It takes you along the outer arch of the Bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 134 metres above Sydney Harbour.
Cost: For ticket prices, visit http://www.bridgeclimb.com
Flea/fashion/farmers markets in Sydney: