In Photos: Lake Belvedere in Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park 

  

   
    
 
   
    
    
 

   
    
 

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Lake Belvedere Pram Walk / Trike Ride, Sydney Olympic Park

Lake Belevedere, Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park provides a great morning out with the kids. Pack the pram, trikes or scooters and a picnic and you’re set for a good morning out. 

As with anywhere we go for the first time we got lost. Sydney Olympic Park is massive and it’s easy to get lost trying to get there and then once you’re inside. 

Thankfully, Bicentennial Park is right at the main entrance of Sydney Olympic Park. Coming along Homebush Bay Drive / A3 you will see signs for Sydney Olympic Park, going around the big circle at the entrance will land you on Australia Avenue. 

  
Once on it, look out for signs to turn right into Bicentennial Park. The first right will take you into Bicentennial Park Drive. If you miss that go right into Bennelong Parkway – it’s the first big intersection with traffic lights. 

   
The best way to enter is along Bicentennial Park Drive, drive all the way around until you see the lake on your left and then find a parking because then you won’t have to push the pram and carry the trike / bike or scooter uphill.

Wheeler Park, Narrabeen 

Wheeler Park is a little playground, fully enclosed and shade overlooking the Narrabeen Lakes. We stumbled upon it but burnt off some serious energy so I’m glad we came across it. 

KWheeler Park Playground doesn’t really have an address which is weird considering there is even a car park. If you’re looking for it, you would be best served putting Lakeside, Narrabeen in your GPS. The next three pictures should give you an indication of where it is: 

Picture 1: The blue spot in the picture is the covered playground alongside Lakeside Road.  

 Picture 2: Where Lakeside Road is in relation to other roads / streets in the area (more specifically Mactier Street) and the Lakes.   

Picture 3: Where Mactier Street and the Lakes are within the greater Narrabeen area.  

The beauty about this little playground is its location

  • It’s on the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail which means you can walk around the Lakes / lagoon a bit with the kids. It’s perfect for prams and trikes. 
  • There is a cafe (walking North) called Boatshed cafe where you can pick up a coffee / babychinos / smoothie. 
  • Ducks and geese are abound.
  • There are open areas nearby where you can sit and peacefully watch the water (or the people trying their hand at various water sports).   

 

The playground itself is small but has the basics – climbing frame, slides and swings. It is all spring form and as I said above its completely enclosed. 

   

   
There are BBQ facilities (just one I think), picnic tables and a few benches inside and outside the playground. 

  
  
There is street parking all along the Narrabeen Lakes and a little parking lot near the playground. One of the down falls is that there aren’t any toilets which is a bit of a pain if you plan on spending a while there. 

Golden Jubilee Field, North Wahroonga

Big path to cycle around, big sweeping bush land views. The area has plenty of parking and is completely accesible with a pram making it perfect for a pram walk and trike / scooter ride. 

  
It is referred to by the Ku-ring-fai Council as a “sport and recreation spot” which is a strange way to describe such a big piece of land that houses soccer fields, one or more baseball diamonds, a playground, a mountain bike training area, a model aeroplane club, off-leash dog walking, playground and an rural emergency service.

I’ll just call this whole area “The Field” throughout in an attempt to stick to its title but really it’s made up of fields but I’m getting sidetracked and want to avoid confusion. 

So, to get to The Field put Esk Street, Wahroonga into your GPS or Golden Jubilee Field, Wahroonga (or North Wahroonga) may work too. 

  
Driving to Esk Street along Westbrook Avenue turn left into Esk and the entrance to the Field will be on your right. It’s such a big space you can’t miss it. 

Initially what you will see is a massive field which is either set up for soccer or baseball. To get to the walking / trike track or the Mountain Bike track you’ve got to head to the field at the back. Below is an aerial view to help you follow me. The blue dot is where you park and the ‘sandpit’ looking thing to the right is actually a field which is the main baseball field. It makes no sense to me that it looks like that when it is actually lovely and green (you’ll see from the pics I took on out bike ride / pram walk). 

   

The second ‘sandpit’ looking thing is very much like a sandpit. As it is the Mountain Bike Course. It is huge fun for a 3 year old boy. I will get to this a bit later in the post. The buildings in the picture are the Emergency Services’ buildings. 

Starting out from the parking (where the blue dot is) you’ll need to go up onto the field level, there are plenty of entry points. You’ll either see the model aeroplane grandads in action (such fun) or there will be a soccer game or baseball game in action. On the days we’ve been there we’ve not seen a sports game in action. You’ll then have plenty of track to cycle / pram round and round. 

The views out over the bushland are impressive and it’s all fenced so you don’t have to worry when the little ones go off track. 

  

   
   
You’ll find a spot in the track where you can go right past the emergency services buildings and can ride to the other baseball field. You’ll know you’ve found the right turn when you get to the sign that says “dogs must be on leash from this point”. 

  

Going along this track will take you past the batting tunnels and down to a playground. The playground isn’t big or fancy but definitely a nice addition to the fun of cycling. 
  

On this occasion we didn’t visit the playground, we decide to keep left and make our way round the trike track again and then onto the mountain bike training park, Jubes Mountain Bike Park.

Had this been the weekend or anytime when there were actual mountain bikers on the circuit I wouldn’t have let my son on but as there was no one else there (like the other times we’ve been) we had free reign.  

There are three areas according to the web (KMC – Jubes Mountain Bike Park website): “Skill development – Designed to help riders improve off-road cycling with rock, wood and narrow sections. Pump track – Easy, medium and difficult levels to encourage the rider to use their upper body to ‘pump’ through the course.Single track -800 metres of track that meanders up and down the hillside.”

I’m not sure which sections we were on but my son rode over some mud mounds, rocks, paths, wooden ramps and then moved on from the bike and together with my daughter “practiced their running”.

   
    
 
A word to the wise: if there is mud, even a little bit rather avoid it. I know it’s meant to be fun and probably is huge amounts of fun but the mud is thick and sticks to the wheels and feet, shoes, legs, clothes and everything that comes into contact with it. 

  

Parsley Bay, Brooklyn NSW 

Cool winter weather and a somewhat sickly baby made us venture out of Sydney, somewhere quiet to a place where we could picnic and the kids could run off some energy with a scenic backdrop and without making any other kids ill. I had heard about Parsley Bay on the Hawkesbury River so I sold the idea to my husband and off we went. 

It’s 40 minutes North of Sydney’s North Shore along the Pacific Motorway and 51kms from Sydney CBD. I would drive because it’s a bit of a far walk from the train station with little ones and a picnic in tow.  
   

A good address for the GPS is George Street, Brooklyn, NSW. Once you get to Brooklyn aim for George Street. Once at George Street keep going to the end of the street where you’ll find the parking lot overlooking the water. 

There is no much to it: a walking path that rounds the head, a few picnic benches, a little beach (I am sure this disappears when the tide rises), boat ramps and toilets. There are however some resident ducks and Pelicans which are very exciting! Also very exciting is the chance of catching some fish, we didn’t know that this was possible but we saw a few families with little kids trying their luck. 

We went with the intention of walking from Parsley Bay around the head (McKell Park) and to the playground on the other side but in hind-sight this was very ambitious with two little kids. Instead we just hung out at Parsley Bay. 

We had a picnic on the grass in front of the picnic tables looking out over the water.  

The kids were able to check out the Pelicans, without getting to close and play on the little sand beach. 
 
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We tried to feed the ducks but they hated our lettuce and I didn’t bring any bread because I’d been lambasted on social media about what is and what isn’t appropriate to feed ducks. There were also a few dogs being walked, much to the delight of out littlest. 
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There is a good looking coffee shop in Brooklyn (the name escapes me right now but you would pass it going to the playground, McKell Park or Parsley Bay) where you can pick up a coffee and a sandwhich should you rather stay indoors. 

Balmoral Beach Pram Walk, Mosman 

Although it’s autumn / winter it’s still possible to enjoy the beach. I took our littelest for a stroll along Balmoral Beach in her pram and it was lovely.

Balmoral Beach is great for kids in the summer and I will definitely get to that post soon but this post is about the awesome walk you can do alongside the beach with or without pram, trikes, bikes or scooters in tow. 

There is a wide walking path all along Balmoral Beach from the South End of the Esplanade all the way up to the Bathers’ Pavillion which is perfect for mum’s with prams. There is parking the whole way along, just depends if you’re willing to pay otherwise there is parking off from the Esplanade. 

  

You can put Balmoral Beach or The Esplanade, Mosman into your GPS. I would look for parking  along the Esplanade or for cheaper rates (and some free 2 hour parking) on Lower Almora Street, Park Lane or Hunter Road.   

 

The walk is just gorgeous because of the sea view (you’re right up alongside the beach) and because of the large green areas on the other side. Your pram occupant can get out and have a run if she  gets antsy because there is enough space. 

  
You can walk and stop as and when you please with benches and cafes / kiosks dotted along the way. 

You can also stop with the kids to:

1.  spare some change for the Melanoma Society, University of Sydney for Cancer research. 

  
2. explore the Balmoral Rotunda which was built in 1930. 

  

3. Play in the playground at the South End of the Esplaned (as at June 2016 it is currently undergoing work of some sort.) 

Unfortunately most of the bathrooms along the beach are currently undergoing work.  The following bathrooms are available: balmoral oval pavilion, tram shed and bathers pavillion. 

 
If you have a hyper-active 3 year old with you, the Oval is a great inclusion to the walk. You’ll find the Oval at the South End of the Esplanade on the opposite side of the road from the playground. 

In Photos: Parsley Bay, Brooklyn, NSW

 

Spotted this guy alongside the carpark. He had a bell so he must be owned by someone
  
Hawkesbury River bridge
  
All the tinnies lined up for warmer weather
  
Pelican who thought we were a bit suspect
  
“Enormous Rock”
  
Pelicans just chilling on one of the many jetties
  
Sandy Beach (Dead horse beach is somewhere too)
  
My kids love any form of beach, even in the winter
  
Finally found ducks on the Hawkesbury River and they hated my lettuce
  
Fun and games after a picnic
  
Amazing what wind can do even to an Enormous Rock
 

Vivid Sydney 2016 at Chatswood

Eight displays running from 27 May to 13 June. There are displays at the Chatswood Interchange, the Concourse, Westfield and Chatswood Chase. The focus is dinosaurs and the prehistoric. Some interaction activities and other visual displays. 

After having visited on a whim we thought we’d done everything  we could but we seemed  to have missed out on Chatswood Chase which is only open during the day and limitedly on Thursday night. 

Hopefully this post will help you see everything as efficiently as possible. Taking kids out at night means efficiency has to be key. Lights go on at 5:30pm and are on until 10:30pm we got there just as it started and did it all in an hour, excluding traveling time and eating time. 

Below is a map that I have managed to download, for your own copy, click here for the link on the Visit Chatswood website. 

  
We used the train from the Northernline and got out at Chatswood (obviously ;)). As soon as you come out of the terminal you walk straight into the first interactive display: The Prehistoric Avery

  
 The Avery has three dinosaur birds that are powered by three exercise machines (I am sure that’s not the way the organizers describe it). Essentially children over the age of 5 can pedal, step or cycle so that the birds can flap up and down. Our 3 year old was allowed to use the stepping machine, sit on my lap while I pedaled and sit next to the bike and use his hands to pedal the third. He absolutely loved it. Out 1 year old watched memorized at the birds going up and down, making a noise. 
  
Somewhere near here is another display: The Bridge of Illusions but we didn’t find it. Granted, we weren’t aware it existed. 

We then took the lift to Chatswood Mall (the walking strip that takes you to Westfield and the Concourse normally). Here we came across The Stomping Ground. There are projections on the Mall’s floor which is an explosion of colour with animals swimming and creeping. The kids went nuts trying to chase the fish, dragonflies and dinosaurs. The only downside here is that the kids often resort to lying down on the floor which is quite gross. 

  
We walked past the Westfield display but didn’t really notice it – Neon Dino Nights.

The next big feature is at the Chatswood Concourse which has the Gondwana Light Lab, a big installation across the theatre roof, the Primordial Pond with three dinosaur eggs and Exoskeleton Encounter which as our 3 year old said ‘it’s humans dressed up as dinosaurs’ it’s pretty cool even though it freaked out our 1 year old. The pictures below are in the same order as listed above. 

   
   
 We then ventured off to Chatswood Chase thinking we could visit the Luminarium but not having researched Vivid Chatswood I didn’t know it was only open during the day from 10pm – 12pm, 1pm – 3pm and on Thursdays from 5pm – 7pm. Now I know. Maybe I’ll take the kids down again later in the week. 

There are lots of restuarants open, a few food stalls along Chatswood Mall, Gloria Janes at the Mall and McDonals at the Interchange. 

I enjoyed it as did the kids. Just dress up warm and make sure you have some blankets in the car. 

Chinamans Beach, Mosman 

Mosman has got it’s fair share of gorgeous beaches – Balmoral Beach / Clifton Gardens but this beach is so far my favourite in the area. Quietly tucked away and generally empty this is such a gorgeous place and it’s perfect for kids. 

  
To get to Chinmans Beach you should aim for Roscherville Reserve or McLean Crescent, Mosman 2088. You’ll find yourself winding down a hill, don’t worry – this means your going the right way. You know you’re in the right spot when you enter a car park with the park on your left and in front of you and houses on your right. 

   
The beach is just beyond the Reaerve. 

  
In order to get to the beach you have to walk through Roscherville Reserve. There is parking along Roscherville Reserve which varies – some areas are 3 hours, tickets, while others are unticketed 2 hour spots. 

There are a number of entrances on to the beach (from the Reserve) through the trees making you feel like Alice going down the rabbit hole or the Narnia children going through the cupboard… 

   

 Chinamans Beach is in Middle Harbour safely tucked away from any serious winds or waves. The 250m of sand is soft and clear and great for digging mini-swimming pools and building sandcastle. We have two 1 year olds with us on the day we visited and they loved every second. While Sydney was a little bit windy on the day we visited we were shelter from it and felt like we were in the middle of summer. 

This is the second time our family has been to this beach and on both occasions it was virtually empty. There were more people in the water, boating or stand-up paddling than there were on the beach. 

  
Dogs are not allowed on the beach but they can run wild in the Reserve so make sure you keep your eye on your little on as you walk through to the beach. 

There are bathrooms in the Reserve which you walk past on the way to the beach so they’re relatively close by. 

There aren’t any cafes or shops by so you will need to take your own snacks and drinks. 

If you’ve got little ones with you make sure to point out the little hermit crabs, these can provide at least 1 minute of intense interest 🙂