Show’s on in harbour city
Luna Park was still the highlight of a long weekend in Sydney – even for a couple of theme-park savvy children, writes Jillian Whiting
obstacle courses and ye olde turkey trot, which is exactly what you look like while attempting to walk across its sliding platforms.
Lame? Not at all. This was the place the girls wanted to return again and again, and it’s my lasting memory of our visit. That, and my four-year-old winning a large fluffy duck on the laughing clowns; the first person I’ve seen win anything on those things.
It was a remarkably stress-free outing. The only problem for me was the park’s ticketing process. The prices are set depending on the child’s height, so my very tall seven-year-old was forced to have the more expensive wristband for all the fast teenage rides, which also banned her from going on the little rides with her sister.
Anyway, the bigger issue was – where was everyone? It was surprisingly quiet. Maybe it’s their ‘‘ heightist’’ attitude to ticketing or, perhaps, as I suspect, Sydneysiders consider Luna Park too gauche, so they abandon it to the tourists.
The same cannot be said of Taronga Zoo, where we spent the following day. It was so busy that we gave up on seeing some of the drawcard big cats because we couldn’t fight through the great wall of tourists jammed up against the glass.
Still, there are more animals to see and we happily moved on to those poor creatures for whom no one else wanted to stop. (Gorillas anybody?)
The favourite attraction again surprised me. It wasn’t the African animals, big cats or chimps but the birds. The bird show, featuring welltrained owls, parrots, kites and even a condor, had us all open-jawed.
Showing the kids around a city such as Sydney could take weeks. We had time only to tick off the big ones: the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and The Rocks. Thankfully, our accommodation, Rendezvous Hotel in the Rocks, was the perfect base and a short walk or ferry ride from all of those tourist icons. It also welcomes little guests with a Fabzoolous Getaway package. We stayed in a one-bedroom apartment with a small kitchenette, which proved ideal for that exotic meal of two-minute noodles at the end of a long, long day at the zoo.
I think my children were suitably impressed with Sydney. For me, Sydney’s biggest star is the harbour. For three days, no matter where we were, what we saw, the harbour was always in view and we watched all those lucky buggers with boats cavorting on the water. Of course they realise how beautiful their city is. The writer was a guest of Rendezvous Hotel Sydney The Rocks.