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

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - FAMILY SYDNEY -

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.

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