Sydney Olympic Park – our staycation of family activities, food & fun!

Sydney Olympic Park offers new ways for families to play together – sports, experiences, activities – plus some of the best family restaurants in Sydney!

Sydney Olympic Park staycation

When we were invited to spend a long weekend staycation at Sydney Olympic Park we were too excited for words!
The opportunity to actually camp on-site and try out all that Sydney Olympic Park has to offer families was simply too good to pass up. So off we went to try out everything we possibly could. You simply won’t believe how much fun we found for families to have together!
So let us tell you all about our incredible Sydney Olympic Park StaycationinthePark

Our Accommodation – glamping – not camping!

Staycation in the Park

We arrived at Friday lunchtime to find our fabulous weekend accommodation ready and waiting for us – a state-of-the-art Avida motorhome!
Surrounded by a white picket fence, our new home-sweet-home was located in Cathy Freeman Park. Amazingly, it was right next door to the Sydney Olympic Cauldron and the ANZ Stadium. Special permission had been arranged for us to camp there. We couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be staying in such an astounding location!
 
Our Avida motorhome was luxury personified. This wasn’t camping – it was glamping! You name it – this gorgeous Avida motorhome had it.
Sydney Olympic Park staycation motorhome
Electric everything, with two full-size comfortable beds (one which electrically lowered into place!), ultra-modern styling, a full-size refrigerator…the list of features was extensive. There was a separate bathroom, complete with a shower – even reverse-cycle air-conditioning. Decadent gift bags from Avida and Sydney Olympic Park awaited us as we stepped inside – we had never felt so spoiled!
Outside there was a shady awning to relax under, complete with deck chairs. There was even an outside entertainment unit!
After 50 years in the business, the Avida family have certainly perfected the art of elegant motorhomes!  It was a surprise to learn that you can drive them on just a standard car driver’s licence. Touring around in one of these beauties would be the perfect way for families to explore and enjoy everything that Australia has to offer.  (You can check out the full range of motorhomes and caravans at the official Avida RV website).
We had so much fun exploring our new palace on wheels, before we knew it, it was time to  head off to our first activity at Olympic Park. The Archery Centre!

Sydney Olympic Park Archery Centre

Sydney Olympic Park Archery Centre

Archery is such a great sport for all ages. It can be competitive, or just for fun. It helps to improve focus, and patience too – so it’s a great way to slow down from our busy lives! Young or old, anyone from the age of 7 and up can take part in an archery activity at the Sydney Olympic Park Archery Centre. They even host kid’s archery birthday parties!

We rolled up at the Archery Centre as absolute beginners, so it was first things first – we needed to learn how to handle our bows and arrows safely. We were all a bit uncoordinated to start off with (that’s probably putting it mildly!). However with the continual support and encouragement of our instructor, we were shooting with confidence in no time – and having such a lot of fun doing it!

Sydney Olympic Park Archery Centre coach

The expert coaches at Archery Centre take great care and patience in their instruction – particularly with children. The look of delight and accomplishment on the girl’s faces when they first hit the target was absolutely priceless. 

By the end of our lesson, we had all learned not only to hit the target, but also to love the sport. We’ll be doing this again, and soon! If you’re looking for a new family activity to do together that’s a lot of fun, then archery is for you! You can find out more at the official Sydney Olympic Park Archery Centre website. 

Sydney Caravan and Camping Lifestyle Expo

Sydney Olympic Park Caravan and Camping Expo

The next stop on our Sydney Olympic Park staycation was visiting the absolutely huge Caravan and Camping Lifestyle Expo.
There was just so much to see and do at the Sydney Caravan and Camping Lifestyle Expo. This really is a family holiday-maker’s paradise! Caravans, motorhomes and tents have really upped their game over recent years. They now offer unparalleled luxury and comfort. Outdoor entertainment systems, huge flat screen TVs, motorised beds, large kitchens and bathrooms. With all the creature-comforts of home, families can now go camping in comfort and style! 
However, the Expo wasn’t just about caravans and motorhomes. There were also great cafes and eateries, all kinds of new and innovative camping products to check out, plus stall after stall of family resorts and holiday destinations to check out. All set up to show you what they have to offer. 
Sydney Olympic Park Caravan and Camping Expo
The Caravan and Camping Lifestyle Expo haven’t forgotten the kids either, with a big toddler play centre and even big-kid organised activities, which lets parents get on with the serious business of playing with the latest high-tech camping gadgets!
It just makes so much sense – why run yourself ragged to go and see everything separately, when you can see it all in just in one place? This is a family holiday and camping extravaganza that you really must put in your diaries for next year. You can find out more at the official Caravan and Camping Lifestyle Expo website.
 

Dinner at Abattoir Blues

Sydney Olympic Park Abattoir Blues

After a hard afternoon of having fun, we were absolutely starving! We dashed back to the motorhome for a quick change. Then we were off on foot again, this time to our dinner venue for the evening- the fabulous Abattoir Blues boutique restaurant. 

The restaurant district of Sydney Olympic Park is chock-a-block full of great eateries. Abattoir Blues is certainly a stand-out among them. 

This charming, rather busy diner is tucked away in its own gardens. Live music was playing in the beautiful outdoor dining gardens as we entered. We opted to eat inside, tempted by the fun retro-styling and slipped into one of the comfy booths.

The proprietor was on-hand to give patrons a warm welcome and settle them in. We ordered, and were served our meals in no time at all, and proceeded to eat our way through a delectable menu. Steak for me, and generously-sized kid’s meals for the girls. By the time we left, we were so stuffed we could barely make it back to the motorhome!
If you’re looking for somewhere new and different to have a great meal out in Sydney, then you can’t go past Abattoir Blues. Find out more at the official Abattoir Blues website.

A very Olympic camping night 

We arrived back at our motorhome to find bats flying around, squeaking at each other as they settled down for the evening. Both Brooke and Samantha are huge animal fans. This meant they insisted on spending the next half hour or so talking to them hanging from the gigantic tree nearby. Finally I managed to coax the girls inside to bed.
Sydney Olympic Park
In our luxurious Avida motorhome, even going to bed was a great adventure! We all watched spellbound as the main bed electrically lowered into place. Mind you, once the show was over, everyone wanted to sleep in the bed above the cabin. This was mainly because it had birds-eye view of the whole of Cathy Freeman Park and the Olympic stadium. What an incredible sight this was to go to sleep to!
We simply couldn’t wait for our next day of Sydney Olympic Park fun.

Gloria Jean’s for breakfast

Sydney Olympic Park Gloria Jeans Coffee

The next morning we walked over to the Gloria Jean’s coffee shop for breakfast. Conveniently located beneath the Sydney Olympic Park Novotel, it was clear they were a favourite with the locals. This was always a great sign of a good place to eat!
The staff at Gloria Jean’s were just lovely, too. We were served with rocket-speed.
 
Until this trip, I hadn’t realised that Gloria Jean’s had such great breakfast options. I opted for a bacon and egg roll, and the kids tucked in to pastries – and gigantic Oreo milkshakes! Oh well, you’re not on staycation at Sydney Olympic Park every day, I mused – we may as well push the boat out! 
After I had had my heart-starter coffee and caught up with the newspapers, we were all fueled up and ready to go for another day of fun!
You can find out more about Gloria Jean’s Coffee in Sydney Olympic Park, including a location map on the official Gloria Jeans website.

Urban Jungle Adventure Park

Sydney Olympic Park Urban Jungle

 Our first activity of the day also happened to be one of the most fun family activities we’ve ever done together. The Urban Jungle Adventure Park is a high ropes tree climbing course, located within the grounds of the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre. 
 
From the moment we arrived at Urban Jungle, it was evident that safety was their number one priority. This is always so reassuring, as a parent.
We all sat down to listen to a safety training session, and then got into our climbing harnesses. Once we were all buckled up, we took part in a short test climb to ensure we all knew how to use our climbing equipment. Then it was onward, to the first tree climbing course!
From the very start, we were all having a wonderful time. We spent the next two hours negotiating fun obstacles, swinging through the trees like Tarzan, sliding down flying foxes and generally having a brilliant time together!
 
At one point we had a birthday party of teenage girls climbing not far behind us. I looked back to see several girls hanging in their harnesses  laughing hysterically – they were having a ball! Clearly, this is a great Sydney birthday party venue choice too.
 
Don’t miss the Urban Jungle Adventure Park. With four hours free parking, adults at kid prices and pool entry included – what are you waiting for? Find out more at the official Urban Jungle website. 

The Lounge Bakery 

Sydney Olympic Park Lounge Bakery

After a huge morning of climbing we were ready for lunch, and headed across the road to the nearby Lounge Bakery.
 
Who doesn’t love a bakery? They smell so good, and there’s always something for everyone. But this isn’t just any ordinary bakery. The Lounge Bakery is the kind of bakery you would drive miles to, to get the “good muffins”!
Large, with comfortable seating options, The Lounge Bakery had an impressive array of baked goodies. to choose from. We feasted on warm pastries, sausage rolls – and quite-possibly the best pie I have ever tasted (Indian butter chicken-oh my yum!).
As if that wasn’t enough, we topped lunch off with some yummy fresh cakes (which I justified to myself as quite acceptable after our two hours climbing – or at least that’s my excuse!). With our appetites well-and-truly sated, we were ready for our next Sydney Olympic Park adventure!
To find out more about the Lounge Bakery, go to the official Sydney Olympic Park website.

The Sydney Aquatic Centre 

Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre

 

After our delicious lunch, we were all really looking forward to a great afternoon at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre. It’s no secret that my kids are swimming-crazy, so we were all really excited to see what the family fun swimming areas were like. Plus I was also booked in for a relaxing massage – bliss! We certainly weren’t disappointed.
The Sydney Aquatic Centre is like the best features of all of the other swimming centres in Australia all rolled into one. It’s without a doubt, the biggest and best indoor Aquatic Centre we’ve ever visited – and we’ve visited quite a few by now! There are so many fun areas to explore.
There is a massive water play area, including a big dunking bucket. A thrill-seeking water slide presides in the centre. There’s even a long and flowing mini-rapids water channel to drift along. Multiple family swimming pools surround the entire water play area. This means that there is plenty of room for families with babies, toddlers and children of all ages.
 With lovely heated water through out all of the attractions and pools, this truly is the ultimate Sydney family swimming choice.

Sydney Aquatic Centre Massage 

Why should the kids have all the fun? Parents too can be completely spoiled at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre with a wonderfully relaxing massage!
Sydney Olympic Park Massage Centre
My expert masseur also happened to be the sports masseur of several Sydney football teams. As it turned out, she was a genius mum masseur too. After my wonderfully relaxing massage, I practically poured myself out of her door! Every parent deserves to be spoiled at least every now and then – I recommend you start here with a Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre massage!

Ribs and Rumps restaurant

 After popping back to the motorhome for a quick change, we walked up to the Ribs and Rumps restaurant for dinner.
 
Ribs and Rumps is obviously a popular choice with Sydney parents, and for good reason. It’s such a lovely, family-friendly restaurant!

We were seated straight away, with service that was beyond attentive. The kids were provided with activity packs, and got busy. This meant that I could sit back and relax, and enjoy the lively, happy atmosphere.

Our first ribs experience, this initiation was a delightful one! We decided to order a house specialty of mixed ribs to share. Dripping off the bone, this succulent meal melted in our mouth’s. What can I say? By the end of dinner, we had a new favourite family dish!
After some delectable deserts, full as we could be, we strolled back for a very sound sleep in our cosy motorhome-in-the-park.
 
For the best ribs in Sydney, this is surely the place to go – Sydney Olympic Park Ribs and Rumps restaurant. Find out more, including a location map on the official Ribs and Rumps website. 

Novotel Sydney Olympic Park for breakfast

Awaking to steady rain the next morning, we hastily rearranged some plans for the day. We decided the best course of action was to revisit the Aquatic Centre. It was undercover and warm, so the perfect wet-weather venue choice.

But first, it was time for breakfast. We broke out our new Sydney Olympic Park golf umbrellas for the quick walk over to the Novotel Boulevard Brasserie.  

This lovely restaurant is the perfect place for a delicious hot

breakfast with all the trimmings – exactly what you want on a weekend break!

Our host was very attentive from the moment we walked in. Perfect eggs and great coffee were served up in a flash. Hot chocolates were brought for the children, with the most beautiful cocoa art gracing the tops. There was a frog decoration for Samantha, and a bear for Brooke – they were thrilled!

The Novotel breakfast buffet choices were beautifully presented, and extensive. Everything you could think of for breakfast – and then some – was there.

With an elevated view of the ANZ Stadium and Sydney Olympic Park grounds, this large, elegant restaurant makes an excellent choice for a meal anytime. Find out more at the official Novotel Sydney Olympic Park website.

The best Sydney kids activity for wet weather

With the rain still bucketing down, we headed over to the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre. This was no hardship, as the kids had had such a great time there the day before! We all loved all the family fun on offer at the Aquatic Centre.

This visit I went swimming with the kids too, and we all had such a fun morning! We went down the water slide too many times to count, drifted along the water canal (my personal favourite!) and of course every time the bell went, we just had to hurry over or the big bucket dump to get completely saturated!

It’s not hard to see why this is the best swimming centre in Sydney for families – it’s just too much fun! Plus being fully enclosed it’s the perfect rainy day activity too!

After a fun morning of water play, it was time to dry off, ready for our next Sydney Olympic Park adventure!

The Newington Armory

Just five minutes drive from the ANZ Stadium you’ll find a beautiful riverside recreation area. Blaxland Riverside Park, and the former Royal Australian Navy Armament Depot – now known as the Newington Armory.
Sydney Olympic Park Newington Armory
The Newington Armory is open every weekend, and is an outstanding Sydney family attraction. There is just so much to do with the kids here! Here are a few top-picks:
The Heritage Railway – Who doesn’t love a fun little train ride? Catch a half-hour ride on the Heritage Railway around the Armory – this is a great kid-friendly activity the whole family can enjoy.
Disc golf – Have a game of disc golf ! This fun game is easy to learn and play, and apart from a refundable $10 deposit on the discs – is totally free!
 
Segway hire – For a really exciting family activity, you can hire Segways.  Because you can ride them on the grass, riding Segways is a very safe family activity. It also happens to be super-cool – just ask the kids. They’ll be telling their school friends all about it for days!
Bike hire, or BYO – Another fun option, you can bring your own, or hire bicycles at the Armory to go exploring. There are 35kms of safe bike paths in and around Sydney Olympic Park – now that’s amazing in the centre of Sydney! With picnic spots, cafes and playgrounds along the way, this is perfect family weekend activity.
Find out more about all the family fun on offer at the official Sydney Olympic Park Newington Armory website.

The Armory Wharf Cafe

Sydney Olympic Park Armory Wharf Cafe

Just steps away from the Newington Armory, you’ll find one of the most beautifully situated cafes in Sydney – the Armory Wharf Cafe.
Serving delicious meals and barista coffee in a beautiful waterfront setting, you really can’t go past this beautiful eatery. Offering both al fresco and indoor dining, the service is fast, and the food? Well it’s just divine!
Family friendly, the kids were provided with activity packs first thing. This of course means that parents, guardians and grandparents can get on with the serious business of sitting back, and enjoying that stunning Parramatta River view.
 A great selection of cakes and snacks makes this is a great coffee or ice cream stop too.
Dog-friendly, there were even a couple of leashed pups sitting at the riverside tables with their owners – clearly this great cafe has become a popular foodie or coffee stop when strolling, walking the dog or bike-riding around the gorgeous surrounding parkland paths.
All with that beautiful view over the water where you can kick-back and watch the boats go by – this is a gem of a restaurant you really should seek-out! Find out more at the official Armory Wharf Cafe website.

Sydney’s best free adventure playground!

If you’re in Sydney with children, then no doubt like every other parent you are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting playgrounds. Well look no further than Sydney Olympic Park Blaxland Riverside Park Adventure Playground!

Set in beautiful rolling park lands of both real and man-made hills, this adventure playground is truly a kid’s paradise. 
Children (and okay, I’ll admit it – their parents, too!) can go wild on giant swings, slides, climbing structures and tunnels. There is a huge spider’s web rope net strung between two hills, a gravity-defying spinning disc and two super-long flying foxes too. There’s even a full size tower with a rope drawbridge –  I kid you not!

If you’re worried about the weather being too hot to play in summer, then don’t be. This playground also offers a fun water play area! A giant circular water fountain is provided for the kids to splash and play underneath to their little hearts content. With constantly changing water spout patterns, they’re not going to get bored in a hurry, either.

This really is the king of all Sydney playgrounds – and best of all, it’s completely free! Why on earth would you take the kids to play anywhere else? Find out more about the Blaxland Riverside Park Adventure Playground on the official Sydney Olympic Park website.

We’ll be back for more family fun!

After playing until dusk at the adventure playground, it was sadly time to bid Sydney Olympic Park farewell – at least for now.
One thing is for sure. With so many wonderful and unique things for families to do here, we will be back. Because just one weekend isn’t anywhere near enough time for all of the fun family activities on offer at Sydney Olympic Park!

Plan your own Sydney Olympic Park Staycation!

Sydney Olympic Park

So as you can see, Sydney Olympic Park is a fantastic place to visit with the family – or even better, stay for the weekend. Not just because of the great events they have on at the ANZ Stadium and the Showgrounds, but also because of all those amazing, family friendly activities you can enjoy – and they are available all year-round. 
You don’t need to leave Sydney to enjoy some really fantastic family fun. It’s all right here in your own backyard at Sydney Olympic Park – your perfect weekend staycation destination!
Why not plan your own weekend staycation at Sydney Olympic Park? Start planning your own Sydney Olympic Park Staycation at their official website here…

Sydney Olympic Park Important Info

Sydney Park Olympic map

Contact information

Sydney Olympic Park Authority

8 Australia Avenue
Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

Phone: 02 9714 7300
Fax: 02 9714 7818
Email: enquiries@sopa.nsw.gov.au
(Open Monday to Friday, 8.45am to 5.15pm)

For further information, visit the official Sydney Olympic Park website here

 

Have you ever tried any of the family activities at Sydney Olympic Park? What is your family’s favourite? Tell us in the comments below!

Sydney Olympic Park offers new ways for families to play together - sports, experiences, activities - plus some of the best family restaurants in Sydney!

All information and prices are correct as at November 2017.
Let’s go Mum were paid guests of Sydney Olympic Park, however all opinions remain firmly our own.

 

 

 

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About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at barbara@letsgomum.com.au!
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