I’ve been lucky enough to spend my whole life on Sydney’s beautiful Northern Beaches. Both my husband and I were born and grew up here, and we now live here with our two little boys. If you’ve ever visited, you’ll understand why it’s pretty hard to leave!
Today as part of the Voices of 2015 Put Yourself On The Map Challenge, I am sharing my Top 3 things to do with kids on the Northern Beaches. I’ve focussed on stepping back into nature and getting into the outdoors. Whether you are a local or visiting, be sure to check these out!
The Top 3 things to do on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with kids
Irrawong Reserve Waterfall, Warriewood Wetlands
Where is it?
The track to the waterfall is easily accessible from Garden Street or Irrawong Road in Warriewood. The path to the falls is not pram or wheelchair friendly due to several small sets of stairs. It can also get quite muddy! Parts of Warriewood Wetlands is board-walked and is accessible for prams and wheelchairs though. The path from Garden Street to the falls takes around 15-20 minutes each way and is manageable for any fitness level.
Why is it great ?
This little pocket of the Northern Beaches is unknown to even the most established residents, and you’ll often be the only person enjoying the waterfall! The path itself is really kid friendly and interesting. There are little bridges and boardwalks, fascinating trees and vines and lots of wildlife.
Once you get closer to the waterfall you can hear the rushing water, and once your reach it you’ll think you’ve stepped back in time. There are amazing overhanging rocks which are covered in carvings from people who’ve visited before.
The kids loved running in and out of the “cave” and making up stories about what might have happened there in the past.
Find out more about the Warriewood Wetlands
Stony Range Regional Botanical Garden
Stony Range is located in Dee Why, at 810 Pittwater Road. There is a free parking area located at the gardens and it is wheelchair accessible (& pram friendly) plus there are picnic areas, toilets and BBQ’s. It’s also easily accessible by public transport.
Why is it great?
The garden is like a mini sanctuary. It sits right next to a main road, but once you are inside you’d never know it! There is a signposted walking track that winds you through a full range of microclimates and takes around 20 minutes to complete. You can smell, touch and even taste a range of plants as part of the “sensory garden”, and explore side tracks and mini gardens all around the site. Spring is by far the best time to visit as it is full of wildflowers and gorgeous flourishing plants, but it is beautiful at any time of year.
Kids will love the touch and smell aspect as well as all the little hiding spots and areas to explore. It has a couple of lovely mini waterfalls that are spectacular after rain, and if you are into nature photography then you will be in heaven! There are even little magnifying glasses for them to grab and take around with them. It’s all totally FREE!
You might like to check out my post on discovery walk activities for kids, and print off the search and find checklists, as the gardens are a great place to do this activity.
Find out more about Stony Range Regional Botanical Garden
Narrabeen Lagoon Trail
The trail runs for 8.5km all the way around Narrabeen Lake. You can access it from almost everywhere around the lake, but if you are needing to park, then Billarong Reserve, South Creek Reserve, Middle Creek Reserve, Berry Reserve or Jamieson Park entry are your best options. You do need to pay for parking at most of these entries unless you have a relevant Warringah or Pittwater Council parking sticker. There is a lot of free parking near Berry Reserve and South Creek Reserve if you don’t have a sticker.
All of the trail is now pram friendly and sections are wheelchair friendly. It is a shared bike/pedestrian area so be aware of those speeding by on bikes!
Why is it great ?
In 2015 the full loop was completed and it is now one of the most popular family friendly spots on the Northern Beaches. To do the full loop takes 2-3 hours and is achievable with kids and prams. It’s almost all completely flat and is great for bikes. There are stacks of picnic spots, fishing areas and you can even grab a coffee at one of the many cafes near the Berry Reserve entrance.
My boys love to feed the ducks, and if you are there in the late afternoon you will experience one of the most amazing sunsets you’ve ever seen! There are also several playgrounds along the path to stop and enjoy some slide or swing action for the little ones. There are a number of historic sites along the way that are clearly marked with lots of information and old photos. It’s a fabulous day out!
Find out more about the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail