Family Fun: What’s Open (And Still Closed) in Sydney

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Many Newcastle & Hunter families head down to Sydney for family fun during the school holidays. Unfortunately, attractions across Sydney have been affected due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Attractions are working with the advice provided by the NSW Health Department and the Federal Government in managing the risks associated with the current COVID-19 outbreak. Here are details of popular attractions in Sydney and the Central Coast and their current operating protocols. Many require tickets to be booked online before your visit and entry numbers are limited.

***If you feel unwell, have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 including a fever and sore throat in the last 14 days, or have returned from overseas in the last 14 days, please do not visit any attractions***

Sydney Attractions

Australian National Maritime Museum

This museum is now with new operating protocols. The changes include pre-booked sessions to manage visitor numbers, social distancing, increased cleaning measures and changes to some of the experiences. Experiences such as submarine and 3D cinema, which require visitors to be in enclosed spaces, will unfortunately not be offered at present. Similarly, they will not be offering high touch experiences such as children’s play activities. 

Tickets are available for your choice of weekday or weekend sessions. To reflect the reduced availability of some museum programs, ticket prices have been also been reduced. Head here for a current list of events / vessels / program closures. Find out how the Australian National Maritime Museum is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

BridgeClimb

Photo credit: BridgeClimb

BridgeClimb has reopened under new CovidSafe protocols that provide a level of hygiene and control as you enjoy breathtaking views on your climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There will be enhanced monitoring & health screening of all climbers, physical distancing and socially distant small climb groups as well as increased high-frequency cleaning throughout.

For those looking to climb this iconic Sydney attraction, check out the BridgeClimb Unlocked Special Offer and climb for only $198 for adults and $99 for kids during school holidays! Climbs are available to book online with limited spaces available. Kids must be at least 8 years old and over 1.2 metres tall. Children aged 8 to 15 inclusive must be accompanied by an adult, with a maximum of three children per adult.

Find out how BridgeClimb is managing the COVID-19 pandemic

Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park 

Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park has reopened and has implemented a few changes and new procedures that will help keep guests, staff and animals safe. Guests will be also be screened upon entering the park. This will help to reduce the risk of COVID -19 susceptible visitors entering Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park. Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park will be operating from 9am -4pm daily.

Guests will also be required to implement and maintain hygienic practices whilst in the park. This includes regular hand washing and/or hand sanitiser use especially after touching animals or food. Due to social distancing requirements Keeper presentations are temporarily ceased. 

Find out how Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Luna Park Sydney

Photo credit: Luna Park Sydney

 Luna Park Sydney will re-open its doors from Friday 3rd July, 2020, and throughout the NSW School holidays . However, there will be some changes to the usual Park experience. These include limited tickets which will only be available online. There will be two sessions every day each lasting 4 hours in total. Session 1 is 10am to 2pm (9:30am arrival) and 3pm – 7pm (2:30pm arrival). This gives you a fun 4-hour experience and a place to enjoy time safely with family and friends.

There is a maximum number of guests per session to ensure social distancing measures can be observed. Every guest must have a ticket to enter the Park. Additional safety measures are in place, such as regular cleaning between rides, limiting the number of people on rides and health checks on arrival.

For more information, visit the Luna Park website

Madame Tussauds Sydney

Madame Tussauds Sydney is is now open Thursdays – Mondays 10am – 4pm. To attend you’ll need to book online. This includes pre-paying and selecting the date and timeslot of your visit. Once inside the attraction you may stay as long as you wish. You can book a few months in advance. The website booking enables you to see how many available times are left for each spot.

Madame Tussauds Sydney has significantly reduced the daily ticketed capacity to allow for social distancing and the best possible guest experience. They have introduced new arrangements for the application of social distancing. Please be ready to make on-site payments using a ‘contactless’ bank card, rather than cash.

At present, educational talks will not be offered, in line with social distancing requirements. They have also suspended some experiences to ensure that social distancing is suitably maintained. This includes the Wax Hands exhibit.

Find out how Madame Tussauds Sydney is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is Australia’s leading museum dedicated to exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the work of today’s artists.

Located at Circular Quay, it’s a great destination for families with free admission. Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm. Closed Mondays. Entry is free and unticketed. We will not be using timed ticketing for visitor entry; however, they will carefully monitor numbers and introduce time ticketing if necessary. There are presently no public tours and no late nights on Wednesdays. Public programs, access programs and events are online only and there will be no paper leaflets.

Find out how the Museum of Contemporary Art is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Powerhouse Museum

From 1 June 2020, the heritage core of the Powerhouse Museum will be closed, and the Museum will be offering bookable curator talks and small group sessions exploring the Powerhouse’s Transport, Steam Revolution and Space Galleries before the final closure of the heritage core on 30 June 2020. (The Powerhouse Museum is scheduled to move to Parramatta). This program will provide visitors with a behind-the-scenes experience of the Powerhouse collection. Free timed-entry tickets and physical distancing are among the measures they’re implementing in line with the NSW Government’s health guidelines to keep visitors safe during COVID-19. Pre-bookings are essential as tickets are limited per session and may sell out. Some exhibitions will not be available in accordance with NSW Health guidelines. There are presently no events or public programs. Interactive or high-touch exhibitions, including Experimentations and The Wiggles Exhibition are closed. Please review what’s on before your visit

Find out how the Powerhouse Museum is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Photo credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is is now open Thursdays – Mondays 10am – 4pm (last entry 3pm). During school holidays, they will be open 7 days. To attend you’ll need to book online. This includes pre-paying and selecting the date and timeslot of your visit. Once inside the attraction you may stay as long as you wish. You can book a few months in advance. The website booking enables you to see how many available times are left for each spot.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium has significantly reduced the daily ticketed capacity to allow for social distancing and the best possible guest experience. They have introduced new arrangements for the application of social distancing. Clear markers or signage have been installed in the building entry, viewing areas, and café to help guests keep a safe distance from one another. Employees will monitor the queues to ensure that social distancing is being maintained. Please be ready to make on-site payments using a ‘contactless’ bank card, rather than cash.

At present, educational talks will not be offered, in line with social distancing requirements. They have also suspended some experiences to ensure that social distancing is suitably maintained. These include the Shark Dive Xtreme, Penguin Passport and the Penguin ride, the Behind the scenes tour and the Glass bottom boat tour.

Find out how SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Sydney Living Museums

Certain Sydney Living Museums have now reopened including The Museum of Sydney, The Mint, Vaucluse House, Rose Seidler House and Elizabeth Farm.

At Sydney Museum, visitors will be able to see the exhibition A Thousand Words, featuring some of the most compelling images from the Sydney Living Museums and NSW State Archives collections

The children’s exhibition On the Move has also reopened. Special measures have been put in place to ensure a safe environment for their youngest visitors, including pre-booked one-hour timed sessions, rigorous cleaning between sessions and hand sanitiser provided upon entry and throughout the exhibition. Children will also be given their own activity pack to use in the exhibition. 

Visitors are encouraged to check the website for revised conditions of entry and to pre-book their tickets online.

The 12 museums and historic houses include Elizabeth Bay House, Elizabeth Farm, Hyde Park Barracks, Justice and Police Museum, Meroogal, Museum of Sydney, Rose Seidler House, Rouse Hill Estate, The Mint, Vaucluse House and The Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection. 

Find out how the Sydney Living Museums is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Sydney Opera House (CLOSED)

Sydney Coronavirus Cancellations

The Opera House is still closed to the public until further notice to help protect the health of all visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19. However, they are offering a digital program of weekly live recordings.

Find out how the Sydney Opera House is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sydney Tower Eye

Photo credit: Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney Tower Eye is now open Thursdays – Mondays 10am – 4pm (last entry 3pm). During school holidays, they will be open 7 days. To attend you’ll need to book online. This includes pre-paying and selecting the date and timeslot of your visit. Once inside the attraction you may stay as long as you wish. You can book a few months in advance. The website booking enables you to see how many available times are left for each spot.

Sydney Tower Eye has significantly reduced the daily ticketed capacity to allow for social distancing and the best possible guest experience. They have introduced new arrangements for the application of social distancing. Clear markers or signage have been installed in the building entry, viewing areas, and café to help guests keep a safe distance from one another. Employees will monitor the queues to ensure that social distancing is being maintained. Please be ready to make on-site payments using a ‘contactless’ bank card, rather than cash.

At present, 4D Cinema Experience is closed, in line with social distancing requirements. Capacity on SKYWALK has also been limited to three guests per walk. There will be six SKYWALK sessions per day at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm. Click here to see more details on SKWYALK.

Find out how Sydney Tower Eye is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Taronga Zoo

Photo credit: Rick Stevens for Taronga Zoo.

Taronga Zoo Sydney reopened 1 June. It’s a great time to visit Taronga Zoo. They have officially opened the new state-of-the-art African Savannah precinct, connecting guests with a beautiful waterhole where giraffes and zebras will drink together, fennec foxes and meerkats enjoy world-class facilities and the kings of the big cats, the lions, return to Taronga for the first time in five years. Awaiting guests in the heart of African Savannah are Lwazi and Ato, two male Lions whose arrival marks the first time since 2015 that these big cats have been on display at Taronga Zoo.

However, there will be changes to the ticketing and entry process for guests. Due to the current COVID-19 safety restrictions, all visitors are required to purchase tickets online and attend the Zoo on their selected date only. Tickets will NOT be available for purchase at the gate.  Daily visitor numbers will be limited to ensure group numbers are controlled and everyone has space to enjoy their visit safely.

Also, due to social distancing measures,the Sky Safari cable car is not currently in operation. If you are arriving by ferry, you can access the main entrance of the Zoo via the 238 bus route that travels between Balmoral Beach, the Taronga Zoo Sydney main entrance and the Taronga ferry wharf on the water’s edge.

The QBE Free Flight Bird Show and Seals for the Wild shows are still running twice daily. However, to keep guests, staff and animals safe, Taronga are carefully monitoring guest capacity in our theatres and only allowing a maximum of 250 guests per show. This allows for safe social distancing with seating 1.5m apart.  

The Backyard to Bush petting areas will continue to be temporarily closed to the public. Animal encounters, tours and accommodatoon remain temporarily unavailable.

Cash will not be accepted on site with contactless payments preferred. Café’s and dining areas will operate in-line with the NSW restrictions applicable at the time with hygiene in these areas a high priority. Retail stores will open with limited capacity in-store and contactless payments preferred

Find out how Taronga Zoo is managing the reopening with new COVID-19 protocols

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is is now open Thursdays – Mondays 10am – 4pm (last entry 3pm). To attend you’ll need to book online. This includes pre-paying and selecting the date and timeslot of your visit. Once inside the attraction you may stay as long as you wish. You can book a few months in advance. The website booking enables you to see how many available times are left for each spot.

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo has significantly reduced the daily ticketed capacity to allow for social distancing and the best possible guest experience. They have introduced new arrangements for the application of social distancing. Clear markers or signage have been installed in building entry, viewing areas, and café to help guests keep a safe distance from one another. Employees will monitor the queues to ensure that social distancing is being maintained. Please be ready to make on-site payments using a ‘contactless’ bank card, rather than cash.

At present, educational talks will not be offered, in line with social distancing requirements. They have also suspended some experiences to ensure that social distancing is suitably maintained. These include the Australian Wildlife Tour and Koala Breakfasts.

Find out how WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Central Coast Attractions

Australian Reptile Park

Photo credit: Australian Reptile Park

The Australian Reptile Park has reopened to the public! They are open 9am-5pm, 7 days a week. They encourage visitors to pre-purchase tickets online to help reduce interactions between visitors and customer service staff. Click here to purchase tickets online. You may also purchase tickets upon arrival at the gate if you are unable to purchase online.

Daily shows have been suspended. To keep visitors, staff and animals safe and instil social distancing protocols and not to have too many people gathering in one place for extended periods of time, shows will not be operating. In the place of daily shows, there will have Interactive Keeper Stations around the Australian Reptile Park from 10am-12pm and 1pm-2pm daily to allow animal interactions to take place and to talk to visitors about their animals.

A number of COVID-19 protocols have been implemented. All guests will be given a Park Map upon arrival that details all important changes and hand sanitising stations around the Australian Reptile Park. Additional signage has been posted around the park to remind visitors about best practice for hand washing and use of hand sanitiser, as well as informing visitors of the measures the Australian Reptile Park is taking to protect the health of our visitors and staff

Find out how the Australian Reptile Park is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park

The Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park has reopened to the public! The Walkabout Park is a working wildlife sanctuary that was established to protect animals that come into care, breed endangered animals for release back into the wild. There are numerous animals for you to meet including kangaroos, dingoes, koalas, wallabies, emus and kookaburras. There is also a petting zoo where you can feed goats, alpacas and their farmyard friends.

They are open 9:30am-5pm, 7 days a week. They are asking visitors to pre-purchase tickets online to avoid crowding at reception. Click here to purchase tickets online. They will have We will have roving rangers around the “animal loop” to answer your questions and keep things clean and sanitised. As the park is over 80 acres, there is plenty of to spread out.

Find out how the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Feature Image Photo Credit: Rick Stevens for Taronga Zoo

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