If you’re looking for an affordable family day out, a train trip might be your answer. Whether it’s the clickety-clack of the tracks or the buzz of the station, most children love the novelty of a train ride, writes NSM Justine Atherton. The North Shore Line delivers some scenic rides, and fun destinations, all while offering you a break from the traffic.
If you’re following a budget, consider travelling on a Sunday. A Family Funday Sunday ticket costs $2.50 per person and allows you to enjoy unlimited travel on trains, buses, ferries and the light rail.
The following five suggestions are either on the North Shore, or still nice and close – most are within a 30-minute train trip!
1. Wahroonga Park, Wahroonga
If you haven’t been to Wahroonga, set a date in your diary to go. The leafy park (Coonanbarra Rd, Wahroonga) is opposite Wahroonga railway station and is a pleasant picnic spot on a sunny day. The park includes a rotunda, large fenced playground (renovated in 2014) and an amenities block. There’s plenty of space for the children to run around.
Head to The Coonanbarra Cafe, which is opposite the playground, for a caffeine fix (or a takeaway) or walk across to Wahroonga Village where you can also pick up a bite to eat.
If you’re travelling with a pram, be aware the station has no lift, so you might need to ask a passer-by to help you up the stairs if you’re travelling alone with the kids.
A short train ride north of Hornsby and situated on the Hawkesbury River, Brooklyn is a scenic spot for fish and chips. Walk along the foreshore, watch the trains and boats, or let your children run off their energy in the fenced playground.
3. Woy Woy
With its many waterways and bridges, the train trip to Woy Woy offers plenty to look at and is sure to impress your little ones.
When you arrive, take a short walk to Fishermen’s Wharf (The Blvd, Woy Woy) for a fish and chips lunch. You’ll find ducks, seagulls and pelicans, as well as an enclosed playground with picnic tables. Just be careful the pelicans don’t pinch your lunch!
For a peek into Sydney’s history, take a trip to Carriageworks. (245 Wilson St,
Eveleigh). This heritage-listed site is housed in the former Eveleigh Rail Yards and includes the Carriageworks arts centre.
Try to visit on a Saturday so you can visit the Eveleigh Market here for fresh produce and gourmet treats.
We couldn’t have a list of North Shore train destinations without mentioning one of Sydney’s most spectacular destinations: Kirribilli.
Hop off the train at Milsons Point and walk down the hill to Bradfield Park, located under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. From here you can watch the boats on the Harbour, and listen to the traffic and trains passing overhead. There’s an enclosed playground to keep the children happy, and plenty of grass for them to run around, too.
Once your children have finished playing, you can take a walk around the foreshore along the paths and boardwalk. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, head to nearby Luna Park.
Happy to travel further afield? Consider these
- Katoomba. Walk to Echo Point lookout and view the Three Sisters. It’s a 15-minute walk from Katoomba railway station.
- Newcastle. Jump off the train at either Hamilton or Broadmeadow railway stations, then catch the shuttle bus into central Newcastle and visit the beautiful harbour and beaches.
Do you have any other favourite train destinations to suggest. List them all in the comments section below.