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  • Writer's pictureAlison Fenton

last minute tourist hot spots

I booked a late return flight home so that we could make the absolute most of our holiday. Today we woke up early and despite weariness in the camp, rose to the challenge of ticking off a few more touristy hot spots.

Coffee lovers will understand the need for a good coffee, so we started the outing at The Three Tomatoes and bought our last pastries from the Tart Sisters in Ashfield.

We caught the train to Circular Quay, heading towards Sydney Harbour Bridge. On the way we passed the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and decided to go in for a quick look. We didn't have much time or motivation and only covered the two front exhibition spaces.

People who don't appreciate modern art will understand Drew's feeling of total incomprehension. The boys were more interested than us and took the often quite bizarre in their stride. They seemed as amused as I was by some of the pieces.

The museum was free, so though we left confused, at least we didn't also feel ripped off. I'd definitely go back for another look - on my own!

The poor directional signage left us and others wondering how to get to the bridge, but we found our way eventually. A nice new shiny glass lift from street level to the footpath made the walk wheelchair friendly as well.

We enjoyed the stroll over the bridge despite the noise and fumes from the traffic. The views across the harbour were really beautiful. I was surprised by the hefty cost to access the pylon lookout. We avoided the $46.50 it would have cost our family of four - more if children are over 12 - and instead gazed out over the water as we ambled along.

We delighted the boys by taking them to Luna Park. I made them eat lunch early so they could digest their food before hitting the rides.

We only had time for a few rides and managed to keep away from things that went upside down or plummeted from a height. I didn't want to take vomiting children home on crowded trains and aeroplanes!

The park was well maintained and had a fun family atmosphere. Even though we were visiting in school holidays, it was relatively uncrowded and the kids did not have to wait in long queues for rides. They spent almost an hour in Coney Island, an old school fun house filled with giant slides, spinning wheels, barrels and mazes.

The wild mouse roller coaster, dodgem cars and the nausea-inducing, gravity defying rotor were the other rides our children chose. Drew and I stayed as far away as possible, grateful that they were tall enough to ride them on their own.

The rotor almost pushed Chase over the edge and he felt unwell for the next few hours. Thankfully that passed by the time we boarded the plane.

We stopped at a vietnamese cafe for an early dinner on our way back to Ashbury. The waitress assured us that the soup the boys ordered was not spicy. This was not the case. It almost melted them down. Ollie seemed to enjoy the chilli challenge, but Chase barely managed to eat it and was very annoyed about being misled.

We returned to the B&B, said goodbye to our fabulous hosts and caught our first Uber ride to the airport.

It had been a frenetic and successful 10 days, but we were ready to get out of Sydney and back to the Adelaide Hills again.


Museum of Contemporary Art - free

Sydney Harbour Bridge - free but the pylon platform will cost you $15 per adult plus kids and the bridge climb will set you back a packet

Luna Park - free entry. Rides are $11 or you can buy an all day pass for $55 or less (depending on child's height)

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