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One hour from Sydney: 5 amazing things to do with the family

reptile

Sydney’s a great city with so many attractions for families. But few realise just how many amazing things there are to do with the family just an hour’s drive from Sydney.

Here are five things to do with the family outside of Sydney.

Australian Reptile Park, Somersby
The Australian Reptile Park is credited with helping save over 300 lives a year, thanks to its program supplying a variety of venoms to be used in snake and funnel-web anti-venoms. This hands-on zoo also offers the chance to see how zookeepers extract venom from the poisonous reptiles. There are also many opportunities to interact with animals. You can walk with Hugo the giant tortoise, watch zookeepers feed Elvis the crocodile, or take a photo with a python wrapped around you!

Scenic Railway, Katoomba
Katoomba’s Scenic Railway is the winner of several tourism awards – and for good reason. Since operating in 1945, the Scenic Railway has amazed 25 million passengers! Every adult and child loves the thrill of riding the steepest passenger railway in the world, which descends 310 metres through a cliff-side tunnel, and emerges into ancient rainforest. Adventurous passengers can set their seats to a 64 degree incline, which those who want a relaxing journey can select the ‘laid back’ option.

Illawarra Escarpment Trails
Head down to Wollongong for a great afternoon of bushwalking or cycling through the city’s state conservation area. The escarpment wraps around the city, treating walkers and cyclists to wonderful views of forests, nearby mountains and dramatic, sandstone cliffs. Pack a picnic if you’d like to relax with the family halfway through your adventure.

Australian Reptile Park, Somersby
The Australian Reptile Park is credited with helping save over 300 lives a year, thanks to its program supplying a variety of venoms to be used in snake and funnel-web anti-venoms. This hands-on zoo also offers the chance to see how zookeepers extract venom from the poisonous reptiles. There are also many opportunities to interact with animals. You can walk with Hugo the giant tortoise, watch zookeepers feed Elvis the crocodile, or take a photo with a python wrapped around you!

Pelican Feeding, The Entrance
Every day The Pelican Feed draws a massive crowd on The Entrance Waterfront. This amazing tourist attraction started more than 20 years ago, when staff from the local fish shop would feed scraps to the pelicans daily. But in 1996, a team of volunteers and sponsors organised to feed the local pelican colony whole fresh fish 365 days a year, which has created the amazing spectacle that visitors see today!

Tobruk Sheep Station, Maroota
Tobruk Sheep Station showcases the best of the Australian Outback. Set on 50 acres, this amazing property overlooks the Hawkesbury River Valley and the Blue Mountains. A stockman on horseback meets you on arrival, and guests are treated to billy tea and damper around the campfire. You also get to witness a working dog demonstration and live sheep shearing. In the afternoon, you can also try your hand at whip cracking and boomerang throwing!

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Brianna Piazza is an Australian television reporter and part-time travel blogger. Originally from Melbourne, she's currently living in Cairns where she works for WIN News and spends her weekends exploring the outdoors Far North Queensland.

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