Top food adventures for kids in Sydney and NSW

Show the kids where their food is grown, explore colourful markets, learn to cook and satisfy sweet tooths – here are the top food adventures for every family to indulge in.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Feb 2024 -
min read

Pick your own fruit: Hawkesbury Harvest Farm Gate Trail, Hawkesbury 

Plucking your own fruit from the tree instead of the supermarket aisle is a thrill. Show the kids where their fruit comes from along the Hawkesbury Harvest Farm Gate Trail, which takes in delicious venues such as Shields Orchard, Pine Crest Orchard and the Hillbilly Cider Shed, just an 80-minute drive from Sydney. Check the seasonal calendar for the best months to pick your own apples, pears, citrus, stone fruit, nuts and veggies straight from the farms.  

Also try: At Ricardoes in Port Macquarie, you can pick your own strawberries and tomatoes year-round; it’s free to enter and you just pay for what you pick. In the Illawarra, Darkes Glenbernie Orchard offers rows of trees where the kids can pick their own apples and stone fruit. 

Order fish and chips fresh from the ocean: Ballina Fishermen’s Co-op, Ballina 

Local fishers often sell their haul at co-ops and wharves all along the NSW coastline, where visitors can purchase fresh seafood and have it cooked to enjoy right by the water. In the state’s north, the Ballina Fishermen’s Co-op have squid, Balmain bugs, mud crab and the town’s famous king prawns (and don’t miss a photo-op at Ballina’s Big Prawn after lunch!). 

Also try: Try oysters fresh from the Sapphire Coast waters on a tour with Broadwater Oysters (kids under 10 are free!) or give catching your own yabbies and mud crab a go on a Catch a Crab tour on the Tweed River. Visit the Sydney Fish Market, where the kids can eyeball prawns, crabs, fish, oysters and more – and help pick out what to have for lunch right by Blackwattle Bay.  

Stay the night on a working farm: Ba Mack Farmstay, Mudgee 

Step into life on a working merino sheep farm at Ba Mack Farmstay, a 30-minute drive from Mudgee in the state’s central west. The kids can help feed the farm animals (which might include giving a bottle to cute little lambs), collect eggs and enjoy a horse ride. Parents can also take some private time to explore Mudgee’s top-notch wineries for a few hours while the kids are looked after at the farm’s kids club, and guided to bake afternoon tea. 

Also try: In the Tweed, Hosanna Farmstay is a pastoral wonderland for young ones, with animal feedings, treasure hunts, campfires, kayaking and more. Day passes are also available if you just want to drop by. 

Children enjoying tractor tour of the Hosanna Farmstay Farm Tour, Stokers Sliding

Hosanna Farmstay, Stokers Sliding - Credit: Hosanna Farmstay

Learn to cook at a kid’s cooking class: Sydney Cooking School, Sydney 

Most cooking schools are designed for grown-ups. But Sydney Cooking School, in Neutral Bay, caters for gourmet-minded kids aged five and upwards with a wide range of classes. Small cooks can get busy making banana coconut bread, empanadas and sushi while tweens aged 10 and over can learn the art of dumpling making, pastries and Mexican cuisine. 

Also try: Paddington restaurant Barbetta offers Italian cooking classes and Bambini Pasta Classes during the school holidays – check the website for upcoming dates. 

Pasta making class at Barbetta, Paddington

Barbetta, Paddington - Credit: Barbetta

Treat the family to an iconic dessert: Frozen choc bananas at The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour 

Coffs Harbour is famous for its bananas, with banana farms planted throughout the region since the 1800s. But there’s one banana that’s more famous than the rest: the Big Banana. Grab a selfie in front of the 13-metre-long oversized fruit, tuck into one of the famous frozen choc bananas from the cafe, then explore the fun park’s escape rooms, ice skating rink, rides and more. 

Also try: Sporting original 1950s decor, Broken Hill’s Bells Milk Bar offers a nostalgic step back in time, and a spot to slurp classic milkshakes and spiders made with house-made syrups and cordials. Or in Sydney, don’t miss a slice of Black Star Pastry’s famous strawberry and watermelon cake. 

 Choc coated bananas at The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour

Frozen choc bananas at The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour - Credit: The Big Banana

Try a kid-friendly wine-tasting experience: Tulloch Wines, Hunter Valley 

Australia’s oldest wine region is not just for adults! In the Hunter Valley, kids are more than welcome at Tulloch Wines, where a Junior Tasting Experience sees kids taste four soft drinks and do a colouring-in activity. Teens are also catered for with a Kombucha Tasting Experience. Large scale lawn games are also a fun distraction on the property. 

Also try: At Bago Maze and Wine in Port Macquarie, kids will be endlessly entertained as they explore one of the world's largest hedge mazes while adults indulge in a wine and cheese plate. 

Kids junior tasting at Tulloch Wines, Pokolbin

Tulloch Wines, Pokolbin - Credit: Tulloch Wines

Join a sweet chocolate workshop: Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory, Junee 

Engage your inner Willy Wonka and explore a working liquorice and chocolate factory in the Riverina town of Junee. Join a tour of the factory to see how these addictive sweets (such as raspberry liquorice, chocolate-coated cherries and rocky road) are made, or book one of the hands-on workshops, where kids can create their own giant chocolate freckle. 

Also try: The Factory on the Central Coast offers junior chocolatier workshops, as well as nougat chocolate and marshmallows for purchase. The Treat Factory in Berry sells fudge, caramels, chocolates and more, as well as hosting kids’ chocolate workshops. 

Taste weird and wonderful fresh produce: Tropical Fruit World, The Tweed 

Tropical Fruit World in The Tweed region grows more than 500 exotic fruits from around the world. Wander the rainbow stalls of the fruit market to see mangoes, papayas, lychees, as well as lesser-known fruits such as jaboticaba (a grape-like fruit that grows on tree trunks), jackfruit and black sapote (often called the chocolate pudding fruit!). You can also jump on the back of a tractor for a two-hour orchard tour, which also includes fruit tasting and a bushland boat ride. 

Also try: Not too far away in Alstonville, Summerland Farm is a working macadamia and avocado farm with farm animals, a cafe and an epic adventure playground. 

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