Secret Suburb Of Sydney: The Best Of Gymea Bay
Gymea is a beautiful suburb in the Sutherland shire, a short 40-mins from Sydney's CBD. From its awesome cafe culture with many cafes, restaurants, boutiques and gourmet food shops, to awesome parks, beach baths and coastal walks nearby, Gymea is a great place to take the kiddies exploring. We’ve rounded up the top things to do, best places to shop and most kid-friendly eats in Gymea Bay and surrounds.
At the heart of Gymea and set amid landscapes gardens is the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre which features a major public gallery, arts centre and a fantastic cafe just next to the garden where the kids can run and play. The kids will love the big breakky with eggs ($9) and the hot cakes ($7) for breakfast, or the cheese quesadilla ($12) and fish and chips ($12) for lunch.
The Gallery runs exhibitions, artist talks, special art events and also runs great classes and workshops for kids from preschool to high school, and school holiday workshops. It’s also easy to get to- situated only 5 minutes from Gymea station.
Gymea Bay is home to the heritage-listed Gymea Bay Baths, near the intersection of Gymea Bay Road and Ellesmere Road. The baths are tucked away in a quiet cove surrounded by gum trees which provides the perfect environment for lots of bird species to inhabit. The kids will love the sounds of kookaburras cackling, rainbow lorikeets screeching and various other exotic sounding creatures making the surrounds of these baths a magical place.
You can access the baths via the sandy beach which provides shallow water for the kids and there’s also a wooden boardwalk which is usually used by fisherman. Your kids will enjoy swimming with lots of fish swarming around!
The other baths that are extremely popular with a full suite of recreational activities and only a 10 minute drive from Gymea are the Como Pleasure Grounds. The Como Pleasure Grounds are home to The Como Swimming Complex, a free seasonal aquatic centre with a 20m swimming pool and tidal baths.
There is also a great playground with a kiosk nearby so you can sip whilst the kids play! The kids will love the pirate ship that has a big platform with a slide, seesaw, swings, and large rope climbing pyramid frame. There is also a cute bike or scooter track, picnic tables and bbqs making this a fantastic family day out!
Shopping - Gymea Village and Kareela Village
One of the oldest shopping strips in Sutherland, Gymea Village is a busy modern strip of shops, cafes and restaurants.
Portuguese Bakery is a must visit for a sweet fix. You enter the quaint café to the warm smell of freshly baked bread and burnt sugar where you can’t go past their famous handmade custard-filled Portuguese tart. Another local favourite is Nina’s Chocolates where the kids (and adults) will be in a Willy Wonka style heaven .
Flannerys in Gymea one of the best organic health food stores in Sydney that sells just about everything health food related. They are stacked to the brim with muesli’s, gluten free breads, unbleached flours & baking essentials such as spelt, cacao & hemp goods. Plant based & vegan foodies will have so much to choose from, with hundreds of dairy & meat free alternatives. They also have some of the best natural and cruelty free makeup on the market. Mums with little bubs will love the lactation cookies, breast feeding support & huge range of formulas. This place is well worth a visit!
And just a 5min drive from Gymea is the fantastic Kareela Shopping Village and it oozes the village charm whilst ensuring it has all the essentials; Coles, chemist, great barber, news agency, medical centre, one of the best butchers in the Shire, a fun outdoor playground and awesome cafes.
What’s more, Kareela Shopping Village really lifts the bar when it comes to school holiday fun. Last school holidays involved a free winter wonderland complete with fake snow, ice skating rink, frozen characters, crafts, face painting and stalls selling cute clothes and yummy treats. It’s definitely worth checking out their event calendar during school holls.
Kid Friendly Eats
In Kareela Village is a beautiful cafe that “gets" kids. Howling Forest Coffee House has $7 kids meal combos including the basics (eggs on toast) to the more refined fruit sticks with yoghurt and rainbow unicorn sprinkles (this was the first time I ever saw so much excitement over fruit with my two toddlers). The meals also include a kiddy milkshake. This is a clever kid-friendly cafe that makes the stop to the groceries palatable!
Other local favourites include the Post Box Cafe in nearby Yowie Bay which has a great play area- lots of diggers, dump trucks and gravel in the playground.This place offers delicious coffee and decent well-priced meals and a pleasant grassy area for those wanting takeaway. Kids are also catered for in wet weather, with colouring in books, magazines and textas also supplied.
You can’t say “kid friendly” without mentioning pizza... because what kid doesn’t enjoy oozing cheesy margarita pizza! Carusos in Gymea is a casual, kid friendly and delicious pasta and pizza restaurant that is an establishment amongst locals.
For a night out the kids (and parents) will love, you can't go past Tradies at Gymea, and their fantastic kids club for children aged 3-12 years old. The themed kids club is supervised by trained staff and offers games, DVDs, craft activities and toys. The cost is $5 per child per session ad you can even ask for a table right near the kids club so you can watch them have loads of fun whist you enjoy a peaceful dinner and glass of wine!
And only a 3 minute drive is the fabulous restaurants in Miranda Westfield including the newly opened el Camino which serves up unlimited corn chips with vibrant red and green salsas, great fresh tacos, sizzling fajitas, hand-made tortillas, quesadillas and nachos! The kids will love the “tex mex” vibe.
Whatever your flavour. Gymea and surrounds has something for the entire family!
More Secret Sydney
Have you signed up to our newsletter? Join ellaslist to get the best family and kid-friendly events, venues, classes and things to do NEAR YOU!
Hero image via Sanders