Fun Areas



The Starlight Express Room create a place where kids can just be kids and escape the loneliness, boredom and stress of hospitalised life.

The children can choose to participate in whatever activity they like: watch the latest kid's videos, play computer games, do arts and crafts, or watch a performance by Captain Starlight.

Starlight Express Rooms are managed by a very talented character known as Captain Starlight who helps to brighten the lives of all children visiting the room.



Captain Starlight

The team of Captains' are fully trained professionals who are skilled in delivering positive distractive entertainment to children and young people of all ages.


Captain Starlight's sole purpose is to bring smiles to sick children by distracting them from their illness and pain using entertainment and engagement.


A serious illness, chronic health condition or disability can profoundly affect the everyday lives of adolescents by increasing their risk of social isolation, disconnection, lower social support, peer acceptance and lower emotional wellbeing. Maintaining relationships with other young people via a shared experience is essential.

Livewire provides three separate online communities for family members - a place where they can connect and share experiences with other people who understand what they are going through.

Livewire Members - For young people, aged over 10 and under 21, living with a serious illness, chronic health condition or disability. It's a safe place online where young people can support and connect with one another. Livewire Members helps them to be more resilient and gain control of their situation, and reduces the loneliness, boredom and social isolation they often experience.

Livewire Siblings - For young people, aged over 10 and under 21, who have a brother or sister living with a serious illness, chronic health condition or disability. It's a place for them to meet other siblings, share experiences with people who understand what they are going through and gain skills and knowledge to help them feel more in control of their situation.

Livewire Parents - For parents and carers of people living with a serious illness, chronic health condition or disability. It's a place for parents and carers to connect with one another, share experiences, find relevant information and feel supported in their situation.

Location and operating hours

Level 2 (Ward J2)
Open Monday to Friday 10.00 am - 3.00 pm 


Ronald McDonald Family Room

The Ronald McDonald Family Room (located outside ward J1) is a place for families and carers of child patients 0 - 18 years of age to unwind and relax away from the ward and still be close to their children.

The Ronald McDonald Family Room is offered free of charge to all parents and carers providing a home-away-from-home for families.

In the Ronald McDonald Family Room, families can relax; take a quiet moment and a deep breath in a warm and comfortable environment that the medical world does not enter.


Facilities in the room

The Family Room provides:

  • A comfortable lounge area
  • Washing machine, clothes dryer, ironing facilities
  • Kitchen and dining facilities including tea and coffee
  • A referral service to Ronald McDonald House for eligible families
  • Shower and baby change area
  • A nap room and a fold up cot
  • Games and toys for children
  • TV, music and videos
  • Access to J1 playground and The Fairy Garden
Location and operating hours

Enter through the entrance of Ward J1 and The Ronald McDonald Family Room is on your left.

Operating hours are 8.00am to 9.00pm weekdays and 9.00am to 6.00pm weekends.


Fairy Garden

The garden is accessed via a door that has been painted with a 3D image, brightly coloured magical castle entrance with fairy's, flowers, and Walter the garden's resident dragon. Walter is very shy but he welcomes you at the door.

Providing children, young people and their families with access to the outside world, The Fairy Garden offers a sanctuary to where they can experience a sense of freedom from the hospital environment. The Fairy Garden offers a space where families can meander at their own pace around a path which reflects an infinity sign, to renew their senses and delight in the colour and splendour of nature. 

Location and operating hours

The Fairy Garden is located in the J1/K1 Courtyard and has wheelchair access.

Operating hours are dawn till dusk.

Patients have priority access to the Garden.


The Book Nook

John Hunter Children's Hospital enjoys their very own in-house library offering a wide variety of paperback and audio books. Appealing to kids with a passion for reading, be it for latest best selling adventure or fantasy series, the BookNook offers something for all patient ages and tastes.

The Book Nook is a place for children and families to take time out to read and learn, or listen to a story, in a space designed for quiet contemplation and imaginative time out.

Books offer that very special magic that can engage a child's imagination; transporting them to their ‘unique place' for a little time out from the expectations of clinical care.

Even children in isolation have access to the library through regular visits by BookNook Volunteers. Selected books can be borrowed immediately from the BookNook mobile trolley.

How to loan books

Up to three books can be loaned at any one time.

When a book is borrowed the librarian will fill in a borrower's sheet with the patients name, age, bed number, book title and barcode.

In Ward J1 and J2 book returns are placed in the return box with the ward clerk. Returns in H1 are taken back to the Book Nook.

Donating books

We accept a wide range of books from baby and toddler story time books through to books suitable for young adults. 

Books for the lending library must be new.

We quite often have requests for particular authors and topics of books, if you would like to know what books are currently required please contact Public Relations on 4921 4492.

As returned books are "quarantined" for a period of time to comply with our infection control policy - we often require multiple copies of popular books - e.g. Harry Potter or The Wiggles - so even if we already have it, we are more than happy to accept duplicate copies of popular books.

If you have any questions regarding book donations, please feel free to contact Public Relations on 4921 4492.

Location and operating hours

The Book Nook and playground is located in Ward H1 (Children's Medical Ward).

Playground operating hours are 8am - 6pm.

The Book Nook is open 24hrs. Books can only be borrowed when a librarian is present.