Russell Crowe has been reunited with his family, returning to Sydney and visiting the home of his estranged wife Danielle Spencer, where his children live.

Cover Media agency said the Oscar-winning Gladiator star was carrying a large bag of Christmas gifts when spotted getting out of a car after his arrival.

The New Zealand-born actor has been in New York shooting his new fantasy movie Winter's Tale alongside Colin Farrell and flew to Australia after spending the morning on set.

Crowe, 48, is to walk the red carpet in Sydney for his new movie Les Miserables and is then expected to spend some more time with his sons Charles and Tennyson.

Crowe and Spencer announced in October that they were separating after a nine-year union.