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COLLEEN WILLIS

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Planning your next trip with family to NSW? Let us make the getaway list together! Hunter Valley, The Blue Mountains, Coffs Harbour…there’s plenty of places for you to explore! Get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and spend some fun time with your family!

Snowy Mountains

The Snowy Mountains have long been a favourite for snow enthusiasts and is perfect for summer and winter.

Highlights include

Summer

  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Water sports – kayaking, canoeing, sailing, boating, fishing, swimming
  • Cycling
  • Kosciusko National Park

 

Winter

  • The annual Peak Festival which celebrates the opening of the ski season at Perisher (normally early June)
  • Cross Country Ski Week for all levels (normally early August)
  • Skiing and Snowboarding
  • Kosciusko National Park
  • Snowball fights!

For more information visit:

www.snowymountains.com.au

www.peakfestival.com.au

 

Perisher

Perisher is a great snow spot for families because it caters to the new and experienced as well as the young and old. Perisher has a fantastic Snowsports School which offers lessons to all levels and starts as young as three years old.

Accommodation

The first step is deciding where you want to stay! The most popular style of family accommodation is a self-contained apartment, however, there are plenty of other styles to choose from as well.

For more information visit

Getting there

Cooma is the largest town in the region and is approximately 400km from Sydney. Jindabyne is closest to Kosciusko National Park and is roughly 465km away, and Perisher, Thredbo and Charlotte Pass are close to it.

For more information visit

www.perisher.com.au

 

South Coast

The South Coast sure is home to spectacular scenery and exciting activities.

Highlights include

  • Kiama Blowhole
  • Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk
  • Minnamurra Rainforest
  • Mogo Zoo
  • Batemans Bay
  • Jervis Bay
  • Beach fun

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures

This is a great activity for the whole family. Its beautiful views take in the rainforest canopy, Lake Illawarra and the South Pacific Ocean. A big bonus is that it’s both pram and wheelchair accessible. It’s located approximately 1.5 hours south of Sydney so could even be a day trip.

For more information visit

www.illawarrafly.com

Jervis Bay

Known for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters and national parks, it’s also famous for its dolphins and whales. There are 80-120 dolphins in Jervis Bay all year round, which gives you plenty of opportunity to see them. The whale season is from June to October and truly is a magnificent sight to see.

 For more information visit

www.jervisbaytourism.com.au

www.dolphinwatch.com.au

www.jervisbaywhales.com.au

Mogo Zoo

Mogo Zoo is home to rare and endangered species from around the globe. The kids could be ‘Keeper for the Day!’

For more information visit

www.mogozoo.com.au

 

Batemans Bay

Accommodation

Batemans Bay is a good spot to base yourself in if you want to stay in one spot. From backpackers to luxury, there is plenty to choose from.

  • Big4 Batemans Bay Beach Resort (cabins, caravans and camping)
  • Chalet Swisse Spa at Surf Beach Retreat

 Getting there

Follow the Grand Pacific Drive and take your time. Batemans Bay is about 280km from Sydney.

For more information visit

www.batemansbay.com.au

www.visitnsw.com

www.grandpacificdrive.com.au

Hunter Valley

Most of us love a good winery and Hunter Valley doesn’t disappoint! With roughly 150 wine producers and breweries a plenty, you’re bound to come across one you like! However, there are some that are more family-friendly than others and include children’s menus, playgrounds and large grassy areas for the kids to enjoy. This then allows the adults to get onto the serious business of eating and drinking!

Highlights include

  • Ballooning
  • Horse riding
  • Hunter Valley Gardens Aqua Golf & Putt Putt
  • Extreme Go Karting
  • Drayton’s Family Wines
  • McGuian Cellars
  • Gundog Hunter Cellar and Gourmet Pantry

Accommodation

  • Potters Hotel, Brewery and Resort
  • Bellbird Cottages and Swallows Homestead (pets welcome here)

Getting There

The tourist route T33 is a lovely drive. Another option is taking the train.

 For more information visit

www.huntervalleyvisitorcentre.com.au/wine/child-friendly-wineries

The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains has a lovely laid back feel and is perfect for a quick getaway.

Highlights include

  • Leuralla Toy & Railway Museum NSW
  • Jenolan Caves
  • The Three Sisters
  • Hop on Hop off Trolley Tours
  • Megalong Valley Heritage Farm
  • Horse Riding

 Accommodation

  • Owls Cottage Katoomba
  • Jenolan Caravan Park
  • Emirates One & Only (luxury)

Getting There

Glenbrook is roughly 75km away and the Jenolan Caves are nearly 200km so driving is the most practical option. However, the train or bus is also another way.

For more information visit

www.bluemts.com.au

www.stayz.com.au/accommodation/nsw/blue-mountains

Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo

For something a bit different why not stay a night at the zoo? For many families, this is a one-off opportunity to get up close and personal to the animals while creating magical family memories.

Accommodation

  • Billabong Camp
  • Zoofari Lodge
  • Savannah Cabins

For more information visit

www.taronga.org.au/taronga-western-plains-zoo

Getting there

Dubbo is an hour’s flight from Sydney or you can drive, train or bus it. The distance from Sydney to Dubbo is just under 400km.

For more information visit

www.dubbotourism.com.au

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie is still close enough to Sydney for a quick trip, or you could make this a stopover on your way up north.

Highlights include

  • Whale watching (June to October)
  • Water fun – swimming, surfing, fishing, kayaking,
  • Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park
  • Timbertown Heritage Theme Park (on 87 acres of natural forest!)

For something a little different, why not visit the Observatory? Imagine what the kids will be thinking when they look through the telescope! It’s open on Sunday and Wednesday nights throughout the year.

Accommodation

The Mantra Quayside Apartments are suitable for families with a central location and well-sized apartments.

Other spots include:

  • Mantra Observatory Resort
  • Marina Holiday Park

For more information visit

www.port-macquarie.net

www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au

www.pmobs.org.au

Getting there

The distance from Sydney is approximately 380km so no need to rush.

Flying is with Qantas and Virgin.

Coffs Harbour

How can you not enjoy a place that is home to The Big Banana??

Coffs is a great spot to break your journey if you’re on a road trip from Sydney.

Other highlights include

  • Dolphin Marine Magic Show
  • Helicopter Scenic Flights
  • Sky Diving
  • Water fun

Accommodation

We stayed at the Breakfree Annuka Beach Resort and loved it. The water slide was a big hit in our family! Other options are

  • Smugglers on the Beach
  • Park Beach Holiday Park
  • Aqualuna Beach Resort

 For more information visit

www.coffscoast.com.au

 Getting there

By road the distance is approximately 540km, so allow enough time if not stopping on the way. From Port Macquarie it is roughly 150km.

Flying is with Qantas, Virgin or Tiger Air

 

Byron Bay

Byron Bay is such a melting pot of people and ideas and it’s a good spot to base yourself.

Highlights include

Accommodation

  • Lennox Beach Resort (baby-sitting services for a fee)
  • Discovery Parks Ballina

For more information visit

www.visitbyronbay.com

www.byronbayaccom.net

Getting there

Being 800kms from Sydney there are a few options to consider – driving is one of them, as is also the train and flying. Flying into Ballina is with Jetstar, Virgin and Rex.

Helpful driving tips

  • Make sure you have plenty of water with you
  • Don’t get low on petrol
  • Keep mobiles charged
  • Keep first aid kits topped up and carry essential medication
  • Tell someone your itinerary, especially if traveling to isolated areas.

For travel information visit

www.visitnsw.com/destinations/nsw/transport

 

 

 

Who doesn’t dream of some time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life? Whether it’s a weekend you want or a few weeks, here are some tempting ideas of places to explore and relax for you and your family.

Down South

The southwest is home to world class wineries, yet it is so much more than that. It has long been a favourite with families and friends.

One of its biggest draw cards is its distance from Perth, making it ideal for both weekends and longer stays.

Highlights include:

  • Caves • Dolphins
  • Whale watching • Forests
  • The Busselton Jetty
  • Food, food, food • Farm stays
  • Wonderful wine • Beaches, swimming , surfing
  • The Valley of the Giants and Tree Top Walk
  • Fishing • Camping

For longer stays, Margaret River is a great spot from which to base yourself. It has so many attractions to suit young and old.

  •  Other tasty spots • The Margaret River Fudge Factory
  •  The Margaret River Nougat Company

 

If you decide to burn some of those kilojoules off, there are plenty of other activities to do. The beaches are world renowned for surfing and have several surf schools in the area.

For more information visit www.margaretriversurfschool.com

 

Caves

For something magical, why not visit a real cave?

There are a few in the Margaret River/Augusta area, with Jewel Cave being the biggest. You really can let your imagination run wild there.

For more information visit www.margaretriver.com

 

Amazing mazes!

These are great places for young and old in which to get ‘lost’.

  • A Maze’n Margaret River (You can also play mini golf!)
  • The Yallingup Maze • The Mythic Maze

For more information visit www.amazenmargaretriver.com.au www.yallingupmaze.com.au | www.mythicmazes.com.au

Tree Top Walk Walpole

This is great for all the family for the following reasons:

  • You literally are walking amongst the tops of the trees
    • Suitable for prams
  • Strollers and wheelchairs can be hired
    • Suitable for all ages

For more information visit www.valleyofthegiants.com.au

Whale Watching

If you’re keen to do some whale watching, then Albany is the place to go. Whale watching is run from June until early October and can be absolutely amazing.

For more information visit www.whaleworld.org | www.albanywhaletours.com.au

For something more suitable for the littlies, why not visit/ stay at a farm? There are several around and it’s great fun for everyone. Most children love the opportunity to ‘look after’ the animals. Imagine their faces while milking a cow!

Fancy some time away from the routine of daily life? Dreaming of some sun or snow? Luckily Victoria has all of that, and more! 

From its dramatic eye-catching coastlines, beautiful beaches, parks, skiing, wineries and amazing food there is plenty on offer for the whole family to enjoy.

DANDENONG RANGES and YARRA VALLEY

What a wonderful place to visit. So much to do! The Dandenongs and Yarra Valley are home to a multitude of fun activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Highlights include:

  • Hedgend Maze Healesville
  • Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery Yarra Glen
  • Yarra Valley Dairy in Coldstream
  • William Ricketts Sanctuary Park
  • Binjarra Cultural Centre
  • Healesville Sanctuary
  • SkyHigh Mt Dandenong Restaurant and Attractions

For more information visit: www.skyhighmtdandenong.com.au or www.visitvictoria.com

Puffing Billy Steam Train

For all the little (and big!) train lovers out there Puffing Billy is a must. This well-loved steam train is more than 100 years old and runs from Belgrave to Gembrook through the beautiful forests and gullies of the Dandenongs.

For more information visit: www.puffingbilly.com.au

Trees Adventure Glen Harrow Park

Fancy an amazing adventure? Ever felt like walking through the treetops? Then this is for you! Anyone from the age of four and above can enjoy this. Bookings are essential.

For more information visit: www.treesadventure.com.au/glen-harrow-park

*Top Tip*

We all love a good playground, so see the link below for a great list of playgrounds and parks! www.visitdandenongranges.com.au/things-to-do/picnics-playgrounds

Wineries

Where to start?! You could spend months exploring them! Several places are family friendly and offer playgrounds and other activities.

     Accommodation

  • Big4 Dandenong Tourist Park
  • Quest Dandenong

For more information on wineries and accommodation visit: www.visitvictoria.com/Regions/Yarra-Valley-and-Dandenong-Ranges

SNOW FUN 

If it’s the snow you’re after, you’re pretty spoilt for choice. From Melbourne, it’s easy enough to do a day trip or stay for a week.

Mt Hotham

  • Kids Snow Zone Program. Mighty Mites for 3-5 years and Kids Club for 6-14 years.
  • Harry the Snowdragon show. Most suitable for 3-7 years. Wednesdays and Saturdays from 4pm.
  • Kids snowmobile rides.

 

Accommodation

  • Davenport village in Hotham.
  • Dinner Plain, 10kms away, is a good alternative.

For more information visit: www.mthotham.com.au

Falls Creek

  • Riglet Park. Great for 3-5 years
  • Junior Workshop for 6-12 years
  • Teen Academy for 13-17 years
  • Pete the Snow dragon

 

Accommodation

The Falls Creek Hotel prides itself on being family friendly. It has a ‘Kool 4 Kids Klub’ (3 – 9 years) with fun and games from 7-9pm.

For more information visit: www.fallscreek.com.au or www.fallscreekhotel.com.au

Mt Buller

  • Bunyips Program for 3 – 6 years
  • Buller Kids for 7-14 years Ski and Snowboard
  • Buller Teens for 15-18 years Ski and Snowboard

Accommodation

Arlberg Hotel – Has a kids-stay-free offer and a kids area with a pool table and x-box.

For more information visit: www.mtbuller.com.au

Mt Baw Baw

If you’re a total beginner, Mt Baw Baw claims it is the best place to learn because of its smaller size and gentle slopes.

  • Kids lessons
  • Howling Husky Dog Sled Tours
  • Tobogganing

Accommodation

  • Alpine Flashpackers – Budget
  • Coora Valley Chalet – Mid range

For more information visit: www.mountbawbaw.com.au

 

 

These spots are just as great in the summer months as well!

THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

This is one of the most stunning ocean drives I’ve ever been on. Some of the amazing things on offer include:

  • Bells Beach
  • Apollo Bay
  • Kennett River Koala Walk
  • Cape Otway
  • Port Campbell National Park
  • The Twelve Apostles
  • Tiger Moth World, Torquay (Lots of fun!)

 

If you feel like a swim then head to the famous Bells Beach or take a stroll along the Surf Coast walk.

For more information visit: www.greatoceanrd.org.au www.travelvictoria.com.au/regions/greatoceanroad/

Accommodation

There are plenty of choices on this route, from caravan/holiday parks, B&B’s, apartments and resorts.

For more information visit: www.big4.com.au or www.topparks.com.au www.greatoceanroadtrip.com

The Grampians

The Grampians have much to offer families, from camping, scenic walks, animals and more.

Highlights include:

  • Little Desert National Park.
  • Grampians National Park
  • Mt Arapiles
  • McKenzie Falls.
  • The Stawell Gift at Easter

For more information visit: www.grampianstourism.com.au

Halls Gap Zoo

Halls Gap Zoo is Victoria’s largest regional zoo.  It has a, giraffe, water buffalo, meerkats, rainbow lorikeet and more. Why not consider ‘adopting’ one of their beautiful animals? How awesome would that be!

Accommodation

Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park.  Here you can camp, stay in a cabin or rent a house!

For more information visit: www.hallsgapzoo.com.au or www.hallsgaplakeside.com

PHILLIP ISLAND

What a gorgeous spot with lots of things to do. With everything close together you don’t have to spend ages in the car going from place to place.

Highlights include:

  • Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. Yum yum!
  • A Maze’n’Things
  • Antarctic Journey
  • Churchill Island Heritage Farm
  • Wildlife Coast Cruises
  • Caldermeade Farm and Café

Penguin Parade

Who doesn’t love a cute penguin? Every day at sunset the penguins arrive and strut their stuff while waddling over to their burrows. Truly awesome.

*Top Tip*

During peak times, pre-book tickets to avoid missing out.

Accommodation

  • A Maze’n’Things Holiday Park
  • The Waves Apartments

For more information visit: www.visitphillipisland.com

MORNINGTON PENINSULA 

The Mornington Peninsula is renowned for being a popular holiday destination with lots to do.

Highlights include:

  • Diving, fishing
  • Swimming with dolphins
  • The Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Park
  • Wineries
  • Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
  • The Big Goose
  • Visit village markets
  • The Enchanted Maze
  • Cape Schanck Lighthouse and Museum

For more information visit: www.thebellarinerailway.com.au or www.visitmorningtonpeninsula.org

*Top Tip*

Follow the link below for a comprehensive list of food and wineries in the Mornington Peninsula.

www.visitmorningtonpeninsula.org/foodandwine

Accommodation

  • Ocean Blue Coastal Retreats (Some of these are even pet friendly)
  • Trumans Cottages (Mostly pet friendly)

For more information visit:www.familyfriendlyaccommodation.com.au/mornington_peninsula

VICTORIAN GOLDFIELDS

Gold was discovered over 160 years ago…will you be the one to make the next big find??

Highlights include:

  • Ballarat – See the Lal Lal Falls
  • Bendigo – Vintage ‘Talking’ Tram Tours
  • Castlemaine – Old Castlemaine Gaol
  • Heathcote – O’Keefe Rail Trail,
  • Maldon – The Maldon Lolly Shop. An old time shop filled with sweet treats galore!

For more information visit: www.visitvictoria.com/regions/Goldfields

The Maldon Lolly Shop is full of sweet treats!

Sovereign Hill

Pan for gold at Sovereign Hill! Sovereign Hill is a living museum with working exhibits. It’s home to shops, schools, gold digging, underground mines and more. It’s been named Australia’s best ‘Major Tourist Attraction’ three times.

For more information visit: www.sovereignhill.com.au

Accommodation

For something different why not stay at Kryal Castle? It’s located approximately 8km’s east of Ballarat. Kryal Castle is a replica medieval castle with plenty of shows and attractions.

For more information visit: www.kryalcastle.com.au

THE MURRAY REGION

The Murray River is Australia’s longest river and a great place to visit. It’s home to wonderful wineries and gourmet food as well as many other exciting things.

Highlights include:

  • Fishing
  • Watersports
  • Paddle steamers
  • Houseboats
  • River Cruises
  • Port of Echuca Discovery Centre

 

Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement

Swan Hill is a town that carries a rich pioneer heritage. The Pioneer Settlement will really help you to embrace Australian history. You can chat to people from a bygone era while cruising the Murray on the PS Pyap. In the evening, enjoy a light and laser show.

For more information visit: www.pioneersettlement.com.au

House Boating

Hire a houseboat and be your own captain! Kids and captains alike will love an adventure like this. You might just have to stop at one of the many wineries though!

Accommodation

Lots of choice! Houseboats, tourist parks, resorts, camping and more.

For more information visit: www.murrayriverhouseboats.com.au www.visitthemurray.com.au

GETTING THERE

Thanks to its size, Victoria is very accessible by road and public transport.

For more information visit: www.visitvictoria.com/Things-to-do/Touring-routes

Want to travel in Australia, but don’t know where to go that is family-friendly? The city of Adelaide offers a range of activities for your family from a trip to the zoo, day trips to the Barossa Valley and Glenelg! We’ve also compiled the best places to stay and how to get there.

Adelaide, Australia

Adelaide, well known as the “City of Churches”, has become so much more than that. After all, it has been voted by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2014. The city is situated on the River Torrens which starts in the Adelaide Hills and  empties into the Gulf of St Vincent.

Families are well and truly catered for in our southern state as there’s lots for everyone to do.

Highlights include:

  • Popeye boat rides on the River Torrens
  • The South Australian Maritime Museum
  • The Botanic Gardens
  • The River Torrens Linear Park Trail – you can walk it, ride it and have a picnic on the way!

 

For more information visit

www.southaustralia.com

 

Image purchased from Wayne Smith Visual Asset License Deed 2013

Adelaide Zoo

A trip to the Adelaide Zoo is quite exciting because you can get to see firsthand Australia’s only giant pandas, Wang Wang and Funi. They are terribly cute and gorgeous.

For more information

 visit www.zoossa.com.au

Glenelg

A ride on the tram to visit the seaside suburb of Glenelg is a fun way to travel. There are loads of activities for the kids, the main one being the Beachouse. It has a 120 year old carousel, dodgem cars and arcade games, to name a few.

For more information

visit www.glenelgsa.com.au

Adelaide Hills

The Adelaide Hills are approximately 30 minutes from the city and are packed with family fun, ranging from cuddling koalas to climbing The Big Rocking Horse, which is 18 metres high.

Highlights include:

  • Cleland Wildlife Park
  • Hahndorf Farm Barn
  • Melba’s Chocolate Factory and Heritage Village (educational and delicious!)
  • Lobethal’s Fairyland Village
  • The Big Rocking Horse and Toy Factory
  • Beerenberg Strawberry

For more information visit

www.adelaidehills.org.au

Barossa Valley

Every two years the Barossa hosts its Tasting Australia event.  If you’re a real Foodie then this is worth visiting

For more information visit

www.tastingaustralia.com.au

Accommodation

There are plenty of choices to pick from, ranging from hotel rooms, apartments, budget to five star.

A central location is recommended, however, I would suggest staying away from parts of Hindley St as it does cross into the nightclub area. I’ve stayed at the Mantra Hindmarsh Square apartments and found them to be clean, quiet and central.

For more information

visit www.mantra.com.au

www.discoverthesouth.com.au

Getting there

The quickest way is by air with flights leaving every day. If you choose to drive, the distance is just under 2800 km’s so plan appropriately.

For more information visit

www.nullabornet.com.au (this lists the distance between each town)

www.qantas.com.au

www.virgin.com.au

 www.jetstar.com.au

Have you ever considered a family holiday relaxing by the beach, snorkelling, or cruising in pristine ocean? A trip to the Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth may just be the holiday for you. With plenty to do, you’ll never be bored!

 

Exmouth

Exmouth is ideally situated to explore the reef and its many attractions. Exmouth was originally a support for the communication base in the North West Cape, however tourism has now taken over as the town’s major contributor.

Exmouth is great for:

  • Swimming
  • Snorkelling
  • Scuba diving
  • Cruising on a glass bottom boat
  • Fishing
  • Coral Tours
  • Whale sharks

For more information visit

www.exmouthwa.com.au

www.ningaloodreaming.com

Ningaloo Reef

The Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival will be held May 24-26 this year. Did you know the largest living fish is the Whale Shark? It can grow up to 18 metres in length! The festival is a great way to celebrate the yearly visit of the whale shark.

Some activities on offer include:

  • Circus workshops
  • Entertainers
  • Beach activities

For more information and tickets visit

http://www.ningaloowhalesharkfestival.com

Getting there

Exmouth is approximately 1270 kilometres from Perth. If you are planning on driving with children, then it’s advisable to allow for stopovers en route. Two main towns along the way are Geraldton and Carnarvon and both are good places to stop, refuel and refresh. Why not even consider stopping for a few days in each place and enjoying the local hospitality?

For more information visit

www.geraldtonvisitorcentre.com.au

www.carnarvon.org.au

If driving isn’t for you, then flying is the way to go. Currently, Qantas and Skywest fly to the nearest airport, which is Learmonth. The airport is located 36km from Exmouth and there are a few ways you can head into town. You can hire a car or the Exmouth Bus Charter company can be booked to pick you up at the airport.

For more information visit

www.qantas.com.au

www.skywest.com.au

Accommodation

There are a variety of accommodation styles to choose from, ranging from backpacker to the Novotel Ningaloo Resort.

For more information visit

http://www.novotelningaloo.com.au

Another popular option is the holiday parks which offer several styles of accommodation including chalets, bungalows, cabins and powered and unpowered sites.

For more information visit

www.australiascoralcoast.com

If you prefer somewhere quieter than Exmouth Coral Bay is a great option. It’s approximately 120km south of Exmouth and is a popular holiday destination, especially in the school holidays.

For more information visit

www.coralbay.org

** During our colder months the northwest can get booked out quite early. It is advisable to plan and book as early as possible. **

Resorts (or villages, as they like to be called) are located all over the world, ranging from the ski slopes in Europe, to the cultural richness of Mexico, so there really is something for everyone.

Club Med is one of the original “All Inclusive” holiday specialists on the market, which means they include as much as they can in their price.

Out of all the 80 resorts that Club Med has around the world, a whopping 57 of them are family friendly – that’s a lot of holidays to choose from!

The resorts (or villages, as they like to be called) are located all over the world, ranging from the ski slopes in Europe, to the cultural richness of Mexico, so there really is something for everyone.

Major Inclusions:

  • Accommodation
  • All meals (great for budgeting)
  • Sporting activities
  • Shows
  • Evening entertainment

The beauty of this type of holiday is that children are catered for in just about every age group. Club Med have dedicated “Kids Clubs”, ranging from the bubs to the teenagers. If the adults want to have some “grown up” time and take advantage of the Kids Clubs, they may find that their children want to stay all day!

Some villages offer the following care for children:

  • Baby Club Med   – 4 to 23 months
  • Petit Club Med   – 2 to 3 years
  • Mini Club Med   – 4 to 10 years
  • Junior Club Med – 10 to 17 years (some clubs offer 11-13 and 14-17 years)

 Some activities on offer (for everyone, not just the kids!)

  • Tennis
  • Archery
  • Swimming
  • Trapeze
  • Arts and crafts
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Sailing
  • Cooking
  • Snorkelling
  • Bush Walking

If parents want to stay out for the evening, babysitting is also offered for an additional fee.

One of the villages close to home is the Cherating Beach Resort in Malaysia. It has been voted into the top 10 family resorts in Asia by Trip Advisor for 2013.

Highlights include:

  • Baby gym
  • Circus school
  • Petit Chef Program – a fantastic experience! Children learn to cook local dishes and parents come and taste them…yum!
  • Clean Art Planet – children use objects from the sea to create, tell stories, photograph…the list is endless
  • Hiking
  • Dance

Additional highlights:

  • Baby corner in the main restaurant
  • Spare prams (limited supply)
  • Playground

Top tip: If you have young children, ask for a ‘Club Med Baby Welcome Service.’

It includes:

  • Personal Welcome
  • Cot
  • Change mat
  • Bottle Warmer
  • Baby bath
  • High chair if available

For more information visit

www.clubmed.com.au

Getting there

Club Med can even arrange your flights and transfers to your village of choice if you so desire. Alternatively, you can arrange this yourself through your travel agent or online.

When travelling with children I recommend a direct flight where possible. Both Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia fly directly from Perth.

For more information visit

www.malaysianairlines.com

www.airasia.com

** Please be aware that not all the villages offer all the activities**

Who doesn’t dream of some time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life? Whether it’s for a weekend or a few weeks, NSW has it all. From the beautiful beaches to the Snowy Mountains NSW has it covered!

Snowy Mountains

The Snowy Mountains have long been a favourite for snow enthusiasts and are perfect for both summer and winter holidays.

Highlights include

Summer

  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Water sports – kayaking, canoeing, sailing, boating, fishing, swimming
  • Cycling
  • Kosciusko National Park

Winter

  • The annual Peak Festival which celebrates the opening of the ski season at Perisher (normally early June)
  • Cross Country Ski Week for all levels (normally early August)
  • Skiing and Snowboarding
  • Kosciusko National Park
  • Snowball fights!

For more information visit

www.snowymountains.com.au

www.peakfestival.com.au

Perisher

Perisher is a great snow spot for families because it caters to the new and experienced as well as the young and old. Perisher has a fantastic Snowsports School which offers lessons to all levels and starts as young as 2 years old.

Another option is the ‘Snowy Daycare’ which takes children from 6 weeks to 3 years and is available for full and half days.

Accommodation

The first step is deciding where you want to stay! The most popular style of family accommodation is a self-contained apartment, however, there are plenty of other styles to choose from as well.

For more information visit

Getting there

Cooma is the largest town in the region and is approximately 400km from Sydney. Jindabyne is closest to Kosciusko National Park and is roughly 465km away and Perisher, and Thredbo and Charlotte Pass are also close by.

For more information visit

www.perisher.com.au

South Coast

The South Coast sure is home to spectacular scenery and exciting activities.

Highlights include

  • Kiama Blowhole
  • Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk
  • Minnamurra Rainforest
  • Mogo Zoo
  • Batemans Bay
  • Jervis Bay
  • Beach fun

Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk

This is a great activity for the whole family. Its beautiful views take in the rainforest canopy, Lake Illawarra and the South Pacific Ocean. A big bonus is that it’s both pram and wheelchair accessible.

It’s located approximately 1.5 hours south of Sydney so could even be a day trip.

For more information visit

www.illawarrafly.com.au

Jervis Bay

Known for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters and national parks, it’s also famous for its dolphins and whales. There are 80-120 dolphins in Jervis Bay all year round, which gives you plenty of opportunity to see them. The whale season is from June to October and is a truly  magnificent sight to see. 

For more information visit

www.jervisbaytourism.asn.au

www.dolphinwatch.com.au

www.jervisbaywhales.com.au

Accommodation

Batemans Bay is a good spot to base yourself in if you want to stay in one spot. From backpackers to luxury, there is plenty to choose from.

  • Big4 Batemans Bay Beach Resort (cabins, caravans and camping)
  • Chalet Swisse Spa at Surf Beach Retreat

Getting there

Follow the Grand Pacific Drive and take your time. Batemans Bay is about 280km from Sydney.

For more information visit

www.batemansbay.com.au

www.visitnsw.com

www.grandpacificdrive.com.au

Hunter Valley

Most of us love a good winery and Hunter Valley doesn’t disappoint! With roughly 150 wine producers and breweries a plenty, you’re bound to come across one you like! However, there are some that are more ‘family friendly’ than others and include kids’ menus, playgrounds and large grassy areas for the kids to enjoy. This then allows the adults get onto the serious business of eating and drinking!

Highlights include

  • Ballooning
  • Horse riding
  • Hunter Valley Gardens Aqua Golf & Putt Putt
  • Extreme Go Karting
  • Drayton’s Family Wines
  • McGuian Cellars (it also has cheese, chocolate and fudge – yum!)
  • Wyndham Estate
  • Potters Hotel, Brewery and Resort

Accommodation

  • Potters Hotel, Brewery and Resort
  • Bellbird Cottages and Swallows Homestead (pets welcome here)

Getting There

The tourist route T33 is a lovely drive. Another option is taking the train.

For more information visit

www.winecountry.com.au

The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains has a lovely laid back feel and is perfect for a quick getaway.

Highlights include 

  • Leuralla Toy & Railway Museum NSW
  • Jenolan Caves
  • The Three Sisters
  • Hop on Hop off Trolley Tours
  • Megalong Valley Heritage Farm
  • Horse Riding

Accommodation

  • Owls Cottage Katoomba
  • Jenolan Caravan Park
  • Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa (for a bit of luxury)

Getting There

Glenbrook is roughly 75km away and the Jenolan Caves are nearly 200km so driving is the most practical option. However, the train or bus is also another way.

For more information visit

www.bluemts.com.au

www.stayz.com.au/accommodation/nsw/blue-mountains

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie is still close enough to Sydney for a quick trip, or you could make this a stopover on your way up north.

Highlights include

  • Whale watching (June to October)
  • Water fun – swimming, surfing, fishing, kayaking,
  • Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park
  • Timbertown Heritage Theme Park (on 87 acres of natural forest!)

For something a little different, why not visit the Observatory? Imagine what the kids will be thinking when they look through the telescope! It’s open on Sunday and Wednesday nights throughout the year.

Accommodation

I stayed with my family at the Mantra Quayside Apartments and found the location good and apartment to be a reasonable size.

Other spots are

  • The Observatory Resort
  • Marina Holiday Park

For more information visit

www.port-macquarie.net/

www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au

www.pmobs.org.au

Getting there

The distance from Sydney is approximately 380km so no need to rush.

Flying is with Qantas and Virgin.

Coffs Harbour

How can you not enjoy a place that is home to The Big Banana??

Coffs is a great spot to break your journey if you’re on a road trip from Sydney.

Other highlights include

  • Dolphin Marine Magic Show
  • Helicopter Scenic Flights
  • Sky Diving
  • Water fun

Accommodation

We stayed at the Breakfree Anuka Beach resort and loved it. The water slide was a big hit in our family! Other options are:

  • Smugglers on the Beach (I love that name!)
  • Park Beach Holiday Park
  • Aqualuna Beach Resort

For more information visit

www.coffscoast.com.au

Getting there

By road the distance is approximately 540km, so allow enough time if not stopping on the way. From Port Macquarie it is roughly 150km.

Flying is with Qantas, Virgin or Tiger Air

Byron Bay

Byron Bay is such a melting pot of people and ideas. It’s a good spot to base yourself in as there’s plenty to do in the area.

Highlights include

  • Amaze’n’Place – Alstonville
  • Macadamia Castle – Knockrow
  • Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens – Mullumbimby
  • Art
  • Ballooning
  • Hang gliding
  • Loads of water activities

Accommodation

  • Lennox Beach Resort (baby-sitting services for a fee)
  • Ballina Lakeside Holiday Park

For more information visit

www.visitbyronbay.com

www.byronbayaccom.net

Getting there

Being 800kms from Sydney there are a few options to consider.

Driving is one of them, as is also the train and flying.

Flying into Ballina is with Jetstar, Virgin and Rex.

Helpful driving tips

  • Make sure you have plenty of water with you
  • Don’t get low on petrol
  • Keep mobiles charged
  • Keep first aid kits topped up and carry essential medication
  • Tell someone your itinerary, especially if travelling to isolated areas.

For travel information visit

www.virginaustralia.com.au/en

www.qantas.com.au

www.jetstar.com

www.rex.com.au

www.tigerair.com.au

www.sydneytrains.info/

http://www.nswtrainlink.info/

www.dubbobuslines.com.au

Think Melbourne is just about food and shopping? Well you’d be wrong! It has lots of fun things for kids and adults to do!

Melbourne has so much to offer families that it would be a shame to miss her out if coming across to see the Great Ocean Road.

 

Highlights include

  • The Galactic Circus
  • Melbourne Zoo
  • Fairy Park (perfect for little princes and princesses)
  • Science Works
  • Melbourne Aquarium
  • The Queen Victoria Markets
  • Cooks Cottage
  • Federation Square
  • Melbourne Trams

For more information visit:

www.visitmelbourne.com

www.melbourneforkids.com.au

 

 

If it’s fun and excitement you’re after then a day spent at the Galactic Circus should fit the bill. It’s classed as Australia’s largest indoor interactive park and is situated within the Crown Entertainment Complex.

Highlights include

  • Indoor Laser
  • Bowling
  • Fully costumed and interactive staff
  • Arcade games and prizes
  • It’s open every day of the year, including public holidays
  • Central location

For more information visit www.galacticcircus.com.au

If it’s something more laid back you’re after, then why not take a picnic to the gorgeous Royal Botanical Gardens. A good place to start is the Visitor Centre which is on Birdwood Avenue, where you can get maps and information on how to spend your time.

Once there I recommend a visit to the Children’s Garden, a fantastic spot for children who love to get their hands dirty!

It has been designed specifically to help teach and excite children about the importance of conservation and caring for the environment.

Other highlights include

  • Guilfoyle’s Volcano
  • Lakes and Islands
  • Canna Bed Rain Garden
  • The Melbourne Observatory

For more information visit www.rbg.vic.gov.au

Accommodation

Like all cities, Melbourne has plenty of accommodation, and apartments tend to be the most popular for families.

For more information visit

www.questapartments.com.au

www.oakshotelsresorts.com

www.mantra.com.au

A family road trip – what could be more fun? Before you start shaking in your shoes at the thought of “are we there yet?” a road trip can actually be great fun and educational at the same time. With a bit of forward planning, a good time can be had by all!

We are fortunate in Australia to have a multitude of scenic routes from which to choose. One of the most spectacular would have to be the Great Ocean Road, which is on the Australian National Heritage List. The Great Ocean Road is 243km of road between the Victorian towns of Torquay and Allansford, and is next to Warrnambool.

 

 

 

The beauty of a trip like this is that you can decide how fast or slow you want to do it and what sights you want to stop at. Here are some of the amazing things to visit:

  • Bells Beach
  • Wye River
  • Apollo Bay
  • Kennett River Koala Walk
  • Otway National Park
  • Otway Lighthouse
  • Port Campbell National Park
  • The Twelve Apostles
  • Tower Hill Warrnambool

For more information visit www.greatoceanrd.org.au

However, to make a family road trip successful, it’s important to do things to keep the kids interested, or you may well end up with that chorus of “are we there yet??” The Great Ocean Road has plenty of opportunities to stop, have a look and have a play.

For example, in Torquay itself, a visit to the Tiger Moth World holds lots of fun and is aimed at families with children up to teenage years. Some activities include:

  • Paddle boats
  • Mini golf
  • Mini soccer
  • Giant Tiger Moth play park
  • The Jolly Roger ship
  • Scenic flights

For more information visit www.tigermothworld.com.au

If you feel like a swim in the ocean then head to the famous Bells Beach or take a stroll along the Surf Coast walk.

For more information visit www.travelvictoria.com.au/torquay/

Helpful Hint

Plan to make stops at some of the many playgrounds along the way. Some of them have more than just your run-of-the-mill swings and slides, such as the Lorne playground and skate park, which has:

  • Globe designed skate park
  • Pool
  • Trampolines
  • Mini golf
  • Beach access

For more information visit http://www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au/media/33385/playgrounds_brochure.pdf

  ** This is fantastic as it lists 35 playgrounds, their facilities and an age guide. Brilliant!! **

Road trip hints

  • Pack plenty of healthy snacks and water
  • Pack wipes and hand sanitiser
  • Make several stops to cover the toilet and a run around
  • Keep hats and sunscreen handy
  • Bring a First-Aid kit
  • Have plastic bags handy for rubbish and possible accidents
  • Plan your route before you start
  • Update navigation systems
  • Bring books, ipads, DVDs, colouring-in packs
  • Plan some games eg I spy
  • CDs to sing along
  • Talk to each other and have fun!

 

Accommodation

There are so many great towns along this road and they have a large number of accommodation options available, ranging from basic camping to luxury lodgings.

There are plenty of caravan/holiday parks to choose from, spanning from the Big4 chain to those privately owned and run. Most will allow camping and range from basic facilities to having a pool and playground.

For more information visit www.vicbig4.com.au

If this isn’t your style but you don’t want to pay 5 star rates, then why not consider a B&B? B&Bs allow for more interaction with the ‘locals’ who can give you lots of tips and hints on the area.

For more information visit www.visitvictoria.com

If you’re travelling with a group then another option is to rent a house for a few days when stopping. This can sometimes help cut costs yet give you the freedom and flexibility to come and go as you want.

For more information visit:

www.visitmelbourne.com/Regions/Great-Ocean-Road

www.stayz.com.au

www.greatoceanroadtrip.com

 

Getting there

The most direct way from Perth is to fly to Melbourne, pick up a rental car and then go from there. Torquay is roughly 100kms south west of Melbourne on the Geelong route.

The closest major airport to get back home from is Adelaide. (Another great city to stop and play in; after all it has been ranked the 9th city in the world to visit by Lonely Planet!)

For information visit:

www.qantas.com.au

www.virgin.com.au

www.jetstar.com.au

www.driveaway.com.au

If flying is not on your radar, then there are other options available, such as the train and of course, taking your own vehicle.

For more information visit www.greatsouthernrail.com.au