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Far from a boring, predictable place to visit, Singapore is now a very appealing travel destination for Australian families.

Many years ago I did a stopover in Singapore en-route to Europe. I found it be ‘nice’, but, to be honest a bit dull. So when my husband suggested a family holiday to Singapore, I wasn’t overly enthused. When the time came to go, it was with some trepidation that I boarded our flight; however, I am happy to say it was completely WORTH IT. I can honestly say that it was one of the best family holidays we’ve ever had!

Highlights include

  • English is widely spoken
  • Clean and safe
  • Good, cheap public transport
  • Good shopping
  • Not much time difference

Top Tip
When planning your holiday, don’t book a transfer from the airport. These are ridiculously overpriced and taxis are cheap and readily available.

Sentosa Island

Where do I start?? This place just teems with fun and adventure. We did a ‘Swim with the Dolphins’ package and it was truly magical.

  • Dolphin Island
  • Adventure Cove Waterpark
  • S.E.A. Aquarium
  • Universal Studios
  • Underwater World
  • Singapore Cable Car

For more information visit

www.sentosa.com.sg

Singapore Zoo

This is a great zoo to visit. You can stroll around at your leisure or hop on and off the trams.

  • Jungle Breakfast with the Wildlife
  • Animal Shows
  • Animal Rides
  • Follow the ‘Feeding Trails’
  • Rainforest Kidzworld (bring your bathers!)
  • The Night Safari (one of the most popular tourist activities in Singapore)

For more information visit

www.zoo.com.sg

Explore the neighbourhoods

Did someone say shopping?

  • Chinatown
  • Little India (not that great for prams but good for cheap shoes!)

For more information visit

www.chinatown.sg

www.littleindia.com.sg

Gardens by the Bay

These are massive gardens spanning over 100 hectares.

Some of the gardens are free and some you pay to visit.

There is something for everyone here.

  • Cloud Forest (amazing)
  • Children’s Garden (Bring your bathers!)
  • OCBC Skyway
  • Supertree Grove

For more information visit

www.gardensbythebay.com.sg

Clarke Quay

This spot has a great vibe to it. It’s a terrific place to have dinner and relax.

  • Restaurants
  • Great cocktails!
  • Stroll along the waterfront
  • Catch a boat tour along the river
  • Watch and play in the fountain that shoots out water from the ground.

For more information visit

www.clarkequay.com.sq

Handy Hint
Singapore doesn’t follow the same school timetable as us. If you can avoid their school holidays it can sometimes be cheaper and less crowded.

Where to stay

There are several places that spring to mind, from bustling Orchard Rd to Clarke Quay and Sentosa.

  • Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort (higher end hotel)
  • Novotel Clarke Quay (good mid-range hotel)
  • York Hotel Orchard Rd (good mid-range hotel)

Top Tip

If you want to save some money, go for something slightly further out.

Getting there

Direct flights take just over 8.5 hours and there are several to choose from.

For more information visit

www.singaporeair.com

www.qantas.com.au

www.flyscoot.com

Think summer is over? Well think again! Thanks to the hot weather lingering long after summer has officially ended, you can keep enjoying all the best that WA has to offer.

For a perfect summer break, Rottnest springs beautifully to mind. Just saying ‘Rotto’ brings up images of the beach, bikes and barbies (the food kind, not the doll!)

Every year families and friends head over to Rotto. The beauty of it is that you can go for a just day or stay even longer. Don’t forget your hat or sunblock though!

Highlights include

  • The beaches!
  • Family Fun Park and Mini Putt-Putt
  • Just 4 Fun Aqua Park (It has a section called Little Kids Knee Deep Park for 7 years and under)
  • Snorkelling
  • Fishing
  • Diving
  • Bike exploration
  • Wadjemup Walk Trail
  • Visit museums and galleries
  • Perhaps the most important one of all; have fun and relax!

For more information visit

www.rottnestisland.com

www.just4funaquapark.com.au

The Quokkas of Rottnest

The quokkas are probably the most well-known animal on Rotto. Kids love spotting them, and it can be quite competitive to see who spots them first! However, it is really important to teach children not to give them food or water, as this can be very detrimental to the quokka’s health. In fact, the Rottnest Island Rangers may issue infringement notices to anyone who does this.

 

Where to stay

Rotto has come a long way over time and now has accommodation ranging from camping and hostels to premium self-contained cottages. The camping area was renovated in 2013 and the ablution blocks now also have wheelchair access.

Top tip

If you’re planning a group booking at the campground, call Rottnest Island Reservations on 1800 11111 or 08 9432 9111.

If you like something a bit more private, then the self-contained cottages may be the way to go. Some are even heritage listed!

If you’re travelling with family and friends, they can be a great place to unwind at the end of the day while enjoying the barbie and a glass of wine.

Top Tip

Rotto is VERY popular and in the past had a ballot system for booking accommodation during peak periods. This system is no longer used, however, reservations are open approximately 18 months in advance and it is recommended to book as early as possible for any time of the year.

For more information visit

www.rottnestisland.com/accommodation

A couple of other options are the Hotel Rottnest and the Rottnest Lodge. Both offer different types of rooms as well as having a licenced restaurant on site. The Rottnest Lodge also has its own swimming pool.

Interesting fact

The Hotel Rottnest’s original building was the summer residence for the Governors of Western Australia from 1864. In 1912 Sir Gerald Strickland became its last tenanted governor.

For more information visit

www.hotelrottnest.com.au

www.rottnestlodge.com.au

Getting there

It’s very easy; you can travel by plane, ferry or even your own boat if you have one. The ferry is the most popular means of transport and you can leave from the city, Fremantle or Hillarys Boat Quay.

For more information visit

www.rottnestexpress.com.au

www.rottnestfastferries.com.au

www.rottnestairtaxi.com.au

www.ozwestaviation.com

If taking your own boat email the Rottnest Island Authority Administration at enquires@rottnestisland.com or phone 08 9432 9300

Interesting Fact

In 2014, Rottnest Island was a winner in the ‘Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards’. It won Gold in the ‘Major Tourist Attractions’ section plus silver in two other categories. Go Rotto!

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

 

 

 

 

Movenpick Resort and Spa in Phuket ticks all the boxes for a satisfying and enjoyable family holiday.

Set in the family-oriented precinct of Karon Beach, Movenpick Resort and Spa is a wonderful choice for families holidaying in Phuket and is one of my favourite resorts to go with children.

The location is ideal, with a beautiful beach, and many dining, shopping and entertainment options, all within close walking distance.

The hotel caters for all families’ needs with a Kids Club, four swimming pools and six fantastic restaurants offering a very high standard of food.

Additionally, the resort provides daily water activities and a complimentary Chocolate Hour – A Movenpick original feature – which includes a selection of chocolate sweets and treats.

 

The standard of accommodation is exceptional.

We stayed in a Two Bedroom Family Suite which was perfect for a family, set amongst the lovely tropical gardens and very closely situated to the main family pool area. In fact, it was the best hotel accommodation in which I have experienced with my two children – so spacious, well facilitated and in a great position opposite the Little Birds Kids Club.

It has a large screen TV in the family area and in each of the bedrooms, which includes a good range of family-friendly channels, including Nickelodeon.

We were able to use the hotel’s X Box too which the kids enjoyed and suited me when I felt like an afternoon siesta.

This accommodation is massive with a large living space, adjoining bunkbed bedroom, a King and Twin bedroom, each with their own generous en-suites.

This space easily accommodates a family of six. It has three mini bars which all included complimentary tea and coffee facilities

The family style accommodation is positioned close to the The Little Birds Kids Club, for children aged 4 to 12, which offers many creative and stimulating activities for the children including soap making, candle making, tie dyed t-shirt creating.

 

We spent many hours relaxing around the fabulous main family pool area, which features a large free form swimming pool, swim up bar and water slide, as well as daily water activities.

There are an additional three public pools on site and some private accommodation offers its own plunge pools.

Movenpick Resort and Spa has six fantastic restaurants which serve amazing cuisine across a variety of International styles ranging from Thai to Brazilian.

We enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast each morning which included a large variety of international cuisine at Pacifica, which also offered a-la-carte Thai and western lunch and dinner.

OrientAsia serves the most scrumptious Thai food, as well as an array of other Asian fare. It was fresh and delicious, and the décor was tasteful and authentically Thai, creating a delicious local experience.

The hotel’s Mint restaurant offers a cool, fun, evening vibe with lots of yummy share plates, oven baked pizzas and refreshing cocktails, in an alfresco balmy setting opposite the beach.

My favourite dining option I experienced while in Phuket, was at El Gaucho Restaurant – Movenpick’s Brazilian restaurant, which offers churrasco – where we were able to choose from a succulent selection of grilled prime cuts, served straight from a skewer at our table. It was a fun and special experience, and the meat was cooked perfectly.

Another unique feature offered at Movenpick is the Chocolate Fondue experience at Café Studio. I have never encountered an experience like it. It was creative and extensive, including a large range of fruits and baked treats with melted chocolate and Movenpick’s own signature ice-cream. It has to be tried to be believed!

The Spa at the resort is very special. Aromatic oils, gentle music and comfortable furnishings create a soothing ambience and my Thai massage was exquisite!

The staff at Movenpick are delightful – warm, friendly and helpful. Staying at this resort was a wonderful experience for me and my children.

JW Marriott in Phuket is a fantastic choice for a family holiday, offering a magnitude of activities and dining experiences, all to a five-star standard.

 

JW Marriott in Phuket is set on Mai Khao Beach, which provides a fresh, ocean breeze throughout the grounds of the hotel, and is ideal for walking along its long stretch of sand.

 

The resort is exceptionally well-facilitated with six restaurants, a large gym, spa, three swimming pools and a huge array of activities on offer.

A highlight for my children and myself was a personalised cooking class offered by a top Thai chef at the hotel’s Ginja Cook Cooking School.

We made juicy, delicious, prawn cakes, a fresh and spicy chicken noodle salad and warm, rich duck red curry. It was fun and a feast, while learning some useful culinary skills.

We also visited the local fresh food markets with the chef, which was novel and educational, as we learnt about local ingredients and cooking techniques

The kids club hosts many activities; my children’s favourite included tie dying t-shirts and a pirate treasure hunt in which they followed a map around the hotel locating lollies.

The hotel offers a large range of accommodation styles, with classy and attractive furnishings and décor throughout.

We stayed in a Deluxe Terrace room, which is one of the smaller accommodation options on offer, and it was ample for me and two children. I slept in the King bed and they slept on a Queen size futon which was converted from a sofa children’s sitting area.

 

The range of health and wellness activities on offer was particularly impressive. My 11-year-old daughter and I did a singing bowl meditation class which was a good way to de-stress, bond and nurture ourselves.

JW Marriott Phuket has created some appealing Wellness Packages, some of which are tailored specifically for families.

The food at all the restaurants was excellent. My personal favourite was Ginja Taste, at which I enjoyed the best Thai food I’ve ever had, with the soft-shell crab the best dish. The menu and range of flavours offered at this restaurant was expansive.

The Kabuki Japanese restaurant was a total hit with the kids! It offered an entertaining Japanese Cuisine Theatre experience – complete with a chef doing a personalised Teppanyaki-style – live cooking show for us, which was humorous and animated. The food was fresh, delicious and plentiful.

 

A perfect blend of adventure and rejuvenation, Phuket is home to some of the best sun-kissed beaches, therapeutic spa centres, amusement parks, safaris and cable rides, making it the most sought-after family-friendly destination.

Blue lagoons, pink sunset hues and pristine white sands to orange-robed monks and revered temples, Phuket is adorned with majestic sites to behold. The northern part of this island city is known for its tranquil environs with attractions like Koh Phi Phi, Phang Nga Bay and Patong Beach, while plenty of sun-kissed beaches welcome you down south. And that is not all. Phuket’s terrain also encompasses verdant jungles and panoramic mountains and cliffs with mesmerising vistas.

The city’s tropical climate is usually suitable for year-round travel as it never gets too cold here. However, November to February is the best time to visit this bustling city when it remains cool and dry. It gets a bit hot after that until May. Monsoons are quite wet and if you can brave the rains, the months from May to October would be the best.

Insta-friendly attractions

• Get clicked with the mesmerizing marine life at Phuket Aquarium.
• Soak in the beauty of the colourful flora at Phuket Bird Park.
Phuket Trickeye Museum will give tourists enough selfie opportunities with its amazing interactive 3D paintings.
• A cultural extravaganza at Phuket Fantasea Show is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness when in Phuket.
Baan Teelanka is known not just for its maze but also for its quirky design, making it a trendy Insta destination.

And when you are here, indulge in some fun-filled water play if you are travelling with kids.

Explore Phuket’s best water parks

Located close to the international airport, the Splash Jungle Water Park lies within a private resort property on the pristine sands of Mai Khao Beach. Home to various exhilarating water slides, kids’ aquarium and other attractions, this water marvel is a must-visit place for kids and adults alike and is open for all.

One of Phuket’s largest children’s clubs, Rawai Park Kids Club is a perfect blend of wet and dry play areas. From pools and water slides to ball pits and carousel, the park is a complete family-friendly extravaganza.

And if families are accompanied with older kids, Surf House Phuket is the place to hang out. Every surfer’s dream, this attraction lies on the most-popular Kata beach. With several bars and restaurants nearby, this place is surely a hotspot.

Pumping up the water sports scene in Phuket, Anthem Wake Park boasts of a minimum of three-cable water skiing options. Nestled amidst verdurous vegetation on a 50,000sqm lake, this beautiful park is another great joint for folks travelling with older kids.

If your kids are still unsatisfied with a day-long splashing activity, Phuket will surprise them with another range of thrilling attractions to immerse in.

Get ready for some adrenaline rush

Patong Go-Kart Speedway is a dream destination for all motor racing enthusiasts. Situated at the doorstop of Patong hill, the attraction boasts of a 750 m-long race track with adventurous curves and extended finish lines. Housing trendy bars and restaurants, this place is also a great hangout zone for non-riders. Perfect for kids and grown-ups, the speedway has a variety of kart options with altered speed options.

The island offers another heart-pumping experience for globetrotters at Flying Hanuman Phuket, which is a great way to admire the wilderness of the surrounding environs here. Featuring platforms, sky bridges, spiral stairways, sky rail and a 20-minute nature walk, the attraction allows travellers to explore nature from close quarters.

Call it zorbing, hill rolling or globe riding, Rollerball is one such place to feel a rush of adrenaline inside you. Lying on a hilltop overlooking the Kalim Beach, the place enables visitors to roll down inside a big plastic ball.

Must-savour Thai dishes

• Tom Yam Goong
• Dim Sum
• Gaeng Keaw Wan Gai
• Khao Man Gai
• Por Pia
• Satay
• Pad Thai
• Som Tam
• Kuey Tiaow
• Massaman Curry

After several exhilarating sessions at these marvels, hunger will definitely drive you crazy. And when you are in a city like Phuket, authentic mouth-watering Thai food is available in literally every corner.

Relish scrumptious Thai cuisine

A melting pot of various cultures including Buddhists, Indian, Chinese and Muslims, Thai cuisine is a blend of several aromatic flavours.

Thai cuisine is not just food for the locals here; it is a celebration in itself. And that love gets reflected in its popularity worldwide. A Thai meal is a combination of four major seasonings – salt, sweet, sour, and spice – giving it its beautiful aroma which the world craves for. Be it the beaches, high-end restaurants or streets, the city’s every nook and corner is a great place to savour Thai food.

Family-friendly day tours from Phuket

• Enjoy a fun canoe ride while exploring the limestone caves around Phang Nga Bay.
• Get on board a speedboat to admire the serene environs of Phi Phi Islands.
• Partake in a snorkelling activity on a day trip to the majestic Racha and Coral islands.
• Embark on a boat ride to enjoy a fun-filled picnic to nearby Khai Nok and Khai Nui islands.

A relaxing sun lounger by the beach is the best place to unwind after a thrilling day. While the cool breeze serenades your face, children can have fun making sand castles.

Beach Calling

Phuket travel is incomplete without its pristine, sun-kissed beaches. Right from night clubs and bars for parents to fun activities, restaurants and shopping for kids, Phuket beaches have it all. While children enjoy some surfing at various surfing centres at the happening Kata Beach, parents can bask in the sun at sun loungers lined up there.

Another great family-friendly seafront is Kamala Beach, which not only offers therapeutic spas but is the host ground for the most iconic Phuket FantaSea Show.

And lastly, families can have a fun-filled picnic session at Karon Beach with activities like parasailing, volleyball and many more.

Children are a powerhouse of energy. A relaxing beach getaway is not their idea of a perfect vacation. Adventure and thrill is what attracts them. Parents, on the other hand, prefer a laid-back beach sojourn amidst serene environs. Bringing together the best of both worlds, the otherwise quaint island of Phuket offers myriad thrilling attractions, making it the perfect family holiday destination.

Picture Credit: Tourism Authority of Thailand

Meet the Western Australian mums making a career on social media.

In recent years we’ve seen the explosion of a brand new profession – social media influencing. Increasingly, new mums take to social media as a creative outlet while adjusting to motherhood, with some building up enough of a following to turn it into a career.

Marketers and brands know that in 2019 audiences are after authenticity, so they flock to these mum’s who are open and honest about their journey through motherhood – the good, the bad and the ‘insta-worthy’.

These influencer mums do a lot more than just post cute photos of their babies; they are content creators, authors, businesswomen and give advice on pregnancy, style, health and fitness. They have created a community of mums who can relate to their struggles and learn from their tips and sometimes just share in a laugh.

Here we’ve collected our favourite influencers to follow for your daily dose of motherhood, fashion and travel and lifestyle inspiration.

1. @ourmessynest

Emma Fletcher is local to Perth, Western Australia and has an interest in sharing local activities for adults and children. With a keen interest in local events, travel, cooking, beauty, animal conservation and supporting charity organisations, Our Messy Nest is a true lifestyle account.

Having recently started her own blog, you’ll find a mix of all these as well as personal pieces both on @ourmessynest and www.ourmessynest.com.au. Staying true to the motivation behind her social media presence, Emma’s five year old son Reed is a constant source of inspiration.

Sharing life as a mother, student, blogger and friend is central to the content shared on these platforms. Emma’s passion for photography has allowed her to connect with other parents to share the ups and downs of parenting, tips on travelling with kids as well as special milestones in her life.

2. @common_wild

Landscape Architect Paula Kuka, began drawing illustrations depicting her experience of motherhood while on maternity leave with her second child. What started as a personal project and an alternative to a traditional baby book, quickly gained popularity as other mums loved seeing their own personal experiences mirrored in these relatable, touching and hilarious cartoons.

Paula’s cartoons have resonated with parents, highlighting the fact that it’s not only the humorous parenting moments but also the intensely emotional and frustrating facets of parenthood that appear to be universal.  The main goal of the project has evolved over time as she realised the power the images could have in transforming someone’s challenging day.  Using humour, honesty, and vulnerability, the drawings let other mums know they aren’t alone. Paula hopes that the project continues to cheer up exhausted parents and provoke conversations about guilt and the pressure mothers feel.

Paula lives in Perth with her Journalist husband, 4-year-old son and 1-year old daughter and is currently working on publishing a book of her illustrations.

You can buy Paula’s illustrations at www.commonwild.com.au

Casey Lucas of Lucas Girls Love is a happy wife & mother of two young girls, currently saying yes to new adventures and living the little things!

With a career in fashion and styling spanning over 15 years, Casey enjoys the creative outlet of Instagram influencing, while she raises her beautiful daughters. Well known for their ‘twinning’ and Mummy & Me outfits, the Lucas Girls have worked with iconic fashion labels such a Auguste the Label, Infamous Swim, Unreal Fur and Lack of Colour to name a few.

 Casey feels that life can be crazy enough and not always sunshine and rainbows, so insists on keeping her Instagram positive and ‘light & fluffy’ so that her posts continue to put a smile on her followers faces.

4. @sugarplumtree_mama

Nicole is a 38 year old influencer blessed with 3 beautiful daughters. Currently her main occupation is juggling #mumlife and social media, however she also has a Bachelor of Science (Molecular Genetics) and worked as a Medical Scientist for 13 years.

When her eldest daughter was 6 months old Nicole opened a children’s clothing company, Sugar Plum Tree, which quickly became very popular. Fans went crazy for the bespoke applique pinafores Nicole designed and sewed herself. However after a stressful, yet rewarding 8 years, and the arrival of her 3rd little sugarplum, Nicole decided it was time to move on.

With a love and passion for all things creative, she found a new love in product styling and photography, and for the past two years has shared these passions online, where you can see snippets of her life as a Mum to three girls, find out about fun Perth events and things to do, follow their regular travels, and learn about some awesome new products they love and recommend.

You can follow Nicole on Instagram and read her blog.

5. @storiesofamum

Since starting in 2015 as a platform for sharing memories of her firstborn daughter Sophie, Stories of a Mum has blossomed into a social media brand built around beautiful photography, small business promotion and storytelling.

Stories of a Mum is an avenue in which to document the good, bad and downright testing days of motherhood as Laura shares her very open and raw journey as a Navy Wife and mother of two little girls. Laura uses her Instagram page to connect with other mothers while drinking wine and eating pizza in her Kmart leggings. If you love honest captions, photos of family home decor, Mum & kid fashion, local Perth child friendly cafes and travel then @Storiesofamum is the account for you.

6. @_emma.gibb

Emma Gibb is a Perth influencer with substance. Just like her insta profile portrays, Emma is a wife, mama and manifester. Happily married with two gorgeous boys, Emma wins more in a month than most people win in a lifetime.

We love Emma’s relatable, funny and down to Earth portrayal of motherhood. We also find her honesty around her mental health struggles inspiring; and love how passionate she is about urging women to get help.

Emma loves working in the Perth CBD as a Commercial Property Manager for a top tier agency but when the corporate work day is over and her boys are tucked lovingly in bed, Emma is getting in that side hustle on Insta.

Not only does Emma create content for top brands like Dyson or HelloFresh, she gives intuitive card readings as @thatgypsymum and promotes her successful online crystal store, thatgypsyshop.com

Image credit: @dealuna.photography

7. @house.of.cubs

Isabel is a Perth blogger and content creator.  She is a wife and mother of two boys, Christian, two, and Ethan 6 months.  Her husband, Steve, works FIFO. Isabel lived in Spain until her early teens.  She has a degree in commerce and a postgraduate degree in corporate governance and gave up her corporate job to have a family.  When Christian was 6 months old, she started her Instagram page for fun and in the process discovered her creative passion.  She has never looked back.

@house.of.cubs is a collection of photography and stories about their family life.  It showcases motherhood, the joys and challenges of raising a young family as well as curated interiors, fashion, products for mums and kids, and her family’s love of the beach, adventure and travelling.

Isabel has recently finished styling Christian’s big boy room.  A space where he can play, explore, learn and get lost in imagination! #kidsroominspiration.

Isabel’s family are soon on a 5 week adventure to Europe where she will continue to share the joys and craziness of motherhood whilst travelling with a young family.

We stayed at the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground which was ideal for our family. It was a short walk to Disneyland (the website said 8 minutes, but it was shorter for us) so we could walk to and from each day at our will. One day our 6-year-old son became overwhelmed with Disneyland, so he and I walked home late afternoon while his sister and dad stayed for the fireworks, and it was very safe and easy to do this, which I liked.

I chatted with other guests staying there who had much younger children and they particularly liked this hotel for its convenience, as they were able to visit Disneyland in the morning and return to the hotel for their children’s nap times, recharge, and then venture back out after lunch.

The hotel was very clean and modern. It seems most of the hotels in the Anaheim region are geared to families to accommodate the Disneyland market, as such I expected them to be well worn but this was not my experience of the Howard Johnson hotel.

The rooms were immaculate – clean, modern and well serviced – including a coffee machine, which I always appreciate.

We stayed in a double room which was spacious, including a family seating area, balcony and bathroom, with both a bath and shower (and fun kids bathroom accessories), which is useful with children.

This hotel is very popular, and family oriented with lovely grassy and treed outdoor areas, a large pool and a separate Pirate themed water playground, Castaway Cove.

The evenings were balmy and light until 8pm when we were there in July, so it was lovely to lay by the pool after a busy day at Disneyland.

There are many local dining options geared to the family market, including competitive pricing and “Kids eat free” options. There are also many delivery options for in-room dining, including tacos, Chinese, pizza, Italian, burgers and fries and more, which really suited us after a hectic day walking around Disneyland.

For more information visit www.hojoanaheim.com

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, NSW has it all. From the beautiful beaches to the Snowy Mountains NSW has it covered!

Snowy Mountains

source: images.destinationnsw.com.au

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

  • 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

Perisher

source: images.destinationnsw.com.au

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 3 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

source: images.destinationnsw.com.au

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

source: images.destinationnsw.com.au

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

Mogo Zoo

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

www.mogozoo.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.visitnsw.com

www.grandpacificdrive.com.au

Hunter Valley

source: image.destinationnsw.com.au

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 Put
  • Extreme Go Karting
  • Drayton’s Family Wines
  • McGuian Cellars
  • Gundog Hunter Cellar and Gourmet Pantry

Accommodation

  • Potters Hotel, Brewery and Resort
  • Hunter Valley Resort
  • Twin Trees Country Cottages

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/

www.familyhotelsguide.com

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 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

source: images.destinationnsw.com.au

For something a bit different why not stay the 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

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

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

  • Mantra Observatory Resort
  • Marina Holiday Park

For more information visit:

www.port-macquarie.net/

www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au

Getting there

The distance from Sydney is approximately 380km so no need to rush or you can fly if you prefer.

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

For more information visitwww.coffscoast.com.au

Getting there

By road the distance is approximately 540km from Sydney so allow enough time if not stopping on the way. From Port Macquarie it is roughly 150km and flying is another option .

Byron Bay

source: destinationnsw.com.au

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
  • 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 travelling to isolated areas.

For travel information visitwww.visitnsw.com/destinations/nsw/transport

Paradisus is a beautiful luxury beach resort with lush gardens and terraces, set on one of the few swimmable beaches in Los Cabos.
My six year old son still raves about Paradisus in Los Cabos, Mexico, claiming it’s his favourite holiday spot. He loved the indulgence of the all-inclusive resort hotel experience, whereby we could select anything from the menu, at any time.

The all-inclusive menu was massive – a choice of seven restaurants which offered all day dining – from pasta to prawn cocktails to lemon brulee at midnight by room service, all inclusive. I don’t think I could ever get tired of that novelty.

Sometimes we just wanted to chill out in our rooms and watch a movie, so the 24-hour room service was ideal. The bar in our rooms was also continually well stocked with complimentary snacks and drinks.

The pools were fabulous – a choice of four, three of which offered swim-up bars from which we could select any drink off the menu including mocktails for the kids or a margarita for me.

Paradisus is exceptionally well catered to families, offering a private Family Concierge Lounge to relax, read, use the internet or try out a variety of snacks and drinks.

The hotel also offers a personal concierge who can be contacted from anywhere in the hotel by a remote device.

For more information visit www.paradisusloscabosresort.com