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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

 

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.

The Hyatt Regency in Phuket is a stylish, beachfront resort in Kamala Beach.

Classy experience at the Hyatt Regency

“In fitting with the sleek, upmarket look and feel of the Hyatt Regency hotel, the accommodation was modern and stylish.”

The Hyatt Regency is a high-quality resort offering an exceptional standard of accommodation, food and service. The design is very modern and stylish, offering a luxurious experience. 

It is beachfront, offering expansive, uninterrupted ocean views from all vantage points throughout the premises.

The hotel is well situated for relaxation, in the peaceful setting of Kamala Beach, yet is close enough to Patong (10km) for those who want to take advantage of the popular shopping or nightlife on offer.

In fitting with the sleek, upmarket look and feel of the Hyatt Regency hotel throughout, the accommodation is also modern and stylish.

We stayed in a Two-bedroom Regency Suite, which is contemporary and very spacious. It includes a King Bedroom, a Twin bedroom, lounge/dining area, and huge balcony with outdoor dining/living space and ocean views. This is ideal for a family of four, with loads of space in its 97 square metre floor plan. 

A favourite part of our Hyatt Regency experience was access to the Regency Club, which offers complimentary breakfast, drinks and delectable cocktail hour, inclusive of a plentiful spread of delicious cocktail food and refreshing drinks.

The Regency Club also has an infinity pool, which was lovely to enjoy while watching the sunset with a glass of wine and appetizer.

And positioned close and handy to the Club is the hotel’s Kids Club, enabling parents quality adult time to enjoy the Regency Club or the nearby Sunset Grill restaurant, which offers fine BBQ grilled steak or fresh local seafood, in a romantic setting, also with full uninterrupted views of the ocean at sunset.

The pool area is huge, and complete with a bar setting and large restaurant very close by.

The buffet breakfast is of a high quality, offering a huge assortment of Western and Eastern fare, ranging from cakes and pastries to curries and dumplings.

https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/thailand/hyatt-regency-phuket-resort/phuhr/rooms

The Chava is a quiet, relaxing and intimate resort that is ideal for families wanting a safe, comfortable and friendly getaway in Phuket.

Luxury at The Chava Resort

“The accommodation was magnificent. We stayed in a 2-bedroom suite which was luxurious and huge!”

The Chava Resort is a gorgeous boutique hotel on Surin Beach, Phuket, which offers an intimate, friendly feel, making it very suitable for families.

I particularly noticed how warm and friendly the staff were. They provided a lovely, personalised experience.

The free-flowing pool was a great hub to hang out and relax with the family. The food was sensational, and dining was ambient, around the lush tropical pool setting.

The menu was not limited by the hotel’s relative size; the range of dishes on offer was extensive and a very high quality.

We sampled a range of delectable items from the restaurant, including a tasty seafood basket and the local, Thai signature dishes. It was all fresh and extremely flavoursome.

I enjoyed a fantastic Thai massage in the comfort of my bedroom, which was great as the kids watched TV while I could properly relax, since travelling on my own with the children restricts the opportunity to venture out of the hotel alone.   

The accommodation was magnificent. We stayed in a 2-bedroom suite which was luxurious and huge!

The suite took up a generous 160 square metres of floor space, which included two large bedrooms, two generous bathrooms, including a massive bath, a large flowing living, dining space and open plan self-contained kitchen.

Many families like to have chefs come into their room to prepare a meal for them in the comfort of their own living space which is a fun and novel idea, and the kitchen and living space cater well for this.

There were three TVs – one in each of the bedrooms and another in the lounge area.

The living space also offers a large balcony with an entertaining area which overlooks the pool.

https://thechavaresort.com/

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

Fancy some time away from the routine of daily life? Dreaming of some fun in the sun? 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 in Victoria.

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

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 over 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

http://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

If you thought the snow fields were just for winter, you’d be wrong!

 

Mt Hotham

  • Horse Riding
  • Bushwalking
  • White Water Rafting on the Mitta Mitta River
  • Mountain Biking
  • Visit the Onsen Retreat and Spa at Dinner Plain

 

Accommodation

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

 

For more information visit

www.mthotham.com.au

Falls Creek

  • Canoe on Rocky Valley Lake
  • Horse Riding
  • Ride the Trails
  • Segway Tours
  • Golf
  • Wineries
  • Gliding

 

Accommodation

The Alpha Ski Lodge is open all year round. Self-catering, economical accommodation. 

For more information visit

www.fallscreek.com.auRenault Snowclub (3-6yr)

Mt Buller

An easy three hour drive from Melbourne, Mt Buller offers a perfect summer escape.

Highlights include

  • Mountain Biking
  • Bush Walking
  • Horse Riding
  • Chairlift Rides
  • Four-wheel Driving

 

Accommodation

Arlberg Hotel – Has a kids stay free offer and a kids area with a pool table and x-box. It also has a kids ‘chill zone’ with bean bags, meals and movies

For more information visit

www.mtbuller.com.au

Mt Baw Baw

  • Mountain Biking
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Bush Walking

 

Accommodation

For something different, why not try ‘Glamping?’

For more information visit

www.mountbawbaw.com.au

https://mountbawbaw.com.au/glamping

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.visitgreatoceanrd.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

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

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

 

* Special Mention *

The Bellarine Railway is having a ‘Day Out With Thomas’ 19-20 January 2019!

For more information visit

www.thebellarinerailway.com.au

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

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 to choice! Houseboats, tourist parks, resorts, camping and more.

For more information visit

www.murrayriverhouseboats.com.au

www.visitthemurray.com.au

These simple gift ideas for Mother’s day will leave mum feeling absolutely adored!

CLEAN THE HOUSE
It might not be the most exciting gift, but mum would seriously appreciate a clean house! For her, seeing the sparkle after the house is clean is equivalent to a baby seeing candy. You can’t go wrong with a little Ajax and a vacuum.

SPA DAY
Treat mum to a day filled with Cucumber masks, pedicures and great company! No doubt she would also appreciate the quality time taken out of your day to spend with her chilling back having some R&R.

A WINE OR TWO
We all know Mothers’ deserve a glass of wine at the end of a hard working day or a day of hardly working! Take her on a private wine tour where she’ll indulge in the finest of wines, or buy mum some good quality wine and wrap it in a pink bow, voila!

GET CREATIVE
If you know mum’s an artsy chick or even a sentimentalist, she would love nothing more than care and thought put into her gift. Show her how much you love her with a handmade picture frame, a poem, or even home made scrubs!

FOOD, FAMILY & MORE FOOD
Get the family together and take Mum for a picnic, a high tea or even a casual BBQ in the backyard. What ever the location, as long as there is food and good company, mum will be overjoyed being surrounded by loved ones and of course, food!

CATCH UP
We all know life gets busy and I’m sure mum would love nothing more than to just spend time with you. Catching up over some coffee and cake is sometimes all mum wants. So take mum for a catch up sesh at her favourite café in town. She’ll love you for it.

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

Staying at Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island is an ideal place to holiday for families. Offspring Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Kate Durack shares her family’s experience at the resort.

On occasion, I’ve taken my kids on a holiday, with Instagram ideals in mind – tropical sunsets, cocktails, reading a magazine by a sparking pool, and feasting on delicious food I haven’t had to cook – but the reality has been far different – think stress and hassle.

Holidays with kids can sometimes be tiresome, especially when traveling with them alone, as I do. A five and a nine-year-old have lots of energy!

However, this is why I loved staying at Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island. I had a holiday too – it was self contained and very relaxing. And, being English speaking and less than a four-hour flight from Sydney made it easy to visit with children.

Radisson Blu Resort Fiji was voted 2017 Number 1 Fiji Resort for families on Trip Advisor.

Many water activities were offered at the beach and the pool. The kids and I really enjoyed the water aerobics and water volleyball sessions, as well as our own fitness session whereby we challenged the five-year-old to swim unassisted to the Swim Up Bar, where they indulged in a slushie, and me, a Pina Colada.

The pool was excellent – sandy and lots of variety, including interesting little streams, waterfalls and a water slide.

We stayed in a One-Bedroom Suite close to the beach, which was supremely comfortable, spacious and fully self-contained (handy as Fiji can be expensive).

The Blu Banana Kids Club was fantastic – the Fijian people are wonderful with children. The kids went rock climbing, built and raced boats and had sandcastle competitions.

The hotel has six restaurants and the food was fantastic. The buffet breakfasts and dinners were very good value and the kids didn’t want to leave the hotel to eat.

I was impressed by the Radisson Blu’s sponsorship program, where they support 14 schools with educational tools such as technology, books, stationary and sporting equipment.

The hotel offers weekly school tours of the schools, which was a highlight of our trip – a great educational experience and exercise in Appreciation.

We gave a full suitcase of new books to the school we visited which seemed to be valued. Their reading resources are minimal compared to what our schools and homes offer.

On the way back to the hotel, we alighted the bus in the district’s main area, Nadi, where we roamed around the markets, before catching a public bus back to the resort. This offered a great insight into perhaps a more authentic Fiji, which further enriched our holiday experience.

Radisson Blu Resort Fiji is a wonderful place to take young families.

CREATE FAMILY MEMORIES.

STAY. PLAY. RELAX.

Cockatoo Island was a wonderful find – a local adventure for my family.

Set in the middle of Sydney Harbour, Cockatoo Island is easy to visit with frequent ferries, yet feels removed from a city environment.

Cockatoo Island is a wonderful, easy getaway for families to experience glamping under the night’s sky. This is so much fun for kids!

Surprisingly, it was a relaxing and tranquil environment, as well as a unique experience in which we learnt about the Island’s rich heritage, having been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, for its important place in Australia’s colonial development involving aboriginal, convicts and World War II history.

There were fun things to do as a family, including tennis, giant chess and a fascinating audio tour of the Island’s heritage.

But, probably the best part for us was glamping! We hadn’t been camping before (mainly due to my lack of practical resources to make it happen!), so this option was so convenient and enjoyable.

We got cosy in a spacious and kit-out tent, which comprised two separate bedrooms, a family room and and a small outdoor deck. Waterfront.

The beds were comfortable and everything had been thought of including an esky, lamp, snug, holiday chairs and tables.

There is also a cinema experience and opportunity to toast marshmallows by a campfire in traditional camping style.

While this was all great fun, I really relished the stay in their 1916-colonial style apartments. These were so romantic, maintained in sync with the colonial style, yet offered all the conveniences I have become used to – heating and fans, a modern kitchen, TV, lovely BBQ, deck and patio area and loads of space!

Cockatoo Island frequently offers events and exhibitions. For more information visit www.cockatooisland.gov.au/events