Like most things in 2020, school holidays have been somewhat, uneventful. But when it comes to the spring school holidays, (Monday, September 28 to Friday, October 9) Byron Bay in northern NSW, is the perfect family destination. It doesn’t require you to cross the border to get that warm beach vacation you’ve been craving. Just pack your mask and hand sanitiser, as Byron Bay is jammed packed with activities for yourself and the kids.
1. Learn to surf easy waves –
Byron Bay is renowned for its beautiful beaches. The Main Beach, The Pass, and Wategos’s Beach are just a handful of Byron’s best. Their clean waves and breaks make them the perfect place for beginners to learn how to surf. Floating around the Main Beach, you’re bound to pass a surfboard hire station where you can grab a thoroughly sanitised board and wetsuit. If you’re a little cautious about hiring and sharing, it’s best to bring your own.
2. Farm Kids at The Farm –
From pigs to native bees, miniature cows, and planting seeds, The Farm kids workshops are a must-do. The Farm runs a variety of exciting programs aimed at teaching kids about topics such as: where food comes from, pollination, organic and ethical farming and there’s also plenty of opportunities to get up close and cuddly with the animals. There special School Holiday programs will return this spring and adhere to all COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. While the kids are in a workshop, it gives you and your partner the opportunity to take in the serenity and grab some morning tea.
3. Cape Byron Walking Track –
Pack your camera and water bottle and head up The Cape Byron Walking Track to the picturesque lighthouse. It is best to go in the morning before it gets too warm and be mindful, the track is not considered stroller friendly in some areas. However, you can access the track at numerous points along the boardwalk that are flat, and it is also possible to drive to the top. From the lighthouse, you may see dolphins, sharks, turtles, and luckily, it is also whale season, (June-Oct.)
4. Crystal Castle in the Byron Hinterlands –
The magical sanctuary brings your fairy-tale fantasies to life. They have a quest for the kids to follow that takes them through the gardens, crystals, and statues. Explore the ancient amethyst cave and the rare, Shambhala rainforest. There is also a giant, COVID safe, purple playground. It is a fascinating and alternative place to spend your day and leaves you feeling calm and happy.
5. Horse Riding at Pegasus Park –
Beginners, nervous adults, and children are Pegasus Park’s specialty, as they cater for all standards of riders. You can find the horse riding center nestled in the tranquil hills of Bangalow, just a 15-minute drive from Byron Bay. They offer beach and trail rides so, saddle up and take the family on an outing to remember.
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!
The Snowy Mountains have long been a favourite for snow enthusiasts and is perfect for summer and winter.
Water sports – kayaking, canoeing, sailing, boating, fishing, swimming
Kosciusko National Park
Cross Country Ski Week for all levels (normally early August)
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.
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.
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.
The South Coast sure is home to spectacular scenery and exciting activities.
Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk
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.
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.
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!
Hunter Valley Gardens Aqua Golf & Putt Put
Extreme Go Karting
Drayton’s Family Wines
Gundog Hunter Cellar and Gourmet Pantry
Potters Hotel, Brewery and Resort
Hunter Valley Resort
Twin Trees Country Cottages
The tourist route T33 is a lovely drive. Another option is taking the train.
Port Macquarie is still close enough to Sydney for a quick trip, or you could make this a stopover on your way up north.
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.
I stayed with my family at the Mantra Quayside Apartments and found the location good and apartment to be a reasonable size.