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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

 

 

 

Stepping off a boat onto Malolo Island, greeted by local staff adorning us with shell necklaces and a Welcome acoustic harmony, set the tone for a fulfilling, relaxing and authentically Fijian island holiday.

Malolo Island is a dream.
It is isolated from the hubbub, noise and energy of daily living, and is an ideal destination for families wanting to spend time together, relax and enjoy a little indulgence.

I visited Malolo recently with my nine-year-old daughter and six-year-old son. While many single parents feel daunted by a trip overseas with young children, we experienced peace, tranquillity and an opening of our senses.

Malolo is a tropical paradise. Unspoilt and sublime – native rainforest and sapphire, pristine waters.

The resort offered many activities to keep the kids entertained; their Kids Club was unlike others; Daily educational programs were run by a highly trained and experienced educator. We could opt for the morning, afternoon and/or evening sets that were engaging and hands-on. It wasn’t just a babysitting club.

Children’s activities included an excursion in a glass-bottom boat to identify fish and coral; fossicking for shells to make bracelets, and finding flowers in the native bush to make a lei.

The accommodation was exceptional – deluxe beach cottages, each with ocean views, hammocks, comfortable beds and furnishings, and all the trimming of a Five Star hotel – meticulous – without the crowds or frenzy.

There is no WiFi, TV or any electrical devices in the chalets, but it is available in the communal areas. After an initial “horror” moment, we quickly melded into this way of life. We really had space and time to just Be, Together.

There is also an adults-only area, which offers movies, books, and a quiet comfort area, as well as a child-free pool.

I also enjoyed a wonderful massage at Leilani’s Spa.

We feasted on fresh local fruit and seafood, as well as the usual western fare, but in gourmet style – even the burgers and chips were delicious! The menu was spot-on – healthy buffet for the children or ala carte and romantic dining options for the adults.

A highlight of our stay was a personal boat trip to the infamous island which was the setting for Tom Hanks’ blockbuster movie, Castaway.

We snorkelled off the boat into the warm, clear waters – no need for wetsuits or towels – admiring the vibrant colours of the colourful fish and intricate, vivid
coral, and crawled onto the shores of this unspoilt island.

It was a unique experience.

Our guide took us on a tour, climbing a coconut palm and shared the flavours of the different coconut types.

When we’d finished frolicking about on the powder white sand, we donned our fins and swam back to the boat to enjoy a tasty breakfast made just for us – juicy, local fruits, Danish pastries, fresh juice and coffee.

Another high point was an island tour with a local Fijian man who explained the healing properties of the native plants: and learnt how the Noni can help cure mouth and gum infections, TB, sprain, rheumatism and stomach ulcers and hypertension, headaches, fever, and malaria; the Beach Mahogany can treat cuts, burns, sunburn, insect bites, scabies, and eye problems.

Malolo Island was really a very special place to stay as a family and somewhere I’d like to revisit soon.

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. **