Holidays For Active Kids – Club Med Bali Review

Day Beds by the Pool – heaven!

Holidays For Active Kids – When The Parents Are In Need Of A Lie Down

I’m sure I’m not the only mother who feels she needs to lie down and have a little rest.

Excuse me whilst I fall around laughing!

Who amongst us doesn’t need, and deserve, a little break? A real holiday even?

All too often on holidays, I haven’t had much of a break at all. It’s because I took the children with me. What an error!

No seriously, I have very active children, super super active in fact. The two teenage boys have slowed down a bit, but the twin terrors are still up and at it at a cracking pace from dawn until dusk.

We’ve had some real  holiday horrors, in the past. But I think we’ve cracked it. My hubby and I had a taste of relaxation in Fiji last year, when we went to a very family-friendly resort called “The Outrigger.’

Beach and Bar Area

Then recently, I reached family holiday nirvana in Bali… and there was no meditation or chanting involved.

Myself and the twins went to stay at Club Med Bali. The sheer range of kids’ activities, plus the quality of the staff meant that even my turbo-charged twosome were kept joyfully occupied.

And I could chill out by the pool. With a book. And a coffee or even a cocktail or mocktail. It was bliss.  And I’m telling you, I totally deserved it.

So what were the kids up to whilst I was lounging around?

Well, for the first time ever they were actually demanding to go to kids’ club.  The twins are six and they went along to Mini Club which caters for kids aged four – ten years.

Younger children can have nannies up to the age of two, or go to Petit Club when they are between two – four years. These care options are not covered in the Club Med all-inclusive costs however.

Trapeze was great for kids and adults

There’s also Junior Club Med for offspring aged 11 – 18 years.

Mini Club Med is also open for two sessions 9am – 5.30pm and 7pm – 9pm.

Our previous kids clubs had always had a lunchtime break and it felt hard to get anything done in the morning or afternoon short blocks.

At Club Med Bali it felt good to know that the kids were busy and engaged all day. A rare sense of freedom!

Here’s a list of the sorts of things the twins got up to: archery, circus, pool games, yoga, pirate arts and crafts, show time, fun with nature, beach exploration, art and crafts, baking, games and races.

No wonder they were happy to stay at the kids club for most of the day for three of the four days we were there.  Astounding!

Cooking Activities

I think part of the reason they loved it so much was because of the energy and dedication of the staff.  The people who care for the kids are known in Club Med speak as GOs which stands for gentiles organisateurs.  There is a very high staff/kids ratio and the exuberance of the GOs is infectious.

Actually I didn’t spend ALL my time by the pool. It was a semi-work trip for me so I took loads of photos, also did some swimming at the beach, joined the kids for some death-defying leaps on the flying trapeze, played in the pool and checked out the facilities.

If my older boys and hubby had come along they’d have spent lots of time on the golf course and tennis courts.

I also fearlessly investigated the spa there, enjoying a very relaxing pedicure. Well, one must.

A long walk along the seashore was great too, going through many other resorts that line the beaches of Nusa Dua.

For myself and my husband, who used to be quite lively, holidays with a bit of lying down time are more than welcome, they’re essential.

These kids have knocked the stuffing out of us over the past 16 years.  I’m not saying we will lounge about all the time, we won’t.  But we love not to have to keep up with those crazy kids ALL the time!

Seana’s first book was ‘Sydney For Under Fives’ now in its third edition. Seana blogs at: Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel.Her latest book is ‘Sydney’s Best Beaches For Kids.’ Seana loves sharing her knowledge of family travel and Sydney’s best places for families. Drop in anytime!

Archery
Kids Steps


Kids Pool

Taking family time out in Newcastle and still educating the kids

As far as successful family holidays go, the beautiful beachside town of Newcastle has to be one of Australia’s best kept secrets.  Easy to get to and situated close to both Lake Macquarie the Hunter Valley, and only a few hours from Sydney, this tranquil city is surrounded by natural beauty, world class beaches and packed with things to do including museums, dining, shopping and sight-seeing.

Better still, being Australia’s second oldest city, Newcastle is steeped in colonial history with plenty of attractions to educate and entertain the kids while you are away!

Fort Scratchley

•    Start with Fort Scratchley Historic Site, an imposing structure standing guard over Hunter River Estuary; it affords stunning views of the city and coastline.  Built over 200 years ago to guard the coastline from attack, kids can learn about Australia’s colourful military past on a fully guided tour of the site and underground tunnels.
•   Then head to the Convict Lumberyard, a historically significant site for convict workers and industry.  The site also contains archaeological evidence of indigenous life prior to 1804.
•    Get back to nature at the Hunter Wetlands Centre, a sanctuary for over 200 species of wildlife with activities including trail walking, canoeing, feed talks and a children’s discovery playground, there is plenty of fresh air and space for the kids to run around.
•    In the heart of town you will find a heritage listed police station converted into a museum and art space at the Lock-Up Cultural Centre.  The kids will love visiting cells occupied by some of Australia’s most notorious bank robbers.  With tours starting at $3 per head, it’s a steal.

Blackbutt Reserve

•    Also check out Newcastle Museum.  They have activities and exhibits targeted directly at children, including under-5s.  Check online for the latest events.

•    Pack lunch and head a short 6km out of town to Blackbutt Reserve to relax and unwind.  This vast nature reserve contains walking trails, picnic areas and open spaces.  Perfect for spotting animals.  Kids can also learn about local wildlife and ecosystems at the excellent Blackbutt wildlife exhibit.

Newcastle Ocean Baths

•    For something fun and when it’s time to stretch the legs, take a stroll up to Newcastle’s famous lighthouse to enjoy some spectacular views.  If it’s warm, bring your bathers for family fun at historic Newcastle Ocean Baths and Merewether Baths.  They are open all year round!

To really make your time in Newcastle easy and enjoyable, find centrally located accommodation.  There is plenty of accommodation that will suit your family and budget and the Newcastle Crowne Plaza is a good place to start if you are travelling with kids.  From here you can easily access all of Newcastle’s most interesting activities.  You can also take advantage of the free (yes, free!) inner city bus service to avoid the stress of bundling kids into a car every day.

Newcastle is definitely a surprising holiday destination for keeping the kids busy and entertained, while having some fun and learning.  Newcastle shares all of Sydney’s natural beauty, beaches and historical sites, but at one-tenth the size, it is easier to get around, more relaxing and cheaper – making it the perfect place to spend time with family.  It’s hard to believe that it is still a secret from anyone!  With so many interesting activities to stimulate the senses and blow off some steam – the whole family will be sure to enjoy a memorable holiday.

Carla C. Burton is a self-employed Travel and Hospitality writer with a BBA in Business Administration from Bond University.  Although a Gold Coast native, Carla moved to Melbourne in 2008 to further her writing career in the Travel industry.  Carla has become a top contributor to many Travel blogs world-wide and thoroughly enjoys the freedom that self-employment has provided her.  To find out more about Carla or to follow her other posts, follow her on Twitter @CarlaCBurton.

Top 5 Day and Weekend Trips from Sydney for Kids

Cheerful, cosmopolitan Sydney is a family-friendly town, with plenty to do for all ages. With popular attractions including the Sydney Aquarium, Luna Park, and Powerhouse Museum, there’s something to suit all ages and interests even on a rainy day.

Theoretically, you should never hear the dreaded words “I’m bored” come out of your child’s mouth. But as we all know, kids love to say this. Even with all that Sydney has to offer, sometimes a change of scenery can be just the ticket. Fortunately, you don’t have to go too far outside of the city to find some exciting and kid-friendly destinations. Beaches, wildlife parks, and historic train tours will be sure to keep boredom at bay!

1. Newcastle
Located a two-hour drive up the coast from Sydney, Newcastle is another family-oriented town with plenty of attractions. Go canoeing at the Wetland Centre or enjoy a picnic in one of the city’s numerous parks. The famous ocean baths have designated swimming areas for children, making them a safe place to splash about and enjoy the sunshine.

Loads of animals to see

2. Taronga Western Plains Zoo
The Taronga Zoo is one of Sydney’s star attractions, but the Taronga Western Plains Zoo too is a fantastic place to visit located 5-6 hours drive from Sydney near the town of Dubbo. The family can easily while away a day here getting up close with the native Australian and exotic animals alike. You can spot elephants, antelope, and other wild creatures as they roam and graze around this spacious wildlife park.

3. Wellington Caves
It will take you 4-5 hours to get out to Wellington Caves, so you’ll want to be sure that you leave early and pack plenty of snacks and distractions. (The Caves are fairly close to Dubbo Zoo so you could combine them with a trip here)

Once you get to the caves, kids will love spotting 800,000 year old fossils and going exploring in the massive Cathedral Cave.

Blue Mountains Trolley Tours

4. Blue Mountains Trolley Tour
There’s plenty to see and do in the Blue Mountains, with their fragrant eucalyptus and hiking trails. If you’re traveling with the kids, a fun way to get around is on the Trolley Tour. This allows you to hop on and off to see attractions of interest, from the Everglades Gardens to Gordon Falls. Be sure to hop off in Leura, which is home to a Toy and Railway Museum as well as the famous Candy Store. The Leura Candy Store is more than your average sweet shop, stocking sweeties from around the world.

5. Kiama Blowhole
Give the classic beach day a twist by taking the family to Kiama, a charming coastal town only 120 km to the south of Sydney. Although you’ll find plenty of expansive sunny beaches to let the kids run around on, the highlight here is the impressive Kiama Blowhole. Known as the largest blowhole in the world, the impressive sight of compressed waves churning up into the air through an underground hole provides natural entertainment for all ages. Grab an ice cream and watch this natural display before going for a swim.

The next time you need a change of pace, hop in and enjoy a day or weekend away from the usual Sydney sights!

A Trip to NSW’s Snowy Mountains Might Be Just the Thing for the Kids this Winter

A trip to NSW’s Snowy Mountains might be just the thing for the kids this winter.  Here are five things we think they will love about the Snowies:

Racing downhill really fast

By which we mean, of course, they’ll have a wealth of cool snow-related sports activities to choose from. If they’re a little too young to ski – and if you’re not keen on seeing them speeding down the slopes on a snowboard (just yet) – there’s always the option of tobogganing or tubing.  Perisher’s “Tubetown”, for example, offers a safe, well-organised environment for families to enjoy some fun in the snow.

Of the four main Snowy Mountains Winter Resorts, however, the Selwyn Snowfields actively caters for families. It offers gentler slopes, family-friendly holiday packages, and a Snow Sports School which caters for children as young as 18 months. It’s also the perfect place to start skiing if you’re a parent who’s just as new to it as your kids!

Trekking

If you’re looking for some quality family time away from the hectic pace of the Ski-Resorts, trekking in specially-made “snow-shoes” is a great alternative. They’ll get some fresh air and fitness while discovering the beauty of the snowy wilderness.

You’ll find a variety of guided snow-shoeing family adventures out there and – unlike skiing – they don’t require any previous skill or experience.  And, of course, like most snow-related activities it’s a terrific way to wear them out really quickly!

Getting warm

Spent a big tiring day on the slopes? Well, the Snowy Mountains offers plenty of accommodation to rest weary legs. And there’s nothing better than coming in from the cold and kicking back in front of an open log fire or enjoying a hearty meal.

If the big resorts don’t take your fancy then you might choose to rent out a self-contained holiday house, cottage or cabin for an unforgettable family holiday experience. Your options are easily accessed on-line – those looking for accommodation with access to the Selwyn Snowfields, for example, should visit the Snowy Mountains Holiday Centre.

Learning

Okay, in theory “education” is probably not the way to get the kids excited about their holiday – but in practice there’s plenty of scope for fun in the Snowies where they’ll be able to learn stuff.

Aside from gaining confidence and skills on the snow-fields through the various ski-schools on offer, you will also be able to check out one of the great engineering marvels of the world – the Snowy Hydro-Electric Scheme. They’ll find the scale of it (seven power stations, two of which are underground, 16 major dams and over 140 kilometres of trans-mountain tunnels) really cool – and the stories behind this incredible exercise in national building very inspiring. Check out the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre in Cooma for a state-of-the-art learning experience.

Adventure

You can promise them ADVENTURE to be had in the Snowies – and plenty of it.  Of course, strapping on the skis for the first time and taking off down the slopes is an obvious way to get the ol’ adrenaline charged, but there’s an ample amount of other cool stuff on offer. From riding horses to riding segways, cross-country skiing through a pristine snowy world, or just taking off on a chairlift up the side of a mountain – there are loads of mind-blowingly new experiences to give them. Or, if they prefer, they can just play in the snow!

Head over to VisitNSW.com for more great tips on the Snowy Mountains including great tips on what to do and where to stay in Thredbo and Perisher.

5 Things Your Kids Would Love to do in Queensland

There is no doubt that taking the children on holidays is a special time for families.  It is a real joy for parents to be able to help create fun holiday memories for their children which will last them a lifetime.  Queensland offers a wealth of experiences for holiday makers travelling with children.  Whether you prefer the dusty outback, ancient rainforests or world class beaches, Queensland is packed with new and interesting ways to entertain and delight the kids.  And best of all, these activities are fun for adults too! Take a look at these top 5 picks for your next holiday ideas:

Dinosaur trail, Winton

Travel back through time to the Lark Quarry dinosaur track-ways, near Winton in Central Western Queensland.  The quarry has preserved 3,300 footprints of dinosaurs running to escape an attacking predator.  It is the only known record of a dinosaur stampede, and gave Steven Spielberg the inspiration for his the Jurassic Park movies!  Viewing the site is by guided tour at Dinosaur Trackways.

Helicopter ride, Great Barrier Reef

Flying out of Cairns in a helicopter toward the world famous Great Barrier Reef, the whole family will enjoy the stunning blue vistas, spotting marine life and marvel at the unique coral formations.  Touchdown on a beach for an afternoon swim in the warm clear waters and a picnic lunch on the sand.  And as if that is not enough, just wearing headphones and talking to the pilot through a radio microphone will be incredibly fun for the kids.  Talk to Great Barrier Reef Helicopters  to plan your perfect family outing.

Australia Zoo

Situated in the Sunshine Coast hinterland is the iconic Australia Zoohome of Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin.  Come and see Australian wildlife in truly remarkable surroundings near the Glasshouse Mountains.  Take in a show, feed the animals and learn about wildlife and conservation.   With everything from bluetongue lizards through to the humble elephant, it’s all about the animals.

Whale watching, Fraser Coast

From late July to November each year, pods of mighty whales make their annual migration north from Antarctic waters.  Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast is the whale watching capital of the world.  Seeing these gentle giants breach the waves is an unforgettable experience for children and adults alike.  Check out Spirit of Hervey Bay for information about a half day or full day trips.

Theme Park, Gold Coast

No school holiday in Queensland would be complete without a trip to one of the legendary theme parks on the beautiful Gold Coast.  If you only have time for one, take the kids to Movie World.  There is action, adventure, rides and thrills suitable for even the most faint-hearted movie fan. Imagine your kids getting their photos taken with Batman or Scooby-Doo – something they will never forget!  There is plenty of main street entertainment too, with live parades and shows throughout the day.  For show times visit: http://movieworld.com.au/

It’s great to take a break from family routine and enjoy new holiday activities together.  Whether your kids are toddlers, teenagers or anywhere in between, Queensland is the ideal tourist destination and offers something for every family’s taste and budget.  With so much to see and do, make sure you allow plenty of time for to explore and make the most out of your time in Queensland.

Lara Preston is a keen traveler and mother of 2 tiny humans. After spending many years traveling the globe and her own backyard in Australia, she has settled down in Victoria with her husband and 2 children. Feeling homesick for adventure, she decided to concentrate her efforts on sharing her travel tips with other families brave enough to travel with little ones.

Canberra’s best educational travel destinations for Kids

As the Australian capital city and home to the Australian Government, Canberra has many national attractions as well as local exhibitions and activities to suit people of all ages. This year Canberra is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so there are added special events and exhibitions for this occasion too. There is plenty of accommodation in Canberra for all budget levels, varying from five star and heritage-listed hotels to serviced apartments and camping options; many offer special packages and deals for short breaks for families throughout the year. Plus there’s no shortage of child-friendly dining.

The city itself is spacious and easy to get around. It is one of the few ‘planned cities’ in the world, and bush and parkland feature heavily – so much so it’s often referred to as ‘the city in the park’. There are lots of walking trails and cycle paths around the city and lake, but if you’re after something a little less energetic, and want to learn something about Australian culture and heritage, take a look at some of these attractions:

Royal Australian Mint Ever been floored when your child asked you how coins were made and who or what was on an Australian coin? A visit to the Royal Australian Mint will answer just about every question there is! You can see coins being made in a production factory and kids will love minting their own $1 coin. As well as housing a collection of national coins, (the Australian Mint keeps two of everything it makes) there are also exhibits of rare and historically significant coins. Kids and adults alike will also enjoy the exhibit of rare mistakes – next time you find an odd coin in your pocket, it might be worth checking to see if it’s worth a few thousand dollars!

New Parliament House Home to the Australian Government, a visit to Canberra isn’t complete unless you visit New Parliament House. Here you can actually see democracy in progress by viewing proceedings from the public galleries of both the House of Representatives and the Senate whenever the Houses are in session.

The building itself is an impressive sight, and once inside (you will need to enter via a security screen) you can either walk through the public areas on your own or take a guided tour and view historic documents such as the Magna Carta. Also of interest is The Parliament House Art Collection which consists of several thousand art and craft works, including one of the world’s largest tapestries hanging in the Great Hall.

National Museum of Australia The galleries at the National Museum of Australia have a lot to offer to keep the kids entertained as well as teaching them about Australia’s social history. Kids will love learning about some of Australia’s unique animals as well as seeing the Wiggles t-shirts and the Playschool flower clock. They can even audition as a volunteer announcer at the Goolarri interactive radio recording studio.

Throughout the holidays, the museum has special children-orientated programs where they can have fun participating in, themed art, craft and other activities.

National Capital Exhibition This exhibition is a fascinating insight behind Canberra’s development. It explains just about everything and everybody who contributed to it: the people, events, history and design.

There’s a scale model with the Canberra Sound and Light show and you can also learn about the Indigenous people of the Canberra area.

Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) What child wouldn’t get inspired when they see where Australia’s sporting champions live and train? A visit to the AIS will give your children some insight into how hard Australia’s top athletes train to be the best. The behind-the-scenes tour is guided by an elite athlete, so there’s plenty of opportunity to ask questions and to learn what it’s like to being at the top.

The tour takes you through the world-class sporting precinct, and you may see some of Australia’s top athletes in training. There is also Sportex, an interactive sports experience, where you can give a whole range of sports a go, including rock climbing, football penalty shoot-outs, and winter sports.

Carla C. Burton is a self-employed Travel and Hospitality writer with a BBA in Business Administration from Bond University.  Although a Gold Coast native, Carla moved to Melbourne in 2008 to further her writing career in the Travel industry.  Carla has become a top contributor to many Travel blogs world-wide and thoroughly enjoys the freedom that self-employment has provided her.  To find out more about Carla or to follow her other posts, follow her on Twitter @CarlaCBurton.

 

Family Friendly Holiday in Mollymook

Have you ever been to Mollymook Beach? This is easily the coastal paradise of the South Coast of New South Wales. Mollymook is not only an ideal spot for a relaxing holiday but an amazing family friendly beachside suburb to holiday with your kids. Then if you are seeking more adventure and activities, Mollymook offers you fun times all year round.

Mollymook is just three hour drive south of Sydney and circa one and a half hours from Canberra. Whether you want to holiday during a weekend or wanting to stay for a longer stay, there are plenty of Mollymook accommodation to fit any budget. For those of you who want to explore the area, the adjoining suburbs are equally beautiful. The adjoining suburb Narrawallee also offer a beautiful beach, Milton offers quaint boutiques, antique shops and many inviting outdoor cafes and restaurants. We always felt Milton resonates the ambience of a small English village. Drive further south and you reach Ulladulla which offers a picture perfect harbour. We have wandered around browsing through the gift shops and enjoyed the fresh seafood served adjacent to the harbour.

On school holidays and most public holidays the Mollymook Surf Club lifesavers will watch you when you take a dip. When our kids were young they have spend hours in the water with their boogie boards. We spent many enjoyable walks up and down the golden sandy beach and watched the older children surfing while a few fishing enthusiasts throw a line expecting a lucky catch. There are plenty of fish in Mollymook bay and very often you see amateurs fishing from the beach as well as from the rocks along the water’s edge.

We have enjoyed “fish & chips” served in the seaside cafes and very often sat on the beach relaxed and enjoyed the breathtaking views of Mollymook beach. After a bite we have taken a stroll to the southern end of Mollymook beach which offers a natural pool surrounded by a protective rock formation. This tidal pool famously known as the “Bogey Hole” is filled with shallow waters an ideal spot for young families. We as parents have taken a picnic hamper along and read a book while the kids splash around in this safe, natural pool.

Mollymook is a paradise not only for beach lovers. It is the home of two famous public Golf courses. The Hill Top Golf Club offers a 18 hole champion golf course amidst a scenic background whilst the seaside golf course along Mollymook Beach is a nine hole course patronised by amateurs, teenagers and professionals seeking a relaxed round of golf.  Apart from the enjoyable game of golf the view along the course is just breathtaking.

It is worth a mentioning the nine hole golf club also offers a bistro style restaurant open from breakfast to dinner. It is family friendly and we have enjoyed many meals with the family when not in a mood to cook a meal when on holiday.

The grassy reserve adjacent to the beach is an ideal place if you want to have a picnic, read the papers or just relax gazing out over the beach and ocean. There are picnic tables and barbeque facilities in this area.  If you are holidaying with “tiny tots”, there is a playground  with play equipment adjacent to the Mollymook Surf Lifesaving Clubhouse.

If you are an experienced diver, the northern end of Mollymook beach off Bannister Head is a favourite diving spot. During summer our children have signed up for beginner surf lessons which they thoroughly enjoyed.

Mollymook Bay is home to a pod of bottlenose dolphins. On many occasions we have enjoyed watching these dolphins play in the waters of Mollymook Beach to catch a wave amongst the swimmers and surfers. Whales are often spotted during migration seasons as they make their way up north along the east coast.

Beautiful Mollymook Beach is a must visit coastal paradise. Whether you are looking for relaxation, wanting to surf, kayak, play a round of golf, have some fresh fish and chips in one of the waterfront cafes or stroll around the adjoining suburbs like Milton, Ulladulla, Burrill Lake and Tabourie Lake and enjoy the nature and the scenic beauty, a holiday in Mollymook area will offer you all these and more.  If planning to visit Mollymook and looking for Mollymook accommodation, we invite you to consider staying in Breeze In Mollymook which is a popular holiday rental.

3 Incredible Family Friendly Destinations in WA You’ve Probably Never Been

Sadly this list isn’t even that difficult to create as so many people living in Australia have never been over to the far West of this beautiful country. It’s such a shame as the scenery over there on that Indian Ocean will take your breath away. Almost every overseas traveller I’ve ever met that has been to WA as part of their Australia trip rates WA as their favourite part of AUS so that’s really saying something. So once you get yourself out of Perth and Freemantle why don’t you check out these few places.

Exmouth

Whale Shark Image courtesy of Flickr member NeilsPhotography

 Lovely little Exmouth is situated between a marine park and a national park. Not bad. Not bad at all. Mother Nature has left you quite spoiled for choice in this divine little part of the world. The marine park is at the northern end of Ningaloo Reef where at certain times of year you can actually swim with whale sharks! Yikes! There are tour operators who welcome kids on these trips and have their boats set up especially to accommodate them so they can see the whale sharks too. Imagine how exhilarating it would be as a tiny kid to see a living thing up to 12m long?!  Incredible and not an experience you are likely ever to forget. If you are snorkelling you will also see dugongs, turtles and manta rays. It’s a real treat in this part of the world! There are a bunch of other fun beachy and wildlife related things for the kids to experience in the area so go and check it out.

Esperance

Ah Esperance. The name alone conjures up feelings of tranquillity. Once upon a time no one had even heard of this place. You can’t really say as much now but given that it’s a good 700kms Southeast of Perth I’m going to tip that you probably haven’t been there. It is a lovely coastal village with what is commonly known as one of the whitest beaches around located at Lucky Bay. If you are lucky you will also see the kangaroos sunning themselves on the beach. It is a sight to behold! The whole area is very family friendly. If you are sick of the beach and swimming you can take the kids for a day trip to Cape le Grand National Park. If you’d rather stick closer to town then visit the The Bird and Animal Park, Adventureland Park or Amberland (water slides – yay!).

Broome

Sunset at Broome Image by Flickr Member Eulinky

Sunset at Broome Image by Flickr Member Eulinky

Did you know that Broome hosts the world’s largest population of wild camels? I bet you thought it was Egypt. So did I! So we were both wrong. You probably don’t want to go racing up to the wild ones but the kids will love a camel ride (on tame ones of course) along Cable Beach at sunset.  Anyone who has been to Broome will tell you that the sunsets are among the most magical in the world. Broome has long been a well known resort town but given its proximity to, well, nothing, not many people manage to get there which is such a shame as it is absolutely beautiful. The region has some great options for kids including a water park, a wilderness park and really fossilized dinosaur footprints! It’s enough to make a kid’s heart skip a beat!

Kristy is a freelance travel writer for HotelClub Sydney and mum of three energetic kids who love exploring new destinations. Her favourite experience in Western Australia was swimming with the enormous whale sharks off the coast of Exmouth.

 

Best Educational Destinations for kids around Adelaide

Family orientated educational treats are waiting to be discovered in Adelaide

Visitors to Australia often leave Adelaide off their itinerary but there’s far more to the capital of South Australia than most people realise. The compact city is ideal for a family holiday with many of the attractions within walking distance of each other and the city and surrounds are packed with fun and educational attractions. If you’re after attractions which give kids an insight into Australian heritage and history, as well as lots of recreational activities, Adelaide has plenty to offer – here are 6 of the best…

Art Gallery of South Australia

 The Art Gallery of South Australia is a perfect way to introduce children to art. The Gallery collection has an array of Australian, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander, European, North American and Asian artwork, and there are often special exhibitions too. There’s a great program running on the first Sunday of each month, 11-3 which aims to give children between 5-10 years old an introduction to visual art. The ‘Start at the Gallery’ program is free and has art activities, tours, live music and entertainment. Child-friendly programs are also run in the school holidays.

Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute

This aboriginal owned and managed multi-arts centre is an innovative centre which will give deep insight into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history. Here you can meet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people who love to tell you about how they live, their beliefs and where they are from. Be prepared for visual amazement from the different art galleries, cultural presentations and traditional dance performances. Everyone will learn something new at this centre.

Adelaide Gaol

Built in 1841 and home to approximately 300,000 prisoners, the Adelaide Gaol is a unique chance to show kids where they will go if they’re naughty! You can walk the hallways, enter the cells, see the gallows and also try on handcuffs and leg irons to get the real ‘prisoner experience’. Plus there are guided and self-guided tours to explain prison life in full. If you’re after something a bit spooky, the Gaol also runs night time ghost-tours; ghostly sightings include Ben Ellis the hangman, the first Governor of the Adelaide Gaol, William Baker, and one of the inmates, Frederick Carr.

 Enfield Heritage Museum

Just 10 km north of the city centre, Enfield Heritage museum is a fascinating insight into life in the 1880s, and great for showing kids how we used to live. Housed in three buildings of the historic Sunnybrae Farm, visitors of all ages will enjoy what’s on display, with exhibits ranging from farm machinery, Gepps Cross Abattoirs Big Wheel and household items, to blacksmiths tools, bicycles and even typewriters. The museum is only open on Saturdays, 10 – 4pm and it is a gold coin donation.

National Railway Museum including Steam Train Rides Semaphore to Fort Glanville

 To find out more about locomotive history, the National Railway Museum is a great day out for all. Climb on board to experience engines from all eras and discover what it was like to travel in first and lower class carriages. Here you can learn just about everything there is to know about trains and railways, from how a signal box works, to historic Australian rail routes and the railway memorabilia will enthral railway enthusiasts and general visitors alike. Visitors can also experience a real steam train ride along the coast from Semaphore to Fort Glanvile.

South Australian Maritime Museum

Located at Port Adelaide, The South Australian Maritime Museum takes you on a journey through Australian maritime history. There are lots of exciting exhibits varying from artefacts such as the first European charts of Australia and souvenirs from James Cook’s Endeavour voyage and a replica Ketch (fishing boat), to learning about the Port River dolphins and South Australia’s role in naval history. There’s even an original light house.

I am adding one last place to visit because you ARE of course meant to be on holiday…..

Haigh’s Chocolate FactoryNow we all know children are the finest connoisseurs of chocolate so a visit to the chocolate factory is sure to keep their attention after a day or two of sightseeing. Your kids will get excited while learning about how the chocolates are created and also get to sample a few at the end of the tour. There are 3 tours a day running from Monday – Saturday and as you can imagine the tours are popular so it is essential book.

Staying in Adelaide is made easy by the choice of accommodation to suit all budgets. Your choices range from child friendly Adelaide hotels to self-contained city apartments. Plus, there are caravan parks just a 20 minute drive away up in the Hills and on the beach. There are also so many other child friendly attractions in Adelaide … too many to list here. So take a trip for yourself and discover the fun.

Carla C. Burton is a self-employed Travel and Hospitality writer with a BBA in Business Administration from Bond University.  Although a Gold Coast native, Carla moved to Melbourne in 2008 to further her writing career in the Travel industry.  Carla has become a top contributor to many Travel blogs world-wide and thoroughly enjoys the freedom that self-employment has provided her.  To find out more about Carla or to follow her other posts, follow her on Twitter @CarlaCBurton. 

 

Travelling to Brighton with Kids

How to enjoy a trip to Brighton with the kids and find fun things to do for all of your family

Brighton is popular place to raise a family for many reasons. It is incredibly accommodating to growing families and offers an infinite amount of things to do as well as being safer than a lot of other popular cities in the UK. Aside the families living in Brighton, there are always families coming to the city for holidays and even for a stop off point on a year of travels. Here are a couple of ideas for how to spend your time in Brighton and keep your children happy at the same time.

Family Fun at the Beach

The Brighton beach is a must-see place for anyone travelling to Brighton, with or without a family. The beach is a pebble beach, not sand, which suits some people more than others and means you can walk away without sand in your shoes for the rest of the year. There are always enough deck chairs to go around, so the kids won’t be fighting over them and they are priced very reasonably so if you have a larger family it won’t break the bank. Surrounding the beach are all of the seaside shops and stalls you would expect, including ice cream shops, chip shops and bars and souvenir stalls. Brighton beach is also surrounded by children’s activity areas with trampolines and arcades. You can even see a bird’s eye view of the whole city by taking a ride on the Brighton Eye before heading to the famous Palace Pier to spend some change on the slot machines.

Take a trip to the zoo

Image Drusillas Park

Venture outside of Brighton into Drusillas Park. Located in Alfriston, Drusillas is one of the leading small zoos in the country and is a popular attraction in Sussex and the south of the UK, with families in particular. The zoo is a great place for children to spend a day and makes for a nice change from watching the kids play with the latest gadgets at home. One of the best things about taking your kids to the zoo is that you won’t hear them saying they’re bored, because there is so much to see and so many interactive activities going on within the park. There is always a special guest or a new animal being introduced into the zoo. Easter 2013 will see the Red Panda settling into Drusillas and becoming acquainted with the rest of the park’s animals. The Red Panda is an endangered species, originally from areas surrounding the Himalayas including China and India.

Tom Clark, contributor of this article, lives and writes in Brighton in the UK and enjoys offering ideas on Kids days out in Sussex to holidaymakers looking to visit Brighton and the surrounding area with their family.