Adventure, baby!

Australia

Nine Highlights on the Great Beach Drive and Rainbow Beach, Qld Australia

Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia
Australia is home to some incredible coastal drives that showcase its majestic natural beauty. While Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is the most well-know drive to take, it turns out that Queensland has a stunning drive of it’s own, the Great Beach Drive.

Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia

The drive from Noosa to Rainbow Beach is an exhilarating experience that needs to be seen to be believed. Accessible only by 4WD, the “beach highway” is actually a 58km sandy beach, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the bush on the other. The drive from Noosa to Rainbow Beach is 70km in total.

Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia

What also makes this drive unique is that it takes visitors through two adjoining UNESCO Biosphere reserves: The Great Sandy and Noosa Biosphere Reserves. Along the way you’ll see breathtaking beaches, learn about the local Aboriginal people and their customs, and, if the animals are willing, see an abundance of wildlife.

Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia

40 Mile Beach
Exquisite, pristine white sand that you can drive your car on! Humpback whales can frequently be seen swimming right along the beach during their annual migration.

Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia

Red Canyon
Climb up through the canyon for stunning views over Teewah Beach. Red Canyon is formed with stunning red and yellow sand and if you climb to the top, you’ll find yourself in a spot once used by the local Indigenous people as a secret meeting place for women of the traditional owners of the land, the Gubbi Gubbi people.

Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia

Lighthouse at Double Island Point
The Double Island Point Lighthouse, built in 1884, has stunning 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean and Great Sandy National Park. We spotted pods of dolphins playing down below, but you might also see turtles, sharks, manta rays and Humpback Whales from June to October. Note: access by car to the lighthouse is limited to the tour operators that we used. If you visit on your own you will have to walk up.

Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia

Freshwater
We stopped at this lovely little picnic spot in the Great Sandy National Park for lunch. Lace Monitors (goannas) are frequently seen here.

Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia

Colour Sands of Rainbow Beach
The beautiful cliffs at Rainbow Beach have sand in more than 40 different shades of colour. Our guide gave us a demonstration in how the Aboriginal people who lived in the area used the sand to create art.

Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia

Honeymoon Bay
A huge saltwater lagoon is a nice spot for a swim or spotting wildlife. We saw plenty of crabs burrowing their way into the sand when they saw us coming.

Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia

Rainforest
We drove down the Leisha Track that links the Pacific Ocean to Honeymoon Bay and Rainbow Beach. The 800m track was named after a ship that ran aground on Teewah Beach in 1954. The rainforest and sand dunes make for a unique drive.

Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia

Carlo Sand Blow
A 15 hectare sand mass formed by a lightening strike around 50,000 yeas ago, the Carlo Sand Blow sits directly behind the Rainbow Beach and is a top spot for watching sunrise and sunset. We visited at sunset and saw people with a glass of champers and picnic basket enjoying the serenity.

Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia

Rainbow Beach Town
This idyllic little coastal town with a cool beach vibe is the southern gateway to Fraser Island. We stayed at Plantation Resort, a relaxed apartment-style hotel with one-to-three-bedroom units, kitchen, living area and some with balconies and terraces. Chris Hemsworth stayed there not long before we did, so it must be a good spot!

Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia

Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia

Enjoy a drink at the Rainbow Beach Hotel with the locals, and dinner at Arcobaleno on the Beach, a little Italian restaurant that’s not to be missed. Owned by a local family, Arco’s, as it’s known, make their own pasta and use plenty of local produce to create delicious meals.

Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia

NOTE: We drove the Great Beach Drive with the Great Beach Drive 4WD Tour company. We left from Noosa, drove up the beach to the lighthouse at Double Island Point and then through the rainforest to Rainbow Beach.

We stayed the night at Rainbow Beach and then returned the next day back down the same road on the beach. You can also do the entire trip in one day, either by tour or by yourself, or camp on the beach in designated camping areas, and stay longer.

Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia

Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia

Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia Great Beach Drive, Queensland, Australia

I experienced the Great Beach Drive as a guest of the Sunshine Coast. All opinions are my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Things To Do In Brisbane With Kids

Things To Do With Kids In Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Brisbane is a fantastic city to visit! It ticks all of the boxes for a great family vaycay – excellent weather, plenty of activities that range from cultural to artistic and high tech, plus loads of free things to do, too.

Things To Do In Brisbane

City Botanic Gardens

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Take a self-guided tour through the gardens to discover a bamboo grove, a cannon, brolgas statue and an all-abilities playground. Walk up to The Gardens Club for a great view of the gardens from a relaxing deck chair and enjoy a scenic lunch or brekkie.

Brisbane, QLD, Australia Brisbane, QLD, Australia

City Botanic Gardens

QUT The Cube

Brisbane, QLD, Australia
This is kind of screen time parents will approve of! The Cube at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a two-storey high series of interactive displays using 14 high-definition projectors, more than 40 multi-touch screens and sound technology to create one of the world’s largest digital interactive learning and display spaces.

The Cube provides an inspiring, explorative and hands-on experience, and is available for visitors to use daily (for free!) from 10am-4pm at QUT’s Science and Engineering Centre, Gardens Point campus (right next to the City Botanic Gardens).
thecube.qut.edu.au

Museum of Brisbane and Clock Tower

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Located in City Hall, the Museum is a place to visit and learn a bit about what makes the city so special. It’s a small, modern space with interactive sections and plenty of interesting exhibitions to look at.

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Tours of the clock tower are free, with tickets allocated on a first come, first served basis. Head to the Museum of Brisbane reception counter on level 3 the morning of the day you wish to visit to secure tickets.

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

The quick tour takes visitors up the Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower in a beautiful, old, hand-operated lift. On the way back down, the lift stops to let visitors see the inside workings of the clock.

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

South Bank

South Bank Parklands

Brisbane, QLD, AustraliaAs well as being the cultural centre of Brisbane, the South Bank is filled with family-focussed entertainment.

BRISBANE Sign

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

This art installation is popular for photos and also climbing! Find it at the Cultural Forecourt outside the Queensland performing Arts Centre.

Playgrounds

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

South Bank has two excellent playgrounds: Riverside Green Playground (pictured) and Picnic Island Green. Riverside Green is close to Streets Beach, whereas Picnic Island is further south and is a great spot to set up for a picnic.

Queensland Museum

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Learn about the natural history and cultural heritage of Queensland at the Queensland Museum.

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

It’s free to enjoy this museum, as well as ENERGEX Playasaurus Place, an outdoor area for kids to learn about dinosaurs and energy, and Whale Mall, an art installation located outside the Queensland Museum gift shop featuring enormous suspended whales and their songs.

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Grab a bite to eat at the museum’s cafe for a reasonably priced, delicious meal.
qm.qld.gov.au

Sciencentre

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Sciencentre is housed in the Queensland Museum but has a seperate entrance and entry fee. It’s a place to engage kids in all things science through hands-on educational (and fun!) interactive displays and experiments.
sciencentre.qm.qld.gov.au

Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)

Brisbane, QLD, Australia
The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art is a top choice for adults and children. Most of the gallery is free entry, including the Children’s Art Centre.

Brisbane

qagoma.qld.gov.au

State Library of Queensland

State Library QLD Australia

It’s free to head inside the State Library of Queensland and read a book or two. They have an excellent selection of kids’ picture books. Kids under eight will enjoy “The Corner”, a program for littlies to explore and engage in a creative hands-on digital exhibition, online games and reading activities.
slq.qld.gov.au
Image courtesy of the State Library of QLD

Segway Tours with X-wing

Brisbane


Older kids will love seeing Brisbane’s South Bank on a mini-segway. Zoom along the river bank with a helpful guide to tell you all about Brisbane.
xwing.com.au

Wheel of Brisbane

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Get a birds-eye view of the city on the Wheel of Brisbane. We really enjoyed flying over the river in our air conditioned pod!
thewheelofbrisbane.com.au

Streets Beach

Brisbane

Australia’s only inner-city, man-made beach is a summer oasis on the Brisbane river shore. It’s perfect for families, with lifesavers on duty, shallow lagoons, sprinklers and crystal clear water. It’s free to enjoy this beach and its facilities.

Eating at South Bank

South Bank Surf Club

Brisbane

Bring your own food for a barbecue at Riverside Green or Picnic Island Green. Both areas are licensed between 10am and 8pm daily. Or, try one of the many cafes in the area!

After a swim at Streets Beach, stroll the the nearby Surf Club for a relaxed fish and chips.
southbanksurfclub.com.au

Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar

Brisbane
Brisbane’s first dessert and cocktail bar offers build your own fro-yo, ice cream and a range of other sugar-coma inducing desserts.
cowch.com.au

Gasworks Plaza

Brisbane

Book a table at Buzz for lunch right next to the gasring. You’ll enjoy the delicious food (the quinoa salad was divine) and gorgeous interiors by local designer Anna Spiro of Black & Spiro, and the kids can run off steam in the adjoining park.
gasworksplaza.com.au

Brisbane Brisbane Brisbane Brisbane

After lunch, take a stroll down to the nearby riverbank. Kids can bike or scoot along the river, and will enjoy the street art and statue of Gloria the sheep, a tribute to the Teneriffe wool stores that lined the river in the early 1900s.

Shop at Growing World, Emporium

Brisbane

This gorgeous children’s store is filled with educational toys and books from all around the world.
emporium.com.au/business/growing-world

Brisbane Powerhouse

Brisbane

The redeveloped powerhouse is a centre for art and culture. Check out the (often free) events for families, or just drop by on a Sunday to experience live music and markets (the pop-up Suitcase Rummage markets are on once a month).

Brisbane

Brisbane

Kids can roam inside the powerhouse, spot some cool graffiti art and dance to indie-pop and rock bands. Make a day of it by enjoying an early dinner or glass of wine at Bar Alto. Grab a balcony table overlooking the river while babies are napping and older kids are playing with your iPhone or colouring in.
brisbanepowerhouse.org

New Farm Park

Brisbane

Set the kids free in 18 hectares of gardens and open green space. The attached New Farm Park playground is a local family favourite with fortress-like constructions winding through huge fig trees.
newfarmpark.com.au

Eat Street Markets

Brisbane
The perfect dinner option for families with no pressure for kids to sit down and behave. 60 industrial shipping containers have been converted into mini shops and restaurants. Choose your meal from local food vendors (Italian, Mexican, potato rings on sticks, sweet potatoes fries and much, much more is on offer) then camp out on astroturf covered giant blocks to enjoy live music while the sun goes down.
eatstreetmarkets.com

Free city tour with Brisbane Greeters

Brisbane
Our tour guide, AnneMarie White, was a local expert who showed us the best places to eat and shop in the James Street district with and without kids. A remarkable woman with a background in broadcasting, it was a pleasure to learn about Brisbane through her own experiences.
visitbrisbane.com.au/brisbane-greeters

Chic shopping and dining at James St

Brisbane
Leave the kids with Dad for an hour or two while you check out local Australian designers and boutiques. Sass + Bide, Camilla, Zimmermann and more await your credit card.
jamesst.com.au

Brisbane
Feeling peckish? Harvey’s Bar and Bistro is a great breakfast and lunch choice with or without kids.

Brisbane
If you’ve got a serious sweet tooth like I do, be sure to pick up a treat from the iconic Joceyln’s Provisions. While you’re deciding which delicious cake to order, poke your head inside their kitchen to see the pastry chefs hard at work.

Getting around

Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Use the city centre loop bus or CityHopper ferry service. Both are free!

Where to stay

Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia
We stayed at the Novotel Brisbane, which has extremely reasonably priced rooms. Read more about our stay here.

Things To Do In Brisbane QLD With Kids

Looking for more to do in the area?

Take a ferry to Tangalooma Island Resort on nearby Moreton Island.
Visit Australia Zoo and meet some new furry friends.
Go camping on Stradbroke Island

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island is a 75 minute ferry ride from Brisbane, Queensland.

The world’s third largest sand island is only 40km north-east of Brisbane, making it a super easy day trip or extended vaycay for locals as well as Queensland visitors from father ashore.

The ferry departs from Holt Street Wharf in Pinken. Luggage is checked and it’s a very comfortable ride to Tangalooma.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

The ferry lands at a jetty on Moreton Island right outside Tangalooma Island Resort. Paradise awaits!

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

Tangalooma Island Resort accommodation and facilities

Tangalooma Island Resort includes several types of accomodation, ranging from basic rooms to luxury villas. We stayed in one bedroom family suite with kitchenette facilities. It’s an older-style room that is very basic, but is also extremely spacious and is fitted out with everything we needed for our short stay.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

Our suite featured air-conditioning, a seperate bedroom, large bathroom, hairdryers, TV/DVD, dining table and kitchenette that included a 3/4 size fridge, convection microwave, electric frypan, toaster and kettle, plus barbecues outside the rooms. You could very easily prepare your own meals as a way to cut down costs of eating out while on the island.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

The room we are given was located only 50 metres from the beachfront, which made for easy beach mornings.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

Facilities at the resort include a convenience store where you can buy groceries and snacks (I would suggest bringing as much as you can with you on the ferry however as they’re a bit pricer than on the mainland), five casual and upmarket cafes and restaurants, a bar, two swimming pools and, of course, the stunning beach!

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

There are an incredible variety of tours that can be booked to enjoy the island’s stunning natural beauty – but you can also just spend a few days enjoying the beach and pools and relaxing.

Moreton Island
The island is made up of 98% sand and 2% sandstone and rhyolite at Cape Moreton, where you’ll find also find the first lighthouse in Queensland. Moreton Island is also home to the tallest coastal sand dune in the world, Mount Tempest, which is 285 metres high. You can climb the sand dune and enjoy a 360 degree view of the island, but the hike to get there is a bit longer than our legs could manage!

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

Sandhills feature all over the island, free from vegetation, some up to 60 metres in height. This “desert” of undulating sand dunes makes for unique landscape as well as adventurous fun.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

A stroll down the beach from Tangalooma Island Resort lies the Tangalooma Shipwrecks: 15 ships that were sunk by the Queensland government and are now a popular snorkelling spot.

The island is located in Moreton Bay, where dugongs, stingrays, dolphins and turtles make their home. In 1993 the Moreton Bay Marine Park was established to protect the Moreton Bay habitats and residents therein. It’s the only place in the world where significant populations of dugongs and turtles can be found at such a close proximity to a large urban centre.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

What to see and do at Tangalooma Island Resort

Wild Dolphin Feeding Experience
This is what the resort is best known for and is a highlight for guests at the resort. Two close-knit families of bottlenose dolphins have been visiting the shores of Tangalooma for over 25 years, and return every evening to be handfed by the island’s guests.

The current program was put into place when resorts guests were found to be feeding the dolphins bits of bait and fishing offcuts, and the owners, the Osbourne family, decided to implement a regimented feeding program to protect the health of the dolphins.

Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Feeding is only permitted for guests staying in Tangalooma Island Resort accommodation or visiting on selected day cruises. The experience is included in selected accommodation and day cruise packages from Brisbane.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland
The resort has a government permit to run the dolphin feeding program and has very strict rules and regulations. The dolphins arrive just after sunset of their own accord, and are fed between 10 and 20% of their daily food requirement. This ensures that they maintain their natural instincts and don’t become dependant on humans for food.

Dolphins have sensitive skin and some do not like being touched by humans, so touching the dolphins is not permitted. Hands must be washed in advance to disinfect guests’ hands before handling the fish so as not to pass on any bacteria to the dolphins.

If you do the dolphin feeding, I highly suggest putting your camera away and just enjoying the experience. Flash photography from the beach is not permitted anyway, and the beach is too dark to capture photos without a flash. You can however take photos with a flash from the jetty. Close-up camera flashes can be harmful to dolphins’ eyes as well as causing them stress.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

You will however still come away with a photo if you wish to buy it later, as the Tangalooma Photoshop team attend the feedings each night and wade out into the water behind the dolphins to take flash photos of guests and dolphins from an angle that won’t cause them stress or damage their eyes.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

A note on clothing to wear during the feeding: you will absolutely get wet. Prepare to get soaked up to your chest just to be safe, as some nights that’s how far out into the water guests will have to go to meet the dolphins. Waders are available for hire at $15 if you want to keep dry during the dolphin feeding (waders are a waterproof boot extending from the foot to the chest, similar to overalls.)

We were lucky enough to meet the “grandma boss” of the dolphin family, Tinkerbell herself.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

Things to do for free at Tangalooma
It’s important to note that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on activities to enjoy a stay at Tangalooma. You can very easily spend your time here enjoying the beach, swimming and snorkelling in the ocean (if you bring your own gear), hanging out at the playground, hiking through the wilderness, jumping in the pools or just generally relaxing.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

We had a fantastic time walking up the beach to the shipwrecks and just investigating nature along the way. A big storm had washed up plenty of starfish on the beach, so we had an up close view at these animals.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

The sunsets are spectacular at Tangalooma, so be sure to set aside a good hour to watch it go down. Kids run up and down the beach and into the waves while adults pull up a beach sandbag (free to borrow from the bar) and take a drink to watch the sun go down in style.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

Tangalooma also offers:

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland
Kookaburra feeding
A daily demonstration to learn more about these popular residents on the island.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

Pelican Feeding & Sea Bird Talk
Held every morning at the jetty, the feeding started as a way to stop the pelicans from stealing bait from fisherman and getting tangled in their nets. Now, it’s an informative way to learn about these sea birds.

Sporting equipment hire
Tangalooma Island Resort has a selection of casual sporting areas including tennis, squash, boule, basketball, badminton and croquet just to name a few. Equipment hire is free but some require a refundable cash deposit. You can also bring your own gear and use the facilities.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland
Tours and Activities at Tangalooma
The resort offers a wide range of land and water-based tours and activities that enable guests seeking a more active or adventurous holiday to enjoy the stunning scenery and nature that Moreton Island has to offer.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland
Water-based activities include: kayaking, snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding, whale watching tours, the Marine Discovery Cruise and Sightseeing and Fish Feeding Tour of the Wrecks.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

We highly enjoyed the Marine Discovery Cruise with some bonus fish feeding. Sadly no dugongs were sighted, but we did see several green sea turtles as well as the shipwrecks up close, and fed large schools of fish.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

Land-based activities include: tours of the island including the lighthouse, beach segway tours, quad bike tours, helicopter flights and, the tour that we did, the Desert Safari Tour with Sand Tabogganing.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

We had a fantastic drive over very rocky terrain into “The Desert”, where we climbed up a 30 metre high sand dune and lay on small boards on our stomaches to slide back down again. Absolutely exhilarating! Cheese even went solo on her last flight, so kids can definitely have a go at this.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

How To Get There
You can catch the 75 minute ferry to and from Brisbane, take a 4WD car on the daily ferry, or arrive in style by helicopter. There are three settlements on Moreton Island, all on the western side, at Kooringal in the south, Cowan in the middle and northern Bulwer.

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

What To See And Do At Tangalooma Island Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland

We were hosted during our stay at Tangalooma Island Resort. All opinions are my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Hotel Review: Novotel Brisbane

Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia

The Novotel hotels are renowned for their well-priced, comfortably appointed rooms situated in convenient locations. They’re a staple of our holidays as they hit the right price point for us and are a good mix of family-friendly, trendy and ultra convenient.

Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia

Our stay at the Novotel Brisbane was exactly as we had anticipated it to be. The hotel is rated as 4.5 star accommodation, featuring 296 contemporary guest rooms and suites. With a location that is only a four-minute walk from Central station, 1.8km from Queensland Gallery of Modern Art and Queensland Museum and a short stroll down to Brisbane’s Eagle Street Pier and Queen Street Mall, it’s a great location to spend a few days seeing all the sights in Brisbane.

Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia

The Novotel Brisbane is a modern hotel with bright, cheery rooms. Ours included two double beds, a sofa, iPod dock, flat-screen TV, WiFi (additional fee unless you’re an Accor member) and tea and coffeemaking facilities.

Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia

Other features in the hotel include a large outdoor pool, gymnasium and sauna, plus a kids’ corner in reception and three dining options: “The Pantry”, where the breakfast buffet and evening dining are served, “GourmetBar”, which is a relaxed place to eat or have a coffee throughout the day (and a drink at night!), plus the external cafe, “Two Donkeys”, which is perfect for a grab ‘n’ go coffee or brunch.

Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia
“The Pantry”

Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia

Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia
“GourmetBar”

Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia

GourmetBar was our fave dining option and we highly enjoyed our meal of pizza, mac and cheese and burger with fries.

Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia

One of the things we love about visiting the Novotel hotels is their excellent kids’ welcome packs. They’re a great way to encourage families to stay as they really tell guests that they, and their children aren’t just welcome, they are going to be well looked after. The welcome pack at the Novotel Brisbane included an activity book, foam picture pack, popcorn, colouring in, markers and more. It was a huge hit with Cheese and kept her entertained for ages.

We also received complimentary water in our room and milk cartons in the fridge.

Novotel Brisbane, QLD Australia

If you bring a car and need to park it at the hotel, undercover self parking is available for $35 (Mon-Fri) or $25 (Sat & Sun).

Novotel Brisbane
200 Creek St, Brisbane
novotelbrisbane.com.au

We were hosted during our stay at the Novotel Brisbane. All opinions are my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Hotel Review: Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia

Noosa’s only 5-star luxury hotel is the relaxing, elegant and sophisticated Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort. Located in the heart of Hastings Street with its hip cafes and boutiques, and close to the beautiful Noosa beachfront, the hotel has a relaxed beach vibe to its 176 spacious studios, suites and villas.

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia

Inline with the classic Sofitel brand, guests at the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort are greeted with a cheery ‘Bonjour’ when they check in – a little touch of France on the Sunshine Coast.

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia

The Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort is renowned for its spacious rooms. Mine, at 55 square feet, is so big that I get lost in it when trying to get from the entrance to the bedroom and through the walk in closet back to the entrance again. It is the largest hotel room I have ever stayed in.

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia

My room is perfection, from the comfortable bed with elegant covers and crisp sheets, to the excellent kitchenette facilities (including a kettle, microwave and toaster), work desk and dedicated living room space. There’s room for not just my suitcase but a family of four’s.

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia

The entire hotel exudes relaxed luxury, from the bright and elegant lobby with comfy couches for lounging on, to the delightful outdoor pool area, with tropical landscaping, plenty of beach chairs for lounging, and a swim up bar in the middle of the pool. It’s the perfect spot for a relaxing beach vacation.

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia

For families visiting the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, the hotel offers a kids’ menu, resort activities particularly during school holidays and use of their beach boogie boards, buckets and spades.

As the hotel is just a 2-minute walk from the Noosa Main Beach, the location is perfect for sun-seekers who want to stay a few days and just relax.

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia

The Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort also features a casual restaurant, lobby bar and wine cellar. We dine in the restaurant the following morning and highly enjoy the made-to-order omelettes and freshly cut fruit.

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Queensland, Australia
My stay at the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort was brief but highly enjoyable. I would recommend this hotel to anyone staying in the Noosa area who is after a touch of luxury on their next beach holiday.

Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort
14-16 Hastings St, Noosa Heads QLD
sofitelnoosapacificresort.com.au

Visiting Noosa? Head this way for ideas on what to do during your stay.

I was hosted during my stay at the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort. All opinions are my own. 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Five Must-Do Experiences At Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

Australia Zoo, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, is famous for two things: the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, and his saltwater crocs. What is less well-known is the zoo’s strong conservation focus and role in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, as well as the many other furry and scaly animal residents who call Australia Zoo their home.

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

The zoo is a family affair, and it always has been. Australia Zoo’s story began in 1970 when Steve’s parents, Bob and Lyn, bought four acres of land in Beerwah, where the zoo stands today, with the intention of building a wildlife park. The park opened and eventually passed down to Steve to manage with his wife Terri in 1992, when Bob and Lyn retired. It was rebranded as Australia Zoo the same year.

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

Australia Zoo has expanded over the years and is now spread over 105 acres, home to over 1,200 animals. In 2002 Australia Zoo’s non-profit organisation Wildlife Warriors Worldwide was established by Steve and Terri Irwin; a non-profit organisation designed to support the protection of injured, threatened or endangered wildlife.

In 2004 the zoo’s next major conservation project opened: the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital is a 24/7 community service that treats all Australian native wildlife. The facilities include a veterinary hospital with an intensive care room and laboratory, outdoor holding facilities, and an orphan enclosure for hand-raised koalas to develop climbing skills and minimise contact with human carers before being released back into the bush.

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

From a humble beginning, set up in a converted avocado packing shed, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital is now Australia’s largest wildlife hospital has treated over 70,000 sick, injured and orphaned wildlife since opening; an average of 5,500 animals each year.

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

When planning your day at the zoo, take note that it’s a really big place and you’ll need a full day to see everything – and even then you’ll probably miss a few things. There are so many animals, experiences and shows to enjoy that it’s hard to know where to begin.

We highly enjoyed our experience at Australia Zoo: the zoo itself is in fantastic condition, the animals well-cared for, and there’s plenty for kids to enjoy. From statues climb on, fossil pits to dig in and a free jumping castle, you’ll be hard-pressed to get kids to look at the actual animals!

If you’re making a special day of the zoo, put these must-do experiences on your itinerary:

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
A small donation (that goes to funding the hospital) gives you entry to the hospital. We enjoyed seeing behind the scenes of the great work carried out by the vets and carers. While we were visiting we met a few orphan possums and joeys being cared for by locals, as well as a koala who has been brought in for surgery and rehabilitation.

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

Bindi’s Island
Climb up the three-storey treehouse and get up close to ring-tailed lemurs, who freely roam this area, as well as giant Aldabran Tortoises and colourful macaws.

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

Crocoseum Show
Grab a seat in the shade and enjoy an incredible free-flight bird show and saltwater crocodiles stalking the keepers.

African Safari Shuttle

Hop aboard and experience the wide open plains of the African Savannah without leaving the zoo. Giraffe, rhino and zebra roam the enclosures – keep an eye out for the cheetah!

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

Animal Encounters
Our favourite part of the day was meeting these beautiful animals up close. Book well in advance to meet animals such a koala, wombat, macaw, snake, lizard or echidna – the experience is well worth it!

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

There are also plenty of animals who roam the zoo during the day that you don’t need to pay extra to meet, such as this wombat taking a walk, kangaroos and lizards.

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

Australia Zoo, Queensland Australia

Australia Zoo
1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah QLD
Hours: Open daily, 9am-5pm, every day except Christmas Day.
australiazoo.com.au

We were hosted during our visit to Australia Zoo as part of the Australia Society of Travel Writers Annual General Meeting. We paid for the echidna experience ourselves. All opinions are my own.

Additional photos courtesy of Australia Zoo / Ben Beaden

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Best Things To Do In Canberra With Kids

The Best Things To Do In Canberra ACT Australia With Kids | Family Travel | Travel With Kids

Australia’s capital city is pretty much a playground for kids to engage in art, history and nature. You won’t be short on ways to spend a fun (and educational!) few days in Canberra with kids.

National Gallery Australia, Canberra, ACT

National Gallery of Australia
The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) is the national art museum of Australia and is home to than 166,000 works of art, including over 7500 works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. We particularly enjoyed the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works including a lovely Waterlillies by Claude Monet and one of Degas’ exquisite sculptures of a dancer, and the Ned Kelly series by Sidney Nolan.

National Gallery Australia, Canberra, ACT

Outside, in the grounds surrounding the NGA, are 26 sculptures on display by both Australian and International artists. It’s an extremely pleasurable experience to walk through the bush discovering these incredible works of art, and also a very easy way to introduce kids to art if you’re a bit nervous of taking them inside a gallery with their sticky hands.

National Gallery Australia, Canberra, ACT

The NGA often has dedicated sections for children to engage in the arts. Check their website closer to your visit to see what they are currently offering.

Get more info HERE.

National Gallery Australia
Parkes Pl E, Parkes
Hours: Daily, 10am-5pm (closed Christmas Day)
Prices: Free
nga.gov.au
Parking: Free underneath the gallery on weekends.

Questacon, Canberra, Australia
Questacon National Science and Technology Centre

Questacon has been THE place to take kids to learn about science since I was a kid myself and it’s amazing how over the years it’s changed but kept the same wonderful focus on engaging kids in science and technology.

Questacon, Canberra, Australia

Questacon is filled with more than 200 interactive exhibits relating to science and technology. There’s plenty of hands-on fun to be had, from robots to slides, simulated earthquakes and science experiments.

Get more info HERE.

Questacon
King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT
Hours: Daily 9am – 5pm including holidays. Closed 25 December.
Prices: Adult $23.00, Concession $17.50, Child (4 – 16 years) $17.50, Child (Under 4 years) Free, Family (2 Adults + 3 Children) $70.00 ($8.00 for each additional child)
questacon.edu.au

Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Parliament House
Parliament House is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia. The building was opened on 9 May 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. The distinctive grass ramps on the sides recreate the shape of Capital Hill before Parliament House was constructed. They’re a lot of fun to run up and roll back down again!

Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Of the 4,700 rooms in Parliament House, many are are open to the public. It’s incredibly easy to just turn up at any time and visit Parliament House – no booking or tours are required. There is a short queue to get through a brief security check, and then you’re on your own to discover the house. Be sure to take the elevator to the roof for an incredible view.

Get more info HERE.

Parliament House
Parliament Drive, Canberra
Hours: Parliament House is open every day except Christmas Day.
Non-sitting days 9am-5pm, sitting days Monday-Thursday 9am-6pm
Prices: Free
aph.gov.au/Visit_Parliament

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia

National Arboretum Canberra
The National Arboretum Canberra is one of the world’s largest living collections of rare, endangered and significant trees. With over 44,000 trees from over 100 countries are growing across the huge 250 hectare (618 acre) site, it’s a place to visit to to feel at one with nature and enjoy discovering trees from around Australia and the world.

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia

Its easy to drive into the Aboretum and up to the visitor’s centre where there is a cafe, incredible Pod Playground (more on that on that HERE) and maps to the various sections and sculptures. You can walk around the Aboretum, from feature to feature, if you have the time and legs that enjoy walking. If you have a little one in tow you will find driving between the significant features much easier and quicker. Make sure to visit the ‘Nest III’ and ‘Wide Brown Land’ sculptures before you leave.

Get more info HERE.

National Aboretum Canberra
Forest Dr, Canberra City
Hours: The Arboretum grounds and Pod Playground are open daily from 6am to 8:30pm during Daylight Savings Time and from 7am to 5:30pm during Eastern Standard Time (Non-daylight Savings Time).
Prices: Free entry
nationalarboretum.act.gov.au

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Old Parliament House
A visit to Canberra is a journey through our nation’s past. It’s impossible to visit Australia’s Capital City without recognising where we’ve come from and, also, where we’re going. An important place to make a stop to learn about our past is Old Parliament House, the seat of the Parliament of Australia from 1927 to 1988.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House has incredible programs for families all-year round as they are is committed to engaging families and young people in conversations about democracy and their voices in it. From free Family Action Packs to the PLAY UP and DRESS UP sections designed specifically for kids, there is plenty to engage little ones at the House.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

We particularly loved the outdoor rose gardens, which are free to visit and a beautiful spot to scoot through or have a picnic.

Get more info HERE.

Old Parliament House
18 King George Terrace, Parkes
Hours: Daily 9am-5pm (closed Christmas Day)
Prices: $2 adults, $1 children (free for children under 5 years old) and concessions, $5 family
The Old Parliament House Gardens are open to the public year round: Summer hours (during daylight savings): 7am to 8pm, Winter hours: 7am to 5pm. Entry to the gardens is free.
https://moadoph.gov.au/

Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is Australia’s national memorial to the members of its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in wars involving Australia.

Australian War Memorial
Kids Story Time, Hands on History and Craft Public Programs, 7/10/2016

The Memorial caters to children, aiming to educate and engage them in history through story time, museum theatre shows, family tours, holiday workshops and drop in craft. A Discovery Zone has been set up as an educational space for visiting school groups (and the public on certain days and times), featuring five environments inspired by Australia’s military history.

Get more info HERE.

The Australian War Memorial
Treloar Cres, Campbell
Hours: Daily 10am-5pm daily. Closed Christmas Day.
Prices: Free
https://www.awm.gov.au
Additional image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Lake Burley Griffin
This ornamental lake was built in the centre of Canberra and is the perfect spot to scoot or ride a bike around, stop for a picnic and meet the wild swans and ducks. In autumn the leaves around the lake are stunning.

Australian Institute of Sport
Photo courtesy of http://havewheelchairwilltravel.net

Australian Institute of Sport
A guided tour is the only way to go behind the scenes at Australia’s premier elite sports precinct. As well as getting an overview of what goes on at the Australian Institute of Sport (and possibly seeing some of Australia’s top athletes in training), all tours include a visit to Sportex, an interactive sports exhibit. Guided public tours depart daily from the AIS Visitor Centre at 10am, 11:30, 1pm and 2:30pm and go for 90 minutes. Bookings are not required.

Australian Institute of Sport

Leverrier Street, Bruce
Hours: Tours Desk is open Monday to Friday: 8:30am-5:00pm, Weekends and public holidays 10am-4pm.
Prices: Adults $19.50, Children (5 – 17 years) $11.50, Student/Seniors $14.50, Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) $55.
http://www.experienceais.com/

Cockington Green Gardens
Photo courtesy of http://havewheelchairwilltravel.net

Cockington Green Gardens
Cockington Green Gardens is a park of miniatures set in beautifully landscaped gardens. This family-owned and operated attraction has been running for over the past 35 years. Take a look at the highly detailed miniature versions of popular attractions around the world on a stroll through these delightful gardens.

Cockington Green Gardens

11 Gold Creek Rd, Nicholls
Hours: Daily 9:30am-5pm
Prices: Adults $19.50, Seniors $14.50, Children (4-16 years) $11.50, Family $56 (2 adults & up to 3 children) Extra children with family $5,
Miniature Steam Train Rides $3
cockingtongreen.com.au

3inFun Canberra Pass
If you’re planning to visit Cockington Green Gardens, Questacon and the Australian Institute of Sport, the 3inFun Canberra Pass offers a saving of 25% on the usual price plus a free return visit to one of the participating attractions.
http://www.3infun.com.au

Places To Eat in Canberra

Patissez, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Pâtissez
Home of the freak shake as well as delicious food, we highly recommend visiting one of Pâtissez two locations for brekkie and a shake.
http://www.patissez.com.au

East Hotel Canberra + Agostinis Restaurant Australia

Agostini’s
We discovered this new gem at the base of the East Hotel and loved it so much we ate there twice. An absolutely delicious family-friendly Italian restaurant.
6/4 Giles St, Griffith
http://www.agostinis.com.au

How To Get Around

I would advise driving in Canberra if you can either drive to the city in your own car, or hire one when you arrive. The attractions are far apart and the hotels are not within walking distance. If you don’t drive, there is a local bus service you can use. For more info: http://www.transport.act.gov.au

Where To Stay in Canberra

East Hotel Canberra + Agostinis Restaurant Australia

East Hotel
This boutique hotel is 2.3 km from Parliament House and 2.9 km from the National Gallery of Australia. The East Hotel is vibrant, contemporary, and very artsy, offering free bicycle rentals and dishing out lollies in reception.

East Hotel Canberra + Agostinis Restaurant Australia

A big draw of the East Hotel, beyond the contemporary aesthetic, are the bright rooms that feature either kitchens or kitchenettes, balconies, free limited Wi-Fi and Nespresso machines. There are one and two-bedroom apartments that have full kitchens, and fantastic rooms for kids with bunk beds, bean bags and Xbox 360 video game consoles.

Get more info HERE.

East Hotel
69 Canberra Ave, Kingston ACT
Book your stay at the East Hotel

Novotel Canberra, ACT Australia

Novotel Canberra
The Novotel Canberra is a 4 ½ star hotel with 286 rooms. It’s located 0.2km from the city centre, entertainment and retail precincts and 8km from the airport, making it a very central base for a Canberra stay.

Novotel Canberra, ACT Australia

Bring your swimmers to make the most out of their newly renovated indoor swimming pool. Kids will love the play space in the lobby and the awesome Angry Birds welcome pack.

Get more info HERE.

Novotel Canberra
65 Northbourne Ave, Canberra
Book your stay at the Novotel Canberra

The Best Things To Do In Canberra ACT Australia With Kids | Family Travel | Travel With Kids

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you book using my links. It will not cost you any extra. Thanks for supporting Adventure, baby!

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Canberra Travel Guide: Australian War Memorial

Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

A must-visit in Canberra, the Australian War Memorial is Australia’s national memorial to the members of its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in wars involving Australia.

It’s a sobering visit that requires attention and time, and I would advise leaving aside the majority of a day to adequately explore its shrine, museum and garden.

Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

The Memorial’s purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war and to help visitors interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society.

Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

Covered in detail are Colonial Conflicts, the First World War, the Second World War and
Conflicts 1945 to today, with halls dedicated to the Anzacs, aircraft and valour (distinguished service people). The stories are told through dioramas, artefacts, photographs and videos. It’s a confronting, emotional experience to walk through the halls and learn about the sacrifices made for future generations to live in peace.

Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

The Hall of Memory, set above the Pool of Reflection, is the heart of the Australian War Memorial. The walls surrounding the pool is the Cloisters, where the walls have been created as a Roll of Honour, inscribed with the names of 102,000 people who have given their lives in the service of this country. Inside hall lies the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, a place to stand still and contemplate all that’s past in the hopes of future peace.

Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

For a place of quiet contemplation, I suggest visiting The Memorial Sculpture Garden, located to the west of the main building.

Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

I would suggest timing your visit to co-incide with the closing of the Memorial to witness the beautiful farewell ceremony that is carried out daily. At the end of each day, at 4:55pm AEST, the Memorial farewells visitors with its moving Last Post Ceremony.

Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

The ceremony begins with the singing of the Australian National Anthem, followed by the poignant strains of a lament, played by a piper. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names etched on the Roll of Honour is told. The Ode is then recited, and the ceremony ends with the sounding of the Last Post. It is an incredibly moving experience.

Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

Visiting the Australian War Memorial with Kids

The Memorial caters to children, aiming to educate and engage them in history through story time, museum theatre shows, family tours, holiday workshops and drop in craft. A Discovery Zone has been set up as an educational space for visiting school groups, featuring five environments inspired by Australia’s military history: a trench on the Western Front in France from the First World War, the Australian home front during the Second World War,
an Iroquois helicopter hovering in a field in Vietnam, an Oberon Class submarine, searching for enemy targets and a peacekeeping mission in a war-ravaged community.

Australian War Memorial
Kids Story Time, Hands on History and Craft Public Programs, 7/10/2016

Children can climb, jump, crawl, touch and explore in all areas of the Discovery Zone. It’s open to the public from 12.30pm to 1.30pm on weekdays and all day during weekends, public holidays and ACT school holidays.

Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

The Australian War Memorial
Treloar Cres, Campbell
Hours: Daily 10am-5pm daily. Closed Christmas Day.
Prices: Free
https://www.awm.gov.au
Additional image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Canberra Travel Guide: Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House, ACT, Canberra

A visit to Canberra is a journey through our nation’s past. It’s impossible to visit Australia’s Capital City without recognising where we’ve come from and, also, where we’re going. It’s one of the best things about visiting IMHO. An important place to make a stop to learn about our past is Old Parliament House, known formerly as the Provisional Parliament House, was the seat of the Parliament of Australia from 1927 to 1988.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Old Parliament House is now a Museum of Australian Democracy, and an exciting place to visit to really get a feeling what life was like in politics during this period.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

The house itself is a fine example of 1920s architecture and design, and the museum offer  a range of exhibitions and engaging activities which explain how the building, its spaces and objects connect us with Australian democracy.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

We visited on Easter Sunday when they were running a free Easter Egg hunt that involved an educational scavenger hunt through the house to find answers to clues, finishing up in the gardens with an Easter treat and free games. Such a fun way to spend a day.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House has incredible programs for families all-year round as they are is committed to engaging families and young people in conversations about democracy and their voices in it.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

If you’re bringing kids to Old Parliament House you needn’t worry they’ll be bored – there’s plenty for kids to keep them occupied.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

My favourite were the free Family Action Packs, available to borrow at the information desk. There are two packs to choose from: Stanley Action Pack and Press Gang Action Pack.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Stanley Action Pack takes kids outdoors and into the grounds of Old Parliament House in search of Stanley, the Superb Blue Wren, and his feathered friends. Kids receive a safari hat, binoculars, magnifying glasses, a notebook to observations of Stanley and his friends in the collaborative bird-watching journal, and modelling clay to make their own Stanley.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

 

Press Gang Action Pack sends kids hot on the heels of a breaking news story throughout the inside of Old parliament House. Step back in time to a world of typewriters and shorthand and catch a glimpse of what it was like to be a reporter inside at Old Parliament House.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Littlies will enjoy the PLAY UP section of the house, which is a hands-on space for kids to dress up, get creative and play. It’s an evolving space curated for, with and by children.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

 

Next door to PLAY UP is the DRESS UP space, where kids can discover the changing fashions of Democracy.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Outside, the Old Parliament House Gardens are a gorgeous spot for a picnic lunch, a wander among the roses or a scoot along the wide, flat paths. The gardens are located in the heart of the Parliamentary Zone on either side of Old Parliament House. They feature seating pavilions, pergolas, rose arbours, pathways, gateways, tennis courts and a bowling green.

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

The Old Parliament House Gardens are comprised of two separate gardens: The House of Representatives Garden, which features the Ladies Rose Garden (Hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses)and Macarthur Rose Garden (China, Tea and Noisette roses), and the Senate Garden, which is home to the Broinowski Rose Garden (Shrub roses) and Rex Hazlewood Rose Garden (Asian and European history of the rose, includes roses by Australian rose breeder Alister Clarke). 

Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Old Parliament House
18 King George Terrace, Parkes
Hours: Daily 9am-5pm (closed Christmas Day)
Prices: $2 adults, $1 children (free for children under 5 years old) and concessions, $5 family
The Old Parliament House Gardens are open to the public year round: Summer hours (during daylight savings): 7am to 8pm, Winter hours: 7am to 5pm. Entry to the gardens is free.
https://moadoph.gov.au/

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

ACT Travel Guide: National Arboretum Canberra

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia
The National Arboretum Canberra is one of the world’s largest living collections of rare, endangered and significant trees. With over 44,000 trees from over 100 countries are growing across the huge 250 hectare (618 acre) site, it’s a place to visit to to feel at one with nature and enjoy discovering trees from around Australia and the world.

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia

Its easy to drive into the Aboretum and up to the visitor’s centre where there is a cafe, incredible playground (more on that below) and maps. It’s very easy to walk around the Aboretum, from feature to feature, if you have the time and legs that enjoy walking. If you have a little one in tow you will find driving between the significant features much easier and quicker.

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia

The addition of sculptures to the National Aboretum has turned the collection of forests into an outdoor art gallery of sorts.

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia
Of particular note are  ‘Nest III’ sculpture on Dairy Farmers Hill, a metal sculpture of an Australian wedge tail eagle on its nest that was created by Richard Moffatt in 2007, and the ‘Wide Brown Land’ sculpture near the Himalayan cedar forest.

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia
The three words that make up the ‘Wide Brown Land’ sculpture come from the famous poem ‘My Country’, written by Dorothea Mackellar in 1908, when the poet was 22 years old and living in England, homesick for Australia.

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia
As a side note, Mackeller became the first female writer to be honoured on UNESCO’s Australian Memory of the World Register when UNESCO included the manuscript of ‘My Country’ in the Register of Australian Literature in 2017. If you want to see the manuscript of My Country, it’s on display to the public at the State Library of NSW.

The sculpture was inspired by both Mackellar’s poem and handwriting, and created by Marcus Tatton, Futago Design Studios and Chris Viney in 2010. At  35 metres long and 3 metres high, it’s quite the sight to behold!

“Wide Brown land” comes from the second verse of the poem:

“The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!”

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia
The National Aboretum is famous for it’s incredibly designed Pod Playground. With inspiration taken from nature in its design, the playground is challenging and exciting, encouraging kids to climb, explore, and, most of all, have fun.

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia
Designed for children of all ages, giant acorn cubbies in stilts, connected by net tunnels, appeal to older adventurous children, while the nest swings, banksia pods, sand and musical instruments engage the littlies in age-appropriate play. There is a large climbing net that is also most suitable for older kids and a musical bridge that appeals to everyone.

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia
The Village Centre with a cafe is nearby if you need a coffee break, and there are bathrooms in the middle of the playground for easy access.

National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia National Aboretum Canberra, ACT, Australia
National Aboretum Canberra
Forest Dr, Canberra City
Hours: The Arboretum grounds and Pod Playground are open daily from 6am to 8:30pm during Daylight Savings Time and from 7am to 5:30pm during Eastern Standard Time (Non-daylight Savings Time).
Prices: Free entry
nationalarboretum.act.gov.au

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!