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9 Ideas For An Awesome Blue Mountains Day Trip

Blue Mountains Day Trip, Australia

Take a day trip from Sydney to the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park. A quick 90 min drive or two hours by train will take you to a region full of art, history, thriving cafes and spectacular natural beauty. Your Blue Mountains Day Trip awaits!

9 Ideas For A Blue Mountains Day Trip

Blue Mountains, Australia

Scenic World and Katoomba Cascades

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

The perfect way to experience the beauty of the mountains. Scenic World consists of four activities: the Scenic Skyway, the Scenic Railway, the Scenic Cableway and the Scenic Walkway. The Scenic Skyway is suspended 270 metres above the Jamison Falls Valley and glides two cliff tops. On the other side, the beautiful Katooma Cascades waterfall is a short walk.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

An absolute must is a thrilling ride on the Scenic Railway. With its 52 degree incline, this is the steepest passenger railway in the world.

Get more info on Scenic World and Katoomba Cascades here.

High Tea at the Hydro Majestic in Medlow Bath

Hydro Majestic, Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

Take your high tea with a side of history at the iconic Hydro Majestic hotel. Since opening its doors in 1904 the hotel has been a place of luxury to visit for a relaxing stay, or to simply stop by for an elegant afternoon tea.

Read more about visiting the Hydro Majestic here.

The Three Sisters Rock Formation in Leura

Blue Mountains, Australia

A towering rock formation located at Echo Point in Katoomba, the Three Sisters is a popular Blue Mountains day trip. This unusual rock formation represents three sisters who, according to Aboriginal legend, turned to stone.

While the Three Sisters is a beautiful sight from the lookout, we love to take the bush walk that starts at the rock formation and heads down into the valley. It takes you past the sisters and beyond into the bush. Wear good walking shoes and pack plenty of water!

Get more info on visiting the Three Sisters here and on bushwalking in the Blue Mountains here.

The Minni Ha Ha Falls in Katoomba

Minni Ha Ha Falls Katoomba Australia via christineknight.me

The beautiful Minni Ha Ha Falls (also known as Minniehaha Falls and Minnihaha Falls) are the reward hikers receive for taking the 1.3km trail down to the bottom of the valley floor. You can swim in the waterfall (be warned – it’s cold!) or just enjoy the serenity.

Get more info on visiting the Minni Ha Ha Falls here.

Gingerbread House Cafe in Katoomba

Gingerbread House: #KidFriendly Cafes #Katoomba #BlueMountains #Sydney via christineknight.me

Housed inside a resorted 100-year-old church, the Gingerbread House Cafe is all about the sweet stuff! Milkshakes, Serendipity ice-cream, cakes, cookies and gingerbread abound.

Get more info on visiting the Gingerbread House Cafe here.

Norman Lindsey Gallery in Faulconbridge

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia

Visit the home and studio of Norman Lindsey (1879-1969), an Australian artist, cartoonist, and writer. Famous for his Magic Pudding books and voluptuous nudes, Norman Lindsey’s house and the surrounding gardens have been maintained by the National Trust.

Get more info on visiting the Norman Lindsey Gallery here.

Everglades House and Gardens in Leura

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

This beautiful 1930s, Art Deco home will transport you to a bygone era of grace and charm. Set aside a few hours to wander the 5.2 hectares of stunning gardens and enjoy a Devonshire tea inside the old house itself.

Get more info on visiting the Everglades House and Gardens here.

Cafe 2773 in Glenbrook

Cafe 2773 #glenbrook #bluemountains #sydney #Australia #kidfriendly #restaurants vi brunchwithmybaby.com

Break your journey into the Blue Mountains with brekkie at one of our fave spots, Cafe 2773 in Glenbrook. The menu at 2773 focuses on use of local organic produce, with an extensive selection of local beer and wine. There’s a little play area for kids and farm animals to meet, too.

Get more info on visiting Cafe 2773 in Glenbrook here.

Mayfield Garden in Oberon

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

Mayfield Garden is one of the world’s largest privately-owned cool climate gardens. It’s a gorgeous spot to visit year-round, with waterlilies in summer, colourful foliage in autumn, raw structure of plants in winter and fragrant blooms in spring. Look up their calendar of events and plan your visit around one of Mayfield Garden’s special festivals.

Mayfield Garden is quite a drive from Sydney, making it a bit of a stretch for a Blue Mountains day trip. You might want to consider staying the night nearby.

Get more info on visiting Mayfield Garden here.

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids here.

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day here.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney here.

Blue Mountains Day Trip, Australia

 

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Everglades Historic House and Gardens Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Blue Mountains, Australia

We love a beautiful garden and the Everglades Historic House & Gardens certainly ticks all the boxes. A beautiful 1930s, Art Deco home set amongst 5.2 hectares of stunning gardens, the Everglades is destination that will transport you to a bygone era of grace and charm.

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Georgina Stonier, the original owner of the house, called it The Everglades in 1923 for reasons unknown. When the Van de Velde family bought the property in the 1930 they kept the name.

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

It was during the 1930s that the magnificent gardens were constructed by Danish-born landscape gardener Paul Sorensen. They are a prime example of inter-war period gardens and as such receive visitors from garden lovers around the world.

The Everglades is now managed by the National Trust organisation.

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

I recommend setting aside a few hours to wander the gardens, packing a picnic lunch or enjoying a Devonshire tea onsite. The cafe inside the house serves scones, drinks and light treats only.

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

We enjoyed following the winding paths to explore little nooks and crannies where fairies might live, and feasting our eyes on the magnificent view of the Jamison Valley.

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

If you’re visiting the garden with kids aged 4-7 or so, I can recommend the Kids’ Activity Pack which can be purchased for $10 and includes a variety of ideas to engage kids in the garden.

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House and Gardens
37 Everglades Avenue
Leura
https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/places/everglades-house-gardens/

 

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids here.

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day here.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney here.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Australian Reptile Park: Mini Kids 2 Keeper Experience

Sydney Day Trips: The Mini Kids 2 Keeper Program at The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia
The Australian Reptile Park is located on the Central Coast of NSW, about an hour north of Sydney. Established in 1948, the park is a privately owned attraction featuring native Australian wildlife and other exotic, international species. The Australian Reptile Park runs three Kids 2 Keeper programs for kids to engage with animals and learn a bit about their care and habitats.

Mini Kids 2 Keeper (3-6 years old)

Little Kids 2 Keeper (7-12 years old)

Big Kids 2 Keeper (13-18 years old)

We did the Mini Kids 2 Keeper program, which is based on the five sense (hear, see, taste, touch and smell). The program is a guided tour of the zoo and is designed to be both hands-on and educational.

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

All of the Kids 2 Keeper programs run only during the school holidays, usually on a Monday. Each program is different so kids can attend programs on multiple occasions and find them to be different each time.

During our Kids 2 Keeper program, adults were required to attend with their child. The older programs are drop-off.

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Our tour included meeting reptiles, a snake, a tawny frogmouth owl, feeding parrots, patting a koala, watching a special feeding of the alligators, patting an echidna, meeting a ring-tailed possum and, the highlight, going into the Galapagos tortoise enclosure and meeting Hugo, the 67-year-old resident tortoise.

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

A morning tea of banana bread and water was served halfway through the program.

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

 

Sydney Day Trips: The Mini Kids 2 Keeper Program at The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Get more info on the Mini Kids 2 Keeper Program here.

Read about what else you can see and do at The Australian Reptile Park here.

 

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

The Australian Reptile Park is located on the Central Coast of NSW, about an hour north of Sydney. Established in 1948, the park is a privately owned attraction featuring native Australian wildlife and other exotic, international species. The Australian Reptile Park has won plenty of awards for excellence, including the 2016 Australasian Zoo Keeper of the Year. A perfect day trip from Sydney, there’s plenty to keep kids and adults occupied at the zoo!

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park

Meet Elvis, the cranky croc

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Australia’s crankiest crocodile is the star of the show here at the Reptile Park. Elvis the crocodile came to the zoo from the Northern Territory where he was attacking fisherman’s boats. He’s also well-known for attacking a keeper’s lawnmower.

Catch the reptile show & hear about the venom project

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

An entertaining and educational way for kids to learn about reptiles. During the show visitors also learn about the venom milking project undertaken by the park (see below for more details). You’ll also find all 11 of the deadliest snakes in the world at the Reptile Park.

Watch a funnel-web spider milking

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

The Australian Reptile Park is the only zoo in Australia with a venom milking program in place. Over the past 50+ years the program has saved over 300 lives each year. The Australian Reptile Park is the sole supplier of a variety of venoms which are used for snake and funnel-web anti-venom in Australia. Watch a funnel-web spider being milked inside the Spider World exhibit.

Wander through interactive exhibits

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

The Lost World of Reptiles, Spider World, Frog Hollow and Platypus House are all very well designed exhibits, created to be fun and engaging for kids. Spider World, featuring Tarantula-ville, is home to some of the largest spiders in Australia!

Play in the animal-themed playground

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

The playground at the Australian Reptile Park is so unique that you’ll have a hard time reminding kids that there are animals to be seen as well! The main climbing structure is in the shape of a frilled-neck lizard.

Kids 2 Keeper program or VIP tour
Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Want to get super up close to the animals? Check out the options available on the Kids 2 Keeper programs or VIP tours. We did the Mini Kids 2 Keeper program for kids aged 3-6 and loved touching reptiles, patting a koala and going inside the Galapagos tortoise enclosure.

Get more info on our experience with the Kids 2 Keeper program here.

Meet Australian wildlife

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Feed kangaroos, get up close to a koala, meet a wombat and play hide and seek with the ever-elusive platypus. The zoo is also home to Tasmanian devils, echidnas, wombats, cassowaries and dingos.

Say g’day to Hugo

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Hugo the Galapagos tortoise arrived at the park in 1963 as a teenager. Now aged 67, he is a gentle giant and a favourite at the park. The Galapagos tortoise is classified as “vulnerable”on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

Dance with the devil

Meet the iconic Tasmanian devil and learn about The Australian Reptile Park’s conservation project, Devil Ark.

Snap a selfie with a new furry friend

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Snappy Hour, where visitors to the zoo can get their picture taken with the park’s scaly and furry animals, runs between 11am and 2pm daily.

Tips for visiting The Australian Reptile Park

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Arrive early 
It’s a full day at the park, with a big schedule of events.

Prepare for the weather
That means sunscreen and hats, and I would advise close-in shoes.

BYO Food
There are free barbecue facilities in the picnic grounds or you can enjoy a picnic lunch from home.

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Australian Reptile Park
Pacific Highway
Somersby NSW2250
https://reptilepark.com.au

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids here.

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day here.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney here.

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park #sydneydaytrip #familytravel #australia

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Visiting the Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Faulconbridge, Australia

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia

I’ve been visiting Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge for over 15 years and it always enchants. Norman Lindsey (1879-1969) was an Australian artist, cartoonist, and writer. His former home and studio have been turned into a gallery and museum run by the National Trust, showcasing his work and life.

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia

We love to wander around the landscaped gardens and admire his sculptures, or wander through the gallery to see his beautiful paintings and etchings.

I’ve always admired Norman Lindsey as he was quite the trail blazer and controversial figure in his time. You can read more about Norman Lindsey and his work here.

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia

Norman Lindsey is also the creator of the Magic Pudding. Visiting the gallery is a great introduction for kids to this Aussie masterpiece.

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia

There is a cafe at the gallery serving food and beverages and guided tours that can be taken of the gardens and house.

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum
14 Norman Lindsay Cres, Faulconbridge
normanlindsay.com.au

Find out why you should visit Scenic World in the Blue Mountains here.

Read about more museums and galleries in Sydney and surrounds here.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive: Best Places To Stop

Where To Stop On The Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

The scenic Sydney to Melbourne coastal drive stretches around 1280 kilometres past stunning beaches, quaint seaside towns and through lush valleys. If you drove directly it would take you around 10 – 11 hours or so, but why would you want to do that when there are so many beautiful places to stop and enjoy along the way?

For us, the joy of a road trip is in discovering the small things between point A and point B, such as a gorgeous beach to splash at or a delicious brekkie at a country cafe. The best bit about driving vs flying is that the journey can be just as enjoyable as the end destination.

Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive: The Best Places To Stop

Kiama

Kiama, NSW, Australia

We’ve been visiting Kiama since we were kids to see the largest blowhole in the world. Sadly the hole wasn’t blowing on the day we visited, so the photos below are from a visit when I was about the same age that Cheese is now. Thankfully there are now fences installed for safety! Note: The hole might not be “blowing” when you visit as there’s been erosion inside the mouth of the blow hole in more recent years, meaning it now only “blows” in high tides, stormy weather type of days.

Kiama, NSW, Australia Kiama, NSW, Australia
The famous Kiama Blowhole has attracted visitors for over 100 years. The nearby lighthouse was built in 1887 and is worth a visit as well. If you have time walk down to Surf Beach, the main beach in town with calm water for a dip. Near the beach you’ll also find parkland with a playground and plenty of shops and cafes.

Kiama, NSW, Australia

Spend a few days in Kiama and explore a points of interest including the Little Blowhole, Cathedral Rocks, whale watching, Kiama Fish Market, the Kiama Coastal Walk and the Pilot’s Cottage Museum for some local maritime history.

Berry

Berry, NSW, Australia

The rural town of Berry is known for its beautiful gardens, boutique stores, arts and crafts. I highly recommend stopping by for a stroll up through this pretty town, and a piping hot donut from the Famous Berry Donut Van. Cinnamon donuts are made freshly to order and handed out so hot they burn the fingers.

Jervis Bay

Hyam's Beach, NSW, Australia

You could easily spend a week just in this beautiful spot on the NSW South Coast. There are plenty of picturesque seaside towns to explore, such as Calalla Bay, Huskisson, Vincentia and Hyams Beach. In the sparkling water of the Jervis Bay Marine Park live bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, sea dragons and migrating whales.

Hyam's Beach, NSW, Australia

We enjoyed Hyams Beach, a small beach in a residential suburb that has surged in popularity after being awarded the title of “whitest sand in the world” by the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s well worth a visit as the beach is just stunning, but be warned – parking is tricky.

Hyam's Beach, NSW, Australia

In our opinion, this part of the NSW coast is just breathtakingly beautiful, and a highlight of the Sydney to Melbourne coastal drive.

Bateman’s Bay

Bateman's Bay, NSW, Australia

We stopped overnight in Bateman’s Bay, a seaside town located at the entrance of the Clyde River. Captain Jams Cook gave the town its name in 1770 on his first voyage. The water at Bateman’s Bay is very clear, making it a great place for snorkelling. Visit Clyde River National Park for bushwalking, kayaking and fishing, or Birdland Animal Park and get hands on with native Australian animals. Bateman’s Bay is also an area for simple pleasures. Cheese really enjoyed climbing rocks under the bridge and playing in the riverside playground.

Bodalla

Bodalla, NSW, Australia

Of course we had to take our daughter Cheese to taste cheese! Stopping at the Bodalla Dairy Cheese Factory was a spur of the moment decision that we were very grateful that we did. Inside the factory you can try a range of delicious locally made cheese and milkshakes (they have other food too).

Bodalla, NSW, Australia

The farmyard out the back is a gorgeous spot where kids can pat the animals and bottle-feed calves daily at 10am and 4pm.

Bega

Bega, NSW, Australia

Driving through Bega was one of the prettiest spots on the road trip. The lush, undulating valley where Bega sits is so picturesque that you can imagine some very happy cows live here, munching on grass all day long, while their milk is being turned into sensational cheese. Visit the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre and sample some local cheese.

Bega, NSW, Australia

There are a few varieties that are only available here – we particularly loved the Heritage Reserve cheese. Honestly, you can’t take the Sydney to Melbourne coastal drive and NOT try some cheese at Bodalla or Bega.

Merimbula

Merimbula, NSW, Australia

This little seaside town on the Sapphire Coast is a popular holiday spot for families. Merimbula, derived from the Aboriginal word for “two lakes”, is a great place for water sports, whale watching, relaxing and eating! We had an amazing brunch at the Waterfront Cafe while stopping in Merimbula. Great food, and located next to a fenced playground.

Tura Beach, Merimbula, NSW, Australia

With its calm waters, sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding are fun sports to try when visiting the area. There are plenty of beaches in the area too, including the Merimbula Main Beach, Short Point, Bar Beach (where you’ll find good snorkelling) and Spencer Park Beach, which is a good spot for families as well a having a playground.

We also ventured to nearby Tura Beach and enjoyed it. Merimbula is a pretty little spot and it’s easy to see why many people break their journey on the Sydney to Melbourne coastal drive here for a few days.

Milton

Milton, NSW, Australia

We were lured to Milton by excellent reviews I read for its vegetarian cafe, Pilgrims. The food was incredible, but the town is a really lovely historic spot, and worth a visit in its own right. Milton was founded in 1860, and is located near Mollymook and Ulladulla. I would highly recommend a stop in Milton for a look at its art galleries, antique stores, fashion boutiques and delicious cafes. If you have more time, take the detour to Mollymook for a walk on the beach.

Pebbly Beach

Pebbly Beach, NSW, Australia

A photograph of a kangaroo in the low surf at Pebbly Beach has given rise to stories of “surfing kangaroos”. Sadly there are no surfing kangaroos, but there are a lot of resident roos at the beach, many of whom are friendly and apparently like a pat. I wouldn’t risk this myself, as wild animals are just that, but we did get very close to them with no issues on our visit to Pebbly Beach.

Pebbly Beach, NSW, Australia

Located in the Murramarang National Park, Pebbly Beach is also a popular camping area. It rained when we visited so we didn’t see the beach in all its glory, but it was still gorgeous despite the weather.

Lake’s Entrance

Lake's Entrance, Victoria, Australia

Another popular spot for young families to vaycay, Lake’s Entrance boasts the largest inland network of waterways in Australia. Located on the edge of Ninety Mile Beach, where the Gippsland Lakes meets the Southern Ocean, Lake’s Entrance is a fab spot to stay the night, like we did, or even a day longer. Water sports are a popular past time here, with kayaks, boat cruises and paddleboats all easily accessible.

Lake's Entrance, Victoria, Australia

Where To Stop On The Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

If you’re headed to Sydney after your drive, here’s a list of things to do in Sydney with kids, things to do for free in Sydney, the best beaches in Sydney, and best ocean pools in Sydney.

 

 

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Sydney To Melbourne Inland Drive: The best places to stop on a Hume Highway road trip

Sydney To Melbourne Inland Drive: The best places to stop on a Hume Highway road trip, Australia

The Sydney to Melbourne inland drive is a staple road trip that many Aussies have been making since childhood – myself included. We drove down as a family of three with Cheese for the first time this summer to experience the iconic drive for ourselves.

Driving between Sydney and Melbourne will take approximately eight to nine hours to cover the 877.6 km stretch via the Hume Highway. While it can be done in one day, I advise breaking the trip an evening stopover so there’s time to pull into these gems along the way.

Sydney To Melbourne Inland Drive: The Best Places To Stop On A Hume Highway Road Trip

Goulburn

Big Merino, Goulburn, Australia
Australia’s first inland city, as proclaimed by letters by Queen Victoria in 1863 is a must, even if it’s just to snap a pic with Rambo, the Big Merino. It’s just not an Aussie road trip without photographing one of the weird “big” icons that Australia loves to set up by the roadside.

The Big Merino stands 15.2m tall just off Goulburn’s southern exit. It was built in 1985 to celebrate the city and district’s fine wool industry. An exhibition on 200 years of wool history in Australia can be seen inside Rambo (open daily, 8.30am-5.30pm).

Belmore Park, Goulburn, Australia

In the actual town of Goulburn, we loved Belmore Park. It’s a gorgeous spot with a rotunda, flowering gardens, fountain, shady trees, glass house conservatory, war memorials and a playground. There are also public toilets (including a wheelchair accessible toilet). The park is a fantastic stop to let kids run around, cartwheel and stretch those legs.

The Rose Cafe, Goulburn, Australia

Across the road from Belmore park you’ll find The Roses Cafe, a delicious spot to stop for refuelling the humans. Their extensive menu features the most amazing homemade cakes, quiches, muffins, salads, frittatas, pies, cookies and more. Every single item is made from scratch onsite, each day.

Gundegai

Gundagai, NSW, Australia
This classic Australian country town is worth a detour to see. Walk up quaint main street, check out the Old Gungdegai Goal that was built in 1859, the Gundagai Historical Museum and Gundagai Railway station, built in 1885. A must is a stop at the famous Dog on the Tuckerbox, 8km north of Gundagai, just off the Hume Highway. We stopped at this exact spot so many times on our family Sydney to Melbourne inland drive road trips when I was a kid, and I had a ball recreating the photo from an image my parents had saved of me standing in the same spot when I was three.

Inspired by the 1850s poem “Bullocky Bill”, which celebrates the life of the loyal drover’s dog that guarded the man’s tuckerbox (where all his possessions were kept) until his death. The statue was immortalised in the song “Where the Dog Sits on the Tuckerbox (5 miles from Gundagai)”, as was the town in “The Road To Gundegai” both by Jack O’Hagan.

Holbrook

HolBrook Submarine Museum, NSW, Australia
In the middle of rural NSW, almost exactly halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, is a submarine. A real one. The HMAS Otway Submarine is insanely out of place in the country town of Holbrook, but that’s really part of its charm.

HolBrook Submarine Museum, NSW, Australia

Kids can climb up and run all over the submarine, while parents will enjoy visiting the Holbrook Submarine Museum and hearing the story of the daring Captain Holbrook, for whom the town was named. There is a cafe next to the submarine and a park adjacent with a playground and restrooms.

Albury

Botanic Gardens Albury, Australia
On the banks of the Murray River, at the border of New South Wales and Victoria, sits Albury. There is plenty to do in this town, making it an ideal place to spend the night. Noreuil Park is a great spot for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and riding bikes, while more active families might enjoy the 6km Wagirra Trail along the Murray River that features the history of the local indigenous tribe, the Wiradjuri people, and sculptures.

Botanic Gardens Albury, Australia

We particularly enjoyed the 130-year-old Botanic Gardens with its winding paths, towering trees and fantastic Children’s Garden. A recent addition to the park, the Children’s Garden is the perfect place for little ones to explore and let their imaginations run wild. We found a dinosaur with speaking tubes in its head and tail, a fairy house, troll cave and story circle, plus lots of other amazing little details carved and sculpted into the garden.

Mr Benedict, Albury, Australia

For a great cafe stop, try Mr Benedict at 664 Dean St, where we had a delicious all-day breakfast.

As previously mentioned, Albury is a great spot to spend the night on the Sydney to Melbourne inland drive. If decide to break your journey here, try the newly renovated Atura hotel – the “hippest” accomodation on the Hume Highway.

Glenrowan

Glenrowan, Victoria, Australia
A must stop on the Sydney to Melbourne inland drive for history buffs! Glenrowan is best known for its link to the bushranger Ned Kelly and the infamous Kelly gang. It was in Glenrowan where Kelly dressed in a helmet and homemade armour laid siege against the Melbourne troopers in 1880. Pick up a town map from the Glenrowan Bakehouse and follow the self-guided walk around the Glenrowan Heritage Precinct, which includes the siege and capture sites.

Glenrowan, Victoria, Australia

It’s a fascinating walk back in time to stand in the exact spot where one of Australia’s most notorious events took place. There’s also no better way to interest kids in history than for them to experience it for themselves.

Sydney To Melbourne Inland Drive: The best places to stop on a Hume Highway road trip, Australia

Another place to stop – although it’s a rather significant detour – is Canberra. Read our tips on Canberra here.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Bishop’s Court Estate: A Luxury Stay in Bathurst

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

A stay at the Bishop’s Court Estate is like spending the night at the house of a friend. If your friend lived in a luxurious, historic mansion, that is. Built in 1870 as the home of the first Anglican Bishop, Bishops Court Estate is a two-storey Victorian mansion that has been exquisitely restored to its former glory by owner Christine Le Fevre.

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

Le Fevre greets us by name as we arrive, and ushers us into our rooms, which all have their own name and character. There are only six rooms in this boutique hotel, making the stay a cosy, intimate affair. My room for the night is the Bishops Room – the bedroom that was previously reserved for the Bishop of the house.

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

The room is spacious and elegant, decorated with a unique art collection and European inspired furniture. There is direct access to the upper terrace from the room, which overlooks the chapel and garden. It’s peaceful, luscious and so relaxing. Complimentary port and choccies await me in the room, a lovely surprise gift for guests.

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

A big quick of the rooms at Bishop’s Court Estate is their lack of in-room ensuites. Only one room at the hotel has a bathroom ensuite, the rest, all large, luxurious bathrooms, are allocated to each room in different locations nearby. It’s pretty easy to slip on the provided plush robe and totter down the hall, and kind of feels like I’m on set at Downton Abbey when I do.

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

In the evening the chapel is filled with candles and transformed into the ethereal eatery that is 9inety 2wo restaurant. They serve Modern Australian cuisine in one of the most beautiful surrounds I’ve ever dined in.

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

Our meal is delicious. I enjoy the twice baked asparagus Soufflé with blue cheese and parmesan crisp, hand-cut pasta with mushrooms and baked stuffed eggplant with asparagus risotto, braised okra and spinach sauce. I’m similarly stuffed and can’t fit in dessert, which is a crying shame as it’s an exquisite-looking creme brulee.

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

It’s to bed after dinner, which is a wonderfully short stroll up the stairs, and to sleep on my bed, which is so comfortable it feels like sleeping on a cloud.

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

In the morning I’m cheerfully greeted by Le Fevre when I emerge downstairs, and step outside to explore the gardens. Serene angel statues are dotted throughout the greenery, giving the garden a celestial feel that, when combined with the solitude of the estate, gives a feeling of supreme peace.

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia
Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia
Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia
Around the corner from the chapel is the chook shed, where the “Spice Girls”, Le Fevre’s much-loved chickens, live a life of luxury.

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

The eggs served at breakfast in the house dish, the “Bishop’s Court Stack” are freshly laid by the Spice Girls, with the fruit grown in the kitchen garden. We sit at a long table, strangers no more. We depart Bishop’s Court Estate as newly found friends, thanks to Le Fevre’s extraordinary warmth and hospitality, and the unique bonding experience of spending a night in this gorgeous estate.

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

Bishop’s Court Estate
226 Seymour St, Bathurst
Online
Bishop's Court Estate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I was hosted by Bishop’s Court Estate, Destination NSW, Bathurst Council and Mayfield Gardens for my stay in Bathurst. All opinions are my own.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

A Whimsical Day at Mayfield Garden, Oberon, NSW, Australia

A whimsical visit to Mayfield Gardens, NSW, Australia

Nestled on the outskirts of the Blue Mountains, in the central tablelands area of NSW, lies a hidden gem called Mayfield Garden.

Created by the Hawkins family in the mid 1990s, Mayfield is now one of the world’s largest privately-owned cool climate gardens. Set on a working farm spanning thousands of acres, the European-inspired garden is at once both intimate and immense.

A visit to Mayfield takes an entire day. It’s just that big, and, with a stunning landscape to explore such as this, why would you want to rush your visit?

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

Mayfield is open year-round, only closing on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (or if there is snow and staff can’t get to the garden). I would strongly advise visiting in different seasons; waterlilies in summer, colourful foliage in autumn, raw structure of plants in winter and fragrant blooms in spring.

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

In addition to the year-round garden, the additional private family garden is open four times a year during the Festival Seasons: The last two weeks in January, April, July and October. In this additional garden you can enjoy an 80m cascade, rose garden, croquet court, creek gardens, walled kitchen garden, sunken garden rooms and the brand new maze.

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

There is an onsite cafe for dining, with a paddock & garden to plate menu. With 80% of what is served in the cafe comes directly from Mayfield’s produce, and the remaining is handpicked from local suppliers.

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

Breakfast is served from 9am-12pm, with dishes ranging from $10-$20. Lunch is served from 12-3pm, $10-$18 entree and $19.50-$29.50 mains.

Kids meals range from $8.50-$9.50 and includes toasties, eggs, pancakes, burgers and steak with chips. In the kitchen garden area, near the café, a kids play area is opening in July.

Another fun feature for kids is the flying fox that is next to the chook houses up the top of the garden, next to the walled kitchen garden – adults are welcome to take a ride too!

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

On the weekends, the kitchen garden comes alive with local talent performing at the “Bedford Stage” (aka the back of the Bedford truck!) in the kitchen garden area outside the café.

During peak periods (including the festival seasons) additional food options are available including woodfired pizza, gourmet pies, coffee and donuts at the Mayfield Kiosk and a gourmet sandwich bar at the Chapel & cider + swine bar.

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

2017 Festival Season Dates:

Autumn: April 15th – April 30th

Winter: July 1st – July 16th

Spring: October 14th – October 29th

Summer: January 12th – January 26th  2018

The only way to visit the private garden; which includes the Chinese pagoda and croquet I visited, plus the blue stone chapel, Mayfield’s cascade and temple, the walled kitchen garden and maze, is during these festival times. The brand new maze is NSW’s second largest fully hedge maze

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

During the Festival Seasons, five red row boats are available for free use, and interactive old-school games such as croquet, chess and bocce are set up in front of the obelisk for visitors to play with.

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

To help visitors navigate the large garden, a courtesy bus runs in a loop during the Festival Season, dropping at around six different locations around the garden. The bus is free and stops every 15 minutes at each station.

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

Cirkus Surreal in the Garden

When we visited we were fortunate enough to enjoy a performance by students from nearby Kelso High in a program called Cirkus Surreal. The program was designed to take at-risk youths in the community, teach them a circus skill, and, more importantly, pride in themselves and a place in their community. Through this award-winning circus program, Kelso High students perform regularly across NSW as well as internationally. They are regular performers at Mayfield Gardens, adding a whimsical ambience to the gardens.

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

Tips for visiting Mayfield
Be prepared for the climate! Bring a hat, sunscreen, warm clothing, an umbrella or jacket and walking shoes.

Keep children under close supervision around areas such as bridges, waterways and stone stairs.

Many of the paths allow access for wheelchairs and strollers, however there are also many areas where exploring requires going off road, so plan accordingly.

There are change tables in the bathrooms if you’re travelling with a baby.

Keep an eye out for the many upcoming events and workshops at http://www.mayfieldgarden.com/events/

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia
Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

 

Mayfield Garden
530 Mayfield Road Oberon
Hours: Open daily (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day), 9am-4:30pm (last entry 3pm)
Prices: Adult $20, Concession $18, Child $10. Kids aged 7 and under free. During the garden festivals, Adult $30, Concession $27, Child $15
http://www.MayfieldGarden.com.au
Get Directions

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Bathurst is home to 1000 heritage buildings, with over 200 years of European history, and tens of thousands of years of indigenous heritage. It’s a small country town yet it is bustling with energy and colour, the locals’ pride in their town unmistakable.

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

On May 7, 1815 Bathurst was declared a townsite by Governor Lachlan Macquarie making it Australia’s oldest inland settlement. It was a prominent town during the gold-rush, and features many well preserved buildings from the 1800s.

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

A walk along the streets of Bathurst is like strolling through an open air museum, with buildings from its past including workers’ cottages, industrial and commercial buildings, terrace houses, mansions, slab huts and grand civic structures from 1815 to the 1950 still intact around the town.

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Plenty of architecture from The Colonial Period (1815-1840) can be seen in the simple structure of the buildings, mostly of characteristic Bathurst red brick, sometimes lime washed.

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Before Europeans came to Bathurst, the indigenous Wiradjuri people lived in the surrounding lands for more than 40,000 years. You can read more about the history of the Wiradjuri people and European settlement of the area here.

Things to see and do

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Mount Panorama
Not a rev head? Me neither. I still recommend a drive up the top of Mount Panorama to admire the spectacular view of Bathurst down below, and for the experience of driving around the world-famous race track that is available to drive as a public road 27/7 (albeit at a much-slower 60km per hour).

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW Mountain Straight, Mount Panorama
Online

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Step back in time
Pick up a free map and take yourself on a walk through Bathurst’s past. The streets of Bathurst are lined with impressive buildings, impressive monuments and gorgeous parks that reflect the history of the city. Particular buildings of note include the Bathurst Court House, built in 1880, and the Bathurst Railway Station (pictured above, circa 1875) with its historic Chifley Engine is on display.
Bathurst Information Visitors Centre, 1 Kendall Ave, Bathurst

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (BRAG)
A modern, highly celebrated regional gallery with free entry, specialising in contemporary art. If you’re visiting over the school holidays, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery runs hands-on workshops for kids in conjunction with the Bathurst City Library.
70–78 Keppel St, Bathurst
Online

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum
Get an up close look at the natural history of Earth. Almost 2000 fossil and mineral specimens are displayed in two exhibitions – the MasterFoods Fossil Gallery and the Minerals Gallery. On show are rare mineral specimens and even a few dinosaurs and fossilized eggs.
224 Howick St, Bathurst
Online

Play outside
Take kids to the Adventure Playground, a state-of-the-art outdoor play space designed for children of all-abilities. Featuring dinosaur statues and footprints, a dual flying fox, slides, a maze and sandpit, you’ll find it hard to drag the kids away.
Victoria Park, on the corner of Durham and Hope Street

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

The Begonia House and Machattie Park
This council-owned and operated greenhouse is a perfect example of the town’s pride in it’s appearance and culture. Begonia House is filled with stunning begonia flowers between February and April (9am-4pm weekdays, 11am-3pm weekends).

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Begonia House is situated in beautiful Machattie Park park which has a fair amount of pretty flowers itself, plus a fountain and arbour. Its history is more gruesome – it used to be the site of the old city gaol and executions took place where the beautiful greenery now lies.
Machattie Park on the corner of William and Keppel Streets 


Where to eat

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Legall Patisserie Cafe
A little slice of France in regional Australia. Legall is owned and run by Frenchman Phillippe Le Gall, and is renowned for its macarons, éclairs, fruit tartlets and freshly baked bread.
56 Keppel St, Bathurst
Online

The Hub Espresso, Bar & Eatery
Serving up modern cafe food with a twist, The Hub is a favourite with locals and visitors alike. The Hub has won Best breakfast Cafe in Australia in the Restaurant & Catering Awards several years in a row.
52 Keppel St, Bathurst
Online

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSWChurch Bar & Woodfired Pizza
Housed inside an old Anglican Church School, Church Bar serves up delicious pizza with a dash of old-world charm.
1 Ribbon Gang Ln, Bathurst 
Online

Annies Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlour
Serving up fresh, homemade ice cream in an old fashioned 1950s-style milk bar. Try their local specialty, the Sofala Gold.
82/86 George St, Bathurst 
Online

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

The George Hotel
A family-friendly gastro pub offering a seasonal menu made from local produce.
201 George St, Bathurst
Online

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW

Where to stay
I stayed at Bishop’s Court Estate, a Victorian mansion built in 1870 by Australia’s first Anglican Bishop, Samuel Marsden. Interior designer Christine Le Fevre bought the mansion in 2001, restored it to its current magnificent state and turned it into an award-winning, luxury boutique hotel. Guests arrive at Bishop’s Court Estate as strangers and leave as friends, thanks to the warm welcome given by owner Le Fevre, her cuddly cats and “spice girls”, the much-pampered chickens who live a life of luxury while providing guests with eggs for brekkie. Get more info on my stay here.

Bishop's Court Estate, Bathurst, NSW

Bishop’s Court Estate, 226 Seymour St, Bathurst NSW
Online

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Getting around
I toured Bathurst with the wonderful Ian, owner of Bathurst Tours. I can highly recommend him for any of your touring needs! If you are self-driving, Bathurst is an easy town to drive around.

Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW
Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW Things To See & Do In Historic Bathurst, NSW

Thanks to Mayfield Gardens, Destination NSW, Bathurst Tours, Bishop’s Court Estate and Bathurst Council for hosting my wonderful Bathurst stay.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!