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Lilianfels High Tea, Blue Mountains NSW Australia

Lilianfels High Tea Blue Mountains Australia

Lilianfels High Tea, Blue Mountains NSW Australia

Enjoy the grand tradition of Lilianfels High Tea, served on a three-tier platter, in the elegant Lilianfels Resort & Spa in the NSW Blue Mountains.

It’s always time for tea in the Blue Mountains, and one can’t go past the elegant high tea served in The Lounge of Lilianfels Resort & Spa. 

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

The luxurious Lounge makes for an elegant and warm high tea experience. With plush Victoria armchairs and lounges to recline in, and the delightful ambiance of classical piano being played live, it’s high tea to dally over with loved ones.

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

Lilianfels High tea is a triple-tiered plate that includes fluffy homemade scones served with homemade jam and fresh cream, petit pastries, selection of finger sandwiches and your choice of tea or coffee.

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

Upgrade your high tea to include a glass of Australian sparkling wine or a glass of Moet Chandon NV French Champagne. When we visited, the tea was priced as follows: High Tea $55 per person (Mon to Thu) and $60 per person (Fri to Sun including public holidays), Deluxe High Tea from $75 per person including a glass of Australian sparkling wine and Luxurious High Tea from $80 per person including a glass of Moet Chandon NV French Champagne.

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

I couldn’t fault the service or food at Lilianfels. The high tea and staff were both perfection, with attentive service and delicious, fresh food.

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

I particularly liked the amount of savoury items compared to sweet, as my tastes are changing and I really prefer more savoury than sweet these days. 

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

There is a Children’s High Tea available for $35pp, which is also served on a triple-tiered plate and includes selection of pikelets, fairy bread, sandwiches and treats. Served with tea, juice or hot chocolate.

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

The Lilianfels High Teas are extremely popular so bookings are essential. 

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

The gardens at Lilianfels are lovely so be sure to go for a stroll in them, including the cute little maze, before you go.

Lilianfels High Tea,
5/19 Lilianfels Ave, Katoomba NSW
lilianfels.com.au

Find more things to do on a Blue Mountains Day Trip.

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A Glamping Stay at Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary
A Glamping Stay at Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

See koalas in their natural habitat and help support the care of sick and injured koalas at the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary. 

The Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary was founded in mid-2020 in partnership with Port Stephens Council to create a first-class facility with urgent care for koalas in need as well as support long-term rehabilitation, preservation and conservation in the wild. 

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

Set in stunning bush lands near Anna Bay, the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary offer visitors the chance to peek inside the state-of-the-art Koala Hospital with Intensive Care Unit treatment rooms and holding pens, take a stroll down the Sanctuary Story Walk, a 250 metre in length meandering pathway offering an immersive educational experience telling the story of koala and its habitat, and enjoy a stroll up the 225m Newcastle Airport SKYwalk elevated pathway and viewing platform, for a ‘tree top’ perspective into the koala’s natural habitat.

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The Fat Possum Café onsite offers basic food like pre-made sandwiches, pies and sausage rolls (several vegetarian varieties on offer) plus pastries and muffins, drinks and a range of souvenirs. 

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

For a really unique stay, try the overnight glamping experience like we did. The four-star glamping tents are set within the sanctuary grounds, in the shade of beautiful tall trees. 

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

The glamping tents fit groups of two or four people – our deluxe tent had a queen bed and two single beds. Each tent has its own ensuite and kitchenette with fridge, toaster and microwave. 

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Also included in the stay is a breakfast hamper and a mini bar full of local treats. We highly enjoyed the wine, beer, cheese and snacks on our verandah while we watched the suns et through the trees.

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

Other facilities for overnight guests include a swimming pool with a heated spa and BBQ facilities.

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

Accessible glamping tents are also available.

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

The following morning, a guided tour is offered to overnight guests where a staff member takes the group on a tour of the sanctuary and gives a great personal talk on the role of the sanctuary, the plight of the local koalas, and incredible information on these unique creatures.

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

We learned so much in this tour, including how fussy koalas are about eating only the particular types of trees in their area, which makes it hard to transport and treat them elsewhere, and how the population has dropped significantly from 30K koalas in the area only 30 years ago to a few hundred today.

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

The hospital has an ICU section with around 15 koalas receiving medical treatment for injuries, mostly from motor vehicle accidents, or sickness, which is most often chlamydia, which flairs up when a koala is under stress and can cause blindness.

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

While the aim is for the koalas to be rehabilitated and released back into the wild, there are times when a koala isn’t able to be released because their sickness or injury is too severe. These koalas are offered a permanent home at the sanctuary. 

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

In the future the sanctuary hopes to embark on a breeding program to then release more koalas into the wild and build back up the local population. 

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

If you are keen to stay but not keen on glamping, there are also a range of standard rooms available for a more conventional accomodation choice. 

The Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary is located around an hour from Newcastle or a 2.5 hour drive north of Sydney. There is a shopping centre a 5-minute away in Salamandar Bay with an excellent supermarket for stocking up.

Check in for overnight is from 2pm. I suggest checking in around then to leave yourself enough time to get settled into the room, look around the sanctuary, and leave plenty of time for relaxing in the pool before sunset drinks and dinner. Check out time is 10am the following morning.

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary
562 Gan Gan Rd, One Mile
Hours: Daily, 9am-5pm
pportstephenskoalasanctuary.com.au

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Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

Blackbutt Reserve Newcastle, NSW Australia

Blackbutt Nature Reserve Newcastle

Blackbutt Reserve

Blackbutt Reserve is a 182-hectare bushland oasis in Newcastle featuring nature trails, wildlife exhibits, children’s playgrounds and picnic facilities.

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Nestled in the suburb of Kotara, Blackbutt Nature Reserve is the perfect place to stop on a road trip or make a day trip out of. 

Things to do at Blackbutt Reserve

Visit the Wildlife Exhibits

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Get up close to iconic Australian wildlife in modern and spacious habitats. The habitats are located in the Carnley Reserve section of Blackbutt Reserve, and can be accessed by a boardwalk that starts at ground level and then is elevated, providing a birds-eye view of the animals in ground-level exhibits and of birds as they fly around their enclosures.

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

The boardwalk is wheelchair/stroller-friendly and includes interpretive signage along the way to help educate the public on the animals on display. 

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Animals currently on display include koalas, various birds such as Australian King Parrot, Barking Owl, Chiming Wedgebill and many other native fishes, doves and parrots, wombats, wallabies, kangaroos emu and more.

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Interactive Activity Packs can be purchased from the Kiosk. Use the activity sheet included to walk the boardwalk in search of the animal plates to colour, and then use the clues to search the picnic area of Carnley Avenue for the animals in order to receive a free gift from the Kiosk.

Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Animal Experiences 

Feed the emus

Emu cones filled with seeds and grains can be purchased from the Kiosk.

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Koala feeding and talk

The koala talk and feeding is held at 2pm daily on the boardwalk.

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Reptile Show

Reptile show at 11.00am on weekends, tickets available at the Kiosk.

Reptile Encounters

Private reptile encounters are available in the Wildlife Arena. Meet a snake, lizard or other reptile. $106 (minimum) for up to 10 people and $10.30 per person thereafter (maximum 20 people).

Critter Encounter

Book a Critter Encounter for an onsite party or event. Guests can enjoy hands-on learning experiences and the opportunity to meet, touch and handle some of Blackbutt’s favourite reptiles in the Wildlife Arena. Each child also receives an activity sheet to walk the boardwalk in search of the animal plates to colour-in. $165 for 30 participants* (maximum)

Take a  guided tour

Book a private guided tour through the animal exhibits. Guests can see and touch animals during this one-hour experience which includes encounters with several reptiles. $195 (minimum) for up to 10 people and $19.50 per person thereafter ( maximum of 20 people).

Hunt for wildlife

Blackbutt Reserve is made up of Eucalypt Forest and a restored rainforest, which provides habitats for a number of rare and vulnerable species. While bushwalking, keen an eye out for these reclusive inhabitants. The restored rainforest is home to approximately 15,000 Grey-headed Flying foxes, currently listed as a vulnerable species in New South Wales. 

Take a bushwalk

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Blackbutt Reserve has seven different walking trails that wind their way through varying forest types and along creeks. Trails are signposted at each major intersection with the name of the track and the distance. 

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Have a picnic

Blackbutt Reseve has two main picnic areas and three additional picnic areas with limited facilities. The picnic shelters are designated with a shelter symbol on the map, while the tables with no shelter are designated with a table symbol.

Blackbutt Nature ReserveBlackbutt Nature Reserve

The picnic area at Carnley Avenue is extremely popular and books out for large events. It’s a really lovely spot and close to the animal enclosures as well as the playground, duck pond and kiosk.

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Play in the playgrounds

There are two excellent playgrounds inside Blackbutt Reserve. 

Richley Reserve Adventure Playground

The Richley Reserve Mega Adventure Playground opened recently after a $2.5million overhaul. The playground features a massive 60m-long play area inspired by nature.

Features include rope courses, bridges, swings and slides, an adventure tower, and elements that suit kids of all ages, from toddlers to tweens, and all abilities (there is a specially designed carousel and better wheelchair-accessible pathways as part of the refresh).

Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Carnley Adventure Playground

The older adventure playground is best suited for kids aged 6-10. It includes spinning elements and interactive musical instruments. 

Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Find more things to do in Newcastle.

Blackbutt Nature Reserve
Carnley Ave, Kotara
Hours: Daily, 7am-5pm
https://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/blackbutt-reserve/blackbutt-reserve-home

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Blackbutt Nature Reserve Newcastle

Sydney Day Trips: Wollongong Botanic Garden

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Sydney Day Trips: Wollongong Botanic Garden

The Wollongong Botanic Garden is a 30-hectare garden in the suburb of Keiraville featuring a large collection of native and exotic plants from around the world. 

The site of the Wollongong Botanic Gardens was originally occupied by the by local Aboriginal peoples, the Dharawal, who occupied the land for tens of thousands of years. They remain the Custodians of the Land. European settlers in the 1880s used the land for farming until it was bought by the Hoskins family in 1929, who built their home, Gleniffer Brae, on the site in the late 1930s. The house still stands today within the Botanic Garden. 

The Hoskins family dedicated a large part of their property to Wollongong City Council in the 1950s to create a Botanic Garden. The garden was established in 1964 and officially opened to the public in January 1971.

Today, the Wollongong Botanic Garden is a beautiful spot to spend the day, either exploring the various collections or setting up folding chairs or a picnic blanket under one of the many shady trees and enjoying a picnic or bbq.

Tips for visiting the Wollongong Botanic Garden

There are seven entry points for the garden, most without maps or signposting of directions. I highly recommend if it’s your first visit entering at the main entrance located at Murphys Avenue and Paulsgrove Street and collecting a map (or downloading it to your phone).

Wollongong Botanic Garden

The garden is huge and it will take quite some time and leg power to see everything, so allow plenty of time to stroll and take everything in – at least two hours. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden

There are paved paths throughout the majority of the garden, making it extremely accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. There is a disabled toilet located at the entrance. Scooters and bikes are also allowed – a great idea for kids to help little legs get around.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Pack your own food, folding chairs or picnic blanket to really enjoy a full day at the garden.

There is a cafe near the main entrance, the Garden Grounds Cafe, which serves coffee and light snacks daily between 9am and 2pm. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden

There are picnic tables scattered around the garden, and free barbecues near the playground.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Wollongong Botanic Garden Collections

The Wollongong Botanic Garden is divided into 11 collections, all seamlessly connected. There are large signs that give information about each section but largely it’s a case of wander, explore and enjoy. The sections are: Australian Open Forest, Azalea Bank and Middle Creek, Dryland Collection, Flowering Trees and Shrubs, Palm Collection, Rainforest Collection, Rose Garden, Sir Joseph Banks Glasshouse (closed at time of print), Succulent Collection, Towri Bush Tucker Garden, Woodland Garden.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

We particularly enjoyed the Succulent Collection, which looks like a landscape from another world. Best visited in June / July when the Agave and Aloe plants produce amazing flower spikes, it’s also pretty spectacular in late August (when we visited) and in spring when a carpet of mesembryanthemum flowers blooms.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

The Azalea Bank and Middle Creek collection is also stunning, featuring plants found in Asiatic regions including China, Japan and Korea. Of note are the beautiful Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Camellias, Dogwoods (Cornus alba), Maples (Acer palmetum) and Dawn Redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), many of which were blooming when we visited, and a row of white flowering-cherry trees,  near the Japanese Tea House.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

We were fascinated by the aerial roots of the Swamp Cyprus (Taxodium distichum) in this section, too. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden Features

While you can read in detail about the features of the garden here, I have highlighted our favourites below.

Kawasaki Bridge

Wollongong Botanic Garden

One of the most stunning features of the garden is the Kawasaki Bridge. The traditional Japanese bridge and tea house were presented as a gift to the City of Wollongong from the City of Kawasaki in 1993 to mark the fifth anniversary of their Sister City relationship. 

The shape of the bridge is called taiko-bashi (drum bridge) in Japanese. If you look into the water from the top of the bridge you’ll see its reflection in the shape of a drum.

All Abilities Playground

Wollongong Botanic Garden

The fully-fenced all-abilities playground is perfect for kids aged 2-12. The playground includes swings, a sandpit, no-step slippery dip, climbing net, viewing platform and a maze. There is also an edible herb garden along the southern wall with seasonal herbs available for picking such as rosemary, chives, basil, parsley and mint.

Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden

Outdoor Reading Rooms

What a fantastic idea to include little book libraries inside the garden! There are two with a range of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books located next to the Cafe at the Murphys Avenue entrance and along the main path near the Flowering Trees and Shrubs collection.

The Mercury Fountain

Wollongong Botanic Garden

While the fountain was turned off when we visited, it is still a striking piece to behold and for kids to climb, no matter the season. The Mercury Fountain was designed by Robert Woodward. It was inspired by Wollongong’s industrial and mining history, and the five islands off the coastline.

Duck Pond

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Who doesn’t love feeding ducks? The duck pond has a beautiful rotunda in the middle which is the perfect spot to feed the native ducks and watch the eels swim past. If you want to feed the ducks, please either buy the peas and corn from the cafe at the entrance or bring an approved feeding option from home. No bread.

Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden

Insect Hotels

Wollongong Botanic Garden

We have made our own insect hotel at home, which pales in comparison to the beauties found inside the garden. The hotels give insects a sanctuary from the cold of winter and a nesting space in summer. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Events and programs

The Wollongong Botanic Garden runs a wide range of educational events throughout the year for adults and kids. During the school holidays kids can enjoy interactive hands-on activities relating to the environment. Find out about upcoming programs here.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Getting to the Wollongong Botanic Garden

By car: Take the M1 Princes Motorway, then the Keiraville exit and follow the signs to the Wollongong Botanic Garden.

Parking: All parking is free (2 hour limit). There are four car parks and also street parking available. 

Public Transport: Take the free Gong Shuttle Bus or catch the train to North Wollongong. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden Wollongong Botanic Garden

Wollongong Botanic Garden
Murphys Avenue, Keiraville
Hours: Daylight saving hours 7am to 6pm weekdays, 7am to 6.45pm weekends and public holidays. Non-daylight saving hours 7am to 5pm daily

Phone: (02) 4227 7667
wollongong.nsw.gov.au

More things to do in Wollongong

Visit nearby Austinmer Beach.

Visit the Early Start Discovery Space

More things to do in Sydney and surrounds

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Wollongong Botanic Garden

Dirty Janes High Tea Bowral, Southern Highlands, Australia

Your Vintage Occasion Tea Salon: Dirty Janes High Tea Bowral

Your Vintage Occasion Tea Salon: Dirty Janes High Tea Bowral

The perfect high tea in Bowral. ‘Your Vintage Occassion Tea Salon’ serves up delicious high tea inside Dirty Janes Bowral, in the NSW Southern Highlands.

Dirty Janes Bowral

For an authentic high experience, we absolutely love ‘Your Vintage Occasion Tea Salon’, the quaint and quirky salon inside Dirty Janes Bowral.

Dirty Janes Bowral

With a speciality in high tea, ‘Your Vintage Occasion Tea Salon’ is also a place where you can drop by for a light meal or treat. Their cakes are absolutely incredible, all handmade each day onsite, and the scones are next level. Possibly the perfect scone – light, fluffy and fresh out of the oven. 

Dirty Janes Bowral

The menu is a simple one: sandwiches, toasties, soup, pinwheel sandwiches, light meals such as frittata or quiche, and the magnificent scones. Scones are available in a variety of flavours, my favourite bing the rose scone, which comes with rose cream.

Dirty Janes Bowral

Gluten-free options are available for treats and the high tea.

When visiting on a weekday, it’s easy to stroll in and get a table. Weekends, however, are always busy and full up fast. Bookings are available at 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm.

Dirty Janes Bowral

The salon puts up what I consider the best high tea in Bowral, and it’s very reasonably pried too at $29 pp or $32 for gluten-free. There was no problem accomodating us with a vegetarian high tea as well. 

Dirty Janes High Tea Bowral

Each high tea comes with a choice of freshly bakes scones, a daily savoury selection and an assortment of sweets, plus a pot of loose-leaf tea by The Highland’s Tea Company or an espresso coffee.

Kids aren’t left out either, with a Little One’s High Tea for $20pp, including a delicious assortment of treats along with a fruit juice, small iced chocolate or berry swirl.

Dirty Janes High Tea Bowral

Dirty Janes High Tea Bowral

Dirty Janes Bowral Dirty Janes Bowral

Your Vintage Occasion Tea Salon at Dirty Janes 
13-15 Banyette St, Bowral
0457 106 970
yourvintageoccasion.com.au/tea-salon-dirty-janes-bowral

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Where to Find Beautiful Waterfalls in Sydney

Waterfalls in Sydney

Where to find Beautiful Waterfalls in Sydney

Ready to chase waterfalls in Sydney this weekend? You don’t have to look far to fund spectacular plunge waterfalls to satisfy your wanderlust.

Blue Mountains

Katoomba Cascades

Katoomba Cascades

Katoomba Cascades is a small waterfall on the Kedumba River, in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains, 1.5 hours west of Sydney.

The cascades can be found in a bend on Cliff Drive, near Katoomba Park. There are some picnic benches in the park, making it the perfect place to stop for a break before heading down to the cascades. 

It’s a short 300 metre walk down to the falls, which takes about 15 mins. It can get quite muddy, so wear closed in shoes and possibly bring a change of shoes in the car.

Read more about visiting Katoomba Cascades.

Katoomba Falls

Katoomba Falls

The Katoomba Falls is a segmented waterfall that is located close between Echo Point and Scenic World, near Katoomba. The falls flow into the Jamison Valley in the Blue Mountains.

To view the falls, you can take the short, picturesque circuit walk starting at Scenic World. The 1.5km circuit, which takes about 1 hour 45 mins, goes through the rainforest, all the way to the waterfall, with panoramic views of Jamison Valley.

There is an excellent view of the falls from the Scenic World Skyway.

Wentworth Falls

The spectacular Wentworth Falls  are a true Blue Mountains gem, with plenty of surrounding bush walks to enjoy the region’s natural beauty. Head to the Wentworth Falls Picnic Area and the nearby Wentworth Falls Track, which leads past the Jamison and Wentworth lookouts and then descends to the spectacular Fletchers lookout.

Read more about visiting Wentworth Falls.

The Minni Ha Ha Falls

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.
NOTE: the falls have been reported closed, so check they are open before going.

Southern Highlands

Carrington Falls

Carrington Falls, Southern Highlands, Australia

The magnificent Carrington Falls, a 50m waterfall plunging into a natural swimming gully, is located in the Budderoo National Park in the Southern Highlands of NSW.

The Kangaroo River flows over a sandstone escarpment into the gully below. There is a loop walk that takes approximately 25 minutes to complete and takes visitors to three lookouts with stunning views as well past cascades, waterholes and rockpools. 

Read more about visiting Carrington Falls here

Fitzroy Falls

Fitzroy Falls, Morton national Park, NSW, Australia

The spectacular Fitzroy Falls is located inside the Morton National Park, in the Southern Highlands of NSW, a two hour drive from Sydney or Canberra and 60mins from Wollongong. The 81-metre waterfall is easy to access and makes for a stunning day trip.

Fitzroy Falls are viewable from several lookout points, the first of which is only a short walk from the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre and is full accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

Read more about visiting Fitzroy Falls here

Belmore Falls

Belmore Falls

Belmore Falls is a plunge waterfall with three drops. It’s extremely easy to drive directly up to the lookout point and enjoy these stunning views over the Kangaroo valley. There is a 1.8km return walk that can be taken from the lookout to the top of the waterfalls.

Read more about visiting Belmore Falls here.

Central Coast

Somersby falls

Somersby Falls Central Coast

A popular place for family picnics and bushwalking, the Somersby Falls are located on the NSW Central Coast, an hour-and-a-half drive from Sydney.  

The Somersby Falls walking track is a 500m return walk that takes in views of the top and bottom waterfalls. Note that the walk is steep and can be slippery in places.

Read more about visiting Somersby Falls.

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

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Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

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Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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Waterfalls in Sydney

Visiting Somersby Falls on the NSW Central Coast

Visiting Somersby Falls on the NSW Central Coast

Somersby Falls Central Coast

A popular place for family picnics and bushwalking, the Somersby Falls are located on the NSW Central Coast, an hour-and-a-half drive from Sydney.  

The Somersby Falls picnic area has plenty of picnic tables and free barbecues available, plus lots of space to throw down a picnic blanket and set up your own table a chairs.

Set up either under the shade of the tall trees at the end of the carpark or next to Floods creek before it descends over the cascades.

Somersby Falls Central Coast

The Somersby Falls walking track is a 500m return walk that takes in views of the top and bottom waterfalls. Note that the walk is steep and can be slippery in places.

.The falls themselves can be a bit dry depending when you visit, so the best time is after a heavy rain (but mind how slippery that will make the track and be prepared). 

Somersby Falls Central Coast Somersby Falls Central Coast Somersby Falls Central Coast Somersby Falls Central Coast Somersby Falls Central Coast

There is an $8 entry fee into the park per vehicle per day. The park has coin-operated pay and display machines – please bring correct coins.

There are bathroom facilities available at the picnic area.

Somersby Falls
Somersby Falls Rd, Somersby
nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

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A Day At Katoomba Cascades

Katoomba Cascades

Katoomba Cascades is a small waterfall on the Kedumba River, in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains, 1.5 hours west of Sydney.

Katoomba Cascades

The cascades can be found in a bend on Cliff Drive, near Katoomba Park. There are some picnic benches in the park, making it the perfect place to stop for a break before heading down to the cascades. 

It’s a short 300 metre walk down to the falls, which takes about 15 mins. It can get quite muddy, so wear closed in shoes and possibly bring a change of shoes in the car.

Katoomba Cascades

The trail is a very easy one, making it perfect for little kids to tackle as well. At the bottom of the walk is a bench seat and some shade, and plenty of rocks to sit on. If the weather is warm, it’s a beautiful spot to take off your shoes and go for a paddle in the bottom of the falls.

Katoomba Cascades

The water is very shallow at the base, making it a great spot for kids to splash around.

If you want to keep moving, the walk continues along the Kedumba River to a spot where there is a breathtaking view of the water falling into the valley. 

There are no bathroom facilities nearby, so play accordingly and bring plenty of water. 

If you’re after more things to do in the area, drive to the nearby (and extremely kid-friendly) Gingerbread Cafe, or enjoy some more nature with further bush walks around Leura, Katoomba and Blackheath. If you have children who are too young to take on longer bush walks, nearby Scenic World provides several different ways for families to enjoy the bush without much physical exertion.

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Belmore Falls, Robertson, Southern Highlands

Belmore Falls

Belmore Falls, Robertson, Southern Highlands

Belmore Falls is a plunge waterfall with three drops. It is located in the Southern Highlands, near the town of Robertson, in New South Wales, Australia.

Belmore Falls

The waterfalls are 130m tall at the highest point, and are very easy to view from Hindmarsh Lookout.

Driving to Belmore Falls is a bit of an adventure, with a winding unsealed road through the bush, and driving over the top of the waterfalls themselves at Barrengarry Creek crossing.

Belmore Falls

Cars can drive right up to Hindmarsh Lookout where there is a car park, picnic tables and extremely basic restrooms. There is little to no mobile phone reception. Bring plenty of water as there is no drinkable water available.

Belmore Falls

It’s only a few steps from the car park to the Hindmarsh Lookout, which offers the best view of the falls. It does however require walking down several steps to reach the platform.

Belmore Falls

There is a short walk that starts at this location and follows the edge of the escapement to the top of the waterfalls at Barrengarry Creek. While it is possible to walk to the very top of the falls here, it is not advisable for safety reasons. 

Belmore Falls

The walk takes about 30 mins (1.8km return) and has plenty of stunning views over Kangaroo Valley. It also, however, shares the majority of the walk with the road and cars, so keep an eye out for incoming vehicles.

Belmore Falls Belmore Falls Belmore Falls Belmore Falls Belmore Falls Belmore Falls Belmore Falls Belmore Falls

Belmore Falls
Belmore Falls Rd, Wildes Meadow NSW
nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

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Mandarin Picking at Watkins Family Farm Wisemans Ferry

Picking Mandarins at Watkins Family Farm Wisemans Ferry

Mandarin Picking at Watkins Family Farm Wisemans Ferry

Pick your own mandarins in the crisp country air at Watkins Family Farm, in Wisemans Ferry, NSW. 

Watkins Family Farm Wisemans Ferry

Watkins Family Farm is a family-owned business, the land being granted to James Watkins in 1867, and farmed by the next seven generations. 

The end of autumn / beginning of winter marks the start of mandarin picking season at Watkins Family Farm.

With over 2000 fruit trees to pick your own fruit from and farm animals to meet and feed, a visit to Watkins Family Farm is an excellent outing for all ages.

Watkins Family Farm Wisemans Ferry
Chicken shed

Note: During COVID-19 the farm animals are not available and there are no picnics permitted on the property. Visitors are asked to responsibly comply with social distancing rules and maintain 1.5m distance from others.

Watkins Family Farm Wisemans Ferry

The farm specialises in mandarins: juicy imperial and hickson mandarins are on offer each season for picking.

We were surprised at how popular the farm was and how many people were there on the day we visited. A lot of the low-hanging mandarins had already been picked, but we found trees with fruit that was within the reach of our child when we walked right to the very back of the farm to the last rows.

Watkins Family Farm Wisemans Ferry

Tips for visiting Watkins Family Farm

The farm is cash only.

There is no mobile phone reception on the farm.

Wear shoes appropriate for mud and dirt.

Arrive before opening for the best experience. 9:45am at the latest. If you plan to arrive at the farm after 11am you will find it hard to get a parking spot and enter the farm.

Each adult must buy a bucket – $10 for a small bucket or $15 for a large one.

You may not take any bags into the farm, including handbags that are large enough to fit anything larger than a wallet. 

The only toilet facilities are portaloos – use the bathrooms in Wisemans Ferry beforehand if you have the time.

Watkins Family Farm Wisemans Ferry

Watkins Family Farm
1006 Singleton Road, Laughtondale
Hours: 10am-4pm
https://watkinsfamilyfarm.com.au/

 

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Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

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Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

The best things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids.

Picking Mandarins at Watkins Family Farm Wisemans Ferry