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The Best Things To Do On The Gold Coast With Kids

Things To Do On The Gold Coast With Kids: Qld Australia
 

Things to do on the Gold Coast with kids

Queenland’s Gold Coast is a family-friendly stretch of coast lined with spectacular beaches, famous theme parks and lush hinterland rainforests. It’s no wonder families return year after year to holiday in this paradise, there is just so much to do on the Gold Coast with kids!

Gold Coast With Kids via christineknight.me

Beaches

Coolangatta, QLD

The number one attraction on the Gold Coast, and it’s FREE! Take a sun shelter, sand toys and plenty of sun screen. Main Beach and Surfers Paradise are the glitzy attention-hogs of the coast, with Broadbeach a close third, but we prefer the quieter beaches like Burleigh Heads, the supremely family-friendly Tallebudgera Creek, Currumbin Creek and Coolangatta Beach. It’s no surprise that with so many gorgeous spots to choose from, that the beaches rate number one for our fave thing to do on the Gold Coast with kids.

Theme Parks

Dreamworld

Dreamworld, Australia

Dreamworld is a theme park and zoo. The park features thrilling rides, kid-friendly rides, WhiteWater World (which is a water park area), live shows and entertainment, Tiger Island (part of Dreamworld’s Sumatran tiger conservation program), ABC Kids World, Wiggles World, Troll Village and Dreamworld Corroboree, which is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, culture, wildlife and stories. We’ve visited Dreamworld many times over the years and the tigers are always our favourite.

dreamworld.com.au

Image courtesy of Dreamworld

Sea World

Sea World via christineknight.me

Sea World is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, and theme park located on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It includes rides, animal exhibits and other attractions, and it promotes conservation through education and the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.

Sea World via christineknight.me

Out of all the theme parks, this was the best for little kids. Lots of animals exhibits and shows like the seals pictured above, a few rides such as the carousel and the Viking Revenge Flume, and great character shows and meet and greets with Dora The Explorer and Spongebob Square Pants.

seaworld.com.au

 
 
Warner Bros Movie World
 

Movie World, Queensland via christineknight.me

Warner Bros Movie World is Australia’s only movie-related theme park. Best suited to older tweens and up, Movie World features lots of thrilling rides, character meet and greets and live shows.

Movie World, Queensland via christineknight.me

Movie World does has a great section for younger kids with smaller rides and a splash area for hot days. Several of the rides require kids to be over 100cm still, so for kids age 3 and under the ride choices are limited. The character shows and parade however are a lot of fun for littles, and run all day long.

movieworld.com.au

Wet’n’Wild

Wet'n'Wild Water World, Australia
 
This popular water park features rides and slides for thrill seekers and families. Their Wet’n’Wild Junior precinct is especially designed for kids aged under 10 and under 140cm tall, and features eight kid friendly water slides including miniature versions of the larger thrill slides, a shallow children’s pool and multi-level interactive adventure play area with a tipping bucket.
 
Get more info about visiting Wet’n’Wild here.
Image courtesy of Wet’n’Wild.
 
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
 
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia
 
The iconic Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Australia’s Gold Coast is a heritage-listed zoological garden, built in 1947. Set on 27 hectares of Currumbin rainforest, you’ll need to dedicate a full day to exploring. Be sure to arrive early for the 8am free lorikeet feeding.
 
Read more about our experience at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary here.

Aquaduck

Aquaduck via christineknight.me
For a short outing (it goes for an hour, departing from the middle of Surfers Paradise), the Aquaduck is great for for kids.

Aquaduck via christineknight.me

The duck takes a drive along side the beach, and then takes to the water to give a tour of the glam houses on the lagoons. The best part for Cheese was getting to drive the boat.

aquaduck.com.au

Tamborine Mountain

Mount Tamborine Curtis Falls, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

I’ve heard locals call Tamborine Mountain the “green behind the gold”, which is a beautiful way to look at it. The third oldest National park in the world, the Tamborine Mountain features 12 walking tracks, each one no longer than around 3km.
 

Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Cave

Mount Tamborine Glow-worm Caves , Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

 

Did you know that glow worms are only found in Australia and New Zealand? Get a glimpse at these tiny, illuminated creatures at the Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Tours at Cedar Creek Estate, in a purpose-built cave filled with thousands of glow worms. The cave was built to take some of the attention off other areas of the mountain where the glow worms are found naturally and were attracting large amounts of tourists.

 
The cave ensures that visitors levels and interaction with the glow worms is kept at a level safe to the glow worms while also ensuring that their cousins in the wild are able to live with less tourist traffic damaging their habitat. As a bonus, you can see these glow worms from 10am-4pm year-round, whereas glow worms in the wild can only be viewed at night.
 
 

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

Mount Tamborine Skywalk, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

A 1.5km rainforest walk, the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk includes a 40 metre Skywalk Cantilever (steel-structured) and Cedar Creek Viewing Platform, which both give excellent views of the rainforest from the treetops.
 
Mount Tamborine Skywalk, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia
 
The walk then continues on a winding path on the canopy floor. The walk takes around 45 minutes. Note: this is a paid experience. We thought it was a bit expensive for what was offered.
 
 

Curtis Falls Track

Mount Tamborine Curtis Falls, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

This is the perfect family-friendly waterfall walk through a eucalypt forest and lush rainforest.

Mount Tamborine Curtis Falls, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

The walk is short but when you stop to examine the intricate strangler figs and look inside hollow tree trunks, it can take a while to reach the waterfalls at the bottom. There are no bathrooms nearby!

Gallery Walk

Mount Tamborine, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

Stop by the “Gallery Walk“ where over 60 art, craft, gift and nick-knack shops line the street.

Mount Tamborine, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

We enjoyed getting lost inside Flights of Fancy, the most beautiful fairy shop we’ve ever seen, and sampling the many incredible flavours of fudge at Fudge Heaven.

Getting to the Gold Coast

Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

 
We booked a cheap flight online (try Webjet or Skyscanner) and had a very easy, fast trip to Gold Coast airport. Pros: it’s fast. Cons: if your hotel isn’t walking distance from everything you want to see, you’ll need to shell out a lot of money in expensive shuttle buses or take public transport. There is a tram service that links many of the popular destinations – get info on where the tram stops and pricing here.
 
You can also do the traditional driving route from your home city – ours is Sydney. Read about the best places to stop on the Sydney to Brisbane drive here. Pros: you have a car at your disposal when you get there. Cons: you might have to pay for parking at your hotel, and the drive up is loooooooong if you come from somewhere as far as Sydney.
 

Family Accommodation on the Gold Coast

 
Surfers Paradise Marriot Resort & Spa
 
Surfers Paradise Marriot Resort, Queensland via christineknight.me
We loved the Surfers Paradise Marriot Resort & Spa. Situated between the beach and a lagoon, it’s surrounded by water on all sides. The two excellent pools, one saltwater with a waterfall and fish and the other chlorinated with a whirlpool feature and cave, make it hard to leave the resort
 
Read more about our stay at the Surfers Paradise Marriot Resort & Spa here.
 
Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise
 
Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
The Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise is a large, older grand dame of a hotel, consisting of two towers, connected by an undercover walkway. We loved the two giant pools and heated spa.
 
Read more about our stay at the Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise here.
 
 
Things To Do On The Gold Coast With Kids: Qld Australia
 
 

Nine Awesome Things To Do In Port Stephens

Eight Things To Do In Port Stephens

Located 2 1/2 hours drive north of Sydney, the area has a stunning 26 beautiful beaches and bays to explore. Port Stephens is renowned for whale and dolphin watching, sand dunes and gourmet restaurants. There are so many thing to do in Port Stephens that I suggest staying for at least three days, more if you can.

I’m reluctant to write about Port Stephens in a way because it’s a little gem that has been off the tourist radar so far, and it’s kind of nice that way! Both hubby and I have spent a lot of time of the years at Port Stephens and it’s an area very dear to our hearts.

Nelson Bay

Nelson Bay Marina, Port Stephens, NSW, Australia

Nelson Bay is the heart of Port Stephens. The beautiful marina is a popular spot for waterfront dining, cycling and scooting, as well as being the location for departing water tours. Nelson Bay is the main township in the area so has the best selection of accomodation, restaurants and other facilities.

Oakvale Wildlife Park

Oakvale Wildlife Park Port Stephens

Meet native Australian and exotic animals at Oakvale Wildlife Park. Hand-feed roaming animals and enjoy the water park or a bbq lunch.

Read more about visiting Oakvale Wildlife Park.

Little Beach

Little Beach Nelson Bay, Port Stephens

One of the best family friendly spots in the area is Little Beach, tucked between Nelson Bay Beach and Shoal Bay Beach. The flat water is calm and perfect for littlies, and there is loads of soft sand for building sandcastles. We have spent many hours here floating in the water and relaxing. It’s heaven!

Nelson Head Heritage Light House Cottage and Reserve

The Best Things To Do In Port Stephens

You can drive or walk up to the Nelson Head Lighthouse Cottage and Rescue Station Reserve.

Nelson Head

The headland was chosen as the perfect spot for a lighthouse in 1875 thanks to its unparraleled views of Port Stephens. It’s a great spot for tea and scones in the Tea Rooms, kookaburra spotting and taking in the view.

Tomaree National Park

Mount Tomaree, Port Stephens, NSW, Australia

Get some easy exercise with the Tomaree Head Summit walk. A short, invigorating (read – steep uphill!) walk 161 metres above the entrance to Port Stephens, the reward from the lookout at the top is a stunning view of the coast as far as Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah islands. From the south platform you can see Box Beach, Fingal Island and Point Stephens Lighthouse.

Fingal Bay

Fingal Bay, Port Stephens, NSW, Australia

This beach is a near-perfect C-curve and is a popular spot to set up for the day with a picnic to just relax. BYO shade shelter as there is no shade on the beach! Walk north to the sand split that links Fingal Island.

View of Fingal Spit looking towards Mount Tomaree, Port Stepens.

Our fave secret spot is to walk over the dunes when the tide is too high to pass over the sand split to the secret beach on the other side.

Additional image of Fingal Split courtesy of Destination NSW.

Stockton

Stockton Beach, Newcastle, Port Stephens

Famous for its length, Stockton Beach is 33km long, making it the longest beach in NSW. Known for its magnificent sand dunes which, at 100 metres tall are the longest mobile sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere, Stockton is a sleepy seaside town with some beautiful 19th century cottages. It’s secret gem we love to visit.

One Mile Beach / Anna Bay

A popular beach spot, One Mile Beach is a small town located between Boat Harbour and Nelson Bay. It has basic amenities and a small kiosk, plenty of parking and shady picnic areas.

Shoal Bay

Shoal Bay, Port Stephens

Families love visiting Shoal Bay for a very good reason. As well as being stunningly beautiful, it’s a quiet town with a relaxed vibe. Shoal Bay Beach stretches 2.5lm between Nelson Head and Tomaree Head, protected by both to offer calm swimming waters lapping against the white sand. Kids have been jumping off the jetty for generations!

With so many things to do in Port Stephens it’s hard to spend only a few days in this gorgeous slice of paradise.

The Best Things To Do In Port Stephens

9 Fun Things To Do In Newcastle, NSW

Things to do in Newcastle, NSW, Australia

9 Fun Things to do in Newcastle

Australia’s eight largest city is a coastal stunner, surrounded on both sides by beautiful beaches. Newcastle is also a city steeped in history and has becoming a gastronomical mecca of late, with a plethora of cute cafes to choose from. There are plenty of things to do in Newcastle, so plan to spend at least a few days in Steel City!

Fort Scratchley

For Scratchley, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Located in Newcastle East, Fort Scratchley was built in 1882 to defend the city against a potential attack from the Russians. Now a museum, Fort Scratchley is a popular spot to check out the old building which is now a museum and take in the spectacular view on all sides. Kids will love rolling down the hill to the playground below.

Nobbys Lighthouse

For Scratchley, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

A Newcastle icon, Nobbys Lighthouse was built in 1858. The grounds are open from 10am-4pm every Sunday, offering spectacular views of Newcastle, Stockton and beyond.

Get more information about Nobbys Lighthouse here.

Newcastle Memorial Walk

Newcastle Memorial Walk, Newcastle.

A picturesque 450m long boarwalk and bridge, the Newcastle Memorial Walk was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in 1915 which also coincided with the commencement of steel-making in Newcastle.

Image courtesy of Destination NSW.

Swim at the many beautiful beaches

Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Newcastle has plenty of beaches to choose from. Stockton Beach is the longest beach in NSW and has giant sand dunes that are popular for “surfing” down. Dixon Park Beach, Nobbys Beach, Newcastle Beach and Mereweather Beach are all beautiful options – you can’t go wrong with any of them!

Newcastle and Merewether Ocean Baths

Newcastle Baths, NSW, Australia

These popular swimming spots are also a piece of Newcastle history. Newcastle Ocean Baths was opened in 1922 and Merewether Baths in 1935. We particularly loved the Art Deco-style bathing pavilion at the iconic Newcastle Ocean Baths.

Newcastle Ocean Baths, Newcastle.

Families will love the large, shallow Canoe Pool that sits adjacent to the Newcastle Ocean Baths, on its southern side.

The baths are open year ’round.

Additional image courtesy of Destination NSW.

Newcastle Museum

Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia

A small museum excellently executed, the Newcastle Museum is a top spot to learn more about the local area through interactive and engaging exhibitions.

The Supenova Hands-on Science Centre including a Mininova area for kids under 115cm are particularly fun for families to drop in and see, as is the full-sized vintage tram that is just beckoning to be climbed.

Read more about our visit to the Newcastle Museum here.

Blackbutt Reserve

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

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

Read more about visiting Blackbutt Reserve.

Shop and eat on Darby Street

Napoli Centrale, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Darby Street is the place to shop, eat and people watch. The street contains cafes, restaurants, galleries and gift stores.

Blackbutt Reserve

Blackbutt Reserve Newcastle

A favourite with families, Blackbutt Reserve contains nature trails, playgrounds and wildlife exhibits. With plenty of barbecue and picnic facilities, it’s the perfect spot for a relaxing day in nature.

Entry to the park is free, and animal feedings run daily (except for Christmas Day, Anzac Day and Good Friday). The current schedule is 10.30am Wombats, 10.45am Lorikeets, 1.30pm Nocturnal Animals and 2pm Koalas, however please visit Blackbutt Reserve Facebook page for cancellations and changes. The new playground at Richley Reserve is also worth checking out.

Get more info on visiting Blackbutt Reserve here.

Image courtesy of the City of Newcastle. 

Where to eat in Newcastle

Napoli Centrale Pizza Bar

Napoli Centrale, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

While you are guaranteed a good meal trying any one of the many chic restaurants on Darby Street, we particularly enjoyed dining at Napoli Centrale Pizza Bar, a Newcastle pizza institution.

Popolo Gelateria

Popolo Gelateria, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

I also highly recommend the excellent handmade gelato at Popolo Gelateria.

Goldbergs Coffee House

Goldbergs Newcastle
Another Newcastle institution! Goldbergs is worth visiting for the ambience and vibe, which is still the same laid-back feeling it’s had for decades. No kids’ menu but some plain options kids will eat. Lots of vegetarian choices.

Monella Gelato

Monella Gelato Newacstle

An outstanding gelato spot with creative flavours that takes like heaven. Highly, highly, highly recommend Monella Gelato! I had pavlova and dulce de leche and they were fantastic.

Coco Monde

Coco Monde Newcastle

Coco Monde is a chocolate cafe specialising in delicious chocolate desserts and high teas, but also offering a savoury menu.

Three Monkeys Cafe

Three Monkeys Cafe Newcastle

A popular cafe, Three Monkeys serves delicious breakfast dishes and smoothies. I loved my breakfast dish here – a smashed avocado and egg dish with slash of zesty beetroot. 

Mockingbird

Mockingbird Cafe Newcastle

The gorgeous Mockingbird cafe is located in the suburb of Hamilton, so a bit out of the city centre. It is highly worth the drive however as the food is incredible! The kids’ red velvet pancakes were so pretty, and the avocado dish superb.

Bistro Dalby

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

Bistro Dalby at the Novotel Beach Hotel is an excellent choice for a nice evening meal (they have an incredible kids’ menu!). Plenty of options for all dietary requirements and amazing service.

How to get to Newcastle from Sydney

We drove our own car from Sydney via the M1 and Pacific Highway. It takes about 2.5 hours (168km) to drive. You can catch the train to Hamilton or Broadmedow Stations and then hop on a connecting shuttle bus to central Newcastle until the light rail is complete. Regular Newcastle and Central Coast services depart from Central Station, Strathfield, Epping, Eastwood and Hornsby. Greyhound bus services also take passengers from Sydney’s Central Station. Get more info on taking public transport to Newcastle here.

Where to stay in Newcastle

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

We highly enjoyed our stay at the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel. It was in an excellent location, had extremely friendly staff, and the brekkie was fantastic!

Read more about our stay at the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel here.

Things to do in Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Newcastle Museum: Trams, trains and science, oh my!

Visiting the Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia

A visit to Steel City isn’t complete without stopping by the excellent Newcastle Museum. The free museum highlights the city’s industrial past, cultural highlights and has an excellent hands-on science centre.

Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia

The Newcastle Museum is a gem and not to be missed. It’s not too big, so you can easily drop by for an hour or two, and as it’s free there’s no reason not to! Inside the museum you’ll find excellent permanent exhibitions as well as new rotating ones depending when you go.

Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia

The permanent exhibitions include Fire and Earth, exploring the industrial roots of the Hunter, A Newcastle Story, which focuses on the character of the city through featuring its beauty, character and the lives that have been led here, the Link Gallery, which sits between the Boilershop and Erecting Shed and houses a working 1890 pipe organ formerly installed in St Augustine’s Church, Merewether, and an 1870 J&A Brown Locomotive No4.

Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia

It was fascinating to learn more about Newcastle’s history and some great inventions, businesses and citizens who hailed from this seaside town. Arnott’s, for example, opened as a small bakery in Newcastle in 1865 on Hunter St.

Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia

We also loved the vintage tram that is just begging to be climbed on, with original ads that made us all laugh out loud when we read them.

Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia

A big drawcard for families is the Supernova Hands-on Science Centre. Jam-packed with hands-on science experiments, it’s the perfect spot enjoy science in a safe and fun environment.

Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia

Highlights of the Supernova include the lifting a car experiment, making your own tornado, playing with magnets and Mininova, the area where kids under 115cm can climb, solve puzzles and tunnel through a maze.

Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia

There is a cafe at the exit where you can sit down and enjoy light snacks, and a really fun street art wall around the side that is just begging for selfies.

Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia Newcastle, NSW, Australia Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Newcastle Museum
6 Workshop Way, Newcastle NSW
(02) 4974 1400

Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm (open 7 days during the school holidays)
newcastlemuseum.com.au

 

Visiting the Newcastle Museum, NSW, Australia

14 Things To Do On The Central Coast, NSW

Things To Do On The Central Coast, NSW, Australia

14 Things To Do On The Central Coast

The Central Coast is only an hours north of Sydney, and is home to beautiful beaches and delightful cafes.

Copacabana and Macmasters Beaches

Copacabana, NSW, Australia

Copacabana and Macmasters Beach are both quiet beaches away from the hustle and bustle. We stayed in a holiday rental at Copacabana Beach and loved the serenity of the location. In the morning we would walk from Copacabana Beach all the way south to the end of Macmasters Beach and watch the sun come up over the ocean. Sunsets in the evening were some of the prettiest we have seen.

There are a few little cafes including the surf club and a small general store. A whale watching platform is at the Copacabana end of the beach. Visiting the beaches is one of our absolute fave things do to on the Central Coast.

Captain Cook Lookout

Copacabana, NSW, Australia

The Captain Cook Lookout is a short drive or long walk from Copacabana Beach. A scenic viewpoint jutting out from Tudibaring Head, the lookout is one of the best spots in NSW for watching whales migrate between late May and early August.

Terrigal Beach

Terrigal, NSW, Australia

Terrigal is a large, popular town and attracts the most visitors, which means great facilities and cafes are on offer.

There is an ocean pool at the south end to swim in as well as the beach which has great waves for giving surfing a try.

Terrigal, NSW, Australia

We enjoyed scooting down the Esplanade, which has plenty of vibrant cafes and restaurants to choose from, all with a pretty ocean view. You might even spot a dolphin or whale during migration season between May and November. We dined at the excellent Bellyfish cafe.

Terrigal, NSW, Australia

Drop by the Cold Rock ice creamery for a special treat. This one has gummy bears in it!

Terrigal, NSW, Australia

If you’re up for a walk, head south from the Esplanade and follow the walking trail to the Skillion lookout on Broken Head. Be warned, it’s a bit of a steep walk and there are stairs along the way.

Find more places to eat in Terrigal here.

Caves Beach

Caves Beach, NSW, Australia

Caves Beach is located on the Swansea peninsula between Lake Macquarie and the Pacific Ocean in New South Wales, Australia. It is named for the large number of caves at its southern end which can be explored at low tide.

Read more about visiting Caves Beach here.

Avoca Beach

Avoca, NSW, Australia

Avoca Beach is a pretty little seaside community that features buzzy cafes and a popular beach lined with Norfolk Island Pines.

Avoca, NSW, Australia

It’s a relaxing spot that’s a popular choice for families thanks to its large rock platform and protected rock pool at its south end, as well as it’s excellent, partially shaded playground.

Read more about visiting Avoca Beach here.

The Australian Reptile Park

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

The Australian Reptile Park in Gosford is a great day out on the Central Coast. The park features native Australian wildlife and other exotic, international species. We had an excellent day at the reptile park and high recommend it for families in particular as one of the top things do to on the Central Coast.

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

Get more info on visiting the Australian Reptile Park here and their excellent Mini Kids 2 Keeper program here.

Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park

Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park

Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park is a wildlife sanctuary for animals who are unable to be released back into the wild. Also on the property are several Aboriginal sites with ancient petroglyphs.

Read more about visiting the Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park.

Saddles Restaurant and Bakehouse Mount White

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

A stunning new bush restaurant on the Central Coast, Saddles Mount White is the perfect destination dining location for those wanting to escape Sydney for the day and immerse themselves in nature. Saddles is super kid-friendly, so it’s a great spot to take the whole family. Saddles makes for a great day trip from Sydney just for lunch, or combined with a longer stay in the region.

Get more info on visiting Saddles Mount White here.

Pelican feeding at The Entrance

The Entrance NSW

A visit to the Central Coast isn’t complete without seeing the daily pelican feeding at The Entrance. Every afternoon at 3:30pm a gigantic flock of pelicans descend on the waterfront to be fed fresh fish. A visit to the pelicans at the Entrance is one of the most popular things to do on the Central Coast.

Get more info on the daily pelican feeding at The Entrance here.

Image courtesy of Destination NSW.

Chocolate Factory Gosford

Chocolate Factory Gosford

Drop by this sweet spot to buy some delicious chocolate treats made in-house, take a factory tour or just enjoy coffee and lunch at the cafe. During the school holidays the chocolate factory runs kids’ chocolate-making workshops.

Get more info on the Chocolate Factory Gosford.

Somersby Falls

Somersby Falls Central Coast

A popular place for family picnics and bushwalking, the Somersby Falls are equipped with plenty of picnic tables and free barbecues, and the falls themselves are located on a short but steep 500m return walk.

Read more about visiting Somersby Falls.

Bulgandry Art Site Aboriginal Place

The Bulgandry Art Site Aboriginal Place is a sacred Indigenous site in the Brisbane Water National Park, near Kariong.

Bulgandry Aboriginal Engravings

This incredible Aboriginal rock art site is a short stroll through the bush from the car park, with a boardwalk placed around the site to protect it from visitors. 

Read more about visiting Bulgandry Art Site Aboriginal Place.

Amazement Farm and Fun Park

The Amazement Farm and Fun Park in Wyong has plenty for the whole family to enjoy, from mazes to friendly farm animals, train rides and giant board games.

Amazement Wyong

A family-friendly attraction on the Central Coast, the Amazement Farm and Fun Park is a great outing with plenty to explore. 

Read more about visiting Amazement Farm and Fun Park.
 

Wyong Milk Factory

The Wyong Milk Factory has something for everyone: great food, a playground and locally-made treats.

Wyong Milk Factory

Read more about visiting the Wyong Milk Factory.
 

Things To Do On The Central Coast, NSW, Australia Things To Do On The Central Coast, NSW, Australia

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Destination Dining: Saddles Restaurant and Bakehouse at Mount White, NSW

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Bakehouse and Restaurant Mount White

A stunning new bush restaurant on the Central Coast, Saddles Mount White is the perfect destination dining location for those wanting to escape Sydney for the day and immerse themselves in nature.

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

The homestead-like restaurant and 28-acre property is located in Mount White, only an hour drive from the Sydney CBD. The venue itself is perched on the edge of a dam with bush surrounding, making it feel like you’re in a remote bush location, rather than actually being quite close to a busy freeway. The serenity is pretty fine!

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

The balcony wrapped around the deck of the homestead is a great spot to look over the dam while eating, but we loved our indoor table where we could enjoy the highly detailed interior set up. The bespoke saddle bar stools, from which the restaurant gets its name, are in hot demand for adults and kids alike. The workmanship that’s gone into these saddles from local craftsman Heath Harris is just incredible, as it the detailing in the entire venue.

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

The kitchen produces a reasonable range of dishes made with local produce and herbs from the garden. There are a lot of in-house baked pastries on the menu which makes for not as much variety as you might hope for, particularly if you’re vegetarian or vegan.

After inquiring about other options I found out the chefs will prepare a special vegan main that changes daily. On the day we dined it was roast pumpkin with quinoa, avocado and cashew cream.

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

There is no kids’ menu at Saddles Mt White, however the staff will prepare either a smaller portion of the trout or pork sausage roll for kids when asked. Babyccinos are available  and kids can request a scoop of ice cream for dessert (neither are on the menu).

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Our family ordered the house made bread & fromage blanc (with Rylestone extra virgin olive oil , olives & herbs $5), grilled ocean trout (with quinoa, beets, sunflower, pistachio & lemon dressing $36), roast Little Hill farm chicken (with eschalot, pea shoots & sugar snaps, brioche & almond crumb $34), Saddles beef, red wine, pearl onion & mushroom pie (with potato puree $24), chips (with herb salt, chive mayonnaise $9), iceberg lettuce (with herbs, avocado, citrus, pistachio, lemon & olive oil dressing $14). For dessert we enjoyed the tiny almond and mascarpone pavlovas, $6.

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

We found the food to be excellent. All extremely tasty dishes with vibrant colours throughout. The locally-grown herbs certainly made a difference when it came to the flavour of the meals. We also had excellent service from an extremely efficient and friendly staff member, which made our stay welcoming and enjoyable.

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

After dining take a walk around the dam to stretch your legs, poke your head in the garden centre and check out the various fruit trees and herbs growing around the property. We found various types of citrus, plenty of herbs and even an avocado tree.

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

If you don’t want to dine in, grab a coffee and pies, tarts and lamingtons and eat them by the dam.

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant & Bakehouse, Mount White, NSW, Australia

Saddles Restaurant and Bakery
20 Ashbrookes Rd, Mount White
saddlesmtwhite.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.

12 Fun Things To Do In Coffs Harbour

The Best Things To Do In Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia

Coffs Harbour is halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, making it a popular stop on the quintessential coastal road trip. While the mid north coast town might be just a convenient place to stay a night or two for those making the longer journey, we were pleasantly surprised to find so many things to do in Coffs Harbour, and would recommend it for a holiday destination.

Things To Do In Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour Jetty

Coffs Harbour Jetty

Take a stroll along the Jetty Strip. The path next to the beach and park area is cement, flat and great for scooting. There is also a range of cafes to choose from and a great gelato shop.

Coffs Harbour Jetty

Wander around the jetty to see the incredible variety of sea life living in the harbour. We took  very slow stroll along the jetty and spent a lot of time watching the fish swirl in the water beneath us.

Jetty Beach

Coffs Harbour

The perfect place for a swim, Jetty Beach is has calm water perfect for kids to splash around in.

Muttonbird Island Reserve

Muttonbird Island, Coffs Harbour

While we didn’t see any muttonbirds on the island we did enjoy the walk to to the top and far side of the island, where we were rewarded with beautiful views of the coast.

Muttonbird Island, Coffs Harbour

Muttonbird Island Reserve is home to the wedge-tailed shearwater birds, their nests easy to spot as you walk around the island.

Muttonbird Island, Coffs Harbour

Park Beach

Coffs Harbour Park Beach

We stayed right on Park Beach and loved walking down to the beach in the evenings to watch the sunset and paddle in the water. Coffs Creek runs through Park Beach, providing a nice current to swim down between two beaches. It’s possible to swim across the creek to the other side and continue walking up the beach to Coffs Harbour Jetty.

The Big Banana Fun Park

The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour

It’s not an Aussie tourist attraction if there isn’t something big to photograph! The Big Banana is a fun spot not just to pose for a photo, but also to enjoy one of the seven attractions it now boasts.

Candy Kitchen, Big Banana, Coffs Harbour

Choose between the Water Park featuring four thrill slides and a kids’ aqua play area, a six-lane giant slide that’s the biggest slide of its kind in Australia, a 600m Toboggan ride, Laser Tag, Mini Golf, Theatre and Plantation tour, ice skating rink and Candy Kitchen, where you can see candy being made.

Get more info on visiting the Big Banana Fun Park online.

Coffs Harbour Butterfly House

The Butterfly House, Coffs Harbour

Step inside an aviary filled with hundreds of live butterflies. What an amazing experience to walk among these delicate creatures and watch them flutter, sip nectar and lay eggs. We even saw butterflies hatching from their chrysalis and had a few land on us.

The Butterfly House, Coffs Harbour

Tip: wear bright colours if you want to make friends with butterflies! The scones from the on-site cafe are amazing.

The Butterfly House, Coffs Harbour

Before leaving the Butterfly House, take a wander through the maze and see how quickly you can find your way out again.

Get more info on visiting the Butterfly House online.

Sawtell

Coffs harbour, Treeo, Sawtell

This pretty little town is just south of Coffs Harbour. It has pretty beaches to explore, excellent cafes and is also right by the Bongil Bongil National Park. We loved dining at Treeo, recommended to us very correctly as the best cafe in the area. Excellent food and friendly staff made for the perfect cafe experience.

Bellingen

Bellingen, Coffs Harbour

A 30 minute drive south-west of Coffs Harbour will bring you to Bellingen, a pretty little town filled with excellent cafes and boutiques. Bellingen likes on the Banks of the Bellinger River, which lends itself to plenty of water activities.

Bellingen, Coffs Harbour

You must stop by the Sweet Bellingen candy store! The locally produced chocolates are delicious

Dorrigo National Park

Dorrigo National Park, Coffs Harbour

Another 30 minutes past Bellingen, or an hour from Coffs Harbour, is the town of Dorrigo. Dorrigo is home to the Dorrigo National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. It’s a stunningly beautiful rainforest with waterfall walks and a wide range of wildlife, including red-necked pademelons (they look kind of like quokkas), the regent bowerbird and wompoo fruit-dove.

Dorrigo National Park, Coffs Harbour

Start your visit to the Dorrigo National Park with a visit to the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and Canopy Cafe. Staff at the Rainforest Centre will give you a map and tips on areas to explore. Before embarking on your bushwalking adventure, stroll out on the Skywalk, a 70m boardwalk through the treetops, 21 metres above the rainforest. The view from the lookout at the end of the boardwalk is stretches over the Bellingen Valley and is just spectacular.

Dorrigo National Park, Coffs Harbour

Dorrigo National Park, Coffs Harbour

Get more info on visiting the Dorrigo National Park here.

Dangar Falls

Dangar Falls, Coffs Harbour

This 30-metre waterfall is a 2km drive north of the Dorrigo town centre. Dangar Falls is really a winner if you need a waterfall that is accessible without a long walk to reach it. The car park is right next to the viewing platform, making it the most easily accessible waterfall I’ve ever seen.

Dangar Falls, Coffs Harbour

There is a walking trail that leads to the river at the bottom of the waterfall if you’re feeling more adventurous. We stayed at the top and enjoyed the little playground before hopping back into the car.

Dangar Falls, Coffs Harbour

The Honey Place

The Honey Place, Coffs Harbour

Located in Urunga, south of Coffs Harbour, The Honey Place is a delightful detour on your drive into or out of Coffs. The glass display beehive lets you get as close as possible to a working hive with no risk of being stung.

The Honey Place, Coffs Harbour

Friendly Australian native bees (non-stinging) also fly around the outdoor area although they were hiding on the day we visited. Try a range of locally made honey – it’s so good you’ll want to take it all home with you!

The Honey Place, Coffs Harbour The Honey Place, Coffs Harbour

Get more info on visiting The Honey Place here.

Urunga Boardwalk

Urunga Boardwalk, NSW, Australia

This 1km boardwalk starts in the town of Urunga, passes along the Kalang River to where it meets the Bellingen River and the ocean. There are stunning views over the entire length of the boardwalk on both sides up to the Great Diving Range and Nambucca Heads.

Urunga Boardwalk, NSW, Australia

An abundance of wildlife lives in the water and mangroves. We only saw a pelican but if you’re lucky you’ll see more! The entire boardwalk is wheelchair and stroller accessible.

More info about Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is 540 km (340 mi) north of Sydney, and 390 km (240 mi) south of Brisbane.

Where to stay in Coffs Harbour

Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park

Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park

We stayed at the Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park, right on Park Beach, Coffs Harbour. The Holiday Park has caravan and camping sites, as well as self-contained cabins. We stayed in a two bedroom cabin and were happy with having plenty of amenities at our fingertips, such as a full kitchen and seperate lounge/dining area.

Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park

Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park

Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park

The holiday park has plenty to entertain the kids, including a resort-style pool with slides and splash features, and a large inflatable jumping pillow that would have entertained my six-year-old all day, ever day, forever.

Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park

Other amenities at the Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park include a kitchen and dining area for those camping, bathroom blocks and clean BBQs.

Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park

The two playgrounds for big and small kids and games room are also popular for the junior set.

Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park

Get more info on the Big 4 Park Beach Holiday Park here.

Looking for more things to do in Coffs Harbour?

Heading down to Sydney? Check out things to do in Sydney with kids and the best free things to do in Sydney here. 

The Best Things To Do In Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia

13 Must-Do Experiences at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Qld, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

The iconic Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Australia’s Gold Coast is a heritage-listed zoological garden, built in 1947. Set on 27 hectares of Currumbin rainforest, you’ll need to dedicate a full day to exploring.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

My family visited Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary several times when we were kids, so revisiting as an adult held a lot of nostalgia for me. It had been a long time since I’d visited, so I really enjoyed learning more about the sanctuary as an adult. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a not-for-profit organisation and reinvests all proceeds back into wildlife and conservation programs.

Whether it’s your first time, or you’re re-visiting like I was, here are 13 must-do experiences at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Queensland, Australia

Feed the Rainbow Lorikeets
Australia’s most colourful bird species are a spectacular sight to behold, particularly when they arrive in a flock for their 8am and 4pm feedings. The lorikeets are wild birds who founded the sanctuary 70 years ago, and generations later they are still visiting every day at the same time to get a feed from their adoring public.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Queensland, Australia

Prepare to be pooped on and have birds land on your head. So incredible we did it twice! We found the 8am feeding less busy in terms of people so we had more time with the birds.

No entry to the sanctuary is required for the bird feeding. A gold coin donation is required for participation in the feeding.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Enter the Lost Valley
A new exotic precinct features five hectares of rainforest with lemurs, cotton-top tamarins, red pandas and the adorable capybaras to meet. Free-flying birds soar around the enclosure, which is so cleverly created that it feels like you’re in a rainforest not an enclosed area.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia
Open 10.00am to 3.00pm daily
Lemur lunch break (not on display) 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Go behind the scenes
We found this to be a really interesting experience. For an added $15 pp (at time of publication) you can enjoy a behind-the-scenes experience in the Training, Rehabilitation and Wildlife department with an animal trainer. We met some of the stars of the Free Flight Bird Show, toured the wildlife rehabilitation centres and learned more about how Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Watch the Free Flight Bird Show
We highly enjoyed this entertaining show, featuring some of Australia’s most beautiful birds in flight. The pelican, parrots, birds of prey and wedge-tailed eagle all make an appearance. Watch your head, the birds swoop very low!

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Visit the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital
Drop by the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital to see animals who have been rescued and treated that day. With over 10,000 animals a year admitted, you’re bound to see a patient or two when you visit.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

The Currumbin Wildlife Hospital treats, rehabilitates and releases sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Meet the wildlife
Get an up-close experience with a koala, tamarin, echidna, dingo, wombat or bird training. Did you know that Queensland is one of only two states in Australia where visitors can hold a koala?

Ride the Segway Safari
For something a bit different, take a guided Segway tour with a wildlife officer. It’s a great way to cover a lot of ground and learn about animals such as the Tasmanian Devils. Participants need to be 45kg or heavier.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Take the TreeTop Challenge
This is a must if your family are tall enough to participate! Cheese was just a tiny bit short of the 160cm reach required to take part, but we will definitely be having a go next time. The TreeTop Challenge is located inside Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and includes 80 huge challenges,  including 11 ziplines. As well as being able to reach 160cm comfortably, participants need to be aged 6+.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Jump aboard the train
The miniature train was built in 1964, and is the best way to cover the large distances for little legs – as well as being a really enjoyable ride.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia
Go wild in the playground
The Wild island playground is exceptional.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

An outdoor-themed playground, there’s plenty for kids to climb and explore. You’ll be hard pressed to get them to leave!

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Feed the kangaroos
I’ve never seen such docile kangaroos as these. We had a great time feeding, patting and yes, even cuddling the kangaroos (feed must be purchased separately. Do not feed them your food).

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Pick up a kids’ sticker map
These are a great way to engage kids. The map is a trail around the park and at each location they get a sticker. Educational and fun!

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Meet Blinky Bill
There are lots of Blinky Bill statues around the park for fun selfies, and we also enjoyed the Blinky Bill home tree and slide.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Catch the live Blinky Bill’s Studio Adventure musical show and meet Blinky afterwards for a photo opp.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Queensland, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD, Australia

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
28 Tomewin St, Currumbin QLD
Daily, 8am-5pm
Website: currumbinsanctuary.com.au

We were guests of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. All opinions are my own. 

Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise: Best Family Resort Gold Coast

Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia

When it comes to choosing a Gold Coast hotel, there are a lot to choose from. We really enjoyed our stay at the Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise and highly recommend it as a top family resort on the Gold Coast.

Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Location-wise, the Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise is positioned directly in between the Surfers Paradise entertain strip and the premium shopping and restaurants at Broadbeach. It’s about a 15 minute walk to each, or you can catch the tram with the stop directly outside the front of the resort.

The Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise is a large, older grand dame of a hotel, consisting of two towers, connected by an undercover walkway. The main tower features the renowned Four Winds 360° Revolving Restaurant.

Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

We chose the Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise largely because it has an two massive swimming pools plus heated spa. It also has a full-size tennis court, 24-hour gym and sundecks.

While there aren’t a great variety of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel, the Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise has you covered with a choice of 5 restaurants and 2 bars within the hotel.

Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

There are more than 370 rooms in the hotel, all with a private balcony and the majority offering an ocean view. Choose from a standard room, self-contained studio, suite and one-bedroom apartment.

The flexible room options offer a greater choice for families than most hotels. Choose from suites or rooms with two double beds or king bed. For a longer stay, it’s great to have the self-contained apartment as an option. The self-contained studios and apartments featuring full kitchen facilities.

Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Our room featured a king bed plus rollaway bed. Other room features included a work desk, huge LCD TV, massive bathroom with spa and separate shower, mini bar and plenty of little bathroom amenities like the shower caps that I am always hunting for.

Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

We loved the balcony in our ocean view room which gave us a gorgeous outlook every morning of the beach, as well as the incredible view from our bathroom of the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

In terms of restaurant choices within the hotel, guests can choose between Queensland’s only rooftop revolving restaurant, Four Winds 360°,  Balthazar Wine & Dining, SIFU, Relish Grill & Bar, First Avenue Tavern and 24-hour room service. Free WiFi is available for IHG® Rewards Club members.

Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

We ordered room service the night we arrived as we were too tired to go downstairs. The in-room dining is from Relish Grill & Bar. While there isn’t a kids’ menu in the room to look at, there is a menu featuring standard kids’ meals available if you call room service and ask what the options are. We chose the spaghetti that came with a choice of dessert (we selected the healthy fruit salad and yoghurt) and drink (we chose milk).

Balthazar Wine & Dining’s is an upmarket restaurant featuring up to 15 degustation menus – French, modern Australian or contemporary Chinese. SIFU is the place to go to try authentic Cantonese and Schezuan food. If you’re after a fun dining experience, try a high tea in the sky at Four Winds 360°Rooftop Revolving Restaurant. The high tea costs $35 pp and includes a selection of pastries, sweets and gourmet sandwiches with one hot beverage per person. Upgrade to include a glass of sparkling wine for $39.

Car parking is available underneath the hotel for $15 a night (hotel guests only receive this rate).

Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

A delicious buffet breakfast is available daily. The poolside view is a lovely way to start the day, along with the amazing selection of hot and cold food, eggs cooked to order, barista-made coffee and DIY fresh juice station.

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Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise
2807 Gold Coast Highway,
Surfers Paradise

Online

We stayed as guests of the Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise. All opinions our own. 

Hotel Review: Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel, NSW, Australia

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia
The perfect Sydney weekend escape or stop on the Sydney to Queensland road trip, Newcastle is an historic city with stunning beaches and delicious food. With family in the area we spend a lot of time in Newcastle, and love staying at our fave hotel in the city, the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel.

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Built inside a new tower in East Newcastle, the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel is located near some of Australia’s most famous beaches and best surf breaks. With renowned restaurants, cafes and bars located just a few footsteps away, you really can’t beat the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel’s prime position.

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Also nearby are art galleries, shopping, coastal walks, museums and the historic Fort Scratchley, making the Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel ideal for sightseeing.

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Inside the lobby, the hotel has a dedicated kids’ corner with work tables, toys and colouring in books and paper, plus sand buckets and spades which are free to loan and take to the beach.

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

The 88 contemporary, spacious guest rooms are all equipped with modern furnishings and guests’ comfort in mind. The rooms have an open layout, with plenty of natural lights, and many featuring an ocean view.

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

All rooms have a vibrant colour palette, Novotel’s exclusive Live N Dream bedding experience in a king bed (2 singles upon request) to ensure the perfect night’s sleep, TV with movies on-demand, digital free-to-air and Foxtel channels, high-speed internet access, spacious work station, air conditioning, in-room safe, tea & coffee making facilities, hair dryer and mini-bar.

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia
Rooms are available in the following categories: Standard Room, Superior Room, Superior Harbour,  Superior Balcony Room and Superior Family Room.

We stayed in a Superior Family Room, an extra-spacious room with one queen bed and two single beds. Some family rooms have a dining table for 4, and others have a bath in the en suite,(let the hotel know your preference at the time of booking). Interconnecting rooms are available upon request.

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Our beds were amazingly comfortable and the room was huge compared to most rooms that we stay in, including the massive bathroom. We loved all the little touches left for us by Novotel staff, such as the kids’ welcome pack with toys, kid-sized robe and kids’ restaurant and in-room dining menu, complete with activities sheet on the back.

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel

When we visited the hotel the first time they had a special promotion on in partnership with the release of Hotel Transylvania, hence the awesome bed furnishings. On our subsequent visit the promotion was over and regular linen was on the beds – except for the bed for Cheese, which had an awesome unicorn bed spread and pillows. Thoughtful details like this are why we keep coming back!

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

The kids’ menu has a focus on fresh, healthy ingredients, created in collaboration with Sally Fitzgibbons. There are also new in-room fitness videos for the little ones presented by Sally Fitzgibbons and Playschool’s Rachael Coopes to keep them entertained throughout the stay.

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

The Novotel Newcastle Beach is home to a modern dining restaurant, Bistro Dalby, with a contemporary Australian menu. The Bistro offers local and seasonal dished, has a fully equipped bar, and also offers an in-room dining menu available 24-7.

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

For an additional fee breakfast is offered in the Bistro Dalby daily.  The breakfast features barista made coffee, T2 teas, eggs cooked to order, a hot buffet, cereals, breads, yogurt and fruits, with most organic food and juices on offer. I ordered an omelette and it came quickly and perfectly cooked. I also enjoyed placing my tea order and having a lovely pot of English breakfast delivered to me.

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel Bistro Dalby

We also dined at Bistro Dalby for dinner and highly enjoyed the experience. 

You can read my full review of Bistro Dalby here

We had the most welcoming, friendly stay at the Novotel Newcastle Beach and look forward to visiting again soon.

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Novotel Newcastle Beach, NSW, Australia

Novotel Newcastle Beach
5 King St, Newcastle
Online

Parking is available in an underground car park for an additional fee. 

Thank you to the Novotel Newcastle Beach for hosting us! All opinions are my own.