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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.

9 Ideas For An Awesome Blue Mountains Day Trip

Blue Mountains Day Trip, Australia

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

9 Ideas For A Blue Mountains Day Trip

Blue Mountains, Australia

Scenic World and Katoomba Cascades

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

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

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

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

Get more info on Scenic World and Katoomba Cascades here.

High Tea at the Hydro Majestic in Medlow Bath

Hydro Majestic, Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

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

Read more about visiting the Hydro Majestic here.

The Three Sisters Rock Formation in Leura

Blue Mountains, Australia

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

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

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

The Minni Ha Ha Falls in Katoomba

Minni Ha Ha Falls Katoomba Australia via christineknight.me

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

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

Gingerbread House Cafe in Katoomba

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

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

Get more info on visiting the Gingerbread House Cafe here.

Norman Lindsey Gallery in Faulconbridge

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia

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

Get more info on visiting the Norman Lindsey Gallery here.

Everglades House and Gardens in Leura

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

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

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

Cafe 2773 in Glenbrook

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

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

Get more info on visiting Cafe 2773 in Glenbrook here.

Mayfield Garden in Oberon

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon, NSW, Australia

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

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

Get more info on visiting Mayfield Garden here.

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

Blue Mountains Day Trip, Australia

 

Everglades Historic House and Gardens Leura, Blue Mountains

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Blue Mountains, Australia

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

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

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

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

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

The Everglades is now managed by the National Trust organisation.

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

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

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

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

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everglades Historic House & Gardens, Leura, Blue Mountains

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

Heading to the Blue Mountains? Get Blue Mountains self-drive day trip ideas here. 

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

Australian Reptile Park: Mini Kids 2 Keeper Experience

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

Mini Kids 2 Keeper (3-6 years old)

Little Kids 2 Keeper (7-12 years old)

Big Kids 2 Keeper (13-18 years old)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park

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

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

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

Sydney Day Trips: The Australian Reptile Park

Meet Elvis, the cranky croc

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

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

Catch the reptile show & hear about the venom project

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

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

Watch a funnel-web spider milking

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

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

Wander through interactive exhibits

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

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

Play in the animal-themed playground

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

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

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

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

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

Meet Australian wildlife

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

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

Say g’day to Hugo

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

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

Dance with the devil

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

Snap a selfie with a new furry friend

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

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

Tips for visiting The Australian Reptile Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

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

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

Visiting the Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Faulconbridge, Australia

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia

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

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia

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

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

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia

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

Norman Lindsey Gallery and Museum, Australia

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

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

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

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

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

21 Awesome Things To Do In Melbourne With Kids

Things To Do In Melbourne With Kids Australia

Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, is also the Australian capital city of all things art and culture. We can never get enough of it’s alleys and street art, lush gardens, delicious cafes and animal encounters. There are so many things to do in Melbourne with kids!

Things to do in Melbourne with kids

 

Old Melbourne Gaol

Old Melbourne Gaol, Victoria, Australia

Old Melbourne Gaol was built in the mid-1800s, as a place for Melbourne to put its dangerous criminals, petty offenders, homeless and mentally ill.

It’s a stark and confronting place, especially when faced with the gallows that are still hanging inside – between 1842 and 1929, 133 people were hung inside these walls, including Australia’s infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly.

The gaol itself is quite small and tours are self-guided. We did a family activity while we were there that took us all around the goal, in and out of cells, to solve clues and “escape” the goal. The activity was an excellent way to engage kids in history and teach them a bit about what happened here – without freaking them out too much. The Old Melbourne Gaol is popular on lists of Melbourne attractions for a good reason – it’s a great little spot that’s rich in history and experiences.

Get more info on visiting Old Melbourne Goal here.

Old Melbourne Gaol
377 Russell St, Melbourne
oldmelbournegaol.com.au

National Gallery of Victoria

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Australia’s oldest and largest art museum is a must-see in Melbourne. The National Gallery of Victoria, popularly known as the NGV,  was founded in 1861. As well as an incredible selection of European, Australian and Asian art, it also has dedicated kids’ space and garden with sculptures, plants, shade, tables and small climbing structure.

Get more info on visiting the NGV here.

National Gallery of Victoria
180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
ngv.vic.gov.au

Royal Botanic Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden

Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden, Melbourne, Australia

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria are split between two sites, Melbourne CBD and Cranbourne. Both are well worth a visit. The Melbourne garden features an Aboriginal Heritage Walk, Ornamental Lake, a wide variety of plants such as succulents, roses, herbs, camellias and perennials.

Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden, Melbourne, Australia

You will also find the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden here. This beautiful garden gives kids plenty of nooks and crannies to explore in a natural setting. Plant tunnels to crawl through, rocks to climb and a bamboo forest for hiding. The gardens are a must for any list of things to do in Melbourne with kids.

Get more info on visiting the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden here.

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Birdwood Ave, South Yarra
rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-melbourne

Royal Botanic Botanic Gardens Victoria (Cranbourne)

Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, Australia

The Cranbourne gardens are a 45 minute drive from Melbourne’s DBD. The focus is on Australia’s landscape, featuring more than 170,000 native plants. The water display area is particularly popular with kids, and there is a small children’s garden. Keep your eyes open for wildlife – we saw a bandicoot!

Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
Enter via cnr Ballarto Road and Botanic Drive, Cranbourne
rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne

Melbourne Museum and Carlton Gardens

Royal Exhibition Hall, Carlton Gardens, Melbourne, Victoria

The Melbourne Museum is located in the heritage-listed Carlton Gardens, along with the majestic Royal Exhibition Building and IMAX Cinema. The gardens also contain a beautiful fountain, flowers, lakes and plenty of wildlife.

Melbourne Museum, Victoria, Australia

As the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere, the Melbourne Museum is an absolute must for any itinerary of things to do in Melbourne with kids!

Inside the museum you’ll find plenty to keep everyone in the family entertained, from Australian history buffs to dinosaur fans, and even the junior set, who will be hard to drag out of the children’s’ gallery and garden. Melbourne Museum kids are especially spoiled with these brand new sections that are especially designed to engage kids aged 0-5.

The Melbourne Museum runs lots of activities year-round, so it’s a good idea to check them out when looking for ideas on what to in in Melbourne with kids.

Get more info on visiting the Melbourne Museum here.

Melbourne Museum
11 Nicholson St, Carlton
museumsvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/

State Library Victoria

State Library Victoria Australia

Australia’s oldest public library, and one of the first free libraries in the world, the State Library of Victoria is a beautiful, quiet spot to visit in the hustle and bustle of the city. Check out the chess boards and soaring domed ceiling in the La Trobe Reading Room, Ned Kelly’s armour and the kids’ play area.

State Library Victoria
328 Swanston St, Melbourne
slv.vic.gov.au

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Melbourne

Take LEGO-lovers to Australia’s first LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. Billed as the “ultimate indoor LEGO playground”, it’s a great day of fun with 2 rides, 5 LEGO build and play zones plus a 4D cinema. If your kids love LEGO then this is an absolute must for things to do in Melbourne with kids.

Get more info on visiting the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre here.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
Chadstone Shopping Centre, 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone
melbourne.legolanddiscoverycentre.com.au

Melbourne Zoo

Get up close to Australian wildlife such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats and emus at the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, AKA Melbourne Zoo. The zoo is also home to tigers, monkeys, lemurs, Little Penguins and Australian Fur seals. The zoo often tops lists of kids attractions in Melbourne with its excellent facilities and well cared for animals.

Melbourne Zoo
Elliott Ave, Parkville
zoo.org.au/melbourne

Werribee Open Range Zoo

You’ll feel like you’re in Africa visiting Werribee Open Range Zoo, located in Werribee, about 32 kilometres south-west of Melbourne. This African-themed zoo houses gorillas, lions, monkeys, cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes, zebra and antelope on 225 hectares of wide, open savannah.

Werribee Open Range Zoo
K Rd, Werribee South VIC
zoo.org.au/werribee

Collingwood Children’s Farm

Milk cows, bottle feed lambs, feed farm animals and cuddle a guinea pig at the Collingwood Children’s Farm, a not-for-profit, inner city farm on the Yarra River in the Melbourne suburb of Abbotsford.

Collingwood Children’s Farm
18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford
farm.org.au

Healseville Animal Sanctuary

See Australian wildlife in their natural habitat at the Healesville Sanctuary, located in the Yarra Valley. Set across 70 acres of bushland, the sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to get up close to  koalas, kangaroos, wombats, emus, dingoes, birds of prey and platypus. The interactive platypus show is not to be missed.

Healseville Animal Sanctuary
Badger Creek Rd, Healesville
zoo.org.au/healesville

Penguin Parade Phillip Island

A highlight of things to do in Melbourne with kids: taking the little ones to see the world’s smallest penguins as they return ashore at sunset after a day fishing. Each night the Little Penguins can be seen at the Phillip Island Penguin Parade, a two-hour drive from Melbourne.

Phillip Island
1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands
penguins.org.au

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

Explore 12 discovery zones at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, home to thousands of aquatic creatures such as elephant sharks, crocs, King and Gentoo Penguins and brightly coloured fish.

Get more info on visiting SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium here.

Pic courtesy of havewheelchairwilltravel.net

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
King St & Flinders St, Melbourne
melbourneaquarium.com.au

Federation Square

Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia

There’s always something happening at Federation Square, from art exhibitions to events and cultural attractions. Right in the centre of town, Federation Square is a great place to start when looking for kid-friendly Melbourne CBD attractions and activities. Check the website to see what’s on when you visit.

Federation Square
Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne
fedsquare.com

Australian Centre for Moving Image

ACMI Melbourne, Australia

Located in Federation Square, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is the place to go if you’re into movies, TV and digital culture. The ACMI has seasonal exhibitions, many of them extremely kid-friendly. When we visited last the exhibition was on the cartoon characters Wallace and Gromit.

Australian Centre for Moving Image
Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne
acmi.net.au

Eureka Skydeck 88

Peer down at the city from the 88th floor gold-plated observation deck of the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere.

Eureka Skydeck 88
7 Riverside Quay, Southbank
eurekaskydeck.com.au

Fitzroy Gardens

Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Australia

Stroll through one of Melbourne’s most historic gardens, conveniently located in the CBD. Features in the garden include Captain Cook’s cottage, a dragon slide and giraffe swings, a dolphin fountain, fairy tree and miniature Tudor village.

Fitzroy Gardens
230-298 Wellington Parade
East Melbourne
fitzroygardens.com

Enchanted Adventure Garden at Arthurs Seat

Take a day trip from Melbourne to enjoy the Enchanted Adventure Garden at Arthurs Seat. Kids will love running through mazes, discovering art and themed gardens and hurtling down slides. Stop by the Amazing Lolly Shop for a giant lolly pop if you dare.

Enchanted Adventure Garden at Arthurs Seat
55 Purves Rd, Arthurs Seat
enchantedmaze.com.au

Puffing Billy Railway

Puffing Billy Railway Victoria Australia

This is one for the train-lovers! Hop on board an 100-year-old stream train and wind your way through the Dandenong Ranges National Park. The Puffing Billy Railway is located an hour east of Melbourne so plan on making a day trip out of it.

Get more info on Puffing Billy Railway here. Pic courtesy of Explorewitherin.com.

Puffing Billy Railway
1 Old Monbulk Rd, Belgrave
puffingbilly.com.au

Scienceworks

Scienceworks Melbourne Australia

If your kids are into science (like mine!) then a trip out to Scienceworks is for you. This world-renowned science museum is a bit of a drive out of the centre of Melbourne, so you’ll need to drive or get a taxi (which is pretty expensive).

Scienceworks Melbourne Australia

Scienceworks is designed to challenge young minds with hands-on exhibits and machines. There’s also the Melbourne Planetarium that can be visited there, and a great playground outside.

Get more info on visiting Scienceworks here.

St Kilda Beach & Luna Park

St Kilda Beach Melbourne AustraliaKill two birds with one stone on a trip to St Kilda. Easily accessible by tram, bus or train, St Kilda is home to a family-friendly beach and also the historic Luna Park.

Luna Park Melbourne Australia

Luna Park opened in 1912 and is still the place to go for a day of family fun. From jaw-dropping thrill rides to the carnival atmosphere of Coney island, a day at Luna Park is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. A day trip to St Kilda is a top choice when looking at things to do in Melbourne for kids.

Luna Park
8 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda
lunapark.com.au

Scienceworks
2 Booker St, Spotswood
museumsvictoria.com.au/scienceworks

Getting around

Melbourne Tram

We usually stay in the CBD and use the tram to get around, or walk by foot. On the odd occasion the trams don’t go to where we’re going, you can catch a taxi or the river ferry.

Trams are free in the city loop – check here where the loop goes. If you travel outside it you will need a MYKI transport card.

Where to stay

Novotel Melbourne on Collins via Christineknight.me

We like to stay central in the CBD when we visit Melbourne as it means many things are then in walking distance. We have previously stayed at the Novotel Melbourne on Collins Street and found it to be an excellent location.

Read my review of the Novotel Melbourne on Collins here.

Get the best deals on Melbourne Hotels here.

More ideas for Melbourne and surrounds

Looking for sweet treats in Melbourne? Check out the best sweet spots right here.

Looking for more kids activities Melbourne? Find out what’s on in Melbourne for kids by clicking here.

Get a list of current family activities Melbourne by clicking here.

Rainy day in Melbourne? Find plenty of indoor activities here.

Want to see more of Victoria? Take a drive on the Great Ocean Road!

Things To Do In Melbourne With Kids Australia

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Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive: Best Places To Stop

Where To Stop On The Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

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

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

Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive: The Best Places To Stop

Kiama

Kiama, NSW, Australia

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

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

Kiama, NSW, Australia

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

Berry

Berry, NSW, Australia

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

Jervis Bay

Hyam's Beach, NSW, Australia

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

Hyam's Beach, NSW, Australia

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

Hyam's Beach, NSW, Australia

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

Bateman’s Bay

Bateman's Bay, NSW, Australia

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

Bodalla

Bodalla, NSW, Australia

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

Bodalla, NSW, Australia

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

Bega

Bega, NSW, Australia

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

Bega, NSW, Australia

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

Merimbula

Merimbula, NSW, Australia

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

Tura Beach, Merimbula, NSW, Australia

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

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

Milton

Milton, NSW, Australia

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

Pebbly Beach

Pebbly Beach, NSW, Australia

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

Pebbly Beach, NSW, Australia

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

Lake’s Entrance

Lake's Entrance, Victoria, Australia

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

Lake's Entrance, Victoria, Australia

Where To Stop On The Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

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