Adventure, baby!

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

Eight Things To Do On The Central Coast, NSW

Things To Do On The Central Coast, NSW, Australia

Eight 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.

#thegrounds #alexandria; #kidfriendly #restaurants, #alexandria #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

We have dined at the excellent Avoca Surf House many times. They have a great menu suiting many dietary requirements, use great, fresh produce and are super kid-friendly.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

 

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

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 the Blue Mountains

Hike the other Grand Canyon in the Blue Mountains.

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.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in 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.