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Wentworth Falls Walks Blue Mountains, NSW

Wentworth Falls Hike Blue Mountains Australia

Wentworth Falls Walks Blue Mountains, NSW

Enjoy breathtaking grand valley and waterfall views on the Wentworth Falls walks in the Blue Mountains National Park.

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

The Wentworth Falls track starts from Wentworth Falls picnic area. There is one main car park plus overflow parking on Falls road. The picnic area has shaded picnic tables and a decent bathroom.

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

If you’re catching public transport, regular trains run from Sydney Central Station to Wentworth Falls. The picnic area is around 2km walk along Falls Road, or you can catch a bus to the corner of Fletchers Road and Falls Road.

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

The road into the car park is sealed and easy to access. There is a wide, paved path from the carpark along to Jamison and Wentworth lookouts. 

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

The Wentworth Falls walk is 1.4km return, with an estimated time of 45min – 1hr. There are steep steps involved that are not suitable for strollers or wheelchairs. The trade is a grade 3, and we found it quite do-able with our nine-year-old. There were plenty of younger children also completing the walk.

Follow the path past Jamison and Wentworth lookouts.

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

There is a steep descent of around 200 steps to the cliff-edge Fletchers lookout. This is a stunning spot to take a look at Wentworth Falls as it plunges 100m into the valley. 

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

Keep following the path down a few more steps to the top of the Falls.

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

The Jamison Creek cascades into a shallow pool to one side, which makes for a lovely little paddling pool for kids.

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

The other side opens into the Jamison Valley. 

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

You can continue on a variety of routes from here, including the National Pass, Weeping Rock circuit, Undercliff track or historic Princes Rock lookout track.

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

We took the this round walk track, which is a short circuit through the bush and comes out at the most incredible view of the other side of Wentworth Falls.

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls

Return to the car park via the same route. Take a towel and change of clothes if you’re planning on paddling in the cascades. 

Wentworth Falls
270 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath
nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/wentworth-falls-track

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

Enjoy Lilianfels High Tea.

Find the best Blue Mountains High Tea.

Wentworth Falls Hike Blue Mountains Australia

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Where to find the best Blue Mountains high tea

Blue Mountains High Tea Australia

Where to find the best Blue Mountains High Tea

An elegant Blue Mountains high tea is the perfect way to enjoy the fresh mountain air and spectacular scenic views. These four spots guarantee warm scones, fresh ribbon sandwiches and a divine pot of tea.

Lilianfels Resort & Spa, Katoomba

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

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

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

Read more about the Lilianfels High Tea.

Hydro Majestic, Medlow Bath

High tea is served in the elegant Wintergarden, with panoramic views overlooking the Megalong Valley.

Choose from the traditional High Tea, Eastern High Tea or Gluten-Free High Tea, each served to the table on a three-tiered silver stand and including a range of tea and coffee.

Hydro Majestic, Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

Read more about the Hydro Majestic High Tea.

Bygone Beauties, Leura

For a truly unique high tea, journey inside the Bygone Beauties Treasured Teapot Museum & Tearooms, home of world’s largest private collection of teawares. Enjoy High Tea or Devonshire Tea surrounded by stunning teapots from a bygone era, while waitstaff zoom past with high tea on silver trays.

Katoomba Bygone Beauties

Entry to the teapot museum is right next to the tearoom and well worth a look.

Katoomba Bygone Beauties

Read more about visiting Bygone Beauties.

Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains

Treat yourself to something special with a selection of sandwiches, traditional homemade scones with fresh cream and conserve, decadent sweet treats, rich loose leaf La Maison Du The. The view over Megalong Valley from the dining area is as much of a star of the show as the food! The Fairmont high tea has excellent scones and sandwiches and top notch service, plus the prettiest plates of any high tea.

Fairmont Resport & Spa High Tea

Read more about visiting the Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains.

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

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Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

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Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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

Visit the most beautiful Sydney gardens.

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Blue Mountains High Tea Australia

Lilianfels High Tea, Blue Mountains NSW Australia

Lilianfels High Tea Blue Mountains Australia

Lilianfels High Tea, Blue Mountains NSW Australia

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

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

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

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

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

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

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

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

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

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

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

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

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

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

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

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

Leura Lilianfels High Tea

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

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

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

Find another Blue Mountains High Tea to try.

More things to do in Sydney

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

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Explore the best Sydney gardens and parks.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

Things to do in the Southern Highlands.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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

Visit the most beautiful Sydney gardens.

Explore Sydney’s best parks.

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Australian National Botanic Gardens Canberra

Australian National Botanic Gardens

The heritage-listed Australian National Botanic Gardens are the perfect escape from the city hustle and bustle.

Established in 1949, the Gardens contains the most diverse collection of Australian native plants in one location anywhere in the world. There are 4,300 species to discover, spread over 35 hectares.

There are a range of walking trails to enjoy, as well as the Pollen Café, a Visitor Centre and Botanical Bookshop, wide open lawns and picnic tables. 

Entry to the Gardens is free, but $3.50 per hour or $14.50 per day parking fees apply when using the on-site carpark. 

The Main Path Loop is a great way to see everything. It’s 1.4km in length and takes about 40 mins to walk – longer if you stop frequently like we did. The path is both wheelchair and pram accessible. 

We enjoyed the Children’s Discovery Trail – Who Did That?, which is an offshoot from the Main Path Loop. The 330m trail takes about 30 minutes to complete and is a great little interactive trail with engaging signage and the Paperbark Treehouse to climb.

The Gardens are broken up into themes of the Australian landscape, such as Red Centre Garden, Sydney Region Garden and Rainforest Gully. The Red Centre was a particular favourite of ours.

Get more ideas of things to do in Canberra with kids.

Australian National Botanic Gardens
Clunies Ross St, Acton ACT
Hours: Daily, 9am-5pm
https://www.anbg.gov.au/gardens/

A Glamping Stay at Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

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

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

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

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

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

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

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

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

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

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

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

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

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

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

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

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

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

Accessible glamping tents are also available.

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

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

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

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

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

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

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

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

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

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

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

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

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

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

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

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

Find more things to do in Port Stephens.

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Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

Blackbutt Reserve Newcastle, NSW Australia

Blackbutt Nature Reserve Newcastle

Blackbutt Reserve

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

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

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

Things to do at Blackbutt Reserve

Visit the Wildlife Exhibits

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

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

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

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

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

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

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

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

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

Animal Experiences 

Feed the emus

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

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Koala feeding and talk

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

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Reptile Show

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

Reptile Encounters

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

Critter Encounter

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

Take a  guided tour

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

Hunt for wildlife

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

Take a bushwalk

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

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

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Have a picnic

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

Blackbutt Nature ReserveBlackbutt Nature Reserve

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

Blackbutt Nature Reserve

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

Play in the playgrounds

There are two excellent playgrounds inside Blackbutt Reserve. 

Richley Reserve Adventure Playground

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

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

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

Carnley Adventure Playground

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

Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve Blackbutt Nature Reserve

Find more things to do in Newcastle.

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

More things to do in Sydney

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

Find things to do in Sydney for free.

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

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.

Chase waterfalls in Sydney.

More things to do on the Central Coast.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.

Find the best high teas in Sydney.

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Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.

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Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.

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

Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.

Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney

Things to do in the Blue Mountains.

Plan amazing NSW road trips.

Pick your own fruit: fruit picking Sydney.

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

Blackbutt Nature Reserve Newcastle

Mount Ainslie Lookout: Top Things To Do In Canberra

Mount Ainslie Lookout, Canberra

Mount Ainslie Lookout: Top Things To Do In Canberra

Enjoy the best views in Canberra from the Mount Ainslie Lookout in the Mount Ainslie Nature Reserve. 

The lookout is located at the top of Mount Ainslie, at an elevation of 843 metres. You can drive, bike or walk to the summit, which is particularly lovely at sunrise and sunset. 

The view from the Mount Ainslie Lookout is spectacular. Lake Burley Griffin and many of Canberra’s famous attractions can be seen from the top, including the Australian War Memorial and new and old Parliament Houses. 

Canberra had a planned city layout in the shape of a triangle and from this point of view, the city’s beautiful geometry can be seen.

There is an abundance of bird life in the 637 hectare Mount Ainslie Nature Reserve, making the area popular for wildlife photographers.

A hotspot for photographers, the vista is complemented by the abundance of native birds and wildlife.

To access the lookout, take Mount Ainslie Drive from Fairburn Avenue in the suburb of Campbell. There is a car park at the top of the mountain at the lookout.

Mount Ainslie Lookout, Canberra

Get more information on visiting Mount Ainslie.

Find more things to do in Canberra with kids.

Mount Ainslie Lookout, Canberra

Quizzic Alley Canberra: Harry Potter Magic in Australia

Quizzic Alley Canberra

Quizzic Alley Canberra: Harry Potter Magic in Australia

Visit Australia’s most magical Harry Potter-themed store, Quizzic Alley, located in Fyshwick, ACT. 

Quizzic Alley is the passion project of Michael and Penni Milton. Michael and Penni have stocked the store with the most incredible range of Harry Potter goods from all over the world, including lollies, board games, jewellery, toys, clothing and accessories like bags and wallets. Quizzic Alley carries the biggest range of Harry Potter merchandise in Australia.

Quizzic Alley Canberra

The store has brought the magic of Harry Potter to life with incredible care to detail, with a flying Ford Anglia car that visitors can pose in, and amazing decorations hanging from the ceiling. It’s truly a transformative visit for any Harry Potter fan wishing to duck inside J.K Rowling’s magic world and lose themselves for a few moments.

Quizzic Alley Canberra

Quizzic Alley also offers customers the opportunity to try their “QBrew” (the beverage of choice for witches and wizards everywhere).

Quizzic Alley Canberra

Locals can book kids’ birthday parties at Quizzic Alley, or attend an adult-focused evening event.

Quizzic Alley Canberra

Can’t make it to Canberra to visit in person? All good, Quizzic Alley delivers Australia-wide.

Quizzic Alley Canberra Quizzic Alley Canberra Quizzic Alley Canberra Quizzic Alley Canberra

Find more things to do in Canberra with kids here.

Quizzic Alley
5 Pirie St, Fyshwick ACT
Phone 02-61798856
Hours: Wed-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat & Sun 10am-4pm, closed Mon & Tues
quizzicalley.com

Corin Forest Mountain Resort: The Perfect First Snow Experience

Corin Forest Mountain Resort Snow Experience 

Corin Forest Mountain Resort: The Perfect First Snow Experience

Give kids their first snow experience at Corin Forest Mountain Resort in the ACT. Corin Forest is the closest snow experience to Sydney.

Corin Forest is located in the Tidbinbilla Mountain Ranges, 45 minutes from Canberra. During the warmer months, Corin Forest is a place to picnic, ride the 1.2km Alpine Slide and visit neighbouring Square Rock, Gibraltar Falls and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

You can read more about visiting nearby Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve here.

In the winter months (often extending into spring), Corin Forest is the place to take kids to enjoy an affordable and fun first snow experience.

The Corin Forest Mountain Resort is a rustic lodge set among tall trees, in a beautiful secluded valley. 

During the winter season, the lodge is a place to sit back and enjoy a wood fire pizza or hot chocolate after an exhilarating snow session. (In 2020, the lodge is open for takeaway only).

Beyond the lodge are an array of picnic tables around a picturesque lake, and the snowfields. 

Corin Forrest offers very popular snow play sessions, beginner skiing or snowboarding.

Snowplay

We drove down to Corin Forest to experience the snow with their two-hour snowplay experience. The sessions for the school holidays and weekends book out a long way in advance, as they’re a bit of a bargain and the easiest way for most families to experience the snow.

During the snowplay sessions, families can ride a toboggan, build a snowman and generally just play in the snow. We had a lot of fun throwing snowballs at each other.

There are two snowplay areas that run next to each other, with staggered start times.

The capacity is limited, particularly in 2020, with 100 people per sessions permitted. Snow play is open until October 11th in 2020.

Entry to the snowplay area is a bargain $20 per person. You can hire a toboggan for an extra $5 and snow boots for $15. Jacket and pants rental as been suspended for 2020.

We visited in the middle of July and found it not overly cold temperature wise, but still were glad that we had rugged up. I would suggest wearing warm clothes with waterproof pants and jacket, gloves, water resistant boots, sunglasses and a beanie. Bring sunscreen as the glare can burn, and a change of dry clothes for the trip home. 

Make sure to book your session as soon as possible so you don’t miss out.

Snowsports School

Corin Forest is also a great spot for beginners to learn to ski and snowboard. The ski slope features a “magic carpet” ski lift and is a nice, gentle slope to make learning to ski or board as easy as possible. 

In 2020 ski and snowboarding lessons are operating with private lessons for groups of up to four people including an instructor. Lessons are available for adults and children over the age of 8.

Lessons include the use of ski/snowboard and helmets. 

Lessons will be operating until September 7th 2020.

Ski + Ride

Experienced skiers or snowboarders can also enjoy the snow during the designated Ski + Ride sessions.

The Ski Hill will be operating until September 7th 2020.

Alpine Slide

The Alpine Slide descends 1.2km through the Mountain Ash forest. An hour session costs $25 per person.

In 2020 all sessions have a maximum capacity of 25 people so tickets will need to be booked in advance online.

General Info about visiting Corin Forest

For the majority of the winter season, Corin Forest is accessible to all cars. 4WD or snow chains are only needed a few days a season.

The snow at Corin Forest is mostly man-made. Natural snow falls around 6 days each winter.

Parking is unlimited and free.

There is no entry cost to Corin Forest. 

You are welcome t bring your own food and enjoy it in the picnic area. Food is available for purchase in the cafe that serves hot and cold drinks, snacks and meals, and features a wood fired pizza oven. In 2020 the cafe is doing takeaway only.

I would suggest booking the first session of the day as that’s when the snow is freshest.

Every person entering the snowfield needs a ticket, even it it’s just to watch.

If you forget to bring gloves, you can buy a pair at the retail shop.

Clothing rental is usually available from the age of 4 to adult 5XL – however rentals are suspended in 2020.

I strongly suggest booking ahead as Corin Forest is extremely popular.

Find more things to do in Canberra with kids here.

Corin Forest Mountain Resort
1268 Corin Dam Rd, Paddys River ACT
https://www.corin.com.au

Sydney Day Trips: Wollongong Botanic Garden

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Sydney Day Trips: Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

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

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

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

Tips for visiting the Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

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

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Wollongong Botanic Garden Collections

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

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

Wollongong Botanic Garden Features

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

Kawasaki Bridge

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

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

All Abilities Playground

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

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Outdoor Reading Rooms

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

The Mercury Fountain

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

Duck Pond

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

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Insect Hotels

Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Events and programs

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

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Getting to the Wollongong Botanic Garden

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

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

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

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

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

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Wollongong Botanic Garden