The Yarra Valley is well known for its wine tasting tours, but the region also has plenty to offer for families. Whether you’re looking for a day out from Melbourne or a weekend away, you’ll find no shortage of attractions to keep the kids occupied. Stop at scenic lookouts, go berry picking, take a wander along the pleasant walking trails of the Dandenong Mountain Range, or go sledding at Lake Mountain before enjoying a picnic utilising fresh produce from the area’s farms. It’s also ideally situated a short drive away from Melbourne, minimising time in the car. If you’re bringing the family along to the Yarra Valley, you won’t want to miss the following fun filled activities.
Do your kids love animals? Take them for a day out at the Healesville Sanctuary in the Yarra Valley. It’s one of the world’s best places to spot Australian wildlife in its natural habitat, set on 70 acres of untouched bush land. The sanctuary is home to kangaroos, wombats, dingoes, platypus, and koalas, among others. There’s also a café and working animal hospital offering tours. Best of all for your budget, children under the age of 15 can visit for free on holidays and weekends.
The Puffing Billy Steam Railway is an excursion that both young and old can enjoy. It’s the oldest steam railway in Australia, travelling 24 kilometres through the Dandenong Ranges. You’ll pass ancient fern gullies and old growth forest along the way, potentially spotting native wildlife from these open sided carriages. There are often special events held on the Puffing Billy, including pantomime performances and dance evenings. There’s a café on the car if the family starts to get peckish, and tours are run throughout the year.
The Yarra Valley is home to many working farms, and one of the greatest pleasures of a visit to this area is visiting them to go berry picking, pet the tame animals, or learn more about the agricultural way of life. One of the original working farms is Gulf Station, which has been in operation for 160 years. Let your children learn more about the area’s original pioneer lifestyle, by visiting the original outbuildings that make up this working station. The farm is still home to chickens, geese, horses, and pigs, and offers a number of trails to wander along and enjoy a picnic in the countryside.
If your children have energy to burn, take them away to the Trees Adventure in the Dandenong Ranges. Your kids will get the same type of thrill through looking at these giant flying foxes and ziplines as you do when looking at bmw motorcycles on Bikesales. The zipline courses are ranked by difficulty, ensuring that there are courses for both young and old. Participants are all attached to safety lines, for added comfort. The Trees Adventure Park is located in a rain forest, with a number of interesting old growth trees to spot. You may also spot native wildlife such as owls, possums, or kookaburras.
Whether you want to learn more about the Yarra Valley’s farmstead heritage or take a wild ride through the trees, there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained on a day out from Melbourne.
Wow, to say we were inspired by this video is an understatement. You simply have to watch it, it is the perfect representation of childhood beach memories, and makes me a little homesick for the coast as we sit here in Central NSW.
So, in celebration of such a beautiful video, hopefully you’re as inspired as we are, we’ve tracked down some things to do in South Australia with kids.
This amazing zoo is open from 9:30 to 5:00 every day of the year, including Christmas, so whenever you are in Adelaide it will be open for you to visit. There’s a magnificent range of animals on display, definitely something for every member of the family. From lions and tigers, hippos, flamingo which are a stunning pink colour, one of my favourites, the meerkats, and lots of birdlife, reptiles, Australian native animals and even Sea Lions.
The funniest thing happened to us at the zoo, it was something I didn’t even remember until I looked back at the photos to write this piece, (as you can see by the photos the kids are much younger), but I giggled when I saw the picture below. We had been walking through the animal petting zoo when a goat hopped into the buggy that we’d hired to push the kids around in for the day. Cheeky thing it was!
The cheeky thing managed to get all the way inside the buggy and was difficult to get out, it got a big giggle from the kids too.
To get to the zoo, we’d recommend public transport, most of the parking in the area is via parking meter and this can add up if you plan on spending all day there. There’s a range of animal encounters that you can do, but you’ll need to check age limits as young children may not be able to do many of the encounters due to safety, also, book these before arrival if you’re wanting to participate. Visit http://www.zoossa.com.au/adelaide-zoo to find out more.
South Australian Museum
This amazing museum boasts the largest collection of Australian Indigenous cultural objects in the world, along with meteorites, fossils, dinosaurs, and a giant squid model that fills an entire elevator shaft! There are plenty of artefacts inside the museum that have wonderful historical stories to accompany them, and there is also a Science Centre nearby. Visit http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au to find out more.
South Australian Maritime Museum – Port Adelaide
Let your kids escape in a whirlwind of pirate adventures as they walk the gangplank. This attraction offers plenty of interaction for children which is important when looking for family things to do. It consists of three levels that unfold into an exciting range of exhibits worth taking the time to explore and discover, so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy. There’s a lighthouse nearby and entry is included in the cost of your ticket, so let the kids enjoy the spiral lighthouse staircase for added fun. Visit http://www.history.sa.gov.au to find out more.
Explore Coober Pedy
If you’re looking for a unique tucked away in South Australia for families, the Coober Pedy offers something you’ll never forget. We’ve written before about the Old Timers Mine and recommend this to everyone. There’s also Tom’s Working Opal Mine where you can find out about modern day mining and a range of other adventures and tours within the town, such as Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage. Find out more information at Coober Pedy Tourism Attractions website.
The beauty of South Australia is it’s spectacular mountain ranges, stunning beaches, and the harsh beauty shining radiantly from the heart of the desert. If you’re looking for coastal relaxation, bush adventures, or desert trails, then South Australia has everything your family could dream of and more. I can’t write something about SA without mentioning a family holiday to Kangaroo Island, it should be top of every nature loving family’s to do list.
Have you visited South Australia? What is your favourite thing to do there?
This is a sponsored post but opinions are my own.
Welcome to Sydney For Families
Sydney offers families an entire range of activities, eateries, attractions and accommodation styles that truly do offer something for everyone. The Capital City of NSW has won numerous awards for being one of the world’s most favoured cities, the most recent being voted in the Condé Nast readers choice as one of the world’s best cities, coming in at number 6.
It’s not just international travellers who love Sydney, there’s plenty of reasons for families to love Sydney too, so let’s take a look at what you can get up to with the kids in this gorgeous world class city!
Great Sydney Beaches For Families
It wouldn’t be a Sydney travel guide without mentioning the best beaches for families to visit.
- Bondi Beach – While Bondi itself can be prone to rips, head to the west side for the Bondi pools. This is a perfect area for kids to splash around in safely and offer peace of mind to parents that the kids can swim in a safe, supervised area.
- Whale Beach – This beach also offers a rock pool that is really great for kids. Time your visit, because it generally only fills at high tide. There’s also a playground nearby to burn off some extra energy.
- Cronulla – While the main beach is generally not a great family swim beach and is better suited to surfers, Shelly Beach offers another great rock pool and a large picnic area with bbq’s
Great Outdoor Family Activities in Sydney
- Sydney Park – This gorgeous 110 acre area in St Peters offers a gorgeous duck pond, gorgeous parks, sculptures, a heritage area, a 360 degree view over the city, playgrounds, and best of all, a bike track for the kids complete with traffic signs.
- Iron Cove Bay Walking Area – If getting out and about in nature is something you’re keen to do then this area provides a flat walk that is easy for young children, prams and bikes. During the walk you’ll take in sights like beaches, mangroves, and the harbour.
- Ride the Manly Ferry – For 155 years the Manly ferry has been taking people on a journey across the waves. Don’t miss out on this iconic excursion, enjoy the ride and once you get to Manly, treat the kids to a few hours at Oceanworld.
- Royal Botanic Gardens – This gorgeous garden area is one that just shouldn’t be missed. When planning your visit to the Botanic Gardens, a little bit of research to see what’s on in the gardens is a good idea, there’s always events, tours and activities taking place.
Great Family Attractions in Sydney
There are so many great attractions available to visitors in Sydney. We’re taking a quick look at some of the best for kids.
The attractions we’ve mentioned here are, for the most part in the city, which makes it easy for those focused on enjoying the city centre, we’ll be covering more around the greater Sydney region shortly:
- Luna Park – A true icon, this amusement park was restored and still holds much of it’s 1930’s charm. With something for all ages, from rides to sideshow attractions an experience well worth it.
- Taronga Zoo – The best way to get to the Zoo is by experiencing the Circular Quay Ferry. You’ll be amazed and greeted by a wide range of animals, and learn about the conservation initiatives undertaken by and suppported by the Zoo.
- Darling Harbour Attractions – You won’t be disappointed with things to do in Darling Harbour with kids. There’s plenty of free play areas, but for a true experience, head to WILD LIFE Sydney, Sydney SEA LIFE Aquarium and Madam Tussaud’s. Check out their websites for all in one passes to save lots of money.
As you can see, we’ve just touched the very tip of the amazing family activities that Sydney has to offer on your next family holiday. For Accommodation Sydneyalso has a great range of options, from caravan parks in the outer suburbs to a range of budget hotels through to family luxury hotels. You can easily take a day trip by train or plane, or within driving distance if you’re lucky enough. If you’re planning to stay, it definitely pays to plan a little in advance and be sure to stay somewhere nice and convenient to the main attractions you’re planning to visit.
Much thanks to Accommodation.com for this great post about the Sydney Region.
What are your favourite family friendly Sydney hot spots?