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OUT&ABOUT WITH KIDS

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ANAHEIM SPECIAL FEATURE

No.

PLUS

SUMMER 2018

© Disney.Pixar

RRP $7.95

Road trip!

Why swapping school for a road trip is a good idea

Bali Hai

ISSUE 55 | SUMMER 2018

5 new reasons to take the kids to Bali

Hawai’i

Must-dos for families - by the experts

London in summer Concerts in the park and colourful markets

Pixar Fun at Disneyland Resort FA M I LY | T R AV E L | H O L I D AY | L E I S U R E | E N T E R T A I N M E N T

2017 BEST OF

FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS

WINNERS

You voted, we reveal: find out all the winners and finalists of our 2017 Best Of Family Travel Awards, as voted for by our readers!

WIN!

A holiday at CLUB MED BALI

CANBERRA | THREDBO | ABU DHABI | ANAHEIM | BALI | FIJI | HAWAII | LONDON | MACAO | MONGOLIA | SOUTH AFRICA | TAIWAN | THAILAND


Out & About with Kids Print & Digital outandaboutwithkids.com.au Publisher Elisa Elwin elisa@oawk.com.au 0413 770 550 Editor Deborah Dickson-Smith deborah@oawk.com.au Digital Content Manager Thomas Penman digitaleditor@oawk.com.au Social Media Manager Holly O’Sullivan holly@oawk.com.au Contributors Siobhan Bardet Peter Birchell Flip Byrnes Mark Daffey Julie Jones Simon Mallender Holly O’Sullivan Yumi Stynes Geordie Torr Sue White Art Director Jon Wolfgang Miller Advertising Enquiries: Wayne Stickel wayne@oawk.com.au Suzanne Bailey suzanne@oawk.com.au Published by Elwin Media Pty Ltd ABN: 22 159 093 606

PO Box 4148, Balgowlah Heights NSW 2093 Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the editorials are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Publisher and Out & About with Kids. Information provided was believed to be correct at the time of publication. Copyright © Out & About with Kids 2018 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. All reasonable efforts have been made to contact copyright holders. Out & About with Kids cannot accept unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. If such items are sent to the magazine they will be returned.

T

his issue we reveal YOUR choices for the Best of Family Travel Awards, the best destinations, resorts, holiday parks and attractions both locally and internationally. There are a few standouts amongst the winners this year: Disneyland is still a clear favourite, as a choice for Best International Attraction and Best Family Hotel or Resort – both in Asia (Hong Kong Disneyland Resort) and the U.S. (Disneyland Hotel Anaheim). Here in Australia, Sea World is the theme park of choice for families while Australia Zoo takes top spot as our readers’ favourite animal attraction. Another clear winner: the Great Barrier Reef, with snorkelling on the Reef named as the Best Adventure Activity for Families. And Australia’s favourite holiday park? Maybe no surprises here, as this establishment has won so many tourism awards it is now in Tourism and Events Queensland’s “Tourism Hall of Fame”, BIG4 Adventure Whitsundays Resort. In this bumper issue you’ll also find a special feature on southern California destination Anaheim, our pick of the best attractions, activities, hotels and resorts in the home of Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and much much more. Geordie Torr treats his daughters to a bit of culture shock in Mongolia, Simon Mallender reconnects with family in Fiji, Yumi Stynes rediscovers London with her teenage daughters, Mark Daffey goes on safari in Sabi Sabi and I discover a wild side to Taiwan that I never imagine existed. Enjoy your summer reading, and be sure to enter our latest competition to win a family holiday to Club Med Bali. All the best in family travel, Deborah and the team.

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contents

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DID YOU KNOW…? Stay up to date with the latest family travel news in Australia and overseas, cruises and luxury holidays.

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THE BEST OF BALI FOR KIDS Our guide to what’s new and wonderful for families in Bali.

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WIN A HOLIDAY TO CLUB MED BALI! Win a holiday for a family of four at awardwinning Club Med Bali..

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BEST OF FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS

© Disney

Our readers have voted! And we are pleased to announce the winners of our 2017 Best of Family Travel Awards with a few new categories this year, a few favourites and a few new surprises. From best place to camp to best hotel in the USA, check out the winners and finalists.

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Ho lid ay Pa rk s 66: Reflec ti on s s fo r fam ilies de liver th e go od


2017 BEST OF

FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS

Hawai’i fo r 69: Th e be st of e ex pe rt s fam ilies, from th

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CAMPING, CARAVANS & RVS How and where to take the kids camping, caravaning or RV-ing these summer holidays.

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HAWAI’I Our guide to the best places to stay, things to do and see in Hawai’i with the kids, written by the experts at Hawaiian Airlines.

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ANAHEIM FOR FAMILIES Our ultimate guide to the best of Anaheim for families. The home of Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm ia also a perfect base to start your California family adventure.

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FAMILY TRAVELLER Our intrepid contributors travel from Fiji and South Africa to Taiwan and remote Mongolia in search of adventure and cultural immersion.



112: Why is Ab u Dh abi such a great de st in at ion fo r fam ilie s?

proves a crowd126: Ca nb er ra Jo ne s’ fam ily plea se r fo r Ju lie SUMMER 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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Pile Valley, Fraser Island One of the ancient trees growing in the Satinay forest of Pile Valley, in the heart of Fraser Island, is estimated to be almost 1000 years old. The massive tree, about three to four metres in diameter, tempts families to gather at its base with arms outstretched in a tree hug, holding hands, to see how far they can reach around it. Once logged and sold as pylons because they were found to be resistant to marine borers, Satinays from Fraser Island were used to build the Suez Canal, Urangan Pier and homes in the local region, as well as to rebuild the London Docks after World War II. Logging ended on the island when it was nominated for World Heritage Listing in 1991. A 4km round trip on foot from Pile Valley to Central Station takes a couple of hours and, for part of the way, follows Wanggoolba Creek – known as the silent stream because the crystal-clear spring water makes no sound as it flows over the sand. The creek also hosts the rare King Fern, which dates 300 million years and has fronds up to 5m long. Once at Central Station, families can picnic, wander around what’s left of the old logging camp, admire the abundance of staghorns and marvel at the towering height of the trees in the sub-tropical rainforest. visitfrasercoast.com


B IG P IC TUR E



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DI D Y OU KNOW...?

Did you know …?

Tak e a wa lk on the wild side at Aus tra lia Zoo Home to the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, Australia Zoo is just one hour north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast. Nestled on 105 acres, and with over 1200 native and exotic animals, the award-winning wildlife park is one of the most interactive wildlife adventure and conservation destinations on the planet. Here you can wander through the park’s African Savannah to check out the meerkats, giraffes, rhinos, zebras and cheetahs, as well as majestic tigers and red pandas in its South-East Asia section. Visit Bindi’s Island, where you can explore a three-storey treehouse with sweeping views of Australia Zoo, and see cheeky ringtailed lemurs, giant Aldabran tortoises and colourful macaws. Get up close and handfeed the Zoo’s gorgeous kangaroos at Roo Heaven. Grab some lunch and watch the worldfamous Wildlife Warriors show at noon, with all the jaw-snapping action of saltwater crocodiles, birds and snakes, live in the

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Crocoseum. There are many ways to get face-to-face with the animals at Australia Zoo – hold a snake, cuddle a koala or even pat a rhino with the Zoo’s exclusive Animal Encounters, and every school holidays budding young zookeepers are given the opportunity to join the team for a look behind the scenes during the Zookeeper for a Day program. On your next visit to Australia Zoo, make sure you head over to the Wildlife Hospital to meet the amazing team of vets, nurses and carers who save the lives of injured native wildlife. You can even book a behind the scenes tour to get an insight into the essential work the team does every day to protect wildlife and wild places. And remember, just by visiting the Zoo, you are helping support the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warrior’s conservation programs both in Australia and across the globe, including cheetah, rhino and elephant conservation in Africa and Cambodia. australiazoo.com.au


D I D Y OU K NO W...?

Lonely Planet’s city guides for kids Lonely Planet has launched a new ‘City Trails’ guide to Sydney, designed especially for kids. The guide is the fourth in the beautifully illustrated City Trails series which also includes Rome, Tokyo and Washington DC. Kids can follow characters Marco and Amelia as they explore 19 fantastic themed trails across Sydney to uncover its incredible secrets, amazing facts and intriguing tales. Find out where to cuddle koalas, catch the world’s steepest passenger train, and see the city through a sky-high glass floor. The guide helps kids discover amazing facts and intriguing tales that aren’t on the tourist routes. Where can you feed ‘fish and chips’ to a pelican, meet a blue-tongued resident and encounter some little devils? In the other City Trails guides, kids can find out about priests who play football in Rome, where to see human-looking robots in Tokyo, and which president’s memorial includes a statue of his dog in Washington, DC. facebook.com/lpkidstravel

Lost Valley opens in Currumbin National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Queensland will open its newest attraction, the Lost Valley, on Boxing Day. It’s a reimagining of the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana, which allows kids to explore a forgotten world, and get up close and personal with some of the world’s most unique and distinctive flora and fauna. Featuring five hectares of lush tropical rainforest, Lost Valley takes you on a journey through Gondwana, where you can interact with exotic species including friendly ring tail lemurs, cotton-top tamarins, red pandas, capybaras, freeflying birds and exotic reptiles. General Manager Michael Kelly is thrilled to finally open this amazing exhibit. “The stunning rainforest precinct has been three years in the making and the team has worked very hard to create a living, breathing rainforest that will play 

home to breathtaking botanicals, exotic animals and free-flying birds. This is the biggest precinct that the Sanctuary has ever opened, in its 70-year history. “The free flying birds within the aviary will be a real spectacle. We will have a large number of bird species including the Eclectus parrot, Molucan lory, satin bowerbird, and Mandarin ducks to name a few, as well as our striking macaws.” currumbinsanctuary.com.au

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DI D Y OU KNOW...?

Nat iona l Geo graphic’s new Oce an Odyssey

AQUATIS, Europe’s largest aquariumvivarium opens Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, the largest body of freshwater in Western Europe, Europe’s biggest freshwater aquarium-vivarium, AQUATIS, opened recently, after 15 years in the making. Spread over two levels, the aquarium covers an exhibition space of 3500 square metres, holds at least two million litres of freshwater; and showcases 20 different ecosystems. Three hundred plant species, 10,000 fish from all over the world, and 100 reptiles and amphibians now call AQUATIS home, on display in 46 aquariums, vivariums and terrariums. It’s Switzerland’s first cultural destination dedicated to ecosystems and sustainable development, and presents a journey through the planet’s most fascinating freshwater environments. Visitors are taken on an immersive and interactive voyage of discovery through time and across continents. The journey begins on the first floor, which is dedicated to Europe. Following the path of the Rhône, from its glacial origins to its arrival in the Mediterranean Sea, before splitting into areas of the Alpine, Lake Geneva, the Rhône and Camargue, visitors are constantly reminded of the superb biodiversity that exists in Europe and the fact that evolution began in the water. The second floor takes visitors to the African lakes, the Congo River, Asian mangroves, the Mekong River with its floating villages, the Pioneer River, which discharges into the Great Barrier Reef and the flooded Amazon. aquatic.ch

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Just opened on October 6, 2017, the National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is a first-in-kind immersive entertainment experience that transports you on a digital undersea journey from the South Pacific across the ocean to the west coast of North America. Through ground-breaking technology, audiences go on a digital “underwater” dive and come face-to-face with life-size photo-real versions of some of the largest and most interesting creatures of the sea, including 7metre long sharks, a 16m humpback whale, lifesize battling Humboldt squids and more. The Encounter also includes contributions from National Geographic Explorer and marine biologist David Gruber, who specialises in bioluminescent and bio fluorescent marine animals. Once guests “resurface”, they can learn about their experience, have the opportunity to take an individual pledge to make a difference in ocean conservation, and share it with their social communities and on a live social feed. In addition, Nat Geo Encounter helps to support the National Geographic Society’s critical works around the globe, including the Pristine Seas Project. By returning a portion of its proceeds to the non-profit work of the Society, National Geographic Partners contributes to the Society’s critical work of exploring, understanding and protecting our ocean through scientific grants and programs. natgeoencounter.com


D I D Y OU K NO W...?

New to DVD, the LEGO NINJAGO Movie Just in time for Christmas, in this movie-length LEGO® NINJAGO® adventure, the battle for NINJAGO City calls to action the young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon, The Worst Guy Ever, who also

happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modernday ninjas who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their inner power of Spinjitzu. New to buy on Blu-Ray, DVD or Digital on December 20.

Explore Bali with 360bali Whether you’ve been to Bali before or are taking your first trip, having recommendations you can trust can make all the difference. 360bali is an app created by food and travel writers who live in Bali. They review hundreds of places every year and they list their favourites in the app. “We created the app to make it easy for people to find great places to stay, play, shop, eat, spa and explore,” explains publisher Sarah Dougherty. “It’s fast to download and has direct links to book by phone or email as well as great location maps and links to the websites. It’s fast to download and easy to use.” Searching through forums and across Trip Advisor can be time consuming and confusing, explains Sarah, who has lived in Bali for over 20 years. 360bali takes the work out of the search for thousands of visitors who have used it again and again. Families will appreciate the PLAY section, which features all the beach clubs and activities. threesixtyguides.com



LEGOLAND Castle Hotel to open in Spring 2018 The LEGOLAND® Castle Hotel at LEGOLAND®California Resort reached its highest peak this month as workers officially topped off the theme park’s new royal kingdom with two towering LEGO® flags placed 20m high. Guests can make a reservation to be the first to stay in the LEGO® castle themed hotel when it opens in the northern hemisphere spring of 2018. North America’s first LEGOLAND Castle hotel will have 250 premium themed rooms, including 20 suites, immersing guests into a castle experience. Key features include the grand hall, royal dining areas, courtyard entertainment and thousands of castle-inspired LEGO models. Guests can choose from three room themes; Knights and Dragons, Royal Princess and Magical Wizard when booking their rooms. LEGOLAND.com/castlehotel

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DI D Y OU KNOW...?

Travelling with dietary restrictions? Babbel to the rescue!

Is this gluten-f ree?

• German: Ist das glutenfrei? • French: Est-ce que c’est sans gluten? • Italian: È senza glutine? • Spanish: ¿Es sin gluten? • Swedish: Är det här glutenfritt?

o u r ve Wh at a re yo n s? ti ve g a n o p

If you’re vegan and you have ever travelled beyond the perimeter of a major metropolis, then you know what it is to be a scavenger: navigating the complex puzzle of scarcity and survival; eating whatever is available to be eaten (like service station Oreos). Depending on where you are travelling, it’s often even more challenging to find decent food abroad when you – or the kids – have dietary restrictions. There’s

ge ta r ia n /

rischen/ elche vegeta • German: W ativen haben Sie? rn veganen Alte sont vos options lles ue Q h: nc re es ? • F /végétalienn zioni végétariennes op re st li sono le vo • Italian: Qua e? egan vegetariane/v opciones uáles son las enú? ¿C : sh ni pa • S lm de s na vega vegatarianas/ r ni för ha d • Swedish: Va anska alternativ? eg vegetariska/v

not much you can do about the lack of good dairy-free options in France, but at the very least, you can learn to communicate your food preferences effectively. The easiest way to do this is to download the Babbel app and learn a new language. In the meantime, Babbel has kindly put together a list of essential phrases for non-omnivore travellers, translated into five major languages:

I’m alle rgic to ____. (wh eat ry, she llfish, egg s, mil k, pea nut s, tre e nut, dai s, soy)

• German: Ich bin allergisch gege n ____. (Weizen, Laktose, Meeresfrüchte, Eier, Milch, Erdnüsse , Nüsse, Soja) • French: Je suis allergique ____. (au blé, aux produits laitiers, aux crustacés, aux oeufs, au lait, à l’arachide, aux noix, au soja) • Italian: Ho un’allergia ____. (al grano, ai atticini, ai crostacei, alle uova, al latte, alle arac hidi, alla frutta a guscio, alla soia) • Spanish: Soy alérgico/a ____. (al trigo, a los productos lácteos, al marisco, a los huevos, a los cacahuetes, a los frutos secos, a la soja) • Swedish: Jag är allergisk mot ___ _. (vete, mjölkprodukter, skaldjur, ägg, mjölk, jordnötter, nötte r, soja)

Visit outandaboutwithkids.com.au and search ‘Babbel’ for more allergy translations. babbel.com

Add some bling to your summer Ever felt the need to take something functional and make it just a little bit fabulous? The team at Bling2O has done just that with a collection of kids’ swim goggles. The goggles are all customised, some with a touch of retro, others with a bit of an edge. Each pair has its own unique design that doesn’t skimp on colour (or bling). The goggles are completely latex and lead free, with anti-fog properties to ensure great vision. They have been developed under strict conditions, are tested for quality, and adhere to the most stringent global safety standards. Available online at babygoesretro.com.au for $29.95

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Carry on.

Cabin Crew.

Park your passport. For your next holiday, why not try one that doesn’t involve passports, queues, customs and all the other joys of overseas air travel. Instead try a holiday that’s more relaxed, less scheduled, more you – and in your own backyard!

Turbulence.

Where carry on means fun, where turbulence is something you look forward to and where the Cabin Crew is everyone you love. BIG4 Holiday Parks offer a wide range of accommodation styles including luxury villa units, family cabins and powered and unpowered sites. All of which come with the natural beauty, local attractions and friendliness that we are known for. With so many BIG4 locations all over Australia, maybe you should ask yourself the question...Isn’t it time?

E

RIT FAVOU ALIA’S AUSTR

Let’s get connected!

BIG4.com.au Isn’t it time you visited?


DI D Y OU KNOW...?

Did you know …? Aviation

Kin der ling Kid s Radio tak es off wit h Qan tas Qantas and Kinderling Kids Radio have joined forces to keep kids entertained midflight. Kinderling has produced three in-flight radio channels, created specifically for the airline’s youngest (and most precious) passengers. Ready, Jet, Go!, is perfect for keeping young children occupied, and is hosted by popular children’s entertainer Groovy Ruby. Ready, Jet, Go! will take kids on a supersonic adventure with awesome songs, jokes, activities and stories. They’ll recognise some of Australia’s top artists including Angie Who, Benny Time and Big Block Singsong. The second channel, Settle Petal, is designed to calm nerves or help kids settle down once you’re into the flight. It’s filled with gentle tunes to create the ultimate headphone chill-zone for kids, featuring The Muppets, Johnny Cash, Taron Egerton and Justine Clarke.

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Kinderling Kids Radio Managing Director Lorna Clarkson says it’s perfectly normal for children to get anxious or over-excited when they get on a plane, especially if it’s their first flight. “That can become stressful for all involved so we created Settle Petal to help soothe frayed nerves – both young and old!” The third channel is for anyone wanting to get some shut-eye on a flight. Sleepy Soundtrack plays gentle ambient tunes to help you or your little ones drift off. It features tunes from Gentleforce, Max Richter and Finding Dory. “We created these three channels for Qantas so that the youngest flyers can have something to occupy their minds, calm their nerves and help them get to sleep in what is often a completely alien environment,” said Clarkson. “We also created them to help give parents a well-earned break!” kinderling.com.au


D I D Y OU K NO W...?

Cathay Pacific Flight review by Christine Retschlag Destination: Hong Kong Carrier: Cathay Pacific Flight time: Around 8.5 hours

home. Then, it’s a late lunch onboard before a nap (hopefully), maybe a movie or two and another meal service before landing.

Cathay Pacific’s trademark service, coupled with a great reputation for safety, makes this an ideal choice for families travelling to Asia’s Pearl of the Orient.

For Kids

Flight It’s a scheduled late-night flight out of Brisbane that makes this a slightly challenging journey with kids. This particular flight doesn’t depart until just before 1am, and with the current three hour check-in rules, you’ll be turning up at the airport around 10pm. Where possible, plan for an afternoon nap at home for the whole family, and an early dinner of protein to keep you all going before it’s airport departure time. The flight home from Hong Kong to Brisbane is much more family friendly, departing at 12.45pm, which gives you plenty of time to sleep in, eat breakfast and make your way to Hong Kong’s International Airport in time for your flight



Children are classed as 2 to 12 years, and must have their own seat. Infants aged 0-2 years will be seated with the adult. There are usually two bassinet seats at the front of each Economy and Business Class cabin. In both cabins, child or baby meals can be requested in advance. Expect finger food such as chips, nuggets, pasta and juice boxes. Onboard entertainment includes a range of specially-selected cartoons and anime. On this flight, music selections included The Wiggles and Moana while Harry Potter, Frozen, Ice Age, Trolls, and Boss Baby were the movies of choice. In the games department, Angry Birds and Mickey’s House Party were all the rage. Children aged between 3 and 6 years are offered a children’s pack that includes stationery, games and activity books. Hong Kong International Airport also has specially-designed kids’ play areas.

FACT FILE • For more helpful hints on travelling with children search ‘travelling with children on: cathaypacific.com • discoverhongkong.com.au • cathaypacific.com The writer travelled as a guest of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and Cathay Pacific

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DI D Y OU KNOW...?

Did you know …? Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line's Top 5 Shore Excursions for Kids this Summer 1. Amedee Island Marine Reserve, New Caledonia. Amedee Island is a tiny coral atoll located just 18 kilometres south of Noumea, with white sandy beaches, ample shaded areas, crystal clear water and an abundant array of colourful coral and fish species. Watch a traditional folkloric island dance, indulge in a banquet fit for a king and join in the fun afterwards with a coconut tree climbing demonstration. 2. Turtle Bay and Brush Island Boating Adventure – Isle of Pines, New Caledonia. Join the local tour guide on a scenic boat adventure around the bays and islets of Turtle Bay and Brush Island, look out for the turtles that love this popular feeding spot. Further along, there are also stingrays, manta rays, sharks and dolphins. 3. Snorkelling Safari on Mystery Island – Vanuatu. Uncover the underwater mystery... Jump into the clear waters and snorkel the pristine coral reef. Your guide will point out the spectacular coral formations and various

marine life, and you will have a chance to hand feed the schools of brightly coloured tropical fish. 4. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary & Historic Richmond - Hobart, Australia. Explore the historic convict village of Richmond, home to Australia’s oldest Catholic Church, and visit the native Australian animals at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, where you will see kangaroos, koalas, spotted quolls and Tasmanian devils. 5. Moreton Island Desert Safari - Moreton Island, Australia. Board an ATV and head out across the coloured sands of Moreton Island. Learn about the ancient Aboriginal settlement here and their dreamtime stories, from your local indigenous tour guide. carnivalcruise.com.au

P&O Edge, adventure at sea

Wood-fired pizza at sea on Pacific Explorer

Pacific Explorer has introduced two new fast and casual – yet still gourmet – dining options which families will just love. There’s Luke's, a poolside grill by Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan, and 400 Gradi, a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria from award-winning Melbourne chef Johnny Di Francesco. pocruises.com.au

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P&O Edge is Australia’s largest adventure park at sea and, take it from us, it’s pretty awesome. Race down a zipline on the top deck of Pacific Explorer, go rock climbing to the highest point of the ship, test your fear of heights of the Bow ladder Climb or, even scarier, walk the plank. Edge has at least 19 exciting activities to really get your heart pumping and it is not for the faint hearted. Reach the top with the funnel climb, don’t look down when crossing the slackline or take a leap of faith on the flying fox. pocruises.com.au


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DI D Y OU KNOW...?

Did you know …? Luxury

Barefoot luxury for kids at Thala Beach Nature Reserve (plus free coconuts) Thala Beach Nature Reserve sits high on a headland between Cairns and Port Douglas, with sweeping views up and down the tropical north Queensland coastline. In fact, in one of Thala’s spacious bungalows, you’ll feel like you’re in a tree house, with a bird’s eye view (along with the ospreys, loris and other birdlife here in the tree tops with you). The eco retreat has its own secluded (private) beach, two kilometres of white sand fringed with coconut palms, and the family-owned property is surrounded by 58 hectares of native literal rainforest. AND, the kids will absolutely love the many (free) activities on offer every day: Coconut Odyssey. On Australia’s only coconut tour, not only do you get to drink and eat from young green coconuts,

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you’ll learn all the health benefits too. Guided Nature, Bird and Butterfly Walks. Thala’s expert guides will help you spot the many species of birds and butterflies and furry creatures on Thala’s expansive nature reserve. Star Gazing. The Thala night sky is free from light pollution and filled with millions of stars. Surrounded by sounds of the rainforest and ocean, you and the kids can enjoy an introduction to the Southern Constellations from an experienced and passionate guide. Evenings with the KuKuYalanji People. Elders from the local aboriginal community come to Thala to share stories with guests, passed on to them from previous generations. thalabeach.com.au


D I D Y O U K NO W...?

Eslite Hotel: Sleepover in a bookstore Eslite is the name of Taiwan’s largest chain of bookstores, founded by book-lover and culture vulture Robert Wu in 1989. The Eslite franchise has expanded significantly, with 48 branches in Taiwan, three in Hong Kong and three in Mainland China, the most famous of which is the Dunnan, Taipei, which has become one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. The Dunnan branch is open 24 hours and allows customers to settle in and read for as long as they like before purchasing. It’s likely the success of this concept inspired Wu to take it one step further, with the opening of the luxurious Eslite hotel. Walking into the lounge area of Eslite Hotel is like walking into a private library crossed with an art gallery. On your left, floor to ceiling books cover the entire wall, with a sliding ladder to reach the higher shelves. All books are available for guests to borrow and read during their stay. Other walls are adorned with artworks, and

sculptures are placed here and there in between designer furniture. The suites also have a selection of books to read, as well as expansive living and sleeping areas, large ensuite bathroom, and most rooms have a balcony overlooking the greenery of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, a former tobacco factory which operated between 1937 and 1998, now home to a cooperative of artists and craftsmen. Songshan Cultural and Creative Park is a fascinating precinct to walk through, to watch artists at work in their studios, maybe catch a TEDX-style seminar in one of the lecture theatres, stroll through galleries and window-shop in the cooperative retail outlet. Next door, the Eslite Spectrum shopping mall provides four floors of eating, tea sipping and browsing its wide range of books, music, fashion, arts and crafts and gourmet produce. eslitehotel.com

Free air transfers to Nanuku Auberge Resort during school holidays Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji has released a new school holiday deal inclusive of a free one-way air transfer between its private aerodrome and Nadi International Airport, and return via road on a scenic drive. The offer is available to guests staying eight nights at the luxury all-villa resort during school holidays*. Valid for travel until December 2018, guests have the option of choosing



between the resort’s full board or bed and breakfast options as part of the offer. In other news, the resort has begun the construction of 13 new luxury one and two-bedroom Auberge Beach Villas which, when ready next year, will cement the resort’s position at the very top of the Fiji luxury resort listings. *Conditions apply. Subject to availability at time of booking. nanukufiji.com

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DI D Y OU KNOW...?

GET READY FOR THE INCREDICOASTER AND ALL NEW PIXAR FEST CELEBRATION Party with Buzz, Woody, Nemo and Dory at the Pixar Fest Celebration and brace yourself for a thrill on the re-imagined Incredicoaster at Pixar Pier, opening next year at Disneyland Resort. The Incredible Pixar Pier Disney California Adventure Park’s Paradise Pier will get a whole new look next summer, when it is permanently transformed, by the wonderful world of Pixar, into Pixar Pier. Pixar Pier opens in mid-2018, and features the thrilling new Incredicoaster, four new imaginative neighbourhoods, plus new entertainment. The first neighbourhood, opening mid2018, is inspired by Disney•Pixar’s The Incredibles and will feature a complete transformation of the ride, California Screamin’, which will be reimagined as the Incredicoaster. A neighbourhood inspired by the Toy Story series of animated features will be developed around the popular attraction, Toy Story Mania! and another, inspired by Inside Out, will open at a later date. A fourth new neighbourhood will celebrate a collection of guest-favourite Pixar stories, and each of the gondolas on Mickey’s Fun Wheel will showcase a different Pixar character. The iconic face of Mickey Mouse will continue to smile across the Paradise Bay side of the wheel, while across the water, Ariel’s Grotto restaurant and the Cove Bar will be transformed into a Pixar-themed lounge with views of Paradise Bay and the new Pixar Pier.

Pixar Fest The opening of Pixar Pier will add to the fun of Pixar Fest, the biggest celebration of stories and characters from Pixar Animation Studios ever to come to Disney Parks, which starts 13 April 2018, at the Disneyland Resort. Much-loved stories from Pixar Animation Studios will be brought to life in new ways

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at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks, with characters and experiences from films such as Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and Up. Guests will be treated to a new firework spectacular, and the return of two favourite parades with fresh new Pixar surprises. The new firework show, Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular, will celebrate Pixar stories through the decades as it lights up the sky over Disneyland, connecting guests with characters they’ve come to know and love. For the first time, Pixar Play Parade will make its way through Disneyland Park and will begin just as all Pixar films have, with an appearance by Pixar’s iconic lamp from the short film Luxo Jr. Other new parade elements will welcome characters from Up and Inside Out. Everyone’s favourite parade, Paint the Night, also makes a comeback, and this time the parade’s 1.5 million, LED lights and catchy tunes come to Disney California Adventure Park. Paint the Night features characters from Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. and Cars. Of course, Pixar Fest would not be complete without beloved Disney•Pixar friends such as Buzz, Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc., Nemo and Dory from Finding Nemo, and Lighting McQueen and Mater from Cars, all part of the celebration of friendship.


© Disney © Disney

© Disney

NEW HOTEL TO OPEN IN DISNEYLAND RESORT For the first time in almost two decades, Disneyland Resort in California will unveil a new hotel. Set to open in 2021, the hotel will transform the west end of the Downtown Disney District and anchor a new gateway to the resort. The 700-room hotel will feature extensive landscaping and water elements creating a resort oasis, showcasing nature on every level of the hotel. The hotel will be linked to the theme parks via the iconic Disneyland Monorail, with a dedicated platform inside the hotel for direct transport into Disneyland Park. Guest rooms, public spaces and gardens will have views of the Downtown Disney District, and an upperlevel restaurant and lounge will give guests a view of the popular Disneyland Park fireworks. Construction is scheduled to start in US summer 2018, with a grand opening slated for 2021.



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DID YO U K NO W...?

new ways to enjoy Bali Bali has long been a family favourite for Aussies for its beautiful beaches, fascinating culture, great food and frendly locals. HOLLY O'SULLIVAN finds a few new reasons to visit the island paradise.

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OPPOSTE AND ABOVE

Challenge yourself to the high dive at Mrs Sippy. Have breakfast with orangutans at Bali Zoo.

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Mrs Sippy

Bali is all about beach clubs these days – cocktails at happy hour and watching the sunset – and they’re also a great place to take the kids. Mrs Sippy is a fairly recent addition to the beach club scene, a Balinese interpretation of the popular brunch/ cocktails venue in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. It’s a Mediterranean oasis hidden in Bali’s bustling Seminyak and a great venue for families by day. (In the late afternoon DJs spin tunes as Mrs Sippy transforms into party central in the evenings.) Parents can sip on the tropical flavours of a watermelon mule crushed cocktail, while the kids explore Bali’s largest saltwater swimming pool and face their fears on the three diving platforms, interrupting your happy hour with the occasional and inevitable “Mum watch this!”. The extensive all-day menu includes fresh seafood dishes, wood fired pizzas, some truly inspired salads, and a great selection of fruit smoothies and milkshakes. mrssippybali.com



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Bali Zoo

Bali Zoo is a great place to get up close with some of Indonesia’s wildlife, which the zoo also helps to protect directly, through various conservation projects, as well as via the education of the zoo’s guests. A portion of your entry fee goes towards the Bali Turtle Conservation project, which runs a turtle sanctuary and nursery, educates school kids about turtle conservation and organises beach clean-ups. There are over 350 animals at Bali Zoo, including Sumatran tigers, Asian elephants and orangutans, housed in open-plan enclosures, and several opportunities to interact with them, such as Breakfast with Orangutans or the Mahout for a Day experience. For the complete Bali Zoo experience, have a sleepover at Sanctoo Villa, luxury villas inside the zoo itself, each with a private plunge pool and personal butler service. A stay here allows you personalised access to the animals and behind the scenes tours. Start your

morning having breakfast with orangutans – some furry friends rescued from Sumatra – and then get up close to some of the rescued elephants, crocodiles, and even armadillos. The meet and greets are flexible depending on the animals’ moods and wants, and you’ll be sure to leave smiling and with plenty of photos. Spend the day exploring the zoo or kick back in your own private plunge pool and await the Night at the Zoo, a meet and greet experience with an after-hours guide, which includes dinner and a show next to the lion enclosure. bali-zoo.com

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Bali Hai Cruises

Whether it’s for a day or an overnight stay, a trip over the Lombok Strait to the Lembongan Island Beach Club is a fantastic family outing. Cruise over to Lembongan Bay and spend the day snorkelling or scuba diving on the beautiful coral reef. Or try some of the many water sports on offer on Bali Hai’s Lembongan pontoon, including snorkelling tours, banana boat rides, parasailing, scuba

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FROM TOP

Plenty of watersports available on a Bali Hai cruise to Lembongan. Bali Dynasty has great activities for kids. Waterbom Bali is still a firm favourite with kids.

diving, dolphin spotting, semi-submarine rides, kayaking, village visits and mangrove tours. There’s also the fully-supervised Bali Hai Kids Club for children aged four to 10 years, where they can spend the day taking part in the many organised activities, while you go for a scuba dive or perhaps a massage. If you’re not a confident diver but fancy exploring the underwater world (trust me – you’ll be tempted, it’s so pretty), Aquanauts might be just the thing for you. This unique underwater experience allows you to walk and breathe underwater without even getting your hair wet. balihaicruises.com

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Bali Dynasty

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Waterbom Bali.

Home to the award-winning Kupu-Kupu Kiddies’ Club, the Bali Dynasty Resort has long been a favourite with Australian families. Located a short walk from family-friendly South Kuta Beach, the resort has a wide range of supervised activities for kids. Kids activities include everything from Tug-of-War and water sports to yoga, cooking, Balinese arts and crafts, traditional music and dancing lessons. And while the kids are happily ensconced (with professionally trained staff and action-packed games and activities), parents can kick back at the Lazy Pool, a no kids zone. Older Kids can hang out in The Den Teens Club, free of charge and open daily for kids aged 10-16, complete with fast WiFi, computer games consoles including Wii, PlayStation and Xbox, as well as a pool table and table tennis. The resort has three pools including the Kids Water Fun Zone with a 56m waterslide and a giant bucket. bdr.pphotels.com Asia’s ‘No. 1 water park’ is bigger and better than ever with over a dozen water slides that are sure to get the adrenalin pumping. Little ones can play in the Funtastic waterplay park, while big kids can scare themselves silly on the ‘Extreme’ level rides such as the Smashdown, Fast n Fierce, Green Vipers, Pipeline or the (shudder) Climax, which starts as a vertical drop as the floor opens up underneath you. You can also hone your surfing skills on the Flow Rider and have a water fight with the Water Blaster. waterbom-bali.com

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WIN a family holiday to Club Med Bali!

VOTED THE BEST FAMILY RESORT IN BALI BY OUR READERS!

Between fields of rice paddies and temples, Club Med Bali is a sanctuary for families on the shores of Nusa Dua, with masses of space to explore or unwind. Little ones can fly on the trapeze and play about in the splash pool with new friends, while adults can join in the fun, explore nearby temples or relax in the adults-only Zen Pool overlooking a lush field of palm trees. Embrace local culture with Balinese cooking lessons and evening shows for the whole family – a holiday to Club Med Bali includes all your family could want, and more! Club Med’s signature all-inclusive package means your accommodation, gourmet all-day dining, premium open bar, kids clubs, activities and nightly entertainment are all included. Club Med is your family’s happy place. It’s not just about keeping the children amused so the adults can relax, Club Med focuses on fun, discovery and creativity with amazing activities so children also have a holiday to remember.

the prize:

how to enter:

-

Visit outandaboutwithkids.com.au and tell us in 25 words or less why Club Med Bali is your perfect family holiday. Good luck!

5 nights’ accommodation at Club Med Bali for 2 adults and 2 children All-day dining at your choice of 2 restaurants Open bar to be enjoyed at the 3 resort bars A wide variety of activities from yoga to snorkeling Kids Clubs for 4 – 17 year olds (access to Baby Club for 4 month - 3 year olds, at extra cost) - Nightly entertainment - Free WI-FI - Travel insurance *Terms and conditions apply. See outandaboutwithkids.com.au for details.


DID YO U K NO W...?

Cultural Adventures for Kids in Thailand Thailand has a rich and fascinating culture, and incredible landscapes, well worth getting the kids exploring beyond its stunning resorts and white sandy beaches.

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT

Sukhothai Historical Park, buying coconut pancakes at Damnoen Saduak floating market, making chicken satay at Bai Pai Cooking Class.

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Explore Thailand’s markets

All of Thailand’s markets are great fun to explore with kids. The sights and sounds, smells and tastes are a feast for the senses, and you’ll learn a lot here about the country’s culture. Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok is a well-known attraction, due to its sheer size and the diverse selection of food, wares and merchandise. With over 8000 market stalls, on the average weekend the market attracts over 200,000 customers bargain- hunting in the maze of stalls. The biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market Pak Khlong Talad in Bangkok is located on Chak Phet Road near the Memorial Bridge in the Old City. Sitting just south of Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), the flower market is liveliest at night, when the vendors receive their colourful (and fragrant) produce from growers all around the country. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is about an hour’s drive from Bangkok, which you can approach in a long-tail boat through a network of canals, exploring the countryside before strolling through the busy market stalls. Other floating markets for a day trip from Bangkok include Amphawa Floating Market, Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market and Tha Kha Floating Market. Not far from Amphawa and Tha Kha Floating Markets is the famous Maeklong Railway Market, where stall holders set up their wares so close to the track – within centimetres of the passing trains. One of the most popular markets in 

Phuket is Banzaan Market on Patong Beach. Head upstairs to eat at the food court, or stick to the produce market where you can grab some fresh flowers and a tasty guava juice. After dark, head to Chillva Market, which opens every day at 4 pm, and is the perfect place to listen to live music as you taste homemade fruity ice cream or pad thai.

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Discover Thailand’s arts and crafts

The Queen’s Gallery in Bangkok showcases unique works of art from around the country and traditional clothing and creation methods from different regions, so you get a sense of traditional arts, as well as life in general, from all parts of Thailand. Get a hands-on experience and learn a wide range of traditonal Thai arts and crafts, cooking, dancing and other activities at Sampran Riverside Thai Village, an easy day out from Bangkok or, if you have more time, you may spend a night there too. sampranriverside.com Be sure to take the kids along to see at least one dance performance. The costumes are incredible, and each dance tells a traditional story from Thailand’s rich history. And, if you get the chance, join in and learn a craft. There are craft villages all over the country and many resorts include Thai arts and crafts in their daily activities for kids, where they can learn the art of batik painting and decorate a length of cloth or a t-shirt, paint an umbrella, make incense or learn how to dance. thaicraft.org

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Enjoy the food, and learn how to make it!

There are cooking classes all over Thailand, in fact lots of resorts include cooking classes in their line-up of guest activities, and many of them welcome children. At a cooking class, not only do you get to try scrumptious Thai dishes, but you can also recreate them once your holiday is over. In Phuket, the class at the Boathouse Resort is very popular, with sessions on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday led by Executive Chef Brian Burger. You’ll learn about Thai herbs before diving into a wok demonstration and learning how to make a sweet massaman curry. boathouse-phuket.com Another popular class takes place near Kata Beach at Kata Thai. Your instructor, Sally, opens each session with lemongrass tea, before walking you through making green curry, pad thai, and other savoury meals – from scratch. Classes are offered Monday through Saturday, and most also include a tour of the food market across the street. Your dinner parties back home will never be the same. katathaicooking.com In Bangkok, Bai Pai Cooking Class takes you first to the markets to show you how to choose your ingredients, and then it’s back to SUMMER 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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DID YO U K NO W...?

school how to cook them. Teaching kids how to cook is a great way to get them to try new foods. baipai.com Also in Bangkok, Amita Cooking Class is held in a canal-side house in Thonburi, to which guests are ferried in a long-tail boat. Taught by owner Piyawadi 'Tam' Jantrupon, a course here starts with a stroll through Tam’s fragrant garden, followed by instruction in four dishes. amitathaicooking.com

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Explore the jungle and challenge yourself on a treetops course

Go for a hike through Thailand’s lush green rainforest and search for the local wildlife, various species of monkeys, reptiles and colourful birdlife. In Krabi, take a walk through Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam, a tidal mangrove forest on the edge of the Andaman Sea. The trees lining the banks of the estuary are Camphor trees, known locally as ‘Lumpi’ trees, and have adapted to the mix of salt and freshwater by lifting their roots up, exposing a gnarled root system above ground, which makes for a fairytale landscape. Also near Krabi, meander through Khao Nor Juji, one of the last pieces of virgin rainforest left in Thailand, famous for the concentration and variety of birdlife found here and clear freshwater pools, including the famous Emerald Pool, coloured by limestone deposits. Take a two-day trip to Elephant Hills, staying one night at the Elephant Camp, and another at the Rainforest Camp, where you sleep in a tent floating on Cheow Lan Lake. Here you can learn about elephants and explore the surrounding Khao Sok National Park, go rafting down the river and kayaking through the lake’s many tall limestone islands. elephanthills.com In the mountains outside Chiang Mai, and now also in Pattaya, the Flight of the Gibbon is one of the original treetops courses in Thailand – a huge course that takes about three hours to complete as you make your way through a combination of ziplines, abseiling, sky bridges and forest walks suspended high up above the valley floor. treetopasia.com Located in Krabi, Koh Chang, Chiang Rai and Kanchanaburi, the Tree Top Adventure Parks high ropes courses are a bit out of the ordinary, with obstacles to master that include a ‘flying’ broomstick and a push bike you have to navigate across a rope bridge. treetopadventurepark.com

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FROM TOP

Wat Mahathat in Ayuthaya, the Flight of the Gibbon in Chiang Mai, beautiful Wat Arun, on the banks of the Chao Praya River in Bangkok.

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Visit Thailand’s beautiful temples

There are many beautiful temples all over Thailand, with some of the grandest found in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai is home to some of the most unique ones including the White Temple and the Blue Temple. The fun will be in the detail for kids – like racing each other to the top of a stupa in Sukhothai, spinning the bells behind the reclining Buddha or dropping a coin donation to set free a caged bird at one of Chiang Mai’s temples. The temple ruins of Ayutthaya, capital of Siam until 1767, include Wat Ratchaburana, a sprawling temple complex, with detailed carvings of lotus flowers and mythical creatures, best explored by bicycle. The remains of the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom can be found in Sukhothai Historical Park, a World Heritage-listed site. The park is around 45 km2 of partially rebuilt ruins, and is one of the most visited ancient sites in Thailand. Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun is renowned for its riverside location and physical differences to other temples found in Bangkok. Its spire is one of Bangkok’s world-famous landmarks and is most beautiful at sunset, and when lit up at night. Located behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phrakaew), the Temple of the Reclining Buddha is one of the largest temple complexes in Bangkok. The Buddha measures 46m long, and is completely covered in gold leaf.


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Top Taipa Treats

There’s more to Macao than huge hotels, ritz, glitz and gambling. CHRISTINE RETSCHLAG wanders the colourful and cobbled streets of the old Portuguese neighbourhood, and finds ten family-friendly treats in Taipa village.

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Dine on authentic cuisine

Taste tapas at Antonio where a three-course lunch menu serving the likes of gazpacho for entrée, sardines and potatoes for main, crème brulee for desert, and a drink, costs only $22 per person. Macao’s most iconic Portuguese restaurant has been operating for 10 years and uses ingredients imported from Portugal.

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Enjoy some smart art

Just opposite Antonio you’ll find a tiny white art gallery, Clerigos, which hosts new exhibitions every three months including the likes of renowned Chinese artist Tong Chong. Here, visitors can book and participate in an art workshop such as calligraphy or candle making. There’s also some cool street art around

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these tiny laneways. Make sure you look up, down and around.

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Try a fun bun

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Feast on the street

Visit the family-run business that has been operating for a decade. The first shop in Taipa Village, Tai Lei Loi Kei sells crispy pork chop buns and, yes, we mean a pork chop which has been marinated and fried, in a bun. These sassy snacks will set you back around $7.60. Cunha Street is renowned for its sumptuous street snacks. Pause and sample pork jerky, the famous Portuguese egg tarts, and almond cookies, as you saunter up and down this strip. The family-owned shop on the corner, which has been here for 80 years, sells sweet mango juice with big chunks of fresh mango.


Souvenir a memory

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Eat some sweets

For more traditional souvenirs, head to Centro De Lambrancas De Macau. Here you’ll find postcards, panda cushions, toys, magnets, key rings, fidget spinners, fake casino chips and the iconic Portuguese rooster. Old Cherrykoff is a perky purple store that devotes itself to the sweet tooth. Operating for 10 years, try the chewy nougat here. The owner will let you sample their sweets before you decide which one takes your fancy.

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Snap and chat

Most visitors to QuarterSquare enter this lifestyle store to catch up with its resident pooch, Copper, the French bulldog. Check out the special assemble-it-yourself digital cameras made of wood, and a veneer where you can see the inside mechanisms. For just $172, these make groovy gifts or keepsakes.

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Embrace colourful cultures

Trek up the hill and you’ll encounter Our Lady of Carmo Church. Visitors are welcome inside Taipa’s first and only Catholic Church, which was built in 1885. Down the hill, for some Buddhist culture, head to Pak Tai Temple. Dating back 160 years, Pak Tai is said to be the God who protects Taipa from flood and fire.

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Take a history lesson

Also on the top of the hill, you will find five green houses that were the former Portuguese Governor’s home before Macao went back to Chinese rule in 1999. Now they form the Taipa Houses Museum that includes local souvenirs, exhibitions, historical facts and a sneak peek into ancient Portuguese life. Across the road, take a stroll through the cool Carmo Garden with the statue of famous Portugese poet, Carmo.

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Have a cool break

Discover Digreen, an ice cream store which is recognisable by its fake green grass on the outside and inside of the building. This cool new business, opened by a bunch of young entrepreneurs, serves ice cream in charcoal cones and also sells a range of popsicles in fun flavours such as sweetcorn, durian, coconut and mango

OPPOSITE FROM TOP

Kids at play in front of Pak Tai Temple, Antonio's Portugese Tapas, Taipa street art. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT

Portugese spicy fish bun, Taipa Village, lots of funky street art in Taipa Village, Lord Stow egg tarts, one of Taipa's historic pastel green homes, formerly home to Portugese governors.

For more information: visitmacao.com.au The writer travelled as a guest of the Macao Government Tourism Board, the Pacific Asia Travel Association, and Cathay Pacific.

OAWK TIP • To design your own Taipa tour, download the free app iMacauDiscover, or check out taipavillage.com for great walking routes you can follow.

Photo: Christine Retschlag

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WE REVIEW

Elements of Byron, Byron Bay, NSW

Location Nestled in 20 hectares of native vegetation on the shores of beautiful Belongil Beach in northern NSW, Elements of Byron is an award-winning eco-resort and the only absolute beachfront property in Byron Bay. This five-star resort is just 30 minutes’ drive from Ballina Byron Gateway Airport or 45 minutes from Gold Coast Airport. Airport shuttles are available, although hiring a car will give you the flexibility to explore everything Byron Bay and its hinterland have to offer. OAWK TIP: Travelling from the Northern Beaches including Belongil to Byron Bay? Jump aboard the world’s first solar powered train to make the journey across 3km of coastal track.

Why we stayed here Elements of Byron has been designed with environmental sustainability at the fore, creating a paradise where families can reconnect with nature. Our visit was a mother and double teen daughter reconnect. The lure of first light yoga, sustainable delicious food, long beach walks and swims, and horse riding drew us here. The gorgeous new twobedroom family villas, spread out generously throughout the grounds, were a deluxe, and appreciated, retreat. Birdlife is in abundance and wallabies are often seen grazing on the

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lawns. Nothing has been overlooked when it comes to eco-ethics and natural design. The beach shack-inspired abodes blend seamlessly into the bush-meets-coast setting. There’s an adventure playground, chess set and bocce and an environmental centre to inspire young eco-warriors, all just a gentle walk from the beaches and rainforests that make Byron such an alluring destination. OAWK TIP: Our two nights were not long enough to explore all that Elements and the Byron area has to offer. Stay at least three nights, or more. Accommodation Families can choose from one of the 88 deluxe and superior two bedroom villas, 68 of which are brand new. With a simplistic and refreshingly unique eco-conscious design, featuring two ensuite bathrooms (with a bathtub in the master suite), all villas have a full kitchen and laundry decked out in high-end appliances. The indoor/outdoor living space exemplifies the Byron lifestyle, with special touches like in-room iPads for communication and free movies that can be watched on any of the three screens. OAWK TIP: Elements of Byron is extensive but if little feet fail, there are 24hour golf buggies available for use around the resort.

Activities Kick back in a cabana beside the idyllic lagoon infinity pool (with a shallow area for young ones), or swim in the ocean with one and a half kilometres of stunning beach right outside the resort. Lifeguards patrol the waters on weekends and throughout the school holidays. Whales can be seen in their seasonal migration along the coast during the winter months and there is plenty of native wildlife to spot along the eco-interpretive trails that meander through the property. You can also opt to join the resort’s own naturalist and land manager for a scheduled complimentary guided walk exploring the rainforest or estuary. If you are visiting during the school holidays, Elements also runs a dedicated Kids Club with lots of eco-activities to inspire young adventurers. OAWK TIP: Ever wanted to ride a horse on the beach with the wind in your hair? You can saddle up with the friendly and experienced team at Zephyr Horses based at Elements. Minimum age for riders is 5 yrs. zephyrhorses.com Food & Beverage It’s no secret that Byron is a foodie’s heaven, with a community that’s committed to sustainably grown local produce from its rolling hinterland. Grab a healthy breakfast


poolside at Graze Restaurant (the buffet features freshly-baked breads and free-range eggs that will set you up for the day) or enjoy a decadent dinner of Moreton Bay Bugs and Pacific raw tuna around the communal fire pit. The younger family members will be very happy with the dedicated kids’ menu and colouring supplies. If you’re planning a day beside the pool, the Barefoot Kiosk does energising smoothies, sourdough pizzas and organic ice blocks, or there’s a full shopping village 10 minutes’ walk away where you can stock up on selfcatering supplies. The finale is Drift Bar for snacks and evening cocktails.

Byron’s ethical ethos in a nutshell. Kids will love going behind-the-scenes of this working sustainable farm or attending one of the programs about composting, and bee pollination, all finished off with a meal at the rustic eatery of Three Blue Ducks. Budding acrobats can let loose at Circus Arts Byron Bay and imaginations will run wild searching for fairy houses hidden in the village along the Brunswick Fairy Trail. Make a day trip into the magnificent Byron Hinterland to explore the enchanting gardens of the Crystal Castle or get up close to native wildlife while feasting on fresh macadamias at the Macadamia Castle.

OAWK TIP: Continental breakfast for kids aged 12 years and under is free when dining with adults.

OAWK TIP: Elements’ Marketing Manager, David Jones, suggests booking a tour with Go Sea Kayak to explore one of the Byron area’s best assets – the Cape Byron Marine Park. Tours are available to suit all ages and abilities. goseakyakbyronbay.com.au

Explore A short drive from Elements of Byron takes you to The Farm, which encapsulates 

Elements of Byron 144 Bayshore Dr, Byron Bay NSW 2481 Phone: +61 2 6639 1500 elementsofbyron.com.au

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WE REVIEW

East Hotel, Canberra, ACT Location East Hotel is located between the vibrant Canberra suburbs of Manuka and Kingston, both popular with locals and visitors for their boutique shopping and trendy dining. Most of Canberra’s many family-friendly attractions are within an easy drive. Accommodation This 4.5-star apartment hotel is stylishly appointed without compromising on its family-friendliness. Guests can choose from a range of accommodation including studio rooms, apartments, wheelchair accessible rooms and kids’ studios. All come equipped with a Nespresso coffee machine and free Wi-Fi. The Luxe one-bedroom apartments have plenty of room for a rollaway bed, with some rooms accommodating up to five guests. The kitchen and laundry make life easier for travelling families and help with the travel budget. East’s two-bedroom apartments are the ultimate in family accommodation with over 90m2 of living area. Comprised of an East Apartment with an interconnecting East Studio (or Kids Cubby), the apartment offers parents their own space in a king-bedded room.

The Kids Studios at East are sure to please both kids and parents. The Kids Studio that interconnects with an East Apartment, known as a Kids Cubby, is fitted out with a set of bunk beds, a kids’ play table, play rug, beanbags and the ultimate Xbox 360. Parents can have time out in their own space while the kids play. Activities After a day of sightseeing, kids will appreciate relaxing with the range of activities on offer at East. DVD players and Xbox consoles can be hired and there is a variety of pay-to-view movies available in the room. A cup of the help-yourself -lollies (available for free in the foyer) makes the perfect accompaniment to a movie. Microwave popcorn is also supplied in the Kids Cubby kitchen. Exploring the many cycleways around the area is made easy with the selection of bikes available to borrow for free from the hotel. Explore Just a 5-minute walk from the hotel is Manuka Pool and Telopea Park, both providing kids with a good opportunity to burn off excess energy. And for the kids’ ultimate day out, take the short drive to

Questacon – the National Science & Technology Centre, which encourages kids to learn about science with hands-on activities and science based shows. Food and Beverage If you’re keen to take a break from cooking, the hotel’s café, Muse, offers the option of an a la carte menu for breakfast and all-day dining till late. Agostinis offers a casual menu including pizza and pasta, which can be ordered for in-room dining, or you can dine in the restaurant in the hotel foyer. Across the road, there is a range of familyfriendly restaurants to choose from, all within easy walking distance.

East Hotel 69 Canberra Avenue, Kingston ACT 2604 +61 2 6295 6925 easthotel.com.au

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2017 BEST OF

FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS After counting thousands of nominations across 20 family travel categories, we reveal YOUR CHOICES for the Best of Family Travel Awards. The best destinations, resorts and attractions both locally and internationally. Disneyland is still a clear favourite and here in Australia, Sea World and Australia Zoo take top spots. Another clear winner: the Great Barrier Reef, with snorkelling on the Reef voted as the Best Adventure Activity for Families.


2017 BEST OF

FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS

Best Animal Attraction in Australia WINNER: Australia Zoo Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter, is the most interactive wildlife adventure and conservation destination on the planet. Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin are continuing Steve Irwin’s passion for conservation by offering guests incredible wildlife experiences. For more, visit: australiazoo.com.au FINALISTS Taronga Zoo taronga.org.au

Best City in Australia WINNER: Sydney Australia’s largest city has Harbourside parks, walking trails and playgrounds, countless beaches and fantastic museums for kids, not to mention some of Australia’s most popular events for families, New Year’s Eve on the Harbour, the Royal Easter Show and Vivid Sydney. sydney.com FINALISTS Gold Coast visitgoldcoast.com

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Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo taronga.org.au/taronga-westernplains-zoo Melbourne Zoo zoo.org.au Sea World Gold Coast seaworld.com.au Australian Reptile Park reptilepark.com.au Werribee Open Range Zoo zoo.org.au/werribee Mogo Zoo mogozoo.com.au

Melbourne visitvictoria.com

Featherdale Wildlife Park featherdale.com.au

Brisbane visitbrisbane.com.au

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary currumbinsanctuary.com.au

Canberra visitcanberra.com.au

Sydney Wildlife Zoo wildlifesydney.com.au

SUMMER 2018  outandaboutwithkids.com.au


Best Camping Spot in Australia

Best Family Attraction in Australia

WINNER: Fraser Island The largest sand island in the world, World Heritage-listed Fraser Island stretches over 123kms in length. It’s the only place in the world where rainforests grow on sand dunes and in the island’s centre, a crystal-clear freshwater lake. visitfrasercoast.com

WINNER: Sea World Sea World is Australia’s largest marine animal park, with animals ranging from emperor penguins and polar bears to dolphins, seals, sharks and rays. The park has exhibits, rides and animal encounters to suit all age groups and also makes a significant contribution to marine conservation. seaworld.com.au

FINALISTS Greenpatch, NSW southcoast.com.au/jervisbay Grampians, VIC visitgrampians.com.au Byron Bay, NSW byron-bay.com Murray River, VIC visitthemurray.com.au Wilsons Promontory, VIC visitpromcountry.com.au Innes National Park, SA yorkepeninsula.com.au/innesnational-park

FINALISTS Movie World movieworld.com.au Dream World dreamworld.com.au Australia Zoo australiazoo.com.au Taronga Zoo taronga.org.au Wet and Wild wetnwild.com.au

Southwest Rocks, NSW visitnsw.com/destinations/northcoast/kempsey-area Blue Mountains, NSW visitbluemountains.com.au Batemans Bay, NSW eurobodalla.com.au/our-region/ towns/batemans-bay



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2017 BEST OF

FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS

Best Family Adventure Activity WINNER: Snorkelling/Diving the Great Barrier Reef The Great Barrier Reef has taken a beating in the past year, with two coral bleaching events and two cyclones damaging parts of it, so it’s especially pleasing to see our readers still so much in love with it. You can help spread the word that the Great Barrier Reef is alive and kicking, and help conserve it, by becoming a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef. citizensgbr.org FINALISTS Skiing in the Snowy Mountains Exploring Uluru Camping Surfing

Best Regional Holiday Destination WINNER: Dubbo In the heart of the Macquarie Valley, Dubbo is home to Taronga Western Plains Zoo, heritage sites such as Old Dubbo Gaol and the gorgeous Dubbo Regional Botanic Gardens, perfect for family picnics. dubbo.com.au FINALISTS Red Centre discovercentralaustralia.com Cairns/Port Douglas ttnq.org.au Sunshine Coast visitsunshinecoast.com Ballarat visitballarat.com.au The Whitsundays tourismwhitsundays.com.au The Murray visitthemurray.com.au NSW South Coast http://www.southcoast.com.au/ Hunter Valley winecountry.com.au Coffs Harbour coffscoast.com.au Great Ocean Road visitoceanroad.org.au Margaret River margaretriver.com Byron Bay byron-bay.com Mudgee visitmudgeeregion.com.au Blue Mountains visitbluemountains.com.au

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Best Holiday Park in Australia WINNER: BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort This multi-award-winning familyowned and managed holiday park just opened one of Australia’s largest resort waterparks, with a choice of 13 different twisting and turning waterslides. adventurewhitsunday.com.au FINALISTS NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Park Gold Coast treasureisland.com.au

Best Family Cruise Line WINNER: P&O Cruise Line From family dining to Kids Clubs, there’s something for everyone with the P&O Families program. With heaps of onboard activities designed just for kids, and four age-specific Kids Clubs that are included in your fare, jam packed with arts and crafts, music and sports activities. pocruises.com.au FINALISTS Carnival Cruises carnival.com.au



NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park Umina oceanbeachholidaypark.com.au BIG4 North Star Holiday Park Hastings Point northstar.com.au BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park Kiama eastsbeach.com.au Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort Yamba bluedolphin.com.au NRMA Lakeside Holiday Park Narrabeen Lakes NSW nrmaparksandresorts.com.au/ sydney-lakeside

Royal Caribbean royalcaribbean.com.au

Ingenia Holidays BIG4 Cairns Coconut Resort coconut.com.au

Disney Cruise disneycruise.disney.go.com

BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park goldcoastholidaypark.com.au/

Princess Cruises princess.com

BIG4 Adelaide Shores Holiday Park adelaideshores.com.au

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2017 BEST OF

FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS

Best Family Event WINNER: Tie between Vivid Sydney and Sydney NYE Fireworks In just a few short years, Vivid Sydney has become one of the most talked about and visited events in Australia, with many features designed especially for kids. Sydney's annual New Year's Eve fireworks events are televised all over the world, and the addition of an earlier kid-friendly fireworks display makes this event a family favourite. www.vividsydney.com www.sydneynewyearseve.com FINALISTS AFL Game afl.com.au Australia Day australiaday.org.au Sydney Royal Easter Show eastershow.com.au

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Best Family Hotel or Resort WINNER: Sea World Resort Gold Coast Right next door to Australia’s favourite family attraction, Sea World Resort has spacious family rooms and suites, a selection of family-friendly restaurants, a fantastic water park and exclusive early morning access to the dolphins at Sea World. seaworldresort.com.au FINALISTS Paradise Resort Gold Coast paradiseresort.com.au Hamilton Island Resort hamiltonisland.com.au Novotel Coffs Harbour novotel.com/coffs-harbour Crowne Plaza Terrigal crowneplaza.com/terrigal Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast www.novoteltwinwatersresort.com.au


FRASER ISLAND


2017 BEST OF

FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS

Best Family Resort in the Pacific Islands WINNER: Malolo Island Resort An idyllic Fiji island paradise where families can escape the stress of modern living and relax on golden sandy beaches, surrounded by coral reefs, coconut palms, azure seas, a fantastic kids club and nannies your kids will fall in love with instantly. maloloisland.com

Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, Cook Islands therarotongan.com Warwick Le Lagon, Vanuatu warwickhotels.com/le-lagon-resort Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort sheratonsamoaresort.com

©Disney

FINALISTS Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort outrigger.com/hotels-resorts/fiji/vitilevu/outrigger-fiji-beach-resort

Best Family Hotel or Resort in USA WINNER: Disneyland Hotel Anaheim Luxurious family rooms, amazing Signature Suites, a choice of three swimming pools, water slides and fun places to eat including Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, character dining and a whole bunch of exclusive Disney perks such as Easy Park Access and an Extra Magic Hour in the parks. disneyland.disney.go.com/ au/disneyland-hotel FINALISTS Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa disneyaulani.com/ Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Walt Disney World Resort, Florida disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/ grand-floridian-resort-and-spa/ Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort hiltonhawaiianvillage.com Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk http://www.embassysuiteswaikiki. com/ Great Wolf Lodge greatwolf.com Kiahuna Plantation Resort Kauai by Outrigger kiahunacondominiums.com

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ŠDisney

Best Family Resort in Asia

Best Resort for Babies & Toddlers WINNER: Paradise Resort Gold Coast This Gold Coast family favourite has 359 family-friendly rooms, lagoon pool, adventure park, rock climbing, ice skating, water park and countless organised activities for kids of all age groups, including fully supervised sessions in Zone 4 Kids Club, just for toddlers. paradiseresort.com.au FINALISTS Club Med Bali clubmed.com.au/r/Bali/y Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji fijiresort.com Malolo Island Resort Fiji maloloisland.com Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort outrigger.com/hotels-resorts/fiji/vitilevu/outrigger-fiji-beach-resort Radisson Blu Resort, Fiji radissonblu.com/en/resort-fiji



WINNER: Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel A grand Victorian hotel located on the shores of the South China Sea has a range of family suites, and countless activities with Disney characters such as Tai Chi with Master Goofy, and a garden maze in the shape of Mickey Mouse. hongkongdisneyland.com FINALISTS Tokyo Disneyland Hotel tokyodisneyresort.jp/en Club Med Bali clubmed.com.au/r/Bali/y Hard Rock Hotel Bali bali.hardrockhotels.net Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket phuket.com/centara-grand-beachresort-phuket Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort outrigger.com/hotels-resorts/ thailand/phuket/outrigger-lagunaphuket-beach-resort Festive Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa rwsentosa.com/Homepage/ HotelsAndSpa/FestiveHotel

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2017 BEST OF

Credit: Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova

FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS

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Best Family Ski Resort Overseas

Best Family Ski Resort in Australia

WINNER: Whistler Blackcomb, Canada

WINNER: Thredbo, NSW

Whistler Blackcomb was clearly designed with families in mind. Family Certified icons are displayed on ski runs, in stores and food outlets to indicate kid-friendly areas and beginner terrain, and loads of family activities and attractions to check out while exploring these two side-by-side mountains. whistlerblackcomb.com

With runs to suit every age and ability, world class ski and snowboard lessons and programs, family friendly events and activities plus a great range of accommodation options, Thredbo is great for young families, even on noski days, with Springfree trampolines on the Village Green and a heated indoor swimming pool. thredbo.com.au

FINALISTS Queenstown NZ queenstownnz.co.nz

FINALISTS Perisher perisher.com.au

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado, U.S. aspensnowmass.com

Mount Buller mtbuller.com.au

Niseko Japan skijapan.com/resorts/niseko

Falls Creek fallscreek.com.au

Nagano Japan skinaganojapan.com

Mt Hotham mthotham.com.au


s Member save

*

10%

With 20 holiday parks across Australia, wherever your next getaway takes you, there’s a park not far away.

1300 414 448

nrmaparksandresorts.com.au

*Conditions apply. Membership discounts are only valid for 1 villa or site per stay. Members save 10% on accommodation, discount capped at $40 through mid and high seasons. Discount does not apply to campaign or already discounted rates. NRMA members receive various additional benefits when staying at NRMA Parks and Resorts. Visit nrmaparksandresorts.com.au for full details.


2017 BEST OF

ŠDisney

FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS

Best International Attraction WINNER: Disneyland Resort, California Home to two amazing Parks Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort is one of those bucket list attractions for most families. Thrill rides, shows and parades featuring our favourite Disney characters including the most famous mouse in the world: Mickey Mouse. disneyland.disney.go.com FINALISTS Disney World, Florida disneyworld.disney.go.com Universal Studios Hollywood, California universalstudioshollywood.com Waterbom Bali waterbom-bali.com Legoland, California legoland.com/california Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore rwsentosa.com

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Best Family Resort in Fiji WINNER: Outrigger on the Beach Located on Fiji’s Coral Coast, Outrigger has a wide range of family accommodation, great kids club, lagoon pool, loads of activities for kids of all ages, a choice of dining options and handy access to attractions such as Kula Wild Adventure Park and the Sigatoka River Safari. outrigger.com/fiji/resort

Tokyo Disney Resort tokyodisneyresort.jp/en

FINALISTS Sheraton Fiji sheratonfiji.com

Universal Studios Japan usj.co.jp/e

Raddisson Blu Resort Fiji radissonblu.com/en/resort-fiji

SUMMER 2018  outandaboutwithkids.com.au

Malolo Island Resort maloloisland.com Castaway Island, Fiji castawayfiji.com Jean-Michel Cousteau fijiresort.com Vomo Island Resort vomofiji.com Shangri-La's Fijian Resort shangri-la.com/yanucaisland/fijianresort/ Nanuku Auberge Resort nanuku.aubergeresorts.com Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa fiji.intercontinental.com


2017 BEST OF

FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS

Best International Destination WINNER: Hawai'i Beautiful beaches, plenty of familyfriendly hotels, kids can play on sandy beaches galore, snorkel amid colourful tropical fish and even watch lava flow, and then for a break from the sun, spend time visiting museums, aquariums and historical attractions. gohawaii.com FINALISTS Fiji tourismfiji.com USA visittheusa.com.au Indonesia – Bali indonesia.travel Singapore visitsingapore.com Thailand tourismthailand.org/au Japan jnto.org.au

Best Family Resort in Bali WINNER: Club Med Bali Between fields of rice paddies and temples, the Club Med Bali Resort is a sanctuary for families, with masses of space to unwind. Kids can fly on the trapeze and play in the splash pool, while adults can explore nearby temples or be pampered in the Spa. clubmed.com.au/resorts/bali FINALISTS Hard Rock Hotel Bali bali.hardrockhotels.net Bali Dynasty Resort Hotel bdr.pphotels.com Holiday Inn Bali Benoa balibenoa.holidayinnresorts.com Grand Mirage Resort and Thalasso Spa grandmirage.com Conrad Bali conradbali.com Padma Resort Legian padmaresortlegian.com

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Visit us at clubmed.com.au · Call 1800 258 263 · Or contact your preferred travel agent *Kids club under 4 years old are at extra cost. Babysitting at extra cost.


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CAMPING, CARAVANS & RV-ING

contents 54 BEST NATIONAL PARKS

Discover the best National Parks for kids in New South Wales.

58 INGENIA HOLIDAYS

Wild adventures on the New South Wales south coast.

61 ROADTRIPPING

Find out why taking the kids out of school for an epic road trip is a great idea.


CAM PING , CA RAVA NS & RV- I NG

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE I

f you’d rather avoid the school-holiday queues and crowded theme parks and perhaps escape from technology for a while, it might be time to take the kids into The Wild.

Take them to the favourite spots from when you were growing up, or on a WilderQuest rangerguided tour in a national park near you. Here is a guide to some of the best in New South Wales from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

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LEFT FROM TOP

Skywalk viewing platform, Dorrigo, Sea Acres boardwalk in Port Macquarie. RIGHT FROM TOP

Wombeyan Caves, Bobbin Head, Three Sisters at Echo Point Blue Mountains, Treetop Adventure Park.

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Echo Point and Blue Mountains National Park

Classic spot, Echo Point lookout, is just a couple of hours' drive from Sydney, and thrill-seeking kids will get a kick out of the hanging bridge between the Three Sisters, as well as Scenic World’s glass-bottomed Skyway, and cliff-hanger Scenic Railway – the steepest funicular railway in the world. It’s like a rollercoaster through the bush. scenicworld.com.au

2

Bobbin Head, Ku-ringgai Chase National Park

Bobbin Head is perfect place to let the kids run wild while you put your feet up. Hit the water and make a day of it – you can hire paddle boats at the Bobbin Head Inn, or a runabout from the marina. If angling is more your angle, Bobbin Head is the perfect place to drop a line and if you don’t catch anything, the cafe serves a decent lunch.

3

Wombeyan Caves, Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve A rainy weekend shouldn’t ruin yours. Take the kids underground instead. Wombeyan Caves, north west of Bowral, are close enough to Sydney for a long day trip or a weekend. You can explore Fig Tree Cave at your own pace without a tour guide. It takes about 90 minutes to walk the length of the cave and back, just long enough to clear up the confusion around stalactites (holding on tight from the ceiling) and stalagmites (they might reach the top one day).

4

Sea Acres National Park

Cute animals, rainforest trekking, bush tucker and playing on the beach – all in one spot. Located at Port Macquarie, Sea Acres’ rainforest boardwalk is a guided 1.3km tour with wildlife spotting on the way. Hungry kids can also embark on a bush tucker

tour with an Aboriginal guide. While you’re in the area, pop in to the Koala Hospital next to Roto House. You can wander the grounds yourself, or take a guided tour to see these adorable animals being looked after by staff. It’s a sure-fire trip highlight.

3

5

Treetop Adventure Park, Blue Gum Hills Regional Park Burn off that extra energy by showing them the ropes, literally. TreeTop Adventure Park is a high ropes and obstacle course for kids just outside Newcastle. There are over 100 obstacles for them to monkey around on, like rope ladders, flying foxes, cargo nets, wobbly bridges, tightropes and trapeze. With different courses and difficulty levels, even three-year-olds can get in on the action. Once the kids are back on solid ground, they can try the maze at Back Creek picnic area. There are also Treetops Adventure Parks on the Central Coast, The Hills District in Sydney and Western Sydney. treetops.com.au

6

2

Dorrigo National Park

Your kids may have seen a waterfall before, but have they walked behind one? Crystal Shower Falls is an easy, paved 3.5km return walk that takes you right behind the sparkling falls. It’s a magical experience for any kid. The surrounding area is World Heritage-listed Gondwana rainforest, a reminder of the days when Australia, South America, Africa, India and Antarctica made up the supercontinent, Gondwanaland. So, you’re kind of walking in the past. It’s also one of the most beautiful parts of NSW. Bring a camera and pack for the day (or pick up some snacks at the visitor centre’s cafe), you’ll want to spend as much time here as possible.

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CAM PING , CA RAVA NS & RV- I NG

Did you know …? Camping NEW ISLAND ECO TENTS ON QUEENSLAND’S ‘STRADDIE’ North Stradbroke Island’s Minjerribah Camping will launch twelve new permanent Island Eco Tents this summer at picturesque Adder Rock Camping Ground, near Point Lookout on the north coast of the Island. The high-quality, low-impact, tents blend harmoniously into the camping ground’s natural bushland setting, sheltered behind native tea tree and pandanus forests, with direct access to Home Beach and Adder Rock surf beaches. Three family tents include an annex with bunk beds for the children, and all tents feature queen size beds and linen, exterior decking with a freestanding hammock, large fly windows and doors, canvas shutters that can be opened or closed according to conditions, ceiling fans, tables and chairs, full electric powering, refrigerator and storage

facilities. Guests have access to Adder Rock Campsite’s communal bathroom and cooking facilities, and adjacent to the campsite is a general store and scuba dive centre, along with shops and restaurants, and tour operators located a short drive away in the Point Lookout village. North Stradbroke Island – known as Minjerribah to the traditional owners (the Quandamooka People) or ‘Straddie’ colloquially – is renowned for its natural beauty and relaxed vibe. Located in Moreton Bay, just a short ferry ride from the Brisbane suburb of Cleveland, ‘Straddie’ is a favourite holiday playground, with a myriad range of activities and attractions ideally suited for couples, families and groups. straddiecamping.com.au

COCKATOO ISLAND CAMPING & GLAMPING Positioned in the centre of Sydney Harbour, just a short ferry ride from Circular Quay, Cockatoo Island is home to a mix of fascinating historical features and loads of hands-on activities for kids, and it can be experienced on a budget to suit you. From the budget option of an unpowered campsite, to glamping sites with food packages and luxury toiletries, to family apartments, converted historical buidings with sweeping harbour views. cockatooisland.com.au

BIG4 ADVENTURE WHITSUNDAY RESORT WINS 2017 QUEENSLAND TOURISM AWARD BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort in Airlie Beach has once again won the Queensland Tourism Award in the “Caravan and Holiday Parks” category. The park has now achieved gold in this category for three years running. Set in 10ha of beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, the resort caters for a variety of budgets, with a wide range of accommodation options from camping and caravanning sites to luxury, threebedroom 'condos - and one of Australia's biggest water parks. adventurewhitsunday.com.au

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1 CAIRNS

TOWNSVILLE

QUEENSLAND 2 3

BRISBANE 4 5

NEW SOUTH WALES

21

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

20

6

7 8 13 12 11 10 9 NEWCASTLE 14 15 16 SYDNEY ACT

17 18 BROULEE 19

Cairns Coconut Hervey Bay Noosa Kingscliff White Albatross South West Rocks Bonny Hills Soldiers Point One Mile Beach

10 Lake Macquarie 11 Hunter Valley 12 Mudgee 13 Mudgee Valley 14 Avina 15 Sydney Hills 16 Nepean River 17 Lake Conjola 18 Broulee 19 Ocean Lake 20 Albury 21 Sun Country

Happy stays, happy days! With 21 parks perfectly positioned in a touring route across coastal and inland NSW and QLD, Ingenia Holidays offers the perfect place to stay for a night, a few days or your whole holiday!

There’s something for every style of traveller with plenty of accommodation options including cabins and camping with a selection of powered, unpowered and ensuite sites – we’ll even welcome your four legged friends.*

p 1300 790 758 ingeniaholidays.com.au *Subject to participation – sites only (conditions apply).


T

WILD ADVENTURES ON NSW’S SOUTH COAST

here is a world of adventure just waiting to be discovered on the New South Wales South Coast. Bring the whole family, spend some time in the great outdoors, visit fun local attractions or just kick back and relax. At Ingenia Holidays Ocean Lake, you can wake up each day on the picturesque waterfront. Teach the kids to fish straight from the jetty or push your boat out for a day on Wallaga Lake. The park is a relaxing getaway from your busy day to day, with a playground and tennis court to keep the whole family entertained. There is plenty to do in the region to keep even the most inquisitive little traveller entertained. Take a dip in the nearby Blue Pool, an iconic natural rock pool that is a local favourite or discover the spooky mystery that surrounds the Montreal Goldfield, dating back to the gold rush of the 1800’s. Looking for somewhere with enough space to run around, where kids can just be kids? Then you can’t go past Ingenia Holidays Lake Conjola, which is set on absolute lake frontage and surrounded by lush National Park. Each day will be filled with fun and laughs at the park, with jumping cushions, water splash parks and a resort style pool, or enjoy getting to know the local kangaroos that often drop in for a visit. Explore a little further afield and take a bush walk through Conjola National Park and try to spot the echidnas and cockatoos that call the park home. Historic Milton is just a short drive from the park and is a fun day out. Check out the charming arts & crafts shops and cafes, then stroll past the historic buildings that will give the family a glimpse into how things looked 150 years ago.

Company details www.ingeniaholidays.com.au Ph: 1300 790 758

Park details: Ingenia Holidays Broulee 6 Lyttle Street, Broulee NSW 2537 Ph: 02 4471 6247 www.ingeniaholidays.com.au/broulee Ingenia Holidays Lake Conjola 1 Norma Street, Lake Conjola NSW 2539 Ph: 1800 354 243 www.ingeniaholidays.com.au/ lakeconjola Ingenia Holidays Ocean Lake Wallaga Lake Road, Bermagui NSW 2546 Ph: 02 6493 4055 www.ingeniaholidays.com.au/oceanlake

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If beach holidays are more up your families ally, then head to Ingenia Holidays Broulee for your next getaway. Make the most of the park’s direct beach access and practice catching a wave or build your most epic sandcastle yet! After a day of sun and sand, the fun continues in park with pedal karts, resort style pool, playground and games room to keep the kids entertained. Animal lovers will be spoiled for choice on the South Coast. Dive beneath the waves on a snorkelling or scuba adventure and get up close with colourful fish and playful marine life or learn to ride a horse on a trail ride through bush and woodlands and along the river banks. Take a walk on the wild side with a visit to Mogo Zoo, an amazing privately-owned zoo featuring a collection of unique and endangered species. Ingenia Holidays has recently been announced as a proud sponsor of the zoo in support of its rare and critically endangered exotic great apes. The sponsorship gives visitors, particularly the younger generation, the chance to connect with these beautiful creatures and learn more about their conservation. For an experience your family will be talking about for years, get up close and personal with the zoo’s animals, from feeding lions and tigers to playing with cheeky meerkats and squirrel monkeys. Ingenia Holidays offers the perfect home away from home while you explore the wonders of the South Coast with a range of cabin, caravan and camping accommodation. The parks also feature great family friendly facilities, so you can relax and unwind while your kids have a ball in a safe and social community.


OUT & ABOUT WITH KIDS ADVERTISING FEATURE

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT

Ingenia Holidays Lake Conjola - splash park, Ingenia Holidays is the proud sponsor of Mogo Zoo's exotic great apes enclosures, fishing off the jetty at Ingenia Holidays Ocean Lake. MAIN PICTURE

Surfing at Broulee Beach



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THE PERFECT THE PERFECT BEACH HOLIDAY BEACH HOLIDAY DESTINATION! DESTINATION! Our family friendly Ourpark family hasfriendly an arraypark of accommodation has an array of accommodation resort pool, toddlers resort wading pool, toddlers pool andwading children's pool and children's to suit everyone’s toneeds suit everyone’s from waterfront needs from Beach waterfront Beach playgrounds. Kidsplaygrounds. activities and Kids movies activities in our andholiday movies in our holiday Retreats and Villas Retreats to ourand Ensuite Villasand to our Powered Ensuite Sites. and Powered periods Sites. will keepperiods the kids will busy. keep Our theholiday kids busy. parkOur is the holiday park is the Relax and enjoy Relax a swimand or enjoy a game a swim of beach or acricket game of onbeach cricket ideal location on from ideal which location to explore from which the south to explore coast, the south coast, withnew popular tourist with attractions popular tourist such attractions as Jamberoo such Action as Jamberoo Action our beautiful Easts ourBeach. beautiful TheEasts kids Beach. will love The ourkids new will love our Park and the Minnamurra Park and the Rainforest Minnamurra just minutes Rainforest away. just minutes away. water park "Sunny's water Aquaventure park "Sunny's Park", Aquaventure our 25m Park", our 25m

For further information For further please information contact: please c BIG4 Easts Beach BIG4 Holiday Easts Beach Park Holiday 30 Ocean Street 30 (POOcean Box 10) Street Kiama (PONSW Box 10) 2533Kiama NSW Freecall: 1800 674Freecall: 444 P: 1800 02 4232 6742124 444 P: F: 02 4232 4233 2124 1009 F: 02 423 E: holiday@eastsbeach.com.au E: holiday@eastsbeach.com.au www.eastsbeach.com.au www.eastsbeach.co


C A M P I N G , C A R AVA N S & R V- ING

WHY SWAPPING SCHOOL FOR A ROAD TRIP IS A GOOD IDEA

NATALIE TUCK made the bold decision to take her kids out of school for six months to go on an epic RV trip from Melbourne to the Whitsunday Islands. Here she gives us a few good reasons why this RV journey was such a great idea.

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’ve just returned from an epic road trip. Think barefoot sailing capers in the Whitsundays, family four-wheel driving adventures on Fraser Island and serene sunset sessions along the beautiful east coast of Australia, from Merimbula to Byron Bay and Airlie Beach, in our much loved, slightly vintage, Jayco camper trailer.



So often I’d dreamed about taking our son out of school and hitting the road, but the idea just scared me. So, it was shelved, until recently. Maybe turning 40 was the catalyst, or even the impending organisational changes at work. Whatever the reason, my partner and my eightyear-old son (who needed some coaxing - theme parks - check!) agreed to come along for the ride.

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Imagine a world where you don’t care to know what day it is, or even what time it is, when the most pressing issue is a forecast of rain on pack-up day (because you don’t want the canvas on the camper trailer to get wet). Being away from the routine of everyday life is liberating. The simple things, like watching the sun rise and set, become the most enjoyable.

Traditional classroom vs the University of Life Worrying about your kids’ education is totally natural. I did, but then I realised that travel is a self-defining journey. The things my son got to experience far outweighed anything that he could have been taught in the classroom. School and his friends never seemed far away though, as we communicated via the app Class Dojo, and organised Facetime calls with his class. He had printed hand-outs that his teacher had kindly collated, and instructions to work on times tables and vocabulary exercises – these last two we did happily in the car.

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East Coast odyssey Our eight-week road trip started in wintry Melbourne and went as far as Airlie Beach in Far North Queensland, where we hired a catamaran for eight nights and sailed around the Whitsundays. We stopped in Sydney, Yamba, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island, Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island, Yeppoon, Mackay, the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Lennox Head, Tuncurry-Forster, Batemans Bay, South West Rocks and Merimbula. I could sing the praises of every one of these beautiful destinations but what I’d rather do is let you know that swapping school for travel is a very positive experience. So many of my expectations – about travelling with kids – were smashed. There were many times when I was the one learning from, or through, my son. Here are just a few reasons our East Coast Odyssey was such an enriching and educational experience.

Your kids will see life with a new lens Travel teaches kids that the world is expansive and

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The swirling shifting sands of Hill Inset, Whitsunday Island, our trusty Jayco at Forster Tuncurry, sunset on Great Keppel Island. A lot of time was spent getting wet, exploring the rocky coastline and sailing around the Whitsunday Islands.


exciting; it doesn’t just revolve around them and their town, suburb or city. They draw comparisons to their own sense of place and identity when exploring new places and meeting new people.

Being at one with nature To sail around the Whitsundays we had to learn all about tides, how to navigate with charts, how the direction and speed of the wind affects sailing, and the unpleasant consequences of the macerator in the toilet breaking down. On our journey we observed an abundance of birdlife – from sea eagles to pelicans – had a visit from a curious turtle, and the pleasure of camping with kangaroos.

Ticking off that bucket list stuff Barefoot sailing in a 40-foot catamaran with friends, snorkelling in ‘the heart’ of the Great Barrier Reef at Hardy Reef, watching in awe as young humpback whales breached in front of us, and when a pod of dolphins frolicked in the wake of the boat. 

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The Gold Coast (we promised theme parks), beautiful Whitehaven Beach.

THANK YOU GOOGLE One thing you’re sure to encounter on the road is a barrage of curious questions from your kids. Be ready, be patient and Google it. A personal favourite went something like “Are we on top of the world now that it’s daylight or are we still down under?” Sometimes it takes the power of a mighty search engine to brush up on your antiquated knowledge, but the good news is that there is no match for Google Maps when the inevitable ‘how long until we get there?’ question arises –‘in exactly two hours, 34 minutes – thank you very much.

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You get to be a kid again This is seriously … the … best … part! You get to do the things your kids love to do – which is essentially what you loved to do as a child. Bike ride everywhere, run from waves, swim, snorkel, play mini-golf, arcade games, jump off cliffs into the water, play board games, make card houses, go tenpin bowling, ride rollercoasters, speed down waterslides, go to the movies, drive dodgem cars, climb rocks, go on nature walks, eat ice-cream, play ‘hide and seek’ and tickle each other until it hurts too much to laugh anymore.

Brave and bold We had some amazing travel moments on our trip; so many that when people ask me what my favourite part was I just stare blankly, as my mind madly searches through a catalogue of 100s of experiences. Umm, any easier questions? So, if you’re reading this and thinking ‘I would love to do that’, I have to say, please do! Be brave and bold and venture forth with your family. It’s so much fun and, yes, it can be slightly terrifying at times, but you are in it together, making memories that you will hold onto for a lifetime. Natalie Tuck and her family were supported by BIG4 Holiday Parks on her journey from Melbourne to Airlie Beach


Kid’s Club • Outdoor Cinema • Huge Waterslide Park Animal Park • Daily Activity Schedule • Landscaped Sites Luxury Cabins • Over 15 Onsite Activities • Multi Award Winning Reservations 1300 640 587 reservations@adventurewhitsunday.com.au www.adventurewhitsunday.com.au Shute Harbour Road - Airlie Beach


GETTING INTO THE GREAT OUTDOORS WITH REFLECTIONS HOLIDAY PARKS “Are we there yet?” Be prepared. This question comes with a side serving of “I spy” on repeat, and regular toilet breaks. Yep it’s holiday time and you’re up for one great ride. Getting there is just part of the experience; but wait till you reach the great outdoors. As children, we spend a lot of time in nature, playing in the sand, climbing trees, getting dirty and exploring our natural environments. It’s not until we’re older that we can truly appreciate everything nature has to offer. Invigorating, yet calming; mysterious, yet stunningly beautiful. Think back to those times and recall the excitement, curiosity and fun, and the peaceful moments, spending quality time with your family – like when your dad taught you to fish. These are the lasting memories you cherish now, and the destination is often key to that experience. Reflections Holiday Parks are uniquely located on some of the most iconic sites in New South Wales. Formerly operating as North Coast Holiday Parks, South Coast Holiday Parks and Inland Waters Holiday Parks, idyllic locations range from majestic stretches of unspoilt coastline on the south and north coasts, to the best-kept inland secrets. Our parks offer pristine, natural environments on Crown land. Whether you’re wanting to simply relax, reboot and take it all in, or get out and create your own adventures, we have the perfect places to fuel you and your family. Staying at our parks is convenient and easy, even when camping with the kids for the first time. We have a range of cabins with varying layouts, occupancy sizes and creature comforts, as well as powered caravan and RV sites. For campers, there are breathtaking powered and unpowered waterfront campsites with the luxury of amenities nearby. But if you want to go camping and don’t want to share your tent

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and food with the wildlife, or wake on a half-deflated mattress, our Beach Tents offer the ‘glamping’ experience – yes, it’s still considered ‘camping’, at least in our eyes. Your furry friends are also welcome at 24 of our parks, so why not bring the whole family? Whatever your travel style, we have you covered. With camp kitchens, park activities, picnic areas, kids’ playgrounds and electric BBQs you’ll be making friends in no time. Remember the friends you made during your childhood family holidays? Our parks are the perfect place to reconnect with each other and meet new people. Care – for our parks and our visitors – is the Reflections Holiday Parks' difference. We reinvest back into our parks, public reserves and recreational areas on Crown land, ensuring all are well-maintained. We take the Responsible Tourism ethos seriously, minimising our environmental footprint and managing our social and economic impacts. We encourage our guests to take rubbish away with them, leaving the sites as you found them, and being respectful of the surrounding natural environment. By doing this, we not only make our locations better to live in but also ensure they are kept pristine for other travellers. Can you still feel the grit of the sand between your toes, see the silhouette of your parents or siblings at dusk, or the glow of the campfire? Maybe it’s the water fights while canoeing, or discovering spider webs with morning dewdrops, that you remember most. Just thinking about it makes you want to go and do it all again and share it all with your own children. It’s time to get the sand back between your toes, soak in the sea air, be adventurous and go exploring with the kids. They won’t want to leave and neither will you. Nature never felt so good. reflectionsholidayparks.com.au


OUT & ABOUT WITH KIDS ADVERTISING FEATURE


unspoilt south coast nsw

BATEMANS BAY | MORUYA | NAROOMA

for more ideas or a FREE holiday guide visit eurobodalla.com.au or FREEcall 1800 802 528

Central Coast Holiday Parks Central Coast Council

Central Coast Council

Central Coast Council

www.cchp.com.au

Central Coast Council

FREE CALL 1800 241 342


contents 70 HAWAI'I FOR FAMILIES

A guide to the best of Hawai'i for families, by experts Karen Macmillan and Keiryn Osbourne.

78 HILTON HAWAIIAN VILLAGE

We review Waikiki's family-friendly Hilton Hawaiian Village resort.

80 OUTRIGGER ON THE BEACH We review the amenities and activities for kids at the iconic Outrigger on the Beach hotel.


for families

BY THE EXPERTS KAREN MACMILLAN and KEIRYN OSBOURNE are experts on Hawai’i. Working for Hawaiian Airlines, both have visited with their families many times, so we asked them to share their family holiday secrets. What are the must-dos? Where are the best places to eat? What are Hawai’i’s hidden gems for families?

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Dolphin encounters, snorkelling, hiking the Diamond Head Trail and surfing are all popular activities for kids. The combined families enjoy Happy Hour at the hotel.

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OAWK: So, tell us, what is it you like about Hawai’i that keeps you coming back as a family? Hawai’i is safe, and the climate is always pleasant. There is something for everyone here, shopping for the girls, golf for our husbands, water sports and sea life for kids. The kids are always keen to explore the outdoors, hiking, surfing, paddle boarding, which keeps them off their electronic devices for most of the holiday.

OAWK: What are the five things your kids MUST DO when they come to Hawai'i? Our kids really enjoy getting out into the Great Outdoors, so a holiday usually includes surfing, hiking and snorkelling, but here are their Top Five favourite things to do. 1. Volcanoes National Park. Located 45 miles southwest of Hilo on the big island of Hawai’i, Volcanoes National Park is home to one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. There are 150 miles of hiking trails through volcanic craters, scalded deserts and rainforests, a museum, petroglyphs, a walk-in lava tube and two active volcanoes: Maunaloa, which last erupted in 1984, and Kilauea, which has been erupting since January 3, 1983. 2. Snorkelling at Black Rock. At the northern tip of Ka’anapali Beach on the island of Maui, Black Rock is a prominent volcanic outcrop. Snorkel here in crystal clear water, following an underwater lava rock edge, and 

you’re likely to see colourful butterfly fish, parrot fish, damsel fish, surgeon fish, Moorish idols, blue tangs (Dory) and if you’re lucky, sea turtles. 3. Hiking the Diamond Head Trail. One of the most memorable hikes on the island of Oahu is up to the tip of Diamond Head Crater, rewarding you with 360 degrees views when you reach the top. While it might appear to be a challenging climb, in fact it only takes about 40 to 60 minutes to reach the 250 metre high summit. 4. Pearl Harbor Tour. At Pearl Harbor, in Honolulu, you can visit the spot where the US involvement in WWII began – and where it ended. Visit the USS Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri, where the Japanese surrender ended the war. 5. Shopping. Even our boys loved shopping in Hawai'i, especially at the Ala Moana Center, the largest open-air shopping centre in the world, with delights such as Tesla, Apple, Quicksilver, cool convertible cars to rent, and sport shops.

OAWK: Where are your favourite places to eat? 1. Gyu-Kaku is a chain of Japanese cook-yourown BBQ restaurants. gyu-kaku.com 2. IHOP (International House of Pancakes) or Denny's “full service pancake house”. For pancakes (obviously). 3. Food trucks on Waikiki Beach Walk. Everything from empanadas, fried shrimp and tacos to ramen, pizza and ice cream.

OAWK: What are your top tips for families? • Check out the happy hours and early bird specials for dinners. The early time slots suit families and both food and drinks are cheaper. • Get to the beach early when it’s less busy, and try to get out of the sun by lunchtime. • You can go shopping any time of day as shops are open all hours, but weekends will always be busier.

OAWK: What are Oahu’s hidden gems, or underrated attractions, that families should seek out? 1. Kualoa Ranch. Visit the place on Oahu where Jurassic Park, Godzilla and Skull Island were filmed. Go horse riding, ziplining and quad biking – you can even do an ATV Raptor Tour of the Jurassic World film set. kualoa.com 2. Honolulu Zoo. Established in 1877 by King David Kalakaua, the zoo’s first inhabitants were the king’s private bird collection. These days the zoo has a wide range of creatures, both endemic and exotic, including monkeys, big cats, zebras and sloths. 3. U.S. Army Museum of Hawai'i. Housed inside Battery Randolph, a former coastal artillery battery, the museum holds a great collection of World War II armour pieces, including an AH-1 Cobra helicopter. 4. Hire a car and explore the North Shore. Visit famous surf breaks at Pipeline, SUMMER 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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Hike past lava flows and watch live volcanies in Volcanoes National Park, swimming with turtles on Oahu's north shore.

Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay, go hiking, kayaking, stand up paddling, and biking. Swim under Waimea Falls and hang out with sea turtles near Haleiwa Town. Alamo.com 5. Kailua and other beaches on South Shore. Lanikai and Kailua beaches are coral reef-protected bays with white-powder sand, consistently ranked in Top 10 lists for the most beautiful beaches in the world. Because the bay is protected from a far-flung outer reef, Kailua Bay is great for paddle boarding, kite surfing, kayaking, snorkelling and swimming, and three nearby offshore islands — Moku Nui and Moku Iki (the Mokes) and Flat Island — make great destination points.

2. Whale watching. The shallow Auau Channel between Maui, Molokai and Lanai is one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world. You may also spot humpback whales, or ‘kohola’, from the southern shores of Oahu, especially at Makapuu Lighthouse and along the coast at Diamond Head. 3. Swim with dolphins. There are many tour operators in Oahu, Lanai and Maui that can take you out for a swim with Hawai’i’s graceful spinner dolphins. The Hawaiian name for dolphin is ‘nai’a’ and they can be spotted here throughout the year.

OAWK: What are Hawai’i's best animal encounters for kids?

Recently we both had to come to Honolulu for work and we were fortunate enough to be able to bring our families for a few days. We have five boys between us, aged from 10 and 13, who had never met before and they got on like a house on fire. It could have gone either way, however they instantly made friends. There is always something to cater for all family members, and this is why it is a fantastic place for a multi-generational holiday.

1. Snorkel with turtles on Oahu’s North Shore. Hawaii Turtle Tours have small group tours designed especially for families. Laniakea Beach, nicknamed ‘Turtle Beach’, is a haven for green sea turtles, or ‘Honu’ as they are called here, and in the summer months you are pretty much guaranteed to see one of these gorgeous marine creatures.

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OAWK: What's your favourite family holiday memory in Hawai’i?

Where to Stay: Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk. embassysuiteswaikiki.com

How to get there Hawaiian Airlines. hawaiianairlines.com.au


HOTELS FOR Hotels as diverse as our guests Ž From family-friendly suites to stylish hotels, from extensive resort amenities to incredible locations with fun activities for everyone, we offer the perfect fit for any family visiting Hawaii. Isn’t it time to vacation better together? Sign up for exclusive A-List Insider member deals and instant perks for your next stay. aqua-aston.com | +1.808.564.7603


Did you know …? Hawai’i

Why Aston Ka’anapali Shores is the resort of choice for a Maui Multigenerational holiday Multigenerational family holidays can be a tricky feat, to meet an agenda where mum, dad, kids, grandparents, and maybe even cousins need to be considered. Which is why Aston Ka’anapali Shores is a popular choice. There’s something for everyone here, with two freshwater pools, and endless activities at the hotel’s yearround Camp Ka’anapali program for kids aged 5-12 years. There is

also free scuba diving lessons, couples massages at the resort’s new spa for mum and dad, and maybe a poolside hula show or lobby craft fair for the grandparents. The self-catering accommodation choices including fully equipped kitchens, and washer/dryer units in all junior and full suites, are ideal for large families. astonkaanapalishoresresort.com

5 reasons to book a family holiday at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel 1. Beach Activities. The hotel is just steps away from the world famous Ka’anapali Beach, so you can swim, snorkel or try stand up paddle boarding. 2. Have a whale of a time. Ka’anapali’s whale-shaped pool has a gentle depth gradient, from head to tail, to suit all ages. 3. Just beginning your family? The new Baby-soon Package is the perfect retreat for hapai (pregnant) mothers-to-be. Indulge in some pampering at the spa and



enjoy the hotel’s romantic atmosphere. 4. Try new foods. Try the local Hawaiian cuisine with offerings such as lau lau, kalua pua’a (pork) from the huli huli pig, and fresh catch daily. Children five years and younger eat FREE with each paying adult. 5. Kids stay free! That’s right! Up to 17 years of age all keiki (children) stay for free. *Terms and conditions apply. kbhmaui.com

Campi ng and glamp ing on Hawa i’i’s active volcan o Hidden away in a fragrant eucalyptus grove, Volcano House’s Namakanipaio Campground offers summer visitors three ways to “glamp” or camp (at three levels of cushiness), all inside Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Choose from a cosy, one-room camper cabin that sleeps four; a fully equipped (and pre-setup) rent-a-tent with a 20cm memory foam mattress, hotel linens, esky, lantern, and camping chairs; or a BYO-tent unpowered campsite. Of course, if camping isn’t your thing, Volcano House also has 33 historic hotel rooms where views of Kilauea’s glowing Halemaumau crater are visible while you relax and unwind. hawaiivolcanohouse.com

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Kualoa’s Jurassic World Kualoa Private Nature Reserve is on the north shore of Oahu, and this is where you need to visit for a real Jurassic experience. The reserve is legendary to ancient Hawaiians and also, of course, to Hollywood – films including Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Godzilla and Skull Island were filmed here. It is also a working cattle ranch and farm, preserved, owned and managed by the Morgan family, who consider themselves stewards of the land. Take a tour of the reserve and you’ll also learn about the ‘ohana’s’ (family) efforts to preserve the natural beauty and cultural significance of the area for future generations of locals and visitors to enjoy. On a 90-minute Hollywood’s Hawai’i Backlot Tour, hop aboard a vintage school bus to explore the reserve, take a selfie at the famous Jurassic Park fallen tree, find Godzilla’s footprints, see the Windtalkers battlegrounds and visit several other locations including the famous ‘penguin’ road site from 50 First Dates, the road site from You Me & Dupree, the house structure from Mighty Joe Young, and numerous Hawai’i Five-0 and LOST areas. You will also stop at an amazing WWII army bunker, built entirely into the side of the mountain range, where you’ll find movie posters, props and memorabilia from many of the movies filmed at Kualoa through the years, as well as Kualoa WWII artefacts and exhibits. kualoa.com

Free gift bags for kids at Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head

The Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head has introduced an assortment of goodies for children of all age groups – free when you book a stay here. Infants are given a new Infant Amenity Package complete with infantsafe sunscreen, fragrance-free all-natural baby bath products, and a squeezable baby whale. Children aged 12 and under receive a complimentary box of crayons and an activity book, packed with fun and educational activities celebrating all things Hawaii. Once the book is completed, children can exchange it for a souvenir gift. The property also offers complimentary souvenir boxes decorated with your child’s choice of anthurium flowers or Hawaiian fish. Onsite or at the beach, kids can choose from a selection of grab-and-go inflatable fish toys, beach balls and slippers for water play, and complimentary beach bags with a pair of children’s sunglasses. lotushonoluluhotel.com

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6 Hawaiian Islands 11 U.S. Cities Endless family experiences

Fly non-stop Sydney or Brisbane to Honolulu and onward to 11 U.S. Cities, including New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles & San Francisco. Or transfer to your favourite Neighbour Island on one of 170 flights daily and discover endless family experiences. Contact your preferred travel agent or book online at HawaiianAirlines.com.au


Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort Location Sprawling across nine tropical hectares on the beachfront of Waikiki, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is like a city within itself, comprising numerous accommodation towers, a diverse choice of restaurants and plenty of recreational facilities. Base your family in one of the Village Tower suites, soak up the Waikiki and Diamond Head Crater views from the Rainbow Tower, or opt for an added dose of luxury at the Ali’i Tower. The resort is situated 20 minutes’ drive from Honolulu International Airport and is a stone’s throw from the Ala Moana shopping mall. Accommodation With around 3,000 rooms at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, there’s no shortage of choice for families, with the Ali’i Tower boasting the most exclusive pick of oceanfacing rooms and spacious suites. Their rooms with twin double beds are perfect for a family of four, or you can splurge on a two-bedroom Presidential Suite. All feature spacious bathrooms, LCD TVs, Keurig coffee makers and Wi-Fi access, with roll-away beds and cribs available for additional family members. Activities There’s so much do at the Hilton Hawaiian Village that you might never leave the resort! The Camp Penguin kids program offers educational daily activities with a focus on Hawai’i, including storytelling, games, hula workshops and craft activities. Or leave your young ones in the capable hands of the experienced staff during off-property excursions. Start the day with a meditative yoga class or tai-chi session and treat yourself to a traditional lomi lomi massage at the Mandara Spa. Ukulele lessons and lei making workshops are held throughout the day, as well as presentations about the local marine life. As the sun goes down, watch as Polynesian warriors perform the nightly torch-lighting ceremony, or settle in for a family-friendly flick under the stars every Wednesday and Saturday. The Hilton Hawaiian Village also hosts its very own luau under the stars, including a

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Hawaiian-inspired buffet, hula performances and spectacular fire dancing! OAWK TIP: Don’t miss the Friday night fireworks at the Hilton Hawaiian Village that are definitely the best on Waikiki! Food & Beverage There are no less than 20 onsite eateries and bars at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced island produce. Enjoy family time at casual, beachside cafes or treat yourself to a night out without the kids at one of their finedining restaurants. Splurge on lobster tails and ocean shrimp with a Japanese twist at Benihana or grab fresh salads, sandwiches and burgers at CJ’s New York Style Delicatessen. Rainbow Lanai does a delicious alfresco buffet breakfast each morning with


views of Waikiki, and there’s live music every night of the week at Tropics Bar & Grill as the sun sets over the Pacific. OAWK TIP: If you need to grab a quick snack or meal-on-the-go for the kids, head to one of the countless ABC stores that scatter Waikiki and the Hilton Hawaiian Village itself. They also stock a whole heap of souvenirs and beach essentials like sunscreen, hats and ice creams! Explore The Hilton Hawaiian Village is located adjacent to Duke Kahanamoku Beach, named after the legendary pioneer of Hawaiian surfing. Older kids can learn to surf the easy Pacific breakers, while younger



kids will love the sheltered waters of the adjacent saltwater lagoon. There are plenty of beach loungers where parents can relax in the shade and still keep a close eye on the water. You’re never lost for somewhere to cool off at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, with five additional pools scattered throughout the grounds. The shallow waters of the Keiki Pool are ideal for little ones, while the Paradise Pool will be a hit with older kids, boasting the longest water slide in Waikiki! OAWK TIP: If you don’t want to expose your little ones to the harsh sun and heat of the middle of the day, hit the pools at sunset when it’s still warm enough to be in the water.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort 2005 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815 Phone: +1-808-949-4321 hiltonhawaiianvillage.com

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Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort Location With an absolute beachfront location on Honolulu’s most famous stretch of sand, the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is the perfect family base on Oahu. It’s right in the heart of the Kalakaua Avenue shopping district, renowned for its international restaurants and designer boutiques, and just a short stroll from Kapiolani Park and the Waikiki Aquarium and, for the golfers in the family, the Ala Wai Golf Course. The Resort is a convenient 20-minute drive from the Honolulu International Airport. Why we stayed here With the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort turning 50 this year, we wanted to be part of the celebrations! The beachfront location of this iconic resort is unparalleled, and with complimentary cultural activities and live music throughout the week it really is the ideal setting for a Hawaiian family getaway. Waikiki’s kid-friendly attractions, and a great choice of restaurants and cafes are all located nearby. Accommodation The rooms and suites at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort are very spacious, with two double beds (and additional sofa beds) perfect for families. Select from Ocean or City View rooms, and enjoy magnificent

Waikiki views from your balcony. Rooms include a small lounge area for kids to play in, tropical wood desks where you can catch up on emails, and ensuite bathrooms with baths. Blackout drapes help with midafternoon naps, and cribs are available on request. In addition to the generous amenities, décor includes art by local Hawaiian artists. OAWK TIP: Want the best Waikiki vistas? Opt for the Deluxe Diamond Head Oceanfront Suite that features a king bed and queen sofa, as well as breathtaking views looking down the sands to Diamond Head Crater. Activities There are a whole range of kid-friendly cultural activities held throughout the week at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, including lei making, ukulele lessons and canoe carving. Parents can indulge at the onsite spa with a lomi lomi traditional Hawaiian massage, while kids will love spending time in the outdoor pool. Complimentary yoga classes are held overlooking the sands on Saturday mornings, and you can take a family surf lesson with one of Waikiki’s famous “Beach Boys” in the beginner-friendly waves.

Food & Beverage The Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is home to the iconic beachfront bar and restaurant of Duke’s Waikiki (honouring the Hawaiian father of surfing, Duke Kahanamoku) where you can listen to some of Honolulu’s best performers while feasting on freshly caught seafood. Live jazz and blues takes place nightly at the Blue Note Hawaii (the 6:30pm performance is ideal for families) while the Hula Grill and Chuck’s Steak House serve up hearty fare with an oceanfront setting. Looking for a quick snack on the go? Pai’s Deli does delicious sandwiches, wraps and fresh fruit smoothies throughout the day. OAWK TIP: If you want to see a Grammy-nominated artist in the flesh, head to Duke’s on a Sunday afternoon when renowned Hawaiian musician, Henry Kapono, takes to the stage. Explore Visit the Outrigger Activities Center for help planning an island excursion, with the big waves of Oahu’s North Shore, the Polynesian Cultural Center and historic Pearl Harbor all just a short drive away. You can spend an afternoon at the Honolulu Zoo in beautiful Kapiolani Park (there’s a great petting zoo for little ones) or get up close to a fascinating array of Pacific marine species at the Waikiki Aquarium. Active families should head to picturesque Hanauma Bay to snorkel amid a myriad of tropical fish, or tackle the steep (but easy) climb to take in the panoramic views of Waikiki from the summit of Diamond Head.

Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort 2335 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815 Phone: (toll free Australia) 1-800-608313 outriggerwaikikihotel.com

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Photographers: Joann oa e Buck + Paul Osta l www w.TheRaro rotong tongan.c n om

PLAY FREE IN PARADISE!

Now your family can feel the freedom of Paradise with the NEW DIRECT FLIGHT from Australia to the heart of the South Pacific, Rarotonga! At the 4-star Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa your family can enjoy the island’s best beach and lagoon, including ALL-TIDE safe swimming in the Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve, the island’s best snorkelling lagoon protected by a natural coral reef from the open ocean (no stingers or sharks to worry about!). KIDS STAY FREE! KIDS PLAY FREE @ the amazing Moko’s Kids Club – includes KIDS NATURE & CULTURE DISCOVERY PROGRAMME! FREE Snacks & Drinks at Kids Club sessions! FREE Kids Welcome Pack! NEW Banana Beach Playland crèche (0-3 years; charges apply). NEW Teen Zone! Extensive FREE Activities Programme for all the family with snorkelling, kayaking, tennis, beach sports, games room, learn to dance the hula, play the ukulele & log drums, make a lei, husk a coconut + much more. Around Rarotonga enjoy 4WD Safari Tour, Glass-Bottom Boat Lagoon Cruise, rainforest trek to see one of the world’s rarest birds, Saturday Market, cafes & restaurants – all minutes away! The tropical island family holiday of your dreams awaits you at The Rarotongan!

Aroa Beach + Lagoon Marine Reserve l Rarotonga l COOK ISLANDS P (+682) 25800 l F 25799 info@rarotongan.co.ck | www.TheRarotongan.com S I S T E R

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contents 87 ANAHEIM ATTRACTIONS

Our guide to the best theme parks, wildlife parks and aquariums around Anaheim.

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Huntington, Laguna and Newport Beach are all easily accessed from Anaheim, and Catalina Island is a short ferry ride away.

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Where to find the best familyfriendly hotels in Anaheim.


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Visit Anaheim

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Let your Southern California adventure begin in Anaheim. Experience our world-famous theme parks at Disneyland® Resort and Knott’s Berry Farm®, the foodie culture at the Anaheim Packing District and pro sports action with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim® and Anaheim

DucksTM. Explore surrounding Orange County for its arts, cuisine, culture, luxury shopping at South Coast Plaza® and sun-kissed beaches.

Start discovering at

visitanaheim.org/OAWK

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Outlets at San Clemente

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INTRODUCING ANAHEIM! A

naheim in Southern California is familiar to most Australians, even if they have never visited. The city has been on our radar since the original Disneyland Park first opened to the public there in 1955 and, in the six decades since, millions of Australian families have fulfilled a wish list imperative to ‘go to Disneyland’. Anaheim sits in the heart of Orange County, a region of Southern California (known affectionately as SoCal) that stretches all the way from Los Angeles to San Diego, along the Pacific coast. Beyond the Disneyland draw card, Anaheim and Orange County serve up an additional diverse and bountiful feast of family friendly fun across a whole range of attractions, activities and action, paired with a temperate climate, casual outdoor lifestyle, beautiful beaches, family entertainment, fresh local produce, a love of sport and super friendly residents. Anaheim began life as a rich, fertile region renowned for its delicious produce – especially citrus fruit – and the 4,000m2 gourmet food court, The Anaheim Packing House, is a must-visit with the whole family, presenting the best of the best, across enticing eateries and mouth-watering menus. The city is also a burgeoning pro sports destination, with championship teams in NHL ice hockey (Ducks) and MLB baseball (Angels). And with all of that fabulous weather, food, sport, and two out-of-this-world Disneyland Resort Parks to explore – Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park – you might imagine that’s your Anaheim adventure sewn up.



Not quite. You have barely scratched the surface of fun in Orange County … Knott’s Berry Farm, LEGOLAND California, SeaWorld California, Huntington, Laguna and Newport beaches, Catalina Island, bike paths, hiking trails … So, visit soon, because Anaheim is, simply, an awesome destination for an Aussie family holiday.

Getting Around Getting around Anaheim and around Southern California is made simple with many options, including shuttles, buses, trains, taxis and rideshare services, that will take you to all the places you want to travel. Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) is the O.C’s first centralised hub for all regional public transit lines. Hop on Anaheim Resort Transportation, Metrolink and the Amtrak Surfliner to see more of Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Getting There Fly from Australia to Los Angeles on United Airlines, Qantas, Virgin Australia and Delta. Check individual airlines for flights from your nearest capital city. Getting to Anaheim from Australia is made easy with four airports within an hour’s drive: John Wayne Airport, Orange County (SNA), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Long Beach Airport (LGB) and LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT). Speak to your Travel Agent about fantastic packages, including flights, accommodation, attraction passes and Disneyland packages, to plan and book a fantastic family holiday in Anaheim.

ABOVE

There's a world of magic to be found at Disneyland and beyond in Anaheim.

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Attractions and Features Home of Disneyland® Resort and driving distance to Knott’s Berry Farm®, Universal Studios Hollywood , SeaWorld® San Diego and LEGOLAND® California Resort SM

New Luxury Accommodations Four AAA Four Diamond hotels are coming to the Anaheim Resort District Culinary Capital The Anaheim Packing House inspires and innovates with over 20 independent eateries housed within a refurbished historic building Shop Til You Drop Shopping for all budgets nearby at The Outlets at Orange, South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island, Irvine Spectrum Center, Outlets at San Clemente and Citadel Outlets

visitanaheim.org


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ATTRACTIONS Anaheim’s theme parks are the main attraction for most visiting Australian families, with Disneyland on most family bucket lists, but the fun doesn’t stop there…



Welcome to the original home of Disneyland. That’s right. Walt Disney opened his first ever park for families over 60 years ago, right here in Anaheim, and today’s mind-blowing Disneyland Resort experience encompasses two phenomenal Parks – Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park – the Downtown Disney District (a destination in itself), and three amazing Disney hotels – the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Even Mr. Disney would be impressed. The so-called "Happiest Place on Earth" is actually a constantly evolving enterprise, all the while augmenting the already unbeatable excitement with spectacular new entertainment and events – with the sole purpose of enhancing the guest experience for everyone. All of your Disneyland Park favourites – Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, to name just a few – and Disney California Adventure Park favourites, including Cars Land, Soarin' Around the World, Toy Story Midway Mania and World of Color, await your arrival. SUMMER 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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As you wander through the Parks (you should allow at least three days, preferably five, to experience EVERYTHING) don’t be surprised if Disney characters magically appear, and stop to say ‘hello’. Frozen fans can attend Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome at Disney California Adventure Park and meet Olaf at the Park’s Hollywood Land. Young jedis-in-waiting can even learn the ways of ‘the Force’ in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park. Immerse yourself in the worlds, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Cars, Finding Nemo and more, and get ready for the all-new 2018 Disney California Adventure Park’s transformation of Paradise Pier, by the wonderful world of Pixar, into Pixar Pier. Pixar Pier will feature the thrilling new Incredicoaster and four new imaginative neighbourhoods – inspired by Disney•Pixar’s The Incredibles, Toy Story, Inside Out, and a collection of guest-favourite Pixar stories. The first neighbourhood will open mid-2018 with the Incredicoaster (a reimagined California Screamin’), and the other neighbourhoods will follow. When the fourth neighbourhood is unveiled, each of the gondolas on Mickey’s Fun Wheel will showcase a different Pixar character. The opening of Pixar Pier will add to the fun of Pixar Fest, the biggest celebration of stories and characters from Pixar Animation Studios ever to come to Disney Parks, which starts 13 April 2018, at the Disneyland Resort. The new firework show, Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular, will celebrate Pixar stories through the decades as it lights up the sky. disneyparks.com.au

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Knott’s Berry Farm Have you ever tasted a boysenberry? They’re delicious, and every boysenberry in the world can trace its roots back to Knott’s Berry Farm, thanks to Walter and Cordelia Knott’s experimental loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry-cross that produced the first crop of boysenberries in the 1930s. Knott’s Berry Farm is an institution in Anaheim, but it is so much more than a farm. Welcoming millions of visitors each year, this much-loved theme park still pays homage to its boysenberry beginnings, but it is also home to the iconic ‘longest, fastest and tallest wooden rollercoaster’, GhostRider, a 4-D interactive ride, Voyage to the Iron Reef, Timber Mountain Log Ride, the Calico Railway, and original Wild West Butterfield Stagecoach, Surfside Gliders and Bigfoot Rapids! With plenty of gentle rides and entertainment for little ones, a day out at Knott’s Berry Farm is perfect for all ages – and after the thrills you can tuck into a hearty meal at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, and try a slice of the famous and tantalisingly terrific Boysenberry Pie. knotts.com

SeaWorld San Diego The world famous SeaWorld has been thrilling families since 1964, and in 2017 opened the long-awaited Orca Encounter, an innovative ‘documentary’ that combines digital technology with a live orca presentation, highlighting SeaWorld’s 50-year knowledge of killer whale behavior and care, in a way that has never been done before. A highly specialised team of orca behaviourists, engineers, researchers and writers spent nearly a year creating


the experience, aiming to reach as many people as possible with the message that understanding and appreciating these mighty marine mammals is a vital part of their conservation in the wild. Also new to SeaWorld, Ocean Explorer combines multiple aquariums, exciting rides and digital technologies to engage park guests in an experience centered on exploration and adventure, inspiring them to protect the wonders of our oceans. Travel to Ocean Explorer’s remarkable undersea animals aboard mini submarines, and become researchers on a mission to collect data, and learn how you can help the animals, in a 3-minute exhilarating experience. seaworldparks.com/en/seaworldsandiego

LEGOLAND California Resort

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Don't be surprised to meet Disney characters as you wander through Disneyland. Knotts Berry Farm's Silver Bullet rollercoaster. THIS PAGE ABOVE AND LEFT

Sea World's Shark Encounter Tunnel, Ocean Explorer ride. BELOW

LEGOLAND Driving School and meeting the LEGOLAND characters.

LEGO and DUPLO are the stuff of play and imagination – and innovation, and few of us (children or adults) can say we have never, at some point, tried to build and create a spectacular ‘something’ from scratch with these iconic plastic blocks. At LEGOLAND California, a bewildering array of building innovation is on display across wonderful worlds you just have to see to believe. Ingenuity (and sometimes assistance from technology) and creativity come together in over 60 interactive rides, shows and attractions. Enter a world of knights and princesses to conquer the Dragon Coaster, get behind the wheel of a car at Driving School and make new pals at LEGO Friends Heartlake City. Become a master of the art of spinjitzu on LEGO NINJAGO The Ride and, new for 2018, go on an amazing 3D/4D adventure in LEGO NINJAGO – Master of the 4th Dimension. When you’re ready to wind down from the excitement, younger children will love creating their own adventure with DUPLO, or LEGO for the bigger builders! The Resort is also home to the LEGOLAND Water Park featuring the LEGO Legends of CHIMA™ Water Park. legoland.com/california

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Known as the “World’s Most Interactive Dinner Show” Pirate’s Dinner Adventure offers the best combination of food, fantasy and fun in Southern California. Guests enjoy an astonishing display of special effects, aerial artistry, swashbuckling swordplay and 

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dynamic duels while enjoying a delicious, four-course feast, fit for a Pirate King! The action is set aboard an 18th Century Spanish galleon, adrift in a 250,000- gallon lagoon. The talented crew makes this show possible with brilliant actors, singers and stunt performers. Up to one hundred and fifty guests of all ages are chosen to participate in this epic production - from hoisting the ship's sails, to joining the pirates on the ship’s deck, there are multiple opportunities for guests to become a part of the adventure. piratesdinneradventureca.com

Discovery Cube

SwingIt Trapeze

Trampoline daredevils can try Galactic Gladiators Battlebeam, a Big Air original where participants enter an epic, one-onone jousting battle while maintaining their balance over a pit of foam; flip and fly in a matrix of trampolines in the Zero Gravity Court, or play 3D trampoline Dodgeball. A designated space for younger children to jump safely features fun-size versions of the park’s signature attractions, and there’s even a special Toddler Time held twice weekly at Buena Park for kids under 6. bigairusa.com

Located in central Anaheim, SwingIt Trapeze is a circus school, where you can attend circus school and learn acrobatic skills, and how to swing from trapeze bars high in the sky without fear. Without fear because you’re looked after by experienced operators who’ll ensure you have a fun (safe) time. swingittrapeze.net

Bowers Museum One of Southern California’s finest museums and Orange County’s largest, the Bowers Museum’s state-of-the-art facilities present world-class exhibitions from the greatest museums in the world with African, South Pacific, Asian, Native American art, and California plein-air paintings in its collections. Bowers’ Kidseum is an interactive children’s museum with a focus on ‘igniting imagination through exploration’ - visit Glow Cave with its fun art making activities, step back in time on a Wells Fargo stagecoach in the Green Screen Time Machine and discover ancient history in the Archaeology Lab. bowers.org 

Imaginations run wild through more than 100 hands-on exhibits at Orange County’s leading destination for science fun. Take the Eco Challenge and become a green superhero, feel the power of a real rocket engine ‘launch’, explore the inner workings of a two-storey-tall dinosaur, and try your best slap shot against the Anaheim Duck’s goalie in the Science of Hockey exhibit. discoverycube.org

Big Air Trampoline Park

Aquarium of the Pacific This world-class aquarium celebrates the Pacific Ocean, the planet’s largest, by exploring the waters of Southern California and Baja, the North Pacific and the Tropical Pacific with 19 major habitats and 32 focus exhibits. It’s home to more than 11,000 ocean animals representing nearly 500 species. Exhibits include Shark Lagoon, the Lorikeet Forest aviary (feed the lorikeets), and the June Keyes Penguin Habitat. aquariumofpacific.org

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Pirates Adventure Dinner, meeting sea lions at Aquarium of the Pacific and one of the Aquarium's beautiful jellyfish.

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Your Catalina Island journey begins with us. 8 FAST MODERN BOATS. 1 HOUR BOAT RIDE. UP TO 30 DEPARTURES DAILY. Experience Catalina Island, just an hour boat ride from Southern California’s coast! Scenic beauty, high adventure activities, great dining or simply rest and relaxation. With up to 30 departures daily from San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point, take the trip for a day, or stay overnight.

CatalinaExpress.com | 800.995.4386


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range County has 68km of spectacular coastline and six city beaches including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. The OC’s beaches are among the best in the world - celebrities including Gwen Stefani and Kobe Bryant hit the sand in Newport Beach; Laguna Beach is frequented by former reality TV show stars from ‘The Hills’ and ‘Laguna Beach’, and pro surfers including Brett Simpson and Kanoa Igarashi ‘hang ten’ in Huntington Beach yearround. These family-friendly beaches are perfect for a day of relaxing, strolling, swimming, body surfing and sunshine and, just a short ferry-ride away is one of California’s hidden gems, Catalina Island. SUMMER 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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Kayaking at Catalina Island. FROM TOP

Catalina Island, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach.

Santa Catalina Island Mediterranean-flavoured Catalina Island is a popular weekend getaway for Southern California locals, drawn by fresh air, good old-fashioned seaside fun, hiking trails and fantastic snorkelling and scuba diving. The island has gone through stints as a hangout for Spanish explorers, Franciscan friars, sea-otter poachers, smugglers and Union soldiers. In 1919 the entire island was purchased by chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley Jr (1861–1932), who constructed buildings in the Spanish Mission style. Apart from its human population, Catalina's highest-profile residents are a herd of bison, brought here for a 1924 movie shoot and who ended up breeding. Today 88 per cent of the island's 75 square miles is a nature preserve, requiring (easily available) permits for access to hiking and cycling. Snorkelling and scuba diving sites are accessible from the shore, with the most popular site, Casino Point, a few steps from the old art deco Casino in the pretty town of Avalon. Here you can swim through kelp forests where you’re likely to see rays, octopus, leopard sharks and the island’s most famous fish, the garibaldi. The bay can also be explored by kayak, paddleboard, pedal boat, motorboat – or on a glass bottom boat or semi-submersible boat tour. Other activities include kayaking, rock climbing and ziplining with Catalina Island Zip Line Eco Tour. It’s also worth booking a 4WD-tour (especially to see the wild buffalo roam!) with Safari Island Adventure Tour or Catalina Island Cape Canyon Expedition. The Catalina Express provides up to 30 daily departures between three mainland ports in Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. Family tour packages are available. catalinaexpress.com

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FOOD! GLORIOUS FOOD!

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t’s fortunate that a holiday in Anaheim provides so many opportunities for families to work up an appetite, because the city also provides so many opportunities to enjoy its glorious food. The first settlers in the district, over 160 years ago, quickly discovered that the fertile, rich soil yielded a bonanza at harvest time. Grapes, chili peppers, citrus fruit (succulent oranges in particular) and avocados are among the produce for which Anaheim is famed. Indeed, good food is plentiful in Anaheim, and the city boasts an eclectic collective palate. You can find Asian, Italian and Mexican fare everywhere, as well as family-friendly restaurants and steakhouses, and cool diners like Ruby’s, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dine in at Ruby’s or enjoy the novelty of authentic drive-in service, with roller-skating servers. Head to the Downtown Disney District for a great family feed at Tortilla Jo’s. There’s even a Cupcake ATM at Downtown Disney – the world’s first cupcake vending machine – popping out fresh-baked treats created by Sprinkles Bakery. Experience the whimsical buffet-style dining at Goofy’s Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel. Open for breakfast and dinner, kids will love the breakfast offerings that include Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles and Goofy's Peanut Butter and Jelly Pizza. Dine Hawaiian adventure-style at Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room-inspired Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, one of the most popular eats and drinks places in Anaheim, also at the Disneyland Hotel. You will find a host of fun, novelty, family-friendly eateries within easy reach of Anaheim’s main accommodation hub, and with access to fresh, fabulous ingredients, dining out as a family promises there will be something on the menu to suit all palates. International cuisine, local fare, and family favourites are all readily available. The hardest part will be deciding where to eat! Make sure you visit the historic Packing District, transformed into a gourmet food-lover’s destination, brimming with eateries, farmers’ markets and foodie shops, and even tasty treats for kids. The sprawling multi-level food hall offers everything from fresh lemonade and delicious homemade ice cream, to Ramen, fine wines and gourmet burgers. Entertainment, including live music, and events completes the family-friendly experience.

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Family dining is fun at Disneyland Hotel, at the historic Packing House district be sure to try a Umami Burger, next to the Packing House.


DESERT PALMS

hotel & Suites anaheim

resort

Your Dream Family Vacation Starts Here! Make Desert Palms Hotel & Suites Your Home Each Time You Visit The DisneylandÂŽ Resort

Conveniently located within walking distance to the Disneyland Theme Parks, Downtown Disney and the Anaheim Convention Center. Complimentary Value Features: Wi-Fi, Parking, and Daily Freshly-Prepared Hot Breakfast Buffet Complimentary Kid-Friendly Features: Photo Station, Weekly Arts and Crafts, Scavenger Hunt and Kids Media Lounge For Reservations & Special Promotions: 888-521-6420 DesertPalmsHotel.com DeSert PalmS Hotel & SuiteS 631 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92802


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Shopping at South Coast Plaza, Downtown Disney District and Fashion Island.

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efore you holiday in Anaheim you’ll need to first ensure there will be enough room in your suitcases to transport your new purchases home. It’s a given that the kids are going to spend plenty of time with eyes wide open, and wallets at the ready, in every shop, at every attraction you visit. With wonderful Disney wares to take home, just for starters, most children will have a hard time deciding what to choose as everlasting souvenirs of their unforgettable adventure. Even grownups will find it hard to resist, the Downtown Disney District is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of irresistible shopping. And you can guarantee that once you’ve visited a few more attractions, the shopping bags will be rapidly multiplying. Now, add in Orange County’s dazzling array of malls and outlets, stocked with everything from kids clothes and accessories to haute couture (at bargain prices) and you will definitely need to muscle in on the spare suitcase space. A shopper’s dream, The Outlets at Orange houses over 120 outlet and value stores including Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Rack, Banana Republic Factory Store, Tommy Hilfiger Company Store and a Levi's Outlet. To thrill the kids, the centre also boasts a Vans Skate Park, bowling and an IMAX theatre. The huge Anaheim GardenWalk is an outdoor dining, shopping and entertainment ‘experience’ situated in the heart of the Anaheim Resort District, and the equally huge Buena Park Downtown is an enclosed mall with Wal-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond and Sears among many other retail outlets, entertainment, attractions and eateries. Shop at South Coast Plaza or Fashion Island for the latest fashions - from luxury to surf wear – as well as homewares, sports gear and a whole lot more. Center Street Promenade in Downtown Anaheim is filled with quaintly curated shops and artisaninspired eateries and other neighborly services, and Old Towne Orange is famous for its one-of-a-kind antique treasures. The Lab Anti-Mall and The Camp in Costa Mesa are great spots to pick up hot fashion trends and green/eco-friendly products. You’ll also find Bloomingdale’s department store in Costa Mesa – resist if you can! SUMMER 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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Hyatt Place at Anaheim Resort/Convention Centre, the pool at Best Western Plus Stovalls, water play fun at Residence Inn, King Suite with kids' bunks at Portofino Inn & Suites Anaheim. OPPOSITE PAGE

Homewood Suites by Hilton.


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amilies are spoiled for choice with Anaheim’s fantastic hotels and resorts ranging from ultra-luxury and funky to affordable and fun. From family rooms and suites perfect for larger families, to comfortable and spacious rooms with extra bedding options, Anaheim accommodation is geared for families. Fabulous onsite facilities and amenities ensure that wherever you choose to stay on your family holiday, you will feel right at home.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Spacious suites feature separate living and sleeping areas, a full kitchen, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Choose a contemporary family suite and enjoy an included hot full breakfast, and relax in the pool (plus kids pool) after a day of sightseeing! homewoodsuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/ California

Hyatt House and Hyatt Place Both hotels, set in the Anaheim Resort/ Convention Center are perfect for families, with a choice of rooms and suites offering separate living and sleeping areas and full kitchens – all less than a mile away from Disneyland Resort parks. anaheimresort.house.hyatt.com/en/ hotel/home.html

Cortona Inn & Suites A Tuscan-style treasure in the heart of the Anaheim Resort District, Cortona Inn has 127 modern, affordable guest rooms and suites (including kids suites with bunk beds), free deluxe continental breakfast and free Wi-Fi. cortonainn.com

Springhill Suites Anaheim Conveniently located near the Disneyland Resort and next to the Anaheim Convention Center, suites at Springhill Suites are 25 per cent larger than the average hotel room. Brand new kids’ suites come with bunk beds, minifridge, microwave and free Wi-Fi. springhillanaheim.com 

Best Western Plus Stovalls The Best Western Plus Stovall’s Hotels of Anaheim are four AAA 3 diamond-rated hotels surrounding Disneyland Resort. The hotels are also certified as ‘Disney Good Neighbor’ hotels, and are within walking distance to Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure and Downtown Disney. Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn, Best Western Plus Park Place Inn, Best Western Plus Pavilions and Best Western Plus Stovall’s Inn are family owned and operated, and have been in the Anaheim Resort area since 1968. All hotels provide free Wi-Fi, microwaves, mini fridges, fresh brewed single serving coffee makers and HBO Family channel. stovallshotels.com

Residence Inn Anaheim Convention Center Choose from spacious studio, one- and twobedroom suites with separate living and sleeping areas, or the brightly themed and popular kids suites with bunk beds and a fully equipped kitchen to enhance your ‘suite’ family time. Complimentary grocery delivery services are available so your fridge is always full. The Residence sweetens the deal with free hot breakfast buffet daily and free Wi-Fi. Unwind at the rooftop pool with expansive area views, hot tub, cabanas and kid-friendly splash zone! Relax at the lobby bar and let the kids enjoy the convenience of Pizza Hut Express. residenceanaheimresort.com

Portofino Inn & Suites Anaheim Anaheim Portofino Inn & Suites offers spacious designs, and several room types to choose from, including kids’ suites, king suites, and affordable deluxe guest rooms. Everyday low rates and an exceptional location – right next door to Disneyland – are great draw cards for families. This unique Anaheim hotel has been recognised as "The Most Beautiful Hotel in Anaheim", and great value Disneyland Packages are also available. portofinoinanaheim.com

Desert Palms Hotels & Suites As one of only three non-Disney hotels located on the Disneyland Resort block, Desert Palms is an easy ten-minute walk to Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, and Downtown Disney District. Rooms and kid-friendly suites come equipped with a microwave, refrigerator, flat screen TV, and the swimming pool is heated year-round. Kid’s Suites feature bunk beds, or try a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom Family Suite with 4 queen beds. Plus, there’s free daily Hot Breakfast Buffet, free Wi-Fi and free car parking. desertpalmshotel.com

Great Wolf Lodge Great Wolf Lodge Southern California is part hotel, part fabulous indoor waterpark. Jampacked with slides and splashing fun, when you’re ready to dry off, the fun continues with activities, games and adventures throughout the resort. The all-suite property offers spacious guest rooms, including fun-filled, family themed-suites. Stay in the WolfDen Suite or the KidCabin Suite with special animations, bunk beds, TV, and cubbyhousestyle fun for little ones. The Lodge also offers an accessible WolfDen Suite and KidCabin Suite, and seven onsite dining options, including ‘The Loose Moose Family Kitchen’ and ‘Hungry as a Wolf’. greatwolf.com SUMMER 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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contents 104 RECONNECTING IN FIJI

Simon Mallender finds it easy to reconnect with the kids in Fiji.

112 ABU DHABI LOVES KIDS

Expat Siobhan Bardet shows us around Abu Dhabi.

123 LONDON IN SUMMER

Yumi Stynes enjoys concerts in the park and colourful markets.

130 HOMESTAY IN MONGOLIA Geordie Torr redefines the term ‘cultural immersion’ with a homestay in Mongolia.


A holiday is a chance to get away from it all, and for some families that means getting away from each other, choosing a resort with a fabulous kids’ club, and enjoying some serious me-time. But as SIMON MALLENDER discovers, a holiday in Fiji is a great opportunity for a family to reconnect.

RECONNECTING WITH YOUR FAMILY IN FIJI

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he easiest ways to reconnect are by eating together, exploring together, being challenged together and relaxing together, and Fiji provides plenty of opportunity for all of them.

The Rules of Reconnecting With any kind of family activity, it’s best to establish a few ground rules at the outset, as a mismatch of expectations is a guaranteed recipe for failure. While no one wants ‘rules’ when they are on holiday – especially in a Fijian paradise – there are a few things to consider: 1. Mum and dad do not have to cook 2. Mum and dad do not have to respond to work emails 3. Kids do not have to do homework – or anything that resembles it!

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Rather than laying down holiday rules, let’s just adopt the pirate’s code and call them guidelines, which might include: eating breakfast together, maybe one activity together, and having dinner together – each day – without screens or scenes! Breakfasting together means you can plan the day together and, on some days, that will mean everyone gets to do their own thing. So just because mum wants to have a spa treatment or dad wants to play golf doesn’t mean that everyone has to. Factor in at least one day to explore and discover something new together. This could be a day trip to the local village, jungle, coral reef, or remote island – something that is new to everyone and elicits questions and conversation over dinner.

TOP AND RIGHT

Simon Mallender reconnects with his family over a cava ceremony in a Fijian village on the Sigatoka River Safari.


Explore and discover something new together A visit to a school or village can be a real eye-opener for everyone – not just the kids – when you see just how much stuff the locals don’t have. The classroom is often a room with just a blackboard and some books, and villagers don’t own enough clothes to fill a wardrobe. Take some of your kids’ outgrown clothes and let them give them away. You’ll be surprised how good it feels to give. Many of the resorts in Fiji give back to the local community, providing support for local schools or medical centres, and exploring one of these projects together can bring families together with a common understanding. At Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort on Fiji’s Coral Coast, there is an opportunity not just to visit 

a local community where the resort is funding medical facilities, but to actively get involved in projects such as building and decorating classrooms. Simply snorkelling together on a coral reef makes for great, shared exploration too. If you haven’t snorkelled much, re-learn together – knowing the right techniques makes it more enjoyable, and you’ll be in no danger of accidently damaging the fragile reefs you’ve come to see. Even better, go on a guided snorkel tour, or search out the resident expert to identify the fish you found snorkelling. Even better, you can take part in a marine conservation project. On Castaway SUMMER 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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Island, and with Captain Cook Cruises Fiji on Tivua Island, you can help plant coral in a coral nursery. Don’t worry – this doesn’t involve diving down to the sea bed with pieces of coral – you help plant the coral on big wire frames in the shallows, and then the local dive crew carefully take the frames and put them in the best places in the lagoon for corals to grow quickly. There are not too many places in Fiji where a village visit or snorkelling is not on offer: all the resort staff live somewhere – usually the local village – and every resort has its local reef. Exploring together should lead to lots of questions over dinner: ‘What do they do in the evenings without TV?’ and ‘How do fish know where there’s a cleaning station?’

Be Challenged Together Another great way to connect – and bond – is to be challenged together. This should involve something that’s just on the edge of your comfort zone, like a visit to a dark bat-infested cave, a ropes course or zipline, or maybe even learning how to scuba dive. There are many day trips from Fiji’s mainland resorts that provide either exploration, or a challenge, or both. The Sigatoka River Safari combines a high-speed boat trip with a village visit, the Sigatoka Off-Road Cave Safari combines a jungle buggy trip with – you guessed it – a bat infested cave – but also a lunch-stop next to a shady pool complete with rope swing – that everyone in the family must try. Also in Sigatoka, just a stone’s throw away from the Outrigger Resort, is the Kula Wild Adventure Park, where you can discover some of Fiji’s wonderful wildlife – including their banded iguanas – and also challenge yourselves on the Kula Krazy Canopy Flyer. From Denarau, most trips involve a voyage of discovery to some enchanted island, with at least snorkelling and, quite often, other water sports laid on. If you’re seeking a challenge beyond snorkelling, you can try a Discover Scuba Dive. As kids as young as 10

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years can learn to dive in Fiji, this is something all the family can do together – under the careful supervision of qualified dive instructors obviously. You’ll learn some basics skills – like breathing from a tank – and get familiar with the equipment in the safety of the pool before venturing out for a real scuba dive. A family experience you’ll fondly remind each other of for years to come. If your kids have spent time in Kids’ Club they will probably have spent time discovering, and being challenged by, the activities on offer, even if it only involved crabs and coconuts. Take the time to reconnect with them over their dinner and actively listen to what they found most exciting. (And if your little warrior/maiden dancer has spent the best part of the final day learning the moves, making the grass skirt and getting their face painted then be there for the whole performance and make sure the video camera battery is charged!)

FROM LEFT

Poolside mocktails after a day full of activities in Fiji. Planting coral at Castaway Island Resort’s coral nursery.

Relax Together Fiji provides plenty of opportunity for this, especially around the pool. Whether it’s a boisterous ball game, or mocktails at the swim-up bar, have a bit of family fun, and make it a ritual that you perform towards the end of each day, especially if you’ve been out discovering, (or relaxing), individually that day. It will put you in a great mood for dinner – so make that an occasion too. Whether you’re out for the traditional Fijian Lovo feast, or the themed buffet, give everyone the chance to describe ‘what was the best part about today…’ and recount those collective moments: ‘Mum’s face when …’, ‘When dad slipped off that …’ and when you all saw that little reef shark swim past while you were snorkelling together. A successful holiday is one that everyone remembers with fondness and wants to repeat. Give everyone the opportunity to enjoy both their holiday, and the family holiday. Don’t make it any more complex than that. You are on holiday after all.

Where to Stay: Outrigger on the Beach, Queens Highway, Sigatoka

outrigger.com/fiji/resort Castaway Island Resort, Mamanuka Islands castawayfiji.com

Activities Sigatoka River Safari

sigatokariver.com Captain Cook Cruises Fiji captaincookcruisesfiji.com Kula Wild Adventure Park fijiwild.com


WHERE R AINFOREST MEETS REEF & FA M I LY A D V E N T U R E M E E T S U LT I M A T E S E R E N I T Y.

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LIONS IN OUR MIDST

A family holiday in South Africa is a chance to experience any number of adventures that kids would love, says MARK DAFFEY. Topping that list should be a wildlife safari in the Kruger region.

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W

e arrive too late to join the afternoon game drive from Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge. This, however, proves no impediment to seeing wild animals. Nyalas and warthogs roam freely among the grounds, attracted by the green grass around our suites. Baboons loiter in the trees. And hyenas and leopards are known to wander into the camp at night, lured by the intoxicating aroma of barbecued meat, served nightly in the outdoor boma. In the vast expanses of South Africa’s Greater Kruger region, it seems the animals come to us.

Feasts fit for kings That night, we hear stories about the evening safari we’d missed, over one of the largest buffet dinner selections any of us has seen. Our son, Finn, immediately strikes up a rapport with two similarly aged boys from Sydney, and they laugh and joke around like they’ve known each other for years. They tell him about giraffes as tall as trees, and how warthogs must surely be the ugliest animals on Earth. Completely engrossing is their tale of a cheetah hunting down an impala. Over the following three days, we venture out into the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve on a succession of morning and afternoon game drives in search of the Big Five – elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. Then hearty breakfasts are served upon our return to the lodge each morning, followed closely by lunch buffets that would feed an entire village. Evening meals include game meats like eland or crocodile, and best of all, says Finn, is that ice cream seems to be available all day. The rest of our time is filled lazing about the lodge. Post-breakfast naps allow us to catch up on lost sleep from our pre-dawn rises, while idle moments are best spent in the open-air lounge area, overlooking a waterhole attracting buffalo, elephants and antelopes to drink. Even lions wander in occasionally. Whenever he can, Finn chooses to join the cosmopolitan collection of kids gathered inside the lodge’s EleFun Centre. The childcare facility has obstacle



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OVER

Magnificant lionesses on the prowl. Inset: Mark Daffey and his family. ABOVE

The kids get creative at the EleFun Centre LEFT

courses, flying foxes, arts and craft tutoring, and library areas for quiet moments. After three weeks touring around South Africa and Victoria Falls with his mum and dad, it’s the best chance he’s had all trip to play with his own demographic. Even better is that Finn mucking around in the EleFun Centre allows us parents to rejuvenate with an Amani spa session, or by loafing around the pool.

In search of the Big Five It’s mid-October and the scrub around us is tinderbox dry. The rains should have come by now and many weakened animals are dying from starvation. The buffalo, especially, are suffering. Lions are picking them off at a rate of one per day. Finn’s eagle eyes come in handy inside the vehicle. Shortly after departing the lodge on our first morning safari, he spies a honey badger slinking through the bushes. A pair of rhino is next, hiding behind a termite’s nest. Before anyone else, he spots a hippo on foot. We stop to watch elephants stripping branches off trees and a yawning hyena escaping the sun in the shade of a thorny acacia. Wildebeest and zebra snort and waterbucks prick their ears. Duikers dart through the undergrowth and a brave sparrowhawk mobs a Wahlberg’s eagle that’s three times its size. We also track a leopard through fading light at dusk. Of the Big Five, all that’s left to see is a lion. There’s

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Ticking off the Big Five at Sabi Sabi Game Reserve is

talk over the radios of a pride of lions taking down a buffalo, and of two adult brothers seen walking in our direction. It’s the latter two we track first. We find them starfishing on their backs on the edge of a clearing. Many of the wild animals we see are visibly jittery whenever we motor close, but these two couldn’t care less, well aware of their place in Africa’s pecking order. Even when our guide parks a single vehicle length from one, neither of them bats an eyelid. It’s exciting to watch lions in such close proximity, especially when the lodge imposes a rule dictating a maximum of three vehicles around any animal. Even better is observing them when they’re up and about. Eight cubs wrestle each other and nibble from a freshly killed buffalo carcass while five lionesses lie around the periphery, allowing the cubs to climb over them. It’s the sort of event I could watch for hours, but darkness won’t permit that, and one young tummy also needs filling. As eager as Finn has been to see lions in the wild, when the choice is between watching them and eating ice cream, there’s really no contest. The writer travelled courtesy of South African Airways and Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve.

Getting There: South African Airways has daily flights from all capital cities via Perth. Flight services operate between Johannesburg and Sabi Sabi’s private airstrip or to the nearby Skukuza Airport. flysaa.com

Where to Stay: Suite tariffs at the Bush Lodge, the most familyfriendly of Sabi Sabi’s four safari lodges and camps, start from AUD$1050 per night. Stays include open vehicle safaris accompanied by qualified rangers and trackers, all meals and transfers from Sabi Sabi’s private airstrip. sabisabi.

com/lodges/bushlodge


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ABU DHABI

THE FAMILY FRIENDLY EMIRATE ISLES SIOBHAN BARDET is Corporate Affairs Manager at Etihad Airways. She is an Australian, but lives in Abu Dhabi with her French husband and three children – twins Asha and Marcelin (5), and Lucinda (2). They have lived in the UAE capital for two years. We asked Siobhan to share her expertise with us, and give a few good reasons to bring the kids for a holiday in Abu Dhabi.


As locals, what kind of holiday do you enjoy most as a family? We love to go camping in the wadis (valleys) and deserts. There are beautiful places throughout the seven emirates of the UAE, and Oman is just a few hours’ drive away. The kids just love the 4WD trip to get there. There are no official campsites so you can literally just pitch your tent at a nice spot.

What are the must-do activities in Abu Dhabi for families? • Camping is a must – especially as it’s so easy, with no need to book (or pay). • Go to the Beach. I know it sounds strange to tell an Australian to go to the beach, but the water is WARM. In summer it’s hot, but for eight months of the year it’s just lovely. • Go on a Desert Safari. You get picked up in a 4WD and driven to the desert where you go dune bashing, and you can try sandboarding, ride a camel, smoke shisha if that’s your bag, watch belly dancing, get traditional henna ‘tattoos’ (not permanent, don’t worry) and have a traditional Arabic bbq. It’s worth doing at least once.

What are your kids’ top 5 places to go to in Abu Dhabi? 1. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – it really is magnificent. szgmc.gov.ae 2. Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital – the kids are just fascinated by it. falconhospital.com 3. Camel races – we sometimes take them down to watch the training in the afternoons as it’s not as busy then. They love it when the jockeys wave at them. emiratesracing.com 4. Go island cruising – Abu Dhabi is made up of lots of islands and you can take a boat cruise to one or more for a day. They drop an anchor and you can hang out on a remote beach and play and dolphin watch. captaintonys.ae/island-beach-tour 5. Ferrari World – my own children are still a little young to go here, but any friends who’ve visited with slightly older kids have absolutely loved it. ferrariworldabudhabi.com

MAIN IMAGE

A desert safari is a must-do for families. FAR LEFT

Siobhan and her family at Liwa Oasis, taking a dow ride in Abu Dhabi’s waterways. RIGHT

Ferrari World.



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M arce lin w in s Ash a an d i Si obha n’s kids: t (2), in Abu Dh ab (5) an d Luci nd a Top 5 places to eat with kids? 1. Bonna Annee Ethiopian Restaurant – it’s in the old part of Abu Dhabi. We just love it here. It costs about $25 for a family of five. There is a Palestinian bakery a few doors down where you should go for dessert. The kullaj is amazing. 2. Byblos sur Mer Lebanese at the InterContinental – it’s right on the water in downtown Abu Dhabi. Be sure you go there hungry. 3. The Meat Co at Souk Al Beri – family friendly, good food, friendly staff, beautiful views across the water. 4. Lebanese Flower – cheap and cheerful chain of Lebanese restaurants across the city. Yummy Middle Eastern food. 5. Ray’s Bar – on the 62nd floor of the Jumeirah Etihad Towers right on the Corniche. This one’s for the adults sans kids.

What is the most compelling reason for families to holiday in Abu Dhabi? There is such a child friendly culture here. No one stares at you disapprovingly if your kids are in restaurants after 7pm, in fact, the waiters’ eyes light up when you

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turn up with your young ones, particularly if you go to a Lebanese restaurant. And it is so safe. There’s virtually no crime or danger to worry about so I know my children are always safe. Family is such an important pillar of the local culture here that those family focused ideals become part of the very fabric of society, which makes it a wonderful place to bring up children. There are unlimited activities for the kids, whether it be sports, arts, culture or just for fun. At the same time, it’s easy to enjoy quality time with friends as many restaurants and activities such as Friday Brunch (a concept unique to the UAE involving all you can eat five-star food and unlimited drinks from the best champagne to your favourite cocktail) will have a children’s play area and entertainers to look after them while we can enjoy a well-deserved break. All in all, the city offers everything you could want in an environment uniquely ideal for raising your family.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT

Falconry is a popular sport. Abu Dhabi has plenty of family-friendly restaurants. Waterslides at Ferrarri World.

Getting There Etihad Airways flies twice daily to Abu Dhabi from Sydney and Melbourne, and daily from Brisbane and Perth. etihad.com

More Information Plan your trip and find accommodation: visitabudhabi.ae/au-en


www.tajvoyages.com.au | tourindia@tajvoyages.com.au | www.facebook.com/tajvoyages


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT

Indigenous performance at the east Coast Scenic Area Visitor Centre. Cycling through rice fields in Taitung. Some of the many dumplings consumed by the Twin Fins during our time in Taiwan. There are many scenic walks along the East Coast, including this one around Sanxiantai Islet, accessed by the Eight-Arch Bridge. The region's geological and anthropological history is explained at the Lanyang Museum in Yilan.

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WILD SIDE

Taiwan is famous for dumplings, tea and its many themed cafes and restaurants but, as DEBORAH DICKSON-SMITH discovers, Taiwan has a wild side too.

I

t’s misty and raining as we leave the suburbs of Taipei behind us and drive south along the east coast of Taiwan. At some point we emerge from a tunnel, the sun comes out, and I’m greeted by a dramatic green and blue landscape. On my right, tall mountains line the coast for as far as I can see, interrupted here and there by the occasional waterfall and, to my left, the South China Sea. It has to be up there with some of the world’s most scenic driving routes – the highway hugging the coastline, at times through tunnels and across a series of tall bridges that cross wide gorges and wild-looking rivers. I’m travelling with a friend and our two teenage sons, both coincidentally called Fin, who become known quickly as the Twin Fins, both answering when either one is called. We’re here to explore Taiwan’s ‘Wild Side’, and we’ve been promised clean surf breaks, white water rafting and spectacular scuba diving. The Twin Fins are here mainly for the dumplings. On our first day, here on the east coast, we get an introduction to Taiwan’s wild side at the Lanyang Museum in Yilan, where we learn about the region’s geological and anthropological history. The east coast of Taiwan has the country’s largest populations of indigenous peoples, or Taiwanese aborigines, and as we continue on our journey south, we find a number of fantastic interpretive centres and learn more about these rather mysterious people, whose history dates back 5500 years before Han Chinese settlement. And after our initial culture fix, our guide Alex takes us to Yilin’s most popular dumpling house for lunch – Chung Hao. The Twin Fins are sold on this destination already, digging into the best dumplings they’ve ever had, at just AUD$4.00 per serving of 10. I lose count of how many servings they order. Having had our fill of dumplings, we stop overnight in the onsen (spa) town of Yilan, pulling into the rather incredible looking Hotel Royal Chiao His Spa. We’re greeted in an expansive, high-ceilinged lobby; to our left, an art gallery and library; and beyond that a bar, with floor to ceiling windows that look out onto the 

green valley below us. We’re shown to our rooms, each with its own private onsen. I hear my son mutter, “whoa” as he opens the door to his suite and heads straight in for a soak. Our next adventure is supposed to be white water rafting, but the wild rivers we’ve seen while driving down the coast are, in fact, too wild due to heavy rains, so we decide to go cycling instead. A paved cycle path runs the entire length of the east coast, circumnavigating the entire island of Taiwan, and attracting thousands of cyclists each year. We’re not attempting that kind of journey in one day, instead opting for a few cycle paths that wind through fields of rice in Taitung. It’s an incredibly pretty valley, bright green rice fields (we’re approaching harvest) with a backdrop of dark, rugged looking mountains that disappear into the clouds. Our guide tells us that the cycle paths here are famous locally because they appear in a couple of television commercials, which explains why the

Ch illi ng in th e lof t lou ng e at Lo w Pre ssu re Su rfe r's Ki tch en in Jin zuen

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FROM LEFT

Surfing in Jinzuen. Clear water and very pretty coral reefs at Green Island.

Taiwanese are spending more time posing for photos in certain spots than actually cycling. We head further down the coast to the surfing town of Jinzuen, stopping to check out the surf before checking into our bed and breakfast-style accommodation for the night, which, somewhat surprisingly, looks like a Mexican hacienda. Beyond the central tiled courtyard and fountain, a wide staircase leads to our rooms, each decorated differently, with colourful bedspreads and wall hangings. The menu at the restaurant here is largely Mexicaninspired, with burritos, chilli and nachos, and a surprise inclusion of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (we learn later that the owner is English). The following morning the surfers among us are up before dawn to head for the waves, while the rest of us sleep in and head down to watch them after breakfast. This sleepy little surfing destination will be heaving later this month when the Taiwan Open of Surfing comes to town. But right now, we have the waves almost to ourselves. The town itself is like a Taiwanese version of Huntington Beach, California, only much smaller. There are surfing movies showing in the cafes, surfboards stacked against most walls, and the menu is a California-Taiwanese fusion of burgers, tacos and giant bowls of ramen. After lunch, we head over to the East Coast National Scenic Area Visitor Centre, for another immersive session in Taiwanese aboriginal culture. As well as staging cultural performances, the centre has activities for kids that include various local indigenous crafts, archery, even how to fire a giant bamboo cannon

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(guess which activity the Fins found the most fun?) Having had our surfing fix, we head to Green Island, which is famous for its fringing coral reefs and clear water. I’m a bit worried about conditions as there has been so much rain over the past few weeks and a super typhoon is currently winding a destructive path to our east on its way to Japan. The crossing is a bit rough, but when we arrive on Green Island, we find a sheltered bay, a pretty little seaside village and turquoise water. We check into our Mediterranean-style whitewashed bed and breakfast, grab our gear and head to the dive shop. The bay, once fished out by local fishermen, is now a marine reserve, and a testament to nature’s ability to bounce back. Large coral bommies are surrounded by clouds of fish, and in the nooks and crannies we find nudibranchs and moray eels, while banded sea snakes wind in and out of the colourful sea fans, and a giant titan trigger fish snaps at our heels, warning us to keep our distance. And the water, despite storms out to sea, is incredibly clear. After a few hours underwater, we take our wrinkled bodies back to dry land and head out for a dinner in a wonderful al fresco barbeque restaurant to feast on succulent Wagyu steaks and enormous king prawns. A day well spent. We’ve managed quite a few adventures on Taiwan’s wild east coast, and consumed several hundred dumplings along the way, and the Twin Fins are keen to return – adventure and great food clearly a winning combination for teenage boys. The writer travelled as a guest of Taiwan Tourism Bureau.

Getting There China Airlines fly daily to Taipei from Brisbane and Sydney, with three flights per week ex-Melbourne.

Where To Stay Yilan: Hotel Royal Chiao His Spa hotelroyal.com.tw/chiaohsi Jinzuen: Wishingwell B&B, No. 2/10 Chili Bridge Rd, Longchan Village, Dongho Township, Taitung. Ph: 089-541 343 Green Island: Mimi Gardens B&B, No. 1/6 Gongkuan Village, Green Island. Ph: 0982 608 491 mimigardens.okgo.tw

Activities Surfing: Tropical Depression, No. 99 Nandongho, Dongho Township. Ph: 089 896 738 Diving: Fly Fish Dive Centre. Email: flish.xyz@msa.hinet. net Ph: 089 671 199 eng.taiwan.net.tw


PAC I F IC R E SORT R A ROTONGA R A RO T ONGA , C O OK I SL A N D S , 4 STA R With daily scheduled activities, Pacific Resort Rarotonga’s Beach Hut and complimentary Kids Club has everything you need to entertain the little ones. Children aged 6-12 can join in the fun, learning traditional dances, basket weaving, exploring the lagoon’s hidden secrets and discovering the nearby Motus (islets). All the while leaving you to lounge on the beach to soak up the sun. AU T H E N T I C B OU T I QU E pacificresort.com


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SUE WHITE visits Thredbo in summer and discovers that bobsleds, chairlifts, and Australia’s highest mountain, offer as much fun and adventure for families in the ‘Green Season’ as they do in the ‘White Season’


Summertime in the Snowies Checking the weather report before setting off for the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, I admit to feeling slightly disappointed. Thredbo promises a maximum of just 16°C on a midsummer’s day. Just a couple of hours later, standing at the bottom of Thredbo’s 700m long Alpine Bobsled, the locals set me straight. “Sixteen in the mountains is like 25 degrees elsewhere, there’s almost no humidity,” says our bobsled operator. He’s right. I’m sweltering in jeans, and have already shoved my jumper to the bottom of the luggage back in my room at Thredbo Alpine Apartments. Instead, I’ve pulled out sun cream and insect repellent, just the way summer should be. For most, Thredbo spells snow. But while this is one of Australia’s favourite winter destinations, it’s equally good in summer. In fact, if you’re travelling with kids, it’s possibly even better – there are no queues, no cold, no crying kids, and no question of what to do after a couple of hours on the slopes. We’ve hit Thredbo’s summer at its peak. During the two week-long Summer Holiday Adventure Festival Thredbo’s natural family-friendly qualities are amplified, thanks to outdoors kids’ movies, face painters, trampolines scattered across the village, and everything from rock climbing to mountain biking adding to an already long list of easy ways to keep the kids engaged. Of those, my personal favourite quickly becomes 

the Alpine Bobsled. My two and a half year old nestles snugly between my legs and chortles his way through the hair-raising experience each and every time. “Faster, faster,” he cries. Over the next few days, we have no shortage of kid friendly activities to choose from: there’s pottering alongside the (freezing cold) river, riding bikes around the village, enjoying the views while the kids play in the playground, and soaking up the mountain air with hundreds of other relaxed-looking families.

Majestic Mount Kosciuszko – with kids Before we arrived, I spent a lot of time considering what, to me, is the million-dollar question when visiting Thredbo with kids: “Do we hike Kosciuszko?”

FROM LEFT

The hike to the top of Mount Kosciuszko is 13km return, but those with younger kids can choose the shorter trail to the lookout.

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Getting There Thredbo is a six-hour drive from Sydney or Melbourne, and just two and a half hours from Canberra.

Getting around

ABOVE AND LEFT

Fun on the bobsled. Gettings sidetracked on the way to Mt Kosciuszko.

Australia’s highest peak is definitely doable for older kids (it’s a 13km return hike from the top of the chairlift), but with a nine year old, five year old and toddler in tow, we opt for the abridged version – less than four kilometres from the top of the chairlift to the Mount Kosciuszko Lookout. The chairlift, it turns out, becomes my major hurdle. Standing at the bottom of the 560m vertical rise, I can’t quite believe young kids do this. But as we watch, sceptically, the four-seat chairlift continues to fill up with families. It seems to me that kids as young as three are sitting solo next to their parents. I’m less trusting of my toddler, and strap him onto my chest in a baby carrier for the fifteen-minute journey to the top. From there, the stroll upwards to Mount Kosciuszko lookout is less daunting than I feared, so we set off on the mostly metal pathways and enjoy the views, the fields of wildflowers, and patches of ice in the distance. The location may be remote but it’s by no means underpopulated: this is ‘the’ walk in the region, and a bucket list item for many, so we are joined by a constant stream of hikers, a reassuring mix of old and young, fit and not so fit. Within ten minutes, I’m delighted I’ve brought

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my baby carrier, as my toddler now climbs onto it on my back while I happily puff my way up the incline, stopping every now and then for him to walk another few hundred metres before climbing back in. An hour or two later we arrive at the lookout, gorge ourselves on snacks, take the obligatory photos and enjoy the mountain air. By now, I’m remembering how unpredictable mountain weather can be – dark clouds are rolling in and I’m glad I threw long sleeve tops into my bag. The walk down is, naturally, twice as fast, although on the flipside, the ride down in the chairlift feels twice as nerve racking, given we’re now facing down the mountain. Back at Thredbo Alpine Apartments, all five of us eat ravenously. We look dishevelled, as if we really did conquer the entire 13km walk, and even the kids willingly take themselves off for a nap after lunch. Staring out the large windows to the mountain opposite, I peruse our options for the rest of our stay – more bike riding? Back to the bobsled? Or perhaps I could tackle the chairlift again? It appears that Thredbo really has worked its magic on me. Sue White is a travel writer and founder of the Kids Who Travel Facebook group.

Most visitors arrive by car, although once you are in Thredbo you can easily leave your vehicle parked until you leave. Shortly before you arrive in the Village, there’s a tollbooth where you’ll need to pay the entry fee to Kosciuszko National Park ($17 a day per vehicle: ask about multi day and ‘short breaks’ passes). You must display this permit on your dashboard –rangers check all vehicles daily.

Where to stay Thredbo Alpine Apartments boast a prime position across the road from the Kosciuszko Express chairlift. The selfcontained apartments (various sizes) all face the mountain: excellent for parents of young kids as you can still enjoy the view while they rest or nap.

Activities The Alpine Bobsled is awesome! It’s open 10am to 4pm daily ($8 a ride, although lots of package deals are available). The ride up the Kosciuszko Express chairlift is also highly recommended. thredbo.com.au


SUMMER IN LONDON

YUMI STYNES takes her teenage daughters to London in summer, to find out what all the fuss is about.

YUMI STYNES Yumi Stynes is a writer, broadcaster, keen traveller, and mother to three daughters and one son, and the host of a new ABC podcast called ‘Ladies, We Need to Talk’. Find it through the ABC Listen app or wherever you get your podcasts.

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isiting the UK is a rite of passage for Australians and, therefore, one I avoided as part of my exhausting (but inexhaustible) need to be different. I felt connected with my mother’s country, Japan, and visited there many times, but England never really called to me. Backpacking through countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia was cheaper, warmer and closer. Britpop was the soundtrack to my youth and NME (New Musical Express) was my bible, but still I had no burning desire to experience England first-hand. It just seemed … too uptight, too historic, too English. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my third child that my husband INSISTED we visit London, his favourite place in the world. Pregnancy makes any journey unbearable so I thought “WHY NOT?” and together we made the long, insufferable trip. Truth is, from the moment we touched down, I could see what the fuss was about. It wasn’t so much the Scotch Eggs and log-fire pubs, fabulous art galleries

and double-decker buses, as it was the generous spread of old friends calling London home, and the fact that – everyone speaks English. The fact that everyone speaks English in England is not breaking news. I realise that. But it didn’t seem real to me until I actually experienced it myself. This idea that you can fly to the other side of the world and upon arrival communicate freely is actually rather wonderful, and not to be underestimated. I didn’t really appreciate what it meant until I said “It’s not that I’m allergic to caraway seeds, it’s just that I really can’t stand them,” and the waitress nodded because she understood. I wanted to take my two teenage daughters, because of my own experience, and because they had no idea and thought all overseas places were Asian. I wanted them to see a bit of England, just to know it’s there. Perhaps they could work there, as many Australians do, or study? Maybe one of them could drop out of the same art school The Beatles did, or study drama at the same place as Amy Winehouse? The only problem is … London, *sigh*, is bloody cold. On my first babymoon visit, the sun was setting by 4pm and with a whole human to keep warm and incubate, I was cold in my anklebones, cold in my teeth. And unlike the rest of London, I was stone cold sober.

Some of th e fo odie de light s to be fo un d at Broadway M ar ke ts 

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An ou k ph ot og ra ph s he r lun ch at Ot to lengh i’s in Isl in gt on

e dge e ra n t in a h b u h x e d n a 690 Los t d a ro u n d 1 m a ze p la n te

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“If I ever do this again,” I thought, “I’m coming when it’s hot.” Fast forward to Australian winter 2017. My older daughters, my mother and I leave the babies behind with the husband (who loves England) and head off (without him) to experience London in summer. We stayed in the famous London Fields, walking distance to two stations and close to a couple of friends, and what I later discover to be Hipster Central. Travelling with a group is about compromise, so they all had to bend a little to do what I wanted. Just kidding. We organised an itinerary to suit three generations. Traditional tourist sites and some theatre for my mum, great eating and galleries for me, shopping and a pop concert for my teenagers. Just kidding again. The pop concert was for me. I’m a *little bit* of a Justin Bieber fan and when I found out he was playing Hyde Park while we were there, thanks to the magic of the internet I managed to get tickets from Australia. The kids begrudgingly coattended and of course it was amazing. And terrible. And amazing. He was white-hot with the hit song of the year ‘Despacito’, which was number one in ten countries at the time – but refused to perform the song live because he couldn’t remember the Spanish lyrics. As my kids would say, “LOL!” Or as Bieber might say, “Sorry, not sorry.” Anyway, I was a bit disappointed by the playlist and it was clear that the star attraction had been out partying the night before and was therefore not in his usual fine voice … but it was amazing to attend a concert of this scale in a different country. The weather was glorious. I’ve covered rock festivals as part of my work as a music reporter for Foxtel for ten years. Notable differences? People seem to drink A LOT – but they all stayed very civilised, in spite of the 

visibly epic consumption. And pop music was not the domain of pre-teens in My Little Pony t-shirts – this gig was well-attended by people of all ages, sizes, and vibes, and by that I mean there was a helluva lot of burly straight-looking blokes who seemed well up for a bit of the Biebs. Besides being shameless in my love for a boyish pop idol, a few other things I really wanted to do during my London visit were eat at Ottolenghi (I have three Yotam Ottolenghi cookbooks), and buy myself a hat from Lock & Co. This is the same hat company that used to make hats for the legendary Charlie Chaplin. He was legendary, his hats were legendary. I am a hat person. I wear hats every day. So, making it to Lock & Co was a serious desire, but my mother and daughters failed to share my enthusiasm. So as the days ticked by on our London trip and we had travelled to the salad mecca that is Ottolenghi in Islington, got lost in the tiny hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace, seen a wretched musical in the West End, suffered the crowds at Buckingham Palace, and shopped for English cheeses at Broadway and Borough Markets – and I still hadn’t made the hat pilgrimage – I began to feel that a trip to a hat shop just might have to remain un-ticked on my wishlist. As luck would have it, and thanks to Google Maps, one day we were out sightseeing and I realised it was just an eight-minute walk from where we were to the hat shop. And we made it. And it was just a hat shop. There were hats. It was uptight and historic, in that uniquely English way, staffed with people who were just too … English. And I loved it.

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Some of the inspiring food at Ottolenghi, British summertime concert in my new Justin Bieber t-shirt. OPPOSITE

Outside Lock&Co Hatters with my new favourite hat which I’m never taking off. PREVIOUS PAGE (FROM LEFT)

On a double decker bus, outside Hampton Court Palace.

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Crowd-pleasing

Canberra JULIE JONES revisits Canberra and discovers plenty to interest the kids, even notoriously tricky teens

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MEET JULIE Julie travelled the world with her parents when she was a child and developed a life-long love for travel along the way. When her son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at five months, she determined to continue travelling and pass that passion on to her children. Julie shares her travels and tips on her blog: havewheelchairwilltravel. net

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s cities go, Canberra wins by a landslide for its accessibility and range of family-friendly activities. But our kids are growing up and on our last visit we wondered if the Capital could meet the current needs of our family – the demands of the notoriously tricky teen phase. I admit our kids are fairly easygoing, but as a parent I like the challenge of finding activities that will engage them, rather than have them dragging behind us looking bored. The first win for Canberra was our accommodation. Taking a keen interest in our hotel choices now, our daughter checked out East Hotel online before we arrived, and gave it her seal of approval for its wide range of entertainment and all-important free Wi-Fi. East Hotel appears to understand its youngest guests’ requirements, providing both Disney and Nickelodeon channels, a selection of on-demand movies, Xbox consoles, DVD players (available to hire), and even bikes for guests to use to explore Canberra’s extensive cycle ways. We chose a large two-bedroom apartment for our stay to ensure all family members had their own space. I appreciated the kitchen that allowed for some selfcatering, (always helpful for the travel budget), and two bathrooms meant there were no scuffles over first dibs on showers. The hotel also has excellent wheelchair accessible accommodation for guests with mobility restrictions. easthotel.com.au Although we felt at home in our comfy apartment we were keen to get out and explore the region. On a

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friend’s recommendation, we took a drive 40 minutes outside Canberra where we discovered an oftenoverlooked area with two fantastic family-friendly accessible attractions.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve has 21 listed walks ranging from a 15-minute stroll to an eight-hour bushwalk. We chose the 2.1km Sanctuary Loop, suitable for prams, wheelchairs and young children with little legs that tire easily. Unseen local Banjo frogs provided the accompanying soundtrack on the (mostly) level walk. Tidbinbilla is bursting with wildlife including platypus, various reptiles, koalas, echidnas and brush-tailed wallabies. We could hear kids ahead of us excitedly calling out as they spotted turtles sunning themselves on rocks and jabirus wading in the shallow waters. If you’re spending the day here, there’s an extensive playground and picnic facilities inside the reserve. Visitors with mobility restrictions who want to try more challenging tracks can borrow a free TrailRider from the Visitors Centre. Calling ahead to book is recommended. Entry to the reserve is $12 per car (8 seater). tidbinbilla.act.gov.au

Canberra Space Centre While Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve immerses visitors in nature, only a short drive away is an opportunity for astronaut wannabes to learn about Australia’s role in the exploration of space. Long before we arrived at the Canberra Space Centre we could see the largest antenna complex in the


The Australian Institute of Sport. The AIS. Australia’s premier elite sporting precinct. Only minutes from Canberra’s CBD with plenty of free parking. AIS Visitor Centre Everyone’s welcome. Pop in and purchase exclusive merchandise at the AIS Shop and enjoy great coffee & café-style food at the AIS Café. AIS Tours Go behind the scenes on an award-winning guided AIS Tour. Challenge yourself in Sportex, offering fun and interactive sporting exhibits. Daily 10am, 11.30am, 1pm & 2.30pm. Fees apply. AIS Aquatic & Fitness Centre Dive into our world-class swimming pool or try out our fully equipped gym. Visitors welcome. Fees apply.

Leverrier Street, Canberra, ACT Phone: (02) 6214 1010

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The accessible walking trail at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve Hands-on activities at the Canberra Space Centre



/ExperienceAIS

@ExperienceAIS

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southern hemisphere standing tall, and interrupting the otherwise typical country scenery. We were impressed by the variety of displays and hands-on activities inside the wheelchair accessible centre. Kids will particularly enjoy the interactive opportunities, with computer games including building your own spaceship. And those tricky questions about what astronauts eat and how they go to the toilet in space are all answered with the detailed information boards. A visit to the Canberra Space Centre is free. cdscc.nasa.gov

Questacon We always try to vary the attractions we visit in Canberra, but Questacon remains a perennial favourite. On each trip we return to see the current Questacon exhibition, and what’s new around the centre, and on this visit we were delighted to discover two brand new zones – The Shed, which encourages invention and innovation, and Fundamental, which SUMMER 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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explores classic science with fun interactive activities. The Shed had our whole family tinkering to combine skills and ideas to create a vibrobot. For the uninitiated, a vibrobot is a vibrating robot (news to me!). There was lively discussion around how best to build the circuit and robot to ensure it moved through vibration, and in the end, there was success! questacon.edu.au

Australian War Memorial We were informed by a guide that the displays at The Australian War Memorial are so extensive visitors with a keen interest in history should really spend two days here. Picking out a few key exhibits is the best way to ensure kids won’t get bored. The Discovery Zone is ideal for young children who will enjoy the military uniform dress ups, the chance to sit in an Iroquois helicopter, and the insights into life in the Western Front trenches. Volunteers keenly chatted to our kids about the hardships experienced by soldiers. We timed our visit for the afternoon, so we were able to tour the galleries and stay to watch the moving Last Post Ceremony in the Commemorative Courtyard. Each evening the ceremony includes the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour. Hearing an individual soldier’s story personalises the experience, and reminds us that the Roll of Honour is about people. awm.gov.au

National Zoo and Aquarium On hearing this attraction combines a zoo, aquarium, lodge accommodation and a new open-range expansion we were keen to add this to our sightseeing list. We always love watching animal antics, but we were especially excited to see some rare species including the White Lion and White Rhino. Following a well-marked accessible circuit around the zoo, we appreciated seeing

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many of the animals in a more natural setting with large enclosures allowing them to roam. nationalzoo.com.au

Fun Eating Out The kids were surprised to be offered two menus at Guild Restaurant – the regular food menu and a board game menu. For $3 per person we could play unlimited games for the evening while devouring delicious wood-fired pizzas (pizza at additional cost). Not an electronic device was in sight, with families at surrounding tables connecting over good old-fashioned board games. It’s the best family dining experience we’ve had. Guild is popular, so bookings are recommended. When booking we arranged wheelchair access via the rear of the building, but be aware there are still two small steps to negotiate. guild.house Decadent shakes are trending with all ages, particularly teens, and Patissez’s reputation had us queuing up to try a Freak Shake. Our daughter chose to indulge in a Mint Condition Shake, and the super-choc-mint-shake, complete with gooey choc fudge, mint choc mousse, mint choc ice cream and chocolate cookie sandwich, guaranteed our teen had a pep in her step for the rest of the day. I feared the exercise necessary to burn off the calories might be too great, so chose to abstain! patissez.com.au While we only had a weekend to discover new attractions, our family’s vote is in. Canberra continues to win across the board, keeping everyone happy, engaged and entertained. And yes, even teenagers.

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History buffs should spend two days at the Australian War Museum. A decadent milk shake from Patissez. Talking to the animals at the National Zoo and Aquarium.

OAWK TIP: Other road-tested accessible Canberra attractions • Cockington Green • Australian Institute of Sport’s accessible tour • Bus depot markets • Boundless Playground • National Portrait Gallery • The Mint • Parliament House • National Museum of Australia • National Arboretum Canberra • Floriade


OPEN NOW

Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre King Edward Terrace, Canberra Phone 02 6270 2800 Open 9 am–5 pm every day. Closed 25 December. Admission fees apply.

www.questacon.edu.au


EDUCATION BEGINS AT

(SOMEONE ELSE’S) HOME Adventure traveller GEORDIE TORR redefines the term ‘cultural immersion’ on a family trip through Mongolia, educating his daughters by “stealth”.

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GEORDIE TORR When our culturalimmersion columnist Geordie Torr travels with his partner and their two daughters, he’s always looking for ways to get under the skin of their latest destination. An Australian-born, UKbased photojournalist, he’s visited more than 65 countries and is the co-founder of familyinabackpack.com

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The girls fell in love with the goats instantly, family photo with our Mongolian hosts.

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he nomadic herder reaches into a cupboard and pulls out something brown and wizened – a hunk of goat meat, dried for long-term preservation within the family ger (yurt), which has been set up on a grassy hillside in central Mongolia, a long way from the nearest electricity grid, let alone the nearest fridge. I am with my partner, Kate, and our two children, Sarah (10) and Zoe (8), and we all watch intently as our host proceeds to slice off thin pieces of meat, and then adds them to a pot of soup simmering over a cow-dung-fuelled fire in the centre of the ger. You couldn’t get much further away from the lifestyle our kids are used to, which is exactly why we’re here. Welcome to the world of cultural immersion.

Cultural ‘paddling’ with kids We all travel for different reasons – for relaxation, exhilaration, education and countless other alternatives. For Kate and me, particularly when we’re travelling with the girls, it’s usually all about cultural immersion. We love to go places and just hang out, in the process discovering how people in other parts of the world live. Rather than dragging the kids from one ‘educational’ site to the next – first a museum, then a cathedral, then another museum – we tend to just wander around, stopping here for coffee, there for lunch and over there for some street food, perhaps fitting in a visit to a local market in between. For the girls, this form of travel constitutes a sort of education by stealth. Instead of force-feeding them a diet of worthy experiences, we let them graze on the cultural smorgasbord that each destination offers. Watching how people go about their daily lives tells you a lot more about a culture than reading the plaque beside a museum exhibit. This ‘hanging out’ technique is a very basic form of cultural immersion that provides what you could describe as a surface view – ‘cultural paddling’, perhaps, rather than a full immersion – but there are lots of other ways to obtain a much deeper insight.

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We’ve found that one of the best is with a homestay – that is, staying with a local in their home, rather than in a hotel.

Living La Vida Local Spending time with locals in this way often provides children with a meaningful introduction to how they live. Your hosts may let the kids take part in some of the daily chores, whether it be collecting eggs from the chicken coop, harvesting vegetables for the evening meal or helping to prepare the meal itself. On a week’s travels around Mongolia with British company Panoramic Journeys, we stayed with nomad families who had never hosted tourists before (indeed, one of our hosts told us that we were the first white people he had ever spoken to). We had different experiences at each stop. The girls helped reunite lambs and kids with their mothers, learned how to milk a cow and assisted in bringing in a flock of sheep. They also learnt about the etiquette of living communally in a felt tent with no internal walls. And


Zoe played some unusual games with the two young daughters of one of the families with whom we stayed, most of which somehow involved the use of cow dung. The next time you take your kids overseas, consider arranging a few nights in a homestay as a way of dipping more than just a toe into the local cultural waters. Although our stays with each family were short, in several cases we ended up making quite touching connections with our hosts. As we were packing to leave one morning, the ‘grandma’ of our host family came in and brushed Sarah’s hair for her. Later, saying our farewells proved to be a surprisingly emotional experience; through our interpreter, the grandma told us that it was like saying goodbye to her own children when they went away. Panoramic Journeys is a UK-based responsible travel company that’s doing excellent work helping Mongolia’s nomads preserve their traditional lifestyles. panoramicjourneys.com



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TODDLER TR AVEL WITH F L I P BYRNE S

Packing For Toddlers Adventure Mamma FLIP BYRNES discovers that packing for toddlers is a whole different ball game.

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FLIP BYRNES Flip Byrnes, ‘The Adventure Mamma’ is just that – a travel journalist who happens to be the first Australian woman to climb and snowboard descend Mt Elbrus (Europe’s highest), kite skied 500km across Greenland, walked across Spain and climbed Kilimanjaro. But now she’s on the biggest adventure of all, motherhood. Join her and her mountain munchkins as they make daily life an adventure, big and small. @theadventuremamma

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This fantastic lightweight stroller is perfect for travelling with toddlers, it even fits down the aisle of a plane. Relatively lightweight luggage on our second big trip. Essential items for our carryon bag (including stork).

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nly 18 months ago we were deep in baby travel and I vividly remember Lotte’s first 24-hour flight and European trip. It involved checklists. Many checklists. Nappies, nappies, nappies (check); antiseptic wipes for the inevitable armchair-licking; formula, toys, spare clothes (for all). Packing for baby travel was a learning curve (the 60cm fluffy stork probably wasn’t needed in the carry on, but the picnic blanket for mid transit rolling was genius). And just when you have it covered … the goal posts change (again). Is packing for toddlers different to packing for babies? Oh yes, it is. First, the good points. Your toddler can probably eat what you do (yes, I admit to travelling internationally with a steamer/blender for fresh pureeing. Oh, and a steriliser). They can walk (ciao ciao picnic blanket impromptu rolling sessions). And the travel cot? Can probably stay at home. The travelling circus is suddenly downsizing. Look at all that extra luggage space! And then, the tricky parts. Your toddler can physically eat what you do – but refuses everything except Weetbix. Vietnamese street food may be slightly ambitious. They suddenly care about what they wear. They have opinions. And are no longer endlessly entranced by the simple sight of sunshine dappling though leaves – you’re going to need entertainment. Some things we discovered you will still need, such as antiseptic wipes – while toddlers may have grown out of licking stroller wheels they’re champion pokers. Love a poke. 18-month-old Leni is not only curious, but generous – a used cigarette butt has been presented with pride more than once (I flinch even in recollection). If you are mid-toilet training, pack more undies than you know what to do with, and wipes to go with them. And if we forgot Leni’s puppy or Lotte’s ballerina dress, or (insert much loved item here), it could mean temporary insanity. Pack them with your passport. Where are you going? Into the deep Amazon where nappies don’t exist? If not, just bring enough for the flight and a day or two. Flying – that’s an entire story in itself. Beware the ‘lap seat’ which is virtually free for under twos, unless you actually have to be a lap and don’t mind DVT. Having booked a bassinet for Leni, (I was in complete denial), when it was clear she wouldn’t fit and I was about to be a Lap Seat (in between doing plane hot laps), the Plane Pal came to the rescue, an inflatable

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lers me an s a Travell ing w ith to dd ge w ho le lot more lug ga


box that fits between plane seats and turns an economy seat into a toddler bed. Best toddler item I’ve packed – ever. I now travel with two – one for each – and, for the 2.5 year old, earphones that fit, because airplane headphones never do. Our first all-inclusive holiday in Greece next year will delete a good dollop of packing. I thought hell would freeze before we’d take an allinclusive resort holiday, but suddenly it makes sense. Wonderful, practical, sense. It will be stacked to the brim with toys, there’s a playground, and the daily buffet means there’ll be something everyone will eat – choose what you like and leave in 15 minutes. The resort also hosts a nightly toddler disco, with talent. And being beachside, the only baggage we really need will be floaties. Sign me up. This new style of travel we’re exploring makes me realise there’s a season for everything, and each has its merits. Five years ago my partner was climbing Everest. Next year, he’ll be dancing the 5pm Hokey Pokey, and loving it. 

OAWK TIPS

1 Packing cubes! With two children under three, they’re ideal for keeping the mini clothes separated. I also group them by activity. 2 Some bring a travel bottle of detergent for sink washing, and don’t over pack. But I say … it’s a holiday! Over pack! Throw in those toddler clothes weighing 2 grams each. Note what they used (and amount) in the days before travelling and put aside plus some extras. Dirties go straight in a bag never to be seen again until they meet your home washing machine. 3 Medical kit – medical items can differ slightly between countries. For example, the US doesn’t sell Chlorsig ointment for conjunctivitis over the counter like here. Take your most-used items. 4 Australian grade sunscreen – you’d be surprised how hard it can be to find sensitive toddler sunscreen in Europe. Likewise bath wash and mini washers. 5 Presents. A stack of small, wrapped, emergency presents – even as tiny as a set of mini stickers – are handy because they can a) turn a ‘moment’ around with an exciting distraction (there are times you may need that 30 seconds) and b) they take time to unwrap.

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Rescued sea turtles being set free, Sea World hosts thousands of school kids on field trips each year, releasing rescued sea lions, recycling what we can’t re-use, teaching kids about how dangerous of plastic pollution is for marine life.

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE Recycling is important for single-use items that can’t be avoided, and the park’s commitment to this initiative has earned it San Diego’s Recycler of the Year award, or Director’s award, 19 times since 1994.


SeaWorld takes Park to Planet in its war on waste to save our seas San Diego wildlife park, SeaWorld, has a new ‘Park to Planet’ campaign, which has seen a number of sustainable initiatives introduced to the park, but its main aim is to educate guests on the dangers of plastic pollution.

Bye bye plastic bags and polystyrene Plastic bags remain a huge problem for marine life, especially sea turtles, which sometimes mistake the bags for one of their favourite foods; jelly fish. SeaWorld San Diego first eliminated the use of plastic bags in the park’s gift shops back in 2011, and guests now purchase either a paper bag or reusable bag for bought items from the gift shops, with the proceeds going to the park’s conservation fund. Polystyrene, the scourge of many amusement parks and seaside attractions, has also been removed from the menu at SeaWorld San Diego. The park eliminated all polystyrene tableware from its restaurants and employee cafeterias back in 2013. Discarded polystyrene foam, which is not biodegradable, ends up in local landfills, on beaches and in the ocean ecosystem, and it’s extremely detrimental to marine animals. SeaWorld bowls and plates are now made from moulded fibres, flatware is made from cornstarch, and hot cups are made from recycled paper.

Outreach Program SeaWorld has been inspiring its guests with a love of marine life for more than 50 years, and is now on a mission to save the oceans and the amazing creatures that live there. The park’s new outreach program has been designed to help the public understand what needs to be done to protect our oceans and the world’s diminishing wildlife populations. It explains to guests how a visit to one of our parks helps support our animal rescue programs and contributes towards the millions of dollars of donations and in-kind services the park makes to conservation projects around the world. Seeing our animals at SeaWorld supports saving them in the wild. Over the years, SeaWorld has rescued over 30,000 animals, donates around one million dollars a year to conservation projects around the world, and wants now to inspire people to “see it here, help save it there”, to “help stop an extinction, one dolphin at a time, one coral reef at a time… one person at a time”. 

SAVE OUR SHARKS In 2016, as part of SeaWorld’s public education program, the park formed a partnership with world-renowned marine artist and conservationist, Guy Harvey, to raise awareness of ocean health and the plight of sharks in the wild. Research indicates upwards of 100 million sharks are killed every year in the global shark fishery. The Guy Harvey Research Institute estimates that the fin trade alone is worth USD$73 million per year.

Members of SeaWorld’s animal care team recently joined a Guy Harvey Research Institute shark tagging expedition off the coast of Mexico, tagging six Mako sharks over the course of four days. Those tagged sharks will be followed by students and researchers at Guy Harvey’s Institute at Nova Southeastern University, and can be viewed by the public online at GHRItracking.org. seaworldsandiego.com

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TH E LA ST WOR D

Peter Burchell

BIG4 Holiday Parks Peter Burchell has worked in the tourism industry in Auckland and Melbourne for more than 10 years and is currently part of the PR/ communications team with BIG4 Holiday Parks. Describe your ideal family holiday It starts with a good old-fashioned road trip, and leads to a sparkling coastal or riverside destination with equal scope for relaxation and adventure. Ideally that destination doesn’t take too long to reach, and bonus points if it has a great pub. I love a road trip and the random stops along the way. More so, I love witnessing the look on my son’s face as he absorbs the succession of new surrounds.

What is your fondest family holiday memory? Our first ‘proper’ family holiday to Tasmania earlier this year. To me, Tassie is severely underrated: the scenery is breathtaking, and I love its rich, tangible history. It’s so easy to get around, which means more relaxation and less stress. That trip represented the longest stretch we’d spent together as a family since just after Jack was born, and that priceless time is forever etched in my memory.

What makes a great family hotel/resort? I’m obviously a little biased, but I choose to stay in BIG4 holiday parks when I go on a break. Their ability to create an instant feeling of relaxation sets the perfect holiday tone – our recent stay at BIG4 Nelligen Holiday Park in Batemans Bay was a perfect example of this. In addition, my wife and I are reaching a stage where having family-friendly facilities at arm’s reach is only becoming more appealing.

Every family should experience... Getaways big and small. My most special, vivid childhood memories are centred on family holidays, and it was the catalyst for a lifelong love affair with travelling. There are boundless benefits and rewards to experiencing new adventures, surrounds, and cultures. I believe the earlier a child is exposed to the gift of travel, the better.

Top tip for travelling with kids is... To be strategic on the road. If children are at an age where they nap, plan the drive to coincide with sleep time. Sure, Joce and I have had to forgo plenty of caffeine hits, and our bladders have often suffered as we’ve had to pass through towns without stopping, but it’s worth it to have a peaceful car trip for as long as possible. FROM TOP:

Peter with his partner Joce and son Jack, BIG4 Nelligen Holiday Park, young Jack Burchell.

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CE EN F NT TE AM RE RTA IL NO IN Y W ME OP NT EN !

WWW.BIGBANANA.COM | PH: 02 6652 4355 351 PACIFIC HWY, COFFS HARBOUR NSW 2450


Nature never felt so good We’re preserving 37 of the best coastal and inland reserves so your family can recharge the way nature intended. Relax at a camping spot, caravan site or cabin just right for you. Experience a break you’ll all remember for a lifetime.

reflectionsholidayparks.com.au

Out & About with Kids #55 Summer 2018  
Out & About with Kids #55 Summer 2018  

Out & About with Kids summer issue: the Best of Family Travel Award winners and Kids in Anaheim Special feature. We show you all about Anahe...