ULTIMATE EXPERIENCES FOR 2020 From Lord Howe Island to Lapland! LATEST FAMILY TRAVEL TRENDS AUSTRALIA’S BEST HOLIDAY PARK WATER PARKS TOP CRUISE LINES FOR FAMILIES 28- PAGE
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FITZROY ISLAND • THAILAND • HAWAI‘I • MACKAY • AUCKLAND • PARIS • UK PARADISE RESORT GOLD COAST • CAIRNS • HAYMAN ISLAND
Number one for your number ones.
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contents UPFRONT 6 Reader Instagram photos
Our readers share their travel adventures
7 Editor’s letter 8 Moments
10 What’s new
The latest attractions, accommodation, tours & cruise and airline news
24 What’s on
Upcoming festivals and events
28 Ultimate family travel experiences for 2020
items for your bucket list
35 What’s hot in 2020
The latest travel trends you need to know about
43 Choose your cruise
The best cruise lines for families revealed
Kayaking in Mu Ko Chang National Marine Park in Trat
AUSTRALIA 46 Returning turtle power
A friendly marsupial at Cape Hillsborough
Angela Saurine and her toddler visit Fitzroy Island on the Great Barrier Reef
50 8 reasons to stay in paradise
Paradise Resort Gold Coast is heaven for kids and adults alike
52 Magical Mackay
Elisa Elwin uncovers a destination with a host of family-friendly options
55 Make a splash
Discover the best water parks at holiday parks around Australia
102 Celebrity Q&A
Read all about Disneyland Resort in California, including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, in our 28page Anaheim guide
WORLD Our 28-page guide to the best things to do, places to eat, shop and stay in the home of Disneyland Resort in California
89 Why Waikīkī
The OAWK team reviews Riley Cairns, Four Points by Sheraton Auckland and Hayman Island by InterContinental
110 How to … survive flying solo with kids
The waterslide at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
61 Anaheim for Families
Disney star Paxton Booth shares his favourite travel experiences
Image: ©Disney-Lucasfilm Ltd. © TM Lucasfilm Ltd
94 Walk Trat way
Eastern Thailand offers the perfect mix of cultural traditions, beautiful islands and modern attractions the kids will love
98 Kicking goals on daddydaughter trip
Hawai‘i’s best-known neighbourhood makes the ideal base for a family holiday
Dan Scott crafts an itinerary to suit every member of the family on a holiday to the UK and Europe
Flip Byrnes is an expert when it comes to flying long-haul with two young children
112 Must haves
The latest products travelling families need to know about
114 Insider interview
Andrew Stanbury from Hawaiian Airlines talks about his top holidays 5
READER INSTAGRAM PICS
Our readers have shared some awesome photos of their adventures around the globe on social media. Tag your family holiday snaps #oawk for the chance to see them republished here. 1. @jessiemay.w Queenstown, New Zealand 2. @andrea_expatosaurus Le Meridien Resort and Spa in Noumea, New Caledonia 3. @travel_tribe_guides Machu Picchu, Peru 4. @kimandco_ Bribie Island, Queensland 5. @lovesmattrilzkkmeilah Daydream Island, Queensland 6
EDITOR’S LETTER Well a new year is almost upon us, bringing with it the promise of exciting new adventures! If you’re anything like me, you start nutting out your holiday plans way before the clock strikes midnight on December 31. Keen to do something big next year? Then don’t miss our cover story about the ultimate family travel experiences for 2020. These are those ‘bucket list’ destinations that will create memories you and the kids will be talking about, like, forever. Think African safari, a trip to Santa Claus Village in Finland and swimming with whale sharks off the coast of Western Australia. Of course, you’ll find one very notable omission here – Disneyland Resort in California. That’s because we’ve devoted a whole 28 pages in this issue to the city it calls home! Our guide covers everything you could ever want to know for planning a trip to Anaheim, including where to stay, eat, shop and all the other cool theme parks you can visit and things to do while you’re there. We always want our readers to be at the cutting edge when it comes to family travel, so we’ve put together a list of the latest trends you need to know about, from floating breakfasts (yes, that means eating in the pool!) to Instagram tours ideal for phoneaddicted teens and tweens.
If Queensland is on your radar for 2020 then you’re in luck, with the Sunshine State getting lots of love in this issue (and deservedly so!) With it being the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s landing in Australia there are heaps of fun events planned. You can also read about my trip to Fitzroy Island and our review of the eco-friendly new hotel, Riley, a Crystallbrook Collection Resort in Cairns, as well as stories about Mackay, Paradise Resort Gold Coast and luxe resort Hayman Island by InterContinental. Then there’s Dan Scott’s gorgeous story about a holiday to Europe and the UK with his two daughters, seeing places such as the Eiffel Tower and the studio where the Harry Potter movies were filmed near London. Flip Byrnes, who regularly flies between Australia and Europe with her two little ones, also reveals her hilarious experiences and tips for surviving a long-haul flight solo with kids. We particularly like the bit about the Romanian weightlifter holding the baby puree! Have a great Christmas – we hope your summer holiday is filled with sunshine, sand and seafood (as ours in Byron Bay will be!). Angela Saurine, editor
Angela and Oliver at Lowe Wines in Mudgee
with kids Out & About with Kids Print & Digital outandaboutwithkids. com.au Publisher Elisa Elwin email@example.com +61 413 770 550 Editor Angela Saurine angela.saurine@ oawk.com.au Advertising Enquiries: advertising@oawk. com.au
Art Director Jon Wolfgang MIller Print Spotpress +61 430 060 700 Published by Elwin Media Pty Ltd ABN: 22 159 093 606 PO Box 4148, Balgowlah Heights, NSW 2093 Cover image Pixie Hanson jumping off the jetty on Lord Howe Island, off the coast of NSW. Image: Luke Hanson/ Pinetrees Lodge.
Copyright © Out & About with Kids 2019 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission isstrictly 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. Disclaimer The opinions expressed in the editorials are those of the writers and do not necessarily refl ect the views of the Publisher and Out & About with Kids. Information provided was believed to be correct at the time of publication.
CAIRNS AQUARIUM Seeing the Great Barrier Reef ‘drop off’ zone is an experience usually reserved for highly experienced scuba divers far offshore. But visitors to Cairns Aquarium can get a taste of this spectacular underwater world without even getting wet. One of only three Deep Reef tanks in the world, the Cairns Aquarium Deep Reef tank replicates the natural environment of the area at the edge of the reef where a vertical wall drops down 2,500m to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Designed for viewing from two levels, the exhibit showcases beautiful coral and more than 1,000 outer reef fish, including butterflyfish, damsels, surgeon fish and triggerfish. Percy, a 1m-long juvenile humphead maori wrasse, is a crowd favourite. A public fish feeding display is held at 10.30am and 2.30pm each day, along 8
with an educational presentation called Denizens of the Deep. Opened in September 2017, the Cairns Aquarium is housed in an award-winning building that has been designed as a contemporary flagship attraction to provide visitors to the Queensland holiday playground with a guaranteed interaction with the region’s aquatic animal species. Visitors can experience 11 Tropical North Queensland eco-systems, including The Great Barrier Reef, Tropical Rainforest, Forest Floor, Rivers Systems, Creeks and Streams, Coastal Zones, Mangroves, Gulf Savannah, Ribbon Reef, and the Coral Sea. As well as the 71 live exhibits, the aquarium offers many other unique animal experiences, including shark dives, reptile encounters, and behind-the-scenes tours. cairnsaquarium.com.au
WHAT’S New UNDERWATER ADVENTURE Channel your inner James Bond with the new Aquatrek Xtreme experience at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. The latest state-of-the-art water adventure activity will see intrepid explorers descend a ladder 10m to the bottom of The Ambassador Lagoon whilst wearing an Aquatrek helmet. The helmet receives a continuous supply of air (three times more than what you normally breathe), so that the entire head remains dry, including hair, glasses or prescription contact lenses. Once guests have reached the bottom, they will embark on a guided underwater walking tour of one of the biggest open-air aquariums in the
world, coming face-to-face with more than 65,000 marine animals including sharks, stingrays, and schools of multi-coloured fish. Aquatrek Xtreme differs from the resort’s existing Aquatrek offering in that it is deeper, and also covers substantially more ground. The one-hour experience is available for those with little-to-no scuba diving experience, and you don’t have to be a strong swimmer. But participants must be 12 years or older and those under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the briefing. atlantisthepalm.com
SUN SHINES ON LITTLE PENGUINS
A colony of little penguins has found a new home at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, with the opening of an interactive exhibit. The Little Blue Penguins zone takes guests on a journey to experience the world of the smallest penguin species from an above ground observation deck to an underwater vantage point. SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast general manager Quinn Clarke says it was important for the zone to incorporate a conservationfocused education program. “Our colony of little penguins will be ambassadors for their species, playing a significant role in helping us communicate SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast’s conservation values,” he says. “Guests will also learn about the life cycle of a little penguin, what they eat and how we can help protect them in the wild.” sealifesunshinecoast.com.au
MAKE A MOVIE AN EVENT Taking the kids to the movies just got a whole lot more fun with Event Cinemas’ latest concept, Event Junior. Designed in collaboration with children, it features an in-cinema playground complete with a slide, a netted climbing gym, digital interactive games and other play equipment. Choose from dedicated playtime only sessions, which offers a daytime activity for those with young ones; playtime sessions with a movie, which combine 30 minutes of extra playtime with a family-friendly feature film; and movie-only sessions, which are tailored sessions that include a 10-minute play intermission.
The experience has been tailored for children eight years and younger with atmospheric light and modified sound. During the film, kids can relax on a new range of daybeds and colourful sofa bean bags. A bespoke Event Junior menu is also on offer with snacks including junior popcorn combos, muesli bars, ice-cream, yoghurt and fresh fruit; as well as coffee, tea and snack options for caregivers. So far Event Junior is available at Event Macquarie at North Ryde and Event Shellharbour in NSW, before being rolled out at other locations around the country. eventcinemas.com.au/eventjunior
GORGE YOURSELF ON VIEWS
Cobbold Gorge in Outback Queensland can now be enjoyed from above and below with the opening of a glass bridge that spans its sheer sandstone walls. Accessible on the Savannah Way, gorge tours can also be done in an electric boat, on a standup paddle board, by helicopter, and by hiking with a Savannah guide. Located on a cattle station, the gorge is Queensland’s youngest at just 10,000 years old. cobboldgorge.com.au 11
HANG TEN IN THE ‘BURBS
Image: URBNSURF-Adam Gibson
Australia’s first surf park is set to open in Melbourne near the airport at Tullamarine in January. Shaped like a baseball diamond, URBNSURF Melbourne’s two-hectare surfing lagoon (similar in size to the MCG) offers both left and right breaks. Open day and night, year-round, guests can choose to ‘freesurf’ in beginner, intermediate or advanced surfing zones in one-hour surf sessions, or learn to surf as part of a structured one hour and 45 minute lesson. The attraction will also house a surf shop hire centre and hot tubs, day beds, bookable cabanas and landscaped spaces. urbnsurf.comsydneyzoo.com
KOALA SANCTUARY TO OPEN
With recent bushfires threatening koala populations on the east coast, wildlife lovers will welcome the opening of The Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary in early 2020. The facility, located 2.5 hours north of Sydney on the NSW coast, will help care for sick, injured or orphaned koalas, supporting their longterm rehabilitation. Along with the information centre and Koala Clinic, there will be a tree canopy boardwalk to get up close to the koalas’ natural habitat, a kiosk and four-star glamping tents. Visitors will also be able to take part in tailored education sessions from local guides. portstephenskoalas.com.au
TSUNAMI HITS GEELONG (IN A GOOD WAY)
Adventure Park Geelong has unveiled its new $4 million family thrill slide. The Tsunami is Victoria’s first monster-sized triple funnel waterslide – only one of two in Australia – and the second stage of the park’s $8 million expansion. Adding to the popular Tornado water ride precinct, The Tsunami takes up to four guests per raft through three fast funnels of menacing water rapids. Riders will be on the edge of their seats as they plummet 7.5 storeys down tunnels, catapult up funnel walls at crashing speeds and swirl through rips. adventurepark.com.au
JELLYFISH JOY AT NEW MELBOURNE EXHIBIT
The Kalbarri Skywalk is set to open on Western Australia’s Coral Coast in early 2020, offering unprecedented views over Murchison River Gorge. Located in Kalbarri National Park, 1.5km from the popular Nature’s Window site, it will feature two 100m-high skywalks with a connecting boardwalk between them that will jut 25m and 17m beyond the rim of the gorge at one of its highest points. The development will also include a new kiosk that will operate on low to nil emissions with an off-the-grid energy/power system, two new wheelchair-accessible viewing structures, paths and undercover seating areas. Two Indigenous rangers have also been employed full time in the park to help manage the expected rise in tourists. australiascoralcoast.com
Visitors to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium can immerse themselves in the world of jellyfish with the opening of a $1.5 million exhibit. Ocean Invaders has three interactive zones pulsing with multiple species of jellyfish, including upside down jellyfish, blue blubber jellyfish and lion’s mane jellyfish. Find yourself surrounded by thousands of mesmerising creatures and lighting projections across several displays, including a transparent sphere filled with swarming jellyfish. Discover strange facts about the jellyfish life cycle and take a peek behind the scenes as staff tend to the blooms of
these graceful (and sometimes dangerous) sea creatures. Then escape the invasion by crawling through a cylindrical tank filled with oscillating jellyfish. Children can also create a digital jellyfish in SEA LIFE Melbourne’s Art Aquarium, which will come alive and dance across the Interactive Wonder Wall. Ocean Invaders aims to educate guests about the causes behind the increasing population – or invasion – of certain species of jellyfish in our oceans, and the actions people can take to limit these, sometimes problematic, increases. melbourneaquarium.com.au/ ocean-invaders 13
Image: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Image: Mark Pickthall
OLYMPIC CITY WELCOMES MEGA MUSEUM
A museum celebrating the Olympics and Paralympics will open in the US state of Colorado in 2020. Designed to resemble the flowing movement of an athlete in motion, the US Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame will be one of the highlights of a visit to Colorado Springs, which is known as ‘Olympic City USA’ as it is also home to the US Olympic and Paralympic headquarters and the Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Centre, which offers guided tours. The museum will showcase the journey of the games, from its birth in ancient Olympia to current Team USA hopefuls living and training in the city. Visitors will be able to experience simulated opening ceremonies, run alongside digital versions of top athletes and see one of the world’s biggest Olympic medal and torch collections. usopm.org
WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S NEW WATER WONDER
Perth has welcomed a new six-storey waterslide tower at Outback Splash water park, 30 minutes from the CBD on the doorstep of the Swan Valley. The attraction boasts two raft slides (‘The Wall’ and ‘Blackout’), an enclosed golden speed slide (‘Gold Rush’) and Western Australia’s fastest body slide, aptly named ‘The Wedgie’, where riders plunge downward at speeds of up to 75km per hour. The Snack Shack kiosk has also been renovated, with the addition of a large shaded outdoor seating area, while The Burger Bar (previously Cafe Iguana) has been refreshed. In the pipeline are plans to upgrade some of the park’s year-round attractions, which include mini golf, mazes, sensory play activities and Australian animal experiences. outbacksplash.com.au
FIELD OF LIGHT FOREVER
Good news for anyone who hasn’t made it to Uluru to see Bruce Munro’s Field of Light installation yet – the exhibition has been extended indefinitely. Previously slated to close by the end of this year, the award-winning exhibition has been running since 2016 and has proven too popular to let go of, especially in the wake of the recent Uluru climb closure. Aptly named Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku, or ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’ in the local Pitjantjatjara language, it consists of more than 50,000 slender stems crowned with radiant frosted-glass spheres over an area the size of nine football fields. It was the UK artist’s first work to be illuminated entirely through solar power. Each individual stem of light and all the fibre optic cabling was recently replaced as part of a $1 million refurbishment to ensure the installation remains as vibrant as ever. ayersrockresort.com.au/fieldoflight
FULLY 6 AT DREAMWORLD It will be a Fully 6 summer at Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld, with WhiteWater World set to open. The attraction will feature six new waterslides, known as Fully 6, with five ‘splashtacular’ experiences and multicoloured natural light effects. “Body slides are the purest form of waterslide you will experience – it’s just you, the water, and a big splash at the bottom,” says Daniel Leaver from Swimplex-Polin Australia, which created Fully 6. The park’s existing slides and attractions are also receiving a fresh lick of paint. dreamworld.com.au
EXPERIENCE LIFE ON THE EDGE IN NEW YORK
The Western Hemisphere’s highest outdoor observation deck – Edge – will open in New York in March, giving visitors a 360-degree view of the city’s iconic skyline. Located on the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards, Edge features a glass floor and angled glass walls. The attraction will be a major focal point of the Hudson Yards development, a neighbourhood on Manhattan’s West Side which is home to shops, restaurants, cultural experiences and parks. Edge will be open seven days a week year-round from 8am until midnight. edgenyc.com
Image: Related Oxford
‘WELLYWOOD’ ADDED TO UNESCO LIST
It’s already earned the nickname ‘Wellywood’ due to the number of movies that have been made there, now Wellington has been officially named by UNESCO as an international City of Film. The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Trilogies, Avatar and Planet of the Apes are among the flicks that have been shot in the New Zealand capital. There are plenty of ways to experience this filmmaking culture when you visit, from the moment you arrive at the airport and are greeted by three massive Middle-earth giants – Gandalf and the eagles, Gollum and his fishes, and Smaug the dragon. Do a Weta Workshop Tour at Weta Cave to see props, costumes and creatures from the Lord of the Rings trilogy and other films, and visit the cliff face by Lyall Bay, which was the setting for Dunharrow. wellingtonnz.com 15
HOTELS, RESORTS & HOLIDAY PARKS
More than a decade after it closed in 2008, Great Keppel Island Resort is set to reopen on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. The approved development includes a new beachfront hotel, luxury apartments and villas, shops, a marina, and a new airstrip, with plans for direct flights from Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. Altum Property Group director Rob McCready says Great Keppel Island is the best island off the Queensland coast with the best beaches, a fantastic climate with half the rainfall of the northern Great Barrier Reef, and no stingers. “We know that the development of a resort on Great Keppel Island will largely grow the current numbers of 50,000 day visitors and 30,000 room nights per annum on the Island,” he says. There are currently 10 businesses on the island, as well as private holiday home rentals. They include GKI Watersports & Activities, Keppel Dive and Island Pizza. 16
AMAZING ACCESSIBILITY AT BIG4
BIG4 has teamed up with leading autism body Amaze to increase the accessibility and inclusion of autistic people and their families at its holiday parks across the country. With the help of Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins, BIG4 recently introduced a social script, which uses storytelling techniques, with simple language and images, to explain the experience and environment to families. It includes illustrated information about what an autistic person can expect when visiting, such as how they’ll get there, what it will look like and what they can do if they feel overwhelmed. Such social scripts already feature in places like the National Gallery of Victoria and Museums Victoria. BIG4 has also created sensory rooms for autistic guests at some of its parks. big4.com.au
HOTELS, RESORTS & HOLIDAY PARKS
Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort has undergone a million dollar refurbishment, including two revitalised food and beverage venues, MOKU Bar & Grill and poolside MOKU Beach Club, which boasts the city’s only swim-up bar. The hotel’s 314 guest rooms have been renovated, with new flooring and cabinetry, Samsung Smart LCD TVs and a chic new colour palette of teal and purple hues, inspired by the tropics. A variety of bedding configurations are also available, including one king bed, two double beds or three single bed options. Accessible room types and rooms with interconnecting doors are also available, catering to those with specific needs or for larger families. Managed by Australia’s largest hotel group, Accor, the resort is just five minutes’ walk to Reef Fleet Terminal, which is the departure point for all Great Barrier Reef cruises, and Cairns Esplanade. novotelcairnsresort.com.au
STAY 5 PAY 3 STAY 7 PAY 4 EXTENDED Free access to Coconut Kids Club for children aged 4-12 years and Lairo Club for teenagers aged 13-16 years.
Welcome shell lei & 1.5lt bottle of water per person upon arrival.
Activities: kayaks, tennis, table tennis, volleyball & children’s & adult’s inflatable waterparks.
Fijian cooking lessons, coconut leaf basket weaving lessons and native medicine tours.
Travel Dates: 12 – 24 December 2019, 10 January – 14 February 2020, 22 February – 31 March 2020. Block Out Dates: 25 December 2019 – 09 January 2020 & 15 February – 21 February 2020. 2 children 12 years and under, occupying the same room as parents and using existing bedding are entitled to stay free. 2 children 12 years and under eat free from the buffet for breakfast and dinner and kids menu for lunch at Tavola Restaurant when dining with a paying parent or guardian. 2 children 12 years and under travel free on Malolo Cat ferry. This special cannot be split, doubled or combined with any other special unless stated otherwise.
HOTELS, RESORTS & HOLIDAY PARKS
FIJI RESORT REWARDS
Plantation Island Resort, which recently celebrated its 50th birthday, has launched a new program to recognise return guests and reward them for their loyalty. The Fiji resortâ€™s Plantation Family program will deliver several discount and value added benefits for customers, redeemable for travel from January 1, 2020. All Plantation Family members will enjoy a 10 per cent discount on the room rate when they book directly, a dedicated check-in line at reception, and entry into a lucky draw. Depending on how many times they have stayed, guests will be given a loyalty status of Kaivata (family who comes from the same village), Duavata (as one) or Vuvale (family). Bonuses may include food and beverage vouchers, invitations to returnee cocktail parties, room upgrades and complimentary Wi-Fi. plantationisland.com/loyaltyprogram
HERITAGE HOTEL REOPENS
The Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane, in the heritage-listed former Queensland Government Savings Bank building, has reopened. The hotel has 220-rooms and suites, many with views over the Brisbane River. TFE Hotels and TKD Architects maintained the integrity of the building through a respectful restoration process that pays tribute to its history and impressive architecture, which formed the inspiration and influence for internal features and furnishings. Highlights include double-height original timber-panelled walls and ornate ceiling roses from the original banking hall. The gym sits alongside a heated pool, which is enclosed on each side with an open roof. The hotel is located on the corner of George and Elizabeth St, close to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Southbank, and the Queen Street Mall. adinahotels.com/en/apartments/brisbane
HOTELS, RESORTS & HOLIDAY PARKS
KRAZY KIDZ CLUB!
BIG4 East Beach Kiama on the NSW South Coast has introduced a Krazy Kidz Club which will run on weekends during the spring, summer and autumn seasons and most days during the school holidays. The program will include activities such as cooking Mars Bar balls and Malteser fudge, cupcake decorating and craft activities such as slime making, sand art and foil art. Most kids’ activities are subject to maximum numbers so bookings are essential, with payment due at the time of booking. Children under five must be supervised by a parent or guardian. eastsbeach.com.au
CLUB MED TO OPEN IN BORNEO
All-inclusive holiday company Club Med plans to open a sustainable resort in northern Borneo in late 2022. Surrounded by rainforest at pristine Kuala Penyu Beach, 90-minutes’ drive from Kota Kinabalu International Airport, the resort will be the second Club Med in Malaysia after Club Med Cherating Beach. Guests at the 400-room resort will be able to go island hopping, whitewater river rafting and immerse themselves in Borneo’s heritage through activities such as evening dance shows, traditional rug and jewellery making, and interactive cooking classes. The resort’s design will be inspired by traditional Borneo ethnic cultures, and built using local and sustainably sourced natural materials. An all-day buffet restaurant will serve international cuisines, and there will also be an a la carte specialty restaurant and a free-flow bar with integrated entertainment space showcasing Club Med’s signature circus and musical shows, as well as a pool bar. Of course there will also be Children’s Club facilities and dedicated services for kids aged from 4 months to 17-years-old, up to 30 land and water sports activities, and excursions to discover Kota Kinabalu and Sabah. clubmed.com.au
AUSTRALIA’S MOST FAMILYFRIENDLY HOLIDAY HOME REVEALED
A seven-bedroom house on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula has been named the most family-friendly rental home in Australia by booking website Stayz. Fingal House, in Rye, was recognised thanks to its entertaining facilities, multiple living spaces and beautiful interiors. The home has six bunk beds, gaming consoles and board games, while the backyard features a pool, an inbuilt barbecue, trampoline, cubby house and a large fire pit. The full list of finalists is available on the Stayz website. stayz.com.au/awards
PERFECT DAY IN VANUATU
Image: David Kirkland
Royal Caribbean has plans to transform part of a private island in Vanuatu into a new attraction for its passengers’ enjoyment. The company says Perfect Day at Lelepa will have a different look and feel from Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas (which has the largest wave pool in the Caribbean, 13 waterslides and a flying fox) because guests around the world have different definitions of their perfect day. It will be built in partnership with the local community with sustainable features to safeguard the island’s ecosystems, and will be the world’s first carbonneutral private cruise destination. royalcaribbean.com
VOYAGER OF THE SEAS REVAMP
Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas has returned to Australia following an extensive refurbishment. The Sydneybased ship now features The Perfect Storm SM duo of racer waterslides, glow-in-the-dark laser tag, redesigned kids and teens spaces and 72 extra inside and balcony staterooms. The upgraded FlowriderSM surf simulator will also give guests more room to hang ten, while more than 1,800 new Smart TVs have been installed in staterooms. royalcaribbean.com
LONGEST ROLLERCOASTER AT SEA!
Image: Kent Phillips-Disney Cruise Line
Dream Cruises will launch the world’s longest rollercoaster at sea when its new ship, Global Dream, debuts in early 2021. The ‘Space Cruiser’ will be the highlight of ‘Dream Park at the Pier’ – the first theme park at sea. The rollercoaster will fly around a 300m track at up to 60km per hour, with an integrated throttle allowing guests to control the ride’s speed. Due to the unusual perspective, the driver will have the feeling of flying over the sea. Dream Park at the Pier will also have an inflatable park where guests can run, bounce, dance and jump their way around a large obstacle course, a trampoline park, bungee trampoline, surf simulator and mini karts. Other amenities on the ship, which can cater to more than 9,000 passengers, will include a Cineplex, Asian and Western spas, shops and restaurants. dreamcruiseline.com
DUAL WATERSLIDES ON NEW P&O SHIP!
Family and friends will be able to race each other on dual racing waterslides on the newest P&O ship to call Australia home when it joins the fleet in October 2020. Called the ‘Twin Racer’, the attraction on board Pacific Adventure will have two 135m tubes, including two sections which are transparent so racers can keep tabs on their opponent as they rush towards the finish. It will be part of the ship’s dedicated family entertainment area, which also includes a pool under a sliding glass roof so guests can swim year-round. The 3,100-passenger ship will feature a P&O Edge Adventure Park, including a flying fox and rock-climbing wall, as well as traditional family activities – such as lawn bowls, table tennis, hopscotch and quoits – and will even host a deck party especially for families. pocruises.com.au
NEW ORLEANS ON DISNEY
The world of The Princess and the Frog will come to life on the Disney Wonder with the addition of a New Orleans-themed lounge. Designed to complement the ship’s Tiana’s Place Restaurant, the lounge offers live music and themed activities for the whole family, including trivia and character encounters. The jazzy atmosphere evokes an airy outdoor space in New Orleans, surrounded by touches of iconic architecture such as wrought-iron balconies, classic brick walls and shutter-framed windows. Other decorative details include a life-size trolley car and nods to the film, with signs and icons on the walls. New Orleans will be the ship’s new homeport from February 2020, offering cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas. disneycruise.com
CARNIVAL GOES EXOTIC
Carnival Cruise Line has announced a host of exciting new off-the-beaten-track destinations, including the Kimberley, Papua New Guinea and Fiji’s Dravuni Island. With two ships departing year-round from Australia – Carnival Spirit from Brisbane and Carnival Splendor from Sydney – the cruise line will offer more than 100 sailings from July 2021 to June 2022. They will include a 15-night voyage between Singapore and Brisbane, including Western Australia’s Kimberley region, plus a maiden call to Broome and stops in Bali, Darwin, Cairns and Airlie Beach. For those in search of remote locations bursting with culture, pencil in November 2021, as Carnival Spirit visits Papua New Guinea for the first time, with calls to Alotau, Kitava, Rabaul, Kiriwina Island and the Conflict Islands. The 2021-22 program will also mark the first time both ships visit the pristine Dravuni Island in Fiji. carnival.com.au 21
BUSH TUCKER TOUR
Oakabella Homestead, on Western Australia’s Coral Coast, has introduced an Outback Campfire Bush Tour and Dinner. Guests doing the tour at the heritage farming station, which offers caravan and camping accommodation, can learn about traditional bush tucker foods and listen to the sounds of the didgeridoo at sunset, before returning to the homestead for a campfire dinner. Daily tours are also available, where visitors can discover the homestead’s history and enjoy fresh scones from the tearooms. Daily tours run at 10am and 2pm every day except Wednesday. oakabellahomestead.com.au
EXPERIENTIAL TRAVEL FOR TOTS A new immersive travel operator – Two Point Four – has launched, targeting parents with little ones aged two to five, as well as their older siblings. The tour operator curates itineraries for small groups, with wellness, nature, culinary, adventure and cultural trips for young families to places such as Costa Rica, South Africa and Bali. With an average of three to four families per group, on nineto 11- night trips, children and parents can build meaningful connections whilst being exposed to new destinations and experiences, with knowledgeable local guides taking families off the tourist trail. Childcare consultants are also available throughout the holiday to ensure little ones are well looked after. All activities, accommodation and restaurants are carefully checked beforehand to ensure they are family-friendly. The company was founded by Richard Liddle who, after setting up and managing a successful outdoor adventure company in Oman, set off on a round-the-world adventure 22
with his wife and then two-year-old son. “People’s sense of adventure does not vanish because they have young children. Responsibilities increase though, and hesitation can set in,” he says. “As we cater for families with under-fives, we need to make sure that parents are challenged to travel in a way previously not thought possible, but also feel safe and secure when doing so. We have invested an incredible amount of time, energy and resources into finding the best global partners, each of whom are experts in their own industry. This includes childcare consultants who have worked with some of the top hotel and resort brands in the world. We only partner with tour operators who share the belief and vision that we do in providing the most memorable and authentic travel experiences whilst ensuring they deliver this in the most responsible manner, benefiting the local people in each destination.” twopointfourtravel.com
ECO-FRIENDLY FOCUS Finland’s flagship carrier, Finnair, is getting closer to achieving its long-term goal of carbon neutrality with the release of its 2020-2025 strategy. Sustainability will be a key driver in the new roadmap. The airline already offers its customers a voluntary offsetting service, but is also looking into other voluntary measures, such as investments in carbon sinks – a forest, ocean or other natural environment that can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The airline also wants to minimise the emissions of its flight operations by investing in new planes, implementing operating measures that improve fuel efficiency and investing in the use of biofuels and, in the longer term, synthetic fuels. The carrier will also work on developing electric flying for shorter distances. The company believes that combining different transportation modes will be another important step towards a carbon-neutral future. “The path towards a long-term target of true net carbon neutrality in aviation is a long and challenging
one, but we will proceed towards that goal in a determined manner, step by step,” Finnair’s CEO, Topi Manner, says. “On this journey, we need a transparent and credible process of offsets and emissions trading, while our main focus remains on reducing the emissions from our flights. We will also engage all our partners, customers and other stakeholders in this vigorous work.” Between 2015 and 2019, Finnair invested around two billion euros (AUD$3.2 billion) in a more fuel-efficient long-haul fleet, and this investment has brought significant CO2 emissions reductions in its flight operations. Aviation is already a part of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and has been the first industry in the world to agree on a global carbon offsetting and reduction scheme (CORSIA), which comes into effect at the beginning of 2021. finnair.com/au-en
CAPTAIN COOK 250th ANNIVERSARY, QUEENSLAND
Image: Angela Saurine
MAY-AUGUST, 2020 It’s been 250 years since British explorer, Captain James Cook, sailed up the east coast of Australia, and Queensland is getting ready to hold a range of events to commemorate the anniversary. The town of 1770 will host the Captain Cook Festival, which includes a re-enactment of Cook’s landing, a street parade and live music, from May 6 to 31. From July 17 until August 4, the Cooktown Expo
will incorporate the Reconciliation Rocks Music Festival (July 17-19), the Cooktown Discovery Festival (July 2426), and the marine-focused Endeavour Festival (Aug 1-4). The Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival, a three-day ‘corroboree’ in which Indigenous communities from across the Cape York region meet to share culture and dance near the outback town of Laura, will also return from July 3 to 5. queensland.com
Image: James Horan-Parrtjima NTMEC
PARRTJIMA – A FESTIVAL IN LIGHT, NORTHERN TERRITORY APRIL 3-12, 2020 The only First Nations festival of its kind, Parrtjima showcases some of the oldest continuous cultures on earth, through the latest technology. Bespoke lighting installations and a packed
program of talks, music, films and workshops will transform Alice Springs Desert Park and Todd Mall into an immersive outdoor gallery of light and sound. parrtjimaaustralia.com.au
GAME MASTERS: THE EXHIBITION, CANBERRA UNTIL MARCH 9, 2020
The National Film and Sound Archive turns into Australia’s biggest video game arcade with the world’s greatest designers, characters and 80 playable games. Game Masters: The Exhibition is an interactive journey through five decades of video game history, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process behind the world’s most popular characters and franchises, including Minecraft, Sonic Lost World and Dance Central 3 – and a chance to play the games! nfsa.gov.au/events/game-masters-exhibition
SCIENCE FICTION, SCIENCE FUTURE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
UNTIL JUNE 2020 If you thought invisibility and mind control were only in the movies – think again. Scitech in West Perth’s latest feature exhibition Science Fiction: Science Future explores how science fiction ideas and concepts can, and have, become a reality. Move objects with your mind, build a virtual robot, manipulate a hologram and see what it’s like to turn invisible. You can also experiment with teleportation, discover how to travel through a wormhole and see if you can control a computer with your eyes. scitech.org.au
SANTA’S MAGICAL KINGDOM, VICTORIA
Image: Natasha Mulhall
Image: Rachel Yabsley
UNTIL DECEMBER 24, 2019 Join Santa Claus, Mrs Claus and their friends as they share the magical Christmas spirit at Santa’s Magical Kingdom. Held at Caulfield Racecourse, the delightful walk-through wonderland includes the beautifully decorated Snowland, Gingerbread Land and storytime with Mrs Claus. There’s also a new International Christmas Circus Spectacular Show and lots of fun rides. santasmagicalkingdom. com.au
SO FRENCHY SO CHIC, NSW AND VICTORIA
JANUARY 12 (MELBOURNE) and JANUARY 18 (SYDNEY), 2020 Francophiles can indulge in cheese, crepes and pastries and play games such as pétanque as they listen to the latest singers direct from France perform at this annual event. Held at Werribee Park in Melbourne and Bicentennial Park in Glebe, the music and culinary celebration is designed to replicate the feel of a French provincial festival, with plenty of space for picnics. There will be face painting, flower crown makers on hand and, best of all, children 12 and under attend for free. sofrenchysochic.com 26
WOMADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA THE TASTE OF MARCH 6-9, 2020 TASMANIA Try dishes from around the globe and celebrate the best of the world of music, arts and dance at this openair festival in Adelaide’s Botanic Park. Get inspired by some of the world’s greatest minds at WOMADelaide Planet Talks – a series of live conversations about environmental conservation and sustainable relationships with the planet, tackling topics such as climate change, activism and the media. There are also activities for the whole family at KidZone, including theatre shows and story-telling workshops plus singing, dancing and nature-based activities. womadelaide.com.au
DECEMBER 28-JANUARY 3, 2020 Dine on the state’s finest produce and the most culturally diverse food stall selections in the event’s history at The Taste of Tasmania festival. Held on the Hobart waterfront, this year’s theme will be ‘beehive’, drawing awareness to endangered native bees in the state. The Taste has also partnered with the charity Loaves and Fishers to manage food waste and give back to the community. All decorative elements of the festival will also be repurposed, recycled, and reused. thetasteoftasmania.com.au
AROUND THE WORLD
BOURNEMOUTH AIR FESTIVAL AUGUST 20-23, 2020 Marvel at pilots in historic aircraft performing amazing aerobatic manoeuvres and witness exciting unarmed combat displays at the UK’s largest air festival. You can also take a peek inside a Royal Navy dive tank, enjoy cooking demonstrations by Navy chefs and check out army vehicles and Navy ships. bournemouthair.co.uk
MARCH 28, 2020 Run through paradise at this marathon on Moorea Island, part of French Polynesia’s Society Islands archipelago. The course for the 42km event, for anyone over age 20, takes in the northern coast, dipping into Cooks Bay and Opunohu Bay before finishing on Temae Village Beach. There’s also a 21km half-marathon and 10km Polymath Aito Race for those aged over 18. After the adults have finished, children can take part in the Rotui Kids’ Run – with two options – 1,000m for 8 to 10-yearolds and 1,500m for 10 to 11- year-olds. mooreamarathon.com
NEW ZEALAND FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
Image: Japp Reedijk
FEBRUARY 21-MARCH 15, 2020
Every second year the city of Wellington comes alive with world-class theatre, dance, music and more during the New Zealand Festival of the Arts. The three-week festival features a range of family-friendly options. The Urban Hut Club encourages participants to grab a map and explore a set of charming huts built of salvaged materials each containing a short story hidden across the Kāpiti Coast. The hilarious SLÄPSTICK is an ode to the timeless comedy of Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers and Laurel and Hardy, with a modern twist. There’s also a writers’ festival for children and young adults called Young Minds Take the Library, in which you can hear stories read aloud to live improvised music, write secret notes to leave in library books and make your own mini book. festival.nz
ULTIMATE FAMILY TRAVEL EXPERIENCES FOR 2020 Image: David Kirkland
Go all out and cross one of these awesome holidays off your bucket list. By ANGELA SAURINE
Kids having fun on Muri Lagoon on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands 28
1. COOK ISLANDS
2. AFRICAN SAFARI
With calm turquoise lagoons ideal for kids, cultural experiences and fun-loving locals, you’re sure to have a good time in this South Pacific paradise. Enjoy activities such as snorkelling, sea scooter safaris, glass bottom boat tours, banana boat rides, stand-up paddleboarding, kite boarding, hiking and cycling. You can also feast on traditional specialties while watching a cultural show and meet local families on a progressive dinner tour. Flights land on the main island of Rarotonga, so spend at least a few days here, but a trip to the second-most visited island, Aitutaki, to explore its turquoise lagoon and islets on the Vaka Day Cruise is a must.
Immerse your family in its own The Lion King adventure on safari in Africa. Seeing animals such as elephants, giraffes and lions up close in the wild is way better than any trip to the zoo, and is sure to result in lots of wide-eyed gasps from the younger members of the clan. A safari is a great way to learn about nature, wildlife and conservation. Many camps and lodges cater to kids, including Bush Lodge at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa, which has its own children’s facility, the EleFun Centre, offering environmentally themed activities and an outdoor play area. Lemala’s camps and lodges in Tanzania also cater to children under 12 through the Lemala Cubs program, offering fun, educational and interesting activities such as learning how to identify animals and birds, throwing blunt spears and using bows and arrows like Maasai warriors.
See elephants on safari at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa
A girl playing in the snow at Perisher in NSW
3. GO TO THE SNOW Snowball fights, tobogganing, building snowmen, learning to ski or snowboard – if your munchkins haven’t been to the snow before, make 2020 the year! It’s easier to start with a trip to an Australian resort, such as Perisher, Thredbo or Selwyn in NSW; or Falls Creek, Hotham or Mt Buller in Victoria. Or you can cross the ditch and base yourself amidst the scenic surrounds of Queenstown, from which you can drive to resorts such as Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Cardrona. If you want to throw a bit of culture into the mix, book a trip to Japan to soak in onsens and delight at adorable snow monkeys.
Image: Visit Rovaniemi
Image: Tourism Western Australia
4. CHRISTMAS OVERSEAS
5. SWIM WITH WHALE SHARKS AT NINGALOO REEF Each year from March to August, the world’s biggest fish congregate along Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef. Snorkelling with these gentle giants, that can grow up to 18m long, is an experience no member of the family will forget. Ningaloo is one of the few places on the planet where whale sharks regularly congregate in large numbers. Day tours offering these incredible encounters, for confident swimmers of all ages, depart from Exmouth and Coral Bay daily during the season.
A family at Brancos Lookout at El Questro Wilderness Park in the Kimberley
Image: Tourism Western Australia
While hot weather and seafood are the hallmarks of an Aussie Christmas, there’s nothing like celebrating the festive season in the Northern Hemisphere. New York is one of the places that does it best, with an incomparable buzz in the US city at this time of the year. Go ice-skating at the foot of the giant Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, see the Rockettes perform in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and check out the world’s largest gingerbread village at Gingerbread Lane at the New York Hall of Science. Head to Europe to experience Christmas markets and festivals, or meet Santa, his elves and reindeers at Santa Claus Village in Lapland, Finland.
6. HEAD OUTBACK Australia’s vast and remote interior is a place bursting with possibilities for extraordinary family adventures. Learn about Indigenous culture at Uluru, hike to swim at beautiful waterfalls in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory or take a road trip along the Kimberley’s iconic Gibb River Rd in Western Australia. Stay in an underground hotel in the opal mining town of Coober Pedy in South Australia and visit isolated towns and cattle stations with a postie on the mail run tour, or see the fossilised footprints at the site of the world’s only recorded dinosaur stampede at Lark Quarry in Queensland.
7. STAY IN A FAIRYTALE CASTLE
Image: Zach Sanders @stuckonarockphotos
Ashford Castle in Ireland
Step into the pages of a storybook with a magical stay in a castle in Europe. The continent abounds with castles that have been converted into hotels that will make the kids feel like a little prince or princess. The 800-yearold Ashford Castle in Ireland is one of the most impressive, with activities such as carriage rides, archery, tree climbing, kayaking, boating, falconry and ziplining. Austria also has some great options, including the 18th century Schloss Leopoldskron, where The Sound of Music was filmed, and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Schönbrunn Palace, which is also home to the world’s oldest zoo, founded in the 1700s.
8. SLEEP ON THE REEF Imagine lying in a swag under the stars on a pontoon in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. That’s the experience offered at Reefsleep in the Whitsundays! While you’re there you can also go swimming and snorkelling, ride in a semi-submarine and visit the underwater observatory. The best part about it is that after the day trippers have headed back to shore the permanently moored Heart Pontoon, at Hardy Reef on the outer reef, is all yours.
9. LORD HOWE ISLAND
Image: Tourism and Events Queensland
It was recognised by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten regions in the world to visit next year, and who are we to argue? The stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, off the coast of NSW, offers a simple family holiday getaway. Hire bikes and cycle to crowd-free beaches for barbecues or picnics, snorkel the world’s southernmost coral reef or explore it via glass bottom boat, go kayaking on the lagoon, and soak in the scenery from one of the island’s many spectacular hikes. Only 400 visitors are allowed on the 11km-long, crescent-shaped island at a time. Stay at a beach house, self-contained apartment or the family-friendly Pinetrees Lodge, which is consistently rated one of Australia’s best hotels on TripAdvisor and is now run by the sixth generation of the original family, Dani Rourke, and her husband, Luke Hanson, with the help of their adorable daughters Elsie and Pixie. 32
10. THE MALDIVES With sandy white beaches, clear turquoise waters and swaying palm trees, the Maldives has long been a dream honeymoon destination, but more and more families are now choosing a holiday in this paradise. The small country, southwest of Sri Lanka, has an ever-growing number of resorts offering child-friendly amenities, such as dedicated pools and recreation centres, and activities ranging from banana boat rides to marine biology talks and outdoor movie nights. Vakkaru Maldives has nature walks, kidsâ€™ boot camps and scavenger hunts at its Parrotfish Club, for ages three to 12, plus pool tables, table tennis and foosball at its teenage haven Coconut Club. You can also try water sports such as snorkelling, parasailing, water-skiing and wakeboarding, with an introductory dive program for kids as young as eight. Other family favourites include JA Managaru, Kanuhura Resort & Spa, Taj Exotica Resort and Spa Maldives, The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives and Lily Beach Resort & Spa. The newest resorts to open include Hard Rock Hotel Maldives, JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa and Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa and Crossroads, which has an inflatable water park.
A family enjoying breakfast on the beach at Vakkaru Maldives
Image: G Adventures
Kids can interact with fishermen in Vietnam with National Geographic Family Journeys
WHAT’S HOT IN 2020 ANGELA SAURINE reveals the family travel trends you need to know about over the coming year
SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE TRAVEL With more and more families seeking meaningful, immersive, off-the-beaten track experiences, travel companies are responding with a range of exciting new trips. G Adventures has partnered with National Geographic to offer 12 new family journeys in 2020 to destinations including Vietnam, Costa Rica, Alaska, Iceland and Italy. Activities are designed around four guiding Nat Geo themes: photography and storytelling, history and culture, wildlife and conservation, and exploration. After recently launching family cycling adventures, Intrepid Travel is also introducing five new family trips to destinations including Morocco, Peru and Egypt in 2020.
VILLAS WITH CONCIERGES First came hotels then home booking websites such as Airbnb – now a combination of the two has emerged. Luxury villas with concierges can be booked through companies such as Airbnb Luxe and Villa Finders, with the trend particularly popular for Australians in places such as Bali. The concierge team is on-call to book anything you need during your stay, such as airport transfers, day tours and those all-important massages. 35
SKIP GEN HOLIDAYS
THEMED ROOMS (AND HOUSES!)
Multigenerational holidays have been popular for years, but grandparents are now taking their grandkids away without their parents too. While cashed up baby boomers love hanging out with their grandchildren and have the time to travel, parents are busy paying off mortgages and can find it hard to get away from work. The American Association of Retired Person’s 2019 Boomer Travel Trends report found that about 15 per cent of baby boomers were planning such trips. Companies like Road Scholar are catering to the market, offering educational trips for grandparents and their grandchildren to learn about history in Iceland, art in Amsterdam or search for dinosaur fossils in Utah, USA. In some instances, the parents tag along – but stay in a hotel next door, so they are still close by if needed. The MarBella Collection is one hotel company noticing the trend since opening the adults-only MarBella Nido beside the family-friendly MarBella Corfu on the Greek Island last year.
What kid doesn’t want to stay in a room where they can pretend to be a princess or astronaut, or be immersed in their favourite animated film? More and more hotels are granting their wishes. ShangriLa Hotel Singapore, for example, has five themed family suites, including safari, treetop, castle, underwater and space. And in the era of private home rentals, the trend is expanding to include houses as well. Fans of The Addams Family can even book to stay in a house in New York, inspired by the recently-released movie, through Booking.com.
ECO-TRAVEL As phrases such as ‘flight shaming’, ‘overtourism’ and ‘undertourism’ become part of the vernacular, parents who care about their kids’ future are helping drive a trend towards sustainable,
Top: Kayaking at Mu Koh Rang in Trat Below: The spectacular Kaan Show 36
Top: Stay in a castlethemed room at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore Below: A boy and his grandmother on a Road Scholar tour in Iceland Right: A woman and a child at a waterfall at Hemsedal in Norway Far right: The Nesbitt family skiing at Lake Tahoe in the US
Image: Nils-Erik Bjørholt-Visitnorway.com
responsible travel. That means carbonoffsetting flights, travelling by train where possible and choosing lesser-visited destinations over those they know are going to be packed with tourists. The industry is responding in kind, with hotel groups including Marriott International getting rid of tiny plastic toiletries bottles and dozens of travel companies banning elephant rides, as well as giving back through philanthropic programs. Hawai‘i is outlawing the sale of sunscreen containing chemicals that harm coral, while New Zealand plans to become the first carbon-neutral country in the world with the launch of the Tiaki Promise – a Maori-based pledge to help visitors ‘care for people and place’.
RITE OF PASSAGE TRIPS
“Millennials and Generation Z are the first generations to like their parents for as long as they have loved them”
Just before the kids head off to university, families are embarking on one last hurrah, such as going on a big trip to Europe or a US ski holiday. Carolyn Childs, from My Travel Research, says that Millennials and Generation Z are the first generations to like their parents for as long as they have loved them, and it was a great way to reconnect and transition from being a family unit at home as children enter 37
Image: Rob Suisted
CARAVANNING AND CAMPING
BLEISURE Business and leisure are increasingly combining with digital nomads, who use technology to work remotely, now taking their families with them. “We’ve stopped talking about work-life balance and now talk about work-life integration,” futurist Carolyn Childs, from My Travel Research, says. Airbnb data shows a quarter of all work bookings made in Australia in the past financial year included stays with children. Airbnb for work APAC regional head Alvan Aiau Yong says listings popular for such trips feature all the essential amenities business travellers need to be productive and comfortable, such as designated desk and study areas, laundry facilities and Wi-Fi. “There’s also the added benefit of listings with fullyequipped kitchens, family rooms and big backyards to cater for family members, so that a business trip can easily transition into a leisure stay,” he says. 38
Top: The Tiaki Promise aims to help protect New Zealand’s natural beauty, such as Marlborough Sounds Below: A family pitching a tent at Buchan Caves Reserve in Gippsland Right: Find London’s most photogenic spots with Instatours UK
Image: Parks Victoria
into adulthood. “It’s a moment where you are creating precious memories, and navigating the new normal in relationships,” she says.
With its long stretches of road and outdoor lifestyle, Australia is the ideal destination for a caravan or camping holiday, and the number of families choosing such getaways has been steadily rising for the past few years. The 2019 Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey shows a 19 per cent increase since 2012, with a whopping 3.76 million overnight caravan or camping trips taken by family groups with children in the last financial year. BIG4 holiday parks is among the companies evolving to attract the market, offering a range of kid-friendly attractions, such as water parks, pump tracks for bikes and scooters and jumping cushions.
INSTAGRAM TOURS Got a teen or tween who won’t get off their phone? An Instagram tour may be the perfect way to engage them in the family holiday. Led by ‘influencers’, the tours are now being offered in places including Bali, London and Amsterdam. The Bali Bible Instagram Tour takes social media fanatics to the island’s most Instagrammed locations, including the lush rice paddies of Ubud, the iconic ‘Gates of Heaven’ overlooking Mount Agung and the Royal Water Palace in Eastern Bali. Instatours.uk visits London’s most famous landmarks, as well as hidden gems, highlighting them from the best viewpoints and angles.
KIDS’ MOVIE TOURS
“Now more than ever, families are seeking those immersive experiences you can only get if you are active and engaged”
Clockwise from left: Children love the Super Hero Tour of NYC; See Big Ben, which featured in the Harry Potter movies, on a Kids Movie Tour of London; A picnic with a view during a hiking trip in Geiranger, Norway; Enjoy a floating breakfast at The Sanctoo Villas and Spa in Bali
Seeing where your favourite movies are filmed in real life is always exciting, and that goes double for kids! On Location Tours’ The Super Tour of NYC: Heroes! Comics! More! is a hit with families, taking you to see the NY Daily News building from Superman, the Flatiron building from the Spiderman films and the site where the ‘battle of New York’ took place in The Avengers. Brit Movie Tours also offers a Kids’ Movie Tour of London where you can visit famous landmarks seen in films such as Harry Potter, Paddington, The BFG, 101 Dalmatians, The Mummy Returns and Nanny McPhee.
ACTIVE FAMILY HOLIDAYS ‘Flop and drop’ resort holidays are all well and good, but taking the kids on a trip that embraces the great outdoors is on the up. UTracks, which offers self-guided walking and cycling holidays in Europe, has seen a 12 per cent rise in the number of under 18s travelling in the past year. It has introduced new family tours in Sweden and Greece for 2020. “Now more than ever, families are seeking those immersive experiences you can only get if you are active and
engaged,” UTracks general manager Kate Baker says. While trips to Finland during winter continue to be popular, Nordic travel specialist 50 Degrees North is also finding more families heading to Norway and Iceland in summer to take part in activities such as hiking, cycling and rafting. 50 Degrees North Nordic manager Satu Vänskä-Westgarth says both destinations offer a variety of activities for different family members, making them ideal for multi-generational holidays. “While the grandkids might be enjoying rafting, grandparents can visit an open-air museum or a local historic cider farm,” she says. “This, coupled with stunning scenery and short driving distances, have made them increasingly popular destinations for family travel.”
FLOATING BREAKFASTS Forget the buffet – breakfast in the pool is the new way to go! Asian hotels such as Sofitel Nusa Dua, Banyan Tree Samui and The Sanctoo Villas & Spa, Ubud, next to Bali Zoo, are now offering ‘floating breakfasts’, in which your bacon and eggs and a bounty of other enticing offerings are served on a tray in the water. 41
CHOOSE YOUR CRUISE 42
With the summer cruise season in full swing, TIANA TEMPLEMAN reveals the top options for a holiday at sea
The ESC Experience Lab on Explorer Dream
The Reef Endeavour in Fiji
Going on a cruise with your family isn’t just a fun holiday – cruising immerses children in different cultures and teaches them how to master new skills, such as surfing, hip-hop dancing and filmmaking. But it’s not just the kids who get to have all the fun. Grown-ups are not forgotten, with adult-only options including luxurious spas, cooking classes and serenity decks. With kids’ club facilities for tots, teens and every age in between, entertainment and dining options galore and accommodation to suit every family, one of the following cruises is sure to float your boat.
Ride the FlowRider on Royal Caribbean ships
The fun never stops on Royal Caribbean, with activities such as ice-skating, circus school, onboard surfing and iFly skydiving included in the fare. It’s free to ride the FlowRider surf simulator, which is available on every Australian-based Royal Caribbean ship, except Radiance of the Seas. Boogie boarding is the best option for families as it’s easy to master and suitable for all ages. Pack swimmers in your carry-on bag and why not hit the waves on the very day you embark? While you might need a holiday after your holiday on these action-packed ships, there is little chance you’ll hear those dreaded words: “I’m bored”. royalcaribbean.com.au
CAPTAIN COOK CRUISES FIJI Book a culturally immersive small ship cruise on Captain Cook Cruises Fiji’s 130-passenger Reef Endeavour. The most popular itineraries for families are the weekly three to seven-night cruises to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Activities include visiting villages, talks by an onboard marine biologist and glass bottom boat tours. A traditional feast is also offered on cruises of seven nights or more. All cruises include a stop at the company’s private island, Tivua, for snorkelling, swimming and relaxing on the beach. A kids’ program for children aged five to nine is available throughout the year. captaincookcruisesfiji.com
DREAM CRUISES Sailing in Australia for the first time this year, Dream Cruises’ departures are available from Brisbane, Sydney and Newcastle. Explorer Dream has more than a dozen food and beverage venues, a state-of-the-art spa, a signature suite enclave 43
Play dress ups at Camp Discovery on Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises’ ships feature Camp Discovery – a Discovery Channel-themed kids club for kids aged three to 17. Children can learn as they play, with activities including The Greatest Catch and Just Squiddin’ Around. In the evening, settle back with complimentary popcorn and warm cookies and milk, and catch a movie under the stars. There is also The Voice of the Ocean, an entertaining onboard talent quest inspired by popular TV show The Voice. princess.com.au
Ride the Green Thunder waterslide on Carnival Spirit
with butler service, and a virtual reality/augmented reality arcade filled with immersive gaming plus simulators, arcade games and bike racing games. Dream Cruises is ideal for families seeking something new and for those who prefer a smaller ship, as Explorer Dream carries a maximum of 1,856 passengers. dreamcruiseline.com
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE Are you game to take on the fastest, steepest waterslide at sea? Children taller than 120cm and (brave) adults can ride the squeal-inducing Green Thunder on the Brisbane-based Carnival Spirit, which starts with a freefall drop before reaching speeds of up to 65km per hour, and the Green Lightning on the Sydney-based Carnival Splendor. If you and your kids are feeling less adventurous, the tamer Twister waterslide is the way to go. Littlies will enjoy the Carnival Waterworks SplashZone, which includes a huge tipping bucket, squirters and a tot-sized waterslide. Carnival ships also offers dance lessons, pool games and dancing waiters in the dining room every evening. carnival.com.au
DISNEY CRUISE LINE If your cruise-loving family is also into Disney, then Disney Cruises is the line for you. Disney ships offer princess-themed dining, character meet-andgreets, Disney movie marathons featuring Marvel,
Meet a Disney princess
Image: © Disney
Pixar, Disney and Star Wars films, and adult-only restaurants for ‘date nights’. The family dining program ensures kids are served within 40 minutes and collected by kids’ club staff so adults can enjoy the rest of their meal at leisure. From January to March 2020, Star Wars fans can set sail with their favourite heroes (and villains) on a series of special five and seven-night themed sailings from Florida, in the US, to the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Marvel superhero sailings are also available. disneycruise.disney.go.com
P&O CRUISES Have fun with your kids at P&O Edge Adventure Park, an outdoor activities area on the top deck where you can fly through the air on a zipline, challenge yourself on the ropes course or choose from a dozen other activities including a Titanic experience, which recreates the iconic moment from the famous movie. Some P&O ships have waterslides, others have a teen club with VR gaming, or a luxe adult-only pool area: the choice is yours. Older kids (and their parents) will laugh out loud on a comedy cruise – a long weekend sailing, with standup shows from some of the country’s top comedians. pocruises.com.au
Kids running through the waterpark on P&O ship Pacific Dawn
BABY AND TODDLER TRAVEL
RETURNING TURTLE POWER ANGELA SAURINE discovers an affordable, familyfriendly resort fringed by the Great Barrier Reef, just 45 minutes off the coast of Cairns
A turtle swimming off Fitzroy Island
BABY AND TODDLER TRAVEL
Turtle was one of my son, Oliver’s, first words. It’s not surprising, really. Every time I put him in his car seat, I would hand him a soft turtle toy he was given, and he would clutch it tightly and grin. At night, he would giggle as he watched a wind-up mechanical toy turtle swim around in the bath. Another has pride of place on the bathmat, and we have accumulated several children’s books about the reptiles. Now here he is, peering over a tank, watching wide-eyed as a real life green sea turtle paddles around in circles, occasionally poking her head out of the water to take a breath. Bit by bit, he is learning about the world and its creatures, and it’s magical to see. There’s plenty to learn here at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island – not just for toddlers. The facility, our marine biologist guide Azri Saparwan says, is not a centre for alcoholic turtles. Rather it is a place where turtles like Julz come to rest as they are cared for and fed before being returned to the wild. Azri points out a puncture wound she has on the back of her shell, likely the result of a speargun or similar weapon. Then he points to another, as well as a wound on her neck, which is also slowly healing. Azri says sick and injured turtles are usually found by tourists and taken by rangers to a sister
Left: Foxy’s Bar on Fitzroy Island Right: Angela and Oliver, in his turtle t-shirt, on the ferry to Fitzroy Island
centre on the mainland, which is more like the intensive care unit. Nicknamed ‘the fat farm’, this is the last place they go before they are released. On average, turtles spend 18 months here. Julz weighed just 12kg when she arrived, but is now back up to 34kg, and will be leaving soon. There are six turtles at the centre when we visit, each costing between $3,000 and $8,000 to rehabilitate. Unlike Crush and his pals in the animated movie Finding Nemo, Azri says turtles are solitary animals, so there is only one per tank. They include shy Shelby, whose shell was damaged by a boat propeller that also left her back flippers paralysed; Portia, who was found in Port Douglas suffering from floater syndrome after ingesting plastic; and Lou, who lost two flippers after getting caught in a discarded fishing net. Azri has also named many of the wild turtles that have made their home around the island – of which there are
many. “I still feel every encounter with a turtle is very special,” he says. “When they first hatch they have a one in 1,000 chance of surviving until they get to the ocean.” While it’s hard to say exactly how many turtles there are on the Great Barrier Reef due to migration patterns, numbers are believed to be growing. But the gender ratio is uneven, thanks to climate change. A turtle’s sex is determined by temperature. According to the WWF, recent research has found that the northern Great Barrier Reef’s green sea turtle hatchlings are almost all female, with males outnumbered by at least 116 to one. If the trend continues, they could become extinct. Azri also works with the Reef Restoration Foundation to harvest coral to help regenerate the reef. Outside the centre, he points in the direction of some rocks near a nursery of 20 ‘trees’ with 100 pieces of baby coral ready to be replanted. Azri has also worked 47
BABY AND TODDLER TRAVEL
Left: Nudey Beach Right: Oliver loved climbing on the laundry bags on the ferry to Fitzroy Island
There are 99 guest rooms and suites at Fitzroy Island Resort, ranging from studios to a luxurious four-bedroom penthouse. The six 3-star Butterfly Bungalows are great for families, accommodating up to two adults and three children with a queen bed, bunk beds and a sofa bed. Book the return ferry at the time of booking.
as a volunteer on similar projects in Singapore and the Maldives. Fitzroy Island Resort was a pioneer in Australia when it started the project in 2017, with plans to get guests involved in planting coral in early 2020. “If you want to conserve something you need to love it,” Azri says. “To love it you need to understand it; to understand it you need to do it.” After our tour, we wander back along the shady path to our home for the night, Fitzroy Island Resort, which is the only resort on the island. Just a 45-minute ferry ride from Marlin Marina in Cairns, with studio rooms from $145 per night, it feels like a bit of a find. This is the place where locals go for weekend camping trips, or to take visitors when they’re in town. It’s not just possible, but common, to swim with turtles just off the beach in front of the resort, metres from your room. There’s plenty to keep kids entertained, with a movie theatre, games
room, table tennis and a playroom. You can also hire kayaks and standup paddleboards from the Dive and Adventure Centre, hike to lookouts and do glass bottom boat tours, cruises to the Outer Great Barrier Reef and enjoy scenic and sunset sailing trips. There are only two places to dine, which is just as I like it. The main restaurant, Zephyr, is open for breakfast and dinner. Executive chef Mohamed Abdell serves modern Australian dishes influenced by his Egyptian background and travels around the world, including stints in the kitchens of several Four Seasons hotels. The beachfront Foxy’s Bar & Grill is a more casual option, ideal for families, with bingo nights, trivia and live music throughout the week. Without doubt, the island’s most Instagrammable spot is Nudey Beach, around 20 minutes’ walk from the resort. The path isn’t pram-friendly, so I leave Oliver to swim in the pool with his dad while I make the trek through the rainforest. Seconds after catching sight of the small white beach, I am diving into the refreshingly cool water. “I don’t want to leave!” I find myself crying aloud, as I affix my snorkel and mask. That feeling is only magnified as I float above the colourful coral and tropical fish reassured that, while it is undoubtedly under pressure from climate change, the reef is still alive and well in many places. On the final morning, as we are standing at the jetty waiting for our return ferry to Cairns, we spot another turtle gliding along in the clear turquoise ocean below. It lifts its flipper out of the water fleetingly, giving us what feels like a perfectly timed goodbye wave. The writer was a guest of Fitzroy Island Resort and Tourism Tropical North Queensland.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PARADISE RESORT GOLD COAST
1. THE LOBBY Characters in front of the water park at Paradise Resort Gold Coast
No, you’re not seeing things – that’s a jungle gym in the lobby! Your holiday can start immediately as the kids cavort on the multi-level climbing frame and mazes of Dusty’s Jungle Gym while you’re checking in.
2. ZONE 4 KIDS CLUB
8 REASONS TO STAY IN PARADISE Described as a mini-theme park or a cruise ship on land, Paradise Resort Gold Coast is heaven for kids and parents alike. Here are eight reasons to book a holiday there 50
With nine themed play spaces divided across age groups – Space Room, Captains Underwater World, Leonardo’s Painting Room, Egyptian Room, Astro’s Space Station, Dusty’s Safari, Krazy 4 Kraft, Magic Garden and Junior Adventure Park, the Zone 4 Kids Club is a surefire winner.
3. ACTIVITIES IN ABUNDANCE From slime making and cupcake decorating workshops to plaster art and sand art, magic shows, fancy dress parades and movie nights, the daily activities will keep the littlies VERY busy.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PARADISE RESORT GOLD COAST
Kids getting soaked in the water park
Packages start from $179 per room per night for travel on selected dates until December 2020. Terms and conditions apply. paradiseresort. com.au
A Superior Room
7. MEALTIMES ARE EASY
Tackling the climbing wall
4. LOTS OF ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS The resort has 359 rooms, all with balconies, and can cater for families with up to six children. The Bunkhouse rooms have brightly painted bunk beds, and interconnecting rooms are also available.
5. UNREAL FACILITIES Kids LOVE getting wet, and central to this resort is a giant water playground, with a lagoon pool, heated spa and two large Aqua Play attractions. The main water park is three storeys high and has myriad slides, water cannons
and climbing frames, as well as a giant bucket that fills with 600 litres of water before emptying over guests in an enormous splash! The Junior Water Park is ideal for smaller guests, complete with a slippery slide, water cannons and a toddler’s paddling area with a gentle sloping beach entry. The resort also has a rock-climbing wall and its own ice-skating rink, Planet Chill, which offers daily lessons.
6. ADULT ESCAPES With most accommodation packages including a complimentary kids’ club session each day, there’s time for adults to indulge in the ‘Zone 4 Adults’. Relax in the outdoor spa area, which has lounge chairs and cabanas ideal for reading. There’s also cocktail-making classes, wine and cheese tastings, cooking demonstrations and karaoke.
Head to ‘50s-style diner The Bistro for casual and relaxed family dining for breakfast and dinner. It’s the kind of place where they bring children’s meals out first, before you even ask! The costumed staff are happy to offer extra winks and smiles at tiny diners, and Popeye cartoons play in the background. The mural on the wall says it all: “Some of the best conversations are had with family over a meal”. For kids who don’t want to get out of the water for more than a few minutes, The Poolside Café & Bar is also a great option for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also kickstart your day with a fresh juice or smoothie from the Poolside Juice Bar, and a barbecue night is held by the pool every Wednesday.
8. IDEAL LOCATION All this is walking distance from the bright lights of Surfers Paradise and its shops, restaurants and golden sand beaches! 51
Y A K C A M
ELISA ELWIN discovers the Mackay region, just south of the Whitsundays, abounds with family-friendly options
Phuket may be Thailandâ€™s number one holiday destination for AustralianMeet families, the locals at Cape Hillsborough but neighbouring provinces Krabi and Phang Nga also have a lot to offer 52
Surrounded by rainforest and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, with palm tree-lined streets filled with Art Deco buildings, laidback accommodation and spectacular beaches, it’s no surprise Mackay has quietly emerged as one of Queensland’s top family holiday spots. Humpback whales, dolphins and turtles can be spotted in the offshore waters, while a short drive from the city sees you amidst wildlife-filled rainforests dotted with cascading waterfalls.
Get some air at Wakehouse Australia
THINGS TO DO
Soak up the vibe at Eungella
EUNGELLA NATIONAL PARK Translating as ‘Land of the Clouds’, Eungella encompasses a long stretch of subtropical rainforest and is considered one of the best locations in Australia to spot platypus. Watch the bubble trails of these shy creatures from the viewing decks along the Broken River, then walk through the iconic Tree Arch on the Cedar Grove Track. For some of the best views in the Mackay region, don’t miss the Sky Window Lookout. eungella.com.au
FINCH HATTON GORGE
SUNRISE WITH THE WALLABIES AND KANGAROOS Early risers will be rewarded with one of Australia’s most iconic wildlife experiences on the beach at Cape
Hillsborough. Eastern grey kangaroos and wallabies arrive each morning to feed on seaweed and mangrove seed pods, which wash ashore with the overnight tides. Accompanied by the rich colours of the sunrise sky, this furry encounter makes for some unforgettable photos.
WAKEHOUSE AUSTRALIA Wakehouse Australia combines jumping, sliding and racing your friends around on inflatable obstacles, with a state-ofthe-art cable ski park. The Aqua Park sessions are great family fun, operating most mornings before the cable ski park
gets going. Check the website for opening times, bookings and to answer your safety questionnaire before arriving. wakehouse.com.au
SARINA SUGAR SHED Discover the sugar cane-growing history of Queensland at the award-winning Sarina Sugar Shed, a miniature mill and distillery that’s the only one of its kind in Australia. After touring the sugar shed, there’s fairy floss tasting for kids and homemade schnapps sampling for adults, as well as delicious ice cream made on-site. sarinasugarshed.com.au 53
Images: Tourism and Events Queensland
Between Mackay and Eungella National Park, Finch Hatton Gorge is a muststop destination for bushwalking and swimming. Its walking trails weave through a majestic landscape of waterfalls and volcanic boulders, with highlights including the Araluen and Wheel of Fire Cascades. There are nearby rock pools where you can enjoy a refreshing dip, accompanied by the sounds of rare frogs and Eungella honeyeaters.
QUEENSLAND Platypus Lodge
A platypus in Broken River
An aerial view of Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park
SORBELLO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT Family owned and operated, Sorbello’s is located in the heart of Mackay and dishes up authentic Italian cuisine. From pizzas to pasta, seafood and steaks, its extensive menu caters to everyone. Be sure to arrive hungry, the portions are generous. sorbellos.com.au
PLATYPUS LODGE RESTAURANT Take a break from platypus watching with an alfresco lunch or great coffee and cake at this restaurant set in the rainforest of Eungella National Park. It’s run by talented Austrian chef Oskar Krobath, who personally delivers the Yodel Burgers with a startlingly impressive performance. platypuslodgerestaurant.com.au 54
OLD STATION TEAHOUSE Occupying a 110-year-old railway station in Cape Hillsborough, the Old Station Teahouse serves soups, woodfired pizzas and decadent cakes in an atmospheric setting. There’s plenty of room for the kids to run around and burn off energy. theoldstationteahouse.com.au
WHERE TO STAY
book one of its fully-equipped beach huts or family cabins, with powered and unpowered sites also available for campers. The park is family owned and run, with Ben and Renae Atherton at the helm along with their three children; Kira, Sean and Alysse. Make sure you stop and say hello before you head into your own reconnect family time. capehillsboroughresort.com.au
CAPE HILLSBOROUGH NATURE TOURIST PARK
BIG4 MACKAY BLACKS BEACH HOLIDAY PARK
Sitting right on Casuarina Beach, the Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park is located less than an hour from Mackay. It’s surrounded by an untamed wilderness of dramatic rock outcrops, waterfalls and creeks, with a rich Indigenous heritage. Cape Hillsborough provides exceptional wildlife encounters, including kangaroos, wallabies, sea turtles and whale sightings during the annual migration. You can
Overlooking the southern islands of the Whitsundays, this BIG4 is positioned on the longest of Mackay’s northern beaches. Settle in at one of its family villas, then take advantage of the resort pool, kids splash pad and family-friendly activities that are held during the school holidays. big4.com.au/caravan-parks/qld/ mackay/mackay-blacks-beachholiday-park
Images: Tourism and Events Queensland
WHERE TO EAT
The kids will have the time of their lives at these fantastic water parks in holiday parks around the country
H S A L SP
Kids in the pool at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort
DISCOVERY PARKS – BYRON BAY
NSW With its world-famous surf, café and wellness culture, Byron Bay is increasingly the playground of the rich and famous. Yet at Discovery Parks - Byron Bay, the water park is the key attraction among the under-10s – along with the tree-lined lagoon. It also boasts a bouncing pillow and other kids facilities. discoveryholidayparks. com.au/caravan-parks/ new-south-wales/ north-coast-byron-bay
BIG4 RENMARK RIVERFRONT HOLIDAY PARK
SOUTH AUSTRALIA Murray River family adventures are sorted thanks to this trendy holiday park. And in warmer months, BIG4 Renmark’s splash park is the place to be. It has waterslides, spray guns, and other amusements that all complement the headline act: the ever-popular giant tipping bucket. Summer fun continues with facilities that include a pool, modular pumptrack, jumping pillow, and water sports along the Mighty Murray. In late 2018, BIG4 Renmark also became the first holiday park in Australia to install a sensory room for guests who are on the autism spectrum. big4renmark.com.au 56
DISCOVERY PARKS – COOLWATERS YEPPOON
QUEENSLAND With its large lagoon pool and proximity to Keppel Bay, Discovery - Coolwaters Yeppoon, near Rockhampton, is a mecca for family holidays. It has a huge water park with several serpentine-like waterslides that are a hit with the kids. There’s also a BMX bike track, jumping pillow and a playground. You can hire kayaks from the kiosk and paddle on the Causeway Lake, spend an afternoon on the bushwalking trails behind the park. discoveryholidayparks.com. au/caravan-parks/queensland/ capricorn-coast-coolwatersyeppoon
BIG4 INVERLOCH HOLIDAY PARK
VICTORIA For those looking to negate the oftfickle Victorian weather, here is the perfect answer. BIG4 Inverloch was the first holiday or caravan park to install an indoor heated splash park, opening in 2015. It means kids are entertained year-round thanks to temperaturecontrolled features that are led by a giant tipping bucket, waterslides, cannon guns, fountains, and mini-tipping buckets. And, since opening, it’s already had a significant upgrade. Plus there’s a heated pool, jumping cushion, tennis court, and modular pumptrack. big4.com.au/caravan-parks/vic/ gippsland/inverloch-holiday-park
BIG4 BEACHLANDS HOLIDAY PARK, BUSSELTON
WESTERN AUSTRALIA Water fun flows freely in the west thanks to the super splash and play zone, which has several fun-filled features. The good times continue for younger guests thanks to a heated pool complete with a dedicated toddlers’ pool, NEOS 360 playground, an adventure playground, jumping pillow, pedal go-karts, and other entertainment. beachlands.com.au
BIG4 EASTS BEACH HOLIDAY PARK, KIAMA
NSW For generations, families have been heading to this beachfront holiday park, and it continues to be a magnet thanks to its ever-evolving facilities, like Sunny’s Aquaventure Park. This action-packed waterplay area features a giant tipping bucket, waterslides, a splash pad, and a dedicated baby/toddler area. There’s also a new pool complex that includes a heated lounge pool with a children’s play area and a plunge pool, plus a large main pool with two lap lanes. eastsbeach.com.au
NRMA TREASURE ISLAND HOLIDAY RESORT
QUEENSLAND With a pirate-themed splash park, slide and water cannons, the kids will have a blast at NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Resort. Let them run free and cool off at Shipwreck Shores Waterpark under the giant tipping bucket and fountains, before heading to the waterslide for more fun – all while you sit back and relax beside one of four resort-style pools. There’s a wealth of attractions found on the Gold Coast, and endless resort facilities including mini golf and a year-round kids’ club. nrmaparksandresorts.com.au/ treasure-island
NRMA VICTOR HARBOR BEACHFRONT HOLIDAY PARK
SOUTH AUSTRALIA As soon as you arrive at this holiday park on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, the kids will want to head straight to the towering water park. With a huge tip and fill bucket, water fountains and a looping waterslide, the hardest part of your holiday will be getting the kids dry. It also has a bouncing pillow and a pump track. nrmaparksandresorts.com. au/victor-harbor
DISCOVERY PARKS – BAROSSA VALLEY
SOUTH AUSTRALIA You might not immediately connect South Australia’s iconic wine region with water, but Discovery Parks – Barossa Valley in Tanunda has a water park and lagoon pool that kids love. Set under majestic gum trees, it’s the perfect trade off for the kids for a family trip to a few wineries. The park also hosts movie nights, games, teddy bears’ picnics and many other activities designed for children during the school holidays. discoveryholidayparks.com.au/ caravan-parks/south-australia/ tanunda-barossa-valley
BIG4 ADVENTURE WHITSUNDAY RESORT, AIRLIE BEACH
QUEENSLAND This serial award winner has firstrate features including, of course, its epic water park. Occupying an area equivalent to the size of an Olympic swimming pool, the splash park is headed by a whopping 13 waterslides, a giant tipping bucket, and dedicated features for toddlers. And while there’s all-day fun for the young, parents can relax nearby on luxurious sun loungers. It’s all backed by a resort-style pool and a wealth of other kid and family-friendly entertainment, including mini golf, tennis courts and two jumping pillows. adventurewhitsunday.com.au
NRMA DARLINGTON BEACH HOLIDAY RESORT
NSW The kids will be entertained for hours at this holiday park, just north of Coffs Harbour, while they race down the dual waterslides into the pool. And, after spending the day cooling off poolside, you’ll find plenty of fun activities, including an archery range, a nine-hole golf course, pump track, tennis courts, pedal go-karts and a bowling green. With the beach and 44ha of lush forest right outside your door, your whole tribe will be kept happy. nrmaparksandresorts.com.au/ darlington-beach
BIG4 HOWARD SPRINGS HOLIDAY PARK
NORTHERN TERRITORY This is the ideal option for those looking to keep cool in the Top End. The centrepiece of BIG4 Howard Springs’ water park is a big, bright-red tipping bucket that continually keeps kids entertained. Also in this alluring aqua-zone are various water-spraying features and water pistol stations. There’s more kids’ entertainment within the holiday park in the form of a giant jumping pillow complete with shade sails, three saltwater pools and spas, a playground and pedal go-karts for hire. big4.com.au/caravan-parks/ nt/darwin-surrounds/howardsprings-holiday-park
THE HOLIDAY PARK THAT HAS IT ALL Looking for a family holiday destination? Look no further than BIG4 Easts Beach, where there really is something for the whole family.
1 Sunny’s Aquaventure Park
features multi-level platforms with three water slides and a giant tipping bucket, an oceanthemed splash pad with interactive features, plus a shaded water journey for babies and toddlers. There is also a partially shaded sunlounge area for you to relax in while your children are having the time of their lives.
2 Little Monkeys Play Corner and
Games Room will provide hours of entertainment for the whole family. Challenge yourselves as a family or play individually with the various games to choose from. Young ones will love the designated play corner, which features a fantastic indoor playground.
3 The relaxing massage studio
is designed to offer privacy and tranquility, allowing you to be fully 60
pampered by our professional and experienced massage therapists. The massage studio is located inside the park and offers a peaceful environment in which you can relax and unwind. Go on – spoil yourself or surprise a loved one.
4 The exciting brand-new pool
complex has two pool areas: a heated lounge pool with children’s play area and plunge pool, plus a large main pool with two lap lanes and a disability ramp.
5 Whether you enjoy swimming,
diving, fishing, body-boarding or just splashing about, you can do it all at Easts Beach, where the sapphire-blue ocean waves lap onto golden sands. This 400m beach offers a chance to relax, unwind and bask in the sun while your children build sandcastles. Easts Beach offers the complete package, from dancing waves at sunrise to a moonlit evening stroll. Visit eastsbeach.com.au for more.
Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure Park
Image: ©Disney ©Disney-Pixar
ANAHEIM FOR FA M I L I ES
FUN THINGS TO DO WHERE TO EAT THE BEST PLACES TO STAY 61
1700 South Clementine Street Anaheim, California 92802 USA Phone: +1 714-533-3555 Toll-Free: 1-866-465-7672
Our Two Bedroom Suite is ideal for families or larger groups Free parking for the length of your stay Get your groceries delivered straight to your Clementine kitchen
FUN TIMES IN ANAHEIM Whether you fancy feasting among jousting knights or chasing thrills at historic theme parks, Anaheim has you covered—royally
As the home of the original Disneyland Resort in California, Anaheim has long been a favourite destination for Australian families. Meeting Mickey Mouse, seeing Sleeping Beauty Castle and ticking off the theme parks’ famous rides – made even more exciting with the recent opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – is a dream come true for many children. And there’s plenty to keep mum and dad happy too, with an abundance of breweries and bargain shopping outlets nearby. The city is around a one-hour drive from Los Angeles International Airport, where flights from Australia arrive. There’s a hotel or resort to suit every budget, many with pools and waterslides, themed rooms and barbecue areas from which you can see Disneyland Park’s nightly fireworks spectacular. Time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s easy to fill a week (or more!) of your US holiday here. Make sure your itinerary includes Knott’s Berry Farm, which began life in the 1920s as a roadside fruit stall and has since grown into a modern amusement park with rollercoasters, waterslides and a ghost town. Take a day trip to SeaWorld California, one-and-a-half hours’ drive south in San Diego, to see orcas, dolphins and other marine animals; ride the world’s first horizontal, infinity-loop rollercoaster and learn about SeaWorld’s wildlife rescue program. Then check out the new THE LEGO® MOVIE™ land set to open at LEGOLAND® California Resort in 2020. California is also known for its beautiful beaches, and Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach are all just half an hour away. You can also catch a ferry to Santa Catalina Island and while away a day kayaking, snorkelling and cycling. Cheering on a sporting team while eating a hot dog is a quintessential American experience, so be sure to book tickets to see the Anaheim Ducks ice hockey team and the Angels baseball team play. Getting to Anaheim from Australia is easy. United Airlines, Qantas, Virgin Australia and Delta all fly to LAX, with many transfer options available when you arrive, including resort transportation, airport shuttles, coaches, hire cars and even limousines. Once there you can explore Southern California via shuttle, bus, train, taxi and rideshare services. Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, known as ARTIC, is the public transport hub, serving as both a bus and train station. Anaheim Resort Transportation also has shuttle buses that take guests from their hotels to Disneyland Resort, Downtown Anaheim and Angel Stadium; shopping centres including The Outlets at Orange and South Coast Plaza, and attractions such as Knott’s Berry Farm and the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure show. Buses also run to Los Angeles Union Station, where you can connect with the Metrolink and catch trains to beaches and Santa Barbara. Anaheim is a city built on imagination, where family dreams can quickly become a reality.
THINGS TO DO
Make your kids’ dreams come true with a visit to ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’
Meet Rey at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge 66
With more than 100 attractions, shows and experiences across two theme parks, it’s wise to allow three to five days for a visit to Disneyland Resort in California. Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park are filled with magical moments from the worlds of Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars, with fun-filled parades, Broadway-style musicals and incredible night-time spectaculars that only Disney can create. There are also three onsite Disneyland Resort Hotels, shops, restaurants and an entertainment district all within walking distance of one another. Walt Disney’s original Disneyland Park, which opened in 1955, offers
Image: ©Disney-Lucasfilm Ltd. © TM Lucasfilm Ltd
DISNEYLAND R ESORT I N CA L I FOR N I A
Image: ©Disney ©Disney/Pixar
THINGS TO DO
MUST DO EXPERIENCES DISNEYLAND PARK
Anna and Elsa in Frozen - Live at the Hyperion
Traverse the corridors of a Star Destroyer on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance from January 17, 2020
a wonderful mix of nostalgia and new. Experience timeless attractions throughout nine immersive lands, including the Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain rides; meet much-loved Disney characters, and marvel at spectacular fireworks shows. Live your very own Star Wars adventure in a whole new land where a galaxy far, far away unfolds around you. Around corners and through back alleys, you can build your own droid and custom lightsaber and sample the curious concoctions at the local cantina. Then, gather your crew and take control of the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The most immersive and advanced attraction ever imagined in a Disney park will also open on January 17, 2020! Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will blur the lines between fantasy and reality
and put guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Just next door at Disney California Adventure Park explore the newly reimagined Pixar Pier, cruise into Cars Land, rescue the Guardians of the Galaxy on Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and see incredible shows, including the Frozen – Live at the Hyperion theatrical spectacular and the amazing after-dark spectacle, World of Color. For the ultimate in convenience – and the chance to gain entry to the theme parks an hour before other guests – book one of Disneyland Resort’s three hotels. They include Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel overlooking Disney California Adventure Park and the luxurious Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
Image: ©Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd. © TM Lucasfilm Ltd
Meet Woody and Buzz Lightyear at Toy Story Midway Mania! at Disney California Adventure Park
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN Avast ye! If it’s adventure ye seek, look no further. Aye, but keep a weathered eye out for a certain scoundrel of a cap’n who has stowed away on this classic attraction. HAUNTED MANSION Home to 999 (mostly) happy haunts … but there’s always room for one more. Climb aboard your own Doom Buggy for a spirited tour of its creepy confines. INDIANA JONES™ ADVENTURE Follow the much-loved archaeologist into the crumbling Temple of the Forbidden Eye, past booby traps and frescos that tell the story of Mara, a powerful deity who promises great treasures. FANTASMIC! Rivers of America erupts in the ultimate battle between good and evil featuring amazing special effects, including a 14m tall, fire-breathing dragon! DOWNTOWN DISNEY DISTRICT With a fun vibe all its own, the Downtown Disney District is a great spot to grab a bite to eat, shop or just spend quality time with family and friends.
DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE PARK
PIXAR PIER Celebrate your favourite Pixar characters and stories in fun and exciting new ways, including the thrilling Incredicoaster with Baby Jack-Jack, Jessie’s Critter Carousel and Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind. TOY STORY MIDWAY MANIA! Climb aboard this 4D attraction and use your spring-action shooter to zero in on moving targets with virtual darts, pies and even eggs! CARS LAND You’ll feel like you’ve stepped (or rather, rolled) right into the world of the Disney.Pixar Cars films with highoctane fun, including the Radiator Springs Racers simulated slot car ride. WORLD OF COLOR Water, light and fire intertwine with Disney storytelling to create a magnificent night-time water spectacular. FROZEN - LIVE AT THE HYPERION Get swept up in the magic of Frozen with this dazzling theatrical show, which brings characters from the animated movie to life on stage through elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers. 67
AMAZING ANIM ALS
N RESCUE, REHABILITION, RETUR
At SeaWorld® experience up-close animal interactions, one-of-a-kind attractions and thrilling rides. Plus, every visit helps support animal rescue programs and conservation projects around the planet.
Purchase tickets through your local travel agent Your Visit Makes a Difference – 35,000+ Rescues and Counting. © 2019 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.
THINGS TO DO
SEAWORLD CALIFORNIA Pint-sized animal lovers will love taking a day trip to San Diego to see killer whales, dolphins, turtles and other marine animals at SeaWorld California. Located at Mission Bay, just minutes from the train station, the 77ha park offers shows, up-close animal encounters, attractions and rides. It also employs a wildlife team that is available 24 hours a day to rescue and care for marine animals. SeaWorld is home to 10 killer whales that can be seen through large underwater viewing panels, and during daily presentations. Orca Encounter is a live documentary-style presentation helping park guests gain a deeper appreciation and respect for the creatures, and preserve their future. The theme parks’s newest attraction is Tidal Twister – the world’s first horizontal, infinityloop coaster. The coaster accelerates to 48km per hour as riders twist and bank like they are riding the tide along a figure-eight track that includes dynamic Zero-G roll. Among other thrill rides at SeaWorld are Electric Eel, San Diego’s tallest and fastest coaster; and Manta, a two-part attraction featuring a double-launch
Brave the Tidal Twister
coaster boasting a 16m drop and lots of twists and turns. Turtle Reef explores the life cycle, characteristics and preservation of sea turtles. It includes a one million litre plus aquarium that’s home to dozens of sea turtles; a motionactivated video game; a touch-screen map that allows guests to track sea turtles in the wild; and an exhilarating ride called Riptide Rescue. Guests can also spin, splash and swirl around a tropical island at Shipwreck Rapids, and venture through a tunnel surrounded by nearly a dozen shark species in the Shark Encounter. Other park highlights include Wild Arctic, a simulated helicopter ride into a frozen landscape where guests come face-to-face with beluga whales, seals and walruses; Dolphin Point, where guests interact with bottlenose dolphins; and the Penguin Encounter, which is home to more than 400 penguins representing six Antarctic and sub-Antarctic species. SeaWorld California’s Penguin Encounter is the only facility in the western hemisphere where guests can see emperor penguins, which are the largest species, weighing as much as 40kg and reaching as tall as one metre. seaworldsandiego.com
SEAWORLD TO THE RESCUE
While visitors are enjoying all the animal shows, exhibits and education programs that have made SeaWorld famous around the globe, behind the scenes there is a mission to care for the environment and the animals that extends beyond the park’s borders. SeaWorld animal experts care for thousands of animals every day and are on call to rescue marine animals in need along the San Diego coastline. SeaWorld California alone has rescued more than 20,000 animals, including sea lions, seals, dolphins, whales, turtles and birds. The goal of the program is to rescue, rehabilitate and return animals to the wild, giving them a second chance at life.
California's Original Theme Park What started as a small berry farm soon began to grow into a family destination thanks to famous fried chicken dinners, boysenberries and an Old West Ghost Town. Knott’s Berry Farm now bursts with attractions and entertainment for all ages, including thrill rides, live shows, delicious food, plus Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang. In Summer 2020, Knott's will commemorate its 100-year anniversary with our largest celebration ever, all paying tribute to the Knott family's rich history and legacy of family fun for all. Located just 10 minutes from Anaheim, getting to Knott’s has never been easier.
Ask your Travel Agent for details. ©Peanuts Worldwide LLC, peanuts.com Cedar Fair Entertainment Company® ©2019 Cedar Fair, L.P. KB19-253
THINGS TO DO
Southern California’s original theme park commemorates its 100-year anniversary in 2020 with its largest celebration ever, paying tribute to the family’s history and legacy. During this milestone event, guests can expect plenty of surprises, with entertainment, festive park décor and themed food items all paying homage to the nostalgia that surrounds the attraction. As part of the commemoration, Knott’s Berry Farm will also welcome an all-new 4D interactive experience – Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair – inspired by the classic ride that was a park favourite from 1975 to 1997. Walter Knott and his family arrived in Buena Park, ten minutes’ from Anaheim, to farm eight hectares of land in 1920. After cultivating the world’s first boysenberry, Knott started selling them from a roadside stand, and his wife
began serving fried chicken dinners from her kitchen the same year, soon opening Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. A few years later, they decided to build Ghost Town to help entertain the thousands of hungry people who lined up each day. The rough ‘n’ ready 1880s Old West Boom Town of cowboys, gun fights and stagecoaches is now one of four themed lands at the park. As well as offering the chance to pan for gold, you can ride on a steam train and rollercoasters, including the wooden coaster GhostRider®, plus rides such as Calico River Rapids, the Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mine Ride. The other lands include The Boardwalk and the Mexican-themed Fiesta Village, plus Camp Snoopy, which is home to family-friendly rides for children who aren’t tall enough for some of the bigger rides. A ride on the HangTime
rollercoaster, which has the steepest drop in California at 96 degrees with a top speed of more than 90km per hour, is one of the highlights. If you’re visiting during summer, make sure you incorporate Knott’s Soak City next door. The five-hectare water park, open from May to September, is themed around Southern California beach towns of the 1950s, with 16 speed, tube and body slides, a Tidal Wave Bay wave pool, Sunset River and the three-storey Beach House. If you can, try to time your visit to Knott’s Berry Farm around one of the many special events throughout the year, such as the three-week long Boysenberry Festival each spring which celebrates the park’s agricultural roots with boysenberry-inspired food and drinks, shows and live music. knotts.com
K NOTT’S BE R RY FA R M
* The HangTime rollercoaster
THINGS TO DO
A new land based on THE LEGO MOVIE opens in 2020
LEGOLAND CALIFORNIA RESORT
Ride the Dragon Coaster 72
It’s already one of the most popular family attractions in the state, but LEGOLAND® California Resort is set to get even better with the opening of a new land based on THE LEGO® MOVIE™ in 2020. Scheduled to open in the US spring, it will include rides such as THE LEGO® MOVIE™ MASTERS OF FLIGHT, which will be the biggest attraction in the new land. Join Master Builders on a Triple Decker Flying Couch as cutting-edge technology transports you all over THE LEGO® MOVIE™ universe. Surrounded by a full-dome virtual screen, you’ll feel like you’re flying through a world created completely from LEGO® bricks. LEGOLAND California Resort has more than 60 rides, shows and attractions. You can join the crew on the LEGO® CITY: Deep Sea Adventure submarine ride to discover real sea creatures and
LEGO treasures, train like a ninja at NINJAGO® World, and enter the world of knights and princesses to conquer the Dragon Coaster. Get a driver’s licence in Fun Town, and marvel at cities built entirely out of millions of LEGO bricks in Miniland USA. The resort is also home to LEGOLAND Water Park and SEA LIFE® aquarium, as well as the amazing LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Castle Hotel just steps away from the park entrance and filled with interactive play areas, LEGO-themed rooms, and nightly entertainment. LEGOLAND California is open daily during US spring break, summer and select holiday periods. It is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during select periods. For dates, times and resort information download the LEGOLAND app. LEGOLAND.com/California
THINGS TO DO
SANTA CATALINA ISLAND
Good times on Santa Catalina Island
FAMILY FUN A FERRY RIDE AWAY
A one-hour ferry ride from the mainland, Santa Catalina Island has long been a favourite holiday spot thanks to its Mediterraneanlike climate, laidback vibe and abundance of family-friendly activities. With no traffic lights on the island, it feels remote and unspoiled. Visitors are more likely to see the sights of the main town of Avalon from aboard a boat or golf cart. The island’s protected leeward beaches are the perfect spot for toddlers, who can happily spend hours playing in the sand and splashing in the shallows. Older children can enjoy water sports including snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and pedal boating. You can even take a ride on a semi-submersible submarine and see a magnificent kelp forest. The vessel features a fish food system launched by torpedo buttons, so you can feed the bright orange Garibaldi and other fish from your seat – at an extra cost. Looking for adventure? There are numerous ways kids can test their limits on Catalina. Descanso Beach offers ziplining, a climbing wall and the Catalina Aerial Adventure. Or explore Catalina’s interior by hummer, looking out for
bison and other animals and plants indigenous to the island. You can also hire a bike for the day, with children’s bikes, tandem bicycles and beach cruisers all on offer. Thrillseeking teenagers may prefer a mountain bike for an offroad expedition. Helmets, which must be worn by everyone under 18, are also available. There is no shortage of familyfriendly dining options, from pizza and burgers to fish and chips. But chefs on Catalina don’t limit themselves to traditional kid offerings, and you and your family won’t have to either. Discover great seafood, pasta, steaks and more in eateries ranging from beachside bistros to refined restaurants. Getting to Catalina Island is quick and easy aboard the Catalina Express ferry. Travel on fast, sleek and smooth vessels and experience first-class comfort with airline-style seats and cabin attendant service. Catalina Express operates up to 30 departures daily from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. Do it in style by booking upgraded seating in the Commodore Lounge, which includes priority boarding privileges, reclining leather seats, a drink of your choice and a snack. catalinaexpress.com
THINGS TO DO
MEDIEVAL TIMES DINNER & TOURNAMENT
Travel back in time to the 11th century and enjoy a four-course feast as you watch six knights compete in daring tournament games and a spectacular equestrian dressage performed by riders atop beautiful Spanish horses. medievaltimes.com
PIRATES DINNER ADVENTURE Ahoy me hearties! Jump on board for an actionpacked display of special effects, stunts, aerial artistry, swashbuckling swordplay, and a classic story of good versus evil at the Secrets of the Deep dinner show at neighbouring Buena Park. Up to 150 volunteers take part in the fun aboard an 18th century Spanish galleon as you enjoy a four-course feast. piratesdinneradventure.com
AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC
Take a journey of discovery through the world’s largest ocean at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Around 12,000 animals, including sharks, sea otters and frogs, are on display across more than 100 exhibits. Families with kids aged seven and over can book behind-the-scenes tours and animal encounters to help feed penguins, sea lions and fish and learn about what it takes to maintain the facility, from water filtration to animal care. aquariumofpacific.org 74
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD
Go behind-the-scenes at the largest and busiest motion picture and TV studio in the world. Guests on the Studio Tour come face-to-face with Amity Island’s most famous resident, Jaws, and experience rides such as King Kong 360 3D and Fast & Furious-Supercharged. Other highlights include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™; The Simpsons Ride™, the multi-sensory DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda, and the revamped Jurassic World – The Ride. universalstudioshollywood.com
FLIGHTDECK FLIGHT SIMULATION CENTER
Don’t miss the special Disney exhibition coming to the Bowers Museum in 2020! From March 7-August 30, the Inside the Disney Archives: 50 Years of Preserving the Magic exhibition celebrates the magic of The Walt Disney Company. The museum, at nearby Santa Ana, showcases art from around the world, and also has a high-tech, interactive children’s museum called Kidseum. bowers.org
Take the controls of a Boeing 737 and fly a fighter jet on state-of-the-art simulators at this super fun Anaheim attraction. It also offers aviation camps and two-day programs in which students aged 11 to 15 learn about navigation and radar, take-off, radio communication and landing. flightdeck1.com
See life-sized dinosaurs, discover what it feels like to launch a rocket and learn about the scientific aspects of hockey, with the help of the Anaheim Ducks, at this science museum in Santa Ana. It’s located on Interstate 5 and you won’t miss it, thanks to the ten-storey solar cube incorporated in its architecture. oc.discoverycube.org
THINGS TO DO
BEACHES They’ve been the setting for countless TV shows and movies, and California’s beaches are just as vibrant in real life. Book a surf lesson at Huntington Beach and toast s’mores (crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows) around one of the fire rings that dot the sand at sunset; go skating or cycling along the pier, ride the ferris wheel and play arcades games at Newport Beach; and spot sea lions, go kayaking and explore the sea caves and natural tide pools at Laguna Beach.
WARNER BROS. STUDIO TOUR HOLLYWOOD
Step onto the Warner Bros. backlot for a peek at how Hollywood magic is made at this attraction, a one-hour drive from Anaheim at Burbank. The three-hour Studio Tour winds around the backlot and outdoor sets and soundstages that brought to life films and TV shows including Harry Potter, Pretty Little Liars, La La Land, Gilmore Girls and more. Sit on the couch on the real Central Perk set from the hit TV show Friends, see the set of The Big Bang Theory, and explore the Batcave, home to some of Batman’s most famous vehicles. Don’t miss DC Universe: The Exhibit, which displays costumes and props from Aquaman and Wonder Woman. wbstudiotour.com
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 | 800.622.2419 75
SHOPPING & DINING
Anaheim Packing House
Image: Visit Anaheim
House of Blues Anaheim
No matter what cuisine you feel like, you will find it in Anaheim! At Downtown Disney you can get a taste of New Orleans at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, dine on Italian at Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria, and enjoy classic American fare at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes. Grab a bite before you bowl at Splitsville Luxury Lanes, and indulge in an ice-cream at Salt & Straw. Head to Little Saigon, between Westminster and Garden Grove, for Asian dishes, including legendary spring rolls at Brodard Chateau and Vietnamese noodle soup at Pho Dakao or Pho 79. Try Southern Fried favourites at the House of Blues at Anaheim GardenWalk, and see dinner being prepared Mongolian-style at the FiRE + iCE Interactive Grill + Bar, which has
an outdoor fire pit on the patio and live music on weekends. The outdoor entertainment and shopping centre also houses Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., California Pizza Kitchen and The Cheesecake Factory, among others. In the historic Anaheim Packing District, a former citrus packing warehouse has been retrofitted as a gourmet food hall called Anaheim Packing House. The district has more than 40 food and beverage outlets, including Unami Burger, Anaheim Brewery, Unsung Brewing Company, Jav’s BBQ and Cultivation Kitchen. Don’t miss Ruby’s Diner, in the historic Five Points district, for a classic 1940s American dining experience, with rollerskating servers dishing up burgers, sundaes, banana splits and milkshakes.
Downtown Disney Irvine Spectrum Center
Image: Visit Anaheim
Around 25 minutes’ north of Anaheim you’ll find Citadel Outlets, which offers savings of 30 to 70 per cent off retail prices at over 130 top stores, including Kate Spade New York, COACH Factory, Hugo Boss, Disney Outlet and NIKE Factory. With a ferris wheel to keep the kids content, and department stores such as Nordstrom and Target, Irvine Spectrum Center is another great option, around 20 minutes’ drive from Anaheim. Desert Hills Premium Outlets, near Palm Springs, has the largest collection of luxury outlets in California. For a luxury coastal shopping experience, the open-air Fashion Island at Newport Beach has Orange County’s only Neiman Marcus, a Bloomingdale’s Home Store and Juicy Couture. Huntington Beach also has its own oceanfront offering, Pacific City.
SHOPPING When Australians go to the US, shopping is often high on their agenda, and Anaheim ticks all the boxes when it comes to this popular pastime. Stock up on Disney-themed products in the Downtown Disney District, which has a World of Disney store, Disney Home, and even a Disney Dress Shop. Popular beauty store, Sephora, also has an outlet here. Shopaholics will also love the large outdoor shopping centre, Anaheim GardenWalk, and perusing the boutiques in the hip and historic Center Street Promenade. Just a 10-minute drive from Disneyland Resort, The Outlets at Orange, is the most convenient place to grab a bargain. The open-air centre has more than 120 outlets offering savings of up to 70 per cent, as well as entertainment, restaurants and other family attractions.
WHERE TO STAY
WHERE TO STAY
For the ultimate in convenience – and the chance to gain entry to the theme parks an hour before other guests – book one of Disneyland Resort’s three hotels. They include Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel overlooking Disney California Adventure Park and the luxurious Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The 973-room Disneyland Hotel has special Disney furnishings, including lightup Sleeping Beauty Castle headboards, pools with waterslides and five themed Signature Suites where you can pretend you are a pirate, a princess, a miner or an explorer. It also has several restaurants, including Goofy’s Kitchen, where you can meet Disney characters at breakfast,
the award-winning Steakhouse 55 and Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. Overlooking Disney California Adventure Park, the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel was inspired by California beach culture, with surf-themed furnishings. It has a rooftop pool and a waterslide and is home to PCH Grill, where you can have breakfast with Mickey and friends. The luxurious Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa was built in the turn-of-the-century California craftsman style, with 948 refurbished rooms and 50 two-bedroom equivalent villas, a private entrance into Disney California Adventure Park, themed pools and waterslides, a spa and two restaurants –Storytellers Café and the award-winning Napa Rose. disneyland.com.au
DISNEYLAND RESORT HOTELS
A room at Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim
Image: © 2017 LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland
Stay at one of two LEGO-themed hotels just steps from the entrance to LEGOLAND California Resort at Carlsbad, around an hour’s drive south of Anaheim. The 250-room LEGOLAND Hotel has a heated outdoor pool, interactive play areas and nightly entertainment. Breakfast is included at Brick’s Family Restaurant, which also offers a dinner buffet. You can pick up snacks and espresso beverages from Mini’s Lounge, and dine at Skyline Café for lunch and dinner. LEGOLAND Castle Hotel also has 250 rooms, a heated outdoor pool, interactive play areas and nightly entertainment, as well as outdoor movies. Dragon’s Den Restaurant is open for breakfast (which is included), lunch and dinner.
Image: Cedar Fair Entertainment Co
LEGOLAND CALIFORNIA RESORT HOTELS
KNOTT’S BERRY FARM HOTEL
This 320-room room hotel has a SNOOPY-themed wing with PEANUTS® decorations that include a visit from Snoopy to tuck children in for the night, and two Snoopy plush dolls to take home. There’s also a fitness centre, pool, sports courts and a restaurant. Up to three rooms can be connected for up to 12 guests. knotts.com/stay/knotts-berry-farm-hotel 77
EXCiTiNG NEW HOTEL IN THE ANAHEIM AREA! AMAZING AMENITIES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY • Conveniently located near Disneyland Resort™, Angel Stadium & the Honda Center • ART transportation in front of Hotel, curbside (fees apply) • 3 main room types with king and queen beds, bunk beds & connecting rooms • Complimentary hot breakfast buffet daily • Outdoor pools & water park slides with splash zone • Outdoor movie wall, sport court, BBQ grills, fire pits • Starbucks, The Habit Burger, Yogurtland, Jersey Mike’s, California Fish Grill, Ono Hawaiian BBQ & Luna Grill on-site
WHERE TO STAY
CAMBRIA HOTEL AND SUITES ANAHEIM RESORT AREA screen TVs as you enjoy Californian cuisine prepared by the in-house chef. Or pop next door to the new shopping centre to grab a coffee from Starbucks, a sub from Jersey Mike’s, a charbroiled burger from The Habit Burger Grill or a taco from California Fish Grill. Rooms have large bathrooms with a private shower plus a bath/shower combination, complimentary Wi-Fi with the latest connectivity technology, a workspace, and comfortable living room area. Standard Queen/Queen rooms are available, as well as One Bedroom Double Queen Suites, which feature a living room area. One Bedroom King Suites can sleep up to seven guests, with bunk beds for the kids. cambriasuitesanaheim.com
Image: ©2019 Smith Photography Inc
If the idea of staying in a brand new hotel appeals, look no further than Cambria Hotel and Suites Anaheim Resort area. Just a few blocks from the entrance to Disneyland Resort, it has 352 comfortable, resort-style guest rooms and suites. Kids will love splashing about in the large on-site waterpark, which has several slides, popup jets and splash pads. There’s also a main pool and a second pool with a shallow entry ideal for little ones, and an outdoor hot tub on the pool deck. Watch a film on the movie wall, have a hit at the putting green and, in the evening, toast marshmallows in one of the fire pits dotted throughout the outdoor patio. A buffet breakfast is included daily, and there’s also a barbecue area and an indoor/ outdoor bar overlooking the pool and waterpark, where you can watch sport on flat
An artist impression of the pool
WHERE TO STAY
GREAT WOLF LODGE With its own gigantic indoor water park, themed rooms and character appearances at breakfast, Great Wolf Lodge is kiddie heaven! Located approximately 2km from Disneyland Resort, the lodge has 603 suites to choose from. Children will love staying in one of the cave, log cabin or wolf den themed rooms, and there is so much to do here they won’t want to leave! Four passes for the water park, which has 14 slides and four pools, are included when you book a room, and there is also an arcade games room, laser games, a kids’ bowling alley and mini golf, not to mention activities such as storytime and a daily Forest Friends show. There are several eateries to choose from, including Loose Moose Family Kitchen, Dunkin’ Donuts, the Lodge Wood Fired Grill, Grizzly Jack’s Bar and Grill and Bear Paw Sweets and Eats. greatwolf.com/southern-california
HOTEL FEATURES 603 GUEST ROOMS • Each with a small fridge, microwave and coffeemaker • Stays include four waterpark passes 7 ON-SITE RESTAURANTS • Loose Moose Family Kitchen, WoodFired Grill, Buckets, Hungry as a Wolf, Bear Paw Deli, Grizzly Jacks Bar & Grill and Dunkin Donuts WATERPARK & ATTRACTIONS • 9,700sq m indoor waterpark, arcade, magi-guest, mini golf, bowling, lazer maze LOCATION • 3.2km from Disneyland Resort • 51km from Universal Studios Hollywood • 61km from the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Downtown LA • 58km from Los Angeles International Airport • 60km from Ontario International Airport
GARDEN GROVE - ANAHEIM | 12681 Harbor Blvd Garden Grove CA 92840 www.greatwolf.com/southern-california
WHERE TO STAY
DE SE RT PA L MS HOT E L &SU I T E S One of only three non-Disney® hotels located on the Disneyland Resort block, Desert Palms Hotel & Suites offers loads of family-friendly features including a photo station, a kids’ media lounge and weekly activities such as arts and crafts and a scavenger hunt. Casual dining restaurant Oasis Kitchen and Bar serves up family favourites, with salads, burgers, pasta, tacos and fish and chips, and a dedicated kids’ menu. A daily hot breakfast buffet and Wi-Fi are included in your stay. There’s also a heated outdoor pool, a hot tub, fitness centre, business centre, laundry facilities, dry cleaning service and a gift shop. Rooms and kid-friendly suites come equipped with a microwave, fridge, flat screen TV. Kids’ Suites feature bunk beds, or try a two-bedroom, twobathroom Family Suite with four queen beds. The hotel is a ten-minute walk to Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, and Downtown Disney District. desertpalmshotel.com
A Deluxe Room
Your dream family vacation starts here! Make Desert Palms Hotel & Suites your home every time you visit the Disneyland® Resort.
Conveniently located within walking distance to the Disneyland® Theme Parks, Downtown Disney, and the Anaheim Convention Center. Complimentary Value Features: Wi-Fi and Daily Freshly-Prepared Hot Breakfast Buffet. Complimentary Kid-Friendly Features: Photo Station, Weekly Arts and Crafts, Scavenger Hunt and Kids Media Lounge. Immerse your experience with our virtual reality tours, now available on our website www.DesertPalmsHotel.com Pool Palms Hotel & Suites Desert fun CA 92802 USA • T: 714.535.1133 • 888.521.6420 631 W. Katella Avenue • Anaheim, 81
Anticipate with Us Experience an elevated level of family vacation in Anaheim at The Westin Anaheim Resort, a new hotel opening in 2020 directly across from DisneylandÂŽ Resort. Enjoy large new suites with connecting rooms, nightly fireworks views from premium rooms, an outdoor pool with private cabanas, complimentary family travel journal, local activity guide and Westin Eat Well Menu for Kids. With beaches, Los Angeles and San Diego just a short drive away, your next family vacation awaits at The Westin Anaheim Resort.
For more information, visit westinanaheim.com
ÂŠ2019 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Westin and their logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc.
Opening August 2020
WHERE TO STAY An artist rendering of the exterior of The Westin Anaheim Resort
THE WESTIN ANAHEIM RESORT The resort’s lobby
Opening in August 2020, The Westin Anaheim Resort will be located directly across from Disney California Adventure Park and within walking distance of the main gate of Disneyland Park. Guests will be greeted by a cascading waterfall in the driveway, and by the friendly Westin staff as they enter the airy lobby that boasts a green, living wall behind the front desk in the reception area. At check-in, children will be given a Westin Family Travel Journal and a Local Activity Guide highlighting family-friendly attractions and eateries. The 618 new guestrooms will feature Westin Heavenly Beds® and lots of electricity outlets to ensure all members of the family can recharge devices. A marble-top table doubles as a desk and a table, making in-room family dining as easy as working for parents who need to fire up their laptops while they are away. There will be plenty of suites with connecting rooms for families, as well as balconies in premium rooms. The resort will also feature a restaurant offering American dishes infused with flavours from around the world, and an Eat Well menu for Kids, offering balanced meals for children. Other features will include an outdoor pool with five private cabanas that can be reserved, with TVs and fridges. A pool deck bar, a concierge lounge, and a rooftop bar with panoramic views of Disney’s fireworks are other great features of the new resort. The Westin WORKOUT® facility will include Peloton bikes, cardiovascular equipment and free weights. westinanaheim.com
An artist rendering of the pool area 83
WE ARE STOVALL'S HOTELS Stovall’s Hotels of Anaheim FREE DAILY BREAKFAST
ANAHEIM INN Katella Ave
WALK TO DISNEYLAND
Theme parks main pedestrian entrance
IN ROOM COFFEE / TEA
POOLS & HOT TUBS FITNESS CENTERS
4 HOTELS NEXT TO DISNEYLAND ®
WHERE TO STAY A mini suite at Best Western Plus Park Place Inn
A HOTEL TO SUIT EVERY FAMILY!
Best Western Plus Stovalls Inn
The pool and spa at Best Western Plus Pavilions
BE ST W EST E R N P LU S S T OVA L L’ S Hotel owner and operator Al Stovall began opening accommodation in the Anaheim area in the 1960s. His four family-friendly Best Western Plus Stovall’s properties – all with pools and spas – have been remodelled over the years. As well as being Best Western Plus hotels, indicating wellappointed rooms with modern amenities and an enhanced level of comfort, they are certified as Disney Good Neighbor® hotels, are AAA® 3 diamond-rated and all received the 2017 and 2018 Trip Advisor® Certificate of Excellence® award. Best Western Plus Park Place Inn and Mini Suites is the closest hotel to the main pedestrian entrance of Disneyland Resort,
which is directly across the street and an easy two-minute walk. Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn is just steps away from the pedestrian entrance. The Best Western Plus Pavilions and Stovall’s Inn are both within walking distance of the theme parks, and there is also a shuttle service available with Anaheim Resort Transit, for a small fee. The hotels’ rooms have high speed Wi-Fi included, as well as microwaves, mini fridges, fresh brewed single serving coffee makers and access to the HBO Family TV channel, and there is also a business centre in the lobby of each hotel. Best Western Plus Stovall’s Inn has an
upgraded pool area with private cabanas, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a seasonal snack bar area. Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn and Best Western Plus Park Place have both recently refurbished their guestrooms and suites. A breakfast buffet with various hot items is available at the Anaheim Inn, Park Place and Stovall’s Inn, which includes all new seating areas for families to enjoy breakfast together, while Pavilions offers a full breakfast for two per day plus grab-and-go breakfast snacks. stovallsinn.com parkplaceinnandminisuites.com anaheiminn.com pavilionshotel.com 85
WHERE TO STAY
CLEMENTINE HOTEL & SUITES ANAHEIM
Images: ©2015 Darren Edwards Photographs
A twobedroom suite
Kids will love the playground\
Fall in love with the condominium-style feel of this bright and colourful hotel, set to be even better when it unveils a major renovation in March 2020. Clementine Hotel & Suites is surrounded by palm trees and has a lovely barbecue area lit by lanterns at night, an outdoor pool lined with banana beds and a spa. A new splash pad will be added as part of the upgrade, and the pool area extended. There’s also a fitness centre, sports court and a children’s playground with two slides and a slippery dip. Parents can keep an eye on their little ones from a picnic table or bench nearby. There are a range of beautifully decorated light and airy suites to choose from, all with full kitchens. They include cosy Studio Suites with one queen bed and a sofa bed, One-bedroom Suites with two queen beds and a sofa bed (bedroom is separated), and a Bi-Level Loft with two queens, a sofa bed, a king bed, and two bathrooms. There are also Two-bedroom Suites in which one room has a queen bed and the second bedroom has two queen beds. They also have a sofa bed, two bathrooms and most have a fireplace. Buffet breakfast and Wi-Fi are included, and there are laundry facilities, a business centre and a Disneyland Resort desk on-site where you can buy tickets to the theme parks or book other tours. A small market sells essentials including bread, nappies and bottled water, plus there’s a grocery delivery service available where your order is delivered to your in-room kitchen. You can catch a shuttle to Disneyland Resort for a small fee, or drive from the hotel. clementinehotel.com
HIT THE ROAD A California road trip is the perfect way to complement an Anaheim holiday, with long coastal highways to explore and national parks to discover. Award-winning Alamo Rent A Car is the largest car rental provider for international visitors to North America, and can help get you on your way. The official rental car brand of Disneyland Resort, Alamo offers a wide selection of vehicles – from compact and quick for city driving, to a larger choice with extra luggage room for long family car trips and a recently added range of pickup trucks, including the Nissan Frontier and the Ford F150, which are ideal for more adventurous expeditions. After getting your theme park fix, head off along California’s Pacific Coast Highway – the famous ribbon of tarmac otherwise known as California State Route 1 or, simply, Highway One. It courses along the edge of the state for more
than 1000km, between Orange County and the northern town of Leggett. The route passes through Los Angeles and San Francisco, even crossing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, but saves its greatest moments for the cliffs and chasms which make up much of the seafront it clings to – notably the portion which flirts with the Pacific between the two cities. Driving through little towns and hamlets, such as Pismo and Big Sur, can be a superbly slow process. Almost every corner offers a reason to pull over and take photos. Enjoy an Early Bird upgrade for Compact to Intermediate and Intermediate to Standard or Full Size* vehicles when you book before April 30, 2020 for travel from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Terms and conditions apply. For reservations please contact your local travel agent or for more information call Alamo on 1300 300 913.
Book a car hire for your family trip to North America
Alamo Rent A Car provides a wide range of vehicles for families and leisure travellers, offering everyday affordable rental rates and a hassle-free customer experience. Book now and take advantage of an early bird car class upgrade* For reservations please contact your local travel agent or for more information contact us on 1300 300 913 *Early bird upgrade valid for reservations made between 1 October 2019 and 30 April 2020 and pick up between 01 April 2020 & 31 March 2021, available for all regions of USA and Canada with the following car classes - CCAR to ICAR / CDAR to IDAR / ICAR to SCAR / IDAR to FCAR. Standard rental terms and conditions apply. ©2019 Alamo Rent A Car. K01572 10.19.
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STAY AND PLAY
Treat your family to the ultimate LEGO® experience. A day at LEGOLAND® California and a night at LEGOLAND Hotel!
60+ Rides and Attractions
SEA LIFE® aquarium
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LEGO® Themed Hotels
LEGOLAND® California Resort is located just one hour south of Anaheim and 30 minutes north of San Diego.
Visit LEGOLAND.com/hours for Park days and hours of operation. THE LEGO® MOVIE™ © The LEGO Group & Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. (s19). ©2019 The LEGO Group.
WHY WAIKĪKĪ Hawai‘i’s best-known neighbourhood makes the ideal base for a family holiday, writes ANGELA SAURINE
There are few places on the planet that can rival the vibe of Waikīkī, with its world-famous beach, surf culture and multitude of shops, restaurants and hotels. On Honolulu’s south shore, just 20 minutes’ drive from the airport, it has been a holiday hotspot
since the first hotel, Moana Surfrider, was built on the beachfront in 1901. Set against the dramatic backdrop of Mount Lē‘ahi (Diamond Head State Monument), Waikīkī Beach is where Duke Kahanamoku, known as ‘the father of modern surfing’, grew up
riding the waves. It’s the perfect place to hop on a board, ride an outrigger canoe or try stand-up paddleboarding. Hit the shops along the vibrant Kalakaua Ave strip, and dine with your toes in the sand at one of the many beachfront eateries.
A family playing in the sand at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikīkī Beach Resort 89
Left: Enjoy the free fireworks show at Waikīkī Below: Waikīkī Beach Walk
Image: Tor Johnson Hawaii Tourism Authority
Spending as much time as possible on the beach is a given, but there’s oodles of other fun stuff to do in Waikīkī. Animal lovers can get their fix of marine life, including monk seals, sharks and rays, at Waikīkī Aquarium. You can also see native species, such as the Hawaiian goose, and endangered animals, including black rhinos, Asian elephants, cheetahs, chimpanzees and Sumatran tigers, at Honolulu Zoo, which lies between Waikīkī and Diamond Head in Queen Kapi‘olani Park. During summer, the park also hosts free Sunday afternoon performances by the Royal Hawaiian Band. It’s also worth hiking Diamond Head to take in the panoramic view over the coast – approximately a two-hour round trip, depending on your family’s fitness levels. From Waikīkī, it’s also easy to do day trips to visit other attractions across the island of O‘ahu, including Pearl Harbor National Memorial, which is
around a half an hour away. Spend a day splashing about at Wet’n’Wild Hawai‘i, head underwater in a submarine with Atlantis Adventures, ride the vintagestyle Pineapple Express train at Dole Plantation and see where Jurassic Park and countless other movies and TV shows were filmed at Kualoa Ranch and Private Nature Reserve. A road trip to the North Shore is also a must so dad can check out the legendary Banzai Pipeline surf break, and the whole clan can learn about the traditions of islands throughout the South Pacific wandering through the villages at the Polynesian Cultural Center before watching the spectacular Hā: Breath of Life evening show
SHOP TILL MUM DROPS Waikīkī is almost as famous now for its shopping as it is for its iconic beach, with plenty of places for mum to update her wardrobe. Spanning three blocks on the beach side of Kalakaua Ave, the Royal Hawaiian Center has more than 110 stores and restaurants across four levels, offering everything from fun-in-thesun-wear to designer apparel, costume jewellery to high-end pieces, and street food to fine dining restaurants. There’s also art and craft stores, surf shops and free lei-making classes and hula and ‘ukulele lessons on weekdays, as well as live entertainment from Tuesday to Saturday. The International Market Place is home to Hawai’i’s first Saks Fifth Avenue and shops including Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Honolulu Cookie Co., Kona Coffee Purveyors, Pandora, Seafolly Australia, Sunglass Hut and Swarovski. The stylish two-level, open-air Waikīkī Beach Walk has more than 40 stores, eateries and an outdoor plaza where live performances are held, while T Galleria by DFS in Royal Hawaiian Ave is a
Image: Hawaii Tourism Authority-Tor Johnson
ANIMAL LOVERS CAN GET THEIR FIX OF MARINE LIFE, INCLUDING MONK SEALS, SHARKS AND RAYS, AT WAIKĪKĪ AQUARIUM
Children watching fish at Waikīkī Aquarium
Image: Hilton Hotels and Resorts
luxury duty free retail outlet. Affordable Burberry, Bvlgari, Cartier, Coach, Dior, Emporio Armani, Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Prada and Ralph Lauren? Yes, please!
DELICIOUS DINING SCENE One of Waikīkī’s most enticing elements for families is the row of restaurants that line the beach. Duke’s Waikīkī, at Outrigger Waikīkī Beach Resort, is a standout. With its thatched umbrellas, tiki torches, barefoot bar and live music, it embraces the Aloha Spirit like few other venues. At the same resort, Hula Grill Waikīkī is a great place to experience Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine – a culinary movement created by a group of a dozen chefs in the early 1990s that blends the islands’ many multicultural food influences, flavours and cooking styles with local ingredients. 92
If you’re missing a taste of home, head to Bill’s Waikīkī, where Australian restaurateur Bill Granger serves up a full Aussie breakfast, baked goods, ricotta hotcakes and homemade sodas, including hibiscus and lime. Or grab a sanga or wrap and a smoothie from the Aussie café-inspired Tucker and Bevvy in the Hyatt Regency, or from the Park Shore Hotel outlet, across the road from the zoo.
HOTELS, HOTELS, HOTELS! With more than 100 hotels, choosing where to stay in Waikīkī can feel a bit overwhelming. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikīkī Beach Resort is a firm favourite among Aussie families – largely thanks to the fact it has six pools, the longest waterslide in town and a manmade lagoon ideal for trying water sports such as stand-up paddleboarding. Famous for
its Friday night fireworks extravaganza, the mega hotel almost feels like a city in its own right, with 18 restaurants and bars, including Tropics Bar & Grill, CJ’s New York Style Deli and the super fun ROCKY Japanese Steak Teppan Restaurant. There’s also a rooftop lū‘au twice a week, and a Camp Penguin children’s program offering activities such as lei-making and hula and ‘ukulele lessons for kids aged five to 12. If you’d rather be a bit closer to the action, Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikīkī Beach Walk is next to the shopping centre that features in its moniker, just steps from the beach. It has spacious suites with a separate living room area and a micro-kitchen, while the Grand Lanai Pool Deck boasts a heated pool, whirlpool spa, kids’ pool and a large sundeck with stylish cabanas, covered-pavilion seating and the poolside Pakini Bar.
Image: Brent Shiratori
Image: Hawaii Tourism Authority-Tor Johnson
Clockwise from far left: The waterslide at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikīkī Beach Resort, A refurbished room at Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger, Waikīkī from above, An aerial view of Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikīkī Beach Resort
Image: Hilton Hotels and Resorts
Beside International Market Place, Waikīkī Beachcomber by Outrigger has just undergone a major refurbishment, with a modern, coastal look and cool Hawaiian-inspired works by local artists, including an extreme surf photographer, chalk artist and a fiber artist, dotted throughout. The revamped streetfront is reminiscent of a contemporary beach house, replete with driftwood cedar, sea glass tiles, native puka stone and basalt lava rock framed by a multi-storey green-wall. Then there’s the farm-totable eatery Maui Brewing Co., Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, and the pool deck, with infinity-style hot tub, overlooking Kalakaua Ave. If it’s luxury you seek, check into the new ESPACIO THE JEWEL OF WAIKĪKĪ. Each of the hotel’s nine floors houses a single two- or three-bedroom suite, with full kitchens, 24-hour butler service, Italian-marble bathrooms, a balcony, dry sauna and a hot tub. The hotel, which is managed by Aqua-Aston Hospitality, also has a restaurant, rooftop infinity pool and spa. Access to a luxury car is included – a perfect excuse to get out and explore the rest of the island!
Hawaiian Airlines, which recently celebrated its 90th birthday, flies direct to Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport from Sydney and Brisbane. hawaiianairlines. com.au
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND AND CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS
Eastern Thailand offers the perfect mix of cultural traditions, beautiful islands and modern attractions the kids will love
Image: Patrawin Vanichstaporn
walk TRAT WAY
Ko Mak Katueng Bay in Trat 94
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND AND CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS
Thailand may be an ideal destination for a ‘flop and drop’ resort holiday, but if you want to get more out of your time away then a trip to the country’s east could be just what you are looking for. As well as the chance to educate the kids about the world they live in through cultural tours, activities and museums, you can also delight them with trips to theme parks, leisure centres and oodles of beach time. Around 100km southeast of Bangkok, the resort city of Pattaya is a great place to begin your journey. On the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand in the province of Chonburi, Pattaya is home to many family-friendly attractions. It’s likely the kids will want to head straight to Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark in the seaside town of Bang Saray, about 20 minutes’ drive from Pattaya. The park has ten cartoon-themed entertainment zones with 25 rides, including waterslides, rafting and flowriding attractions. Dance to fun and catchy tunes at live shows featuring Cartoon Network characters, including Ben 10 and his aliens, Johnny Bravo and The Powerpuff Girls. Children are also sure to love the Harbor Pattaya leisure centre, which has 13 play zones, including Harborland – the largest indoor playground in Asia. There’s also laser tag, a climbing gym, a trampoline and parkour centre, games arcade, rope courses, an ice-skating rink and indoor snow park. You can see dolphins and seals performing acrobatics and tricks at Pattaya Dolphinarium, and learn about space technology and the universe at science museum Space Inspirium, which has its own 3D cinema.
The sanctuary of Truth
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND AND CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS
Top: Kayaking at Mu Koh Rang in Trat Below: The spectacular Kaan Show 96
For a glimpse into traditional life, take a boat ride through the colourful Pattaya Floating Market to observe people selling Thai crafts and fresh fruit and vegetables from boats and waterfront shops, before heading to A’ La Campagne for lunch. Inspired by a Sri Lankan tea factory, here you can try a range of tea, imported from around the world, with homemade baked goods. Kids can learn how to grow vegetables, collect eggs from the free-range farm and feed the animals, including horses, pigs and goats. Admire the architecture, watch plays and see displays of sword fighting or Thai dancing at The Sanctuary of Truth Museum – a castle carved of wood with a pagoda-shaped structure on top built during the reign of King Rama IX.
Nongnooch Garden is another must visit. Hiring bikes is a great way to explore the 240ha property, which has everything from European and Stonehenge-inspired gardens to large statues of dinosaurs and animals such as crocodiles, cheetahs and polar bears. You can also go paddle-boating on the lake. Don’t miss the Kaan Show, which features a mix of live action and cinema. The one-hour production tells the story of a young man named Kaan, who is handed a book with his name on it by a librarian. When he opens it, he is whisked into the story and embarks on a fantastical adventure where the characters from ancient literature come to life. Drive approximately four hours east of Pattaya to the province of Trat, which has more than 50 islands, with long, white sandy beaches and unspoilt coral reefs. Bordering Cambodia, with the Khao Banthat mountain range forming a natural boundary between the two countries, Trat is Thailand’s eastern-most province. The city of Trat is the gateway to gem markets on the Cambodian border that shopaholics will love. You can also see seafood being sold at Talad Rai Rang Fish Market, and learn about the lives and culture of the Indigenous Chong ethic group, who still live traditionally, at Ban Chang Thun Community ecomuseum. For something more modern, check out the street art on the walls of buildings in the Laem Ngop Lighthouse area. Trat is also the gateway to Mu Koh Chang National Park, Koh Mak and Koh Kut. Thailand’s second largest island, Koh Chang is around a 45-minute boat ride from the mainland. With rainforests, beaches and tranquil bays, it is a popular destination for water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, snorkelling and diving. Sai Khao Beach, also known as White Sand Beach, is one of the main places to stay. Close to the ferry terminal, it has an abundance of restaurants and resorts.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND AND CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS
With its luxury resorts and beachfront seafood restaurants ideal for watching the sunset, Klong Phrao Beach, a little further south, is another great choice. Kai Bae Beach, Klong Son Bay and Sapparod Bay (Pineapple Bay) are also options. The island has many walking trails and waterfalls, the most popular being Klong Plu on the west coast. As well as being easily accessible, it has several large pools perfect for swimming, with water year-round. You can also visit the old
fishing village Salak Phet in the island’s southeast, with its traditional fishing boats, temple and mangrove forest walkway, to see life in the rural community. Thrillseekers can enjoy an exciting off-road experience through the jungle with ATV Monster Adventure, while budding chefs can learn to prepare Thai dishes with a class at Blue Lagoon Cooking School, Kati Culinary Cooking School or Napalai Thai Cuisine School. There really is something for the whole family!
For more information visit: Amazing Thailand amazingthailand. com.au
WHERE TO STAY
Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya
Featuring an exciting Lost World theme, this resort is a family favourite, with its own landscaped water park, direct access to a 230m sandy beach and myriad dining options. FOR FAMILIES: • The first truly themed resort in Thailand, with Lost World Adventure Land opening soon • Zulu Family Club Lounge: a separate area for families to dine with a play zone for kids • A variety of facilities for children including Kids’ Club and a spacious playground • A water park with a lazy river, pools, waterslides, waterfalls and a water play area for children, Monsoon Island, with water sprays, water gun shooters, a jumbo water bucket and more • Guest rooms with a separate children’s area centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/cmbr
Centara Chaan Talay Resort and Villas Trat
Offering the experience of tropical luxury on a pristine white sand beach framed by lush green surroundings, this resort has a serene atmosphere plus great wellbeing and recreational facilities FOR FAMILIES: • Near the beach, with a 400m stretch of sand on one side and tropical gardens, a river and untouched jungle on the other • A beachfront infinity pool with a shallow section for children • Generous suites and villas including a large living room, comfortable master bedroom and a spacious terrace or balcony • The perfect hotel to stay en route to Koh Chang and bordering Cambodia centarahotelsresorts.com/ centara/cct
Centara Koh Chang Tropicana Resort
This beachfront 4-star resort on Koh Chang’s west coast, is defined by its spacious rooms, cabanas set in tropical gardens, and great facilities FOR FAMILIES: • Younger guests are well taken care of with a children’s pool, waterslide, Kids’ Club (Camp Safari and E-Zone) and a host of daily activities • Splash pool located within the gardens, with a children’s pool, waterslide, pool bar and beachfront pool • A 30-minute drive from the pier where guests disembark from boats from the mainland or journey to nearby islands • All rooms and cabanas offer easy access to either one of the two swimming pools or to the beach centarahotelsresorts.com/ centara/ckc
Centra by Centara Maris Resort Jomtien
Located near Jomtien Beach in Pattaya, which is renowned for its water sports, this resort is designed to deliver the experience of a family retreat. FOR FAMILIES: • Thailand’s first Hobbitthemed Kids’ Club, with a daily activities program • Family-friendly residences with bunk beds and a spacious living area • A children’s pool with a water playground • The Suite Life Private Pool Suites come with their own plunge pool • Easy access to several popular destinations in Pattaya, including Koh Larn, Pattaya Floating market and the Sanctuary of Truth centarahotelsresorts.com/ centra/cmj
DAN SCOTT crafts an itinerary to suit every member of the family on a holiday to Europe and the UK
KICKING GOALS ON DADDYDAUGHTER TRIP
For a dad travelling through Europe with two soccer-mad daughters, it doesn’t get much better than this. Installed at Old Trafford, one of the world’s most famous sports arenas, for the Manchester United home game versus Arsenal, we’re welcomed by the stadium announcer in front of a crowd of more than 73,000 fans. “Hi to Mila and Freya Scott, who are 12 and 9, and from a tiny hamlet called Charlotte Bay, which is in NSW, Australia, 12,000 miles away,” he says. “They play for a girls’
team, are you ready for this? They are called the Busby Babes, and of course they are managed by their dad, Dan Scott… so we wish them all the very best and warm greetings.” It’s taken months of meticulous planning and dozens of emails to get here, but it’s all been worth it. Over previous days, we’ve watched United’s recently formed women’s team play, attended a Manchester University reunion with friends I haven’t seen in decades, and taken in the Old
Far left: Mila and Freya on the balcony of their Paris apartment Left: Hogwarts Express at Harry Potter World Above: Diagon Alley at Harry Potter World
Trafford stadium and museum tour. The tour not only allowed the starryeyed girls to step inside the players’ dressing room, but also helped them understand the history of this famous club and the resonance of the name of the local team they play for. To learn how, one snowy February night in Munich in 1958, much of a promising young Manchester United team was nearly wiped out in a plane crash that killed 23 people. How, within ten years, manager Matt Busby, who nearly died in the disaster, nurtured another squad of ‘Babes’, including the 99
charismatic George Best, the Ronaldo of his time, to win club football’s ultimate prize, the European Cup, in 1968. Call it indoctrination or fatherdaughter bonding, but this footballing connection is cemented during our three-day visit to Manchester. Yet, if this trip is about making childhood dreams come true, then for Mila, my eldest, who has read every single Harry Potter tome and seen every movie, multiple times, our visit to the Warner Bros. Studio, where the films were made, is even more significant. Booked out months in advance, Harry Potter World, near Watford, north of London, is everything that JK Rowling’s devotees could hope for. Strolling through the grand but intimately detailed sets of Hogwarts’ Great Hall, the Forbidden Forest (with its massive spiders), Gringott’s Wizarding Bank and the Diagon Alley shops, is like touching a legend. Watching my little girl wandering through the studios, captivated and entranced, I’m reminded of the power of childhood imagination, of how important fantasy and storytelling are in our development. What’s equally impressive are the insights into the skill, craft and industry of the hundreds of designers, set builders, make-up artists, prop and costume-makers, technicians, producers, directors and actors that together made the Harry Potter movie series so successful. After probably the best four hours of Mila’s life, including a ‘butter beer’ at the café and a small fortune spent in the gift shop on posters, Griffindor banners and boxes of ‘Bertie Botts’ jelly beans (‘every flavour’, including ‘earwax’, ‘earthworm’ and ‘vomit’) to share with friends back home, we finally prise her away from this potent fantasy 100
“Harry Potter World, near Watford, north of London, is everything that JK Rowling’s devotees could hope for” world. Living in a small coastal Australian village, it’s hard to underestimate the value of a trip to Europe for broadening horizons. Before we leave, both girls work on relevant school projects, Freya creating a forensic presentation on the Eiffel Tower and Mila giving a more general speech on Paris, concentrating on style and fashion. Once again, there is an element of making fantasy reality as we head first to Brussels to visit a Belgian chocolate
Above: All aboard the Hogwarts Express, Harry Potter World Below: Close your eyes girls’ at Mannequin Pis, Brussels Right: The girls at the top of the Eiffel Tower
Museum, eat fries with mayonnaise and stand beside the tiny and rather rude ‘Mannequin Pis’ statue (“eyes closed, girls”), and then onto Paris. The grandstand view from our homeswap flat in the French capital is alone worth the journey from Australia. From the 14th-floor balcony we look straight down over the River Seine and across Paris to the Eiffel Tower, which sparkles at night with an hourly light show. A 30-minute walk along the river leads us to the tower, which according to Freya’s research, ‘is 324m tall, composed of 7000 metric tonnes of puddling iron and has attracted 250 million visitors since its opening in 1889’. We join a tour led by spirited Parisian, Eric, walk up the 674 steps to the 2nd level, and then take a lift to the top, from which there are wide-ranging views over the city, including back along the river to the block of flats where we are staying. On a whirlwind trip that has also included visits to Norwich, Oxford, the Essex countryside and a week exploring London sights, like the Tower
of London and the Natural History Museum, from a friend’s 1770 cottage on Wimbledon Common, Paris is a chance to slow down and smell the croissants. Simply exploring our local boulangerie and patisserie, as well as the nearby Auteuil Saturday-morning market, leaves the girls wide-eyed and swooning at the array of baguettes, pastries, cheeses and other delicacies on show. On Saturday night, we take in the teeming Montmartre wine harvest festival outside Sacre-Coeur Cathedral and then walk through the diverse ‘quartiers’ of Paris to dinner in the Marais district. One last croissant and pain-auchocolat breakfast and it’s time to leave Europe after a trip that has followed all of our passions, made fantasy reality with visits to Harry Potter World, Manchester United and Paris, and delivered lifelong memories to two little people and their devoted dad. The writer travelled with assistance from Eurail.
TRAVELLING EUROPE BY TRAIN WITH KIDS • With just 20 days to visit London, Manchester, Norwich, Oxford, Brussels and Paris and rendezvous with family and friends, a Eurail Global Pass, providing seven days travel within a month, proves invaluable. It’s noticeable how we all relax once on board the trains, enjoying time-out from sightseeing and socialising as we speed through Europe’s different landscapes, in environmentallyfriendly fashion • Our Eurostar journeys from London to Brussels (two hours 10 mins) and Paris to London (two hours 20 mins) are fast and easy, and in First Class we are fed en route, and arrive de-stressed (unlikely had dad been driving and trying to follow GPS in unfamiliar cities) • At $728 for an Adult seven-day pass (includes up to two kids, aged 4-11, travelling free on child pass) and $559 for a Youth pass (12-27), the Eurail First Class pass is exceptional value. Second Class seven-day passes are cheaper still at $548 (Adult) and $421 (Youth). Travel can be on consecutive days or spread out over the month. The only other cost, on some services, is for compulsory reservations, €114 (approx AUD$184 at time of writing) for three First Class seats on Eurostar. Global passes cover 31 countries and are available for periods of three days to three months. eurail.com/en
DISNEY STAR BASKS IN THE WORLD A love of history, food, cars and BMX bikes has fuelled a passion for travel for nine-yearold Paxton Booth, who stars in the Disney Channel’s Coop & Cami Ask the World. Paxton during a tour of the Colosseum in Rome
YOU’VE GROWN UP IN VENTURA, CALIFORNIA. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT IT? WHY SHOULD AUSSIE FAMILIES VISIT? Ventura is such a cool little surf town. It’s really mellow and full of familyowned businesses and has lots of style. The weather is almost always perfect. I think Aussie families would have a great time in California. We have some of the best amusement parks, like Disneyland Resort, Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood, which are all within driving distance. There are also many movie/TV lots that offer tours, so you can get a really cool behind-the-scenes look at how movies are made. You can even catch a taping of a TV show while in LA. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT TRAVELLING? My favourite subject in school is history, so learning about different cities and cultures in person is even better than 102
reading it in a book. I also like to try different foods. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE US TRAVEL DESTINATION? I just came home from a trip to Las Vegas, so that’s my favourite right now. The lights, beautiful buildings and nonstop people watching is a lot of fun. I did a zipline about seven storeys above Fremont St and got a birds-eye view of it all. We also went to the Neon Museum that has a bunch of old signs from old casinos. It’s kind of like a graveyard for neon signs and technology displayed in an artful way. TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK TRIPS. Lots of filming is done in LA, so that’s where I spend most of my time. Disney Channel also sent my family and I to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida to shoot for a few days. That was such an awesome trip. Not only did I get to film inside the park, but I got to do so while riding the rides! WHAT ABOUT PERSONAL TRIPS OVERSEAS? My family and I went to Rome in Italy last year for my birthday. It was an amazing trip! There was so much history in every place we visited. The food was delicious and I think I ate my weight in crepes. I want to go back and take a tour of Northern Italy next time. I’d also love to catch a fashion show in Milan! WHAT’S THE COOLEST THING YOU’VE SEEN OR DONE WHILE TRAVELLING? A tour of the Colosseum in Rome. Before taking the trip I read as much as
I could about it. Seeing it with my own eyes put all the pieces together and it was such an amazing site. When taking the tour they didn’t just talk about the battles that took place, but also how the city was developed. YOU ALSO REALLY LOVE CARS. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CAR MUSEUM? Yes, I’m a car guy for sure! My favourite car museum is The Petersen Automotive Museum in LA. It has an amazing collection and they do a good job of telling the history of each vehicle. It’s a huge building and they are constantly changing out their exhibits. You can find everything from movie cars to race cars to good old-fashioned hot rods. RIDING BMX BIKES IS ANOTHER PASSION. WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DO IT? Woodward West in Tehachapi, California. It’s a camp where kids can learn how to ride/skate from professionals, or just ride the many skateparks on their own. They have an indoor park and several outside parks, dirt jumps and even an airbag to practise tricks on safely. WHERE’S ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD YOU WOULD REALLY LIKE TO GO? Tasmania for sure! I recently did a report on the Tasmanian devil and fell in love with them. Visiting a sanctuary and learning more about them would be an awesome trip! Coop & Cami Ask the World can be seen at 8.15am weekdays on Foxtel’s Disney Channel.
CELEBRITY Q&A Paxton at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida
The Neon Museum
In character for Coop & Cami Ask The World
With Scooby and friends at Universal Studios Hollywood
Woodward West in California
Image: El Rattray
REVIEWS A room with a view at Riley
Paper Crane restaurant
RILEY, A CRYSTALBROOK COLLECTION RESORT
Live the life of Riley at this hip, eco-friendly five-star Cairns hotel BY ANGELA SAURINE
THE LOWDOWN Developed by Syrian billionaire Ghassan Aboud, who is also developing Port Douglas Marina, Riley is the first of three Crystalbrook Collection properties to open in Cairns. It has a big focus on sustainability, with recycled wooden room key cards, coathangers made from recycled cardboard, extensive use of solar power and paperless check-in and check-out. You won’t find any plastic water bottles here either, with compostable and biodegradable paperboard cartons offered instead. Small plastic bathroom amenity bottles have also 104
been replaced with large pump bottles, and all straws, disposable bags and takeaway containers are plastic-free. Technology, such as inroom iPads, has reduced the amount of paper typically found in a five-star hotel by around 90 per cent. Riley is a partner of the Citizens of Great Barrier Reef – a social movement started by Earth Hour founder Andy Ridley to change people’s understanding of how everyday actions have an impact on the reef and the environment.
LOCATION One of the main attractions for families is the hotel’s
location – just across the road from the impressive Muddy’s Playground and down the street from Cairns Aquarium, and just a few minutes’ walk along Cairns Esplanade across the road to Cairns Lagoon and Marlin Marina, where boat trips to the Great Barrier Reef depart.
ACCOMMODATION The resort has 311 rooms and suites, most with balconies, with views of either the city skyline, the pool, the Esplanade or the Coral Sea. There are seven room types to choose from. All are air-conditioned with blackout blinds and include a Nespresso
machine with complimentary pods, large smart TVs and rain showers, with baths in some rooms. Family rooms are a great option, consisting of two interconnecting bedrooms with a choice of two king beds or four singles. The luxurious Riley’s Suite can accommodate up to six people in two bedrooms, with a separate lounge area, three balconies, two king beds and a fold-out double sofa bed. If you have little ones with early bedtimes try to avoid booking a room above the restaurant, where live music can be played until 9.30pm.
almond poke bowl or green kale salad with quinoa, poached chicken, sweet potato and feta. Rooftop bar, Rocco, permits kids in the space until 9pm. All beef served at the hotel is farmed at Crystalbrook Station, located three hours inland, to ensure animal welfare. More than 80 per cent of fruit and produce served here is sourced within a three-hour drive from Cairns, and the company works with OZHarvest to collect unused food and distribute it to segments of the community where it is most needed.
The Great Barrier Reef is undoubtedly the main drawcard, with boat tours departing from nearby Marlin Marina for snorkelling trips or observing the coral and marine life from a glass bottom boat. You can also do day trips to Green Island and Fitzroy Island. Hop on the Kuranda Rainforest Cableway to explore the rainforest village, returning via the Kuranda Scenic Railway; see wildlife at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures and experience Indigenous culture at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Enjoy a picnic lunch or barbecue at Cairns Lagoon and visit Cairns Aquarium, which has more than 70 exhibits showcasing the habitats and species of Tropical North Queensland. The Double Discovery Tour includes a behind-the-scenes tour and a visit to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
The star attraction is the twolevel 1,000sq m+ pool that is divided into sections, with a shallow, sandy beach area ideal for toddlers and an area for swimming laps. There’s also a 24-hour fitness centre and Eleme Spa. Three bikes are available for guest use during daylight hours.
FOOD AND DRINK
RILEY, A CRYSTALBROOK COLLECTION RESORT
31-141 The Esplanade, Cairns, Queensland 1300 00 20 50 crystalbrookcollection.com/riley
Paper Crane restaurant, which serves Modern Asian cuisine including dumplings, sashimi, nasi goreng, Thai beef salad and Singapore chilli crab, is the best option for families, and there is a great kids’ menu (the popcorn chicken was a big hit with my toddler) with a fun vibe. We loved sitting outside, overlooking the Esplanade, people-watching. Greenfields, on the ground floor of the hotel’s tower, offers healthy options like a salmon and
FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON AUCKLAND
This well-located hotel in the city’s arts precinct makes a great base to embark on family adventures
With views of the city skyline, staying at this stylish Queen St hotel makes you feel like you are in the heart of the action and ready to explore the vibrant city of Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island.
Each of the 255 enticing guest rooms boasts expansive city views, flatscreen TVs and all the modern amenities you need for a comfortable stay. High-speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and you can take advantage of the complimentary in-room movies to keep the kids entertained after dark. With two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and separate living and dining spaces, the Sky Suite is ideal for families needing a little more room to spread out. If you want to prepare your own snacks and meals, opt for one of the Four Points studios equipped with kitchenettes, microwaves and minifridges.
Newly opened, the Four Points by Sheraton’s fitness centre features a Techno Gym, offering plenty of motivation for your morning workout. There’s also a business centre if you need to access a computer, printer or fax machine, together with a full-service laundry for catching up on washing.
Image: Jeremy Austin and Angie Villa
LOCATION Centrally located in the heart of the Auckland Arts Precinct, the Four Points by Sheraton is just 30 minutes from Auckland Airport and lies on the doorstep of the city’s family-friendly attractions. It’s within walking distance of Queen St shops and restaurants, as well as the waters of Waitematā Harbour. 106
FOOD AND DRINK Bright and friendly, the Queens Head Bar & Eatery offers meals throughout the day, drawing on locally-sourced New Zealand produce. Begin the day with bircher muesli, waffles and baristamade coffee, or dine on Marlborough salmon and popcorn chicken for dinner. If you’re after a nightcap, the hotel’s
A King Superior City View Guest Room
Enjoy an EcoZip adventure on Waiheke Island
rooftop bar The Churchill has sweeping views across Auckland.
EXPLORE The hotel is a short stroll from the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Albert Park and the Sky Tower, which is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere, rising to more than 300m with views stretching up to 80km in all directions from its observation deck. The SkyWalk and SkyJump are must-dos for thrillseeking families (kids must be 10 years or older). Children can also let off steam in the modern playground of Myers Park, or get lost in the immersive Odyssey Sensory Maze. Occupying a reclaimed piece of land on the Waitematā Harbour, the Wynyard
Quarter has recently undergone an exciting transformation. Kids will love the maritime-themed playspace and the free Workshops on the Wharf, with markets, live music and an outdoor cinema held in Silo Park during summer. Don’t miss New Zealand’s premier theme park, Rainbow’s End, which has more than 20 rides and attractions. They include adrenalinpumping rides for older kids, such as the Stratosfear and Corkscrew Coaster, while younger visitors can head to Kidz Kingdom’s Choco Express and Fortress of Fun. Get up close to native animals and exotic species at the Auckland Zoo and book the Fullers Rangitoto Volcanic Explorer Tour to Rangitoto Island to explore its volcanic landscapes and pohutukawa forest, before taking a
Meet a kiwi bird at Auckland Zoo
short walk to the summit to take in the views. Just a ferry ride away is Waiheke Island, where EcoZip Adventures offers an immersive forest walk and flying fox ziplines. Guides educate guests about conservation and share stories about how the land has changed and adapted with Maori and European settlement. The writer was a guest of Four Points by Sheraton Auckland and Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development.
FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON AUCKLAND
396 Queen Street Main Reception Entrance, 110 Mayoral Dr, Auckland, New Zealand. +64 9-393 8240 | marriott.com.au
Family fun in the infinity pool
An aerial view of Hayman Island by InterContinental
HAYMAN ISLAND BY INTERCONTINENTAL The Whitsundays, Queensland. haymanisland.intercontinental.com
Visit magical Langford Island
HAYMAN ISLAND BY INTERCONTINENTAL Reconnect with your family in nature at this revamped luxury Whitsundays resort THE LOWDOWN After the devastating cyclone that ravaged the Whitsunday Islands in 2017 (fuelled by winds of more than 250km per hour), the owners of Hayman Island set about rebuilding under the InterContinental Hotels Group. We wanted to experience first-hand the private paradise they’ve created – combining luxury and sustainability in a family-friendly sanctuary where you can reconnect with nature and one another.
LOCATION Situated 900km north of Brisbane, Hayman Island is the most northerly of the Whitsunday Islands and surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean. It can be accessed from the mainland town of Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island Airport, from where you’ll be whisked away onboard the resort’s luxury catamaran. Alternatively, for a real treat, choose the spectacular 15-minute scenic flight by helicopter or seaplane to give your family a bird’s eye view of the magical coral reefs and islands below.
ACCOMMODATION Hayman Island by InterContinental’s suites, villas and rooms are spread across three wings – Lagoon, Pool and Beach – with two and three-bedroom options that are ideal for families. A sense of luxury and easy living are combined in the feeling of the layout, decor and uninterrupted views.
The outdoor showers and private courtyards celebrate the tropical lifestyle. If you’re travelling with the extended family, consider the Three Bedroom Hayman Beach House, which features an open-plan living area, a private pool and an outdoor deck.
ACTIVITIES Aside from its two pools, state-of-theart gym and tennis courts, the resort is known for its Planet Trekkers Kids Club. Your children will be happily immersed in the natural environment during days spent feeding fish, planting coral and fossicking for critters in the sand flats, not to mention bowling at Coconut Grove and a nocturnal nature walk through the resort’s gardens. Meanwhile, you can indulge with a body massage and guided meditation at the Hayman Spa or take advantage of the all-new golf simulator to hone your swing. Make sure to spend fun time on the Coral Sea utilising the Hayman Island by InterContinental complimentary water sports including stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing. The friendly team will get you and the kids fitted with all equipment and provide safety training so you can explore the surrounding waters and spectacular secluded coves.
FOOD AND DRINK Begin the day with a buffet breakfast overlooking the beach at Pacific, then
relax and feast on wood-fired pizzas and handmade pasta at Amici. Woktossed noodles and Pan-Asian dishes are perfectly suited to the poolside Bam Bam, while Aqua does easy-toshare seafood dishes and seasonal salad bowls. Craving a barista-made coffee and a delicious snack? The Hamptonsinspired Grove Boutique & Cafe will do the trick.
EXPLORE With Blue Pearl Bay, Hook Island and Bali Hai on your doorstep, there are no shortage of ways to experience the exceptional beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. The resort’s booking centre can organise snorkelling and scuba diving tours to explore the marine-filled reefs, as well as swimming with green turtles at Langford Island. Splurge with a scenic flight above Heart Reef or enjoy an unforgettable day on a charter boat trip to Hill Inlet and world-famous Whitehaven Beach. Guided jet ski adventures and sea scooter underwater tours are also possible for families with older kids, as are sunset sailing excursions. While jellyfish are in the waters around Hayman Island between November and May each year, the resort provides guests with protective stinger suits at no additional cost so you can still enjoy all the water sports on offer. The writer was a guest of Hayman Island by InterContinental. 109
HOW TO... SURVIVE FLYING SOLO WITH KIDS With frequent flights between her homeland in Australia and Europe, where her German-born partner works as a mountain guide, FLIP BYRNES is an expert when it comes to flying long-haul with two young kids Seven hours into a 24-hour flight, I mentally punch the air as my two toddlers fall asleep simultaneously. Jackpot! Until realising there’s now nowhere for me to sit. On this full flight, I have accidentally usurped myself by placing the youngest in my seat. So, I’d like to apologise for standing in the aisle and watching movies over the shoulder of the man in 19D for five hours, but particularly applaud his no-dialoguenecessary shark attack movie choices. A small win. Flying with small children
long-haul is all about celebrating those silver linings. When I literally crossed paths with my future partner in Nepal, life’s lottery included undertaking a stint in his native Germany, and as a result I’d go from mountain goat to baby Sherpa, flying solo between hemispheres with two small children on a regular basis. Accelerate five years and I’ve clocked up enough solo flying with kids miles to write a book. Each trip is undertaken like a military operation – and here are my top tips to make your next high-flying adventure a success.
FLIGHT TIMINGS This is everything. If flying long-haul, look for the quinella of two night-time flights, with a break in between that’s under 24 hours, so your luggage is checked through. But beware of flights departing after 9pm. I know what you’re thinking… “9pm flight. Brilliant! We’ll board and the kids sleep!” Ah, no. The cabin crew serve dinner, taking up to midnight (I learned the hard way…). A 4–6pm departure is the golden window – time for excitement, a meal then sleep (hopefully). Day flights if flying over six hours? At your own peril.
Left: Testing out the airport strollers offered in Frankfurt Right: While she doesn’t usually sightsee on transit breaks, Flip chose a hotel next to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi for a convenient cultural experience
THE BREAK Where you break is as important as how long you break for. Some carriers, including Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways, offer overnight break inclusions to encourage visitors to bolster the local economy. Some Arabian carriers also have helpful add-ons, for example Etihad’s Meet and Assist in Abu Dhabi will pick you up from the gate, escort you through private customs and into a taxi (with porter) from only USD$68. If there is a good time to splurge on a hotel airport pickup, this is it. The process is stress-free and you can order car seats.
HOTEL For sub 24 hour ‘plane breaks’, I’ve spent more hours researching hotels than actually in them. Apart from being near the airport, the hotel must have a pool. Non-negotiable. For toddlers and teens, this becomes a half-day activity. Other considerations: if you have crawlers, are the rooms carpeted? Is there a buffet
to feed kids quickly? Wi-Fi, as this is your chance to catch zzz’s while the kids watch TV? In-airport transit hotels can be winners, if keeping an eye on jet-lagged kids in large airports doesn’t terrify you.
AIRLINES AND HELPERS When Singapore Airlines staff delivered my meal cut into bite sized pieces to eat one-handed, I swooned. This is in stark contrast to alerting an inflight ‘nanny’ on another flight I’d need a brief hand and was informed they were “pretty busy”. Ummm, thanks. Airline service depends on the crew of the day. The biggest assistance you’ll find is from other passengers. A businessman in Frankfurt carried my sleeping two-year-old all the way through customs. A Romanian weightlifter held purée while I fed the baby. People are reticent to step in, but never mind being asked directly. So, ask away, the world is full of good-hearted, been-there-done-that travellers.
Enjoying the pool at Aerotel Singapore at Changi Airport
FLIP’S FAVOURITE FIVE
Airport Hotel – Aerotel Singapore inside Changi Airport, with runway views and a rooftop pool.
Break hotel feature – The wave pool at the Westin Doha Hotel & Spa in Qatar. Hours of entertainment.
Gadgets – Earphone splitters for simultaneous listening, Plane Pal - the inflatable seat-well cushion allowing toddlers to lie down, and the Yoyo Zen stroller that fits into an overhead locker.
Seat purchase – Buy kids two years and under their own seat, unless keen for DVT from a 15kg child on your lap for 15 hours.
Carry-on addition – A picnic blanket, as it’s an instant playmat in airports and hotel rooms. And swimming floaties. 111
MUST HAVES 1. SALTY BEASTS GINGHAM A’ GO-GO LONG SLEEVE SWIMMER
Designed in Melbourne and made in Australia, Salty Beasts offers sustainable swimwear for kids sized two-14. Inspired by a sherbet palette of candy neon peaches, fresh minty greens and fizzy lemon pops, this one-piecewonder is made with regenerated ECONYL® nylon. Featuring long sleeves and a high neckline for sun protection, this cossie has a sun-loving frill, plus an eco-friendly lining and zip – both made from recycled PET bottles! It’s stretchy, soft, UPF50+ and chlorine and sunscreen resistant. RRP $69.95 saltybeasts.com 112
All the latest products travelling families need to know about
2. AEROGARD FABRIC INSECT REPELLENT
Recognised in The Product of The Year Awards, decided by consumers, the Aerogard Fabric Insect Repellent is an odourless, safe and non-staining product that provides up to six hours’ protection from mosquitoes, flies and sand-flies. Specially formulated for most fabrics, it does not require application to skin and is quick drying for easy use. However it’s not suitable for use on silk, chiffon, satin or leather. RRP $10 (150mg) aerogard.com.au
3. SEEK AND FIND CITIES
Join globetrotters Cat and Bird as they travel the world in this fun-packed
search-and-find book, suitable for kids aged six to eight. With every turn of the page there’s a new busy city scene to discover – a colourful carnival in Rio, a funfair in Paris, a treasure-filled souk in Morocco. In each place there are souvenirs to find, people to meet and landmarks to visit. RRP: $14.99 lonelyplanetkids.com
4. FROG ORANGE EXPLORER BABY CARRIER
A fully functional infant carrier that can be worn in water, the Frog Orange Explorer baby carrier is made from high quality neoprene and is available in a range of colours. Versatile, durable, safety certified and easy to put on, it’s
the ideal product for mum or dad to use in the water, at the beach or pool, for hands-free and safe supervision, or insulate against the wind and cold on a boat, at the playground, camping or at the snow in winter. Suitable for babies aged two months up to two-year-olds (4kg-15kg), with adjustable straps and quick-release safety buckles, and head and neck support for younger babies. RRP $179 frogorange.com.au
5. BAMBINO MIO WET BAG
The perfect on-the-go waterproof bag for busy mums and wet bums! Bambino Mio’s handy wet bags are ideal for transporting wet clothes, swimwear and cloth nappies while keeping the rest of your items drip-free and dry. Multi-tasking is made easy with a simple fold and roll close technique
for one-handed changing. Reuse again and again – save money and help the environment with this eco-friendly alternative to disposable wet bags. RRP: $22.99 bambinomio.com.au
6. #UNTRASHY ZERO WASTE PACK
Do your bit for the planet with the #untrashy Zero Waste Pack, which includes two organic cotton expanding string bags, four stainless steel straws, two stainless steel lunch boxes, a bamboo cutlery swag (including cutlery, chopsticks, a bamboo straw and straw cleaner), and more. A start-up based in Ettalong Beach on the NSW Central Coast, #untrashy provides sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic and donates 10 per cent of its profits to ocean conservation projects. RRP $149.99 untrashy.com
7. CAT BUILD YOUR OWN VEHICLE JUNIOR CREW ASSORTMENT
Ideal for taking to the beach over summer, kids can build, take apart, and re-build their favourite construction vehicles with the CAT Build Your Own Vehicle Junior Crew. Each set comes with everything they need to create their own vehicle plus a construction driver action figure to bring the worksite to life. Improve your child’s fine motor skills as they use the included screwdriver to easily assemble the different vehicle parts using the attached bolts. When playtime is over everything can be stored in the reusable carrying case the product comes in, which is easy to pop into the back of the car. Appropriate for ages three and up. RRP $30 Available at Toymate, Mr Toys, Toyworld 113
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES REGIONAL DIRECTOR - AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND Travelling is in the blood for Andrew Stanbury, who fell in love with aviation while working at British Aerospace in the UK when he was 20. His father was an avionics engineer, and his 25-year-old daughter, Caitlin, is a flight attendant based in London. He recently visited her with his wife Kellie, daughter Quinn, 7, and five-year-old William to embark on a holiday through Sicily and Malta. As well as plenty of island hopping during a stint living in Fiji, the family has visited Singapore, Japan, Thailand and Samoa. But their favourite destination is, of course, Honolulu. MY IDEAL FAMILY HOLIDAY IS… One that has something for everyone. Kellie and I love watching the kids have fun and see new things. But we also like to get some time to do stuff for us too. Last year we went to Hawai‘i and it ticked every box. We’ll be heading back next year this time to explore more of the other islands. On our last trip we stayed in Waikīkī. They loved the zoo, the beach, the rooftop pool and cabanas at our hotel and the busy shopping and restaurant quarter. We did a road trip through Lē‘ahi (Diamond Head State Monument) and up the coast, swimming, spotting turtles, 114
eating and exploring. There are countless places to stop and take in beautiful views. We also had a great day at Pearl Harbour and I was surprised how engaged the kids could be with the history and the monuments as well as the ships and aircraft. FAMILY TRAVELLERS MAY NOT BE AWARE THAT… on board Hawaiian Airlines every passenger, including children, can take 2x32kg of free checked baggage each, which is great for shopping up big in the shops and factory outlets in Honolulu.
Andrew Stanbury with Caitlin, William, Andrew, Kellie and Quinn
EVERY FAMILY SHOULD EXPERIENCE… the fun of a quintessential Waikīkī beach experience. Try a multi-coloured shave ice as big as the kids’ heads and take a family photo with Diamond Head in the background. MY TOP TIP FOR TRAVELLING WITH KIDS IS… if the kids are new to flying try to rehearse what’s going to happen on board. Even if it’s just doing up a seat belt and sitting in their own seat, you can avoid a lot of stress if children know what to expect. Also take your own snacks. Kids can be unpredictably fussy and on a long flight avoiding a hangry tantrum can make all the difference.
Quinn and William in Waikīkī
EXPERIENCE THE NORDICS BEFORE YOU GET THERE ENJOY UNIQUE NORDIC EXPERIENCES ON BOARD EVERY FINNAIR FLIGHT
Finnair, together with our oneworld partners, offers multiple routes from Australia to Europe via Asia and North America. Enjoy personal space, privacy and simplicity on board our flights. Book your flights at finnair.com/au
PAC I F IC R E SORT R A ROTONGA R A RO T ONGA , C O OK I SL A N D S Laid back fun in the Sun! With a complimentary kids club and a wide range of water activity equipment, families often make use of the snorkelling equipment exploring the underwater sea life or venture out on a family kayak adventure together. With plenty of activities for children of all ages, and relaxing options for adults, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the award winning family friendly Pacific Resort Rarotonga. AU T H E N T I C B OU T I QU E pacificresort.com
R AROTONGA Âˇ COOK ISLANDS
PAC I F I C R E S O RT H O T E L G RO U P
COOK ISL A N DS