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with kids LET IT snow

ISSUE 36 AUTUMN 2013 AUS$6.95 (inc gst)

Skiing with kids Down Under




Our readers rate the best places to stay & play


Where to go with tots in tow Aussie Breaks • Overseas Escapes Attractions, events & more


36 9 771832 331006


SafeMaxi R n-Sound Seats, ider Child a of baby bounty p and morizes re


GOING OUTSIDE TO PLAY HAS NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD. Whichever way you turn, you discover another sight more fantastic than the last. Share it all with your family on the amazing island of Kaua‘i. 2



TIME FOR A FAMILY ADVENTURE? TRY THE ISLAND OF KAUA‘I. Family vacations need only one ingredient: fun. And Kaua‘i provides a ton of opportunities for it. With three navigable rivers, more than 50 miles of white-sand beaches, and a mile-long list of adventures, Kaua‘i will give your family a lifetime of memories. Activities and outings range from canoe riding, kayaking and riverboat rides to hikes along the pristine shoreline. Other activities include ziplining, as a thrilling way to see the island. Or try an ATV ride through jungle forests and open fields. Take a bicycle ride along the scenic Ke Ala Hele Makalae on Kaua‘i’s East Side, ride a train through a working plantation, or just swim and play in the surf at Po‘ipu¯ Beach. Start planning your vacation today by visiting our web site: And experience what family fun is all about on Kaua‘i – Hawai‘i’s Island of Family Discovery.

autumn | 13 Welcome


y kids and I just did seven continents in seventy minutes! Kind of… So hooked on travel is my son that he nixed his old pals Spiderman and Batman for his fifth birthday party and instead asked if he could fly his friends around the world. Sadly, as our private jet was being washed on the weekend we had to improvise and he and his friends, mock passports in hand, instead toured the globe through play. From piñatas to pizza making, didgeridoo lessons to a raucous game of pin the tail on the llama, there was lots of make-believe travel fun had by all. Ever watched two dozen small children mummifying each other in toilet paper before? I’d highly recommend it! But, as much fun as flying “Imagination Air” was, it has left us yearning for some real adventure. If you, like us, are hankering to hit the road the autumn issue of Out & About With Kids is just the ticket. Packed full of great ideas to help scratch even the itchiest of feet, there are sunny breaks and icy escapes Down Under to continental flings and exotic interludes abroad. And for those who want the down low on the top spots to stay and play around the world, our readers have spoken and we reveal all the winners and finalists! Still scratching? Head to au for even more fabulous family holiday deals, inspiration and all our great competitions. Plus you can get all the latest news delivered by email. And don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook fan page where you can join the conversation with our community of fun families. Happy holidays! PS. Out & About With Kids has now crossed the ditch so a big welcome to all our new readers from New Zealand!

Aleney de Winter Editor & Associate Publisher




Publisher Elisa Elwin 0413 770 550

To enjoy a world of family travel all year round.

Editor & Associate Publisher Aleney de Winter 0400 808 108 Contributors Geraldine Cardozo, Deborah Dickson-Smith, Karen Gould, Carla Grossetti, Helen Hayes, Tori Herbert, Lisa Kable, Christine Kane, Patrick Kinsella, Agnes Nielsen-Connolly, Symantha Perkins, Sarah Pye, Louisa Theobald,Lisa Willows Director of Sales & Marketing Richard Bunting National Sales Manager Colleen Hinch Online Content Manager

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the editorials are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Publisher and Out & About With Kids. Information provided was believed to be correct at the time of publication. Copyright © Out & About with Kids 2013 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. All reasonable efforts have been made to contact copyright holders. Out & About With Kids cannot accept unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. If such items are to be sent to the magazine they will be returned.

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149 regulars

22 Australian holiday news


Travel news and offers from around Australia.

38 Animal news All the best animal activities and encounters around the country.

42 Drive news


The latest car, campervan and caravanning news.

44 Camping news The latest camping and holiday park news.

50 The Suite Life Family friendly hotels reviewed.

96 International News The latest travel news and offers from around the Globe.

106 A-List Holidays

38 140 

Luxurious locales for littlies.

84 features 8


Family adventures.


Readers Awards

130 Wish you were here…

Readers rate the best places for families to stay and play.

A snapshot of Beaver Creek.

40 Drive

140 Cruise news

Motorhome holidays.

The latest news from the world of cruising.

44 Camping

145 What’s hot for baby

Beginner’s guide to camping.

We review the latest products for tots.

82 Skiing with Kids

148 What’s Hot for kids

Resort round-up for skiing Down Under.

We review the latest travel products, gadgets, books and entertainment for families.

138 Cruising

152 Dad’s Word Iconic Aussie entertainer Frankie J. Holden shares his family travel tips and memories.

Celebrity cruising kids.

142 Out & About With Baby Driving with baby.



contents 52

Visit the Coffs H Butterfly H arbour ouse

australian destinations 52 Sydney, NSW Secrets of the city.

56 Coffs Coast, NSW


Revisiting NSW’s coast with the most.

60 Sovereign Hill, VIC Digging up the past in Victoria’s Goldfields.

64 Gold Coast, QLD

international destinations 106 Bali Luxury for littlies.

110 Thailand Phuket playground.

114 Malasyia An Asian destination with something for everyone. C

120 Fiji


Fiji fun with a special needs child.

124 Hawaii



The call of Kauai



126 USA


Fantasy fun at Walt Disney World. K

An eventful Gold Coast break.

68 Sunshine Coast, QLD Happy trails on the Sunshine Coast.

72 Far North Queensland, QLD

132 Argentina From Buenos Aires to Bariloche.

134 Europe Five families, five ways.

From fairies to fins.

110 114 6


78 Darwin The down low on the Top End

win 4

bellababy box.


State Coal Mine family pass.

144 Safe-n-Sound Maxi Rider AHR Easy Adjust car seat. 145 Minimonkey Prize pack. 150 The Holiday Creativity Book.










© Elena Yakusheva,


hen it comes to rising to a challenge, parents Behan and Jamie Gifford’s adventurous zeal for travel owes more than a little to the wise words of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. As the Treasure Island author wrote: “We must accept life for what it actually is - a challenge to our quality without which we should never know of what stuff we are made, or grow to our full stature.” And nothing could be truer for the cruising family of five, who turned their weekend sailing trips into one big adventure. The Giffords have spent the last four and a half years sailing over 25,000 km around the world on their 47-foot sailboat Totem. And no matter what challenges have been thrown their way – from storms to sea-sickness – the tight-knit crew, who originally hail from near Seattle, say all these life experiences are invaluable and have taught them all to see the world from a fresh perspective. “Sure, storms are scary. But so are car accidents,” writes Jamie on the family’s popular travel blog.

Setting sail It was in 2008 that Behan and Jamie (who met through sailing) decided to leave dry land with their three kids Niall, Mairen and Siobhan in tow – then aged four, six and nine – and set sail down the US west coast to Mexico and

then onto the South Pacific before stopping off to recharge in Australia. “When Jamie’s mother lost a battle with cancer in her 50s, just as she planned to embark on long-anticipated travels, we were painfully reminded that life holds no promises,” says Behan. “It prompted us to examine our priorities and actively plan our departure on sailing adventures as a family.” Late last year the family sailed north to Papua New Guinea, and are now heading west through Indonesia. At the time of setting off, sailing wasn’t an anathema to the kids (the family began cruising together on weekends and short holidays when the eldest children were three- and 14-days old respectively). As Jamie says “Seasons didn’t matter, family time together on the water did. As our family grew (with a third child), so did our family boating experience - one weekend at a time.” Until, one day the Giffords decided to make a different, and somewhat dramatic, lifestyle choice. But while sailing came naturally to the family crew, their global adventures have thrown up many other challenges – many of which have a positive side. “It’s hard for a lot of people to imagine how we can live in harmony in such a small space. Totem is 47’, less than 15m, and we fit a lot into that space – three sleeping cabins, two bathrooms, a kitchen and communal living space – not to mention all our stores of water, fuel, spare parts, and oh right- food! But the same



challenges in ‘normal’ life apply to our little floating home: good communication and respect for each other can avoid (or solve) conflicts,” says Behan. She adds that on top of this there is also the financial challenge. “After shedding most of our possessions and leaving our jobs, we have almost no other income and live from our savings. There isn’t much to spend money on in the remote places we visit, so what we spend in a year sailing is what we used to spend in about six weeks of our old ‘land life’.” But she says that despite this, the transition from sprawling house to compact boat was easy. “One change we don’t notice is the radical reduction in things we own. We’re living with less, but don’t think about it much. If we do, it’s usually to lament that we still have too much on board- things get in the way.” Behan says while at first they wondered how the kids would handle this, actually having less material things has brought out new ingenuity in the children’s imaginary play with each other. As well as chilling out below deck with Lego, books and games, Niall – now 13 – helps out on deck occasionally. “The kids spend a lot of time looking at sea life, make friends with other kids on boats and love to explore the local environment,” says Behan. Other major changes the Giffords were faced with were the change to routine, and having to allow much longer to do everything. “Nearly everything takes longer,” says Jamie. He says simple tasks such sending an email, laundry (which involves a bucket



and a plunger), getting groceries (no more minivan - now it’s carted by hand and ferried by dinghy), or tracking down an item can easily morph into a full-day activity. “But time is what we have, and the absence of time pressure is truly marvellous.” But like the oceans the family call home, life onboard Totem does have its ups and downs – especially when it comes to sibling clashes and family tensions. The way to cope is to be realistic, is the Gifford’s advice. “Expecting harmonious togetherness all day, every day, isn’t a realistic expectation,” writes Jamie. “If we weren’t suited for this kind of life, we probably wouldn’t be here and one of the big reasons we’re out cruising is because we wanted more time together as a family. But meanwhile, I think that the occasional relationship tension or family problems that crop up have pretty much nothing to do with the fact we live on a boat. They’d almost certainly happen if we were back in suburbia, too - just with different window dressing.” The family puts Suwarrow in the Cook Islands and the Sea of Cortez and Papua New Guinea as top of their list so far of places to visit because of the combination of rare natural beauty and remoteness. “All these places take work to get there, and to stay there, but if you’re into that kind of thing the rewards are tremendous,” they say. Others include the opportunity to visit historical sites (from retracing some of Captain Cook’s stops, to visiting crumbling Dutch forts in Indonesia) and to learn


about different cultures. And do they have any tips for other families thinking of venturing forth? “Leaving the comfort of a predictable lifestyle is the best, and hardest, decision we have ever made,” says Behan. “Our children have learned about life and the world in ways that could never be matched in a normal stationary life and academic setting. We have gained invaluable time together as a family – we know these are fleeting years before our children grow and go their own way. If you are even tempted, make a plan, and do it! By land, by sea, it’s about taking the plunge and going for it, and letting go of some fears of the unknown – for the rewards far outweigh them in our experience.”

Changing gears Another family that have taken their weekend pastime to the extreme is the Vogels from the US. The Vogels (teachers John Vogel, his wife Nancy Sathre-Vogel and their twin sons Daryl and Davy, now 14) modestly describe themselves as “just your normal, everyday family who happen to be following our dreams and chasing rainbows ... adventure seekers and modern-day explorers who are limited only by our imaginations”. But their bike-riding vacations go beyond most family’s expectations of a leisurely cycling break. In 2006/07 the family spent the boys’ third grade year cycling around the USA and Mexico, pedalling 9300 miles through 19 US states and five Mexican

states. Then from 2008 to 2011 the foursome set off on a two and half-year cycling adventure from Alaska to Argentina – a journey of more than 27,000 kilometres through 15 countries. The twins currently hold the world record for the youngest people to cycle the length of the Americas. Carrying everything they needed on their bicycles – tent, sleeping bags, cooking pot and stove, homeschool supplies, and spare parts – the family cycled through deserts and rainforests, over high mountain passes and along miles of coastline. They were chased by a bear, robbed at a border crossing, and camped in freezing temperatures. “When I first brought this the idea with the family, Nancy thought I was crazy,” remembers John. “The kids were enthusiastic, but Nancy had big-time reservations. After thinking about it for a while we all agreed to make the commitment to undertake this epic journey.” And while the epic trip provided challenges for the Vogels, the family describes the adventure as life-changing. “Our sons’ lives will, no doubt, be enormously impacted by this trip,” John told National Geographic Traveller after their trip. “They’ve learned and seen more than most people do in a lifetime.” You can read more about the Vogel’s experiences on the road from Alaska to Argentina in Nancy’s book Changing Gears. To catch up on the Gifford’s exploits, check out Behan’s blog at

From left: Behan, Jamie, Niall, Mairen and Siobhan set sail. Behan making friends in Papua New Guinea. John, Nancy, Daryl and Davy on their bikes.






The best of


Dolphin Discovery at Sea World Resort and Water Park.

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g n i n n i w d Awar ! n u f y a holid

Island Treasure Park y Holida t QLD Gold Coas



Darlington Beach Holiday Park Coffs Coast NSW

Ocean Beach Holiday Park NSW Central Coast

Merimbula Beach Holiday Park South Coast NSW


The Best Australian Family Holiday Park WINNER

NRMA TREASURE ISLAND RESORT & HOLIDAY PARK Located on the Gold Coast, this family-friendly holiday park is the ultimate vacation destination, set in tropical gardens, surrounded by sun-drenched beaches and lush hinterland. With three resort pools, Kids Club activities, mini golf and giant jumping pillow for the kids plus relaxing, al fresco all-day dining and snacking for the grown ups, Treasure Island Holiday Park is also on the doorstep of all of the theme parks!

BIG4 ADVENTURE WHITSUNDAY RESORT Families have been flocking to Airlie Beach’s Adventure Whitsunday Resort for nearly 40 years and this familyowned and run resort prides itself on understanding, and providing, everything families need for a great holiday. Great accommodation options for all budgets, exceptional facilities and kids activities galore plus the resort’s proximity to the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef are just a few of the reasons Adventure Whitsunday consistently wins glowing praise from guests.

Big4 Soldie

rs Point


BIG4 SOLDIERS POINT This multi award-winning holiday park is the perfect place for families to base themselves in Port Stephens while they explore nearby beaches, national parks, go whale and dolphin spotting and frolic in mega sand dunes. An indoor softplay centre (for little ones), indoor heated pool, trampolines, free games room, big screen movies, bike track, giant chess, pool with waterslide, tennis court and playground round out the BIG4 fun at Soldiers Point.

Top: NRMA Treasure Island Holiday park. Left: Family fun at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort.



The Best International Family Resort WINNER


d Resort, DisneylanC lifornia Anaheim, a

Left: Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

If it’s the ultimate Disneyland California experience you want then what could be more magical than checking-in to one of the three unique hotels in the Disneyland Resort? Choose from the recently transformed original Disneyland Hotel, with classic styling that pays tribute to the park’s 1955 opening, the luxurious Grand Californian Hotel & Spa or the charming Paradise Pier Hotel. Best of all,

Disneyland is right at your door! F IN A L IS T S

JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU RESORT, FIJI The five-star Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort is renowned the world over for its dedication to conserving the environment and for its Kids Club and programs that offer hands-on education and experiences. The resort also offers a dedicated nanny for every child under five. Boasting an absolutely stunning location in the South Pacific, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is consistently voted by families as a favourite international resort.

PLANTATION ISLAND RESORT, FIJI Plantation Island Resort was one of the original resorts established in Fiji’s beautiful Mamanuca Island group and, decades later, is as popular as ever with families. Nestled in a protected, tranquil lagoon fringed with coconut palms, soft sand and clear blue water as far as the eye can see, Plantation offers great accommodation in traditional bures or hotel-style rooms, a choice of dining experiences, kids club, supermarket and fun cultural evenings.

Pa r e n t s d r e a m h o l i d a y w i t h t h e k i d s Pay for 4 nights or more & receive

2 free nights plus bonus massage & diving *conditions apply.

Remember pre children exclusive holidays?

Best family resort in Fiji 2012

as voted by readers of Luxury Travel Magazine

The goods news is that there is a special place that offers you a romantic, restful, rejuvenating experience with fine dining whilst enjoying a family holiday. The resort views children as the future caretakers of the earth & its oceans and has created fun educational programs for age groups 0-5 yrs & 6-12 yrs. Each child under 6 has an exclusive nanny 8am-9pm & children 6-12 yrs have a Fijian buddy on 1-5 ratio. Enjoy couples time out or fun times with your family.

Call Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort office to enquire about our inclusive family packages. 1300 306 171 - 03 9815 0379 - -


AJean_michel_Ad_V2.indd UTUMN 2013 1

6/03/13 9:45 AM


The Best Australian Family Resort WINNER

SEA WORLD RESORT & WATER PARK Sensational Sea World Resort has been winning awards for family excellence for over 20 years and is the first hotel in Queensland ever to be awarded a place in the Queensland Hotel Association’s Hall of Fame. Australia’s only water park resort accommodation, right on the doorstep of Sea World theme park, Sea World Resort guarantees a great Gold Coast family holiday. www. FINALISTS

PARADISE RESORT It’s not called Paradise Resort for nothing! What family wouldn’t love this two-hectare oasis with beaches and attractions a mere stone’s throw away?

With a host of accommodation options to suit all families, kids club, waterpark, pools and fun school holiday activity programs, it is also the only resort in the southern hemisphere to have a permanent ice-skating rink! Paradise Resort ticks all the boxes.

NRMA TREASURE ISLAND RESORT & HOLIDAY PARK Just 15 minutes’ drive from Surfers Paradise and centrally located between all major theme parks, families can choose between oneand two-bedroom units, cabins and villas and three-bedroom, twostorey townhouses or byo caravan, motorhome or camping gear! Three resort pools, Galleons Bistro and Bar, a host of activities and recreational facilities and Kidz Korner get the big thumbs up from holidaying families.

Paradise R


Sea World Water Park.



The Best Australian Family Attraction WINNER


Dreamworld Dora the Explorer at Sea World Resort & Water Park.



No family holiday on the Gold Coast is complete without a visit to Sea World. Take the monorail around the whole park and get a bird’s eye view of all the action below before planning a whole day of rides for all ages, animal attractions (including polar bears and penguins), the amazing underwater viewing of Shark Bay, animatronic dinosaurs, the world’s first SpongeBob SquarePants Parade and adventure and action of Castaway Bay.


AUSTRALIA ZOO Located in Beerwah, Australia Zoo is famous the world over as the home of the Irwin family. Terri and children Bindi and Robert continue, with the help of their dedicated zoo team, the late Steve Irwin’s conservation legacy – caring for over 1000 native and exotic animals. Get up-close-and-personal with animal encounters, roving wildlife, jawdropping daily shows at the Crocoseum, tours of the Zoo, and you could even see the Irwins themselves. Australia Zoo is an unmissable family experience.

DREAMWORLD One of Australia’s favourite family theme parks, Dreamworld, on the Gold Coast, covers 30 hectares with rides, shows, attractions and non-stop fun! More than a mere amusement park, Wiggles World, The Australian Wildlife Experience, Tiger Island, V8 Supercars Redline and Australia’s first and only Flow Rider - born from the roots of surfing, skateboarding and bodyboarding - are just some of the amazing experiences to be had.


The Best International Family Attraction WINNER

DISNEYLAND RESORT Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney’s ultimate playground for children and families, first opened its doors in 1955 – that means it’s just two short years away from celebrating its 60th birthday! Families from all over the globe have spent countless hours and days soaking up the magic here at the two parks Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park with the new Cars Land just adding to the magic. FINALISTS

SENTOSA SINGAPORE Sentosa Island in Singapore is a kids’ paradise! With the opening of Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios

Singapore, South-East Asia has its first Hollywood movie theme park and the buzz has been palpable! Enter the thrilling world of movie magic with more than 20 different rides and attractions, and themed zones including The Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar amongst others.

TOKYO DISNEYLAND Tokyo Disneyland has been welcoming families since 1983 to its magical seven themed lands. From the World Bazaar shopping arcade through Tomorrowland, Toon Town, Fantasyland, Westernland, Adventureland and Critter Country, all your favourite Disney stories and characters come to colourful life. Whether you’re a kid or a kid-at-heart, Tokyo Disneyland really is a place where Disney dreams come true!

Tokyo Disneyland

Top: Disneyland Hotel Monorail pool.



Australia’s Favourite Holiday Parks and Resorts 1800 244 133 1800 817 016 1800 679 992 1800 621 101 1800 621 101 1800 451 855 1800 459 999 1800 653 611 1800 795 522 1800 808 999 1800 352 982 1800 336 225 1800 621 262 1800 222 052 1800 061 444 1800 466 528

New South Wales Echuca/Moama - A Shady River Holiday Park Echuca/Moama - Maiden’s Inn Holiday Park Echuca/Moama - Magic Murray Houseboats Eden - Twofold Bay Beach Resort Forster/Tuncurry - Wallamba River Holiday Park South Australia Port Augusta - Port Augusta BIG4 Holiday Park Roxby Downs - Myall Grove Holiday Park

1800 674 239 1800 356 801 1800 356 483 1800 631 006 1800 268 176 1800 833 444 1800 356 103

Out and About with Kids readers receive a 10% discount on presentation of this voucher.

Western Australia Fremantle - Woodman Point Holiday Park Fremantle - Coogee Beach Holiday Park Swan Valley - Perth Vineyards Holiday Park Exmouth - Exmouth Cape Holiday Park Exmouth - Blue Reef Backpackers Karratha - Pilbara Holiday Park Port Hedland - Cooke Point Holiday Park Monkey Mia - Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort Coral Bay - Ningaloo Reef Resort Kununurra - Kununurra Country Club Resort Victoria Albury/Wodonga - Boathaven Holiday Park Geelong - Geelong Riverview Tourist Park Mildura - Golden River Holiday Park Echuca/Moama - Yarraby Holiday Park Melbourne - Ashley Gardens BIG4 Holiday Village Queensland Airlie Beach - Island Gateway Holiday Park


% Discount (up to a maximum of $40 per stay)

Conditions apply, not valid for online bookings. Block out dates for peak season will apply. Quote 002 when booking. Full terms and conditions visit 2130-b

Mooloolaba Beach © Tourism Queensland







Motorhome holidays

The latest camping and holiday park news.



All the latest and greatest from around the country.

COFFS COAST, NSW The coast with the most for families.

Events and adventures on the Gold Coast.

An insider’s guide.



ANIMAL NEWS The latest animal activities and encounters.



DRIVE NEWS The latest car, campervan and caravanning news.


CAMPING Camping for the clueless.



THE SUITE LIFE Australia’s best family hotels & resorts reviewed.


SYDNEY, NSW Secret Sydney.


SOVEREIGN HILL, VIC There’s gold in them thar hills.


SUNSHINE COAST, QLD And insider’s guide.



DARWIN, NT The down low on the Top End.


SKI DOWN UNDER Australia and New Zealand ski resort round-up.

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Australian holiday news




Legendary family fun trails

Learning to reduce little footprints Wyndham and Ramada Hotels and Resorts are launching a fantastic new children’s activity to complement the existing Wynnie the Wallaby’s Green Adventure initiative, which began in 2011. The Wynnie the Wallaby activity provides children with a fun and informative lesson in reducing their carbon footprint, with the use of an activity booklet with games and quizzes. To celebrate the launch of Wynnie’s new adventure, participating hotels and resorts have teamed up to offer great savings on school holiday rates with a free stay for kids and complimentary breakfast for a minimum two night stay between April 2 and May 5, 2013. Each resort and hotel has its own children’s activities onsite ranging from Kids’ Clubs to games rooms, sporting facilities and all located close to local family attractions from wildlife experiences to relaxing coastal getaways as well as more action-packed activities. Book your holiday with Wyndham Hotel Group from February 25 for travel between April 2 and May 5 to take advantage of the great rates and free stay for kids. schoolsout

Round-Up for reading skills Scientist, author and Out & About With Kids favourite, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, has teamed up with Dymocks to highlight the importance of children reading as a life skill, and is encouraging Dymocks customers to support the cause through the Round Up initiative. Dymocks is asking customers to ‘round up’ their purchases to the nearest dollar to help raise funds for Dymocks Children’s Charities (DCC) literacy support projects. Recent statistics from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study ranks Australia at 27 of 48 countries in reading ability, behind every other English-speaking country that participated, including the United States, England and Ireland. Dymocks hopes to place $1 million worth of books into the hands of Aussie kids who really need them.



One of Australia’s leading tourism drives, The Legendary Pacific Coast, has launched a new Family TODOKIDS Fun Trail highlighting more than 28 kid-friendly activities along the route from the Central Coast in the south to The Tweed in the north. Visit The Legendary Pacific Coast website to download the trail or take it with you on the road with a free iPhone app. The trails are a real insiders’ guide to the best for children along the coast and were well researched by a Port Macquarie-based mum of triplets! And, if you are a believer in the old adage ‘the best things in life are free’ you will love the Free Family Fun Trail, taking your family on a magical tour of man-made and natural wonders that you don’t have to pay a cent to enjoy. The Legendary Pacific Coast is not just a family-fun specialist. It also delivers other special interest trails embracing Food and Wine, Culture and Heritage, Surfing Safaris, Aboriginal Stories, Backpacking and Working Holidays and National Parks and nature trails. Nobody knows the east coast of Australia, like The Legendary Pacific Coast. Follow the trails along its highways and byways to make your own discoveries and create your special family memories.

Adventure begins at Lake Crackenback Don’t expect a run of the mill resort experience when you stay at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa. Located on the border of the Kosciuszko National Park and just 18km from the ski-fields of Thredbo or a 15 minute ski tube train ride away from Perisher Ski Resort the property features more than 100 rooms ranging from overwater Lake View apartments to Mountain View chalets. While skiing families will love the free shuttle bus that takes guests to the ski tube station adjoining the property each day during winter, off the slopes and during the warmer months, guests can enjoy the extensive facilities at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa including an impressive Day Spa, two restaurants and free family activities, of which there are many. These include golf, trampolines, stand-up paddle boards, canoes, tennis, archery and 14 kms of mountain bike and walking trails. Families will also find the Segway Eco Tour a great way to explore the local bush terrain. You can also discover the beauty of the 150 acres of land around Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa by mountain bike. For something completely different, why not try (though not in winter) river sledding on the Thredbo River. It’s an awesome way to take in the beauty of the area as you float down the river, with a little adrenaline rush as you negotiate the rapids, on an inflatable sled.

Shellharbour’s Festival for Kids Now in its sixth year, the vibrant, week-long festival that is KidsFest Shellharbour is kicking off on Sunday, May 19th. Celebrating and connecting kids 0-12 years, their families and carers, KidsFest attracts over 5,000 people with hundreds of activities and over 60 festival events in and around Shellharbour City.

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Central Coast Holiday Parks offer a unique holiday experience for the whole family. Located at Budgewoi, Canton Beach, Norah Head & Toowoon Bay, the Parks' prime locations offer the best of the lakeside and beachside haven that is the beautiful Central Coast. Keeping the kids entertained won't be a problem with facilities that include: 타 Resort style pools at Norah Head & Toowoon Bay 타 Jumping pillows at all four parks 타 Outdoor ampitheatres at Norah Head & Toowoon Bay where families can watch a blockbuster under the stars 타 Free wireless internet access from various wi-fi hotspots There's also a range of activities for the kids during school holidays. All Central Coast Holiday Parks are barely an hours drive from Sydney and Newcastle.

Scan here!




Australian holiday news

NSW Wonderful Wyong Shire Just an hour’s drive from Sydney and Newcastle, Wyong Shire is renowned for its beautiful waterways that form the Tuggerah Lakes system, sensational patrolled beaches and secluded bays and family-friendly atmosphere. Wyong Shire Council has won numerous awards for its four Central Coast Holiday Parks (CCHP) and it’s easy to see why. The CCHP are ideal for families and offer a range of locations and accommodation options to suit all family sizes and budgets. Toowoon Bay Holiday Park is located near several pristine beaches including Shelley Beach, Toowoon Bay Beach and Little Bay which is perfect for little ones. It’s just a stone’s throw from The Entrance, with plenty of shops and eateries, and even foreshore entertainment. The daily Pelican Feeding at The Entrance is not to be missed! Only 300 metres from Soldiers Beach, Norah Head Holiday Park offers the chance to explore quiet rock pools, cast a line for a bit of beach fishing or discover the amazing Norah Head lighthouse. Nearby Lakes Beach is ideal for families with younger children. Canton Beach Holiday Park sits just a few streets from the Toukley shops, cafes and restaurants and the peaceful park surroundings of the Tuggerah Lakes foreshore. This tranquil waterfront park exudes a relaxing coastal township ambience. Facing the bright blue waters of Lake Munmorah, Budgewoi

Top honours for caves Congratulations to the world-famous Jenolan Caves for scooping the pool at the 2012 NSW Tourism Awards and taking home gold for the third consecutive year. With three gold awards and silver in the state’s most prestigious tourism honours, Jenolan took gold for Culture & Heritage, Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism and won silver in the Tourism Attraction category. The Jenolan Caves form a spectacular natural wonder on the western edge of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and are one of the world’s oldest and finest cave systems. Visitors can explore any of 11 huge show caves or take part in adventure caving, ghost tours, night tours, kids’ tours, bushwalks and underground performances plus there is a hotel complex and three eateries. Reflecting on the awards, Caves Operations Manager Dan Cove said “Jenolan Caves have been a magnet for tourists since 1838, but today we are at the cutting edge of cave-tour development and innovation. We’ve drawn on technology, imagination and guest feedback to refresh the way visitors experience the caves, so that we meet today’s high expectations.”

Holiday Park welcomes keen fishermen and water sports-loving families all year round and with a grassy lakeside foreshore there’s plenty of space and playgrounds for kids to let off steam, picnic or bbq, play some touch footy and kick back. For weekends and holidays, Wyong Shire turns on the charm giving you every reason to get away and relax with the family.

Coffs - like a Tiger

Tiger Airways is now offering five weekly return flights between Sydney and Coffs Harbour. Now more families can enjoy the terrific weather, tranquil rainforests, sandy beaches and great festivals and events to be found on Coffs Coast. The new Sydney-Coffs Harbour route will become the airline’s only Central route Coastand Holiday a unique holiday experience. The H intrastate as Tiger Parks Airwaysoffer Australia Commercial Director, Carly Brear says, the new locations; route is moreBudgewoi, good news for consumers. “TigerNorah Head across four diverse Canton Beach, will the onlyprime low-fare operator on the Sydney -Coffs route and ThebeParks' locations offer the best ofHarbour the lakeside and beachs we’re confident our services will prove popular, stimulating demand and Central Coast. providing significant tourism and economic benefits to both markets.”

Facilities include:

· Resort style pools at Norah Head and Toowoon Bay · Jumping pillows at all four parks for the young and young at heart

· Outdoor amphitheatres at Norah Head and Toowoon Bay; wher and watch a block buster under the stars

Each of the four Parks offers free wireless internet access from various w

All four Central Coast Holiday Parks are barely an hours drive from Syd

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Australian holiday news

ACT Take a class in glass To celebrate the Centenary of Canberra in 2013, Canberra Glassworks is presenting 100 Days of Glass until December. The event includes exhibitions and special classes for children and adults, as well as demonstrations and artist talks in the Hotshop. Try your hand at glass making by participating in the Off-the-Street, Hands on Glass program on weekends. The program also includes exhibitions featuring the art of indigenous artists working in glass and a workshop introducing new glass practices and processes to artists from the Pilbara, connecting with the Big hART program - Yijala Yala Project Community Exchange.

ANZAC Day at The Australian War Memorial There’s something particularly poignant about attending an ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Children and adults gather in the thousands each year on April 25 to pay their respects to our servicemen and women, past and present. The ceremony is family-friendly and child inclusive and children are encouraged to leave a poppy, for remembrance, on the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier. After the ceremony, explore the galleries and learn more about our ANZACs’ experiences, their sacrifices and their legacy.

Possum Magic – The Final Farewell Tour Possum Magic first captured the imagination of young readers 30 years ago and countless kids have grown up with the wonderful tales of Grandma Poss and her bush magic. “She made wombats blue and kookaburras pink, dingoes smile and emus shrink, but the best magic of all was the Possum Magic that made Baby Hush invisible.” It was a natural transition to take the story to the stage and for over 20 years Possum Magic Live has delighted all ages. This is the final farewell for the show on May 4 at the Canberra Theatre, family tickets available.

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Australian holiday news

QLD Digital Detox On Fraser Holidays with your loved ones should be memorable for the right reasons and at Kingfisher Bay Resort a relaxing family holiday is just that. Once you arrive on Fraser - the world’s largest sand island - there are no traffic jams, no queues and, with a stack of nature-based resort activities to choose from, you can opt for the right blend of family togetherness. Lazy days can be spent exploring the national park by four-wheel-drive or on a tour. The calm waters of the Great Sandy Strait are safe for older children to canoe, swim and play in plus there are Segway tours, learn to fish clinics, and if you catch any fish off the jetty, have them cooked by the resort’s chefs. Kingfisher Bay Resort’s holiday program makes family vacations more than memorable – allowing the kids time to discover the environment while their parents relax and take time out for themselves. The Eco-Resort’s popular Junior Eco Ranger program is designed to show children how to care about the environment in a fun way with exploration and play through bush art, walks, storytelling, orienteering, rope courses and canoeing.

BIG4 Whitsundays hosts Kids in the Kitchen Let the kids whip up some yummy treats while you enjoy the glorious Whitsunday weather! Following on from their hugely popular Junior MasterChef cooking classes, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday is introducing Kids in the Kitchen for the June school holidays with creative cooking classes, guest appearances and plenty of culinary fun for all ages. Owner Naomi McKinnon says, “We are always trying to think of new and exciting workshops to hold but when we had Siena from Junior MasterChef here giving classes, everyone loved it so we decided to bring back the cooking theme this year. Kids love getting in the kitchen and cooking up a storm and that’s what Adventure Whitsunday is all about. We want to keep the kids busy and the parents happy.” BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday loves to create the perfect environment for families and is the only place in Airlie Beach offering a designated Activity Co-ordinator, Daily Activity Schedule and Kids Club.



Planet Chill opens at Paradise Resort Here’s a ‘cool’ concept - a unique, icy environment right in the middle of Australia’s tropical playground! Paradise Resort Gold Coast’s guests can now enjoy all the family fun of PLANET CHILL the only permanent ice skating rink within a resort in the Southern Hemisphere. With something for the whole family, PLANET CHILL even hires out specially-designed penguin stabilisers for little ones to make their ‘icecapades’ more bump-free and provides a themed ‘Chill Zone’ for teenagers with air hockey, foosball and a pool table. Parents don’t miss out either – with comfy sitting areas for supervising kids and skating sessions that cater for different age groups to ensure maximum safety.

N Cairns




Sunshine Coast Brisbane

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Australian holiday news


Discover the culture and traditions of the Gold Coast’s original landowners through the narration of dreamtime stories, dance and artifacts still found along the headland track that are thousands of years old! The region’s first dedicated Aboriginal Tourism and Cultural centre, Jellurgal, is now open and is another must-do for families holidaying on the Gold Coast. Jellurgal is the Aboriginal name for the rainforest that stretches from Tallebudgera Estuary to Burleigh and was named to mark the resting place of the dreamtime giant, Jabreen. An enlightening, entertaining and educational experience for the whole family.



© Janelle Lugge,

Discover Burleigh’s indigenous beginnings

Hamilton Island’s 12 unique experiences in 12 months After an investment over $350 million over ten years, Hamilton Island has never looked better! Its location, at the gateway of the Great Barrier Reef, is just one incentive to visit but the range of unique experiences – month by month - in 2013 are just sensational. In April it’s Reefsleep – after cruising out to the Reefworld Pontoon you can snorkel and take a semi-submersible tour to the underwater viewing chamber by day and sleep under the stars on this private floating hotel by night. There’s the Hilly Half Marathon in May and June stirs up the waters for the world’s toughest outrigger canoe racing event, the Gatorade Clash of the Paddles.

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Australian holiday news

VIC Double the fun with the new Ballarat Pass Ballarat Regional Tourism has launched the Ballarat Pass with discounted admission to both Sovereign Hill and the Ballarat Wildlife Park. The pass includes two days entry to Sovereign Hill, where you can experience the excitement of Australia’s 1850s gold rush. Sovereign Hill offers fun for the whole family; panning in the creek for real gold, underground mine tours and street theatre plus entry to the Gold Museum included with your Sovereign Hill ticket. Ballarat Wildlife Park offers the delightful experience of hand feeding free-roaming kangaroos, patting koalas, wombats and emus as well as seeing the park’s Tasmanian Devils and high-leaping saltwater crocodiles. Each pass is valid for one month from the date you collect and they can be purchased at the Ballarat Information Centre.


Journey back in time at the State Coal Mine Situated along the picturesque Bass Coast, the State Coal Mine is a lovingly restored, historic Gippsland attraction celebrating Victoria’s early 20th century mining heritage. An adventure escape with hands-on fun, the whole family can don a miner’s hard-hat and explore a network of above and underground tunnels with the State Coal Mines’ range of activities. These school holidays why not experience the recently launched Twilight Tours and Junior Rangers Program, and witness the glistening 130 million-yearold coal found within this Victorian treasure. The State Coal Mine is just two hours’ drive from Melbourne and 30 minutes’ drive from Phillip Island. Win a family pass to visit Gippsland’s State Coal Mine. Out & About With Kids and Parks Victoria are giving away 15 family passes to the State Coal Mine, each valued at $46. For your chance to win visit

NT Darwin’s Dry Season cinema under the stars

Experience the magic of this year’s dry season with free blockbuster movies under the stars at the Darwin Waterfront. All you need is a chair and blanket and then sit back and relax on the lawns to watch a free movie under the night sky. You can pack a picnic or purchase tantalising treats from the Waterfront retailers. Now in its fourth year, this free outdoor cinema experience has become a popular choice for Territory families and visitors to Darwin. This season’s first movie will be screened from 7pm on Saturday 18 May on the peninsula lawns.

Croc-tacular cruise Did you know crocodiles can jump? It’s certainly quite a sight to see huge saltwater crocodiles launching themselves vertically out of the Adelaide River to claim meat dangled for them over the edge of the Adelaide River Queen! On the Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise you’ll witness the crocs in action and learn all about these awesome creatures from an encounter or two that’s totally up close (and safe!) in the wild. Cruises run several times a day all year round.

SA Kids come out for creative festival South Australia’s Come Out Festival began in 1974 as part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts and is the state’s preeminent arts festival for schools and families and the largest festival of its kind in the world. Over two million South Australian children have participated in it since it began with the aim to inspire children to develop lifelong confidence in sharing and investing in their unique creativity. Delivering an innovative, internationally celebrated multi-arts festival that intrigues, excites and inspires South Australian children, the Come Out Festival 2013 runs from 22 –31 May and includes performances, visual art exhibitions and workshops for kids and families.

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Australian holiday news


WA Rottnest Island Family Escape

© Tourism Tasmania & Michael Watlers

Just offshore from Perth, Rottnest Island is the place that the locals go to swim and snorkel at white sandy beaches, spot wildlife or just kick back and go fishing. With 63 sheltered beaches to choose from, Rotto, as it’s known by the locals, is refreshingly uncrowded and is the perfect day trip destination for families from Perth or Fremantle. Rotto is a car-free zone, so hiring a bike is the best way to get around - watch out for the quokkas, the cute marsupials which were the inspiration for the island’s name. You might also like to take a trip on the Underwater Explorer glass bottom boat tour, snorkel your way over shipwrecks on the underwater snorkel course, play a round of mini golf at Brett Heady’s Family Fun Park or take a train ride over to Oliver Hill.

Amazing Tazmazia The world of Tasmazia is a crazy complex located in the wonderfully named town of Promised Land in the heart of Tasmania’s beautiful Cradle Mountain and Lakes District. Just 40 minutes from Devonport and 90 minutes from Launceston, Tasmazia includes eight mazes, featuring The Great Maze, reputedly the world’s largest, as well as The Village of Lower Crackpot, a whimsical model village built to 1/5th scale, The Pancake Parlour, gift shop, Lavender Farm and spectacular views of majestic Mount Roland.

Little Agrarians – from the garden to the kitchen



Whaleshark of a time The Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival marks the beginning of the whale shark season by welcoming these gentle giants to Exmouth’s pristine waters. The festival features live music, market stalls, a fun run and exhibits by some of the world’s leading whale shark researchers and will run from May 24 to 26. The Whale Shark is the world’s largest living fish, and can live for 100 years, growing up to 18m in length.

© DJ Mattaar,

Here’s a great day out for kids just 45 minutes from Hobart – a visit to the Agrarian Kitchen. Kids can see, smell, touch and taste their way around a farm, gardens and kitchen, to fully appreciate the flavour of real food - food grown without chemicals and allowed to mature and ripen within its natural timeframe. The Little Agrarian has been created to instill in future generations an appreciation of where their food comes from and how it gets from the paddock to their plates. Included is a tour of the vegetable gardens and orchards, tasting different heirloom vegetables and fruit while harvesting produce from the garden. Children are given the opportunity to collect eggs and feed rarebreed Wessex saddleback piglets as well as milking British alpine goats. They will then return to the kitchen to cook their own lunch from the gathered produce! The Agrarian Kitchen is a sustainable farm-based cooking school situated in a 19th century schoolhouse at Lachlan, 45 minutes from Hobart.

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Australian holiday news

NORFOLK ISLAND Join the club Norfolk Island is a perfect holiday destination for families with kids of all ages, with so many naturally beautiful places in which to play, safely. Nearly all of the activities on Norfolk can be done as a family, and now, there is a Holiday Kids Club to ensure the kids can have fun and make new friends without having boring old mum and dad hanging around. The kids club runs for two weeks every school holidays, from 9 – 4.30 Monday to Friday. It’s a great way for the kids to interact with local kids and enjoy everything that Norfolk has to offer, from canoeing in Emily Bay, to fishing, sports, grass sliding, visiting farms, the fire station, the airport and police station. Cost is $75 a day which includes pick up and drop off from your accommodation plus lunch and snacks.

Are you Reddy for a feast of events?




Norfolk Island, the slice of paradise with a hefty dose of history and culture thrown in, has a big year of events planned for locals and visitors. Opera in Paradise opened the year in fine style, with a week of concerts in February that really raised the bar. If country is more your style, the Country Music Festival is on from 20-24 May, showcasing some amazing talent. It’s Bounty Day in 10 June and in July, Christmas will come early for fans of the island and the one and only Helen Reddy. Helen is escorting a tour to the island for Christmas in July, with a week-long program of tours, activities and dinners, and the chance to see Helen Reddy live in concert. In August it’s the Hardy’s Wine Pro-Am Classic, and in December, the Jazz Festival blows into town from 1-5 December. Check out the full program of events on the website.

A fresh new taste of Norfolk Some delicious things have been happening on Norfolk Island, an emerging food-lover’s paradise. The fertile soil and subtropical climate ensures a feast of local produce, and the pristine waters surrounding the islands are jumping with sea life. Norfolk is creating a 100 percent sustainable environment, with farmers trained in sustainable agricultural techniques such as biodynamic farming. Add to that a lively bunch of artisan food and beverage producers, including Norfolk Blue beef, and Two Chimneys Winery. This means plenty of tasty treats for visitors with this ‘paddock to plate’ approach. Food lovers can also participate in Hilli’s Restaurant & Bar’s Mastering Taste Chef School and Garden Tour. At a beautiful property in the island’s north, a local chef will show you how to whip up gourmet dishes that include fruit and vegetables sourced from the garden.

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animal news Photo: Nigel McNeil


Monster Croc moves to Port Macquarie Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park in Port Macquarie is now home to a monster croc called Shrek. The massive salt water or estuarine crocodile measures 4.6 metres and is estimated to be 50 years old. The park’s new Jurassic Pond boasts a naturalistic-themed exhibit, large pool and state of the art viewing areas for the public. Visitors can enjoy watching Shrek swim through a special underwater viewing panel imported from Germany. There is also a second storey viewing area to allow visitors to look out over the pool. Senior keeper and Head of Reptiles, Stuart Johnson will be Shrek’s primary keeper and has undergone extensive training to prepare for the role. Billabong is a worldrenowned breeding centre for koalas and offers a close up encounter with Australia’s favourite and exotic animals. Set in four hectares and with over 50 species of animals, the Park has many exhibits and shows for reptiles, snakes, monkeys, kangaroos, crocodiles, birds and much more.

Mowbray Park Farm

Man, you think your room’s untidy If you are under 3 then you are FREE at ‘Wow-bray Park Farm’ Come say G’day to Chloe, Chester, Scooter & friends The days are full of fun at Mowbray Park Farm, Kid’s Club, ponies, camp fires, hay rides & more Day visits, birthday parties & weekend escapes Mowbray Park 745 Barkers Lodge Rd Picton Call us 02 46809 243 for that special holiday



Seal Harbour Opens At Sea World It’s a multi-million dollar paradise for seals and sea lions, with cute New Zealand Fur Seals, sleek Californian Sea Lions and cuddly Sub-Antarctic Fur Seals calling Sea World’s new ‘Seal Harbour’ home. With natural sandy-bottomed lagoons, crystal clear waters and specially-designed boardwalks and glass petitions, Sea World visitors can get up-close and personal as these gorgeous creatures splash, play and sunbathe. Sea World Animal Care Supervisor Tacha Mulligan said that Seal Harbour is an amazing exhibit. “Seals and Sea Lions are amazing fun to watch they are very playful and interactive and are just so graceful in the water.”

Flight of the Condor

Melbourne Aquarium’s Seahorse Pier is the new home of more than 100 seahorses including Victoria’s marine emblem, the beautiful Weedy Seadragon. The fascinating new exhibit features the world’s largest collection of species from the seahorse family including seadragons, pipefish, razorfish and, of course, seahorses. As well as showcasing the seahorse family, the exhibit also allows visitors to tour the colourful depths of spectacular underwater gardens found in Australia’s southern oceans, with multi-coloured real-life coral exhibits an amazing example of this. Together with the new displays, the exhibit is also home to Melbourne Aquarium’s internationally-recognised weedy seadragon breeding program and dedicated Seahorse Breeding Facility. Seahorse Pier will also offer a new education space for Underwater Zoo students to be inspired about the amazing underwater world.

Taronga Zoo’s juvenile Andean Condor joined the popular QBE Free Flight Bird Show in December 2012. The female Condor, Konira, only started training for the spectacular presentation in October, progressing so quickly that keepers adjusted their routines so Konira could show off her newly acquired skills. Konira joined older sister Leslie who takes flight from a 12-metre tower at the back of the theatre during the midday presentation. “Condors have one of the biggest wingspans in the bird world, typically measuring three metres, so she’s pretty awesome to watch in full flight. To see Konira in flight with Sydney Harbour as her backdrop is really something special” Bird Show Supervisor, Matthew Kettle, said. The Andean Condor originates from South America’s Andes Mountains. Andean Condors are in decline but they are doing okay in the wild while many other vulture species in Africa and Asia are critically endangered.

New arrivals n W elcome to the newest member of Taronga Zoo’s giraffe herd, Kitoto who has joined longlegged friends Jimiyu, Nyota and Zarafa from her previous home at Dubbo Zoo. n There is lots of


Seahorsing around

Healesville’s Hamish & Andy Wombats Hamish and Andy’s start to life was anything but funny, orphaned when their mums were hit by cars and killed. It’s a reminder from Healesville Sanctuary to be careful when driving. Andy from Alexandra weighed just 260 grams when he was rescued from his mother’s pouch from the side of the road and Hamish came from Don Valley weighing just 600 grams. Every year more than 2000 native animals in need of specialist veterinary care arrive at the Australian Wildlife Health Centre at Healesville Sanctuary. Anyone seeking veterinary advice can call the Australian Wildlife Health Centre at Healesville Sanctuary on (03) 5957 2829 between 10am and 4pm or RACV Wildlife Connect on 13 11 11, a 24 hour service immediately connecting to one of three Victorian-based volunteer wildlife groups.

Devil’s Den at WILD LIFE




As the iconic Tasmanian Devil faces the very real threat of extinction in the wild, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo has welcomed two Tasmanian Devils to the family as part of a long-term commitment to safeguarding the species’ population. Guests at the Darling Harbour attraction have the chance to meet female Oreo and male Big John, both of whom arrived from a sanctuary in Victoria where they played a crucial part in a Tasmanian Devil captive breeding program. Oreo and Big John will act as ambassadors for their wild Tasmanian Devil cousins and will live in Devil’s Den, a brand new exhibit at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo where guests can learn about the Tasmanian Devil’s plight and catch a glimpse of these iconic animals in action, all while enjoying a host of other activities available.



excitement at Monarto Zoo with the addition of five Cheetah cubs to breeding queen, Nakula, the mother of the zoo’s recently hand raised single cub Mogo Zoo also has a new giraffe, with a baby Rothschild Giraffe born just before Australia Day. The female measured a remarkable 1.8 metres. Melbourne Zoo elephant Num-Oi is a first-time mum to a bouncing baby boy born in January. Perth Zoo’s groundbreaking echidna program has produced two more puggles to four year-old first-time mothers Mila and Chindi. Two tiny Collared Peccaries, also known as javelinas or skunk pigs, have made their public debut at Melbourne Zoo. Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre in New Zealand’s North Island, has welcomed a third rare white kiwi chick.

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Get motoring Motorhomes are the ultimate set up for a road-trip. Easily available to rent, they come with everything permanently in place inside what is effectively a mobile house. All you need to do is pull up at your allocated site at one of the hundreds of excellent holiday parks and campgrounds around the country and plug into the power. There’s no setting or packing up camp, no searching for a place to cook and clean everything up – it’s all right there at your fingertips. Kids love the novelty factor of a motorhome,with the sleeping bunks fun and cosy, and they can rig them up as cubby houses. Most vans have all the mod cons like kitchenettes, TVs and bathrooms, albeit tiny. Be sure you hire a motorhome that’s right for your family size and your plans. Motorhomes come in 2 – 6 berths and optional 4WD. And remember that by law everyone needs to occupy their own seat within the motorhome when you’re driving, including little ones (who will also need the appropriate approved restraints). A motorhome road trip offers your



kids the chance to get involved in the adventure because really, you can go just about anywhere. Let them plan the route with you with plenty of stops at attractions and places that interest them. Before you leave get them to Google fun places to visit along the way, great beaches, parks, wildlife areas, bike tracks, underground caves, horse riding … anything that takes their fancy. Once on the road give the kids a map and get them to navigate for you. You might have a GPS but learning to read a map is a great skill and kids will enjoy the sense of responsibility. They’ll also like having a say on which campground to stay at, so let them have some input into the decision making. There are also some fantastic holiday apps available that the kids can use to help you find everything from toilets to playgrounds and food stops along the way. It’s amazing how much more cooperative kids can be if they know they’ve been included and are being trusted with responsibilities. When packing be well organised and don’t take too much. Think about allocating each child their own small bag or packing cell within a larger bag. Food and cooking items (don’t forget your barbecue tools) should be packed in a big box and Esky and don’t forget a snack and drink bag for the front seat and an entertainment bag packed full of books, toys and games for the back. You can borrow audio books on CDs from your local library, which will keep the kids quiet for hours.

© gorillaimages,


f you’ve got itchy feet and are dying for a real family adventure it might be time for you and yours to hit the road in a motorhome. Get the kids back to basics on a holiday where they can discover the diversity of our country at a pace set by your family, staying where you want, when you want. The beauty of a road trip is that the choice is entirely yours.


APPY TRAILS The new Australian Road app has all the info you need to hit the road, including maps, where to go, what to do, where to stay and filters to help you plan the perfect familyfriendly road trip. The all-in-one Car Butler app will help drivers locate nearby petrol stations,

WHERE TO HIRE: Apollo www.apollocamper. com Britz Jayco Kea Campers www.keacampers. com Maui Rentals


find a decent mechanic and even find somewhere to park. A parking alert also means you can prevent fines and will let you know what the local traffic and weather is doing. Kids getting fidgety? Road Trip Bingo will keep the kids entertained on even the longest road trip. Simply shake to

start a new card and watch out for signs, animals, vehicle, less and more. The Australian Museum’s iPhone App, DangerOZ, offers photos, facts and a locater, on Australia’s most dangerous animals. And while you’re more likely to get killed by a bee sting than a shark, it’s a must-have.

◆ Stop, revive, survive. Be sure to stop for plenty of driving breaks and take turns behind the wheel where possible. ◆ Give yourself plenty of time, aim for at least a week to get some good kilometres done and new sights seen without any rush. The aim is to have a good time not a fast one. ◆ Consider hiring at one end and dropping off at the other as a fly-drive option. ◆ Take the scenic route, whenever possible. Stopping at quaint local towns for meals rather than the highway fast food outlets is not only healthier but you’ll discover some amazing places along the way. ◆ Try and reach your destination before nightfall, so there’s no fumbling about in the dark getting set up for the night. ◆ Pack dryer-friendly clothes. There’s no time to wait for clothes to dry on a line. Wash and spin dry at the onsite laundries at holiday parks soon after you arrive.





Families turn to RVs The RV holiday is becoming more popular than ever amongst families, with eight out of 10 Australians stating that a caravan holiday is a good option for families, according to a recent travel survey by Jayco. The Australian manufacturer of pop-tops and camping trailers says caravanning holidays are becoming more popular as families realise that going on a caravan holiday doesn’t mean sacrificing any of their creature comforts. The results showed that while most adults did not experience RV holidays as a child, the majority believe it would provide their family with more opportunities to spend quality time together. Over 70 per cent of those who supported the statement that caravan holidays are a good option for families, also said that it would provide them with more opportunities to show their children the Australian countryside. Nearly two thirds of respondents (63 per cent) would consider caravanning around Australia rather than an overseas holiday. Of those who would prefer to caravan, 61 per cent said that a caravan holiday would allow them to holiday longer for less. There is no doubt that an RV holiday gives you more bang for your buck by providing the opportunity to travel as long as you like whenever you like and the survey found that just over half of families (56 per cent) would consider purchasing a caravan over a holiday home and 64 per cent would consider it over hotel accommodation.

More about motorhoming iMotorhome is an innovative and specialised free emagazine for anyone looking to find out about campervans and motorhomes. Optimised for the iPad (but viewable on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers), iMotorhome is designed to be downloaded and viewed off-line and every issue is crammed with news, in-depth vehicle reviews, technical features, travel stories, technology reports, roadside eats and more. Published twice monthly iMotorhome is written by Australia’s most experienced team of RV journalists and is the ideal way for families to keep upto-date with the ever-changing world of Australian motorhoming.



Visiting by road? Australia’s newest trip planning website will help you make more of your journey and the destination. The new website allows you to plan your journey anywhere in Australia on the one website and is the first in Australia that allows you to save, edit and share trips with friends and family. Use the site’s My Trip facility to create and save your own personalised visitor guide with driving directions and an itinerary. Plus you can use it to find attractions and events in a location or along the way as well as your preferred style of accommodation, from bed and breakfasts to hotels and resorts, in the most convenient locations.

Protect your child

Use an Authorised Restraint Fitting Station A correctly fitted and approved child restraint provides maximum protection for your child in a crash. Use an Authorised Restraint Fitting Station to ensure your child is properly secured. Research shows children whose parents used an Authorised Restraint Fitting Station are twice as likely to be correctly restrained than other children*. National child restraint laws mean all children up to seven years of age must be correctly restrained in the right restraint for their age and size. Fines and demerit points apply.

To find your nearest fitting station visit or call 13 22 13. For more information on the safest child restraints visit 

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* ‘Incorrect child restraint use is reduced among restraint fitting station users’ Brown J, Finch C.F, Hatfield J, Bilston L.E. Neuroscience Research Australia and University of New South Wales.




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Glamping Australia has more than 500 national parks and 28 million hectares of national parkland with campgrounds that range from powered caravan sites to remote clearings with basic facilities. And, while camping purists find the notion of glamour camping an affront, most campgrounds now cordon off an area to include a few glampsites aimed at novices wanting to get back to nature in low-impact luxury. Glamping options range from roomy safari-style tents and hippie-happy tepees to campervans and retro cabins replete with all the mod cons. And, while many campsites offer a very modest version of glamping – comprising pre-erected dome tents furnished with beds and blankets – there are also a plethora of posh, plush options that provide everything from hot tubs to hampers with Champers.

Appy campers The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service free app dubbed ‘WilderQuest’ ( is a themed initiative that provides children with a pre-emptive peep at a virtual ecosystem, where they can learn more about Australian plants and

Courtesy: Lane Cove River Tourist Park


re there dangerous creatures in this forest?” The question comes not from my sons, Fin, 9, or Marley, 8, but from their friend, Guy, who has joined us at Lane Cove River Tourist Park for his first-ever camping experience. “Well, it is drop bear territory, but you’ll be right. Just be sure to zip up the tent,” says my husband, Robin, a dab hand at doling out Dad jokes. Guy’s eyes widen further, as he asks, “What’s a drop bear?” “It’s a predatory marsupial related to the koala – thylarctos plummetus … but the chances of having one drop on your head is rare. There’s only been one fatality this year,” deadpans Robin. Like sand in your sleeping bag, the stench of insect repellant and falling asleep to the whisper of the wind, tall tales about mythical creatures are a quintessential component of an Australian camping experience. And, one of the many joys of calling a canvas canopy home for a night or two is that it takes you out of your comfort zone. To better prepare rookie campers for a night in the great outdoors, the My First Time Camping experience at Lane Cove River Tourist Park is a great place to begin.

Lane Cove River Tourist Park

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✔ A torch or two and head n lamp

✔ Ear plugs n ✔ A self-inflating mat or air n mattress

✔ Plastic bags to cordon off n wet clothes and contain rubbish

✔ Day packs n ✔ Water bottles and, if n animals. The app appeases nine-year-old Guy, who explores the WilderQuest app on my iPad until he has ruled out the dangers of delving into a drop bear den.

What to expect At many of the larger campgrounds, the scene remains largely the same: there are children whizzing by on bikes, sausages sizzling on barbecues, and the sound of happy chatter as families and friends stake their claim with positively palatial tents and communal camp kitchens that feature everything - including the kitchen sink. Tourist parks of this ilk are terrific for reconnecting with friends and giving frazzled parents a well-earned break. They are also aimed squarely at those who have an aversion to really roughing it and love having a baker, bistro and butcher nearby. For the uninitiated, one of the many upsides of camping or glamping at the edge of urbanity is that you are close to home if things go pear-shaped. Regardless of how hardcore your first-time camping experience is, there are golden rules that apply when it comes to preparing for any kind of camp trip.

Be prepared It’s not enough to have all the gear; you also need to have an idea about what equipment will enhance your overall experience. The No. 1 tip for those who are clueless when it comes to camping is to expect the unexpected. If you are camping in rugged terrain and plan a few



bush walks, your provisions should include more than just naan bread and potatoes. You may even need to bring your own drinking water. Once you’ve investigated the kinds of campgrounds on offer, and discovered a site that will be a good fit for your family, research what you are required to bring depending on the duration of your stay and the amenities on offer. If you are taking your own tent, practise pitching it in your backyard before you go. Oh, and as well as booking ahead, arrive early in the day. My husband still cringes at our first fumbled attempt to erect our new family tent as blackness closed in at a crowded South Coast campsite with a screaming three-month-old in tow. Unless you’re a hobbit, avoiding severe weather is integral to a successful camping trip; there’s nothing romantic about sleeping in a sodden tent. Other cardinal sins committed by rookie campers include walking through other people’s sites, loudly blaring a radio, hogging the showers and leaving food, or indeed, children unattended for hours. It seems the experience of bunkering down on bumpy ground agrees with Guy, who is all smiles as he emerges from the tent to a cloudless sky and soft pink dawn. After breakfast, a game of charades, a visit from a blue tongue lizard and a bush walk, he is bubbling with enthusiasm. “Camping is soooo much fun,” he says. Indeed. Unless you encounter a Yowie!

necessary, clean drinking water

✔ Tea towels, toilet paper n and eco-friendly detergent

✔ n ✔ n ✔ n ✔ n

Wet weather gear A picnic rug A dustpan and brush Clothes that suit a range of weather conditions

✔ Sunscreen and insect n repellant

✔ n

A menu plan and enough fresh food, snacks and dry goods for the family

✔ A plastic wash tub (the n bubblers are not for washing up dirty plates)

✔ A first-aid kit n ✔ Sensible walking shoes and n a hat

y BIG4 Australia b

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From Tweed Heads to Biggera Waters, BIG4 Holiday Parks place you perfectly to explore the warm wonders of the Gold Coast. Whether you’re staying seaside or treeside, with over 180 parks across Australia, BIG4 offers a choice of facilities, activities and accommodation to suit all budgets. Visit for more details, availability and our easy booking system.  Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast





Experience Australia by BIG4! From golden beaches to lush rainforests, BIG4 is all about the freedom to enjoy a great family holiday or an Australian road trip to remember. With 180 parks located in idyllic locations across Australia, BIG4 Holiday Parks place you perfectly to enjoy a family holiday or short break from city confines. Whether you’re after a cabin or site, BIG4 caters for families of all sizes and every budget. The extensive facilities, as well as wide open spaces and impeccable service are what set BIG4 apart from other accommodation providers in Australia. A short stroll from your cabin or site, you’ll often find a resort style pool, adventure playground, camp kitchen, or a giant jumping pillow. Some parks even have their own water parks, gokarts and outdoor movies – that means smiles all round!



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BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday is a winner BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday has secured its position as the top-rated tourist park in Queensland by winning the Queensland Tourism Award for the second year in a row. The multi-award winning holiday park is located in Airlie Beach and has capacity for over 700 guests and offers a special kind of holiday destination capturing the essence of the relaxed Australian tropical lifestyle. It is a vibrant, family-orientated resort set in 10 beautiful hectares of tropical gardens providing an ideal location for a lifetime of holiday memories. For those who want to venture outside the resort, it has easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, Whitsunday Islands and a vast array of trips, fishing, boating and a host of other water based activities.

Better parks, better locations If you are looking for a whole new way to holiday, check out NRMA Holiday Parks, where your family can do everything… or do nothing at all. Set in pristine locations along Australia’s east coast, the parks allow you to experience the uniqueness of each location while creating an unforgettable holiday experience for your family. All parks offer free kids club on weekends and school holidays, as well as stunning resort-style pools, jumping pillows and kids playgrounds. The parks differ with their onsite offerings, and may include a tennis court, basketball court, games room, golf course, lawn bowls, archery, a BMX track, go kart hire and beach volleyball. All parks also feature onsite restaurants and cafes that can easily cater for all dietary requirements. With four amazing locations to choose from – the Gold Coast, Darlington Beach, Umina and Merimbula, NRMA Holiday Parks are a family’s dream come true.

Calling all families! You will love what’s on offer for your family at Escape2 Holiday Parks and Resorts. With 11 properties in the group, each location offers something amazing, from a tropical paradise in Cairns to a cultural haven in Port Arthur, and everything in between. Take your family to experience the Escape2 difference. Indulge in the exceptional hospitality, facilities and accommodation that Escape2 Holiday Parks and Resorts are known for. Kids and families are spoilt for choice with free kids activities during the school holidays including arts and crafts, film nights and a range of outdoor activities. Properties boast a range of entertainment precincts that may include a pool, a mini-golf course, a basketball court, an ampitheatre or a TV and games room. Wireless internet, Foxtel in cabins and the hire of many things such as Nintendo Wii, board games and DVDs are free at all Escape2 properties.

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Location and looks

THE COMO MELBOURNE The Como Melbourne, now a member of Accor’s exclusive MGallery Collection, boasts one of the city’s best locations - right at the junction of Chapel Street and Toorak Road and in the heart of picturesque South Yarra. With all of the city’s best boutiques, cafes and restaurants at your fingertips, there are also plenty of attractions nearby for kids to enjoy, such as the Royal Botanical Gardens. The hotel also has a large indoor/ outdoor swimming pool which is always popular with families. Having recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, the 107-room, five-star hotel is looking better than ever. As part of the hotel’s extensive refurbishment, all of the guestrooms have been completely redesigned with new bedding packages, bold lighting and modern furniture a feature. Guestrooms also feature new, high gloss kitchens which are perfect for those who prefer



to dine in-house, especially families. A defining feature of The Como Melbourne is the spaciousness of its guestrooms, which, when travelling with kids is always welcome. The Como Duck, an icon of The Como and a favoured treasure of many children who have stayed in the past, is getting a makeover. So children, watch this space! The little rubber Como Duck will be returning to the hotel in the coming months. ✸ HOTEL HINT: “Just wandering down Chapel Street and Toorak Road gives guests a real feel for South Yarra and Melbourne as a whole – from the food and fashion to the people and architecture. Frank Camorra and Michael James of award-winning MoVida, opened Movida Bakery in South Yarra last month. The sausage rolls are to die for and we often see families coming back to the hotel with bags of MoVida goodies. It’s a must!” Cleo Seaman, General Manager, The Como Melbourne


Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury is conveniently located in Adelaide’s CBD, adjacent to the Town Hall and overlooking Victoria Square. This beautiful heritage apartment hotel is just minutes away from Adelaide’s Central Market, perfect for sampling South Australia’s fresh fruit and veg, or stroll over to the Botanic Gardens on North Terrace for family bonding with the kids. If that doesn’t satisfy their need for activity, jump on a tram opposite the hotel to discover the beautiful beachside suburb of Glenelg. There you can swim with dolphins, attend to much needed shopping or escape on one of the many walking trails. The whole family will have room to relax in Adina’s spacious one- and two-bedroom apartments. Each features a separate and comfortable living room with in-house movies and Foxtel, sure to gain the tick of approval from the kids and the adults. Families will also enjoy the convenience of their apartment’s fullyequipped kitchen and laundry. Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury also features indoor swimming pool (for the kids) and a bar (for you). Plus, the building was


the original State Treasury Office - the whole family will love a local history lesson come to life including some very cool underground tunnels. ✸ HOTEL HINT: “Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury’s spacious apartments offer an ideal home away from home for families. Each apartment has a fully-equipped kitchen, and we can stock the pantry so that it’s full of the kids’ favourite treats (and yours)! Why not use the kitchen to prepare a picnic lunch and head off for a family day at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens - it’s a lovely spot with plenty of space for the kids to explore and adults to relax.” Rachel Argaman, CEO of Toga Hotels.

Natural Living in Sydney

NOVOTEL SYDNEY ON DARLING HARBOUR The Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour offers families an unforgettable experience in Sydney’s iconic Darling Harbour precinct and easy access to all the fun and entertainment it offers families. The 4.5 star hotel boasts 525 spacious and well-appointed rooms that enjoy great views of Darling Harbour, the Sydney CBD and surrounding regions. Guests can enjoy the comforts of an outdoor pool, tennis court, health centre and a bar and restaurant where guest can enjoy the The Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour’s famous buffet breakfast overlooking Darling Harbour. Located in one of Australia’s best family destinations, The Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour is only a short walk from great attractions including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, where you can see sharks swimming above your head, WILD LIFE Sydney, where you can see koalas up close, Madame Tussauds, where you can have your photo taken with the Queen, The Maritime Museum, where you can go for a sail on Sydney Harbour with Sydney by Sail, and see mind-boggling movies and documentaries at the IMAX theatre with its giant screen. The Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour’s friendly Concierge Department can also help you with information regarding regular fireworks displays and fantastic family events that are held regularly in the Darling Harbour area. ✸ HOTEL HINT: “Our Go Wild Family Package is great value for a family of four. The package includes

overnight accommodation, full buffet breakfast, your choice of two Sydney attractions from a list including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, WILD LIFE Sydney, Madame Tussauds and Sydney Tower Eye, an in-room dinner and movie for ONLY $371 per package.” Akif Zorlu, Head Concierge, Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour www.

Phillip Island fun

RAMADA RESORT PHILLIP ISLAND Situated just a two-hour drive from Melbourne, the fabulous Ramada Resort Phillip Island is centrally located to many of Phillip Island’s famous natural wildlife experiences, premier tourist attractions plus swimming and surfing beaches. Set on 26 hectares surrounded by natural bushland, the Ramada Resort Phillip Island provides a private and tranquil setting for guests. The facilities are excellent, including an outdoor swimming pool and spa, health centre with gym and spa, games room, children’s playground, two tennis courts, two picnic barbecue areas, plus an onsite restaurant, café & bar and pizzeria. For those who like to stay active and explore the surrounds, there are seven kilometres of walking and cycling tracks around the resort. And that’s before you even venture out of the resort to discover the amazing creatures and abundance of family activities that are available to see and do on Phillip Island! The resort’s fantastic accommodation caters for everyone and includes fully self-contained one-, twoand three-bedroom villas, which are ideal for families, as well as their popular studio villas. With its relaxing environment, Ramada Resort Phillip Island is the perfect holiday destination for couples and families. ✸ HOTEL HINT: “Don’t forget to bring your bikes so you can take advantage of the seven kilometers of bush tracks around the resort. By the time you finish taking the kids for a swim, a play in the resort playground, a hit of tennis, and a few rounds of air hockey in our games room, the kids will sleep soundly all night! That is, after they tuck into the best wood-fired pizza at our very own Pizzeria!” Dawn Gleeson, Business Development Manager, Ramada Resort Phillip Island

From far left: The Como Melbourne Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour Ramada Resort Phillip Island

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Get wet Bondi Beach is one of the most iconic beaches in the world, but is also one of the busiest. If you want to avoid the throngs of brazenly sun-bronzed backpackers, there is a nearby strip of sand and sea that is one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets: Milk Beach in Vaucluse. Starting at Vaucluse Road, head past historic Strickland House (the home of Sydney’s first mayor) and along the Hermitage Foreshore Walk down to the beach. All up, it’s about 700m – so more than manageable for little legs. On the south side of the city is where you will find Darook Park, one of Sutherland Shire’s best-kept secrets. If you are willing to get your feet wet, walk from Gunnamatta Bay – where the pier doubles as a diving platform – and walk south along a slim stretch of sand that can be enjoyed in full sunshine until the late afternoon. With fishing boats bobbing about in the bay the only distraction, the crescent-shaped beach is an idyllic place to escape the madness of the busy beachside suburb while enjoying one of the most enviable locations in Cronulla. If you are fond of sandhills and salty air, grab some old boogie boards and head about 5km north to the towering dunes at Wanda Beach. Let the children get their wiggles out by climbing the precipitous mountains of sand, where the views are as compelling as the experience of whizzing down the slopes at high-speed.

Go wild in the CBD Discover more about the Royal Botanic Garden by joining a school holiday workshop (www.rbgsyd.nsw. Children will get to channel their inner hobbit by tromping through the garden to learn all about the lake and the creatures that live within it. While it may not be as rugged or intrepid as a remote bush walk, there’s a simple pleasure in feeling lost and small within a tangle of trees dwarfed by a towering skyline of metal and glass. Children are encouraged to bring along a camera and take photos of the plants and animals that call the garden home.

The great indoors If the weather is a bit iffy and the experience of walking up giant kung fu poles while blindfolded appeals, then Peak Pursuits is the place ( Tucked away in the industrial back streets of Castle Hill, this is an indoor rock-climbing centre designed to encourage families to get off the couch and get fit. As well as the Sky Trail high ropes course, which is the first of its kind in the country, there is an enormous spider web, a rope ladder, dangling logs, wobbly walls and an




urban glass tower that you can scale using suction cups. If you have the energy, you can also swing through the air from the high trapeze and explore the glow-in-the dark galaxy. While the attractions at the city’s foremost galleries and museums are well-publicised, there are several lesser-known cultural institutions dotted around the city – including the State Library of NSW and The Rocks Discovery Museum – that offer holiday activities for kids. The Hyde Park Barracks ( was built in 1819 to house, clothe and feed male convicts. Today, the barracks has morphed into a museum about itself, with a long-running exhibition that shares stories about the city’s colourful convict history. It’s interactive, in the truest sense of the word, as children can learn about the daily lives of convicts first-hand by trying on some leg irons for size, testing a convict hammock, playing dress-ups in period pieces and exploring the convict kids’ trail.

Disc jockeys The ‘hatcher’, the ‘chicken-wing’, the ‘roller’ and the ‘thumber’ are all words that are part of the disc golfer’s lexicon. And while novice Frisbee throwers might not be able to pull off such accomplished freestyle moves, they can have a lot of fun taking aim at Sydney Olympic Park’s purpose-built disc golf arena every weekend at Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park ( The sport is modelled on golf, in that you must try to complete each hole in the least number of throws, using a Frisbee instead of a golf ball.



Get on your bike In Where to ride Sydney (available via, there are 144 rides ranging from short rides suitable for beginners to longer distances that demand greater fitness. The book features safe family-friendly routes all around the city and suburbs and is written with all levels of rider in mind. Suggested routes include the Parramatta Heritage Ride, the Ryde to Botany Bay Cooks River Cycleway and an all-ages ride from Centennial Park to Sydney Park. There are also some wonderful environmentally-conscious cycling routes at Sydney Olympic Park, including an adventure bike chase course designed to encourage families to have fun while exploring Newington Armory.

Mini chefs in action Do you have a mini masterchef in the making? Sheridan Rogers (, author of Mini Chef – Cooking with Kids doesn’t do restaurantstyle food, although she says a few of her students have done so well they were in the finals for the juggernaut that was Junior MasterChef. Sheridan’s cooking classes, which are conducted in her private residence in North Sydney, aim to teach children to prepare wholesome, nutritious meals which they love to eat and can reproduce easily at home. She also takes the children into her kitchen garden to pluck vegetables and herbs for dishes they will learn to cook from scratch. The classes are aimed at children aged from 8 to 12 and 10 to 14.










Coast with the most We’ve been to Coffs with the kids several times now and the attraction has not waned. So what is it about this part of the world that grabs on to the soul and embeds itself? It could be that it has a stunning coastline – the perfect blue to the equally perfect green of the lush interiors of



Credit: ST Image / Coffs Coast Marketing


very Christmas, like clockwork, we would set off from our home in the family Valiant, for our annual holiday in Coffs. My dad grew up in the area, and obviously wanted to ingrain it in my psyche. It worked. I can recall with scary detail the iconic wooden jetty, bits of fishing line – some of it mine – waving hello from stubborn cracks. I remember climbing down and fishing from the lower beams when my parents weren’t watching, and the fishy scent that teased the myriad birdlife, always on the lookout for a free feed. Our favourite place to swim was the mouth near Park Beach; turquoise-coloured water swirling under the bridge with cars clattering over it with monotonous regularity. And then, when I was older, we graduated to Park Beach itself – where the big kids tackle the waves with gay abandon. Perhaps the strongest memory is visiting the Pet Porpoise Pool. I loved it and couldn’t wait to visit every single year. Watching the dolphin show and being kissed by seals… it was a magical experience and one that I couldn’t wait to share with my own children.




the Great Dividing Range and the rich, green farmland. It could be the number of delightfully different towns, including the charming arty haven of Bellingen, lovely Nambucca Heads, the sleepy seaside village of Sawtell and leafy Dorrigo. Or it could be that there is just so much to do in this part of the world. I think it is all of the above. For families, keeping the kids from saying that ‘b’ word as well as building in time to relax, is important. Like a Cirque Du Soleil juggler, parents must sneakily plan activities along with acceptable quiet time sprinkled with a bit of time alone, and make it all look seamless. On the Coffs Coast, that’s easy.

Main attractions A visit to the Big Banana is always on the agenda to test out the toboggans, slide down the Banana Slip waterslide and tuck into choc-covered bananas and milkshakes. Afterwards, call in to Coffs Harbour Butterfly House, where pretty butterflies might land on your children and make their day. Rev heads might want to try go-karting at Raleigh International Raceway or in Coffs, experience the thrills and spills of white-water rafting on the Nymboida River or if you love riding on two wheels, tackle the Dorrigo Freefall, a guided downhill mountain bike ride on sealed roads through the World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park. Before you start riding, visit the Rainforest Centre in Dorrigo and stroll on the Skywalk, high above the rainforest canopy. For something a little more chilled out, drive to Bellingen with its groovy galleries and boutiques, and go canoeing on the beautiful Bellinger River. It is so peaceful you won’t want to stop.

Park Beach Holiday Park KIDS




Stay for Kids * Free Kids Club (NSW school holidays) * Free BBQ’s * Resort Pool & Jumping Pillow * Modern Villas * 58


Follow us on CoffsCoastHolidays CoffsHolidays Reservations: 1800 200 555 *The Kids Go Free deal is valid for cabin bookings of 3 or more nights. Maximum of 3 children. Valid from 28 April to 19 September 2013.


Wet and wild To cool off, hit the water. There are beaches for all ages, and even if your kids are good swimmers, remember to only swim at patrolled beaches. Sign up for a surfing lesson at Park Beach or Diggers, build a sandcastle, or go for a snorkel at the Solitary Islands Marine Park. You will discover a whole new world and a whole lot of fish! And if your family likes to catch fish, you’re in luck. Whether you like beach fishing, dangling a line from a jetty, heading up river in a dinghy or going offshore in a serious fishing charter, you can do it all on the Coffs Coast. But there are some sea creatures that reign supreme in this part of the world… the fishy residents of the Pet Porpoise Pool. This place is still working its magic with the rescued dolphins, sea lions, seals and penguins winning hearts and educating people on how they do things. Relax in the garden park, handfeed fish and turtles, and during the holiday season, watch the reptile show. The kids might even get to hold a snake or lizard. The highlight is the Dolphin Marine Magic presentation – on three times a day in the summer holidays. Turn up early as everyone can kiss a seal or a dolphin – let’s hope they’ve cleaned their teeth! The shows will have you oohing and aahing, and afterwards, pat or play ball with the dolphins. The kids will never forget about this visit, and chances are, like me, they will go back again and again, and one day, take their own kids. That really is magic.

FAST FACTS GETTING THERE QantasLink, Virgin Blue and REX fly from Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle and Tiger Airways also flies from Sydney. Driving time is around six-anda-half hours from Sydney and five hours from Brisbane. WHERE TO STAY

Visit the Coffs H Butterfly H arbour ouse From left: Getting up close and personal with one of the residents at the Pet Porpoise Pool, Coffs Harbour © The Legendary Pacific Coast

Big Banana

Coffs Coast Holiday Parks www.coffscoastholidayparks. Novotel Pacific Bay Resort MORE INFORMATION Coffs Coast Visitor Information Centre For more great ideas to help plan your perfect holiday, visit www.outandaboutwithkids.

© Coffs Coast Marketing






hey were the original Australia boat people, searching for a better life. As familiar white cliffs disappeared behind them, the new colony lay three months ahead. John and Emily Grimson were my daughter Amber’s great, great, great grandparents and they were seeking a new life in Australia. It was a life kids can’t even imagine now, but there is something important about knowing where you came from. This year we decided to explore Victoria’s Goldfields region and follow their journey.

Gold rush We drove the easy 155-kilometre distance from Melbourne to the goldfields and pitched our trusty camper-trailer in the BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park, a fantastic base only a short walk from the front gates of Sovereign Hill re-enactment village. We bought tickets for a full day in this award-winning attraction but, in hindsight, we could easily have spent two days inside the gates and even longer in Ballarat. Ballarat is a stately city of imposing architecture and there are a myriad of scenic bike tracks through the city. The adventure playground at the Botanical Gardens is a must and, if you visit on a weekend (or during school holidays), don’t miss the 20-minute ride on an historic horse-drawn tram around Lake Wendouree. Our first night was spent at the Blood on the Southern Cross. This light and sound show is held throughout Sovereign Hill after dark. It tells the tale of tensions between miners and authorities which eventually erupted into the 1854 Eureka Stockade. Ancestor John Grimson was serving as police officer in nearby Bendigo then. “At the second outbreak, there was an order came up to Bendigo for 30 of us to hold



ourselves in readiness... but it turned out that we had not to go,” he wrote. As we watched the story unfold before us, we couldn’t help but imagine John nervously shining his horse’s brass and priming his pistol. There are two 90-minute shows each night. Insist on the early show if you have little ones. Tired, we sauntered back to our tent and flopped into bed with the final patriotic speech ringing in our ears.

Village life Refreshed, we were on the doorstep at 10am the next morning as Sovereign Hill opened. What an extensive village it is, complete with blacksmith, school, church, sawmill, gold mine, coach house and a street full of shops. It’s the actors, however, that make Sovereign Hill what it is. As you enter, you are given a daily schedule of enactments and we really recommend seeing as many as you can. We learnt how to prime a musket from a man dressed in the same uniform John would have worn, watched toffee making and sang along with folk musicians. When the summer heat became oppressive, we escaped into the cool underground for another light show called Trapped. I won’t spoil the story, but we recommend it highly. By then our stomachs were rumbling, so we headed to the bakery for a traditional pasty and were pleasantly surprised by reasonable prices. It was then time for handwriting lessons at the school, and tips on panning for gold by the village stream. It wasn’t long after Eureka that a disillusioned John decided to try his hand at mining. The Grimsons moved into a calico tent on the diggings, much like those at Sovereign Hill. Over the next five years, they lost three children to illness before being able to afford a small weatherboard house. Life, however, went from poor to worse. In 1861 Emily died of consumption and in 1864,







John’s mine collapsed upon him. On his fourteenth week of hospital confinement he looked forward to returning home but it wasn’t to be. Many miners suffered from silica dust inhalation and this disease proved fatal for John. He died at 31, leaving his two remaining girls orphans. His estate was used to pay for their passage back to England. Amber’s great, great grandmother, Little Emily, was then 13. Starting our exploration at Sovereign Hill had helped us understand her life in a way we couldn’t have done elsewhere.

Golden moments The next stop was the Gold Museum just across the parking lot. Unfortunately, after the colour and excitement of the day, there was far too much static reading for Amber. If we’d had longer in Ballarat, she would have loved to join a cemetery ghost tour with Eerie Tours, but we had an appointment to keep in another cemetery, in nearby Bendigo (about a oneand-a-half-hour drive from Ballarat) where John, Emily and three of their children remained. On the way out of town we stopped for a picnic in the Eureka Stockade Gardens, to reflect on the actual site of the historic event. There proved to be just as much gold history in Bendigo and several days were needed. After finding some of the Eureka participants in White Hills Cemetery we headed to the Central Deborah Mine for a fantastic underground tour. Like Sherlock Holmes, we tracked down the streets where John and Emily had lived and we even threw pots on the wheel at the Bendigo Pottery, which was established in 1858. Then came the Talking Tram. You can get on and off this wonderful


attraction as often as you like, at places like the old tram depot or Chinese Joss House. While you travel it speaks of long-gone colourful characters. Our travels had shown us that history is not the boring stuff of text books, but living breathing stories of real people. Along the way we had discovered our own roots extended deep into gold-flecked soil. Sarah Pye is the author of Kids Welcome to Queensland guidebook and the creator of the Kids Welcome web directory (, blog and phone application. She travels extensively around Australia with her daughter and chief expert, Amber, in a camper trailer called Blueberry Pie.

GETTING THERE Situated in the historic city of Ballarat, Sovereign Hill is an easy 90-minute drive from Melbourne (and only an hour from Melbourne Airport) and can be easily accessed by train and coach services from Melbourne. MORE INFORMATION For more great ideas to help plan your perfect holiday, visit www.outandabout





t was the Gold Coast Sevens Rugby Tournament that brought us to the Gold Coast on a fine October weekend. And with three kids, Bella 14, Jack 12, and 10-year-old Charlie, all having very different ‘favourite’ parts of the same event, it proved a winner all round. This tournament is a super-fast, colourful, rugby-themed party; a two-day event featuring 16 international teams and a crowd full of fancy-dress spectators. If the rugby on the field can’t hold your attention the crowd will definitely keep you amused. I squirmed in my seat watching women play rugby… oh so tough, oh so rough! My husband, Phil. loved the party atmosphere and the non-stop hyper-speed rugby action. Bella loved being seated so close to the action at Skilled Park, a state-of-the-art stadium at Robina. Jack loved the multiple superheroes, the sumo wrestlers, and en masse Ninja Turtles in the crowd. Mum; well I give an overall thumbs up to this family event; I earned mega brownie points from the testosterone driven members of my family and my daughter too. I’d absolutely recommend families book now for October 2013.

Into the action We segued seamlessly from watching the action to being the centre of it when we arrived at Paradise Jet Boating. Jamie - our driver - asked who wanted to get wet. My boys volunteered, so off to the back row they went, and prepared for some ‘underwater fun!’ Yes, I was nervous! Jamie manoeuvered us out of the marina on his somewhere between 1000th and 2000th trip “who counts when you have this much fun at the office!” We skimmed along the scenic Gold Coast Broadwater heading north, nothing to fear… so far. I stopped worrying about losing the boys overboard, when, in a split second, tranquility turned to a heart-racing 75km/hour sprint. Jamie harpooned us straight for an immovable buoy… we missed, but I can’t tell you by how much as my eyes were shut! There were numerous high-speed drifts and amazing 360-degree spins that wet everyone. Lots of laughter, ooohhs and aahhs and not a worry in the world for any of the 21 passengers. We called for more and Jamie obliged. Back on land, I was not only a convert but a happy spruiker for Paradise Jet Boating. I loved the wind in my face. Phil gave the thumbs up to Jamie’s experience, Bella the 360’s, Charlie






was thrilled to get wet and Jack is as I suspected a speed demon, declaring we could have gone faster. If you choose to take the “plunge”, keep those corner seats in the back row in mind. After an action-filled day, we were keen to find a relaxing restaurant to recount the day’s action and refuel for the next day. We found dining heaven at Mario’s Restaurant & Pizzeria Broadbeach. An extensive menu, lightning-fast service and hearty serves of Italian and seafood cuisine ensured we were in restaurant paradise. Gelato is a Mario’s specialty, three very full children topped off their meal with an enormous gelato. Mario’s, established in 1989, is a Gold Coast institution for good reason. It’s big, feeding 400 diners at a time, but don’t be put off by its size, the kitchen has service down to a fine art and you will feel like the only diners in the restaurant.

Bella & Phil at the Aqua


Getting wet I suspect it would be near impossible to stay on the Gold Coast with children and not visit at least one theme park. All five Kable’s discussed, negotiated and voted on Wet’n’Wild for this trip. The AquaLoop was first on the list. However neither of the boys met the strict weight restriction. They couldn’t go, so I couldn’t go (shame…) Phil and Bella headed to the top and then they were at the bottom, apparently the floor opens up and you’re swallowed by a fast moving torrent of water in a tube. Kamikaze drew us to it like a magnet. Expletives emanated from deep within as I slid with Charlie down the 11m dual slides of terror at a near vertical angle and 50 km/h. Post Kamikaze, I was one cool mum in the eyes of my water babies - they really didn’t think I’d do it and actually neither did I. What are holidays for if not to try things you wouldn’t do at home? Just for the record, I not only conquered Kamikaze once but twice and yes muffled expletives escaped again! Emboldened, I trusted the children’s’ choice and the Mach 5 beckoned. It’s another thrill ride, and I was the last to take the plunge. I thought I was sailing through the air, and had no idea where I was, until I managed to separate my eyelids to see my family doubled over laughing at my contorted face. I guarantee there are rides to suit both the faint-hearted and those with nerves of steel. If getting wet isn’t for you, watching the hilarious facial expressions of your family and friends is safe entertainment.

© Gold Coast Tourism

To the trees

Once again a seamless segue; this time from water fun to treetop adventure. The Green Challenge, by Adventure Parc, based on SAS commando training is a treetop ropes course suitable for children and adults. Four courses with 65 challenges, weave their way through the eucalypt and rainforest canopy of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS). Armed with my ‘cool mum’ badge earned at Wet’n’Wild, I thought, hang it, I’m aiming high, double ‘cool cred’ or nothing. Strategic holiday snaps from Wet’n’Wild, Paradise Jet Boating and now Green Challenge would perpetuate my ‘coolness’ for years to come. Dressed in overalls with bits of metal hanging off a utility belt, I found myself far from the ground in the treetops.






Charlie was a natural; if I hadn’t given birth to him I would declare him part monkey. I left the family to tackle more courses, while I explored CWS. Numerous native animals call the sanctuary home, many have been saved at the CWS hospital which is 100% funded by revenue generated by visitors. The daily lorikeet feeding frenzy; the silver bowls and the squawking lorikeets en masse brought back tucked-away holiday memories of a childhood visit. Not a thing has changed, except one of the smiling faces with a bird on their head is a little older!

Saddle up As we neared the end of our event-full trip, we enjoyed an evening at The Australian Outback Spectacular. This is a well-oiled machine, perfect for lovers of horses and all things Australiana. You’re fed, watered and entertained inside a cavernous shed overlooking a massive arena. Talented performers gallop spectators through the ‘Spirit of the Horse’ - a celebration of

horses throughout Australian history. A holiday to the Gold Coast, planned with an event as the highlight makes good sense to me. You experience the host destination with the added bonus of a special event and the exciting vibe they generate. An event as part of a holiday is kind of like the cherry on top of the enormous gelato from Mario’s!

FAST FACTS WHEN TO TRAVEL All year round. GETTING THERE Most major domestic airlines have regular flights to either Brisbane to the north or Coolangatta at the southern end of the Gold Coast. MORE INFORMATION Planning to include a special event in your next Gold Coast holiday? Visit For more great ideas to help plan your perfect holiday, visit www. outand

For your next Gold Coast holiday! Named third most popular place to stay in Australia by TripAdvisor’s 2013 Traveller’s Choice Awards


Accommodation Voucher

OAWK 2013

Please present this voucher when arriving at Ashmore Palms to receive $50.00 off your accommodation tariff. Valid until 3rd April 2014. * Conditions Apply.

* Booking conditions

This $50 voucher is valid for a minimum stay of 4 nights or more that fall prior to 3rd April 2014. Maximum one voucher per reservation. This voucher is redeemable on the accommodation tariff across all holiday cabin styles, subject to availability. This voucher is not redeemable on existing reservations, and/or in conjunction with any other Hot Deal or Special Offer. This voucher is not redeemable for cash. Please ensure to mention this voucher upon booking and present this voucher on arrival. A nominal deposit is required upon booking, with the balance due upon arrival.



Book now at or phone 1300 303 912









© Tourism Queensland


ugh Jackman is a big fan. Kung Fu legend, Jackie Chan shot a movie in Mooloolaba. Yet despite all its Hollywood pulling power, for me the Sunshine Coast will always be a nostalgic trip down memory lane. An opportunity to relive my favourite childhood vacation spots with my own kids. Plus, with this being my first holiday as a single mum, a sense of the familiar is reassuring. Naturally there’s a host of brand new attractions, and our old favourite, the Ginger Factory, which has been relocated and expanded, is first on our tour list. With two teenagers and a seven-year old in tow, it can be tricky finding activities to suit the whole age range. The Ginger Factory doesn’t disappoint. Creamy ginger ice cream is refreshing. Charlie, seven, enjoys decorating gingerbread men while Harry, 14, buys a cookie house to devour. The Overboard boat ride is fun following the journey of a freshly baked gingerbread man, traveling the world trying to escape the clutches of hungry cooks. Something that combines both new and old and makes planning a breeze are the Sunshine Coast Experience Trails. Whether you want to explore the coast, nature or visit some of the great local attractions, the Sunshine Coast Experience Trails offer a pathway to great adventure. You can choose to do one experience on the trail or all, and best of all, the trail is linked online to accommodation and activity deals.

Coastal Experience Peregian beach (13km South of Noosa) is patrolled, seldom crowded, safe and nestled in lush dunes. There’s also a park with a children’s playground. I adore Peregian village because it’s like a time warp. Kitsch 70s second-hand stores and health food providores stand side-by-side with gourmet restaurants, art galleries and luxury homeware shops. There’s no need for makeup or designer kaftans in Peregian – it’s strictly come as you are, my idea of the perfect holiday. You can also pick up fresh local produce and handmade crafts at Peregian beachside markets, held on the second and fourth Sunday morning of each month. Nearby Coolum is another favourite, more commercial in flavour but swimming at this gorgeous beach is worth the sudden appearance of fast food chains in the township. Besides who doesn’t need a soft serve cone at the drive-through every now and then on a hot summer day? If you want to go more up market, Coolum Surf Lifesaving Club serves a mean steak and gourmet pizza with a killer ocean view plus has a kid’s playroom so parents can enjoy a peaceful beachside beer. Coolum also boasts chic fashion boutiques and surf stores to keep the teenagers happy. Further south in Caloundra, rock pools, a water fountain park and gentle beach break at Kings Beach are a hit. Towering container ships lumber across the ocean providing an extra visual treat.



Welcome to the Sunshine Coast Come and explore beaches, freshwater rivers, lakes and lush subtropical forests

Offering the perfect combination of coastal towns and natural hinterland with accommodation from camping to five star apartments, the naturally refreshing Sunshine Coast is the perfect setting for your getaway. From beach games, water activities, extreme sports, experiencing world class attractions, or exploring subtropical rainforests with a rejuvenating bush walk, a memorable family holiday will be assured.

Aussie World

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Alexandra Headlands Stay in a self contained two bedroom apartment perfect for families with onsite resort facilities including pool, spa, gym and BBQ area.

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Oaks Oasis Resort


Present this offer to receive a family pass for 2 adults and 2 children for just $60.

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Airport transfers to/from Brisbane or Sunshine Coast Airport to Sunshine Coast accommodation. The swift and efficient way to travel!


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Info & bookings 07 5477 0888 or see *Family rates from $36 from Sunshine Coast Airport. Prices valid to 31/03/14. Must be prebooked. Child age is 1-14 years.


Charlie and friend at Maleny Dairies

We’re staying at the family-friendly Oaks Oasis just a stone’s throw from cafes and shops along Caloundra’s main street, and where the kids enjoy the onsite tennis court and pool.

Natural Experience Maleny Dairies is a family-owned business in the picturesque hills of Maleny (30km west of Caloundra). On our tour we experience a working dairy farm, from inspecting the pits where the cows are milked to visiting the factory floor where milk is processed and bottled. Fairy Bell chews obliviously on a bucket of grain as we huddle around and watch as the gentle cow is hand milked, then line up for a taste test of warm milk straight from her udder! Bottle feeding calves and goats is the highlight. Afterwards the kids gobble down Maleny yoghurt, custard and award-winning flavoured milks. One of the things I appreciate most about the Sunshine Coast is the range of free activities for holidaymakers. Besides the beach you have the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains. A great spot for a picnic or Kodak moment is The Mary Cairncross Reserve, a conservation park located on the Blackall Range east of Maleny. Gazing at the hinterland from this vista it’s not hard to understand why The Glasshouse Mountains hold great spiritual significance for Aboriginal people. Several mountains including Mt Beerwah and Mt Tibrogargan have walking trails. My dad and son, Harry, embark on Mission Mt Coolum. They hike to the summit - 208m - and are rewarded

with spectacular 360-degree views. Bizarrely, they can even see Jeff, a life-size T-Rex, installed by mining magnate Clive Palmer at his Coolum Golf Resort. You don’t have to be a hotel guest to visit Jeff so the boys pop in for a closer look at the thundering robotic dinosaur on the ninth hole. It’s an adventure Harry won’t forget.

Action experience Slap bang in the middle of the Sunshine Coast on the Bruce Highway, Aussie World is a theme park with something for everyone. World famous for the caricature-shaped Ettamogah Pub which stands an impressive 18m tall. Incidentally the word “ettamogah” is Aboriginal for “place of good drink!” Colourful ditties on the walls have the kids in stitches upon arrival. Their grins only get wider inside Aussie World riding The Redback, Rollercoaster, Dodgems, Ferris wheel and playing mini golf to name a few. The action gets us hot and sweaty but The Plunge cools us down quick smart! We simultaneously laugh and scream as the log ride hurtles down a steep slide bottoming out in a plume of water. Definitely not hot anymore we’re ready to tackle lunch! Order up: foot long hot dogs and milkshakes, and for dessert, Georgia buys White Russian Caramel and Mud Slide from the Fudge Cottage. With over 35 flavours the fudge is created daily with rich local butter and spring water (gluten/preservative free). “Sweet!” Georgia nods approvingly, biting into the fudge. Indeed it is.

FAST FACTS GETTING THERE The Sunshine Coast airport is located in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, just north of Maroochydore. Virgin Australia and Jetstar have daily flights available flying from both Sydney and Melbourne. GETTING AROUND To make the most of all that the Sunshine Coast has to offer you’ll probably need a car. Most major car rental companies are represented at the airport. MORE INFORMATION For information on the fantastic Sunshine Coast experience trails and some great deals along the way visit. www.visitsunshinecoast. For more great ideas to help plan your perfect holiday, visit www.outandabout






y plans for introducing our sixyear-old daughter, Ivy to the joys of snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef hit a snag almost as soon as we hop off Wavedancer, the catamaran that has delivered us to the Low Isles, 15km off the coast of Port Douglas in Far North Queensland. We’ve been practising with the mask in the pool and she’s comfortable with that, but… “Dad! My front tooth is wobbling and I’ve got blood in my mouth,” she yelps the minute I put the snorkel in. Ah. I haven’t allowed for this scenario. Fear of sharks? Got that covered. Water entering into the top of the snorkel? I’m ready for that. But newly wobbly tooth… that’s come out of the blue. Ivy’s panic escalates as it dawns on her how far from home she is. “If it falls out, how will the tooth fairy know where I am?” she wails. Fortunately, Quicksilver’s resident marine biologist seems trained for such dental dramas. She finds Ivy a sand dollar (a circular shellfish with a flower pattern on its underside), which distracts her from the real dollars she’s fretting about missing out on in the ivory trade that appears to be a chief topic of conversation in the modern playground.

Reef ranging The Low Isles are signposts that announce your arrival in the magical marine realm of the Great Barrier Reef. Less than an hour from Port Douglas, these uninhabited Coral Sea islets offer incredible snorkelling conditions, with an astonishing array of aquatic action accessible




Ivy gets set to snorke



Fitzroy Island Š CoolR,





• Six platforms, five flying fox runs • 1 ¼ hours in the rainforest canopy • Eight tours daily departing Cape Tribulation • Eco-talk on each platform • All weather, all ages within a few metres of the beach. Snorkel abandoned, we spend the afternoon messing around in the shallows with our masks on, spotting fish, collecting shells and dangling Ivy’s baby sister Alice (11 months) in the warm water while my wife, Steph, goes on a snorkelling tour led by the marine biologist. I figure there’ll be plenty of underwater time when we got to Fitzroy Island later in the week.

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Dreamtine dawdling Back on terra firma we discover plenty of distractions to keep us busy, while I wait for the tooth to dislodge and Ivy wills it to stay put. Port Douglas is abuzz with families on holidays and international visitors. The kids lap up the company of fellow children at the beach, in the wonderful hotel pool at the Rendezvous Reef Resort, and at fun family events such as the toad racing in town, yet it’s still easy to get away from the hubbub and do some proper exploring when you want to. A short drive up the Captain Cook Highway from Port Douglas brings you to Mossman Gorge Centre on the fringe of the Daintree National Park – gateway to the tropical rainforest which forms part of the ecosystem that sustains the reef we’d been exploring a few days earlier. This terrain has been home to the Kuku Yalanji people for millennia and the experience of being led through the forest on a Dreamtime Legend Walk by an indigenous guide is something children will never forget. Our guide, Harold, welcomes us with a traditional ‘smoking’


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13 15 17

The Outrigger Nestled in a quiet tropical setting with lush tropical gardens, this small boutique style resort is only a 5 minute walk from the town center of Port Douglas, the marina and beautiful 4 Mile Beach. From Left: Ivy bushwalking on Fitzroy Island. Front Beach, Fitzroy Island

ceremony, explaining that the wood smoke we’re walking through is to cleanse us and ward off bad spirits. From this moment, Ivy and the other kids in our group hang on his every word as he walks us through the woods explaining how each plant and tree is traditionally used by his people, and talking about ngadiku – ancient legends. On the banks of the gorge, with the Mossman River in full flow beside us, Harold decorates the girls’ arms and faces with ochre. I’ve seen Ivy get her face painted a hundred times, but never has the process been accompanied by such an expression of awe.

Cove capers Turning south we base ourselves in Palm Cove for a few days to explore the surrounding area. With a fantastic beach, a great night market and the choice of several family-friendly hotels and restaurants, Palm Cove offers an excellent alternative to staying in central Cairns for people travelling with young kids. We check out two places while we’re here – the super laid-back Reef Retreat, with beautiful villas set around a forest-fringed pool, and the Novotel, with a range of great swimming spots and play areas – both walking distance from the beach. Palm Cove is also on the right side of town for both Cairns Tropical Zoo – where we finally track down a cassowary and catch a glimpse of the crocs the creek crossing signs have been warning us about – and the Skyrail up to Kuranda, a relaxed little artisan’s town perched up in the cloudscape of the Tablelands, and a great place to escape from the tropical heat of the coast.

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Island adventures The tooth wobbles its last on the night before we catch the boat to Fitzroy Island – and yes, the Fairy manages to track us down – leaving Ivy with a functioning (albeit depleted) set of pearly whites. I’m delighted, as Fitzroy is even better equipped than the Low Isles as a place to teach children how to snorkel. For starters you can stay overnight on the island, in beautifully appointed self-contained apartments that directly overlook the sea. Secondly, the main beach is carpeted in bits of coral, which tinkle like glass as the waves lick them and prevent sand from kicking up and ruining the visibility. Fitzroy doesn’t get the day-tripping crowds that flock to nearby Green Island either, so it’s possible to get entire sections of the beach to yourself. Here colourful coral gardens sprout in waistdeep water just metres from land, and kids can observe scores of vivid fish simply by dipping their faces beneath the surface. Turtles are numerous but even if you don’t spot one in the ocean, you can visit the new turtle hospital that’s recently opened on the island, where the kids can see these amazing animals up close and learn all about them. The island has a PADI dive centre too, offering courses to children eight years and older. There are a number of bushwalks around the island, including an adventurous hike to the highest point via the lighthouse, and another to the Secret Garden and Nudey Beach, which is




Kayak kid

Opposite page: Humpy shelter at Mossman Gorge. Above: Ivy gets her face-painted at Mossman Gorge.

best avoided, unless you want to see more than you bargained for. Alternating between snorkelling, wandering and bouncing around on the floating trampoline in the bay, our days pass quickly. My mission to engage Ivy’s interest in the underwater world is boosted by the fact that our visit coincides with a conference of marine biologists, who are there with their families. Among their ranks is a girl Ivy’s age, who has been snorkelling as long as she’s been walking, and instantly they become friends. On the last day we hire some glassbottomed kayaks, which have been custommade for the island. It’s all going well until a huge fin breaks the water a few feet away. “What was that dad?” enquires Ivy calmly, as Steph goes into full fear meltdown. “Er, maybe it was a dolphin?” I suggest, trying to convince myself as much as anyone else. “Shall we go and have a look?” “No! Let’s just paddle in!” orders Steph. The fin appears again, followed by another, equally as large. We beat a hasty retreat to the beach, where the biologists listen to our story about a pair of epicsized sharks with amusement. “That’s the local manta ray,” they explain. “It lives around here – those were the tips of its wings you saw, not fins.”

FAST FACTS WHEN TO TRAVEL Far North Queensland is best enjoyed June–September GETTING THERE Cairns Airport is the gateway to Tropical North Queensland with flights available from all major Australian cities. To get from Cairns to Port Douglas and Palm Cove simply hire a car, grab a taxi or take the shuttle bus. WHERE TO STAY Rendezvous Reef Resort, Port Douglas portdouglas The Reef Retreat, Palm Cove Novotel, Palm Cove Fitzroy Island MORE INFORMATION Tourism Tropical North Queensland For more great ideas to help plan your perfect holiday, visit



down low TOP END THE







ith three days, we thought we’d have plenty of time to explore the Northern Territory’s multicultural and dynamic capital but found out fast that it was barely enough time to touch the tip of the remarkable top-end town. Darwin is fantastic for families and deserves to be treated as a destination in its own right rather than a jump-off point for the other delights of the Northern Territory. Incredible for families, here are Darwin’s must-do experiences.

Snap it up Crocosaurus Cove is set right in the middle of Darwin city. With over 70 species this scaly place has the largest display of Australian reptiles in the world. Here your kids can learn the difference between ‘freshies’ and ‘salties’ and how to stay safe from these prehistoric beasts. Then they can forget everything they just learned by getting up close and uncomfortably personal through perspex peep holes, holding a baby croc or even feeding them - from a safe distance of course. It’s easy to spend a day here, so make sure to give yourselves enough time.

Bird’s Eye View For an up in the air treat, try a Darwin heli tour. We chose the aptly named Above and Beyond tour with Airborne Solutions. Just sitting in the helicopter, kitted out with headphones and some serious safety belts was a treat. Our jovial pilot joked with us from the first awkward weigh in. Yes, they need to calculate the exact weight in each craft, so get ready for a family weigh in. The actual flight, our first, was exhilarating, informative and breathtakingly beautiful. Seeing Darwin from the air gives a privileged perspective on this coastal city and its geography, beauty and history. We all loved this fantastic flying experience.

Wave riders The Darwin Wave lagoon is a magnet for families. With 10 different wave patterns and open seven days a week, kids of all ages love floating, diving and even surfing in this waterfront aqua zone. You can buy a half- or full-day pass and while away the day lounging and swimming in the man-made surf zone. Right next door is the ocean-fed recreation lagoon, a natural ecosystem with mesh screens patrolled by experienced lifeguards seven days a week from 9am to 6 pm - Darwin knows its families need to cool down in safety. With a short walk in between each swimming zone you can enjoy the best of both and stay cool all day.




Readers Sto

Boys own Adventure BY BEN BUCHANAN – 11

Above from left to right: The Wave Pool. Crocosaurus Cove. Darwin Waterfront Precinct.


“Darwin was great. We went to the Military Museum that had an amazing collection of WWII army equipment. There was artillery, tanks and jeeps outside and inside the displays of posters, uniforms, guns, and swords were awesome. One of the curators let me look at some of the rifles up close. Inside the main museum, we did this thing called the Darwin Experience, a sort of audiovisual thing that told the story of the bombing of Darwin in February 1942. It was really good. We also went to Crocosaurus Cove in the main street. You could stick your head in these glass domes and get right up close to the crocodiles. Then we were allowed to feed some of the crocodiles, which was pretty good. We also went to the Wave Pool and stayed for hours with different sets of waves hitting us over and over. It was great. There were a million kids there.”


Ben gets up close to

a croc!


Waterfront Wow! The Darwin Waterfront Precinct is a perfect hub for your top-end experience. We stayed right in the middle of this recently refurbished zone at the funky Darwin Vibe Hotel, perfectly positioned to walk straight out into the Precinct or up the pathway with easy stroller access via the Skybridge to the centre of the city. There are so many things to do from here; a sunset cruise, adventure on a jet boat, fishing on Stokes Hill Wharf or just sit back and watch a spectacular monsoonal storm. The area is full of fab fun places for family refuelling and there are always a host of activities on offer in this beautiful open space. Family open-air movie nights during the dry are a favourite as are the abundance of family-friendly festivals. We watched Aqua Zumba in the Wave Pool and early morning Tai Chi on the lawns choosing to extend our breakfast buffet time instead. Maybe we’ll have more energy next visit?

But wait there’s more Go to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and learn about the indigenous

communities of NT. Be sure to check out the stuffed five-metre crocodile that was biting the motors off boats - her name is Sweetheart. Feed the fish at Aquascene on the Harbour foreshore. Here, thousands of fish come in, including enormous milkfish, to be hand fed. But stay alert to ensure you get your hands back from the hungry mob! Head to Parap Markets for an essential Saturday morning Darwin experience. A large range of stalls selling mainly Asian food, fruit, vegetables and arts and crafts draw residents and visitors alike. Parap is one of Darwin’s more established suburbs with a friendly tropical feel.

FAST FACTS WHERE TO STAY Vibe Hotel Darwin WHAT TO DO Airborne Solutions Crocosaurus Cove Darwin Military Museum www.darwinmilitary Darwin Waterfront Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Soak up a bargain in the Wet Season With regular spectacular downpours in this hot and humid season, slowing down to the soothing pace of this city is the only choice. The wet is the greenest and cheapest time to visit this wonderful city. Hotels can be half the price of the dry and there are no crowds anywhere. If you ever thought about visiting but held back because of budget, visit in the wet and feel the real Darwin.

MORE INFORMATION Tourism Top End For more great ideas to help plan your perfect holiday, visit www.outandabout





family holiday in the snow is sure to be one of the best you will ever have. Throw snowballs, build a snowman, enjoy lessons, sip hot chocolates and crash into bed happily exhausted at the end of the day, after tucking into hot winter fare complemented by a drink or three. If you are not sure where to go, Out and About With Kids has prepared the following guide to ski resorts in Australia and New Zealand… all of them fantastic and all offering something a little different.

Ski Australia

Ski lovers always look forward to the Queen’s Birthday weekend, and not just because it’s a long weekend. It’s when most ski resorts in Australia dust off their chairlifts for another season of fun and frivolity, lasting until around the October long weekend. There are always good deals to be enjoyed at the start and towards the end of the season, and often, the snow can be fabulous, so keep that in mind. Also try and package up your snow holiday with accommodation, ski gear, lift tickets and lessons all included – it could save precious dollars.



crowds, but the ski experience is fantastic, with plenty of terrain for beginners and intermediates. New this season, the Kosi Kids Club is offering half-day programs as well as full day, leaving you time to ski with your kids in the afternoon if you choose. Also new this season is ‘Christmas in July’ – something extra special for families.

PERISHER In terms of size, Perisher is the biggest resort in Australia, consisting of four interconnected ski areas – Perisher, Guthega, Smiggin Holes and Mt Blue Cow, giving 47 lifts, seven mountains, umpteen runs and a half pipe. The skier and boarder cross courses tested last season are here to stay, and a new small half-pipe is being built alongside Yabby Flat Terrain Park so even beginners can learn how to do it. That means Perisher has two half pipes and seven terrain parks – the most in Australia – and one of them is under lights. The Snowsports School offers ski lessons for kids from three to 15, with snowboard lessons from eight to 15 and there is day care for children from six weeks to three years. Also try tubing, tobogganing, night skiing and see the fireworks. The kids will never be bored!

CHARLOTTE PASS Charlotte Pass is the highest resort in Australia and is completely snowbound — ensuring a magical experience for kids. The resort is small, with no queues and no



SELWYN SNOWFIELDS For first timers, wanting to dip a toe into the snow, Selwyn Snowfields is a wonderful choice. It is open


Mount Buller



for day visitors only, but there is accommodation available in Adaminaby and there are some great farmstays as well. The terrain lends itself to beginners and intermediates and the lessons are top shelf, with Snow World catering for kids from 18 months to seven years, and the Snow Sports School offering group lessons for kids aged seven to 15. Private lessons are also a good option for families. New this year is the ‘See Me Ski’ program which is a private lesson for kids aged two to four ensuring they never lose control, and the Shorties program, for young snowboarders wanting to learn how to tackle terrain parks.

THREDBO With the charming village atmosphere, a raft of accommodation and terrain that pleases everyone, Thredbo has it all. For kids aged three to six, Thredboland is the bee’s knees. Here they’ll teach kids to ski in a fun, safe environment, while teens from 13-18 will love Club Freeride, which gives them a chance to hone their ski or snowboard skills with cool instructors. Freeriders is for kids seven - 14. Any Thredbo trip should also include the flare run and



fireworks on Saturday nights, a trip up the Kosciuszko Express chair lift to check out the view and ski the Basin and a few hours at the Thredbo Leisure Centre’s swimming pool and water slide.

Skiing Falls




The European-style village at Falls Creek is a winner, ensuring families have plenty of places to stay and dine. Then there’s the skiing. With 15 lifts servicing 92 runs, there is something for everyone. A feature is the ultra-modern Kids Snowsports School, with purpose-built terrain ensuring quick and fun learning. The Renault Snow Club is for kids aged three to five, Junior Workshop is for kids six to 14, and there is childcare for kids 12 weeks to five years. Falls Creek has a lot of fun activities on offer, including snow bungy trampolines, snow tubing, snow bikes, snowshoeing, night skiing and snowmobiling. The Night Show every Thursday in July and August is a must-do.

Above: Mount Buller fun in the sun.

© Charlie Brown Photography



– Where Kids go for Free! Only 90 minutes drive from Christchurch Mt Hutt is the perfect destination for families this Winter. Kids under 10 Stay, Eat and Ski for free!*

Ski Time Lodge & Villas




per adult

EARLYBIRD BONUS! 2 FREE NIGHTS + 1 DAYS FREE CAR HIRE^ Includes: - 7 days Compact Car Rental - 7 nights in Downstairs Room at Ski Time Lodge KIDS 10YRS & UNDER & Villas, Methven STAY, EAT & SKI FREE! - 3 day Ski Pass

Abisko Lodge

Brinkley Resort

per adult






EARLYBIRD BONUS! 2 FREE NIGHTS + 1 DAYS FREE CAR HIRE^ Includes: - 7 days Compact Car Rental - 7 nights in Lodge Room at Abisko Lodge, Methven - Daily continental breakfast - 3 day Ski Pass




per adult

EARLYBIRD BONUS! 2 FREE NIGHTS + 1 DAYS FREE CAR HIRE^ Includes: - 7 days Compact Car Rental - 7 nights quad share in a Two Bedroom at Brinkley Resort, Methven - 3 day Ski Pass * Valid for travel 15-30 Jun & 1-30 Sep 2013

  subject  A Uto availability T U M and N may 2013 *Conditions Apply. Book & Pay by 31 May 2013. Prices are based on twin or quad share for travel between 15 June and 30 September 2013. Surcharges may apply during peak periods and school holidays. Prices are change at any time due to currency fluctuations. * Kids eat free at selected Methven hotels and restaurants and stay free at selected properties. Kids must be 10 years or under at time travel and must be travelling with at least one full paying adult. A credit card fee of minimum 1.5% will apply. Airfares are not included. Lic No. 2TA4787. Image courtesy of Tony Harrington, Mt Hutt.



ake M Kids at L

LAKE MOUNTAIN ALPINE RESORT Lake Mountain Resort is a winter wonderland for families and it’s only two hours from Melbourne. It is all about fun at Lake Mountain, with kids able to play in the snow, make snowmen, throw snowballs and make snow sculptures. Lake Mountain is the best resort for cross-country skiing, with over 30

kilometres of trails. And if you’ve never done it before, the ski school offers lessons. The tobogganing tracks are awesome fun. You can go snowshoeing and, new this year, the tube run will be a big hit with families. Marysville is the best place to stay, with plenty of family-friendly options.

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MOUNT BAW BAW Just two and a half hours from Melbourne, Mount Baw Baw is a quiet achiever as far as ski resorts go. A new poma lift will open this season, taking the number to eight lifts, covering 35 hectares. The ski school teaches kids to ski from six to 15, with snowboard lessons for kids eight to 15 and it needn’t break the bank. Mount Baw Baw has the cheapest lift tickets in Victoria, with a new Monday-Friday five-day lift ticket just $150. There are three terrain parks to excite thrillseeking teens, and the Big Air Bag really rocks. There is a good range of accommodation on the mountain, ensuring you can make the most of your time on the snow.

MT BULLER Stay at Mt Buller and you’ll feel like you are staying on top of the world. With 22 lifts servicing 300 hectares of terrain and five terrain parks, including a rider cross course, your days will be full of adventure, and when you’re done you can simply ski to your door. At night, take your pick of over 30 bars and restaurants and enjoy the alpine atmosphere. There is a crèche for kids from three months to three years, and ski 

school programs for kids from three to 14. For first timers, take advantage of the free two-hour Discovery lesson with a lift ticket. For more snowy fun why not try tubing, tobogganing, snowshoeing, the Gnome Roam, indoor rock climbing or even night skiing.

HOTHAM Hotham is a happening place for budding snow bunnies with amazing facilities, excellent accommodation, wonderful skiing for all levels and a raft of fabulous things to do on the snow. The Snowzone ski school has programs for kids three to 14, with group boarding lessons from age seven. There is daycare for younger children and babysitting is also available. Highlights will be the Harry the Snowdragon Show on Wednesdays and Saturdays, snowmobile rides, night skiing and fireworks at Hotham and riding in a dog sled or snowshoeing at nearby Dinner Plain – just 10 kilometres from Hotham. There are plenty of places to stay and dine at Dinner Plain making it a good alternative to Hotham if you are seeking to unwind. Hotham’s other big plus is that you can fly there with Qantaslink.

Opposite: Hotham Harry the snowdragon. This page: Kids at Mt Buller ski school



Ski New Zealand

New Zealand offers a different snow experience to Australia, in that most major resorts do not have accommodation. Stay in Queenstown, and you can enjoy all the benefits of this beautiful lakeside city and try skiing at Coronet Peak or The Remarkables. Stay in Wanaka and enjoy its attractions when you’re not skiing at Treble Cone or Cardrona. And if you want to ski at Mt Hutt, stay in tranquil Methven. The activities on offer in these towns will have your kids jumping for joy, and the family-friendly restaurants are exceptional.


Just two hours’ drive from Rotorua, Mount Ruapehu is an active volcano in the magnificent Tongariro National Park and has two ski resorts offering sensational skiing and boarding. Whakapapa has 15 lifts servicing 550 hectares with 30 groomed trails, with Turoa boasting nine lifts giving access to 500 hectares and 22 trails. Both resorts offer terrific ski and snowboard lessons for kids and adults and Turoa has the Yeti



Kids’ Centre, a fully licensed childcare facility for children aged two to five. For kids who like tackling the rails, both resorts have terrain parks catering for every level from beginner groms to big air fiends. As for accommodation; for Whakapapa stay at Whakapapa Village or National Park Village and for Turoa, stay at Turoa Alpine Village or the town of Ohakune.


CARDRONA ALPINE RESORT Cardrona has a lot going for it with wide groomed runs that are a joy for beginners and intermediates. The ski school is one of the best anywhere, with separate centres for various ages. The Nursery caters for kids from three months to two years, while the Kindy is for kids who aren’t skiing, aged two to four years. Ski Kindy is perfect for three and four year olds who want to learn to ski, and for kids five-14, choose lessons for a day or more, or join the weekly Skiwees or Lowrider programs. There are three terrain parks, a super-pipe and half-pipe, and the views are incredible. There are 15 apartments at Cardrona which offer quick and easy access to the snow.


Cardrona CORONET PEAK Just 20 minutes’ drive from Queenstown, Coronet Peak is so easy to get to and its facilities are world class. The terrain is diverse, appealing to all levels of skier. The Skiwiland Early Learning Centre is fully accredited and cares for kids from three months to five years and the Kea Club is fabulous for kids from five to 15. The Big Easy beginner’s area lives up to its name and, for intermediates and advanced skiers, head up the Coronet Express Chair for incredible views from the top. The M1 is an exciting run at a challenging 2.4 kilometres long with advanced skiers and boarders sure to head for the back bowls off the top. Make sure to visit on a Friday or Saturday night for Night skiing – it’s a real treat. Another bonus is that kids aged six and under receive a free lift ticket every day of the season.

MT HUTT About 90 minutes’ drive from Christchurch, and 35 from Methven, Mt Hutt delivers an awesome ski and snowboard experience for the family. And to make it even more appealing the incredible Kids4free program is being offered again this year by Mt Hutt and Methven village. Kids 10 and under accompanied

by a paying adult, receive free airport transfers from Christchurch, free accommodation, free meals, return transport from Mt Hutt and Methven, and free day lift passes. Mt Hutt offers excellent ski and snowboard lessons for kids, as well as the Skiwiland Early Learning Centre for kids from three months to five years. New this year are three-day school holiday programs, or you can choose the five-day option if you prefer. www.nzski. com/mthutt

OHAU SNOW FIELDS If you want to combine an unforgettable family holiday with a snow holiday, Ohau Snow Fields is the place for you. Located in the idyllic Mackenzie High Country, the Snow Fields are 20 minutes’ drive from Lake Ohau Lodge. The Snow Fields prove that you don’t have to have massive amounts of terrain to have fun and -- serviced by three lifts — the runs here are sensational. The Mountain Goats Ski School is fantastic for kids who have skied before, and they even offer a Never Ever package for those who are absolute beginners. Have lunch on the deck while admiring the view up to Aoraki, Mount Cook and at the end of the day enjoy the incredibly friendly

Opposite page: Coronet Peak © Chris Mclennan

This page: Mount Hutt mascots.



atmosphere at the Lodge. It’s a certainty that your children will make friends over dinner – as will you.

THE REMARKABLES The Remarkables is 45 minutes’ drive from Queenstown and ticks all the boxes for families seeking a spectacular ski holiday. Especially the fact that kids aged ten and under ride the lifts free every day. The ski school is top notch, and kids as young as three months are looked after in the Skiwiland Early Learning Centre. Three-day school holiday programs are being offered for the first time this year, with five-day programs also available. One of the highlights of The Remarkables is its network of progressive terrain parks with wide, gentle slopes for beginners of all ages and big mountain steeps for the experts in the family.


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Treble Cone is known for its steep and deep terrain, attracting advanced skiers from all over the world, but don’t let that turn you off, as it also caters to beginners. The TC Cat Club has group lessons for kids from five to 15, with the Kitty Cat Club offering one-on-one lessons for kids aged three and over. The friendly instructors make sure all the kids have fun, leaving parents free to enjoy the incredible terrain and drop dead

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gorgeous views over Lake Wanaka. This season, Treble Cone will feature a Kids Terrain Trail for beginners in the Home Basin and will also offer free helmet rental to all kids who rent their skis or boards at Treble Cone. Wanaka has a vast array of family-friendly accommodation and a pile of great restaurants.

SNOWPARK NZ For kids who really love to tackle terrain parks, Snowpark NZ is a hot ticket. Not far from Cardrona village, this place has really taken off over the last few years. The terrain parks offer ever-changing jumps, rails, boxes, wall rides, New Zealand’s only quarterpipe, a pristine half-pipe, and The Bag Jump. If all that action doesn’t tire your teens out in the day, there is night riding three nights a week. Snowpark also offers group and private lessons, and Weenies is just for kids - with oneon-one ski lessons for three to five year olds and snowboard lessons for those five to seven. There are some amazing luxury apartments at Snowpark NZ, and you can also go sledding and tubing. For lovers of cross country skiing, Snow Farm is right next door.

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Opposite: Up in the clouds at Treble Cone. This page: Family fun at The Remarkables.

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Care, activities, lessons and FUN! 4 dedicated kid’s centres (for 3 mths -14 yrs) An easy drive or bus ride from Queenstown or Wanaka Check out our kid’s site For more information, to buy your lift passes, rental, or to book your kids in for heaps of fun, come and see us at either: 35 Shotover St, QueenStown, or 18 Dunmore St, wanaka www.cardrona.coM




ski news Think Pink at Hotham Hotham Alpine Resort will be turning pink on Saturday 31 August, to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Network Australia. All skiers and snowboarders will be encouraged to raise awareness for this very worthy cause by wearing pink – pink jackets, helmets, pants, gloves and neck warmers. There will also be a ‘Snowfield of Women’ setup at the base of the Hotham Summit – a field covered in Pink Lady silhouettes. For a small donation, guests will be welcome to help put the silhouettes in place and children can join in the supervised pink mini-flare run down the Summit as the sun sets over the Victorian Alps. There will be fundraising collection points around the Resort, and at the end of the day, the skies will light up with a brilliant fireworks display. Everyone knows someone who has had, or has breast cancer, so combine your love of the snow with raising money for the cause, through the Breast Cancer Network Australia and Hotham Alpine Resort.

Queenstown’s Winter Festival It’s one of the most beautiful ski resort towns imaginable and is also known as the ‘Adventure Capital of the world’, and for 10 days in June, it really hits its stride with the Queenstown Winter Festival. The legendary event – the biggest winter celebration in the Southern Hemisphere – will turn the spotlight on Queenstown from June 21 - 30, to celebrate the start of the winter season. Tens of thousands of locals and visitors head to Queenstown enjoying fun and frivolity on and off the ski slopes with mountain mayhem, street parades, family fun day, music, fireworks, comedy, food and wine events, crazy races and quirky entertainment. Take the family and combine a wonderful ski and snowboard holiday with the mindboggling activities on offer in the region and the fun Winter Festival events. For more information on the Queenstown Winter Festival visit

Boarder control at Thredbo Thredbo is always looking to improve the snow experience for all guests, from absolute beginners to mountain experts, and this winter is no exception. In what is a world exclusive, Thredbo is introducing Boarder Kontrol®, a new braking snowboard. Boarder Kontrol® has a cord to trigger the brakes so beginners are in control from start to finish. It will be used while snowboarders are learning, giving them the confidence needed to learn to stop and turn. Team up Boarder Kontrol® with the new specialist teaching program and rental package and your kids will be fast-tracking their snowboarding experience. In another great move for beginners, Friday Flat is now 30 percent bigger, meaning more space, so kids and adults can pick up snow skills quicker. And for parents – the ones with the cheque books – Thredbo has a super-sensational package for families hitting the slopes in June and September – kids stay and ski free! Check out the website for more details. Add the new Mission Inflatable, a floating obstacle course, and the new Thredbo Phone App and you have a bunch of new reasons to visit Thredbo.

Race to Falls Creek for Interschools Falls Creek will run Victoria’s largest childrens’ ski, snowboard and cross-country racing event over the next five years – the Victorian Interschool’s Championships. The Championships, which will be held from 18-25 August this year, are a major event attracting thousands of children and their families each year. Kids can participate in all snowsport disciplines including Ski and Snowboard Grand Slalom, Skier Cross, Moguls, Boarder Cross and Cross Country Classic & Relay. And Interschools is not just for expert skiers – it is open to skiers and boarders of all levels in both primary and secondary school. It encourages school children to participate in the sport, and learn how to race in the process. And when they’re not racing, families can have a wonderful time enjoying the exceptional skiing and boarding that Falls Creek offers.

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We found a place where once-in-a-lifetime is once-a-day. South Africa gets you closer. To find out about the latest deals to travel to South Africa visit

Inspiring new ways

Walt Disney World, Florida



INTERNATIONAL NEWS The latest news and holiday offers from around the globe.


THE A-LIST Five-Star Bali for families.






Phuket playground.

Finding Fiji.


From Buenos Aires to Bariloche.

Celebrity kids.


Walt Disney World awaits.

Really, truly Asia.

Kauai calling.








WISH YOU WERE HERE A snapshot of Beaver Creek.



Five families, five ways.



CRUISE NEWS The latest news from the world of cruising.

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World travel news

Swing into Sunwing Looking for a resort and spa that fits a minimum of two adults and two children in every room? Look no further than Sunwing Resorts Phuket, Thailand. Located in the picturesque bays of Kamala and Bangtao, Sunwing Resorts have prime beachfront locations teamed with family-focused quality, value for money and friendly service. Studio rooms cater for families of four, Happy Baby Studios are perfect for families with tiny tots, and Family Suites cater for families of six. Sunwing Resort Kamala Beach and Sunwing Resort & Spa Bangtao Beach are heaven for kids, with six pools, two restaurants and a kids club at each Resort. Parents will love the swim-up bar, outdoor massage pods and the baby-sitting service, ensuring some quality time alone.,

Don’t let your mobile phone ruin your family’s holiday You’ve probably heard the “bill shock” stories. That’s when families take their mobile phones overseas and return home to massive phone bills. Even with the best of intentions, it’s not hard to rack up big charges quickly. The best approach is to travel overseas with a prepaid international SIM card inserted into your mobile phone. As it is prepaid, the charges can never exceed the amount of credit on the card, which means you can never get “bill shock.” Purchase a prepaid SIM card like TravelSIM® and set it up before you leave Australia. That way from the moment you land, you’ll be able to focus on the fun, not your phone.



Virtual Vietnam The new comprehensive Vietnam 2013 brochure from leading travel specialist Helen Wong Tours features great options for families to join small tours or pre-plan their own private travel through this fascinating country. Some itineraries extend beyond Vietnam to major cities and attractions in Cambodia (home of ancient Angkor Wat), Laos, Myanmar and China. The Encounters Program offers freedom and flexibility for your travel arrangements and, new to the brochure, you can scan any of the handy quick response (QR) codes for Smart Phones that take you on a virtual tour of some of the program’s highlights to help you plan your holiday.

Dreams are made of this…

Kung Hei Fat Choy

Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket is offering a fantastic family deal for families of up to six until October 13, 2013. The deal includes luxury accommodation in a two-bedroom villa with your own pool! Gaze out onto the sparkling lagoon and take in the stunning views of the Andaman Sea in a spacious private villa with two nights’ accommodation, daily buffet breakfast, daily in-villa High Tea and private airport transfers each way. Dusit Thani Laguna will also provide you with a full program of great family activity options to make your Dusit Thani Thailand holiday one to remember. Also check out the Family Escapade package, which includes all kinds of fun things and amenities for kids. Bliss!

2013 is the Chinese Year of the Snake and Hong Kong is rolling out the carpet to visitors, with an exciting year-long line up of events and festivals that showcase the city’s eclectic east-meetswest culture. May 2-17 sees Hong Kong celebrating four spring festivals including the Birthday of Buddha, and from June to September the city comes alive with a fun-filled summer program including the annual Dragon Boat Carnival when thousands of spectators line the shores of Victoria Harbour to cheer on the Dragon boat crews. From world-class arts and sporting events, mega shopping sales and century-old traditions to a fascinating smorgasbord of excitement for all ages (including the fabulous Hong Kong Disneyland!) Hong Kong is never short of delightful experiences to offer holidaying families.

© leungchopan,

SkiJapan launches great new Niseko App Family skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts need no introduction to Niseko, regarded as one of Japan’s top five resorts. Now a new app has been launched that leaves no stone unturned, pointing visitors in the right direction with a comprehensive portable guide on what to do and where to go in the popular Japanese ski resort.

Centara’s TripAdvisor trifecta The TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards for 2013 have seen Centara Resorts & Hotels win the traveller trifecta! Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, Centara Boutique Collection, a beachfront four-star resort has been named as one of the Top 25 Hotels in Vietnam. The property offers 36 spacious and comfortable villas located in a quiet bay on stunning Phu Quoc island and is designed to blend in with the natural environment. Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives, set amongst the islands of South Ari Atoll in the Maldives, was named as one of the Top 25 Hotels for Service in the Maldives. This five-star resort has its own reef complete with dedicated shipwreck. Centara Sappaya Design Resort Rayong, located on the idyllic and secluded beach of Laem Mae Phim in Rayong, on the Gulf of Thailand, was a top ranking Bed and Breakfast in the Rayong Klaeng district. The Resort features 13 exclusive boutique units for those who seek absolute tranquility in style. The awards were made on the basis of the reviews and opinions posted by travellers on the TripAdvisor website.

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World travel news

A true Discovery in Bali For families, Bali is an easy holiday, with the relatively short flight, warm climate, exceptional shopping, wonderfully wide array of things to see and do, and a choice of incredible resorts. Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel is one of them, located on the beach at South Kuta and with everything you could want for you and the kids. All 318 rooms, suites and villas have views of the lush gardens or ocean, with air conditioning, cable TV and access to free wi-fi. For something really special, choose the Family Suites, with separate bedrooms, or go one better and book into the magnificent Beach Front Villas, which have their own private plunge pool, private garden and butler service. The Hotel has a wide range of dining options with everything from Italian to Asian specialties, and before you dine, watch the sunset from the Kul Kul swim-up bar. There’s plenty for kids to do, with a kids’ pool, swimming pool, all kinds of beach and aquatic activities, children’s playground, and the Kido Ria kids’ club, which is free for kids from five to 12 years, and runs from 9am to 5pm.



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World travel news

Family pampering in Penang In conjunction with the opening of its two new luxurious private outdoor spa villas, Hard Rock Hotel Penang has launched a brand new spa menu featuring a range of traditional techniques that guarantee to deliver deeper relaxation to modern-day spa seekers. The expansion of the spa and the extension of the spa menu is the result of high demand from hotel guests and day visitors, all of whom love nothing more than to be pampered after a day sightseeing with the kids around vibrant Penang. As well as notable new treatments for adults, kids (six-12 years old) can relax with The Sweet Shop, a new pampering package which includes a facial, manicure and pedicure. While the new private outdoor spa villas are designed for couples on a romantic sojourn, the Lil’ Rock Suite is perfectly awesome for families, fully equipped with PlayStation, Guitar Hero and special kids’ amenities.

Stars are aligned with Hokunani Luau Package

The all-new Hokunani Luau Package from Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk enables guests to celebrate the unique heritage of the Pacific Islands at the only outdoor luau in Waikiki. Dine on a decadent buffet of island flavours, enjoy a host of Polynesian entertainment and participate in family-fun activities like hula lessons, pineapple tossing and a conch-blowing challenge. Simply book a stay at Oahu’s only allapartment resort for seven nights or more and receive two tickets to dine and play at the acclaimed Waikiki Starlight Luau® at Hilton Hawaiian Village, plus a complimentary souvenir photo ($200+ value). Additional tickets are available for purchase at the luau desk – if you want to take the kids, with children under three free and discounted tickets for kids four-11. The spacious apartments at Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk are located just steps away from the white sands of Waikiki. All guests receive complimentary full cooked -to-order breakfast and enjoy a nightly Poolside Reception, with complimentary refreshments and snacks.

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For your family vacation, make it


ISLAND of ALOHA on O‘ahu. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

This Is Maui. This Is Makena. Spacious accommodations, white sand beach, dolphin lagoon, award winning restaurants and outstanding spa - now is the time to enjoy the legendary Kahala, an island of Hawaiian hospitality just minutes from Waikiki.

Just beyond Wailea is the beautified Makena Beach & Golf Resort, with its rooms and suites, ocean vistas and service with aloha. Tennis, beach activities, outdoor spa treatments, magnificent beaches and the finest golf to be played on the island of Maui. Rediscover Makena at affordable rates. For reservations please call your Summit Reservations office at (2) 9089.8801 or visit, or call your travel agent.

For more information, please scan this QR code


For reservations please go to, call your Leading Reservations office at (2) 9377.8444 or your travel specialist.


For more information, please scan this QR code.

5400 Makena Alanui,Wailea-Makena, Maui, Hawaii 96753


World travel news

The real Wild West in the ‘real America’ The Rocky Mountain States of America – Idaho, Montana, North & South Dakota and Wyoming – are the ultimate destinations for families looking for an authentic Wild West adventure. Ski, snowboard, skate, sled and trek in the snow-laden mountains in winter and trek those same hills under big blue skies come summer. Either way, expect spectacular wildlife and Native American and cowboy culture steeped in history, served up with extreme adventure with a side plate of serene spa pampering, worldclass events, arts, sports, music and so much more. Visit the ‘real America’.

On safari in style

Families looking for an authentic African experience will love &Beyond Botswana Explorer Expedition, a 10-day mobile camping adventure and guided journey through Botswana’s iconic game reserves. Camp out for eight nights in comfortable domed tents in private campsites from Maun to the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve to Chobe National Park and spend the last night at Elephant Camp, near the magnificent Victoria Falls in neighbouring Zimbabwe. Full-sized beds adorned in crisp linen, ensuite bathrooms with a flush toilet and al fresco showers, a dedicated team at each site to ensure guests’ comfort and a maximum of six guests on each mobile safari, are the ingredients for a truly magical, and unforgettable, African adventure.

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


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



S I S T E R R E S O R T :

Aroa Beach + Lagoon Marine Reserve l Rarotonga l COOK ISLANDS P (+682) 25800 l F 25799 | A I T U T A K I






World travel news

FLIGHT CHECK • The new Qantas alliance with Emirates means that the airline will now service European destinations via Dubai instead of Asia. • Hawaiian Airlines has introduced its first direct Brisbane-Honolulu service with flights operating from Brisbane three times a week. • Air Pacific will officially become Fiji Airways in 2013 with aircraft resplendent in a new Fijian design and new interiors. • Air Canada has once again been named best airline in North America by frequent travellers in annual readership surveys conducted in 2012 by a variety of U.S. travel magazines. • Garuda Indonesia has won the 2012 Long-Haul Asia Pacific Airline Food Award by Skyscanner, a leading global travel search site.


Flower Power in Provence If you’re looking for a novel, fun, carefree family holiday touring the beautiful French countryside or the Mediterranean coastline, load up the Flower Power Experience Volkswagen campervan with kit and kids in beautiful Provence and hit the road! Forget about itineraries and scheduled sightseeing and choose a relaxing, DIY holiday that combines a road trip with an iconic VW campervan to create an original, authentic, within-budget holiday. Flower Power campers can be hired for a week or two, as well as for short breaks, and all vans are fully-equipped with everything you need in your home on wheels. There are three different types of camper to choose from, each with their own personality and classic VW campervan colours - mango, apple green and, yes, flowers – ranging from original 1970s models through to later models. You’ll be saying ‘Groovy Baby’ before you know it!

My ideal family holiday is... a destination where you can make a base and walk or catch public transport easily to see the sights and dine out. My fondest family holiday memory is... turning 40 at the top of the Empire State Building with my husband and two children, Jess and Tim. My best holiday meal was... eating at the Woolgoolga Indian Restaurant and my husband jumping in the multi-coloured plastic play balls after dinner and losing the car keys. When we drive up the Pacific Highway and pass the Restaurant on the highway we all still laugh. (We were stuck for hours trying to find them!) My top tip for those travelling with kids... is to use a Travel With Kidz agent. The success of a family holiday is in the

planning. You need a travel agent with firsthand experience and knowledge who will give unbiased opinions to ensure a fun-filled, safe, relaxing and exciting family holiday while taking into account each individual’s needs and expectations. Most travellers are not aware that… there are benefits to including the kids in the planning before you leave home and having them contribute financially to the holiday (even a small amount). It makes everyone,especially the kids, appreciate the holiday so much more. Every family should experience ... Africa. Dancing with Maasai and watching lions play with their cubs. It is a life changing experience for children and helps them to appreciate how delicate our planet is today. Our kids are the future !

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n the gorgeous Indonesian island of Bali, just about anyone can become an instant millionaire (the current exchange will see a hundred bucks turn into a magical million Rupiah). And, though relatively small, the island offers an abundance of natural treasures, a wealth of warmth, and a richness of culture to every visitor. But for those families seeking a true A-List break, Bali can take you to the upper limits of luxe.

Luxe lodgings The simply sublime Ayana Resort and Spa Bali at Jimbaran Bay consistently ranks among the world’s best and is one of Bali’s most familyfriendly resorts. Stay in one of the 78 butlerserviced luxury private villas and indulge at Thermes Marins Spa while you let the kids loose on the resort’s own petting zoo, kids pavilion, umpteen pools and abundant A-List activities.



The InterContinental Bali Resort on a gentle surf beach also at Jimbaran Bay has one of the best locations in Bali, and its rooms and suites are finished with five-star flair. Enjoy recreational activities and pastimes with Balinese themes and a stunning spa while Planet Trekkers kids club and resort nannies will keep the children busy. www.bali. The six-star cliff top Semara Villas Uluwatu takes luxury to a whole other level. Accommodation ranges from one-bedroom suites to fully staffed five-bedroom villas and kids are welcome. The high flyer’s escape has a private white sand beach and ocean-front restaurant that is accessed via an inclinator. It even has its own helipad to ensure your little A-Listers arrive in style.

Pampered Princesses At Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa, indulge in luxurious spa treatments while your little

T HE A-LI ST The villas at Ayana Resort and Spa Bali

The villas at Ayana Resort and Spa Bali

Pura Ulun Danu temple, Bali © Khoroshunova Olga,

divas enjoy their own manis and pedis or a chocolate facial. Introduce your little divas to the spa life with mother and child massage therapies and body treatments at the Conrad’s Jiwa Spa near Nusa Dua. Seminyaks’ super stylish Amo Spa was started by a supermodel and will have you and your little ones red carpet ready in no time.

Kiddie Couture Fashionistas take note. Head along Jalan Laksmana in Seminyak for your pick of the latest and greatest kids fashions. We like We Love Retro’s vintage take on swimming costumes for girls of all ages, and mum will love the lingerie. Ciara Mia stocks beautiful quality French fashions for the girliest of girls from two to 10. Cool kids will want to head to The Corner Store. Grab a milkshake, check out the toys

and then shop for hot fashion items from brands such as Coco & Ginger and Deus ex Machina.

Scent of success

Sunday for their Family Sundayz. Mum and dad can dine on some top nosh while their tiny travellers play in the plunge pools and frolic in the circus tents.

Exclusive fragrance brands including Yves Saint Laurent and Dior source many of their essences from Indonesia. L’atelier Parfums et Créations is a perfume studio located at Ayana Resort & Spa where you can create your own personalised perfume using these very same essences under the guidance of a trained parfumier. There’s even a workshop for kids. Très exclusive.

Red carpet

Dining Diva

Take the high road and beat the airport queue blues with The Bali Concierge. Be met off the plane and fast-tracked through customs with the luxury pick-up service or simply end your journey in VIP style.

From stall on the street to the best fivestar hotels, Balinese food is something special and family-friendly eateries are easy to find. But for an extra special A-List afternoon head to Ku De Ta in Seminyak on

Devdan “Treasure of the Archipelago” is a 90-minute stage show that will take you and your tiny theatre buffs on a journey through Indonesia. Complete with dancers, thrilling aerial acrobatics and dazzling costumes, the state-of-the-art musical fantasy is a must see. www.devdanshow. com

Pick up and delivery



The Balinese believe every home has a soul.

They are its heart.

WORLD’S BEST HOTELS - 2013 Travel + Leisure Awards ASIA’S BEST RESORT - Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards WORLD’S BEST WEDDIng VEnuES - 2012 CNN Travel Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia | T. (62) 361 702222 | 108



luxury news


Anantara’s family-friendly five-star fun

Luxe luggage for littlies

Anantara Resorts have created a range of unforgettable luxury escapes with families in mind. Not only does the luxury resort group offer plenty of unique child-friendly activities but now is actively spoiling their younger guests with little extras such as welcome and departure gifts, kids’ in-room amenities and turn-down treats, ensuring that their holiday of a lifetime is perfect from start to end. In Thailand, the kids can learn the Thai commands to drive their very own gentle giant at Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa’s famous on-site Elephant Camp and at Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa on the Andaman Coast, kids receive welcome backpacks, containing a map highlighting the most fun resort facilities, of which there are lots.

In Abu Dhabi, Anantara invites families to follow in the footsteps of ancient Bedouins and famous explorers at the oasis retreat of Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort. You can even create a joint Arabian adventure by combining a desert stay with a nature and wildlife escape on Sir Bani Yas Island at Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara. In the Maldives, sun-loving families can call the Indian Ocean their playground at Anantara Kihavah Villas where a pirate cruise sails families to an uninhabited island to hunt for treasure. While at Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa, younger guests can learn about protecting the future of this unique Maldivian destination in an educational excursion with the resident marine biologist.

Samsonite Sammies cabinsize rollaboard suitcases are so irresistibly cute they’ll have your little frequent flyers begging to carry their own bags. As safe and practical as you would expect in a high quality Samsonite product, the fun range of lovable animal designs includes a giraffe, crocodile, elephant, butterfly, bear and ladybug.

Culinary classes in Cambodia by royal appointment Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Siem Reap is offering families one of the most bespoke cooking classes South East Asia has to offer. Children as young as five are welcome to join their parents as they learn to create authentic Cambodian cuisine from recipes originating from the Royal Household. Raffles’ chefs accompany guests to the local morning markets to select produce, before returning to the kitchens of Restaurant Le Grand for a lesson in preparing Royal Khmer Cuisine, all cooked according to Buddhist guidelines and offering families a bite-sized introduction to the lifestyle and customs of Cambodia. The elegant Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor is one of the original grand hotels of Asia with 119 guestrooms and suites, two vast private villas, Cambodia’s largest swimming pool and the finest service from legendary Raffles Butlers, all located close to the magical Angkor temples.

Go glam with the fam Planning a holiday to Singapore, Hong Kong or Bali with your little A-Lister and want to know where to find the most mouth-watering meals, the finest family hotels, fun five-star experiences and the best shopping - from need-itnow toys and baby essentials to couture? Little LUXE is a series of city guides for smart but busy families that offers all the needto-know information on luxury accommodation and activities, all in one handy pocket-size guide.







Tropical beach on Koh Phi Phi island, Thailand. © Jiri Foltyn, Shutterstock


hen planning our family holidays we are never put off by distance, as the quality of the flying experience and the cost has improved so much over recent years that a nine-hour flight can seem like a breeze. For many kids, like my daughter, it’s even an exciting part of the holiday experience. In fact when we landed on Phuket after a direct flight from Sydney, my daughter was only a quarter of the way down the airline children’s movie list and uttered not a peep the whole way. Perfect!

Phuket Paradise One of the best things about a family holiday is planning where to go; the destination, the resort and the activities you and the kids want to do. The kids feel part of the process and everyone is happy. Our planning most certainly paid off. The Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is a relatively new , five-star resort situated in the Karon Beach area of beautiful Phuket and is positioned on the most gorgeous white,

sandy beach overlooking the sparkling Andaman Sea. We check out our pool suite, with the kids so excited to find that we have our very own pool. We grown ups are pleased to be on the ground floor, which meant quick and easy access to everything. It doesn’t take long to discover that our favourite part of the resort is the lazy river, which meanders through caves, under waterfalls and past two huge slides and some rock jumps. This is where the line between adults and child blurs – we have a constant battle over who is going down the slide first or who will get the first doughnut to float down the river. So much fun is being had in the water that getting out of the water park or away from the swim-up bar is a struggle, but there is so much to do in Phuket that eventually we have to tear ourselves away.

Head for the hills First stop is the elephant camp. There are a range of different elephant experiences to be had in Phuket but we choose Siam Safari, a well-established and



Feeding the elephants at th Elephant Sanctuary. e Centara Grand Beach Resort. © Vladimir Kant,

eco-friendly company that cares for the elephants really well, which is important to us. Only 20 minutes from Karon, the elephant camp is on the top of a hill and has spectacular views across Phuket and the Andaman Sea. The mahouts share a wealth of knowledge on working elephants as well as how they look after them and what they do to protect the elephants’ way of life. They are such intelligent and gentle animals and it is a real highlight to watch the kids feed the big pachyderms bananas and the little ones milk. So special to watch! Then we jump on board the gentle giants and set off on a 45-minute trek through the jungle. The gambolling elephants may not have provided the most comfortable ride but we all love the whole experience, finding it fun, exciting and educational. Afterwards, we have massages at the Resort’s Spa Cenvaree, to ease out those sore spots from riding the elephants. They’re a fraction of the price that we’d pay at home and well worth it.

do something different on the water and, loving our food as we do, choose a tour incorporating seafood and boats. An expat recommended a trip out to the seafood raft restaurants off the East Coast of Phuket, so we take a taxi to Laem Hin pier. From here we hire a long-tail boat to take us the five minutes to the restaurants, which are floating on rafts in the middle of the sea. What an incredible sight! The water is reasonably calm here as it is on the sheltered side of the island and we enjoy a truly amazing cultural experience. Surprisingly, we are the only farangs (foreigners) there, so we feel as if we are sharing a secret with the locals. We sit at rustic tables and pick our seafood from fish tanks in an enclosed area in the sea. Everything you can think of is here; squid, crab, tuna, prawns and many local fish. The food is fresh and fabulous, the service friendly and it is all great value. There is a huge selection of dishes and even clean toilets – definitely a recommended off- the-beaten-track experience.

Ride a long tail

Aside from walking along the beach to Karon’s shops and markets and visits to the wide selection of restaurants and bars in Karon and Kata, we are more than happy to spend most of the time relaxing at the Centara Grand Beach Resort, sitting at the swim-up bar or trying to beat the kids to the slide!

On a previous family trip we travelled to Koh Phi Phi and Pha Nang Bay, a very pretty spot with many highlights. Being out in the open water surrounded by hundreds of ‘James Bond Islands’ was up there, and we still drag out the photo album from time to time. This trip we wanted to



Karon capers

FAST FACTS WHEN TO GO Thailand is generally hot and humid, particularly between March and May. November to February is cooler and dry. GETTING THERE Flights are available daily to Phuket from most capital cities. GETTING AROUND Taxis and tuk-tuks are plentiful and are extremely cheap. MONEY The currency is the Thai Bhat (THB). At the time of writing, AU$1 buys you THB31.22 VISAS Australians don’t require a visa for stays shorter than 30 days. WHERE TO STAY TIP If you are stopping over in Bangkok, the Centara Grand at CentralWorld is highly recommended. MORE INFORMATION For more great ideas to help plan your perfect holiday, visit

© Juriah Mosin,


CAPTURE THE MOMENTS Extraordinary moments worldwide with Centara Every day is brilliant sunshine! The kids are going wild in the water park. When they’re not in the pool they’re having a load of fun in the kids’ club, which is supervised and has endless games and action! As for us, in between all this relaxing, we are planning our next tropical holiday. It’s all so affordable. Our only problem is choice!.

11.30 am Phuket, cannot get the kids out of the water, having so much fun. We’re off to the swim up bar.


T: 02 80968781 


centarahotelsresorts mycentara WWW.CENTARAHOTELSRESORTS.COM

Life should be rewarding WWW.CENTARA1CARD.COM









’m a big fan of Asian tourism slogans. From the quirky (Taiwan touch your heart), to the understated (Definitely Dubai), there’s a lot to love. But there’s one slogan I’d argue is the most catchy and indeed definitive of its nation - Malaysia, Truly Asia. This is a single country that unites multiple cultures, bringing together the beachside holiday, the rainforest adventure, the bustling market and the glistening skyscraper in one family-friendly package. As expats living in Singapore, my young family and I enjoyed a lot of those attractions in our home town, but were still drawn across the border to Malaysia on a regular basis for all of that pan-Asian spice, with just a little more grit thrown in.

Kuala Lumpur - Touch down in the thick of it You may have passed through KL before on a stopover, but now it’s time to get out amongst it. Unless your plans involve purely mall hunting, you’d better leave the stroller in the hotel room. Grab the Bjorn, the Ergo or maybe a local sarong-sling, plenty of water and a spirit of adventure and hit the streets. The skyline is dominated by the Petronas Towers, and so was our stay in KL. These

twin structures are amongst the world’s tallest buildings, and in my book, some of the more attractive on that list. My three-year old son was immediately impressed - “Rocket towers!” he yelled on first catching sight of them, and the name stuck. If you want to actually ascend the towers to the observation deck or make a vertiginous cross on the famous skybridge, you’ll need to rise with the roosters (which incidentally, are native to Malaysia). Tickets go on sale at the towers each morning from 8:30, and tourists have been known to start queuing from 6:30am to be sure of a place. Insider tip: occasionally, advance tickets for subsequent days are made available throughout the day, so if you’ve missed the morning rush it’s still worth a try at the ticket office. Otherwise, just do like the locals and view the towers from a nearby square as they light up the night sky, or like we did, book into a family-friendly hotel with a view of the “rocket towers”. At the base of the towers is the famous KLCC mall, which will keep shopoholics happy. Once your bags and bellies are full, take the kids outside to the KLCC Park, for playgrounds, cool wading pools (you’ll need ‘em!) and best of all, the chance to enjoy authentic interactions as you mingle with Malaysian families out enjoying their capital city. Our little ones enjoyed chasing






their new friends around as much as any theme park ride. More ideas: Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman - an intimate tour through a restored kampung (village) head man’s house provides an antidote to the sometimes overwhelming consumerist flavour of modern KL; Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park - a magical boat ride through nature’s Christmas trees; And Genting Highlands - where the locals go to cool off (and there’s a theme park).

Langkawi - the real life postcard Langkawi was our first taste of Malaysia, and it’s definitely the high-water mark of the country’s tourism industry. This is where the best resorts and, arguably, the best beaches can be found. I couldn’t stop staring at the limestone islands off Tanjung Rhu beach, finally living out those whitesand fantasies after previous disappointments in other Asian destinations. On this side of the island at least, the beaches are blissfully free of hawkers (and rubbish), so we were able to relax completely, without the frantic “massage-sarong-coconutpineapple-madam-sir-madam!” call of the local touts. The water was warm and still, so our little one could be sunscreened and propped up in the shallow waves for hours on end. We hired a babysitter one night to enjoy a dinner in the resort’s high-end restaurant, but the familyfriendly outlets were just as good. Our resort offered an all-inclusive food and drinks package, which would be a real treat for older kids who can’t get enough smoothies and snacks. When it comes to activities, some families will wisely demur in favour of poolside sloth. But we were keen to explore beneath the turquoise waves and set off on a snorkelling trip to a nearby reef. It

was a little disappointing, as being shipped out with hundreds of other tourists to the same snorkelling spot was not what we had in mind. A veteran Langkawi family we met chartered a yacht for a private snorkelling trip - probably worth the coin. Other drawcards for the active family: horse riding, mangrove tours, diving and golf.

Melaka (Malacca) - a hybrid gem

Previous page: Kek Lok si Temple, Penang © Goh Chin Heng,

Above from left: Oriental Village of Langkawi, Malaysia © Guido Amrein,

Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia © Ng Wei Keong,

Malacca is a town shaped by the fascinating culture of the Peranakans (per-AN-ah-kahns), or Straits Chinese. Uniquely definitive of the Malay Peninsula, their heritage of mixed Chinese and Malay roots made for a fertile combination. Its richness is expressed through a gorgeous and intricate aesthetic style that permeated architecture, textiles and, most importantly to our little clan, cuisine. Peranakan dishes can take days to prepare, with the pounding of spices all done by hand. Gorgeous wasp-waisted kebaya blouses are hand-embroidered and embellished, and colourful rococo scrolling adorns the candy-hued shophouses whose shady balconies line the streets. Our kids loved riding in a trishaw with music blaring and coloured lights dazzling. Tacky? Maybe, but that word hasn’t yet made their vocabulary. Hop off at the Jonker Street market and browse for knickknacks - like the tiny feathered bird magnets peddled by one old “Uncle”. Browse the antique stores, and stop off at a side street for an unusual spa treat - the fish pedicure. My preschool boy loved it - I was not so keen! Follow the hordes of locals to find local specialty foods like pineapple tarts and satay celup. We recommend a stay at one of several slightly eccentric yet character-filled old converted shophouses, like Hotel Puri or Baba House.



Georgetown, Penang - street food paradise Like Melaka, Georgetown is a world heritage site, and it’s also a great place to experience Peranakan architecture, cuisine and culture. As the capital city of the highly developed state of Penang, however, this is no sleepy historical town. The roads can be congested and noisy - rather a contrast if you’re arriving from idyllic Langkawi! Penang is considered to be the food capital of Malaysia, and that’s saying a lot in a country that takes food as seriously as this one does. This is THE place to eat char kway teow, a favourite with locals and Aussie tourists alike. Nothing compares to a bowl of these steaming, thick flat rice noodles with that perfect “wok hei” fragrance and fresh plump fried prawns. You’ll have probably enjoyed many Chinese- and Malayinspired delights from the moment you touched down in Malaysia, but don’t miss out on the contributions of the country’s very significant Indian population. Visit a Hindu temple in Little India for a heady, immersive experience, and chow down on roti canai (known to many Australians as roti, which simply means bread!), murtabak and mamak (Indian muslim) delights such as nasi kandar, a spicy curry and rice dish. The highlight for our kids was eating South Indian style with their fingers off a banana leaf plate. Other ideas: Pinang Peranakan Museum, for more Nyonya and Baba heritage gems; the Clan Jetties, where fishing families live over the sea in stilt houses; Penang Hill funicular railway - a must-do for diehard transportation tragics like a certain little boy I know, others may prefer to put their feet up back at the hotel after a long, hot and spicy day of makan (eating) and jalan jalan (wandering about). As they say in Malaysia, relax lah!




FAST FACTS WHEN TO GO Warm humid temperatures throughout the year range from 22°C (72°F) at night to 33°C (92°F) during the day. The rainy season is from September through October though this is usually little more than the occasional short tropical downpour.

Below left: Street food snacks in Penang, Malaysia © JM Travel Photography,

Below: Christ Church. Christ Church is in the main square, Melaka, Malaysia. © szefei,

GETTING THERE Malaysia Airlines flies daily to Kuala Lumpur, from most capital cities in Australia. Connecting flights are available from KL to Penang, Melaka and Langkawi. VISAS Australian passport holders do not need a visa to enter Malaysia for a visit of up to three months. MONEY The currency is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). At the time of writing, AU$1 buys you MYR3.19 MORE INFORMATION For more great ideas to help plan your perfect holiday, visit www.outandabout






lanning an overseas family holiday usually stirs excitement but when you have a child with special needs, the planning isn’t just fun – it’s essential. As a parent of a young child with Aspergers, I am constantly walking on eggshells because, simply, there is no way of predicting outcomes with Jett, 6. We hoped to find somewhere with a family-friendly atmosphere that was close to Australia, with plenty of room for Jett to let off steam if he needed to, with lots of sensory, stimulating experiences to keep him occupied and somewhere that would also be loads of fun for his four-year-old sister, Lola.

Finding Fiji Fiji seemed like the right fit for our family and, after



checking out different resorts, the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau island was our pick. At just over three hours flying time in a spacious Air Pacific Airbus, with in-seat video screens and a choice of kids’ movies, the flight to Fiji from Sydney was comfortable and easily managed by all. At Nadi Airport we were welcomed by the beautiful people of Fiji and got our first taste of Fijian culture, learning how to say bula - hello and vinaka - thank you and being presented with shell necklaces (a great distraction for Jett). A short taxi ride later, we arrived at The Sheraton in a blanket of darkness, and were treated (like Royalty!) to the traditional Fijian Welcome ceremony. Our ample-sized, well-appointed room, complete with balcony (the hotel is thoughtfully designed with plenty of privacy and space between guest rooms)


was perfect for our family and we were already overwhelmed by the friendliness that seems to be innate in the nature of the Fijian people.

Perfect playground



At dawn we got our first real glimpse of Fiji and the resort. From our balcony we had gorgeous ocean views looking out to the Mamanuca Islands in the distance and the weather was perfect! Just beyond our balcony was a grassed area where the kids could run and play each day. Could we be in heaven? At the top of our to-do list was breakfast. The Sheraton has plenty of great food options. Jett is a very fussy eater, but the buffet offered almost every breakfast food imaginable, right down to vegemite toast. There are also cafes offering snacks and a great convenience store.

We spent our first day relaxing by the pool. There were so many pools to choose from - all flanked by an array of beautifully designed and landscaped private areas. The lagoon-style kids pool overlooked the ocean and was out of this world with waterfalls and rocks. Lola wanted her hair braided so she sat, poolside, patiently being coiffed, while Jett was swimming. It was great to be able to swim and keep an eye on her and Jett at the same time. It was clear that this was going to be the most relaxing place we could have chosen. In the afternoon we checked out the resort’s Kids’ Club for suitability for Jett’s needs. The lovely Fijian nannies were not judgemental of Jett’s differences and looked after him with so much patience and understanding. Although I had no intention of getting them into Kids Club on our first day, they loved what



Kids Club open from 10am–10pm

The 4 star Naviti Resort is cocooned on 38 acres of tropical gardens alongside golden beaches and tropical palms. Situated on Fiji’s famous coral coast the Naviti Resort is a famous All Inclusive resort. where guests can enjoy all meals, unlimited drinks, free golf green fees, Sunset Cruise, nightly entertainment, and many other activities. For more information or to make a reservation Ph. (679) 653 0444 Fax. (679) 653 0099 Email : Website:

Be free at Malolo! It’s about a bure near the beach, surrounded by the world’s friendliest people with a living and authentic culture. Perfect for families and couples alike, you can fill your day with a myriad of activities or simply unwind and do nothing at all. Year round choose from F$200 resort credits or Kids Eat FREE with 5 night stays.

Malolo. This is the way the world should be. T+679 672 0978 |




from per room per night for 2 or a family of 4 The Warm Heart Of Fiji.



For reservations and information visit *Conditions apply. Approx rates only – check daily FOREX rates. Available for travel from 1 August 2013.


Jett enjoys a long cool


they saw and begged to stay and play Coconut Bowling with the nannies. I couldn’t have asked for better care.

Denarau discovery With the kids happily entertained, we took a taxi (FJD $5) to Port Denarau Marina where we explored the shops, booked a day trip to nearby South Sea Island and discovered an amazing Indian restaurant, which provided us with a ‘take out’ option. Grabbing some divine tropical fruits we headed back to the resort to pick up Jett and Lola, who were sporting hand-painted t-shirts as they excitedly told us of their fantastic time at Kids Club. An early night was in order so we sat at the cocktail bar by the beach, right on dusk, and watched our first nightly torch-lighting ceremony. Over the next few days we explored all of the resort’s little luxuries. Guests of the Sheraton have access to facilities at the adjacent Sheraton Villas, Westin Resort and the Golf and Racquet Club - six swimming pools between the three resorts, together with all the other sporting facilities and the 17 restaurants! Each day was a new adventure as we settled by a different pool and wandered around the resorts discovering new and exciting things. The staff were fantastic everywhere we went and so helpful and patient whenever we encountered small problems.

Day tripping In seven days we only left the resort twice. We ventured into Nadi Town to shop while Jett and Lola were having fun in Kids Club. It was busy and buzzing and we grabbed great bargains in the shops along the main street. We also visited Sri Siva

Subramaniya, a Hindu temple positioned against a mountainous backdrop and full of intricate wooden carvings of Hindu deities. Our other outing was our trip to South Sea Island. This was our favourite day on our Fiji holiday. Situated in the Mamanuca Islands and only a short 20-minute cruise from Port Denarau, the island is small and only takes about five minutes to walk around but here you truly feel the deserted- islandin-paradise experience. We came ashore to the beautiful singing of a Fijian quartet and set ourselves up for the day in a secluded spot under a big umbrella with sun lounges, swam in the saltwater pool and took advantage of the free use of water sport equipment. We were treated to an excursion in a glass-bottomed boat, a traditional Fijian meke performance and a great lunch! It was so relaxing that Jett and Lola both fell asleep in hammocks (daytime naps are unheard of in our household!) and I discovered the delights of snorkelling for the first time in my life. The children’s activities were plentiful and it was fascinating watching a skillful Fijian, Moses, weave toy creations from grasses.

‘Come again!’ Our Fijian holiday was over all too quickly and we were bid a warm farewell and ‘come again!’ as we departed the Sheraton Hotel for Nadi Airport. Not only was this the most relaxing holiday we had ever taken, but Jett coped better in Fiji than on any other holiday and that, in itself, made for some beautiful and amazing family memories and a firm promise that our family will, definitely, ‘come again!’

Fiji Sheraton Denarau. Photos: Lisa Willows

FAST FACTS GETTING THERE Air Pacific, Virgin Australia and Jetstar operate daily flights from most Australian capital cities to Nadi. MONEY The currency is the Fijian Dollar (FJD). At the time of writing, AUD $1 buys you FJD $1.82. WHERE TO STAY Sheraton Fiji Resort Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort Malolo Island Resort The Naviti Resort Viti Levu MORE INFORMATION Fiji Tourism For more great ideas to help plan your perfect holiday, visit www.outandabout



K 5-O




ith iPads, Wii games and Nintendos within arm’s reach at all times these days, it’s safe to say that kids can be notoriously

hard to impress. However, as we travel around the Hawaiian island of Kauai I am surprised by how many “Wow, Cool!” moments there are. This is huge praise from tough critics. Kauai has been dubbed The Garden Island, which gives the impression of a genteel landscape. But don’t be fooled: this island is a tropical garden on steroids, with lush jungle rainforests, breathtaking waterfalls and dramatic sheer cliffs jutting out of the ocean.

A hint of Hollywood Some of Tinseltown’s hugest blockbusters were shot here, including Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Pirates of the Caribbean - to name a few.



And there are plenty of ways to discover these natural film sets – by going hiking (Waimea canyon, where Jurassic Park was filmed, is called The Grand Canyon of the Pacific), kayaking (The Wailua River is picture-perfect with its breathtaking waterfalls and swing ropes) and boat tours (Captain Andy’s day trips along the Na Pali coast are renowned). A major highlight for us is taking a helicopter ride to see everything from the sky. We choose Island Helicopters’ Jurassic Falls Landing Adventure – the only one that’s allowed to land at the base of a huge waterfall, deep in the interior of Kauai, where one of the film’s major scenes was filmed. The whole flight is a goose-bumpy experience, made even more emotional with the accompanying mood music – Jurassic Park soundtrack included – playing through our headphones. As we get out to take photos of the falls – I comment that I’m so

tempted to dive-bomb in. It’s really cold, I’m told, but the water looks so pristine and perfect, I imagine even a chilly swim would be an amazing experience. It’s back in the helicopter for a tour of the rest of the island – which takes in the most amazing views of the rugged Na Pali coastline. We also cover the lush inland areas, glistening after a light drizzle of rain, and then just a few minutes later we’re hovering over an almost arid Arizona-like landscape. This island truly is a kaleidoscope of environments - each one as beautiful as the next. With our feet back firmly on the ground we head to the water.

Hanging ten It wouldn’t be a trip to Hawaii without a surfing lesson for the kids. The best spot to pick is Hanalei Bay, on the north of the island close to the luxurious Princeville Resort. It’s


From left: Fire Juggling in Hawaii © Deborah Kolb,

The Wailua falls, Kauai, Hawaii © Alfgar,

FAST FACTS WHEN TO GO Hawaiian weather is consistent all year round, with the average around 25°C to 29°C. GETTING THERE Hawaiian Airlines flies to Oahu daily from Sydney and three times a week from Brisbane, with flights available on to Kauai. MORE INFORMATION Visit www.hawaiianairlines.

a wide, sandy beach with waist-deep water and a reef-free bottom. There can be strong currents and big surf at times, so it’s highly recommended to learn with a respected surf school. There’s also paddle boarding, which is hugely popular. For smaller kids try swimming and snorkelling at the more protected beaches of Poipu, Ke’e, Kiahuna and Salt Pond. A standout is Lydgate Park, which is sheltered by a lava rock wall and has the impressive Kamalani Playground nearby.

Hula heaven If you’re still looking for activity there’s horseback riding at one of Princeville’s beautiful ranches, zip lining, ATV off-road adventuring or tubing for the adrenaline junkies. An activity the whole family will enjoy is a cruisy bike ride along the bike path at Kapaa, on the east side of the island. Known as the Coconut Coast, due to the

rows of coconut palm trees, this mostly flat trail stretches for about six kilometres each way and is privy to the most breathtaking ocean views. There are plenty of pretty lookout stops and picnic spots too. The only time Kauai isn’t a hub of activity is when the sun goes down, but there’s still enough going on to stay occupied. Many hotels offer free hula shows on certain nights – the Hyatt’s show is particularly popular. The Smiths Garden Luau is a whole night of welcome leis, ceremonies, music, a luau feast and a hula show in an open-air amphitheatre, complete with an erupting volcano. It’s not cheap, at around $200 for a family of four, but you can also book to just see the show.

Fresh is best Dining in Kauai is a treat; the food is sensational and while the upmarket restaurants, such as Merriman’s, are

excellent, there is also plenty of fresh familyfriendly fare. The kids will love the delicious quesadillas at Bar Acuda (and the wine selection is outstanding), but the real winners would be Brick Oven Pizza, Bubba Burgers, Chicken in a Barrel and Keoki’s Paradise. Needless to say, each meal should be finished off with one of Hawaii’s famed shaved ices. For lunch, Living Whole Foods is a must-do (I had to go back twice for the lobster pot pie with spring vegetables) and I’m still thinking about the crab quesadillas we enjoyed at Kalypso’s. Way too soon, it’s time to say mahalo and aloha and head home. Need a tip for the return trip? Have those iPads loaded with a selection of Jurassic, Pirates and Raiders movies, and you won’t hear a peep after takeoff. Recline your seat and enjoy a peaceful flight home.






early every family has a Disney holiday on their bucket list, and the biggest Disney experience of them all is the massive Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Walt Disney dreamed big when he went to Los Angeles in 1923 with not much money and some ideas about a mouse but surely even Walt would be surprised at how big Walt Disney World is. With four theme parks, two water adventure parks, 35 resort hotels, five golf courses, Downtown Disney’s dining and entertainment precinct and so much more, we are talking huge – as big as San Francisco! In December last year, Walt Disney World opened a brand new Fantasyland, and Out and About With Kids was there to check it out.

Be our guest It doesn’t take long after arriving in Orlando to feel the wonder of Disney. It is a bit surreal when we check into our Cars Family Suite at the Disney’s Art of Animation Hotel. It is perfect for families, sleeping six and with two bathrooms – or should I say ‘Carwashes’, a dining area for refuelling and plenty of ‘parking’ space. It’s not surprising, because everything Disney does is spectacular and orchestrated with sparkly perfection. With peppy Disney tunes we all know and love, life-size character replicas and cheery cast members, every second of every day spent in a Disney property will leave you and your kids believing in magic.

Once upon a time….. In Fantasyland, located in Magic Kingdom, princesses, mermaids, heroes, flying elephants and fairies are



Minnie Mouse meets some little princesses real. And it is here that the biggest expansion in Magic Kingdom’s history has been carried out. The New Fantasyland has just opened, sitting beyond the existing Fantasyland in the shadows of Cinderella Castle. New Fantasyland is made up of the Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus areas, where guests





can get caught up in beloved Disney stories and magical places. With dining experiences in a castle, an enchanted forest to wander through, plenty of flying elephants, and a magic place where little girls can turn into princesses – and meet one! In Enchanted Tales with Belle, we step into the world of Beauty and The Beast, Letting fly at in what is a new twist on d orl W Walt Disney storytelling. Lots of little princesses – some fresh from an extreme makeover in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – wait to meet the beautiful Belle. A little girl next to me introduces herself as Princess Belle and is wearing the full ensemble from ball gown to slip-on sparkle shoes - even the replica wig of her Disney darling. She twirls with excitement and when she meets her namesake, she sheds a few little happy tears, and so does her mum. This experience is interactive, and kids get



to play a part in the story and spend time with the enchanting Belle. We also meet Madame Wardrobe, who introduces us to the castle, and then casts various kids to play the characters in the story. We interact with Lumière, the candelabra, who comes to life with more breathtaking and cutting-edge Disneyfied technology. Every second of this storybook tour is a testament to the magic of the Disney imagineers and this experience will leave you and your kids absolutely enchanted.

Flying high Dumbo the ride has always been a family favourite at Walt Disney World Resort and now is twice as much fun. It’s been dramatically transformed with two sets of rotating elephants, moving in opposite directions, which means twice as many little Dumbos to ride and twice a much fun. And instead of waiting in line, with frantic little folk and frazzled parents, we are given a pager and are ushered into a big top tent. Inside, in air-conditioned comfort, there is a playground with slides, a climbing net and a fabulous toddler

section. Everyone is happy and cool until the pager buzzes, to tell us that your flying Dumbo is ready for take-off!

Beyond Belle - A World of Disney to explore. Other new attractions in New Fantasyland include Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid, where you can ride under the sea with Ariel and her fishy friends, and then meet Ariel afterwards; the Be My Guest restaurant is in the ballroom of the Beast’s Castle and offers French-inspired cuisine and Gaston’s Tavern is a casual restaurant in a comfy French lodge. After you’ve done all that there is still so much to experience. You need a minimum of five days in Walt Disney World Resort but, being an epic Disney fan, I recommend a week at least. Fantasyland is just one land in the multi-zoned Magic Kingdom, and then there is Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where you can go on safari and see lions, giraffes, elephants and other African animals. Don’t forget the two fantastic waterparks - Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard

Beach, and a whole host of shopping, dining and entertainment options including Downtown Disney and Disney’s Boardwalk. Staying at the Walt Disney World Resort Orlando really is a world of Disney. Immerse yourself and your family in your Disney dream and come home with magical memories to last a lifetime.

Wait, there’s


Take in the spectacular La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil, right in the heart of Downtown Disney, with the signature jaw dropping human feats combined with quirky divine music and humour. Pay careful attention to the child Diabolo performers from China. How do they do it? Shop Shop Shop. Bring a spare suitcase or buy one when you hit the outlet malls in Orlando. US brand names such as Nike and Gap, Abercrombie and Fitch and Calvin Klein at a fraction of the price you can get them at home.

FAST FACTS GETTING THERE Virgin Atlantic offers regular flights from Australia’s East Coast to Los Angeles with connecting flights available to Orlando. WHERE TO STAY Stay at one of the Disney hotels. The Art of Animation Hotel is awesome. MORE INFORMATION Walt Disney World Resort www.disneyworld. For more great ideas to help plan your perfect holiday, visit www.outandabout



o Sn w LET IT





he winter wonderland of Beaver Creek is nestled in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The compact charming village centre is focused around an outdoor ice skating rink with bronze statues dotted about the pedestrian plazas. The skiing is phenomenal, blessed with light dry powder and slopes to suit the first timer right through to the Birds of Prey monster bumps for the most advanced sliders. The Beaver Creek Ski School has some of the best instructors for kids in the USA. Mogul Ski World has a selection of properties in Beaver Creek to meet every need. Your dedicated snow holiday expert will be able to taylor make the perfect snow holiday. GETTING THERE Beaver Creek is just 2 hours from Denver International airport. MORE INFORMATION Mogul Ski World has packages to suit every budget, for your perfect family ski holiday visit

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ith direct flights now available between Sydney and Buenos Aires, Argentina is now as accessible as Hawaii or California. And if you are looking for a family holiday destination that is more immersive than a beach resort/theme park break, Argentina delivers. We visited Buenos Aires, known as the Paris of the South due to its swag of European architecture and very Parisian coffee culture, and also experienced the jaw-dropping natural beauty of Argentina in Bariloche.

Beautiful Buenos Aires We join a three-hour city tour with Say Hueque Tours, with the starting point the famous Plaza de Mayo (May Square) where you can wave at the ‘Pink House’ palace balconies



that Eva Perón once waved back from. We learn that most of the city’s political history is centred here, and as we move around the sights of the city, our guide shares its history with great passion and personality to engage even a teenager. Next stop – La Boca, Buenos Aires first port and one of the poorest and most colourful districts. The buildings here are a vibrant palette of red, yellow, orange and green, all leaning on each other at various angles, revealing hidden alleyways and passages that are great fun to explore. If your kids are into photography, they will love it. La Boca is also the birthplace of the tango and there is a great selection of restaurants where you can enjoy a lunchtime Argentine steak and watch the dancers show how the tango really should be done.

Maradona, markets and the macabre Not to be missed (if you happen to be here at the right time) is a football game at the nearby La Bonbonera Stadium – home of Boca Juniors. Diego Maradona played for Boca Juniors and is still a legend in these parts. There is a museum inside for soccer buffs. There are markets all over the city and three that are definitely worth a visit include Mercado de San Telmo, Mercado de Belgrano and Mercado de Recoleta, which sits outside the Recoleta Cemetery. The cemetery is an attraction in its own right, with many wanting to see Eva Perón’s grave. It may seem macabre but our kids just love racing through this miniature city, peering inside the vaults and reading the inscriptions. If you have time, visit the Museo Participativo de Ciencias nearby. It’s an interactive science museum and kids are encouraged to touch and try everything.

On your bike For a more energetic day out, La Bicicleta Naranja will deliver bikes to your hotel and provide an English-speaking guide to take you through some of the cities expansive parks. It’s a great city to cycle through – bike paths everywhere and hardly any hills (so no complaining kids). We make our way to the vast Palermo Park – joining, it would seem, most of the city’s families. Everywhere you look there are families cycling, roller-blading, taking aerobics classes (yes, really), picnicking, dancing and rowing boats in the lakes. It’s a great way to spend our last day in the city.

Perfect Patagonia Our next destination, in the foothills of the Andes, is Bariloche in Patagonia’s Lake District and it’s gob-smackingly beautiful. The city itself sits on the southern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake and is surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park. The architecture here is a reflection of the early settlers to the region – mainly Austrians, Germans and Slovenians – with the Bariloche Civic Centre a great example. In the square outside you’ll invariably find a few St Bernard dogs waiting to pose for a photo with the kids (for a small fee). The kids will want to go to Mitre Street Bariloche’s so-called ‘Street of Chocolate Dreams’, arguably the chocolatiest street in the world. The ice cream and chocolates are divine. Patagonia is all about nature and near Bariloche there is a wide range of outdoor activities to wear out the kids with. We head off with expert guides from the Kawen Adventure Company for a walk through the forest before moving onto kayaks on one of the many surrounding lakes. The other activities on offer around Bariloche include horse riding and mountain bike trail rides. And of course, if you like the white stuff, the skiing at Cerro (Mount) Catedral is excellent. We finish the day with a trip up the Campanario Hill Chairlift – to take in yet another spectacular view of the lakes and surrounding mountains. Simply spectacular.

Opposite: Bariloche Llao Llao Hotel. This page from top. Mercado de Belgrano. La Boca, home of the Tango. Bariloche St Bernard. Maradona tribute, La Boca.

FAST FACTS WHEN TO GO The best time to visit Buenos Aires is from March to May and September to November when temperatures are milder. December through to February in the capital is very hot and humid. GETTING THERE Aerolíneas Argentinas flies direct to Buenos Aires from Sydney. VISAS Australian tourists are charged a “reciprocity fee” of USD100 on arrival. MONEY The currency is the Argentine Peso (ARS). At the time of writing, AU$1 buys you ARS5.21 MORE INFORMATION Destino Argentina www.destination For more great ideas to help plan your perfect holiday, visit www.outandabout










hile we’re not suggesting a Parisian sojourn or a weekend in London would be anything other than fabulous, it’s very easy for family holiday makers to stick to the more obvious tourist routes. Having kids in tow doesn’t mean you can’t discover a Europe of open spaces, historic castles, ancient towns, rural villages, fantastic food and beautiful beaches. They’re all there just waiting to be explored. Best of all, getting around in Europe is easy. Boasting some of the world’s most remarkably efficient and fast train services, cheap flights, family-friendly coach tours and extremely competitive car rental, the only real challenge is driving on the opposite side of the road, which to Aussies is entirely wrong! Here Out & About With Kids shares five stories of real European family holidays… with a difference.

A day in Dubrovnik


Rafferty in Dub 

By Aleney de Winter Sailing into Dubrovnik’s old town in an old timber ship, my son declares it is a pirate ship. The captain obviously concurs, proffering my small swashbuckler a feathered pirate hat, replica gun and the wheel, before promptly disappearing. The passengers are blissfully unaware they are now sailing under the captaincy of an armed and delusional pre-school pirate who can’t see over the wheel. A good few minutes pass before the captain returns and we’ve somehow managed to avoid crashing into any of the pointy bits of the rocky coastline and we sail safely between the fortified medieval walls of the old town, glowing in the early morning sun. After forcibly removing our baby buccaneer from his beloved ship, we head up Srd Hill in the Dubrovnik Cable car as we’re feeling a little too lazy for the walk along the city walls. Our son is thrilled with the four-minute ride in the massive cable car, which would easily fit about 30 people. Back at the bottom we enter the Old Town and step into The Stradun, Dubrovnik’s pedestrian main street that stretches from gate to ancient gate. We’re staggered by its gleaming story-book beauty with the limestone-paved street polished to a glassy sheen through constant use over centuries. We stroll past the Renaissance confection that is the Sponza Palace, uniform rows of pretty green window shutters, fountains, statues, Baroque churches and Bell Towers all the way to a Franciscan Monastery. Off the main promenade we weave our way through a maze of narrow cobblestone laneways that cut through the old town until we stumble upon the market. The square is a mass of red and white umbrellas sheltering tables of fresh fruit and vegetables, local cheese, olives,

honey and spices and an army of local cats. We can’t resist the temptation of a bucket of fat juicy raspberries which we feast on as we head off for a dip at Banje, the kidfriendly city beach, to while away our afternoon. For more information visit

A winter wonderland in Deutschland By Agnes NielsenConnolly Not many people seem to be aware that Germany is about more than Jesse in German just beers fast cars y and lederhosen. And it doesn’t have to be Munich, Nuremberg or Berlin either. In December, we travelled to Northern Germany to visit family. Our little one was only three so we decided not to do anything too drastic (apart from dragging him 14,000 kilometres to the other side of the world). So we went to Hamburg to sneak away from our family for a few days. Hamburg, like many German cities, has a terrific Christmas market. It is set up like a little fun fare, with kid’s rides, food stalls and bags of atmosphere right in front of a picturesque town hall. It has a bit of something for everybody. We loved the food, the snow and the mulled wine and our son, Jesse, loved the car rides and the wintery snacks – candied apples, gingerbread hearts and lollies galore. And paired with a thick blanket of snow, it was really quite magical, particularly for our little explorer. When your toes are finally frozen and your child has had enough, there are plenty of places to warm up on Hamburg’s inner harbour lake, The Alster. If it is really frosty, the market stalls are moved onto the ice of the lake – an event called ‘Winteralstervergnügen’. You can stroll over the frozen lake or try out your skating skills. One piece of advice though, do take decent shoes. Even on Hamburg’s city pavement, we last about five minutes in our Aussie footwear. Kids and cold, wet feet do not go together. For more information visit

Bonjour Punk! By Louisa Theobald Driving the 850km from Cherbourg down to Southern France’s Pyrénées region with a twoyear-old boy, his wheelchair-bound nanna and his grumpy grandad had all the makings of ulcer



induction, however chapeaux (hats) off to the French, they made it easy. Whether meandering and exploring the back roads and countryside or motoring down the autoroute on a timetable, France is one of the most family-friendly nations in Europe. We did a mixture of both and found that motorway rest areas, service stations and budget roadside chain hotels catered admirably for children, from service with a smile through to healthy, varied and well received food options. Equally when we ‘offroaded’, the village bakeries, cafes and more luxurious accommodation places never failed to deliver mouthwatering culinary treats and always offered something to keep my son Tom occupied, whether it be crayons, toys or dogs and chickens. The French love children, even in Tom’s case where a gleeful ‘bonjour punk!’ or a ‘oui oui, poo poo!’ was without fail met with genuine delight and often a freebie jus’ d’orange or a Chupa Chup. Our final destination was Le Jardin Secret in Lauzerte, a wonderful, quirky little B & B which lived up to its name with the most beautiful secret garden and infinity pool commanding spectacular views over the valleys of the Barguelonne and the Lendou. Run by an eccentric English ex-pat, with dogs and cats lazily wandering in and out, Tom was enchanted enough by his surroundings to brave swimming on his own for the first time, having previously refused to go near a pair of arm bands. His grandfather and n di ar J e L The view fromLauzerte I both wiped a few tears away witnessing Secret in the pure joy on his face as he discovered



this new found aquatic lps independence and Anika in the A therein a magical and indelible memory was made. And not an ulcer in sight... For more information visit

Mountains of fun in Switzerland By Karen Gould After living in Asia for six years we were a bit over beach holidays and craved the pristine alpine views and impeccably preserved architecture that only Europe can offer. We also consider gorging on novel gourmet dairy foods a cultural experience, so Switzerland was the perfect choice for us. Our two-week stay took in serene, compact Zurich, fairytale Lucerne, where we stayed with friendly expats we’d found through Air Bnb, and best of all, the breathtaking mountain village of Mürren in the Heidi country of the Interlaken region. An unexpected bonus of travel in Switzerland for our four-year-old son was the sheer diversity of transportation we enjoyed - not just the famously punctual Swiss Rail network, but paddle steamers and cable cars and cogwheel trains, oh my! If you are travelling with a little lover of all things vehicular, don’t miss the cutting edge Transportation Museum in Lucerne. It may sound like a snooze but I promise even the most sceptical adult will enjoy it. One of the world’s coolest public transport experiences has to be the Jungfraujoch - a daytrip rail ascent to one of the Alps’ most scenic peaks. Here your kids can frolic on a snowy glacier or try their hand at skiing, even in summer, and teens (or


embarrassing parents like us) can ride a thrilling zipline above cushiony white drifts. I did mention a certain penchant for all things creamy, and the Swiss did not disappoint. How can you not love a culture that legitimises whipped cream on every coffee and potato dipped in melted cheese as a meal (all-you-can melt raclette is dangerously prevalent)? Artisan farmers prepare alpine-milk cheeses and “noble” smoked meats in cellars hundreds of years old. And that’s before you even begin with the chocolate. But fear not for your waistlines! We spent as many hours climbing and wandering as we did eating, although the kids were often motivated by the wild berries that grew along forest paths. For older kids seeking a challenge, there are manageable mountain peaks such as the Schilthorn - and you can always take the cable car on the way back down. For more information visit

Roma with Nonna By Tori Herbert My grandmother lives in Rome. When I visit I get to see it like a local because my Nonna is the best tour guide in town. Fun when I was little, even better as a teenager. During a two-week visit in the last school holidays, she made me fall in love with Rome. For religious history we walk into Santa Maria Maggiore, the second most important basilica after St. Peters. In the same street is the third most important basilica and on the street behind that is the weekly flea market Via Sannio. History and shopping? Perfect. We went to Rome’s most famous bread store, Pannella’s, more than once. Every evening (except

Sunday) there is a happy hour or “apperativo time” where for 12 euros you can enjoy a drink and all-you-can eat from an amazing assortment of lovely Italian food. This style of family happy hour is popular all over Rome and especially fun at Campo dei Fiori with its open-air markets in the morning and bars filled with young people in the evening. Rome is a walking town; every corner you turn reveals an artistic and exciting experience. We visited St. Peters with Michelangelo’s breath-taking Pieta, the Vatican Museum’s Piazza Navona, (with its fabulous Bernini fountains) and Piazza Farnese. We wandered the back cobblestone streets into Piazza Rotondo, with the most amazing of all Roman structures, the Pantheon. In that same area we wandered in and out of churches, visited retro shops, art galleries and beautiful boutiques as well as more trattorias, bars and restaurants. Then there was Basilica San Clemente, with four levels of Roman history, magnificent frescoes and 12th century mosaics. Santa Maria in Trastevere, a church dating back to the 10th century also had glorious mosaics, and we were particularly struck by a byzantine painting of a black virgin and her black baby Jesus. We went to Mass at a Congolese Catholic Church on Piazza di Pasquino with the mass done in their language with their music. Finally, the great never-ending Sunday flea market - Porta Portese. So many things to buy and never enough room in my bags. There’s so much to see and do two weeks is not enough. Ciao Nonna! For more information visit

Tori with Nonna

in Rome

Previous page: Dubrovnik Old City on the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. © Artur Bogacki, Shutterstock. From left:

Hamburg. © S.Borisov, Shutterstock.

Switzerland. © Karen Gould

St Peters Basilica and River Tibra in Rome, Italy. © Janis Lacis, Shutterstock.



Kids at sea CELEBRITY






t 315 metres long and with 15 decks soaring skywards, Celebrity Solstice is one big, bold and beautiful ship, carrying 2,850 guests in style. And she has plenty of special surprises on board, including the AquaSpa - one of the biggest spas afloat, and the Lawn Club, which boasts real grass that’s just perfect to sit on and watch the world slide by. We were lucky enough to be at the Lawn Club as the ship pulled away from Circular Quay, cruising between the two Sydney icons - the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Magic!

Kid stuff Celebrity Solstice has plenty to keep kids of all ages busy. There are several swimming pools (including one indoors) and six whirlpools with myriad deck chairs to laze in after a swim or soak. There’s a basketball court for active kids and for something different, the Hot Glass Show will have them - and you - mesmerised as a master craftsman turns molten glass into a work of art. And, because kids need their own space to hang out and meet new friends, Celebrity Solstice has excellent kids’ club facilities at the Fun Factory. There are separate areas and programs for different age groups with Shipmates for children aged three to five, Cadets for ages six to eight, Ensigns for those aged nine to 11 and X Club Teens for 12 to 17-year olds. XClub has its own dance floor and video arcade sure to impress even the coolest teen. Dress up parties, slumber parties, games, Wii, Xbox and PS3 and movies all ensure kids have fun and are looked after so parents can enjoy some time together over dinner, do a shore tour or watch a show on board. Be sure to check out the VIP kids package, which offers special ship tours such as visiting the bridge, a behind the scenes backstage tour and learning to make pizza in the ship’s ultra cool kitchens. Speaking of kitchens, the two main restaurants, Oceanview Cafe and Grand Epernay have an enormous buffet selection that will tempt even the fussiest little eater, and there is a gelateria on board as well. What child can resist ice cream?

For grown ups Celebrity Solstice is really impressive when it comes to adult fun. Have a drink at Martini Bar & Crush with over a hundred types of vodka to choose from

and a bar of solid ice. For drinks with a view, choose the Sunset Bar or the Sky Observation Lounge. While the kids play at the Fun Factory head off for a romantic dinner at one of the specialty restaurants. We opted for fine dining at Murano and were blown away by the sublime French cuisine and eclectic wine list. After dinner, we had a choice of entertainment. We could have chilled out to jazz, listened to various groups, embarrassed ourselves at karaoke, danced up a storm in Quasar night club, done our dash in Fortune’s Casino or watched the main show - Aussie Boys in the Solstice Theatre. We chose the comedian, Paul Brasch who had us in stitches.

Shipshape Most of the ship’s staterooms have their own balcony, and all are beautifully furnished and offer flat screen TVs and surprisingly roomy bathrooms. I was surprised at how quiet it was inside very important if you have light sleepers on board! For families, the Family Veranda Staterooms are quite spacious with plenty of nooks in which to spread out and relax. Celebrity Solstice offers a range of cruises to Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, the South Pacific and around Australia, from three to 35 nights. And, after seeing what she has to offer, we’d suggest the longer you can stay on board, the better! More information:

Celebrity Solstice family checklist

✔ Kids club - Fun Factory for n kids from 3 to 17.

✔ Toddler play time - Toddlers n are welcome at the Fun Factory with a parent.

✔ Babysitting - in your n stateroom for kids from 12 months.

✔ n ✔ n ✔ n ✔ n

Family accommodation. Kids’ meals. Room service - 24 hours. Babies from six months can cruise - but this can change depending on cruise length and number of days at sea.




cruise news Sea Dreams Royal Caribbean International and DreamWorks Animation are expanding their ground-breaking partnership, with Mariner of the Seas becoming the sixth ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet to offer the DreamWorks Experience. When she arrives in her new Asian home in May, she will offer a number of itineraries from China and Singapore to Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea. The DreamWorks Experience was introduced in May this year on Voyager of the Seas, which made her debut in Australia for the 2012-13 summer cruise season and has proved hugely popular with local passengers. The DreamWorks Experience features parades, themed activities and events based on DreamWorks Animation’s popular feature-film characters, including Po of Kung Fu Panda; Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of Shrek; and Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, and the Penguins from Madagascar. Each ship also is equipped with a 3-D movie theatre playing the latest DreamWorks Animation films as well as DreamWorks Animation programming on a dedicated RCTV channel in every stateroom. Plus guests of all ages can meet their favourite DreamWorks characters over character breakfasts and take advantage of plenty of photo opportunities throughout the day.

Kids fun ship for Winter School Holidays WHAT better way to spend the cold winter school holidays than on the “Fun Ship” - Carnival Spirit - for eight nights, island-hopping around the Pacific. The ship boasts Carnival Waterworks and SplashZone, waterparks at sea that includes the world’s steepest waterslide - the Green Thunder, the Twister Waterslide and the Power Drencher. There is also a range of sports courts, minigolf, a video arcade, family comedy hour and a 24 hour ice-creamery. There is a range of kids clubs including Camp Carnival, with three age group sections. Circle C is for 12-14 year olds and Club O2 for 15-17 year olds and includes a non-alcoholic bar and dance floor. The ship offers a Night Owls’ Program for two to 11 year olds with late night activities and munchies, as well as babysitting services, for an extra charge for ages 12 months–11 years, available from 10pm to 3am every night. Cruise specialists have a mid-winter holidays itinerary departing Sydney on June 28 from just $989 per person for a fourberth cabin. The ship will visit Mare, Isle of Pines and Noumea in New Caledonia, with plenty of time at sea to experience all the activities available on board.



Lights, camera … action on the high seas P&O Cruises, Australia’s leading cruise line, is adding a touch of Hollywood to its ships with a new movie-making program. P&O has teamed up with animation software developer Stop Motion Pro and Sony to launch a new program called Broad Shorts, giving kids the chance to create their own animated short movie while on a cruise. The first program of its kind for the cruise industry, Broad Shorts will launch in the HQ and HQ+ teen clubs on P&O’s Pacific Pearl, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Dawn this month, with kids shown how to make their own stop motion movies from a range of puppets. The teens will be responsible for all aspects of the film-making process, from puppet design, writing the story and script, doing the filming and doing voiceovers. Then they’ll create an animation using Stop Motion Pro’s technology – the same technology used to make Wallace and Gromit and The Pirates! Band of Misfits. The short films will be premiered to families and other passengers during their cruise. Later this year, the program will be expanded to provide cameras to kids to film content around the ship for their movie.


Princess reveals right royal fun for kids Princess Cruises has revealed the new youth and teen facilities that will feature onboard the Royal Princess when the ship debuts in June this year, and they are sure to delight young passengers. Royal Princess’ new offerings will add an extra level to the onboard experience for young cruisers, with all age groups finding more space following the provision of dedicated outdoor areas, including a new teen lounge and a special fun area just for kids under three. The 2013 maiden season of the new-generation 3600-passenger Royal Princess will include cruises on the line’s signature Grand Mediterranean itinerary throughout the northern summer, followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises. More information and video previews of the ship are available at

MSC from the White Cliffs to the Black Sea MSC Cruises is offering a spectacular 25-night holiday package which combines a two-night stay in London with a three-week cruise on MSC Musica from the White Cliffs of Dover to the Black Sea, visiting two new ports. Priced from $5726 per person, twin share, fly/ stay/cruise packages includes return economy air fare with Emirates from Australia on September 7, 2013 along with transfers, accommodation and all the usual inclusions of the cruise as well as port charges, service charges and flight taxes. The 21-night cruise departs Dover on September 10, bound for Ferrol as well as the Portugal capital of Lisbon, Malaga (Spain), Tunis, Croatia’s Dubrovnik and Venice before cruising to Katakolon in Greece, ancient Istanbul, Yalta and Odessa in the Ukraine and the new ports of Constanta in Romania and Gythion in Greece.

What are some of the best new features for kids we’ll see on Holland America Lines in 2013? We will continue to update and expand on our Xbox Kinect features; maintaining the most current selection of games in our inventory. Plus we’re focusing on family events that bring siblings, parents, grandparents and Club HAL participants together. And, as Holland America Line serves a broad international audience, staff working for Club HAL in Europe and South America will be bilingual to accommodate non-English speaking guests. What are your favourite activities in the kids program? Kids in the Kitchen and Culinary Arts Demonstrations, which include decorating gourmet pizzas, demonstrating how to make healthy smoothies and creative ways to get children to eat their fruit and veggies. Another favourite are the evening theme parties like Ships Ahoy Pirate Adventure for the kids, Olympic Relay Races for the tweens and Battle of the Gender Competitions for the teens. Our focus is to bring each age group together, to inspire team work and build new friendships that last throughout the duration of the cruise and beyond. What are your favourite cruise events for the whole family? We truly enjoy seeing the participants and their families come together at a hosted event. One of the most popular is the Family Dance Party. We take over a major venue and provide the dance floor, music, lights and games that connect parents with

Kids enjoying the Holland America Experience their children. Another favourite is when Club HAL staff go up against the families for some friendly competition. This may be an Xbox 360 Kinect Sports Match, Karaoke Sing Off or an afternoon volleyball game up at the sports courts. Do you have a secret recipe for keeping kids happy on holiday? We tailor programming specifically to the interests of the children on board. I learned this years ago when I was seagoing and working in Club HAL. On one particular cruise, I anticipated 45 children between the ages of three to 17. I planned the usual cruise activities and events until I realized that out of the 45 youth, 43 were boys with a lot more energy than I had anticipated. A number of craft projects like Friendship Bracelets were replaced by the more physical games of Bottoms Up Soccer and Snowball Smash! That’s not to say arts and crafts weren’t enjoyed on that cruise, but adjustments were certainly made in our event line up.

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Baby on BOARD


Safety first Visit an RTA-authorised fitting station before you leave to check that your child restraint is correctly fitted (call 132 213 for your nearest location). It also pays to get a safety check done on your car - breaking down with an easily-frustrated baby is no fun. And if, like my pair of happy Houdinis, your tot tries to escape from a safety harness, invest in a buckle guard or clip-on strap to keep little arms where they belong. In warm climates dress your little ones in loose clothing and keep them hydrated. Watch out for hot belt buckles which can cause nasty burns, apply sunscreen to exposed skin and have a UV shade on the window to minimise sun exposure.

Make a plan If you’re driving with little ones, don’t plan to get anywhere fast, you’ll need to stop - a lot. If you’re nursing you’ll have to factor in breaks for feeding and don’t forget to let toddlers stretch their little legs occasionally to burn some energy. Use a route planner, such as the NRMA Trip Planner, tripplanner to find the best places to stop.

Driving overseas The NRMA recommends that if you are planning to travel by road overseas you should research your destination’s road conditions and laws. If the road conditions and safety laws at your destination aren’t on par with Australian Standards, you need to do what you can to make your journey as safe and stress-free as possible for you and your children. If hiring a car book your child restraint well in advance of your arrival and get confirmation in writing. If you can’t hire child restraints at your destination or the vehicle you are travelling in doesn’t have the restraint you need, you should consider taking your own.

Get packing Keep a bag of essentials in the front of the car (wipes, bibs, first-aid kit and change of clothes for accidents). Plastic bags are also handy for soiled items and rubbish.



Pack the boot in layers with the things you might need during the trip on top and consider hiring equipment at your destination. And don’t forget plenty of water.

Beat the boredom While many babies find car travel soothing, being cooped up can wear a toddler tempers thin. Keep your itinerary simple. Plan just one major activity a day and you’ll find it easier to make adjustments for tired and temperamental tots and still have time for your little bundle of energy to run about and explore at their own pace. You’re going to need distractions to keep tots content on a long trip because it is inevitable they’ll become bored. A simple mobile above their seat, lullabies and


A little restraint The level of crash protection given by a correctly fitted child restraint cannot be under-estimated, it’s one investment parents can’t afford not to make or to get wrong. A recent research study funded by NSW Centre for Road Safety found children restrained incorrectly are up to seven times more likely to be seriously injured in a crash than those correctly restrained. There is a plethora of information available relating to the purchase, installation and use of child restraints; it can seem daunting and confusing to those investigating their options. All children in Australia, up to the age of seven must be in a restraint suited to their age. The following child restraint ratings were introduced in January 2013 by the NSW Centre for Road Safety. • New-born babies up to six months old are to be secured in a rearward facing restraint. • Toddlers from six months to four years are to be fastened in either a rearward facing restraint or a forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness. • Children aged from four to seven are to be secured in a forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness or a booster seat. • Children seven-16 can use a booster seat or seatbelt. The NRMA advises parents to purchase only child restraints with a label or sticker stating that it meets Australian/New Zealand Standards. Child restraints are also crash tested for safety and other features. The CREP (Child Restraint Evaluation Program) system uses a 5 Star rating system developed to help make the most informed decision when considering child restraints. For further information visit or

rattles should keep an infant content. Visual games like eye-spy, audio-books and a goody bag filled with an assortment of small-scale toys and board books is a great idea for toddlers, but be prepared to spend a lot of time fishing behind the seat for dropped toys. Other great sanity savers are to wrap up a few toys before you leave and present them to your child as a surprise if they start to get bored. ANother great idea is to make up CDs of their favourite music and stories to play in the car.

Toilet training in transit If you’re toilet training, dress your child in easy to remove items and make plenty of toilet breaks. The

National Public Toilet Map,, shows the location of more than 14,000 public toilet facilities which may assist you with your planning. While it’s a great idea to teach your children to recognise toilet signs and to remind parents when they need to stop, you should still check in with them every half an hour or so and keep an eye on their fluid intake. A plastic seat liner or folded towel can help protect seats from accidents and a travel potty can be a lifesaver. If you’re struggling with the change of environment be prepared to take a temporary training break rather than getting stressed and overwhelming a little person trying to master a new and difficult task.





Car sickness

e l t t i l r u For yo earners Potette Plus ®

2 in 1 portable potty and trainer seat Portable Potty:

• Full sized potty, folds flat • Includes 2 super-absorbent liners and hygienic carry bag

While infants rarely suffer from car-sickness, the toddler years often mark the onset of motion sickness, particularly in the car. Motion sickness is when the inner ears detect that a car is moving but the eyes, when focused on something inside the car, don’t. The conflicting signals are sent to the brain and nausea often results. Smaller children generally can’t see outside a car so the problem can be aggravated. Younger children often can’t explain clearly how they’re feeling so it is extremely important to watch out for early signs which may include sudden pallor, cold sweat and fatigue. Here are some tried and tested tricks to ease the quease. • Be sure that your toddler’s head is well-supported in the car seat. • Feed your toddler a light snack before travelling. Keep the car cool and well ventilated. • Try to focus your child’s attention towards the front of the car by pointing out things of interest along the way. Don’t allow your toddler to red as looking can worsen symptoms. • Car sickness is less likely to occur during sleep so undertaking your journey during their sleep time can help. • Ginger is said to have anti-nausea properties, so pack a few ginger biscuits just in case. • In addition to an up-to-date family first aid kit, it is a good idea to carry a car-sickness kit on long journeys. The kit should be kept within easy reach and include cool clean water, baby wipes, an old towel, a container (with a fitted lid) that your child can easily hold onto and a change of clothes in a plastic bag.


Trainer Seat:

• Folding trainer seat • Comfortable, non-slip and durable • Hygienic, fits regular toilet seats

Safe-n-Sound Maxi Rider AHR Easy Adjust Other great toilet training proucts... Cushie Traveller™ Folding Padded Toilet Seat

Keeps sheets dry throughout toilet training

Compact. Ideal for on the go

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Potette Plus® Liners Disposable liners for portable potty

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To find out more about the range and for helpful toilet training tips go to

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Waterproof Sheet Protector

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Suitable for children six months to approximately eight years, the new Maxi Rider AHR Easy Adjust from Britax Safe-n-Sound provides busy parents an easy to use car seat solution. The new design is 30mm slimmer than the existing Maxi Rider AHR model, meaning it’s easier to install and configure with other seats across the back seat whle the internal width has not been modified so your bundle of joy will still have plenty of room. When your child grows and it’s time to re-position the shoulder straps, the new Easy Adjust Headrest can automatically move the seat into the correct height position while the seat is installed meaning there is no need to unthread and rethread the harness and reducing the risk of incorrect installation. An extra 80mm in height also means taller children are catered for and can travel in safety for longer. Out & About With Kids has TWO Safe-n-Sound Maxi Rider AHR Easy Adjust Car Seats to give away, each valued at $529.00 RRP. For your chance to win visit


WHAT’S HOT for baby Beauty plus baby in a box

Potty portability

Love buying beauty online but struggle to purchase the perfect product every time? The answer: bellabox. For only $15 a month, bellabox delivers a sweet selection of skincare, make up, fragrance and nail products direct to your door. Tailored to your online beauty profile, you’ll receive the products that are relevant to you. Each box contains 5-6 sample size products from emerging, cult, boutique and well-known brands. What’s more, once you’ve trialed something you love, you can shop for the full size version online from the bellabox e-store and earn generous rewards points while you’re at it! Also brand new to the fold is bellababy – delivering new parents and bubs those essentials for baby’s first year for $24.95 a month.

The Baby U Reusable Liner is made for the Baby U Potette Plus portable potty and trainer seat. The reusable liner converts the Potette Plus into a take anywhere standard potty. The Potette Plus is great to maintain continuity throughout toilet training, and can be used at home or out and about these holidays. RRP $11.99

No spills CuppyCup is a clever milk and juice-box holder to help prevent spills and squirts. Its simple plastic case fits both milk and juice boxes as well as juice pouches and helps prevent littlies from squeezing the drink all over themselves. Designed to flat pack into a compact size it’s perfect for the road. RRP $8.99


Monkey magic Renowned for their excellent baby slings, Minimonkey have now released a fantastic new four-in-one baby carrier’s ergonomic design allows wearers to bare baby’s weight on the hip, back and abdomen, instead of the shoulders. The 100 per cent cotton carrier is designed for newborns to three-year-olds (up to 18kg) and can be used in four different positions and is perfect for parents on the go. For stockists visit www. Out & About With Kids have TWO Minimonkey prize packs to give away. Each pack is valued at $259.85 and includes a new Minimonkey Four-in- one baby carrier, a Minimonkey baby sling and a Minimonkey nursing cover. For your chance to WIN visit

Let fly This portable, hammock-style fabric seat creates a secure and comfortable place for your baby on an airplane. The Flyebaby’s five-point harness protects infants during unexpected turbulence while allowing face-to-face interaction. It also converts into a portable high chair. RRP $64.95

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Parenting made easy at



hether you’re planning to stock up on all the latest and greatest goodies for your bundle of joy or are simply searching for new ways to keep your toddler busy, The Baby & Toddler Show is a mecca for everything a busy Mum (and mum-to-be) could need. Browse, explore and shop until you drop in the dedicated shopping areas, including The Fashion Alley for little fashionistas and their yummy mums, Natural World where you’ll discover a beautiful range of ecofriendly and sustainable products for your family and a Handmade Market that showcases unique and gorgeous products. The kids won’t be short on fun either with a live stage show and hugs from Peppa Pig, the LEGO® DUPLO® Brick Pit plus face painting, balloon animals and loads more. For those mums and dads who are looking for a little advice, a comprehensive range of expert seminars and one-on-one consultations by parenting professionals – including sleep and lactation expert and author, Pinky McKay – on topics ranging from baby basics and development milestones to infant first aid, nutrition and toddler taming (I think I’ll be signing up for that one!). Out & About With Kids had the pleasure of chatting to the gorgeous Pinky, who offered some great



advice for readers who are planning to fly with a tot in tow. “Definitely take a baby carrier to keep your baby close and content and up off the ground in airports. It allows you to keep your hands free for tickets and passports which helps keeps you and baby calm. The carrier is also fantastic on board your flight to help baby feel safe and secure when it’s time to sleep” says Pinky, who believes that is as unfair to baby as it is to fellow passengers for your bub to become distressed. She suggests that it is in everyone’s best interest to throw out the rule book while travelling and be prepared to walk, nurture and cuddle your baby to sleep. Pinky also suggests nursing mums carry sachets of oral rehydration solution to stay hydrated. “The extra hydration will help boost your milk supply so you can feed and comfort bub a little more often.” Her final tip – try Boobie Bikkies (which are available online) for a naturally nutritious treat that supports you as you do your most important job, nurturing and nourishing your baby. For more of Pinky’s wisdom, and a special day out for new mums and their kids, Melbourne mums should get ‘out & about’ to The Toddler & Baby Show at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton from 12th – 14th April. Early bird tickets are available until Thursday 11th April 2013 and tickets will be available at the door for $20 per person.

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WHAT’S HOT for the holidays Dinosaur delights Searching for a low-cost activity that will keep kids entertained and amused during the next holidays? The Olympic Travelsaurus Scrapbook pack is the perfect drawing and scrapbooking set to take on holidays. Contained in an easyto-carry plastic wallet that includes a 64-page scrapbook, non-toxic water-based coloured textas, ruler and dinosaur stickers perfect to keep kids busy and encourage their creativity even on a rainy day. RRP $4.50

In the bag PAKItToMe backpacks are a must for travellers of every age. No bigger than a snack-size packet of chips, they foldout into a generously-sized backpack with adjustable straps, two side pockets for your phone or drink bottle, and a front pocket. Lightweight yet sturdy enough to carry up to 8kg, the ingenious backpack comes in a variety of prints. RRP $15.99

Safety First The Encore 10 expandable booster seat is designed to fit 95 per cent of 10-year olds and half of 12-year olds, giving parents the choice to keep their child secured for longer. Featuring Safe-n-Sound’s side impact cushion technology, expandable side safety wings, extendable padded seat, nine height adjustments and the unique Slideguard anti-submarine clip to prevent slipping under the belt in a crash, it also comes with built-in speakers and a retractable cup holder. RRP $349.00



Fungi farmers We love Fungi Culture Mushroom Grow Kits an easy and fun schoolholiday project that allows parents and children to share in the delights of growing food, without even leaving the house. The tissue-boxsized kits are extremely easy to use and can yield up to half a kilo of delicious gourmet oyster mushrooms. They even got our fungi phobic little man happily eating mushrooms. RRP $19.99

Flying high Tiger Tribe’s At the Airport Magnetic Play book will get the kids in the mood for wherever it is you are heading. The A3 fold-out airport scene comes with a collection of themed magnetic pieces, including travellers of all ages, luggage, and even a sniffer dog, and is perfect for keeping the kids happy in the back seat or on that longhaul flight. RRP$19.95


WHAT’S HOT technology Picture perfect

Get hands on with Sony’s Tap 20 Sony’s new VAIO Tap 20 is a touch-screen desktop PC that combines a conventional desktop PC with the portability of a tablet. The Tap 20 is perfect for families who want a shared computer experience with its 10-point multi-touch panel (meaning 10 fingers can be touching the screen at once – great for multi-player games). Whether reading bedtime stories, following your favourite recipe in the kitchen, playing multi-user games or checking emails, the versatile Tap 20 will be a hit with families. Users can tilt and play unique multi-user apps, lay it flat on a coffee table to play a board game with family or friends, or split the screen space so parents can check emails on one half while the kids tackle counting and spelling games on the other. Flip out the in-built stand and tilt the VAIO Tap 20 at a comfortable angle for ‘lean back’ photo and movie viewing at a touch, or stand it upright and use as a fully-functioning desktop PC with the supplied wireless keyboard. RRP $1499

Take a leap LeapFrog’s kids’ tablet just got better. The LeapPad2 Explorer is in a portable package that’s perfect for holidays. The next generation LeapPad2 is designed for kids aged three to nine years old and features higher resolution front-and-back cameras and video recorders, a faster processor, double the memory (4GB) and improved battery life - all housed in a durable, child-friendly design. Plus there is extensive free content including a music player with five LeapFrog Learning Songs, a new Cartoon Director app, an Art Studio app, the popular Pet Pad writing app plus one free additional app of your choice. RRP $229.99

What family wouldn’t love a simple to use camera that offers all the benefits of a DSLR in a compact body? Sony’s NEX-5R is all that and more. Sony’s first interchangeable-lens digital camera with integrated wi-fi and in-camera apps allows effortless creativity and stunning DLSR-quality photographs. Wi-fi enables easy image sharing, saving and viewing with photos and videos easily transferred to any PC, smartphone or tablet that’s running the free PlayMemories app. Ideal for those who prefer travelling light it also offers a perfect secondary camera solution for DSLR users on the go. More than just a power-packed step-up from your point-and-shoot compact, the 16.1-megapixel NEX-5R assures richly detailed still photos and crisp full HD video and easy creativity without compromising on image quality or control. RRP from $799

Just in case Even the tiniest members of the family can enjoy a taste of technology with the FisherPrice Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case for iPhone and iPod Touch. The colourful and safe case allows babies to interact with free Laugh & Learn apps, while protecting mobile devices from dribble and drops. The durable case holds the device behind a clear film to protect the screen, and features textured handles for easy grasping. Clacker beads provide fun play and a mirror at the back of the case encourages selfdiscovery. RRP $24.99

App, App & Away Avoid a volley of “Are we there yets?” with Nickelodeon Australia’s gorgeous (and free) Didi and B. app. Designed for kids aged two to five, it features five art, craft and letter-based games. That will keep them entertained until you reach your destination. Once you’ve arrived you’ll want to know what’s on to entertain the kids. The Web Child App is the best way to find out what’s on, where and how to get there in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Looking for something more mum and dad friendly? Then Yelp is an easy to use app that offers reviews of practically everything from where to eat, where to shop and where to stay to great parks and beaches across the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. So now you’ve found that great little Parisian bistro, you may need help translating the menu. Google translate is a free app that translates between 64 languages. Desperate to upload that family holiday snap to Facebook but equally desperate to avoid high global data roaming charges? Use the Free WiFi Finder app to locate the closest free wi-fi hot spot in over 100 countries. Want to share still more of your trip? The Rough Guide Trip Lens app from the publishers of the iconic travel guides can help you turn your photos, stories and maps into a personalised blog to share with family and friends.

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WHAT’S HOT books


THEA STILTON AND THE MYSTERY ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS Thea Stilton Join the Thea sisters on another adventure in the popular Geronimo Stilton mystery series. The sisters are boarding the ‘famouse’ Orient Express for a journey from Paris to Istanbul, but there’s a thief on board and the sisters are determined to foil the sneaky mouse’s plans. Scholastic RRP$12.99

OPEN VERY CAREFULLY: A BOOK WITH BITE Nick Bromley and Nicola O’Byrne A crocodile has ended up in the wrong book and proceeds to eat his way out! In this fun picture book, the grumpy croc tries to escape a story that is all wrong for him but is an absolute hoot for little readers. Allen & Unwin RRP$ $22.99

NOT-FOR-PARENTS: AUSTRALIA Filled with tales of toothy sharks and snappy crocs to bushranger baddies and extreme explorers, flesheating spiders to flying doctors, this offers kids the inside info on Australia. The series also includes China, USA, Britain - perfect titles for your pint-size adventurers. Lonely Planet RRP $19.99



ADVENTURES OF A COMPULSIVE TRAVELLER Dominic Dunne Travelling has never been ordinary for this journalist. Dominic shares his experiences and plenty of gossip from around the globe. From hunting the ghost of Elvis in the Mississippi to rubbing shoulders with Hillary Clinton in Washington, this is a great read for travel fans. Transit Lounge RRP $29.95


FOOD LOVER’S GUIDE TO THE WORLD Take your family on a tasty tour around the world or simply cook up your next great family adventure with this awesome compilation of all the best places to go to eat as well as cultural tips and etiquette plus recipes to cook at home. Lonely Planet RRP $49.99


LAZING ON A SUNDAY CRAFTERNOON Eliza Muldoon Discover the joy of making something out of nothing with this cute collection of 52 simple craft ideas to make with your little helpers. From a child’s headband, to peg dolls, shoe adornments and felt toys this book is sure to get the family’s creative juices flowing. Allen & Unwin RRP$39.99

THE HOLIDAY CREATIVITY BOOK Mandy Archer This colourful holidaythemed activity book has it all. There are pictures to colour, stickers to stick, games to play and projects to make. The book comes with two sticker sheets plus a gatefold sticker scene, stencils, cut-outs and pretty craft paper. Walker Books Australia RRP $19.95 Out & About With Kids has TEN copies of The Holiday Creativity Book to give away, each valued at $19.95. For your chance to win visit www.outandabout


WHAT’S HOT entertainment


Adventures is Zambesia (3D)

The beautiful new animation Adventures in Zambezia (3D) takes viewers to a bustling bird city on the edge of magnificent Victoria Falls where we meet Kai, a naïve but high-spirited young falcon. Kai travels to Zambezia to discover the truth of his origins and, in defending the bird city, learns that every hero must earn their wings. www.adventuresin


Cavalia Internationally acclaimed theatre spectacular, Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Human and Horse is galloping in to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne for the first time this year. Enjoyed by some 3.5 million people across North America and Europe, this lavish production involves 50 magnificent horses and features 42 riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians from all over the world. Cavalia celebrates the relationship between humans and horses as they cavort in front of a constantly changing digital background projected onto a 60 metre-wide screen, drawing spectators into dream-like virtual environments. Cavalia is touring Brisbane from March 6, Sydney from May 15th and Melbourne from Aug 17th. For all dates and tickets visit


Adventure Time (Collection 3): Jake Vs Me-Mow The hilarious Adventure Time series sees 13year old Finn and Jake, his shape-shifting dog roam the magical postapocalyptic land of Ooo in search of adventure. This new collection includes 16 awesome episodes from Seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 and sees the introduction of a tiny assassin cat called Me-Mow, who hides in Jake’s nose and tries to force him to kill the Wildberry Princess. It makes for animated fun the whole family will love.

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Where is your favourite family holiday spot in Australia? Frankie, Michelle, Geor gia and friend My favourite family holiday spot in Australia is, funnily enough, my own backyard - the Sapphire Coast, around Merimbula and Tathra. This area has everything I need for a family holiday... great of the same age, if possible. Start coast, great weather and a laidback a game with them all. You’ll be feel. I wish I spent more time there! surprised how the time will fly if you and they are engaged with Where is your favourite family something other than a screen. holiday spot internationally? South Africa, it’s got the lot! Wildlife Do you prefer resorts with kids’ experiences, wilderness, beaches, clubs? outdoor adventures and activities, No, not really. I believe that holiday diverse cultures, fascinating history, time is the time for families to great golf courses, accommodation reconnect. The best kids’ club you options (from resorts to roughing it), can have is “Dad in the pool”. vibrant Zulu culture, lovely food and wine, and all at a fraction of what Describe your biggest family these things cost in Australia. I go at holiday disaster? least twice a year! On a trip to Magnetic Island, it was my idea to jetski around the island. What’s your fondest childhood Halfway round, a big storm blew holiday memory? up with mountainous seas, strong We lived in Darwin and every year winds and poor visibility. We laugh would make the trek down south to about it now, of course, but in visit family for Christmas. It was in hindsight, we were lucky to survive. our FC Holden station wagon, over mostly dirt roads, in the wet season! Describe your funniest holiday A great adventure every time. moment? On an outback holiday, we stopped What is your top tip for a family to change a flat tyre on The driving holiday? Oodnadatta Track. Job done, we Plan your drives around the kids’ took off and had travelled 500 schedules. That is, if you’ve got littlies metres before we realised Georgia and they like to have an afternoon was still playing in the red dust nap, use that time to put some where we had stopped. kilometres down. Do you have a dream family Any hints for flying with kids? destination? Get them involved with other kids Tahiti looks nice.



QUICKFIND ACCOMMODATION – OVERSEAS Ayana Resort & Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .ayanaresort .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Berjaya Hotels & Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . www .berjayahotel .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116 Centara Hotels & Resorts . . . . . . . . . . . www .centarahotelsresorts .com . . . . . . . . . . . .113 Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel . . . . . . . www .discoverykartikaplaza .com . . . . . . . . . .98 Embassy Suites Waikiki . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .embassysuiteswaikiki .com . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Hard Rock Hotel Bali . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .bali .hardrockhotels .net . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Hard Rock Hotel Penang . . . . . . . . . . . . www .penang .hardrockhotels .net . . . . . . . . . . .119 Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .fijiresort .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The Kahala Hotel & Resort . . . . . . . . . . www .kahalaresort .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Makena Beach & Golf Resort . . . . . . . . www .makenaresortmaui .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Malolo Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .maloloisland .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 The Naviti Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .warwicknaviti .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 Parkroyal Penang Resort . . . . . . . . . . . www .parkroyalhotels .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118 Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa . . . . www .TheRarotongan .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Sunwing Resort Kamala . . . . . . . . . . . . www .sunwingkamala .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC ACCOMMODATION – AUSTRALIA Angourie Rainforest Retreat . . . . . . . . www .angourieresort .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Ashmore Palms Holiday Village . . . . . www .ashmorepalmsgoldcoast .com .au . . . . . . 67 Aspen Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .aspenparks .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Aspen Resorts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .aspenresorts .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Australian Tourist Park Management . www .atpm .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 BIG4 Holiday Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .BIG4 .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Central Coast Holiday Parks . . . . . . . . www .cchp .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Escape 2 Holiday Parks & resorts . . . . www .escape2 .net .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Eurong Beach Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .eurong .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Lake Crackenback Resort . . . . . . . . . . . www .lakecrackenback .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . .86 Mandalay Luxury Apartments . . . . . . . www .mandalay .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Mantra Hotels & Resorts . . . . . . . . . . . . www .mantra .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Mowbray Park Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .farmstayholidays .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour . . . www .novotel .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Outrigger Port Douglas . . . . . . . . . . . . www .pdo .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Park Beach Holiday Park . . . . . . . . . . . www .coffsholidays .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Paradise Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .paradiseresort .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66 Rendezvous Reef Resort . . . . . . . . . . . www .RendezvousHotels .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Sea World Resort & Water Park . . . . . . www .myfun .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OBC SilverNeedle Hospitality . . . . . . . . . . . www .silverneedlehotels .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . 35 ATTRACTIONS Australia Zoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .australiazoo .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Jungle Surfing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .junglesurfing .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Mowbray Park Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .farmstayholidays .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Sea World Resort & Water Park . . . . . . www .myfun .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OBC Sydney Trainworks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .trainworks .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Walt Disney World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .waltdisneyworld .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 SKI Cardrona Alpine Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . www .cardrona .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Coronet Peak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .nzski .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Mount Hutt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .nzski .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90 SkiMax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .skimax .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85 Treble Cone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .treblecone .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 TRAVEL AerolIneas Argentinas . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .aerolineas .com .ar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Burnt Pine Travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .burntpinetravel .nf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Holiday Specialists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .holidayspecialists .com .au . . . . . . . . . . IFC TOURISM ORGANISATIONS Canberra Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .visitcanberra .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Kauai Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .kauai-hawaii .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IFC Moreton Bay Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .visitmoretonbay .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Norfolk Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .norfolkisland .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Philippines Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .morefuninthephilippines .com .au . . . . . .99 South Africa Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .southafrica .net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94 Sovereign Hill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .sovereignhill .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Sunshine Coast Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . www .visitsunshinecoast .com .au . . . . . . . . . . .70 BABY ON BOARD Potette Plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .babyu .com .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 Baby & Toddler Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .babyandtoddlershow .com .au . . . . . . . . 147 OTHER Jetta Excess Baggage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .excessbaggage .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101 RTA Travel Restraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www .rta .nsw .gov .au . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43


Kids stay, play & eat FREE! Mention this ad and receive a FREE Siam Niramit dinner & show

Sunwing Resort Kamala A fully contained family resort with its own restaurants, entertainment programs and a host of activities for all ages. The resort is located directly on the beautiful Kamala beach and includes all the fun, adventure, luxury to make your family holiday unforgettable! There are 7 large swimming pools, 2 slides, swim-up bar, playground area, Minimarket, Fitness centre, fully licensed clinic, indoor and outdoor games, outdoor spa and much more.




Kids from $94


Guests will enjoy day time entertainment, sport activities and children activities including Play & Chat house. Everything you need is at your doorstep. It’s just a matter of choosing what to do. During your holiday you will certainly meet two very popular characters, Lollo the Giraffe and Bernie the Bear. They both love to play and have fun with the children.



Happy Baby Studio

Kids from $94


13 13 81 Call us today!


Important Information: Seasonal surcharges can apply especially during school holidays. Prices are per person and include airfares, all taxes, transfers and twin share accommodation. Hotel specials have varied travel dates, block-out dates & high season surcharges may apply. All prices are a guide only, subject to change, some conditions & availability. Prices are also subject to change without notice due to currency, tax fluctuations & fuel surcharges. Above packages are based on lowest available airfares flying Thai Airways International for travel 22 Apr – 21 Jun, 15 Jul – 19 Sep, 7 Oct – 5 Dec 13 and must be booked and paid within 3 days. Accommodation & bonus nights are based on low season travel and based on 2 adults & 2 children under 12 years sharing the same room unless otherwise stated. Above packages are based on May 13 low season departures. *Kids eat free when dining with parents at certain restaurants within the resort. Prices are correct as at 18 Feb 13 unless sold out prior. Please contact one of our specialist consultants for an exact quote on the dates you wish to travel & any conditions that may apply.

What will you discover today?

Make Sea World Resort & Water Park your next family getaway and you’ll have the Gold Coast’s favourite theme parks right on your doorstep and Australia’s playground at your feet. There’s a great range of packages to make your holiday simply unforgettable, with one thing guaranteed… your days will be filled with never ending fun! Plus if you stay two nights or more you’ll get an amazing Dolphin Discovery presentation for a little extra magic. So what are you waiting for?

Visit or call 133 FUN 1302212 SEA WORLD © 2013 & TM Sea World Property Trust.

The heart of fun and adventure (s13)

Out & About with kids - Issue 36 Autumn 2013  

If you, like us, are hankering to hit the road the autumn issue of Out & About With Kids is just the ticket. Packed full of great ideas to h...

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