Out & About with Kids - Issue 45 Winter 2015

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FA M I LY | T R AV E L | H O L I D AY | L E I S U R E | E N T E R TA I N M E N T


Discover America



R R P $ 7. 9 5






48 hours in..


Helping kids

find their ski legs

Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane


a Fiji Family Holiday! Multi-gen holidays The Legendary Pacific Coast, Bali, Penang, Germany, Fiji, Japan

Yumi Stynes

Immerse Yourself IN THE DAYDREAM Valid on holidays over $999*. Apply online or in-store now! ^Interest free: Approved applicants only on a Lombard 55 Visa Card. Terms, conditions, fees & charges apply including a $99 Annual Fee charged on the account open date & annually on the anniversary of the account open date. Minimum monthly repayments required of 3% of closing balance, or $30, whichever is the greater. Paying only the minimum repayment will not finalise your loan within the interest free period. Interest, currently at 22.66% p.a., is payable on any balance outstanding after the interest free period. Ask in store for details. Credit provided by Lombard Finance Pty Limited ABN 31 099 651 877 Australian Credit Licence 247415. *Travel restrictions and conditions apply. Please ask us for further details. Prices and taxes are correct as at 3 Jun 15 and are subject to change without notice. Prices quoted are on sale until 30 Sep 15 unless sold out prior. Prices are per person and are subject to availability. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply depending on date of travel. Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes, levies, government charges and other applicable fees. Additional taxes specific to your flight routing may apply (where airfare is included). Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Prices shown are for payments made by cash in store.

Daydream Island Resort and Spa Boasting a tropical setting, stylish accommodation, modern amenities and extensive activities, Daydream Island Resort and Spa is one of Australia’s premier family-friendly resorts. Just a short ferry ride from the Great Barrier Reef Airport on Hamilton Island, or just 30 minutes by boat from Airlie Beach, Daydream Island is the jewel of the Whitsundays and the ideal destination for a relaxing holiday. Daydream’s Living Reef has become a unique attraction in its own right and an invaluable educational experience for all. The experience you’ll find at this idyllic Queensland getaway, in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, has never been better.

Family Stay & Play Stay 5 nights accommodation in a Garden Balcony Room with buffet breakfast daily. Plus 1 x AU$50 Food and Beverage Voucher per room per stay. Children stay and eat breakfast free when using existing bedding. Return Hamilton Island Airport to Daydream Island transfers. Highlights Over 20 free activities including kayaks, catamarans, stand-up paddle boards, stingray & shark feeding show, open air cinema and more! BONUS 1 FREE night – Stay 5, Pay 4. Child from



Adult from

*~ $


Deal: 3702612

9 months interest free^

24 hour Customer Care

Over 165 stores

1300 559 864


Flights may not be direct or operate daily and may require a mandatory stopover at the customer’s own expense. Flights may include domestic on-line segments. While all care is taken to ensure accuracy, no responsibility is accepted by Flight Centre Travel Group Limited for accuracy of information contained in the text, illustrations or advertisements. Photos are indicative of geographic location of holiday, they are not necessarily indicative of the holiday. Updates and corrections to advertised products may be found at escapetravel.com.au/ads. ~Child price shown consists of return transfers. Daydream Island: Prices are per person based on 2 adults and 2 children (4–14 years inclusive). Valid for sale until 30 Sep 15. Not combinable with any other offer. Voucher is valid for duration of stay only and can only be used in one transaction, any unused balance will be forfeited. Voucher is non-transferrable, will not be replaced if lost and cannot be redeemed for cash, refunded or applied against any other Daydream facility or expense. ETMARK65524 Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (ABN 25 003 377 188) trading as Escape Travel. ATAS Accreditation No. A10412.

Out & About with Kids Print & Digital outandaboutwithkids.com.au Publisher Elisa Elwin elisa@oawk.com.au 0413 770 550 Editor Christine Kane christine@oawk.com.au Digital Content Manager Lisa Monk lisamonk@oawk.com.au

Zion National Park Utah © visitstgeorge.com/Joe Newman

Associate Publisher Richard Bunting rbunting@oawk.com.au 0424 138 806 Contributors Sally-Ann Brown Richard Bunting Carla Grossetti Samantha Herbert Monica McInnes Michelle Pettigrove The Sharp Family Yumi Stynes Maria Visconti


t’s winter – and that means ski and snow season in the southern hemisphere is well and truly underway - and we’ve got some great tips to help ease little ones, confidently, into their first adventure on the snow! Join us as we travel to Penang, Bali, Japan and The Legendary Pacific Coast in FAMILY TRAVELLER, take part in a centuries-old festival in Germany and experience the giving and sharing of voluntourism in Fiji! We review fantastic family-friendly hotels and resorts, highlight fabulous accommodation options for multi-gen holidays and give you a taste of a fun-filled 48 Hours in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. You’ll love Part Two of our SPECIAL “DISCOVER AMERICA” FEATURE – an exciting two-issue partnership between Discover America and Out & About with Kids. In this issue we take you to America’s fantastic National Parks, Zoos and Theme Parks, explore Las Vegas and The Grand Canyon, Hawaii and The Rocky Mountain States, dip into some of the USA’s must-visit cities, travel around the Southern States, bring you family fun at West Coast festivals and share the inside scoop on the best shopping in the US! PLUS … we launch our fantastic new competition to win a 5-star Fiji family holiday!

The Out & About with Kids team

Contributors Shane Boocock Des Creagh Christine Kane Rob McFarland Sue White Print Design Magnesium Media Print Art Director Louise Summerton Advertising Enquiries Richard Bunting rbunting@oawk.com.au 0424 138 806 Published by Elwin Media Pty Ltd ABN: 22 159 093 606

PO Box 4148, Balgowlah Heights NSW 2093 0413 770 550 Cover image Universal Studios Orlando, Florida © Discover America

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 2015 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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contents Finding your ski legs

51 WIN! 6

Enter our sun-tastic new family holiday competition and you and your family could be jetting off to Fiji for a fabulous 5-star holiday at OUTRIGGER FIJI BEACH RESORT, including airfares courtesy of FIJI AIRWAYS!


YUMI STYNES Yumi leaves baby and hubby at home for a Sunday-in-Sydney outing with her two daughters, discovering some of the city’s best attractions – and food!


DID YOU KNOW …? News, fun facts and more from the world of family travel and holidays including Cruise, Airlines & Airports, Holiday Parks & Camping, Kids Clubs, The Legendary Pacific Coast, Tech, YHA Holidays and baby animals!


WE REVIEW We’ve stayed and played to bring you a firsthand look at popular family hotels and resorts including NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Park and Ramada Hope Harbour on the Gold Coast, and East Hotel in Canberra.


ADVENTURES ON PHILLIP ISLAND, VICTORIA Follow the map and our attraction-by-attraction guide to the best family fun on Phillip Island.



Yumi Stynes – p8


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Winter in Japan– p131

Here’s just a taste of the entertainment, attractions and outings to be enjoyed by all ages in our capital cities. Sample our itineraries, packed with plenty of inspiration and ideas, for a two-day family getaway in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.



How young is too young to start, and how can parents imbue little ones with confidence, and build a lifelong passion for holidays on skis?

In this, Part 2 of our fantastic two-issue partnership with Discover America, we take you across plains and valleys, through deserts and waterways, from soaring mountains into cities and towns. From top zoos to top theme parks, from grand shopping malls to the Grand Canyon, from must-visit cities to must-visit National Parks, from the charm and hospitality of the Southern States to the charm and hospitality of the Rocky Mountain States, from Vegas to Virginia and beyond … come and discover so much more of America for families!


MULTI-GEN HOLIDAYS Pack your bags and the kids – and don’t forget nan and pop! Multi-Gen holidays are a fabulous way for extended families to spend quality time together, and we help you find the right type of accommodation (that works for everyone and doesn’t blow the budget!) for this special type of holiday.


TOP 10 FAMILY ADVENTURES IN NORFOLK ISLAND Michelle Pettigrove, husband Frank, and daughter Georgia, are certified Norfolk Island aficionados, and cover off the TOP 10 for families in this pristine paradise.


119 Join our intrepid family travellers as they share exquisite Japan in winter, giving back in Fiji, a birthday in Bali, ‘Witches Night’ in Germany, butterflies and the beauty of Penang, and another extraordinary road trip, further north, on The Legendary Pacific Coast, one of Australia’s most popular east coast holiday regions.

63 © visitstgeorge.com/Joe Newman


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A fantastic 5-Star Fiji Family Holiday including airfares


on’t just dream it, do it! Enter our fantastic NEW competition and you could be packing the cozzies, snorkel gear and sunscreen before you know it, thanks to OUTRIGGER FIJI BEACH RESORT and FIJI AIRWAYS! One lucky family will win a 5-star family holiday experience staying at the sensational Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort on the Coral Coast of Viti Levu - and Fiji Airways will get you there. From the moment your family arrives at the awardwinning OUTRIGGER FIJI BEACH RESORT you will be embraced by gracious Fijian hospitality in a beachfront setting, where accommodation in traditional-style bures, Meimei nannies, activities for kids and teens, a magnificent tropical pool and crystal clear lagoons complete the picture of a perfect family holiday! This great prize includes: • Fiji Airways flights for two adults and two children (under 12) from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Nadi • Five nights Deluxe Ocean View accommodation for two adults and two children at the 5-star Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort • Breakfast daily • Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort’s famous Meimei Nanny package for the duration of the stay (subject to age of children) • Unlimited Kids Club • A community tourism project family excursion • A Ranger for a Day excursion to Kula Echo Park for two children • One couples massage at Bebe Spa Sanctuary TO ENTER and for full TERMS & CONDITIONS head to our website outandaboutwithkids.com.au COMPETITION CLOSES 2 OCTOBER 2015.

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YUMI STYNES “On this Sundayin-Sydney outing, I’ve grabbed my two daughters and left the baby at home with her dad. We’ve carefully made an itinerary that involves no driving, no parking, no cooking, and no stress – and I fully intend to enjoy myself!”


s mum, it’s on me to make things happen for the whole family which is both a big responsibility and a massive pain in the a**. I want the kids to have a good time but I want to have a good time as well. We take the ferry into the city. (One of Sydney’s best-kept secrets is the Family Fun Day Sunday public transport pass which basically means that for $2.50 per ticket, you and your kids can travel anywhere on Sydney’s buses, trains and ferries ALL DAY on any Sunday.) At 10am it’s still pretty quiet at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo in Darling Harbour, and without queuing or fuss we get our tickets and head straight in. The kids are excited but the stillness of our first stop inside the Butterfly Enclosure makes them hush down to a whisper. Giant butterflies flutter right by us. I sigh. It’s going to be a good day. The kids are keen to see the lizards and frogs. Frogs are my daughter’s favourite. They’re like

treasures you hunt out in undergrowth – silent and glistening. Easter eggs with tiny heartbeats. Little eyes watching. I take a photo of a Green Tree Frog. Looking around I notice all the visitors are taking photos. It’s one of those kinds of places. Chinese tourists pose with koalas. A photographer gets us to pose in front of a green screen. My middle daughter poses next to a statue of the endangered cassowary bird while a real one – notorious for being shy - peers through the glass at her! I’m captivated by Rex, the 5 metre crocodile, who floats in his tank exuding menace and murderous power. He looks like he could kill us all with a flick of his tail. We get up close and he doesn’t blink. He is spectacular. The kids fantasise about what would happen if one of us accidentally fell into his enclosure. How long would I last before those immense jaws closed shut on my head? Or would he go for my legs first? Would he perform the notorious “death roll?” This is fun. In less than an hour we’ve seen wallabies, Tasmanian devils, snakes, quolls and then as easily as clicking your fingers, we’re onto our next fun attraction! > wildlifesydney.com.au The posters for Madame Tussauds Sydney had me believing that the famous wax replicas were all vacuous Hollywood celebrities, so I’m surprised to be greeted at the entrance by Truganini, the last


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Rex © WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

It’s all about the photo opportunity, and my favourite is a display where you can get a picture playing in a band with Taylor Swift. “We look totally rock ‘n’ roll,” I tell the kids. “Don’t post that ANYWHERE,” they reply. full-blooded Aboriginal Tasmanian. Figures from Australia’s history abound – from Mary McKillop to Captain Cook, and more recent figures like Julia Gillard, sporting hero Cathy Freeman, and heart surgeon Dr Victor Chang. The kids shrug at Nelson Mandela (“What?” I cry in dismay. “What do they teach you at school?”) and bound away to get pictures with Audrey Hepburn and Katy Perry. It’s all about the photo opportunity, and my favourite is a display where you can get a picture playing in a band with Taylor Swift. “We look totally rock ‘n’ roll,” I tell the kids. “Don’t post that ANYWHERE,” they reply. Leonardo di Caprio looks sweaty and hungover which amuses me immensely and it gives me huge pleasure to see a wax doll of broadcaster Amanda Keller, who I used to bump into around the office when I worked in breakfast radio. > madametussauds.com/Sydney/ But today is all about the ‘Perfect Sunday’ so we don’t outstay our welcome and soon head out into the sunshine for the ten minute stroll uphill from

Darling Harbour to Westfields in the CBD. It’s here that we will be rewarded for our morning efforts. Din Tai Fung is a chain restaurant from Taipei that is now in the USA, all through Asia, and has seven outlets in NSW - including one in the food court of the fabulously opulent Westfield Sydney. It is my go-to place to take friends and family because the dumplings are, in a word, perfect. These dumplings are the world-famous xiao long bao, also known as “soup dumplings” for the way a small burst of hot soup squirts out of the dumpling when you bite into it. Each one is meticulously made on-site (the kids can watch them being rolled, filled and weighed through a clear glass window) then steamed to order. We all flop down on the padded seats and start filling ourselves with dumplings and the delightful lychee-mint freeze drink - and the groans of delight aren’t coming from me. Good feelings suffuse us. We are not dirty and exhausted. We are not sunburnt and frazzled. No one has shouted at anyone (- meaning: I haven’t shouted at the kids), stress levels are zero and my tummy is loving life. It has been a most successful Sydney Sunday.

Save! *Merlin Entertainment has fantastic online savers, combo attraction deals and annual passes for families at great prices! With an Annual Pass your family will have 12 month’s unlimited access to some of Sydney’s most exciting attractions including Madame Tussauds Sydney, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Tower Eye and Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary – plus attractions in Victoria, Queensland and New Zealand! merlinannualpass.com.au

*Steamed Pork Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) at Din Tai Fung: $5.80 for 4 pieces. Lychee Mint Freeze: $5.80

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BOOK NOW *Conditions apply. Subject to availability. Minimum night stay and blackout dates apply. Rate is available until 15 November 2015. For more details, please visit: www.wyndhamap.com/hotel/deal/schoolsout Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Pty Ltd ACN 090 083 613. Resort Management by Wyndham Pty Ltd ACN 099 634 830. WHG9986

Image: VisitCanberra

Book a two night family package at your choice of four Accor hotels in Canberra and enjoy accommodation, buffet breakfast and a family 3infun ticket. PLUS, the first 100 packages booked will receive a welcome gift pack** from

Novotel Canberra - $195*per night

Book now at:



Mercure Canberra - $229*per night


ibis Styles Canberra - $155*per night from

ibis Styles Canberra Eaglehawk - $135*per night


*Offer subject to availability from 1 June to 31 August 2015 inclusive. Minimum 2 night stay applies. Rate based on overnight accommodation in a standard room with buffet breakfast for a maximum of: 5 people per room at ibis Styles hotels; 4 people per room at Mercure Canberra and Novotel Canberra. Continental breakfast only at ibis hotels. Bookings must be prepaid at time of booking and are non-transferable and non-refundable. **One gift pack per room per stay, valid for the first 100 Winter Family Package bookings at any of the four Accor Canberra hotels. Further terms and conditions at Accorhotels.com


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Did you know …? Great winter savings for a Kangaroo Island holiday Families can enjoy activities ranging from sandboarding to kayaking, swimming with dolphins and even discovering a hidden, sandy beach via a secret path when they visit beautiful Kangaroo Island. With three caravan parks located in Kingscote, Penneshaw and on the south-western end of the island close to popular attractions such as Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks, this winter two people can travel to Kangaroo Island for FREE when they book their car, caravan or camper trailer on a SeaLink ferry! Valid for to 15 September 2015, the offer – a saving of up to $196 - also includes a free Discount Voucher Booklet bursting with offers for activities, attractions, cafes, restaurants and even cellar doors! > sealink.com.au

CityPASS comes to Dallas! Dallas is the latest US city to join the fantastic CityPASS program, making it even easier and more affordable for families to explore this great Texan city. With your Dallas CityPASS you’ll get admission to Reunion Tower GeO Deck and Perot Museum of Nature and Science plus your choice of Dallas Zoo OR The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, and either The George W Bush Presidential Library & Museum OR Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden. The Dallas CityPASS costs USD$30 for kids 3-13 years and USD$44 for adults and kids 13 years and over, and is valid for nine consecutive days. > citypass. com/dallas

200 birthday candles for Bathurst! The NSW town of Bathurst is all fired up for a big Bicentenary program of festivities this year, as Australia’s first inland European Settlement celebrates 200 years! Back in 1815, the flourishing town had already made its mark as the gateway to inland Australia, and Governor Lachlan Macquarie officially proclaimed the settlement of Bathurst, with much fanfare and the hoisting of the Union Jack on the banks of the Macquarie River. Today, this vibrant regional city celebrates its unique heritage daily, but with a landmark birthday in 2015, the program of over 150 events, tours, festivals and exhibitions, which kicked off in May, will definitely take those celebrations to another level! It will be quite a show – so make sure you pop in to help make history, and to enjoy Bicentenary fun, Bathurst200-style! > bathurst200.com.au WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


All in the family BOOK NOW AND SAVE 20% Treat your family to a break in the tropical Fiji with these great deals from Sheraton Denarau Villas. • Overnight accommodation • Buffet breakfast for 2 adults & 2 kids • Complimentary Wifi

Only from AUD$435*plus taxes per night in a 2 bedroom villa. (Approx. FJ$665*plus taxes and minimum 3 nights stay required.

For booking and more information email: sheraton.denarauvillas@sheraton.com Log onto www.sheraton.com/denarauvillasoffers or www.sheratondenarauvillas.com © *$435 rate is AUD as at 29/06/15, subject to change due to currency fluctuations at time of booking. Offer valid for stay from now until 31st March, 2016. Full deposit required at time of booking, cancellable up until 14 days prior to arrival without penalty. Minimum 3 night stay required. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. Offer not applicable to groups. Not to be combined with other offers or promotions and subject to change. Not responsible for omissions or typographical errors. Void where prohibited by law. Starwood reserves the right to discontinue this offer at any time.

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Families’ Top 5 travel insurance claims

© iStock/SelectStock

It’s always a smart move to ensure you have adequate and appropriate travel insurance before you set off on holidays, particularly when travelling overseas. It’s even smarter when you are travelling with children! 1Cover Travel Insurance has identified the Top 5 most claimable categories for holidaying families and these include Medical, Luggage and Lost Personal Effects, Cancellation and Travel Expenses, Rental Car Claims and Theft of Cash. The insurer says that families are 13% more likely than singles or couples to make a medical claim and 50% more likely to make a rental car claim! The good news is that families are 60% less likely to have money stolen on holidays, than singles or couples. 1Cover suggests every family takes photos of their personal items before they travel to make it easier to complete a claim should something be lost or damaged; save your travel insurer’s hotline number on every family member’s phone (in case a phone goes missing!); keep your travel insurance policy number and the serial numbers for electronic items and phones stored in two separate places when travelling, and always tag and lock your luggage! > 1cover.com.au

New Beach Drive launches! Between them, Queensland’s sensational Sunshine and Fraser Coasts boast some of the most beautiful beach destinations Australia has to offer - the region is not known as Australia’s Nature Coast for nothing! A slice of the world’s most diverse and pristine National Parks, rainforests and waterways are found here, and to make sure you don’t miss a thing, Australia’s Nature Coast has just launched “The Great Beach Drive”. A joint initiative between the Sunshine and Fraser Coast tourism organisations, The Great Beach Drive features itineraries across six drives which can be tailored to suit, with self-drive 4WD options and guided tours along over 200km of beach driving. Steeped in culture and etched in Australian history, the full journey also includes two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, a World Heritage-listed Marine Park and the largest sand island in the world. Memorable opportunities and experiences await – from interacting with wild Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphins at Tin Can Bay on the Sunshine Coast, to exploring magnificent Fraser Island and driving on 100km of white sandy beaches! From the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Glass House Mountains and Pumicestone Passage, just north of Brisbane, through Noosa with its renowned National Park, beaches and dining scene, and the Great Sandy Straight leading to iconic Fraser Island, you’ll fall in love with some of the most beautiful places to visit in Australia. > australiasnaturecoast.com

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THE PERFECT BEACH HOLIDAY DESTINATION! Our family friendly park has an array of accommodation to suit everyone’s needs from waterfront Beach Retreats and Villas to our Ensuite and Powered Sites. Relax and enjoy a swim or a game of beach cricket on our beautiful Easts Beach. Have a hit of tennis or catch a fish or two. The kids will love our 25m resort pool,


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toddlers wading pool and children’s playgrounds. Kids activities and movies in our holiday periods will keep the kids busy. Our holiday park is the ideal location from which to explore the south coast, with popular tourist attractions such as Jamberoo Action Park and the Minnamurra Rainforest just minutes away.

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

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Saving our coral reefs

Kids ride free on the Heathrow Express Children aged 15 years or younger can now travel for free on the London Heathrow Express, a non-stop, 15 minute rail service between Heathrow Airport and Paddington Station. The move by Rail Plus to lift the kids travel free age, from under 5 years only to 15 and under, is a bonus for Aussie families. Prices for the Heathrow Express start from $49 per adult for a oneway journey between London Paddington Station and London Heathrow. Return journeys are priced from $79 per adult. > railplus.com.au

Outrigger Resorts is doing its bit for global conservation by launching OZONE (Outrigger’s ZONE), an initiative that will see the Resort group play an active role in preserving the coral health in the waters around its iconic beach locations. Did you know that coral reefs provide humans with billions of dollars in economic and environmental services such as food, protection for coasts, and tourism, yet over 60 percent of the world’s reefs are under immediate threat? Outrigger is making it their mission to work with conservation partners to protect coral reef systems in tropical destinations around the world and while OZONE initiatives will act directly to promote reef resilience, Outrigger Resort guests will also have the opportunity to be a part of the solution via in-room videos, on-property lectures and interactive action that includes planting a coral at participating properties. > outrigger.com/outrigger-ozone/overview

Nickelodeon Land coming to Sea World Gold Coast! Opening late 2015, Nickelodeon Land will include four new kidfriendly rides and feature Sea World’s first-ever mini rollercoaster, all themed around some of the best known and most loved Nickelodeon characters. The exciting new, multimillion dollar precinct will be a fabulous family hub, with Nickelodeon character appearances and shows, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer and Boots. > seaworld.com.au

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© Destination NSW

Did you know …? Holiday parks & camping Great kids activities at NRMA Holiday Parks At NRMA Holiday Parks it’s all about kids activities, in the holidays, and throughout the year. They’ll be shouting “ships ahoy” at Treasure Island Holiday Park, with pirate-themed mini golf, waterpark and a dedicated Kids Klub room. They can bounce the morning away on the jumping pillow at Darlington Beach Holiday Park, or get involved with the Kids Klub activities from sand art, to nature bushwalks, craft and painting. You’ll find the kids at Ocean Beach Holiday Park playing on the tennis court or watching a movie in the TV Room. During the holidays they’ll be beading, checking out a reptile display, participating in a mini-Olympics, or watching movies under the stars. Head to Murramarang Beachfront Holiday Park and expect an educational holiday program at Kids Klub with an Aboriginal Culture Day including stories, art and craft as well as simple science, plaster painting and beach games. Merimbula Beach Holiday Park offers pedal go-karts, bikes and Kids Korner activities from rock pool adventure walks to air pillow games and volleyball. Whatever their adventure, the kids will find it at an NRMA Holiday Park in five amazing locations on the Gold Coast, Coffs Coast, Umina, Bateman’s Bay or Merimbula. > nrmaholidayparks.com.au

Toasty campfires – winter camping in NSW Winter is a great time to head off on a family camping trip - think toasty campfires, snuggly sleeping bags and boiling billies! Campgrounds across NSW offer a range of accommodation perfect for families, with a choice of glamping tents and luxury beach cabins, Share your favourite to riverfront caravan sites NSW camping spot with and outback campsites. Destination NSW Head to visitnsw.com @VisitNSW and and start planning your #NewSouthWales. winter getaway!

Escape2 one of these beautiful destinations activities at NRMA Holiday Parks With 11 unique destinations across five states, a family holiday can be whatever you want it to be with Escape2 Holiday Parks. Soak up the sun and the balmy temperatures of Palm Cove in Queensland’s Tropical North and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. Teach the kids how to fish at Lake Somerset, or take a ski lesson on the slopes at Thredbo, Perisher or Charlotte Pass before retreating to your Kosi Cabin Deluxe at Jindabyne. Jump at the opportunity to spend time inside next to a log fire, playing board games in the River Lodge at Bright in Victoria’s High Country. Cycle across the Howitt Park swing bridge in Bairnsdale, along Victoria’s Mitchell River, or explore the historical sites of Port Arthur in Tasmania’s south east. Show the family the magnificent Apostles at Port Campbell along the Great Ocean Road or travel the Cockle Train from Victor Harbor along South Australia’s stunning Fleurieu Peninsula. > escape2.net.au WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au








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!

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

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Did you know …? Cruise

Three Queens celebrate 175th Birthday! The world-renowned Cunard Line marked the start of its 175th Anniversary celebrations with a BIG first in May. The arrival of the cruise line’s three majestic Queens – Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth – was a sight to behold for spectators at Southampton in England. > cunardline.com.au

Little ‘turtles’ welcome with P&O P&O Cruises has lowered the entry age to its popular kids’ clubs – a move sure to please young cruisers, and their parents! Toddlers who are two years old and toilet trained are now able to join in all the fun in P&O Cruises’ Turtle Cove club, which is staffed by a team of youth coordinators who keep everyone smiling with a huge range of games and activities each day. P&O Cruises’ ships each feature four kids clubs – Turtle Cove (2-6 years), Shark Shack (7-10 years), HQ (11-14 years) and HQ+ (15-17 years). Entry to the kids’ clubs is free and the clubs are open each day until late, including port days. Late night babysitting is also available for a nominal fee. > pocruises.com.au

Sail-along with The Sound of Music This year, guests on each of the 18 Princess Cruises ships can watch the biggest movie musical of all time The Sound of Music – shown on the giant Movies Under the Stars screen, while the sing-a-long version screens in onboard theatres. Meet other fans and rehearse for a special The Sound of Music edition of ‘Princess Pop Choir’ and take part in themed trivia challenges and games. The special onboard celebration (until April 2016) is a fitting at-sea tribute for the Golden Anniversary of both Princess Cruises and the film, which was released in 1965. > princess.com

Cruise down under

In other great Carnival news, fantastic new Aussie destinations have been added to the 2016-17 program, offering families the option of more fun closer to home with new fournight cruises to Queensland’s action-packed Moreton Island and the Sunshine Coast as well as five-night escapes to Tasmania. Carnival Legend will be back for the 2015-16 and 201617 seasons, joining Carnival Spirit to deliver even more great cruise holidays. > carnival.com.au

Very Important Fun for cruisers Carnival Cruise Line has launched its rewards program for Aussie cruisers and the fun starts with the name - Carnival’s program is known as VIFP, which stands for Very Important Fun Person. With special member-only offers and benefits, cruising families can now earn points every time they sail and enjoy rewards including invitations to exclusive cocktail receptions, priority boarding, cabin upgrades and free laundry as their points accrue! > carnival.com.au

Brisbane gets ‘Legendary’ visitor Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas will start her maiden Australian season in December 2015, when she home ports in Brisbane. Taking Queensland cruising to a new high, a holiday on Legend includes fantastic features for families - the central Atrium where high flying acrobats put on an incredible aerial show, outdoor rock climbing, a mini golf course, multiple pools and even a babies nursery! > royalcaribbean.com.au

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Did you know …? Airlines & Airports Join “The Jœy Club”

Etihad’s new service for Queensland guests Etihad has launched direct, daily, nonstop flights between Brisbane and Abu Dhabi on the brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, offering a choice of the airline’s next-gen First Suite, Business Studio and Economy Smart Seat. The non-stop flights come with improved connectivity from regional Queensland, so guests can connect seamlessly with Etihad’s evening Brisbane services, by flying with partner airline Virgin Australia, from 13 Queensland towns and cities. > etihad.com

Sydney airport savings

It was a star-studded turn out when The Wiggles joined Qantas and an audience of tiny tots and trendy tweens for a performance to launch the airline’s new Frequent Flyer kids program – The Joey Club. Tiny travellers can now have their own Qantas Joey Club novelty passport and enjoy special kids-only treats that include dedicated kids menus in domestic lounges, including made to order sandwiches in animal shapes, fresh fruit and snacks such as popcorn and sultanas. Qantas has also increased children’s inflight entertainment with 21 hours of content and a dedicated TV channel with 28 hours of TV shows, that includes The Wiggles and Peppa Pig. From June 2015, all new Australian-based Frequent Flyer members between the age of three and ten years old will receive a special Joey Club kit when they join the program. To celebrate the launch of Joey Club, Qantas is waiving the normal join fee of $89.50 to offer a complimentary join for children at qantas.com/kids until 31 December 2015.


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If you’re heading to Sydney Airport with the kids, the most convenient way is to drive and park at one of the airport’s car parks. You can make big savings on your parking by booking online and choosing from conveniently located car parks at the T1 and T2/T3 terminals. The budget Blu Emu Car Park which provides a complimentary shuttle bus service to the Domestic precinct, and the 12 shuttle bus stops are named after animals, like Kerrie the Koala and Craig the Crocodile who feature on colourful signs around the car park, at the bus shelters and on the Blu Emu shuttles themselves. The Blu Emu is ideal for long stay parking, but if you only want to park for a short time you can book parking online for as little as $10 for one hour or $15 for two hours. > prebook.sydneyairport.com.au

Fly Qantas to San Francisco Good news for families planning to holiday in sensational familyfriendly San Francisco, with the announcement of a new partnership between Qantas and American Airlines. From 20 December 2015 you can fly direct to LA on Qantas, and then onwards to San Francisco on the airline’s codeshare partner American Airlines. The Flying Kangaroo will offer six flights a week between Sydney and San Francisco on its Boeing 747. > qantas.com.au


• • • •


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g n i p m a c , s n i b a C ! n u f y l i m a f d n a MYALL SHORES



Escape2 Holiday Parks offer an unforgettable family holiday experience and the


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Gather your loved ones together, pack your bags and start your holiday adventure today!






from Per room / per night



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FREE kids activities in school holidays! *Rates are per cabin or site per night twin share, based on low season midweek rates, not including studio/lodgings or powered site rates. The cabin rate reflects Jindabyne Holiday Park and site rate reflects Cairns Holiday Park. Rates are subject to changes.



Escape to one of the 13 spectacular destinations: Palm Cove QLD | Cairns QLD | Lake Monduran QLD Somerset Dam QLD | Great Lakes NSW | Snowy Mountains NSW | Lakes Entrance VIC GippsLand VIC | Bright VIC | Great Ocean Road VIC | Victor Harbor SA | Port Arthur TAS




For HOT DEALS visit escape2.net.au

Even more fun on your next Thai holiday!

Happy kids, happy parents Booking.com has nominated its Top 5 allinclusive family accommodations in Australia – the resorts and hotels that reviewers say offer fantastic kids clubs and activities to keep the children happy, and great inclusions to keep the adults happy!

©Tangalooma Resort

Did you know …? Kids clubs & activities A selection of Centara’s family-friendly 4 and 5 star properties in Thailand now offer an action-packed program of fun games and activities FREE, for both adults and kids, in addition to their fabulous onsite Kids Clubs! Centara Hotels & Resorts has engaged the largest company in southeast Europe, Carpe Diem Entertainment Company, to create these exciting new activities for families, each specifically designed to engage parents and their children in shared experiences while on holiday. At participating resorts in Phuket, Khao Lak and Pattaya you’ll find kids yoga, kids aqua dances, puzzle contests, cooking classes, movie time, pool games, fishing, pilates, darts, archery, aerobics, latino fitness, pirate disco, treasure hunts and mini fashion shows (just for starters!) on offer seven days a week! Plus all of Centara’s 5-star properties also have a separate E-Zone game area for older kids and teens. > centarahotelsresorts.com

Zagames Paradise Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland Babies and toddlers, right through to 12 year olds are all catered for here at the Zone 4 Kids Club, with themed, age-appropriate play areas plus an onsite ice rink and giant waterpark. Crowne Plaza, Hunter Valley, New South Wales The Water Dragons Club is a full-time, purposebuilt space for children, with indoor and outdoor play equipment, evening cinema and plenty of fun, supervised activities.

Meimei Nannies = holiday bliss! In the Fijian language, meimei means ‘to take care of’ and Outrigger Fiji’s Meimei Nanny Service does just that, exceptionally! Suitable for kids aged from as young as 6 months right up to 12 years, parents customise their children’s activities with a Meimei representative and receive daily reports of their children’s activities. Older kids are engaged in age appropriate fun and are introduced to many aspects of Fijian culture including arts and crafts, traditional fishing methods, and basic language lessons. This fantastic service is available, when booked for four consecutive days of your holiday (for up to eight hours a day) for only AUD $220. A family holiday at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort starts from AUD $1520 for two adults and up to two children, in a Superior Resort View Room and based on the resort’s Stay 7/Pay 5 promotion, with free meals for two kids under 12 years! > outrigger.com

Tangalooma Island Resort, Tangalooma, Queensland This resort boasts 80 tours and activities to keep the kids entertained, including 4WD and Quad Bike tours, and even a Desert Safari! Tangatours’ Active Kidz Club is perfect for energetic kids. Silverwater Resort, San Remo, Victoria Indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, basketball and beach volleyball courts, a kids entertainment room and outdoor playground plus a school holidays children’s activity program that delivers daily arts and crafts, parties and a host of fun! East Hotels & Apartments, Canberra, ACT Check into a Family Suite - specially-designed two bedroom apartments that connect to the Kids Cubby! Kids Cubbies come complete with bunk beds, beanbags, video games and even a kidfriendly mini bar! > booking.com

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All weather, All ages from 3-103! • Guided tour through six tree platforms & seven ziplines, plus the Human Hamster Wheel! • Over one hour in the rainforest canopy • Eco-talk on each platform • No experience necessary • Eight tours daily from Cape Tribulation

BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL! junglesurfing.com.au


WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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

Did you know …? The Legendary Pacific Coast The Legendary Pacific Coast Whale Trail

Get Back to Nature on The Legendary Pacific Coast

There are more than 60 National Parks and State Forests along this legendary drive – all waiting to be discovered and gently embraced by nature loving visitors. Many offer free camping and beautiful picnic spots. Take a leisurely walk, hearty climb or visit cultural and heritage sites within amazing, ancient natural landscapes. > pacificcoast.com.au > pacificcoast.com.au/itineraries-and-trails/experiencetrails/whale-trail

The Legendary Pacific Coast is the perfect place to witness the wonder of the world’s gentle giants during their annual migration from the south to the warmer waters in the north. Pick your legendary vantage point from June to November to witness these magnificent species from land or sea. The Legendary Pacific Coast Whale Trail highlights more than 70 great places for Whale Watching from the Central Coast to The Tweed including elevated coastal lookouts, rocky headlands, beaches, and towering sand dunes. For a greater chance at sighting these splendid animals, take a cruise. Cruises offer the chance to see Humpbacks, Minke whales, Southern Right whales, Sei and Brydes whales as well as many other marine life. Operators constantly monitor the whale migration and provide the best views.

The Legendary Food, Wine and Farm Gate Trail Travel winding roads embraced with towering trees and lush pastures to the fertile homes of macadamia, olive, avocado and tropical fruit farms. Historic sea side fisherman’s cooperatives deliver the catch of the day with a choice of succulent local prawns, fish freshly caught from the ocean and rivers, and award winning oysters of the Sydney Rock variety. Savour the journey and see where it takes you! Enjoy The Legendary Food, Wine and Farmgate Trail to savour the flavours, colour and character of this great Australian touring route with a profusion of farmers markets, creative chefs, organic farms and fine food producers delivering teas, coffee, wine, boutique beers and a broad range of speciality gourmet goods.

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Wild Oceans EcoBoat Tour


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thenobbies phillip island

penguinparade phillip island


conservation centre

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Did you know …? Zoo Babies

Zoo debut

♥ Taronga Zoo is celebrating the birth of a male western lowland gorilla, born in May to mum, Frala. Keepers report that he’s strong and alert and very active! ♥ Congratulations to Melbourne Zoo’s Pygmy Hippopotamus, Petre, who welcomed her fourth baby in May. The new calf is the first Pygmy Hippo to be born at the zoo since 1981, and the first offspring for Petre’s partner Felix.

Baby boom ♥ Two Magellanic penguin chicks are thriving at SeaWorld San Diego’s Penguin Encounter. Hatched in May, the chicks will reach their full size by the time they are three months old. Five other Magellanic chicks have hatched this year, further bolstering SeaWorld’s renowned penguin breeding program, with more than 600 chicks hatched at the marine park since 1980, including the world’s first emperor and chinstrap penguins.

♥ Australian Reptile Park, on the NSW Central Coast, has welcomed five dingo puppies born to resident dingoes Adina and Fred. The proud parents exceeded all expectations, by producing three boys and two girls, when a dingo breeding cycle generally results in only two to three pups. ♥ Mum Kali and dad Maji welcomed a cute kitten at Adelaide Zoo in April – a 1.3kg male serval kitten! Native to Africa, servals are protected in many countries. Carnivore keepers say that bub is doing well and that zoo video reveals mum and baby frequently playing chasey around their home and snuggling up close at night!

Visitors to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo will now be able to get their first glimpse of boisterous Australian Sea-lion pup, Maximus, who was born in March. The youngster is making the most of his days exploring Taronga’s Seal Cove, with mum Lexie near at hand. She might be waiting on a name but Taronga’s newest koala baby, a six-month old female, has finally emerged to greet the world. Although reportedly still a little shy and sticking close to mum Wanda, the little joey has just had her first tentative taste of eucalyptus leaves, and will be fully independent by spring. The zoo’s four other expectant koala mums will deliver their joeys over winter.

Did you know … …you can meet and cuddle baby farmyard animals including goats, lambs and pigs as well as bilbies, wallaby and wombat joeys and dingo pups on a visit to Featherdale Wildlife Park at Doonside in Western Sydney? > featherdale.com.au WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


Did you know …? Tech My Destination New Zealand apps



My Destination New Zealand has launched a series of new mobile apps around the country offering informative guides based on invaluable local knowledge. Visitors to Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown can now tap into specialist local tips and keep up-to-date with what to see and do on the apps, now available to download from the Apple App Store by searching for My Destination Auckland, My Destination Rotorua, My Destination Wellington, My Destination Christchurch and My Destination Queenstown.

Mix: Water + Milton tablet or Solution in tub or sink



15 min

Soak: Add items to be sterilised and soak for 15mins

Footsteps of Mandela app or al f Ide lling ve a r T


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Families holidaying in South Africa can follow in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela using the new mobile phone app, developed by South African Tourism in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the former President’s release from prison. The app is based on the “Madiba-inspired tourist attractions” map launched in 2014, and features tourist sites as well as general places of interest in the four main provinces that defined Mandela’s life, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Robben Island, where he was imprisoned; to his post-Presidential office at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory to Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he is laid to rest. The app is available for download in English from the Apple iTunes store and from Google Play.

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

Free TripAdvisor app for smartwatch TripAdvisor has launched a free app for smartwatches that helps travellers find nearby things to do, via access to TripAdvisor reviews. From places to stay, eat and visit, the gps locator will poiint you in the right direction, with addresses, prices, hours of operation and distances. Available for Apple Watch and from Google Play for Android Wear.

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Over 90 great locations around Australia Quality, safe, affordable accommodation Dedicated family and en-suite rooms Self-catering communal kitchens YHA member discounts Free membership for children

BOOK AT YHA.COM.AU WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


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

TOP 1O reasons to stay at YHA

If you’re hankering for a holiday that won’t send you broke, where the kids can have fun and you can relax - then look no further than YHA. YHA is a not-for-profit organisation with totally unique places to stay across Australia, from the rainforest to the outback and everything in between. Here are 10 reasons families love staying with YHA:

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There are nearly 90 family-friendly places for a bargain break, in cities and regional areas.

You can stay at some of the most memorable places in Australia - from Sydney Harbour YHA with Opera House views, to Cape Tribulation YHA in bungalows nestled amongst the Daintree Rainforest. No two YHA properties are the same – from a former cabaret club in the Blue Mountains, to a chalet in Thredbo, or a hundred year old guest house in Port Elliot.


6 7

There are large communal areas to kick back in and meet other guests, including other kids from around the world. You can join YHA for just $25 a year, and children under 18 join free with a parent or carer. With YHA membership you’ll get at least 10% off your stay. You’ll also get discounts on tours, tourism attractions and activities.

8 9 10

The staff members at YHA are super-friendly and know all the best family-friendly places to visit and explore. There are over 4,000 properties in 90 countries around the world.

YHA’s have big family rooms, including en-suites often, and the whole family can stay in one room. Many YHAs can sleep up to 5 people – perfect for young children and bigger families.

By staying with YHA, your kids will get a taste of independent travel, and soon be setting off on their own gap year!

Family rooms are specially discounted for children, with prices ranging from $100 to $200 per room per night (depending on where you want to stay and what type of room you’re in).

Check out all the places to stay in Australia at yha.com.au and special offers for families at yha.com.au/family

4 5

There are big self-catering kitchens so you can cook your own meals to keep costs down. Some YHAs also have cafes or restaurants onsite if you want a break from the stove!

From top: SHYHA roof view Cape Tribulation YHA cabin Blue Mountains YHA back garden Port Elliot YHA Thredbo YHA

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NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Park Location NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Park is located on Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, at the northern end of the Gold Coast. Approximately 50 minutes’ drive from Brisbane city, 40 minutes from Coolangatta Airport and 10 hours’ drive from Sydney CBD. Accommodation Treasure island offers a wide selection of accommodation catering for families of all sizes, from poolside villas to garden and riverside villas as well as cabins. Accommodation options range from a powered site or studio villa to 3 bedroom townhouse. Out & About with Kids stayed in a 2 bedroom Pandanus Villa with fullyequipped kitchen and internal laundry, large and comfortable living room and a deck with its own bbq. One bedroom has a queen size bed and the other has two single beds and both have ensuite bathrooms. All cabins and villas are wi-fi enabled. OAWK Tip: Treasure Island is a great choice for holidays with grandparents or groups of families and friends. The accommodation and the park layout is spacious, clean and very social. Activities Treasure Island prides itself on entertaining its guests and, from our time at the Holiday Park, it was evident that they work very hard at getting it right! Even the Kids Club is open year-round and offers a daily minimum of three fantastic activities which could be anything from cooking classes and biscuit decorating to silly science and scavenger hunts – all part of Treasure Island’s extensive and awardwinning Kids Club program. Kids can also obtain their own ‘money card’ (which is preloaded), allowing them to choose and pay for activities they may wish to do (with parental permission of course!). Reach new heights on the massive jumping pillow; play 18 holes of putt-putt or have a hit of tennis and throw a few hoops on the basketball court; bike around


WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

the park or take a ride in a buggy. The only downside to your family holiday at Treasure Island will be trying to convince the kids to leave! OAWK Tip: Many activities are free and prices for others are very reasonable. NRMA, RACQ and BIG4 members receive additional discounts for activities at the park. Food & Beverage Treasure Island is set up for you to be self-contained, with every villa or cabin having a well appointed kitchen but if you want a break from home cooking, the newly-themed and refurbished ‘Galleons Bar & Bistro’ is a great place for the family to enjoy a meal together. Breakfast for a family of four is just $29 and the lunch and dinner menus will satisfy the whole family without breaking the bank! Selections of everyday items (like newspapers, essential groceries and snacks) are also available in the bistro. Recommended Visit All the major Gold Coast theme parks are conveniently located within a 20-minute drive of Treasure Island, and the attractions and beach at Surfers Paradise is only a little further away. Treasure Island offers great value deals to all the major theme parks and other attractions in Australia’s holiday playground including the Australian Outback Spectacular, which is also only a 20-minute drive away. Water Fun Water is a big part of your time at Treasure Island with three pools and Shipwreck Shores water park. Shipwreck Shores is fun for all - there’ll be screams of delight and giggles as the big bucket tips loads of water from above, and the spray from one of the many different jets hits you from all directions! Did you know NRMA, RACQ and BIG4 members receive substantial discounts at Treasure Island. Check out the website for the latest offers treasureisland.com.au

NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Park Address: 117 Brisbane Rd Biggera Waters Gold Coast Qld Ph: 07 5500 8666 Email: treasureisland@nrmaholidayparks.com.au treasureisland.com.au


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Ramada Hotel Hope Harbour Location Ramada Hotel Hope Harbour is situated at the water’s edge, which leads into the waters of the Coomera River and the Broadwater at the northern end of the Gold Coast. The hotel is an approximate 40-minute drive from Coolangatta Airport, approximately 50 minutes from Brisbane city and approximately 10 hours’ drive from Sydney city. Accommodation Ramada Hope Harbour has recently been given a makeover with all rooms and common areas of the hotel looking fresh and modern. The hotel offers seven styles of rooms, all with contemporary fixtures, spacious bathrooms and fresh furnishings. Each room has a view of one of the two hotel pools or the marina providing a peaceful holiday feeling when you relax on the balcony. All rooms come with a sofa bed and a trundle can be arranged on request. The Ramada Hope Harbour is a traditional hotel and perfect for base camp if you are planning on exploring the major theme parks of the Gold Coast or Tamborine Mountain. Explore Hope Island is only minutes from the big three theme parks - Dreamworld, Movie World and Wet ‘n’ Wild – and for families keen to explore a little further afield, a drive up up Tamborine Mountain is a must. Only 40 minutes from the hotel, the hinterland shouldn’t be overlooked as it offers a very different experience to the coastal regions of the Gold Coast. Once you reach the plateau and the main township you will come across a bustling main street with quaint shops, cafes and local produce.


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OAWK Tip: Take a picnic lunch and visit Witches Falls Winery where you can picnic in the vines and the kids can safely run free while mum and dad sample a glass of award-winning wine. Alternatively, if you have a penchant for cooking or have a Masterchef in the family visit Terri Taylor at Tamborine Cooking School who will host you in her exquisite house and kitchen and show you and the kids how to cook some mouth- watering dishes. Food & Beverage Ramada Hotel Hope Harbour offers two options for dining across breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bar area is open all day into the evening and also offers bar snacks. The restaurant currently caters for a traditional belly-filling breakfast and the soon-to-be-opened new restaurant will allow you to enjoy the tranquil setting by the marina for a family lunch or dinner. OAWK Tip: As a treat, head to Ioesco Italian Restaurant, Sanctuary Cove. The #1 Italian Restaurant in the area lives up to that accolade, with an extensive menu that will tantalise everyone’s taste buds, in a modern and comfortable setting. Friendly service and kids welcome! Recommended Visit Take a morning/afternoon or day trip on the Broadwater to see the beauty of the natural waters and the stunning houses on ‘Millionaires Island’. Reception at the hotel can assist you with booking a cruise. Did you know? …that you can holiday with the family at this newly refurbished hotel on the Gold Coast from $191* per night including breakfast daily, unlimited seven day entry to Dreamworld, WhiteWater World and SkyPoint Observation Deck, as well as a 1.5 hour scenic Gold Coast waterways cruise. Minimum three night stay applies.

Ramada Hotel Hope Harbour Address: 11 John Lund Dr, Hope Island, QLD 4212 Ph: 07 5530 9111 Email: reservations@ramadahopeharbour.com.au ramadahopeharbour.com.au


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East Hotel Kingston ACT Location East hotel is located on Canberra Ave in Kingston, only 10 minutes from the CBD by car and 13 minutes from Canberra Airport. From Sydney the drive is around 3.5 hours and 7 hours from Melbourne. Accommodation On arriving at East Hotel you will notice a funky, modern and welcoming foyer. The Hotel offers eight different room options for your stay. The best family rooms of the bunch, however, are the East Apartments in a one or two bedroom configuration, or the East Apartment with connecting Kids Cubby, Xbox and bunk beds! East have a big focus on family and they deliver. The apartments are spacious, and decked out with superb finishings including a Nespresso machine and digital TV with Foxtel. The East Hotel rooms all have spacious bathrooms, laundry, balconies (some with spa baths) and expansive living areas fit for a family. Explore East Hotel is located in a premium position in the middle of the beautiful suburbs of Manuka and Kingston. Here you’ll find a variety of great shops, modern restaurants and hip cafés. A ten-minute stroll from the hotel will see you enjoying a milkshake, coffee or meal. Additionally the hotel is within a 10-minute drive of many of the family friendly attractions in Canberra such as Questacon, The Royal Mint, Old and New Parliament houses, the National Library and the National Gallery, as well as the city centre.

Food & Beverage The hotel’s Ox Eatery is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a great kids menu. The breakfast buffet was a hit, and dinner from the French Rotisserie was perfect family fare. Meals and snacks can also be ordered up to the spacious rooms if you prefer a cosy night in. The Hotel soon welcomes two new dining/bar destinations in MUSE, a hip new bookshop/bar/eatery and Joe’s Bar, a cool and modern bar with a variety of delicious, Italian style food options. OAWK Tip: If you like Pork Belly then the Pork Belly, Apple Sauce and crackling is a must - 5 stars! Recommended Visit Questacon – Only a stone’s throw from the hotel is the National Science & Technology centre, Questacon, - a must for any family visiting Canberra. Kids under six years will love Mini Q, a designated area for little ones and their parents. Did you know: East Hotel is a hop, skip and a jump (30 second walk) from Manuka Oval, home to the GWS Giants, which permits “kick to kick” on the ground, after the final siren of every AFL game held at the Oval.

OAWK Tip: Head to Kingston to pick up lunch and enjoy the ample spaces and picturesque beauty around Lake Burley Griffin, where you can ride bikes, kick a footy and simply enjoy an afternoon by the lake.

East Hotel Kingston ACT Address: 69 Canberra Ave Kingston ACT 2604 Ph: 02 6295 6925 Email: experience@easthotel.com easthotel.com.au


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Adventures on

Phillip Island, Victoria


Penguin Parade

Experience one of Australia’s most popular attractions! Each night at sunset the little penguins return ashore after a day’s fishing, in one of nature’s most endearing parades. > penguins.org.au


A Maze ’N Things

A Maze’N Things is a magical world of life-size illusions and puzzles – be shrunk in the ‘shrinking room’, get lost in a giant maze, scale the heights on the Skytrail and tee off for some crazy mini golf! > amazenthings.com.au


WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


Rhyll Trout & Bush Tucker Farm

Learn how to catch rainbow trout from friendly fishermen (you can even ask the chef to transform your catch into a delicious dish!) Explore the Bush Tucker Trail and discover 27 different types of native foods. > rhylltroutandbushtucker.com.au


Churchill Island Heritage Farm

Visit a real working farm, steeped in history on this tiny island just off Phillip Island. A natural playground worth exploring, head first to the Visitor Centre and learn all about the island, take nature

walks and sample fresh local produce at the very popular Farmer’s Market. > visitphillipisland.com/listing/ churchill-island-heritage-farm


Phillip Island Chocolate Factory

Step into a choc-tastic world and learn the secrets of making one of the yummiest treats - chocolate! Interactive chocolate machines, and the opportunity to make your own chocolate while you’re there, plus a Chocolate Café and Chocolate Shop guarantee a real hands-on, lip-smacking experience! > phillipislandchocolatefactory.com.au



Phillip Island Circuit

MotoGP fans of all ages won’t want to miss a minute at the internationally-renowned Phillip Island Circuit! Get trackside, behind-the-scenes, on a guided circuit tour, Go-Kart in a tandem kart for thrilling family fun, test your skills in a racing simulator and visit the fantastic History of Motorsport Display! > phillipislandcircuit.com.au


The Islantis Surf Experience

For aspiring pro surfers and the littlest of grommets, an audio-visual, interactive surfing experience like no other found on dry land awaits! You can ride the

big waves via a 360° wraparound cinema, see surfboards of all eras, kombis and classic Sandman wagons, and go home with a photo of you ‘winning’ the Rip Curl Pro Bell’s Trophy! > theislantissurfexperience.com.au


Koala Conservation Centre

Wander the two tree top boardwalks for superb up-close koala viewing and learn more about their natural habitat and their daily lives. Look out for wallabies, echidnas and colourful native birds on an easy bushland trail. > penguins.org.au/attractions/koalaconservation-centre


Seal Rocks

This rocky outcrop in Bass Strait, just offshore from Phillip Island, is a special place where Australia’s largest colony (between 10-12,000) of fur seals frolic, live and breed. You can view the seals from the The Nobbies boardwalk (binoculars essential). For a closer encounter with Phillip Island’s fur seals, hop aboard a Seal Watching Cruise, between October-April and May-September! > visitphillipisland.com/listing/thenobbies > wildlifecoastcruises.com.au Discover more great family-friendly attractions and activities on Phillip Island at visitphillipisland.com

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au



Yourself IN THE ISLAND Daydream Island Resort and Spa is located in Queensland’s tropical Whitsundays. With 296 rooms and suites, modern conference facilities, a world class Rejuvenation Spa, various restaurants and bars, lagoon swimming pools, mini-golf, a fringing coral reef, an outdoor cinema and the Living Reef – one of the world’s largest outdoor aquariums, there’s something for everyone on Daydream.

9 months interest free^

24 hour Customer Care

Over 165 stores

1300 559 864


^Interest free: Approved applicants only on a Lombard 55 Visa Card. Terms, conditions, fees & charges apply including a $99 Annual Fee charged on the account open date & annually on the anniversary of the account open date. Minimum monthly repayments required of 3% of closing balance, or $30, whichever is the greater. Paying only the minimum repayment will not finalise your loan within the interest free period. Interest, currently at 22.66% p.a., is payable on any balance outstanding after the interest free period. Ask in store for details. Credit provided by Lombard Finance Pty Limited ABN 31 099 651 877 Australian Credit Licence 247415. Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (ABN 25 003 377 188) trading as Escape Travel. ATAS Accreditation No. A10412. ETMARK65524


WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

48 hours in. .

This page Š iStock

Short breaks can be as enjoyable and rejuvenating as a week-long holiday, and certainly every bit as memorable. Over the next four pages we’ve put together great sample itineraries to provide you with inspiration for a 48-hour family stay in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney & Brisbane.

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


48 hours in. .

Canberra, ACT Our nation’s capital is home to many of our most historic and interesting attractions. 48 hours will only give you a taste of everything Canberra has to offer families!

Day 1 Morning Go on a quest: Learning is an essential part of life and to learn as a family opens conversations and thinking for all ages. Questacon is our national science and technology centre. Start your day here as you may stay a while!! OAWK Tip: Visit 3infun.com. au for a great deal on entry into Questacon, Cockington Green Gardens and the Australian Institute of Sport. Afternoon Unique to Canberra, and a big part of its design, is the man-made Lake Burley Griffin. The lake has a shoreline of 40.5km and you can picnic almost anywhere. At different points you can hire bikes, have fun on the water, kick a footy or go for a family walk. For older kids and parents Segway tours are a great way to enjoying lakeside family fun. Seg Glide Ride is located near Questacon on the Lake and operates year round. Evening Canberra has a wide variety of dinner options from award-winning restaurants to quaint local eateries. Check with your hotel for some recommendations of good family dining close by, or eat in. If energy levels permit take in a movie, go bowling or check out Visit Canberra’s website for events and ideas. After a long day out you may want to stay in and relax and have some quiet family time with a movie or book.

Day2 Morning Why not seek out the leafy suburbs of Kingston or Manuka for a belly-filling breakfast at one of the many cafes, and then head over to Gold Creek. Here you will find a shopping village, the National Dinosaur Museum and Cockington Green Gardens, the only miniature gardens in Australia that are home to recreations of traditional old English buildings, villages and gardens. The kids will love the precision of these detailed displays and you can ride the miniature train on a tour around the entire property. Travel around the world with the amazingly detailed miniature representations of villages and buildings from over 20 different countries! OAWK Tip: Have a family competition to guess the origins of each display before you look at the naming plaque.

From left: Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) © VisitCanberra

Afternoon To finish your 48 hours in Canberra, take your pick of over a dozen more attractions including the Telstra Tower high up on Black Mountain, Old and New Parliament Houses, the National Art Gallery, Library, Archives or one of our favourites - the National Museum of Australia. Evening After two days of hi-activity you may simply want to relax and reflect on your exciting Canberra experiences. The capital offers plenty of fun for a family getaway, and while 48 hours may not let you see it all, once you’ve had a taste you’ll have the perfect excuse to return for more! visitcanberra.com.au

Segway tours around Lake Burley Griffin © VisitCanberra

Stay easthotel.com.au crowneplazacanberra.com.au novotelcanberra.com.au

Play questacon.edu.au goldcreek.com.au cockingtongreen.com.au segglideride.com.au ausport.gov.au/visit/tours


WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


Play on Phillip Island Less than two hours drive from the city, Phillip Island helps you re-energise and relax with its native wildlife, diverse beaches, great food and wine, interactive attractions and endless accommodation choices.

See all our offers available now. Download your exclusive offers and plan your trip from our website...


visitphillipisland.com WINTER 2015 44 Follow @phillipisland on twitter outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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48 hours in. .

Melbourne, VIC Like Brisbane, Melbourne also boasts a Southbank – a bustling, family-friendly waterfront hub on the banks of the city’s iconic Yarra River. But it’s at the much-visited Docklands that the real family fun truly begins, and fantastic Melbourne transport initiatives make it easy, relaxing and affordable for families to explore the city.

Day 1 Morning The best way to get acquainted with Melbourne is via a 360 degree, panoramic view from the top of Eureka Skydeck 88 at Southbank’s Riverside Quay. It’s a thrill-a-minute experience for kids, starting with a lift ride that rockets visitors to Level 88 in under 40 seconds! The Edge, a unique switchable glass cube which slides out from the building (with you still inside) is a breathtaking experience, and the entire family will be entertained with a host of activities and fascinating facts from high above the city! Back on the ground you’ll see interesting art sculpture, shops and people as you stroll the Southbank promenade. Head to Southgate shopping centre for a huge choice of kid-friendly eateries at the riverside food court. Afternoon What’s a visit to Melbourne without a tram ride? If you’re staying in the CBD, the Free Tram Zone means getting around most of Melbourne’s key city areas and attractions is free! Head to Federation Square, on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets, and enjoy the open spaces and squares, art installations and galleries and shopping. Take the kids to the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) here and watch their eyes light up as they enter an interactive world of cinema, gaming, tv and digital culture! OAWK Tip: The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle makes exploring Melbourne with a family easy – and for only $5 a day! Children under 10 years travel free, and you can hop-onhop-off at any of the 13 stops along the route, including Federation Square, Southbank and Docklands.

Evening Take advantage of the Free Tram Zone and venture to one of Melbourne’s celebrated food precincts – Lygon Street - where you’ll find a wide selection of pizzerias and Italian restaurants, or take the Tram to Chinatown or Southbank for even more choices for your first family dinner in Melbourne!

Day2 Morning Hop on the Visitor Shuttle or Free Tram and begin the day early – there’s so much to see and do at Docklands! Covering 16ha, the Docklands precinct hosts a unique collection of attractions, restaurants, cafes, marina and parkland – the only decision you’ll have to make is where to start! Ice skate at Medibank Icehouse (there’s a free ice skating lesson for beginners!) or try 18 holes of glow-inthe-dark mini golf. Afternoon Discover the laneways and shops of Dockland’s Harbour Town and ride the carousel; have hours of fun, fun, fun on the carnival rides at Wonderland Funpark (weekends and school holidays); run around at the Play Journey interactive playground at Docklands Park. Evening End your Melbourne family getaway as it began – with 360 degree panoramic views of the city – this time from the Melbourne Star, Australia’s only giant observation wheel, at Docklands. Every night from dusk, the Star lights up the Melbourne skyline with 3.5km of LED lighting engineered into the structure of the wheel that generate more than 15 million different light combinations! thatsmelbourne.com.au

From top: Melbourne Star @ Docklands EurekaVERTIGO @ Eureka Skydeck © thatsmelbourne.com.au

Stay holidayinnmelbourne.com.au rydges.com crownmelbourne.com.au/ hotels accorhotels.com.au

Play eurekaskydeck.com.au southgatemelbourne.com.au fedsquare.com acmi.net.au docklandsmelbourne.com.au

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


48 hours in. .

Sydney, NSW In all seasons, Sydney is a true family playground offering attractions, activities, sightseeing and dining options far too numerous to cover in 48 Hours! Simply, the Harbour City never fails to delight visitors of all ages and interests.

Day 1 Morning Start your first day bright-eyed and bushytailed – there’s plenty to pack in! Make your way to Darling Harbour – you can enjoy a great family breakfast or brunch at one of the many eateries, stroll along the foreshore shops and take your pick of attractions, right on your doorstep – WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds, Australian National Maritime Museum, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. Afternoon After lunch, explore the free fun at Darling Quarter Playground with water games, climbing ropes, swings, slides and flying foxes that will keep toddlers and teens entertained for hours. Take a wander through Darling Harbour’s unique and beautiful Chinese Garden of Friendship. Evening Just a short stroll from Darling Harbour you’ll find Sydney’s renowned Chinatown. Head for the bustling, family-friendly, pedestrian-only thoroughfare - Dixon Street - and choose from a huge range of restaurants – Chinese, Japanese and Korean - for a family feast! Shops stay open late, so grab an ice-cream for dessert and enjoy a leisurely after-dinner browse through this colourful and cultural area.

Day2 Morning Take an iconic Sydney Ferry from Circular Quay across the harbour to Manly. Aside from being one of Sydney’s best-known beaches, Manly is also a hub of family attractions (including Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary) and activity, and is a much-visited Sydney destination. The famous Corso pedestrian mall is lined with shops and eateries, plus footpath fountains (perfect for a splash!) and street entertainment. OAWK Tip: Grab lunch and sit on the seafront, or at North Steyne Beachfront where the kids can also have fun in the fantastic playground! Afternoon The return ferry to the Quay, and a ten minute walk on George Street, will deliver you to Sydney’s oldest neighbourhood – The Rocks. Make your first stop The Sydney Visitor Centre, at the corner of Argyle and Playfair Streets, to get the inside story on where to start exploring this fascinating suburb, full of convict-built streets and buildings, and arts and crafts evoking yesteryear. And, for something completely different, visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, right on the foreshore – grab afternoon tea at the MCA Café. The kids will love the Old Fashioned lemonade, milkshakes and assortment of cookies, cakes and even pavlova, and everyone will enjoy the harbour view! Evening Stay in The Rocks for dinner and treat the kids to one of Sydney’s family restaurant favourites – Pancakes On The Rocks, or try a friendly pub meal or one of the great Rocks cafes and pizzerias! OAWK Tip: If you’re visiting The Rocks on a Saturday or Sunday, be sure to visit the fantastic Weekend Markets, with over 200 stalls and fun street entertainment. sydney.com


WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

From top: Western Spiny Seahorse © Merlin Entertainments Group/SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Sydney Harbour © Destination NSW

Stay novotelmanlypacific.com.au novoteldarlingharbour.com.au mantra.com.au/Sydney accorhotels.com.au

Play sydney.com/darling-harbour sydneyaquarium.com.au wildlifesydney.com.au madametussauds.com/Sydney sydney.com/manly therocks.com

Your next family holiday!

NEWCASTLE, NSW Beautiful beachfront location

Children’s playground

Patrolled swimming, surfing and fishing beach

Great camping facilities, especially for large groups

A selection of modern 2 & 3 bedroom villas available

Only a short ferry trip to Newcastle

A selection of powered and unpowered sites

FREE onsite activities during school holiday periods


02 4928 1393 www.stocktonbeach.com

Villas from only $179* per room per night

3 Pitt Street Stockton NSW 2295

*Price based on a single night stay in Low Season in a Break Wall or Sand Dune Villa for two people.





per night twin share*

Kids only $20 each per night

THE RED HOT HOLIDAY has been extended by popular demand. The Red Hot Holiday includes accommodation, unlimited entry to Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast during your stay, PLUS 25% off selected Sea World Animal Adventures and all food and beverage purchased at the Resort.

Visit SeaWorldResort.com.au

1300 139 677

*Terms & conditions apply. Valid for stays until 18 Sept 2015. Visit SeaWorldResort.com.au for full terms & conditions. 1505747 SEA WORLD © 2015 & TM Sea World Property Trust.

The heart of fun and adventure

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


48 hours in. .

Brisbane, QLD If it’s family fun in the sun you’re after, Brisbane’s the place! Brisbane’s great climate makes it a perfect city for families to explore on foot, and there’s plenty to see and do in and around the CBD and at South Bank, the city’s sprawling cultural, entertainment and activity hub on the Brisbane River.

Day 1 Morning 17ha of lush parklands, yummy eateries, stunning river views and delightful year-round events await you at South Bank! With multiple and diverse ‘destinations’ within this destination, why not start at Grey Street, with a visit to the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre? After you’ve explored the Museum exhibits, head to Sciencentre on Level 1 for 100% interactive and engaging fun for kids of all ages.

Morning Hop on a bus or drive the 15 minutes to Brisbane’s beautiful Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. The Hide’n’Seek Children’s Trail, set in the Exotic Rainforest, is a mustdo. Along the lines of a scavenger hunt, kids have great fun following their own special map and spotting plants and wildlife, as the whole family explores the extensive gardens. If you’re prepared ahead, this is a great spot for a picnic lunch, or pop into the garden’s restaurant and café.

Afternoon South Bank offers a vast array of food choices for all tastes with many outlets offering special kids meal deals. If your visit is blessed with a warm, sunny day, the children will love the adventure and fun in The Parklands. Head to Stanley Street Plaza for exciting water play at Aquativity, a fun, interactive water-play park right in the heart of South Bank, or try Streets Beach– a unique man-made city beach and one of South Bank’s most popular family attractions.

OAWK Tip: Make sure you visit the Lagoon and the Bamboo Grove – you’ll see plenty of wildlife including pacific black ducks, Eastern Water Dragons and turtles.

OAWK Tip: Kids love the Queensland Maritime Museum, in South Bank Parklands, where they can step aboard a real Queensland icon - the Diamantina - the last remaining WW2 River Class frigate in the world. Arty kids will enjoy a visit to the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), a short walk from South Bank Parklands, offering activities and exhibitions as part of the Children’s Art Centre program. Evening Linger in South Bank into the early evening and enjoy the street entertainment, shops and familyfriendly pubs and restaurants – there’s so much to see and do! -at the end of your funtastic day out.



WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

From left: The Parklands at South Bank

Afternoon The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, in the ground of the gardens, is the ideal attraction to round out a day of discovery! Kids will marvel at the stunning ‘night sky’ projected onto the planetarium dome, and can explore all manner of cosmic displays on a fabulous astronomical journey! There’s even a life-size replica of Neil Armstrong’s lunar space suit. Evening Brisbane is super family-friendly with affordable and delicious dining options in abundance – you’re sure to have already earmarked a ‘favourite’ on your two-day adventure! visitbrisbane.com.au

© VisitBrisbane

Brisbane City © iStock

Stay quaywestbrisbane.com meritonapartments.com.au/ Brisbane mantra.com.au/Brisbane accorhotels.com.au

Play visitbrisbane.com.au/ south-bank qm.qld.gov.au maritimemuseum.com.au qagoma.qld.gov.au brisbane.qld.gov.au

Booking your next snow holiday is child’s play at Victoria’s best alpine resorts.

Mum skis free, kids ski free, half-price packages, multi-day lift pass deals, discounts for buying early and bundling online… There are so many ways to ski more and save more at Hotham and Falls Creek this Winter. Make this the year you take the family to Hotham and Falls Creek, Victoria’s highest, largest and friendliest alpine resorts. With reliable snow, breathtaking alpine scenery, ski-in ski-out accommodation, brilliant snowsports schools and uncrowded slopes, it’s no wonder Hotham and Falls Creek are home to Australian skiing’s biggest smiles. For information on accommodation, travel, lift passes, ski & board lessons, equipment hire, all-inclusive packages plus more… Call Falls Creek Reservations Centre: 1800 45 35 25 skifalls.com.au

Call Hotham Holidays: 1800 hotham (1800 468 426) hothamholidays.com.au WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


SKIwith CANADA Skimax

Canada is the ideal ski destination for families this Winter. From the Coast Mountains to the Rockies, large pedestrian towns to small ski in, ski out villages and spectacular National Parks. Endless skiing and snowboarding, ice skating, snow tubing and wildlife watching, Canada has it all.

Ski Sun Peaks Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Lodge from



per family


Ski Banff Banff Rocky Mountain Resort from



per family


Ski Whistler Town Plaza Suites from



per family


Includes: - 7 nights quad share in a Family Suite at Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Lodge - 6 day Ski Pass

Includes: - 7 nights quad share in a Two Bedroom at Banff Rocky Mountain Resort - 6 day Ski Pass

Includes: - 7 nights quad share in Two Bedroom Apartment at Town Plaza Suites - 6 day Ski Pass

Valid for travel 5 January - 2 February 2016.

Valid for travel 2 January - 2 February 2016.

Valid for travel 2 January - 4 February 2016.

*Conditions apply. Book & Pay by 31 August 2015. Prices are based on travel dates specified in packages above. Prices are subject to availability and may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. A credit card fee of minimum 1.5% will apply. Airfares are not included. Lic No. 2TA4787. Photo credit: Whistler Blackcomb, Banff, Lake Louise and Zip Treck Whistler.

How young is too young to ski? Helping little ones find their ski legs …

© Monica McInnes

Annual family snow trips are quickly becoming commonplace among Australian families but, as MONICA McINNES discovered, starting little kids on skis the right way is all about building confidence – for both the little ones AND their mums and dads!

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


© Monica McInnes


WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

© Charlie Broiwn Photography


y husband and I have skied nearly every year for at least ten years, but when it came to making the decision to enrol our just-turnedthree-year-old son into the Renault Snowclub at Falls Creek in Victoria last year, I was a little apprehensive. What if he breaks his bones? What if he hates it and never wants to go back again? What if, what if, what if! I had questions for everything and it all boiled down to one – how young is too young to ski? According to Falls Creek’s Children’s Program Supervisor and ski instructor Lauren McKechnie - ‘the younger, the better’. And who am I to argue with a woman who learnt to ski when she was three, skied every winter since and has spent the last ten years teaching people to ski and snowboard at Falls Creek and resorts in Austria and Canada? Over the course of her years of experience teaching youngsters to ski, Lauren has observed that generally older children display more reservation than littlies. “There are children that will come at eight or nine to learn to ski and will be quite apprehensive and nervous about that feeling of motion and speed. It can really worry them, especially girls” she explains. Whatever the age, young first-time skiers are thrown into a very new environment - one that’s cold, has new people and different noises - all while wearing unusual clothing, a bulky helmet, clunky shoes and with no mum or dad in reassuring sight. “All of these experiences can be very overwhelming for a really young child , without the pressure of putting on these slippery things and pointing down

Falls Creek the hill,” Lauren jokes. I admit I was nervous about sending our son to ski school, but I needn’t have worried. On the afternoon prior to him starting, we popped in to show him the ski school. He was introduced to some instructors and carers, chose his colour group and was told his instructor’s name, shown his locker, the indoor play area, and also the procedures for the following morning. There would be a maximum of five other children in his group and he should have the same instructor everyday. All lessons at this early age emphasise having fun and enjoyment while playing games on skis in a safe environment. “It’s all about making it colourful, interesting and engaging for them and we have a whole pile of gadgets to help get children comfortable balancing and sliding on their skis – games, soft sticks, ropes, hula hoops and even a little course using slalom sticks,” Lauren explains. Pete the Dragon helps too. He is the school’s mascot and legend has it that from atop his home on Mt McKay, Falls Creek’s highest point, he makes the snow at Falls Creek. Pete visits a couple of times a week, dancing and singing with the children, adding more delight to a ski holiday for little people. As for our little person, he loved his five day ski holiday! He had fun making snow angels and tobogganing, eating our hot chocolate marshmallows, speeding down the slopes between our legs on the way back to our accommodation and he especially relished family snowball fights. And, it just so happened he also learnt how to snow plough. He has already started to practise his ‘pizza’ stop in preparation for this year’s annual family ski trip.

Is your child ready for ski school? • Minimum age three years • Toilet trained • Good verbal communication

Get ski school ready • Talk about your ski trip in advance • Show photos and videos of kids skiing at your resort • Wear ski clothes including helmet, goggles or other eyewear and gloves, which are all compulsory, at home first • Try out skis and boots before hitting the slopes

Create situational awareness:

© Monica McInnes

• Arrive early and spend your first day together getting used to the surroundings • Visit ski school beforehand to meet the instructor and carers and observe a lesson in session • Wear plenty of layers and bring thermals for warmth!

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au




Thredbo thredbo.com.au

Coronet Peak nzski.com

Perisher Valley perisher.com.au

The Remarkables nzski.com

Charlotte Pass charlottepass.com.au

Mount Hutt nzski.com

VICTORIA Falls Creek fallscreek.com.au Mt Baw Baw mountbawbaw.com.au Mt Hotham mthotham.com.au Mount Buller mtbuller.com.au

Falls Creek images Š Charlie Broiwn Photography


WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

Queenstown queenstown.co.nz Mt Ruapehu mtruapehu.com Cardrona cardrona.com Treble Cone treblecone.com



Steamboat Springs steamboat.com

Whistler Blackcomb whistlerblackcomb.com

Aspen Snowmass aspensnowmass.com

Sun Peaks sunpeaksresort.com

Mammoth Lakes mammothmountain.com

Big White bigwhite.com

Vail vail.com

Silver Star silverstar.com

Beaver Creek beavercreek.com Telluride telluride.com Copper Mountain coppercolorado.com Park City parkcitymountain.com


UP TO 15% OFF LIFT PASSES KIDS 12 & UNDER SKI AND RENT FREE* Sun Peaks is now the 2nd largest ski resort in Canada, at over 1700 hectares of ski terrain! The consistent snow quality is also amazing, not to mention the 100% ski-in/ski-out village. For an extra special experience, take part in the Sun Peaks Family Cup – All Nations Celebrations (Jan 9 & 10) and don’t miss the renowned 18th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine (Jan 15-24).


6 t ski holidays 201 The world’s bes JAPAN EUROPE USA CANADA


$649* $205*




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Steins Group Ski

ment Tours Ski Improve

FREE WORLD’S BEST SKI HOLIDAYS BROCHURE Call or email us for a copy of our 2015 brochure for full details of our available deals.

BOOK NOW for great ski fares with Air Canada!

Ski Packages include 7 nights stay in January, 6 day lift pass and taxes. *Family packages based on 2 adults and 2 children up to 12 years. Costs valid as at 24 June 2015. Kids Ski/Rent Free: one free child per equal adult purchase of 5+ days, excluding Dec 21 – Jan 1. Early booking and other conditions apply.

Call 1300 754 754

email ski@travelplan.com.au visit www.travelplan.com.au

Offices in Sydney and Melbourne. ATAS Accreditation No: A10479.



CMH Heli-Skiing

Make room for the WHOLE family!

© iStock/GlobalStock

You’ve heard the term ‘multi-generational’ (or ‘multi-gen’) to describe a certain type of holiday the kind where you pack the kids AND the grandparents. You may even have experienced such a holiday. It’s a burgeoning trend in the family holiday market and one that (for a multitude of great reasons) is unlikely to fall from favour anytime soon!



ut simply, a multi-gen holiday can be a fantastic experience for all participants and while, strictly speaking, the term does infer the inclusion of grandparents, it’s come to encompass any family holiday where extended family members - aunts, uncles and cousins, even friends join in. A multi-gen holiday affords everyone the opportunity to enjoy a family getaway that’s built around sharing quality time together and creating precious memories. Like all ‘group’ holidays, it can take patience, cooperation and consensus to pull together in the first instance, but once everyone is in agreement (and excited) the planning can begin in earnest. And finding the right accommodation is key. Affordability is important for most families, but the living-away-from-home set up you choose can make or break the multi-gen holiday! Traditionally, multi-gen accommodation options have been largely limited to private home or multiple apartment rentals but, increasingly, accommodation providers are offering spaces that factor in the multigen trend and provide innovative solutions in hotelstyle and resort properties. The big plus, of course, is that these hotel accommodation options allow every family member full access to hotel facilities and services not available with private rentals. And sharing accommodation also means sharing the cost, which equals a fabulous, affordable family holiday in a fabulous hotel and resort! Win-Win! Today, multi-gen holidaymakers can choose from great three and four bedroom family rooms/suites available in many hotels both in Australia and overseas; villa-style units in resorts and self-catering apartment-style hotel rooms, without having to compromise on the full hotel experience. Holidaying somewhere with Kids Clubs, swimming pools, day spas, gyms, restaurants, room service, fresh linen, daily housekeeping, concierge services and every other little detail a hotel or resort provides, means the whole family can truly relax and have fun. And because most grandparents are more than happy if the grandchildren are happy, finding attractions, outings and activities that everyone can share and enjoy on your holiday should be a breeze. When it comes time to plan your next multi-gen holiday, look closely for the right type of accommodation that will suit your family best. Work out what it is that you need, and what your travel companions need; what will make the day-to-days pleasant, and what could potentially lead to discord - and let the good (holiday) times roll!

Fantastic Multi-Gen Holiday Accommodation Q1 Resort, Australia’s tallest residential building on Queensland’s Gold Coast is a family-run, family-focused resort offering one, two, three or four bedroom holiday

apartments, plus exclusive family access to Q1’s level 77, SkyPoint Observation Deck, including breakfast for 2 adults and 2 kids for only $63 – saving a huge $40! Enter the promo code “OAWK” for 15% off your next stay when you book online. q1.com.au Ramada Couran Cove Island Resort in Queensland has 4 bedroom, multilevel, fully self-contained villas perfect for a multi-gen holiday. Suitable for up to eight guests, the villas each have separate living areas and a huge balcony. Resort facilities include Kids Club and Babysitting Services, Day Spa, General Store plus cafes and restaurants if you choose to eat out. courancove.com.au

Novotel Manly Pacific

Queensland’s Fitzroy Island Resort offers 2 bedroom suites that can accommodate three queen beds or two double beds and two singles, as well as rollaway beds and cribs/infant beds. At this beautiful 4-star beachfront island resort near Cairns, you’ll enjoy hotel facilities including games room, two restaurants, sensational swimming pool, grocery store, ATM and daily housekeeping. fitzroyislandresort.com Zagame’s Paradise Resort on Queensland’s Gold Coast offers Interconnecting and Superior Interconnecting rooms, both suitable for four adults and four children. Located a stone’s throw from the Gold Coast theme parks, the resort also boasts its own Waterpark, Ice-Rink and Kids Cub plus a bistro, café and bar, bbq area, mini mart and guest laundry. paradiseresort.com.au

Top: Grand West Sands Resort & Villas Phuket – Deluxe Pool Villa © Centara

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au




KIDS .com.au

For the best family travel deals, latest news, tips, blogs and competitions visit Out & About with Kids website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Visit outandaboutwithkids.com.au and sign up for our monthly newsletter


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Sydney’s Novotel Darling Harbour and Novotel Manly Pacific, like all Novotel hotels around the world, prioritise children, and accommodation and breakfast are free for two children under the age of 16* when sharing parents’ or grandparents’ room. You can also receive 50% off the room rate* when you book a 2nd room PLUS extra kid bonuses include welcome gifts. Healthy kids menus, play areas and 5pm checkout on Sundays! *Terms and Conditions apply novoteldarlingharbour.com.au/family-en.html novotel.com/sydney/manly The three-bedroom Seafront Villa at Sheraton Denarau Villas in Fiji is ideal for a multi-gen holiday, sleeping up to six adults and two children. There’s a fully-equipped kitchen, washing machine and dryer, private roof terrace and three bathrooms! Guests of the Villas also have full access to the facilities at the adjacent 5-star Sheraton Fiji Resort and 5-star Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa. starwoodhotels.com Fiji’s Malolo Island Resort has two-bedroom family bures that can sleep up to seven people, with King sized beds, two bathrooms and three single beds located in the spacious living room. Aside from the spectacular location, Malolo also offers its guests free kids club (4-12 year olds) and plenty of water sports fun for everyone, and a selection of bars and dining venues. maloloisland.com Selected Centara Hotels and Resorts properties throughout Thailand, and in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Mauritius, offer a range of family room types with interconnecting options. Some share a balcony

rather than an interconnecting internal door, which is perfect for grandparents or if you’re holidaying with another family. centarahotelsresorts.com Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk in Honolulu is perfect for a multi-gen holiday, offering spacious and modern all-suite accommodation right in the heart of the beach, shopping, dining and attractions precinct of Waikiki. The two-bedroom suite features a King sized bed in one room and two Queen sized beds in the other, two bathrooms and separate living room. You’ll also find a fridge and microwave for whipping up quick and easy meals and snacks. embassysuiteswaikiki.com

Above from top left: Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk - Ocean View King © Embassy Suites Waikiki

Malolo Island Resort, Fiji © Malolo Island Resort

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa © Disney Destinations

Enjoy an unforgettable Hawaiian Disney experience on a family holiday to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai‘i. Stay in a two or three bedroom villa with just-like-home amenities, each with full kitchen and laundry facilities, and loads of space. The Grand Villa sleeps up to 12 guests and is an ideal (and sensational!) retreat for reunions and multiple families! resorts.disney.go.com/Aulani Hotel Beacon New York City is a home away from home for families visiting the Big Apple. With its great Upper West Side location, a two bedroom suite allows six guests to really stretch out and relax, with a king sized bed, a second bedroom with two double beds, two marble bathrooms, a separate living room with a pull-out sofa bed and a fully equipped kitchenette. Fantastic grocery stores are just across the road and family-friendly attractions are in walking distance of your digs! beaconhotel.com

Escape Travel know the family holiday market inside and out and are experts in family travel. Contact Escape on 1300 556 855 to discuss your next multi-gen holiday, and visit escapetravel.com.au for the latest holiday deals and packages within Australia and across fantastic overseas destinations!

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An Enriching Experience For All Ages

At the award winning inclusive five star Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort – Fiji you will rekindle romance, savour creative gourmet cuisine, relax, rejuvenate with a massage and enjoy snorkelling and fishing while your treasures are nurtured by fantastic Fijian nannies. The only resort in Fiji to employ a marine biologist, it has created a wonderful program for children (Bula Club 9am-9pm) which focuses on fun, culture and the environment. It creates time for families to bond and allows parents some wonderful “couples time out”. Two children under 13 are free with 2 adults. Free nanny for each child under 6 years 9am-9pm For enquiries on family packages inclusive of 2 free nights + bonuses

call: 1300 306 171 email: sales@fijiresort.com www.fijiresort.com or see your local Travel Agent


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TOP 1O d n a l s I k l o f Nor family adventures Frank, Georgia and I LOVE Norfolk Island! It’s impossible not to become submerged in this natural paradise, among some of the friendliest and happiest people on earth and, when the sun shines on Norfolk Island (which it does most of the time!) there’s no end to the adventures. Here’s our family top ten!

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Ocean-based activities are all reasonably priced and a great way to get a feel of the island. Try sea kayaking and snorkelling in the secluded waters of Emily Bay.

If you’re into history, Norfolk Island Museum offers fantastic interactive tours of the island’s numerous world heritage sites, with a perfect balance of absorbing information and grisly legend!


For the landlubbers there’s mountain bike riding and bush walking through some of the world’s best remaining rainforests.

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See the island from a different perspective - on horseback. Trail rides are available to suit all abilities, ages and schedules. An engaging way to get a handle on Norfolk’s unusual history is at Fletcher’s Mutiny Cyclorama where a 360° panoramic painting depicts the trials of the Bounty mutineers and their journey to a peaceful life on Norfolk. The realistic perspective and evocative soundtrack give the cyclorama a 3D feel that truly immerses the viewer.

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The delightful Botanic Gardens are an easy walk and display some of the plant species only found on the island. Join the island’s kids club for a day of unplugged activities - ‘Baunti Kids’ runs a unique program where local and visiting kids mix and learn more about each other in ‘free-range’ mode. A team of trained and dedicated locals supervise kids as they surf, grass-slide and swing through the local giant banyan tree! Happy kids mean a happy holiday.


The water temperature here hovers around a mild 23 degrees so it’s a great place to enjoy swimming and surf lessons all year.


‘A Walk in the Wild’ is a short stroll through one of the last remaining private rainforests on the island. Using living sculpture dioramas and touch-tell spoken histories it relays the stories of some of the more colourful characters of Norfolk’s past.


Tour the neighbouring rugged and uninhabited Philip Island for unequalled ocean views and diverse seabird life. But wait… I haven’t mentioned the glassbottom boat, the local markets, the Island Fish Fry, the bird watching, the ghost tour… For a tiny place, Norfolk Island packs in a colossal array of experiences. But don’t take our word for it, take the family to Norfolk Island and discover your own top 10! – Michelle Pettigrove WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au






Explore the famous Ka’anapali Beach, experience our complimentary cultural activities and enjoy our true aloha spirit. Bring the whole family as kids stay and eat free!

KA’ANAPALI, MAUI • 1-808-661-0011 • KBHMAUI.COM

* With each paying adult

Join us for the SECOND PART of our fantastic DISCOVER AMERICA feature for families … Our fantastic contributors share their vast knowledge and insider tips on the best places, attractions and fun for families holidaying in the USA!

In this issue: Holidays in Hawaii Discover family stay and play options on Oahu, Maui and Kauai, and drop in on The Big Island, Lanai and Molokai.

Natural America America’s national parks are each unique in their scenic splendour and range of family adventures - and the celebrations, ahead of the National Park Service Centenary in 2016, have already begun!

Beyond the Boardwalk Meet some of the biggest, boldest, most exciting theme parks in the country!

Family Adventures in Montana, North & South Dakota and Wyoming The Rocky Mountain states evoke the rich Native American heritage and real wild west, pioneer days of America’s early settlers. Awesome landscapes add to the thrill of discovering this expansive, natural family playground.

Las Vegas and The Grand Canyon It’s not all casinos and bright lights in Vegas. Roller Coasters, observation wheels, family entertainment and food, food, food equal a whole lot of fun. And who would want to miss seeing The Grand Canyon?

ZOO-M IN! From America’s oldest zoo in the city of Philadelphia to a majestic mountain zoo in Colorado - get up-close with sleek, slithery, feathery and just plain cute native wildlife.

Southern States From the Appalachian Mountains to the South Atlantic and beyond …. you’ll be met with southern hospitality everywhere you go!

10 Must-See Cities Explore Seattle, New Orleans, Orlando, Indianapolis, Santa Fe and other fantastic familyfriendly cities across the country.

West Coast Festival Fun © tnvacation.com

Join the fun at these great annual family events and festivals.

Take an empty suitcase … America is the home of ‘the mall’ - destinations that have to be seen to be believed!

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Holidays in

Hawaii Island-by-island, and from waterslides to whale watching, SUE WHITE tours heavenly Hawaii and tips the best stay and play options for holidaying families.


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here’s a good reason why Hawaii is on the travel bucket list for most families. With beaches, wildlife, and plenty to do on land and at sea, this uber family-friendly destination somehow caters to the young and old(er) with apparent ease. Each island’s diverse character makes it possible to choose according to mood, budget or travel style. Those with a bigger budget may consider little Lanai; tiny Molokai will attract families who like their islands without a single traffic light; while older kids will love the lure of the Big Island’s active volcano. But the three most popular islands for families are popular for a reason: all are beautiful, accessible and packed with family fun. Meet Oahu, Maui and Kauai.

OAHU When we think Oahu, we tend to think of Honolulu and, of course, Waikiki Beach. True, there’s plenty to keep families amused there, but given the island of Oahu has more than 100 beaches dotted around its 80kms of coastline you’ll be doing your trip an injustice if you don’t get out and explore.

Sleep If you’re after a resort holiday in a bustling beachside location, Waikiki will satisfy young and old. Resorts abound here, and finding a family-friendly one is as easy as saying, “Kids Club please”. Options include Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina; here, even the spa caters for kids via massages, hula makeovers and a ‘teen spa’ for 13-17 year olds. Alternatively, head to the nine hectare, oceanfront Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort or create a home-away-from-home in the spacious Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk– the only all-suite hotel in Waikiki – and enjoy complimentary breakfast daily.

Eat If the crew is starving, you don’t have to look far in Waikiki for a bite. Hula Grill and Duke’s are familyfriendly options, while the theatrical Teppanyaki chefs at Kobe’s steak house will impress older kids. If you’re after something casual, meet Honolulu’s locals at the popular Saturday farmers market at Kapi’olani Community College (4303 Diamond Head Road). Up north and need food? Locals drive for kilometres to the famous Shark’s Cove Grill, a lunch wagon conveniently located directly opposite the snorkelling paradise of Shark’s Cove.

Play Snorkellers of all ages typically head to Hanauma Bay, (go early to avoid the crowds), while those

seeking bigger marine life (turtles and in season, whales), head to the west of Oahu. Taking a tour? Wild Side speciality tours does a great swim with dolphins, although they prefer kids to be seven and older, and under 3s have to stay in the boat. For those more comfortable snorkelling off land, guests at Hawaii Beach Fronts on the serene North Shore snorkel straight off the beach. Either way, the North Shore is well worth a visit – it’s a chilled out antidote to the vibrant pace of Honolulu. For maximum flexibility, get there in a rental car, or join the 25,000 visitors a day who take “The Bus”, a service that for USD$2 will trundle you around the entire island (USD$20 buys a four-day unlimited pass). Back in Waikiki, there’s plenty to do beyond the beach. If you’ve got active kids who can cope with an hour-long stroll up a one kilometre trail (and the 200 steps at the top), why not walk up Diamond Head crater rather than take one of the many tours? Slightly less scenic, but also tempting, is the chance to shop up a storm at the Ala Moana Center. Here, hundreds of outlets make filling that empty suitcase easy (you did bring one, right?).

Waikiki Beach Walk Shopping Complex

Cultural kick Head to Honolulu’s Chinatown to watch the lei makers at Cindy’s Lei Shoppe (1034 Maunakea St). This fourth-generation family business is a local favourite.

Opposite main pic: © iStock/YinYang

Inset: Punaluu Black Sand Beach on The Big Island Girls with Haku leis © Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/ Tor Johnson

Molokai sea cliffs © Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/ Dana Edmunds

Top: Surfers at Waikiki © Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson

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Front Street Lahaina on Maui

MAUI Locals in love with their island home commonly refer to Maui as: “No ka ‘oi” (“Simply the best”). With beach towns, an abundance of resorts, a stunning coastal drive and plenty of ocean wildlife, it’s not hard to see why many families agree.


Moving between islands A number of airlines will fly you between islands, including Island Air, Hawaiian Air and Mokulele Airlines. Most flights are only 30-50 minutes long and prices vary depending on season and route. Renting a car on arrival will allow you maximum freedom to explore; this is recommended unless you’ll be spending most of your time in your resort or taking tours (many of whom will collect you from your accommodation). For everything Hawaii - visit gohawaii.com


The bulk of visitors head directly to West Maui for good snorkelling, sunsets and mountain scenery. There are resorts aplenty, set along the island’s famed Ka’anapali Beach, and the old whaling town of Lahaina. The Ka’anapali Beach Hotel – renowned and awarded as ‘Hawaii’s most Hawaiian Hotel’ – is just steps from the beach, while the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas suit families who prefer to selfcater. Further north, the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua has a great environmental education program for kids (be warned: the surf can be rough here). Those going south towards Kihei often continue to Wailea. There are many high-end resorts here, but the Grand Wailea’s seven waterslides are hard to beat, as is its Camp Grande kids program.

Eat When budget isn’t an issue many families will end up eating at their resort, where most have ‘keiki’ (kids) menus. In town, the upmarket-looking Lahaina Grill is one of many kid-friendly options, or keep it simple with tacos at Jawz Fish Tacos in Kihei.

Play Kid-friendly beaches are scattered around Maui

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(although others are famously ferocious). Families love the small waves of Ka’anapali; while Baby Beach in Lahaina Town is shady and great for kids, although there can be competition for a car park. Easier may be the snorkel-worthy Napili Bay Beach, in front of Napili Kai Beach Resort. Further south in the Wailea-Makena area, Kama’ole Beach III is one of the nicest in the area. Further offshore, don’t miss Maui’s whale watching; tours depart from Lahaina, Kihai and Wailea. For something unusual try the Atlantis Submarine underwater tour at Lahaina; yes, it’s a real submarine. Back on land, don’t miss the Maui Ocean Center (older kids will love the Hammerhead sharks), and for an excursion away from the beach, head up the island’s volcano: Haleakala. Sunset is superb, but if that’s too passive, kids over 12 will love the thrill of mountain biking down the side. (Adventure Maui’s trips are recommended.) If everyone’s up for it, drive the stunning Hana Highway (warning, a long day with stops factored in: leave early). En route, stop to watch kite surfers at world famous Ho’okipa Beach, check out the surfing mecca “Jaws” at Paia and eventually delight in the pink and black sand beaches of the small community of Hana.

Cultural kick If you haven’t seen a luau, the nightly Old Lahaina Luau has been running since 1986. Or, take in a show at the Maui Theatre: the legend of ‘Ulalena’ is known for its visual effects.

Authority (HTA)/T or Johnson

KAUAI Known as the Garden Isle, Kauai’s lush, mountainous centre is filled with rainforests and waterfalls. Add in a ring of beaches covering roughly half the shoreline, and you have a haven your keiki (children) won’t want to leave.

the basic Hamura Saimin Stand is popular with locals and tourists; Kalapaki Beach Hut’s fish sandwiches draw rave reviews, and, if you’re in Waimea, try Shrimp Station.


Just to prove holidays aren’t devoid of difficult choices, Kauai has 80kms of beaches to choose from! On the South Shore, families love Poipu Beach Park’s natural wading pool, while the North Shore’s Anini Beach Park has the perfect lagoon for newbie snorkellers. Getting more active, zip lining and kayaking are fabulous for both adults and kids, while littlies will love the train at Kauai Plantation Railway on Kilohana Estate (near Lihu’e). Soaking up Kauai’s scenery is usually done at the 22km long Waimea Canyon (nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”), with hikers continuing on to nearby Kokee State Park for walks suitable for all ages. The other jaw dropping views are along the Napali Coast – 90 minutes north of Lihue on Kauai’s North Shore. Most families will choose to view the 27km coastline from Ke’e Beach, or take a boat tour or guided kayaking trip to check out the area’s spectacular sea cliffs.

Ninety per cent of Kauai is inaccessible by road, but the other ten per cent offers accommodation galore spanning five main areas. The North Shore has upscale resorts in Princeville, while the East Side’s resorts’ many coconut groves have earned it the ‘Coconut Coast’ moniker. Southeast, the capital of Lihu’e is home to the airport as well as kid-friendly resorts like Marriott’s Kauai Beach Club, which fronts the calm waters of Kalapaki Beach. On the quieter West Side, look around Waimea. Many choose the South Shore, where Poipu’s Grand Hyatt has an excellent kids club and a two-hectare aquatic park. Those on tighter budgets can try the self-catering Castle Kihuana Planation & The Beach Bungalows. Got a big brood? The Parrish Collection has rental houses from USD$250 a night while Kauai Properties offers well-priced vacation rentals.

Eat Look out for restaurants offering a traditional ‘plate lunch’ – it’s a good kid-friendly option comprising rice, salad and a main (confusingly known in Hawaii – and all of the United States – as an ‘entrée’). Back to a la carte menus, in Lihu’e,


© Hawaii Tourism

Keiki dancers of Na Hula O Kaohikukapulani Above from far left: Shoreline at Wailea on Maui © Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/ Tor Johnson

Oceanside bike path at Kapaa on Kauai Life on a coral reef Wall of ukuleles © Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/ Tor Johnson

Cultural kick Hula is entrenched in Hawaii’s history: enrol in a lesson at one of the local resorts or watch the pros in action at the Smith Family Garden Luau in Wailua on the East Side. WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


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. 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 canoeing, kayaking and riverboat rides to hikes along the pristine shoreline. Other activities include ziplining, ATV riding, taking a train through a working plantation, or simply swimming and playing at a local beach. Start planning your vacation today by visiting kauaidiscovery.com.

Kauai Discovery.com


America Step into the United States of Great Outdoors and discover worlds of wonder in any one of America’s amazing National Parks - celebrating 100 years in 2016!


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he US National Park Service will celebrate its Centenary on 25 August 2016 and, to coincide with the 100 year milestone, a movie currently in the works will debut in 2016 to showcase to the world all of the breathtaking and diverse natural landscapes across over 400 National Parks. Millions of domestic and international visitors explore the parks each year and discover spectacular open spaces, aweinspiring landmarks, amazing wildlife and vegetation and unforgettable outdoor adventures.

Yellowstone National Park

The oldest National Park in the world, this Wyoming gem is famous for its geothermal pools and geysers including the best known, Old Faithful. From hot springs to waterfalls, volcanic plateaus and lakes, the park also boasts The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Visitors can make the most of being in real cowboy country with rodeos, horse riding and Wild West re-enactments in Cody, a popular gateway to the park and the town where Buffalo Bill left his mark.

Yosemite National Park

Set in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, Yosemite boasts many iconic American landmarks including El Capitan, a ‘vertical wall’ that is the largest single granite rock on Earth and the magnificent granite peak of Half Dome as well as the 740m Yosemite Falls. Bobcat, mountain lion, coyote, black bear, mule deer and a variety of squirrel call Yosemite home.

Rocky Mountain National Park

For a real wilderness experience, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park ticks all the boxes! Here you’ll see some of the highest mountains in the US and landscapes ranging from alpine tundra and glacial lakes to meadows and forested valleys. With five campgrounds in the park you can even sleep under the stars and wake to begin exploring any of the hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails, spot elk and bighorn sheep, ride a horse or fish in one of the 50 lakes and streams.

Acadia National Park

This stunning park hugs the coast of Maine, with picturesque harbour villages, crashing waves on rocky coastlines, lakes, ponds, abundant greenery and fabulous wildlife. A great family playground, take your choice of biking, hiking, beach-going or kayaking for starters. Begin exploring from Bar Harbor and get all the lowdown on this New England wonderland at the Visitor Center, and if you visit the park between 7 October and 6 March, head out early to see the first sunrise in the United States at Cadillac Mountain- the hjghest point along the North Atlantic seaboard.

Opposite: Arches National Park La Sales framed by Turret Arch

From top: Yellowstone National Park

© NPS_Jacob W Frank

Yosemite Waterfall

© iStock/PiotrSurowiec © iStock/ShaniMiller

Hiking in Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado © iStock/NetaDegany

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From above: Grand Canyon © Grand Canyon National Park Lodges

Beaver Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado © NPS.gov

Caribou in Denali National Park Alaska © travelalaska.com/Michael De Young

Zion National Park © iStock/ athertoncustoms

Grand Canyon National Park

Arches National Park

Very few people need any introduction to the immense natural wonder that is the Grand Canyon, in Arizona. At 1.6km deep, the inner canyon itself is an awesome sight – one that close to five million people a year see for themselves! The South Rim is open year-round and is the most accessible part of the park, and from the Visitor Center here at Mather Point you’ll get your first glimpse of the canyon. Take the Village Shuttle around the Historic District and then hop on the orange route, via the Kaibab Rim Shuttle Bus, for a close-up, and unforgettable, experience with the world-famous Grand Canyon!

This national park is named for the natural red rock stone arches – over 2,000 of them – that greet visitors to this Utah treasure. Giant, soaring pinnacles seem to glow in their high desert home by day, and create a truly awesome spectacle against the dark night skies. Here you will see the greatest density of natural arches in the world, formed in layers through millions of years, and moulded by nature.

Big Bend National Park From desert floor to limestone canyons, volcanic dikes to mountain ridges, this is not only one of the largest national parks in the US (in southwest Texas) but also boasts as many ‘bigs’ as the Lone Star State itself! The mighty Rio Grande shares 400 km with the park; the largest desert in the country, the Chihuahuan Desert, borders the park to the south, and the 32km-long Chisos Mountains are nestled entirely within Big Bend National Park. With thousands of plant species and hundreds of bird species, outdoor adventure and discovery is guaranteed.


WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

Zion National Park

Located near Springdale in Utah, Zion is noted for being one of the most ‘user-friendly’ national parks in the country and a super shuttle bus system makes it easy to get around and explore, with three million visitors doing just that, annually. The Human History Museum showcases Zion’s American Indian culture, historic pioneer settlement and national park status. Explore canyons, springs and waterfalls and see just how desert sand dunes, formed hundreds of millions of years ago, became what are now the striking cliffs of Zion National Park.

Everglades National Park This unique national park spans over 600,000ha and three counties in Florida – Monroe, Miami-Dade and Collier. You can walk, hike, bike, boat, bird-watch, fish, canoe and kayak and camp out in the largest

sub-tropical wilderness in the US! The park is also the natural habitat for rare and endangered wildlife including the manatee, American crocodile and even the Florida panther, and is a World Heritage-listed site, International Biosphere Reserve and a Wetland of International Importance. If you’re lucky you might chance upon turtles, heron, alligators or even a dolphin across the Everglade’s wet sawgrass prairies, mangrove swamps or coastal estuaries.

Denali National Park & Preserve America’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley, towers above the snowy mountains in Alaska’s breathtaking Denali Park, which covers 2.4 million hectares of wild Alaskan country. Denali was the first national park in the US to be created with the objective of protecting wildlife and in this sub-Arctic landscape you can just imagine the incredible, and unique, animal and birdspotting! From caribou and moose to wolves and both grizzly and black bears, and the high mountains Dall sheep, around 400,000 visitors arrive each year, mostly between late May and early September - and mostly for the wildlife!

Glacier National Park Discover forests, alpine meadows, lakes, rugged peaks and glacial-carved valleys in the northwest corner of Montana along the spine of the Rocky Mountains.

© Tennessee Tourism

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Home to nearly 70 species of mammals including the grizzly bear, wolverine, gray wolf and lynx and over 270 species of birds including harlequin ducks, dippers and golden eagles, not only is Glacier scenically splendid and packed with outdoor adventures, but it’s also a wildlife-lover’s paradise.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park The ancient mountains that give their name to America’s most visited national park, in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, are among the oldest mountains in the world, thought to have been formed between 200-300 million years ago. The crest of the Great Smokies forms the boundary between Tennessee and North Carolina, and divides the park in an unbroken chain that rises over 1500m for almost 60km. Enjoy a whole range of outdoor activities in the park, which is also a great place for a family picnic – oh and keep your eyes peeled for black bears - over 1500 of these beautiful, but irascible, critters live in the Smokies!

Don’t miss … Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota Olympic National Park, Washington State Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming Joshua Tree National Park, California Crater Lake National Park, Oregon Pinnacles National Park, California

For more information ... ...on these and other National Parks in the United States visit: The United States of Great Outdoors au.outdoors.discoveramerica. com The National Park Service nps.gov Take part in the fun Centennial celebrations and activities as The National Park Service turns 100 in 2016! #findmypark

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Discover this land, like never before.

TenW I NThousand Islands, Florida TER 2015



Beyond the


Coney Island © iStock/ PicWorks

Americans were early adopters of the European tradition of taking family outings to hometown amusement parks, usually located on seaside boardwalks, for a day of thrills, spills and entertainment. Before the arrival of ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ – Disneyland – back in 1955, that love of amusement parks was already well entrenched in the American family ethos and today, with so many expansive and diverse theme parks across the country, everyone’s still out soaking up amusement park - big or small – atmosphere!

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Let the Diamond Celebration begin!! This May, Disneyland Resort California kicked off a 12-month calendar of spectacular surprises and events to celebrate 60 years since the opening of Disneyland Park, and my how it’s grown! Disneyland Park is now one of two parks (with Disney California Adventure), three hotels and the dedicated Downtown Disney District that make up the phenomenal Disneyland Resort. Allow a minimum of three days here to see and experience every amazing attraction! disneyland.disney.go.com

Hollywood is the home of movies, and at one of the greatest studios in the town you can not only tour behind the scenes of a real working movie studio but also experience some of your favourite movies as rides and interactive entertainment! Try The Simpsons Ride, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, Transformers: The Ride-3D, Shrek:4D and the all-new Fast & Furious –Supercharged! Visit the Special Effects Stage, see costumes and props from your favourite films and maybe even meet a few famous ‘characters’ along the way. (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is slated to open at Universal Studios Hollywood mid 2016). universalstudioshollywood.com

tions © Disney Destina

Disneyland Resort California

Walt Disney World Resort Florida Combine a holiday with all the fun of Disney at this resort-with-the-lot! With Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, multiple waterparks and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to explore you can flop and drop after all the fun, onsite, in your choice of villas or hotels – or you can even sleep under the stars in a very special experience at the campsites of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort! disneyworld.disney.go.com Orlando Florida Incredible Hulk Coaster Universal Resort Islands © Universal Studios Orlando

Hollywood California

Orlando Florida Outside of Tinsel Town it may be, but Universal Studios Orlando is equally as exciting as its Hollywood namesake, with two spectacular parks offering over 25 rides and attractions and featuring the new ‘two lands one unforgettable experience’ of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Board The Hogwarts Express for Hogsmeade and Diagon Valley and get ready for a day of Muggle-free magic in this totally immersive and faithfully recreated world of Harry Potter. universalorlando.com


California Resort An incredible world of LEGO awaits at LEGOLAND California Resort in San Diego – with over 60 rides and attractions, two waterparks and SEA LIFE


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Six Flags Baltimore Superman Ride of Steel © Six Flags

Legoland - Miniland USA Aquarium plus the LEGOLAND Hotel all in one big (or small!) LEGO Location! Explore Fun Town, Pirate Shores and Castle Hill and marvel at Miniland USA where 20 million little LEGO bricks have been used to recreate seven big areas of the United States! california.legoland.com

Florida Resort Spread over 60ha, LEGOLAND Florida Resort is located 45 minutes from Orlando and downtown Tampa and is filled with rides, shows and attractions including Miniland USA, The LEGO World of Chima, LEGO Kingdoms, LEGO City and DUPLO Valley just for toddlers. The resort opened the doors on The LEGOLAND Hotel in May this year. florida.legoland.com

SIX FLAGS The Six Flags brand is the biggest regional theme park company in the world and with parks dotted across the US, Six Flags boasts fantastic rides, animal encounters, waterparks and some of the biggest world-class roller coasters you’ll ever dare to ride! Six Flags Over Texas was the first to open in 1961 and today, the very popular (over 5 million Facebook Likes!) parks can be found in California (near San Francisco and Los Angeles), Georgia (Atlanta), Illinois (Chicago), Baltimore/Washington DC, Massachusetts (Springfield), Missouri (St.Louis), New Jersey (Jackson), New York (Lake George) and Texas (Arlington and San Antonio). New in 2015, across the Six Flags parks, are a host one-of-a-kind attractions, incredible roller coasters and 3D interactive rides. And in Texas, look out for Justice

League: Battle for Metropolis at both parks and Batman The Ride-4D new to Six Flags Fiesta in San Antonio. sixflags.com

SEAWORLD The world-famous SeaWorld Parks are located in San Diego, California, San Antonio, Texas and Orlando, Florida with rides, shows, exhibits, attractions and fun, educational conservation initiatives to delight all ages. Each park offers its own unique take on ‘SeaWorld’, and connected animal and marine experiences, through interactive attractions and rides, as well as cute fishy carousels and gentle rides for little ones. Plus, plenty of animal encounters, rescue, care and conservation info sessions and tours will entertain the whole family for a full day! seaworldparks.com

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia blossoms within a European-themed world of amazing roller coasters, live entertainment for the entire family, ‘kidisiderate’ rides and beautiful architecture and landscaping for everyone to enjoy. The park also focuses on nature and conservation and you can see Bald Eagles, Clydesdale horses and grey wolves on your visit. In Tampa, Florida, Busch Gardens goes for an African theme … with rides like Cheetah Hunt and Kumba! Five top-rated coasters will get your adrenaline pumping and a thrill ride on the floorless dive coaster SheiKra may lead you straight to the gentle rhythm of the Sesame Street-themed Air Grover to recover! buschgardens.com WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


From above: Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Land of the Dragons © Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation Scott K. Brown Photography

Knott’s Berry Farm & Soak City Water Park © Knotts Berry Farm

Coney Island © iStock/ PeskyMonkey


Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country @Pigeon Forge Yes, the Queen of Country Music and rhinestone costumes, Dolly Parton, has her very own theme park nestled in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. Thrilling roller coasters, daring water excursions, family rides and kiddie rides are all here, along with one-of-a-kind attractions and experiences that showcase the Smoky Mountains way of life! dollywood.com


Kings Island & Soak City Waterpark @ Mason What more could you want from a day out than family rides, kids rides and a water park? Well how about a few thrill rides and some dinosaurs for starters? The largest amusement and waterpark in the Midwest is located near Mason, about 30 minutes’ drive from Cincinnati. visitkingsisland.com


Family Kingdom Amusement Park & Splashes Oceanfront Water Park @ Myrtle Beach Over 35 thrilling rides include the Twist ‘n’ Shout steel roller coaster and the Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster, the interactive Jump Around Dune Buggies, Magic Bikes, Go-Kart tracks and bumper cars. Splash down in the Slingshot Drop Zone, a free fall of 33.5m. With thrill rides, family rides and kids rides the whole family will be getting into the action – and then head across the road to Family Kingdom’s Oceanfront Water Park, Splashes, to cool off! familykingdomfun.com


Sesame Place @ Langhorne Just a 30-minute drive from Philadelphia is a theme park every little one will want to visit! Imagine stepping into a playground where all your favourite Sesame Street friends are there to greet you! Cookie Monster, Bert & Ernie, Elmo and Big Bird and other pals


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Iconic Coney Island Steeplechase Park, the original Coney Island amusement park, opened in Brooklyn, New York in 1897. Followed by Luna Park in 1903 and Dreamland in 1904, Coney Island became the benchmark for American theme parks, and a treasured national landmark in the process. In fact America’s love for a good roller coaster was most likely born, once word spread around the country, of the thrills and excitement of riding the Cyclone, the most famous of Coney Island’s coasters, erected in Steeplechase in 1927. The Cyclone is one of only three original Coney Island rides now protected as NYC landmarks, in good company with the Parachute Jump and the Wonder Wheel! coneyisland.com lunaparknyc.com from the famous neighbourhood feature in shows, on rides and in waterpark fun designed especially for younger kids! sesameplace.com


Knott’s Berry Farm & Soak City Water Park @ Buena Park This 65ha theme park is located just a stone’s throw from Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, and a visit to this iconic attraction is a must if you find yourself in Orange County! Take a ride on the Calico Railroad and head to Bigfoot Rapids and don’t forget to spend time in the famous Ghost Town! Little ones will love the fun of Camp Snoopy while older kids can get their thrills on some of the more exhilarating rides and roller coasters – and the brand new for 2015 interactive 4-D attraction, Voyage to the Iron Reef. And because it has berry and farm in its name you’d be right for thinking that there might be some great eats to be had at this unique theme park. The original Mr. Knott did indeed have a hand in cultivating boysenberries in Southern California way back in the 1920s - and the Knott’s Boysenberry Pie is a delicious must-try! knotts.com

The Jewel of the Upper West Side

2130 Broadway at 75th Street • New York, NY 10023 Tel: 011+1+212.787.1100 • Fax: 011+1+212.787.8119 www.beaconhotel.com • reservations@beaconhotel.com

Family Adventures in Montana, North & South Dakota, and Wyoming

From natural scenic wonderlands and wildlife wilderness to the best attractions, the four Rocky Mountain States combined offer families the biggest outdoor adventure playground in America. Whether digging for dinosaurs in the summer in North Dakota or exploring caverns in springtime in South Dakota, river rafting in the fall in Montana or skiing in winter in Wyoming, there is always a perfect season to explore the ‘big beyond’ especially with your kids in tow – to get you started, SHANE BOOCOCK has selected some of the best family, children-oriented, not-to-be-missed places in each state.


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The Lewis & Clark National Historic Interpretive Center: In 1804, Lewis and Clark set out to find the Pacific Ocean and returned to President Thomas Jefferson with stories about the northwest region of the US. Along the way, they faced many difficulties, including getting over the five waterfalls on the Missouri River. At the Interpretive Center in Great Falls, kids can see exhibits and join ranger programs that bring alive the indomitable spirit of exploration. Kids can also complete their Junior Ranger badge at this and many other Lewis and Clark visitor centres along almost an almost 6,000km trail. lewisandclarktrail.com

Horse Ride the Open Range - something all the family can do together. Everything in Montana is big . . . big mountains, big sky, big lakes, and big fun for families. Excellent ranches and outfitters are numerous throughout the state offering a diverse selections of trail rides, some perfect for young children. For the ultimate family vacation, book one of Montana’s incredible Dude Ranches and be spoiled by ranch-style meals, lodging, and wilderness horseback riding. duderanch.org Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman is a place parents rave about, as kids up to 8-years-old can interact with displays in the Discovery Center. Not only are the dinosaur fossils in here big, but the centre has one of the world’s largest collections (the world’s first tyrannosaurus rex was discovered in Montana!). Kids who are fans of the old west will enjoy seeing artifacts including a replica of a 1930s gas station. Let them set up camp in the wonders of Yellowstone and create a geyser eruption or view the big night sky in the Taylor Planetarium. museumoftherockies.org

Annual Crow Fair

/Tia Troy of Tourism na Office © Monta

Whitewater Rafting on the Clark Fork River, just north of Missoula in Western Montana, cuts through a deep canyon with dramatic vermillioncoloured cliffs and is full of roller coaster waves and fun Class II-III whitewater thrills, ideal for beginners and families with smaller kids, which makes the whitewater fun but not too scary. This is a superb big volume, big ride river with warm water and quiet pools between the rapids making it a perfect ROW Adventures full day trip. Minimum age is 8-years-old until mid-July when kids as young as 5-years-old can join in. rowadventures.com/montana-rafting/clark-forkriver-rafting.html

© Montana Office of Tourism

Learn about Custer’s Last Stand in 1876 against the Sioux and Cheyenne, led by Sitting Bull, at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument located in the Crow Indian Reservation. nps.gov/libi

Glacier National Park has six mountains towering over 3,000m, about 37 glaciers and over 700 lakes and the beauty is astounding. Families will find lots of outdoor adventures such as hiking and beautiful scenic drives as well as eight great campgrounds. One of the most exciting things is driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road that runs up the edge of the mountains and crosses several huge waterfalls. Bring binoculars: the park’s diverse habitats are home to nearly 70 species of mammals including the grizzly bear, wolverine, gray wolf and lynx. Over 270 species of birds visit or reside in the park, such as rare harlequin ducks, dippers and golden eagles. nps.gov/glac MONTANA TOURISM visitmt.com

l Park

Glacier Nationa

Opposite main pic: Mount Rushmore National Monument © iStock/DawnDemaske

Top: Buffalo Herd © Montana Office of Tourism

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Discover this land, like never before.

Whitefish Lake, Montana WINTER 2015



Do you ‘dig’ dinosaurs? Participate in a North Dakota Geological Survey Paleontology Fossil Dig in the Pembina Gorge near Walhalla. Dig 80-millionyear-old fossils during a scientific, professionallyconducted fossil excavation. Families can spend a full or half day at the dig, and kids must be age 10 or older and accompanied by an adult. Visit North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck to see gigantic skeletons of Triceratops and T-Rex or stop by the Dakota Dinosaur Museum in Dickinson to see 10 full-scale dinosaurs, as well as complete rhinoceros and bison fossils, fossil plants, mammals and reptiles. dmr.nd.gov/ndfossil/digs/digs.asp dakotadino.com Forts, History and Heritage make for great family adventures in a place Lewis and Clark, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and Native American Indian tribes once called home – the Missouri River valley. Fort

Abraham Lincoln State Park is rich in both military and early Native American history. Custer and the 7th Cavalry rode from this fort on their ill-fated expedition to Little Big Horn. Nearby is On-A-Slant Indian Village & Museum, which was occupied by Mandan Indians between 1575 and 1781. Today, its reconstructed earthlodges overlook the Heart and Missouri rivers. parkrec.nd.gov/parks/falsp/ falsp.html

Tourism/Jason Lin dsey

Theodore Roosevelt National Park offers great opportunities for western horseback riding, hiking, biking and scenic viewing. The rugged 28,000ha park honours President Theodore Roosevelt, who ranched in the Badlands. The park offers outstanding wildlife viewing, and kids can participate in their Junior Ranger Program. nps.gov/thro The Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm in Fargo has more than 50 hands-on exhibits designed to engage, educate and stimulate creativity. From the puppet theatre to the planetarium to the beehive, here children can explore their universe. childrensmuseum-yunker.org

Fort Lincoln

© North Dakota

North Dakota

Take a scenic drive along the Enchanted Highway, a 48km stretch that runs south from Western North Dakota near Regent, and see the amazing metal sculptures (7 in all) that dot the highway; Lake Metigoshe State Park North Dakota boasts many lakes, but the forested, rolling hills along the U.S.-Canadian border is the perfect setting for water-sport activities. Prime recreation, camping and accommodations come together in a beautiful lakeside setting at Lake Metigoshe and nearby Bottineau. Lake Metigoshe State Park offers great summertime on-water pastimes including fishing, kayaking, canoeing, as well as land-based hiking and biking trails. parkrec.nd.gov/parks/lmsp/lmsp.html NORTH DAKOTA TOURISM ndtourism.com

Top: T-Rex and Triceratops prepare to battle at the State Museum at the North Dakota Heritage Center ©North Dakota Tourism/Jim Gallop

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South Dakota

Badlands National Park is where families can explore this natural wonder easily on foot, horseback or by car as they drive the scenic loop or traverse the many trails. The park is one of the largest protected mixed-grass prairies in the United States covering almost 100,000ha and home to 16 types of wildlife including coyote, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, bison, venomous prairie rattlers, the swift fox, the endangered black-footed ferret, deer and antelope. nps.gov/badl Mount Rushmore & Crazy Horse Memorials showcase American history and pride. Of course, no trip to South Dakota is complete without a visit to Mount Rushmore National Memorial where youngsters can take a free ranger tour to learn how the 18m high carvings into granite rock were made and how the four presidents – Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln - were chosen. Children can pick up a Junior Rushmore Ranger activity booklet and earn a badge.Stop or drive by Crazy Horse Memorial, a mountain carving dedicated to Lakota leader Crazy Horse that’s been a work in progress for 65 years. nps.gov/moru crazyhorsememorial.org

Sioux Falls, Falls Park © iStock/shyflygirl


Deadwood Museums display the area’s history from the Days of ’76 Museum, or a tour through the historic 1892 Queen Anne-style mansion known as Adams House, with original contents intact. There is also the Adams Museum, Deadwood’s oldest museum, which features the ‘Wild’ Bill Hickok Collection. The

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Homestead Gold Mine Surface Tour and the Black Hills Mining Museum are without doubt the best places for children of all ages to learn about the history of the gold rush in Deadwood. travelsd.com Caves & Caverns are one of the Black Hills most mysterious and intriguing wonders and exploring underground is a real adventure experience for kids. The maze-like Wind Cave National Park is one of the longest caves in the world – stretching over 160km – and its underground chamber system features a rare formation of thin calcite fins that resemble honeycombs. Other subterranean caves include Black Hills Caverns, Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns, Beautiful Wonderland Cave and the Ice Cave. nps.gov/wica Steam Trains, Gardens & Gold Mines: Families will not be able to resist hopping aboard an original 1880s Steam Train to hear the bellow of the engine and the whine of the whistle through the Black Hills between Hill City and Keystone. At the Reptile Gardens, on the road to Mount Rushmore, see the world’s largest reptile collection, exotic birds, great shows, minerals and fossils and 50,000 flowers in an indoor jungle. Big Thunder Gold Mine in Keystone is an original mine started in 1892 and features underground tours, or take the family gold panning in nearby Battle Creek where finding gold is guaranteed. reptilegardens.com 1880train.com bigthundermine.com SOUTH DAKOTA TOURISM travelsd.com


The world’s first national park - Yellowstone National Park - offers a sight that stops traffic – literally – buffalo crossings. You’ll need at least three days to take the kids on a wild Yellowstone adventure – wildlife is the main attraction from bears to wolves and of course buffalo – watch the big beasts wander at will in front of your car. The park also contains more than 10,000 steaming geysers, hot springs, prismatic pools, steam jets, mud volcanoes, huge forests, crystalline lakes, thundering waterfalls and panoramic vistas. Start from the fascinating city of Cody (named for William Cody aka Buffalo Bill), the most popular gateway to Yellowstone. nps.gov/yell Fly Fishing in Wyoming is something that all kids should learn at an early age – because once they do, they’ll be hooked. Whether you are fishing the Wind River, Snake River, Green River, Big Horn River, Platte River or the famous Yellowstone River, or for that matter any one of the many 4,200 lakes that dot the state, you can be certain your children will be in their element when catching brook trout, brown trout, native cutthroat or trophy-sized rainbow trout. wyomingtourism.org/things-to-do/outdooractivities/fishing Jackson Hole certainly caters to a variety of visitors who enjoy, hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, river rafting and skiing. While travellers and residents alike flock to enjoy outdoor adventure it’s the skiing in winter that everyone talks about. There’s an authentic cowboy-town feel to Jackson Hole that brings families back time and again, so if you’re looking for a family-oriented winter vacation check out Jackson Hole Resort. jacksonhole.com

Buffalo Bill Historic Center in Cody is acclaimed for its five museums in one – not surprisingly it’s called the ‘Smithsonian of the West’. This sprawling complex houses a museum dedicated to Wyoming legend Buffalo Bill Cody, but also covers geology and geothermal activity in Yellowstone, a firearms museum, a museum of Native American history and a birds of prey conservation center. Plan for a family visit to spend at the very least half a day! Also on the grounds is Buffalo Bill’s childhood home. centerofthewest.org

From left: Cheyenne Wyoming Rodeo © wyoming tourism.org

Lake at Grand Teton © wyoming tourism.org

Wyoming’s Historic Trail Routes are what made this state famous. With 12 trails to choose from it’s well worth a family road trip exploring the rich Wild West heritage. Ghost towns and forts make up part of that legacy on routes such as the Mormon Trail, California Trail, Oregon Trail, Bozeman and Bridger Trails, the Pony Express Trail and the Overland Stage Route, all synonymous with westward expansion – en route stop at the excellent interpretive centres so your children appreciate the importance of these cross-country trails. blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/nlcs/Historic_Trails. html Grand Teton National Park: Hiking, horse riding, fishing and canoeing are what inspire people to visit the Jenny Lake region of the Tetons. Families can spend days here hiking to Inspiration Point from the Hidden Falls trailhead, swimming, or staying a few days camping or lodging. To really find some wilderness solitude hire canoes to explore additional lakes. If possible, visit Grand Teton early in the season for the best wildlife viewing and the least crowded campgrounds. nps.gov/grte WYOMING TOURISM wyomingtourism.org WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon

Fountain show outside of the Bellagio hotel and casino Š iStock/tobiasjo

Hidden among the blackjack tables and nightclubs is a surprisingly friendly, affordable and fun destination, says ROB McFARLAND – and one whose proximity to the ‘scenic wonder’ known as The Grand Canyon also makes it a terrific place for a family holiday.

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aving flirted with the family market in the 1990s, Las Vegas has more recently positioned itself as an unashamedly indulgent playground for adults. Lured by the assurance that “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, visitors have access to an unparalleled range of high-end restaurants, nightlife, shows and, of course, gambling. All of which makes it sound like the last place you’d want to take the family. But you’d be wrong. Because hidden among the blackjack tables, nightclubs and pool parties is a surprisingly wide range of family-friendly hotels, attractions and experiences. And because most resorts use gambling revenue to subsidise room rates and restaurant prices, Vegas can be an unexpectedly affordable holiday destination. Let’s also not forget that Vegas is close to a rather impressive hole in the ground. The Grand Canyon is 446 kms long and, in places, more than a kilometre deep. It’s a stunningly scenic natural wonder that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Sweet sleeps Vegas has several hotels that are particularly suited for families. Mandalay Bay Resort offers family-sized rooms that you can access without having to walk through the casino. It also has a huge pool complex with a wave pool and a lazy river. mandalaybay.com Another good option is Circus Circus. It might not have all the whizz bang features of the newer resorts but it’s affordable and well-located. It also features regular free circus shows featuring trapeze artists, jugglers and acrobatics, plus it’s home to Adventuredome, the world’s largest indoor theme park. circuscircus.com With its impressive medieval castle facade, Excalibur is a perennial family favourite. Not only does it have the Fun Dungeon, a huge kids arcade featuring more than 150 games, but it’s also where you’ll find the familyfriendly dinner show Tournament of Kings. excalibur.com


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MGM Grand has one of the biggest pool complexes in Vegas, with five separate pools, waterfalls, caves and a 300 metre-long lazy river. Kids will also enjoy the hotel’s Rainforest Cafe with its jungle setting and animatronic apes. mgmgrand.com

Family fun Even if you don’t stay at Mandalay Bay, make sure you visit The Shark Reef, the resort’s enormous aquarium that’s home to more than 2,000 animals including sharks, tropical fish, reptiles and rays. Little ones will love walking through the replica of an ancient temple ruin and sunken galleon ship while two metre-long tiger sharks swim overhead. mandalaybay.com/shark-reef Need a respite from the pool? Check out Adventuredome at Circus Circus. Featuring 25 rides and attractions including The Canyon Blaster, the world’s only indoor double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster (do that before lunch), it’s an easy place to while away a day. adventuredome.com More high speed thrills can be found on the rooftop of New York-New York, where the Big Apple Roller Coaster reaches speeds of 100 km/h and features stomach-lurching drops of more than 40m. nynyhotelcasino.com If your kids are older and are looking for an even bigger adrenaline rush, Stratosphere Tower has four nervetesting rides all located 100 storeys above the ground. SkyJump is a controlled 260m freefall, X-Scream teeters over the edge of the tower 275m above the ground, Big Shot catapults you 48m into the air and the aptly-named Insanity spins you at up to 65 km/h. Manage all four and you’ll officially be ‘Parent of the Year’. stratospherehotel.com For a more sedate experience, check out the recently opened High Roller, which at 168m high is the world’s tallest observation wheel. The 30 minute ride is particularly impressive at night when the Strip

transforms into a beguiling neon blur. You’ll find it in The LINQ Promenade, a smart new outdoor dining, entertainment and retail district next to the LINQ Hotel. caesars.com/linq MGM Grand’s popular ‘CSI: The Experience’ gives children 12 and over the opportunity to play the role of a crime scene investigator, learning scientific principles and investigative techniques while trying to solve one of three crime scene mysteries. lasvegas.csiexhibit.com © explorminnesota.com

An attraction that’s as popular with adults as it is with kids is Vegas Indoor Skydiving. It uses a 1000 horsepower motor attached to the propeller from a DC-3 aeroplane to simulate the sensation of freefall. There are no age restrictions (just an 18kg minimum weight) and it’s a lot less confronting than hurling yourself out of a plane. vegasindoorskydiving.com

That’s entertainment While many of Vegas’s shows are aimed at adults, there’s still a wide range that are suitable for families. Of Cirque du Soleil’s eight Vegas shows, the best for little ones is Mystère, a circus-themed production with dazzling displays of strength, daring and agility. If your kids are into Michael Jackson, be sure to check out Michael Jackson ONE at Mandalay Bay. This innovative tribute to the legendary entertainer features many of his greatest hits accompanied by dazzling dance routines and special effects. cirquedusoleil.com For some family-friendly magic, Mac King’s afternoon show is an engaging combination of humour and sleight of hand. And at $US40 a ticket, it’s one of the most affordable shows in town. mackingshow.com

Food frenzy

Opposite page:

Vegas is the home of the all-you-can-eat buffet and they’re a great option for kids (particularly fussy eaters) as they can choose whatever they want from a beltthreatening array of options. You’ll find buffets at almost every hotel but two in particular worth checking out are The Carnival World Buffet at Rio, which has more than 300 dishes from around the world, and the Frenchthemed Le Village Buffet at Paris. Serious buffet goers can even buy an all-day, unlimited access pass for $US49.99 which provides access to six of Caesar Entertainment’s resort buffets. caesars.com

Mandalay Bay Beach Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas © iStock/ Alphotographic

High Roller © LasVegasNewsBureau

Las Vegas Skyline © iStock/Michael Valdez

The medieval-themed Excalibur combines dinner with entertainment at its popular Tournament of Kings show. Families are seated in different countries and are encouraged to cheer for their knight as he takes on rivals in challenges such as jousting and sword fighting. Kids will love the fact they can eat with their hands Middle Ages-style and feast on evocatively-named dishes such as dragon’s blood tomato soup (probably not the night to debut those new white pants). Kids under three eat free providing they sit on a parent’s lap. excalibur.com For something more refined, Fogo de Chão is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse specialising in churrasco that allows children under six to eat free and kids from seven to twelve to dine half price. fogodechao.com For an after-dinner treat, check out the Sprinkles cupcake ATM in LINQ’s Central Plaza or get your chocolate fix at Hershey’s Chocolate World at New York-New York. sprinkles.com hersheys.com/chocolateworld

© iStock/snappho to

Another entertaining offering is Jeff Civillico’s show at the LINQ Hotel. Named Best Family Attraction in 2015 by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jeff blends physical comedy, stunts and world-class juggling with family-friendly audience interaction. jeffcivillico.com

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Right: Volcano Show, Mirage © iStock/4FR

Opposite page: Flamingos © iStock/Alan Lagadu

Below: The Grand Canyon Skywalk © iStock/JaysonPhotography

The Grand Canyon While there are many ways to visit this geological marvel, by far the most spectacular is by helicopter. Several companies offer scenic flights from Vegas but for something special checkout Sundance Helicopter’s Grand Canyon picnic tour. After being collected by limo from your hotel, you’ll fly to the canyon via Hoover Dam and Lake Mead before enjoying a picnic lunch 975m beneath the canyon rim. sundancehelicopters.com A more affordable alternative is to take an organised tour with Grand Canyon Coaches. Choose between visiting the canyon’s west or south rim and there’s the option to combine the tour with a helicopter flight or a boat ride. grandcanyoncoaches.com The Grand Canyon’s newest attraction is also its most spectacular. Skywalk is a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge suspended 1.2km above the Colorado River that offers unsurpassed views of both the canyon and the surrounding desert. Many people combine it with a visit to nearby Hualapai Ranch, where you can saddle up for a horseback ride and watch cowboy demonstrations. grandcanyonwest.com If you really want to get up close and personal with the canyon, jump in a raft. To raft the whole canyon takes 16-18 days but OARS offers a shorter fiveday departure that includes a night at a dude ranch, a helicopter trip into the canyon and four days of exhilarating white-water rafting on the Colorado River. Suitable for children seven and above. oars.com


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Las Vegas freebies On a budget? Check out these wallet-warming freebies: An impressive spectacle of water, music and fireballs, the Mirage Volcano erupts every 30 minutes from dusk till 11pm. mirage.com One of the most popular attractions on the Strip, the Fountains at Bellagio sway and pirouette to the music of Frank Sinatra, Elton John and Andrea Bocelli. bellagio.com Who says you have to pay big bucks to go to the circus? Circus Circus has free performances featuring jugglers, acrobats and trapeze artists every day from 11am. circuscircus.com Need a break from the crowds? Flamingo’s six-hectare Wildlife Habitat is a peaceful oasis filled with Chilean flamingos, pelicans, parrots and turtles. caesars.com/ flamingo-las-vegas It’s well worth visiting downtown to see the Fremont Street Experience, a pedestrianised entertainment area covered by a 457 metre-long LED-lit canopy that shows spectacular light and sound shows every night. vegasexperience.com For more information head to visitlasvegas.com.au

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Discover this land, like never before.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California WINTER 2015



Bald eagle at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo © Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

ZOO-M IN! Wherever you find yourself holidaying in America, you’re also bound to find a fantastic zoo! Family programs and special kids’ initiatives are a big focus of every zoo here, whether it’s an open-range, close-up, petting and feeding, hot air balloon or safari-style encounter. Don’t miss the opportunity to see some of the unique North American animals in their native habitats! From the oldest zoo in the country to new babies, new exhibits and terrific conservation programs, take the time, and the family, to zoo-m in and explore… WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


Philadelphia Zoo PENNSYLVANIA America’s first zoo had its grand opening on 1 July 1874 and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2009! Noted for many US zoo firsts – the first in-zoo animal health lab in 1901; the first successful US zoo births of an orangutan and a chimpanzee both in 1928; first children’s zoo in the western hemisphere in 1938 – Philadelphia Zoo was even the home of choice for the world-famous MGM lion, who retired there after a 15year movie career in 1931! Today the zoo is home to more than 1,300 animals and is Philadelphia’s leading family attraction with over 1.3 million visitors each year. Spread across 17ha of Victorian gardens, the zoo also boasts the awardwinning KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo & Faris Family Education Center - a wildlife academy that unites a world-view education centre with an accessible up-close and personal children’s zoo that ensures every child has the opportunity to participate in the exhibit. philadelphiazoo.org

KidZooU @ Philadelphia Zoo


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Columbus Zoo & Aquarium – OHIO The A-Z of animal and marine life is on display here – from the Aldabra Tortoise, Arctic Fox and American Bison, through the whole alphabet to the Zebra shark! See a White Handed Gibbon, a Bornean Sun Bear and even a Wolverine (they really do exist – found in the boreal forests of Canada and Alaska!). The zoo opens daily (except Christmas Day and Thanksgiving) and also offers unique after hours and overnight programs for families to get to know the wildlife inhabitants. columbuszoo.org

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden – OHIO Founded on 26ha right in the middle of the city, this zoo is the second oldest in the United States, having opened to the public in 1875 with only eight monkeys, two grizzly bears, three deer, six raccoons, two elk, a buffalo, a hyena, a tiger, an alligator, a circus elephant and over 400 birds! In the 140 years since, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has grown enormously in sheer size and animal population and runs fantastic Family Programs that include such novel experiences as Family Zoo Yoga and Night Hikes at only USD$11 per family member! As you tour the zoo you have the added bonus of wandering through the astonishing plant collection and blend of garden landscapes that is the Botanical Garden. cincinnatizoo.org

Phoenix Zoo – ARIZONA More than 1400 animals, including 30 endangered or threatened species, call Phoenix Zoo home. Explore the zoo’s special trails – The Arizona Trail features the state’s animals including mountain lion, javelin, wolves and even rattlesnakes! On The Africa Trail you’ll find orangutans and a huge array of bird exhibits. Little ones will love The Nina Mason Pullam Children’s Trail with its Wallaby Walkabout, Harmony Farm and Petting Zoo. phoenixzoo.org

San Diego Zoo – CALIFORNIA The world-famous San Diego Zoo celebrates its 100th Anniversary in 2016 and offers some of the most unique, interactive animal encounters you’ll ever experience! Take a hot air balloon ride over Safari Park; hop on the Conservation Carousel which features 60 ride elements to choose from, many of which replicate rare and endangered animals; take the Africa Tram through field exhibits for a real upclose view; walk with lemurs; stroll through Safari Base Camp and catch meerkats at play, and admire the beautiful Chilean flamingos. zoo.sandiegozoo.org

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – COLORADO A leader in conservation, captive breeding and animal care, the vision of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is simple: “Every Kid. Every Time. Goosebumps!”

Originally founded in 1926 by philanthropist Spencer Penrose, to house his growing collection of exotic animals, the zoo was opened to the people of Colorado Springs in 1938. Here visitors are submerged into culture and habitat, inspiring a new respect for the preservation of wildlife through hands-on education via a “never to be forgotten” experience. Across nearly 60ha of gorgeous mountain terrain, families are treated to one-of-a-kind encounters – all part of the zoo’s commitment to the ‘goosebumps’ promise! cmzoo.org

Opposite: Philadelphia Zoo Clockwise from top left: Cougar at Cincinnati Zoo © Cincinnati Zoo/Kathy Newton

Animal Encounters Village at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium © Columbus Zoo and Aquarium/ Grahm S. Jones

North American river otter at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo © Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Memphis Zoo – TENNESSEE Memphis Zoo is the city’s highest-attended attraction and has won many accolades in recent years placing it at the ‘top’ of surveys nominating the best of the nation’s zoos. Set on over 28ha, zoo residents include big cats, big bears, big birds – and even little budgies! The zoo’s conservation initiatives incorporate a cooperative program with China for giant pandas and you can see “Ya Ya” and “Le Le” in their brand new, 1.2ha facility at the zoo’s exhibit, CHINA. Be sure to visit other one-of-a-kind exhibits including the Herpetarium, Northwest Passage and Once Upon A Farm. memphiszoo.org WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


Fort Worth Zoo – TEXAS

Elephants @ Fort Worth Zoo St Louis Zoo – MISSOURI Since 1910 this beautiful zoo, located in Forest Park, has been attracting visitors from far and wide and today, boasting almost 20,000 wild animals across over 600 different species, the zoo welcomes three million visitors every year! Hardly surprising when you consider that admission to St Louis Zoo is FREE! There are some small costs associated with certain attractions, but purchasing a one-day Safari Pass for just USD$12 will get you full access to the Children’s Zoo, Zooline Railroad, Stingrays at Caribbean Cove, Conservation Carousel, 4-D Motion Simulator and Movie in the Living World! stlzoo.org


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Fort Worth Zoo is never closed! Open 365 days of the year, the oldest zoo in Texas was founded in 1909 with one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock and a few rabbits. Today the zoo houses over 7,000 native and exotic animals and, in 2014, welcomed over one million visitors! For something completely different, make sure you visit the Texas Wild! Petting Corral and see the state’s domestic goats and chickens, a Texas longhorn calf, a guinea hog, an opossum, a nine-banded armadillo, Texas tortoises and corn snakes. fortworthzoo.org

Zoo Miami – FLORIDA Zoo Miami was one of the first free-range zoos in the US, and is the only tropical zoo in the continental United States. The South Florida climate lends itself to recreating the natural habitats of a wide variety of animals from Asia, Australia and Africa and the zoo’s animals are grouped according to their geographic territories, with species that live together peacefully in the wild placed in entirely cageless exhibits together - even the trees, foliage and soil are matched as closely as possible to the native habitats of the animals! zoomiami.org

Above: St Louis Zoo © Saint Louis Zoo/Ray Meibaum

Discover this land, like never before.

Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas

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Southern States 98

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Florida Florida is a veritable family playground offering a sensational warm climate, beaches as far as the eye can see, the awesome Everglades and some of the country’s top theme parks and attractions! From Miami to Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee, Jacksonville and the coral cay archipelago that is the Florida Keys, this state is bubbling with exciting things for kids to see, do and experience all year ‘round! In Tampa Bay, stop off at Busch Gardens theme park, Lowry Park Zoo, Florida Aquarium and Clearwater Marine Aquarium. What about Seaquarium, Jungle Island and the Children’s Museum in Miami or Universal Studios and Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, or a visit to the famous International Speedway at Daytona Beach? visitflorida.com


Maryland Maryland may be one of the smaller US states in area, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in history, culture and contemporary fun! The largest city, Baltimore, bubbles with great attractions for families including Maryland Zoo, the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center and Port Discovery Children’s Museum. Nearby you’ll also find the Six Flags theme park, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum and the Wild West-themed Adventure Park USA. For some downtime, head to Sandy Point State Park on the shoreline of majestic Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the country, or you can even dip your family toes into the nation’s capital, Washington DC, only 65km from Baltimore. visitmaryland.org

High mountain peaks and long, long stretches of shoreline give visitors to North Carolina the best of both worlds! Zipline, hike, picnic and camp in the mountains and swim, surf, kayak and paddleboard at the beaches – it’s that simple. Visit pretty towns and the exciting Piedmont cities from Charlotte to Raleigh and Fayetteville to WinstonSalem. Explore the decks of Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington. Connect with wildlife at the North Carolina Zoo. Walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge in the crisp clean air atop Grandfather Mountain. You can search for treasure in a gem mine or ride thrilling roller coasters at Carowinds. visitnc.com


North Carolina

© Georgia Department of Economic

With breathtaking scenery and delightful cities, its no wonder over 700 feature films - Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes – have been shot in the Peach State! If you’re looking for authentic southern charm, visit elegant, cobble-stoned Savannah (Georgia’s first city), with its gorgeous architecture and streets lined with moss-draped oaks. Even in vibrant and bustling Atlanta, the state capital, you can still expect all the southern courtesies that evoke her most famous fictional resident, Scarlett O’Hara! Get out and about and explore Centennial Olympic Park, visit The World of Coca-Cola, Zoo Atlanta and the world’s largest aquarium. Take a ride on SkyView, the giant ferris wheel that spins 20 storeys above the city and learn about Atlanta’s history in the American Civil Rights Movement at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Just 15 minutes from Atlanta is the Panola Mountain State Park, a National Heritage area and fantastic recreation park for families. Head out of the cities to Georgia’s historic High Country for great outdoor adventures and discover a truly diverse state across the coast, to the mountains. exploregeorgia.org

Panola Mountain State Park, Stockbridge Georgia

South Carolina

From the capital, Columbia, in the centre of the state, to the old world charm of Charleston, and its bustling French Quarter, south to Hilton Head Island and north to Myrtle Beach, you’ll find the famous South Carolina hospitality in every town along the way - and the views along the coastline are breathtaking! Myrtle Beach is also famous, and has a well-deserved reputation, for being one of the top family holiday destinations in the USA. The area, known as The Grand Strand, is replete with 100km of family-friendly beaches, all kinds of great accommodation, 12 towns and communities and fun, fun, fun. Explore the great shops, eats, entertainment and attractions Broadway at the Beach offers – lie on a bed of nails and ride a virtual rollercoaster at WonderWorks and experience the new rides and nostalgia rides,

Opposite main pic: Memphis Tennessee © tnvacation.com

Top: Myrtle Beach South Carolina © visitmyrtlebeach.com

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SAVE MONEY. SAVE TIME. Atlanta Boston Chicago Dallas Houston New York City Philadelphia San Francisco Seattle Southern California Tampa Bay Toronto

Learn more or buy at citypass.com



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for all ages, at Pavilion Park! Visit The Children’s Museum of South Carolina and take in all the outdoor adventures at Myrtle Beach State Park, or try some mini golf – Myrtle Beach is known as the mini golf capital of the world! discoversouthcarolina.com VisitMyrtleBeach.com


West Virginia

‘The Mountain State’ is the perfect playground for great outdoors-loving families, with more than its fair share of breathtaking scenery, rivers, lush green mountains, wilderness, gorges, waterfalls and forests. When Virginia boasts that it’s ‘wild and wonderful’, you can believe it! The state also has a strong Appalachian culture and you can see this illustrated through a variety of activities and artefacts music, dancing, storytelling and handcrafts that include glass and pottery wares, quilts and furniture and musical instruments! And if you love pancakes and maple syrup you’ll find West Virginia produces some of the most delicious syrup you’ll ever taste! gotowv.com

Delaware In 1787, Delaware became the first state of the modern United States, following the American Revolution. Wilmington is the largest city and popular for its proximity to the historic and picturesque Brandywine Valley. The Wilmington Riverfront runs alongside the Christina River and is a vibrant family-friendly area full of great eats, shops, entertainment– and the mustsee Delaware Children’s Museum. Delaware is also renowned for its iconic Du Pont Mansions, multiple and splendid gardens, and open spaces perfect for walking, biking, kayaking and fishing. Its also famous for its long stretch of beautiful beaches! Kids will love the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach with Funland and Jungle Jim’s Water Park, or head to Bethany Beach

and Fenwick Island for a fun outing – plus shopping is tax-free in Delaware! visitdelaware.com


The Deep South atmosphere is palpable throughout Alabama, a state with an impressive historical and cultural legacy that permeates everything from its architecture and food to entertainment and attractions. A key player in the American Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, Alabama is also renowned for unique attractions including The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum featuring more than 1,200 vintage and modern motorcycles and racing cars, the museums and historical buildings that punctuate the walk from the Alabama Capitol building to the Alabama River in Montgomery, Moundville Archaeological Park, one of the most significant Native American archaeological sites in the USA, decades of recorded music history enshrined in Muscle Shoals, and the sparkling beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach (visit The Wharf at Orange Beach for fantastic family fun and entertainment!) on the Alabama Gulf Coast. alabama.travel © Delaware Tou rism Office

Virginia’s place in the history of the United States of America is undeniably rich, with four of the first five presidents hailing from the state, including the very first, George Washington. See America’s history come to life at one of the many museums and historical sites across the state – from the early explorers through to the pioneer years and the Civil War of 1861-1865. Have fun at Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg and Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark; visit Hunt Club’s Petting Farm and play Jungle Golf at Virginia Beach and soak up the atmosphere and entertainment on the 17th Street Park Boardwalk; explore one of Virginia’s 36 state parks boasting backdrops as diverse as the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean and take a trip to see the spectacular Luray Caverns in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley, the largest caverns in eastern USA! virginia.org

Rehoboth Beach, Delawa



‘The Bluegrass State’ is known the world over for Louisville’s iconic Kentucky Derby, Bourbon exported around the globe, Colonel Sanders of fried chicken fame, Bluegrass Music and Daniel Boone. But that ain’t all! Kentucky is also the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln (in Hodgenville) and Muhammad Ali (in

Top: Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia © Colonial Williamsburg Foundation/ Virginia Tourism Corporation

Mammoth Cave Lantern Tour, Kentucky © kentuckytourism.com

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If you’ve heard of the Delta Blues then you know a little about the state known as the Birthplace of American Music. Blues legends abound (the late BB King was born in Mississippi) … but if your knowledge of the genre is a little sparse, surely you’ve heard of Elvis Presley, one of Mississippi’s most revered sons? Pay homage to these legends on the Mississippi Blues Trail and Country Music Trail, and at the childhood home of ‘the King’ in Tupelo. Mississippi is enriched by the significant African American history of The Magnolia State, dating back to the arrival of the first slaves in 1817. Through the Civil War and Civil Rights (travel the Mississippi Freedom Trail), the cultural impact is apparent in everything here - from art, music and literature to mouth-watering cuisines! See cotton fields and cornfields, catch catfish and crawfish and keep your eyes peeled for iconic paddle wheeler river boats idling down the famous, and mighty, Mississippi River. visitmississippi.org


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Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, … and the list of Tennessee cities, that just roll off the tongue, has only begun. Rock’n’roll and soul music claim Memphis origins, Nashville’s Grand Ol’ Opry is a country music institution and Chattanooga stars in the classic song ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ - and offers great family friendly attractions including the Tennessee Aquarium, Rock City and Ruby Falls! Then there’s Knoxville, set in a prime scenic position in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, on the banks of the Tennessee River. In under an hour from Knoxville you can experience hiking, canoeing, camping and mountain biking in the Smoky Mountains, and while in that region visit Dolly Parton’s iconic theme park Dollywood in the town of Pigeon Forge. In Memphis you can visit Elvis Presley’s Graceland, enjoy a southern barbecue and the music and entertainment that burst forth from Beale Street, and take a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River. tnvacation.com

Oklahoma cherokee heritage

Arkansas President Bill Clinton is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, and at The Clinton Presidential Library you’ll see the largest collection of presidential papers and artifacts in U.S. history. While in Little Rock, let the kids experience the Over the Jumps Carousel at the Little Rock Zoo featuring the rare “over the jumps” mechanism

© Travelok.com

Louisville). Head an hour or so out of Louisville to Mammoth Cave National Park to view the longest cave system in the world, with more than 500km of explored underground trails. At the park’s gateway, in the Cave City area, you can check out a host of kitschy attractions including Dinosaur World, the Wax Museum, Guntown Mountain, Mike’s Rock Shop and Kentucky Down Under before exploring the park’s outdoor activities that range from ziplining and horse riding to canoeing and biking! Discover Bone Lick, near Union, a state park with a prehistoric past, Red River Gorge in Wolfe County, and visit thoroughbred horse farms in Lexington, the ‘Horse Capital of the World’! kentuckytourism.com

where your trusty steed or colorful chariot goes on an undulating trip over “hills” instead of the usual upand-down. It’s the only one of its kind left in the world. Head for the ‘real’ hills or, more specifically, to Arkansas’ spectacular Ozarks in the northwest and north central part of the state and stop at Eureka Springs, a tiny Victorian village brimming with great food, shops, fun and history. Try the Loco Ropes in Ozark Folk Center State Park that includes a high-wire zipline course with over 30 challenges. Search for diamonds (and keep them!) at The Crater of Diamonds in Murfreesboro. arkansas.com

Louisiana Another southern state with music at its heart, Louisiana’s New Orleans (pronounced Noo-Orleens) is world-renowned as jazz-central, but across all regions of the state, American blues, rock ‘n’ roll and country music have also flourished, giving the world artists including Jerry Lee Lewis and Tim McGraw. Louisiana is indeed a heady and intoxicating place to visit, grown from its French, Spanish, Caribbean, African and Native American cultures, and it is unique in the US for the distinctive Cajun French accent of many of its inhabitants. Revel in the excitement of the French Quarter in New Orleans; take the kids to see history brought to life at plantation homes along the Mississippi River; explore the ‘International Space Station’ at the Sci-Port Discovery Center in Shreveport, and in Lafayette, visit the Children’s Museum of Acadiana and learn about the Cajun way of life at Vermilionville. Hold a baby alligator at the Alligator Park in Natchitoches, in the bayous, go on a swamp tour, or head out on a Creole Nature Trail - and make sure you try the unique, and sensational, flavours of Louisiana-style cuisine everywhere you go! louisianatravel.com

Oklahoma 39 Native American nations are headquartered in Oklahoma, a sweeping state with more diverse

landscapes than any other US state - expect to see forests, sand dunes, red dirt, prairies and cypress swamps! The famous Route 66 runs through here and you’ll find some of the best-preserved roadside attractions along the way. Oklahoma is also home to over 80% of the world’s ‘western’ art so make sure you visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. Stop in at the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole and the hands-on Science Museum in Oklahoma City and see real-life cowboys and cowgirls in action at the Oklahoma City Stockyards’ twice-weekly auctions. travelok.com

From left: Rodeo, Ozarks Arkansas © arkansas.com

Lafayette, Louisiana © lafayettetravel.com

Blue Front Café, Bentonia, Mississippi © visitmississippi.com

Opposite page: Longhorn, Texas © iStock/codyphotography


Texas is the unofficial Cowboy Capital of the USA and incorporates seven distinct regions, from the grandeur of the old west found in Big Bend Country to the heart of Texas in Hill Country. Set amongst the prairies and plains, you’ll discover big cities including Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio and smaller towns like Alamo, Rockport, Nacogdoches and Fredericksburg, all of which give The Lone Star State its unique flavour. Take the kids to any one of the many dude ranches across the state and they’ll learn to wrangle like a true Texan rancher; watch a rodeo, see how traditional ‘cowboy boots’ are made, visit the famous Fort Worth Stockyards. Learn more about the hospitality of the Mexican culture in any of the towns in the Rio Grande Valley; have fun exploring the museums and zoos in San Antonio (and the Six Flags theme park!) and delve into the legend of the battle of the Alamo and Davy Crockett, an original frontiersman. And for something a little bit different – discover the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast region and the family-friendly attractions in Galveston, Houston and Corpus Christi. traveltex.com For more information visit au.discoveramerica.com WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au



Start your next U.S. holiday Texas-style in Dallas and Fort Worth. You’ll fly through our fast customs lanes and into the world’s best combination of shopping and western adventure. Ride a horse, learn to two-step, meet cowboys and enjoy our modern Texas brews, cocktails and cuisine. Kick it up, kick back and enjoy Texas’ best.


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Must-See Cities

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Previous page: French Quarter, New Orleans © iStock/Meinzahn

Right: Santa Monica Pier © iStock/LPETTET

Seattle © iStock/Veni

Indianapolis Zoo © Visit Indy

Legoland, Orlando © iStock/RobHainer

Santa Fe © iStock/Sarah Bossert

Washington DC © iStock/sborisov

New Orleans, Louisiana

The home and heartland of jazz, New Orleans is a city on the Mississippi River, where Caribbean, American, French and African cultures collide, imbuing it with an exotic blend of sights, sounds, flavours and attractions you won’t find anywhere else on the planet! Make your first stop the famous French Quarter, which positively pulsates with an electric atmosphere, and stroll through the 120 blocks of authentic old world New Orleans. Street artists and entertainers, carriage rides and museums offer a full day’s adventure here. Then take an iconic streetcar ride on the St. Charles line, along charming, character and history-filled streets lined with ancient live oaks, on your way to Audubon Park, the Audubon Zoo and the Aquarium of the Americas. Don’t leave without letting the family sample amazing, mouth-watering southern cuisine, New Orleans-style, in any one of the many friendly restaurants and cafes that perfectly punctuate this eclectic city! neworleanscvb.com

Seattle, Washington When the forefathers of the city first established Seattle, they laid claim to a premium location - green hills, surrounded by water, and sandwiched between two mountain ranges - that gave rise to its unofficial name, ‘Emerald City’. Seattle’s natural beauty and outdoor attractions are a given, but its real welcome comes from the relaxed and friendly pace set by the locals. Seattle is also known for being quirky, embracing and fun, and in the heart of the city that ethos is evident in the many attractions that tip their hat to art (multiple museums and Olympic Sculpture Park) and music (Seattle is the birthplace of grunge music – visit the EMP Museum); the fabulous and fun (the iconic Space Needle, Seattle Great Wheel, Seattle Center Monorail); and the funky and foodie (Seattle Waterfront, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market and even the original Starbucks!) Grab a great value Seattle CityPASS for all-inclusive admission to multiple attractions including the Space Needle, Aquarium, a harbour tour and your choice of other fun experiences. visitseattle.org citypass.com/seattle

Orlando, Florida What to do in Orlando? A better question would be ‘where to start?’ because Orlando is known the world over as theme park central, and every kid’s idea of a great holiday destination! Before you embark on your theme park adventure, explore Downtown Orlando, which wraps around Lake Eola, and feed the swans from Lake Eola Park, or hire a swan-shaped paddle boat before grabbing a bite to eat, marvelling at the city’s impressive skyline, and planning out which theme park is first on the itinerary! Whether it’s Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, The Wizarding


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World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, a wonderland of ocean animals at SeaWorld or the amazing LEGOLAND, your days and nights will be jam-packed with guaranteed delight. visitorlando.com

Santa Monica, California With enormous appeal for visiting Aussie families, the beachfront city of Santa Monica sits between Los Angeles (only 13 km away) and the beautiful Pacific Ocean, and is a true seaside town that boasts palm trees and promenades, beaches, history and contemporary Southern California charm. The famous 106-year-old Santa Monica Pier is a hub of amusements, attractions, beaches, stalls and shops, surfers and bodybuilders and sensational fresh seafood, and the must-ride, much-photographed, solar-powered Ferris Wheel in Pacific Park! Swim, bodysurf, play beach volleyball, cycle the bike path and people watch! Stroll a few blocks from the pier to explore Downtown Santa Monica/Third Street Promenade, with over 200 shops, and a whole range of tasty choices for family eats! Laid back and lively, it may sound incongruous, but Santa Monica effortlessly rolls out the beachside lifestyle and urban adventures in a side-by-side experience that provides a perfect holiday playground for visiting families. Stay and play or visit for the day, the kids will love it! santamonica.com

Indianapolis, Indiana

They call it INDY – friendly and informal, reflecting the prevailing funky and hospitable vibe here, that belies the fact that Indianapolis is actually Indiana’s largest city. An incredible metropolis it is, but it’s also a family-centric place that boasts the world’s largest Children’s Museum. Of course Indy is known the globe over for its iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where

IndyCars jostle for position at the ultimate family experience, the Indy500. Motor racing fans of all ages will get a buzz touring the speedway and testing their skills behind the wheel of a racing simulator at Dallara IndyCar Factory. For more sport, tour the arenas that host Indiana’s hometown football and basketball greats – the NFL Indianapolis Colts and the NBA Indiana Pacers. Kids of all ages love dressing up, hopping into a stagecoach, and playing in the General Store at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and wandering the 60ha of gardens and grounds at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Call into the Indianapolis Star Family Studio there and experience the free, interactive space designed for families to imagine, explore, create, share, and collaborate with art in new ways, together. Explore the 80ha of the city’s urban green space at White River State Park where world-class museums, outdoor live music, paddle boats and gondolas beckon, before a visit to the triple accredited Zoo, Aquarium and Botanic Garden that welcomes over one million visitors each year! visitindy.com

Washington, DC

The White House, in the District of Columbia, is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States of America. That’s worth a visit to DC alone! For a city so intertwined with American history, that boasts spectacular monuments, memorials and impressive, important buildings, DC sure knows how to provide a whole lot of family fun. Washington DC is home to ten world-famous Smithsonian Institution museums (think ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’), all located on or near the National Mall, that the kids will go nuts over – and they are all free! Explore space, fun movie history and our prehistoric world, and discover historic

Union Station, the largest railway station in the world when it opened in 1907, now meticulously restored with shopping and entertainment onsite too. Find out what it’s really like to be a spy at DC’s International Spy Museum! Ideal for kids aged 7 years and older (admission for children 6 years and under is free), the interactive spy experiences are awesome and bring out the inner Inspector Gadget or James Bond in every visitor. You can also explore the 50 Years of Bond Villains exhibit, with over 100 artifacts from the famous Bond movies. washington.org

Santa Fe, New Mexico The USA’s second oldest city (400 years old) is also the country’s highest state capital, perched at the base of the Rocky Mountains and sharing its borders with Colorado, Arizona, Texas and Mexico. Its rich Native American, Wild West and Spanish heritage has shaped Santa Fe’s contemporary culture. Vibrant and colourful, Santa Fe’s many Native American pueblos (villages) and the work of its artists and artisans - turquoise and silver jewellery, paintings and sculpture, weavings and pottery – continue to influence this very distinctive American city. Kids will love learning more in a handson environment at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, the Museum of International Folk Art and on a visit to El Rancho De Las Golondrinas, a colonial rancho transformed into a living history museum. Just to round out the breadth of activities and attractions for families in Santa Fe, the city also boasts a Skateboard School and Museum for all ages and abilities, and the decidedly different Harrell House of Natural Oddities and Bug Museum and Store! In winter, Santa Fe takes advantage of its alpine climate and turns into a magical snow fun playground for skiing, sledding and ice-skating. santafe.org WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


From above: Boston aquarium shark and ray touch tank © discoveramerica.com/S Cheng

Carriage tour Charleston © discoveramerica.com

Sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco © sanfrancisco dot travel

Boston, Massachusetts Boston is a modern city full of history! Renowned for its fantastic family-friendly eateries (try some Boston Cream Pie while you’re there!), fabulous seafood and the Boston Red Sox (the city’s pro baseball team), Boston’s seam is comprised of strong Irish-American roots with strong African-American roots and an urban buzz that offers plenty of great family-friendly attractions. Kids will love the Boston Children’s Museum where ‘don’t touch is never heard’ and exploring the Museum of Science. At the city’s newest urban park, Greenway, there are spray pools and fountains for water play, and on Boston’s famous waterfront you can whale watch, take a sunset cruise or venture into a world of robots, holographs and weird science at the world-famous MIT Museum. Take in LEGOLAND Discovery Center or head out on a Boston tour with a difference – a Duck Tour, to be precise – where your transport is an amphibious WWIIstyle landing craft that travels on land and water! Visit the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on the waterfront and aside from a fascinating history lesson, you’ll also experience panoramic views of the Boston skyline and Harbor Islands. Book any one of a diverse range of city walking tours, suitable for families, and delve into Boston’s fascinating history first-hand. Grab a Boston CityPASS for discounted admission to a variety of attractions including Skywalk Observatory and the New England Aquarium. bostonusa.com citypass.com/boston

Charleston, South Carolina You may have heard of the 1923 tune and dance, ‘The Charleston’, which was named for this beautiful South Carolina harbour city. Immortalised in music, the oftencalled ‘charming and quaint’ Lowcountry city of Charleston is used to being in the spotlight because it’s one of the most loved US cities, constantly topping readers’ polls and attracting visitors in droves. There’s just something about the genteel southern spirit that is evoked here, the ambience, the history, the pretty, colourful, cobbled streets, and the beautiful beaches just minutes from downtown! Kids will love the South Carolina Aquarium and the


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Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. At the Old Slave Mart Museum, learn about Charleston’s part in the slave trade, and at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon see where American Patriots were held prisoner during the War of Independence. Take the ferry across Charleston’s harbour to Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began, with the first shots fired on the Fort in 1861. charlestoncvb.com

San Francisco, California One of the most popular and most-visited cities in America, a family holiday is not complete without walking across the famous Golden Gate Bridge, hopping on a cable car and hanging out at Fisherman’s Wharf – and taking lots of selfies with these notable landmarks! Historic Fisherman’s Wharf has it all for families. A beautiful marina–side hub bursting with attractions, eateries and entertainment, the kids will love Aquarium of the Bay, the 7D Experience, Madame Tussauds, The Sea Lion Experience and Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Start your adventures at Pier 39 and you won’t miss any of the action, plus you’ll discover great places for the family to eat, indulge in treats and shop! San Francisco is bursting at the seams with over 60 diverse museums (including Walt Disney Family Museum), and a bustling, world-famous Chinatown. Plus, San Francisco sits right on the doorstep of the 30,000ha Golden Gate National Recreation Area - one of the largest urban parks in the world - with islands, redwood forests, beaches and plenty of fun outdoor activities on offer! And don’t miss a trip across the San Francisco Bay to ‘The Rock’ – the infamous Alcatraz prison! A San Francisco CityPASS will get you discounted admission into the California Academy of Sciences, a Blue & Gold Fleet bay cruise, a choice between Aquarium of the Bay and Monterey Bay Aquarium as well as a choice between the Exploratorium and the de Young and Legion of Honor museums. sanfrancisco.travel citypass.com/san-francisco au.discoveramerica.com citypass.com

Discover this land, like never before.

Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis, Indiana

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Where can you go to find the very best that Southern California has to offer? Follow your dreams to a city unlike any other. Where the legendary Sunset Strip meets the stylish West Hollywood Design District. Where eclectic dining meets electric nightlife.

Leave everything that’s

conventional, expected and mundane at home, and go big, go bold, go WeHo. visitwesthollywood.com

West Coast

Festival Fun America’s west coast runs north to south, from the border of Canada in Oregon, through Washington and California all the way to the Mexican border – and dotted along this long stretch of Pacific coastline are a multitude of ‘come one, come all’ fun family festivals and events that highlight the very best of its friendly cities and towns.

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CALIFORNIA Los Angeles County Fair It’s the largest county fair in the USA with 1.5 million visitors each year and takes place throughout September in Pomona about 30 minutes east of LA. Originally a farm fair, the Los Angeles County Fair now has everything for family and kids, including big name entertainers, star-studded entertainment (dancing, bands, performance art), daily carnivals and street parades, fun rides, superstar livestock exhibits and competitions, and shopping. Have fun watching pigs, ducks and turkeys compete at the Barnyard Races. You can also enjoy wondrous encounters with sea lions, stingrays and sharks at Beneath the Sea. Also famous for its inventive range of fried-everything-imaginable foods to keep you going through the day. There is so much to do at the LA County Fair you may want a season pass for $30. Free admission for children aged 5 or under. lacountyfair.com

California State Fair

California State Fair Make your way to Sacramento in July for the California State Fair, a hugely popular event with more than 750,000 visitors annually, and part of California’s history for more 160 years. Some of the highlights include horse racing, carnival rides and live entertainment, including big name stars of music and comedy. Animals are another highlight, especially for kids, and include a farm nursery, livestock pavilion, an exotic birds exhibit and a petting zoo with deer, llamas, otters and reptiles. castatefair.org

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Head to San Francisco’s Japantown in mid-April for the popular Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival which celebrates Japanese-American culture and attracts more than 200,000 people each year. Highlights include the food stalls, where you get to try a great selection of tasty Japanese cuisine. You can also take a lesson in how to make simple Origami figures from folded paper or you may like the display of traditional Japanese dolls made by enthusiasts in the San Francisco area. The main highlight is the two hour Grand Parade beginning at City Hall and ending in Japantown on the last day of the festival – and don’t miss the coronation night for the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen. Free Admission. sfcherryblossom.org

Renaissance Pleasure Fair Fancy a pit stop into Elizabethan England whilst visiting the US West Coast? If the answer is yes this fair could be for you. Renaissance Fairs are becoming increasingly popular in the US, and this is one of the largest. Parents and kids will be entertained with theatre for all ages, music, dance, comedy, swordplay and jousting competitions. See

Portland Rose Festival 112

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Queen Elizabeth and her court on parade and have tea with her as well. There are role playing games for kids and adults, as well as craft and artisan workshops. Try some of the traditional food and drink on offer. Costumes are pretty essential to get in the mood especially for kids, so if you forgot to pack your suit of armour or corset, dress and accessories can all be hired or purchased on the day. The event is held over April and May in Irwindale, Southern California. Admission for children under 5 get is free. renfair.com

California Strawberry Festival A perennially popular event that celebrates everything to do with strawberries - and much more - with all proceeds going to charity. Feast on all kinds of unusual strawberry delights including strawberry pizza and strawberry nachos. There are contests and races all involving strawberries and, apart from strawberries, there’s live entertainment and over 200 arts and crafts stalls. Strawberryland is for kids with rides and attractions, where they will be greeted by Strawberry Shortcake herself. The Strawberry Promenade features celebrity cooking demonstrations and contests and it all happens in the third weekend in May, with free admission for children aged 4 and under. strawberry-fest.org

Summer Solstice Celebration Celebrate the height of summer in Santa Barbara at this must-see free event over the Summer Solstice weekend in June. The whole city comes alive in a massive Solstice parade of highly creative floats, giant puppets, fanciful costumes and fantastic masks, with more than 1000 people taking part. There are two stages of live music to enjoy as well as a DJ area to dance away the weekend plus food, arts and crafts and, on Saturday, a drum circle to keep the beat going. There’s also a children’s area with its own stage line-up of music and entertainment, as well as face painting, an air slide, and free arts and craft activities. Admission is free. solsticeparade.com

Above: Portland Rose Festival Far left: California Strawberry Festival

Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jump Jubilee The Frog Jump Jubilee at this county fair is a tradition dating back to 1928, inspired by Mark Twain’s short story “The Celebrated Frog of Calavera County”. The competition begins on the first day and culminates with the International Frog Jump Grand Finals for the Top 50 frogs, with a $5000 prize for the winner. Although the frog jump is the highlight of the fair, there is plenty of other entertainment, such as your favourite carnival rides, livestock shows and the Frogtown Rodeo. There are other fun and educational activities especially for kids. The fair is held over four days in the third week of May. frogtown.org WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


From above: Pirates ar Seafair Seattle Washington © Rod Mar/Washington State

Seafair Seattle Washington © Rod Mar/Washington State

Oregon State Fair © BXxxxxxx




The Portland Rose Festival

Seattle’s Seafair is the largest festival in the Northwest where you can have fun all summer long - a major July/ August event celebrated by people in Washington for over 60 years. The Seafair website has a list of all the many events to keep the family entertained. Highlights include the boat races, street parades, block parties, air shows and Miss Seafair. Make sure you are around for SeaFair Weekend to catch the Boeing Seafair Air Show and The Unlimited hydroplane races. There are even amateur athletics events for parents and kids if you are feeling fit. Families can have a day of fun building milk carton watercraft and racing them for The Milk Carton Derby on Green Lake. Free admission for children under 6. seafair.com

One of the top events in Oregon State, this award-winning festival has been around for over a century and takes place across May and June in the vibrant city of Portland. The Grand Floral Parade is the main highlight of the festival and is the second largest all-floral parade in the US. The festival has plenty for the kids - The Junior Parade is the oldest and largest children’s parade in the country, with around 10,000 local children taking part, while CityFair on Portland’s waterfront has exciting carnival entertainment, rides, food and exotic animal displays. Watch the dragon boat races, or children and adults racing their hand made boats in the Milk Carton Boat Race. Another highlight is the coronation of the Rose Festival Queen, selected from a court of high school seniors. The illuminated floats of the Starlight Parade are also worth seeing. rosefestival.org

Washington State Fair

Compiled by DES CREAGH


The biggest party in Washington State, over a million people visit the Fair each year, across 17 days in September. Offering a huge range of entertainment and fun for the whole family, including star-studded concerts, comedians, yummy food, wild rides, animals and a rodeo parade, there’s plenty of interactive fun for the whole family. Have a go at milking cows or churning butter or maybe you’ll be one of the lucky kids selected from the audience to have the opportunity to become star performers in the Cutest Show on Earth? SillyVille is a special zone for kids featuring loads of rides, kids’ menu food items, and the C.P. Huntington Train that travels through a 36m mine shaft-themed tunnel. thefair.com

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Oregon State Fair This fair’s original purpose was to showcase Oregon’s farm produce and livestock, but is now one of the state’s main entertainment events. As well as all the farm animals to see, there is a great variety of live entertainment with a wealth of music, comedy, theatre, juggling and vaudeville. There are lots of fantastic rides and a cable car to take you from one end of the fair to the other and if you love dogs, don’t miss out on Dog Town for a great collection of dog attractions featuring working dogs, sporting dogs, dog tricks, educational and training demonstrations, and X-Treme Air Dogs diving competitions. The fair is in Salem, Oregon and it’s on from late August to early September. Admission is free for children under 6. oregonstatefair.org

surround yourself with options Mall of America速 is the largest U.S. shopping and family entertainment center located next to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in Minnesota. Enjoy world-class shopping at 520 stores with no sales tax on clothing and shoes. Experience hours of family fun at the biggest U.S. indoor theme park, aquarium, zip line, 50 restaurants, 400 free annual events and much more. Select from over 50 hotels located within 10 minutes, all offering free shuttle service to the Mall and MSP Airport. mallofamerica.com



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Take an empty suitcase … … because when you arrive in America for your family holiday, aside from the wonderful hospitality, fabulous hotels and resorts and fantastic activities and attractions, you’ll also discover that the shopping everywhere is sensational … for all ages! When it comes to shopping in Los Angeles think Beverly Hills, think iconic Rodeo Drive. But there’s also plenty of fantastic shops and outlets in and around LA offering designer, sport and chain brands at prices that won’t blow the budget; and in New York City, whether you’re shopping on Manhattan’s stylish 5th Avenue (the flagship Tiffany & Co. and Saks Fifth Avenue) or midtown, downtown and in between, iconic American department stores including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Barney’s New York vie for your attention, together with Guess, Gap and Baby Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, loads of boutiques and chain stores, and the not-to-be-missed, super-mega Toys “R” US at Broadway and 44th. discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/activities/ shopping nycgo.com/shopping


amusement park, Nickelodeon Universe, SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, movie theatres and food outlets (and that’s just skimming the surface!) this really is one very BIG day out! 35 to 40 million visitors annually take in the phenomenal experience that is Mall of America! mallofamerica.com

Twin Cities Mall Crawl, Minnesota Head out on the Twin Cities Mall Crawl in Minnesota’s Minneapolis-St Paul area and you’ll also find the Twin Cities Premium Outlets where you can generally save between 25-65% on a whole range of items in Eagen (over 100 shops) and Albertville. Visit America’s first regional indoor shopping center – Southdale – which opened in 1956 and now houses 150 stores over three levels with Macy’s Gap and Banana Republic among its offerings. Next door you’ll find the unique specialty stores, including Tiffany & Co., at Galleria. exploreminnesota.com/travel-ideas/twin-citiesmall-crawl/

Grapevine Mills, Texas

Across the country, in towns big and small, the sheer size, scale and added attractions inside American shopping malls and shopping outlets will astound you.

Just outside of Dallas/Fort Worth you’ll find this fantastic complex with great discount shopping – and treat the kids to an outing at the onsite SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center! simon.com/mall/grapevine-mills

Mall of America, Minnesota

Galleria Dallas, Texas

Described as a city within a city, since opening its doors in 1992, Mall of America in Bloomington has become one of the top tourist destinations in the country! With over 520 stores plus an indoor

Everything that makes Dallas Dallas is here – because in the city defined by everything from glitzy fashionistas to all-American cowboys, this is the place that celebrates it al! And before you leave visit the TaxFree Shopping

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Booth, located on Level 3, near Old Navy, to complete the tax-free shopping experience at Galleria Dallas! galleriadallas.com galleriadallas.com/store/tax-free-shopping

Sawgrass Mills, Florida Only 30 minutes from Miami International Airport, Sawgrass Mills is the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States, with more than 350 stores AND there’s ‘Barbie-The Dreamhouse Experience’, an interactive ‘dream’ space of almost 100m²! Take the Dreamhouse elevator from room to room, create your own cupcake in the Barbie kitchen, walk through the endless Barbie closet and so much more! simon.com/mall/sawgrass-mills

The Gardens Mall, Florida Wander around the 1.3 million square metres of shopping centre at Palm Beach and have fun browsing Bloomingdale’s and Macy‘s department stores. Discover high-end fashion from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and more, as well as popular brand names like Baby Gap, Pottery Barn Kids – and even Billabong - and take a break with a little al fresco dining at one of the many fabulous cafes. thegardensmall.com

The Mall at Millenia, Florida Experience Orlando’s upscale and luxurious shopping mall – home to brands including Versace, Prada, Burberry and Saint Laurent – as well as GAP, Diesel, J Crew and H & M. mallatmillenia.com

The Outlets at Orange, California Aside from fantastic shopping savings, you’ll find an IMAX theatre, laser tag, bowling and the largest indoor skate park in Southern California – just a few minutes from Disneyland Resort! simon.com/mall/the-outlets-at-orange

Ontario Mills, California 28 million shoppers each year can’t be wrong! Less than an hour’s drive east of LA is the largest outlet and retail shopping destination in California. simon.com/mall/ontario-mills

Miracle Mile, Nevada While in Las Vegas, make sure you visit this 2km complex at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the famous Vegas Strip. There are 170 stores here including Hoops by Footlocker, and Guess, and the kids will love Chicago’s legendary Garrett Popcorn Shop! Every month the complex partners with local nonprofit organisations to donate all of the change tossed in the center’s fountain and indoor rainstorm. miraclemileshopslv.com

Westfield Yes – you’ll even find Westfield shopping centers in America! Look out for shopping opportunities in California, Washington State, Maryland, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and coming soon to lower Manhattan, NYC, with Westfield’s fashion anchor stores including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. westfieldcorp.com/properties/us

Opposite page: Mall of America © explorminnesota.com Clockwise from top left: The Outlets at Orange, California; © simon.com Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas; © lvcva.com Mall of America; © explorminnesota.com Mall at Millenia Experience, Florida; © visitflorida.com Sawgrass Mills, Florida; Grapevine Mills, Texas. © simon.com

$$$ Shopping savings … A handful of US states are sales tax free (think GST) and others, including Louisiana and Texas, offer sales tax refunds for international visitors. Minnesota, home to the biggest shopping complex in the country, Mall of America, is one of only ten states that doesn’t tax clothing and/or shoes. taxfreetexas.com louisianataxfree.com

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


ENDLESS SUMMER Extend the summer with your loved ones and treat them to an island getaway at the Sheraton Denarau Villas. For booking and more information log onto www.sheraton.com/denarauvillasoffers or www.sheratondenarauvillas.com Email: sheraton.denarauvillas@sheraton.com

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Š The Legendary Pacific Coast/ Carla Grossetti

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Discover our secrets and share

#MyCentaraSecrets At Centara, our family-friendly accommodation includes deluxe rooms, interconnecting suites, private villas with pools and family residences. So it’s incredibly easy for your whole family to relax at some of Asia’s most appealing destinations, such as Thailand, the Maldives, Vietnam and Bali. Up to two children stay and play for free, and they’ll have the time of their lives at our amazing tropical waterparks, as well as at our kids’ clubs. We even offer a full babysitting service. Meanwhile, you can take time out at our luxurious spas, soak up some of the sights or dream away the days at the beach. BOOK DIRECT FOR OUR BEST RATE GUARANTEED www.centarahotelsresorts.com • T: 02 9018 9322 • E: rsoaus@chr.co.th


© The Legendary Pacific Coast/ Carla Grossetti



The Legendary Pacific Coast



Sally-Ann Brown rates Malaysia’s Penang as one of her family’s favourite holiday spots, with great accommodation, delicious food and entertaining day trips - and all only one hour’s flying time from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

A regular visitor to Fiji, Samantha Herbert was committed to ‘give something back’ to the island nation. Volunteering for a month at a remote high school in the Yasawa Islands provided the opportunity to say ‘Vinaka Fiji’, before a reunion with her mother and sister on Fiji’s Coral Coast.




Fiji – page 135

Discovering The Legendary Pacific Coast In the second of our three-part series, Carla Grossetti creates new memories on a familiar road trip – Destination Big Banana on the Coffs Coast, via the Manning Valley, Greater Port Macquarie, the Macleay Valley and Nambucca Heads.


Winter in Japan Picturesque and full of wonderful experiences, Maria Visconti travels to the regions of Kyoto, Hakuba and Shirakawago in Japan to discover a wintry wonderland, the Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani and the truth – “Japan… is a dream!”

Caring & Sharing –a Fiji Experience

Unbeatable Bali – it just keeps getting better! The Sharp Family figured Bali was the perfect venue for dad’s big birthday bash. It was their second family holiday to Bali but, with the kids all older now, their impressions were different and enhanced - suggesting the next visit can’t come soon enough for Jordan, Tahlia and Tyla


“Willkommen … to Walpurgis Night!” Witches and warlocks gather in the foothills of the Harz, the highest mountain range in northern Germany, in the town of Wernigerode, for the annual Walpurgis Night Festival – and Richard Bunting was there to experience the fun and soak up centuries of regional history, culture and tradition!

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


Penang “Penang has truly become one of our favourite holiday spots,” says SALLY-ANN BROWN, “with great accommodation, delicious food and day trips that truly entertain.”

© Sally-Ann Brown


or me a great family holiday starts with the accommodation, and in Penang you are bound to find something that suits your needs. From the Park Royal with its giant waterslides, the Golden Sand’s large covered toddler pool, and the Bayview’s kiddie splash park. Though for us it is the Lil Rock Suite in the Hard Rock Hotel Penang. The partitioned room is great to give parents a little privacy; however it is the hotel’s waterpark that is the true drawcard. My 6 year old son Lewis spends hours daily at the three waterslides, splash park, and diving in the largest freeform pool on Batu Ferringhi Beach, an hour north from Penang’s capital city Georgetown. > penang.hardrockhotels.net

Yum yum In the evenings we take the hotel’s free courtesy shuttle into the centre of Batu Ferringhi for dinner. Most of the restaurants offer a children’s menu, although our favourite place to eat is the Long Beach Food Court. Lewis has a pizza, my husband loves char kaoy teow noodles and I enjoy giant garlic prawns. The food is a sensational fusion of Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Lebanese and Italian cuisines. With our bellies full we stroll 1.2km to our hotel, weaving our way through the night markets selling belts, handbags, T-shirts and DVDs.

© iStock/ © Anthony Brown

Fun adventures After a few days we are ready to explore the island. It is really easy and cheap to get about on the local Rapid Penang Bus. > rapidpg.com.my Starting with a morning adventure at the Tropical Spice Garden, we slather ourselves with insect

repellent, enter the tranquil rainforest and gaze up at the terraced spice trails. Lewis enjoys seeing, feeling and tasting spices and beverage plants like: vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, tea and cacao in their original form, as opposed to the powdered variation we tend to use when cooking at home, and we learn all about the history of Penang’s role in the famous spice trade route. > tropicalspicegarden.com

Penang Butterfly Farm

The Penang Hill funicular train line was officially opened in 1924 and was originally built so that British colonists could enjoy the cooler air atop the hill. It’s become a popular day trip since, with the service running from 6.30am to 9pm daily, and multiple upgrades over the decades means the new car can reach the top in around five minutes! > penanghill.gov.my

We also venture to the Penang Butterfly Farm, which becomes one of our favourite Penang outings. Stepping through the entrance it feels as though we have been transported to another world with butterflies of varying sizes and colours fluttering around us. Whilst we enjoy strolling about the tropical gardens it isn’t until we happen upon the free guided tour that we truly get to appreciate the farm. Our guide shows us how to handle a butterfly, pointing out the three body sections and six legs identifying it as an insect and giving extra snippets of information about the conservation role the butterfly farm plays. > butterfly-insect.com

Getting there Penang is an approximate one hour flight from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Both cities offer full service and discount carriers connecting all major ports in Australia.

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


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The Legendary Pacific Coast Road trips covering familiar territory are about creating new memories, as CARLA GROSSETTI discovers along The Legendary Pacific Coast.


Coast in NSW. Despite undertaking an abridged version of The Legendary Pacific Coast, we still cover a lot of ground including the Manning Valley, Greater Port Macquarie, the Macleay Valley, Nambucca Heads and Coffs Coast. With surfboards strapped to the roof, kids jabbering in the back, it’s onward and upward as we are drawn this way and that for long enough to lose ourselves in the blue seas, emerald fields and vast skies.

The Manning Valley

The Honeycomb Valley Farm, in the Manning Valley, is where we first stray from the ribbon of the Pacific Highway. Here, just three hours north of Sydney, the scenery in and around the verdant valley is

© The Legendary Pacific Coast/ Carla Grossetti

oad trips are about seeing the country’s broad strokes up close, as if you’ve zoomed in on a Google view of the Earth and found yourself part of the image. There’s something very special about slowing down for long enough to enjoy the raw, wild beauty of the countryside and to appreciate the sheer magnitude of the nation. A road trip hammering along the Pacific Highway toward the Big Banana is also a total nostalgia fest and my two sons Fin, 12, and Marley, 11, beg me to repeat my own childhood stories, which they like to label ‘fiascos’. The Legendary Pacific Coast road trip is our chance to forge our very own fiascos on a classic journey steering us some 550km up the highway to the Coffs

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first-rate and the farm a working example of how to make a difference. A pleasing patchwork of rich farmland and small towns are rimmed by the beautiful monolithic hills known as the Bucketts. After seeing a solar oven in action, petting alpacas, collecting eggs and learning about the bees and trees, the boys conduct time trials on a Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course, to well and truly get their ya-yas out, before cramming back into the car. While in the Valley, we also kick off on a kayaking escapade with our guide Tristan Lever from Barrington Tops Adventure Centre, who leads us down the river as it snakes through the deep valley. My sons are in synch with the erratic current, pinballing wildly down the river as our kayaks hiss through the teacoloured water. “The limbs of the trees look like they are cheering us on,” says Fin, taking a moment to admire the landscape. The backdrop of the Bucketts is stunning and Tristan points out wildlife such as eagles and echidnas. Although there are plenty of pretty picnicking spots and roadside stalls, we instead plot a path to Bent on Food in Wingham for an inspired seasonal feast. We also immerse ourselves in the bush experience that night while glamping in a luxurious tipi at Kings Creek Retreat. The next day, we hit the brakes for lunch at Harrigan’s Irish Pub before checking out the Crowdy Head Lighthouse where the boys practise their very best ‘cooeeeeeeeees’.

that act as a natural pantry for the produce. Apart from the joy of watching my sons pluck heartshaped strawberries from the vine – “that is the best strawberry I have ever eaten in my life,” declares Marley - the co-owner of the farm, Tony Sarks, reminds visitors of the simple pleasures to be gained from growing your own food and making preserves. When we roll back onto the highway, we head to Sea Acres Rainforest Centre in the green heart of Greater Port Macquarie. At this stage the kids resemble contortionists in the back seat, and we are all happy to stretch our legs. The reserve contains one of the largest and most outstanding remnants of coastal rainforest in NSW and what my observant son Fin notices is that rather than looking down at their screens, those exploring the 1.3km elevated walkway ‘are all looking up at the trees’. From our viewpoint some 7m above the forest floor, the Pacific Ocean reveals itself while Marley (aka ‘hawk-eye’) spots scarlet robins nesting in a tree branch and a goanna baking in the sun. After learning about the area’s indigenous history and how the rainforest was a rich resource for the local Bipai people, we drive further north to Macksville, where we bags an outdoor table at the Star Hotel for some fine pub fare, before clattering pool cues. All that fresh air and wholesome fun guarantees a good night’s sleep in our waterfront apartment at Marcel Towers.

Greater Port Macquarie

Macleay Valley

To look at the state-of-the-art computerised greenhouses at Ricardoes’ Tomatoes & Strawberries on the outskirts of Port Macquarie, you’d never guess the burgeoning business started life as an honesty box. Over the past decade or so, the environmentally friendly farm has mushroomed to include 30,000 plants across almost one hectare

After fanging it up the highway from Sydney for about five hours, we check into the conveniently located Costa Rica Motel in South West Rocks before tottering into the Sea Breeze Hotel for dinner. Here, there are couples lolling on the balcony, clots of men watching Friday night footy, and talk tangling with laughter as friendly locals walk in off the street. The

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

The limbs of the trees “ look like they are cheering us on...

Images © The Legendary Pacific Coast/ Carla Grossetti

pub grub is fabulous - lovely rustling salads and big old-school burgers - and there is a real joyful uproar in the air. The boys get some hot tips about the local breaks and, after a dawn surf at Gap Beach the next day, we hire hybrid bikes from South West Rocks Bike and Skate and hug the path to Trial Bay Gaol. The Heritage-listed 1886-built jail clings tenaciously to the cliffs and stands as a testament to those who lived and died here. Our guide, Cath Ireland, was a walking compendium of ‘Orrible Histories, and my youngest, Marley, 10, was captivated, absorbing all the grisly details about torture, sentencing and solitary confinement. He was also impressed with the blackand-white photographs of the bearded prisoners. “Mum, they look like olden-day hipsters.”

Nambucca and the Coffs Coast My sons burst into our room like disoriented animals before dawn the next day, frothing at the thought of surfing Main Beach and adding another break to their repertoire. Nambucca Heads has an unfussy small town feel, and after they’ve wriggled into their wetsuits and bravely paddled out through the keyhole to surf the beachie, the Husband and I explore the breakwall, where we enjoy meeting friendly locals, read the messages painted on the rocks and spot the silvery flash of dolphins breaking the satin surface of the sea. When we arrive at The Big Banana mid-morning, it’s to the tune of the sex-ed-inspired song “Pineapple, WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au




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WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

coconuts, big banana”. Thankfully, B1 and B2 in the back are not using the corresponding hand gestures as we pull into the car park of Australia’s very first Big Thing. It’s been years since I stopped off at the Big Banana and it’s clear from the get-go that it has grown up, along with its clientele. While my husband and I romanticise about such retro roadside attractions, it’s also clear that Coffs still captures the flavours of our childhood. We line up to take the Big Banana Toboggan Run, play an 18-hole round of mini golf and watch an informative theatre experience that details the discovery of bananas and their advance through history to the modern day. What’s particularly compelling is the story of the migrants who toiled over the land, the interactive memorabilia and the packing shed, where the bananas are presented on a conveyer belt, like fingers of a splayed hand. When we finally make it to the café, the boys’ agree: “A banana smoothie should be compulsory.” After challenging them to a pop quiz about bananas, the patriarch of the family apologises that he ‘has slipped up’ before rolling out a few Dad jokes. “This smoothie is very a-peeling.” Fueled by the nutritious low-GI fruit and a few banana puns, we head to the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House where we learn about the life cycle of the class of insects in the order Lepidoptera as they flit and fly, mate and multiply. We then wind up at the Pacific Bay Resort where we spend the remnants of the day unravelling in the pool, playing golf and channelling summer. We also reflect on the fact that, as well as the warmth of the people, the diversity of attractions and convenient, affordable accommodation there are now more reasons than ever to pull off the fast lane and chase the sun along The Legendary Pacific Coast. As far as fiascos go, it doesn’t get much better.

Images © The Legendary Pacific Coast/ Carla Grossetti

More Information The Legendary Pacific Coast pacificcoast.com.au

Ricardoes Tomatoes & Strawberries ricardoes.com

Trial Bay Gaol nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/venues/ trial-bay-gaol

Sea Acres Rainforest Centre nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

Honeycomb Valley Farm honeycombvalley.com.au Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre boac.com.au

The Big Banana bigbanana.com Butterfly House butterflyhouse.com.au Star Hotel, Macksville starhotelmacksville.com.au

Kings Creek Retreat, Krambach kingscreekretreat.com.au

Marcel Towers marceltowers.com.au

Bent on Food, Wingham bentonfood.com.au

Novotel Coffs Harbour, Pacific Bay Resort pacificbayresort.com.au

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


Singapore is alive with fun and adventure that is there just waiting for you to discover! See the magnicent white tigers at Singapore Zoo, or venture into the Night Safari... the world’s rst safari park for nocturnal animals. River Safari offers an unforgettable adventure inspired by the world’s most iconic rivers. Experience the thrills of Universal Studios Singapore on Sentosa Island and the heights of the Singapore Flyer. It’s all there waiting for you! With so much to explore and fares so low, nows the time to get out there and start your Singapore safari. Fly Scoot. Save Loot!

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Winter in Japan “Japan … is a dream”, a fellow snow bunny reported to MARIA VISCONTI, over a glass of mulled wine - a disclosure that provided sufficient inspiration for a winter adventure abroad in 2015.


ears of skiing locally in Australia made us comfortable with the old routine of packing up the car and heading for the slopes. Yes, we dreamt occasionally of the big powder hubs but the thought of international travel and language barriers was enough to keep us in the known path. Goodness knows what hurdles would have to be conquered if we ventured abroad. “Japan… is a dream” stayed in the back of our minds and this year, inspired by a desire to shake up old routines, we took the plunge. The rest is history.

Tokyo to Nagano

© iStock/Rat0007

Getting to Japan is easy and the two-hour time zone difference from the east coast of Australia negates jetlag. From Tokyo’s Narita Airport we

follow the signs for the Shinkansen (bullet trains) that will take us on the one-hour journey to Nagano. Thanks to the Japan Rail staff at the Airport station, and signs in English, we board in one smooth, worry-free manoeuvre. (Yes, we were well prepared. “Do not leave home without a Japan RailPass -you can only get it in Australia prior to leaving” – we’d been helpfully advised!) Bent on not missing any opportunity to combine culture with a skiing trip, at Nagano I steer the gang towards one of the many Ramen (a specialty of the area) eateries lining the main street. We have a hotel van booked to pick us up - but not just yet! Not until we pay a visit to Zenko-ji, the 7th-century Buddhist temple which, according to legend, will ensure my passage to the Land of Happiness.

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


Above from top left: Kyoto - view from flat Hakuba Shirakagawo Maiko for a day - Kyoto All images © Maria Visconti

This World Heritage-listed village feels like we have “ just walked into a Christmas postcard: gingerbread houses with lashings of fondant on top … ” We make the village of Hakuba our base. Famous for hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 1998, it has 11 resorts spread over a huge mountain range, 138 ski lifts and five gondolas. Well-priced ski passes allow you to link several resorts, with choices from challenging runs to wideopen, gentle slopes. The family friendly Highland Hotel, is a cosy, 3 star establishment with spectacular open-air thermal baths facing a panorama of mountains. Free shuttles every 20 minutes take you to all ski bases and resorts. Iwatake has the easiest terrains, so we start there. It is Australia Day and there are flags flying, toasts by snowboarders, and kids with mini Aussie flags sticking out of their crash helmets. Crocodiles of little children pass by following their instructor, carving big, gentle curves in the snow. The equipment fitting area has the friendliest staff I have ever met, and English is widely spoken. Just in front of us, a group of tiny tots decked in the most brilliant of snow suits gently (and quietly) boards the gondola, two by two, under the watchful eye of their instructor. Eager to explore, we transfer in the afternoon to Happo-One and Goryu (all on the same lift ticket). From this range, a panorama of seven resorts opens up. Happo village becomes a favourite with lots of eateries (izakayas), trendy bars and cafes.


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For a special celebration we have lunch at Hotel de La Neige Higashi-kan, a forest hotel that sits among 100-year-old trees with the restaurant occupying a huge conservatory-like glass enclosure. Hakuba is not just a ski resort. It is a valley where people live, plant rice and worship at ancient shrines, and exploring it on foot is a true experience.

Day trips in the Nagano area Bathing in the hot springs, deep down a valley surrounded by snow, the experience of seeing the wild Snow Monkeys at Jigokudani, who come to the thermal pools in winter, is truly unique. Obuse is the historic town that is home to Hokusai, the famous 19th-century artist best known in the west for his Great Wave and Red Fuji woodblock prints. There is a museum here dedicated to his art. (Both the Snow Monkeys and Obuse can be combined on the same day trip.)

Kyoto: The heart of Japan With our handy Rail Passes we thought it a great idea to combine our snow holiday with the opportunity to sightsee and live like locals at the heart of Japan: Kyoto. Sound daunting? Never fear! Japan-Experience provides foreign visitors with the opportunity to rent a flat or house for as short a period as three nights while a ‘Travel Angel’ looks over you, and

introduces you to local shops, points out the ‘must sees’ and answers any and every question! Our flat in Kyoto, overlooking the iconic pagoda of Kiyomizu-dera, in the Gion district, is a gem. It comes equipped with everything: state-of-the-art washing/ dryer machine (and detergent); electric kettle; free wifi; full kitchen and linen. We also have a convenience shop right next door which we run to regularly for freshly baked pastries and all our breakfast needs.

Winter Magic: Shirakawago This World Heritage-listed village feels like we have just walked into a Christmas postcard: gingerbread houses with lashings of fondant on top (snowfalls are heavy here) dot this sleepy hollow, where locals originally survived by farming silk worms in their attics! A few traditional houses serve as guesthouses (minshuku) and we stay at Minshuku Furusato where rooms are traditionally Japanese, and both breakfast and dinner - included in the price- are served in a common room with a central stove for warmth. There are bus day trips from Takayama and other major cities as well. Japan is a winter paradise. Aside from the skiing facilities and reliable snowfalls the cultural aspect is unbeatable. Combining the two not only makes sense, it gives you fantastic value for money. > laneige-higashikan.com > japan-experience.com/japan-rail-pass > japan-experience.com Visit Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) > jnto.org.au

Shirakagawo (food) Snow Monkeys

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


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Sharing – a Fiji experience

Firm Fiji fan SAMANTHA HERBERT was so inspired by the work of Vinaka Fiji on her last visit that she volunteered for a month-long stint in the remote Yasawa Islands, taking part in the organisation’s program at Yasawa High School. From that rewarding experience to a Fiji reunion with her mother and sister, before a big birthday island bash with extended family, the timing couldn’t have been better!

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iji always delivers on the quintessential sun and sand, cocktails and indulgence and flop and drop holiday that we all imagine when we think of this Pacific paradise. But meeting the fabulous students at Yasawa High School on my last visit prompted me to add a month of volunteering prior to our already scheduled extended family birthday celebrations in Fiji for my grandfather. Voluntourism has a lot going for it, as I realised when I stepped off the boat at Barefoot Island Lodge, which is base camp for the volunteers. The beauty of Fiji invites clichés … crystal clear water, colourful reefs, white beaches, sunrise and sunset lookouts - but they’re only clichés because they’re true! I had the weekend to myself before my volunteering stint began, so it was time to unwind and relax into ‘Fiji time’ and soon I was snorkelling in the warm waters and exploring the reef that hugged the shores. The rest of the time I spent blissing out under a palm tree, coconut in one hand and book in the other, moving from beach to beach and welcoming the warm colours of the sunrise in the morning and farewelling the sun as it set in a blaze of glory. The breathtaking natural beauty of the island makes it easy for the whole family to be entertained … kids playing on the beach (while parents have a sunset cocktail) equals fabulous family holiday fun. And who needs tech when you have technicolour!

Earning my keep Yasawa High School, together with Vinaka Fiji, has three established areas of vocational programs – education, sustainable communities and marine conservation. I was excited to spend the time with the delightful school kids. Between teaching English and working to help create an organic garden for the school, building


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Yasawa High School growing boxes for the garden and planting tomatoes, cabbages and beans, it felt so rewarding to know that I was contributing to the wellbeing of the kids. After a day’s work, it was a delight to return to my ‘home’ at Barefoot Island Lodge where I was greeted with hugs, huge smiles and questions about my day. Vinaka Fiji and Barefoot have teamed up to host the volunteers and provide meals and accommodation as part of an all-inclusive weekly package. Families staying on Barefoot Island can benefit from a discount by spending one day volunteering, which is an amazing opportunity for the family to meet the local kids and get involved to help plant, teach and play!

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Friendly staff @ Club InterContinental I also helped to teach the children who were struggling to read and write English, by using puzzles and storybooks. What a victory it was to help them learn a new word or even finish a whole book! It was wonderful to see the kids improving throughout the week.

Time for a different taste of Fiji After my stint volunteering, I met up with mum and my sister for some quality time together before the birthday celebrations. We were greeted by spectacular views of Natadola Bay as we checked into Club InterContinental, a resort within a resort at the InterContinental Golf Resort & Spa on the Coral Coast of Viti Levu. We were welcomed by the friendly Club staff and shown to our palatial two bedroom Club suites with private plunge pool. Happy days ahead! Sadly for those with younger ones, Club InterContinental is exclusively reserved for guests 12 years and older. Wait till your kids are old enough to enjoy the benefits and pleasure – it’s worth it - a combination of dedicated staff that treat guests like family, access to a peaceful breakfast, glorious infinity pool, a sumptuous high tea every afternoon and sunset cocktails and canapés! After discussing our schedule for the next three days, we all agreed it was time to ‘relax in style’, which involved eating an array of spectacular meals and spending time lounging by the pool or marvelling at the marine life just off shore. A highlight of our time at the InterContinental was a scuba dive at the ‘Lion’s Den’ with Reef Safari. As first


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time divers, my sister and I had an introductory diving lesson in the pool and then off we went to goggle at the fish and the coral – and we were lucky enough to see a turtle … I was so excited I almost forgot to breathe!

All about kids There were happy families everywhere … relaxed parents and smiling kids all loving their holiday, helped by the friendly and professional staff. Planet Trekkers Kids Club for 3-7 and 8-12 year olds provides a perfect environment, with fun and entertaining sessions and a meal is included. There’s a daily list of free activities for kids. We saw the fish feeding, played volleyball with a group in the family pool, went on a snorkelling trip in a glass bottom boat and also ventured to the local village to spend time in the primary school with a huddle of happy kids. As this was family time, we didn’t play golf, but the course looked amazing. And the Spa enticed plenty of happy parents to take their ‘me time’ while the kids were being entertained. We spent our three days in a blissful haze of long beach walks, ocean dips, soaking in our outdoor private bath, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. The tough questions? What pool shall we try now and which restaurant for dinner? As we headed off to meet brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins, we felt renewed, invigorated and ready to party! For me, this trip was certainly one of contrasts – giving back to Fiji, kicking back in Fiji and living it up in Fiji – what a wonderful destination!

More Information InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa fiji.intercontinental.com Vinaka Fiji vinakafiji.org.fj Escape Travel escapetravel.com.au To find out more about Fiji Tourism Fiji fiji.travel

WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au




– it just keeps getting better! When it came time to plan a special family holiday to celebrate dad’s ‘big’ birthday in March this year, THE SHARP FAMILY from NSW unanimously gave the ‘big’ thumbs up to a return to Bali.

The Sharp family


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t wasn’t their first visit to the beautiful Indonesian island, but for Jordan (17), Tahlia (16) and Tyla (14) it would be a whole new experience now they were all teenagers - and for mum Catherine and birthday boy Simon, taking a family of five for a two week holiday at a top notch Bali resort was an affordable, and fitting, choice for such an occasion!

© iStock/aga13

Catherine We’d all been to Bali before and loved it. Our last family holiday there was six years ago and we relished the freedom of not having to worry about blowing the budget. We can stay, eat and play in 4-5 star style for two weeks in Bali and it’s entirely affordable – including taking the whole family to the fabulous ‘big’ family attractions including Bali Safari & Marine Park and Waterbom Park. > balisafarimarinepark.com > waterbom-bali.com Having stayed at the Bali Mandira Beach Resort & Spa in Legian previously, we were happy to spend most of our holiday there. Since our kids are now classed as ‘adults’ for accommodation purposes we booked two adjoining superior family rooms facing the ocean. The kids were free to order and sign to the room for anything they wanted around the pool, which kept them happy all day! Even the room service is the same reasonable price as the restaurant. > balimandira.com With Simon I managed to sneak out and eat at the new trendy restaurant, ‘Fat Bowl’, connected to the Mandira, that has an amazing Asian-inspired menu. In fact, I had plenty of ME time, and most days I visited a small day spa called ‘Ambiente’ that I discovered on

Jordan and friend

© iStock/R obynPhoto

Tyla & Talia

my last two trips, and all five of us even enjoyed family sessions of foot reflexology and massages! > ambientespabali.com Bali Mandira has a fully renovated pool with a beach area, lounges in the water, waterfall, waterslide (enjoyed by all ages, even 40 year old males!) and the pool bar! Beautiful cabanas, large day beds, cushioned communal areas and sun lounges-a-plenty on the palm-treed grassed areas overlooking the hustle and bustle of the beach. I love the relaxed, stress-free dress code and lifestyle of Bali and to be able to eat out for every meal and not be concerned about the expense! Then there’s the wonderful day spas, street shopping and shopping centres like Centro. We also switched it up a bit this time and added a few days at the start of our trip staying at Pertiwi Resort & Spa in Ubud where we visited the Sacred Monkey Forest and Elephant Park. Pertiwi is centrally located and close to a multitude of shops, restaurants, open-fronted bars and day spas. Beautifully manicured gardens, well-appointed clean rooms with four-poster, mozzie-netted wooden beds and special touches such as folded towel origami animals and fresh frangipani and flowers placed around the room daily. Simon was serenaded with a beautiful cake with a special Balinesestyle happy birthday by the lovely restaurant staff on his 40th Birthday. > pertiwiresort.com > monkeyforestubud.com > baliadventuretours.com WINTER 2015 outandaboutwithkids.com.au


…all five of us even enjoyed family sessions of “ foot reflexology, and massages! ” Simon Our Legian hotel was in a great location with an awesome pool and pool bar and beautiful food. As a group we were able to walk or take a van from the hotel to get around. I even managed some alone time and hired a scooter with a mate, who lives part-time in Bali, and was able to find a local bar to watch my NRL team play live in Sydney! It’s so easy to enjoy family time in Bali – everything moves at a relaxed pace and with bargain shopping and fantastic food I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday.

Jordan This was my second trip trip to Bali and because I was older I think I really enjoyed it more. The hotel pool renovation was amazing and I took advantage of the option to swim up to the bar and order food! I’d already made some friends on the flight over and since they were also staying at the same hotel we hung out. I’d come back any day! I loved the food, massages, Waterbom Park, the shopping and especially the Balinese culture.

Tahlia This was my second Bali holiday too and what made it


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better is that we were more grown up and experiences like going to the Elephant Safari Park and Monkey Temple were real eye-openers for me. Street shopping was great for presents and clothes and it really gives you an idea of what everyday life is like for the Balinese people. I will definitely come back. Everyday there were kids around the resort pool and we made friends easily and although they were younger, we always managed to have fun and have a great laugh on the waterslide!

Tyla Bali was a lot different than I remembered it because I was 8 years old on our first family holiday here. I didn’t remember much except the amazing sunsets, beaches and gorgeous people who make your visit special. I loved our four amazing nights in Ubud. It is quiet, relaxing and a lovely place to just chill out. We met so many new people and the monkeys! Cheeky mumma monkey came at me as I was trying to feed her baby a banana! It was scary but funny. Waterbom Park was amazing, full of thrills and fun and my other favourite was Elephant Park. I loved watching the sunset from the rooftop of our resort, the hot days and nights, $10 manicures, pedicures and facials and the thousands of street shops – and being treated like a queen every day, wherever you go! Of course I want to go back to Bali – it’s my favourite, and the most beautiful, place on earth.

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“Willkommen … to Walpurgis Night!” Germany is a country with a rich heritage and history, and many traditions that still exist today date back hundreds of centuries! Folkloric fun flourishes in numerous villages and cities and Out & About with Kids’ RICHARD BUNTING was privileged to be invited to witness first-hand the excitement, fun and time-honoured tradition of one important, and slightly unusual, annual festival!

Wernigerode Castle

array of rooms, historically furnished, it’s impressive to see that much of the castle remains in its original state, with the most modern section having been updated in the 19th Century! Interestingly, whilst the castle towers over the village and gives the impression of being colossal, once we are within the grounds and the stately rooms, that perspective changes. Nevertheless, we’re not fooled - it is still a BIG castle! In the grounds, food stalls, activities and costumed locals evoking the past, add to the fun and atmosphere.

© iStock/anyaivanova

Just over an hour’s drive from Hanover, nestled in the foothills of the Harz, the highest mountain range in northern Germany, is the town of Wernigerode, whose history, dating back to the 9th Century, imbues it with more than a little tradition and a whole lot of charm! The famous neo-gothic Wernigerode Castle has loomed over the village since 1213 and our morning tour reveals the awesome skills of those architects and craftsman hundreds of years ago. From the chapel (which still hosts weddings) through an

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Above from top left: Wernigerode Town Hall and Town Square Wernigerode Express Hessenpark Town Square © Richard Bunting

Walpurgis Festival Wernigerode is also our first stop on our introduction to something completely German, and completely different! We’re about to experience a festival steeped in history and folklore, and celebrated on 30 April each year – Walpurgis Night. Known in English as ‘Witches Night’, the unique annual festival draws visitors from across the country, as well as curious tourists, to this picturesque village. As we are approaching the town square from our castle visit, where the medieval Town Hall (built in 1277 and updated in 1544), is located, we see witches have already begun to converge for this special day and night of festive antics. Hundreds of witch and devil-clad folk throng, and the detail in their costumes and props is staggering. Despite the authentic feel, Walpurgis Night in Wernigerode is far from dark and satanic. The village square is bursting with kids, laughing and enjoying the occasion, grabbing a selfie with a wicked witch or devilish devil! Soon enough the Town Hall bell is tolling and, shoulder-to-shoulder (standing room only!) we spectators are treated to the spectacular sight of witches and devils ascending the Town Hall steps ready to take over the town from the

Wernigerode Castle 146

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Mayor. It isn’t long before the Mayor has acceded to the ‘coup’, with laughter and encouragement from the crowd, signalling the start of the festivities.. Throughout the afternoon we spend time enjoying the folk music and performances, wander through the village, exploring cobbled streets, quaint shops and discovering incredible old churches and houses, before our early evening departure to Shierke for the traditional parade and continued witchery!

Scheirke While many locals continue their celebrations in Wernigerode village, core believers make their way to the station for the culmination of the festival, in the town of Schierke up in the Harz Mountains. With them, we embark on the Wernigerode Express, a steam train that runs several times in the late afternoon to take festival-goers up to Schierke. The majority of our fellow passengers are witches, devils and other spookily-dressed characters all making the 19km, hour and a half train journey. As we wind our way up the mountain through villages, hundreds of people gather trackside, hoping to catch handfuls of boiled lollies tossed to them from the train! Once at Schierke we head down the hill through the woods to the township, (which reminds me of the NSW ski village of Thredbo) and stop at a local restaurant for dinner. (I can personally vouch for the delicious German sausages and spectacular Pork Knuckle on offer!) As we dine (and realise again we have over eaten!!) the street parade nears. Cameras in hand, we file out into the main street, along with hundreds of people, for the final parade that marks the

Succulent pork knuckle!

last event on Walpurgis Night. The ghoulish gang may have tried their best to scare us, but they only elicited good humour, lots of laughs and plenty of opportunities for us to capture this memorable moment in selfies!

Hessenpark From Wernigerode we drive a couple of hours South to Hessenpark, a large historical site and open-air museum. Evoking a regional Germany of yesteryear the museum, 30 minutes from Frankfurt, is a recreation of the buildings, life and times of generations of locals, and you can see just how they lived across the many old houses, farmhouses, school, churches, bakery and even the pub! A visit to Hessenpark is worthwhile and the kids will enjoy zipping in and out of the houses and buildings. Tour guides are available for a more detailed understanding of Hessenpark.

The Saalburg Located only an hour from Frankfurt, The Saalburg is a must-visit for any child studying history. Part of a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, this is the most completely reconstructed Roman fort in Germany, on the historic Upper German limes. The Limes marked the frontier between the Roman Empire and the Germanic Provinces, dating back to 2AD. Within the walls of the fort ‘Roman soldiers’ re-enact military life here with shows for the public, as ‘village craftsmen’ demonstrate their finely-honed artisan skills, highly valued in ancient Roman times. Education aside, kids will have so much fun at The Saalburg. Visually, the whole experience is rich, and the additional hands-on opportunities for visitors really bring the days of the Roman Empire, and German history and tradition, to vivid life.

More Information Wernigerode Tourism wernigerode-tourismus.com

Walpurgisnacht So, what is Walpurgis Night? Walpurgisnacht is held on 30 April, the eve before May Day, the feast day of Saint Walpurga, who was canonised in the 8th Century. In Germany, it is known as ‘Witches Night’, and the tradition comes from the belief that on this night witches meet on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains. Similar in celebration to contemporary Halloween festivities, it’s a great excuse to gather together, dress up in costume, play tricks and pranks, make loud noises to scare away any evil, and to have a whole load of fun!

Schierke Tourism schierke-am-brocken.de/ index.php/english-information German Tourism germany.travel Hessenpark hessenpark.de/index. php?id=english The Saalburg saalburgmuseum.de/english/ sb_en_home.html HKK Hotel Wernigerode hkk-wr-de Landhotel zum Hessenpark landhotel-hessenpark.de Novotel Frankfurt City novotel.com

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