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FIJI SPECIAL 56

OUT&ABOUT WITH KIDS

24−page PLUS

56

No.

AUTUMN 2018

RRP $7.95

WIN! A family ISSUE 56 | AUTUMN 2018

holiday to Maui

Airfares included

The Gold Coast How to get the best value

USA spotlight Our favourite finds

Hawai‘i islands

A local’s guide

Whale watching Best spots in Australia to watch these majestic creatures FA M I LY | T R AV E L | H O L I D AY | L E I S U R E | E N T E R T A I N M E N T

Camping

The best spots in Australia to pitch your tent

Ski season

Snow fun for the whole family

FRASER ISLAND Why you should visit this island paradise


T H E

R A R O T O N G A N

B E A C H

R E S O R T

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S P A

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

PLAY FREE IN PARADISE!

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

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


The Out&About With Kids & Family Travel team outandaboutwithkids.com.au familytravel.com.au CEO Janeece Keller Communications manager Natasha Keller Executive editor Elisa Elwin elisa@boundround.com 0413 770 550 Editor Tatyana Leonov tatyana@boundround.com Digital editor Alison Godfrey alison@boundround.com Sub-editor Sarah Friggieri Contributors Michele Bigley Flip Byrnes Sophie Cullen Deborah Dickson-Smith Elisa Elwin Sarah Friggieri Julie Jones Christine Kane Tatyana Leonov Simon Mallender Clare Southwell Sue White Art director Jon Wolfgang Miller Advertising enquiries Suzanne Bailey suzanne@boundround.com Karen Joslin karen@boundround.com Published by Bound Round Pty Ltd 431 Warringah Rd Frenchs Forest NSW 2086 Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the editorials are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Publisher and Out&About With Kids. Information provided was believed to be correct at the time of publication. Copyright © Out&About With Kids 2018 Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. All reasonable efforts have been made to contact copyright holders. Out&About With Kids cannot accept unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. If such items are sent to the magazine they will be returned.



Welcome Hi, and welcome to this special issue of Out&About With Kids. It’s special for so many reasons! Firstly, it’s the last issue of the magazine as you know it – the next issue (out on July 12) will have a new look and feel. The magazine will be called Family Travel, with an Out&About With Kids  section inside. Be sure to pick up a copy – we’re confident you’ll love the revamp. Secondly, this is my first issue as Editor of the magazine and also as a mother. I absolutely love travelling, and before my daughter was born I was globetrotting all the time. Travel has changed for me now – everything runs at a slower pace and there’s not as much traversing, but watching her as we explore new places together is indescribable. We’ve already been camping, travelled up and down the east coast, and have Kakadu coming up soon. Australia is an amazing country to call home. Speaking of Australia, isn’t our cover just dreamy? Fraser Island has always been on my must-visit list, and on page 28 of this issue we show you why. 

We also have your best Australian whalewatching locations covered (flick to page 30), camping in New South Wales (turn to page 46) and a how-to guide for the Gold Coast on a budget (turn to page 24). And that’s just some of the Australian content!  Of course, there’s nothing quite like boarding a plane to jet off to an exotic country. Our Hawai’i competition is now open to all readers, and the prize is epic! Win flights to Maui with Hawaiian Airlines, accommodation at Kā’anapali Beach Hotel and car rental through Alamo. All you need to do is vote in our Best Of Travel awards. Flick to page 22 for details. Talking prizes, congratulations to our Webjet Exclusives Vanuatu holiday winners Alain Morgan and family! We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. We’ve covered everything – from USA adventures to the snow season and a whopper Fiji rundown – so pour yourself a cuppa, sit back and let us take you on a travel journey. 

outandaboutwithkids.com.au familytravel.com.au

Watch this space

A new look magazine is just around the corner. Write to editorial@boundround.com and tell us what you love about the magazine and what you want to see more of.

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contents

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DID YOU KNOW...? Stay up to date with news and views on the latest in travel, including family adventures, air news, cruise facts, luxury in the Maldives, family tours and more.

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WIN A FAMILY TRIP TO MAUI INCLUDING AIRFARES It’s that time of the year again! Nominate your favourite travel experiences to go in the draw to win an epic holiday with flights, accommodation and car rental all included.

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EXPLORE AUSTRALIA Our home country is full of amazing sights and experiences. Visit Fraser Island for an unforgettable family holiday, take a road trip along New South Wales’ Mid North Coast, go camping somewhere unique, watch majestic whales all across the country, play in the Gold Coast’s theme parks and take a break in Lake Macquarie.

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SNOW SEASON Want to feel the chill on your skin as you fly down the slopes? We’ve got your season sum-up. A skiing adventure in the Taupo region of New Zealand will inspire you to plan your next snow holiday there. And Canberra is the best stopover for families en route to New South Wales’ ski fields – we show you why.

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FIJI FOR FAMILIES Get out and about in Fiji and meet the locals. Visit the mainland and the islands for the ultimate Fijian escape. Explore, relax and immerse yourself in culture. Cruise the islands for a different view… Fiji is the perfect destination for families.

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HAWAI‘I HOLIDAYS Don’t know which island to visit? We’ve got the lowdown, plus tips and tricks to make your Hawai‘i holiday your best trip yet. We’ve also profiled three of the best hotels on the islands, so you can turn your dreams into a reality.

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FAMILY TRAVEL Thinking of jetting off overseas with the family? In this section we highlight the USA – a favourite Australian family destination. We also showcase adventures in Thailand, a cycling trip in Amsterdam, plus hotel reviews and more.



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Exmouth, Western Australia Paulo Toni is a professional photographer (take a look at his Instagram account @paulotoniphoto). Originally from Brazil, he now calls Sydney home and is loving exploring Australia. He took this photo one beautiful evening in Exmouth while travelling through Western Australia. Paulo was looking for a great place to snap a sunset, and after asking around for local advice, Vlaming Head Lighthouse was suggested. The shot is a combination of multiple exposures, while the parkway, bush and lighthouse were lit using the help of the car’s high beam. Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that are the most memorable. Western Australia’s Exmouth is a quiet patch of paradise, where families can spend their days admiring beautiful views like this one, snorkelling, swimming and getting to know the locals.

See your photo in print! Want to have your amazing travel photo featured in the next issue of the magazine? Send your high-resolution photo with a short description to editorial@boundround.com.au for your chance to see your memory in print.

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B IG P IC TUR E



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D I D Y O U K N O W ? A D V ENTUR ES

Eat like an animal There’s a rumble in the jungle about something new at Bali Zoo. Introducing two amazing new animal encounters in 2018: Breakfast with Orangutans and Dinner with the Great Elephants at the zoo’s onsite Gayo Restaurant. Munch on your breakfast in view of the friendly, redheaded great apes enjoying their playground. Sample a selection of tropical fruits, fresh bread, fried rice, pancakes and cereals, with some Balinese coffee for mums and dads. The Breakfast with Orangutans is followed by an animal show and morning tour timed perfectly as the zoo slowly wakes up. Hotel pick-up 

at 7am and drop-off at midday is included. If you aren’t an early bird, opt instead to dine with the majestic Sumatran elephant. The experience starts with an unparalleled Elephant Encounter, including a photo and chance to feed the enormous creatures. After a zoo tour and Nocturnal Encounter, your family can choose from the soups, salads and grill at Gayo Restaurant’s delicious buffet. You will be joined by the ornately decorated Sumatran elephant herd and get to witness a traditional Saman dance and Hindu fire dance while you eat. bali-zoo.com

DOWN TO A FINE ART Remember how you’re always telling the kids to stop touching things that aren’t theirs? Well, you’ll need to throw that approach out the window when you visit ArtVo. The interactive art gallery in Docklands, Victoria, features more than 100 three-dimensional and reality-defying artworks that encourage you to become part of the piece – think riding a paper plane over the Sydney Opera House and becoming the girl King Kong took to the top of New York City’s Empire State Building. Just find the relevant Photo Point on the ground and follow the instructions, then take a snap using your phone (yep, you can take photos here too!). It’s a totally different museum experience – one they’ll never forget. artvo.com.au

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DI D Y OU KNOW? A DV E NT URE S

Cute, cuddly cubs The most exciting news to come out of north-east Australia this year is the naming of Dreamworld’s two newest tiger cubs. Melati and Mya were the monikers chosen for the adorable sisters out of 2000 suggestions received online; Melati is an Indonesian name meaning ‘Jasmine flower’, while Mya is an ancient name that means ‘beloved’ or ‘great’. Head on over to Tiger Island as soon as possible to catch a glimpse of the critically endangered youngens cuddling their teddies and other soft toys – so cute! dreamworld.com.au

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D I D Y O U K N O W ? A D V ENTUR ES

Practically perfect in every way! Join the fun of the Mary Poppins Festival these June-July school holidays in Maryborough, about three hours north of Brisbane, to be swept up in the magic of the world’s most famous fictional nanny. The Heritage City’s riverside parks and charming streetscapes are the perfect setting for this quirky 10-day festival, which runs from June 29 to July 8. With a spoonful of imagination, the area is transformed into pages from the novels. The annual event celebrates the art of storytelling and the city’s link to Mary Poppins author Pamela Lyndon Travers, who was born in 1899 in the residence above the bank her father managed in Maryborough. A statue of the beloved nanny stands outside the building, and pedestrian lights at the nearest intersection use a silhouette of Mary Poppins and her brolly instead of the regular stick figures. These features are part of a unique story trail that winds through the streets and reveals the history of the city and Mary Poppins.

At the festival, there is plenty on offer for all ages, including performances, workshops and book readings. One of the highlights is Mary Poppins In The Park on July 7, where characters such as Admiral Boom, who fires his time cannon throughout the day, will spring to life in Maryborough’s own Cherry Tree Lane, created just for this special event. To have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time: • Dress up in your finest heritage or Poppins outfit and join in the Grand Parade. • Get a glimpse of the hilarious nanny races down Cherry Tree Lane. • Take part in the Chimney Sweep Challenge. marypoppinsfestival.com.au

THRILLS & CHILLS We sent one of our own OAWK team members along with her son and niece on this epic ride. Here is their story: Described by my 15-year-old coasterobsessed son as “the ultimate adrenaline rush”, I’d say Movie World’s DC Rivals HyperCoaster has a new fan. On our previous visit to the Warner Bros. world, Superman Escape was the rollercoaster of choice – we rode it a total of 21 times – and this time we were ready to take HyperCoaster to the limit. We secured ourselves in the front carriage and took a deep breath on the smooth acceleration to the top. Then my heart started to race. HyperCoaster was built for speed, that’s for sure, and we loved it. We’d docked less than three minutes later, and then came the tempting offer to ride it backwards for just $10 extra. I waved goodbye to my optimistic son and niece as I regathered myself, listening to the squeals and having a quiet chuckle to 

HIGH ACHIEVER myself. My niece returned white, ready to go home, while Ethan described it as the scariest thing he’s ever done and that he’d never ride it backward again. Definitely one for the thrillseekers! The only piece of advice that’s left to give is this: if you’re a big fan of roller-coasters, buy an Unlimited Fast Track ticket – shorter lines mean more rides on your favourite attractions. themeparks.com.au

Need some travel inspiration? Watch families explore Australia and plan your own adventure. The Family Travel YouTube channel (check out youtube.com/ user/BoundRoundGuides/ videos) has been selected by Feedspot as one of the Top 100 Family Travel Youtube Channels on YouTube.

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DI D Y OU KNOW? A DV E NT URE S

Best in Bunbury Fresh off a stylish revamp, Best Western Plus Hotel Lord Forrest in Bunbury is the perfect place for families to stay in this bustling coastal city two hours south of Perth. Its impressive selection of newly refurbished rooms includes two-bedroom apartments priced from $250 per night. Bunbury is loaded with fun family activities, particularly the renowned Dolphin Discovery Centre, located at nearby Koombana Bay, a fantastic foreshore area that has just reopened after a $10.8 million redevelopment that features a brilliant new playground and all sorts of modern public facilities. Keep an eye out for dolphins – frequent visitors to Koombana – or hop on the highly rated Dolphin Eco-Cruise offered by the centre. bestwestern.com.au

HAPPY, HEALTHY HOLIDAYS Novotel has teamed up with pro surfer Sally Fitzgibbons and Play School star Rachael Coopes to create two in-room programs for kids. The Wonderful World of Shapes is an energetic method of encouraging active play while teaching kids about different shapes. To balance out the day, Baby Bunny Won’t Go To Bed, which incorporates yoga moves, is all about relaxing and is perfect before a nap or bedtime. Sally has also worked with Novotel to design a new kids’ menu for little tummies. It features classics such as spaghetti bolognaise with hidden vegetables, tasty desserts like berries and yoghurt, and fruit smoothies. novotel.com

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D I D Y O U K N O W ? A D V ENTUR ES

Trending: tours A holiday that comes with accommodation, activities and transfers sounds like a parental pipe dream, but it’s actually quite achievable when you join any number of tailored family tours cropping up from travel providers across the world. The best way to travel with your brood safely and stress-free, tours will allow you to meet like-minded families, learn from guides and local experts, and visit fascinating destinations you’d shoved in the ‘too hard’ basket. Here, just some of the amazing offerings around right now.

Intrepid’s Costa Rica Family Holiday For Solo Parents (15 days) Intrepid has pounced on a major gap in the travel market, providing a series of specialised itineraries for soloparent families. One such trip leads you deep into the Costa Rican jungle for a saturation in wildlife and Caribbean culture for 15 days. Start in San Jose, then spot monkeys, turtles, toucans, crocodiles and more in Tortuguero National Park. Jump at the chance to swim in hot springs near Arenal Volcano or on the white palm beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park.

Trafalgar’s Pilgrims and Patriots tour (nine days) Trafalgar’s newest family deal is an introduction to the history of American independence that will allow you to tick Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Gettysburg and Washington DC off your list. Notable mentions include a tour of the oldest Major League Baseball stadium and home to the Red Sox, a chocolate tasting at Hershey’s, a lunch with three generations of an



Amish family, and a snoop around the International Spy Museum.

UTracks Danube Cycle (14 days) UTracks’ selling point to families is its active, outdoorsy character. On the Danube Cycle trip, do as the locals do and experience cultural centres such as Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Passau on two wheels. Rated moderate for confident bike riders, this trip covers 30 to 60 kilometres per day, past floodplains, abbeys, castles, monasteries and even the fascinating Roman archaeological site of Carnuntum and the sobering Mauthausen Concentration Camp.

On the Go Tours’ Kasbahs, Kids & Camels tour (nine days) Spice up your photo album with the vivid colours of Morocco’s mosques and medinas on a tour for kids (and big kids) aged five and up. Cover Marrakech, the Sahara Desert, the Atlas Mountains and a special overnight camp in a Berber village. Add an extra three days and head to the Essaouira coast for some swimming.

G Adventures’ Thailand Family Adventure (12 days) Anyone older than six can dive in to this South-East Asian jewel and the accompanying collection of tailored kidfriendly experiences. Catch a longboat tour through Bangkok, swim in the Erawan waterfalls, visit the bridge over the River Kwai, see the ruins of Ayutthaya, and take a cooking class in Chiang Mai.

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DI D Y OU KNOW? A DV E NT URE S

52! That’s the number of animal species that can be found at Victoria’s newest theme park, Gumbuya World. Just 50 minutes from Melbourne, in Tynong, it features four incredible worlds – Oasis Springs, Oz Adventure, Outback Explorers and Wildlife Trail – that will keep kids (and kids at heart) busy for hours. When you’re hungry, head on over to Rock Springs Café or Outback Café, both of which offer gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. gumbuya.com.au

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Looking to the future If saving the environment is high on your family’s ‘to do’ list, look in to booking a Kids Sea Camp excursion. In conjunction with PADI-certified diving instructors and local hosts, the Kids Sea Camp team takes families to some of the

greatest dive destinations in the world – Galapagos, Indonesia, Fiji and Cayman Islands, to name a few – with customised itineraries in the hope of encouraging future generations to continue fighting the good fight. familydivers.com


D I D Y O U K N O W ? A D V ENTUR ES

A taste of Abu Dhabi Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi – the first Warner Bros.-branded indoor theme park, expected to open later this year – has leaked a sneak peek into two of the six themed lands: Metropolis and Cartoon Junction (we’re hoping to hear more about Gotham City, Bedrock, Dynamite Gulch and Warner Bros. Plaza soon). Both will feature rides (there will be 29 in total at the park), entertainment and restaurants all inspired by the stories and characters from actionpacked DC and wacky, wonderful Warner Bros. Animation, which means when you walk through the iconic Warner Bros. shield, you will enter a world where superheroes like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman fight for justice and animated stars like Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote and Scooby-Doo come to life. wbworldabudhabi.com

Central Coast Holiday Parks Central Coast Council



Central Coast Council

Central Coast Council

www.cchp.com.au

Central Coast Council

FREE CALL 1800 241 342 AUTUMN 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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DI D Y OU KNOW? A DV E NT URE S

Always a winner with Wyndham Wyndham Hotel Group has your next family holiday sorted, with 35 fantastic destinations across the South Pacific to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway or an inner-city escape, Wyndham Hotel Group can cater to your whole family’s holiday needs. Just a two-hour drive from Melbourne, Ramada Resort Phillip Island offers the best city and coastal experiences for families. Must-see local attractions for families include A Maze’N Things and Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, as well as natural highlights such as the Koala Conservation Centre and Phillip Island Nature Parks. For a guaranteed fun time, head to the Gold Coast and choose between two conveniently located properties:

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Wyndham Hotel Surfers Paradise and Ramada Hotel Hope Harbour. Impress the kids with an abundance of great activities, including popular swimming beaches and theme parks such as Dreamworld, Movie World and Sea World. Looking for a getaway on the Sunshine Coast? Ramada Resort Golden Beach and Ramada Marcoola Beach both boast easy access to the area’s renowned family friendly attractions, such as Australia Zoo, Sea Life, Noosa National Park and the Sunshine Coast Museum Trail. Each Wyndham property offers a unique range of on-site facilities for children, including games rooms, playgrounds and swimming pools. You bring the family, we’ll provide the fun! wyndhamhotels.com


Discover endless family fun with Wyndham Rewards®. These three stunning hotels are just a taste of our South Pacific destinations. Relax in a spacious and modern suite or apartment and experience your choice of activities. Whatever destination you choose, Wyndham Rewards® provides the perfect family getaway. 10%* off our Best Available Rate, just for members! Join for free at wyndhamrewards.com

Ramada Resort Port Vila

Ramada Hotel and Suites Noumea

Ramada Hotel and Suites Ballina Byron

For full terms and conditions on the Wyndham Rewards Members Rate please visit www.wyndhamhotels.com/wyndham-rewards/hotel-deals/member-rates. © Copyright 2018 Resort Management by Wyndham PTY LTD ACN 099 634 830 Wyndham Vacation Resorts (NZ) Limited CN1276511, Wyndham Vacation Resorts South Pacific LTD ACN 090 503 923

WHG12595


DI D Y OU KNOW? A IR

Flying high in family-friendly skies 1

Holidays provide a beautiful opportunity for kids to respect different cultures, learn their place in the world and catch the contagious travel bug. But, as we all know, being stuck in a plane cabin with them for longer than an hour can be a nightmare. Three airlines that know this all too well is Lufthansa, Qantas and Virgin, and all three have launched initiatives that will take the stress out of flying with children.

Singpore’s Changi Airport has been named the best in the world for five years in a row and Qantas wants you to experience why, which is why it has now become the key stopover point for longhaul flights between Australia and London. Break up a long-haul trip with a stroll through a butterfly garden that’s home to 1000 tropical winged creatures, or check out the airport’s curated collection of art

Kids corner

Want to head into town? Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore has established itself as an amazing destination for families looking to break up the long-haul trek between Sydney and London. Earlier this year the hotel launched Buds by Shangri-La, an interactive play space on the first floor of the newly renovated Tower Wing, that features specially curated installations and themed activity spaces guaranteed to provide a welcome chance to blow off some steam and have some fun for kids of all ages. shangri-la.com/singapore/shangrila/for-kids

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installations and displays. Then take dip in a Balinese-themed rooftop pool and a drop down the world’s largest slide inside an airport. A stopover to keep the whole family happy! qantas.com.au

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No sleep can make the best of us cranky – and when the kids don’t sleep, neither do we! Following an extensive safety assessment, Virgin Australia and its partner, Delta Air Lines, are now allowing kids’ sleep accessories Plane Pal, Fly Tot and JetKids BedBox on their entire fleet. Who knew getting forty winks on a plane could be this easy! virginaustralia.com.au

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Lufthansa’s free JetFriends Club, represented by Lu the curious crane and newly hatched Cosmo, aims to keep young flyers busy with loads of information on flying and some seriously cool games, such as Lu Finds The Suitcases and Cosmo Learns To Fly. Better yet, the membership will equip kids with their very own club card and the ability to receive boarding passes for their favourite teddy or doll. lufthansa.com


D I D Y O U K N O W? C R UIS E

And in cruise news… It seems that every month there’s something new to learn about another cruise ship. New eateries, bigger waterslides and kids’ club makeovers contribute to cruising being the trend du jour – here’s why your family should jump aboard.

Best room on board

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas recently began its 2018 Aussie sailings to rave reviews. The Ultimate Family Suite is a favourite among families as it features a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, an air-hockey table, a 3D theatre room complete with a popcorn machine, a climbing wall and a private whirlpool. If that isn’t enough, the ship is also home to the world’s largest laser-tag arena! royalcaribbean.com.au

Summer camp

Celebrity Cruises has developed more than 500 activities for children and teens to engage in, with the aim of inspiring minds in a meaningful, fun-filled way. The programs fall in to four categories – art, recreation, culinary and STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) – and will change with each sailing to ensure curious minds are met with fresh experiences. celebritycruises.com.au

Splendid Splendor

The world’s largest cruise line, Carnival Cruise Line, recently announced that Carnival Splendor will join its Australian fleet in Sydney next year. But before she reaches our shores, she’ll undergo a significant upgrade, including the addition of a range of dining experiences tailored to the local tastes of Aussie guests and a brand-new waterpark! carnival.com.au

NAUTICAL NOTES

MSC has scooped the pool on fun stuff for cruise ships of late, with MSC Seaside now boasting the longest zipline at sea at a staggering 105 metres. The twin cables eclipse Royal Caribbean’s previous record by five times. In other MSC news, the cruise line has exclusively partnered with LEGO to provide immersive and creative play space for threeto 11-year-olds aboard its growing fleet of ships worldwide.



It might take a bit more effort to get aboard a North American-based Disney Cruise, but it’s sure worth the effort for Star Wars fans, especially since 2018 sees the introduction of Star Wars-themed cruises with cruises, with more than a dozen iconic characters – including Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO and Darth Vader – starring in these epic voyages. May the force be with you.

For the budding Attenboroughs among us, Lindblad Expeditions’ Alaska cruises will feature the cruise line’s new National Geographic Global Explorers program. Young passengers will be under the tutelage of senior naturalists to learn all kinds of things about the ecology of the destination as well as the environment in general.

Think you may have the next Daniel Ricciardo in the family? Well, now’s your chance to find out, aboard P&O’s Pacific Dawn and Pacific Jewel. The custombuilt race-car simulators onboard are the ones used by real race teams! When they’re done lapping at 200 kilometres per hour, teens in P&O’s HQ and HQ+ clubs can create their own animated movies using the same technology behind Wallace & Gromit.

If you can stand the tension, watching your kid scale a sheer rock wall is quite a thrill. This activity has been on cruise ships for while now, but few can compare with the one aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic. In addition to its rock-climbing and rappelling walls, climbing cages and bowling alley, the ship has an Aqua Park complete with two pools, five hot tubs and three multistorey water slides.

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DI D Y OU KNOW? LUXU RY

Magical Maldives Picture the ultimate tropical getaway. Does it include overwater bungalows and private beaches? Island-hopping and indulgent dinners? With kids’ clubs, water sports, wildlife cruises and chill time available in abundance in the Maldives, there’s no reason

Six Senses Laamu The only resort on the Laamu Atoll, it’s a given that Six Senses is going to be special. A dedicated children’s club known as The Den offers a busy agenda of frisbee games, rope-climbing, ping-pong, cookie- and pizza-making, crafts, and the option to go snorkelling with parents or parental permission. Included on-site family activities span from volleyball, football, badminton and table tennis to snorkelling, canoeing, windsurfing and treasure hunts on the beach. Plus, seven- to 11-year-olds get 50 per cent off meal costs and anyone younger than six eats free! Is there no end to the add-ons?

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you can’t slot your family into the postcard. It’s about time that the couples-only stigma is lifted from these coral atolls, and it’s just lucky that these three high-end hotels agree. A whispered word to the wise: you can still savour a slice of luxury while you’re at it!


D I D Y O U K N O W ? LUX URY

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa The latest exciting news from this grand resort in North Huvadhoo is the opening of two brand-new villas styles. The Deluxe Park Pool Villas each have a 55-square-metre pool with an outdoor cabana where parents can kick back while the kids make a splash. The TwoBedroom Park Pool Villas offer the same delightful pool-cabana combo but with an extra bedroom that has two single beds and even an attached bathroom – a setup that comfortably fits five. Families can also enjoy a Turtle Quest tour (snorkelling with sea turtles), try their luck at traditional fishing methods, go on the Lucky Dolphin Cruise, and visit a local island.

CLUB MED KANI Club Med Kani has the kid-factor down pat with its Happy Children Corner, supervised by specialised staff. Techno whizzes will love the Games Factory, budding performers the Music Academy, and wannabe conservationists the marine exploration room – and parents will love the fact that kids under four stay for free! The allinclusive resort on two kilometres of private beaches also offers Mini Club, an indoor and outdoor play space with a program that focuses on activities that align with four themes: sports, creativity, expression and games.



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COMPETITION

A FAMILY HOLIDAY TO MAUI INCLUDING AIRFARES

Want to win a family holiday to Maui in Hawai‘i? Vote in the 2018 Best of Family Travel Awards and go in the draw to win an amazing holiday flying Hawaiian Airlines.

I

t’s that time of the year again when we ask you – our loyal readers – to nominate your favourite travel experiences. Have your say to go in the draw to win a dream family holiday for two adults and two children, including airfares on Hawaiian Airlines.

TO ENTER

Visit familytravel.com.au/best-of-awards and nominate your top family travel experiences, then tell us in 25 words or less what you’d love to see more of in the magazine. Terms and conditions apply. Visit familytravel.com.au for more information.

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THE PRIZE

The winner of the competition will receive: • Return airfares on Hawaiian Airlines for two adults and two children to Maui from Sydney or Brisbane. Fares include Hawaiian-inspired meals and beverages, on-demand inflight entertainment, and a generous checked baggage allowance of two bags at up to 32 kg per piece. HawaiianAirlines.com.au • Four nights' accommodation in two connecting rooms at Kā’anapali Beach Hotel, with buffet breakfast and daily cultural activities included. The hotel is located oceanfront on world-famous Kā’anapali Beach and is spread out across 11 acres of tropical gardens. kbhmaui.com • Five days' car rental from Alamo. alamo.com

2018 BEST OF

FAMILY TRAVEL AWARDS


EXPLORE AUSTRALIA

contents 24 GO FOR GOLD

A guide to Australia’s theme-park capital on a budget.

28 FAMILY FUN ON FRASER

This island paradise is a haven for families with plenty to do.

30 HAVE A WHALE OF A TIME

The best whale-watching vantage points across the country.

41 LIVE OFF THE LAND

There are many quirky places to set up camp across Australia.

46 ON THE RIGHT PATH

A driving and camping trip with teens is a great adventure.

50 HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Close-to-home holidays are often the best breaks.


EXPLOR E A US TR ALIA : GOL D COAST

GO FOR GOLD

A trip to Australia’s theme-park capital doesn’t have to break the bank! Deborah Dickson-Smith shares her tips on how to get great value.

T

he allure of the Gold Coast and its theme parks is one that you’re bound to succumb to at some point (or two) in your family life. Much like Disneyland, it’s on most kids’ bucket lists, so even if you’re averse to thrill rides yourself, the pester power will likely get to you eventually – but it can be expensive. A single ticket to each theme park costs between $70 and $90, which can be pricey for a family of four. Then there’s the accommodation, eating out, and don’t get me started on the cost of soft drinks inside the theme parks and the cruel temptation of frozen Coke and sugar-loaded churros. That said, it’s an unmissable experience, so here are a few tips to enjoying the Gold Coast on a budget.

Images: BIG4, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary; Deborah Dickson-Smith

Theme parks

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If you’re spending a week or so on the Gold Coast, it’s definitely worth buying a multi-day pass. Single-day adult entry to a single park is $79, but a 7-Day Super Pass (which gets you multiple access to Movie World, Wet’n’Wild and Seaworld for seven days) costs $149. Similarly, the Dreamworld 3-Day Ticket starts at $79 and gives you access to Dreamworld, WhiteWater World and SkyPoint Observation Deck. If you need more than three days to pack it all in, pay $6 more for a 7-Day Ticket, which also gives you a 7-Day Photo Pass. If you’re planning to visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, it’s worth considering becoming a National Trust member. Annual membership costs $65, and not only will it get you discounted entry to the park, it comes with a heap more benefits, including 15 percent off food and beverages and Segway Safari tours, as well as free or discounted admission to more than 180 properties across Australia. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of helping the National Trust to protect and conserve our environment. AUTUMN 2018  outandaboutwithkids.com.au

TOP

Dreamworld is Australia's largest theme park. MIDDLE

Meeting the locals at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. BOTTOM

Movie World's DC HyperCoaster. OPPOSITE PAGE

Family fun on the sun on the Gold Coast.


Image: Tourism & Events Queensland

E X P LO R E A U S T R A LI A : G OLD C O A S T



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EXPLOR E A US TR ALIA : GOL D COAST

Dining out Obviously it’s cheaper to dine in, but a holiday isn’t really a holiday without a few nights off from cooking – and there are a few Gold Coast dining experiences well worth checking out. Featuring a three-course meal and a show, Australian Outback Spectacular makes for a great night out. Tickets cost $99.99 for adults ($69.99 for kids) and include free beer, wine and soft drinks, as well as a highly entertaining equine performance. Hard Rock Cafe Surfers Paradise is another firm favourite with the kids. The staff are all extremely entertaining – great with little ones – and the meal portions are enormous, so you can save money by sharing plates. BMD Northcliffe Surf Life Saving Club has a great (and cheap) family-friendly bistro that serves pub favourites such as chicken parmigiana, burgers, pizza and fish and chips. It’s also a great choice for breakfast, with panoramic views of the ocean and beach activities.

Divino gelato What’s a holiday without sweet treats? Zanette’s Gelati, located at Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre in downtown Surfers Paradise, has more than 40 flavours of gelato and sorbet, including a few ‘adult’ flavours such as VB, Corona (with lime), Baileys and Pina Colada.

Zanette's Gelati is worth a visit.

Relaxintg at NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Resort.

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Accommodation is probably the single most expensive item on the list of holiday expenses, and the Gold Coast certainly has the full range – from campsites to luxury hotels. Holiday parks are a great choice for families, and BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park is not only an affordable accommodation choice, it’s also incredibly convenient as it’s within walking distance of Movie World and Wet’n’Wild and just two kilometres from Dreamworld and WhiteWater World. Whether you choose a campsite or a cabin, you’ll have your own cooking facilities, be it a shared kitchen or kitchenette inside your cabin, helping you save on dining out costs. The cabins also have a fridge and freezer, so it’s easy to pack lunches and avoid expensive theme-park food. BIG4 Gold Coast is a resort holiday in itself, with a lagoon pool and waterslides, poolside cafe, obligatory giant jumping pillow, outdoor movies and a BMX track. During school holidays, there are organised activities for kids every day as well as a kids’ club. Another great choice is NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Resort, which is closer to Surfers Paradise, in Biggera Waters, and just a 15-minute drive to any of the theme parks (and the beach). The park has a large lagoon pool, waterpark, mini-golf course and giant bouncy pillow.

Images: BIG4; Deborah Dickson-Smith

Accommodation


E X P LO R E A U S T R A LI A : G OLD C O A S T Enjoying The Spit.

5

THINGS TO DO FOR FREE ON THE GOLD COAST

1. Beach your babies. They don’t call it Surfers

Paradise for nothing. There are plenty of patrolled beaches to choose from: Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Kurrawa Beach, Mermaid Beach, Miami Beach, Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach and Kirra Beach, just to name a few. Good beaches for smaller kids include those inside The Spit as well as Currumbin and Tallebudgera Creek, where you can enjoy a range of water sports, including stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. Gold Coast Seaway, at the end of The Spit, is a great spot to snorkel and scuba dive, and you’ll find a range of tropical and sub-tropical fish there too. network of cycleways and pathways that stretch 36 kilometres from The Spit in the north to Point Danger, Coolangatta, in the south. If you don’t take your own bike, there are nearby places you can hire one for about $25.

area and hinterland offer plenty of great walking opportunities. At Burleigh Heads National Park is an easy 2.5-kilometre coastal walk around the headland to Tallebudgera Creek. Federation Walk is a 3.5-kilometre walkway at the northern end of Gold Coast Oceanway on the Southport Spit. At Springbrook National Park there’s the Purling Brook Falls walking track, Natural Bridge circuit and Twin Falls walk. At Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk is 180 metres in length and made up of nine suspension bridges. Tamborine Mountain has 12 walking tracks, each one no longer than about three kilometres.

3. Hit the playgrounds. At almost every beach or

5. Go to market. From fashion to farmers’ markets

2. Peddle the coast. Gold Coast Oceanway is a

green space, there is a playground with benches and BBQs. Let the kids run wild on the equipment, kick a ball around or just relax with a picnic. Paradise Point Parklands, one of the most beautiful parks in the area, overlooks the water, Laguna Park in Palm Beach has a huge adventure playground, and Aqua Splash water park at Southport Broadwater Parklands operates yearround (except in cases of extreme weather). 

4. Take a hike. The coastal

to art, craft, music and everything in between, the Goldie has plenty of markets to browse. Every Saturday morning you’ll find wonderful fresh produce at Burleigh Markets, Miami Marketta on Friday and Saturday nights is great for street food and live music, and every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night there are more than 100 stalls to peruse at Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets.

The beaches are always free.

Fact file BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park 66-86 Siganto Drive, Helensvale 07 5514 4400 goldcoastholidaypark.com.au NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Resort 117 Brisbane Rd, Biggera Waters 07 5500 8666 nrmaparksandresorts.com.au/ treasure-island AUTUMN 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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F RASE R IS LAND

FAMILY FUN ON FRASER

Clare Southwell is the manager of the @TakemetoAustralia Facebook and Instagram communities. Here, she shares her Fraser Island highlights.

M

y work sees me regularly travelling to the top spots of Australia, but Fraser Island is a stand-out for my family in terms of epic experiences together. In fact, we loved our first trip to Fraser Island so much that when my parents came over to Australia for a visit, I knew it was a place we’d want to return to with them. Kingfisher Bay Resort on the western bay of Fraser Island provides an immersive experience for intergenerational family holidays – there’s something here for every age. Reality fades away, time stands still, and picture-perfect memories are made in this World Heritage-listed wonderland. Here are my top suggestions for an all-round adventure on the island.

Beauty Spots Tour

Image: Kingfisher Bay Resort

When it comes to an island that’s approximately 120 kilometres long and 24 kilometres wide, it’s not possible to see it all in one day. This is where the Beauty Spots Tour comes in – it’s the perfect way to see the most beautiful locations on Fraser. We sat back and enjoyed the ride in the 4WD-equipped coach as our hilarious guide navigated the sand tracks and detailed the island’s history, stopping off at the stunning Lake McKenzie, tranquil Pile Valley and historic Maheno shipwreck, to name just a few of the highlights. We loved Lake McKenzie so much that we even hired a 4WD to return the next day (feeling confident after orientating ourselves on the tour). The tour made seeing the scenic spots of the island easy, and since it departs Kingfisher Bay Resort daily, it’s a great choice for travellers.

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Junior Eco Rangers The popular Junior Eco Rangers program at Kingfisher Bay Resort is an interactive wildlife experience that the little ones will be talking about for weeks on end. Run by the experienced ranger team, kids will learn about the island’s environment through action-packed activities such as bushwalks, beach games, scavenger hunts, campfires and stargazing adventures – our daughter absolutely loved it. Since the resort runs both morning and evening programs throughout the school holidays, we had the chance to sneak away and enjoy a romantic meal together, just the two of us.

What’s on (quite a lot for families!) Kingfisher Bay Resort offers a weekly ‘What’s On Guide’ that features a range of outdoor adventure activities, such as Segway tours, canoeing in the mangroves, guided eco walks and bush-tucker talk-and-taste sessions that can all be booked at reception. When we weren’t out exploring the island, we took a dip in the resort pools and even made the most of the heated outdoor spa – the perfect way to relax! Afterwards, we couldn’t say no to a cool beverage at Sunset Bar, as we basked in the golden glow across the bay. It’s a great spot to spend time together, playing on the sand or even taking a walk along the jetty. In today’s busy world it’s great to get back to nature and interact with the environment (and each other!) – and a stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island is the perfect way to do exactly that. We’re already planning our next trip…

Island touring At Kingfisher Bay Resort (kingfisherbay.com) guests can book the Beauty Spots Tour in-house.


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:

Maheno shipwreck; The silica sands of Lake McKenzie; There are more than 40 freshwater lakes on the island; The walkways through the wallum at Kingfisher Bay Resort.

Images: Clare Southwell / Take me to Australia

FR A S ER IS LA ND


EXPLOR E A US TR ALIA : W HAL E WAT CHI NG A humpback whale breaching in Hervey Bay.

HAVE A

WHALE OF A TIME! Don’t spend hours searching on Google – Sarah Friggieri has narrowed down the best whale-watching vantage points right here!

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E X P LO R E A U S T R A LI A : W H A LE WATC HING



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Go somewhere great With holiday parks and resorts across Australia, wherever your next getaway takes you, there’s a park not far away.

1300 414 448 nrmaparksandresorts.com.au


E X P LO R E A U S T R A LI A : W H A LE WATC HING

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here’s something so intriguing about whales. They’re the largest creatures that simmer below sea level, yet they’re certainly not the kings of the deep. They sporadically resurface, sending up a plume of water that at once could startle relaxed passersby but excite expectant onlookers. When you’re in Australia and want to be part of the latter, there are plenty of places to meet these friendly ocean-goers.

commercial operators such as The Big Duck Tours or Oceanic Victor.

Port Stephens, New South Whales

Exmouth, Western Australia

It’s said that about 20,000 humpback whales pass Port Stephens between May and August each year on their northern migration, then back again between August and September. Base yourselves at newly revamped The Anchorage – complete with a nanny service – then explore the headlands and outer islands on a threehour Moonshadow Cruises tour (morning or afternoon tea included).

Australia’s Coral Coast boasts all of the ecology that whale sharks adore. Growing up to 16 metres in length, it’s a good thing the world’s largest fish have the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean to explore. Humpbacks also abound, so hop aboard a Ningaloo Ecology Cruises glass-bottom boat to hear whale songs through a hydrophone and see deep below the wild waves.

Victor Harbor, South Australia

Sydney Harbour backdrop is stunning. Add to that hundreds of playful whales and it becomes mindblowing. Whale Watching Sydney’s three-hour sunset cruise during the first two weeks of October takes small groups just off the coast to view whales as the sun goes down and there is even a professional photographer onboard to snap the perfect shots. Younger aquatic enthusiasts will also enjoy the daytime tours run by Fantasea Cruising and Captain Cook Cruises.

Every winter, this town on the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula becomes home to pods of southern right whales. And since jet skis and the like are prohibited inside the Encounter Bay Restriction Zone during whale season, the only other way to see the majestic creatures is from land (the best views can be seen from Encounter Marine Park and there are some truly awesome exhibits inside South Australian Whale Centre) or on a tour with 

LEFT TO RIGHT:

The tail of a humpback whale rises above the water against the Sydney skyline; a majestic whale at the surface of the water.

Bruny Island, Tasmania Over the past few years, humpbacks, southern right whales, killer whales and even blue whales have frolicked in the deep blue waters off Tasmania’s rugged southern coastline. Trying to spot them from land can be quite the challenge, which is why it’s a good thing that Pennicott Wilderness Journeys offers three-hour tours, departing twice daily from Adventure Bay.

Sydney, New South Wales

Fast fact The term ‘migration’ refers to when whales move from their summer feeding grounds near the poles to warmer waters closer to the equator for breeding.

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HERVEY BAY

FRASER ISLAND

Discover where nature comes alive • Explore World Heritage-listed Fraser Island

• Get up close and personal with majestic humpback whales (July-November) • Enjoy a BBQ by the beach or in one of our many family-friendly parks • Cast a line in the home of Australia’s best fishing • Swim in the protected, clear waters of Hervey Bay • Let the kids run wild and cool off at Wetside, Hervey Bay’s free water park • Explore Maryborough’s famous Thursday markets

Two bucket-list adventures. One spine-tingling holiday.

whalesherveybay.com.au


E X P LO R E A U S T R A LI A : W H A LE WATC HING

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

Two whales swim together in unison; A whale makes an appearance in Hervey Bay with Fraser Island in the background.

KEEP THE FAMILY AT BAY …Hervey Bay, that is. Whale-watching has been a booming business in this area for more than 30 years – and why wouldn’t it be? It’s the world’s only stopover for whales on the migration path, which means more ‘up close and personal’ encounters, and is complete with calm waters thanks to the protection offered by Fraser Island to the east, ensuring smooth sailing for the whole family. Hervey Bay was also a pioneer of immersive encounters (think swimming with whales and duck-board experiences) and is even a noted candidate to be named Australia’s first Whale Heritage Site by the World Cetacean Alliance. Plus it’s steeped in history; it was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770. At the time, the waters surrounding it were too shallow for his boat to cross, so he didn’t realise it was a separate piece of land to Fraser Island. It wasn’t until 1799 that the first European – Matthew Flinders – stepped ashore at Hervey Bay. If all of that’s not reason to book your next trip here, we don’t know what is!



Hervey Bay, Queensland Did you know that the Fraser Coast is the only actual stopover destination for humpbacks on their migration route? In fact, they often spend up to 10 days in Hervey Bay between July and November, using the calm, protected waters around Fraser Island as a calf kindergarten to teach their young how to make it in the big world. It’s not surprising, then, that Hervey Bay is considered to be one of the country’s top whale watching locations. Be sure to carry a camera around as you explore the region.

Warrnambool, Victoria Between May and October, female southern right whales set up camp in the sheltered waters of Lady Bay – along the famed Great Ocean Road – to give birth and raise their calves in an environment that becomes a protected playground. It’s best to watch them frolic from land, on the built-for-purpose Logan Beach Whale Watching Platform between the dunes.

Kiama, New South Wales

Fast fact Even though they may sound dangerous, whale sharks are harmless to humans; they feed on plankton, shrimp, algae and other marine plant material.

Most families head to this South Coast New South Wales town for the famed Blowhole or Kiama IceCreamery’s ‘Kitchen Sink’, but they should really time it to coincide their visit with the annual humpback migration coming north from Antarctica from May to November. The best vantage points on land can be found along Kiama Coast Walk: Blowhole Point, Bombo Headland, Marsden Headland, Minnamurra WhaleWatching Platform and Black Head Reserve. Prefer to be on the water? Don’t be fooled by the name of local company Dolphin Watch Cruises – they meet with many a larger mammal when out and about. AUTUMN 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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Spot whales from April to November on the


E X P LO R E A U S T R A LI A : W H A LE WATC HING

5

WHAT’S SO FUNNY?

1

FUN FOR ALL AGES

=

In migration season (from May to November), humpbacks can be found almost everywhere in the waters surrounding Australia. Though we’d love for our offspring to focus on the majesty of these mammals, older kids are likely to snicker at the name they’ve been given. Here are five facts to get their minds back on the task at hand. 1. A group of whales is called a pod. 2. Only the male humpbacks sing – experts think they do it to attract females or alert other male whales that they’re nearby. 3. Humpbacks are the noisiest of the whales – males often sing for up to 15 minutes at a time. 4. Humpback whales stop growing when they’re about 10 years old. 5. Humpbacks use their huge tails (called flukes) to swim and propel themselves out of the water.

Guests enjoy a whale breaching right beside their boat.

In the July school holidays, Phillip Island – a year-round popular daytrip from Melbourne – plays host to the Island Whale Festival. To celebrate the migration of humpback and southern right whales through the area, there are three days of whale-spotting, photography workshops and interactive exhibits. If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to be inside the belly of a whale, you know where to book your next break. Just can’t fit it in mid-year? Whenever you go, simply follow the Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail from the foreboding Eagles Nest rock formation to the township of Cowes to spot whales from some of the best vantage points in the region, such as Cape Woolamai and Pyramid Rock. islandwhales.com.au 

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EXPLOR E A US TR ALIA : W HAL E WAT CHI NG

DID YOU KNOW…?

Australia’s motoring clubs have branched out to offer accommodation – and you can even get discounts with your membership! Check out the prime locations for getting close to whales in your state.

NEW SOUTH WALES

NRMA Merimbula Beach Holiday Resort 1300 787 837 nrmaparksandresorts.com.au/merimbula-beach NRMA Port Macquarie Breakwall Holiday Park 1800 636 452 nrmaparksandresorts.com.au/port-macquarie NRMA Murramarang Beachfront Holiday Resort 1300 767 255 rmaparksandresorts.com.au/murramarang

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

RAC Busselton Holiday Park 1800 871 570 parksandresorts.rac.com.au/busselton RAC Exmouth Cape Holiday Park 1800 871 570 parksandresorts.rac.com.au/exmouth RAC Ningaloo Reef Resort 1800 871 570 parksandresorts.rac.com.au/ningaloo

Images: Shutterstock

DON’T FORGET!

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Travel Managers’ Amber Boseley gives her top tips to making the most of your whale-watching experience. travelmanagers.com.au • Take binoculars with you – whales can often be seen far off in the distance (look for water spurts). • Colouring books and pencils are a must (some family-friendly boats will have them onboard). You don’t want to bring digital entertainment if you can avoid it, as you never know when it might get dropped, knocked or just slip overboard. • Unless your kids are used to being on boats and you know how they handle the water, do not book a full-day tour! You don’t want to have an upset or unwell child stuck on water for seven hours.   • Bring a spray jacket (or poncho), even if it's not raining – depending on where you’re seated, there’s always a chance of getting wet from the spray coming up from the ocean. 

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RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort 1800 871 570 parksandresorts.rac.com.au/monkey-mia

QUEENSLAND

NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Park 1800 339 966 escape2holidayparks.com.au/our-parks NRMA Woodgate Beach Holiday Park 1800 194 681 nrmaparksandresorts.com.au/woodgate-beach

VICTORIA • If the boat you are considering offers the opportunity to swim with whales, be aware of the restrictions on this. Regulations may vary from boat to boat, but in Australia the minimum age is 15 and it can’t be offered if there are calves nearby. If you have children younger than 15 who would get upset with not being able to participate in this experience, book a boat that doesn’t offer it so they don’t feel like they’re missing out. • Pick a vessel that is purpose-built for whale-watching – they’re the ones that have a lot of outdoor deck space.

Port Campbell Holiday Park 1800 505 466 escape2holidayparks.com.au/port-campbell Portland Bay Holiday Park 1800 622 005 escape2holidayparks.com.au/portland-bay Want to step away from the ocean and in to a snow day? Spend your winter break at one of these parks! Bright Holiday Park 1800 706 685 nrmaparksandresorts.com.au/bright Jindabyne Holiday Park 02 6456 2249 escape2holidayparks.com.au/jindabyne


I N G E N I A HO LID AY S

PERFECT POSITION

front locations of One Mile Beach and Soldiers Point, to the picturesque White Albatross; and further north to our laidback parks Noosa and the renowned Hervey Bay – each showcasing their individual style and great proximity to major cities Offering a variety of accommodation, from stylish cabins, villas and picture-perfect camping and powered caravan sites – not to mention the latest in pet-friendly lodging – Ingenia Holidays has everything you could possible need. With all the creature comforts on one site, you can escape without even leaving the park – from resort style pools, to playgrounds, splash parks, barbeque facilities, camp kitchens and more! Those in the know have often flocked to our destinations, recognised for providing a welcoming environment, where children and families are catered for in a safe and social community. Ideal for short breaks and extended holidays, it’s the perfect destination to provide that home away from home feeling. There’s never been a better time to book an Ingenia Holidays vacation and experience the beauty of our majestic visitors. ingeniaholidays.com.au

I

Picture this: You’ve woken up to a glorious sunny morning by the lake. You open the cabin doors out onto the picturesque waters of Lake Conjola. People are fishing, kids are paddle boarding, and you can smell the sweet aroma of campfire cooking. A moment later your children rush to your feet, beaming smiles, excited for the day of whale watching ahead. After planning for months, it feels like Christmas has finally arrived. You whip up a quick breakfast in the cabin kitchen, pack your bags and set off with your family on an experience of a lifetime! At Ingenia Holidays we believe in creating magical memories and positive experiences for all our treasured guests; and with whale watching season on the horizon, what better time to start planning your families next dream vacation. July to November is peak season to spot the majestic humpback whales. With locations spanning the East Coast, our many parks are perfectly positioned to capture the whales as they migrate from south to north along our pristine waters. From southern beachfront oasis Broulee, to lakeside bliss at Lake Conjola, ocean-



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

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

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E X P LO R E A U S T R A LI A : C A MP ING

LIVE OFF THE LAND We’ve found the best places in Australia to pitch your tent!

Harbour view Kids will love exploring the spooky convict prisons, enormous cranes and ship-building machinery while camping on Cockatoo Island – the only

island in Sydney Harbour where camping is legal (and encouraged). At the former imperial prison, industrial school, reformatory, jail and shipyard, visitors can choose between unpowered 4x4-metre campsites or book a camping package that includes a pre-erected tent, two mattresses and two camping chairs. Ask the Visitor Centre about the Convict Clues activity – a favourite pastime for the kids! cockatooisland.gov.au

Images: Cockatoo Island

F

rom cool caves to convict prisons, there are many quirky places to set up camp across Australia – so why not try something a little bit different?

Camping at Cockatoo Island means beautiful sunsets and plenty of experiences for the whole family to enjoy.



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EXPLOR E A US TR ALIA : CAM PI NG

Outback wonder

TOP

Kids at Pigeon Hole Lookout in El Questro. RIGHT

Great campsites are often hidden away. FAR RIGHT

Reef Sleep is one of Australia's top camping experiences. BOTTOM

Australia is full of great camping locations.

Looking for an outback camping experience? El Questro in Western Australia’s Kimberley region offers more than a million acres of remote, untamed wilderness. Fish for barramundi and ride horses, then learn about bush culture, traditional medicines, hunting techniques and the pioneering heritage of this former cattle station on a tour with a local ranger. elquestro.com.au

Bush retreat Mad campers should head to Hatters Hideout in New South Wales’ Blue Mountains. This campsite for modern cave dwellers can be reached via a 300-metre walking track and comes with all the mod-cons, including a gas barbecue, kitchen sink, tables, chairs, solar-powered lights and candles! monkeycreek.com.au

Animal encounters Wine, dine and sleep in the Historic Elephant Exhibit at Melbourne Zoo, which has been revitalised to provide the unique Roar ‘n’ Snore camping opportunity. Dine in the Elephant House, explore the mystery of the zoo after dark, and wake in the morning to the calls of gibbons and birds. zoo.org.au

Reef sleep

Images: Courtesy of companies featured

Where else can you sleep in a swag over the reef, under the stars, 40 nautical miles from land? At Reefworld’s Reefsleep on the Great Barrier Reef, guests aged 12 and over can accompany their parents on the most amazing sleepover they’ll ever have! cruisewhitsundays.com

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Going deep underground If you’d prefer to sleep under the ground than under the stars, book your spot at Riba’s Underground in South Australia’s Coober Pedy, the opal capital of the world. The only underground tent camping in the world (how's that for unique?), this place is equipped with an on-site opal mine that can be explored on an evening mine tour. camp-underground.com.au

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E X P LO R E A U S T R A LI A : C A MP ING

32″



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

reflectionsholidayparks.com.au


R E FLE C T I O N S H O LI DAY PA R K S

AMAZING AUTUMN ACTIVITIES A One brand, 37 different locations, each offering a one-of-a-kind experience.

Take a bushwalk or a seaside stroll With many Reflections Holiday Parks surrounded by national parks and nature reserves, there’s an abundance of familyfriendly tracks and trails just waiting to be explored. Go inland, where Reflections Holiday Parks Burrinjuck Waters is home to the Hume and Hovell track, one of New South Wales’ most historic bushwalks. If you’d prefer to head to a coastal oasis, enjoy a stroll along the beach at one of 28 coastal Reflections Holiday Parks.

Go glamping Somewhere between Reflections’ fully equipped cabins and classic powered sites are its beach tents. Found at five spectacular locations (Jimmys Beach, Seal Rocks, Bonny Hills, Mylestom and Red

Rock), these permanent tents provide all the creature comforts of kitchens, bathrooms and comfy beds, but still allow you to feel connected with nature.

Watch the wildlife Forget a trip to the zoo – from dolphins in the bay and parrots perched on your balcony to friendly kangaroos hopping around your campsite, Reflections Holiday Parks are ideal places to experience Australia’s native wildlife and give the kids an appreciation for animals. Dolphins are often spotted frolicking in Richmond River at Ballina, and further south at Hawks Nest dolphin-watching tours offer another opportunity to watch the playful creatures. Whale-watching season starts in May, and the coastal outlooks at Reflections Holiday Parks provide some of New South Wales’ prime viewing locations. Hundreds of kangaroos call the inland parks home – and they’re so friendly that you might just have one hop right up to your doorstep!

Get out on the water Located alongside some of New South Wales’ best waterways, Reflections Holiday Parks are great places to take the boat out. Teach the little ones how to rig up a fishing line and have an incredible family fishing experience. The next day, hire a kayak and get paddling. Some of Reflections’ top kayaking locations are Red Rock and Moonee Beach on the Coffs Coast.

Indulge in exquisite cuisine Seafood lovers should head south to the unspoilt Sapphire Coast. Reflections Holiday Parks at Eden and Bermagui offer access to an amazing array of fresh local seafood. Whether you want to grab something from the co-op and cook it up in your cabin kitchen or dine at a top waterfront venue, there’s something to suit everyone.

Healthy holidays The Northern Rivers region is renowned for its culture of organic and health-conscious paddock-to-plate dining. Reflections has eight parks in the Northern Rivers region, so head north to introduce your kids to the foodie lifestyle.

CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM

A quiet moment at Red Rock; glamping at Jimmys Beach; kangaroos at Lake Glenbawn; stunning scenery at Seal Rocks



Start planning Don’t let the cool change deter you – plan an autumn escape to one of Reflections Holiday Parks’ 37 holiday parks in New South Wales and recharge the way nature intended. For more information and to book your next family holiday, head to reflectionsholidayparks.com.au

AUTUMN 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

Images: Reflections Holiday Parks

getaway to a Reflections Holiday Park is about enjoying the natural experiences we so often lack in our day-to-day lives. As we start to transition to the cooler months of the year, the autumnal notes in the air create the ideal opportunity for family time inspired by nature. So pack your bags, head to a Reflections Holiday Park and embrace the cooler weather this autumn.

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EXPLOR E A US TR ALIA : CAM PI NG

ON THE RIGHT PATH With the right car and destination, road-tripping with teens can be a pleasure… well, almost, as Deborah Dickson-Smith finds.

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he family road trip is an Aussie tradition – car packed to the rafters with camping gear as families make the annual journey up or down the coast to their favourite camp site or holiday park. When our kids were younger, we booked the same campsite every year at Hat Head on the New South Wales Mid North Coast, where the kids could go feral, returning to the tent only for meals and bedtime. The kids are now teens, and they still enjoy a good road trip, but these days we opt for a cabin over a tent – we still get that lazy summer holiday park atmosphere

and I don’t have to worry about setting up a tent, inflating air mattresses and moaning teens unwilling to help. Plus, teenagers take up a lot of room. This year we headed north again to explore New South Wales’ Mid North Coast, and even though we chose to dispense with the camping gear, somehow our spacious Nissan Pathfinder still seemed packed to the rafters with teenage paraphernalia, dive gear and Christmas presents. The girls even insisted on bringing a giant inflatable unicorn! The Pathfinder is a good choice for a road trip with teens. The seven-seater has

plenty of room for leggy teens to spread out without arguing about personal space, enough charging points for multiple mobile devices, cup holders for every seat – there’s even seat-back entertainment. Video displays behind the two front seats can be played individually, so there’s no need for everyone to watch the same thing, with movies accessed via USB, HDMI or a DVD player on the dashboard. The car’s sound system can sync to numerous mobile devices, with access to apps such as iTunes and Spotify – in fact, I think this car was actually designed with teenagers in mind.

Tyre-iffic

With ASV P-free puncture free tyres you don’t to worry about having a puncture again. ASV P-free puncture-free tyres reduce the risk of a blowout from a puncture on the freeway, keeping your family safe on those long road trips. asvpfree.com.au

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E X P LO R E A U S T R A LI A : C A MP ING

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:

Walking to Bennetts Head Lookout; Forster One Mile Beach; Nissan Pathfinder packed to rafters; Forster pelicans; A comfortable stay at BIG4 Great Lakes cabin.

Our first stop was Forster Tuncurry, staying at BIG4 Great Lakes Holiday Park, located on the shores of a tidal lagoon on the Tuncurry side of town. It has a lap pool, water park and obligatory giant bouncing pillow, as well as a cafe that serves pretty good coffee. While we chose a cabin, the park recently introduced luxurious glamping-style tents, which would be a great choice for long-legged teens. In the mornings, while it’s still relatively cool, we found hiking trails then cooled off at the beach after lunch. During school holidays, there is often live entertainment at the cafe, a great place to wind down as the sun goes down. Here’s our pick of things to do in and around Forster: Hiking. Hike up to Bennetts Headland, which offers spectacular views up and down the coast. It’s an easy climb (even on

1 

a hot summer’s day) with a gradual slope leading to the top of the headland. So gradual, in fact, that we didn’t even notice how high we’d climbed until we reached the headland itself and peered over the side of the dramaticlooking cliff face. Swimming. Head over to One Mile Beach for a swim. On the other side of Bennetts Headland, the sand dunes of One Mile Beach come halfway up the headland. The beach is quieter than the main town beach, with decent surf for those so inclined. Snorkelling. Along the trail to Bennetts Headland is The Tanks, a popular snorkelling spot protected from the crashing waves by a straight wall of sedimentary rock. The water in this natural swimming pool is crystal clear, and it’s a lot of fun to lean against the sloping wall of rocks as the waves crash over the top of you.

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4

Kayaking. Hire a kayak or stand-up

paddle board at one of the boatsheds along Forster lagoon. It’s an easy paddle along the waterfront to a sand spit near the bridge that spans the lagoon, joining Forster to Tuncurry. Diving. Go diving with grey nurse sharks. Nearby dive sites, such as The Pinnacle and Big Seal Rock, have some of the largest aggregations of grey nurse sharks in New South Wales, and some are shallow and sheltered enough for beginner divers.

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BIG4 Great Lakes at Forster-Tuncurry 1 Baird Street, Tuncurry NSW 02 6554 6827 greatlakes.com.au

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Images: BIG4; Deborah Dickson-Smith

FORSTER TUNCURRY

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Guided tours.

Personal chefs.

What will your next holiday stay give you? Imagine the perfect alternative to your standard hotel holiday. More personal and less predictable. A break for the whole family with everything you need in one place, that has you wondering why you didn’t do it before.

Complimentary refreshments.

Where front of house is your kids playing in front of your cabin. Where free-to-air entertainment comes on a pedal cart or jumping pillow, and where complimentary refreshments are something you can swim in. With BIG4 Holiday Parks around Australia, your perfect family getaway is now easier than ever. So if you are thinking of moving away from standard, maybe you should ask yourself the simple question…Isn’t it time?

E

IT VOUR IA’S FA L A R T AUS

Let’s get connected!

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


E X P LO R E A U S T R A LI A : CA MP ING

YAMBA

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP:

Waterpark fun for the whole family at BIG4 Saltwater; A girl plays in the spalsh pools at BIG4 Saltwater; Go-kart fun at BIG4 Saltwater is fun for both adults and kids; The coastline is great for fishing; Angourie Beach in Yuraygir National Park.

BIG4 Saltwater has a completely different feel to it than the lively Great Lakes. Located a few kilometres out of town, this peaceful holiday park is like a little riverside retreat. Set on 130 acres of peaceful bushland beside Clarence River, this Yamba caravan park is hugely popular for fishing and kayaking. The shady park has an adventure playground, a large water park and an outdoor cinema. During school holidays, the park invites local food trucks to set up shop, including Flour + Water Woodfired Pizza, Pocket Curries and Ed’s Little Boy Brisket. So, with gourmet food, free movies and a waterpark, there’s really no reason to leave the place. In fact, not many people do; the park used to offer a shuttle service to and from Yamba, but it was discontinued because nobody used it. Here are our top five activities for teens. Kayaking. With the river right next to Saltwater and a labyrinth of mangrove forests to explore, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding are obvious choices. The park has free kayaks available for use. Hiking. Nearby Iluka Nature Reserve, home to more than 140 species of birds, contains the largest remaining patch of coastal rainforest in New South Wales. It features a number of walking trails. Swimming. Angourie Blue Pool started life as a rock quarry until a freshwater spring was disturbed, turning the quarry into a deep freshwater pool. It’s just metres from the ocean and great fun to jump into from the high rock platforms that surround it. Surfing. Angourie was the first gazetted National Surfing Reserve in New South Wales, famous for its superb breaks. According to four-time world surfing champion Mark Richards, “Angourie is the best right-hand point break in Australia and also one of the best in the world”. Beach fun. The coastline in and around Yamba is dotted with beautiful beaches. While patrolled beaches such as Main Beach and Turners Beach are great choices for younger kids, our teens preferred to hang out at Spooky Beach, with great surfing at one end and snorkelling at the other.

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BIG4 Saltwater at Yamba Holiday Park 286 O’Keefe’s Lane, Palmers Island NSW 02 6646 0255 big4saltwater.com.au



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Images: BIG4; G Turner/Destination NSW

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EXPLOR E A US TR ALIA : ACCE SSI BL E T RAVE L

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Choose the right destination and a staycation will bring unsurmountable joy, writes Julie Jones.

I

Repeat visitor Lake Macquarie had more activities than we could pack into a weekend, so it was the obvious choice when I was looking for somewhere to book for a girls’ weekend with my daughter and friends a few weeks later. The area once again delivered fun for us mums and our gaggle of kids ranging from four to 15 years old – and that’s no easy feat!

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t’s easy to overlook destinations close to home, but, as we found out, you may be missing out on something great. Lake Macquarie is just 90 minutes from Sydney and was an ideal weekend getaway for our family. With accessible beaches, walks and caves to explore, our only problem was prioritising what to do in the time available. First stop was our accommodation, a twobedroom poolside villa at Swansea Gardens Lakeside Holiday Park (lakemacholidayparks.com. au/park/Swansea). I’ll be the first to admit to being a five-star-loving gal, but in recent years we’ve found the practicality of holiday parks suits our family; the increasing availability of accessible facilities and accommodation provides us with all we need for a comfortable stay. With parking beside the cabin, ramp

access, wide doorways and a large accessible bathroom, it was the perfect base for our twonight stay. The park’s family-friendly activities were nearby, with a solar heated resort-style pool opposite our villa. A gentle ramp into the water makes entry into the pool easier and safer for children and guests with a mobility restriction. And just through the back gate is the lake with a lovely level waterfront walk. The shallow water and shade of the trees make it a haven for families taking advantage of the calm swimming conditions. Although settled in our accommodation, we had itchy feet knowing low tide was coinciding with sunset that night. A visit to Caves Beach was at the top of our to-do list, so we grabbed some fish and chips for a picnic on the beach while we waited for the tide to drop.


E X P LO R E A U S T R A LI A : A C C E S S I B L E TR AV EL

CAVES BEACH

Weaving our way between the rocks and exploring Caves Beach was the highlight of our weekend. As the name suggests, this beach is home to a series of interconnecting sea caves that can only be accessed at low tide. Kids could be heard excitedly calling out as they crawled and squeezed through the rocky openings. Caves are generally not wheelchair-accessible, so there was immense joy in exploring a cave with our son in his beach wheelchair. He was delighted, both with the experience and sharing his joy with us. Visitors can borrow a beach wheelchair during patrol hours from Caves Beach Surf Life Saving Club. Given Lake Macquarie is Australia’s largest permanent coastal saltwater lake, there’s a strong focus on water-based activities, but we also discovered a few land-based gems.

Images: Julie Jones

SPEERS POINT PARK



Lake Macquarie Variety Playground at Speers Point Park is an incredible all-abilities playground. Although a giant nine-metre spiral slide and 12-metre climbing structure are the centrepieces, there are plenty of activities for children who are less mobile or using a wheelchair. The playground is home to a Variety Liberty Swing (wheelchair swing), accessible water features, musical instruments, a supportive high-backed swing seat and a quiet zone. Within the fenced playground, there are shady spots to picnic under the canopy of the trees, or nearby Sal’s By The Lake (run by the Salvation Army) offers eat-in or takeaway dining if you want a break from food prep.

CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT:

Lake Macquarie is an ideal getaway for families with plenty to see and do; Exploring Caves Beach; Enjoying the Variety Liberty Swing at Lake Macquarie Variety Playground.

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EXPLOR E A US TR ALIA : ACCE SSI BL E T RAVE L

Trail riding at the foothills of the Watagan.

Bike riding at Warners Bay Foreshore.

WARNERS BAY FORESHORE

Images: Julie Jones

HORSERIDING

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Continuing our tradition of doing a mother-daughter activity when we travel, we headed to the foothills of Watagan Mountains to AAA Horse Riding & More (aaahorseriding.com.au). Wayne, the owner, is a true Aussie larrikin. He asked about our level of experience and then gave us a briefing about our ride, advising the trail would take us across Dead Man’s Creek, where the water could be deep. He only had one request from us as riders: “Raise your hand as you cross the creek, ’cause we hate to lose a good horse.” Realising we’d been sucked in to a joke, we saddled up and took a lovely wander through bushland on the property. The ride was peaceful, except for pockets of cicadas whose loud screeches drowned out any chance of conversation. The rainforest was our ultimate destination, and it hadn’t occurred to me that we’d need to descend a hill to reach it. Not only did the ride give us memories I’m sure we’ll laugh about for years to come, it also made me realise I’m not good at listening to multiple instructions when under pressure. Although my daughter was cool as a cucumber and trusted her horse would choose the best route down the steep rocky incline, I found myself embarrassingly screeching. Meanwhile, Wayne was calling out instructions to me: “Toes up, heels down, sit back, look forward!” It was a lot to take in my state of panic. Despite disgracing myself with many vocal exclamations, we had a wonderful ride, my daughter declaring her horse was the favourite she’s had on a trail ride. He was so tame and calm that it gave her confidence, even when the ride was more challenging.

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We were impressed by the range of shared pathways in Lake Macquarie. It was a joy to have the choice of so many scenic paths that are suitable for prams, wheelchair users and cyclists. The Warners Bay Foreshore path is nine kilometres each way, so we tested it out with bikes and the wheelchair. Bikes can be hired from Boomerang Bikes warnersbay.boomerangbikes.com.au

OAWK TIP: On weekends during patrol season, beach wheelchairs are free to use at Blacksmiths Beach. Grannies Pools has beach matting for easier access on the sand as well as shallow, calm water for swimming.


FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:

Belmont 16s is one of the largest clubs in the Hunter region; Sweet treats always go down well; Modern street art at Cafe Macquarie.

EATING OUT

All of these activities certainly left us with big appetites, and Lake Macquarie delighted with its range of culinary treats. Taking a complete break from the kitchen, I enjoyed exploring the many options. • A hearty breakfast on holidays is something we all look forward to, so on our first morning we eagerly headed to Café Macquarie (cafemacquarie.com) in Belmont, which has accessible outdoor dining. Being a teen, our daughter was keen to try the trendy acai and granola bowl, which I can vouch for, as I helped polish off the generous serve. The cafe prides itself on using fresh local produce. • Tides Café & Restaurant (tidescafe.com.au) in Swansea has lovely water views and proved an instant hit with our kids because pancakes were on the menu and the staff were so friendly. • Caves Coastal Bar & Bungalows (cavescoastal. com.au) at Caves Beach is a modern pub-style restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere, water views, a kids’ playground and live music some 

evenings. The casual menu catered to our family’s tastes, with the pizzas and fish getting ticks of approval. • Canon’s (canonfoodbarespresso.com.au) Tropicana Frappe cooled us all down after our walk and ride along the foreshore at Warners Bay. The friendly staff chatted to the kids and made us all feel welcome while we waited for our meals. The BBQ lamb fillet salad was delicious and all we needed as we were going out to dinner, but we couldn’t resist the pavlova in a jar. We decided this decadent dessert was best shared between us all. • Belmont 16s (16s.com.au) is one of the largest clubs in the Hunter region. With six different dining outlets in one location, there really is something for everyone here. As adults, we enjoyed the water views and the outdoor terrace, but the indoor playground was a magnet for younger kids. • Park View Takeaway in Swansea does great fish, chips and calamari – bring cash, as there’s no eftpos. AUTUMN 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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7-day Pandamonium + Yangtze River Cruise family holiday in China

2 Adults & 2 Children

Give the kids a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the famous Pandas of Chengdu Sanctuary International flights included from Australia Travel with an English speaking guide Cruise the magnificent Yangtze River with lots of optional excursions available so you can choose your own adventure Multiple departure dates in 2018 including school holidays 7 days for $4,149 for 2 Adults and 2 Children ex SYD/MEL We have multiple packages for families of all sizes, up to 2 Adults and 5 Children

from only

$4,149 per family

Flights

incl.

Visit familytravel.com.au or call 1300 404 100 to book Find a holiday deal that works for your family


contents 56 IT’S SNOWTIME

Here’s your Australia and New Zealand snow season guide.

63 KEEPING COOL IN CANBERRA

Take a white-hot pit stop in Canberra on your way to the snow.

66 HIT THE HAPPY SLOPES

Why Whakapapa is Zealand’s best beginner ski and snow area.

SNOW SEASON


IT’S

SNOWTIME!

Images: Thredbo Resort

Whether you’re pointing your skis towards Australia or New Zealand, you’ll find there’s mountains of choice, writes Flip Byrnes.

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S N O W S E A S O N : S E A S O N R UND O W N

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o matter where you choose to schuss – a small resort with a community feel or a big-hitter with razzle-dazzle features – each trip will be as unique as a snowflake and create memories to last a lifetime. If you know where to look, the ski fields are blizzarding with kids’ activities and deals, from ‘kids ski free’ (hello, Mt Hutt) to excellent kids’ clubs and unbeatable ski programs. So what are you waiting for? This is the season to say ready, set, SNOW!

THREDBO, THE UNDERSIX UTOPIA Thredbo is the glamazon of the New South Wales ski fields and nirvana for getting littler kids sliding. With more than 30 bars and restaurants clinging to one side of the valley like shimmering snowflakes, the other valley slope featuring the lifts, there’s an easy transition from ski time to home time. For kids: There’s just one word you need to know: Thredboland. It’s a complete entertainment arena where kids aged three to six will get hours of snow time, be fed a hot lunch and snacks, and do fun activities indoors. It’s seamless. All you’ll need to do is choose between two key ski programs: Burton Riglets – Snowboard (from $173) and Thredboland – Ski Program (from $173). thredbo.com.au Don’t miss: Mission Inflatable pool inflatable course at Thredbo Leisure Centre – it’s only an additional $5 a day when booked with a Thredboland class. 

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

Every kid loves Thredboland; The Thredbo snow play area is a blast for all.



Top tip: Thredbo Alpine Hotel is great and it’s the closest hotel to the lifts, but if you book early enough, you’ll be able to score a family room at Thredbo YHA Hostel – just a short walk from the ski fields and easily the best value in the Snowy Mountains. yha.com.au AUTUMN 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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Image: Perisher

PERISHER, AKA ‘TEEN-A-RAMA’ Six hours from Sydney, Perisher is a Brady Bunch resort of integrated areas, the sum of which is supernova-esque and excitingly appealing to everyone. The largest resort in the southern hemisphere combines the linked areas of Guthega, Blue Cow, Perisher Valley and Smiggin Holes, resulting in 1245 hectares of riding accessed by 47 lifts. That’s serious room to move.

of outpost Guthega and the steeps of Mt Perisher – the variety is endless. The two-day Perisher Kids ski and snowboard program for five- to 14-year-olds, including lift access, is priced from $266. perisher.com.au

For kids: This is a freestyler’s paradise, with five terrain parks, a full and mini halfpipe, and two X Rider courses. But you don’t have to be an X Games competitor to enjoy the slopes – teenagers will love the undulating, protected runs

Top tip: Smiggins Hotel & Apartments has one of the best kids’ clubs in the snow, with movie nights, craft, games, video games, dress-up nights and kids’ karaoke. With lifts at the doorstep, it’s a one-stop kid stop. smiggins.com.au

Don’t miss: Neon night skiing and boarding every Tuesday and Saturday night from July to September. 

TOP SNOW SAVERS • Pass prices are cheaper early and late season (June and September). Prepurchase online and aim for mid-week whenever possible to score the best price (and avoid the weekend bustle).

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• Take snacks – ski resorts are like airports ($10 chips, anyone?).

• If you don’t need black runs just yet, head to a smaller resort (like the ones mentioned to the right), with fewer infrastructure and lower price points.

There’s plenty for families to explore in Perisher.

• Renting equipment is worth the investment – but borrow all else.


S N O W S E A S O N : S E A S O N R UND O W N

MT BULLER, THE REAL-DEAL WINTER WONDERLAND Imagine staying perched on top of the world and – voila – there’s Mt Buller. Don’t get us wrong, in Victoria we also love the romance of the eucalyptuslined snowy lanes of Falls Creek (fallscreek.com.au) and the expert terrain of Hotham (mthotham.com.au), but Mt Buller is the most accessible ski area in Australia (it’s just over three hours from Melbourne) and has the largest lift network in Victoria. It also doesn’t hurt that that there are bars worthy of inner-city status, from contemporary Snow Pony to the warm Birdcage. Date night ahoy! For kids: Mt Buller has long been a champion of skiing kids – they led the way with the extension of children’s pricing all the way through to Year 12 students (some resorts have followed). Kids aged three to six can join the Bunyip program, where they can roam in their very own ski area (called The Magic Forest) which features two magic carpets, before graduating to the Buller Kids program (for kids aged seven to 14). Both programs are priced from $111. mtbuller.com.au Don’t miss: Take an Australian Sled Dog Tour (puppies!), catch a flick at Australia’s highest cinema, go rock-climbing at Buller Community Centre, or nab a massage at the luxurious Breathtaker On High Spa.

THE QUIET ACHIEVERS Don’t assume you’ll need a resort with all the bells and whistles to have a good time. When your toddler is on the nursery slope, do you really need double-blacks, 20 chairlifts and multiple après bars? Probably not. Here are three smaller resorts that punch far above their weight.

CHARLOTTE PASS

This snowbound resort, tucked into the foothills of Mt Kosciusko and only accessible by snowcat, is a fairytale valley of club lodges and magnificent refurbished 1930s Kosciuszko Chalet. It’s a community-vibe place where the lifties know your name by the end of the week. Best part? Everything is ski-in, ski-out – even the pub. charlottepass.com.au

Top tip: Mt Buller is home to mystical gnomes, so what better place to go on a Gnome Roam? About three kilometres along Mt Buller Tourist Road, you’ll find the ‘Gnome Crossing’ sign, and just beyond that the Gnome Home, in a majestic Mountain Ash tree. Download the free Mt Buller Walks app to enjoy an audio tour of the roam.

SELWYN SNOW RESORT

Images: Andrew Railton/Mt Buller

Small-scale Selwyn is as cheap as chips (in the snow world, that means an adult pass of $82 peak season) and family owned and operated. If snow sports aren’t your bag, head to Snowflake Tube Park (five rides for $20). selwynsnow.com.au



MT BAW BAW

Mt Buller is known for its great programs for kids.

Mt Baw Baw in Victoria proves good things come in small packages. One of Australia’s most gentle places to ski and snowboard has 35 hectares of undulating terrain – plus a terrain park, fantastic affordable accommodation, husky dog rides and tobogganing. mountbawbaw.com.au

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QUEENSTOWN, THE BIG KAHUNA

Queenstown, the beating heart of the New Zealand Alps, is the scene to be seen, the one that has a little of everything. It’s cosmopolitan and chic, and the skiing isn’t shabby either. Two ski fields about 30 minutes from town – the more advanced Remarkables and gentler Coronet Peak – are both on the NZSki pass (nzski.com). The beauty of a New Zealand ski holiday is that not only is it a ski trip, it’s also injected with the bonus excitement of being an overseas holiday. One catch – on-snow accommodation is almost non-existent, and while road upgrades have helped, the drive up the mountains can be considered… thrilling. For kids: Coronet Peak recently hosted the USA, Norwegian, Swedish, Swiss, Canadian, German, Japanese and Austrian Olympic teams – but everyone has to start small, with lessons. Skiers aged five to 17 (and snowboarders aged seven-plus) can join the Kea Club (full day from NZ$156), while those aged three months to five years can head to fully licensed daycare Skiwiland (half day from NZ$85, full day from NZ$97).  Don’t miss: Thrills in Queenstown aren’t limited to the outdoors. Swim into Alpine Aqualand, complete with lap pools, hot pools, leisure pools, lazy rivers and hydro slides, or jump in to SITE Trampoline, with Olympic-size trampolines and foam pits for trick practising. queenstownnz.co.nz Top tip: Consider heading to the third NZSki resort, Mt Hutt, about two hours from Christchurch. Kids younger than 10 receive free lift access, free meals and ski hire, and stay free at selected properties in the nearby Methven area. That’s a lot of free! nzski.com, kids4free.co.nz

Family toboggan fun.

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S N O W S E A S O N : S E A S O N R UND O W N

The Australian Institute of Sport. The AIS. Australia’s premier elite sporting precinct. Only minutes from Canberra’s CBD with plenty of free parking. AIS Visitor Centre

CARDRONA, THE TRUSTED GETAWAY The resort with the most reliable snow in the region, Cardrona is having its moment in the sun – and it’s shining! Winter 2017 smashed visitor records set in 2016, and the future seems even brighter, with more than $20 million being pumped into the resort’s facilities over the next three years. New lifts, extended snowmaking and upgraded resort facilities are all part of the new-look Cardrona.  For kids: Kids are considered royalty at Cardrona. Skiwees (for skiers aged five to 14) and Lowriders (for snowboarders aged seven to 14) are four-day lessons (Monday to Thursday) with the same instructor all the way through, priced at NZ$450. The big bonuses are daily hot lunches and hot chocolate breaks, overnight equipment storage (read: no schlepping) and a treasure hunt on the final day. More advanced skiers and riders aged 10-plus can join Ride Tribe to ride groomers, off-piste and park; priced at NZ$499. cardrona.com Don’t miss: Wanaka! Located 20 minutes from Cardrona, this charming town is Queenstown’s quieter sister, nestled along the mirrored shores of Lake Wanaka. When ready to progress, visit Treble Cone ski area (with 45 percent advanced terrain for rippers, treblecone.com), the farm animals at Wanaka Lavender Farm, or head to Puzzling World, a kids’ paradise with bizarre buildings, rooms of illusion and a great maze. For an authentic Kiwi experience, book a farm stay at deer-farm Criffel Station and make friends with friendly alpacas and majestic deer. criffelstation.com Top tip: Access to Cardrona is via 14 kilometres of unsealed road. Instead of driving, take the big orange Wanaka Bus Service. Singleday return costs $35 per adult and $28 per child. 

Everyone’s welcome. Pop in and purchase exclusive merchandise at the AIS Shop and enjoy great coffee & café-style food at the AIS Café. AIS Tours Go behind the scenes on an award-winning guided AIS Tour. Challenge yourself in Sportex, offering fun and interactive sporting exhibits. Daily 10am, 11.30am, 1pm & 2.30pm. Fees apply. AIS Aquatic & Fitness Centre Dive into our world-class swimming pool or try out our fully equipped gym. Visitors welcome. Fees apply.

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

/ExperienceAIS

@ExperienceAIS

ASC 34415

How is that for a view? Skiiers reap visual rewards at Cardrona.

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


S N O W S E A S O N : C A N B E R R A S TO P O V ER

T KEEPING COOL IN CANBERRA

he prospect of enduring long drives in a car piled with ski gear puts a dampener on chilled-out snow holiday vibes – so why not break up your trip with a pit stop in Canberra? Not just a political powerhouse, our nation’s capital is exploding with weekend street markets, annual festivals and intriguing attractions that have mastered the interactive, educational and family friendly balance. A quick stay will soon turn Lonely Planet’s third-best city for 2018 into your family favourite too.

Feeling snowed under en route to your ultimate destination? Sophie Cullen recommends taking a white-hot pit stop in Australia’s capital.

Australian Institute of Sport This is your chance to brush shoulders with elite and emerging athletes in the inner north suburb of Bruce. There are 90-minute guided public tours that operate at scheduled times daily. The highlight is the ‘Sportex’ interactive sports exhibit. Stand on an Olympic medal podium, play wheelchair basketball on a mini court, and feel your adrenaline spike on the Skeleton Run and Alpine Racer simulations. ausport.gov.au/ais

Questacon Celebrating all things science and technology, Questacon is open daily (excluding Christmas Day) and hosts mind-blowing exhibitions, including Awesome Earth, Colour, Excite@Q and H2O. The Spectacular Science Shows feature live demonstrations and audience participation, and in Excite@Q you’ll be invited to brave the vertical drop of six-metre free fall, watch a thermal camera detect your body heat, play robot air-hockey and lose your balance in the Rototron. questacon.edu.au



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A Room with a Zoo... WINNER - Best Deluxe Accommodation in Australia*

Feed

a Giraffe from

your balcony!

Animal

Encoun

ters & T

ours!

Jamala Wildlife Lodge is set amidst the grounds of the National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra. It offers 3 very different accommodation facilities and is amongst the most unique animal lodges in the world. You can stay in uShaka Lodge with its own shark tank, in a Jungle Bungalow virtually built into the habitat of a bear, lion, tiger or cheetah, or in a Giraffe Treehouse where you hand feed your tall neighbour from your balcony! Ph: 02 6287 8444 Email: info@jamalawildlifelodge.com.au Web: www.jamalawildlifelodge.com.au Address: Lady Denman Drive, Canberra ACT 2611 * 2017 Australian Hotels Association Awards for Excellence


S N O W S E A S O N : C A N B E R R A S TO P O V ER

National Museum Of Australia At this awesome museum for families, the permanent exhibitions on First Australians, national landmarks and our environmental history are complemented by Kspace, an interactive game that gives kids the chance to build a robot explorer. For a deeper dose of history, The Australian War Memorial nearby always has something new to keep you on your toes. nma.gov.au

National Zoo & Aquarium Meet a meerkat or tiger up close as part of this zoo’s Close Encounters packages. The Zoocation schoolholiday program and Zooventure Tours are other amazing paid experiences, but a simple wander past daily activities and keeper presentations is novelty enough. Visit some of the zoo’s endangered species, including the Fijian crested iguana, Tasmanian devil, and Sumatran and Bengal tigers. nationalzoo.com.au

National Gallery of Australia The kiddie drawcard at this major art museum is the all-ages NGA Play area. The creative space features craft activities and themed workshops inspired by current exhibitions. Otherwise, you are sure to stumble upon an interesting sculpture, canvas or artefact just by exploring the entirety of the gallery. See if you can spot giant pears, a floating orb and geometric shapes outside! nga.gov.au 

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SN OW SEAS ON: LAK E TAUPO

HIT THE HAPPY VALLEY SLOPES

Terrified you’ll make a fool of yourself on your first skiing attempt? Belinda Luksic finds New Zealand’s North Island won’t judge.

C

hildren zip past me, looking fluid and fearless as they streak down the slope at Happy Valley Snow Park. The aptly named spot at the base of Whakapapa in central North Island is New Zealand’s best beginner ski and snowboard area – and where I’m about to take my first ski lesson. The custom-designed ski field reopened last year with its own cafe, ski hire, magic carpet, a purposebuilt tobogganing area, ski lift, and the country’s only snow factory – a machine capable of turning even the mildest of weather into a snowstorm. Thanks to this snow-maker, ski season at Happy Valley begins at the start of June and is still going strong when I arrive for my lesson in early November. While other parts of Whakapapa are starting to thaw and bits of black rock are poking through, the snow at Happy Valley is thick and powdery. When I topple sideways, it’s like landing on a soft pillow. Happy Valley has a professional ski school for kids of all ages, with world-class instructors from across the world. Arriving for a private lesson at 10am, I hear a melting pot of accents – French, Austrian, Canadian and German. Luca, my soccer-mad ski instructor, is from Italy. He tells me that skiing is harder to start with than snowboarding, but more satisfying over time because you can improve more quickly. “You have to challenge yourself to get better,” he says, which seems to be the theme for our lesson. At the end of two hours, Luca has me snow-ploughing a gentle slope and riding the magic carpet back to the top. I feel confident and exhilarated enough to practise solo for another hour before a chairlift ride transports me 1800 metres to lunch at Knoll Ridge Café. At 2020 metres above sea level, Knoll Ridge is New Zealand’s highest cafe, with spectacular views of the mountainside and snow from a bank of floor-to-ceiling glass. The casual 380-seater is home to hearty meals (nachos, soup, burgers, sandwiches) and hot and cold drinks. Whakapapa is perched high on the north-facing slopes of an active volcano that forms one of three peaks in the Tongariro National Park. It’s New

CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT

Children enjoy the carpet lift with a ski instructor; Tobogganing fun at Happy Valley, Mt Ruapehu; A family skiing together at Whakapapa, New Zealand’s largest ski area; Knoll Ridge Cafe at Whakapapa is New Zealand’s highest cafe; Orakei Korako geothermal park is worth a visit when everyone is ready for a break from skiing.


S N O W S E A S O N : LA K E TA UP O



OFF-MOUNTAIN FUN • White-water rafting adventures await in nearby Turangi. It’s here that Tongariro River Rafting take children as young as three on white-water rafting trips of the Tongariro River. The three-hour gradetwo adventure (90 minutes on the water) is filled with lots of jolts and frothy fun. Older kids can get their adrenaline rush on the grade-three journey. trr.co.nz • A 90-minute shuttle ride from Whakapapa is the adventure playground of Taupo. At Huka Prawn Park, kids can learn the skill of hatching and catching prawns. Plus there are paddle boats, an interactive nature walk and a restaurant serving up the freshest prawns. hukaprawnpark.co.nz

• Down the road from Huka Prawn Park, at Huka Honey Hive, busy bees can have their photo taken in a beekeeper outfit, watch bees in their hive and learn fun facts about how honey is made. Try the hokey pokey ice-cream, or a more grownup flavour, if you prefer. hukahoneyhive.com • At Orakei Korako geothermal park, a 30-minute drive from Taupo, kids can marvel at the volcanic hissing and the steaming world of mud pools, geysers and hot springs. orakeikorako.co.nz • Families wanting to soak off after a big day of skiing should head to the mineral-rich waters at Taupo DeBretts. taupodebretts.co.nz

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Images: Great Lake Taupo

Zealand’s largest commercial ski field, with more than 65 trails of varying difficulty for skiing families keen to disappear for a day of intermediate and advanced skiing. While many people arrive here exclusively to ski, there are plenty of outdoor activities for those wanting a break from the snow. In the afternoon, I leave the wintry heights for high tea at Chateau Tongariro Hotel. The stately 1920s accommodation at the base of Whakapapa has snow-capped views of Mt Ngauruhoe from the lounge and a scrumptious afternoon tea filled with sweet treats and gourmet teas. Afterwards, it’s a short stroll to reach Tawhai Falls, stunning 13-metre waterfalls within the World Heritage-Listed Tongariro National Park. Day two dawns, overcast and pea-soup-like, and my goal to conquer Hut Flat, Whakapapa’s beginner trail, disappears as quickly as the visibility. My ski instructor for the day, a Brit named Sam, picks up where Italian Luca left off, running me through my paces to see what I remember before showing me new tricks. Before long, I start to feel as though I’ve got the hang of skiing. Sam teaches me to stop turn, turn and toe and even backward stop. I’m soon riding the chairlift and magic carpet all the way to the top and doing an entire run to the bottom. When it starts to snow, with snowflakes as big as a five-cent piece swirling all about, I can barely hold back the squeals of delight. It’s one of those moments, and I promise to return, next time with my daughter in tow.

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DI DOW SN Y OU SEAS KNOW...? ON: LAK E TAUPO The Wairakei Terraces thermal hot pools beckon travellers in need of respite.

Where to stay

Image: Great Lake Taupo

Close to the ski fields, Chateau Tongariro Hotel (chateau.co.nz) boasts Georgian features and old-world charm within the World Heritage-Listed Tongariro National Park. There are connecting family rooms, an indoor swimming pool and sauna, laundry facilities, and a cinema with daily kid-friendly movie screenings. After a more contemporary stay, just outside of Taupo? The two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments at Sacred Waters (sacredwaters.co.nz) have a full kitchen and laundry as well as stunning views of Lake Taupo from private balconies (some with hot tubs). The selfcontained accommodation features an outdoor pool and barbecue area, gymnasium and concierge, and offers easy acces s to the lakefront and its colony of ducks. Great Lake Walkway passes along here – it’s a fun bike ride for little ones.

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Belinda Luksic travelled as a guest of Destination Great Lake Taupo and Tourism New Zealand.

Getting there Air New Zealand operates multiple daily flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland. From Auckland, it’s a 35-minute regional flight to Taupo. airnewzealand.com.au

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More helpful websites greatlaketaupo.com mtruapehu.com


Fiji es for

i l i m Fa

• Get out and about in Fiji • Meet the Fijiian people • Islands or mainland: why you should visit both • Adventures and activities • Cruise reviews


choose your next

family getaway

SAN FRANCISCO TOKYO HONOLULU

HONG KONG

KIRITIMATI

TARAWA SINGAPORE HONIARA

LOS ANGELES

FUNAFUTI APIA

PORT VILA

NADI

SUVA

BRISBANE SYDNEY ADELAIDE MELBOURNE CHRISTCHURCH

VAVA’U NUKU’ALOFA

AUCKLAND WELLINGTON

Welcome to our home where your adventure waits to be discovered from the moment you step aboard. Welcome to a world where your day is filled with warmth. Where smiles are real and the exploration of happiness is in our nature. Welcome to where friendships are made over a bula, and friends become family before you know it. Where you’re relaxed in an instant like you’ve stepped inside your own home. Welcome to a place where culture reaches you at 30,000 feet. Where people are renowned for their hospitality and care for you genuinely. Welcome to an airline where you’re not just flying. Where care and sincerity come together in our service. Where you feel you’ve known us for a lifetime, and you’re treated as one of the family and not just a tourist. Proudly connecting the world to the South Pacific for over 65 years.

To book visit FIJIAIRWAYS.COM or call us any time from AU: 1 800 230 150 | NZ: 0 800 800 178 | FJ: (679) 672 0888

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is… It’s very easy to say great things about Fiji. beautiful beaches abound, and the water really is clear and clean, and runs the gamut of blue hues, from dark turquoise to soft teal. And if you want tropical iconography, it’s everywhere you look: coral reefs, coconut palms, sensational sunsets reflected in the vast sea, all manner of boats scuttling between islands or gently sailing with the trade winds. No matter where you choose to stay in Fiji you WILL experience all of these things, and more. Incredible family-friendly resorts abound – on the main island of Viti Levu, and on Vanua Levu, and nestled on islands scattered across the waters. Take your pick. You won’t be disappointed.

© Malolo Island Resort

But merely running through a list of the Pacific nation’s most obvious assets could never come close to defining the essence of Fiji’s undeniable appeal to families. Time and again you will hear visitors, of all ages, remark on the way in which Fiji captures your heart from the first; and the way in which you are wooed back, from the moment you say your farewell. The high number of returning holidaymakers to Fiji is testament to the authenticity of those feelings. Yes, proximity to Australia is in Fiji’s favour for a family holiday destination. Yes, the weather is more than conducive, year-round, to relaxing in the sunshine, swimming and cavorting outdoors. Yes,



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FIJI: PE OP LE & C ULTUR E

” ! A L U “B

ar on arrival in Fiji, the first word you he ed ey rv su dy ily to you and stu l ba en heartily and happ giv In 2014 when a glo of s nd of thousa hout your stay. You your family throug the happiness levels at th red cla de d an es, th the same gusto. should return it wi people in 65 countri le in op pe t ies pp et during your ha e me th The Fijians you Fijians ranked as r ve co dis each member rushed to stay will soon know the world, analysts e th at k y and loo r se clo a ily, quite organicall the secret by taking coastal of your fam will want to know more hy alt he e, hin ns Su genuinely. You Fijian lifestyle. easy relationship e, dancing, and kava about them. It’s an living, fresh produc eir th k ran s nce the unique ian rie d, once you expe an aside, it turns out Fij d an rs, he ot d hospitality, your on with Fijian friendliness an meaningful interacti ity un mm co d an ily g the millions of family will be amon strong extended fam e th in e els that the best part all e re ov visitors who decla relationships, ab – over and above of their Fiji holiday happiness stakes. at th ng e destination eti gre deniable magic of th un e “BUL A!” – the Fijian th , le’. d is full of joy itself – was ‘the peop surpasses ‘hello’ an ll probably be wi It . E!” IF “L as es translat

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The happiness index

© iStock

© iStock

/Tourism Fiji © Chris McLennan

during your Take part in a meke women from d an n me stay, where ce resort guests local villages introdu rytelling sto ian to traditional Fij e. You might nc da d an ng through so nce, or a da r witness the men’s wa , or the ing irl tw e fir spear dance, or d when An e. danc women’s gentle fan e th , ng so in er they come togeth me. bli su is us or ch s harmoniou ional FijianExperience a tradit resort’s ur yo at style barbecue licious de of st fea a – lovo night vegetables d an slow-cooked meats nd ‘oven’, ou rgr de un prepared in an ve lea s. Fijians covered with banana the whole for st prepare a lovo fea casions. oc ial ec sp rk village to ma

© Tourism Fiji

e g la il V n ia ij F a g in it Vis al village ilitate a visit to a loc Most resorts will fac vised ad be ll wi u yo it ur vis for guests. Before yo s es ten and the appropria e of general protocol lag vil e th to e want to tak of any gift you may into a d ite inv be to e leg privi community. It is a ld always les of etiquette shou ru d an e, lag vil ian Fij be observed. dress ibilities and always Respect Fijian sens means at th n me e visit – for ger modestly for a villag lon or s nt pa ar we should ar or shirts, and women we im sw itely no shorts, skirts/dresses. Defin

g tops, ld also avoid revealin minis! Women shou that also ing to dress in someth ove and it is preferable rem ys wa Al en a t-shirt). oes covers shoulders (ev sh e ov rem d an e, a villag hats when entering nsidered an one’s house. It is co me so ng iti vis e for be rmission pe e th k As . ne’s head insult to touch anyo e taking photos. of your hosts befor includes welcome ceremony lag A traditional vil e d the an er, eld an or , the Chief ) an introduction to na qo (ya a traditional kava invitation to join in ceremony.

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© Sharyn Burgess

© Sharyn Burgess

FIJI: ACTIVITIES

n o i t c a s i h t l l A


Fiji

© Tourism Fiji

© Go Dirty To urs

© Tourism Fiji/Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

© iStock

© Tourism Fiji

© iStock

© iStock

Just for Kids The Fijian people love children. Resort kids’ clubs and nanny programs in Fiji go far beyond the norm when it comes to fun, interactive, entertaining, educational and awesome activities. The care factor is high, and a great deal of forethought and energy goes into creating age-appropriate children’s programs that focus on everything from conservation and preservation to hat weaving and a fun game of beach volleyball. Your children can learn about the fragile corals, Fijian village and school life, cracking a fresh coconut and the things you can make with the husks and the tree’s palm fronds. On guided and unhurried resort walks they will learn about Fijian bush tucker and remedial plants, spot native lizards and birds, smell fragrant frangipani and, generally, bliss out. They can stand ankle-deep in the shallows giggling as they feed shoals of tiny, colourful fish, and they will make deep and lasting friendships with their carers, buddies and nannies who provide these unforgettable Fiji experiences.

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F IJI: DID YO U K NO W... ?

Malamala Beach Club Treat the family to a taste of the Fiji Islands, and spend a day off the mainland –swimming, and relaxing in crystal clear water and on white, soft sands. The recently opened Malamala Beach Club is just a 25-minute ferry trip from Port Denarau. A Day Pass includes return ground and vessel transfers from a number of resorts located in Nadi, Denarau, Coral Coast, Natadola, Momi Bay and Sonaisali, and includes access

to the Beach Club, complimentary Wi-Fi, towel service and non-motorised sports equipment for snorkelling, kayaking and stand-up paddling. Enjoy poolside snacking or seated dining, with everything from fresh seafood to tasty burgers on the menus. (Food and beverages are not included in the price of the Day Pass). Children aged 4 years and under visit Malamala Beach Club for free! malamalabeachclub.com

My Fiji Exclusive For an exclusive Malamala Beach Club experience, enjoy a day in a My Fiji-only section of this paradise, with private cabanas, curated cocktails and tantalising Pacific-inspired meals, this unique experience oozes luxury. Soak up the sun, swim in the resort-style infinity pool and indulge in exclusive My Fiji treatment, with dedicated staff onhand to take care of your every need!  myfiji.com/experience/malamalabeach-club

‘Play Dirty’ on quad bikes Experience on-land thrills with Go Dirty Tours, who offer a range of family-friendly quad bike adventures including ‘Play Dirty’ – a tour combining quad biking, ziplining and a beach pit stop. Tours are suitable for kids aged 6 years and over and mix action and excitement with appeal for all ages. Your teens will have as much fun as their younger siblings, discovering waterfalls, cane fields, dirt tracks, pine forests, cultural sights, villages, mud pools, hot springs, and so much more, in and around Nadi. godirty.wpengine.com/quad-bike-tour

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Float on Cloud 9 Cloud 9 is Fiji's only two-level floating platform, located in the middle of the ocean, and kitted out with relaxing day beds, loungers, and a wood-fired pizzeria and full bar, for the perfect day trip. Cloud 9 welcomes children aged 7 years and over, and holds special appeal for older kids as the launch pad for a host of exhilarating water sport activities. Children 15 years or older can try flyboarding, motorised surfboarding and parasailing (children aged 7-12 years must fly

with an adult). Experience a jet ski ride out to the world famous surf break, Cloudbreak, or to Monuriki, the island best known for its starring role in the Tom Hanks film ‘Castaway’. Children as young as 7 years can ride tandem on a jet ski with an adult, and over 16s can ride solo. Daily departures from Port Denarau are at 9am, departing Cloud 9 at 3pm. The boat trip each way is only 45 minutes. cloud9.com.fj


Soso Village © Chris McLennan/Tourism Fiji

FI J I : K N O W LED G E

Local

Knowledge 1

“BULA!” – always offer, and return, every “BULA!” with a big smile. “VINAKA” means ‘thank you’.

Fiji Time (FJT) uses the Pacific Time Zone. Fiji is two (2) hours ahead of Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) from April through September, and three (3) hours ahead of Australian Eastern Daylight (Saving) Time (AEDT) from October through to March.

3 4 Mobile phones use the local Vodafone Fiji or Digicel Fiji networks and coverage is generally good in most areas except on some of the outermost island resorts.

2

Many popular resorts, particularly island resorts, do not provide in-room television. The kids will be so busy they won’t even notice, but if you think it might be a dealbreaker check with your preferred resort/hotel at the time of booking.

5

Wi-Fi is offered at most resorts in general/lobby areas at the bare minimum. While some resorts offer free Wi-Fi to guests, others may charge for Wi-Fi use. Several Denarau Marina cafes and restaurants also offer free Wi-Fi to patrons.

6

Ferry timetables from Denarau Marina to some Mamanuca and Yasawa islands resorts may not always coincide with same day flight arrivals from Australia. It may be necessary to spend an overnight in Nadi or Denarau before and/or after your island stay. Mamanuca Express, Fiji’s premier water taxi service, fills the gaps in ferry schedules to get you to your island destination pronto! mamanucaexpress.com You may also choose to speed things up and arrive in the islands by helicopter, seaplane or light plane. Check the options are available at your resort when booking.

If you find yourself with several hours to spare between resort check-out/boat transfer and your flight departure to Australia, take the family to the Fiji Gateway Hotel, directly opposite Nadi International Airport, to relax, chill out and grab a bit more Fiji Time. The hotel welcomes day guests and caters for holidaymakers in transit. Download a VIP Invitation Voucher from the website entitling you and your family to complimentary use of the swimming pool, towels, public showers and even a free transfer to the Airport. Grab a coffee and snack, or heartier bite to eat, at the hotel’s Palm Court Restaurant, open from 5.30am to 10.30pm daily. fijigateway.com/guest-services

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A Home Away from Home A Home Away from Home

Located on private Yanuca Island, Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa has one of the finest beaches on Fiji’s Coral Coast and an abundance of activities and facilities to keep every family Located on private Yanuca Island, Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and member occupied. A protected bay forms a natural lagoon inside Spa has one of the finest beaches on Fiji’s Coral Coast and an theabundance reef, idealofforactivities swimming watersports including brand andand facilities to keep every our family new waterpark, snorkelling andbay ourforms transparent member occupied. A protected a naturalkayaks. lagoon inside the reef, ideal for swimming and watersports including our brand

A new traditional Fijian village isand theour inspiration waterpark, snorkelling transparentbehind kayaks.the layout of the resort that features lagoon or Pacific Ocean views. Well A traditional Fijian village is the inspiration layout of is known for being family-friendly resort ourbehind Little the Chiefs Club the resort that features lagoon or Pacific Ocean views. Well complimentary for children aged between 4 - 12 years. Our known for being family-friendly resort ourchildren, Little Chiefs Club is family-friendly policy allows for up to two aged 12 years complimentary for children aged between 4 12 years. Our and under, to eat free when accompanied by a paying adult. family-friendly policy allows for up to two children, aged 12 years and under, to eat free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa is a 45 minute drive from Nadi International and is setSpa exclusively on adrive 109-acre private Shangri-La’s airport Fijian Resort and is a 45 minute from Nadi island with a causeway connecting it to the mainland. International airport and is set exclusively on a 109-acre private island with a causeway connecting it to the mainland.

FACT FILE

FACT FILE

From F$500 + taxes per room night+ taxes per Fromper F$500 room per night

From F$500 + taxes. Childrens mean plan From F$500 + taxes. Childrens meanapply. plan applies. Cond. applies. Cond.round. apply. Valid all year

K

K

Under 12 free, may 2 kids.

Children years require a Under 12 free,under may 24 kids. babysitter. breakfast, Children under Meals 4 years- require a complimentary. buffet breakfast, babysitter. Meals - breakfast, and buffet dinner when dining complimentary. buffet breakfast, with paying adultwhen dining with andabuffet dinner a paying adult 2 courts. Racket hire for

2 adults courts. per Racket hire for hr, children per hr. adults per hr, children per hr. Applicable rates apply. Applicable rates apply.

Valid all year round.

Yes

Yes

From 4 years upwards

From 4 years upwards

Yes Yes 9-hole resort course 9-hole resort course + Putt golf,18 + Putt putt,putt, MiniMini golf,18 holesholes

6 6restaurants; restaurants; kids menuavailable available menu CableTV TVinin all all Cable roomsand and bures, bures, rooms TV room adjacent TV room adjacent

F$24 for 3 hrs (or part hr)

F$24 3 hrs (or max part hr) F$7 for thereafter, 3 F$7 thereafter, children per carer.max 3 children per carer. 3 swimming pools

is adultspools only) 3 (one swimming (one is adults only)

SPA SPA

On-site On-site

45 mins/60kms 45Nadi mins/60kms from from Nadiairport international

international airport

Sydney 3 1/2 hrs

Sydney 3 1/2 hrs

Yanuca Island, Coral Coast, Fiji Islands. Ph: +679 652 0155 Email: fij@shangri-la.com

Yanuca Island, Coral Coast, Fiji Islands. Ph: +679 652 0155 Email: fij@shangri-la.com

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t u o t e Gand about in

The most popular regions of Fiji for family holidays are on the main island of Viti Levu around Nadi and Denarau; at resorts along the Queens Highway towards Sigatoka – known as the Coral Coast; the Mamanuca and Yasawa Island Groups; and the second largest island, Vanua Levu, and the town of Savusavu. Of course, many families venture to Pacific Harbour and the capital, Suva, and to other fabulous islands and resorts scattered throughout the Fijian archipelago that numbers some 300 islands and atolls. Others opt to discover Fiji from the water, sailing the beautiful Mamanucas and the Yasawas with Captain Cook Cruises or Blue Lagoon cruises. You can reach the Coral Coast by road from Nadi, and take a short domestic flight from Nadi to Suva. Mamanuca and Yasawa island resorts are reached via South Seas ferry transfers or dedicated resort transfers, seaplane, helicopter or private boat taxi transfer. The town of Savusavu, on Vanua Levu is just a short domestic flight from Nadi Airport.

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F IJI: S TAY

Vitu Levu

Nadi/Denarau • Nadi town is worth exploring for its bustling main street shopping, souvenirs and fashions for all ages, markets selling Fijian artefacts, duty free shopping, and local supermarket where you can pick up snacks, drinks, and everyday items at local prices. • Denarau Marina is the busy transit spot for travellers heading out to the Mamanucas and Yasawas. It’s also a contemporary retail and restaurant hub where families can enjoy a spot of shopping and tasty eats, with views from the marina of fabulous boats and yachts – including a few state-of-the-art, privately-owned, luxury craft and even tall ships. denarau.com/shopping

© iStock

• Try family paddleboarding at Denarau Marina. From a 30 minute gentle beginners experience and a 2 hour Mangrove Tour, to a spectacular sunset tour, the whole family can experience Fiji from the water in a safe, fun and easy way, with Paddleboard Fiji. paddleboardfiji.com

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• Visit Aviva Farms in Nadi, a working farm dedicated to re-seeding the connection between Fijian people and their land, and offering visitors authentic Fijian experiences across everything from horse riding to sustainable agriculture and

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events, including lovo feasts and picnic days. Introduce your children to a friendly, fun and uniquely Fijian experience. facebook.com/ fijiavivafarms • Head to Lautoka, a 30-minute drive from Nadi, and explore the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, a 14ha eco-friendly adventure park that features the thrilling Sleeping Giant Zipline and guided jungle waterfall safaris. The Gardens themselves house more than 2000 varieties of magnificent Asian orchids and Cattleya hybrids. gsgfiji.com ziplinefiji.com

Day trip to the islands If you are holidaying on the main island of Viti Levu, take a day’s excursion out to the islands for a whole different perspective of Fiji. Set sail with My Fiji for an exclusive day of sun, fun and private-island paradise on Tivua Island. The day trip with Captain Cook Cruises includes all food and drinks, activities in the Captain’s Kids Club, and hours of swimming, snorkelling and playing on the white sands of this private coral atoll. myfiji.com/fiji-day-cruises South Seas Cruises offers a great family day trip to South Sea Island, just a 30-minute ferry trip from Port Denarau. Relax, swim, snorkel and maybe even Find Nemo. Be entertained during a Fijian meke performance, and browse the island craft markets Monday to Saturday. Full and half day cruises available. ssc.com.fj With fleet vessels named ‘Excitor’ and ‘Thunder’, Excitor Fiji promises fast, fun and safe adventures out to islands close to Port Denarau, including Bounty Island and the new Malamala Beach Club. Tours range from three hours to a whole day, and Excitor can also arrange pre-tour hotel transfers, including from the Coral Coast (a charge applies). Kids will love the Big Bula Combo that combines Excitor’s Bounty Island Burger tour and Big Bula Waterpark on one ticket – the combo can be used on separate days, giving you two fun family outings for the price of one! excitorfiji.com


© Chris McLennan/Tourism Fiji

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Nadi

Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay The doors to this new 5-star Fiji resort opened in April 2017 – Lagoon Family rooms available, plus three restaurants, café and deli onsite. marriott.com.au/hotel-search.mi (then click on Australia & Pacific Islands) Novotel Nadi A 4-star hotel just three minutes from Nadi Airport and 15 minutes to Port Denarau offering Family Rooms, plus free breakfast for kids 2-16 years when dining with an adult. novotel.com (and search Nadi, Fiji) Tokatoka Resort Nadi Fiji Family Villas accommodate 2 adults and 2 children. There’s also a dedicated kids’ swimming pool with water slide. warwickhotels.com/tokatoka-resort

Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa Kids club, kids pool, waterslides and daily family activities plus room and suite accommodation options. 3.hilton.com (then click on RESORTS/enter ‘Fiji’) The Palms Denarau A luxury complex offering one, two and three bedroom apartments suitable for families. thepalmsdenarau.com Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island A family-friendly, luxury oceanfront resort offering guest rooms with private balcony or courtyard, and spacious one and two-bedroom suites. Six restaurants, including in-pool dining, and four climatecontrolled lagoon pools (plus a fun whitewater tunnel slide) keep the whole family happy. Blu Banana Kids Club offers a diverse range of age-appropriate activities and entertainment for kids from 1 year to 12 years, and Radisson Blu also

© Radisson Blu Fiji

Denarau

has a great Nanny service. radissonblu.com/en/resort-fiji Sheraton Fiji & Sheraton Villas Westin Denarau This resort complex on Denarau Island offers guests reciprocal use of facilities including pools, kids clubs and dining (with room chargeback) at the adjacent 5-star Westin Denarau. sheratonfiji.com sheratondenarauvillas.com westindenarauisland.com Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa The resort includes child-friendly room design, Sony PlayStations, kids club, children’s pool and waterslide. sofitel-fiji.com Wyndham Resort Denarau Island Luxury apartments with pool, café and restaurant, kids activities and kids club. wyndhamap.com (then click on DISCOVERY/RESORTS/Fiji)

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Sigatoka Cultural Historical Eco Tour

© Tourism Fiji

This family day trip starts with collection from your hotel, and a first stop at the famous Sigatoka Sand Dunes for an exciting 30 minute trek to the top. At Nakabuta Village, home of lapita pottery making, the villagers will perform a traditional Fijian ‘meke’ dance to welcome you, and let you in on the secrets of making lapita. After a spot of shopping and lunch in Sigatoka Town it’s off to Kula Wild Adventure Park to meet some of Fiji’s most endangered marine and land creatures. The final stop is the historic Tavuni Hill Fort, built in the 19th century by a Tongan chief, and spectacular views to the Sigatoka River below. fijiecotours.com.fj

Vitu Levu

The Coral Coast/ Sigatoka

• Suva is a 2-hour drive from Sigatoka, but if you’re staying in that region make sure you take a day trip to Maui Bay Horse Riding Adventure in Suva. Set right on the coast, this familyfriendly outing offers gentle horse riding on the beach, lovo lunches and waterfall tours, among many other adventures for all ages. Find Fiji Coral Coast Horse Riding Adventures on Facebook • The award-winning Sigatoka River Safari is suitable for all ages and offers the unique opportunity to travel deep into the heart and soul of Fiji, on the magnificent Sigatoka River, aboard safari jet boats. Visit authentic villages along the river and experience a day in the life of the real ‘kaiviti’ (Fijian), with part of the price of each ticket going back to the local villages to help with much-needed community projects sigatokariver.com • Kula Wild Adventure Park in Sigatoka is not only Fiji’s biggest family

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fun park but also an eco park – ‘using nature to preserve nature’. Kula has something for everyone – spectacular bird, reptile and marine life, nature walks on the forest floor and elevated on boardwalks through the canopy, Fiji’s only rollercoaster zip rail – Kula Krazy Canopy Flier – Kula Kiddies Splash Pool, and Splash Mountain Jungle Waterslide. Plan your own self-guided adventure or take a Behind The Scenes Tour of the park and its attractions. Kids aged between 7 years and 12 years can also become a Kula Park Ranger for the day! fijiwild.com


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Coral Coast/Sigatoka

InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa 5-star resort located on Natadola Bay offers a choice of rooms, suites and interconnecting accommodation. Activity program includes excursions to Sigatoka Markets, villages, schools and Kula Eco Park. fiji.intercontinental.com Mango Bay Resort An eco-friendly, laid back resort in Sigatoka. Family Garden Villa is colourful, fun and designed to complement the tropical Fijian charm of the environment. mangobayresortfiji.com

The Naviti This popular all-inclusive family-friendly resort has two kids club programs for different ages and kids under 12 years eat all meals free! warwickhotels.com/naviti-resort Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort The 5-star resort is renowned for its MeiMei nannies, Talai butlers, Bebe spa, and family-friendly ambience plus children and teen activities and Kids Eat Free Special. outrigger.com/hotels-resorts/fiji Shangri-La Fijian Resort & Spa A 5-star resort that has been a favourite with families for many decades. Set on private Yanuca Island (accessed by road via a small bridge), this lush beachfront property offers fun and relaxation in equal measure. Kids get their own Meal Plan, swimming pool and Little Chiefs Club,

outdoor and indoor daily activities program and movies in the TV room. Shangri-La’s Reef Care Project is dedicated to preserving the delicate coral life of the Fijian Islands, and the resort’s new coral gardens project and Marine Education Centre are open to guests, to learn more about this important initiative and to get hands-on with meaningful activities, including fish house building, during their family holiday. shangri-la.com/yanucaisland/ fijianresort Warwick Fiji Lase Kids Club for children 3-12 years, kids’ swimming pool and kids club play area, five restaurants, room and suite options, and a range of indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family. warwickhotels.com/fiji-resort

© Sigatoka River Safari

Double Tree Resort by Hilton Set on Sonaisali Island, the resort has a kids club and activities program, playground, children’s menu and childcare centre. doubletree3.hilton.com (then click Resorts/Asia Pacific)

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Vanua Levu Savusavu

• Venture into the thriving town of Savusavu and explore its shops, culture and fabulous Farmers’ Market (daily except Sunday). You can shop for t-shirts and casual gear, sulus (Fijian sarongs), supermarket items, and fresh produce.

© iStock

• Take a guided tour of the island’s incredible waterfalls and rainforests.

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• Visit the Copra Shed Marina in Savusavu and admire the array of vessels moored here, browse the handicraft and art shops, and have

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a family meal by the water at The Captain’s Café. The Savusavu Yacht Club at the Marina hosts Movies on the Lawn every Monday and Wednesday. • The J. Hunter Pearls tour takes you out on a glass-bottom boat for a 40-minute cruise to view the pearl oyster culture, then observe the cleaning process, where workers check the health of juvenile and adult oysters. Back in the showroom, a 15-minute presentation covers the history of the cultured pearl, and you can see a range of loose pearls, and pearl jewellery, on display.

© Tourism Fiji

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Vanua Levu/ Savusavu

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Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa Loads of activities for kids of all ages, including programs for children 3 years and under, and 4-12 years at Jungle Kids Club, plus eight hours of dedicated nanny service for children under 3 years. korosunresort.com Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort This 5-star award-winning eco resort’s Bula! Club for kids exposes children to a world of ageappropriate Fijian fun, through entertaining and educational play and activities. The resort also runs a Junior Chef program and a program of family activities. fijiresort.com


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Mamandanuca wa Islands Yasa

© iStock

• Snorkel. It’s easy and fun, and every resort has snorkel gear ready and waiting for the whole family to skim the

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surface of the clear waters spotting electric blue starfish, parrot fish, colourful coral, maybe even a friendly manta ray, and plenty of opportunity to find Nemo. If you’re staying on a coral atoll pack reef shoes for everyone – it makes it easier to wade out over the coral to begin your snorkelling adventure. • If you have chance to visit a village, don’t miss it. Island villages are very different to those on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu for the pure fact that they are remote, and on islands! The ‘saltwater people’ create their communities to suit their unique environment, and while we might choose prime position on a stretch of island beach to set up camp, the Fijians know better, and build their villages

in the interior, where they are protected from fierce weather and damaging winds. Island communities fortunate enough to have a school, welcome children from neighbouring islands, who commute via a daily school (long) boat, instead of a school bus. • Fiji boasts spectacular surf breaks, and some, like Cloudbreak and Wilkes, have been tackled by the likes of Kelly Slater, and Aussie Joel Parkinson, competing in the annual Fiji Pro, held late May to early June. Many resorts in the Mamanucas and Yasawas provide guests with the opportunity to get close to the breaks (and the surfers) on dedicated Fiji Pro boat trips when the comp is underway.

© Frogfish Photography (UK)/Tourism Fiji

• Every island in Fiji is unique. From low-lying, tiny coral atolls ringed with sand and reef to hilly, verdant outcrops rising from the sea, wherever you flop and drop in the Mamanucas and Yasawas, your island deserves exploration. It’s possible to walk around some small atolls in under an hour, or kayak the circumference and take in a whole new vista from the water. Wander up mini mountains through lush vegetation, and take in the views from atop. Stroll along the water’s edge, and sift the clean sands for shells, coral and crabs.


FIJ I: S TAY

Yasawa Islands © Chris McLennan/Tourism Fiji

Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Located on Nacula Island, in the “Blue Lagoon” part of the Yasawas, the resort’s one and two bedroom villas are perfect for families, and children 3 years and over will love Green Gecko Kids Club. bluelagoonresortfiji.com Octopus Resort Fiji This luxury resort offers a range of accommodation for families – from bures to suites, villas and a luxury lodge. Little Squids Kids Club caters for children from 3 years. octopusresort.com

Mamanuca Islands Castaway Island 60 traditional-style bures set in lush tropical gardens, plus kids club and a family pool, great dining options, and plenty of family activities. castawayfiji.com

Malolo Island Resort Fiji 100% Fijian owned, the awardwinning eco-aware resort is intimate and friendly, with accommodation to suit all families including spacious Family Bures that can sleep up to seven people. Tia’s Treehouse, under a big mango tree, boasts the Yanu Yanu Club, featuring an extensive daily program for children. Free for 4-12 year olds, Yanu Yanu gives kids the opportunity to sample life as a Malolo Islander, with a focus on fun activities around Fijian food and culture, traditions, marine and natural environments and arts & crafts. Teens 13-18 years can chill in Khail’s Club, an air-conditioned lounge space with Wi-Fi, games, satellite TV and huge beanbag lounges. maloloisland.com Mana Island Resort & Spa Meimei (Nanny) Centre and

Creche for little ones plus activities on land and in the water to suit older children of all ages. Wide choice of bures, rooms and suites. manafiji.com Musket Cove Island Resort Located next to Plantation Island Resort, Musket Cove offers a choice of bures and villas and plenty of water-based activities. musketcovefiji.com Plantation Island Resort One of the first resorts in the Mamanuca Islands, with kids pool and waterslides, gentle lagoon, kids club and variety of dining experiences. plantationisland.com Sheraton Tokoriki Resort & Spa 5-star family-friendly island resort with Family Suites and interconnecting Island Breeze Rooms, LaiLai Kids Club and onsite movie theatre. sheratontokorikiisland.com Treasure Island Resort 4-star island resort with traditional bure-style family accommodation, kids club, and marine sanctuary. treasureisland-fiji.com

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© Tourism Fiji

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Pacific Harbour

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Beqa Lagoon Resort Just 45 minutes by boat from Pacific Harbour, the resort offers kid-friendly activities and entertainment, on land and in the water. beqalagoonresort.com

all. Complimentary baby/ toddler accessories and Newborn Maternity Leave Package for families with infants cover the under 1s! nanuku.aubergeresorts. com

Nanuku Auberge Resort A luxury beachfront resort offering a dedicated nanny for every child under 6 years, ‘buddies’ for children 6-12 years, a range of exciting activities for teens, and LaiLai Kids Club for

The Pearl Resort Pacific Harbour Kids Stay and Eat Free package for under 12s, Penthouse Suites for families, and an 18-hole championship golf course. thepearlsouthpacific.com

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Suva

Holiday Inn Suva Kids aged 12 years and under Stay and Eat Free and the hotel also has an indoor and outdoor children’s pool. ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels (then search SUVA, Fiji) Grand Pacific Hotel A Fiji icon for over a century, this majestic hotel is a great place for families to stay and explore the capital, Suva. The hotel has a Kids Club and babysitting services. grandpacifichotel.com.fj

Discover these luxury familyfriendly private islanD resorts Vomo Island vomofiji.com Kokomo Island kokomoislandfiji.com Toberua Island toberua.com Taveuni Island Resort (Children over 15 years only) taveuniislandresort


© Blue Lagoon Cruises

© Captain Cook Cruises

FI J I : S ER V IC ES

Want to discover Fiji from the water? Captain Cook Cruises Fiji and Blue Lagoon Cruises both sail the beautiful Fijian islands, departing from Port Denarau Marina, on excursions ranging from just a few nights to 11-night cruises. Blue Lagoon Cruises boasts an all-Fijian crew aboard the Fiji Princess, which sails to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Island Groups. Minimum age for children cruising with Blue Lagoon is 14 years, and special "Family Cruise" departure dates are set within the Australian school holidays. bluelagooncruises.com/packages/families

Captain Cook Cruises offers a range of Family Packages, with child minding, nannies and a host of fun kids and teen activities onboard MV Reef Endeavour (including Captain’s Kids Club), and onshore. captaincookcruisesfiji.com/packages/ family-packages

Suva HELP WITH YOUR HOLIDAY My Fiji specialises in family holiday packages, and will arrange everything from travel insurance to transfers and tours – all tailored to your family. Exclusive My Fiji tours feature extra inclusions and added value bonuses too! myfiji.com/why-my-fiji Rosie Holidays has well and truly cemented its reputation for providing holidaymakers to Fiji with the best 24-hour meet and greet service, from the moment you touch down at Nadi International Airport. Full concierge services cover everything from car hire and ground transport to foreign language assistance and sightseeing during your stay. rosiefiji.com

TOURISM FIJI fiji.travel

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F IJI: INFOR MATION

Getting There Nadi International Airport, on the main island of Viti Levu, is the primary gateway to Fiji for most travellers, and there are several domestic airports scattered throughout the islands, including Suva, the capital. FIJI AIRWAYS, Fiji’s national carrier, has regular direct flights to Nadi from Australian cities including Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. The airline’s codeshare agreement with Qantas provides Australians living in other cities and regional areas, including Perth, Hobart, Canberra, Darwin, Townsville and Rockhampton, with quick connections to Nadi via Sydney

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or Brisbane. Fiji Airways also flies to and from international destinations including Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington (New Zealand), Singapore, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and seasonal flights from San Francisco. The airline will launch a new direct Nadi-Tokyo service in 2018. fijiairways.com Fiji Link is the domestic carrier of Fiji Airways. fijiairways.com/about-fiji-airways/ fiji-link Jetstar, Air New Zealand and  Virgin Australia also fly regularly to Fiji.

Need to Know • Your passport must be valid for at least six (6) months AFTER your return to your country of origin from Fiji. If you intend to stay in Fiji for less than four months you do not require an entry visa. • Travel Insurance for Fiji is highly recommended • Bottled water is preferable for drinking, however, your resort will advise if this is the case and will provide bottled water daily during your stay.

• Banks in Fiji open from 9.30am to 3.00pm Monday to Thursday, and until 4.00pm on Friday. All banks are closed on public holidays. • Fiji uses 240 volts AC 50Hz with three-pin power points – the same as in Australia and New Zealand. • Getting around Fiji by road, air and sea fiji.travel/au/information/ transport


FIJI'S NO.1 FAMILY RESORT Treat your Family to a Holiday in Paradise. Splash away in one of our four temperature controlled pools,

including a white-water tunnel slide. Relax and enjoy ‘Fiji Time’ while your children are safely entertained by the Blu Banana Kids Club.

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(KLK .com


contents 94 ISLE HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING

$CNK .com.au

*CYCKK .com.au

A local’s guide to which island to visit... even though you’ll want to add them all to the itinerary!

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Tips and tricks to ensure you have the best possible getaway.


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ISLE HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING With a splash of culture, adventure and relaxation on every island, the hardest part will be choosing which one to visit. Local writer Michele Bigley shares her suggestions. 

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CAM PING , CA RAVA NS & RV- I NG

O

ur toddler was whining from the back seat. We had just begun the three-hour journey to Hāna, Maui’s tropical paradise, located at the end of a ribbon of road that clings to cliffs atop the raging Pacific. My husband fastened his palms tighter around the wheel as I pointed out a waterfall plummeting into a pool. Hearing him say he wanted to vomit, our kindergartener rolled down the window and our twoyear-old started crying. Twenty minutes in to this ‘once in a lifetime’ journey and we were making a U-turn. I was crushed. Back at the beach in Maui, I longed for the days of exploration without my clan, when I could just hop into the back of someone’s car and ride towards adventure. I was bemoaning my sentence, this life of travelling with young humans, when a mum laid a towel on the chair next to mine and said “Mine are grown, and I

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Experience authentic Hawaiian hospitality at ‘Hawai‘i’s most Hawaiian hotel’. Kā’anapali Beach Hotel, located oceanfront on world-famous Kā’anapali Beach, spreads across 11 acres of tropical gardens, with comfortable rooms in four wings surrounding the signature whale-shaped pool. Hale Ho’okipa, its new Hawaiian cultural centre, offers daily cultural activities such as hula, ukulele and Hawaiian language lessons, lei-making and lauhala-weaving, to engage the entire family; staff are eager to share their knowledge of Hawaiian history, traditions and culture. The complimentary Aloha Passport program gives kids 12 and under the chance to participate in fun activities while learning about Hawaiian culture. Hale Huaka’i, the ocean activities centre, provides guests with truly memorable and safe ocean experiences led by highly experienced Maui watermen. Guests can try snorkelling, stand-up paddle boarding and other beach activities, with lessons and

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equipment rentals available. Or guests may choose to simply relax in a cabana on the beach for the day. Tuesday through Sunday evenings, complimentary Hawaiian entertainment with music and hula dancers is offered in the Tiki Terrace. On Monday evenings, the Legends of Ka’anapali Luau takes centre stage. After feasting on traditional Hawaiian cuisine, guests are led through the history of Ka’anapali, told through song and dance and concluding with an exciting fire walk. All rooms feature complimentary wifi service and there are no resort fees. Children up to 17 years of age stay for free in the same room with a paying adult. Connecting rooms, suites and cribs are available. Ka’anapali Beach Hotel welcomes all guests as part of its ‘ohana (family). The staff want everyone to feel at home and truly experience ‘aloha at its best’. Create family memories here that will last a lifetime! kbhmaui.com

sure do miss travelling with them”. In the distance, my husband held the boys’ hands as they jumped over the lapping waves, laughter mixing with the light breeze ruffling the coconut palms. This was the Hawai‘i they needed and, if I admitted it to myself, this was the Hawai‘i I needed.

Age-appropriate experiences Developmental stages are no joke. Not only do our kids develop as humans, they also develop as travellers. Parent travellers are also developing. The travellers we are with our babies is different to what we were in our teens or (gulp) single adults. This learning curve takes practise, and there’s no better place to do that than Hawai‘i. I work part of every year in America’s tropical wonderland, so my kids have grown into travellers after visiting almost every island in the archipelago. And while my job often requires them to travel to places we


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

Beautiful views, long stretches of sand and plenty of fun activities make Hawai'i a great year-round destination for families.

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might not otherwise lug them (like the Road to Hāna), we use their developmental stages as guides to craft our itineraries. Naps mean reading time on the hammock. Excess toddler energy means lots of beach days. Early bedtimes give us adult time on the lanai. Moody tweens mean delivering big-ticket experiences, like night swims with manta rays. Youthful scientists need opportunities for lava-spotting. With six main islands – Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Maui and The Big Island – to choose from, the biggest challenge is plotting which one (or two) to visit. Above all, as a parent, you’ll want a select an island that appeals to you – your picky eater will still be finicky in O‘ahu, but you can delight in seafood ramen and a mai tai and then feed her another muesli bar from your purse. With outstanding beaches, hiking and eating on all islands (really, you can’t go wrong), here’s a handy guide to age-appropriate highlights throughout the state.

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Best island for new parents When parents are happy, so are their kiddos. And sometimes all parents need is a massage and some chillaxing at a pool overlooking the cobalt sea. While Lāna‘i, a privately owned former pineapple planation, might not feel like a tropical paradise with its pine trees and rocky geology, the newly renovated Four Seasons Resort Lāna‘i provides a lovely retreat, complete with poolside popsicles and a shallow splash pool. Need a break from all that pampering? Hike down to Manele Bay and take turns snorkelling with angelfish.

Best island for new swimmers With waterfalls gushing along the side of the road, abundant gardens awash in colour and a warm ocean, families flock to Kaua‘i for its laidback vibe. Rent a condo from Rosewood (scoop one up near Lydgate Beach Park) and let your new swimmers explore the lava-rock-enclosed ocean pools. Swim with sea turtles


Best island for active kids Biking, hiking, snorkelling and surfing are hallmarks of the Maui travel experience. Sure, new parents can laze in a posh resort like Napili Kai Beach Resort – Maui’s got some of the best on the planet – but the reason families return to this isle is for the adventure. Families with tweens and teens should hike into the dormant volcano Haleakalā just before sunset 

A WORD TO THE WISE Don’t make the same mistake I did and force the drive to Hāna on kids before they are old enough to enjoy it – the best age for this trek is at least six. If you opt for the long (more than three hours with stops) drive, book a couple of nights at Hāna’s luxe Travaasa Hāna resort to get to know the sweet community at the end of the storied road. In Hāna, hit up the Bamboo Forest hike on the backside of Haleakalā, play at Hamoa Beach, and try to spot local celebrity residents Woody Harrelson and Weird Al Yankovic.

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Images: Hawaii Tourism Authority

and monk seals, and maybe spot an eel at sunny Poipu Beach. On the lush North Shore, teach the kiddos to surf at Hanalei Bay or frolic in the shallow clear waters of Anini Beach (if you’re hungry, pop by Duane’s Ono CharBurger for a fix of the island’s best burgers). Keep your eye peeled for the chickens that run free all over the island – my boys love to count them from the car, and chase them when we’re on foot.

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– it’s cold, though, so dress appropriately. Surf Kihei’s swells. Snorkel Napili Bay searching for the state fish (the humuhumunukunukuāpua’a). Climb Lahaina’s massive banyan tree. Gobble up some shaved ice, then cap off the day with arguably the state’s best tribute to Hawaiian culture, the Old Lahaina Luau.

Best island to blow kids’ minds Watch new earth sizzle to life on The Big Island and your tween will snap out of his moodiness. The planet’s show-stopping volcano, Kīlauea, is not just expanding the archipelago’s largest isle, it’s also forming a new island! Whether you opt to stay at the luxe Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the sunny Kohala Coast or Hilo Hawaiian Hotel in tropical (read: rainy) Hilo, spending a day exploring Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is a must. Add in a night swim with the manta rays, ziplining over forest, stargazing from the visitor centre on Maunakea (families with older teens can explore the snowy peaks atop the state’s tallest mountain), tidepooling for sea cucumbers at Kapoho beach and a kayak trip through the flume caves and your child won’t even think about his Snapchat feed.

RESORT LIVING

This resort serves up the perfect mix of adventure and sophistication. Located on world-famous Kā’anapali North Beach, Honua Kai Resort & Spa provides the perfect blend of luxury accommodations and first-class service and amenities. Offering plenty of room for gathering and entertaining, the resort is ideal for people who love to travel together. Each suite opens fully to a generous lanai and gorgeous views. Kitchens are fit for gourmet chefs, with top-of-the-line Bosch appliances including a full-size refrigerator, range, microwave and dishwasher. An in-suite washer and dryer, wireless internet and flat-screen TVs round out the amenities. Every other day, housekeeping is provided, and there’s also a full-service concierge. On-property dining includes the casually elegant and oceanfront Duke’s Beach House and Aina Gourmet Market, offering a relaxed environment

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for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Here, you’re always just steps away from a stroll on the white sands of Kā’anapali North Beach, a dip in the sea or a snorkel expedition. Or simply sit in awe of the giant humpback whales playing right off the beach. Spread out over 38 tropical beachfront acres is an imaginative aquatic playground featuring a network of pools, five hot tubs, a meandering lazy river and more. Ho’ola Spa provides opportunities for added rejuvenation and relaxation, and a complete fitness centre provides top-of-the-line equipment for a variety of workout needs. And, when you feel the desire to venture out and explore, there are activities for everyone nearby, including shopping, golf, hiking, ziplining, ocean adventures, cultural activities and much more! honuakai.com


Best island for cultural immersion With Asian, American, European and Latin American sensibility, urban families adore the cultural stew of O‘ahu. International art galleries, fashion boutiques and celebrity chef outposts appeal to pre-teens who are tired of sunbathing. Teach them about the natural and human history of Hawai‘i at Bishop Museum – don’t miss the lava-making exhibit. Introduce them to cuisines of the world in Chinatown’s The Pig & The Lady for family style eats like Laotian fried chicken and tur-duck-en pho. Head over to Waikīkī to rub shoulders with travellers from across the globe. Motor to the North Shore for a surf lesson with big-wave champ Makua Rothman. Taste authentic Hawaiian cuisine at Helena’s Hawaiian Foods before heading back to the family-centric pool at the new Alohilani Resort.

Getting around Why not splurge on an epic holiday by stitching together a couple of islands? Hawaiian Airlines sells inter-island flights to get families around the islands. Then come back to Hawaii and visit a couple more of the islands. Know that you need a car to fully explore all isles, save Lana‘i. hawaiianairlines.com.au

There’s no place like home. Away from home.

888.635.7207

HONUAKAI.COM



Honua Kai Resort & Spa on Maui’s Kaanapali North Beach is known for its incredibly spacious studio, one, two and three-bedroom suites with all the comforts of home. A full gourmet kitchen. In-room washer/dryer. Large lanai (balcony). And a private bath in each room. But unlike your home, there’s a 3-acre aquatic playground with towel service. A luxurious spa. Housekeeping every other day. And assistance from the front desk or concierge is just a phone call away. If only home was this amazing.

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HAWAIIAN HIGH Want to make the most of your time in the tropical paradise? Sophie Cullen shares her top 10 tips.


A whole host of Australian families are saying aloha to happy Hawai‘i – and for good reason! With a bunch of beaches, scores of scenic drives, a wealth of wildlife and heaps of hula, this welcoming island destination suits tiny tots and teens alike. Thinking of making the trip? Here are our tips to ensure you have the best getaway ever.

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Take your pick of the islands that make up this sunny archipelago in the North Pacific, each with its own distinct flavour. O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and The Big Island are top picks for families. O‘ahu is home to Hawaiian capital Honolulu and famous attractions such as Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head and the North Shore, and it’s the most populous of the islands. The Big Island is best known for its volcanoes and mountains, Maui for its beaches, and Kaua‘i for its lush wilderness and vegetation.

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You won’t need a visa to holiday in Hawai‘i, but you will need to register for a Visa Waiver well before your departure, and carry printed copies of your return airline tickets.

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To car or not to car – one of the important decisions you’ll face will be how you’ll get around your island of choice. Hiring a car can be a really worthwhile investment, as it opens up loads of day trips to destinations off the beaten path. Plus, going for scenic drives is a lovely way to see Hawai‘i. If you intend to stay near big centres like Honolulu and Waikīkī Beach, however, parking can be difficult to source or costs a small fortune. City bus services are an easy alternative, namely the hop-on, hop-off Waikīkī Trolley. O‘ahu has buses going nearly everywhere, including the North Shore.

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The best time to visit is in shoulder season, outside of school holidays. Bargain rates for accommodation and flights can be found from April to June and September to December – particularly in May and October, when prices are particularly low and the weather is good.

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There is so much choice when it comes to accommodation that it can be overwhelming. We recommend staying in a condo, which will

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6 COMFORT & CONVENIENCE

This all-suite hotel is just steps from Waik k Beach. Embassy Suites by Hilton™ – Waikiki Beach Walk® welcomes travellers to Hawai‘i’s only all-suite resort with genuine aloha, world-class hospitality and more complimentary services and amenities than any other hotel. Located in the heart of Waikīkī Beach Walk and steps from iconic Waikīkī Beach, the resort is perfect for families, romantic escapes or group getaways. Guests can embrace the suite life with spacious, contemporary accommodation in oneand two-bedroom suites, designed and furnished to encapsulate Hawai‘i’s unique sense of place and inspired by the native Hawaiian art of kapa, a finely handcrafted traditional Hawaiian fabric stamped with intricate geometric prints. Each suite is equipped with a wet bar, microwave, mini refrigerator and coffee maker to provide the conveniences of home. A separate living space and doors that provide privacy for bedroom areas are perfectly suited for multi-generational families who appreciate their own space. Embassy Suites by Hilton™ – Waikiki Beach Walk® offers myriad complimentary amenities

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for guests to enjoy, including a ‘all you can eat’ breakfast. Guests of are invited to start each day right with a sumptuous complimentary breakfast buffet at the hotel’s open-air Grand Lāna‘i. Indulge on fresh local fruits, delicious sizzling bacon, golden pancakes topped with fruits and a chef-made omelette (or two) served up right before your eyes. At sunset, guests are invited to gather at the Grand Lāna‘i for a poolside evening reception. Hosted from 5.30pm to 7.30pm daily, enjoy complimentary tropical drinks and cocktails, plus light snacks and live Hawaiian entertainment. Embassy Suites by Hilton™ – Waikiki Beach Walk® also offers guests complimentary wifi, a 24-hour gym, poolside yoga classes and a full business centre – all included with no additional resort fees! Guests can now get even more of the suite life – stay two nights and get the third night free (terms and conditions apply). waikiki.embassysuites.com

Getting there Hawaiian Airlines flies to Honolulu and neighbouring islands from Sydney or Brisbane. If you are travelling from elsewhere in Australia, book a connecting flight to Sydney or Brisbane with Virgin Australia. hawaiianairlines.com.au

Getting around Much of Hawai'i is spread out, so renting a vehicle is often the best way to reach attractions. Book your vehicle rental early through Alamo to make sure you get the car of your choice; SUVs and Jeep Wranglers are popular choices at Alamo’s Hawai‘i locations. alamo.com

Shopping Forgotten something or just want to bag a bargain? If you’re staying on O'ahu, you’re in luck. Waikele Premium Outlets is a shopping centre in the town of Waipahu. It’s home to over 50 brand name stores where savvy shoppers can stock up on all kinds of goodies. Shuttle buses to and from hotels are easy to organise. premiumoutlets.com


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Pick up a copy of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Honolulu Weekly or The Garden Island, or check out Big Island Now online, to see the latest local event calendars – there might be something special on during your stay.

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Restaurants offer kidfriendly, or keiki, menus almost universally, with great options – always ask for children’s options and discounts. On the last Friday of every month in Honolulu, you can fill up on delicious offerings from Eat The Street Hawai‘i food trucks.

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Pack extras, like mosquito repellent for hikes and plenty of sun protection. Given the average temperature is 27°C, you can pack light clothes, and to save room in your bag, buy 

towels and swimmers at Waikele Premium Outlets when you arrive.

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Tipping service staff is a long-held tradition in the USA, so be sure to carry lots of small notes with you. It’s generally expected that you’d tip $1 per bag to a bellhop, 20 percent of the bill amount to a waitress, and $2 per day to a housekeeper.

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Highlights for kids include learning to surf, venturing out on a snorkel cruise, and going horse-riding or ziplining. Hike alongside craters in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on The Big Island or falls in Waimea Canyon State Park in Kaua‘i. Try your hand at hula and make your own lei at O‘ahu’s Waimea Valley or Kaua‘i’s Kamokila Hawaiian Village. Or, if the weather is wet, head to Hawai‘i Children’s Discovery Center in Honolulu. AUTUMN 2018 outandaboutwithkids.com.au

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contents

108 USA SPOTLIGHT

News, views and tips for families exploring the USA. Plus, we check out the city of Buffalo.

119 THE CONSERVATION CHALLENGE

A holiday in Thailand offers families the opportunity to learn about nature and wildlife.

123 AMSTERDAM BY BIKE

This bustling European city is perfect for family cycling escapades.

126 WE REVIEW

Sheraton Denarau Villas and Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Spa Bali.

130 THE LAST WORD

Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Jennifer Vandekreeke shares her holidays highlights.


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SEASATIONAL SAN FRANCISCO

Whether you’re keen to explore below sea level or would prefer to stay above ground, there are plenty of marine treasures just waiting to be found.

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Learn about the bay

A tour of Aquarium of the Bay starts on the second level with the Discover The Bay exhibit, where guests can explore the diverse ecosystems of the northern California coast. Keep an eye out for naturalists, who roam the hall to answer any questions visitors might have about local marine life or the state of local waters.

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Tunnel under the bay

The crown jewels of the aquarium are two long underwater tunnels that give a diver’s-eye view of local waters. Much of the San Francisco Bay is quite shallow, but what it lacks in depth it makes up for in breadth and diversity of species. Among the animals encountered in the Near Shore Tunnel are anchovies, rockfish and the giant pacific octopus. Meanwhile, the Sharks of Alcatraz Tunnel is full of deeper water dwellers such as rays, sturgeons and sharks. You’ll want to be prepared with an exit strategy – the kids may never want to leave!

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Touch the sharks

Aquarium of the Bay engages all the senses, including touch. San Francisco Bay is literally at your fingertips thanks to touch pools that are full of sharks, skates, rays, sea stars and anemones.

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Meet river otters

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Visit the augmented reality station

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Go behind the scenes

River otters are the ecoambassadors for the aquarium because they educate guests about the connection between their health and the health of the local watershed, so be sure to leave time and energy to see these playful creatures in action. Try to make it to the daily otter talk or feeding for a chance to see trainers interacting with the animals.

Get up close and personal with marine life through Aquarium of the Bay’s interactive augmented film presentations. Guests will be able to ‘touch’ sea life such as whales, dolphins, walruses, polar bears, penguins and seals. Get an inside look at what it takes to feed and care for more than 20,000 marine animals. Take the catwalk across the tanks to feed the sharks, and learn about the aquarium’s dive operations, jellyfish rearing program and how they’ve successfully bred pacific angelsharks in captivity.

TOP TIPS

Pack extra clothes: If your kids are enthusiastic about the touch pools, they might get quite wet. All-day admission: Thanks to all-day admission, you can tour all the exhibits in an hour or two or linger over them longer if you’d like. Visit bayecotarium.org/about/aquariumof-the-bay/ for more information.

Images: Aquarium of the Bay

A visit to Aquarium of the Bay, located at Pier 39 of Fisherman’s Wharf, is a perfect outing for families. It is entertaining, fun and educational – so, without further ado, here are the top six activities that will delight both adults and kids.


UUSSAA SSPPOOTTLILIGGHHT:T: SNAENWFR S A &NC V IEW IS C S O

Curtis Stone does America Chef and restaurateur Curtis Stone runs two award-winning restaurants in Los Angeles: Maude in Beverly Hills and Gwen in Hollywood. He also manages SHARE restaurants aboard Princess Cruises’ fleet and hosts Top Chef Junior. This year, Curtis is also working with AdoptTogether as part of his #Commit2One initiative, a platform to create families through crowd-funded adoptions.

Image: Clay Larsen

I moved to the USA in 2007 to film Take Home Chef. I have been living there now for more than 10 years with my wife, Lindsay Price, and sons Hudson (aged six) and Emerson (aged three). I love living in Los Angeles because there is incredible produce at farmers’ markets year-round. It’s also great that there are diverse cuisines from all across the world. Since moving to Los Angeles I’ve been able to explore many different areas of the country. My favourite areas include the south, because there is a really good food scene, and also the Central Coast of California, because they have great wine and incredible seafood. For the boys, holidays are always about the outdoors. Their favourite destinations include Mammoth in California, because we love to ski, and LEGOLAND, also in California. Of course, I miss Australia, but living in the USA has plenty of pluses, such as the ocean and mountains virtually in your own backyard. It’s a huge country and there is always plenty more to see. Some places we’d like to visit as a family include the Grand Canyon, because it’s on the bucket list if you love nature and the outdoors, Yellowstone, because the boys love to camp, and Washington DC, because knowing your history is important. 

The busy Aussie chef is putting his heart and soul into food and families.

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MAKING MEMORIES chance to play in the bubble exhibit, learn in the live animal habitat and explore the 14 interactive exhibits with daily activities.

Parrish Art Museum near Water Mill village is one of America’s most creative centres. Adults can peruse the collection of more than 2600 works by famed master and contemporary artists while children take part in interactive art classes, build creations and enjoy film nights. 

Spy for a day

Artistic legacy

Create and play Explore and learn at Long Island Children’s Museum – a rarity, as it housed in a converted airplane hangar. Interactive and fun, it gives kids the

Journey to a new era

Vanderbilt Mansion, Museum & Planetarium features historic displays and oceanic expeditions as well as science and futuristic exhibits. After stopping by the elegant mansion, be sure to catch a show in the Planetarium. And on clear Friday nights, stargaze from the rooftop observatory.   Brewster House, built in 1665, is considered the oldest house in the town of Brookhaven. During the American Revolution, the house was run as a general store and tavern that entertained British troops. You can experience Brewster House through the Become A Spy and A Day In The Life Of A Colonial Family educational tours. Visit nycgo.com/articles/long-islandmakes-a-great-addition-to-nyc-trips for more tips and ideas.

Danfords Hotel, Marina & Spa

There are many reasons to visit Long Island, New York City’s ‘beachfront backyard’, in 2018. From the close to 200 kilometres of beaches that shape the coastline to the rich farmland at the East End, Long Island is a family-friendly destination. Kids can dive in to learning, with educational experiences that focus on Long Island’s history, maritime-driven past and the importance of the arts, while adults have vineyards, a golf course and restaurants to keep them busy. Check out these spots for lasting memories.

Discover Long Island

Long Island Aquarium

I.FLY Trapeze

A little intrigue goes a Long (Island) way.


U S A S P O T LI G H T: N E W S & V IEW S

A family adventure fit for a king and queen North America’s first LEGOLAND® Castle Hotel, located at LEGOLAND® California Resort, opened to high acclaim on April 27. Little kings and queens won’t know where to look, with every brick featuring LEGO enchantment and captivating tales of kingdoms from distant lands! Guests can choose from Royal Princess, Knights and Dragons, and Magic Wizard themes when booking their stay in the 250-room castle, which is filled with more than 2000 LEGO models. When hunger calls, families can fill their tummies at Dragon’s Den before heading into the courtyard to enjoy the daily entertainment. legoland. com/california/legoland-hotel/ legoland-castle-hotel2

UNDER THE SEA Sea At Night at SEA LIFE® Aquarium, at LEGOLAND® California Resort, is now open – a place where kids will find themselves in a world of wonder. Under dazzling stars, little explorers can walk, jump and ‘splash’ in electrifyingly blue ‘ocean waves’ projected on the ground, giving the effect of a night-time bioluminescent tide. legoland.com/california/legoland-california/ entertainment/events/sea-at-night



Considered one the best family resorts in the world, the Great Wolf Lodge chain of waterparks is designed for serious family fun. With 17 locations to choose from across the USA, kids can swim, splash and slide their way along zippy waterslides and themed pools, then move to drier land, with everything from bowling and laser to interactive games on offer across the various resorts. Adults are well looked after too, with activities such as yoga, whirlpool spas and traditional spa treatments on offer at some of the locations. A true family holiday, however, is about getting right among the action, so the whole family is encouraged to splish and splash together for the ultimate waterpark experience. greatwolf.com

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Images: Courtesy of companies featured

WATER FUN

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More than shopping Shopping is a favourite pastime for Australians visiting the USA. For travelling families, striking a balance between retail therapy and action-packed adventures is essential. Fortunately, The Outlets at Orange have this equilibrium down to an art. Part of Simon Shopping Destinations, which unites more than 100 shopping centres across America, this beautiful open-air centre is located just minutes from Disneyland, Anaheim. Shoppers can take advantage of more than 120 name-brand outlets and value retailers such as Bloomingdale’s – The Outlet Store, Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH. And the whole family can immerse themselves in the movies at the AMC Orange 30 movie theatre with IMAX, or challenge themselves at Vans SkatePark, one of the largest indoor skate parks in Southern California. There’s also Lucky Strike Bowling, the amazing Thrill It Fun Center for kids, as well as 25-plus restaurants, including BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, where parents can try one of the award-winning hand-crafted beers.

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Sunny 1 Santa Monica This seaside city is home to world-class hotels and restaurants, exciting outdoor activities, family attractions and cultural experiences. You can cycle for hours and learn to surf, or explore one of more than 120 art galleries, art installations, theatres and museums. Here, our five top finds for families:

Pacific Park on Santa Monica Pier is an amusement park with rides and attractions for kids and adults, including a five-storey roller-coaster, a miniature golf course and the nine-storey Pacific Wheel Ferris Wheel. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium features interactive exhibits and hands-on presentations. Ocean Front Walk is a wide, paved footpath that extends south from the Pier. Kids will love the stonewalled sandbox with a viking ship in its midst.

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South Bay Bicycle Trail, at 35 kilometres long, is the world’s longest oceanfront bike path. It’s also the perfect way for your family to get some exercise, sunshine and enjoy the glorious stretch of Pacific coastline. Bergamot Station is Southern California's largest art gallery complex and cultural centre. Located on eight acres, it features contemporary art galleries, architecture and design firms, a cafe, and a frame shop. Admission is free. santamonica.com

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U S A S P O T LI G H T: N E W S & V IEW S

Suave Seattle Seattle is fast becoming the cultural capital of north-western USA – older kids will love exploring the world-class museums and robust arts and culture scene.

The Museum of Pop Culture is a cutting-edge not-forprofit museum dedicated to exploring contemporary popular culture. With its roots in rock’n’roll, MoPOP reaches multigenerational audiences through its collections, exhibitions and educational programs. Celebrating 80 years of superheroes, the

largest exhibition ever staged at MoPOP, Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, features more than 300 original artfacts, including iconic artwork, costumes, and props from such comics and films as Captain America, The Avengers, Jessica Jones and many more. Located approximately 40 kilometres north of Seattle,

the Future of Flight Aviation Centre & Boeing Tour offers public tours of Boeing’s Everett factory every day of the week. It is the only public tour of a commercial jet assembly plant in North America. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits and displays, as well as take a tour of the Boeing plant, where they can watch 747s, 777s or 787

Dreamliners being assembled. How’s that for family fun? Just one block from the iconic Pike Place Market, families will love wandering through the light-filled galleries full of global art collections, temporary exhibitions and special exhibitions from across the world at Seattle Art Museum. visitseattle.org

Images: Courtesy of companies featured

READY, SET, PLAY!



The all-new Toy Story Land, hitting Disney’s Hollywood Studios on June 30, will give guests the sensation of shrinking to the size of a toy as they explore Andy’s backyard and see their favourite Toy Story characters larger than life. Across 11 fun-filled acres, Toy Story Land will include two new attractions and one expanded favourite. Guests can whoosh along on a family friendly roller-coaster behind Slinky Dog Dash, take a spin with Alien Swirling Saucers and score high points on Toy Story Mania. disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/ hollywood-studios/toy-story-land

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Pixar elixir

Artist concept image © Disney Pixar

Travel to infinity and beyond as Pixar takes California’s Disneyland Resort by storm in 2018, as part of the limited-time Pixar Fest. Follow the familiar bounce of the Pixar lamp through both Disney parks in the Anaheim resort – Disneyland Park, built by Walt Disney himself in 1955, and the more recent Disney California Adventure Park. The skies over Disneyland Park will be lit up by the ‘Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular’, a dramatic display of fireworks, music and animations. The Pixar Play Parade is equally impressive and will be led by Wilderness Explorer Russell and Dug the talking dog from UP. At Disney California Adventure Park, Toy Story tragics and Inside Out enthusiasts will adore Pixar Pier, launching June 23 this year. The newest land at the resort will have four Pixar-themed neighbourhoods and boast the thrilling re-imagined Incredicoaster in time for the release of Incredibles 2. For an equally wild ride with a little less adrenaline, the World of Color extravaganza displays well-loved scenes from Disney and Pixar on a huge water screen. disneyland.disney.go.com/eventstours/pixar-fest

FITNESS FUN The world’s largest children’s museum – The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis – is chock-full of fun for children, with everything from pop and dance exhibits to science works and even a chocolate-themed slide displayed. Recently, a new sports extravaganza has taken the already-exciting space to a new level. The Sports Legends Experience is the world’s first immersive outdoor and indoor family health, fitness and sports experience, with 12 extraordinary interactive elements designed to get kids moving. Some of the $38 million, 7.5-acre attraction highlights include an almost 20-metre climbing

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tree extravaganza, nine mini basketball courts with a range of hoops for toddlers through to adults, golf experiences for the whole family, soccer, tennis, baseball and more. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Pedal Car Racetrack is one of the most popular features, giving adrenaline junkies a chance to compete with scaled human-powered pedal cars. childrensmuseum.org

INDOOR FAMILY FUN A massive indoor family entertainment centre in Clarksville, Tennessee, has everyone talking. Opened in April, the larger-than-a-rugby-field space features highspeed and family-speed go karts, two-storey laser tag, a 10-lane bowling lounge, 18 holes of miniature golf with scenic water features, more than 50 arcade games and a playscape for younger children – all under one big roof. It’s a place designed for the entire family to focus on nothing but fun. thecityforum.com


U S A S P O T LI G H T: B UFFA LO

B IS FOR BUFFALO There’s more to this understated New York city than Niagara Falls, writes Simon Mallender.

The main reason Aussies travel to Buffalo is to see the magnificent Niagara Falls – and rightly so, as the sight takes your breath away. The Park, and nearby Buffalo, are definitely worth adding to your next USA family holiday itinerary too, as my family and I found out on a road trip through New York. Here’s our guide to the best of Buffalo.

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Niagara Falls

World-famous Niagara Falls gets the top spot here. We can hear the thundering sound of the falls as soon as we step out of the car, and it builds to a rushing crescendo as we walk along the riverside, through the pleasant green parklands, to the Falls themselves. They are magnificent, awesome in the true sense of the word, and you’ll want to take a hundred selfies from every angle. The visitor centre is full of fascinating exhibits – snippets from the Falls’ history – and well worth visiting once you’ve gazed at the Falls for a while. There’s a great little adventure movie with some history of the Falls as well as entertaining clips of various attempts to walk over the Falls on high wires and, of course, Houdini’s infamous trip over the Falls in a barrel. It’s worth spending half a day exploring the visitor centre alone.


U SA SP OTLIGHT: BUFFAL O

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Niagara Power Vista

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Old Fort Niagara

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The Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum

The sight of the Falls leaves a lasting powerful image, and nearby we find another powerful (and educational) experience for the kids, at Niagara Power Vista. Built above the subterranean turbines that generate more electricity than a big old dirty coal-fired power station is a collection of powerful interactive exhibits that help kids young and old to understand the whole hydro-power generating process – from what a drop of water feels like in the water cycle (by riding a 4D simulator) to balancing the supply and demand for power across the whole of New York during the course of a working day. Like every other old fort, this one has a drawbridge and portcullis, an ample number of cannons of various types scattered around, and some impressively steep and high walls. What makes this fort different is that inside most of the buildings are exhibits of how life was lived inside the fort in days gone by, as well as a couple of guards who periodically fire real rounds from real muskets, with the crack of the shot ricocheting the fort’s walls.

Buffalo has its own share of family-friendly attractions, and the Pierce Arrow Museum is a great example. It presents the rather eclectic story of a company and its founder, George Pierce, who started out making birdcages and ended up supplying luxury cars to the White House and New York’s movie stars. He started with bicycles, then motorbikes and on to two-cylinder cars before creating the most luxurious cars of the day. The museum houses a large collection of unique of old-timer vehicles as well as a raft of modern highperformance and racing cars for motoring enthusiasts to drool over. There’s also a ‘futuristic’ 1927 Filling Station – the concept of which was used in the movie Cars. In those days, petrol was hand-pumped from underground tanks into big glass jars on the top of the petrol pump, then released to flow down by gravity into the car. This process was repeated over and over until the gas-guzzling cars’ tanks were filled. The petrol station featured here had the gas tank on the roof, so no pumping was required.

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Swan Street Diner

If the sight of those gorgeous old cars gets you all nostalgic and hankering for some good old-fashioned fayre, you’ll find the perfect place a couple of blocks away at Swan Street Diner. As soon as you walk through the door of the original prefabricated dining car – built in 1937, relocated from Newark, refurbished to its original – you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped straight back into the 1930s. With food to match – burgers and pot pies served in a classic American diner setting – it’s a uniquely American dining experience.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:

Kids will love Niagara Power Vista; In winter, ice-biking is a fun activity canalside; the Buffalo Museum of Science is worth a visit; The airy entrance at Hotel Henry; Sweet treats at Swan Street Diner; The Buffalo Transport Museum has a great collection of automobiles to check out.

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More information visitbuffaloniagara.com niagarafallsusa.com iloveny.com


U S A S P O T LI G H T: B UFFA LO

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Buffalo Museum of Science

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The Ice at Canalside

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Richardson Olmsted Complex

If you’re in Buffalo on a rainy day (actually, even if you’re not), you’ll find plenty to see and do at the Buffalo Museum of Science – open every day. There’s a Foucault pendulum that proves that the earth spins around, a 3D cinema plus lots of interactive exhibits to keep a small army of kids entertained for a few hours.

Where to stay DoubleTree Fallsview Resort & Spa by Hilton – Niagara Falls If you opt for a room overlooking Niagara River, the view in the morning – with the sun rising above the water rushing to the Falls – will fill your heart with joie de vivre. From here, you can walk to the Falls directly along the river without encountering a single main road. doubletree3.hilton.com Hotel Henry This historic resort sits in the heart of Buffalo’s revitalised Richardson Olmsted Campus, surrounded by parkland, museums and art galleries. hotelhenry.com 

A unique place to both visit and stay, this sprawling complex is set in expansive landscaped grounds, at the centre of which is Hotel Henry. This historic building and surrounding gardens were designed by renowned American architect Henry Hobson Richardson and landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted in the late 1800s. The institution itself incorporated enlightened (at the time) treatment for people with mental illness, developed by Dr Thomas Story Kirkbride. Now restored and redeveloped as an ‘Urban Resort’, all the rooms and interior spaces are filled with natural light and funky artworks now adorn the walls. It is surrounded by parks, lakes and museums, and is connected to the vibrant Elmwood Village neighbourhood. Pathways and cycle-ways connect Hotel Henry to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Burchfield Penney Art Center, The Buffalo History Museum, Delaware Park, Hoyt Lake, Japanese Garden and Elmwood Village. Enjoy real food sourced from local farms at its 100 Acres restaurant, or stroll into the ’hood to explore the local cafe scene. AUTUMN 2018 familytravel.com.au

Images: Drew Brown; K C Kratt

Visiting Buffalo during winter? Cruise down to Canalside and check out the ice-skating at the open-air ice rink. Don’t worry if you’re not so steady on your feet – you can go ice-biking instead and skid around the rink on a bike with skis.

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THE CONSERVATION CHALLENGE It’s never too late to teach your kids to care for the environment, writes Deborah Dickson-Smith.

Image: Pete McGee

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ot far from Phuket, families can experience unique encounters with two of the world’s most endearing animals: elephants and dugongs. Both of these lovable creatures are listed as either endangered or vulnerable, mainly due to loss of habitat. The logging industry destroyed most of the elephants’ Thailand jungle home before the government put an end to it in the 1980s, and dugongs are losing their seagrass grazing ground to coastal development. Two quite different eco-tourism experiences are trying to save them and at the same time educate tourists and locals alike on how they can help.


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Elephant Hills The Elephant Hills safari starts with an early pick-up from your Phuket hotel and an almost three-hour journey to your first camp, an elephant sanctuary in Khao Sok National Park. Surrounded by tall limestone karst mountains, a restaurant on site proffers views across dense rainforest to Sok River – the scenic provides the first adventure as you head downriver to the elephant sanctuary in canoes. About a peaceful hour downstream, you get to meet the animals. Elephant Hills’ 14 resident elephants previously had a hard life working in the logging industry or giving tourists rides. Each has a mahout (carer) and friends among the group, and tourist visits help pay for their retirement. Upon meeting the elephants, you’ll be given a comprehensive lesson on everything from their behaviour in the wild to their use in the now defunct logging industry and what has eventually brought these beasts here, to a sanctuary in the south of Thailand. Simply, the logging industry has left pockets of rainforest throughout Thailand and there is little natural environment left for elephants to survive in. There are many national parks in Thailand and Thais visit their own national parks more than any other nationality. Looking after the natural environment is a value that fits well with Buddhist philosophy, and this has evolved into Buddhist monks teaching the younger generations of Thais in schools about conservation. Most elephants in southern Thailand have travelled from northern and central Thailand, bringing with them their Karen mahouts who, dressed in colourful traditional garb, click, cluck and slap their cheeky charges into line as the visitors learn how to give them a scrub, before preparing a lunch of pineapple, bananas, sugarcane and elephant grass. Having exhausted elephant food supplies, a safari bus takes you back to camp to watch a documentary about elephants, followed by cooking demonstration and a dance recital by local school kids that the resort supports financially. The next day, your adventure continues at a second camp – a floating one – on Cheow Lan Lake. The lake was created by the construction of Ratchaprapa Dam, which provides hydroelectric power to the surrounding regions and has opened up this seemingly impenetrable mountainous jungle. A long-tail boat takes you across the lake to your floating tent, taking a few spins around the steep pinnacles that dot the lake, former mountaintops that are now islands. This part of the adventure is more of a true jungle experience, starting with a three-hour trek to a large cave, on the lookout for gibbons, dusky langurs and, if you’re really lucky, a sun bear. You’ll fall asleep to the sound of noisy monkeys, cicadas and bird song, and the next morning go for a paddle around the islands, in search of more wildlife, before returning to busy Phuket. elephanthills.com

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Si Kao’s dugongs



Images: Pete McGee

Si Kao is in the southern Thailand province of Trang, a coastal town about an hour’s drive south of Phuket that is famous for its dugong population. It’s the main tourist attraction here, but, sadly, their numbers are decreasing; latest estimates report there are no more than 200 left in these waters. A few marine conservation groups are doing what they can to save this dwindling population, and they now have the backing of Anantara Si Kao Resort. In addition to supporting local conservation efforts, the resort’s sustainability manager, Mark Isenstadt, takes guests on a Dugong Experience day trip, in which you can learn all about dugongs, their habitat, behaviour, threats and what we can all do to help. The long-tail boat tour starts with a lesson about sea grass, which forms the main dietary component for dugongs. Sadly, the world’s sea grass beds are disappearing due to coastal development. But that’s not the only threat to dugongs – as Mark explains, many are caught in fishing nets or injured by boats in the busy waterways that surround Trang. A marine reserve has been established at Koh Libong, which is where the tour takes you next, to see these delightful ‘sea cows’ that once fooled shortsighted sailors into thinking they’d seen a mermaid. The boat idles slowly through the marine reserve as everyone looks out for dugongs. After an hour or so of dugong-spotting, the tour takes you to a small fishing village for lunch before the next part of this adventure, this time using another traditional Thai form of transport: the tuk tuk. The tuk tuk takes you to the base of Point Dugongs, a tall limestone karst with a viewing platform at the top, which you reach by climbing through a series of caves. It’s an adventure in itself passing through caverns, making your way to the top along narrow paths and around large stalagmites and stalactites. The view from the top is spectacular – the perfect viewing point for dugong-spotting – but while it’s an amazing outlook, it’s also clear from this height that the marine reserve is just too small. Local conservation groups are trying to have the area increased, and a big part of this fight is educating local villagers on the benefits. Anantara is helping with this too – the resort recently opened a Dugong Education & Conservation Centre. The centre educates Anantara guests, staff and the local community about dugongs and their environment, promoting an understanding of how important this precious ecosystem is to everyone. Visitors to the centre cab help rebuild and strengthen this fragile coastal environment by planting sea grass. The sea grass will stabilise the sea floor by holding sediment down and breaking waves as they head to shore, preventing erosion, improving water quality, creating a haven for sea cucumbers, sea urchins and crabs, and, of course, feeding the dugongs, along with almost 70 percent of the sea creatures in the region. sikao.anantara.com AUTUMN 2018 familytravel.com.au

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India Tourism Sydney, Level 1, 133 Castlereagh Street (Accessible from 210 pitt Street) Sydney, NSW 2000 Ph: +61 2 9267 2466 Website: www.incredibleindia.org email: info@indiatourism.com.au


B A B Y & T O D D LE R T R AV E L: A M S TER D A M

ON YOUR BIKE

Sue White explores Amsterdam by bicycle and learns that it’s a wonderful way to travel with a baby.

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h, Amsterdam: small, scenic and incredibly baby-friendly. It’s an odd statement to make, given the city’s lax drug laws and infamous Red Light District, but Amsterdam is filled with gorgeous canals, arts galore, flower markets and parks. The combination of the latter makes it a top choice for a city visit with a baby.


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The right approach With more than 800,000 bikes and just 220,000 cars, Amsterdam is a cyclist’s utopia. If you’re visiting in summer, or indeed any season outside of winter, rent a bike – not just for an afternoon but for your whole stay. Locals use cargo bikes (known as Bakfiets), carry more than one child on there with them and cycle everywhere from the supermarket to the opera. Yes, the dedicated cycle paths are busy, often require crossing tram tracks, and are shared with mopeds, but you’ll feel safer riding here than anywhere in Australia, because other vehicles in Amsterdam expect – and respect – cyclists. To help you blend in, Bike City (bikecity.nl) will lease you an original Dutch bike that isn’t plastered with advertising. They also have bike seats for babies and bike trailers (the latter provides some rain protection – remember, this city isn’t famous for its sunshine). There are few downsides to cycling here – one small one is that there are about four times as many bikes in Amsterdam as bike racks. Mostly this isn’t a problem, as you can park almost anywhere, but there’s a real shortage at places such as Centraal Station and you’ll get fined if you don’t dock your bike. If you’re here booking tickets or making Eurail train reservations, tag team or come by tram. And, as a rule, whenever you park your bike in Amsterdam, always use bike locks. That logistic aside, your main hassle will probably be that Amsterdam is so beautiful that you’ll want to stop every two minutes to take photos – yes, it’s that scenic. Either way, it pays to be relaxed about timing when you’re getting around the city. The street names are long, making them hard to remember, and when combined with the fact that they change names often, you should expect to get lost with reasonable frequency. The upside? Most locals speak superb English, so just keep asking for directions. So where should you ride to? Firstly, don’t miss Vondelpark. Amsterdam’s answer to Central Park has numerous playgrounds within its 47-hectare limits, but most babies will love anywhere here that they can crawl

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or roll around on. Pack a picnic and join the 10 millionplus people who make the trip to Vondelpark every year. It is conveniently located near the Museum Quarter, so you can time your day with a trip to Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum (or just head there if it rains). The Jordaan area is ridiculously scenic. In this part of town, you won’t need a specific destination in mind: simply riding along the area’s canals is memorable in itself. Stop at one of the many cafes for lunch, or wander the weekend farmers’ markets. The Nieuwmarkt district is good for a wander through the old centre of town, although it’s pretty busy and you may find the bike a hindrance in places, particularly if you have a bike trailer in tow. It’s bordered on one side by the Red Light District – probably not an ideal place for a bike ride with a baby (although in the daytime the infamous area is packed with tourists of all ages) – and Artis Zoo on the other. The latter is good, but even better is making like a local and heading to one of Amsterdam’s many free petting zoos instead. Called ‘kinderboerderij’, these are small community facilities where ducks, chickens and pigs wander while small children play among them; a fabulous slice of Amsterdam family life. (Google those near your accommodation, or Kinderboerderij De Werf is a good one that’s not too far to cycle.)

Daytrips Amsterdam isn’t a hectic city when compared to London or Paris, but it is still a city. For some quiet time, head out for a day of cycling in the Amsterdamse Bos (woods) or take a longer (90 minute) ride to the small windmill-filled village of Zaanse Schans, 20 kilometres north-west of Amsterdam. Further afield, the gothic architecture in the town of Delft and the picturesque town of Leiden (Rembrandt’s birthplace) both make great daytrips – you can easily do both in a day, even with a baby in tow. Take the train. Sue White is the author of babieswhotravel.com.

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Amsterdam is great for tiny tots; there are more than 800,000 bikes in the city; canal-side cycling is a scenic way to spend a day; bikes are readily available for rent; parks offer a respite from biking.

Resources • City Walks: Amsterdam – 50 Adventures On Foot These handy cards will fit in your handbag (or baby bag) – just choose an area and stroll for an hour or two following the itinerary and map. • Lonely Planet: Amsterdam An all-inclusive guide book. • iamsterdam.com The official Amsterdam website. • amsterdam-mamas.nl Find loads of activities, from playgrounds to swimming spots.


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Transport With or without a baby, travelling through Amsterdam is a breeze. Getting there is an easy train ride from Schiphol airport. Trains run regularly to Centraal Station, just five minutes from Dam Square – this is also where you’ll be arriving if you’re travelling on a Eurail pass. If you prefer to go more direct, the Schiphol Hotel Shuttle (schipholhotelshuttle.nl) runs every 30 minutes to most local hotels. Around town, there’s no better way than bike – although, if you prefer, there are also trains, buses and trams, and all are very baby-friendly. Rent bikes with a bike trailer or baby seat from Bike City.

Sleeping On the gorgeous Singel canal next to Amsterdam’s famous flower market, Hotel Agora (hotelagora.nl) has familyfriendly rooms that can fit five-plus people. Or try Kid & Coe (kidandcoe.com), a family-friendly version of Airbnb.

Eating It’s fairly easy to find a restaurant with a high chair. If you’d prefer to DIY (perfect for picnicking in Vondelpark), Ekoplaza organic supermarkets are found across the city. On Saturdays, the Jordaan area has some fantastic farmers’ markets.



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WE REVIEW

Sheraton Denarau Villas

Location Overlooking the sparkling waters that surround Denarau Island, Sheraton Denarau Villas boast a stunning location for an active family holiday in Fiji. The resort is just a 25-minute drive from Nadi International Airport while being a stone’s throw from Big Bula Waterpark, Denarau Mini Golf and all the shopping and entertainment facilities at Port Denarau Marina. It forms part of the sprawling Sheraton-Westin resort complex and sits on the doorstep of the renowned Denarau Golf & Racquet Club. Why we stayed here With fully equipped kitchens and plenty of room to move, Sheraton Denarau Villas is perfectly designed for families wanting that ‘home away from home’ atmosphere. The lush tropical gardens and lagoon-style pools create an idyllic Fijian setting and offer easy access to a whole range of water sports,

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cultural activities and island-hopping tours. In addition to the restaurants and amenities of Sheraton Denarau Villas, you can take advantage of the facilities at the sister resorts – Sheraton Fiji Resort and The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa – to ensure everybody’s interests are catered for.

OAWK TIP: Need an early morning caffeine fix? High-quality ground coffee is provided in each of the villas, so you don’t have to wait until the entire family’s ready for the breakfast buffet.

Accommodation Sheraton Denarau Villas offers incredibly spacious two- and three-bedroom villas, all of which feature garden, lagoon or sea views from their private terraces. There’s a separate living space with a flat-screen TV where you can kick back with a movie at the end of the day, as well as a kitchen and dining area for preparing snacks or your own meals. Parents can enjoy the privacy of their own ensuite in the master bedroom, with kid-friendly tubs in the additional bathroom and signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds for a good night’s rest.

Activities There are six swimming pools nestled across the big three’s landscaped gardens, including a kids’ swimming pool and a breathtaking infinity pool looking out across the ocean. Parents can indulge with a rejuvenating treatment at Heavenly Spa by Westin, while kids can take advantage of free access to the daily activities of the LaiLai Kids Club, which is considered one of the best kids’ clubs in Fiji. When they’re not busy face-painting, fish-feeding and learning Fijian, you can all enjoy some quality recreational family time at the adjacent Denarau Golf & Racquet Club.


Food & beverage Start each day with a delicious buffet breakfast at Feast, which offers a fantastic selection of international foods to suit even the fussiest of eaters. You can sample Indo-Fijian cuisine at Zing or be treated to a traditional cultural performance (including fire dancing!) and a lovo dinner at Coco Palms. There’s a gourmet deli and bakery for quick and affordable meals on the go, as well as candlelit beachfront dining at The Kitchen Grill for parents wanting a romantic night out. About 80 percent of the produce served at the Sheraton is grown locally; get a behind-the-scenes look on a tour of their Superfresh Farm. OAWK TIP: If you want to get discounts on food and beverages, consider joining Sheraton’s Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program or Club Marriott to take advantage of regularly updated specials.



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Explore The proximity of Port Denarau to Sheraton Denarau Villas makes it the perfect base for island-hopping day trips to the idyllic Mamanuca and Yasawa archipelagos. Go snorkelling among myriad of tropical fish and colourful corals, or get active kayaking, standup paddle boarding and fishing. You can stroll across the stunningly beautiful Garden of the Sleeping Giant to admire its orchids and trickling fountains, or get your adrenaline pumping while jet-boating on the Sigatoka River Safari. If you want to interact with Fiji’s native wildlife, why not visit the outstanding Kula Wild Adventure Park, where you can hand-feed sea turtles and hold iguanas, go ziplining or let the kids take part in the Park Ranger For A Day program.

The beautiful lagoonstyle pool beckons; an aerial view of the lush grounds; a local girl fishing at sunset

Sheraton Denarau Villas Denarau Island West, Nadi, Fiji Phone: 679 675 0777 sheratondenarauvillas.com

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WE REVIEW

Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Spa Bali Location Located just steps from the sands of Tanjung Benoa in Nusa Dua, Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Spa Bali lies on the doorstep of everything Southern Bali has to offer. It’s just 25 minutes from the Ngurah Rai International Airport and a short drive from the spectacular beaches and cliff-top temples of the Bukit Peninsula and all the shopping and buzz of Kuta. But with so much for families to do at this five-star beachfront resort, you might never want to leave. Why we stayed here With Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Spa opening its brand-new family wing – Family Paradise – we wanted to be some of the first to see if it lived up to its name. Indoor and outdoor play areas, creative family suites and kid-friendly dining are just some of the fantastic perks, not to mention all-inclusive packages so you can forget about day-to-day budgeting. Add to that an absolute beachfront location overlooking the turquoise waters of Benoa Bay and Family Paradise has to be one of the best areas for kids on the island. Accommodation The Family Paradise wing features 77 rooms and suites designed specifically for those travelling with little ones. They’re spotlessly clean and inspiringly colourful, with a range of different configurations to suit you and your family. Select from two queen beds, a queen bed and bunks (plus a trundle bed) or spacious suites that feature a separate bedroom for kids. Travelling with the extended family? Opt for the luxurious threebedroom Family Pool Villa that boasts three bathrooms, a kitchenette and a private patio, garden and pool area. Activities Step outside your room at Family Paradise and there’s a whole world of kids’ entertainment on offer. Let them cool off with the fountains and slides of the Kids Waterpark or burn some energy at the indoor play area’s trampoline and ball pit. Supervised activities are offered throughout the day at the Bamboo Kids Club, and young gamers will never be bored in the Kids E-Lounge. Meanwhile, Thalasso Spa is just

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The freshly fittedout rooms in the family wing; the Kids Waterpark will keep little ones entertained for hours.

waiting to pamper mums and dads. Enjoy complimentary use of the tennis court, climbing wall and kayaks, then settle in with free popcorn as you watch a family-friendly flick at the poolside cinema. Food & beverage Take advantage of the all-inclusive family packages at Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Spa, which include most drinks (including alcohol), your own mini bar and 24-hour room service – ideal for kids who are constantly snacking or a jetlagged stomach. Begin the day with an appetising buffet at Grand Cafe, then dine poolside at Family Paradise’s casual Mahi-Mahi, which boasts an enticing kids’ menu. Head to Ibu Kitchen to sample traditional Indonesian dishes with a modern twist or sink your feet into the sand while feasting on pizza and pasta at La Cascata.

stores and wellness spas of Bali Collection. The renowned Beachwalk shopping centre in Kuta is just a short drive away, as are the international stores and cinema of Mal Bali Galeria. To experience Indonesia’s rich cultural diversity and artistry, be sure to make the short hop south to trendy Nusa Dua for the Devdan Show ‘Treasure of the Archipelago’. It will take you on a whirlwind tour across Indonesia to experience each of its distinct islands through traditional dance, acrobatics and special effects. OAWK TIP: For all-inclusive family specials and the latest holiday deals, check out Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Spa’s family offers page at grandmirage.com/en/ special-offers/family-just-like-to-have-fun. php.

OAWK TIP: Looking for after-dark entertainment without leaving the resort? Visit the Rama Stage for one of its themed buffet dinner nights, complete with musical and dance performances. Explore Get a taste of local life when you step outside the resort, with a range of shops selling dayto-day supplies just across the road. Or jump aboard the free resort shuttle to the fashion

Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Spa Bali Jl. Pratama No 74, Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, Bali Phone: +62 361 300 9544 grandmirage.com




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TH E LA ST WOR D

Jennifer Vandekreeke, Carnival Cruise Line Want to know the secrets to keeping everyone in the family happy on holidays? This month, Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Jennifer Vandekreeke reveals all. A self-confessed passionate holiday addict, Jennifer moved her young family to Sydney in 2011 to launch Carnival Cruise Line on the South Seas. Since the inaugural sailing of Carnival Spirit in 2012 and the arrival of Carnival Legend in 2014, more than 800,000 Australians have sailed on Carnival Cruise Line’s Australia-based ships. When Jennifer isn’t busy being the Vice President and General Manager for Carnival Cruise Line in Australasia, she loves to spend time exploring her newly adopted home country with her husband and 12-year-old twins.

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Jennifer enjoys stand-up paddle boarding along crystal clear beaches of Amedee Island with her son; An afternoon swimming and jumping off a beautiful waterfall is an afternoon well spent; Celebrating Christmas in true holidays style on the beach.

My ideal family holiday is… As a working parent, I crave time to truly connect with my family away from the daily distractions of phones, dishes, sport drop-offs and such. Holidays offer a chance to relax, take a deep breath and spend quality time together when we are all our best selves. Nothing compares to spending an active day out in the bush, at the beach or on the water, discovering and exploring new places together. If I can finish it off by putting the kids to bed and then enjoying a nice glass of wine with my husband, accompanied by a pretty view, I’m in heaven.

My fondest family holiday memory is… Sailing in the Whitsundays. We chartered a sailboat for a week and every day brought new adventures. The snorkelling was just spectacular, and the twins couldn’t wait to jump in and chase the tropical fish every time we dropped anchor. We climbed island mountains, played pirates and princesses on the brilliant sands of Whitehaven Beach, and finished every night with cocktails and mocktails on the top deck.

The thing that makes a great family hotel or resort is… The reality is, a mum doesn’t relax until every member of the family is happy – so great family holiday resorts and Carnival cruises are those that offer something to indulge everyone’s passion. There are wonderful times when everyone wants to have fun together, and then there are those beautiful moments when the kids and the hubby are happily occupied doing their own thing and mum can relax on a lounge chair in the sun with a cocktail and get past page two of her guilty pleasure magazine.

Every family should experience… Amédée Island – it’s a shore excursion available on all of our visits to Nouméa in New Caledonia. You can swim with turtles, standup paddle board above multi-coloured reefs, and jump off the

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dock into sapphire waters. After a delicious French Polynesian feast, you can spend the afternoon climbing the lighthouse for spectacular views, playing in the crystalline waters or even enjoying a nap accompanied by soft breezes. It is just heaven – nothing to worry about except making sure you apply sunscreen.

My top tip for travelling with kids is… My tip is for those who are sailing on a Carnival cruise: You can grab the youth program schedules for the entire cruise on the first day. Do that, then go through it with the kiddos at dinner the first night and let them choose the key activity they want to do during the cruise. And voila – you’ll know when to book that indulgent, guilt-free massage.


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MOA NA SA N D S GROU P R A RO T ONGA , C O OK I SL A N D S Children will be happily occupied on the peaceful shores of the family friendly Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel and Moana Sands Beachfront Villas, where fun in the sun is guaranteed. With complimentary use of sun loungers, kayaks and snorkelling gear, all members of the family will be well entertained while enjoying the shallow and safe Titkaveka lagoon. YOU R P I E C E O F PA R A D I S E pacificresort.com

R AROTONGA ¡ COOK ISLANDS

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