Family Getaways - Phillip Island

A fun-filled seaside adventure awaits you just a short trip from Melbourne. With plenty to see and do, Phillip Island is the perfect destination for families.

We share our top highlights and must-do’s when exploring Phillip Island with kids.  

Sleep

There are many great AirBnB options to suit families of any size, so you can enjoy your stay on the Island with the comforts of home. Our pick is the centrally located ‘Seacluded’. The property, run by hosts Brendan and Ella, is located in a quiet court in the heart of Cowes, allowing you easy access to the towns cafes, restaurants and boutique shopping. Keen to eat in for a night of your stay too? This property is literally just around the corner from Coles supermarket, so you can pick up a quick meal - and also restock on necessities for baby. 

Eat

For the foodies you can’t go past Island Wholefoods. The buckwheat pancakes are perfect for brunch, coupled with a delicious smoothie - or a much needed coffee - this top menu pick will provide you with much needed fuel before you get on your way to one of the Island’s many attractions. Another must visit is the Cape Kitchen, offering stunning views of the seaside and equally stunning meals. 

Play

There is so much to see and do on the Island - there are many attractions to suit the whole family such as the famous Penguin Parade, the Koala Conservation Centre and the Churchill Island Heritage Farm. For older kids there is the quirky Amaze ‘N Things, now with the daring SkyTrail - a short trip from the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. For the little ones, there is a neat little playground near the Cowes pier, and also a fun nautical themed playground in nearby Rhyll. A relaxing walk along the beach is also a must-do!

Phillip Island sure makes for an easy family getaway. 

 

 

 

Amazing Autumn Florals at the KaBloom Festival

Looking for somewhere different to explore during the school holidays? Nestled past the Dandenongs, Silvan - in Victoria’s east - is usually known for it’s amazing Tulip Festival, but this year they have an exciting new adventure in store with the Tesselaar KaBloom Festival.

Showcasing many beautiful flowers, such as foxgloves, sunflowers and begonias, there is plenty to see. There are also the all important food trucks (and coffee!) to visit, gorgeous animals at the petting zoo, live performances to enjoy, and a tractor ride that takes you on a magical journey through the flower fields. During our visit we even got to spot a fairy in the Fairy Forest - and if you look hard enough, you might be able to find her too!

The festival is open at the Tesselaar Farm in Silvan from 10am til 5pm daily, and runs until 15 April 2018. It’s a fun day out for all at the Tesselaar KaBloom Festival.

Melbourne with Kids - Best Kid Friendly Cafes and Adventures in Melbourne

Melbourne has so much to offer families it’s hard to know where to begin, so let us help you start your journey by sharing some of our top picks for meal time, kid friendly fun activities and adventures. 

Top Picks for Child Friendly, Plant Friendly Cafes in Melbourne (and surrounds):

Top picks for fun family activities in Melbourne (and surrounds):

  • Visit the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
  • Explore the Melbourne Museum  
  • Experience the Melbourne Sealife Aquarium  
  • Partake in ArtPlay by the Yarra
  • Check out the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) 
  • Visit the Melbourne Zoo
  • Experience Collingwood Children’s Farm
  • Check out Scienceworks  

Top picks for free family adventures in Melbourne:

  • Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens  
  • Jog around the tan with the pram
  • Stroll down Anzac Avenue (St Kilda Road)
  • Pay a visit to the Melbourne City Library  
  • Walk along St Kilda pier with baby in the carrier  
  • Explore Melbourne’s CBD by foot

Top playground picks in Melbourne (and surrounds):

  • Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne 
  • Ron Barassi Snr Park on Docklands Drive, Docklands  
  • Royal Park Nature Play in Parkville (right near the Royal Children’s Hospital)
  • Middle Park Community Playground on Canterbury Road, Middle Park (Albert Park) 
  • McNish Reserve on Court Street in Yarraville
  • Coburg Lake Reserve on Murray Road in Coburg North  
  • Skinners Adventure Playground in Dorcas Street, South Melbourne 
  • St Kilda Adventure Playground in Neptune Street, St Kilda 

Want more cafes to choose from in Melbourne? Read about them here.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy our beautiful city! 

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Family Getaways - Road Trip to Mornington

The bustling beach side town of Mornington is only an hours drive from Melbourne’s CBD. With plenty on offer for the family, it makes for a great destination for your next road trip. 

The playground at Mornington Park is the star attraction for families, offering little ones the chance to be a pirate for the day on a big wooden pirate ship. The large reserve nearby is the perfect place for a game of lawn soccer or a nice picnic. 

If picnics aren’t your style then the Burgers at Thanks Albert hit the spot for lunch - especially the aptly titled ‘No I Wasn’t Vegan - and YOMG do a delicious salted caramel frozen yoghurt that makes for a special treat for dessert. 

Mornington is a fun day out for the family filled with laughter, sunshine and fresh sea air.  

Where is your top pick for a quick family road trip?  

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Family Travel - New Zealand with Baby

In February we embarked on a family holiday to New Zealand - and this was baby’s first time on a plane, and her first time overseas. 

We share our top recommendations for family friendly travel in New Zealand’s South Island... 

Our Top Travel Tips for Travel with Baby 

  • If it is baby’s first time overseas, organise the passport well in advance  - and make sure all family members passports are still current!
  • Breastfeed your baby on takeoff and desend - it helps with the pressure in their ears, it worked for us so much so that our bubba fell asleep! Offering a bottle of formula (or some water if your baby is old enough) would work in the exact same way - fed and sleeping baby for the flight is a win win! 
  • Pack hand sanitizer and antiseptic wipes for the flight so you can wipe the area down and clean little hands before they eat - the last thing you want to deal with on your fun family holiday is illness
  • Bring on board a change of clothes and spare bibs for baby and a fresh top for yourself 
  • Carry a couple of small books and small toys on the flight if you have the room, they are great for distractions
  • Pack one of baby’s comfort items to ease the transition to napping and sleeping in a different cot and unfamiliar environment  
  • Try to plan activities and sightseeing around your baby’s routine if a routine is what they are used to
  • For Mum and Dad, invest in a local pre paid SIM card to pop in  your phone, this will come in very handy in the event you get separated from a family member, experience an emergency when out and about or you need to access WiFi to find details of a local doctor. And don’t forget to pack your charger and an international power adapter or two!   

Our top picks for baby friendly cafes in South Island NZ

  • Joe’s Garage in Christchurch  
  • Water Drop in Christchurch
  • Fergburger in Queenstown
  • Bespoke Kitchen in Queenstown
  • The Spice Room in Wanaka
  • Maggie's Kitchen in Greymouth

Our top picks for family activities in South Island NZ

  • Hop on the gondola, stroll the bontanical parks or visit the fascinating Orana Wildlife Park or the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch
  • Stroll around historical Arrowtown, taking a visit to the Lakes District Museum, Dorothy Brown’s Cinema and the famous Remarkable Sweet Lolly Shop
  • Visit the Kiwi Bird Wildlife Park, take a Jurassic Safari of the Highlands or embark on a scenic family cruise in Queenstown
  • Stop by the Shantytown Heritage Park in Greymouth
  • Take in the view of the beautiful Lake Tekapo and visit nearby Mount Cook
  • Walk around the stunning lake Wanaka with baby in the ergo carrier or pram
  • Visit the UNESCO world heritage listed Fiordland National Park
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Close by - check, stunning scenery - check, plenty of family friendly fun - check...New Zealand certainly is the perfect family friendly destination - especially for those travelling from Australia with baby for the first time! 

Lovely Spring - Part Two

What better way to celebrate spring than to visit the Tesselaar Tulip Festival?! Held at the tulip farm on Monbulk Road, in Silvan Victoria, the festival runs from 8 September to 4 October this year (2016). Mummy Green visited the festival with Itty Bitty Green and her family (Daddy Green, Nana Green and Grandpa Green) - there was something for all the family.

There is plenty to do at the festival - from wandering the gardens and many tulip displays, to listening to live music, enjoying train rides, shopping the market stalls, and local wine and cider tasting. Aside from the stunning tulips, Mummy Green's fave part of the festival is the food! There is a big variety on offer, including dutch pancakes (poffertjes), baked potatoes, wood fried pizzas, dutch sausages and potato cakes, gourmet potato wedges, deep fried cheese, dutch donuts, roasted nuts, home made ice cream, and every festival fave - fairy floss.

The festival gates open at 10am (last visit 4pm). Tickets are available on the day and are $26 for adults or $22 for concession. Children under 16 are free! The festival itself is pram friendly, however carriers are recommended as many of the grounds are muddy and on a steep incline.

Children's week at the festival runs from 19-22 September and also from 26-29 September, so be sure to get in quick to enjoy loads of fun entertainment with your little ones!

Lovely Spring - Part One

Spring is one of our favourite times of the year. The sun comes out to shine, the sky starts to clear, and of course it means summer is near. But, the best part of all is the lovely flowers that pop up everywhere. Just so pretty! 

Mummy Green and Itty Bitty Green took the opportunity to explore Alowyn Gardens on a gorgeous sunny day. Situated in Victoria's Yarra Valley region, the Alowyn Gardens makes for a great morning (or afternoon!) outing.

Open seven days a week (10am - 5pm), and at just $10 to enter, a visit to the gardens is a great choice for your next family adventure. The paths are pram friendly and little ones who are old enough to wander will love exploring the gardens' many twists and turns. Allow at least 45 minutes to fully enjoy all the gardens have to offer. A large nursery awaits you on exiting, where you may be inspired to buy your own beautiful plants. There is even a little cafe to enjoy a refreshment after you've explored.   

Family Getaways - Great Ocean Road with Baby

The Great Ocean Road is a fantastic option for a fun family road trip. Being so close to Melbourne, and a gorgeous scenic drive, it is a great choice for Victorian families and tourists alike. 

Your exact travel route depends on your final destination, and there are many relaxing and friendly towns to choose to visit along the way. From the bustling surf town of Torquay, to the quiet spot of Anglesea, to lovely Lorne. From the beautiful Otways to seaside Port Fairy, and historic Portland there's a stopover to please every member of the family.

Torquay

If you're travelling from Melbourne, Torquay marks the start of your Great Ocean Road adventure. Why not stop and visit the famous Bells Beach, check out the Surf World Museum, pick up a new outfit from the many surf-store retailers, or head on a surf coast walk?! 

A perfect choice for breakfast as you pass through Torquay is Cafe Moby, open 6.30am - 4pm Monday through Sunday. There is plenty of space to enjoy your food as a family outdoors, with a play area for the little ones to burn off some energy before hopping back in the car. Lots of yummy vegan and gluten free options are on offer at this quaint cafe, and the coffee is great. 

Anglesea

Anglesea is located just 15 minutes west of Torquay. There are plenty of beautiful gardens and trails to explore on your journey. Anglesea Fruitz stocks organic breads and fresh local produce (including a yummy gluten free loaf and delicious pana chocolate), which makes it the perfect spot to stop for a mid morning snack. With plenty of fresh fruit and organic products to choose from you can grab something to please all the family, and enjoy your food by the waterfront. 

Airey's Inlet

It's not a trip down the great ocean road without a stop at the Split Point lighthouse. Did you know the lighthouse featured in the ABC's early 90's TV show 'Round The Twist'? The little ones will love a tour of the lighthouse. Half hour tours are on offer 7 days a week, beginning on the hour from 11am until 2pm, for around $40 for a family of four. There are plenty of trails in the area to enjoy a nice walk too.

Lorne

Lorne is one of this mummy's favourite places to stay along the Great Ocean Road. The Mantra Lorne Resort is a nice spot to stay with your family, and it backs right onto the beach. There is an Endota Spa as part of the Mantra Lorne, so mummy can enjoy a nice massage while daddy takes the little ones to build sandcastles on the beach. Moons Licensed Expresso Bar is an excellent choice for lunch, with gluten free options.Alternatively, Bottle of Milk Cafe has plenty of vegan options.

Erskine Falls is a must see while in Lorne, being only 9km from the township. There are two lookouts to choose from, with the upper lookout being an easy few steps, but the lower lookout is a bit of a hike. After a long day exploring, Lorne Hotel is the perfect spot to visit for your family dinner. With relaxed bistro options, offering both gluten free and vegetarian meals, the Lorne Hotel has something for everyone. The kids zone at Lorne Hotel provides plenty of entertainment for your little ones.  

The Otways

The Great Otway National Park is stunning, and provides a variety of sight-seeing experiences, from coastlines and beaches to forests and lakes. There are many sections of walking trail for those looking to explore, or you can relax with a nice picnic to take in one of the many views.

Port Campbell

The Twelve Apostles are arguably the most famous landmark of the Great Ocean Road. Located in the Port Campbell National Park, these majestic views shouldn't be missed. 

Port Fairy

Port Fairy is a quaint historic fishing village, located 290km west of Melbourne. There's plenty of nice walking tracks, or you can just sit back and relax by the waterfront. The Famers Wife Harvest Cafe is the top choice for brunch when in Port Fairy. With vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options on the menu it is hard to decide from the delicious options on offer. For dinner, Coffin Sally serves the best pizzas on the coast.

Portland

Take in the beautiful historic architecture as you explore seaside Portland. Portland is one of Victoria's first settlement towns, and has many activities to choose from. If your little ones love the sea, lighthouses and ships, this is the place to visit - you may even spot a whale!