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Family Travel - Byron Bay with Kids

We recently returned from a fantastic family getaway to Northern NSW. It was full of great memories, awesome adventures, costal walks and seaside fun - just what we needed to escape the cold Melbourne winter! 

We ventured to Byron Bay, enjoying the scenery, viewing the stunning lighthouse and brunching at Three Blue Ducks restaurant at The Farm.  

We explored the quiet costal town of Kingscliff, trekking the seaside walking paths with the double pram, helping our toddler hunt for ‘treasure’, playing in the sand with baby and relishing in a much needed latte at the other end of the trail.  

And, we took a day trip to the Gold Coast checking out the views (and cafes!) at Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta. 

Here were some of our top finds on our trip: 

Gold Coast 

Our trip began on the Gold Coast, with our family arriving at the Gold Coast airport to pick up a hire car. Hiring the car made it a breeze to get around and explore the coast with our two little ones as we had baby seats hired, installed and ready to go from Avis the moment we touched down. Also a dream was the double pram we hired from Hire For Baby, who were an absolute pleasure to deal with and even had the pram waiting for us in the boot of our hire car on arrival - too easy!

We left the Gold Coast and made our way down to NSW for the majority of our trip, however we did make a day trip back up to the GC and found a few great cafes along the way - the Cardamon Pod is my absolute fave cafe on the Gold Coast - I wish there was one in Melbourne, Brumbles Cafe in Surfers was lovely - they do a delicious salad and the coffee is stand out (right up there with Melbourne coffee snob standards!). Another must visit if you are in the market for dinner on the Gold Coast is Greenhouse Canteen for it’s amazing take on street food. 

Kingscliff

The sleepy town of Kingscliff, in NSW, is a perfect stop on your seaside adventure, with it’s beautiful beaches, costal trails and great coffee. Our favourite spots to visit for brunch were Mockingbird Cafe for their amazing juices and delicious chia pudding, and Saltbean Expresso for their smoothies. Saltbean is located right opposite a great playground for your little ones to enjoy, and also right near the lovely Peppers accommodation and Salt Spa in Kingscliff.   

Byron Bay 

Heading to Byron Bay with kids presents a slightly different vibe than my formative years, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had! We all enjoyed the stunning views at the Byron Bay lighthouse. The Farm, home to the infamous Three Blue Ducks restaurant, was another massive hit with our little ones. As the name suggests it is in fact a working farm - with animals to see, vegetable crops to admire, a decent sized playground and lots of land to explore. The food at Three Blue Ducks was on point, with some great vegetarian options on offer - and they do a good cappuccino too. Santos Organics is also a must visit to stock up on some delicious organic produce for your trip. 

If you’re visiting this beautiful part of Australia with your little people I wish you a fantastic time! It sure is a beautiful part of the world. 

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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. 

 

 

 

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! 

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!