Family Holiday Sunshine Coast

Where should we stay for our Family Holiday on the Sunshine Coast?

Where is the Sunshine Coast?

The Sunshine Coast is located 100km north of the Queensland capital, Brisbane, in the south east of Queensland. It is the third most highly populated city in Queensland and taking a family holiday on the Sunshine Coast should be on everyone’s list.

Getting to the Sunshine Coast

Apart from all the amazing offerings the Sunshine Coast has, another great appeal for holiday makers, is the easy access visitors have to the Sunshine Coast.

Brisbane to Sunshine Coast By Car or Transfer

From Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast, by car, it is an easy drive up the Bruce Highway. Although the Bruce Highway can get busy, particularly during peak periods, it is the most direct route from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast.

On route, you will pass the popular Australia Zoo turn off, as well as the Glass House Mountains. Both are iconic to this area and you may like to consider making the time to stop in and explore.

Alternatively, you can book a transfer from Brisbane Airport to the Sunshine Coast – this certainly takes the stress out of getting from A to B.

Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast on public transport

From Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast by train is an excellent choice, as well. From Brisbane’s Central Station, travel by electric train for approximately one and a half hours, to arrive at the end of the line, Nambour.

Nambour is technically in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, however, is centrally located to reaching many destinations within the Sunshine Coast.

Fly to the Sunshine Coast

While you can fly from Brisbane and transfer to the Sunshine Coast, you also have the option to fly directly to Maroochydore, a popular holiday destination on the Sunshine Coast. The flights can be more expensive, however, you will certainly save on time. You can easily hire a car, directly from the airport and head off on your holiday. Alternatively, get a taxi or bus to your holiday location.

Why have a family holiday on the Sunshine Coast?

There are so many things to do on the Sunshine Coast for families, it is truly a great destination for a family holiday. Unlike a trip to Far North Queensland, a holiday on the Sunshine Coast, is much more accessible to families and it offers a wide range of activities, meaning there is something there for everyone.

Sunshine Coast Holidays and Beach Towns

There are lots of towns on the Sunshine Coast, that are definitely worth visiting. The bigger cities, however, are a great place to base yourself, to have a great Sunshine Coast family holiday. The most popular destinations on the Sunshine Coast are Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Noosa, Caloundra, Coolum and Bribie Island – all unique their own way.

MOOLOOLABA

It takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes to get from Brisbane to Mooloolaba.

Mooloolaba has a great beach side vibe and is a fantastic location for a family holiday on the Sunshine Coast. The Mooloolaba Esplanade has beachfront views and offers boutique shopping, cafes, restaurants and bars. The Mooloolaba Surf Club has always been a great family friendly place for a meal, be sure to book in to avoid disappointment.

The beach is popular for surfers, body surfing and body boarders. There is a walking track that stretches the length of the main beach and goes beyond; it is popular for locals and tourists, who like to get their daily walks and runs in. The beachfront also houses a children’s playground, toilets, picnic tables and a nice grassed area before meeting the sand.

Things to do in Mooloolaba with kids, big and little

Mooloolaba has a great deal to offer, without leaving the beachfront. However, there are so many great opportunities on the Sunshine Coast, you will have missed out on some amazing sites and activities if you don’t venture out a little.

Below are some popular tours and activities available from Mooloolaba, you might like to consider.

Mooloolaba Cruises
Underwater World and Sunshine Coast Tour
…and something just for the grown ups

Mooloolaba accommodation

Mooloolaba accommodation is all about location! When you decide where to stay in Mooloolaba, don’t forget to look at the map of Mooloolaba as this will help make your decision. Mooloolaba accommodation on the Esplanade would be a fantastic location, however, prices will be on the higher side.

Mooloolaba camping is a popular low cost accommodation option; Mooloolaba Caravan Parks also have cabins available to rent – Mooloolaba Beach Holiday Park comes highly recommended.

Mooloolaba Hotels and Resorts

There are several Mooloolaba Hotels that are recommended, take a look at these ones as a starting point:

Mooloolaba Apartments

MAROOCHYDORE

It takes approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes to get from Brisbane to Maroochydore.

Maroochydore is well known for its spectacular beaches, river precinct, leisure activities, shopping and casual vibe.

Maroochydore is the closest, major tourist town, to the Sunshine Coast Airport. Home to Sunshine Plaza, the big biggest shopping centre on the Sunshine Coast, you’ll have everything you need for a great Sunshine Coast family holiday.

Things to do in Maroochydore

Set on the Maroochy River and around the corner from Cotton Tree, a popular picnic and beach point for families, Maroochydore is a popular location for a Sunshine Coast family holiday.

There is a great coastal walk between Cotton Tree and Alexandra Headland with walking, running and biking opportunities for the whole family. Alexandra Headland is spotted with lovely beaches as well and is a popular surfing location.

Not far from Maroochydore, you will also be able to explore Buderim where you will find the Buderim Forest Park and Buderim Falls. The walk through the Buderim Forest to the Buderim Falls, is a great activity to do with kids on the Sunshine Coast.

From Maroochydore you should venture across to Gympie and visit the Ginger Factory which offers fun rides for kids, tours, and a unique retail opportunity and cafe nestle in beautiful sub-tropical gardens.

There are some great tour opportunities from Maroochydore including the Rainforest, Views, and Montville Day Tour which takes in many of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland highlights; as does this Full Day Private Tour for those looking for something more personal. For those of you who like craft beers, this Half-Day Coastal Craft Brewery Tour may be of interest – alternatively, check out where they’re going on the tour and take yourself!

If you are looking for Sunshine Coast mini-golf, the Maroochy River Mini Golf, is a lot of fun for the whole family.

Moroochydore Accommodation

The Maroochydore accommodation options are endless and certainly not just restricted to Maroochydore itself; Cotton Tree and Alexandra Headlands also offer great choices.

Moroochydore Hotels and Resorts

Moroochydore Apartments

NOOSA

It takes approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes to get from Brisbane to Noosa.

If you are flying in from Brisbane, you can also get a private airport to Noosa transfer, which may be a more convenient and an affordable option, depending on your group size.

Noosa is an iconic Sunshine Coast family holiday destination. It is known for its great beaches, rain forest walks and National Park, the Noosa River and the infamous Hastings Street.

Things to do in Noosa with kids, Family Friendly Activities

Noosa and it’s surrounds, undoubtedly offer some of the best Sunshine Coast beaches. If you are looking for picture perfect, white sandy beaches, you will find them if you are willing to explore at little. Some would say that Noosa’s main beach is the best beach on the Sunshine Coast.

…and something for the grown ups

Looking for something unique?

For something a little different (and to escape the crowds), you may like to learn to surf Australia’s longest wave at Double Island Point only accessible by 4WD vehicles! Alternatively, partake in a Stand Up Paddle lesson on Double Island.

For those not scared of heights, you could jump from an aeroplane on a tandem skydive from 15,000 feet up!

Go into the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Fraser Island

If you have the time to spare, make sure you get across to Fraser Island, at the very least for a day trip! Alternatively, you can get on an overnight tour to experience so much more of the magnificent Fraser Island.

Eumundi

A Sunshine Coast holiday is incomplete without visiting Eumundi on Market Day! Eumundi itself is lush, hilly and gives you a little taste of countryside in Queensland. If you are in Noosa over a weekend, make sure you get to the Eumundi Markets. They are hugely popular, offer a great range of stalls and have the most delicious food available to buy.

Noosa Accommodation

Noosa Hotels, Apartments and Noosa Resorts for families

Lots of accommodation caters really well for Noosa holidays for families. There are lots of Noosa family accommodation choices in and around Hasting St, as well as Noosaville which is also a great location for Sunshine Coast holidays.

CALOUNDRA

It takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to get from Brisbane to Caloundra.

Caloundra is the southern most town on the Queensland Sunshine Coast. Caloundra is a really popular Sunshine Coast family holiday destination for families, due to its proximity to Brisbane, the great beachfront and great beaches.

Things to do in Caloundra

There are endless opportunities on the Sunshine Coast with kids and Caloundra is no exception. For an easy Sunshine Coast family holiday, you could very easily, not look past Caloundra.

The Caloundra beachfront, or Kings Beach Foreshore, would have to be one of the most appealing set ups for families with young children. A beautiful grassed area, playground, picnic tables, BBQ facilities, toilets and a water park for kids to play in. Kings Beach, Caloundra is a popular beach for families, it is small, contained and easily accessible.

Kings Beach Foreshore is home to an Ocean Pool which is really popular and accessible to everyone! Kings Beach Foreshore Ocean Pool has shade sails, a free 25-metre sea-water lap pool, children’s swimming pool and wading area, as well as disabled access.

There are fantastic made and well maintained coastal walking tracks and boardwalks, that extend through the Sunshine Coast. They are really popular for visitors, as well as locals, getting their daily exercise in. Take the time to wander in both directions from Caloundra, to enjoy the sensational ocean views.

If you’re looking for something a little different on your beach holiday, for the kids (big and not so little – 12+), is Big Kart Track.

If you’re looking for somewhere to have lunch with the kids, the Dicky Beach Surf Club, is always popular and very family friendly. Alternatively, the Caloundra Hotel, or for a great burger, Hello Harry’s is recommended.

Caloundra accommodation

There are lots of Sunshine Coast family holiday accommodation options in Caloundra, it really is a superb place to take the family. If you are looking for good location, you are best to stay as close to Kings Beach Foreshore. Peak periods can be very busy in Caloundra and sometimes parking can be difficult; a good hotel location will eliminate car parking stress!

Caloundra Hotels and Resorts

Caloundra Apartments

Where to go in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

A trip to the Sunshine Coast is incomplete without visiting the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. You could explore the area for days and still not see everything, so if you have the time, you should consider staying a few nights, to really do it justice.

You will enjoy views of the Glass House Mountains, as you approach from Brisbane, as well as from many points around the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

The two main tourist towns in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland are Montville and Maleny – they are equally as gorgeous and both well worth a visit.

MALENY

Maleny is known for its undulating hills, artistic community and eco-conscious ways. Maple Stree, the main street in Maleny offers boutique stores, great organic cafes, bookstores and the historic hotel.

Gardeners Waterfalls are close by to explore, as is the picturesque Obi Obi Creek. In Maleny, you must go to the Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird Park. It is truly remarkable and offers exceptional views of the Glass House Mountains. For cheese lovers be sure to stop into Maleny Dairies, this is a place to take the kids who are not only welcome, they are encouraged.

MONTVILLE

Montville is a gorgeous little town in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Described as a unique shopping village, it is far more than that. Montville boasts great artistic charm with art galleries, trendy cafes and restaurants, boutique clothing stores and gift shops. Montville, ‘The Mont’ to locals, is set on the most wonderfully shady tree-lined street and offers incredible coastal views.

From Montville, you can also head to Mapleton and explore the Mapleton National Park and Mapleton Falls.

NAMBOUR

Technically Nambour is between the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and the Sunshine Coast Beaches, so if you are doing the trip from one to the other, make sure you stop in for a look. With kids, the highlight is the Big Pineapple and visiting the animals next door at Wildlife HQ.

Nambour has all of your shopping essentials, a plaza and a few quirky little shops dotted around. Rick’s Garage and Bar in Palmwood’s is a popular spot to take a walk down memory lane, while re-energising over lunch.

Accommodation Sunshine Coast Hinterland

What To Do In Albany, WA

What To Do In Albany and Accommodation In Albany

Where is Albany?

Albany is located approximately 400km south of Perth, in the Great Southern Region, Western Australia. Albany is a port city and is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia.

Perth to Albany, Albany to Perth

You can fly to Perth, hire a car and drive to Albany directly in approximately 5 hours, depending on the number of stops you need. The scenic route, however, is to drive along the Great Southern Highway, through Margaret River and the Karri Forests.

You can also fly directly into Albany from Perth or get a bus. Car hire in Albany is also an option if you choose to arrive by plane or bus. It is good to have a car when you are holidaying in Albany as there are so many great things to do in Albany’s surrounds.

What to do in Albany

Albany Visitor Centre

Visit the Albany Visitor Centre early on to pick up all of your essential maps and guides.

The Best Things To Do In Albany

There are lots of great Albany tourist attractions and you may not be able to get to them all. As a start, here are a list of things you should not miss when you are in Albany:

Whale Spotting Tour

During whale season (mid-May to mid-October), you MUST go on a whale spotting tour. If you’ve not seen whales in the wild, this is an absolute must – you will not be disappointed. The great thing is, you will spot more than just whales, you’ll see seals and dolphins too if you’re lucky!

Make sure you book in your tour so you don’t miss out on a spot. You can book the King George Sound Whale Watching Tour online.

The Gap, the Blowholes and Natural Bridge – Torndirrup National Park

If you have access to a car, take the scenic drive to The Gap and Natural Bridge. The Gap is a natural channel, created by the crashing waves of the Great Southern Ocean up against the rugged granite rock.

The Blowholes are very impressive (and can be noisy), especially if you’re there on a ‘stormy’ day – you may just need a waterproof outer layer and some ear muffs! The Natural Bridge if also a formation, as a result of the waters of the Great Southern Ocean.

You can do this for free yourself by car, or join a tour.

Walk the Esplanade from Middleton Beach to Albany

The Esplanade has a well maintained walking and cycling track which is frequently used by locals to keep up their fitness. For visitors, it is a must-do walk, if you are physically able. The views along the Esplanade are remarkable and the port town is beautifully highlighted as you walk towards Albany.

Be sure to step off the main track and explore the ruins of Point King Lighthouse.

Middleton Beach and Middleton Bay

Located just 4km from Albany City Centre, Middleton Beach and Middleton Bay are the most popular beach in Albany. It is easily accessible, complete with amenities, playground, a cafe and restaurant – Three Anchors.

History Enthusiasts

Visit the WA Museum (Albany), the Princess Royal Forts and the Brig Amity.

The Best Beaches In Albany

The Region is bursting with great beaches, it is often hard to choose which ones you should and shouldn’t go to! Here are the Top 5:

  • Goode Beach
  • Little Beach
  • Emu Point
  • Middleton Beach
  • Frenchman Bay
Goode Beach

Albany Tourist Attractions and Tours from Albany

There are a great range of tours available from Albany. You will need to plan your stay carefully to ensure you can see and do all of the great things that the Region has to offer!

Albany Accommodation

There are lots of places to stay in Albany and fortunately to suit all budgets.

Albany Caravan Parks and Holiday Parks

Airbnb Albany

Middleton Beach Accommodation

Visit Denmark

Albany to Denmark

Just fifty-three kilometres west of Albany, is the most gorgeous little town and region of Denmark. Denmark is an absolute must when holidaying in Albany.

What to do in Denmark

If you only have a day, you will have to explore quickly or simply choose a few things to do and do them well. Here is a list of the top things to do in Denmark:

Denmark Brewery, Meadery and Denmark Cidery

  • Bartholomews Meadery – visit and experience award winning and internationally renowned mead and honey.
  • Boston Brewing Co.
  • The Denmark Heritage Cider Company.

Denmark Wineries

The Lake House Cellar Door
  • The Lake House Cellar Door – a lovely destination for lunch in a natural setting and boasts rustic charm. Browse the store, taste local produce and purchase wine.
  • Rising Star Wines – one of the original vineyards in the area and just 4km from town.
  • Rockcliffe Wines – 5 red star winery set amongst the Karri trees, in the Scotsdale Valley just 3km from town.
  • Rickety Gate Wines – boutique producer of ultra-premium cool climate wines.
  • Poacher’s Ridge Winery and Cafe – spectacular views with a cafe, cellar door and gamekeepers cottage. It is located between Denmark and Mt Barker.
  • Moombaki Wines – Halliday 5 star rated and a hidden gem in the region and a little bit off the regular route.
  • Gilberts Wines, Cellar Door & Cafe – with regional cuisine being their speciality.
  • Freehand Natural Wine – they produce organic/biodynamic, small batch, hand crafted, premium quality wine without chemical additives both in the vineyard and winery.
  • Castelli Estate – one of the more eye catching wineries in Western Australia – opening hours are by appointment only.
  • Somerset Hill Wines – the most elevated vineyard in the region with views of the Southern Ocean and Stirling Ranges. The Cellar Door, however, is at the bottom of the hill.

Denmark Cheese Factory

Duckett’s Mill Wines is also home to Denmark Farmhouse Cheese; cheeses are handmade on site in their cheese factory. They have a range of soft and hard cheeses, you can order online or visit as it is open everyday. You can eat in and enjoy a cheese platter, their handmade fudge and taste their wine.

Darkside Chocolates

Enjoy tasting a range of unique flavoured handmade chocolates – the blue vein and mascarpone is truly divine!

Denmark Beaches

Denmark can boast some of the best beaches in Western Australia. Many of Denmark’s beaches are relatively short and end in granite cliffs, dune cliffs and long stretches of ocean.

Elephant Cove

West of Denmark, towards Walpole, is William Bay National Park and East is West Cape Howe National Park. You will not regret visiting any of these Denmark beaches.

  • Ocean Beach
  • Greens Pool
  • Elephant Cove
  • Lights Beach
Greens Pool

Denmark Accommodation

There are a number of great options for accommodation in Denmark. Top hotels in Denmark:

Airbnb Denmark

Camping in Denmark

Here you will find a comprehensive list of camping in the area.

Visit the Porongurup National Park

The Porongurup National Park is part of the Great Southern Region and just 40km from Albany. The Porongurup National Park protects the Porongurup Range, an ancient and mostly levelled mountain range which was formed in the Precambrian over 1200 million years ago. The granite peaked range, measures just 15km from east to west and it’s highest point is at the Devil’s Slide at 670m.

Albany to the Porongurups

From Albany to the Porongurups, it is just a short and pleasurable drive. Pack your bag with a picnic, water and snacks to keep you going throughout the day. Take a jacket to keep you warm through the cooler months, as the higher points can be a little chilly.

You will pay an entry fee to the park, then decide which track you are going to walk. There is an information shelter, BBQ area and toilets at the main car park.

Granite Skywalk, Castle Rock

The main walk from the car park at Castle Rock, up to Granite Skywalk is on a recognisable track, however, it can be slippery when it is wet. There are lots of great spots to stop along the way and enjoy the views and take in the bush land of the Porongurup National Park.

Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, particularly if you plan to walk out onto Granite Skywalk at Castle Rock. This is not for the fainthearted, but well worth the climb if you are physically able.

Take care when climbing the rocks and ladder, those with littler legs, may find it challenging. The ladder up to Granite Skywalk requires a certain level of fitness and nerve, especially on a windy day.

If you would prefer, you can book yourself into a guided tour to Granite Skywalk and Castle Rock.

Porongurup Accommodation

If you are looking for accommodation in the Porongurup area, you must find somewhere to enjoy the outlook. Have a look at these great highly recommended properties:

The Best Ways To Support The Australian Bushfire Recovery

THE BEST WAYS TO SUPPORT THE AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRE RECOVERY

In 2019 and 2020, Australia experienced a horrific bushfire season. Thousands of people’s livelihoods were struck down by the devastating bush fires which captured the world’s attention in December 2019. People from all over the world watched on helplessly as lives were lost, houses were destroyed, and communities were threatened. These were heartbreaking times for people around the world.

How can we support the fire affected areas in Australia?

The most obvious ways to support Australia’s bushfire affected areas, is to visit, with an empty esky and spend money! The most significantly impacted States during this time were Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

For many people across the world, this is not possible; never fear, however, there is another option It’s My Shout!

It’s My Shout! What is it and how does it work?

Established during the Australian 2019/2020 bush fire season, It’s My Shout, was a not for profit organisation formed to bring some relief to people in the fire effected areas and to bring communities together.

It’s My Shout was established as a way that people could help from wherever they were in the world. An opportunity for individuals to help business owners in a practical way. People can ‘pay it forward’ directly to those businesses in need; whether they book a virtual hotel room, buy a virtual coffee, or make a virtual purchase from a local shop.

It’s My Shout is run solely by volunteers and offers support to communities across fire affected areas in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

Please pay it forward and support a registered business through It’s My Shout!

Visit Bushfire Affected Areas in Australia

Visit Victoria

East Gippsland

Alpine Region

North East

Visit New South Wales

New South Wales Coast

Visit South Australia

Kangaroo Island

Adelaide Hills

Visit Australian Capital Territory

Kiah

TOP TIPS TO SAVE MONEY FOR YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY

Holidays and travel don’t have to the Earth. However, the reality is, that we all enjoy our trips a whole lot more, if we have a comfortable amount of money saved. Careful planning, budgeting, preparation, consideration and prioritising are key ways to save money.

NOW is the best time to get serious about planning your next holiday! Get yourself a log book specifically to record your spending and map out your plan for your savings.

Dream big and let’s make this happen!

TOP TIPS TO SAVE MONEY FOR YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY

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PLAN AHEAD, TO SAVE MONEY.

During the planning stages and in budgeting for a trip, it is good to have an idea of all of the extra things or sights you might like to see, as well as the costs associated.

Know the costs of your holiday expenses, including accommodation, flights and car hire. Based on the costs associated with the above aspects of your holiday, you will have a better idea of what is possible and how much money you will need to save for your holiday.

Know what you might like to do and see when you are on your trip. Get yourself a travel guide, do your research and understand the location. Lonely Planet Guides are our favourites, they provides lots of great information and real recommendations by people who have travelled to all of the great places you can see.

Lonely Planet Guides are available for countries, states, regions and also have speciality guides. Below are some popular Lonely Planet Guides available:

AustraliaS.E. AsiaEurope
East Coast AustraliaVietnamSpain
Australia’s Best TripsJapanLondon
Coastal QLDIndiaItaly
West Coast AustraliaBaliParis

CREATE YOUR PERSONAL MONEY SAVING PLAN.

Once you’ve established your needs, make a plan. Get yourself a notebook specifically for this and get organised! Write it all down, make notes on all of your outgoing expenses and then make a plan for how you will save for your next holiday.

Work out exactly how much money you will need to save (and by when), before you lock yourself into the trip. Budget-budget-budget!

BE REALISTIC.

Be real! Don’t get yourself into something that you cannot get yourself out of. Work out exactly where the money coming from, to pay for the trip.

Consider your departure date and the duration of your trip, in accordance with what you can afford. Don’t get yourself to a point where you have no money while you are away – a holiday is no fun if you have to watch every penny you spend (speaking from experience here!).

RESEARCH AND SAVE.

Do your research is my number one tip for how to save money when travelling! There are so many cheap travel options and the best holiday deals are always available – you just need to find them!

Troll the travel websites, look for the best deals, keep an eye out for sales, join travel groups and learn from those out there doing it regularly.

Talk to a variety of travel agents and see what everyone is offering. Utilise schemes like Flight Centre price match!

Check out the multiple booking sites for accommodation, research for the best accommodation choices. Make sure your accommodation is suitable for your needs and in an appropriate location. Read reviews on accommodation, from people who have stayed there themselves!

Consider whether the additional cost to the accommodation, might outweigh the need to hire a car. Perhaps the additional cost of getting a self-catering apartment, might save money for you in being able to prepare meals.

Keep an eye on deals sites such as Get Your Guide, they often have great ticket prices for activities and excursions.

All inclusive holiday deals and holiday package deals are not always the cheapest way to go. Additionally, ‘kids fly and stay free’ are also not always the cheapest ways to go! Do your research!

FRUGAL LIVING.

In the lead up to a holiday, adopt a frugal living approach to life! Ask yourself whether your purchases are really necessary or whether they are just things your want. Don’t spend money on things you really don’t need!

Do you really need that new dress? Perhaps, save your money buy a new dress on your holiday instead. If you’re a coffee snob like I am, you will want a good coffee everyday. Buy yourself some ground coffee and a coffee plunger instead of spending the $5 per coffee each day.

We love our stainless steel plunger for travelling – this would be our recommendation if you are thinking of taking it away on your trip with you! This is one of our tips in our Top Tips For Budget Holidays post!

BRANDSTYLESIZE
Wild Horse GlobalInsulated and Stainless Steel1L/8 cups
French Press: ChambordGlass with Chrome frame8 cups
French PressGlass with Chrome frame350ml/2-4 cups
French PressStainless Steel350ml

EASY WAYS TO SAVE MONEY.

Here is a list of things that we have incorporated into our everyday life, to save money for our next holiday.

  • Drink plunger coffee.
Homemade Pizzas, Home Meals.
  • Make ‘take-away’ foods (such as pizza) ourselves.
  • Pack a school lunch every day.
  • Bake snacks for the kids.
  • Walk or ride a bike as a form of transport when we can – every little bit helps!
  • Be organised with time so we’re not grabbing food on the run.

HOW TO SAVE MONEY FROM SALARY.

Allocate a certain amount of money to holiday savings each time you get paid and put it in a separate account so you can’t/don’t touch it. Large and small amounts of money, all help!

You can talk to your business manager at work and ask them to put a certain amount of money (or percentage of your pay) in a separate account – this way, you don’t even see it!

HOW TO BUDGET AND SAVE.

Create a spreadsheet or a system that works for you. List all of the bills you have to pay, roughly how much they are month to month and what date they are to be paid.

Work out which bills will be paid for, from week to week. Also, whether you need to put small amounts aside each week for those bigger bills, so they don’t really hurt when it is time to pay them – car registrations, for example.

Set yourselves an allowance for free spending each week, just like it is a bill to pay. Make sure you don’t overspend from your ‘play money’ or dip into other accounts some unnecessary items.

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Eastern Grampians With Kids

Eastern Grampians Region – The Grampians With Kids

When it comes to things to do in Western Victoria with kids, there simply is so much! For Victorians and those in the east of South Australia, it is an easy family road trip. Alternatively, do a fly and drive from Melbourne Tullamarine or Avalon Airport.

Beaches, mountains, long stretches of roads, great eateries, pubs, bars and accommodation. Museums and galleries, markets, music festivals, adventure activities and so much more! There are so many great things to do in Victoria for families.

Covered in the Eastern Grampians Region is Ararat, Pomonal, Lake Bolac and Moyston – there are so many great things to do in the Grampians with kids.

LOOKING FOR MORE THINGS TO DO IN WESTERN VICTORIA WITH KIDS? VISIT VICTORIA SOUTH WEST OR SOUTHERN GRAMPIANS.

TOWNS TO VISIT IN THE EASTERN GRAMPIANS WITH KIDS

ARARAT

Where is Ararat?

Ararat – the gateway to the Grampians.   It is conveniently located 1 hour west of Ballarat and only a quick 30-40 minute drive to Halls Gap.  Ararat is a great place to visit with families.  Everything is located a quick 5 minutes from the centre of town – supermarket, movie theatre, skate park, gardens, cafes and shops. 

Things to do with kids in Ararat

An all time favourite for locals and visitors is the Alexandra Gardens. It’s a great place to ride bikes around the gardens, play on the play equipment or go for a walk through the Fairy Garden. On a Saturday at 8am, ParkRun is enjoyed by a lot of people in Ararat; many running or walking with their children.

The Astor Movie theatre or one of the pools in Ararat is also a real hit.  During the Summer, children of all ages flock to the outdoor pool.  It has a new water slide and splash playground for the babies/toddlers to enjoy.

Many people wouldn’t realise that Ararat has a lot of history.  Great family places to visit to learn more about the history in Ararat: Gum San Chinese MuseumLangi Morgala MuseumJ-Ward, and Aradale.

Green Hill Lake is on the edge of Ararat.  Many families like to go and camp out at the free camp grounds around the lake especially on long weekends and during the Summer.  This is a particularly busy spot when the lake is full.

Bush walks through some of the many trails around the area is very popular.  An easy walk if you have little ones, is the Venus Baths Loop, in Halls Gap.  A visit to Halls Gap isn’t complete without a stop at Coolas Ice Creamery. 

Where to eat in Ararat

Ararat has a number of great cafes to offer a friendly place to stop and eat in.  Foragers Café is located at the entrance of the Ararat Art Gallery and has some yummy items on the menu.  Other cafes located in the main street include Fred and Bets, The Vines and S.E.D.E. . For people staying in Ararat overnight looking for a place to eat out, the top three recommendations are Sicilians Restaurant, Blue Duck Hotel and The RSL.

Accommodation in Ararat

If you’re looking for accommodation in Ararat, there are several options.  The Ararat Motor Inn is located at the Melbourne end of Barkly Street and has all the conveniences you need for a comfortable stay.

You can see more family accommodation options and up-to-date prices and details here.

Look here, for Ararat accommodation reviews.

By Emma CoburnEat Pray Lovel Travel.

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POMONAL

Where is Pomonal?

Pomonal is located in the Eastern Grampians. It is a small town consisting of a General Store, Primary School, Community Hall, family friendly wineries, a bistro, small businesses and a whole lot of charm. Pomonal is located just 10 minutes from the popular town of Halls Gap; and, makes for a great alternative from the hustle and bustle of its neighbouring town!

Things to do with kids in Pomonal

There are lots of fantastic places to visit in Pomonal, that you really do need a few days to get around to everything and enjoy it! A very popular place to visit is Five Ducks Farm, where homemade preservative free ice cream and amazing condiments are available to taste and buy. The magnificent work of artist James McMurtrie, is available to be seen at his glass blowing studio, this is located on the road between Pomonal and Moyston.

Visit one of the many wineries in the Grampians Region, more locally you’ll find Pomonal Estate and Fallen Giants. If you’re lucky, you can time your trip to coincide with one of the popular Pomonal Community Markets, where you will meet many of the local growers and small business holders – including Blue Wren Bakery which does not have a shop front.

If you are an adventurous family there are a great number of family friendly walks in the Grampians National Park. Pack a picnic, wander and explore some of the more hidden tracks or bush spots, including Kalymna Falls Campground. If you’re feeling very energetic, with preparation and well trained children, you can walk up the back of Mt William to the lookout. This outing, however, is not for the faint-hearted – pack plenty of water, snacks and jumpers.

Once you’ve exhausted all Pomonal has to offer, venture out to surrounding towns or head into Halls Gap to explore the main tourist town of the Northern Grampians Region.

Places to eat with kids in Pomonal

Pomonal Estate

If you enjoy good food as well as wine, beer and cider, look no further than Pomonal Estate. The cellar door offers beer/cider and wine paddles and by the glass, food from the menu, homemade cakes from the display fridge and a genuine welcome.

Wine Paddle

The grassed area boasts incredible mountain views and a relaxed family friendly atmosphere. Enjoy the outdoor lounges, table and chairs or picnic blankets, while the kids run around and kick a ball or play cricket. The indoor area is modern, clean and beautifully presented, with floor to ceiling windows for maximal mountain viewing.

Cheese Platter at Pomonal Estate

There is something on the menu for everyone for lunch, as well as an afternoon visit! Pep and Adam, owners of Pomonal Estate, have made their cellar door a “one-stop-shop” where people can come and stay, relax and enjoy their time with all needs met.

Accommodation is also available at Pomonal Estate – check out the latest prices and details.

Grampians General Store

The Grampians General Store makes great Mahalia Coffee and has a range of milk available to suit your needs. It has cafe-style seating inside and outside in the garden. You can pick up your every day needs as well as the extensive range of local produce from the area!

Barney’s Bistro Bar

You can head to Barney’s Bistro Bar for a good pub meal, a great outlook from outside and a unique shearing shed style building. Bookings are essential as it gets quite busy. There is a basic children’s menu and a big screen to keep them seated and entertained.

Accommodation in Pomonal

Pomonal is such a lovely and quiet part of the Grampians – staying here will certainly create a slower paced and relaxed time away. Check out the latest prices and more details.

Love To Travel, Stay-Eat-Do highly recommend the family friendly, Views at Pomonal. The accommodation is set apart from the owners residence, it has a private yard and uninterrupted views of the Grampians.

The unit is very clean, well maintained and has all essentials to have an enjoyable family stay. The two bedroom accommodation sleeps 5, with bedding configuration being a queen room and triple bunks. The master bedroom boasts floor to ceiling glass doors, which open up to the deck and magnificent mountain views.

The living space consists of a couch, dining table and good size kitchen with all the necessities. Surrounding the house is a deck which allows you to take in the incredible views from all angles. There is outdoor seating and dining, just waiting for you to enjoy the peace and quiet of this lovely Pomonal accommodation.

You’re welcome to wander through the paddock, feed the resident alpacas and pat Rex the family Red Heeler.

Do yourself a favour and take the time to set up for a few days. There is something very relaxing and easy about staying at Views at Pomonal.

Victoria’s South West With Kids

Beaches, mountains, long stretches of roads, great eateries, pubs, bars and accommodation. Museums and galleries, markets, music festivals, adventure activities and so much more! There are so many great things to do in Victoria with kids.

Where to go on the Great Ocean Road and the best places to visit in South West Victoria with kids.

When it comes to things to do in Western Victoria with kids, there simply is so much! For Victorians and those in the east of South Australia, it is an easy family road trip. Alternatively, do a fly and drive from Melbourne Tullamarine or Avalon Airport.

Map of Western Victoria

Covered in the Victoria South West series is Anglesea, Derrinallum, Koroit, Lorne, Mortlake, Noorat, Port Campbell and Warrnambool.

LOOKING FOR MORE THINGS TO DO IN WESTERN VICTORIA? VISIT SOUTHERN GRAMPIANS and EASTERN GRAMPIANS.

The Great Ocean Road and South West Victoria offers some of the most spectacular beaches in Victoria, holiday destinations, luxury accommodation, coastal towns and waves for surfing in Australia.

*Disclosure: There are affiliate links throughout this article. Should you choose to purchase through a link, Love To Travel, Stay-Eat-Do may earn a small. This will be at no extra cost to you.

ANGLESEA

Anglesea is a beautiful, family friendly, seaside town on The Great Ocean Road in south west Victoria. It is one of the most popular holiday destinations along The Great Ocean Road, partly due to its close proximity to Geelong and Melbourne.

What to do in Anglesea

Learn to surf, kayak, ride a SUP by local experts. The patrolled and protected beach is fabulous for families of all ages. The river mouth offers more gentle wading for younger children. Depending on the tide, the ocean can be great for surfing, body surfing, kayaking, SUP and often just floating around. There is plenty of sand for the ever loved sandcastles to be constructed as well.

Make sure you walk along the coastal walking track up to the look out, near the surf life saving club. If you are up early, the sunrises are spectacular and well worth a look.

Next to the river, there are parklands that can be enjoyed by all. Bike tracks, walking tracks, picnic tables and BBQ facilities. It is a great place to find yourself some shade on the warmer days. Heading out towards the tip, there is a BMX track which is popular with kids (big and little).

At the entrance to the beach there is large car park, with toilets, picnic tables and a playground. The mouth of the river is a popular spot for younger families to wade and play, as it is more protected. Be warned though, it is not a patrolled area.

Where to eat in Anglesea

Anglesea has everything you need from a supermarket, to boutique shops, take away options, chemist, news agency, banks, butcher, bakery. As well as lovely dining choices as well as the family friendly local pub.

Take away menus are rife in Anglesea, making dining in and not cooking a great option! Offshore Cafe and Catering is well priced and serves a range of healthy food choices and something to suit everyone in the family. The bakery is great and the fish and chip shop does a great burger! The ice creamery, no surprise, is also a very popular spot with the kids!

The pub does a great meal at lunch or dinner. In the Summer months, you need to get in early or book, to avoid disappointment.

Anglesea Accommodation

Accommodation options in Anglesea for families are extensive . The Big 4 Anglesea is a fantastic choice. There is hours of entertainment within the park, available to children and families; including a swimming pool, oversized chessboard, games room and more. With the friendly welcome, great appearance and excellent location between the shops and the beach, Big 4 Anglesea is really great option.

For Airbnb options have a look at this central modern 3 bedroom beachside property, the beachy looking Melba Beach Bunker, for something on the river, or The Little Beach Retreat.

Check out the most up-to-date prices and details for your Anglesea stay.

CRESSY

Cressy is a cute little town with a picnic area, the Cressy Historical Centre and Historic Cressy Discovery Trail. If you come through Cressy, follow the signs to the Hotel and have a look at the original street with old shop fronts and the fabulous carving of the Brolga.

DARLINGTON

Darlington is a small town in Western Victoria. It is the home of the gorgeous blue stone Elephant Bridge Hotel. The Hotel has meals available, is a Bed and Breakfast and café. It is also on the Vline route between Warrnambool and Ballarat.

Darlington is also home to the Mid-Western Speedway, belonging to the Mortlake Car Club Inc.

DERRINALLUM

At the foot of Mount Elephant sits the lovely country town of Derrinallum, in Victoria South West. Derrinallum is a nicely presented and well-maintained country town in Western Victoria.

In town, there is a Food Works supermarket, historical information shelter, Post Office, library, takeaway cafes, a pharmacy, pub and petrol station.

Things to do in Derrinallum

There is a playground at the local Reserve, picnic tables and public toilets in the main street.

For volcano enthusiasts, and those who enjoy a fantastic view, a walk up Mount Elephant is a must with a well maintained trail owned and operated by the local community.

Cycling along the old stone walls of the district is a great way to see the area, followed by some fishing or water sports on one of the nearby lakes.

You can also explore the Derrinallum Discovery Trail.

Accommodation in Derrinallum

Accommodation is available at the Mount Elephant Hotel Motel, who also serve up pub meals in the evening. Airbnb have several local choices; or, alternatively there is camping at the Deep Lake Reserve.

FORREST

Forrest is set in the heart of the Otway Ranges and known as the Gateway to the Otways. It is a gorgeous little town in South West Victoria, surrounded by beautiful trees and bushland. Forrest is a popular town to visit, inland from the iconic coast, in the Great Ocean Road Hinterland.

In recent years, Forrest has become a popular spot for mountain bike riding and trail running. As well as being a great destination for adventure activities, it is also is an excellent place to relax and get out amongst nature!

There are loads of great walks, picnic locations, waterfalls to be seen and so much more. Here is a guide on three incredible waterfalls in the Otways National Park. For adventure seekers, make sure you check out the Otway Fly Zipline Tour and the Otway Fly Treetops Walk.

Forrest boasts outstanding food and dining options, which feature the local produce in the area. The Forrest Brewing Company is a popular spot for craft beer and a great pub meal, with atmosphere; alternatively, there is Bespoke Harvest and the Terminus Hotel.

As Forrest has become a more popular town in the South West of Victoria, accommodation options have increased significantly. There are options for all budgets – from free camps, four star bed and breakfasts, hotels, guest houses and cabins.

Here you can see the most up-to-date prices and details for accommodation in Forrest.

KOROIT

Koroit is a pleasant little township in south west Victoria, just a short drive off The Great Ocean Road. Koroit is known to be one of Australia’s best representation of early Irish settlement. The town itself is full of history, charm and has a genuine sense of community.

Things to do in Koroit

There is lots on offer in Koroit. It is home to a number of events which bring crowds to this popular western Victorian village. The most popular being the Koroit Irish Festival which is held annually.

Tower Hill is well worth a visit; a dormant volcano thought to have last erupted 30,000 years ago, was declared Victoria’s first National Park. Koroit has lovely Botanical Gardens, a Heritage Walk through the towns most historic points; an Art Gallery and is part of the newly developed Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail.

Eat in Koroit

Our choice dining option and somewhere that offers something for everyone, is Izzy’s Restaurant. The restaurant was established by Izzy’s Group in 2007 and after extensive renovation in August 2019, the restaurant re-opened with a striking new interior. The cosmopolitan menu includes moreish European style pizzas, a delicious list of starters that can be shared with a glass of wine in front of the fire, sizzling steaks from the grill, and an incredible selection of seafood dishes and vegetarian options. A comprehensive takeaway menu is of great appeal to holiday-makers and locals wanting an easy night in. Izzy’s Restaurant is open on Wednesday through to Sunday from 5pm until late.

Koroit Accommodation

For family friendly accommodation in Koroit, check out the best deals and details.

LISMORE

Lismore is a well-resourced town with all the essentials, including a Post Office, petrol station, hardware store, the Blue Yabby Café with dine in or take away options. There is a Food Works supermarket, pharmacy, as well as a number of gift stores – including The Wooltrack Store, which sells Uggs, woollen products and gifts.

There is a Golf Course on the edge of town, with the Fairway Café on the highway. The café is home to a marvellous silo art piece, on a water tank. Warrnambool artist, Jimmi Buscombe’s work includes native Brolgas as well as sheep which has been the basis of the town’s economy since it was founded in the 1850’s.

There are a few accommodation options in Lismore. The Lismore Hotel is conveniently located on the main street of town. It offers bar meals as well as a bed and breakfast.

Browns Water Holes Caravan Park is conveniently located next to the public swimming pool and Grimwade Park, which has a BBQ, playground and picnic table. It is also the beginning of the Lismore Discovery Trail, which can be done on foot and takes in the township of Lismore. The route is approximately 2.5km and takes roughly 50 minutes. Unless you make the odd detour to a shop of drop into the Birdcage Café for a coffee! 

LORNE

Perched above a beautiful golden beach overlooking Loutit Bay, Lorne has long been a holiday destination for those seeking a seaside break from the big smoke of Melbourne. As one of the larger towns along The Great Ocean Road, Lorne remains a popular stop off point for those driving Australia’s most famous road.

Lorne with kids

Though fairly compact Lorne has plenty to keep you occupied. At the entrance to the town is The Great Ocean Road Story. This small museum documents the backbreaking effort that went into building the iconic road by returning soldiers after the First World War.

Lorne Pier

Lorne’s gorgeous beach is also a popular surfing spot, whilst Lorne Pier is a great place for fishing. As with much of the coastline along The Great Ocean Road, Lorne Pier is also a great place to look out for whales as they migrate during the winter. Just above Lorne is the famous Teddy’s Lookout, a wonderful vantage point with spectacular views over the sea and the winding Great Ocean Road.

Teddy’s Lookout

There’s plenty to explore just outside Lorne. There are walking trails through the forests near Teddy’s Lookout where you might spot koalas in the wild. There are also a number of spectacular waterfalls nearby in the Great Otway National Park. Erskine Falls and Shoak Falls are both just a few minutes’ drive from the centre of Lorne.

Where to eat in Lorne with kids

Lorne Beach and Loutit Bay

Lorne is also blessed with a number of great places to eat. The Bottle of Milk is the perfect place for a healthy breakfast or brunch. Sat right on the beach, the Lorne Beach Pavillion has the best views in town, as well as a great range of cocktails.

Lorne Pier Seafood also has a pretty special view as well as the best seafood menu in town. The best pizza in Lorne can be found tucked away next to the Erskine River at the excellent Pizza Pizza.

Accommodation in Lorne

There’s no shortage of places to stay in Lorne either. The Lorne Hotel is one of the best in town and also has a great restaurant and bar. The historic Grand Pacific Hotel is full of character and charm and has fantastic ocean views. The Sandridge Motel is another great option, with good sized comfy rooms and the entire town and the beach right on its doorstep.

This Lorne property which boasts a flat walk to the beach. It is an easy stay for larger families or groups, with easy access to the beach and shops. With a mezzanine bedroom over the living space and lower level bedrooms, the house can sleep 12. It is nicely located away from the hustle and bustle of the main street in Lorne, however, is also very close to the supermarket for ease of shopping for your tribe!

Check out the most up-to-date accommodation deals and details in Lorne.

By James Davies. Where You’re Between.

MORTLAKE

Mortlake is a nice little town in the South West of Victoria. It is well presented, maintained and boasts some beautifully restored hotels and buildings.

Things to do in Mortlake

Known as the Olivine capital of Australia, this green crystal can be found in the volcanic bombs ejected from nearby Mount Shadwell thousands of years ago. More recent history is celebrated in a large number of bluestone buildings dating back as far as 1857 with a well-established heritage trail to follow.

On the road between Mortlake and Noorat (and Terang), you will be amazed by the Terang – Mortlake Road Wall. This interesting attraction is part of the western Victorian Dry Stone Wall Heritage Trail.

On the road between Noorat and Mortlake. Mt Noorat ahead and the Terang – Mortlake Road Wall to the right.

Take a break from the trail to shop for vintage treasures and antiques, dine at one of the restaurants or cafes, or enjoy a famous Clarke’s pie sitting in the Market Square.

Mortlake Accommodation

Accommodation options range from the two equally charming restored hotels, Macs Hotel and Mt Shadwell Hotel.

The Shack at West Cloven Hills, is a nearby Airbnb property which oozes country charm and shouldn’t be overlooked!

For camping or caravan families, the very clean and friendly Mortlake Caravan Park, is an excellent option. Located alongside the picturesque Tea Tree Lake, which has a well made walking or cycling track around – a fantastic place for the kids to ride their bikes. The skate park and playground are also sure to keep the kids entertained.

Picnic under the sheltered areas, or throw a rug under a large shady green tree. There are tables and chairs to be used and electric BBQ’s available.

NOORAT

Noorat is a small town, in South West Victoria, nestled into the base of Mt Noorat. Mt Noorat is a dormant volcano considered to have the largest dry crater in Australia.

Things to do with kids

A popular walk is this western Victorian town, is the Alan Marshall Walking Track to the crater and a superb lookout. You can also walk around town to see buildings and locations significant to Alan Marshall.

Across the road from the hotel, you’ll find Maryland Store, a well loved store where you’ll find vintage items and plants and very friendly customer service. For something a little different visit successful local milliner Georgina Conheady in the historic town hall for a bespoke hat.

Accommodation in Noorat

Food and accommodation needs are taken care of at the beautifully restored Mount Noorat Hotel. Head in for a well-earned drink, a hearty meal, a charming place to sleep and a chat to locals and visitors alike. Alternatively, look up Arnolds at Noorat on Airbnb for a full house and self catering option.

PORT CAMPBELL

A trip to south west Victoria along The Great Ocean Road is incomplete without a trip to Port Campbell. Home of Port Campbell National Park and the exquisite point for a visit to see the wonders of Twelve Apostles.

Things to do in Port Campbell

The most obvious thing to do in Port Campbell, is go and marvel at the Twelve Apostles. These limestone stacks are a sight to be seen and well worth the journey. There are still seven of the original stacks, after one collapsed in 2005. There is exceptional viewing from the viewpoints, please take care, pay attention to and obey signage.

Family fun is well catered for with free activities available from the Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre. There is the Crater to Coast Discovery Activities: ranging from Wind Hunter; Digital Detectives; Quick Snap Scavenger Hunt; and Stargazers. You can also pop in and loan binoculars.

If you’re feeling so inclined and like to fly, check out the flights over the 12 Apostles!

Family friendly places to eat

There are great food and drink options in town. These include Forage on the Foreshore and The Sow and Piglets Micro Brewery. From Port Campbell you also have the advantage of easy access to explore the 12 Apostles Food Artisans Gourmet Trail.

Accommodation in Port Campbell

With plenty of accommodation in Port Campbell to match all budgets, there is something for everyone! Check out the best prices and details to create your stay most memorable.

For Airbnb options, check out this Seaside Escape, Old School House or Bayview Apartment.

PORT FAIRY

East Beach

This gorgeous South West town, on the Great Ocean Road, is a must for all Victorian travellers. Port Fairy oozes history with its nineteenth century stone cottages, charm, community and creativity. It is a popular family holiday destination, girls weekend away or romantic escape for couples.

Things to do in Port Fairy with kids

The hub of Port Fairy is based around the Fiddler’s Green, which intersects the main streets for shopping, cafes and restaurants. The ‘Village Green’ is a popular meeting point, a great spot for a picnic, for kids to run around and for enjoying the performances or live music that take the stage.

Port Fairy boasts some of the most magnificent Victorian beaches and is a popular holiday destination for families. East Beach is popular for surfers, stand-up paddle boarders, kayaks and the popular Surf Life Saving Club. During the Summer months, the beaches are buzzing with tourists who are lapping up the beautiful waters. East Beach extends to the east and many locals and tourists alike, enjoy the long beach walks to start their day. To the west, is a picturesque stretch of beach with the Port Fairy Lighthouse on Griffiths Island to admire.

Griffiths Island is a beautiful way to enjoy a quiet part of Port Fairy, take in some unique views and find some small sandy beaches to splash and paddle in – these, however, are not patrolled, so care must be taken. The views are stunning and the walk is easy and very enjoyable. The track leading directly to the Lighthouse is wheelchair accessible, however, a full lap of the island unfortunately, is not possible.

South Beach

A little further west is South Beach, otherwise known as Pea Soup. This lovely little protected beach is very popular for families to swim, paddle, float and snorkel; however, this beach is not patrolled.

Port Fairy Surf School is a great option for learning to surf and stand-up paddle board; they also offer snorkel safaris and kayak adventures. Daktari Sports runs the SurfGroms program is available for booking in Port Fairy and Warrnambool.

Off the water, you can join Historic Town or Wharf Walking Tours, which depart from the Visitor Information Centre. If you are an Art lover, follow and explore the local Art Map, which is a collection of galleries and studios open to the public.

Port Fairy Geo Tours is an eco-tourism company offering tours in this unique volcanic hinterland on the Southern Ocean coast of The Great Ocean Road. Port Fairy is home to regular markets, with the Farmer’s Market and the Community House Markets, both being very popular.

The Wharf is an absolute gem in Port Fairy and you must take yourself down to have a look. Wander along the walk way, admire the boats and lovely accommodation options, go fishing, take a boat trip out along the Moyne River past the Lighthouse or simply ‘stop and smell the roses’. At the Griffiths Island end of the Wharf, there is a great playground for the kids to enjoy, public toilets and plenty of space for a picnic.

You can hire bikes from the Port Fairy Information Centre in Bank St, for 4 hours or a full day. Enjoy exploring the streets, or if you are up for a bigger challenge, take yourself on the Port Fairy-Warrnambool Rail Trail, which takes you through the Irish inspired town of Koroit.

This lovely little Great Ocean Road town is well known for the Port Fairy Folk Festival. Tourists come from all directions to enjoy fabulous music which line the streets and a great festive feel over the March Long Weekend. Tickets into the main stage events and accommodation, are fast to sell out for this event, so you must get in early to avoid disappointment.

Where to eat in Port Fairy

Your dining options in Port Fairy are endless! From lovely cafes to eat-in or take-away, great restaurants to enjoy a sophisticated meal out, bars and pubs and higher end dining.

For the best pizza in South West Victoria head to Coffin Sally. It has a super cool atmosphere and the food is amazing! The menu is extensive, the service if friendly and it is a place that you want to continue to go back to.

For great coffee, brunch and lunch our recommendations are The Farmer’s Wife and Bank St + Co.

Accommodation for families

View from Moyne Cottage

Accommodation options in Port Fairy are everywhere! From self contained apartments, to caravan parks, hotels, motels, holiday stays and Air BnB options. Check out the most up-to-date deals and details.

Victoria Apartments are in a fantastic location, central to the hub of town, shops, restaurants and just a short walk to the beaches. The Apartments are clean, modern, spacious and very family friendly.

An Airbnb recommendation for families who are looking for great value for money, casual and relaxed, great location, family friendly, space and character – Moyne Cottage – between the river and the sea. Moyne Cottage has everything you need for a comfortable stay and the added bonus of it sleeping larger size families and there being two living spaces.

Port Fairy Big 4 Holiday Park is located just on the outer edge of town. Another excellent choice for families and so much to entertain the kids with! An indoor swimming pool, jumping pillow, pedal carts, play room and a kids club.

Gum Tree Caravan Park is located just out of Port Fairy and is a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of this popular tourist town. It is an excellent choice for families, there is a playground on site, amenities are clean and the park has a very friendly atmosphere.

TERANG

Terang is a small town in the Western District of Victoria. It is just a short drive from the popular and well known town of Warrnambool.

Things to do in Terang

The main road that goes through Terang, is wide divided road, with a beautiful grassed medium strip.

Large shady trees line the middle of the road, making it a nice place to stop for a picnic, sit and read a book or take in the historic buildings surrounding you.

Eat in Terang

Award winning pies and all of your bakery needs.

Terang has all of your everyday essentials, including an IGA supermarket. Make sure you stop in at the Bakery, for award winning pies and/or vanilla slice!

Accommodation in Terang

There are a number of accommodation choices in Terang, including this Airbnb property which sleeps 6 people.

If you are travelling as part of a group, looking for something really special, don’t disregard this exquisite 19th century property.

WARRNAMBOOL

Found at the western end of the Great Ocean Road, Warrnambool is famous for its rugged beauty and the Southern Right Whales that arrive every winter for their annual calving. Between June and September, these magnificent whales birth their calves in the “nursery” areas close to the shoreline. The best place to spot them is from the specially built viewing platform at Logans Beach.

Things to do with kids in Warrnambool

By Audrey Chalmers – Gumnuts Abroad

Warrnambool is situated on the Shipwreck Coast and its spectacular coastline is the final resting place for dozens of shipwrecks. Visitors to the region can hear the stories of the crewmen and passengers whose lives were lost, at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and Museum.

A highlight of the museum is the fabulous reconstructed outdoor village that gives visitors a taste of what life was like for Australia’s early settlers. While you’re there be sure to stop by the cute Tea Rooms for scrumptious scones with jam and cream. In the evenings the museum holds a Sound And Light Show where visitors can learn about those who braved the Southern Ocean in search of a new life.  

Lake Pertobe is an absolute must stop for families and one of Warrnambool’s best kept secrets. There are playgrounds for all ages, a great space to run, picnic, BBQ and enjoy some quality family time. From the slides, swings, maze, climbing frame and flying fox, you could literally spend an entire day there. You can also hire a paddle bike or boat for some time on the lake.

A trip to Warrnambool wouldn’t be right without stopping by Allansford Cheese World. Here visitors can sample award-winning cheeses and browse a variety of local produce and wines.

The Cheese World museum is a trip back in time with a collection of farm machinery, household items, and mementos from the early 1900s. There’s a lovely café onsite that serves breakfast, light lunches and snacks. 

With Warrnambool’s museums, gardens, walking trails, nature and stunning beaches, this south west sea-side town is the perfect place to spend a few days with the family in Western Victoria.

Where to eat in Warrnambool with kids

One of the best places to eat in this lovely south west Victorian town, is Bohemia Cafe and Bar. The food is absolutely sensational! With a creative menu, bohemian space, family friendly and great customer service, it is no surprise it is always busy. Located in the town centre, there is plenty of parking, walking distance to all essential shops and boutique stores.

Bojangles and The Flying Horse are also popular dining places for families.

Accommodation in Warrnambool

The Warrnambool Holiday Park and Motel offers great family accommodation. The jumping castle and playground will keep the kids entertained for hours. The Park and Motel is conveniently located just off Raglan Parade, meaning you are close by to everything.

The Comfort Inn On Raglan and Blue Whale Motor Inn and Apartments are both well both kept accommodation options with family rooms, some rooms with self catering facilities. Both are just a 5-10 minute drive to Logan’s Beach, a popular viewing point during the whale season. A few minutes down the road, is Warrnambool city centre; and Gateway Plaza with all of your everyday needs is conveniently located 5 minutes away.

There are so many accommodation options to choose from in Warrnambool, check out the prices and details.

WORNDOO

Worndoo is a small residential and farming town which is home to a local Primary School, a Football and Netball Club that has public toilets. Just a few kilometres out the road towards Darlington is on-farm shop, selling Glenafton Goat Milk Soap. Check opening hours, before visiting.

OTHER ACCOMMODATION IN VICTORIA SOUTH WEST

AIREYS INLET

See the most up to date prices and details on accommodation in Aireys Inlet.

ALLANSFORD

See the most up-to-date prices and details on Allansford accommodation.

APOLLO BAY

Check out the most up-to-date prices and details on Apollo Bay accommodation.

BIRREGURRA

Get the most up-to-date prices on accommodation in Birregurra.

CAMPERDOWN

Check out the most up-to-date prices on accommodation in Camperdown. Bella’s is a lovely Airbnb which sleeps 6 people and centrally located to town.

COLAC

Check out the most up-to-date prices on accommodation in Colac.

FAIRHAVEN

Check out the most up-to-date prices and details on accommodation in Fairhaven.

SKENES CREEK

Check the most up-to-date prices and details on accommodation for families in Skenes Creek.

TORQUAY

Check out the most up-to-date prices on accommodation in Torquay.

Southern Grampians With Kids

Beaches, mountains, long stretches of roads, great eateries, pubs, bars and accommodation. Museums and galleries, markets, music festivals, adventure activities and so much more! There are so many great things to do in Victoria for families.

Things To Do In Western Victoria – The Best In The West Series

When it comes to things to do in Western Victoria with kids, there simply is so much! For Victorians and those in the east of South Australia, it is an easy family road trip. Alternatively, do a fly and drive from Melbourne Tullamarine or Avalon Airport.

Southern Grampians Region consists of towns including Cavendish, Coleraine, Dunkeld, Hamilton and Penshurst and Willaura.

LOOKING FOR MORE THINGS TO DO IN WESTERN VICTORIA WITH KIDS? VISIT VICTORIA SOUTH WEST OR EASTERN GRAMPIANS REGION.

Cavendish

Cavendish is a small town in the Southern Grampians Shire in Western Victoria. It is situated either side of the picturesque Wannon River. There are lovely walks to enjoy along the River, which are surrounded by beautiful gum trees. On the main street, there is a sign to the Settlers Walk, follow this and enjoy the beautiful riverbanks of the Wannon.

Cavendish is also the home to the popular community event, The Cavendish Red Gum Festival. Through a diverse range of family friendly activities, the festival exposes and educates visitors to the unique local environment.

Where to eat in Cavendish – The Bunyip Hotel and the Bridge Cafe

Home to The Bunyip Hotel Cavendish, which in recent times has become a reason to visit. The Bunyip, as it is known to the locals, prides themselves on delivering great food and wine, using local products, in a genuine country pub setting. The food is exceptional and if you’re visiting on a Sunday, you are strongly encouraged to stop in for their five-course set menu Chef’s Table.

Beer Garden at The Bunyip Hotel, Cavendish

Sunday sessions, Paella Day’s and other special events are always very popular to the locals and beyond. The outdoor beer garden is one not to be missed on a sunny day, it is very family friendly and has a fantastic outlook over the Wannon River.

The Bridge Cafe is a popular cafe, fast food restaurant and convenience store for locals and those travelling through.

Camping in Cavendish

The Recreation Reserve, Campground and Picnic Area is a nice spot to stop for a casual picnic and for the kids to get out and run around.

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Coleraine

Just a short drive from Hamilton Victoria, you’ll find the small town of Coleraine. Just 19km along the Hamilton-Coleraine Rd, keep your eyes out for signs directing you to the picturesque Wannon Falls, which are fed by the Wannon River. The Falls are a popular stopping point and are a wonderful sight after a downfall of rain – keep an eye on the BOM South West!

Where to eat in Coleraine and accommodation in Coleraine

Coleraine is known for the Glenelg Fine Confectionery, a yummy place to stop for some chocolate treats. The Catching Pen is a popular cafe which serves delicious homemade style food, prepared daily and the cafe boasts friendly local service.

This small Western Victorian town has a lovely atmosphere, great local community and a very scenic outlook. There are plenty of accommodation options including Air BnB, the Coleraine Hotel which also provides bistro meals and breakfast; as well as, a council-owned caravan park.

Dunkeld

Dunkeld, Victoria is a destination in itself and would have to be the most spectacular town in Western Victoria. Visiting Dunkeld should be on every person’s list of things to do in Victoria. Dunkeld is located at the southern end of the Grampians National Park and commonly known as the hub of the Southern Grampians.

There truly is something in Dunkeld for everyone; the Grampians with kids is a fantastic place to holiday. From walking tracks, paths for kids to ride bikes, the local playground, gardens and pool, tennis courts and bowls club. Food lovers are always impressed with a great variety of options. Art lovers, a visit to Koopmans Dunkeld, Off The Rails and Ros McArthur Art Studio are definitely worth exploring.

Many visitors flock to the Southern Grampians town with their families, to hike and enjoy the dramatic views of the Grampians National Park. Mount Sturgeon (Wurgarri) is a 7km return walk and can take up to 3 hours. From the top, walkers enjoy views across the town and beyond. The Picanninny (Bainggug) is a 2.4km return walk and is a great walk to do with children. There are some short steep sections on the walk, but a great starting point for families with young children wanting to hike in the Grampians. Mount Abrupt is a 6.3km return walk and on a clear day, offers some of the most spectacular viewings across the southern end of the Grampians.

The Dunkeld Arboretum is an absolutely stunning location for visitors and locals. A fantastic spot in Dunkeld with kids! This hidden gem in South West Victoria is a place to swim, paddle, walk or run, cycle, or simply wander. There is a made track around the lake and it is perfect for small children to practice their cycling skills. With beautiful mountain views, it is a popular spot for early morning walks to enjoy some spectacular sunrises.

You can take the walking track from the centre of town (behind the Royal Mail Hotel), along the Salt Creek, which takes you through the Dunkeld Caravan Park and around the Arboretum. It is a popular walk for tourists and locals alike.

Just a short 5 minute drive on the Victoria Valley Rd, surrounded by stunning Southern Grampians views, is Freshwater Lake Reserve. This is such a beautiful spot, so quiet and the perfect location for a bush picnic, to wander the lake, climb trees, have a camp fire or even free camp.

If you are looking for a relaxing time or an unwind, make sure you look up Griffins Hill Yoga Retreats and Cloud Mountain Retreat.

Dunkeld, Victoria is the home to very popular community run events including the two-day hiking/running event Serra Terror over the June long weekend; the trail running festival Peaks and Trails in August, as well as the 3 Peaks Festival in October. If you are considering a time to visit the beautiful country town, these are particularly great occasions.

The annual Dunkeld Cup is another event that visitors flock in from all over the State for. With the most stunning of back drops, the race day has been named in the Top 10 Most Picturesque Race Tracks in the world. You can book a marquee, umbrella package, or come on the day and find a spot on the mound. Bring your own picnics or have your day catered for by local businesses.

Where to eat in Dunkeld

There are plenty of options to eat out in Dunkeld, locals and visitors really are spoilt for choice!

Koopmans Dunkeld is a brunch/coffee spot housed within an old garage on the main street of Dunkeld, Victoria. The refurbished space also houses an art gallery which features the work of local artists. Open 7am-4pm daily, Koopmans Dunkeld serves up St ALi coffee, all day brunch, house-baked goods as well as smoothies and salads (balance is key) all with a spectacularly framed view of Mt Abrupt.  If you’re in Dunkeld with kids, Koopman’s is a great place to stop in for a milkshake and a sweet treat. Parking is located on Parker Street with full accessibility and amenities for wheelchairs.

Izzy’s Café is a delightful welcoming dine-in and takeaway restaurant which was established by Izzy’s Group in 2004. It is located in the bustling main street of Dunkeld. Izzy’s Café menu choices include European style pizzas, indulgent burgers, Illy coffee and gorgeous Timboon ice cream.

A wide range of prepared meal options to suit all diners, including those with particular dietary requirements, are prepared fresh daily such as pasta dishes and appetising salads. Customers queue for delicious pies, sausage rolls, cakes and biscuits all baked by the Izzy’s team. The café is open on Monday to Thursday from 9am until 6.30pm and on Friday to Sunday from 9am until 7.30pm.

Dunkeld’s best kept secret, The Old Bakery is located in Martin Street and offers visitors the chance to step back in time. The Dunkeld Old Bakery was established in 1887 and is a living piece of history as one of only a handful of operating bakeries that still has its original wood-fired scotch oven. It has also drawn travellers since the 1920s for its quality pies.

Relax on the verandah in the morning sun and enjoy a locally roasted coffee and fresh pastry with your Grampians view. Inside, the charming cottage is bathed in morning sun with a wood heater for rainy days.

Current custodians, Geoff and Belinda Potter aim to continue the tradition. Geoff is up early to bake the sourdough bread and baguettes, and his beef and ale pies still draw a crowd. They stand alongside slow cooked lamb pies and pork and fennel sausage rolls, served with relish to his mum’s secret recipe.

Belinda’s passion is hand crafted croissants and pastries, rivalled only in popularity by the classic vanilla slice with passionfruit icing. Be warned, the bakery does sometimes sell out bread, pastries and pies early but you can choose something from an extensive menu until 2.30pm, or enjoy a coffee with a slice of carrot cake. The bakery is open from 8.30am – 3pm weekdays and 8.30am – 3.30pm on weekends. Closed Tuesdays.

The Dunkeld General Store offers all of your every day essentials and gourmet essentials, including great coffee. They have a range of quick breakfast and lunch options to go, including wraps, focaccias, salads and sandwiches. There is a large selection of cakes, slices, biscuits and all of your sweet treat requirements. The Dunkeld General Store stocks lots of local produce and locally crafted gifts and art work, as well as local wines. It is also a great place to stop in Dunkeld with kids (or not), they have an ice cream cabinet and an array of chocolate and lolly treats.

Cafe 109 is a small Café Bistro and Bar. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week from 9.30am till late. They have a great range of meals that in include vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Tuesday’s are Chicken Parma nights that offer a range of toppings and Wednesday’s are Steak nights. They do take-away and offer delivery service within the township of Dunkeld. Cafe 109 also serve coffee and cake. Cafe 109 is a great place to go for dinner if you are in Dunkeld with kids.

From 6-8pm every Friday, locals and visitors are welcomed for Happy Hour. A great time to relax and enjoy a beverage in their updated courtyard or dining room. Take in the Grampians views and enjoy their award winning mural by a local artist.

Cellar Door Tour, Royal Mail Hotel

Dunkeld is famous for the well renowned Royal Mail Hotel and is often a reason people travel to the western district of Victoria. Famous for it’s two hat Wickens dining experience, Cellar Door and Kitchen-Garden Tours.

Parker Street Project is popular with locals and visitors alike. If you’re planning to dine at Wickens and Parker Street Project, booking is highly recommended. Parker Street Project has a lovely beer garden with Grampians views

Accommodation in Dunkeld

Accommodation options in Dunkeld are endless given the size of the town, check out the most up to date prices and details. You can stay at the well known Royal Mail Hotel, holiday houses, as well as the well cared for Dunkeld Caravan Park. There are some fabulous airbnb properties available, including Mereweather Accommodation which offers stunning views of Mt Sturgeon and Grampians View BnB which is well kept and centrally located. For larger group accommodation look at Mulberry House which is centrally located or Corea Quarters, which is just out of the main town. Victoria Valley, a short drive from the township of Dunkeld, is also home to the Chimney Pots Cottage which offers incredible Grampians views.

The Southern Grampians Cottages offer rustic self contained cottages which are very popular for families – they are beautifully maintained and well presented. They are beautifully set in amongst the trees and are an easy walk into the main street along a walking track.

You can also, stay at the Dunkeld Old Bakery. Accommodation in the charming baker’s residence is adjacent to the Dunkeld Old Bakery and cafe. Offering two suites – the Queen Suite and the Baker’s Suite. Each offers a spacious bedroom with queen size bed, separate private sitting room with free wifi, television, tea and coffee facilities and private bathroom. Wake up to the smell of freshly baked artisan bread and barista-made coffee.

At Heathvale Heights’ Bed & Breakfast, you’ll listen to the crickets as the sun goes down; hear the birds announcing rain may be on its way; sit in a breakfast bay-room and be greeted by sheep grazing in the farm paddocks.

Embraced by the Southern Grampians landscape and 9kms from the popular tourist town of Dunkeld, Heathvale Heights enjoys an outlook of the ever-changing hues of Mt Abupt & the Serra Range.

An overnight sojourn offers the guest: a private section of the house; key lock entry on request, a very comfortable queen bed and spotless clean amenities. In the morning a generous selection of fruit, breakfast cereals, toast, condiments, tea & coffee awaits for you.

‘Heathvale Heights’ is a unique country experience for city folk.  The stay is quiet, calming and peaceful.  Val and Malcom are available for advice and to enjoy the sharing of your experiences. Treks & trails both adventurous and challenging are close to our door.  You can make your stay tranquil and restful or invigorating & adventurous.  After your day exploring return to ‘Heathvale Heights’ and remember to look up to the starlit night. 

Kennebec is a beautifully restored property 12km from Dunkeld, on the road to Hamilton. It can comfortably sleep 10 guests and boasts country charm with a homely feel.

There are so many lovely choices, however, as always you are advised to read reviews of what other travellers have to say about accommodation in Dunkeld.

Hamilton

Hamilton has a great range of things to do and places to eat. A must visit is the Hamilton Gallery. The gallery presents a range of exhibitions, programs and events so there is always something new and exciting. Next door is the Hamilton Cinema that showcases a wide range of the latest blockbuster movies and perfect if the weather is wet.

On the edge of the CBD is the Hamilton Botanic Gardens that was established by William Guilfoyle, the curator of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens. A beautiful space to enjoy a picnic lunch and to wander around taking in the well established trees and plants.

Lake Hamilton can’t be missed on a visit to Hamilton and is the perfect spot for fishing, walking, running and boating. There is a 4.2km walking track around the lake that hosts the Hamilton Park Run each Saturday morning. Located on the lake is the Lakes Edge Adventure Park. A huge playground for the kids to run around and also has BBQ facilities and toilets.

Nearby to the lake is Sir Reginald Ansett Transport Museum. It showcases Reg Ansett and the history of Ansett Airlines. Reg originally started his transport business in Hamilton back in 1931.

The best places to eat in Hamilton

A short drive from Hamilton, Pierrepoint Vineyard is a gorgeous spot to enjoy a wine and cheese platter. They also have different events throughout the year so check them out on social media to see what they have to offer. They also have a bed and breakfast if you need accommodation.

There are a range of different places to eat in Hamilton and a few local favourites are Tosca Browns, Roxburgh (which also offers accommodation), Cafe Gray, Thai Town and Jack & Jude. Local pubs also have a great range of food and open 7 days a week.

Accommodation in Hamilton, Victoria

Hamilton has a range of accommodation to suit all budgets from Lake Hamilton Caravan Park to Hamilton Townhouse Motel and Lonsdale Motor Inn. They offer comfortable rooms and parking with the bonus of being close to town. Check out the best prices and details on more accommodation options in Hamilton. Another popular stay in Hamilton is Lakeside 4 star apartment the Botanical Inn, which is conveniently located in town and has a lovely restaurant onsite.

As mentioned earlier, Pierrepoint Vineyard also has a great bed & breakfast. If you are searching for a bed & breakfast close to Hamilton CBD, Garland Cottage is a great choice. Here you’ll find more reviews on Hamilton accommodation.

Hamilton is a lovely town to visit plus you have the bonus of facilities like supermarkets and a vibrant shopping district.

By Kate Comer. Rolling Along With Kids.

Penshurst

Penshurst is a small, historic, rural township, conveniently located half way between the Shipwreck Coast and the Grampians National Park. Mt Rouse, a dormant volcano, is the dominant feature in the town and offers terrific views from the top. The botanic gardens located in the centre of the town, contain a lovely small caravan park, playground and free BBQs. During the summer months the outdoor pool, also located in the gardens, is in operation.

Leisurely walks on quiet roads with wide nature strips can be taken around the town, to Yatmerone Nature Reserve or up the steep path to the summit of Mount Rouse. Alternatively you can take the tourist road to the top of the mount where there is a free BBQ, toilets and lookout. As well as kangaroos and wallabies, other native animals and birds can be seen on a walk into the crater. The Volcanoes Discovery Centre, located in town, has displays of all types of volcanoes, and specific information on volcanic activity in Western Victoria.

Where to eat in Penshurst

Penshurst Store Bakery Cafe, Penshurst Hotel and The Penny Wine Bar are all great places to eat. At the Bakery Cafe, you will also be privileged to taste the best donuts in western Victoria. In town, there is also a take away and a small licensed supermarket that has fresh meat and vegetables, alcohol and basic groceries and toiletries, both open every day.

The best accommodation in Penshurst

There are several places providing accommodation within the town including The Grey House and Madigans which can be booked online.

Whether exploring western Victoria, travelling from the coast to the mountains or wanting some quiet time in a country town, Penshurst is a great place to stay.

By Gillian Jacobs, The Grey House.

Willaura

Grazing the edge of the Grampians National Park is the rural country town of Willaura. Simply taking a drive through the surrounding area is a highlight – expect wide open roads, vast plains, dramatic mountain backdrops and the kangaroo and emu spotting. The town features a beautiful heritage listed railway station, built in 1877, as well as local craft shops.

Popular local events include the Farm to Pub, for those who enjoy running and cycling. The annual Willaura Market is also worth a visit, with local produce, food and fun for the kids – it is a great day out.

Willaura Bakery – the best place to eat in town

Tourists and locals alike take detours to the acclaimed Willaura Bakery, famous for its traditional Aussie pies, sausage rolls, freshly baked bread and sweet pastries. Be sure to pick up one of their gorgeous illustrated tote bags!

Where to stay in Willaura

A fantastic family stay is The Shearers’ Quarters on Mount William Station – a 16-bed farm stay on one of Australia’s oldest farms. The 1860’s building was home to the station’s sheep shearers, and all the key original features are still intact.

Featuring a large communal kitchen and living room, sun-soaked courtyard, barbecue, fire pit, eight comfortable bedrooms, three modern bathrooms and its own private lake, The Shearers’ Quarters is a beautiful and affordable base for visitors to this part of Victoria.

By Elly Viner. Mount William Station.

Coffs Harbour With Kids – The Best Things To See And Do.

COFFS HARBOUR WITH KIDS

Where is Coffs Harbour?

Coffs Harbour is located in the mid north coast of the Eastern Australian coast. It is one of the largest urban centres on the Northern coast of New South Wales. By car, Coffs Harbour to Sydney is roughly 5 and a half hours; and, from Coffs Harbour to Brisbane, slightly less at 4 and a half hours. Coffs Harbour, along with Port Macquarie, is one of the many great places to visit between Sydney and Brisbane.

Coffs Harbour is a popular stopping point on the coast between the two capital cities. Don’t be in a rush, however, Coffs has so much to see and do for the whole family – it certainly is a destination in itself!

There is so much to do in and just outside Coffs Harbour with kids – food, beaches, attractions, adventure activities, walks and so much exploration.

Things to do with kids in Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour Fishermans Co-Op

If you are seafood lover, you cannot go to Coffs Harbour and not get yourself a meal from the Fishermans Co-Op. It is situated in the heart of the Coffs Harbour International Marina, surrounded by other cafes and restaurants, boutique shops, ample car parking and is directly next to the walk way which takes you over to Mutton Bird Island.

With generous size servings, fresh seafood and perfectly cooked produce, the Co-Op is a great choice for a meal.

While you’re there, meander towards the Island, alongside the Marina. Marvel at the boats and enjoy the beautiful clear waters. Keep your eyes peeled for fish down below, there is a great range of sizes.

Just before you get to Mutton Bird Island, there is a spectacular spot to swim and snorkel (for confident swimmers) – the water is exceptional!

Charlesworth Bay Beach

Just a short 10-minute drive north from the Coffs Harbour Marina, you will find Charlesworth Bay Beach, a quiet little beach with most divine coloured rocks and stones of all sizes in the water. Such a fabulous time can be had exploring the rocks and pools and splashing through the waves.

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park

A visit to the Coffs Harbour Dolphin Marine Conservation Centre is a must! It is a small centre which offers an intimate, up close experience with some beautiful marine animals. You’ll see a range of fish, turtles, feed penguins and fish and receive kisses on the cheek from a dolphin.

You’ll be mesmerised by the grace and wow’d by the seal and dolphin display, all along with a strong message – to save and care for our marine life. For more information on the conservation, education and how they care for the beautiful animals, have a look at their website – it is excellent.

Family tickets are close to $100, however, once you are there, you will experience all of the above mentioned ‘add-ons’ for no additional price. Keep an eye out for a $10 off voucher in one of the tourist mags!

Food was available to purchase at the well priced cafe, which included a sausage sizzle. There are picnic tables and a grassed area for you to also bring a packed lunch.

There are many additional dolphin experiences on off at extra cost, get in early to book your spot if this is of interest, they looked incredible!

Sealy Lookout Bruxner Park, Sky Pier

Do yourself a favour and take the 6km drive off the Pacific Highway (north of Coffs Harbour) through the banana plantations and into the lush green Orara East State Forest. Sealy Lookout is 310m above Coffs Harbour and the view is spectacular, giving you great perspective of the area, including the Solitary Islands Marine Park; on a clear day you can see 100km to the south.

The Sky Pier itself is an impressive structure, it projects 21.6m from the original lookout. A novel idea for kids, given the size of it and there being “nothing holding it up at one end”.

There are toilets, picnic tables and if you’re lucky, a coffee van! For the adventurous individuals and families, the Tree Tops Adventure Park is just up the road as well!

The Big Banana

Big Banana, Coffs Harbour

Aussie’s love their ‘BIG’ things and therefore you cannot miss The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour! It is located roadside heading north on the Pacific Highway, not only can you not miss it visually, but you have also got to go in and have a look around.

There is so much to do there, so much flexibility in buying tickets for the different attractions, which is fantastic for families travelling on a budget!

There is lots of parking behind the Banana and the entire complex has a very happy and friendly atmosphere. The choices of attractions are endless – a cafe, water park, cheese-making, ice skating, laser tag, toboggan rides, race slides and so many more! There really is something there for everyone, even if it is just a cheesy photo in front of the Coffs Harbour icon!

Harbour Side Markets

Harbourside Markets, Coffs Harbour
Lunch time at the Harbourside Markets

Every Sunday from 8am until 2pm, the Coffs Harbour comes alive for the Harbourside Markets. You will find the Jetty foreshore covered in marquees and bustling with people – rain, hail or shine; rain, as it was on the day we visited!

The market boasts creative arts and crafts, local produce, live music and a variety of cuisines on offer for lunch. Their motto ensures a quality unique experience for everyone locally made, locally grown.

Accommodation for families in Coffs Harbour

There are so many fantastic places in Coffs and surrounding towns. The difficult part is deciding exactly where! Check out the latest prices and more details on the variety of accommodation opportunities in town.

Love To Travel, Stay-Eat-Do can highly recommend the property, Korora Bay Beach House. The beach is at back door and is just minutes from Coff’s cafe scene! This very comfortable home-away-from-home, seaside townhouse is fabulous! The water is literally at your back door. Enjoy outdoor meals, beach walks, peace, crashing waves, water play, not to mention the stunning sunrises and sunsets. The house itself is very comfortable, lots of space and has everything you need for an easy family holiday.

Around Coffs Harbour

Bohemian Bellingen

Bellingen

Bellingen is just 30 minutes south from Coffs Harbour you will find ‘Mello Bello’ and it is exactly that! A very cool, bohemian style country town; Bellingen is a must for any food lovers, the choices of eateries are endless!

The Old Butter Factory Shopping Village, located next to the golf course, is a fabulous stop on the way into town. The Café is in a beautiful old building with high ceilings as well as outdoor table settings; the choices for meals were extensive, family friendly, easy parking and lots of space for kids to wander if they are of curious mind. The boutique stores within the village consisted of leather, homewares, woodwork, gift ware and a lovely community gallery.

Bellingen is a food lovers haven, making it very difficult to choose where to stop and eat when you have limited time. The very chic, 5 Church St, won us over and we were served the most amazing homemade cakes, to go with coffee and hot chocolates. The chocolate beetroot was deliciously rich and the carrot cake with a hint of ginger was divine!

Accommodation for families

If you’re looking for a relaxed and inland place to stay in the Coffs area, Bellingen would be a fantastic choice! There are many choices that you can see the most up to date prices and details, on accommodation.

Dangar Falls, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park & Dorrigo National Park

We planned our visit to Bellingen on our way through to Dorrigo National Park as they are heading in the same direction from Coffs Harbour.

Dorrigo National Park is located just an hour from Coffs Harbour, you will find the beautifully rich, World-Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforest, Dorrigo National Park. You could simply spend days exploring the natural wonders – walking tracks, waterfalls, wildlife, lookouts and picnic areas. The drive up the mountain through the rainforest was stunning; steep and maybe a little narrow in parts but lush, green and very fresh. 

Dangar Falls
Dangar Falls, Dorrigo National Park

If you love rainforests and waterfalls, a trip to Dangar Falls is a no-brainer. You’ll find the Falls located just 1.2km north of Dorrigo, the car park is at the top of the falls and there is a small lookout from there, giving you a spectacular front-on view from above.

There is a walking track to the pool of the falls which takes about 10-20 minutes. The walk is not difficult, however, there are some stairs and slippery un-made tracks towards the bottom. If you are fortunate enough to visit Dangar Falls soon after heavy rainfall in the area, there will be plenty of cascading water to enjoy.

At the car park there is a toilet block, playground, plenty of room to picnic and a little way along the walking track, you’ll find a labyrinth. If you’re there in Spring time, you will see the cliff lines filled with wildflowers. A trip to Dangar Falls, through Dorrigo National Park is well worth it and will not disappoint.

Accommodation for families

If you’re after a country stay, equipped with rain forests, walks and wide open spaces, check out the accommodation options in Dorrigo.

Woolgoolga

Twenty-five minutes north of Coffs Harbour, you will find the fun, upbeat, casual, family friendly, coastal town of Woolgoolga. Be welcomed to the town with a big “Welcome to Woopi” by locals. This friendly New South Wales beach side town is one you will fall instantly in love with and a perfect choice for families.

Surfing, jet skiing, beach cricket, rock pools, body boarding, walking tracks, free barbecues, a beach side playground and caravan and a main street full of cool cafes and coffee spots – it is any wonder it is a popular place to visit.

White Salt is highly recommended; melt-in-your-mouth seafood, fat chips and amazing potato scallops.

From the patrolled beach, head south along the 1.7km stretch of Woolgoolga Beach and make your way to the Woolgoolga Lookout; the expansive views north and south of the Headland are simply stunning.

Watch out for the sail boats out on the water and enjoy the company of lounging kangaroos alongside the walking tracks. During the whale season it is a prime vantage spot for seeing humpbacks cruising by.

You can also access the Lookout by car and enjoy some shorter walking trails from the car park. Woopi also features the Woolgoolga Lake where you can practice your skills on a stand-up paddle board or kayak.

Accommodation for families

Woolgoolga is such a fantastic place to visit, check out the best accommodation deals and details to extend your stay at this great little beach side town.

Coramba Hotel

If you are looking for a great country pub to have a meal, look no further than the Coramba Pub. It is just a short 20-minute picturesque drive north west from Coffs Harbour.

The food is fabulous, generous and wholesome and the service is great. The beer garden comes with spectacular countryside views and lots of room for kids to run around.

There are lots of specials, including a $12 lunch menu where there is certainly no compromise on quality! It is quiet and has a relaxed casual feel, a fantastic spot to take the family for a great affordable pub meal.

The Coramba Pub advertise regularly on their Facebook page, look out for their specials and special events which often feature live music.

Coramba is in a beautiful part of the Coffs Harbour area. If you’re looking for somewhere a little more quiet to stay, check out what is available here.

From Coffs Harbour

Be sure to stop in at Port Macquarie, there are so many more fabulous places to visit, things to do and beaches to enjoy!

*Disclosure: There are affiliate links throughout this website. Should you choose to purchase through a link, Love To Travel, Stay-Eat-Do may earn a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.

The Best Things To Do In Port Macquarie

The Best In Port Macquarie With Kids

Where is Port Macquarie?

Port Macquarie is a seaside town in the mid-North coast of New South Wales, Australia. The Australian coastal town boasts a long stretch of spectacular beaches; as well as, a plethora of shops, fabulous cafes, bars and restaurants.

The popular Koala Hospital and Bago Maze and Winery are not to missed, for children and adults alike. The sight seeing opportunities in and outside the hub of Port Macquarie and the Hastings River, are endless. Keep reading below to find out the top things to do in Port Macquarie with kids!

What to do in Port Macquarie.

Hasting River and Town Beach

Central Port Macquarie

The spectacular Hastings River is the perfect spot to start your Port Macquarie explorations. The bustling walking path oozes a relaxed, healthy and happy feel. The path is lined by a very colourful display of creative rock art all the way to Town Beach Park.

Keep an eye out for dolphins in the River, you will often see them coming in and out of the water and if you’re lucky, come right in near the shore. It was a magnificent sight and well worth constantly scouring our eyes over the top of the water for.

Riverside, there is a fabulous cafe called Little Shack, they make great coffee (with several milk selections) and offered a relaxed and trendy stop with a delicious menu. A place you could stay for hours and watch the world go by!

Town Beach Park has a popular skate park, playground, path suitable for wheels and feet! Town Beach itself offered spectacular coastline, patrolled beach, rocks for the kids to scramble over and pools to splash in; as well as, beach side parking, toilets and the very convenient, yummy and well priced Salty Crew Kiosk.

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

Central Port Macquarie

You will find the Koala Hospital in the Macquarie Nature Reserve, a beautiful green natural parkland. Established in 1973, the Hospital came together as a place to rescue, care for and treat injured or unwell koalas; staffed by a number of paid professionals as well as 200 volunteers. They have 14 intensive care units (8 outdoors) and 33 rehabilitation yards which include large gum trees where they learn to climb again as part of the rehabilitation programs.

The Koala Hospital has been pivotal in the recovery and relief for these beautiful native animals to Australia, in the 2019/2020 bush fire disaster.

The stories we were told and read are a great lesson. Our children were very concerned about the cuddly koalas and were very intrigued to hear why they were each there. Some were due to being in car accidents, dog attacks, chlamydia, fires. Each enclosure had a story about why they were there, as well as explanations about the process of how they’re released into the wild.

This little guy (pictured) is a repeat offender, he was back this time with a bacterial infection in his eye. The care, love and dedication to the koalas is very visible.

Kids will be entertained by the fun facts dotted around the hospital – do you know how many poos does a koala do every day? You’ll have to go to find out the answer!

Tacking Point Lighthouse

Eleven minutes south of Port Macquarie centre

Tacking Point Lighthouse, Little Bay and Lighthouse Beach. The Lighthouse, is Australia’s thirteenth oldest and is situated just 8km south of Port Macquarie. Drive to the stunning headland, or walk the distance along the coastal walk from Town Green Foreshore in Port Macquarie.

From Tacking Point Lighthouse you will enjoy panoramic views of the mid-north coast of Australia. To the south you can wander down to Lighthouse Beach, to the north you can explore the rugged coastline and rocks of Little Bay. There is hours of fun to be had at Little Bay climbing over the rocks, searching for starfish, crabs and fish and watching the crashing waves of the expansive Pacific Ocean.

Lighthouse Beach has an extensive 7km stretch of sand, a brilliant location for those of you who love to walk on a beach. Simply stunning coastline! Enter the beach near to the impressive Watonga Rocks, for the impressive outlook and exploration opportunities for the kids.

The squeaky sand, shells and array of coloured rocks that wash in make a beach wander very enjoyable. This is not a patrolled swimming beach so care must be taken when swimming. If you’re lucky, you may find that you have the beach almost to yourselves!

Shelly Beach

Seven minutes south of Port Macquarie

Yet another one of the several beautiful beaches along the Coastal Walk from Port Macquarie Town Beach to Tacking Point Lighthouse. If you are intrigued by a bit of wildlife, get yourself to Shelly Beach and keep an eye out for a goanna! While he is not to be fed, you may be lucky to have this beauty wandering around under your feet while your eating lunch.

There are picnic tables, a toilet block and plenty of parking to go with this lovely little beach. Explore the rocks, look out for sea life, splash in the rock pools and enjoy natures playground.

Port Macquarie region and beyond

Bago Maze and Winery

Twenty-five minute drive from Port Macquarie

A visit to Bago should be on every family itinerary when visiting Port Macquarie. If you love food, wine and a bit of fun adventure – your visit will have something for everyone, in fact more than that, it will be fantastic! Have fun getting lost in the 2km, well cared for hedge maze. Enjoy a BYO picnic on the massive grassed area under a shady tree. Sample the cheese platter featuring local produce and do some tastings of the unique range of whites, reds and fortified wines. Children can run around on the grass and play in the cubby house. They have live music once a month and Baba Lila Handmade Chocolates is also onsite! You cannot go wrong with a visit here!

While you’re on the road to or from Bago, take the short drive into the Burrawan State Forest, the home of the ‘Old Bottlebutt’. Enjoy the 600m rainforest loop to see the ancient Red Bloodwood tree, which is astonishingly the biggest recorded species of it in the world. Children will be highly amused by the name, as well as the enormity!

Dunbogan

Thirty-eight minute drive south of Port Macquarie

Oh what a beautiful News South Wales town, Dunbogan is! You’ll instantly fall in love with this coastal town on the Camden Haven Inlet. The quiet town has stunning views of the river, loads of picnic spots, a well constructed walking path and the fabulous Dunbogan Boat Shed and Marina.

Make sure you enjoy a coffee or meal at the Boat Shed, it is such a beautiful setting. You can hire boats, kayaks and stand up paddle boards and they are fully stocked for all of your fishing needs.

When you visit, be sure to look at the thousands of fish, if the light is shining nicely, you will see some beautiful coloured fish. Keep an eye out for the graceful dolphins that frequent the Inlet, too.

Stay in Dunbogan, short or long stays.

North Brother Mountain

Thirty-three minute drive south of Port Macquarie

North Brother Mountain is located in the Dooragan National Park and offers some stunning views of the area in Camden Haven Inlet, Camden Haven River and down to Crowdy Head in the south.

For a challenging walk, you can access the Laurieton Track at the base. Or drive to the car park at the top of the mountain where you will find toilets, picnic tables and some easier walking tracks for the whole family.

The vast views from the top are stunning. The trails of the rain forest loop were great and took us to several look outs to enjoy views to the north west and west of the mountain. It is well worth the trip to gain some perspective of the area and the spectacular outlook.

Hat Head

Fifty-nine minute drive north of Port Macquarie

If there was ever a beach town to visit for a complete unwind, low key, family, beach town getaway on the mid-north coast – this place would be it! About an hours north of Port Macquarie, through the Macleay Valley, you will find the most exquisite beach town, Hat Head.

Hat Head Gap was simply stunning – rocks to scramble and climb, lookouts, crystal clear waters, walking paths and views to die for! Do yourself a favour and walk from The Gap to Connor’s Beach, the views are beautiful, it is such a peaceful place and like so many other beaches on the coast, you will barely see another person. Pack a picnic lunch and lap up the peace and calm of this sensational part of Australia !

The main swimming beach at Hat Head was breathtaking, you could spend hours there, days there! The gentle waves are glorious, fantastic for all aged children and adults alike. The water was clear, the temperature was perfect, you could surf, swim, SUP, float or play!

The town itself consists of a holiday park, several holiday rentals, a general store, boat access and a fish cleaning area, the pristine Korogoro Creek and the native surrounds of Hat Head National Park.

Stay in Hat Head, short or long stays.

Crowdy Head

Fifty-six minutes south of Port Macquarie

The coastline along the mid-north coast of Australia, is undoubtedly stunning and this trip will be no exception. Crowdy Head, is another hidden gem along the eastern coast of Australia and well worth a visit! For visitors convenience there were public toilets and Sunsets Cafe, attached to the Crowdy Head Surf Life Saving Club. Enjoy a sensational feed in a stunning and quiet location.

Be sure to visit Crowdy Head Lighthouse and expect to be completely ‘beach-struck’ to the south. All you can see are masses of sand and surf! The Lighthouse also boasts a great spot for sighting whales during the right season.

Harrington Beach State Park is a great spot for 4WD and for having a quiet beach to yourselves! Swimming would be a little precarious and perhaps not recommended, however, running in and out of the shallows of big crashing can be a bit of fun (with close parental supervision). The extensive sand, water and tranquillity is incredible!

Stay in Harrington, short or long stays.

Miss Nellie’s Cafe

Twenty-five minutes south of Port Macquarie

The home of homemade greatness, Miss Nellie’s Cafe boasts a beautiful setting, in the small country town of Kendall; if you’re a sweet tooth, it is a sure stop! It is only minutes off the Pacific Hwy, so if you’re driving past, do yourself a favour!

Miss Nellie’s is a country-style cafe, serving homemade cakes, delicious coffee, light meals, a kids menu and cosy comfortable table and chairs indoors and outdoors. The customer service, dedication and commitment to their business was impressive. Try their ‘ruby chocolate’ treats for something a little different – the ruby chocolate cheesecake is divine.

Accommodation in Port Macquarie.

Accommodation options for families in Port Macquarie are endless! Hotels cater so well for families these days, that you’ll find it difficult to choose between the great choices. Check out the latest prices and details on a great range of Port Macquarie accommodation.

Recommended is Ultiqa Village Resort, which is home of 32 luxury three-bedroom bungalows. The Resort has an indoor swimming pool, sauna, clubhouse, gym, tennis courts, mini-golf, canoeing on the lake and fish feeding. There are BBQ facilities, outdoor lounges, free WiFi, games rooms and board games/puzzles/toys/DVDs all available from reception. Bungalows are spacious and offer the ease of a home-away-from-home feel.

Amenities are at your finger tips reducing expenses while in Port Macquarie. The lake area has a lovely feel, is very relaxing in the mornings and full of life later in the day. Get comfortable by the lake in the evenings, where you can continue to swim, feed the fish or enjoy happy hour as you watch the sun set. The Resort is very family friendly and the service is impeccable, with staff on deck to attend to needs very efficiently.

Where to next from Port Macquarie?

Do yourself a favour and arrange some time in Coffs Harbour. There is so much on offer for the whole family on the coast and inland.