Category Archives: 1-3hrs from Sydney

Top 10 tips: How to pack an easy picnic

One of the advantages of travelling on your own doorstep is having all the conveniences of home at your fingertips. Picnics are much easier when you have access to table wear, your picnic rug, access to your own kitchen and/or know where to go to get all the best picnic food locally. Picnics are also a hell of a lot easier when you have your own car to carry your load of picnic gear to your chosen destination!

Many of my suggestions for things to do in Sydney are based around picnics, so here is my fuss-free guide for packing the most delicious (and practical) picnic. Continue reading Top 10 tips: How to pack an easy picnic

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June Long Weekend in Sydney

Much of Sydney take the opportunity to leave town on a long weekend but for those of us who are left behind, there is still plenty to do.

The following activities are my picks for what to do to make the most out of your three day winter break in Sydney. Continue reading June Long Weekend in Sydney

Family Fun Day Sunday Destination: Parramatta

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Sydney’s public transport system, but the Family Fun Day Sunday tickets are certainly one of Sydney Train’s saving graces. For $2.50 per person, your family can enjoy unlimited travel all day Sunday in Sydney, Newcastle, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Hunter and Illawarra areas, by train, bus, ferry and light rail. Such a great deal.

Here’s the first of a series of posts I will do to give you some ideas for where to take public transport with the family on a Sunday.

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From the inner west, we take the train to Circular Quay. There’s always plenty to see at Circular Quay- buskers line the wharfs and it’s great fun to take the time to wander along and watch some of the entertainment on offer.  The Parramatta Rivercat leaves every hour from Circular Quay and travels past Darling Harbour, Cockatoo Island and down the Parramatta River past Sydney Olympic Park and finally, to Parramatta. The kids love the constantly changing scenery on the Rivercat- it’s a great way to make the journey part of the fun of the day.

When you get to Parramatta there are loads of options: Continue reading Family Fun Day Sunday Destination: Parramatta

Top 3 Ideas for Mothers Day in Sydney

Hundreds of thousands of families across the country will celebrate Mothers’ Day this weekend. For many, it is a day to spoil our mums but it is also a time to spend together as a family. So, with that in mind, here are my top 5 ideas for things to do as a family this Sunday.

1. Sculpture at Scenic World Fans of ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ on the Bondi Coastal Walk will love Sculpture at Scenic World in the Blue Mountains. Thirty three sculptures by a range of Australian and International artists are dotted alongside an elevated boardwalk among the Jurassic rainforest.

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Your entry price also gives you access to the Scenic Skyway, The Scenic Railway and the Scenic Cableway each give you amazing views of the Jamison Valley.

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The sculptures keep the kids interested along the thirty minute walk along the Scenic Walkway and the ‘rides’ add another level of excitement for them. For mums, it is simply a chance to escape the stresses of the city.

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Why not make a weekend of it and stay overnight in a cabin at the nearby Blue Mountains Tourist Park- Katoomba Falls and take the opportunity to check out the amazing views at night on the floodlit walk along he southern escarpment with views of the three sisters.

2. Picnic & Paddleboating in Lane Cove National Park If you are looking for an escape without the long drive Lane Cove National Park is perfect. There are great picnic spots by the water and plenty of parking. Aside from a little kiosk selling chips, drinks and ice creams, there are no food outlets here so be sure to pack a full picnic with everything you need. The paddleboats are great fun and there are short bush trails to explore. Check out this blog from 2014 for more.

The good old family paddle boat ride... it has to be done!
The good old family paddle boat ride… it has to be done!

3. BBQ at Camellia Gardens The Camellia Gardens in Caringbah are a gorgeous spot for a relaxing picnic surrounded by gorgeous landscaped gardens, with ducks wandering the grounds searching for excited children ready to feed them with their bread scraps.

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There is a BBQ area, picnic tables dotted around the grounds and plenty of grassy areas to lay down a picnic blanket. There are plenty of walks through the gardens and a babbling brook cascading through the grounds to keep it interesting for the kids as well as two fenced in kids playgrounds. There is also a teahouse onsite for a special treat although on days like Mothers’ Day it is often busy.

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What are your favourite Mothers’ Day activities in Sydney or surrounds?

Camping in Royal National Park

With Summer coming to an end and the days getting shorter, the family and I packed the car full to the brim with camping gear and headed south to the Royal National Park, just 1hr from Sydney, in order to make the most of the last weekend before Autumn descended.

We have camped at the Bonnie-Vale camping area near Bundeena in the Royal National Park many times before – pre-children – and although we have taken the kids camping before, this was the first time in a bush setting without the onsite pools & jumping pillow distractions of a Big 4.

We managed to secure a great large site at the back of the camping area close to the toilet/shower block and nestled against dense bushland. The kids and I explored the site and set up our solar lights to charge while the tent fairies (AKA my husband) set up the tent & gazebo in the morning heat. The girls and I grabbed a small snack while we sat back to watch the man at work but it wasn’t long before we had a visitor… a large goanna! Continue reading Camping in Royal National Park

A spontaneous Adventure in the Blue Mountains

What started as a whim after seeing an ad in MX, turned into a great spontaneous adventure. Scenic World in the Blue Mountains was advertising a sculpture walk and given it was Mothers Day, I made the request that we go as a family on a day trip to discover the sculptures in the beautiful bush surroundings of the Mountains.

But, once we were in the 2nd hour of our drive west, the idea of coming all the way back home after our visit became less & less appealing and the idea of finding some cheap accommodation to stay overnight quickly became the preferred option!

It was freezing in the mountains and the girls were excited as soon as we got out of the car & into the chilly, fresh air. The adventure was made all the more exciting with the ride on the cable car to travel beneath the canopy. They loved rugging up and exploring the trails dotted with gorgeous sculptures- half the fun for me was watching them discover the different artworks and listening to their take on what they meant.

A quick trip to the supermarket provided supplies for dinner & Big W supplied emergency pjs. After all the excitement of the day it didn’t take much for any of us to get to sleep in our warm cabin that night!

The next morning we got up & went for a short bush walk to view the megalong valley in the early morning light and were greeted with a beautiful lyre bird scratching around in the undergrowth. The girls were also convinced they had found a fairy hangout when they found an old wishing well. After a play in a nearby playground we headed to Leura for a hearty breakfast with a view & a wander around the little shops. One more bushwalk after breakfast, a mountain market with some live music and then the journey back home.

Links
Blue Mountains
Sculpture at Scenic World
Cabins at Katoomba Falls Tourist Park
Leura
Blue Mountains Markets

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Exploring the bush tracks that open to expansive views
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Unexpected sculptures set among the bush

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Looking for fairies in the well

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