School holidays are just around the corner and while we absolutely adore the extra time we get with our kids, a wise parent always has a few ideas up their sleeve ahead of time to make sure that the dreaded boredom blues don’t set in.
Here are a few ways we love to pass the time and make memories with our kids.
- Just lose yourselves at a beach. Any beach, we have endless stunning crystal clear pristine beaches. Favourite family memories are often made with the least amount of planning, when everyone is relaxed and the time has just been set aside for play; swim, picnic, hunt for treasures offered up by the sea, run, build sandcastles, boogie board, play cricket, make new friends. The time is yours to “waste” in any number of productive ways.
– Sandboard at Peron Dunes
– Go for a surf at Friendly Beaches or Redbill Beach
– Can you even find Mariposa Beach? It’s almost always empty but it’s gorgeous and great for shell collecting
– Take your paddleboard out in sheltered waters at Richardson Beach and explore the coves around Freycinet Lodge
- Rock hop over red lichen rocks – The Bay of Fires National Park stretches over 50 kilometres from Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point in the north the beaches are amazing, with many little coves and bays perfect for swimming and exploring rock pools.
- Get to know the wildlife – Wildlife abounds in Bicheno!
– Absolutely the best way to see Little Penguins up close is by joining one of Bicheno Penguin Tours – the twilight tours are held most of the year.
– From the moment you walk into East Coast Nature World, the wildlife is at your feet. It’s the perfect place to experience Tasmania’s unique animals, birds, reptiles. Wander around at your own leisure. Wheelchair and pram friendly and with a café and souvenir shop. Of a night time – treat yourself to some Devil watching with the Devils in the Dark tour.
- All aboard the Glass Bottom Boat – this is a constant winner. Kids love the fact that you can actually SEE through the bottom of the boat! It’s been operating for literally decades and there is always something (or someone) interesting to see.
- Fish and Chips by the sea – The Triabunna Fish Van is always a crowd pleaser, stop on the way for a snack and a stretch. In Bicheno, there is The Gulch or the Lobster Shack for fish and chips, and further north – Skippers has been delighting locals and travellers alike for years.
- Or catch your dinner – (fishing) Make the most of the local knowledge and book and adventure with Rocky Carosi or Michael Haleys Gone Fishing Charters in St Helens, or South East Charters in Orford. Alternatively, you can try for a bite almost anywhere between Orford and St Helens. As you meander along the highway and explore coastal towns, keep watch for a place to stop and spend some time catching your dinner.
- Stop for Ice Cream – Sit under the wisteria-draped pergola at Kate’s Berry Farm and decide which handmade berry incarnation suits your mood: berry ice creams, jams, sauces, chocolates, waffles, pancakes or pies (go for anything with raspberries involved). Great coffee and ‘potted’ pies for the big kids too; while we’re talking frosty goodness – The Pondering Frog is a great place to pause, excellent whole berry ice cream, a playground to stretch little legs and some comfy seats to rest in for weary drivers.
- Quad bike your way through Freycinet – All4Adventure Quad Bike Tours cater for individual riders as well as families, [with 3 seater Polaris Ranger], it’s the perfect way to get off the beaten track and discover some of Freycinet’s lesser known beauty spots – plus its great fun!
- Paddle up a storm – the adventure starts in Coles Bay with Freycinet Adventures Kayaking and head over towards the famous Freycinet mountains and coastline. Keep your eyes peeled for friendly dolphins and seals on the way to private beaches and bays. Kids as young as two can head out for a paddle, but they will need to be able to sit still for 2-3 hours.
- Take a ferry ride – accessible only by ferry, Maria Island contains the most intact example of a convict probation station in Australia. There are a number of short walks to explore the buildings and ruins of Darlington – a ghost town with a convict and industrial past. Make sure you check out Fossil Cliffs and The Painted Cliffs while you are there.
- Swim in a river – Douglas-Apsley National Park is a gem awaiting discovery by those with a real sense of adventure. It’s a place of surprising contrasts, featuring tranquil waterholes, deep river gorges and thundering waterfalls, including the spectacular Apsley Falls.
- Get totally wild at the Serpentarium Wildlife Park Tasmania – the name pretty much says it all. It’s likely that at least one parent will pike out (try not to though – it’s a really fab experience) – but guaranteed the kiddos will love it.
- Ride a bike – not a single list is complete without reminding you of the sensational Mountain Bike Trails in St Helens. (You know – that place that recently won Tassie’s Top Tourist Town?) They have trails to suit every age groups and level of ability.
- Cross granite bluffs up to Cape Tourville Lighthouse – with stupendous coastal views of the Freycinet National Park, this very easy boardwalk to the lighthouse provides a great alternative for those who don’t feel inclined to tackle the steep hill on the Wineglass Bay lookout walk.
- Get a surf lesson – hang ten and catch a wave with a private surf lesson on the shoreline at Scamander. Learn all aspects of surf safety as well as surfing skills. The kids will be carving like Lane Beachley with 42 South Surf School in no time.
- Lay back and do some star gazing – with no city lights to distract you, the star gazing is spectacular. Take a moment or 20 to just lie back and enjoy the clear, unobstructed view of the night time sky. If you’re a photographer – keep an eye southward – there are some spectacular locations to catch a magical shot of the Southern Lights.
Photo Credits: Top: Inspire Family Travel Gallery: Why Then How, Travelling_Dean, Moonbird Beach Shack, Inspire Family Travel, Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmanian Kris