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Australia

Child-friendly Places to Visit in NSW

From wildlife sanctuaries to amusement parks and more, the state of NSW is full of places and activities that are perfect for children and adults alike. Check out some of the best places in NSW to keep your little ones entertained on your next Australian adventure.

 

Taronga Zoo & Taronga Western Plains Zoo

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With a spectacular location overlooking Sydney Harbour, award-winning Taronga Zoo is an unbeatable destination for animal lovers and budding zoologists. With over 4,000 animals to see and more than 20 shows to catch per day – as well as guided tours and the occasional concert – there’s always something happening at Taronga Zoo.

Those looking for an immersive experience can even stay overnight in safari-style tents, surrounded by the calls of Taronga’s native and exotic inhabitants.

Located in Dubbo, roughly 400 kilometres inland from Sydney, Taronga Western Plains Zoo is Australia’s oldest open range zoo.

Instead of gates, walls and fences, Taronga Western Plains Zoo uses concealed moats to separate visitors from animals, allowing you to imagine what an encounter in the wild would feel like!

 

Note: Although Taronga is NSW’s most famous wildlife institution, there are plenty of fantastic venues to explore across the state. For more animal adventures, check out Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside, Blackbutt Reserve in New Lambton, Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh, and Mogo Zoo on the NSW South Coast.

 

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures

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Do your kids have an adventurous streak? Then head to one of NSW’s treetop adventure parks for the chance to embrace this spirit in a safe and scenic environment.

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is one NSW’s most popular treetop adventure parks, offering different experiences to suit all ages and abilities. The Treetop Walk winds 1500 metres through the beautiful rainforest canopy on a walkway suspended 20-30 metres above the ground. Although this walk is suitable for all ages, Knights Tower (a viewing platform situated at the end of the walkway) is not accessible to prams.

If your children are at least 5 years old and over 105cm tall, they can also choose to embark on a Zipline Tour. This thrilling journey involves crossing suspension bridges and flying along a series of steel cables strung 35 metres above the forest floor!

With professional guidance, breathtaking views, and the option for parents to ride tandem with smaller children, Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is perfect for the whole family.

 

Luna Park

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For some old-fashioned fun with a modern backdrop, there’s no going past Luna Park Sydney. Built in 1935, the huge grin which marks the entrance of Luna Park has become a beloved icon for generations of Sydneysiders.

Take your children to Luna Park to experience the nostalgia and simple joys of times gone by. Here, you can saddle up on the hand-painted carousel, marvel and laugh inside the Big Top, grab a bite to eat at the Coney Island Café, and clatter along the tracks of a rare wooden roller coaster.

Round out your visit with a ride on the ferris wheel, whose colourful carriages enjoy magnificent views of Sydney Harbour and a skyline from a completely different era.

 

Billabong Ranch

Make a trip to Echuca, found on the NSW-Victoria border, for a crowd-pleasing outing that’s perfect for groups with a range of interests. Billabong Ranch sprawls over 390 acres and includes a fun-filled activity centre with enough activities to interest practically anyone.

Horse lovers will be spoilt for choice – the ranch has a range of trail rides designed for both experienced and inexperienced riders, as well as pony ride options for younger guests. Guests can also get active on the bouldering wall, challenge themselves on the obstacle course, or strike up some friendly competition with a game of table tennis, beach volleyball, or ten-pin bowling.

As if that wasn’t enough, there are also friendly animals for petting, bungy trampolines for bouncing – even camels for riding! The archery and mini-golf courses are especially popular during wet weather, so you can all have a great time at Billabong Ranch at any time of year.

 

Jamberoo Action Park

Less than two hours south of Sydney, Jamberoo Action Park is one of the wildest places to cool off in NSW. This theme park features 15 rides spread over 40 hectares of landscaped parklands near Kiama.

Ideal for children and parents alike, Jamberoo Action Park delivers high-speed thrills as well as more easygoing entertainment. Take the little ones for a paddle at Billabong Beach – a play area designed specially for young children – or join your budding adrenaline junkies on hair-raising rides such as Funnel Web and The Perfect Storm.

New to the park in 2016, Jamberoo’s latest ride hurls riders along a 290-metre trajectory to reach speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour! Of course, you can always float around in the wave pool instead.

 

So get organising and plan your school holiday adventure now!

 

About the Author

Alex is a 23 year old lover of life, brunch & adventure. After moving to Sydney when finishing a journalism degree, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and other along the way!

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Australia’s Best Diving Sites

Australia is a country renowned for many things – great food and drink, friendly locals, the Sydney Opera House and of course, some of the world’s most amazing beaches.
But for those who love the outdoors, a trip to Australia is on most people’s travel bucket lists, especially if you enjoy diving. The very second you think of underwater fun in this area of the world, the famous Great Barrier Reef springs instantly to mind, which is understandable.
However, Australia has a number of great diving spots that offer just as much of a reward as diving around the Great Barrier Reef itself.
Let’s start just off Queensland, where the protected waters of the Lizard Island National Park offer divers a vast selection of underwater life to view during every session. From the stunning corals to the elegant manta rays and giant clams, the warm waters found here attract a number of species. The island is a popular diving site for beginners to try their hand at diving, although due to the stunning underwater views, divers of all abilities tend to come back here again and again.
It isn’t just the reefs that are popular For a dive with a difference, head out to the shipwreck site of the Yongala passenger ship that sank back in 1911 on a routine journey from Melbourne to Cairns. Now, the wreck teems with wildlife, offering the chance to see potato cod, clown fish and sea snakes. In winter you might meet a humpback whale or two, whilst in the summer months, you will be greeted by hundreds of tiny colourful fish. Beware though, as the wreck is very popular and is visited by around 10,000 divers each year.
Another popular spot is the World Heritage Site at Heron Island. Again, it is popular with beginners as it is easy to access by a quick boat ride out to a number of terrific dive spots. Try Heron Bommie, the Coral Cascades or Blue Pools where you might just see loggerhead turtles, wobbegong sharks or moray eels, among others.
Head to Byron Bay for plenty of action
Our last two suggestions take us to the well-known area of Byron Bay, which is the perfect destination if you want to mix relaxing days on the beach with a spot of diving. The Bay offers a different climate to other Australian diving sites, mixing the warm waters of the north with the cool waters of the south. Because of this, you will find an amazing selection of underwater wildlife all attracted by the unique water system.
First try Julian Rocks, two small islands that sit within their own Marine Park and a great place for seeing larger species such as humpback whales and leopard sharks. Alternatively, head out to the Whitsunday Islands where the corals flicker with colourful underwater life. The islands are perfect for beginners as they house a dedicated diving centre and just a short boat ride will take you to some fantastic spots just outside the Great Barrier Reef.

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4 Day Travel Guide to Western Australia

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Do you have an upcoming short trip booked to Western Australia and you want to be absolutely sure you make the most of your time there? If so, we’ve got you covered as we’ve put together the perfect four-day travel guide and itinerary. This guide highlights the very best that Western Australia has to offer and gives you a real taste for the region, the culture, and the adventures.

Take in the Sights at Perth

Founded 200 years ago, Perth just so happens to be known as Australia’s sunniest capital city, so you can bet you’re in for some fabulous weather here and it also acts as the perfect home-base for a four-day tour. Situated right on the ocean, you can enjoy all aspects of beach life and then explore the city when you’re ready for a break. There is no shortage of restaurants, bars, shopping, and parks. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous you can even sign up for a swim with the dolphin adventure.

Speaking of adventures, Perth features some of the most rugged and raw landscape that you can find. This makes for some pretty exciting adventure activities and sports. Finally if you happen to be a foodie, this area of Australia is well-known for its wineries. You may enjoy a tour of a winery and a tasting of course.

Be a Part of Nature

How would you like to be a part of nature? When you head to The Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk you will be one with these towering trees. These are some of the very tallest trees on earth, never mind just in Australia. These trees, called Tingle Trees, are the perfect spot for a treetop canopy walk that snakes through 600 meters of forest.

The experience is both exhilarating and peaceful all at the same time. It’s a wonderful way to get a 360 degree view of Australia’s beautiful and unique landscape. If you’re heading to this walk from Perth be prepared for about a 4.5 hour drive, so you may want to spend the night in a nearby town and turn this into a full day-trip.

A National Park That has Been Two Billion Years in the Making

No trip to Western Australia is complete without a trip to Karijini National Park. This is easily one of the most awe-inspiring natural attractions in the region, possibly the country. It has literally been two billion years in the making, and features stunningly clear rock pools, deep and rugged gorges, and peaceful yet powerful waterfalls.

Besides taking in the beauty there are also a number of activities to enjoy in the park such as paddling, hiking, swimming, camping, four-wheel drive tours, and more. You can book a tour that leaves straight from Perth making it convenient.

The World’s Most Majestic Mammals

Before you cap off your four-day tour of Western Australia, you’ll want to be sure you book a whale watching tour from Perth with WA Fishing, https://www.wafishing.com.au/. These mammals are known for frolicking through the area from May all the way through to December.

Four Days Just Isn’t Enough

One thing that is for sure is that at the end of your four day journey you’ll wish you had more time in this lovely and intriguing area of Australia, as four days just isn’t enough.

 

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