28 December 2008

Muddy's Playground, Cairns Esplanade

If you're looking for free family fun in Cairns then don't miss Muddy's Playground! Located just minutes from the centre of town on Cairns Esplanade this playground features a number of great play areas for children of all ages and all abilities.

23 December 2008

Spurwood Springs Farm Stay

Spurwood Springs Farm Stay is a great choice for families wanting to experience authentic life on a working farm. You’ll have the opportunity to ride a horse, help feed the animals and see working dogs in action as they herd the cattle. They have heaps of animals here including dogs, dairy cows, beef cattle, ducks, goats, sheep, horses and chooks.

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By the Lake

Beautiful Lake Tinaroo in the Cairns Highlands region is a great place for a family getaway. As its such a large lake, there are plenty of places where you can stay right on the lake, including holiday houses, caravan parks and resorts, if you have your own camping equipment you can also stay in the camping grounds of the Danbulla National Park. Read more

21 December 2008

Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walk

Mamu Canopy Walk is an hour and 30 minutes south of Cairns in the Palmerston section of Wooroonooran National Park

The canopy walk is great for children of all ages. They'll enjoy exploring the rainforest as they walk through cool, green, leafy paths and along suspended walkways allowing you to experience the canopy up close. Climbing the tower will be a highlight for the adventurous, as you travel up several flights of stairs to an amazing view which looks out to breathtaking views of the Johnstone River Valley, the surrounding mountain ranges and nearby regions. Mapping information is provided on the interpretive signs you go past on the way back showing where you are in relation to Cairns city, the highlands and the coast. Read more

18 December 2008

Summer Sunsafety Essentials

The Australian sun is harsh all year round so protecting our children’s skin is always important. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, and two in every three Australians develops skin cancer at some time during their life. Sun damage which occurs in the early years can lead to serious problems later in life but can be avoided by taking a few easy preventive measures. Read more

17 December 2008

See the Great Barrier Reef with kids

Still on my list of must-sees in the wider world is the Great Barrier Reef, but I've been warned many times that I'll just have to wait until my children are older... and here we are with another one on the way. Friends and family members who have made it out to the reef have cautioned me from their own experiences that it’s a long monotonous haul just to get out there, involving small speed boats, choppy waters, etc., and then of course everyone abandons the boat to take to the water. In other words, it’s no place to take a baby.

Think again. If you’re considering a family vacation in Australia, don’t rule out an excursion to the Great Barrier Reef just because you have a baby, toddler, or any assortment of very young children along for the ride. With a Sunlover Reef Cruise, your entire family (even the non-swimming members in diapers) can enjoy a leisurely daytrip from Cairns to the outer Great Barrier Reef in total comfort with family-friendly amenities, including stroller-friendly decks.

Children who aren’t ready to test the open waters can enjoy finding Nemo with a guided viewing of the coral and its creatures from a “semi-submersible” and glass-bottom boat. They can also touch some of the unique marine animals they’ll see in a marine touch tank onboard. And when they’re finished with that, let them enjoy the children’s wading pool on deck while you relax at sea.

Parents may enjoy taking turns with their snorkels or taking advantage of Sunlover’s included introductory and certified scuba diving, plus world famous Seawalker Platform Helmet Diving (extra fee). All snorkeling equipment is provided, along with a hot buffet luncheon including fresh seafood, and afternoon tea.

Children under 4 years old are always free on Sunlover Reef Cruises, and from now through the end of January 2009, children 4 through 14 years may cruise free with paid adults. Find out more at the sites for Sunlover Reef Cruises and Cairns Family Holidays.

For more info: See more family-friendly vacation ideas and read reviews of family attractions in Australia’s Tropical North Queensland in this helpful section at Cairns Family Holidays. For help planning travel overseas with a baby or young child, check out Shelly's book Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children..

Article by Shelly Rivoli Author of 'Travels with Baby' Read More

15 December 2008

A walk in the park

Love nature? Well you’ve come to the right place! Tropical North Queensland has a range of beautiful walking trails that take you through World Heritage Listed National Parks, where you’ll find amazing wildlife, spectacular waterfalls and pristine beaches. Each of the tropical north regions has walks suitable for families of all levels of fitness and ability. Read more

Where should I take my two year old?

I’m often asked by Mums, ‘where should I take my two year old?’ Travelling with toddlers is hard work, they are absolutely gorgeous but they’re probably the most challenging travel companions you could have! Read more

14 December 2008

A sweet escape

Imagine a hot summer’s day, the sweat literally dripping off you, a scorching sun, humidity at 94 % and no escape from the endless heat haze that covers the day.

There’s only one thing for it you need to swim you need to find somewhere cool and green, a place with crystal clear water, gentle breezes, tall shady trees and butterflies…

Fortunately I know just the place, read more