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Planning a Family trip to Sydney/Melbourne

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi Australia Mamas,

I am looking for suggestions! We will be visiting Australia this December/January with our 3 girls ages 7,5, and 3. We will have a week or so around Sydney, a week in between where we were thinking of staying in a beach cottage of some sort where we can cook and make as much noise as we normally do LOL, and then a week in Melbourne before we have to go back home to winter in the States.

Does anyone have good suggestions for places to stay? We love the outdoors, beach, hiking, animals. We love funky communities, great food, and other people. Day trips to beautiful natural sites are great for us.

We are thinking we probably need to book some places to stay ahead of time now that we are traveling with kids (versus the pre-kid nomad days) and it is helpful to have some insight from folks that live in the area.

Are there any places we can't miss? Any places to avoid?

Thanks in advance. We are beyond excited for the trip that's only a few months away now.

post #2 of 9
Well, firstly Dec/Jan is summer school holidays here, so be prepared for crowds and book accomodation early! It'll probably be a little expensive too. I'm not sure on accomodation specifically, hopefully someone else will be able to help out with that. You could try looking for a holiday house - http://www.stayz.com.au/ normally has some good, family-friendly places.

Sydney has lots of kid-friendly things - there's the Zoo, Aquarium, a bunch of good museums (the Australian Museum has a couple of fantastic kid-centred exhibitions, including ones on Dinosaurs and scary Australian creatures that are worth a look, and the Powerhouse Museum can be fun as well). But they are both paid admission.

As for national parks, etc - the Blue Mountains have some of the main ones near Sydney, with some lovely walks especially near the Three Sisters (although I'd be careful of doing long walks; summer weather can be brutal for bushwalks, especially round there). Most of my knowledge is based around Sydney (I live there), but there are also some national parks and beaches a little bit north on the Central Coast that I'm really fond of - but I'm a former resident, so I'm biased! The walks in Bouddi National Park near Macmasters Beach are my favourites.

Hope all that helps a little! I can't help with Melbourne, sorry! Feel free to hit me up with any other questions
post #3 of 9
I just completed a long list of things to do in Sydney here: http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1143607

Hope you have a great trip!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
you guys are awesome, thank you so much. I am reading a bit every day, making lots of lists of things that seem fun. You have such an abundance of natural sights, we are really excited.

I am talking with my friend on Melbourne on Skype pretty frequently too. She appreciates the tips as well as they are still finding their way around the city!

Thank you thank you thank you. This is going to be a trip of a lifetime for us!

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
oh, here's a question. Are people weird about nursing in public? My nursling will be 3 when we go (if she is still nursing then).

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Baltic, that list is rockin' my world right now, thanks again!

post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by Naughty Dingo View Post
Baltic, that list is rockin' my world right now, thanks again!

You're welcome you can find out more information, locations and ticket prices (Many of the places have family passes - usually two adult and two children) on the websites.

You should be right to breastfeed your DD, you might get the usual stares or odd comment - http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/out.html

If you have any more questions please feel free to ask here or PM me.

Have a wonderful trip

post #8 of 9
not sure if you will see this or not but here's another site for you:

post #9 of 9
Seeing the Fairy penguins on Phillip Island (a few hours drive from Melbourne) is great with kids----truly special. The penguins come right out of the water at sunset and return to their nests---amazing.

Last time we were in Melbourne (2006) we rented a house with friends on Phillip Island for a few days so we could hang at the beach and see the penguins.

Another very very worthwhile thing to do is visit the Healesville Sanctuary (a couple of hours drive (or less) into the country outside of Melbourne). It has all the native wildlife you want to see-platypus, kangaroos, dingos, koalas, wallabies, echidnas, etc in a very friendly park-like sanctuary. I've been there every time I've been to Melbourne. Great with kids (or even just adults).

There is also the excellent zoo very near the city.

The rest of Melbourne is lovely---what a great time of year to go too. Have a great trip.

BTW you may be able to find a Melbourne house to rent via www.SabbaticalHomes.com A good idea with kids.
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