We traveled in New Zealand 10 years ago and Karen planned an amazing 2 weeks in the South Island. She planned an equally amazing three weeks on Australia’s east coast this summer; we booked the trip and left 6 weeks later. She knew we were taking our 9 and 6 year old boys and created an awesome family adventure for us.
BRISBANE: We arrived August 15 to sunshine, palm trees, and found friendly people at every stop. The kids enjoyed the Australia Zoo with our private caddie, feeding the kangaroos and hearing about the animals of Australia. Canungra, at the base of the mountain going to Lamington, is the home of the Funky Dory restaurant. We recommend it for fish-n-chips (Baramundi and Red Emperor were our favorites), squid lips, and an owner who loves what she does. We drove to O’Reilly’s guest house in Lamington National Park and loved the birds, hikes, views and incredible food. The boys were up every morning for a 6:45 a.m. guided bird walk. When our son left his glasses in a restroom, Karen’s assistant in Sydney was able to help us track them down and send them to our next hotel.
CAIRNS: We loved the Barrier Reef and are know our next visit “Down Under” will include another stop. We spent an exciting day with Juan Walker, trekking through the mangroves and tide pools hunting mudcrabs, snails, clams and pippis. Everything we gathered our guide cooked for our lunch. We also got a crash course in Aboriginal culture and he shared many “dreamtime stories”. Green Island was spectacular; snorkeling at the beach and the catamaran to the outer Barrier Reef was the highlight of our trip.
SYDNEY: We arrived to fireworks over Darling Harbour in Sydney. The kids loved spending the night in Tarango Zoo where we toured the zoo at night with red torches, fed giraffes, petted snakes and baby crocodiles, held a sugar glider and hid the food for the Kodiak bear in his den. We kept the kids busy with the aquarium, tower and ferry rides. We hiked the Great Staircase by the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains…998 steps down and 1400 steps up! Surf lessons on Bondi Beach with Leo were fun and the kids outshined the adults and can’t wait to surf again. Doyle’s on Watson Bay also had a great fish-n-chips. Baramundi was our favorite and the boys want me to make it for them. At the end of our 20 days, the kids asked us if we could stay at least another day. Definitely a sign of a great vacation.
Traveling for three weeks and being tired after some long fun-filled days, it was very helpful having apartment style rooms with kitchens. We were able to try kangaroo burgers, kangaroo steaks, and even put some Austalia prawns on the barbie. Vegemite was not a big favorite with the boys but our first grader did give a speech on it as a healthy food.
Thanks for an amazing Aussie adventure!
G’DAY MATES from Kevin, Kristin, Owen and Ian
Traveled to Australia August 2010