With 6-8 weeks to go until the school holidays we need to make plans for if you haven’t already to get some relaxation time with the family. My top tips for some major relaxation this summer will make sure you are fighting fit for the year ahead. It’s the end of the year and before we need to unwind and recuperate before tackling the new year. With the new school year approaching we have changes to prepare our children for and adapt to. Best to be fighting fit to take on all that is involved with a new school year.
There is no better way to relax than at the beach. Yes, those with small kids may disagree but let me teach you how to enjoy the beach as a family.
Rules of enjoying the beach as a family.
- Provide shade. Take an umbrella, or pack a tent. Click here for my recommendation. Trust me years of buying two or three things every summer and this is the first product I have used for more than one season. Years of R&D offered to you! Don’t judge them on the website, the product is much better than the site.
- Pack water
- Pack food/ snacks or be prepared to buy some
- Ensure you have sand toys or beach toys. It can just be a tennis ball.
- Don’t push it. If you have nap time, schedule our visit prior or after nap time.
- Carefully select a beach suited to your level of swimming.
My boys love exploring the rocks. Might was well forget about a beach without rocks. The beach is not all about lying on a towel.
Be aware of where the flags are and swim between the flags.
Beach cricket – is there a better game. It almost tempts me to follow cricket.
The chair. I get it carrying them is a bitch. Not anymore people. I can back my chair and head off for hours. Click here to purchase yours.
My top destinations for getting some MAJOR relaxation time this summer.
Lord Howe Island, NSW
This tiny little island only allows 400 tourists on it at a time which mean it is pricey. IT is pricey to get to and it is pricey once you are there. Having said that try to find the cash to do this once in your lifetime. It is the most beautiful spot and like all places exclusive, there is a cost. There is something for everyone at Lord Howe with hiking, scuba diving, fishing, and many other activities. For me the view and a good book was all that was required. The snorkelling is as good as the diving and the array of fish in this unique place will have you dreaming of being a mermaid under the sea. Exclusive and minimal crowds make this the best destination for getting away from it all.
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
There is deadest no better time to visit Tassie than summer It is still cool there but without the snow and freezing feet. Cradle Mountain does not have mobile coverage (or at least they prefer it but some networks may work in patches) We spent days in front of the fire playing cards after mornings going for various walks around the many tracks. The spa is amazing and there is nothing better than enjoying the view of the bubbling brook as you sit in a nice warm tub filled with lavender and honey. The hot and cold plunge pools do wonders for your circulation. It’s deadest the prettiest place and the views of Lake St Clair are fabulous from a variety of angles. Don’t do the guided lodge walk, the path is well signed and a lot of infrastructure so you won’t get lost, wander at your own pace not the pace of slow lodge guests! Or fast depending on your group. Click here for your accommodation booking. Family Friendly.
Saffire Lodge, Freycinet
You really should include walks to Wineglass bay. Whilst it is amazing looking down on the bay, do not miss going down to the sand to sink your toes in. There really are not many places in the world where you can be on such a beautiful beach and be alone. The circuit trek to Hazards Beach, meanders through wetlands. There are Aboriginal shell middens that should not be missed before heading back to the beach again. This area is wild and beautiful and being in such a quiet and remote place really lets you unwind and chill. Click here for your accommodation booking. Older kids only for this one.
Elements of Byron, New South Wales
Cleverly Elements of Byron are all class and luxury, but they have not forgotten about the kids. The school holidays bring a kid’s club to the resort and many family orientated activities. The pool is calming and vast. The kids will be able to play for hours while you lounge nearby in one of the many pods surrounding the pool area. No need to feel guilt at the kids making noise as there is an adult only pool in the resort. In the evenings head to Botanica Beach Club for a cocktail while the kids release e energy on the beach. The villas allow food delivery service so you can make sure the little ones are always catered for without hotel decadence and prices. Click here for accommodation and further information.
Jervis Bay National Park, New South Wales
Jervis Bay is picturesque and the things Europeans dream of seeing in Australia. All that white sand! There are walks and picnic spots. There are clam creeks made for paddling – kayaks or paddleboards. The Aussie bush is delightful in this area and you will not be disappointed. I remember my last trip there were a large population of snakes – eeeekk, but if you are okay with snakes, this is certainly one of the most beautiful and calming places in the world. The area has a rich Aboriginal Heritage and with the crystal clear waters it is not hard to see why they would of once settled in the area. Click here for accommodation. Family friendly with 2-3 bedroom cabins. There is even a 7-bedroom cabin if you have more to share with.
Minnie Waters, New South Wales
I will hate the fact that I am sharing this place with people. Truth is it is off the beaten track and doesn’t have to many amenities to pull in the crowds. If you are okay with being remote or you seek a beach without the crowd’s closer to the city, look no further. You can pack your family pet at this location as well. Safari tents offer camping without the hassle of putting up a tent. Bring all the normal camping stuff but leave the tent and esky at home. They do have cabins but are limited in number and harder to get a booking. The cabins have an ensuite. The beaches at Minnie Waters are to die for. I kid you not, they are breathtaking. There are no crowds and the water is pristine. Enjoy it until the secret gets out. Click here for accommodation.
Margaret River Region, Western Australia
Don’t think wine areas have very little for families to do as they do not. Margaret River is vast and there is a lot to do between all that space. There are so many adventures. Caves, lighthouses, animal farms, kid friendly boutique breweries, mazes, beaches and many wildflower and scenic walks that there is no end of what you can choose to amuse the kids. I would stay close to Dunsborough only because of the awesome coffee and amazing chocolate shop, but you don’t have to.
The area is rich in Aboriginal heritage and it is well worth the time to join the Bushtucker and Cave tour. Don’t miss the galleries in Yallingup. I still dream of a painting I saw there many years ago. Displaying both local and visiting artists you will not be disappointed. We were visiting at a time of year when the whales would jump out of the water while you eat your breakfast. After the first fifty sightings they become part of the scenery! Click here for a unique family experience.
Somewhere between the two.
If you are interested in seeing miles of sun-drenched landscapes, then the Macedon ranges and Daylesford areas are for you. There are walks with waterfalls, swimming holes, and the bubbling creeks in the Wombat State Forest. The area is also home to some delightful galleries and studios. When the natural beauty of the surrounding forests, waterways and walking trails, there is a lot of inspiration for creativity. Easily accessible from Melbourne, there are many creature comforts and you won’t feel lost without your city amenities. Don’t miss the Hepburn Springs. Click here for accommodation. For something a little different book at the Lake House and make sure to sign up to the cooking school. You will be surprised how relaxed you are when distracted. Click here to make a booking. The Lake House is not great for children and sophisticated pallets required for older children if you want value for money.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
There are so many opportunities to see a large array of wildlife on Kangaroo Island. You can see dolphins, seals, and whales from the shoreline. In the sky, the area is home to many birds and eagles. They are majestic and really calming to watch. The magnificent coastline will have you mesmerised as you drive around the island. Being an island, it is true they work to a different clock than city dwellers. No one is in a rush and no one gets too worked up about anything. The perfect place to relax and enjoy the good life. There are many walks scattered over the island from 30 minutes to day long adventures. Choose what is best for your clan and enjoy. The island is full of produce. Cheeses, honey, and a whole lot more. Make sure to collect some throughout the day to enjoy in the evenings. Click here for family friendly accommodation.
Great Ocean Road, Victoria
The Great Ocean Road is one of the must see in Australia destinations and if you happen to be Australian you must see it several times to make sure you get the best weather and enjoy as much as you can. The vast clifftops with the hundreds of steps to the beach make the treks all worth it. But, you don’t need to do that if you stay in Lorne. Lorne is a great central point for further exploration but also a great base for those that require some comforts. There is a great pub, awesome pizza and a community supermarket. There is a fabulous park for kids to play in, and a beach club and the Click here for accommodation.
The Whitsundays, Queensland
I would book accommodation at Airlie Beach and then see the Whitsundays. Sure, you can go to Daydream Island and Hamilton Island and head off for a day trip or too but nothing will be more amazing than evenings at sea with the family. One of the best holidays of my life was days in the sun and evenings spent watching the sun go down, followed by a moonlight swim (this was prior to many shark attacks in the area) It was carefree and so relaxing. There would not be another boat in site and often we wouldn’t see one all day unless we went near a port or popular day trip spot. Click here to find a boat to suit you and your family. Before you get too worried there is comprehensive training and you can request a sail guide should you feel you need one. Days in the sun and diving into a sea full of colourful fish. Evenings drinking an aperitif as the sun goes down is certainly a way to unwind and a complete getaway from city life.
I have specifically avoided the centre and the top end as it is the wet season. Best to avoid this area in summer. Save it for when the southern parts of Australia are cold and horrible and the top end is delightfully warm. These areas are great to unwind and relax but not over summer.