Walt Disney World are discontinuing free Magic Bands for Resort guests from 2021

Breaking news from Walt Disney World

This week has been a big week for Disney news. With Disney releasing their proposed reopening dates for Disneyland and Disneyworld.

They have also released their new reservation system. Now to enter in the park, you need a your valid pass, as well as reservation for the day. This is to ensure they can follow through with their limited capacity.

However the news that has caught many by surprise is that was of January 1st 2021, Disney will be discontinuing their free magic bands for resort guests.

At the moment when you book into any of the Disney hotels in Walt Disney world, you receive a complimentary magic band per guest on your reservation. These came in a variety of plain colours. Guests could also pay an upgrade to get a Disney themed Band.

Disney have instead that they will be updating their app, “My Disney experience” to bring a magic band feature to allow for this change.

But for those that love the magic band, don’t worry you will still be able to purchase them at a discount when booking. Retail locations and shop Disney will still be selling Magic Bands.

What are your thoughts on Disney discontinuing the complimentary magic bands? Let me know in the comments.

Disney world now has a reopening date

With the news coming that restrictions are beginning to lift in parts of America, Disney has announced their proposed phased reopening dates for Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, as well As the original California Park.

Beginning on July 11th Magic kingdom and Animal Kingdom will be reopening their gates at limited capacity.

July 15th will see the Gates of Epcot and Disney Hollywood studios reopening.

All the combined closures have cost Disney $1 Billion in lost revenue in the second quarter with all its parks, cruise ships and stores forced to close.

For those craving a Disney fix, Disney springs has already reopened.

10 things you need to know about Disney Springs reopening

  1. Limited Parking
  2. Reduced entrances
  3. Temperature screenings are mandatory prior to entry
  4. Face coverings are mandatory for all guests aged 2 and up. Except when dining.
  5. Social distancing is being practised, through physical distanced queues and in some instances physical barriers
  6. Reduced capacity and reduced hours.
  7. No Scheduled entertainment, no high touch offerings
  8. Increased cleanliness. Including additional hand washing stations.
  9. Disney springs is going cashless, most places will not accept Cash. (However you can purchase with cash a Disney gift card at the Welcome centre)
  10. More locations are now participating in mobile ordering. Guests can now pay for their mobile order with Disney gift cards, Apple Pay and Disney rewards redemption Card.

What to expect in the Parks!

  1. Face Coverings
    • Disneyworld will be requiring all guests and Cast members to wear face coverings in the park, and Disney Springs.
  2. Hand Washing
    • Disneyland have added additional hand washing facilities, and hand sanitising facilities around the park.
  3. Physical Distancing
    • The theme parks will be reopening at a reduced capacity to ensure that physical distancing is able to be maintained.
    • Physical barriers may be present to ensure that social distancing is practised.
  4. Temperature Checks
    • As you are entering the parks, and Disney Springs you will need to undergo a temperature check.
    • Staff will also be undertaking daily health checks and temperature checks.
  5. Increased Contactless transactions.
    • Disney will be recommending people pay by card, with many places not accepting cash. However your can use cash at Disney Springs welcome centre to purchase a Disney gift card.
    • Disney are increasing the ability to use mobile ordering in the app.
  6. Increased cleaning and Sanitation
    • Disneyworld have stated that they are building upon their existing standards of cleaning.

If you have visited Disney before, Your next visit to Disney will be different to the last one. However it will still be magical, as it’s Disney. The most magical place on earth.

Changes to your day in the Park

  1. Parades and Nightime spectacular’s are not running initially and will return at a later date.
  2. Character meet and Greets are not running but will return at a later date. Disney have plans for new and entertaining ways that the Characters will be in the park to entertain the guests.
  1. Limited capacity in parks, hotels and Disney Springs. Not all shops and experience will be open.
  2. Certain attractions, queue’s, experiences, services and amenities will be modified, have limited availability and some will remain closed until they can safely reopen.
  3. Extra Magic hours are temporarily suspended.
  4. Booking window is now 60 days, instead of the normal 180 days.

Disney Hotels reopening

There are currently more than 25 Disney resort hotels to pick when you visit Disneyworld. These Disney Vacation club properties at Walt Disney World resort and Disney’s Fort Wilderness resort and Campground will beginning to reopen from June 22 to members and guests. However if you do not have an existing booking you will have to wait a little longer. Disney have still not opening their reservations for new bookings, as they are focusing on guests with existing reservations. The only way you can book a new reservation is if you are a Disney Vacation club member.

With the news coming that restrictions are beginning to lift in parts of America, Disney has announced their proposed phased reopening dates for Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, as well As the original California Park.
With the news coming that restrictions are beginning to lift in parts of America, Disney has announced their proposed phased reopening dates for Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, as well As the original California Park.
With the news coming that restrictions are beginning to lift in parts of America, Disney has announced their proposed phased reopening dates for Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, as well As the original California Park.

Will you be going to Disneyworld with its reopening? Tell us below in the comments.

Disneyland now has a reopening date.

With the news around the world that restrictions are beginning to lift, Disney has announced their proposed phased reopening dates beginning on July 9th for the Californian parks.

On March 14th Disneyland closed its doors and will have been closed for over 4 months by the time it reopens.

But the originals parks where not the first to close, Shanghai Disney was closed on January 25th, Hong Kong Disney closed on January 26th. Tokyo Disney stayed open until February 29th.

Disney world in Florida was the last to close its gates, on March 15th.

All the combined closures have cost Disney $1 Billion in lost revenue in the second quarter with all its parks, cruise ships and stores forced to close.

We are going to look at the dates, and what you can expect on your next visit.

For those craving a Disney fix, head down to Downtown Disney district from July 9th, to enjoy the shopping and dining district.

Only 8 days later on July 17th, people will begin to walk back in the gates of the “happiest place on earth”

Why is this date significant? July 17th is the 65th anniversary of the resort.

However don’t expect to be able to be fully immersed in Disney yet, the accomodation will not reopen until later, Both the Disney Grand California Hotel and Spa and Disney’s Paradise pier are planning to reopen on July 23rd.

There is not an official date yet for the reopening of Disneyland hotel.

Winnie the Pooh ride Disneyland

What to expect!

  1. Face Coverings
    • Disneyland will be requiring all Cast members and guests to wear face coverings in the park
  2. Hand Washing
    • Disneyland have added additional hand washing facilities around the park.
  3. Physical Distancing
    • The theme parks will be reopening at a reduced capacity to ensure that physical distancing is able to be maintained.
    • Physical barriers may be present to ensure that social distancing is practised.
  4. Temperature Checks
    • As you are entering Downtown Disney District and the theme parks you will need to undergo a temperature check.
    • Staff will also be undertaking daily health checks and temperature checks.
  5. Increased Contactless transactions.
    • Disney will be recommending people pay by card, with many places not accepting cash
    • Disney are increasing the ability to use mobile ordering in the app.
  6. Increased cleaning and Sanitation
    • Disneyland have stated that they are building upon their existing standards of cleaning.

Changes to your day at the Park

As Disneyland now will be running at a significantly lower capacity they have changed the way you purchase tickets for the park.

  1. Park reservations
    • All Park attendance will now be managed through a brand new system. This requires all guests, no matter what type of ticket (including Annual pass holders) to reserve their ticket for attendance.
  2. No New tickets
    • If you dont already have tickets or annual pass to Disneyland, then you are going to have to wait a little longer. With a temporary pause on new tickets. No news yet on when they will be issuing new tickets. At the moment they are trying to get through previous reservations and tickets.
  3. Limited capacity in parks, hotels, restaurants and downtown Disney. Not all shops and experience will be opening.
  4. Certain attractions, queue’s, experiences, services and amenities will be modified, have limited availability and some will remain closed until they can safely reopen.
  5. Whilst Character meet and greets will not be running at the moment, Disney have plans for new and entertaining ways that the Characters will be in the park entertaining the guests.
  1. Parades and Nightime spectacular’s will return at a later date.

What does that mean for Marvel Avengers Campus?

Over the last couple of years, Marvel fans have been waiting for the opening of Disney Californaia Adventures newest area “Avengers Campus” which was slated to open in July 2020.

Unfortunately they will have to wait a little longer, with it postponed indefinitely, Disney are yet to release a new time frame.

Are you planning to go to Disneyland when it reopens?

Tell us in the comments below.

Ten places everyone should visit in Australia

With the International borders looking like they are going to be closed for at least the next twelve months we have put together our list of Ten places you should visit in Australia.

Whitsundays

The Whitsunday Islands rest on the North East Coast of Queensland, located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsunday Islands are made up of 74 islands, Hamilton Island its largest habited island has its own golf course, airport and primary school. Daydream island is the smallest measuring just 1km in length.

The Whitsundays are full of stunning landscapes, from dense rainforest, amazing white sandy beaches, hiking trails and grand resorts.

Two of the must see locations in the Whitsundays are the iconic heart Reef, located out at Hardy Reef.

But probably its most famous location is the iconic Whitehaven beach with 98 % pure silica sand. As you look out on the amazing seven kilometres of sand you see the amazing colours of the turquoise, blue and green water.

If you make it to Whitehaven beach you need to head up to the Northern Island to Hill Inlet, where you see the swirling sands.

Uluru

Uluru also known as Ayers Rock is a huge Rock formation found in the Northern Territory. Uluru is made from Sandstone and stands, 348m high, rising 863m above sea level.

Uluru is famous as it appears to change colour depending on the time of day. From Burnt orange, to intense red.

Uluru

Whilst you cannot climb Uluru anymore there are some great walking trails around the base. Whether you want to walk the full 9.4km circumference, or just take a small stroll, You get a real perspective of its size as you walk around the base and see the traditional drawings, the water falls.

Uluru
Uluru

Uluru can be accessed with by air, with direct flights from most major airports to Alice springs, which is 4 hours away, then hire a car or jump on a coach to get there.

Or catch a flight with Jetstar and virgin to Ayers Rock airport, pre Covid19 there were daily flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns, and 3-4 times a week from Brisbane.

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road starts at Torquay, only 90 minutes from Melbourne. The 243 km road is on The Australian National Heritage list and runs all the way to Allansford.

Most of the road hugs the coastline and there are great little towns, iconic lighthouses, waterfalls, and beaches. nature reserves and cliffs along the way.

The most famous of these would be the iconic Twelve apostles, as well as the Loch Ard gorge, and London Bridge, Gibson steps.

Great Ocean Road
Twelve apostles Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road

Visit the Far North Queensland

Port Douglas – Cairns and beyond.

When I think of Far North Queensland, I think of rainforests, beach, and ancient geological wonders, Like the Undara Lava tubes, limestone caves and volcanic craters.

Take a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef and swim, dive and snorkel amongst turtles, clownfish and gorgeous corals.

Take a visit to the ruins of a castle, There is something magical about wandering the ruins of Paronella Park covered in vines. This is the perfect spot to explore, imagine and daydream.

Paronella Park

Far North Queensland is also home to the worlds oldest tropical rainforest. The wet tropics is 9000 sq km (About the size of Cyprus) and includes 30 different national parks. Running from Townsville, up to Cooktown is full of history, waterfalls, world heritage areas. You will not be disappointed.

Far North Queensland
Far North Queensland
Paronella Park
Paronella Park

Cradle Mountain – Dove Lake

Cradle Mountain - Dove Lake

Located in the Cradle mountain – Lake St Clair national Park is Tasmania’s iconic Cradle Mountain. Whilst it is the sixth highest mountain in Tasmania, is close proximity to both Launceston, (2 hours) and and hour and a half from Devonport make it undoubtedly the most famous peak in the state.

A great vantage point to see Cradle Mountain is at Dove Lake, this popular lake has well maintained paths that incircle it and on a clear day you get a lovely view of Cradle Mountain.

These paths also continue onto Cradle Mountain, for those that want to walk to the peak it is about six and a half hours and very strenuous climb.

Port Arthur

Port Arthur

Port Arthur is a very sombre yet historical site in Tasmania, that well worth visiting. Port Arthur is a town and former convict settlement that is located just under 100km from Hobart.

Port Arthur is a world heritage site, from 1833 to 1853 it was the destination for Convicted British criminals, and stayed as a prison until 1877.

Located on 40 hectares of land, with over 30 buildings you can learn all about the history of the area.

Glass house mountains

Located on the Sunshine Coast, near the Beerburrum State forest is the beautiful Glasshouse mountains.

The 13 mountains including the largest hill, Mount Beerwah which rises 556 metres above sea level, are a significant peak on the landscape of the Sunshine Coast.

Located an hour from Noosa and an hour from Brisbane, they are full of walking trails, abseiling locations, and home to six small townships, linked by country roads and rail.

Glasshouse Mountains
Glasshouse Mountains

Phillip Island

Phillip Island, is a island located about 140km from Melbourne, with 97km of beautiful coastline . Phillip Island is 26km long and 9 km wide and is home to the Phillip Island Grand Prix track.

People swarm to the island in summer for Surfing, with many iconic surf breaks located on the island. As well as the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island on Summerland Beach home to the little penguins.

There is one entry onto the island, a 640m concrete bridge connects the town on mainland San Remo, with the Phillip island town of Newhaven.

Phillip island is extremely popular over Summer and its population increases by 400%

Chocolate Factory
Surfing lesson
Surfing lesson

Craig’s Hut

Craigs Hut

Located in the Victorian Alps of the Great dividing range, is the iconic Craig’s hut. Located atop Mt Stirling, about 50 kms from Mansfield, it is famous as the set for Australia’s iconic film. The Man from Snowy river.

Unfortunately during the bushfires in 2006, the original hut was burnt down, however it was rebuilt and as of 2008 was reopened to public visits.

The only way to get there is to walk the 1.2km walking trail from the day visitor area, or to arrive via 4WD.

Mt Stirling

Go West.

Western Australia covers and amazing 33% of Australia’s landmass, however only has 10% of Australia’s popuation. It is a beautiful rugged area with such a wide range of landscapes from beaches, gorges, caves, waterfalls and rock formations.

Pinnacles

Western Australia is also home to wildflowers not seen anywhere else in the world.

Kalbarri Natures window
Kalbarri Natures window

Western Australia is so vast that it has one person per square km, or 2.5 people per square mile, with its capital Perth having a density of approx 739 per square mile.

Compare that with California, and Los Angeles that is approximately 100 times the population density. Los Angeles population density is 253.9 people per square mile. Los Angeles’s population density is 7484 people per square mile.

Western Australia

What are some of the places that you would have on your must visit list?

10 places you must visit in Australia
10 places you must visit in australlia
10 places you must visit in australlia

Gold Coast Themeparks have now got a reopening date!

Our house is very excited today with the news that the Village Roadshow themeparks now have a reopening date.

The CEO of Village Roadshow Theme Parks, Clark Kirby, has said in media releases they were taking a “conservative approach” to reopening, with a 50 per cent capacity at each park.

Sea World 26th June

Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast

Sea World is run by totally different company than the American namesake with more of a focus on rehabilitation.  Seaworld is an oceanarium, marine mammal park, and theme park.

It has a great children’s area for younger children and a few rides aimed at older children, teens, and adults. With many more due to be opened over the next twelve months. Sea World has a large focus on sea animals.  It has the license to Nickelodeon, so our children love meeting the Paw Patrol characters, Sponge Bob and TMNT.

Paradise Country 26th June

Take your children to an Australian homestead with a great variety of Australian animals including kangaroos, koalas, and emus. At Paradise Country you can take a farm tour that includes several shows which feature boomerang throwing, stock Horse demonstrations and learning how to make billy tea and damper.


Australian Outback Spectacular 3 July

Located on the Gold Coast between Wet n Wild and Movieworld is the Australian Outback dinner show.

Featuring, singing, Horse riding the show is extremely entertaining. and whilst you watch the show you get a feast on a wonderful 3-course dinner. We have been numerous times and it doesn’t disappoint.


Movie World 15th July

In Australia the Gold Coast is the home of Australia’s theme parks, Whilst Florida might have Disneyworld and Los Angeles might have Disneyland.

In Australia, we have “Hollywood on the Gold Coast” Warner Brothers Movie world.

Movieworld is the home of entertainment. A visit to Movie world will see you immersed in DC Superheroes, with multiple rides themed on the superheroes. There are also rides based on Lego, Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo. For fans of Harry Potter there is merchandise and some theming on shops, however no rides.

It is also home to active Movie studios, the blockbuster Aquaman was filmed there, as well as Thor – Ragnarok, Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales and many more amazing films.

Movie World is home to the longest, fastest, and tallest hypercoaster in the Southern Hemisphere, the DC Rivals Hypercoaster, and the amazing VR rollercoaster themed on the Joker, Arkham Asylum


Wet n Wild 15th July

Wet n wild

No matter what the weather Wet n Wild remains open, whilst many locals find it to cold during the winter months, the pools are heated through Winter so it is a great time to go with lower numbers. Located adjacent to Movie world it has 4 pools, 17 water slides, and 2 Children’s areas.

Dreamworld – Dates TBC

Dreamworld has yet to release there opening dates as they wait for clarification on the border opening dates.

Dream World is set on 210 acres in Coomera. With its own waterpark next door, Dreamworld and WhiteWater World are home to more than 40 rides and slides including 7 Thrill Rides.. Dreamworld is a real favorite with the pre-school crowd, as it has ABC and Wiggles licensed areas. Dreamworld also has rides connected to Dreamworks.

Dreamworld is also the home of some very cute tigers.

But for those of us who love Lego, you don’t need tickets to buy your favorite lego from the Lego store with an entrance on the outside of the park. Dreamworld is the home of the thrill ride on the Gold Coast and recently had opened a new ride.

But for our family who love Disney. Our favourite Fun Fact is that some designers who worked on Disneyland and Walt Disney World helped design some of Dreamworld.

Are you excited about the reopening?

Chocolate Easter Egg Fudge

Easter is a time of Chocolate decadence, and with our friends at Jayco Ballarat we have out together a video of our favourite Chocolate Easter Egg fudge recipe.

Chocolate Easter Egg Fudge

Ingredients

  • 2 Packets of Creme filled Easter Eggs
  • 2 x 180g Chocolate Blocks
  • 1 Tin Condensed Milk

Method

  • Cut Easter Eggs in half and put aside until later
  • Break up chocolate and place in Saucepan with condensed milk over low heat.
  • Once fully melted and combined take off the heat
  • Mix in half of the chocolate eggs
  • Pour fudge into the tin
  • Decorate with the remaining half of the Easter Eggs
  • Refrigerate for 5-6 hours
  • Then devour

Variations

  • In this recipe we used Salted Caramel, however we have also used creme eggs, Caramel eggs and Oreo and Caramilk eggs.
Creme Egg Chocolate Fudge
Oreo Egg Chocolate Fudge

You can also use your leftover chocolate from Easter

(Who are we kidding, who has leftover Chocolate)

Tell us below in the comments what variety of fudge you would try first.

Australia Zoo – Home of the Crocodile Hunter.

Australia Zoo, Sleeping Koala

Located near the iconic Glasshouse mountains, on the Sunshine Coast is Australia’s iconic Australia Zoo. 

On 1000 acres, Australia Zoo is one of Australia’s most iconic zoos, and one of Queensland’s most popular tourist destinations. The Zoo itself is on 110 acres with a huge range of exhibitions.

Its centrepiece is the Crocoseum (Crocodile show), made famous but the late Steve Irwin. The Original Crocodile Hunter. Bur Australia Zoo has been around before Steve made it famous with his Khaki shorts, and Loveable enthusiasm for Nature.

Crocoseum - Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo was opened back in 1970 by Bob and Lyn Irwin, Steve’s parents, as the Beerwah reptile park, and over the next twenty years, it continued to grow and included Crocodiles. Australia Zoo really rose to prominence when it was taken over by Bob and Lyn’s son the late Steve Irwin and his wife Terri in 1998.

Expanding from Reptiles it has grown into a huge variety of different exhibits, Including African animals, Tigers, South East Asian Animals, Rainforest Aviary, Australian animals, animals rescue operations, rehab hospital, horses, and a strong emphasis on conservation and rehabilitation.

Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo
Bindi's Island - Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo Tickets

One Day Ticket

  • Adult – $59.00 
  • Children (3-14 Year Old) – $35.00
  • Family 2A 2C – $172.00
  • Family 2A 3C – $189.00
  • Pensioner – $47.00
  • Student – $47.00

Two Day Ticket

  • Adult – $87.00 
  • Children (3-14 Year Old) – $51.00
  • Family 2A 2C – $258.00
  • Family 2A 3C – $283.50
  • Pensioner – $69.00
  • Student – $69.00

Annual Pass

  • Adult – $109.00 
  • Children (3-14 Year Old) – $69.00

Extra Benefits to the Annual Pass

  • 20% Off Caddie Tours
  • 10% Off Retail
  • 10% Off Feeding Frenzy Eateries
  • Loyalty Program – Retail & Encounter Credits
  • Annual Renewal Packages

Extra Opportunities for Adventure

Animal Encounters 

Australia Zoo has dozens of animal encounters available from the cute and cuddly koalas, to more adventurous walk with the tigers.

Animal encounter - Australia Zoo

Zoo Keeper for a day

Children aged between 4 and 15, will love Australia’s Zoo, Zookeeper for a day, a program that runs in the school holidays. This program allows children to go behind the scenes.

Koala - Australia Zoo

Tours

After a personalised 5 hour adventure with a tour guide. Then sign up to one of Australia Zoo’s Walking, or Golf buggy style tour. You can also book a personalised tour of the Wildlife Hospital as well.

Kids Zoo

Kids Zoo is a great place for children to see Baby farm animals, calves, lambs, kids and piglets.

Australia Zoo - Kids Zoo

Where to eat at Australia Zoo

I don’t know about you but our children seem to get hungry the minute we turn up somewhere and our visit to Australia Zoo was no exception.

Crikey Cafe Foodcourt

Located up above the Crocoseum is a large food court, called the Crickey Cafe. Serving a variety of fast food, from salads, hot chips, sushi, burger, pizza. There are a huge variety of drinks including a variety of hot and cold drinks.

Crickey Cafe

Dingo Diner

Dingo Diner is a great place to grab a coffee, cake in a relaxed cafe style environment.

Laughing Frog Lolly Shop

If your kids are after a sweet treat, then the Laughing Frog Lolly shop has over 300 lollies for sale, as well as delicious ice creams. The Laughing frog lolly shop also sells Coffee’s as well.

Laughing Frog Lolly shop

Kiosk’s through the park

Also located through the park are other kiosks that sell drinks, ice creams and coffee.

Ways to cool off.

Water Park

Water Park - Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo has a awesome Water Park located near the Lolly Shop and Dingo Diner, perfect for the children to cool off on a hot Queensland day.

Human Sprinkler - Mist

We even have human sprinkler cool down stations and fantastic misters to cool down.

Australia Zoo Opening Hours

9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily

Christmas Day – closed

Address

1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah, Qld, 4519

Located near the iconic Glasshouse mountains, on the Sunshine Coast is the iconic Australia Zoo. 

Come find out why Australia Zoo is a must see on your next trip to the Sunshine Coast
Located near the iconic Glasshouse mountains, on the Sunshine Coast is the iconic Australia Zoo. 

Come find out why Australia Zoo is a must see on your next trip to the Sunshine Coast
Located near the iconic Glasshouse mountains, on the Sunshine Coast is the iconic Australia Zoo. 

Come find out why Australia Zoo is a must see on your next trip to the Sunshine Coast

Find out more fun things to do on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.

Best Weekend escapes near Ballarat.

This year there is a huge push in Australia to #holidayherethisyear. Tourism Australia are urging all us Australians to try and spend our holidays this year, in our tourist towns that have been greatly affected not only by the bushfires, but also due to the decreased numbers in tourists arriving.

Port Fairy - Bike ride

One of the great ways to support local towns is to head off and see our own backyard on the weekend to a town with an empty fridge in the Caravan, an empty cupboard and buy from the locals in the area.

We decided to have a look at some of the great places we could hitch up our caravan and head to within a couple of hours of Ballarat.

What we found was that within an easy two – three hour drive from Ballarat, you can find a huge variety of things to do. From Bike riding, wineries, day spas, hiking, beaches.

No matter what the weather there is a weekend escape to suit you and your caravan.

Grampians

Located 150kms west of Ballarat is the spectacular Grampians National Park. Grampians is renowned for its amazing hiking, as well as a great place to see native Australian animals.

The town of Halls Gap is a very popular tourist spot for Caravanners

Lorne / Apollo Bay (Great Ocean Road)

140 kms south of Ballarat is the beautiful seaside towns of Lorne and Apollo Bay located on the iconic Great Ocean Road

Whether you are after a relaxing holiday, want to see amazing waterfalls, or just want to laze at the beach. Lorne has it all.

A popular camping / caravanning spot is the Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park, where you can relax and unwind on the foreshore.

Our favourite thing to do whilst at Lorne is to drive to the local waterfalls, Sheoak Falls and head up amongst the beautiful fernery to take it all in.

Daylesford

If you are after a relaxing weekend then Daylesford should be high on the list. Popular due to it having Australia’s largest concentration of natural mineral springs, it is the perfect place to unwind and relax. Located only 45kms from Ballarat. It’s the perfect place to go with your van and enjoy a weekend break.

Leave the Caravan behind, and take the fifteen minute drive to the Chocolate Mill located in Mount Franklin.

Book in for a massage, or spa at Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa.

Dine in one of the amazing world class restaurants.

Chocolate mill
Chocolate mill

Nagambie

180 kms and just over 2 hours away from Ballarat is the gorgeous Lake Nagambie, this artificial lake created back in 1891 is a very popular spot for boating enthusiasts.

Nagambie is also getting a real reputation within the wine industry, it gives its name to the Nagambie Lakes wine region, with its two most notable wines, Mitchelton and Tahbilk.

Mitchelton winery is also a very popular spots for weddings, and engagements. With an amazing view from Mitchelton’s observation tower.

Take a wander through town and see the statue of Black Cavier, born in Nagambie, she remained undefeated her whole career.

Warrnambool

Also located along the Great ocean road, about 170km from Ballarat is Warrnambool.

Warrnambool is the perfect place between June and October to do a spot of Whale watching, especially on Logan’s Beach.

Warrnambool also has hot springs, sheltered beaches, scenic lighthouses that are still in use today.

History buffs will love learning all about Maritime history, at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime museum.

Port Fairy

One of our favourite weekend locations is also located on the Great Ocean Road, Port Fairy is about 200 kms away from Ballarat, 28 km west of Warrnambool.

Port Fairy name has an interesting history. Originally back in the early 19th Century, whalers and seal hunters used the area, and named the area Port Fairy reportably after the sealing ship, The Fairy.

However later in 1835 John Griffiths established a whaling station in the area, and James Atkinson a solicitor from Sydney purchased land in the area and created a Harbour and renamed the area Belfast after his hometown in Ireland.

By the mid to later 19th century Belfast had become one of Australia’s largest ports, and in an Act of Parliment in 1887 renamed the town. Port Fairy. Which it has stayed.

Port Fairy is steeped in History, with over 50 buildings protected by the National Trust of Australia. The town runs a very successful Folk festival every year. It is a popular spot amongst Golfers, as well as Surfers, and bike riders.

Yambuk

Also located along the Great Ocean Road (Are you also sensing a pattern here) is the amazing Yambuk Giant Slide, located on the sand dunes this 33m long slide is a favourite for Adults and Children alike.

Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road

Where are some of your favourite places to visit near Ballarat.

Tell is in the comments below.

Top Ten Activities to do on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.

Top ten Must-see attractions on the Sunshine Coast.

Are you heading to the Sunshine Coast, and wondering what to do? We have put together our list of our favorite things to do on your next visit to the Sunshine Coast.

Noosa Heads

Noosa Hastings Street and Main Beach

Hastings Street is the heart of Noosa, the iconic street is full of resorts, shopping, cafe’s, ice cream stores, and restaurants. The street backs onto the iconic Main beach, Number 7 in last year’s Trip advisor’s Top Ten Australian Beaches.

Noosa Hastings Street
Noosa Hastings Street
Noosa Heads - Hastings Street
Noosa Heads – Hastings Street
Noosa Hastings Street
Noosa Hastings Street

Noosa main beach is great for swimming and relaxing on the beach. Noosa Main Beach is one of the few beaches in Australia that faces North. Surf lifesavers, patrol the beach year-round making it a favorite spot for families.

Noosa Heads
Noosa Heads

Noosa Main beach is also a Favorite of surfers. Protected by headland the waves are a bit smaller, so great for beginners.

Main Beach Noosa
Main Beach Noosa

Aussie World

Aussie World is the Sunshine Coast’s own theme park. With over 30 rides and attractions, it’s a great fun family day out. Located on the Bruce Highway at Palm view it is a very popular tourist attraction for the area. It has been running for over 30 years and is open 363 days a year.

Aussie World
Aussie World

Aussie World is presently building another thrill ride the SX360 an extreme thrill ride that is opening soon.

Children under the age of 3 are free to enter. Day passes start at $30 for Seniors, Pensioner, and Concession and then $38 per person, with Family passes for 4 at $136, and a family of 5 at $167.

Address – 1 Downunder Drive, Palmview Queensland.

Aussie World
Aussie World

The Ginger Factory

Ginger Factory
Ginger Factory

Ginger Factory in Yandina is a very popular tourist destination. You can wander in for free and look around the gardens, or let your children play in the playground.

Ginger Factory
Ginger Factory

Wander through the assorted shops on site, and If you get hungry grab a bite to eat at their fully licensed cafe, or head to there Ice Creamery and try a wide selection of handmade ice cream made on site. Including a wide selection of Ginger flavored ice creams.

Ginger Factory
Ginger Factory

With added paid extras like the fun boat ride “Overboard” that is reminiscent of Disneyland’s small world, or the ginger train, that tours through the Ginger factories 9 hectares of gardens. There is plenty of things for the family.

Ginger Factory
Ginger Factory

For those interested in bees and honey, there is also a live bee show and tasting available.

50 Pioneer Road, Yandina, Queensland

The Big Pineapple

No visit to the sunshine coast would be complete without a photo in front of the Big Pineapple. The Big Pineapple is located on the 165-hectare property on the Nambour connection road in Woombye.

Big Pineapple
Big Pineapple

The Big Pineapple features the heritage-listed Big Pineapple, and Big Pineapple visitor area, the wildlife HQ zoo, as well as the Pineapple train.

Big Pineapple
Big Pineapple

There is a little store on-site that you can grab a cold drink and ice-cream, as a range of pineapple inspired mementos.

There is no entry fee to go to the Big Pineapple, however, you can pay to go on the train, visit the zoo or take the treetop challenge.

Big Pineapple
Big Pineapple

The Big Pineapple also hosts the Big Pineapple musical festival each year.

Sealife Sunshine Coast (Previously Underwater World)

Sealife Sunshine Coast, is an oceanarium, marine park located in Mooloolaba.

Sealife is a family-friendly attraction, perfect in any weather. There are over 11 amazing and unique zones.

The highlight is the 2.5 million litre tank, where you walk through a 80-metre tunnel, with shark swimming above. This takes visitors past multiple different windows showing you various fish.

Sealife Mooloolaba
Sealife Mooloolaba

Eumundi Markets

Eumundi market is an Art and Craft Market, with Farmers and bakers selling fresh products and gourmet foods. There are musicians and street performers.

Eumundi Markets opened back on 24th March in 1979. Starting with three market holders and eight visitors and now has over 600 stalls and annual visitors of 1.6 million people.

Eumundi Market is open every day of the year, on a Saturday and Wednesday, in the charming historical town of Eumundi, located in the hinterlands.

Address – 80 Memorial Drive, Eumundi, Queensland

Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park is 9800 acres of beautiful forests, beaches, rainforests. Noosa National Park has 15 km of walking tracks ranging from easy to medium grade.

Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park has over 1 million visits every year, and its walking trail, to Hell’s gate, is one of the most traversed trails in Queensland.

Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park

Head to the Hinterlands – Montville

Montville is a beautiful little town up in the Hinterlands. Montville is a great mixture of amazing views, wonderful dining, and gorgeous shops and art galleries.

Montville
Montville

One of our favorite shops is the Artisan Chocolate shop and Cafe in Montville, called Chocolate Country.

Montville
Montville

All the chocolates are produced in house at Montville, they also make delicious fudges, Chocolate bark and have an impressive collection of lollies as well.

Montville
Montville

Australia Zoo, Beerwah

Australia Zoo is located near the Glasshouse Mountains and is located on 1000 acres.

Australia Zoo is one of Australia’s most iconic zoos, and one of Queensland’s most popular tourist destinations.

Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo was opened back in 1970 by Bob and Lyn Irwin as the Beerwah reptile park. over the next twenty years it continued to grow and included the Crocodile, but really rose to prominence when it was taken over by Bob and Lyn’s son the late Steve Irwin and his wife Terri in 1998″

Australia Zoo has grown into 110 acres with a lot of different exhibits, from Crocoseum (Crocodile show), African animals, Tigers, South East Asian Animals, Rainforest Aviary, Australian animals, animals rescue operations, rehab hospital, and a strong emphasis on conservation and rehabilitation.

Address – 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah, Queensland.

Glasshouse Mountains National Park

Driving down the Bruce Highway you can see the distinctive peaks of the Glasshouse mountains. Listed on the Queensland and National Heritage register, the Glasshouse Mountain National Park is a popular place for nature lovers and those that love to go for a hike.

Glasshouse Mountains
Glasshouse Mountains
Glasshouse Mountains
Glasshouse Mountains
Glasshouse Mountains
Glasshouse Mountains
Glasshouse Mountains
Glasshouse Mountains
Glasshouse Mountains

Have you traveled to the Sunshine Coast? What would be your Top ten Must-see attractions on the Sunshine Coast?

Are there any other places that would make your Top Ten activities list?

Tell us in the comments below.

Sunshine Coast is the third most populated area in the Australian state of Queensland.
Sunshine Coast is well-known for its pristine beaches, scenic drives and unspoiled national parks. 
Sunshine Coast is famous for beautiful ocean to the hinterland, Most restaurants in this region take advantage of fresh local produce
Come see our top ten things to do on the Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Coast is the third most populated area in the Australian state of Queensland.
Sunshine Coast is well-known for its pristine beaches, scenic drives and unspoiled national parks. 
Sunshine Coast is famous for beautiful ocean to the hinterland, Most restaurants in this region take advantage of fresh local produce
Come see our top ten things to do on the Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Coast is the third most populated area in the Australian state of Queensland.
Sunshine Coast is well-known for its pristine beaches, scenic drives and unspoiled national parks. 
Sunshine Coast is famous for beautiful ocean to the hinterland, Most restaurants in this region take advantage of fresh local produce
Come see our top ten things to do on the Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Coast is the third most populated area in the Australian state of Queensland.
Sunshine Coast is well-known for its pristine beaches, scenic drives and unspoiled national parks. 
Sunshine Coast is famous for beautiful ocean to the hinterland, Most restaurants in this region take advantage of fresh local produce
Come see our top ten things to do on the Sunshine Coast

Chocolate Country – Artisan Chocolate in Montville

“Chocolate is happiness that you can eat.”

Chocolate Country

We love Chocolate in our house and one of our favorite things to do is to go around and find Chocolate Mills, Chocolate Factories and Chocolate shops.

We decided to head up to the very scenic Montville in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland to Chocolate Country. Montville has a population of 970 people and has a reputation for quality dining, art galleries, and beautiful panoramic views.

Montville
Montville

Chocolate country has been making and serving quality Artisan handmade chocolate since 1993. But Chocolate Country is more than just a chocolate shop, it is also a cafe, and a chocolate school.

Chocolate Country

Chocolate Country has a huge selection of quality chocolates, that are made in Montville.

Chocolate Country Chocolate Country

The cafe has a range of food, with a great range of coffee, hot chocolate made with belgium chocolate, as well as a variety of drinks.

Chocolate Country

They serve delicious chocolate tasting platters, or if devonshire tea is more your flavour, they bake fresh scones daily. 

Chocolate country doesn’t just have chocolate, their honeycomb is divine, and our children loved their huge variety of lollies you can purchase by weight.

Chocolate Country Chocolate Country

The Chocolate Country School has a maximum of 8 people in each class. Covering a whole range of techniques that allow any chocolate lover to fully understand and master how to work with chocolate.

Chocolate Country

Next time you head to the Sunshine Coast, make sure you take the windy road up to Montville and find Chocolate Country, you won’t be disappointed.

Do you love Chocolate? What is your favorite flavor? Tell me in the comments below.

Chocolate is happiness that you can eat.”
We love Chocolate in our house and one of our favorite things to do is to go around and find Chocolate Mills, Chocolate Factories and Chocolate shops. So we decided to give Chocolate Country in Montville Sunshine Coast
Chocolate is happiness that you can eat.”
We love Chocolate in our house and one of our favorite things to do is to go around and find Chocolate Mills, Chocolate Factories and Chocolate shops. So we decided to give Chocolate Country in Montville Sunshine Coast
Chocolate is happiness that you can eat.”
We love Chocolate in our house and one of our favorite things to do is to go around and find Chocolate Mills, Chocolate Factories and Chocolate shops. So we decided to give Chocolate Country in Montville Sunshine Coast