Fairy Park – Anakie

Fairy Park – Anakie

Just one hour west of Melbourne and only 60 kms out of Ballarat is the magical Fairy Park in Anakie. A must see destination for those with young children.

The magical Fairy Park opened it’s doors back in 1959, most of the displays were made by hand by Peter Mayer, a German immigrant who purchased the land and opened Fairy Park, his family still runs the Park even now almost 60 years later.

Built on Mount Anakie, the 22 hand crafted scenes from various fairy tales snake their way around and up the hill, with a magical Summit view form Elephant rock at the top.

To enter and pay you drive up the driveway and pay at a ticket box half way up the long driveway.

Adults are $16 and children 3 years and older are $8.

There are 2 or 3 different places that sell food and beverages however they are only open on weekends, and their times vary. Fairy Park’s website has a calendar that lets you know when they are open. However if they are closed their are some vending machines around the place.

It is the perfect place to bring a picnic with seats found all over the place not just in the main Picnic areas.

It has three main sections, Fairytale Land, Camelot playground and Elephant Rock picnic grounds and (Electric BBQ’s).

Fairy Park - Anakie
Fairy Park – Anakie

Fairytale Land

Fairytale Land is an enchanting place where your child can see over 22 amazing displays of some well known, and some more obscure fairy tales, myths and legends.

Your children will be enchanted by the Frog Prince, Cinderella, Snow White, sleeping beauty, rumpelstilzshen, Goldilocks and many more.

Camelot Playground

Camelot playground is a favourite with children of all ages, their is so much to do there all based on the medieval theme.

 

Travel Quotes.

One thing that a traveller loves, is a collection of travel quotes.

It’s a great way to daydream the days away as we are waiting on our next trip. And with help from Jayco Ballarat we have put together a slideshow of some of our favourite travel quotes.

Let us know of your favourites in the comments below.

 

 

 

Eclectic Tastes – Ballarat

Located in the famous Goldfields town of Ballarat is the ” Eclectic Tastes Café and Pantry ”

This gorgeous cafe is the perfect place to stop for breakfast or lunch when you are exploring this beautiful goldfields town.

As the name suggests the decor is a real eclectic mix, the tables lined with paper so children and adults alike can draw whilst they wait for their food and drinks to arrive.

Each time we go the food does not disappoint with great fresh food, and freshly squeezed juices, combined with great service.

It’s easy to get a carpark as its a bit out of town,  only a stone’s through from Lake Wendouree.

eclectic Taste

eclectic Taste

eclectic Taste

eclectic Taste

 

Moonta Bay

Moonta Bay

My favourite place so far.
On the York Peninsula and only a couple of hours away from Adelaide, Moonta Bay has a fabulous beach for families with the tide going out at least 150 metres from the shore on low tide, leaving ankle deep water or none, right out to the shark proof swimming area. Comes in nicely for a very enjoyable high tide swimming area with all the local children making the most of it!

Adding to that is the fabulous caravan park on the shore with fabulous beach view beheld by almost every site.

Copper mines of Moonta.

One of the few mining ventures of the York Peninsula, copper was mined from the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s with various methods, each showing the resilience and brilliance of mind of the pioneers.
Few buildings remain, but it is possible to get the gist of each era by the signs that flank the well defined tourist route through the old township of “Moonta Mines”.
The magnificent school building once housed over 800 children!
The modern town of Moonta is the continuation towards the sea of the old township.
Today it is mostly a retirees town, with few professional fishermen, but many, many amateur fishermen, mostly of the grey nomad tourist class!
And they just LOVE the place!!

Origins

The first miners were from Wales, hence the sign on the close up of the school.
The railway still runs a tourist train for about 5 kts with a running commentary of the history of the ming operation etc.  Many people still live in houses like this Minor’s house. They have very low doorways and roofs. In all, a very interesting place to visit.

Love M

Sportsworks

Sportsworks.

Explore how your body moves and works in Scienceworks amazing Sportsworks. This interactive exhibit allows children (and adults alike) to race against Cathy Freeman, rock climb like an adventurer. Play sport against their favorite sportsmen and learn how their body works.

Sportsworks is a great place to run, throw, leap, climb, stretch and row. It teaches children about the science behind how there bodies move. The science behind sport.

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Sportsworks

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This area is great for children in both primary and secondary school with information to suit all ages.

This area teaches children that their is much more to sport than meets the eye. Sport involves Mathematics (calculating weights, lengths and other measurements). Technology (Athletes clothes, shoes, and other equipment) Science – all about Biology, how the body works, the heart, the lungs and how they impact fitness. Also Health how diet, exercise and natural ability (skills) all play apart in sport.

 

 

 

Scienceworks – Nitty Gritty Super City

Nitty Gritty Super City

A visit to Science works would not be complete without a trip to Nitty Gritty Super City. Located upstairs this area is designed specifically for children from age 3-8 (although my 9 and 11 year old loved playing with their younger siblings their as well)

There are lots of interactive areas for the children to enjoy.

This exhibit is hands on, the children will be building, pushing, pulling, spinning. There are great carer’s notes near each of the exhibits for you to help guide your child’s activities. Or just let them explore!

Build it

Is a great construction zone which teaches children about pullies, helps them learn about angles whilst building a bridge. Team work as they work together to rebuild a wall. There is a digger to use. A wall to learn about using the right tool for the job.

Build it

Recyclatron

The recyclatron is a great area to teach children how important it is to recycle. How we can turn useful things, like cans, bottles and paper, aren’t wasted, but are saved to be made into new things.

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Cafe

The cafe not only teaches children to work together some children are waiters, some chefs, some patrons of the cafe. It teaches children where our food comes from. What comes from plants and what comes from animals.

Cafe

Music bowl

The music bowl teaches children how musical instruments are made from many different materials, from bamboo, steel, wood, brass. It teaches children how different materials make different sounds. Teaches children about vibrations. Also the different shapes mirrors located around the music bowl are a great way to teach children how the curves in the mirror affect the way you see your reflection.

Music Bowl
Music Bowl

Get around

This is another great area to teach your children about turn taking. The children can sit on a penny farthing, have a turn loading Cargo on a boat. Hoist a flag, use a steering wheel.

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Get around
Get around

Creatures

Children will love learning about tracks that the creatures leave behind as they move around the creatures exhibit. They can learn about microscopes, here animal noises.

 

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Weather

Children learn about the weather in the interactive weather station. They can make their own weather report and learn all about how weather is measured.

Weather
Weather

Interactive Map of Melbourne

One of my children’s favourite part of Nitty gritty Super city was the large interactive Map of Melbourne The children were able to touch the buttons on the side and watch various lego landmarks around Melbourne light up.

Interactive Melbourne Map
Interactive Melbourne Map

 

Scienceworks – Think Ahead

Scienceworks – Think ahead

A visit to science works is not complete without a look at the Think ahead exhibit. This exhibit is available year round and allows children (and adults) to look at objects from the past, the present and what may be available in the future.

These interactive displays are a great way for you to learn about the environment, how cities work. Children can learn about electricity, about the body, how transport has changed over the last 200 years and how it may change in the future.

This exhibit is aimed at older primary school, with a great display about Star Wars.

The exhibition has some main themes that all interconnect, within the past, the present and the future. Themes such as communication and sound, health and medicine, food, systems/environments (Ie how a city works), transport, space, money, daily life, cities – as well as the ‘future’

Think ahead
Star wars – C3PO

Think ahead at Scienceworks.

Scienceworks – Learning through play.

Scienceworks.

Scienceworks, A revolutionary world class science museum, that opened in 1992 is the perfect place to help foster your children’s love of science, In a great fun hands on way.

During the recent school holidays we decided to spend a day at science works in Spotswood Melbourne. This museum Overlooks the Westgate bridge, and is also home to the planetarium and a lightning room, and the grand old Pumping station.

There is plenty to see at no additional cost at Scienceworks, however the lighting room and planetarium do have additional costs.

Scienceworks is free for all children under 16 years old, and only $14 for Adults. The planetarium and lightning room are either $6 for one, or both for $10.

Scienceworks also has a variety of different exhibits that change.

Test Lab

At the moment until 21st May it is also home to the Test Lab, a great hands on experience perfect for older children to try and make various things. There is a small preschool area, and a larger area for older children. Where they can work together, parallel, or on their own to problem solve and create.

Neon Nature

Another great exhibit this month is Neon Nature. Which is a neon canopy that changes and evolves every day inspired by nature’s rules and patterns, created and grown by the children. This runs until the 17th April. In Neon nature the kids used simple neon coloured straws to experiment with the shapes found in plants, trees and everywhere in nature. The children will learn about bifurcation, the name of the branching pattern that is found in nature, they will learn how it is not only found in plants, but also in the human body, river systems.

Main exhibits

Year round there are some main exhibits, Sportsworks, Think ahead and the Nitty Gritty super city.

Think ahead is all about the past, the present and the future. Sportsworks is all about how your body moves and the The nitty gritty super city is a mini-metropolis which allows the children of all ages to be the builders, musicians, cafe owners, sailors, with things to push pull and investigate.

 

 

Linking up with Weekend Wanderlust

 

10 Essential items for your caravan.

You have your perfect van. Picked up all the extra’s when you pick up the van, the steps, the wheel chocks, water hoses, power cables. You set off on your first big adventure only to find out you have forgotten some essentials items to make your trip easier.

My number one advice when you pick up your new (or new to you) van is to take it away somewhere relatively local first for a short trip to work out the essential items you need to take with you. That way you can work out what you should really pack in your van, and what your won’t really use.

Over the last 16 years of caravan travelling we have worked out a few of our essentials for a great trip.

My ten essential items.

Level

Their is nothing worse than lying down to bed and feeling like you are sleeping on an angle. Feeling all the blood slowly rush to your head. Life is so much easier in a caravan that is level, from eating, sleeping, cooking even showering.

**If you do forget one, and have internet coverage you can download one for your iPhone, android. We used levelling tools on our last trip.

Non- Slip Grip mat.

Keep your food, and tableware form sliding around in the cupboard with some non-slip grip mat.

Camp Chairs

Seems like such an obvious one, but one thing that is often overlooked, the great thing about travelling in a caravan is exploring the great outdoors. Getting to the end of the day and having to try and relax outside on a step just doesn’t have the same appeal.

essential items

Essential items

First Aid Kit.

Be prepared! For any misadventure with a first aid kit, whether its a bite, burn, scratch, ear ache or headache. Their is nothing worse that being stuck in the middle of no where, trying to find something to tend to a wound or injury.

Plastic container for leftovers.

I hate wasting food so always pack a few plastic containers to store leftover meat, salad or pasta we have cooked. Also great to store open biscuits and other snacks to keep them fresh.

Broom and Shovel.

Most of our caravan trips ultimately end up somewhere near the coast of Australia, which means sand, sand everywhere. There is nothing worse that jumping into bed at the end of the night to feel a thin layer of sand in your sheets.

Melamine Tableware

Shatterproof, break resistant, melamine tableware is the only tableware to bring on your caravan trip. Nowadays the food safe melamine tableware is so much nicer than it used to be. Its easy to wash, doesn’t matter if it gets dropped.

essential items

USB Charging Hub

We have purchased a USB charging hub, to charge all our phones, cameras and other devices, so instead of having to plug in multiple chargers they all plug in nicely to the one hub.

Non Slip Floor matting

When our children were crawling this was the most essential thing for our stays in the caravan, our large Coast to Coast floor mat is 6m x 2.5m Its made from foamed PVC so it is a soft breathable mat that won’t kill the grass underneath it. It’s also non slip and comes in a carry bag, so is easy to store. Perfect for when you are on a dry dusty site.

essential items

essential items

Basic tool kit

There is nothing worse than being in the middle of no where. Finding out you have broken something and not having anything to fix it with.

Ballarat Tramway Museum

Ballarat Tramway museum.

A Hidden treasure of Ballarat

It’s amazing you can live in a town, wander regularly around the lake but still miss this little Gem. The tramway museum located alongside Ballarat’s Botanical gardens.

The tram depot at the Southern End of the Lake is home to a fascinating museum full of research collections, photographs, interactive displays, and trams. The museum is free to enter and manned by volunteers, however if you appreciate all the hard work and time they put into it their is a place to put a gold coin donation.

Whilst looking around the museum it is very interactive. You can get on and off most of the trams and take a photo in the drivers seat. As it is manned by volunteers it’s hours are a little sporadic as their focus is to have the Trams running along the lake first.

Our favorite tram to see was the Horse Tram No. 1 which was built back in 1887, and restored over a five year period between 1987 – 1992.

 

Ballarat Tramway museum
A hidden treasure.
Ballarat Tramway museum
Get in the drivers seat.
Ballarat Tramway museum
History of the Tram and the Commonwealth Games.
Ballarat Tramway museum
Climb into the Tram to find many interactive displays
Ballarat Tramway museum
Get in the drivers seat
Ballarat Tramway museum
Little ones will love playing with a train-set
Ballarat Tramway museum
Purchase Souvenirs at their little shop

In the main tram you will be surprised to see the amount of detail, and information you can find. It has a great area for younger children to play with a trainset to give you time to read all about the history of the trams. A cute little shop full of tram and transport related memorabilia.

Take a ride in history

If you want an even more excitement, In the school holidays and on the weekends the historic trams run along a 1.3km section of rail alongside Lake Wendouree, each afternoon. These authentic Ballarat trams were Ballarat’s main public transport up until the 70’s and some are over 100 years old.