Top five things to do in Downtown Disney.

Downtown Disney

When we first went to Disneyland we never realised how amazing the shopping precinct at Downtown Disney is. There are over twenty shops and countless dining opportunities just outside the entrance of the Disneyland park.

Our children (and us) loved downtown Disney, we often grabbed breakfast in the bakery, we had dinner at rainforest cafe, we bought replacement flip-flops from Sanuk, got coffee from Starbucks.

Most mornings we walked to the entrance of Disneyland from our hotel through Downtown Disney, and we have put together our top five things to do in Downtown Disney.

Find the Hidden Mickeys in Downtown Disney

The Disney parks are full of hidden Mickeys, located in the furnishings of the hotels, the parks and Downtown Disney. We had great fun searching for Hidden Mickeys.

Our children were very excited when they found one hidden in the brickwork.

Check out the Lego store

There is something amazing about walking into the second largest Lego shop in America. (Orlando is the largest). The Lego store is an amazing shop with so many different LEGO sets to buy, you can select specific LEGO bricks. There is an interactive play space, there are large models all around the shop.

Build a bear in Downtown Disney

Take a wander into Build a bear and create your own Bear. There are some limited edition Disney designs that you won’t find in a normal Build a bear shop.

This is also a great activity to keep the kids amused when you want a break from the park.

Mickey mouse Build a bear

Have a smoothie at Rainforest Cafe

Every time we head to Disneyland we have multiple smoothies, dinners, and late night snacks at the Rainforest Cafe. Whilst we were excited to hear about the new hotel that will be opening. We were heartbroken to hear that the Rainforest cafe would be closing down to make room for it.

I strongly recommend visiting before it closes to see the huge fish tank, giant animatronic animals, and have one of their amazing smoothies.

Rainforest Cafe - Disneyland Rainforest Cafe - Disneyland

Visit Marceline’s Confectionery

The first thing that hits you as you Walk past Marcelines Confectionery is the amazing smell of fresh confectionery, chocolates, candy apples, flavoured popcorn.

Marceline’s confectionery is the perfect place to pick up a sweet treat for morning tea, afternoon tea or just because.


What are your favourite places in Downtown Disney?

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Disney youtube channels to watch

Planning your trip to a Disney resort?

What Disney youtube channels should you be watching?

We love Disney in our house, ever since we took our oldest two to Disneyland 7 years ago it seems like we have two moods in our house.

1 – We are at a Disney resort or

2 – We are planning our next Disney trip.

Each time we go, the distance between our trips seem to get smaller. There is something addictive about the magic of Disney. Once you go and take your children and see the magic in their eyes, whether they are 2 or 12 you just want to keep going back.

We have a travel goal which is to go to each of the parks around the world, a Disney cruise and stay at Disney Aulani resort. We have managed to tick off the Disney Aulani resort, and we have gone back to Disneyland multiple times and each time we are researching our trip whether for the first time or the third we jump on youtube and begin watching Disney vlogs, we begin researching the rides, the food, the hotels, the merchandise, the wait times. We look through blogs, head to travel agents and get up to date brochures.

The planning is often half the fun.

In further posts, I will explain in detail some of the other ways we research Disney but today I am focusing on our favourite Channels and videos to watch.

Our Favorite Disney Vlogs to watch on youtube

Disneyland Planning Video on youtube (2017)

Disneyworld Planning video on youtube (2017) 

Disneyland and Disneyworld have a brilliant DVD that you can watch on youtube that is a comprehensive planning guide for your trip to Disneyland or Disneyworld. The Disneyland video is 35 minutes long, and the Disneyworld is just over an hour long. Found on the channel ResortTV1 it is a

The Disneyland video showcases both Disneyland and California Adventure Park, all the hotels in the Disneyland park, and downtown Disney. Whilst it doesn’t include prices, it shows you enough information so you can begin to dream “Disney”.

The Disneyworld video showcases the four different theme parks of Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood studios, Disney Animal Kingdoms. It also showcases the Disney Water Parks. Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park. There is also a section on Disney Springs.

Disney youtube channels to follow

Disney Parks

Disney parks is the official YouTube channel for all of the Disney Parks. It’s an official Disney vlog so a great channel to watch exclusive videos from Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani Resort & Spa, Disney Vacation Club.

Another favourite playlist is the animation academy where you can learn how to draw your favourite Disney characters.

If you are not sure whether you want to go to Aulani, to Disneyland or Disneyworld. Choose a playlist and imagine being there.


If you know that you are heading to Disneyland then head across to official YouTube channel for the whole Disneyland Resort! More than just the parks, it showcases the whole Disneyland Park, from Disneyland, Disney California Adventure Park, the Downtown Disney District and all the hotels.

We love looking at the Disneyland – Food and Beverage playlist, the Frozen desert video makes us want to go back and get another Dole-whip every time.

Mickey's Fun wheel


For the last two and a half years our children and I have been following the Thingamavlogs page, they were four Disney fans Patrick, Sarah, Leo & Tiff that posted daily posts about Disney. Most of their videos are Disneyland related as they are all live near California. Whilst their site finished up in October 2017, there is a wealth of information on the page, from foods, information on Disney bounding, dapper days.

Our kids loved the Mickey shaped food day when they ate all the Mickey shaped foods they could find in the park.

Mickey pretzel at Disney Aulani resort

The bucket list family 

Now the bucket list family are not just Disney vloggers, they are a family of four (almost 5) that have been travelling for the last 90+ weeks around the world, they decided to sell everything and adventure together around the world. All the family is involved in the vlog and they have been to Disneyland, Disneyworld and Disney Aulani resort and they have some great videos showcasing it.

Recently they participated in 30 resorts in 30 days at Disneyworld, where they stayed in Disneyworld for 30 days and stayed at a different resort every night.

Disney Food Blog

One of our favourite things about Disney is the food, from the amazing character experiences, the delicious foods, churros, Mickey-shaped pretzels, waffles, ice creams. The Disney Food Blog showcases all things edible at Disney parks, resorts, and cruise ships. If you love food then Disney Food blog is the Disney youtube channel for you.

Mickey mouse waffle

Fresh baked Disney

Is a great Disney youtube channel that has a mix of fun facts, history of Disneyland, ride-throughs.

Adventures from where you want to be

I have also uploaded a few of my Disney videos, with more to follow from Disneyland and Disney Aulani. Head across to our channel and subscribe.

What are your favourite Disney youtube channels?

How do you research your trips? Or are you more spontaneous? Tell us in the comments below.


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The Sporting Globe Ballarat

When the Sporting Globe Ballarat was initially slated to open in Ballarat the local media was excited. The newspapers around Ballarat told us that it was going to be one of the largest sport orientated bars in Australia. With a capacity of 450 people, it doesn’t disappoint. Located on the corner of Mair and Lydiard Street (previously Jackson’s and Co) it opened in August 2016, and since then there is always a steady stream of people enjoying the food and ambience for lunch, dinner and drinks.

There is no mistaking its focus with screens located everywhere playing a variety of sports, and 13 individual booths all with their own touchscreen TV’s that can show from 1 to 4 different channels at once. Perfect for watching multiple games of AFL, Basketball, NRL, Cricket, Golf, UFC or whatever sport takes your fancy.

But downstairs is only a portion of The Sporting Globe, upstairs is a function room and heritage balcony perfect for a party or work function, and the third level is a cocktail bar. Every Sunday from 3 – 8 pm the cocktail bar comes alive with Live music, drink specials a perfect way to finish the weekend.

Now when it comes to food in a Sports bar there are a few items on the menu that I would think as standard. Ribs, Wings and Steak and The Sporting Globe doesn’t disappoint, we ordered both the Pork and Beef ribs and they were delicious.

The Sporting Globe Ballarat

They were sticky covered in heaps of sauce. You can choose from Hickory smoked BBQ, Buffalo and Honey Soy.  Served with a side of Apple Slaw and thick cut battered chips, the day we ate them they were delicious.

In need of refreshment then you can choose from 8 beers on tap, 9 Beers in the Bottle, 3 Craft beers. Or if Ciders, Spirits or cocktails are your drink of choice there are plenty to choose from.

There is also a huge range of Non- Alcoholic drinks and Mocktails on offer, the Pineberry Mocktail a favourite of ours.

The Sporting Globe Ballarat

The sporting globe is so much more than a sports bar, during the day it is also a popular spot for lunch with families after they have finished at the movies only a couple of doors down. They have a great selection of kids meal and on Mondays and Tuesday’s kids eat free with a purchase of any main meal. Kids can choose from a Kid’s Parma, Brownlow burger, Calamari or nuggets. These are served with either shoestring fries and sauce or broccoli.

The Sporting Globe Ballarat

The Sporting Globe Ballarat The Sporting Globe Ballarat The Sporting Globe Ballarat The Sporting Globe BallaratThe Sporting Globe Ballarat

Each day they have a different special, called the 7-day Lineup. Our favourite is Fridays when you get 2 desserts for the price of one.

On their website, it has their full menu, opening hours and a way to book a table. If you are wanting to head in on a Friday or Saturday night it is well worth booking ahead as it gets very busy especially when sports events are on.


sporting globe 7 day line up

The Sporting Globe Ballarat The Sporting Globe Ballarat

So if you are in Ballarat the Sporting Globe is well worth a visit.

To see some of the other amazing restaurants and attractions in Ballarat check out our Ballarat destination guide

If you are interested in other great places to eat we have a great variety including Character dining at Disney.


Have you been to the Sporting Globe before?

What are the essentials for you in a Sports bar, the food, ambience, the sports on offer? Tell us in the comments.

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Top Ten activities to do in Ballarat.

Top ten Must see attractions in Ballarat

Top ten activites to do in Ballarat
Are you looking for fun things to do in Ballarat? We have compiled our list of the Top Ten activities to do in Ballarat.

1- Sovereign Hill.

I would hazard to guess when people think of Ballarat the first thing that comes to mind is Sovereign Hill. Sovereign Hill is the iconic Ballarat Open-air museum which depicts the early days of the gold rush in Ballarat.

The 25-hectare site has over 60 historically recreated buildings, all staff (and volunteers) are costumed. There is gold panning, where you might be lucky to find real gold. This whole area is set up with tents and buildings recreating the early gold rush era. There are blacksmith stables, candle dipping, lolly shop, bowling, bakery, post office, grocer and so much more.

You can watch how the traditional tradesmen worked in the coachbuilding shed, or tin and blacksmith area.

One of the most popular places is the four schools on site, where local schools, dress in period costumes and get to attend classes as if they were a child of the 1800’s.

For a small fee, you can take a coach ride around Sovereign Hill. Adults – $5.50 Children – $4.00 Family (2A & 4C) – $17.00

The other great attraction within Sovereign Hill is the Mine tours. The red hill mine tour is free self-guided and tells the story of the iconic welcome nugget. The other tour is the Sovereign Quartz MIne (a 40 minute guided tour).This also has an additional charge.

Cost –

Adult – $55.50
Concession – $44.40
Child 5-15 – $25
Child under 5 – Free
Family (2A & 4C) – $140
Single Family (1A & 3C) – $100

Opening hours

10am – 5pm daily
(10am – 5:30pm with daylight savings)

Address –

39 Magpie Street, Ballarat VIC 3350

 Special mention.

  • When you book your ticket to sovereign Hill you also get access to the Gold Museum (Number 9 on our list)
  • Your ticket allows you to get two consecutive days for the price of one. (Just get your ticket validated at either the Gold Museum, Blood on the southern cross booking desk, Sovereign Hill Post office or the entrance ticket booth.
  • You can book a photo in beautiful Victorian costumes with the Red Hill Photographic rooms. (Located on site)
  • You can also buy a VIP Pass that includes a lot of extras.

2 – Botanical Gardens

Ballarat Botanical Gardens Ballarat Botanical GardensBallarat Botanical Gardens

Ballarat’s botanical gardens cover over 40 hectares and are located on the western side of Lake Wendouree. The Gardens are 160 years old and feature a lovely conservatory,  a large greenhouse, A War memorial. Located all around the main area of the Botanical gardens (Central area) is twelve white marble statues donated by Thomas Stoddard in 1884.

There is the famous Prime Minister Avenue, that locates all the Australian Prime Ministers (as of early 2018 up to Tony Abbott). These started when the first twelve were donated by Richard Crouch (He also left a large bequest to add further Bronze busts). These funds are all now used and the Ballarat City council lobbied the Federal government to pay for Tony Abbott’s statue.

Just across the road on Lake Wendouree is the restaurant “Pipers by the lake”. A great spot to eat lunch, after strolling along the paths of the botanical gardens. Pipers also have a little takeaway area where you can grab a coffee, ice cream or a cold bottle of water.

Cost –


Opening hours

7:30 am – 9 pm (October through April)
7:30 am – 6 pm (May through September)

Conservatory open – 9am – 4:30pm

Address –

Wendouree Parade, Lake Wendouree

Special mention.

  • Begonia Festival runs in March each year over the Labour Day Long weekend
  • Every 2nd and 4th Saturday, Wendouree Parade just across from the Botanical gardens comes alive with Ballarat Farmer’s market.
  • There are some great large hollow trees that are great to take photos in.

Ballarat Botanical Gardens

3 – Wildlife Park

One of Ballarat’s other great attractions is the privately owned Wildlife park that is located only 5 minutes from the centre of Ballarat. Ballarat Wildlife Park is a great place to see some iconic Australian animals. The wildlife park has over 80 free roaming kangaroos. Just pick up some kangaroo feed and you can spend ages feeding them. Patting them and seeing them up close.

The Ballarat wildlife park has a great relaxed feel as you wander around the Park you can see a great variety of other Australian animals, Koalas, Emus, wombats, eagles, echidnas, Tasmanian devils, crocodiles, penguins and reptiles.

Ballarat Wildlife park

Grab a timetable at the front entrance so you can see some of the animal shows.

  • Snake
  • Wombats
  • Alligator
  • Crocodile
  • Eagle

Also, you can watch

  • Tasmanian Devil feed and
  • Spotted-Tail Quolls Feed.

Cost –

Adult – $35
Concession – $29
Child 5-15 – $19.50
Child under 5 – Free
Family (2A & 4C) – $95

Opening hours

9 am – 5 pm (Closed Christmas Day)

Address –

Cnr of York & Fussell Streets
Ballarat East, 3350
Victoria, Australia

Other points to mention.

  • Yearly Membership is available (Terms and Conditions apply)$170 Family Yearly Membership (2 adults and up to 4 children)
    $120 Sole Parent Yearly Membership
    $65 Individual Adult Yearly Membership
  • You get a 10% discount if you book your tickets online.
  • Animal experiences available
  • VIP tours available
  • They do Kid’s parties as well

4 – Kryal Castle

Kryal Castle - Top ten activities to do in Ballarat

Welcome to the Land of Medieval adventures. Kryal Castle is a medieval castle located only 8kms from Ballarat. The Castle was first opened in 1974 and features a moat, drawbridge, towers, stocks, maze and an armoury.

Closed for Renovation in 2012, and reopened a year later it now has four-star Castle suites so you can stay on site, function, wedding and conference facilities.

There is now sound and light attractions, medieval sport of jousting on display as well as a fun playground for the younger children.

Kryal Castle - Top ten activities to do in BallaratKryal Castle - Top ten activities to do in BallaratKryal Castle - Top ten activities to do in Ballarat

Cost –

(Gives you access to Castle grounds, All shows and attractions.)

Adult – $35
Concession – $28
Child 4-16 – $22
Child 3 and under – Free
Family (2A & 4C) – $99
Single Family (1A & 3C) – $79

Opening hours

10 am – 4 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Also, open Public holidays and Victorian School holidays (except Christmas Day)

Address –

Kryal Castle
121 Forbes Rd,
Leigh Creek,  Victoria, Australia

Other points to mention.

  • Noble Pass Tickets available (Gives you access to Castle grounds, All shows and attractions, unlimited archery, Face painting and Craft (return pass for one day valid for 6 months) Noble Adult – $70, Concession – $55, Child 4-16 – $44, Family (2A & 4C) – $199, Single Family (1A & 3C) – $159
  • Yearly membership also available
  • Over 16, Book in for a Murder mystery night, including a 3-course meal and a glass of mead on arrival.
  • They also run Kids birthday parties.

5 – Lake Wendouree

Situated in the centre of Ballarat is the picturesque Lake Wendouree. This beautiful lake was not only home to the rowing in the 1956 Olympics but continues to be used for many recreational and competitive events.

The Lake has a circumference of 6kms and is home to the Steve Moneghetti walking and running track and every day come rain, hail or shine you will see people walking, running and cycling around. If you are lucky you might even see Steve running his namesake.

There are multiple playgrounds, toilets, BBQ facilities located all around. As well as a variety of cafes, hotels and restaurants. Pipers by the Lake, Boat Shed, Lakeview hotel, Ballarat Yacht Club and Racer’s Bar and Cafe. A perfect place to sit and grab a cold drink after walking the Lake.

Famously back in 2006 the Lake dried up and stayed dry until 2010-2011 when a mixture of stormwater, wetland works and better than expected rainfall saw it reach capacity once again.

Around Lake Wendouree, there are so many other great things that have also made our top ten list, the Botanical Gardens (No 2) and the Tramway museum (No 10)

 Lake wendouree

Cost –


Opening hours

All hours

Address –

Wendouree Parade, Lake Wendouree

Special mention.

  • Springfest runs in November each year
  • Farmers Market runs Every 2nd and 4th Saturday on the western side of Lake Wendouree.

6 – Ballarat Art Gallery

The Ballarat Art Gallery is the oldest and Largest Regional Art Gallery and was established in 1884. It has a large collection of art permanently on display as well special exhibitions that tour the gallery. In 2016 it was the exclusive Victorian site of the Archibald Prize. The Archibald prize is undoubtedly the most well-known art award in Australia.

The Art Gallery also has a great Cafe and gift shop.

Cost –


Opening hours

10 am – 5 pm

Address –

40 Lydiard Street North
Ballarat, 3350
Victoria, Australia

Other points to mention.

  • The Ballarat Art Gallery runs school holiday program
  • It’s a not for profit Company.

7 – Victoria Park – Playground (Livvi’s Place Playground)

Victoria Park playground

Victoria Park is home to the fantastic inclusive playground. Home to a water play area, multiple large play spaces that provide activities for all abilities. Large Sandpit, swings, areas to climb, balance, slides, rope ladders.

Beside one of the play spaces there a great collection of musical instruments, drums, xylophones, cymbals and bells.

In the centre of all the play spaces is a great large grass area, perfect to set up a picnic rug. Or if you prefer to grab one of the tables and cook yourself a meal on one of the BBQ’s

Near the entrance, there are also toilets, that include a nappy change bench.

Probably one of the reasons this playground is so popular is the whole area is fenced off with only one entry point, a large very heavy double set of doors.

Victoria Park playground

Cost –


Address –

Oak Avenue, Victoria Park, Ballarat


8 –MADE Ballarat

MADE Ballarat. Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka.

Be inspired and uncover the history of Australian Democracy at the site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade. Now home to Ballarat‘s Interactive MADE Museum.  The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka is a fantastic museum for children and adults alike. It tells the story of the Eureka Stockade and how that pivotal moment in history shaped democracy as we see it in Australia.

MADE is the home of the original Eureka flag (on loan from Ballarat Art Gallery)

But the MADE museum is more than that it also showcases other pivotal moments in our world history, from Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King junior. To learning about book censorship.

Home to a delightful cafe and gift shop it’s well worth a visit.

Cost –

Locals – Free (Need ID with local postcode)
Adults $12
Concession $8
Children (Under 5) – Free
6-15 $8
15-18 (students) $8 (But must show student card).
Family Pass Min 1A, 2C but max 5 Persons $35

Opening hours

10 am – 5 pm (Daily)
Excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Address –

120 Stawell Street S
Ballarat Central VIC 3350

Other points to mention.

  • They also hosted Optus night under the stars – open-air cinema in December 2017
  • Located next door to Eureka playground and Eureka Aquatic Centre

9 – Gold Museum

Sitting on a mine, across the road from Sovereign Hill is the also not to be missed Gold Museum. Showcasing more than just gold it also continues on the story of the Gold mining times. The Gold Museum opened in 1978 and has been wowing locals and tourist for forty years.

Whilst you can discover the beauty of Gold through stunning displays and items for purchase. There is also so much more to see from costumes, textiles, items related to mining, the military there are over 150,000 items on display.

Cost –

Free with your Sovereign Hill ticket.

Adults $13.20
Concession $10.60
Children (Under 5) – Free
5-15 $7
Family Pass 2A 4C Persons $34.80

Opening hours

9:30 am – 5:30 pm (Daily)
(Last entry 5:20)
Excluding Christmas Day

Address –

Bradshaw Street
Ballarat VIC 3350

Ballarat Gold Museum Ballarat Gold museum, Top ten Activities to do in Ballarat

10 – Ballarat Tramway Museum


The tram depot at the Southern End of the Lake is home to the Ballarat Tramway Museum.
The Tram Museum is full of collections, photographs, interactive displays. The museum is free to enter and manned by volunteers.

The Tramway museum runs through school holidays and most weekends and is the home to over twenty trams (not all on display). Some of the trams are over 100 years old and it’s a great opportunity to get your photo in the front seat of the tram. Wander through the displays and learn some of Ballarat’s rich history.

Cost –

Free (But donations are welcomed)

Opening hours

Some days in the School holidays and most weekends (depends on the volunteers)

Address –

100 GIllies street North
Ballarat, 3350
Victoria, Australia


Ballarat Tramway museum

Ballarat Tramway museum

Ballarat Tramway museum


Have you travelled to Ballarat? What would be your Top ten Must see attractions in Ballarat?

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

Tell us in the comments below.


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MADE Ballarat – The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka.

Be Inspired at MADE Ballarat.

MADE Ballarat. Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka.


Uncover the history of Australian Democracy at the site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade in Ballarat‘s Interactive MADE Museum.

Home to the original Eureka Flag, a flag rich in tradition with an amazing legacy and story.

MADE Ballarat helps you explore how the Eureka Stockade has had an important role in shaping democracy in Australia, but the museum is more than that.

The museum is engaging for Children and Adults alike, and It allows you to explore the concept of Democracy. It tells the stories of the men and women all around the world that fought for freedoms we take for granted today. People like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jnr, Mary Fisher. As well as more local stories commemorating the men and women who fought for democratic freedom at the Eureka Stockade.

MADE Ballarat has a great colouring in station for the children where they can design their own flag and attach it to the wall for all to see. It has a range of static displays as well as interactive digital displays.

My favourite display showcased a variety of famous speeches and I have included a few snippets in my video below.

But the most iconic display is “the flag on the southern cross” on loan from the Art Gallery of Ballarat. When you sit in the darkened room looking over the flag you are blown away by the magnitude of its size, and all that it stands for.

The Flag on the Southern Cross is 4m long X 2.6m high


Locals – Free (Need ID with local postcode)

Adults $12

Concession $8

Children (Under 5) – Free

6-15 $8

15-18 (students) $8 (But must show student card.

Family Pass Min 1A, 2C but max 5 Persons $35

Hours of Operation

10 am – 5 pm (Daily)

Excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day.


Open – Monday – Friday 10am – 3:30pm, Weekends 9:30am – 4pm

Made Cafe stock a great variety of Cafe foods. It is a lovely space with large windows and artwork adorning the room. The perfect place to grab a coffee after wandering through the Museum. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or a quick snack. When we went we were really impressed by the friendly staff who served us. Our food and drinks arrived quickly.

They offered free activity packs for the children which allowed us to relax whilst the children had a great time colouring in, doing dot to dot and other puzzles.

MADE Ballarat Giftshop

A visit to a museum wouldn’t be complete without a browse through a gift shop and MADE Ballarat doesn’t disappoint. With a huge range of things to chose from.

Have you been to MADE Ballarat before?

What are some of your favourite museums? We also love Scienceworks and try and take our kids every year.

Tell us in the comments below.


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Nature’s Window – Kalbarri

See the view through Nature’s Window at Kalbarri.

6 and a half hours north of the Perth is the beautiful coastal town of Kalbarri it is the perfect place to see Nature’s Window.

Kalbarri is a gorgeous coastal town where the Murchison River meets the Indian Ocean, it is a beautiful spot known for its seaside cliffs, gorgeous beach and seaside pelicans.

There are daily opportunities to feed the local pelicans, at the Pelican Feeding Point. Nearly every 8:45 am opposite the Murchison Caravan Park, you can help feed the Pelicans with a Gold Coin donation. The volunteers share their knowledge of the amazing birds and great local information as well. The Pelicans have been being feed at this point since 1975 when a local by the name of Cliff Ross started feeding them. Cliff Ross used to own a museum in Kalbarri called fantasyland.

Kalbarri is a great place to fish, walk and relax. The National Park has great gorges with some fantastic walks. There are so many places to visit Mushroom Rock, Red Loop, Z-Bend.

Another great attraction in Kalbarri is the amazing range of Wildflowers. These are in bloom between July and November and there are an amazing 800 species in Western Australia.

The gorges carved by the Murchison River in Kalbarri National Park provides great short and long walks to see some spectacular lookouts.

The standout would be the walk to see “Nature’s Window”. This is only 400 metres from the carpark is a natural rock arch that frames the Murchison river perfectly.

If you are up for a long walk it is part of an 8km loop that begins and ends at “Natures Window”.

The sandstone rock is a great photo opportunity and the view looks different depending on the angle, lighting that you see it through.

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

So make sure you stand at Nature’s Window and gaze out at the glorious view. See the rich colours in the rocks and marvel at how amazing Australia is.

Kalbarri is well worth a visit when you go to Western Australia.





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Melbourne’s Myer Christmas Windows.

Each year we journey into Melbourne to Bourke Street to see Melbourne’s Myer Christmas Windows.

Myer Christmas Windows

Telling a different story each year, they are an Australian Christmas tradition, that sees over 1 million visitors each year, running since 1956 when the Myer’s merchandiser Fred Asmussen created a lovely window celebrating Santa and the Olympics. In celebration of the 1956 Olympics.

Perfect to go visit, but not so great to photograph as the light of the sun reflects off the glass as you try to take photos. Meaning they are best visited in person.

This year the story is “The Completely and utterly Perfect Christmas” by H C Floren. It is the story of an Elf, and his journey to find the perfect Christmas.

The book was made for the Myer windows and is available for purchase from inside Myer, as well as a stuffed toy elf. Great marketing from Myer.

The book is lovely teaching children to appreciate what they have even if it is not perfect.

There is normally a line to see the Windows but it is well worth lining up, the crowds move through quickly, as the windows are well spaced out and have a small amount of writing allowing reasonably quick movement from one window to the other.

Myer Christmas Windows opening hours

7.30am to 1 am daily.


Bourke Street Mall

Melbourne really comes alive at Christmas with so many more amazing things to see and do.

Federation square has an amazing 16 metre high Christmas tree, that lights up from 9 pm each evening. Also in Federation Square is the enchanting six-metre high bauble that glitters during the day and twinkles at night.

Whilst you are in the city make sure you head over to Crown Casino to see the Atrium’s great music and light show. Also over at Crown is the fantastic Christmas ArtVo exhibition an interactive 3D art installation.

Make the most of Melbourne’s free tram zone.

This runs within the borders of Spring Street, Flinders Street and La Trobe Street. Also, the tram routes that run along Victoria Street, William Street and Elizabeth Street surrounding Victoria Market are included as well as the Docklands area.

What are some of your Family traditions each year? Do you head into Melbourne? Tell us below in the comments?

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Crown Casino – Christmas ArtVo Exhibition

Christmas comes alive at Crown Casino this year with an amazing Christmas ArtVo Exhibition.

But what is ArtVo?

ArtVo is an amazing way to experience art, it’s an immersive 3D art exhibition where you can really immerse yourself in art. Unlike normal art galleries that you need to stand and watch from a distance. ArtVo is a totally new interactive exhibit that allows you to be in the artwork.

The main ArtVo gallery is located in Harbour Town and was created by 14 artists in just 60 days. There are over 100 3D reality artworks themed in 11 different zones.

  • Jungle Safari
  • Aquatic Adventure
  • Australiana
  • World Tour
  • Fantasia
  • Enchanted Garden
  • Dimensional Dreams
  • Pharaohs treasures
  • Aussie Pride
  • Imagine
  • Classic Crescent

You just have to search the #artvo on Instagram and you will see the amazing art installation. It is well worth a visit, For adults and Children alike.

ArtVo Opening hours

Friday – Saturday 10am – 11:30pm

Sunday – Thursday 10am – 6pm

Ticket Prices

Adult $28

Children (5-15 Yrs) $18

Student / Senior $25

Family packages

A- 1 Adult & 2 Children – $55

B- 2 Adult & 1 Children – $65

C- 2 Adults & 2 Children – $78 (each additional children $15)

How can you Experience ArtVo for free?

Over the Christmas period, Crown Casino has partnered with ArtVo to bring Christmas alive with some fantastic Christmas inspired artwork, located in Crown.

There are 8 Christmas inspired works available over on Level 1 starting near the Village cinemas, heading towards the lifts near the food court.

This is a great way to experience ArtVo paintings to see how much fun they are. After you experience them you will want to head into the Gallery to see the whole exhibit.

Children and adults alike were enjoying photographing themselves in the pictures.


Crown really is a great place to come this Christmas, with the great ArtVo exhibit, the atrium decorated in bright lights, with an amazing musical display every thirty minutes. Also, only a quick twenty minute walk away from the famous Myer windows.


What are some of your favourite things to do in Melbourne this Christmas? Scienceworks? Myer windows? Great Ocean Road?

Let us know below in the comments?


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Cape Otway Lighthouse – The beacon of hope

The Fog was heavy as we stood at the top of Cape Otway Lighthouse, but as it cleared we were meet with a majestic view of Victoria’s glorious coast.

We were on our last day of a glorious weekend along the Great Ocean Road we spent previous days walking Sheoak Falls and Swallow Cave. Spending the morning roaming the grounds of Mainland Australia’s oldest surviving lighthouse seemed to be the fitting end.

We were concerned about how much we would be able to see from the top of the lighthouse that sits 90m above the clear blue waters of Bass Strait. But Cape Otway light station did not disappoint. As the fog cleared, the smell of the salt water infused the air, we knew we had made the right choice.

Cape Otway Lighthouse is affectionately called the “Beacon of Hope” and when you begin to understand how many hundreds of lives were lost along this stretch of ocean, that is known as “Shipwreck Coast”. You can understand why.

Cape Otway Lighthouse

Built in 1848, it stood as a beacon for all those 19th-century migrants who had spent months travelling by sea from places like Europe, Asia, North America. It stood tall on the point where the Southern Ocean crashes into the Bass Strait. Whilst it still stands tall, it was decommissioned back in 1994, and replaced by a low solar powered light, situated right in front of the lighthouse. However, the history of the lighthouse lives on.

Eight vessels were still lost whilst the Lighthouse was operational, The Marie(1851), the Sacramento(1853), Schomberg (1855), The Loch Ard (1878), the Joseph H. Scammell (May 1891), Fiji (September 1891) and the Casino in 1932. The first American vessel sunk during World War II, the A class “SS City of Rayville” SS was also sunk off the Cape by a German mine in 1940. However, many more would have run into trouble without the bright Light guiding them safely through.

The Cape Otway light station was the longest running continuous light on Australia’s mainland, but it was also so much more. It was the location of the telegraph station that ran between Tasmania and Victoria in 1859. (Unfortunately only for 6 months as the underground submarine cable only lasted that long). Then became the Lloyds signal station, allowing people in Melbourne to be made aware of all the vessels passing by.

It was the location of the top-secret World War II radar bunker, and I found the history of it fascinating. I never realised how many mines were laid just off the coast of Melbourne, Mines that would sink Allied ships. I never realised 268 lives were lost when a hospital ship the AHS Centaur was hit by a torpedo on May 14, 1943.

I learnt about the Yokosuka E147 float plane,  a plane assembled on the deck of the Japanese 1-25 submarine, that surfaced just off the coast of Cape Wickham lighthouse. This float plane would be launched from the submarine in February of 1942 and fly over Cape Otway lighthouse, Point Lonsdale lighthouse, Portarlington, Laverton RAAF base, Melbourne, Dromana, Cape Schank Lighthouse and land back in the Bass Strait to be collected by the Japanese submarine. This all happened a few months before the radar station was operational.

It is also home to some fascinating history of our indigenous culture.

It is also the perfect location to visit between May and October when 25 different species of whales, migrate past the lighthouse shadow.

We walked the grounds looking at the dinosaur museum, with the hundred other tourists but the grounds are big enough that you still felt like you had room to explore, room to move around.

We sat at the quaint little cafe eating our Devonshire tea as we watched the fog roll past the lighthouse, then watched it clear just to roll through again.

We marvelled on how lucky we where to see a Koala clamber across the road on our way to the lighthouse.

We decided that the Cape Otway lighthouse was definitely somewhere we would come back to, the next time we wandered down the Great Ocean Road.


Important Information about the Cape Otway Lightstation

The Cape Otway Lightstation encompasses the Cape Otway Lighthouse, the Keepers Quarters and Workshop, the 1859 Telegraph Station,
Aboriginal Talking Hut, WWII Radar Bunker, Whale Interpretation Site and Lightkeeper’s Cafe and Souvenir Shop.

General Admission prices

Child: $7.50 / Adult $19.50 / Family: (2 Adults 4 children) $49.50 / Concession: $17.50

Pre-school Children: FREE

Hours of Operation

9am – 5pm (entry closes 4:30pm)


Extended hours – 26th December – 14th Jan

9am – 6pm (entry closes 5:30pm)

Talks included

Daily History Talks at 11.00am, 2.00pm and 4.00pm
Daily Bush Tucker Talks at 12noon and 3.00pm


Have you been to the Cape Otway lighthouse? Where are some of your favourites places to visit on the Great Ocean Road?



Also, make sure you check out some of the other great locations along the Great Ocean Road

Sheoak Falls and Swallow Caves

Timelapse video of the Great Ocean Road.

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Travel with children, Should you do it?

4 Reasons you should travel with your children.

“Wanderlust: n. a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.”

Since I took my first overseas trip as a teenager to the islands of Santa Cruz, in the Solomon Islands, I have had a desire to travel and see the world. My childhood was not one of travel. Our childhood holidays could be counted on one hand. But I have made sure that my adult life has been different.

When we had children, we didn’t want that to change. So at only ten days old, we packed up our car, and took our first holiday with our young daughter, driving from Melbourne to Batemans Bay. Three children later we have continued to travel and continued to try and install that same “wanderlust” in our children.

So many of friends have questioned our trips? Will they remember the trips? Is it worth taking your preschool children to Disneyland, to Athabasca Falls, across the Nullarbor, to Uluru, Cape York? They have told us, we should wait until they are older. We should go when they can appreciate it. But we don’t Wait, we Travel.

But why do we Travel with our children?

1 – It’s fun.

I would be remiss not to say My number one reason for travelling with our children. It’s fun. Nothing can describe the pure joy and excitement on our children’s face when they first walked through the Gates of Disneyland. The joy I felt when we took our children snorkelling at Hamilton Island. How proud I am as I watch our children make new friends as we travel around.

3 reasons why you should Travel with your children

2. They learn so much about themselves, about others.

Not all classrooms have four walls.

Our children have travelled overseas, and extensively through Australia. They have grown up through our travels, they have learned so much.

They have learned about different cultures. They have learned patience, they have learned about our history (and didn’t realise it at the time). They have learned about peace, and about war. They have learned to adapt when things don’t go to plan. From Delayed flights to incorrect hotel rooms. Through missed transfers that ended up in missed activities. Life does not always go to plan, but that’s ok.

On long road trips, they have relearned to use their imagination, with no TV or Ipads to amuse them. They have learned to be alert and be aware of their surroundings, Playing fun games while they are doing it.

In travel, often the journey is part of the fun. We are teaching our children that it is not all about where you are in life, but how you got there.

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. Greg Anderson

3. Our Children add to our lives.

When we were pregnant with our first Child, A wise mum said to us. Your children should come into your life and fit into your life. They add to it. Make sure that they fit in with your routine, not the other way around.

We love to travel, we love to take holidays, we love to go out for Brunch on the weekends. We love to walk around our Local Lake, we love to go to the beach. So we have always made sure that our children are involved in it. So they to love it.

People always mention how well behaved our children are out at restaurants, how well behaved they are when travelling. That is because it is second nature to them.

Over time we have had to adapt our travel plans, there are some trips that they are not ready for. We couldn’t expect them to walk the 6 day Overland trail track, but they can wander through the Otways with us. They are not ready for a 3-day Whitsunday Fishing Charter, however, they will happily go fishing off the jetty on the way to Cape York.

4 – Making Memories

We want our children’s memories of their childhood to be treasured. We want them to look back on their childhood with love and joy. We feel they get that through travel. When you travel with your children you get away from the normal day to day rush of life. There is no Tae kwon do to rush to, no work, no school. Instead, there is time to create memories as a Family.

Yes, those things are important, but when you are on holidays you can forget about the normal business of life and spend quality time together. It might just be a quick day trip to Lorne or a longer month long holiday to the states. The time itself is not the important part. It’s the quality, not the quantity that matters. It’s the memories.

So why do you travel with children? Why don’t you? Tell us below in the comments.

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