Creating a dream board with kids.

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

As adults, we love to dream big dreams, dreams for ourselves, for our business, for our children. When we first got married we would attach photos of things that we were aiming for on the wall in our room, to remind ourselves what we were working towards. From holidays, cars, houses, jobs, qualifications even just inspirational quotes they helped drive us forward when we where busy renovating houses, doing the extra hours, so we knew that whilst there was a cost involved it was worth it.

Our children too have big dreams and a lot of them revolve around places they want to visit around the world.  We decided to make a dream board with them so they could see what we were aiming for.

Creating a dream board with your kids

Now the thing when you create a dream board with your children it has to be what they want for themselves, not what you think they should want. For our youngest daughter, her number one travel location is Hamilton Island, we go there at least a year. But there was no way she was going to put anything on there until a large photo of Whitehaven Beach was on the board. For our oldest, her travel goal is to go to every Disney resort in the world. So more than half of the board revolves around Disney, with the largest picture being a Disney cruise.

Our youngest had one place he wanted to see, Toy Story Land… nothing else mattered. There was no point asking him for multiple places as in his mind nothing else mattered just walking into Toy Storyland and going on Slinky Dog Dash.

Important things I learnt when making a Dream Board with my Children.

  • They often want to go back to the places they have visited before. A lot of the places that they put on the board were places we have taken them to before. Places like Canada, Disney, Whitehaven beach.
  • You can’t be worried about whether it is symmetrical, whether it is cut out correctly. Items will be cut out on angles, attached over the top of each. There will be spaces. Don’t worry, It needs to inspire them, not you.
  • It is often hard to get the ‘correct images’ for your child. The traditional way of going to get a brochure from a travel agent is a lot harder, especially if you want to go to a large number of places. So we used a mix of google images, our own images, we head into travel agents and get brochures. We also bought a couple of travel magazines to cut out as well.
  • It needs to be somewhere that your kids see it regularly, we put ours up on the wall beside our dining room table so every night when we sit down to eat, we can look at it. Be thankful for the places that we have already been to. Be inspired by the places we have yet to get to.
  • Your Children will surprise you. I never realised some of the places our children wanted to visit, places like the Great Wall, the London eye, Central Park, Statue of liberty, stone henge.

 

Have you created a dream board with your children?

Do you enjoy travelling with your kids?

What places do you want to go to?

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

 

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Trip advisor’s Top Ten Australian Beaches 2019

Over 85% of all Australians live within 50 km from the coast, making the 50,000 km of coastline, 10000 beaches a huge part of Australia’s identity.

Going to the beach in Australia is probably the most iconic part of our culture. It is what we are known for, and Trip Advisor have put together a list of the best beaches in Australia.

1. Manly Beach – Sydney, New South Wales

Manly Beach is located on Sydney’s North Shore.  Manly beach consists of three areas, South Steyne, North Steyne and Queenscliff. South Steyne has a year-round lifeguards. Queenscliff and North Steyne are patrolled between October and April. Volunteer lifesavers also patrol on weekends and holidays during the busier months. Within walking distance, there is a selection of shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs

2. Surfers Paradise – Gold Coast, Queensland

Not just a beach, but Surfers Paradise is a suburb and the heart of the vibrant Gold Coast. Surfers Paradise has a population of almost 24,000 people. It’s main feature is the busy Cavill Mall, which is a great entertainment and shopping area. The beach is 3km of beautiful sand, clear water and plenty of tourists. Surfers Paradise is home to lifeguard tower 34, that is manned 365 days a year, however, times vary day to day.

Surfers Paradise
Surfers Paradise

3. Turquoise Bay – Exmouth, Western Australia

1270 kilometres from Perth sits Western Australia’s Turquoise Bay, Located only metres from the Ningaloo Reef, this beach is a known Snorkelling location.  There are over 500 different species of fish at Ningaloo Reef, as well as Coral, Turtles, and squid.

4. Mooloolaba Beach –  Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Mooloolaba is located 97kms north of Brisbane. Home to Mooloolaba Surf Club. Mooloolaba is known for its lovely white sand.

5. Whitehaven Beach – Whitsunday Island, Queensland

Whitehaven beach is a 7km stretch of amazing white silica sand, and clear turquoise blue waters. Located on Whitsunday Island, accessible via helicopter or boat from Hamilton Island or Airlie Beach. This is a magical sight to behold. Hill’s inlet is located on the Northern end which is where many amazing photos of the white sand and blue hues of the inlet blending together as the tides shift to create an amazing mosaic that changes on a daily basis. The southern end is where most of the tourist boats end up.

  • © Sarah McPherson Photography
    Hill Inlet – Whitehaven Beach

    Whitehaven Beach
    Whitehaven Beach (Southern End)

 

6. Bondi Beach – Sydney, New South Wales

Bondi Beach would be one of Australia’s most iconic beaches, located only 7km from Sydney. Bondi Beach is listed as one of Australia’s top visited tourist sites in Australia. It is only 1km stretch of beach, but has two Life Saving clubs, Bondi Surf Bathers life-saving club, and North Bondi Surf Lifesaving club, and is manned 365 Days a year.

7. Noosa Main Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Located 136 kilometres from Brisbane is Noosa Main beach. 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. Patrolled year round by Surf lifesavers, it is a favourite spot for families. Protected by headland the waves are a bit smaller, so great for beginners learning to surf. Noosa Main beach is located within moments of Noosa’s iconic Hastings Street. Main beach has a boardwalk that runs down it and there are also restaurants that line the boardwalk.

Main Beach - Noosa
Main Beach – Noosa

8. Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, Queensland

Burleigh heads is located between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta on the beautiful Gold coast. Known for its Surfing closer to the headland, and swimming in the more protected area. Located nearby to the Burleigh Heads national park. Burleigh heads is surrounded by Large towering trees, which give you good areas of shade making it a popular picnic spot in the summer sun.

Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Heads

9. Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia

Located at Broome is the beautiful 22 kilometre stretch of beach. Known for its beautiful white sand. Located on the Eastern Indian Ocean. Cable beach is famous for its Camel rides, offered at sunset and sunrise.

10. Mindil Beach, Darwin, Northern Territory.

Mindil Beach is located near Darwin’s central business district. Mindil Beach is famous for its iconic Mindil Beach sunset markets that run in the dry season. Mindil beach is located only 2kms from Darwin’s city centre. Whilst you might occasionally find people swimming there, it has a high chance of jellyfish and crocodiles so is not recommended.

 

What do you think of Trip Advisors 2019 list of best Australian beaches?

I have to admit I have made it to nearly all these beaches, only three left to go and I would agree that all of them each bring something different to the list, and deserve to make the top ten Whitehaven Beach would still top my list.

Let me know in the comments what your favourite beach in Australia is.

 

Some of my other favourite beach side locations.

North Burleigh - Mick Schamburg Park Lookout
North Burleigh / Miami – Mick Schamburg Park Lookout
cabarita beach New south Wales
Cabarita Beach, New South Wales
Catseye Beach - Hamilton IslandCatseye Beach - Hamilton Island
Catseye Beach – Hamilton Island
Catseye Beach - Hamilton Island
Catseye Beach – Hamilton Island

 

Australia's top ten beaches as voted on trip advisor Australia's top ten beaches as voted on trip advisor Australia's top ten beaches as voted on trip advisor

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Whitehaven Beach by Air – A Collection of Photos.

A visit to the Whitsundays wouldn’t be complete without stepping on the award winning, Whitehaven Beach.

© Sarah McPherson Photography
Hill Inlet – Whitehaven Beach

When travelling to the Whitsundays one of the most popular ways to spend the day is to headover to the award winning Whitehaven Beach.  Whitehaven Beach is a 7km stretch of Beach that is located on Whitsunday Island, the largest of all the 74 Whitsunday Islands. The Island is 275.08 km2. Whitsunday Island is located directly opposite Hamilton Island.

Whitsunday Island is accessible from Airlie Beach, or Hamilton Island by Boat, Sea Plane or helicopter. It is a popular location for both day visitors, and overnight visitors. With 6 different camp grounds and a variety of different tourist companies bringing tourists over.

Whitehaven Beach is known around the world for its amazing crystal white Silica sand, that is incredibly fine, and it’s beautiful turquoise water.

In the past we have headed over by boat and spent the day at Hill’s inlet (Northern end) and swam at the southern end of Whitehaven Beach. We have taken a boat to Chalkie’s beach and wandered through the Island back to the southern strip of the beach. This time though we wanted to do something different.

As we where staying at Hamilton Island, We decided to look into Hamilton Island Air to see what was available.

Hamilton Island air has nine different tours you can choose from Hamilton Island, some of them are purely scenic flights over the Reef, Whitehaven or Hamilton Island. Some take you to Reefworld, others to both Reefworld and Whitehaven Beach.

After much thought we decided on the Heart Reef and Whitehaven Stopover and it didn’t disappoint. In this tour you start with a scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier reef including flying over Heart Reef, Reef world, then you get to see Whitehaven Beach from a different perspective. Flying over Hill’s inlet before landing on the beach and having a lovely picnic for two on the beach, halfway between the busier southern end and Hill’s Inlet.

Hamilton Island Air picnic is lovely with an assortment of fruit, cheese and biscuits and muffins. Some cold water and a lovely bottle of champagne.

After our pilot set up the picnic for us, he wandered off leaving us alone on the secluded beach.

After about an hour on the beach we travelled back to Hamilton Island with a memory card full of images.

 

© Sarah McPherson Photography
Whitsunday Island
© Sarah McPherson Photography
Whitsunday Island by air – Robinson R44
© Sarah McPherson Photography
Hill Inlet
© Sarah McPherson Photography
Hill Inlet
© Sarah McPherson Photography
Heart Island
© Sarah McPherson Photography
Hardy Reef
© Sarah McPherson Photography
Plum Pudding Island
© Sarah McPherson Photography
Heart Reef
© Sarah McPherson Photography
Hardy Reef
© Sarah McPherson Photography
Whitehaven Beach – Robinson R44
© Sarah McPherson Photography
Whitehaven Beach
© Sarah McPherson Photography
Picnic at Whitehaven Beach

 

If you ever get a chance to take a Helicopter flight out of Hamilton Island I recommend the Whitehaven Beach stopover.

 

Come see Whitehaven Beach from a new perspective from above

Come see Whitehaven Beach from a new perspective from above

Come see Whitehaven Beach from a new perspective from above

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List of Films and TV shows filmed at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast

A visit to the Gold Coast wouldn’t be complete without checking out Australia’s most popular theme park, Movie World. Known as “Hollywood on the Gold Coast” but what many people don’t realise is that next to Movie World is a real active Studio.

List of Films and TV shows filmed at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast

The Studio is one of three major studios in Australia. The Gold Coast studio is owned by Village Roadshow and consists of nine sound stages, three water tanks, including Australia’s largest purpose-built water tank. It also has many more facilities to ensure it can film both small independent productions, to huge Blockbusters part of both the DC and Marvel Universe.

When you start to look into the Studio you begin to realise why there is such a huge emphasis on Scooby Doo in the Park. The studio was the filming location to two of the Scooby Doo Films both the 2002 and 2004 films starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jnr.

Whilst they are separate entities there is obviously some good cross-promotion that goes on.

When you drive around the Hinterland and beaches liked the Spit you can see why any Films and TV shows are filmed on the Gold Coast.

The other two studios are located in Melbourne, the Dockland studios Melbourne, And Sydney’s Fox studio, however, Village Roadshow studio is the largest studio lot in the Southern Hemisphere with the stages having an overall size of roughly 156775 sq ft.

Recently the Village Roadshow studio was utilised to film the Blockbuster film, Aquaman starring Jason Momoa. If you are lucky enough to go into Movie World at the moment there is a fantastic display with Props, Costumes and Set pieces from the Film.

List of Films and TV shows filmed at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast List of Films and TV shows filmed at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast

We had such a great time looking through all the memorabilia and decided to put together a list of some of the more notable Films and TV shows filmed at Village Roadshow Studios.

    • Scooby Doo
    • Scooby Doo 2
    • Pitch Black
    • Peter Pan
    • Nim’s Island
    • The Marine
    • House of Wax
    • Ghost Ship
    • Fools Gold
    • Beauty and the Beast (Australian Movie)
    • Daybreakers
    • Crocodile Dundee in LA
    • The Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
    • San Andreas
    • Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead men tell no tales.
    • Unbroken
    • Thor Ragnarok
    • Godzilla vs Kong
    • Dora the Explorer (Live action Movie) to be released in 2019
      • 20,000 Leagues under the sea (Tv Mini-Series)
      • Animalia (Animated series)
      • Beast Master (Tv)
      • Paradise Beach (TV)
      • H2O Just add Water (TV)
      • Sea Patrol 2 (TV)
      • Terra Nova (TV)

These are just a few of the Movies and TV Shows that have been filmed there with many more to be filmed there in the future.

Did you realise that some of Hollywood’s biggest shows were filmed in Australia?

List of Films and TV shows filmed at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast List of Films and TV shows filmed at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast

We love movies and movie sets and were lucky to visit Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, the location of Jurassic Park and many more famous movies.

What movie sets have you visited? Tell us in the comments below.

Films and TV shows filmed at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast Films and TV shows filmed at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast

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Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast.

Are you one of the 13 million visitors heading to the Gold Coast this year and wondering what should we be doing. We have compiled our list from our time living on the Gold Coast and our visit there.

Top ten must-see destinations on the Gold Coast.

1. Visit a Theme Park.

  • Movie World

In Australia the Gold Coast is the home of the theme parks, Los Angeles might have Disneyland, Orlando might have Disneyworld. But in Australia on the Gold Coast, we have “Hollywood on the Gold Coast” Warner Brothers Movie world. A Village Roadshow Theme Parks.  It is the home of DC Superheroes, Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo, Harry Potter (although this is just through merchandise and some theming on shops). It is also home to active Movie studios, seeing the newest blockbuster Aquaman 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. At the moment you can walk through and see many of the sets and costumes form Aquaman in a special display in the park.

Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast - Go see a Theme Park Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast

 

  • Sea World

Gold Coast also is the home to Sea World, also a Village Roadshow Theme Parks. Although it has a similar name and branding to the American Seaworld, it is run by totally different companies with more of a focus on rehabilitation.  It is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, and theme park. It has a great younger children’s area and a few rides aimed at older children, teens, and adults. With a large focus on sea animals.  It has the license to Nickelodeon, so children will love meeting the Paw Patrol characters, Sponge Bob and TMNT.

Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast

  • Paradise Country

Also part of the Village Roadshow Paradise Country is an Australian homestead where there is a variety of Australian animals including kangaroos, koalas, and emus. You can head on a farm tour that includes several shows which feature the making of billy tea, boomerang throwing, and stock Horse demonstrations.

  • Dreamworld

Dream World is set on 210 acres in Coomera, it has 27 rides including 5 roller coasters. Dreamworld is the home of Wiggles World, and an ABC kids land with a few wiggles themed rides. A real favorite with the pre-school crowd. Dreamworld also has rides connected to Dreamworks. Dream World has a Lego store that can be accessed from outside of the park, so you don’t need tickets to buy your favorite lego. Dreamworld is the home of the thrill ride on the Gold Coast with 9 thrill rides.

Fun Fact – some designers who worked on Disneyland and Walt Disney World designed some of Dreamworld.

Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast

2. Visit a Water Park

The Gold Coast has great weather most of the year and is home to two water parks.

  • Wet n Wild

No matter what the weather Wet n Wild remains open so is beautiful no matter what time of year it is. To help with the slightly cooler winter months the pools are heated through Winter. Located adjacent to Movie world and also a Village Roadshow Theme Park, it has 4 pools, 17 water slides, and 2 Children’s areas.

  • WhiteWater World

Situated next to Dreamworld a short park hop away is Dreamworld water park Whitewater world, with one wave pool, 10 water slides, and 2 children’s areas.

3. The Beaches

The Gold Coast is home to so many beautiful beaches, from the Famous Surfers Beach to the great surf beaches of Kirra, and Coolangatta. There is a beach to suit every beach taste. I love walking along the beach each morning and seeing the beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Many a photo has been taken from these beaches.

 

Beaches Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Beaches Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Beaches Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast

4. Natural Bridge

In the far southwest of the Gold Coast, in the Springbrook National Park is Natural Bridge and cave creek, featuring a beautiful rock formation, that was formed from the force of the waterfall over the cave made from Basalt.

The walk is only 1 km and quite easily accessible, as we have taken our four children down multiple times.

Cave Creek Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Cave Creek Top ten things to do on the Gold CoastCave Creek Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast

5. Australian Outback Spectacular.

Australian Outback dinner show is an amazing Dinner Show located on the Gold Coast, now with a new show Heartland that tells the story of Australian farmers battling a five-year-long drought. Featuring, singing, Horse riding. 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.

Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast

6. Visit Surfers Paradise

A trip to the Gold Coast wouldn’t be complete without visiting it’s most famous beach and beachside town. Surfers Paradise. Surfers Paradise is abuzz with action, from great restaurants, including the Hard Rock Cafe, Ripley’s believe it or not, and a giant Timezone where you can buy a fairy floss from a machine and watch it get made.
Whether day or night there is always something going on, and the beach is patrolled by some of Queensland’s finest Lifeguards.
Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast

7. Whale Watching

Through the months of May to November jump on a whale watching tour, to see the amazing Humpback whale as they migrate. This area is commonly referred to as the Humpback highway due to a large number of Whales seen through Whale watching season.

8. Go shopping at Pacific Fair

A visit to Gold Coast wouldn’t be complete without checking out Pacific Fair, set on 38 acres. With a recent expansion, it is a shopping centre sure to have everything and anything you need. With over 400 specialty stores, and a huge range of eateries. We always make sure we drop in.

 

Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast

9. Check out one of their amazing markets.

Did you know that the Gold Coast is home to so many different markets, probably the largest and most well known is the Carrara Markets located on 10 acres with over 350 different stalls. Open on Saturdays and Sundays. Carrara Markets is great for all ages with pony rides, animal farm, our kids favorite the bungee trampoline and face painters.

10. Stay at a great Hotel, Resort or Holiday Home.

The Gold Coast has such a huge amount of different holiday options, from Waterfront high rises, Caravan Parks. So book your favorite accommodation, and relax and enjoy all that the Gold Coast has to offer.

Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast Top ten things to do on the Gold Coast

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Paronella Park

Paronella Park – The Dream continues…….

On our last trip up north to Cairns, we decided we needed to visit the Winner of #1 Must do in QLD, Paronella Park and it does not disappoint.

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

Paronella Park

Feed turtles, walk through gardens and get lost in the imagination of what it would have been like in its heydey.

Jose Paronella had a dream, a dream to build a castle.

Paronella Park

And 120kms south of Cairns In 5 Hectares just behind Mena Creek falls, that is what he did.

He not only built a castle but tennis courts, bridges, picnic areas and over 7500 tropical plants and trees.

Back when it was an operational castle it also had a movie theatre which on the weekend would be transformed into an amazing space for live music, complete with a giant ball of mirrors.

For many years the Paronella’s invited the public to join them in their Spanish inspired castle complete with North Queensland’s first Hydro Electric pump, that powered the 13-acre site. The public enjoyed visiting the Castle from 1935 when it opened until 1946.

When tragedy struck.

Upstream from the park work was done and lots of trees and bushes were cleared, when the wet season came, all those logs and debris went down the river, and piled against the railway bridge destroying it. This became like a domino effect, sending the bridge, the trees, logs all down towards the castle.

The Paronella’s were upset to find the Hydro damaged, the refreshment almost destroyed, and the Theatre and foyer damaged. But they were not broken…. They began to rebuild.

The rebuilt Park stayed in the Paronella family until 1977. When they sold it.

In 1979 tragedy struck again with a fire that devastated the castle, followed by significant damage in 1986 by Cyclone Winifred, A flood in January 1994, Cyclone Larry in 2006, and Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

This has all contributed to the ghostly shell of the castle you see today. Something so magical to see.

When the current owners purchased the park in 1993 they too had a dream…. A dream to rebuild the legacy of the park and put it back on the map as a must see Tourist attraction.

They have restored the Hydroelectric system (Original 1930’s). They are preserving the castle, without rebuilding.

Paronella Park… the dream continues.

Paronella Park

Paronella Park

Paronella Park

 

 

Make sure you check out some of our other favorite places we visited.

Whitsunday Fishing Charter
Whitsunday Fishing Charter
Fairy Park Anakie
Fairy Park Anakie
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Koala Park – Creswick

Creswick’s Koala Park.

In 1942, forestry students built the Koala Park by constructing a fence in a section of the forest just out of Creswick to be used as a breeding area for koalas.

They released Koalas into the enclosure to breed and boost the numbers of the local population. However, there was one big problem with their plan. Koalas can climb. They were able to climb the fence and spread into the surrounding forest.

Now there is just as much chance to see a Koala in Creswick State Forest as Creswick’s Koala’s Park. However, it is the perfect place to go for a walk and see the beautiful environment around.

The walks should take you between 45 mins to an hour and a half depending on which path you decide to take.

Koala Park Creswick

Koala Park Creswick

Koala Park Creswick

Koala Park Creswick

Creswick’s Koala Park is only 30 minutes out of Ballarat and is well worth a visit.

If you want to see more Australian Animals then make sure you check out Ballarat Wildlife Park.

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Feeding the Kangaroo’s at Ballarat Wildlife Park.

When you think about Australian Animals, a few instantly come to mind.

Think about it? What would be the first animals you think of?

Kangaroo’s, Koala’s, Emus and Platypus would have to be the iconic Australian Animals that tourist coming to the country are keen to see.

If you want to find a great hands-on experience then look no further than Ballarat Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with the local animals.

Ballarat Wildlife Park is only one hour and twenty minutes from Melbourne CBD, and is open 364 days a year, from 9 am – 5 pm.

Admission

  • Adults $35
  • Concession $29
  • Children $19.50
  • Family (2A & up to 4C) $95.00

Yearly Pass Cost

  • Family Membership (2A & up to 4C) $170
  • Sole Parent Yearly Membership $120
  • Individual Yearly Membership $65

Every day Ballarat Wildlife Park holds Complimentary Guided tours, Animals shows, and Presentation.

There are also opportunities for you to pay extra for special Animal Encounters, including gorgeous photos.

Ballarat Wildlife Park - Animal Encounter

Ballarat Wildlife Park has a shop, and a nice cafe so you can have a nice drink and bite to eat before you head down to help feed the locals.

That is why so many people flock to the Park, Whilst animals like the Meerkats, Dingos, Crocodiles, Alligators, and Wombats are popular it’s the free-roaming kangaroos that you find all over the Wildlife Park that have everyone excited.

If you want to feed the Kangaroo’s all you need is to grab some Kangaroo Food at the front and wander around the Park. If you are lucky you might even get to feed a gorgeous little joey or see one nestled in its mum’s pouch.

Ballarat Wildlife Park is definitely on our list of top ten things to do in Ballarat.

What iconic Australian Animals do you think of?

Linking up with Feet do travel

Have you ever wanted to feed a Kangaroo?

When you think about Australian Animals, a few instantly come to mind. Think about it? What would be the first animals you think of? Kangaroo’s, Koala’s, Emus and Platypus would have to be the iconic Australian Animals that tourist coming to the country are keen to see. If you want to find a great hands-on experience then look no further than Ballarat Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with the local animals.

When you think about Australian Animals, a few instantly come to mind. Think about it? What would be the first animals you think of? Kangaroo’s, Koala’s, Emus and Platypus would have to be the iconic Australian Animals that tourist coming to the country are keen to see. If you want to find a great hands-on experience then look no further than Ballarat Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with the local animals.

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Knife Fork Spoon Kitchen – Ballarat

Knife Fork Spoon in Ballarat is a gorgeous little cafe that is open 7 days a week in Ballarat.

Those local to Ballarat know it as a place to get the Instagram favorite “Freakshakes” as well as some other delicious sweet and savory foods.

Located in Lydiard Street within a short walk of the Regent cinemas, Ballarat Art Gallery it is a lovely place to sit and relax when you are in Ballarat.

Now since the Canberra Cafe Patissez, started the Freak shake back in 2015, all around Australia Cafe’s have begun making these amazing calorie loaded milkshakes. So many times though they look amazing, but the taste of the milkshakes is obviously an afterthought and the milkshakes lack flavor.  But not at Knife Fork and Spoon, their milkshake flavour is amazing.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Salted Caramel Freakshake, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

No matter your age you can enjoy the Freakshake, with a small kids version also available, that comes with a little bit of fairy floss (cotton candy) and decorated with sprinkles around the edge. It also has colored popcorn and some lollies/lollypops as decoration.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Children’s Freakshake, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

Knife fork Spoon caters for everyone, and if you do bring your children there they have coloring in for the kids to do, Bags of wipes (Well needed after all these sticky treats). But the favorite place for kids is located outside the back a great blackboard wall.

To keep you warm in Ballarat’s often cooler weather is a nice Gas heater.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

Knife Fork and Spoon is so much more than the freakshakes they also have a great collection of sweet and savory food. My favorite is the amazing Pulled Pulled Tacos.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Pulled Pork Taco, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

Whereas my children love the Ham and Cheese Toastie that comes with some delicious Tomato Relish.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Ham and Cheese Toastie, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

There are cakes, waffles and so much more. A quick search of the #knifeforkspoon on Instagram and you can see all the amazing food, so beautifully presented.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Kids Waffles by Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

To go there and have amazing food is one thing, but the thing that makes Knife Fork and Spoon stand out from other local cafes is the service. We went in recently for our daughters birthday, and one of the staff overheard one of the guests wish her a Happy Birthday. When her freakshake came out they had added a sparkler and another lollypop for her.

It made her day.

Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
S’more Freakshake, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Caramello Freakshake, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat
Willy Wonka Freakshake, from Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat

So if you are ever in Ballarat, make sure that you pop into 16 Lydiard Street Ballarat, and find Knife Fork Spoon Ballarat.

 

Have you ever tried a “Freakshake” before? What is your favorite flavor?

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Onslow, Western Australia

A visit to Onslow in Western Australia.

Onslow Western Australia

A beautiful coastal town rich in beauty and history.

On the north side of the Exmouth turnoff on the North West coastal Highway {Highay 1} is the turnoff to Onslow.
The 80 kilometers of excellent sealed road reveals quarries, salt lakes, and other mining ventures and is well worth the effort.
The town itself is neat and clean with two caravan parks. One is in the middle of town on the. Foreshore, by far the most popular, and the other out of town at an accommodation camp set up for the construction workers building the plants operating close to the town.
Salt is exported from here and has it’s own jetty and loading facility to service the large ocean cargo ships that dock there.
There are gas rigs out in the Indian Ocean relatively close to shore where gas is piped into a processing plant some kilometers from the town and then exported from its own loading facility further along the bay.
Another smaller gas plant provides power for the salt works.

With the industries set up there, it was hoped Onslow would become a thriving regional town with many new building programs in the pipeline, and land subdivisions carried out.
Some of these have been completed eg upgrades to the hospital and primary school and a beautiful swimming pool complex. BHP has also contributed to the town with an excellent sporting complex and several new homes have been built.

Sadly, however, the town hasn’t reached its expectations at this point, and with the construction workers basically gone, the town’s progress has slowed.

We are told regular workers at the various plants use the very good airport as a fly in, fly out service, but that permanent worker are requested to live in the town.

The town caravan park is booked out over June, July so bookings are advised. Unsure about the Discovery Park approx 3 k’s out of town. Apparently, school holidays over the tourist season are very popular.
There is an overflow park down at the Showgrounds however

The first time we decided to come here, we were advised against it as being boring and uninteresting. To us, and obviously many others, it is far from that!!

The fishermen really love it there and there are many ‘permanents” booked into the park year in, year out for months at a time.

The relics of Old Onslow have been set up as a drive yourself tour with historical points of interest written on markers as you make your way around. Most interesting.

Near the old town, there is a river where free campers delight to spend much time fishing and relaxing.

A town museum has a pictorial mural on the street frontage taking you through the various stages of the area’s history, even if you don’t have the time to visit the actual museum.

The most endearing part of Onslow for me is the beautiful war memorial set up on the hill at the start of the interesting boardwalk that runs along the beach leading to the salt jetty.
It faces due east so that the sun rises through it’s centre. Absolutely spectacular, and a very popular photo shot.
“We will remember them” is inscribed on the arch.

Alongside, this is a concrete bench seat with two brass slouch hats just resting there. Very sobering and personal. You want to look around for the soldiers who may have left them there, or maybe they are the ones we are remembering. Just lovely.

Apparently, Onslow was a fuel depot during the war for the allies and the vicinity was bombed.

Onslow Western Australia Onslow Western Australia Onslow Western Australia Onslow Western Australia

We have really enjoyed our trip through Western Australia and hope you enjoy hearing all about it.

Love Merril and Bob.

Take a visit to Onslow in Western Australia. A beautiful coastal town rich in wonder and history.
Take a visit to Onslow in Western Australia. A beautiful coastal town rich in wonder and history.
Take a visit to Onslow in Western Australia. A beautiful coastal town rich in wonder and history.

 

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