Visiting Melbourne with the kids? Be sure to visit Sealife Melbourne

If the kids love the ocean and sea animals then a visit to Sea Life Melbourne is just what you need.  Sea Life allows the whole family to get up close and personal with the animals in a way that would not be possible, unless you were actually scuba diving in the ocean!

SEA LIFE Aquarium offers an interactive, hands-on experiences, displays and shows for all ages.

A day out at SEA LIFE will leave you with fantastic memories and feeling empowered to make a difference to the underwater world.

Our favourite was the ocean tunnel with massive stingrays, sharks and tropical fish, the whole family can wander through the tunnel and marvel at the different species of sharks, fish and turtles as they swim over head.

Another huge highlight for us was the tidal touch pool where we got up close with starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers, the kids just loved putting there hands in the water and getting to touch and feel what was below. They were totally fascinated by the sharks eggs and had heaps of questions which were answered by the Sealife staff who manned the touch pool, all of the staff we meet during our visit were well informed, very interesting and friendly and we learnt a lot and found heaps to keep us entertained for hours.

Penguin Playground completes the unforgettable experience where visitors can marvel as the majestic King and cheeky Gentoo Penguins slip and slide across the snow-covered ice. Piper found the penguins are very entertaining and she didn’t want to leave, she was just having too much fun watching them as they slipped and waddled around the ice.

Moving through the exhibits there are lots of interactive experiences to keep little to big kids informed and entertained.

If you find yourself in Melbourne I highly recommend you take a few hours and check it out for yourself.

Click Here for some Great savings on Tickets and Experiences

If you have any questions just let us know we love a chat,

Love Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo

 



Love Christmas? Then don’t miss Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill Ballarat Victoria

If you love Christmas, history and adventure, and are looking for a great day out that the kids will never  forget  – then you need to plan a trip to Sovereign Hill next July and experience Christmas in July

    

 
Sovereign Hill is Australia’s leading outdoor museum showcasing  Australia’s marvellous gold rush history, since its opening in November 1970 it has become an Australian tourism icon and has won numerous tourism awards. Known as a living museum emphasising working machinery and displays, costumed interpreters and visitor involvement, it’s no wonder Sovereign Hill attracts 450,000 people each year from around the world.
In July Sovereign Hill hosts a special  Christmas In July event, during  Winter Wonderlights the whole site is adorned with Christmas decorations, with wreaths at every shop front and lots of Christmas trees and stays open later than usual and this is for a special reason.  At 5.30pm each night make sure you standing mid street and watch the buildings of Sovereign Hill light up  – add to that the snow (the fake bubble kind) and music and it’s a magical street party you’ll be glad you stayed for.
During the day its business as usual at Sovereign Hill township, visitors can stroll down Main Street as snow-flakes fall at regular intervals over the Victorian-style buildings, decorations fill the window displays, the smell of Christmas treats and spices fill the air, and traditional Christmas-themed pantomimes are performed in addition to regular attractions and performances there are regular snow falls, Christmas goodies to buy, Christmas carolling and a Christmas-themed theatrical program.
Then at night, Main Street will sparkle with an amazing light projection show with over 20 of Sovereign Hill’s buildings lit up with large-scale image projections and Christmas animations. Children can also catch the Gingerbread Man as he dashes from building to building, peeking out from the Christmas themed lights and animation.
But do note that it’s cold in Ballarat (really cold) so dress warm (think hats, scarves, gloves, layers, two pairs of socks and a winter coat) and you will be fine but with so much to do and see we certainly didn’t have time to stand about feeling the cold.
HOT Tips:

And here’s a handy tip: you can get your entry ticket stamped at the Main Street Post Office (or the desk near the exit) and this will allow you entry again the following day, for FREE! two days for the price of one so stay and see a little more.

  • try to avoid Peak times which are school holidays and weekends
  • Parking is free on site;
  • Bring lots of snacks as eateries can get crowded, especially from 5pm when the last show finishes and the lights don’t start till  5:45pm
  • Book a sit-down Christmas dinner in advance this is an experience that’s now to be missed..
  • Most of Sovereign Hill’s attractions are outdoors so wear lots of warm gear (waterproof coat, layers, gloves, scarf, hat). Ballarat experiences harsh winters and once the sun goes down it is really cold
  • Make sure you visit the Confectionary Shop as it’s just not possible to visit to Sovereign Hill without stocking up on boiled lollies.
  • Gumboots are a good idea as the pathways can get muddy;
  • Bring a torch
  • All the shops take EFTPOS (even for small amounts). There is an ATM at the entrance, Sovereign Hill cafe and the post office
  • Sovereign Hill is a comfortable 90-minute drive from Melbourne along the Western Highway;
  • train and tour coach services which operate daily from Melbourne

 

For details on pricing and ticketing go to Sovereign Hill

 



We Road Test Holiday Inn Melbourne – Kids Glamp-In Package

Our favourite Melbourne hotel just keeps getting better and better!

Last week the kids slept rough or as rough as it gets for my jetsetters, road testing the Kids Glamp-In Package at Holiday Inn Melbourne and let’s just say it was a HUGE hit!

What you get:

Kids Glamp-In Package

  • A stay in one of the beautifuly newly refurbished rooms.
  • Accommodation in a room with 2 double size beds which can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children comfortably, with cots ‘free’ upon request.
  • Your very own glamp-in setup. Complete with a tee-pee, games for the whole family, pillows and blankets to make sure everyone is comfortable.
  • Buffet breakfast for 2 adults plus don’t forget that it’s the Holiday Inn brand promise that kids under 12 stay and eat free!
For more information see Holiday Inn Glam In
If you need more reasons to visit check out the new deal just released below.

 

Getaway and enjoy Melbourne

Book direct and save a guaranteed 25% for stays until 31st March 2018.

  • Save 15% or more on accommodation at Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders
  • IHG Rewards Club members save an EXTRA 10% with YOUR RATE. Not a member? Join now
  • Complimentary WiFi Internet for IHG Rewards Club Members. Free to Join!
  • Best Price Guarantee when you book direct. No booking fee, ever.
  • At Holiday Inn Kids under 12 Stay & Eat Free!
  • Sale ends 14 August 2017. Valid for stays from 1 August 2017 to 31 March 2018

For more information just click Here

Again we can never recommend Holiday Inn Melbourne highly enough, if you have any questions please feel free to ask away.

Love Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo



If you’re a family travelling in New Zealand – here’s why you should stay at Holiday Inn

 

Recently we spent 5 fun filled days in beautiful Auckland. As part of our trip we spent a few nights staying in Rotorua, a place known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing the fascinating Maori culture.

We stayed with Holiday Inn, as they never disappoint me, I can always relax and let them take care of everything plus with Kids Stay & Eat Free* and the VIK (Very Important Kids) program, the hotel is a great base for both families and adventurers to explore.

Here’s why we think…

Holiday Inn Rotorua is the perfect destination to warm up this winter. Location Location Location….

 

Relax in geothermal hot springs or explore the Redwoods forest mountain bike trails. The mild weather in New Zealand means that you can stay active all year round with plenty of activities to entertain everyone.

Holiday Inn Rotorua is situated on the edge of the beautiful Whakarewarewa Forest. It’s the closest hotel to the famous Rotorua mountain bike trails and  after a day exploring, reward your body with a swim in the geothermally heated pool or enjoy the garden spa, it was such good fun for all of us, the excitement of swimming outdoors in the middle of winter was a major highlight for the kids.

Then head back to your spacious and modern room or relax in the bar before enjoying buffet or a la carte options in the Chapman’s Restaurant, the restaurant serves fantastic meals the kids really enjoyed the buffet dinner and breakfast, we enjoyed that they ate Free*

If  your heading into town for the afternoon or a thrill-seeking day out, jump on the complimentary shuttle service for guests to and from the Rotorua Tourism Centre on Fenton Street and you will be in the middle of everything you need.

During your stay at the  hotel, you can explore Rotorua’s wide range of experiences and attractions. With its well-known Maori cultural shows, geothermal activity and adrenalin pumping activities there is something for everyone.

 

 

There are three different room types; Standard, Superior and Deluxe. So you’ve got a few options to choose from depending on what you need size-wise, comfort-wise and in keeping with budget. The rooms have a modern but classic, comfortable feel to them, with everything feeling new and fresh.

Our room had an insanely good view with a private balcony that overlooked the sulphur springs and the Whakarewarewa thermal park – picture lots of trees with steam rising through them. It made leaving the room difficult, all I wanted to do was stay inside rugged up but adventured called. (See additional blogs for all the attractions and sites we visited)

 

Holiday Inn Rotorua was a great choice for us as it ticks all the boxes when travelling with kids – conveniently located: around the corner from Whakarewarewa and within walking distance (or a short drive) to all of the local attractions, well maintained/clean rooms, breakfast that offers more options than your average hotel breakfast, laundry open 24/7 and cheap to use, which is awesome when you are travelling a lot, air-conditioning, ensuite bathroom, Sky TV channels (including free to guest movies), broadband internet access, complimentary tea/coffee making facilities, iron & ironing board, bathrobes, complimentary selection of fresh fruits, heated outdoor pool, inhouse restarant (Big tick from us)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our 2nd and last stop was in Auckland at the Holiday Inn Auckland Airport it’s located only 4km from the Auckland international and domestic airport terminals so it made for a great place to base ourselves for the last couple of days adventures before we needed to board the hotel shuttle bus for the quick 5 min trip to the airport to start our homeward journey, again we received a warm welcome and the down to earth consistent service we have come to expect from Holiday Inn. Right from check in the staff were first rate friendly and professional, we ate in both the restaurant and on the 2nd night we ordered room service after a particularly long day, both were great with lots 0f choices and very tasty. But nothing beats a Holiday Inn buffet breakfast this is something they just seem to do really well! good choices, good service and plenty of room to sit and relax and not feel rushed. Plus of course kids stay and eat for free*

It’s expansive grounds made a welcome change to other airport hotels we have stayed in, perfect for the kids to get outdoors and enjoy some sunshine and have a run around if you have been cooped up on a flight for a while.

Our whole trip to New Zealand was made so much more enjoyable by staying in comfortable and family friendly Holiday Inn hotels, the wonderful staff who work here, they’re attentive and kind and make you feel really welcome. They’re able to help you out with ideas for places to eat, things to do, how to get around and where to go.

 

 

You can  Check out the current Packages and Special Deals by clicking here.

“Escape with a guaranteed 25% off to Auckland or Rotorua. Plus up to 5% more with YOUR RATE for IHG® Rewards Club members.”

– Book before June 21, 2017, for dates until January 31, 2018.

More information and special rates on accommodation can be found a Holiday Inn

We just loved New Zealand, so if you have any questions? Just let us know and we will be happy to chat.

Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo

 

Follow Them on

Instagram @hiaucklandairport and @holidayinnrotorua

FaceBook /HolidayInnAKLAirport and /HolidayInnRotorua

*Terms and conditions apply.

* Kids Stay Free – Up to two (2) children under 12 years of age, stay free when sharing a room with up to two (2) adults at any of the Participating Hotels, subject to maximum room occupancy restrictions and subject to availability. Baby crib/cot is complimentary while rollaway beds may be chargeable. Rules for maximum room occupancy will supersede this offer.

Kids Eat Free – For registered guests only. This is available for children under 12 yrs of age:

a) when ordering for breakfast, lunch & dinner;
b) when ordering in the hotel’s dine-in restaurant;
c) when ordering from the Kids’ Menu (which must consist of at least 1 main course and 1 dessert) and;
d) when accompanied by at least one (1) adult who is registered as a hotel guest at the Participating Hotel and must order at least one main course from the full priced menu.

The Kids Eat Free offer is limited to up to four (4) children per dining family, per meal OR up to two (2) children per parent, per meal.

The Kids Eat Free offer is not available for room service or with room rates negotiated for groups of 10 or more rooms, travel industry rates, corporate rates or employee rates.

 

**This post was written in collaboration with Holiday Inn (IHG Group) but, as always, opinions are honest and my own.

 



Our Top FIVE Favourite Attractions While Visiting Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland has a fantastic history and a world of exciting experiences waiting to be discovered. So, if the kids are up for discovering the Maori culture and heritage and uncovering a city bursting with fresh and quirky experiences, Auckland is just the spot for you.

Here are our top FIVE favourites, just to get you started….

 

Agrodome – The Unique New Zealand Farm Experience

Agrodome is a fun event for the whole family, informative & very entertaining, cos lets be honest who doesn’t like farm animals.

Spend the day and make sure you catch all the demonstrations with sheep, dogs and other animals, including audience participation. Make sure you do the farm and sheep shearing tours, The kids will love it!

Heaps of animals are on display and the open areas for kids to explore are a good place to take the whole family.

Set in the heart of 350-acres of lush farmland, yet only 10 minutes from Rotorua city centre, you’ll find this little gem.

For over 40 years, visitors from all over the globe have come to the Agrodome to see the world-famous Farm Show starring a cast of talented animals.  After the show you can visit the Farmyard Nursery, which is home to the cutest baby animals who are available for cuddles and photos all year round!

Plus, if you really want to explore the Agrodome 350-acre working farm then join our Farm Tour. During this guided tour, you’ll get to hand-feed loads of friendly animals and sample delicious kiwifruit juice and honey from the land.

Before you leave, don’t forget to pop into the Woollen Mill and Shearing MuseumHere you’ll learn the remarkable story of NZ pioneers the Bowen brothers and discover the full process of wool from the Sheep’s back to yours.

Such a great experience for the kids, its easy to see why it’s one of New Zealand’s must-see attractions, open in any weather, 365 days a year!

  

 

 

 Whakarewarewa Village

This is a MUST visit whilst in Rotoura, it was educational as well as fun, my kids have been poi dancing and doing the haka ever since we visited (or their version may I add!!)

This is a uniquely down home New Zealand experience that you wont want to miss, steeped in a rich history and filled with unique Māori culture and heritage. Whether you want to be mesmerised by the boiling mud or learn more about the geological forces created in the area that lies within Rotorua, The Māori people have lived here for centuries, co-existing in harmony with the geothermal forces that lay beneath their feet.

Join an hourly guided tour through the Whakarewarewa Village and experience a living Māori village. See how they use the geothermal energy for everyday use and experience traditional dances and songs (including the legendary “Haka”) from the resident kapa haka group – Te Pakira.

Village entry includes entry to the Cultural Performances (11:15 and 2:00 PM daily) and access to explore the Geothermal Features and Self-Guided Nature Trails over steaming lakes and past bubbling mud. Watch the talented Kapa Haka group perform traditional Māori song and dance – there is so much to explore you will need at least half a day.

The Māori Village is owned and operated by the local residents, providing an intimate look into day-to-day life in a Living Māori Village. Visit and hear stories from the tour guides who have lived here for more than five generations.

Stay for lunch and enjoy a traditional geothermal hangi meal, cooked in the bubbling geothermal waters and steam of Whakarewarewa valley which produces a unique flavour which is simply delicious. Hangi experiences can be booked alongside the Whakarewarewa Village Tours, where you can choose from a full Hang meal, or be tempted by the sweet corn on the cob as a taster.

OPEN EVERY DAY (except Christmas day)

  

 

Rainbow Springs Nature Park

 

Set amongst the native trees and beautiful forests of Rotorua, Rainbow Springs Nature Park offers a fun-packed and educational experience for the whole family. Learn about New Zealand’s fascinating natural history and meet the creatures who call this great land home.

Animal and bird lovers  flock to Rainbow Springs Nature Park, a 9 hectare (22 acre) nature park and wildlife conservation center featuring many rare endemic species, a water ride, and a beautiful natural setting of native plants and streams.

Top of our list was to see the Kiwi encounter, Kiwi are shy fuzzy little flightless birds and are the park’s most famous inhabitants but as the ground dwelling creatures they only come out under the cover of darkness, but don’t worry about missing them during your daytime visit as they keep the kiwi in a nocturnal kiwi enclosure and your day pass includes repeat entry for the day of purchase until closing at 10pm, this means you can come back to the park once it’s dark to meet the kiwi in an outdoor, no glass enclosure. They often come out to play under the stars between 7pm-9pm – it’s a magical experience not to be missed!

We found heaps to do including a ride on the big splash, then spent some time with birds in one of the park’s free flight aviaries plus loved the exciting bird show.

Your ticket allows you unlimited admission for the day, so if you’re close by it makes for a great stop, letting you return at night to observe the nocturnal creatures.

Plus each day the team of experts run special encounters which allow you to get closer than ever to some of the park residents including trout, reptiles and native birds.

 

 

Rainbows End

A great day out for the family no matter what age and level of ‘fear factor’

If you’re in New Zealand, searching for a family-friendly thrill activity, definitely go to Rainbows End with over 20 rides and attractions there’s something for everyone, every day of the year expect Christmas day.

The staff are incredibly helpful and kind, and go to all lengths to satisfy your visit.

We enjoyed a fantastic fun day at Rainbows End and the kids just loved it!! Grab a day pass and go on whatever you want!

We loved the Roller Coaster and some of the rides will have you screaming, but in a good way! The Log Flume ride is always good fun without the fear factor.

Piper really enjoyed Kids Kingdom it’s a great sheltered entertainment centre just for the younger kids, children 8 year and under to run around and they have a blast.

Rainbow’s End is open  from 10am to 5pm each day and is worth adding to your must do list while in Auckland.

 

   

 

 

 

OGO Rotorua

 

According to our 10 year old son, this was his best experience throughout the whole trip!

New Zealand is the iconic Rotorua adventure activity in the world’s largest downhill park in the world, overlooking the spectacular views of Lake Rotorua & Mokoia Island. 

The Original OGO New Zealand has been operating for over 19 years and is the iconic Rotorua adventure activity offering the unique experience OGO Globe Riding, basically just rolling down a hill in a large inflatable ball.

Because it’s great fun, you want to go again and again.

We chose the Zigzag track… and it was awesome, such a thrill!  sitting in some warm water (winter time), being rolled down left and right down the track, it was so much fun.

Courtesy Clothing is available if your forget (Top, Shorts and Towel), Free Wifi, Hotpool and courtesy transport to and from Rotorua on request!

Open 7 days, 364 days a year, rain, hail or shine. Anyone from 6 years old can roll and we highly recommend it!  Go on, we dare you.

We had such an amazing time in Auckland, its the perfect haven for kids. If you’re heading to NZ be sure to get in touch with any questions you have as we would love to chat.

Love Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo

 

*This post was written in collaboration with above mentioned attractions but, as always, opinions are honest and my own.



My Five Top Tips When Traveling With Kids

Traveling with kids certainly requires a lot of planning and even more patience but with a bit of know-how, travelling with small children needn’t be a hassle.

viaje-en-avion

  • Here’s my top Five Trips to try when traveling.A new bag of toys for the car or plane, you can’t underestimate the value of new loot for the car or plane ride. We bring a small bag filled with new toys for each trip and I pull them out one by one, no need for them to be expensive just bits and pieces that have never been seen before is the key.
  • Bring a Medicine Kit,  No matter how well everyone looks before the trip, things can change very quickly and try finding a chemist open at 11pm when your desperate is no fun. We have a pre-packed kit and pop it in the carryon bag just in case. Ours includes cough medicine, something to reduce fever, something for vomiting and diarrhoea, band aids, tweezers, cream for itchy bites, cough lollies. I learnt this trick the hard way with when my 3 year old started vomiting every hour on the hour, 8 hours in to a 16 hour plane trip and I had all this with us but didn’t put it in our carryon and it was packed in our luggage in the baggage compartment and the staff are unable to give you anything.
  • Down time Admit it, how many times have you had the temptation to fit in everything you can in one trip? This strategy may seem like a lot of fun at the time, but then everyone gets home exhausted. Plan for some down time every day of your trip. This could mean a leisurely bike ride, read a book, an afternoon at the park or a swim in the hotel pool. Even an afternoon nap. When booking a hotel look for one that includes Breakfast in the price, often it’s not that more expensive but it makes for a good start to the day as it gets everyone up out of bed, will include some healthy options and makes it just makes for a smoother day if everyone’s tummy is full before setting off on your days adventure.
  • And last but not least, definitely don’t forget the baby wipes. Even if the family is out of nappies,  baby wipes are a must have when traveling,  you can clean hands, faces, toilet seats, mop up almost anything with them just pop a couple of packs in different bags just in case.

 

Drop us a line we love to chat Love

Kerry and Miss Piper xxx