As our kids are of the age to enjoy farm life, we chose farm stay accommodation just outside of the bustling metropolis that is Nelson Bay. Ok, for those that don’t know Nelson Bay … it’s certainly no metropolis, and bustling doesn’t come into the equation.
Nelson Bay, and more broadly Port Stephens, is only a 2 1/2 hour drive from Sydney and, in my view, boasts some of the most stunning beaches in Australia – especially family friendly.
One Mile Beach
One Mile Beach is a great family beach that is protected from big waves and so boasts a stunning beachfront complete with kid friendly waves. It’s also monitored by a team of lifeguards.
Another great draw card, especially for mum and dad, is The Beach House Restaurant. Great food, fully licensed and just a few minutes from the beach. They sell coffee too.
If the beach isn’t quite your thing, maybe sampling some of Australia’s top rated beers is. Lunch and an accompanying brew is certainly a great way to dwindle away a couple of hours.
We visited Murray’s Craft Brewing Co. and not only was the beer sensational but the food was top notch as well. Just beware of the alcoholic content as these are not your standard VB or Tooheys.
Dizzyland Family Fun Park
The hidden gem of Nelson Bay, well Salt Ash about 10 minutes drive from Nelson Bay, was definitely the Dizzyland Family Fun Park.
This theme park represents all the wonderful nostalgia of parks from yesteryear and keeps kids enthralled for hours. From Dodgem Cars to the carousel, jumping castles to the massive water splashing slippery dip, kids will absolutely love it.
Family Theme Park
Forget traveling to Queensland for Sea World, Movie World or Dreamworld, they just don’t compare! Ok, well, yep they are fantastic fun and major tourist pullers … which is why the queues are a mile long and it costs a bomb.
Dizzyland is not the whiz bang latest ride sensation, it hasn’t just launched the Funnel Web like Jamberoo, or the worlds biggest roller coaster. In fact, if you have teenage kids, well, they really aren’t going to get much out of this theme park.
Dizzyland suits kids from 2 to about 12 and the beauty is that there’s no major lines, you can bring a packed lunch or grab something from the Cotton Candy Cafe … and kids can run around for hours and have fun that doesn’t include pyrotechnics, the latest digital craze or other technology.
This is a family friendly, affordable theme park that packs all the fun but doesn’t hurt the wallet, and it’s just a couple of hours from Sydney.
Affordable Family Getaway
Heading up to Port Stephens is far enough from Sydney that it’s a good getaway, yet close enough that the kids are asking for hours … are we there yet.
If you’re stuck in the city, a farm stay is a great way to get a glimpse at farm life, and where we stayed, most of the action is early morning or late afternoon, so you’re free to explore the rest of the day.
Just remember, if you head up there and pop through Dizzyland, say hello to Paula for us 🙂