Exploring with kids

Nov14

Arriving at a new holiday park presents countless opportunities for fun, family-friendly adventures. Indeed, holiday parks provide a comfortable base that makes exploring with kids easy. There’s no need for us to all pile in the car just to be outdoors immersed in nature. Instead we just pack a basket, throw some towels over our shoulders and walk to the beach where we go hunting for shells or play in the surf at low tide. 

Treasure Island, Gold Coast 
Arrawarra Beach at Darlington Beach, Coffs Harbour

Nature comes to our caravan in the form of ducks, birdlife, lizards and sometimes, inquisitive kangaroos. We spend mornings admiring gum trees while we eat breakfast and there’s always somewhere to go for a walk, be it around the park, alongside a creek or on the beach.

After we’ve spent a few days at a new park and have explored all it has to offer, we venture out to the local area to discover the sights. Each park we’ve visited has a great selection of pamphlets with local attractions and must-dos so we often take a few and plan our day of sightseeing accordingly.

We travel because we want the kids to spend their childhood outdoors in the Australian sun – at the beach, under gum trees and along riverbanks – an adventure that they’ll remember long after it ends and one that will hopefully teach them more than any book or screen can.

New places are brimming with opportunities for discovery and play and as soon as we arrive and set up the van the kids are eager to get out and explore. They’re wild and free (and perhaps a bit grubby) till bedtime when they fall asleep without a peep; a sign of a day well spent. 

Woodgate Beach, Fraser Coast 

My youngest has crawled her way across grassy fields and beaches, she’s discovered the joy of wet sand and the hideous taste of fresh duck poo (true story). My big kids have climbed down rocky embankments to reach a lake and have played there for hours; throwing stones and making statues with the clay-like dirt. They have spent mornings swimming in the ocean and afternoons climbing trees. They’re learning how to read maps, how to navigate uneven pathways and the importance of treading lightly wherever we go.

Sometimes I find them all sitting on the grass playing with sticks and gum nuts and rocks – not a toy in sight – and they’re happy, their imaginations alight!

We opt for natural attractions that are family friendly and don’t require arduous hikes. Simple really is best with kids and we find that a vast beach, a short bush walk or a lookout with a table is just right for an explore, a picnic lunch and a bit of downtime before we return to the caravan.

Lake Somerset, Somerset 
Darlington Beach, Coffs Coast 

We’ve spent many weeks in caravan parks and it’s heartwarming to see so many families enjoying life outdoors; whether they stay in a tent, a caravan or a cabin, they’re stepping away from routine and making memories together.

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