Easter School Holidays are here
It seems like just yesterday you were dropping the kids off for the first day of term one. Yet, here we are again, on the brink of school holidays. While the kids may seem exhausted for the first couple of days (who wouldn't be after such a hectic first term), by the end of the first week they'll be raring to go all over again. So how do we keep the whole family entertained?
Here's your guide to the autumn school holidays in and around Hervey Bay, with everything you need to know about what's on and suitable seasonal activities to keep everyone happy.
While inviting your kids into the kitchen may give some of you actual heart-attacks, never fear, there are plenty of recipes you can enjoy together. Just make sure you find an age-appropriate recipe and if you have accident-prone children, perhaps choose a no-bake one to avoid the possibility of heat-related injuries. If you don't want them anywhere near the kitchen, pre-prepare some cupcakes or cakes and let the kids' imagination run wild as they decorate them until their hearts' content. Remember though, this one is about fun, not necessarily results. You can even make a whole activity around this idea the kids choose what they want to cook or bake, you all head to the shops at Pialba Place together to collect all the ingredients and then head home to get cooking.
Go for a picnic
Whether it's the Burrum Coast National Park or the Arkarra Lagoon, pack up your lunch and the kids and head to the park for a good old fashioned picnic. Or simply head to the local park around the corner and find your spot. Not only does it give you all something to do, it also gets you out and about and enjoying the fresh air. Plus, there's lots of space for the kids to let off some steam. If you head to Arkarra Lagoon, be sure to look out of the wildlife the kids will learn something without even knowing it! There are birds, goannas, echidnas, wallabies, fish and ducks. There's also the Botanic Gardens and Orchid House to enjoy, with tranquil gardens, shady spots around the lagoon and opportunities for the kids to spot fish, dragonflies, ducks and turtles.
Walk for the scenery and the fitness
There are loads of delightful walks you can enjoy around Hervey Bay that all take in the beautiful scenery the region is known for. Better yet, along the way, the kids can enjoy water activities and you can really make a day of it. While there are a couple of longer walks that can take a whole day, it may be worth breaking them up and enjoying a little bit each day to really stretch out the joy. The Esplanade Walk is a great option as it's pretty level the entire way, so you can even take the pram for the little ones for when they get tired. Best of all about this one is that along the way you can visit the WetSide Water Park. Of course, there are plenty of other walks around the Hervey Bay area as well, some requiring a bit of a drive, but all definitely worth it!
Make the most of the community
There will, no doubt, be rainy days. Such is life. But while rainy days are great for the greenery, it can make parents go stir crazy trying to entertain the kids. Never fear though, there are activities galore if you look to your community. Libraries, art centres, senior citizen centres and even shopping centres have activities catering to young kids during the school holidays. For some of them, you can even drop and go, meaning you can get some errands done while your child is looked after and thoroughly entertained.
Take a visit to Mary Poppins
She's not there anymore, and neither is the famous writer who conjured her, but the building sure is. The Maryborough Heritage Centre is where P.L. Travers was born way back in 1899. There's a life-sized statue of the super nanny herself so the kids can snap a picture with her. The area of Maryborough also has a lot to entertain the kids with ghost tours, museums and riverside parks. If you're around at the right time, you can even witness the firing of the Time Cannon just remember to block your ears. You can also take a trip on the Mary Ann Steam Engine, a replica of the first ever steam engine built in Queensland, and if you time it correctly, you can enjoy everything the Heritage Markets have to offer.
Just a 45-minute ferry away from Hervey Bay, the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island is perfect for a day trip with the whole family. There is so much to do on Fraser Island that you may want to stay for a while. Pack your camping gear and make the most of the camping grounds, or alternatively, check in to the Kingfisher Bay Resort with all the modern conveniences. Take a 4x4 drive through the rainforest, head to the Maheno shipwreck, take a tube down the creek, go for a hike or a fish, and spot some dingoes along the way.
Road trip anyone?
Pack the family into the car and head west. Outback Queensland is a whirlwind of adventure, history and incredible scenery. Got a dinosaur enthusiast in your midst? Take the Dinosaur Trail through Richmond, Hughenden and Winton and uncover a living museum of fossils and geological landscapes that are sure to delight everyone.
Great herds of dinosaurs ruled the Queensland outback and their footsteps can still be seen today, especially if you head to the Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways near Winton. A little bit of trivia for you these very footsteps inspired the great Stephen Spielberg's movie Jurassic Park. You can also take part in a real dinosaur dig at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum and prepare a real dinosaur bone in the lab.
If you're more into opals and sapphires, there's something along the road for you too. The Gemfields west of Emerald is the perfect place to sieve for gems. Carnarvon Gorge is also definitely worth a stop.
There are so many gorges around Queensland that it may be hard to choose just one. From jaw dropping pools to the history of the sedimentation, the experience is truly breathtaking. Here are our top three to visit:
- Cobbold Gorge, Gulf Savannah - the best way to experience this one is by boat as you weave through the maze of cliffs, formed 135 million years ago. The sheer height of the cliffs is nothing short of breathtaking.
- Porcupine Gorge, Porcupine Gorge National Park - this one is also known as Australia's Little Grand Canyon and it's not hard to see why. Lush forest, towering cliffs and a breathtaking canyon, this one's not to be missed. Relax at Pyramid Lookout and then take a 30-minute stroll into the gorge.
- Hell Hole Gorge, Hell Hole Gorge National Park - 4-wheel drive your way through this place and you'll constantly be in awe. Deep gorges, gullies and waterholes to dip into, it's really an exhilarating exploration.
Water, water, everywhere
You are in Queensland after all! There are so many water activities, it will be hard to choose just one. Luckily you have the whole school holidays to fill. Head about one hour's drive south of Hervey Bay and you can get up close and personal with the dolphins of Tin Can Bay. You can even hand feed them if you time it right.
Try some water sports with the kids. The great thing about Hervey Bay is the water is nice and calm so there's no thrashing around when you try your hand at kite surfing, paddle boarding or kayaking. It's even good for the little ones because the shallow waters are mostly wave-free.
If you don't feel like getting wet yourself, head to the Reefworld Aquarium, located near the Urangan Pier. You and the kids will enjoy seeing the green sea turtles, sharks and crabs. If you want, you can even touch some of the marine life with the hands-on touch tank and see some of the feedings throughout the day.