Our travels with 3 kids and a wheelchair.

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10 things we learnt living in a Mongolian Ger that will positively change our daily life.

10 things we learnt living in a Mongolian Ger that will positively change our daily life.

Staying in a traditional Mongolian Ger taught us more than we had imagined so much so that we are taking what we learnt on the land and applying it to our every day life at home. 1. Going Green. Our Ger had no power or […]

What travel has taught these well travelled kids.

What travel has taught these well travelled kids.

Without a doubt travel teaches kids so much. From learning about new cultures, to eating new foods, learning new languages and stepping outside their comfort zone. I am a strong believer that travel opens the eyes and hearts of our children and they develop an […]

The best hostel in Taipei.

The best hostel in Taipei.

If you thought staying in a hostel was just for young backpackers then think again! While I did spend many youthful travels living it up while saving money in hostels we have rediscovered them as a family. How does a common room with a cubby house in it sound? movie nights? food eating challenges plus the most friendly staff team we have encountered? Look no further! Let us introduce to you our favourite hostel ever. Star Hostel in Taipei, Taiwan.

Fist up, Taipei is awesome and we really think you should consider it as your next overseas adventure! Transport is really clean, fast and affordable, the food is awesome and the people are super friendly.

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Seoul with Kids.

Seoul with Kids.

The city of Seoul in South Korea is an amazing destination for families. I am not even sure what initially made me add it to our travel itinerary but I am so glad we did. The city has terrific public transport links to everything you […]

Riding the Trans Mongolian train with kids.

Riding the Trans Mongolian train with kids.

At home in Melbourne we use trains for commuter use back and forth to work or to explore the city on a weekend. It’s about getting from A to B but when we go overseas trains take on a whole new level of adventure and […]

Self catering ideas while you explore.

Self catering ideas while you explore.

  • We partnered with Tip Top to bring you this post.

One of our favourite things about travelling is trying new foods in different environments.

Being a family of 5 we tend to choose to stay at apartments or houses while we travel. These allow us more space and the opportunity to self cater which saves some of those travel dollars. Having a kitchen when travelling is the best as it means no racing out the door to find breakfast and no dragging kids around in the evening trying to find dinner.

After we have checked in to our new neighbourhood we often head off to the local shops to discover some new and amazing foods. The kids love searching down all the aisles for new and exciting snacks to try. We also love exploring local markets for the freshest produce to enjoy at home. We bring the groceries home to our new place and get creative!

My kids love being able to make their own sandwiches and love choosing new toppings to try. Pepper loves avocado and feta, Cooper loves salmon and capers and well Woody likes to keep it simple with Peanut butter. Lucky the new Tip Top The One Mixed Grains has all the whole grain goodness in the soft bread he loves.

We often make toasted sandwiches as an easy afternoon snack or easy dinner and the kids make up sandwiches for us to take out on adventures, the perfect snack to enjoy at a new found park or playground. It helps us save money as we pack our own lunch rather than spending money on expensive restaurants especially when the kids would rather be enjoying a picnic and making new friends all over the globe.

 

 

How to get a Chinese tourist Visa in Melbourne.

How to get a Chinese tourist Visa in Melbourne.

If you are an Australian heading to China on holiday you need to organise a visa before you go. Just follow these simple steps and you’re passport will be stamped and the visa pasted in ready for you to explore China. I have learnt a […]

Getaway with Airbnb.

Getaway with Airbnb.

We have stayed in Airbnb properties all over the world. We stayed in an apartment in Verona, Italy just around the corner from the best coffee shop in the world. We stayed in  a house in Mittenwald, Germany with outlooks to the Alps. We have […]

New Zealand Top 10 with kids.

New Zealand Top 10 with kids.

We spent 10 days exploring the North Island of New Zealand. Our kids are aged 12,8,5 and we travel with a wheelchair. It was our first time in New Zeland even though my Dad was born there. With amazing scenery, beautiful people, rich cultural heritage and adventure sports its the perfect place for a family holiday.

 

  1. Kiw Iwi Lakes

Sitting having lunch in cafe Blah Blah Blah in Dargaville  the owner encouraged us to explore these lakes. We were not sure what to expect but on seeing them were blown away.

Beautful clear water like a tropical island with no one else in sight. We parked the camper on the shore and spent the morning swimming in the cool water.

2. Ball Rolling

For kids over 6 this is a must do adventure when in NZ.  In Rotorua we spent the afternoon at OGO rolling down the longest grass hill paths in NZ or even the world! I can still hear Pepper squealing from inside the ball and all of us laughing so much with the adrenlin rush.

Warning. You are going to get wet!

Once you are suitably dressed wait for the car to come and pick you up. It takes you up the hill in style! Once up the top you can wait in a hot tub and admire the amazing views of Lake Rotarua.

The ball is filled with water and in you jump! The gate swings away and off you go down the hill.

It was seriously the best fun for all of us! I couldn’t stop laughing and didn’t know which way was up or down! Both the kids loved the sidewinder course too which added more turns and twist to the typical straight run

Our top tips:

Bring your swimmers and towel Or you can hire them from OGO.

Bring an action cam to capture the thrills inside the OGO or you can hire them.

Thankyou Ogo for hosting us and enabling Cooper to tick off one of his big travel dreams.

3. Mud Pools.

Once you get past the sulphur smell this adventure is great for all ages. It is a unique experience in Rotarua with this amazing Geo Thermal activity.

The older kids really enjoyed the guided tour and learnt so much about the history of the area including Maori culture and the fact that there were fossils from coral right here next to the hot springs.

After the tour head to the change rooms and get in your swimmers. All your belongings can be kept in big plastic tubs which keeps them waterproof ( the day we went it was raining the whole day)

Soak in the mud for 15 minutes, shower, then laze in the sulphur pools.

Which kid wouldn’t want to play in mud?

Thankyou Hells Gate for Hosting our muddy learning visit!

4.Dig your own Hot Spa

Each day for two hours either side of low tide this beach is magical! While people are surfing others are relaxing in their own hot spa which they have dug themselves right there on the sand.

Grab a shovel ( they can be hired for $5 at Hotties or Top 10) and walk along the shore to where others are gathered just in front of a large rock in the water.

The water can reach over 40oC so always keep on eye and feel on where you are digging. Afterwards there are cold showers up near the carpark.

5. Travel to Narnia.

Walk along the beach were the children from …………. The 5km round trip trek down to Cathedral Cove is worth it. We would recommend for children 5 and up but we did see plenty of babies in carriers enjoying the view. It was hard going pushing a wheelchair too. At the end of the sealed path are 140 steps down to the sand. There is also the more luxurious option of doing a boat tour.

6. Eat the Best Fish and chips

Right on the water in Manganoui you can taste the best fish and chips in NZ! A great place to watch the sunset over the water and eat fresh fish straight off the boats.

7. Tamaki Maori cultural village.

One of the best things about travel is learning about local culture and customs. In NZ we loved learning all about traditional Maori culture in an amazing setting and evening of entertainment.

The fun starts from when the bus picks you up from your accommodation and ends when they drop you back. On the 20 minute drive we learnt a few Maori words and how to be respectful when watching the welcoming ceremony.

Under the canopy of forest trees you get a great insight of how the Maori people arrived and lived in New Zealand with great interactions from the audience members.

The singing was a huge highlight before a traditional Hungi dinner. The kids are still laughing about the bus trip home with Davey singing the Wheels on the bus!

Perfect for kids aged 5 and up. Thank you Tamaki Cultural Village for hosting our evening and teaching us all about the Maori culture.

8. Travel by campervan

We spent seven days exploring the North Island in a camper van. For all those stories head here. Heads up we loved it!

9. Rise above it.

The Auckland Sky tower is the perfect place to Auckland from up high. You can view the whole area 360oC from 220 metres up! We loved looking across towards the Coromandel and seeing where we had explored. I also love that it can give you a good idea of where things are placed for when you explore by foot. For a bigger adrenalin rush you can also walk along the edge or even jump from it!

Thankyou for hosting our visit, next time the kids want to try the jumping! ( FYI you need to be aged 10 and over 30kgs)

10. Street art self guided walking tour.

We love just walking around a new city and exploring by foot. The city of Auckland has some beautiful street art and you can do it yourself or book into a guided walk.

 

Exploring New Zealand by Campervan.

Exploring New Zealand by Campervan.

If you are going to explore with a campervan then New Zealand is the place to do it! We had never been camping, caravanning or in a campervan before and honestly it had never really appealed to me. As a young kid we would go […]


Top tips for traveling with a 3 year old.

Top tips for traveling with a 3 year old.

This adventure saw our youngest child aged three.
On reflection it is at this age that some things become easier, gone are naps, nappies and prams but you also have to allow for a lot of flexibility as far as tiredness, determination and moods go!
Here are our top tips:
  • Reduce expectations. Gone are the days of cramming in activities from dawn to dusk! Be happy if you get one outing and limited tantrums.
  • Schedule pool time. It was the hottest month in Laos and a pool was a necessity. We would have two swims a day which kept Woody happy and allowed us all to cool off.
  • Reduce travel speed. Once you slow down to three year old walking pace you get to experience a lot that you may have missed. You get to talk to more people and make new friends.
  • Stock up on favourite snacks and drinks. Woody is not as adventurous with his food like his siblings. He’s happy if there is a steady supply of strawberry milk and biscuits. We always had these handy at airports, on the train and by the pool. We encouraged all efforts of trying something new.
  • Praise all efforts made to say hello to new faces. It’s beautiful the response kids get when they say hello and please in the local language. Encourage politeness but also understand that kids may get annoyed with the costant attention, arm and cheek squeezing and touching of golden locks.
  • Take small adventures in new vehicles. The experience of getting from A to B was enough of an outing if it involved a tuk tuk, push bike or motorbike. Woody loved the journey as much as the destination.
  • Join in activities with local kids. My kids loved swimming in the river at sunset in Vang Vieng and running through the markets with kids in Vientiane. Having kids opens up so many conversations with both locals and other tourists. Language is often a barrier but hand gestures and facial expressions go along way.
  • Bring along notepads, stickers and a favourite toy for the plane and waiting around airports. iPads are also great filled with favourite short tv shows to hold interest. Lollipops are also great for take off and landing as well as waiting in Immigration queues.
  • Tag team parental repsonsibility. We always try and get a morming or afternoon alone to explore while one of us stays with the kids. This allows the kids to rest around the hotel.
  • Our kids were welcomed everywhere we went. We went for family massages, temples and out for dinner and the kids were always greeted warmly. Don’t be afraid to get and and try everything even with kids in tow!

 

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