Australia

Chilling on the breakwall at Nobbys Newcastle

A family escape at Crowne Plaza Newcastle

“Mum, this place kinda feels like home,” declares a smiling Raffles within minutes of checking into the harbour front Crowne Plaza Newcastle. And while our actual home may not boast a marble-clad foyer, an army of friendly-staff or stunning views over Newcastle’s working harbour, he’s right, this place does radiate a special “at home” kind […] Read more…

Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Light Spectacular

Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Light Spectacular

Take one sprawling landscaped garden planted with 6,000 trees and 600,000 shrubs. Add tranquil lakes, cascading waterfalls and a storybook garden inhabited by fabulous fairytale characters. Toss in more than two million Christmas lights, a self confessed Christmas tragic, her long suffering husband, their slightly nutty son and a wee girl who insists on donning sequins and wings because […] Read more…

Raff scooting by the rusting hulk of a crane on Cockatoo Island

Rockin’ Cockatoo Island with kids

While we’re notoriously light packers, packing the kids scooters when we’re heading on a road trip is something that’s not negotiable. Our kids have quite literally dragged theirs from one end of Australia to the other. Until, that is, Raffles’ rickety old scooter shuffled off this mortal coil and Sugarpuff grew too tall for hers. […] Read more…

The POD at the National Arboretum Canberra.

Canberra: cool for kids

Think of Australia’s national capital and treachery, backstabbing and a revolving door of Prime Ministers may spring to mind. But we’ve discovered that when it comes to holidays, Canberra is cool for kids.   With dozens of fun hands-on museums and galleries, mind-bending centres of space and science, sprawling parks and playgrounds, bike paths and more, […] Read more…

An open letter to Vanity Fair

Greetings from Down Under: An Open Letter to Vanity Fair

Dear Vanity Fair, I must preface this missive by admitting that I am a “throwback”. This being Mr Cohen’s charming turn of phrase for describing people from Australia in a piece of xenophobic “writing” published in your magazine. Writing that is so God awful, it’s like he bought the words in a flat-pack from Ikea and didn’t have […] Read more…

Snuggling up for movies at the Novotel

Oh, my Darling: A Novotel Staycation

The winter blues make the best of us over-sleep and over-eat.  But rather than fighting it we’ve decided to embrace the over-indulgence with a weekend away, at home. As the school holidays approach, the kids are getting a little tired and crabby. And so am I because a couple of whiney-arsed kids will do that to […] Read more…

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