Travelling To Bali With Toddlers – Our Favourite Family Friendly Resort!

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We have been to Bali many times, and stayed in many places but the Movenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali is our top hotel pick for those travelling to Bali with toddlers. When we stayed here, Chloe was 5, Elliot just 3 and I heavily pregnant with Edward.

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We had such a great relaxing week there that none of us wanted to leave! When we did, Elliot cried every day for about two months as he missed it so much! He still talks about the breakfast buffet over 12 months later. They rate it as their favourite hotel, and for good reason.

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If you are travelling to Bali with toddlers or preschoolers and wondering where to stay, then you should definitely consider the Movenpick! Here are the reasons why it rates for us as our Number 1 pick for those travelling to Bali with toddlers or preschoolers!

Kids are treated like Royalty from the moment you check in.

There is a check-in counter especially for the smallest people in your party. Here, they find out about Kid’s Club and are presented with a soft toy. The special treatment doesn’t stop there, with a designated kid’s section at the breakfast buffet too. Our two loved the independence this gave them, being able to help themselves to alllll the donuts!

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Elliot couldn’t believe how delicious the donuts were!

 

Which leads us onto …

The breakfast buffet is phenomonal!

Since this is a Movenpick Resort, you’d expect nothing less! There is such a huge assortment of food to choose from.

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The kid’s only breakfast buffet.

As mentioned, our kids loved the mini buffet, I loved the fresh juice bar and assortment of fruits, Michael loved the choice in hot foods. Being pregnant *may* have used that as a good excuse to have ice-cream for breakfast also!

The pirate-themed Kids Club is great fun for all ages!

Included in your accommodation package is four hours of Meera Kids Club each day. Our kids had the best time climbing through the ball pit, sliding down the slides, watching movies, crafting, attending the pool party and more! The staff were excellent and we were so sad to say goodbye!

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Chloe and Elliot loved the staff in the Kid’s Club!

If you’re travelling to Bali with toddlers, you should note that children do have to be over 4 to be left there without a parent or nanny. We had no problems organising a sitter for Elliot through the hotel for a small hourly fee. Just make sure you let them know 24hrs in advance.

The swimming pools are the shining jewel of the hotel.

We pretty much spent all our days lazing by the pool. There are plenty of beanbags should you not score a coveted bale or sunchair.

travelling to Bali with toddlers - family friendly resorts

The pool areas is huge and fun to explore. There are two areas for children to play – one a small waterpark with waterslides and the other a waterplay area near the kid’s club.

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You don’t have to go far for a meal outside the hotel.

Walking and travelling in Bali with toddlers anywhere outside the hotel can be painful. It’s hot, you have to keep an eye out for hazards, and the pavements can be tricky to negotiate with a pram. What’s great about Movenpick is that attached to the hotel is Samasta Lifestyle Village. There you will find a variety of restaurants that is sure to have something to please even the fussiest of eaters. Many offer discounts for Movenpick guests, so be sure to mention that when settling the bill.

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Chloe and Elliot exploring the neighbouring shopping complex.
The famous Jimbaran Beach is close by, which is perfect for little legs.

Our favourite thing to do outside the hotel was to sink our toes in the sand and enjoy a cool drink and Nasi Goreng on Jimbaran Beach. Lucky for us from the hotel, it’s easy to access.

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Enjoying lunch on Jimbaran Beach.

Either walk the short back alley from the rear of the hotel or jump in the golf caddy from reception to get there. Our kids loved looking at all the live sea creatures in tanks outside each restaurant, unknowingly waiting their fate!

Jimbaran is much quieter than Kuta, Legian and Seminyak… so perfect if you want a chilled out holiday.

If you want to stay somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of these areas, then Jimbaran may be perfect for you. Cabs are easy to come by, and Kuta is a 20(ish) minute fare away.

Did we mention the baby-sitters? If you’re travelling to Bali with toddlers, YOU WILL NEED A KID FREE NIGHT!

Speak to the front desk about a nanny, you deserve some you time! So you don’t have to stray too far from your precious little one’s, there is a rooftop bar which is just perfect at sunset.

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Unfortunately, we only got to experience this with kids which wasn’t at all relaxing… but still lovely.

If your children are older (over 8) I would say that unless they are happy swimming all day, then they may find other hotels like Grand Mirage or Dynasty Resort more suitable. We met some older kids by the pool who said that they found it all ‘a little boring’ as the kids club is geared for younger kids, and the waterslides aren’t that thrilling. Our mini-Peachey’s however rate it at their favourite hotel ever!

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With its beautiful swimming pools, water play areas, kids club and child friendly facilities, the Movenpick Resort & Spa at Jimbaran Bay really does provide all that you need for a relaxing  and stress free family holiday.

If you’re travelling to Bali with toddlers or young kids,  add it to your short-list today and let us know how you enjoyed it!

 

 

 


Why You Should Add Waratah To Your Tasmanian Itinerary

waratah tasmania itinerary kids

Hands up if Waratah is on your Tassie itinerary? Hmm… don’t feel bad. It wasn’t on ours either! I will bet that you may have not even heard of this small, historic mining town?

Situated 45mins drive south of Burnie, Waratah has some quite distinctive features and was an unexpected highlight when we visited Tasmania earlier this year.

waratah kids tasmania itinerary

Here are the reasons why we loved it and think you will too. Continue reading “Why You Should Add Waratah To Your Tasmanian Itinerary”


8 Tips to Help You Plan Your Trip to Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon Watarrka

Everyone includes Kings Canyon on their Red Centre itinerary… and so should you. Looking down (or up!) into the canyon really is spectacular. There is no way photos do the place any justice. It’s totally worth the effort, but you really do need to conquer some physical challenges to get there.

Like our tips to help plan your trip to Uluru, these are some things we wished we’d known before we made the trek to Kings Canyon:

1. Stay nearby the night before

If you’re heading along the Lasseter Highway from Uluru to Alice Springs, it’s about a two and half hour detour to get to Kings Canyon (and yes, it’s sealed roads the whole way).

Distance to Kings Canyon

Even if you leave Uluru bright and early, it’s going to be late morning by the time you’re there. You don’t want to be doing Kings Canyon in the afternoon. Stay somewhere close. The caravan park at Kings Canyon Resort is only about 10 minutes away. 

View from Kings Canyon Resort

2. Don’t expect the same cultural experience as Uluru

While the traditional owners of Uluru ask that you don’t climb and its about being immersed in the culture, Kings Canyon is quite different. The significant art sites of the Luritja people are away from the main visitor areas and walking tracks. This leaves you to enjoy the amazing rock formations and nerd-out on it’s geology.

Kings Canyon Has Amazing Rock Formations

3. Get there early if you plan to do the full Kings Canyon Rim Walk

The rim walk is 6km and takes 3-4 hours… depending on how much you stop to rest or admire the awesome rock formations. The desert mornings can be quite cool (it was actually a little cold when we set off at 9am). By 11am though, there were families huddled under shade to escape the sun and heat reflecting off the red rocks. Do the usual hat, water, snacks and sunscreen things, but start early to finish early.

Kings Canyon Rim Walk

4. Don’t be put off by the first section (it isn’t actually that hard)

You might read that the first 100m is the hardest part because of how steep it is. That’s only partly true. You can do this if you can climb flights of stairs interspersed with park benches to sit on. Even our 4-year old Elliot (who wanted a break after walking from the car park to the toilet block, true story) was able to do this section continuously with no rest. In the interest of full disclosure though, he was under the impression there was a cafe at the top that sold Bubble O’Bill ice-creams. 

Kids Can Do Kings Canyon (It is Not That Steep)

5. Give yourself plenty of time for the Kings Canyon Rim Walk

At the top of the first section is a sign that says you’ve done the hard part and that the rest is a “leisurely stroll”. This sign must have been written by someone who hasn’t actually done the walk. There are multiple sections where you have to either climb over large boulders, or crab-walk up and down terraces of rock too narrow to fit your feet on. Don’t be in a rush. You need to be able to take the time to be sure of your footing, as well as take in the beautiful rockscapes. 

Kings Canyon Rim Walk is a Climb

6. If you’re after something a little more leisurely do the Kings Creek walk

Don’t do the 3km return loop if you’re after something easier than the rim walk. It looks a lot easier to start with. Really though? It’s just shorter. It has the same features as the longer walk… steep stairs, ravines, rocks to climb, and traversing sandstone domes. The Kings Creek walk? A 1 hour return-walk on a relatively flat walkway.

Kings Canyon Creek Walk

7. Be realistic about your level of fitness

Our 7 and 4 year old kids did the rim walk comfortably, but were trashed by the end. It’s not like it’s running a marathon. But… when you walk you’ll find it pretty clear why there are emergency call boxes and helipads all around the rim of the canyon. There were some other people doing it who were not having a good time. They were unsafe, needing help from strangers, and really were placing their lives at risk. Just be realistic… if you can’t walk a dog, don’t walk the rim.

Kings Canyon - Kids Can Do it Too

8. Plan your route based on current road conditions

You can comfortably travel between all of the major Red Centre attractions on sealed roads. Or you could do the Mereenie Loop to get to and from Alice Springs. You will lose 140km off your trip, but you might also lose your caravan door. It can be pretty rough!

Kings Canyon Rock Formations

When you go to the Red Centre, you need AT LEAST four days. Uluru sunset, Uluru sunrise and walk, the Olgas… and then Kings Canyon. Each are beautiful in their own way. Each have their own challenges to get to and then enjoy. It’s part of what makes them so special. 

Know anyone who is planning a trip to the Red Centre? Share this with them!


Our Top 5 Low Cost or Free Camps in Tasmania

Top 5 Free and Low Cost Camp Spots in Tasmania

Oh Tasmania! You stole our hearts. Renowned for its beauty, produce, the vistas, the wildlife… and possibly the country’s best free and low-cost camping. We loved our time in Tassie, and 6 months on we still rate the camping the best we’ve come across. Have you been? If not, you must!

Here is a countdown of our 5 favourite free (or low-cost) camps for you to favourite in WikiCamps.

5. Waratah Camping Ground, Waratah ($22 unpowered & use of facilities, $28 power, water & use of facilities, $6 unpowered, no facilities)

Admittedly, we chose to camp in Waratah purely because of its proximity to Cradle Mountain and because it’s the gateway to the Tarkine wilderness of West Tassie. The historical mining township of Waratah and its unassuming low-cost council provided campground ended up being a highlight in itself!

Top 5 low cost camp Tasmania - Waratah
Exploring the mining town of Waratah.

There is loads to see and do in the area (check out Philosopher’s Falls), FREE washing machines, nearby playground, views over the stunning Waratah Lake where you can fish for trout… or even spot a platypus!

Top 5 low cost camp spots Waratah
Looking for platypus at sunset. We saw one!

4. Old Mac’s Farm and Fishery, Launceston ($10/night, self-contained)

As you follow Google Maps to get to Old Mac’s, and you’re led through suburbia, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there is a mistake.

Top 5 low cost camp spots Tasmania - Old Mac's Farm & Fishery
View of Old Mac’s from above.

But trust Google Maps, and you will come across Old Mac’s Farm. Cheap as chips at $10 per night (self-contained). Pick your spot, enjoy kayaking on the lake, feeding the farm animals and even a camper’s breakfast at the onsite Stonesthrow Cafe. I KNOW!

Top 5 low cost camp spots Tasmania - Old Mac's Farm
Feeding the animals was a highlight for our kids!

It does close over winter months, so just check that out if you’re travelling in off season. You’re also bound to run into other travelling families there as it’s a very popular place amongst the travelling family community.

3. Friendly Beaches, Freycinet (free camp)

Get in early for a site at this busy spot, popular due to its proximity to Wine Glass Bay. Do you like cute & fuzzy Australian animals? Then you will LOVE it here! We were greeted by a possum strolling down the road in broad daylight! The best spots are quite private and protected from the weather, so cross your fingers and your toes that one is available for you.

Top 5 camp spots Tasmania - Friendly Beaches, Freycinet

The beach here is rocky but beautiful. We spent many hours exploring the rockpools. There are toilets here, but it would be best to be self-contained.

Top 5 free camp spots Tasmania - Friendly Beaches Freycinet
The rock pools were so much fun!

2. Swimcart Beach, Bay of Fires (free camp)

We were torn as to whether Swimcart, or Boat Harbor were our all-time Tassie favourite. This camp is amazing… imagine parking your rig right up parallel to the beach, with nothing between you and the surf but sand dunes!

Top 5 free camp spots Tasmania - Swimcart Beach, Bay of Fires

Imagine waking to views over Bay of Fires, and sleeping to the sound of waves crashing not too far from where you lie… We loved it here.

Swimcart Beach- Top 5 Tasmania free camp spots

The only thing that stopped it being tied with NO.1 was the fact that the beach is too dangerous to swim in, thanks to rips, soft sand and a quick drop off. Never mind, it was still spectacular and better swimming beaches are nearby, as is St Helens should you need supplies.

1. Boat Harbour (free camp)

Boat Harbour is our idea of HEAVEN. There was something for every member of our family there… rock pools, pristine white sand beaches turquoise waters, a surf club that sold good meals, coffee icecream and BEER! Two playgrounds, free BBQs, proper toilets, (cold) showers. Need I go on?

Best free camp spots Tasmania - Boat Harbour
Is this one of the best beaches in Australia?

Transport me back there NOW! All of these factors contributed to it ranking as our No.1 low-cost/free camp spot in Tasmania… and perhaps even in Australia!

Best free camp spots Tasmania - Boat Harbour
Camped up by the water’s edge.

Tasmania knows how to do a great free or low-cost camp! We are certain that there are many other great free and low-cost camps that we didn’t get a chance to experience, and we are very keen to return one day. The spots we DID get to, however, blew our socks off!

Have you been to Tasmania? We’d love to hear what your favourites are!


10 Tips to Help You Plan Your Trip to Uluru


Uluru / Ayers Rock is one of the world’s natural wonders, and it’s hard to find anyone who’s been disappointed by it.

If you’re one of the many that still have it on your list of places to visit, you’ve got a good excuse. It’s not a cheap or easy place to get to… so when you do go, you’d want to make the most of it. 

Here are some things that we wish we’d known before we embarked on this leg of A Big Peachey Adventure:

It’s a really long way from Alice Springs. 

Uluru is 468km from Alice Springs. That’s you driving for about five and half hours if you have a bladder of steel and don’t need a pit-stop. To put it in perspective that’s the same as if you drove from the very top of Tasmania to the bottom… then back again… then a few more km’s just for fun. For us… we towed a caravan with young kids that needed a break, so it was a 7-hour journey. 

Distance from Alice Springs to Uluru

Get there early if you plan to walk around it. 

Uluru is big. Really big. The walk around its base is a long 10.6km, and takes around 3.5 hours. That may seem slow, and it is. For good reason. Even though the track is good (even pram-friendly), you’ll be stopping a lot to admire Uluru’s unique characteristics and cultural significance. The desert mornings can be quite cool, lulling you into a false sense of security of what you think will be a gentle stroll. Before you know it, the day will be heating up. Walking around the red centre any time after around 11am is not fun, especially if you’ve already been on your feet for a couple of hours. So leave early. That being said…

Go to the Cultural Centre first. 

Uluru is more than just the world‘s largest rock (or some physical challenge to conquer). It has cultural significance. Even just the way it was used practically by the Anangu people is amazing. If you stop by the Cultural Centre first, when you walk around Uluru you will have a greater appreciation for each of the many caves, the markings, surrounding vegetation, etc. 

Uluru is More than Just a Walk or Climb

Start training now if you’re planning on climbing it. 

The reason Uluru dominates the skyline is because it’s a whopping 348m high. That’s the height of your average 87 story building. It’s almost as high as the Empire State Building (381m). In comparison The Statue of Liberty is 93m high, the Sydney Harbour Bridge 134m, and The Great Pyramid of Giza 139m. It’s also very steep. People are on their hands and knees trying to summit it, and crawling backwards to try to get down. Many people get about 1/4 of the way up, and then realise it’s not for them. When we were there, there were some people that just looked at it and realised it was out of their league. 

Climbing Uluru is Not Hard Not Easy
Those aren’t ants…
Plan on staying for several days if you want to climb it. 

The Uluru climb usually opens at 8am each morning. If it’s too windy though it stays closed. If it is opened, the rangers conduct 2-hourly checks and close it if they assess that it becomes risky (windy or any sign of rain). When we visited, the climb had been closed 6 out of 7 days. There were a lot of sad-campers, people who had allocated themselves one or two days. The campground was filled with people extending their stay in the hope to scale it. This may seem overkill, but…

Uluru is Closed to Climbing a Lot Due to Wind

Make sure your ambulance cover (and life insurance!) is up to date. 

If you plan on trying to climb Uluru, know that it’s quite dangerous. Over 35 people have died attempting it. That’s not to mention the amazing number of people that have been seriously injured or lost a lot of skin sliding down the steep rocky face. From the Parks Australia website:

The climb is not prohibited but we ask you to respect our law and culture by not climbing Uluru. We have a responsibility to teach and safeguard visitors to our land. The climb can be dangerous. Too many people have died while attempting to climb Uluru. Many others have been injured while climbing. We feel great sadness when a person dies or is hurt on our land. We worry about you and we worry about your family. Our traditional law teaches us the proper way to behave.

Climbing Uluru is Very Dangerous
Yes, that is people on all-fours climbing down backwards
Uluru be closed to climbing from 26 October 2019. 

Currently the Anangu traditional owners ask that you do not climb. It will be closed to climbing from the 26th October 2019. If it’s that important to you, you now have a due date. 

Don’t bother bringing your drone. 

Flying drones in the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park is prohibited by Parks Australia. The resort township of Yulara is mostly yellow on the CASA ‘Can I Fly There?’ app, but the sky is filled from sun-up to sun-down. There’s hundreds of low flying helicopters, light aeroplanes, and… zeppelins!

No photography at Uluru Sensitive Sites

* There are a few Sensitive Sites around Uluru where it is requested that you don’t take photos. It was sad to see so many people ignoring this request, especially considering the amount of it you could freely photograph. Please don’t be “that person”

You MUST include The Olgas on your itinerary. 

Your 3 Day Park Pass also includes Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas. These are magnificent. Seriously, if it wasn’t for Uluru, these would be considered THE natural wonder to come and visit. This is a pretty special place which has everything from an all access boardwalk to difficult (Grade 4) 7.5km loops. 

The Olgas Kata Tjuta is Just as Beautiful as Uluru

Prepare to spend a lot of money. 

The Park Pass is 3 days minimum (no day pass), $25 per adult, or $65 per family. There is no camping within the park. Ayers Rock Resort in Yulara is really the only place you can stay. We paid $30/night for just an unpowered site for our caravan in the ‘overflow’ area (that’s code for ‘red dust paddock’), and it was $500/night for a basic room in the resort. When we filled up in Alice Springs diesel was $1.53/L… and $2.21/L at the one petrol station in Yulara. It’s an ongoing debate whether or not you’re paying a premium for their additional costs of doing business, or they’re just making the most of a captive audience. Either way, it’s definitely not a cheap exercise. 

Uluru Not Cheap or Easy to Get to but Totally Worth It

Is the cost and effort worth it? 

Absolutely. 

If you don’t climb it is it still worth it? 

Definitely. 

Our entire family all agree it was special, and a highlight of our lap of Australia. 

* Different members of our family were divided as to whether or not we should climb. None of us did it in the end because of either personal choice or wind closures. 

If you know anyone who is planning a trip to Uluru, please make sure you share this information with them!

 

You might also be interested in our 8 Tips to Help You Plan Your Trip to Kings Canyon