NSW Family Sunday Drive: We're Off To Glenworth Valley
By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist
Outdoorsy families will just love the adventures that await them in beautiful Glenworth Valley which is Australia's largest horse riding and outdoor adventure centre. An easy 1-hour drive from Sydney, the Valley will provide you with a real escape from city life, boasting 3,000 acres of unspoilt great outdoors to explore.
It's so amazing that it was recently visited by the other British royal family, the Beckhams. That's right David and Victoria took some time out on their visit to Australia for the Invictus Games to enjoy a day of quad biking and abseiling at Glenworth Valley together with 3 of their children. "They even assisted our team with feeding some of our new spring foals," according to the Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures Facebook page.
So, if you want to follow in the trail of the world's most famous football-meets-pop family pack a sense of adventure, leave the screens at home, and read this guide before you hop in the car:
1. Horse Riding
The best way to immerse yourself in the beautiful natural scenery of the Valley. There are a heap of horse riding options available, including school holiday camps for kids, lead pony rides for 3-10 year olds, guided rides, free range horse riding for the more experienced, lessons to brush up on those skills, gourmet picnic rides if you're looking for a sans-kids romantic day trip, and even cattle drive experiences where you can release your inner Jack or Jillaroo and commandeer a herd of cattle from horseback! More information here.
2. Quad Biking
Probably best suited for older families (the minimum riding age is 12 years), and adrenaline-junkies only! Thrill seekers will love the feeling of fresh air whipping their faces as you have a 4 wheel adventure zipping around the Valley's private bush trails. You can literally follow in David Beckham's tracks! More information here.
There are a number of kayaking experiences to be had to explore the Valley's stunning waterways. There's a 2.5 hour eco-tour where a gentle paddle will see you learning about the region's natural environment (minimum age is 7 yrs), an indulgent wine & seafood tour (minimum age is 12 years) which will see ALL your senses pleasantly indulged, stand-up paddle board hire at just $50 for the whole day, as well as double and single kayak hire (minimum age 7 years) to explore Popran Creek at your leisure. More information here.
Families (minimum age 7 years) will experience the thrill of a lifetime descending rock faces that overlook the Valley. Fully qualified guides will help you belay down descents suitable for beginners and the more experienced, with all gear and a digital photo included in the package. More information here.
5. Laser Skirmish
Families just love this one! The Valley will be the incredible backdrop to the most epic game of skirmish you've ever played. Form teams to play this combat simulation game complete with toy guns with harmless infrared beams and sensor detecting to tell whether or not you've been hit. Let the games begin! More information here.
With so many adventures to be had, you might want to turn this day trip into a sneaky weekender! Glenworth Valley has a range of accommodation options available (that are super easy on the budget) including secluded eco cabins with a deck overlooking the valley, tents that sleep up to 4 people, spacious tipis for a super fun sleeping experience, and camping on the Valley's secluded 200-acre riverfront campgrounds, campfires included! More information here.
Other Attractions Nearby
1. Australian Reptile Park
A 1-hour and 10-minute drive from Sydney, so well worth a stopover before, during or after your Glenworth Valley adventures. With a natural bush setting, this reptile park is all about getting hands-on. You'll see native Aussie animals as well as some more exotic species, as well as a heap of cool shows on the daily calendar including funnel web spider-milking, reptile shows, Galapagos tortoise walks, koala feeding, spider talks, alligator photo sessions and heaps more. More information here.
2. Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park
About a 1-hour drive from Sydney, so it's well worth a stopover by animal-loving families on the journey to the Valley. This wildlife park houses the friendliest Aussie animals around, in this zoo where cages are kept to a minimum! You'll walk around a part of the bush where the animals roam free so prepare to come up close and personal to the likes of koalas, dingoes, wombats, Tassie devils, snakes, owls, and farm animals at the petting zoo! More information here.
3. Gosford Classic Car Museum
Just a 1-hour and 10-minute drive from Sydney. Rev-head families will love this one- it's the biggest car museum in the Southern Hemisphere! You'll see a collection of 450 cars and motorbikes, valued at over $70 million. There are 35 Ferraris (apparently that's exciting for those in the know) as well as the entire range of Holdens from 1948-1978. All the ogling will make you hungry, so head on over to the onsite 1950s style diner serving up brekky, burgers and all the lunchtime faves. More information here.