The Best of the Blue Mountains
By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist
The stunning Blue Mountains. A mere two-hour drive from Sydney, it is our TOP pick for a family-friendly winter getaway. There is cosy accommodation to make you feel at home and plenty of adventures to be had for all members of the family to enjoy. Instead of hiding away from the cold, beat the winter blues by enjoying cosy fireplaces, warm drinks, hearty meals, and fabulous entertainment. Don't leave before reading this!
1. Fairmont Resort
Enjoy the crisp, clear mountain air at the luxurious and extremely family-friendly Fairmont Resort. For some precious child-free time where mums and dads can relax and unwind, make use of the awesome KidzKlub which will be available over the July holidays, where children will be entertained for 2.5 hours for just $25 per child. Spend the day at the Winter Magic Festival at Katoomba (23 June), and be sure to take the kids for a walk around the grounds and enjoy the storybook scenery around the resort, followed by some much needed reclining by a warming fire in both the Embers Restaurant and Sublime Lounge.
2. Blue Mountains Explorer Bus
The BEST way to see the Blue Mountains! When you jump aboard the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, you'll get to see more sights, faster, and more frequently than any other tour. It's a super exciting experience for Junior Explorers too- some of the stops made will be to the Cultural Centre for interactive displays, The Gingerbread House for a snack and a slide, Katoomba Falls where you'll find a fantastic park, Scenic World for the thrilling rides, Waradah Aboriginal Centre for some face-painting, the Leura Cascades for some puddle jumping and outdoor play, Leuralla Toy and Rail Museum for all things toys, Barbies and trains, and the Everglades House and Gardens which is perfect for an exploration adventure. Special Offer: if you stay overnight in the Blue Mountains, they will validate your Explorer Bus Pass for the length of your stay at no additional cost.
3. Everglades House & Gardens
A spectacular, world-renowned garden in beautiful Leura set against a backdrop of bush with sweeping views, Everglades is a fairytale delight for kids of all ages. There are also Kid's Packs available at the property, featuring a Garden Detective Program, a Sculpture Trail and plenty more, this will keep the kids entertained while also encouraging them to connect with nature.
4. Trees Adventure
Since opening in 2010, Trees Adventure has seen more than 300,000 visitors. It is an exhilarating eco-adventure along the banks of the pristine Grose River, comprising of many treetop obstacles and flying foxes through the beautiful Blue Gum canopy from 2m - 25m high. Spend two hours doing as many courses as you like! Choose from low easy courses or start with something more challenging. Enjoy the adventure from one tree to the other while listening to the sound of the Bell Birds or watching the Sea Eagle family soar overhead! Don’t worry if the kookaburras laugh at you whilst you have fun in the treetops!
5. Mayfield Gardens
This place needs to be seen to be believed! Mayfield Garden near Oberon began to take shape in the mid-1990′s and today is one of the world's largest privately owned cool climate gardens.
You can 'lose yourself' in the maze, enjoy their seasonal festivities or simply relax amongst the water and stone feature garden, blue-stone bridge, iron and stone arbour, copper tree fountain, obelisk pond and allee of London Plane trees.
6. Blue Mountains Cultural Centre
The Blue Mountains Cultural Centre is a must-visit spot for families during their winter getaway. The Centre is a family-friendly meeting space with a café, fireplace and lounge area for kids, the perfect pit-stop for a hot chocolate, lunch, treat or snack. Be sure to check out the World Heritage permanent exhibition INTO THE BLUE, an immersive, educational and interactive experience for both kids and adults with videos, audio, touchable screens and artefacts to be explored. There are kids' school holiday workshops and programs, as well as the City Art Gallery featuring in-house curated exhibitions of local artists and a range of touring shows. Out of Bounds will be showing until 1 July 2018, examining the way in which built environments - in this case, archetypal child's play structures and local parks - can have an impact on how we learn, behave, and interact with one another.
7. Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens
There is SO much happening for kids at the stunning Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens this winter! Explore the magic of 'The Jungle', the Blue Mountains' ancient rainforest that's easy to access. Little scientists will be in their element experimenting at the Nerd Alert, Hands-On Science Fun programs: Mossy Monsters and Colour and Light. At the Winter Wonderland Self-Guided Children's Trail, kids 6-13 will seek the X that marks the spots, where they'll find fun hands-on activities and uncover exotic plants from around the world.
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