My husband and I have always loved to explore, we are both thrill seekers and this hasn’t changed since adding two more to our family. Travelling to Australia was just another adventure to be had. Some of the things on our itinerary had to be tweaked with a just-turned three-year-old and a nine-month-old baby in tow but we still had a blast.
PLANNING: Organising the trip was pretty straight forward as we wanted to be flexible and free. We put flight alerts on to find the cheapest option and booked a camper van initially. A few weeks later we booked an internal flight that would take us from Melbourne to Brisbane and from there we were to drive the camper to Sydney. About two weeks before we travelled we booked accommodation in the city and a hire car. Everything else we booked as we needed it when we were there.
THE FLIGHTS: We were very nervous about the flights as our three-year-old is very active and has a short attention span. We’ve flown with him a number of times short haul and some have been hard work. I packed a special hand luggage bag for him that was filled with mess- free, crayon-free activities and snacks. At any point he was a bit restless he was given a ‘gift’. All our worries were pointless, I didn’t even get one thing out for him on the way there as he was so wrapped up in his personal screen. Coming home was slightly more taxing but overall they were both good as gold! Seven hours to Dubai, a two hour layover and then 14 hours to Melbourne.
JET LAG: We found jet lag on the way out there really difficult with the baby but you just need to ride it out. We just stuck to our usual routine as best we could and eventually it clicked. We all found it hard to be honest and it did take around a week to adjust! Coming home was much easier and we were all on UK time within two days.
WHY GO? For me the point of this trip was a selfish one, I wanted to make a point that having children wouldn’t stop us exploring. Obviously making memories was the main point to the trip. Our three year old loves beaches and the sea, and he was made up about seeing so many beaches as we drove and stopped off along The Great Ocean Road. From there we went to the Grampians, which was amazing. Wild kangaroos and emus wandering around everywhere, the wildlife was on the doorstep as we hiked through the mountains. From there we flew to Brisbane and drove in the camper van to Sydney. All the way down the east coast we were spoilt for outdoor areas for the children to explore, we had pirate playgrounds, outdoor splash parks, BBQ areas and wildlife at every stop. We stayed in campsites along the way, which were all set up to entertain children with parks, bouncy pillows and swimming pools. On average we tried to only drive for two hours a day. We went to a koala hospital, which I highly recommend and I even manged to get a sky dive in lol. Our three year old is always talking about going on holiday now and packing up his toys. He loved the koala hospital and whenever he wears his koala socks he always talks about how they had fire hands (bush fire burns) and were being made to feel better at the hospital and then released.
I would recommend anyone to be brave and adventure with your kids if you can. Experience is priceless. Life is short, the world is wide, explore it.
Written by Kelly Robertson
Kelly is mum of two, thrill seeker and school teacher on mat leave