25 April 2013 is ANZAC Day, a holiday. For the working parent, it is a great opportunity to spend a 4-day weekend with the kids away from the city before the term break ends. That is, if you can take the day off on Friday the 26 April. It is a great chance to break the monotony of Sydney life, and here are some of the more popular destinations:
Option 1. Blue Mountains Region
There's a lot to do in the Blue Mountains. You can simply enjoy the tranquility and the scenic views which the region has lots to offer, or you can get more active and explore the outdoors. Go spelunking at the Jenolan Caves, or bush walking around the major tourist spots. There's plenty for mountain biking too. I have a little daughter so we settled for fruit-picking. If you haven't done it yet, give it a try. Get a feel of what it's like to get the fruit you eat straight from the tree! We went to the Pine Crest Orchard, located at 2549 Bell's Line of Road, Bilpin, NSW.
There is no entry fee, and you only pay for what you pick. It was a full hour of fun, after which we stopped by Bilpin Fruit Bowl for some refreshments and apple pie. There is also a play ground there so my little daughter loved the distraction.
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is a short drive, so we went there to spend the rest of the day. The garden is beautiful and quite relaxing. There are flowers of different shapes and sizes.
So that was Day 1 and cheap fun. There is, I believe, no need to reinvent the wheel so for more information on what you can do in the Blue Mountains, check out this website.
Option 2. Port Stephens
Port Stephens is another great destination. It has the great beaches we have in Sydney, less the crowd. Well, there could be quite some crowd too but not in the numbers that popular Sydney beaches like Bondi or Manly would have. You still get the chance to enjoy some space.
There is a lot to do in Port Stephens. You can try sand boarding at Stockton Bight where the sand dunes are as high as 30 metres. Unfortunately, I won't recommend it on a hot day, unless you'd love to get toasted. No, its not just tan.
There is a popular toboggan ride, a whole kilometre of fun where you can slide down as fast as 50 kph. For more details on what you can see or do in Port Stephens, check out this site.
And oh, before I forget, food is great there too. Hog's Breath Cafe is quite popular and you can't miss it at the D'Albora Marina.
The Entrance is half the distance as Port Stephens but not half as fun. It has its own charm, and my kid loved it there. There is a regular pelican feeding in the afternoon, so it is a good time to be up close and personal with those birds. See them gobble up a whole fish in one gulp! Vera's Water Garden, which is a few metres away, is a great water fun for kids. As a bonus, there's a playground right beside it.
Rain did not spoil the water fun at Vera's Water Garden.