Lydia C. Lee is still trying to work out what to do with her one wild and precious life. She currently is a haphazard blogger. Read more at holidazeandhellidaze.blogspot.com.au or www.pandoraandmax.blogspot.com
Published January 16th 2014
Free fun for kids, holiday peace for grown ups
If you are hitting the vineyards with kids, you need to choose your accommodation carefully. You need just enough bribes to get thee good behaviour at the tastings, then return to the hotel and let the kids have 'their turn'. If these treats are free, even better!
The Novotel offers two bedroom apartment style accommodation with a kitchenette and dining table, so if you are on a budget, you can eat in the room sometime. There's also barbeque facilities near the pool, which proved popular.
On top of the tennis courts, there is ping pong, volleyball, badminton and giant chess. There is also the very civilised croquet, which seems to be the popular sport in the vineyards. All with magnificent views, to please the adult roped into the sporting activities or supervision.
It's not all about the kids though, there is free wine tasting each night, in case you needed to try a few more tipples from the region. I don't need to mention there is a golf course on site too, and of course, a day spa.
One word of warning, we were charged $45 per night for the extra bed in our room, which I was not aware of, so got quite a shock when it was added to the bill on check out. It may've been in the fine print on booking by my attention wasn't drawn to it, or I somehow failed to see it. If you have built it into your budget, it's not a big deal, but if you stay 4 or 5 nights, it's quite a shock if you aren't expecting it.
We had a great stay here, and would recommend the resort style hotel for any families that want to enjoy the wine region with the kids in tow.
If you go to the Barossa Valley go for a drive to Williamstown to the Barossa Reservoir to its Whispering Wall. There is specially fenced areas at each end agains the wall. You can talk to a person the other end and hear them clearly. It is the only one in the Southern Hemsiphere and one of two in the World. The other one is in Sweden. There is a picnic area there. As far as I know on the road into the Reservoir there is a well patronised cafe on the right side. It is closed on High Fire Risk Days but as far as I know it is open 7 days a week except Christmas Day. I don't know if there is any other exceptions. I haven't been there for a few years but it's one outing I will never forget.