Australia Family Camping Tips, Tricks &, Best Spots

Grampians National Park. Australia

Planning to go on a holiday? What better way to spend quality time with your family than on a camping trip. Not only is it a brilliant idea, but it is also an experience you and your children can share. Nothing beats the thrill of sleeping under the stars and being in awe of majestic landscapes and experiencing the great outdoors.

So, if you are looking for excellent camping spots in Australia that are exciting and family-friendly, you’re in luck. Alpha Car Hire has prepared a quick guide just for you. It also includes practical tips on how you can have a stress-free and enjoyable camping experience with the entire family.

The Grampians

If your kids are feeling a bit grumpy, maybe all they need is a healthy dose of family fun. Take them to the Grampians, just three hours west of the beautiful city of Melbourne. When it comes to excellent camping spots and exciting activities, the Grampians is one of the best places to go.

This place has all the family fun you’re looking for; you can find exciting activities for children of all ages. Take your little ones to the Halls Gap Zoo to see different animals like koalas, wombats, crocodiles, dingoes, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, monkeys, giraffe, and so much more.

And if that doesn’t impress them, you can visit the spectacular MacKenzie Falls. It is one of the largest waterfalls in Victoria and a must-see for all visitors.

Mimosa Parks National Park

If you happen to be in Sydney, you can travel for about six hours south and head to Picnic Point Campground. Set up your camp right by the beach and enjoy the stunning views of the Sapphire Coastline.

Find a great fishing spot, build sandcastles with your kids or take a quick swim. As the sun sets, you can relax, have a barbie, and be serenaded by the calming waves of the sea. Located in Tanja, New South Wales, Mimosa Rocks National Park is always open, and the best time to visit is during the spring, summer, and winter months.

Stradbroke Island

Straddie, as it is affectionately called, is a gorgeous subtropical island located just 30 km southeast of Brisbane. Whether you are planning a vacation or a day trip, it is the perfect place to holiday with your family. The island spreads roughly 38 km long and 11 km wide, which makes it one of the world’s largest sand island.

When it comes to exciting activities, there’s plenty to choose from. Your kids will surely enjoy whale-watching at Point Lookout, and they can spot other fascinating creatures like dolphins, turtles, koalas, and wallabies, among others. If you want to explore the island, the best way to do it is by cycling or bushwalking.

Now, to make your camping experience even more enjoyable and hassle-free, here are some tips for you.

  1. Entertainment. To keep your young kids from getting bored while you’re on the road, bring some items books or little toys to keep them entertained. If possible, try to take frequent stops. Young children tend to get bored and grumpy if you’re driving non-stop. Give them a chance to stretch their legs and run around for a bit.
  2. Get Active. Once you arrive at the campsite, get them to participate. Let them help in by giving them some easy tasks like setting up the chairs and tables. Giving your kids a sense of responsibility will help build their character.
  3. Pack smart. Only bring the essentials like water bottles, tissues, sunscreen, and some snacks. Keep them in your children’s backpacks. It’s also a good idea to train them to pack at an early age.
  4. Common Courtesy. Teach your children basic camp safety and courtesy. Don’t let them run amuck and disturb other people who also want to enjoy their holiday. Remind them to be quiet in the evening as some people may want to sleep early.

We hope these tips will help you get inspired and have an enjoyable camping experience with your family. If you have any camping sites or suggestions in mind, please share them with us. And if you’ve previously gone camping, we’d love to know your experiences. Please leave a comment.

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4 Tips For Ethical Animal Experiences

by Melanie Grosjean – Seeing animals in the wild or in zoos and parks is a popular activity for holiday-goers. In some instances, it is the main draw for a particular destination. One can hardly imagine not visiting elephants while on a Thailand holiday or not visiting kangaroos while in Australia.

When planning your holidays, one of your main steps can sometimes be booking safaris, snorkeling, diving trips and other animal experiences. However, before you start planning your trip, you should take some consideration to make sure you will be engaging with animals in an ethical way.

We should all make the effort to make sure our visit doesn’t harm the animals. On the other hand, if we can actually help animals with our visit, that’s even better. So, what should we all consider when planning an animal encounter into our vacations?

#1 See Animals in the Wild

One of the best ways you can ensure you aren’t harming animals in your travel is to see them in the wild whenever possible. Book a tour with a knowledgeable tour guide who knows where to spot wildlife and keeps a respectful and safe distance from the animals.

These tours can take the form of a South Africa safari, hikes through the jungles in many tropical regions, or boat cruises with the chance of spotting wild dolphins, whales, turtles and more. Snorkeling and scuba diving are other ways to experience animals in the wild without doing harm.

It’s not always possible to see animals in the wild and you risk the chance that you may not see anything; but whenever possible, this is the preferred way. Plus, what’s more exciting than encountering a wild animal in their natural habitat?

#2 Visit Captive Animals Responsibly

While seeing animals in the wild is preferred, we realize it’s not always possible. Maybe the animal is too rare, or you are limited by time or money. There are certainly conservation game parks that are often more easily accessible and still provide a good, ethically sound alternative to experiencing animals on your vacation.

Do your research to make sure the game park you are considering is a reputable one. Look at their website and other public information, as well as reviews on travel sites. Parks that offer animal rides and animal shows should be avoided.

Animal rehab centers and captive breeding establishments can also be a good option. However, before visiting these centers, make sure you research how the center handles the release of animals into the wild and where the animals came from in the first place.

Lastly, zoos can be a good way to experience animals but again, should be well researched. Legitimate zoos will usually have nice websites, reviews from other travelers and relationships with other international zoos.

Many zoos do a lot to conserve and breed animals and visiting can be a good way to support this work if the zoo is truly reputable. Avoid zoos where animals are kept in small cages or those that encourage visitors to ride animals.

#3 Avoid These Red Flags

We’ve touched on a few of the things to avoid in the sections above, but if you want to ensure an ethical animal encounter, you should certainly look to avoid the following things:

– Caged and chained animals

– Animal shows, especially when animals are made to do unnatural things (like elephants being made to paint)

– Animal rides

– Taking selfies with tigers and other wild animals

Often you can get a good gauge of whether or not a company promotes these sorts of things by browsing through photos on their website and reading reviews on travel websites. If you are still not sure, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask the company directly.

#4 Do Your Research

We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to do your research. If you plan ahead, you can make sure you are only supporting companies that are treating animals well and operating ethically.

Before you book anything, attempt to find out what the main goal of the company is — whether they are rescuing captive animals, protecting endangered species, breeding rare animals or alternatively attempting to make money from tourists at the expense of the animals.

Research a company’s affiliations and registrations. Many reputable companies will be registered as an NGO or at the very least will do work with NGOs. There are also a number of organizations that accredit animal sanctuaries, such as the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, which has quite rigorous requirements of its members.

Doing a bit of research before your trip can help ensure you experience animals in an ethical way on your travels.

Building A Healthy Family

There was a time not too long ago when the word “mother or grandmother” brought to mind someone baking cookies in the kitchen. Today’s parent has an entirely different world to deal with than the parents of those generations. Keeping our family healthy and happy is a challenge that we gladly address, but there are few guidelines to help us. We are trying to protect and teach our kids how to live smart.

We live in a fast food, pre-packaged society. Our education system is massive and the workload on our kids is sometimes staggering. We struggle to get food in their stomachs between school, football practice, and dance class. At the end of the day we are exhausted and still, have daily chores to contend with.

But, it is possible to teach our families healthy eating. We have to look beyond the obvious and determine the reasons behind what we do. Let us explain.

#1 Understand food – then use that knowledge

By learning simple concepts you need to learn in order to make your family diet work for you, First, everything you eat has an effect on your body and its chemicals and functions. If you do not eat what you need, you will have cravings. Cravings are the body’s way of telling you something is off. For example you may begin craving orange juice. You are probably low in vitamin C. It is the same for other vitamins and minerals. We have to listen to our bodies.

Any form of exercise uses protein to rebuild muscles after activities. Carbohydrates are instant fuel for when the kids are playing in sports or when a person is using their resources. Fats cannot be replaced with anything else, and you need small amounts in your diet.

#2 Sugar is not the enemy

You and the kids are safe if you follow the 90-10 rule. 90% of your diet should be healthy and 10% indulgences. But, understand what they do. Eating sugar (and refined carbs) gives you an immediate serotonin boost. It makes you feel good. That boost last from 20-60 minutes and then it drops. Then the body hits you a craving because it wants the serotonin. Make a “wait 1-hour rule”. Have your treats. Keep candy and treats on hand for your 10% bonus time. Make them a candy buffet for their birthday party. Simply fill it options that are sugar-free.  Mix it up a little if you want and make half sugar-free and half with sugar. No one will even notice.

#3 Make a rule

The bedroom is a no electronic zone. Your brain will respond to the stimulation from electronics. If your child goes to bed with a handheld video game, a tablet or a smartphone to watch movies or play games until they sleep, you are allowing them to stimulate too much mental activity. It will train their minds to have sleep patterns that are unhealthy. Make a rule that the bedroom is a no electronic zone. If you have limited space, then set a firm time when electronics are to be removed from the room.

#4 Use common sense with rewards

People will tell you to never use food as a reward. But the fact is, we do. We use food for celebrations and holidays. Instead, incorporate the reward into their normal routine. If the reward is ice cream, have it after a meal and use it in their 10% normal treat allowance. You are not being dishonest, you are parenting!

#5 Don’t sweat the small stuff

The good thing about the body is it allows you to recover and begin again. If you or they mess up, don’t make it a big deal. Just turn the page and do better tomorrow. Just figure out where you went wrong and support each other through it.