exploring with kids
This post was created in collaboration with NRMA Parks and Resorts
We travel because we want the kids to spend their childhood outdoors in the Australian sun – at the beach, under gum trees and along riverbanks – an adventure that they’ll remember long after it ends and one that will hopefully teach them more than any book or screen can.
New places are brimming with opportunities for discovery and play and as soon as we arrive and set up the van the kids are eager to get out and explore. They’re wild and free (and perhaps a bit grubby) till bedtime when they fall asleep without a peep; a sign of a day well spent.
Marigold has crawled her way across grassy fields and beaches, she’s discovered the joy of wet sand and the hideous taste of fresh duck poo (true story). The big kids have climbed down rocky embankments to reach a lake and have played there for hours; throwing stones and making statues with the clay-like dirt. They have spent mornings swimming in the ocean and afternoons climbing trees. They’re learning how to read maps, how to navigate uneven pathways and the importance of treading lightly wherever we go.
When we arrive at a new place (usually after a good half-a-day of driving + rest stops) we spend the afternoon settling in. And once we’ve got our bearings, we explore with the kids. Perhaps that’s what I love most about a holiday park – they provide a comfortable base that makes exploring with kids easy. There’s no need for us to all pile in the car just to be outdoors. Instead we just pack a basket, throw some towels over our shoulders and walk to the beach where we go hunting for shells or play in the surf at low tide.
Nature comes to our caravan in the form of ducks, birdlife, lizards and sometimes, inquisitive kangaroos. We spend mornings admiring gum trees while we eat breakfast and there’s always somewhere to go for a walk, be it around the park, alongside a creek or on the beach.
After we’ve spent a few days at a new park and have explored all it has to offer, we venture out to the local area to discover the sights. Each park we’ve visited has a great selection of pamphlets with local attractions and must-dos so we often take a few and plan our day of sightseeing accordingly.
We opt for natural attractions that are family friendly and don’t require arduous hikes. Simple really is best with kids and we find that a vast beach, a short bush walk or a lookout with a table is just right for an explore, a picnic lunch and a bit of downtime before we return to the caravan.
We’ve spent many weeks in caravan parks and it’s heartwarming to meet so many families who are adventuring together; whether they stay in a tent, a caravan or a cabin, they’re stepping away from routine and making memories.
To read my top tips for exploring with kids, head over here. And if you’re interested in a summer getaway, NRMA Parks and Resorts currently has a range of special offers.