Escape + Explore – Aussie Family Holiday Friday

Maria 2Oh who doesn’t adore a bit of escapism?

I may spend a lot of time doing the dishes, but that never stops me dreaming of… Sydney, Australia, Asia, the wide wide world!

Here are a few of the gorgeous places I’ve been travelling around this week – digitally at least.

Hope you will find something handy, entrancing, motivating or even just pretty.

As it’s Good Friday next week, Aussie Family Holiday Friday will be taking a break for the long weekend, but will be back on Anzac Day, Friday 25th.

Sydney’s Most Family-Friendly Cafes

If only there were one definitive list!

There isn’t but a relatively new blog called Little Munch is going great guns and has descriptions of some excellent cafes, lots of which are in the west of Sydney.

What I love about this blog is the very detailed descriptions and the photos. That’s what we need before we go to a new place. Websites and blogs which just give names and addresses are just not helpful.

Check out this list of Sydney’s Best Child-Friendly Cafes By Suburb, that’s SO handy. Well done, Rebecca.

I’ve done a list of great cafes beside playgrounds, and also just a general series of detailed descriptions of good family cafes here.

20131000 Shelly Beach Manly-002

Finding Family-Friendly Hotels – The Preferred Family Hotels Website

It’s often tricky to find the best family-friendly hotels, but here’s one website to browse if you’re looking for upmarket accom. No youth hostels here!

The Preferred Hotels Group is the marketing organisation for a collection of 650 of the world’s best hotels.  They’ve launched Preferred Family, showcasing 250 of the world’s best hotels for families.

This isn’t a useful site for Australia AT ALL as only one hotel is listed, the Lyall in Melbourne. But it’s a gorgeous site to browse and daydream. I just went for a wander to their hotels in Kota Kinabalu, and found two resorts on Gaya Island just off the city. I was last there scuba diving in the late 1980’s… marvellous to pop over digitally to see where I might take the kids one day.

The website has a great section called Three Days In… with family itineraries for many different locations, definitely one to bookmark.

So this is just one family hotel-finding options, but a very well presented one…. and who doesn’t love nosing around gorgeous hotels?   Website here. 

Preffered Family


Word Of Mouth Works Best – The Maria Island Walk in Tassie

Don’t you reckon word of mouth is always the best way to find great destinations, hotels, cafes, anything?

I was at my swimming training and saw my lane buddy had a Maria Island Walk water bottle.

‘Oh, did you do that walk?’ I asked.

‘Yes, it was great, we loved it…’ and she then chattered away for ages telling me all about it. Put that walk on my bucket list!

Children are welcome on the walk, they need to be able to walk a maximum of 13km in one day. The youngest walker so far was 6.

The Maria island Walk looks similar in style to the Bay Of Fires Walk we did in January and is similarly priced, over $2000 per person for the four days. Expensive, but luxurious and absolutely memorable, I bet.

Maria island Walk small


Commercial Travel Blogs – Escape Travel

Escape Travel is a pretty large commercial travel agent, so you know that whatever is posted on their website’s blog does aim to help you chose a holiday from Escape. But, you know what, it’s got plenty of useful stuff worth reading on it, like:

The Gold Coast For Active Families

Family Fun On The Sunshine Coast

Adventures In Iceland


This is Iceland, not the Sunshine Coast!

Health and Fitness Holidays With The Family

I’ve had a very jolly time browsing around the website of a new Australian company, Health and Fitness Travel. They’ve researched and teamed up with a wide range of resports worldwide, all focussing on wellness and exercise. And they do have a Family Holiday section, check it out here.

I’m already planning a wee expedition to

Kempinski Barbaros Bay in Turkey

But I know that the International Man of Mystery would give that the knock back and take us all to this place instead:

Porto Elounda Golf Spa Resort in Greece

Or perhaps Blue Palace in Greece?


I wouldn’t mind going to the gym here at all!

Right then, back to the dishes…

Where are you dreaming of today?


Read more Escape + Explore here.

Print Friendly


  • Reply April 11, 2014

    JodiGibson (

    So many places, so little time….

    • Reply April 11, 2014

      Seana Smith

      Very true, but the great thing is that we can go anywhere in the world in the comfort of our own sofa or bed or chair… some lovely photos, a few stories and we’re off! Here’s to lively imaginations and many happy memories too.

  • Oh what I would give to be back in Bali right now – but you are right we can dream hun and one day well you just never know xx

    • Reply April 11, 2014

      Seana Smith

      Take me back to bali tooooooo!! I’ve had a couple of lovely holidays there… Don’t you reckon it’s a great idea to book a holiday AS SOON as you get back from holiday. Even if it’s a year away, great to have that to look forward to. Luckily I have a couple of expeditions coming up, a trio in fact, that keeps me happy.

  • That gym looks awesome! I am always dreaming of somewhere to go and find myself googling beaches on a regular basis!

    • Reply April 13, 2014

      Seana Smith

      I’ve recently been spending some time on Pinterest and am amazed at how many great beach shots there are. Mind you, here where I live there are also so many photographers who love the beach and the surf, so many great shots… which I aim to copy one day!

  • Reply April 12, 2014


    Seana, thank you for the Friday run down. I check in each week & somehow we are on the same wavelength & you provide some information in the area I am looking for!
    Loving the Sunshine Coast stuff which just happens to be where we are headed next school holidays :)
    Please keep it up!

    • Reply April 13, 2014

      Seana Smith

      Thank you Becc, glad you like it. Do you know the Sunshine Coast well already? Look forward to reading your news about your visit there. All tips welcome.

  • Reply April 12, 2014


    Let see which place will I visit first. :)

    • Reply April 13, 2014

      Seana Smith

      Where do you fancy best? Have you ever been down here to visit us in Australia??

  • That was a great list of links. Thanks for the tip on Preferred Hotels Group. I loved those 3 day itineraries.That Greece beach picture has me dreaming. The Internet is such a big time sucker. I find myself daydreaming virtually all the time too. Have a good break!

    • Reply April 13, 2014

      Seana Smith

      Thanks Mary, I am so looking forward to getting out onto the open road. I do love a little daydreaming and what I call armchair travelling. And looking at beauty is always uplifting.

  • Reply April 18, 2014

    Desire Empire

    Love these post Seana. I am now going to click through to the one about cafes in Sydney. You can never have too many options there.
    Have you got any hot tips for London or Paris.

    • Reply April 18, 2014

      Seana Smith

      None!! I haven’t been to either capital in far too long and never with the kids..BUT am thinking of both for next year so I shall be looking to you for the top tips after your own trip.

  • Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to
    me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found
    it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

Leave a Reply