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Originally we were going to stay 2 nights in Guyra then return home to Coffs. But it was unanimously decided we head to Glen Innes and stay one more night before returning home.

It’s only about 40 minutes between Guyra and Glen Innes, but we took a little detour and first headed South towards Black Mountain in search of Thunderbolts Cave (around 17 mins from Guyra). Probably a little more appreciated by older kids, we had a brief history lesson (thanks to Google) in the car on the way there about the bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt.

The cave was a hideout of Thunderbolts and the kids were very impressed. You bend over to get inside and it’s a pretty neat little cave! The walk there is pretty rocky and uneven surface (def NOT pram friendly) but it was a fun little way to start our day.

After that, back on the New England Highway heading North.

We had a few stops along the way and I made the kids look out the window as the scenery is quite interesting and very different to the coast.

We stopped at Stonehenge where we had a bit of a wander around the VERY strange rock formations. Then onto the Super Strawberry which is just outside Glen Innes. I let the kids have dessert for lunch which they thought was the best thing ever! And I had scones for lunch, which I thought was the best thing ever! The Super Strawberry is a cafe with sit-down eating but it also has a cool little shop with interesting nik naks, yummy food, clothing etc. I bought some chai tea in a tin and some local olives.

Glen Innes is a gorgeous little town, I LOVED the old buildings. So we had a little wander down the main street and came across a cute little second hand bookshop. Of course, it’s always a game for the kids to find the most expensive item in the shop! I sure would love this edition of “Through the Looking Glass”!

We also visited the Australian Standing Stones then went for a short drive out of town towards Invervell. My eldest wanted to have a look at the wind turbines (the photo below is one arm of a smaller one!)

The Glen Innes Tourist Information Centre is a great place to pop in and visit. The lady there was super friendly and helpful. Made me realise how badly we need one back here in Coffs!

The next morning we headed home via the Gwydir Highway, through the Gibrator Ranges. We stopped off and had a quick little bushwalk from Mulligan’s Hut. There’s a lot of different bushwalks you can do, so check out this website if you’re interested – www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/gibraltar-range-national-park.

Then onto Grafton where we stopped off at Hank’s for a yummy pie.

Glen Innes to Coffs via Grafton is just under 3 hours without stops, but it took us most of the day because we stopped so much!

So all in all our “Trip to the Cold” was such a lovely and fun little three night getaway. The kids are already begging to go back! Definitely a trip we will all remember.

Categories : Alison's Blog
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It’s been called “Australia’s Strangest Theme Park” – and it certainly is a very different place. Saying that, we all LOVED it and it will go down as one of those family memories that we will talk about for years…

Green Valley Farm is located 10kms out of Tingha, so 3 hours 24 mins from Coffs via Dorrigo/Ebor and Guyra OR 3 hours 43 minutes via Grafton and Glen Innes. We were staying at Guyra, so it was roughly a 50 minute drive.

And yes, it is out in the middle of nowhere on a sheep farm!

Green Valley Farm feels like you’re stepping back in time, to the days of my childhood. The rides there and they are no fuss, no frills, just plain old fun. No shiny signs or machinery, just very cleverly built handmade metal rides. Green Valley Farm was built in the 1980s and thankfully, nothing much has changed.

THE PLAYGROUND

There are 3-way see saws, a giant spinning cage, pile of HUGE tyres, a very cute yet noisy hand-made rollercoaster, giant rocking giraffes, various swings, a big tin slide and lots more of interesting welded creations that the boys ran between. It was awesome to see them having so much fun and trying to figure out what the “rides” did and how they worked. Oh and I almost forgot! A giant jumping pillow.

ANIMAL WALK ABOUT

And wow! The animals. There were peacocks wandering around, ducks following us around, a wombat, monkeys, an ostrich, kangaroos, a goat, a deer, very large black pigs – all very friendly. We had purchased two little bags of feed (50 cents each) for the animals.

THE GARDENS

For an area currently in drought, the gardens are just gorgeous. So well cared for and lush.

THE FOOD

The food was surprisingly good. VERY cheap (especially compared to a “traditional” theme park), fresh and yummy. I had steak sandwich ($9) and it tasted like real food. They have kids meals for around $10 which include a popper.

SMITH’S MUSEUM

You first enter Green Valley by walking through the very cold and dark museum. There is all sorts of odd things here. Hundreds of old bottles, crystals, a 2 headed sheep (I kid you not!) various snakes and animals in jars of  formaldehyde and other pieces of history.

THE COST

Soooo cheap! $10 each for the whole day.

ALSO…

There is a waterpark with a massive slide which was closed for winter, but friends have been there in summer and tell me it was lots of fun.

They have 18 hole mini golf and peddle bikes as well, at an extra cost.

AND you can stay there… they have camping and various cabin options.

Find out more via their website: www.greenvalleyfarm.com.au

And Facebook: www.facebook.com/greenvalleyfarmtingha

I cannot recommend this place enough. A lot of the rides are for kids 10 years plus but you can still have plenty of fun with the littlies.

Categories : Alison's Blog
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I suppose like most of us, my family haven’t really left the Coffs Coast since lockdowns began at the end of March. With not a lot of time off work for me these school holidays I decided to take the kids on a little trip out West for three nights.

I wanted to spend some money in smaller communities really suffering from drought and fires (and of course, Covid!) plus we had quite a few adventures that we’ve never had before as you will see!

YES it was cold, but that all added to the fun. And while we didn’t see snow we will try to go back again one day soon.

Here are some of the things we did:

 

DAY ONE:

First stop, Bellingen.

From Coffs to Bellingen it’s around a 30 minute drive.

I got coffee from Swiss Bakery and the kids went into Sweet Bellingen and got a $5 bag of mixed lollies (photographed below).

I also popped into Kombu Wholefoods for some fruit and some other healthy snacks.

Next stop: Dangar Falls.

From Bellingen to Dangar Falls it’s around a 35 minute drive.

I would normally go to the Rainforest Centre at Dorrigo and do a little walk or the SkyWalk but we had been there only a couple weekends before, so we headed straight to Dangar Falls.

We parked at the picnic area and took a walk down to the bottom of the falls. The walk is suitable for children, it’s about a 10-15 minute walk down, a combination of paved and raised boardwalks. At the bottom there are rockpools and the waterfall is amazing!!! Definitely worth the walk.

Next stop: Ebor

From there it’s a winding 40 minute drive to Ebor and boy, was it COLD there!

We headed straight for Ebor falls. In November last year the Bees Nest bushfires tore through here and you can still see the destruction. The upper viewing platform was burnt entirely and the lower platform and access is blocked off due to dangerous trees. There is evidence of the fires everywhere. It’s quite sobering yet beautiful at the same time. We caught a glimpse of the falls and had a look at the amazing burnt trees then headed back into Ebor to Fusspots for some good old fashioned country cooking / lunch.

Next stop: Guyra

From Ebor to Guyra it’s just under an hour drive.

I booked us into the Summit Caravan Park, (Australia’s highest caravan park!) they have a cute little 3 bedroom for $130 a night. Complete with fireplace, full kitchen and great views. Cheap! We stayed there for 2 nights and the owner was so lovely. Would definitely recommend (if you do book make sure you ring up and book direct. I checked out the room types etc on Wotif but then rang direct. The accommodation booking sites take a big chunk of commission, so it really helps the owners to pick up the phone and book directly with them).

The choices for dinner in Guyra are pretty limited, so we went to the Bowling Club then settled in for some board games.

And YES it was cold! But we loved it! While there wasn’t any snow the kids were so excited the next morning when there were icicles hanging off the water tank!

 

Next post coming up: Our day trip to Green Valley Farm.

Categories : Alison's Blog
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Jul
08

Winter School Holidays

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Click image below for activities and events on these school holidays.


Categories : Things to Do
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