Our Weekend Among the Valley of the Giants

This is a Throwback Thursday post that I have been meaning to write for ages.  We took this trip a few months after moving to Perth and just before I started my blog.  It was a really fantastic weekend away for my family and deserves a mention and a record on the blog for posterity!

After living the FIFO life for a few months at this point we really wanted to get away for a long weekend, enjoy being together as a family and explore this amazing new state we were living in.  We had been given a tip off that Coalmine Beach was a lovely little tucked away spot that we should go and check out.  After a quick google we booked a spot at Coalmine Beach Holiday Park.  It is a lovely location and the amenities are standard for a good caravan park.  I do have to mention that the managers at the time were not the most welcoming which wasn’t great when we had been driving 5 hours from Perth.   We arrived around 5.30pm and the first thing we were told was to make sure we kept the kids quite after 6pm?  O..K….Then we checked into the cabin we had booked and the top two bunks weren’t made up.  It may just be me but there also seemed to be a lot of ‘shouty’ signs all around the cabin….’CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR MEALS’, ‘PLEASE MOP SHOWER AFTER USE’, ‘DO NOT LEAVE LIGHTS ON’, they just seemed to be everywhere.  I expect to see them on the general information brochure but they were plastered to the walls.  Anyway, it seems I still have some anger issues with the hospitality, but in saying all of that it is a lovely location and one of the cheaper places to stay in this area.

Back to the good stuff, Walpole and surrounds are just beautiful and we had such a great day at the beach just metres from the caravan park.  Check out the photos…

Did I mention that there are Wineries in the area too?  Winning.  We stopped in at West Cape Howe Winery and grabbed a couple of bottles to try, delicious.

winery

 

We could have quite easily spent a lazy weekend just at Coalmine Beach but one of the big drawcards for this region is the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk.  There was an entry fee,  approximately $45.00 for our family of 6, which I thought was reasonable for this experience.  There was a wonderful information centre with interactive displays that the kids loved, there was the Tree Top Walk along the suspended bridge right up amongst the top leaves blowing in the breeze, and then there was also the Ancient Empires Walk at the base of these massive trees to really appreciate their size.  The staff were really friendly and informative and the facilities were fantastic, definitely worth the money.

We made another stop this day to view the Giant Tingle Tree.  This tree is just massive.

tingle trees

The other stop we should have made on this trip but didn’t know about at the time, was The Diamond Tree Lookout which is on route to Perth from the Denmark/Walpole area.  We stopped in at the lookout on the way back from the trip to Albany for the Adventurethon.  To be honest, we had initially skimmed over this as we thought it was just a lookout and the kids are generally not too enthused by lookouts.  How wrong we were…..

Well that turned into quite an epic post.  We really enjoyed exploring this region of Western Australia and it is definitely worth a visit.

Happy Exploring!!

 

7 Ways to get the Kids Active and Outdoors

On my current hitlist I have listed an Active Kids challenge as something I wanted to complete.  Basically, I wanted to have a good hard look at how much time my kids actually spent outdoors and active, and then focus on specifically planning a week of activities that will ensure that my kids are outside and active for at least an hour every day.  I decided to do this in the school holidays initially as it would keep them (and me) out of trouble and there wouldn’t be the obvious time constraints that come with the school term.  In saying that I also want to try this during the school term to see what changes I could incorporate into our daily lives.

There are many reasons that kids, and adults, should be staying active for at least an hour every day and these are just some of them:

  • It helps kids think better (also check out this link too on the benefits of daily activity and improved brain function)
  • It is good for emotional health
  • It is good for motor development and weight control
  • A family that exercises together, stays together…don’t have any research on that one, but it is what I believe!
  • It is fun
  • The great outdoors are just beautiful.  The opportunities for exploring our surrounding areas are all in our grasp if we just make the effort to look.
  • For the most part it is free

I am sure these reasons come as no surprise to anyone so why aren’t we all doing it?  Are our excuses legitimate or have we fallen into a bit of a rut and not thought outside the box about how we could fit it in?  Are our priorities in order?  I like to think that my kids are fairly active but when I took a good look at how much ‘moderate’ exercise they do I think we would only meet the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines for physical activity on 4-5 days out of a possible 7 days.  Hence my wish to pick up my game, make a plan for the holidays, and see if I could do 7 days of outdoor activity for more than an hour each day…..

ONE – Mountain biking – Check out your local mountain biking club for information on your closest trails.

Mountain biking - check out your local mountain biking club for information on your closest trails.

TWO – Head to a new park. Have you explored all your local parks?

Head to a new park.  Have you explored all your local parks?

THREE – Head to the beach. Australia is an island people, so for most of us our closest beach isn’t that far away.

Head to the beach.  We live on an island so for most of us our closest beach isn't that far away.

FOUR – Good old fashioned fun at a creek.

Good old fashioned fun at a creek.

FIVE – Find a local bike path – Where does it take you?

Find a local bike path - Where does it take you?

SIX – Spend a day at home – gardening, playing, jumping, riding.

Spend a day at home - gardening, playing, jumping, riding.  In this case they helped us carry and load all our camping gear too.

SEVEN – Go camping! Great way to recharge the batteries and have some quality family time.

Go camping!  Great way to recharge the batteries and have some quality family time.

So there you have it, seven great ways to get outside and have some fun with the kids.  What are your favourite ways to get outdoors and stay active?