Family Fun

This is the place to come if you would like to know what we have been up to.
It is also the place to find great things to do with your family.

Ocean Grove
Just spent a lovely weekend down at Ocean Grove. This was our Birthday gift to Mum.
The weekend went down a treat. Nice place to stay, sunny weather and a packed agenda.

If you have children, I recommend the Ocean Grove Hotel.
We turned up just in time for lunch at 10 minutes to 2. They had two fantastic in ground trampolines and a playground. Lunch was yummy and we were able to enjoy the sunshine for hours while the children played. To top it all off, we got have a great walk along the beach after.

Sunday we took a return trip on the  ferry. It wasn't cheap. $67 for four, but we had a great time. The highlight of the journey was a visit by a pod of dolphins!




Farm Day- Register your Family for 2012

Do you know about Farm Day?
All over Australia each year, during the last weekend in May, families take part in Farm Day.

Farm Day involves families from the city being matched with a farming family so that they can travel to the farm and see how it operates. The aim of the program is to help city families understand what farming life is like and where our food and fibers come from. In the process great new friendships are formed.

This is the second year we have taken part in Farm Day. I asked my 8 year old daughter if she wanted to go to Farm Day again this year and she said "Yes, yes, yes, Farm Day is the best thing ever!"

To be involved you need to register at the Farm Day web site. Families are matched according to the ages of the children and how far they are willing to travel.

We were matched with the Porter family that live in Booroorban, NSW.
The map below shows our journey.


We left at 8:15 in the morning and had our first stop in Elmore, where we went in search of a bakery. Unfortunately we didn't find one, so we settled for a coffee and a Cherry Ripe. We saw this great truck while we were there.




The next stop was lunch in Echuca, where we explored the Old Port area. I haven't been there since I was a child, so it was great to explore. After a while it started to rain, so we ended up having lunch at  The Worker club.  They had a little playground there. Not that we were complaining about the rain, the river looks so low, so they really need it.



The next big town we came across was Deniliquin. So we stopped and went for a walk at the Island Sanctuary and then walked into town. Did you know that Deniliquin is the Ute capital of the world?
Deniliquin hosts the annual Ute Muster, which attracts about 5,000 utility drivers – it now holds the Guinness World record for the most Utes ever mustered in one place.
 Deniliquin is also very close to Barmah Forest,  which has the world’s largest River Red Gum forest. It would be a great area to visit sometime, they even have a Eco-boat tour through the area.

The whole area is part of the long Paddock. This is a historical muster route that follows the length of the Cobb Highway (610 km) from Echuca on the Victorian border through to Wilcannia in the north. Here is a short video about the area.



The area is also home to the Black swap and the legend of the headless horseman. So we pull over to take a look. it is amazing to think that anyone farms here as the land seems so dry and baron.

We meet Joel Porter at the Royal Mail Hotel, which his great great Grandfather build in 1868. His daughter Mia is gets dropped off here in the school bus. Mia is 5 and goes to school in Hay, which is about 50km away. From here, the farm is just down a couple of dirt tracks.









So this is "Ramsay" where Joel and Fiona live with their two children, Mia and Laura.


We were very fortunate to stay at the farm overnight.




Joel and Fiona run a farm stay bed and breakfast and very kindly allowed us to stay there for the night. It is lovely. Full of treasures from the past.



In the morning Joel took the rainfall  reading for the Bureau of Meteorology.
It was 6.2mm.



Booroorban and the surrounding area is still suffering badly from the drought, so it was nice to see a bit of rain while we were there.
Here are the rest of the photos of our  Farm Day adventure.


A trip to the Snow

We had a lovely couple of nights away recently at Silver Top Cottages in Erica. Gorgeous place. I loved the attic master bedroom and the gas fireplace down stairs that kept the whole place warm. The children also loved the built in bunks in their separate room.

There were lots of games and a large selection of DVDs. We were also spoilt with chocolate biscuits and other treats.



Erica is 45 minutes from mount Baw Baw. Here we hired chains for the car, toboggans and snow boots. They guy in the shop told us about a family snow play area called Mt St Gwinear, 30 minutes away.(free entry too)

There were two toboggan runs, cross country skiing and a lovely day room that is heated. We ended up staying all day.

Mt St Gwinear could quite easily be done as a day trip from Melbourne or with an overnight stay you could also fit in a trip to Walhalla. Where we visited the Long Tunnel Gold Mine and the Cute Walhalla Railway. Walhalla is well worth a visit!










Christmas 2010- Our Road Trip
Elegant Cakes and Party Dates has been off on a road trip, so  that is why things have been a bit quiet around here.

Our holiday started with two nights in Lakes Entrance, which is  about three hours away from Melbourne. Our little unit over-looked the river.  Granny and Grandad met us there and had the cabin next door too!



The children managed to get one swim in at the beach, before the weather turned cold and windy, but there was still plenty to do.







We took a trip to Bucan Cave and were mesmerised by the amazing formations that are still growing underground.






We also stopped at an old railway bridge. in fact I think is the biggest trestle bridge in Victoria.








From Lake Entrance we drove 5 hours up to Canberra, to spend a very special Christmas with Granny and Grandad. Here is a picture of our Christmas dinner, it was very yummy.



We also had a great time going and looking at some of the Christmas lights around Canberra. It is amazing the amount of work that goes into these creations.




The children swam just about everyday at Granny and Granddad's house. They had so much fun in the pool!






Here is a family shot at Gibraltar falls. We had a lovely walk followed by a yummy picnic.





At Tidbinbilla  we saw lots of wild kangaroos and emus. There are lots of walking trails up to the mountains, a koala reserve and playgrounds and picnic areas.






Jessica enjoyed a trip to the Canberra Centre and was excited to have been given some money for Christmas to spend. She still has some left too!






Jessica and Dominic had a fantastic time on their scooters down by the lake.

It was so much fun pushing all the buttons at Cockington Green where the miniature houses and gardens are just amazing.
The best thing of all was meeting our new baby cousin for the first time! He came down from Brisbane on the plane. It was his first Christmas! 




Dominic's Birthday at the Royal melbourne Show

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