Posts Tagged school holidays

Top 10 nature-based things to do with the kids these holidays

Are you keen to get the kids off their screens and into nature these school holidays? These are my top ten suggestions for kids in or near Byron Bay.

  1. Whale watching

    whaleThere are still humpback whales around in September-October. You can see them quite well at Byron Bay from the lighthouse, or you can get much closer on one of the whale watching boats.

    How to get there
    Land-based options mean you don’t have to worry about anyone getting sea sick. The cheapest way is to combine it with a lighthouse walk (free). Or if you have a car you can drive to the top of the lighthouse (it costs $8 to park there – there are limited car spaces – so get there early, before 9:30am).
    Vision Walks Eco Tours include the lighthouse on their Byron Bay Tour, they give you binoculars and help you spot the whales and dolphins. (Groups of 3 or more get the group rate $42 per adult and $28 per child including transport, guide, binoculars, morning tea, plus The Farm Byron Bay Cookies and galleries).
    Whale watching boats include: Byron Bay Whale Watching (adults $89, kids$55) Blue Bay Whale Watching (adults $85, kids$60).

  2. Koala Picnic

    Maybe go to the Koala picnic on 1 October. Bring a picnic blanket and your kids or your neighbour’s kids and relax for a morning whilst they run around looking for koalas. There will be a koala parade (so bring your favourite teddy), tours of the centre, a fancy dress competition for the best koala attire, colouring in activities and an opportunity to learn more about this fascinating about the Koala Care Centre on Rifle range road, East Lismore. picnic

    How to get there
    You can drive to Rifle Range road, East Lismore, or Vision Walks Eco Tours, have a Wildlife Tour where you will visit 3 habitats to see wildlife in their natural habitat. Animals include: koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, flying fox, pademelon, birds, reptiles.  (Groups of 3 or more get the group rate $99 per adult and $80 per child including lunch, transport, guide, afternoon tea).

  3. Minyon Falls Walk

    rainforest walk- minyon fallThere are a few options depending on the age of the kids. To make the most from your adventure we also suggest you take a picnic lunch to have at the bottom of the falls.
    Short Walk
    The short walk from Minyon Grass, to the bottom of the falls is only 4km return (less than 2 hours return), it is fairly easy, there are some bring rocks they have to clamber over at the bottom of the falls and big hill they have to walk up at the end of the walk.

    Long Walk
    The long walk is 8km and takes 3-4 hours. We suggest you park at Minyon Grass, walk up the dirt road to the top of the falls, then follow the track around to the bottom of the falls, then continue on to Minyon Grass (where your car is parked).

    How to get there
    You can drive out to Minyon and do this yourself with the kids, the track is well marked. Or you can add value to your experience by doing the walk with a qualified Park Ranger with Vision Walks Eco Tours, your guide will help you spot wildlife and talk about the trees and the ecosystems (Groups of 3 or more get the group rate $99 per adult and $80 per child including lunch, transport, guide, afternoon tea).

  4. Night Vision Walk

    nvgroupBe the coolest parent on the planet and book on a Night Vision Walk. (kids have to be 10+ as it is a late night and the goggles weigh 800gms).

    Imagine exploring the Australian rainforest at night, searching for nocturnal wildlife without disturbing them with a torch? Arguably one of the best uses for military technology found to date. Our Night Vision Bushwalk is a truly unique experience – the only one of its kind in the world! Patent 2007100831.
    Use Night Vision Goggles to observe Australia’s nocturnal animals in their natural habitat, and after your walk enjoy a hot chocolate gazing up at the starry night. Heaven!

    We usually see 5 species, typically Possum, Pademelon, Bandicoot, Tawny Frogmouth, Leaf Tailed Gecko, Fuscipes, Melomys, Micro Bats and Frogs. We get more animal sightings when there is less moonlight. Nature being nature animal sightings can not be guaranteed.

    How to get there
    Vision Walks Eco Tours, are the only  option for this tour. (Groups of 3 or more get the group rate $99 per adult and $80 per child including night vision goggles, transport, guide, hot choccy and cookie, plus funky night vision photo, wearing the night vision goggles).

  5. Kayak on the Brunswick River

    kayakNow I may be a little biased here, as I live about 100m from the Brunswick River but at high tide it is hard to beat. The Brunswick River starts at Main Arm, wends its ways through the valley to Mullumbimby, then flows onto Brunswick Heads.  The river forms a estuary that provides habitat for many local and migratory birds including: beach stone curlew, pied oyster catcher, eastern curlew, striated heron, buffed barred rail, black cormorant, pied cormorant, jabiru, brahimny kite, osprey, white bellied sea eagle, spoonbill, egret (lesser, intermediate and greater), white faced heron, little tern, bar tail godwit, rainbow lorikeet, corrella, yellow tailed black cockatoo and pelican to name but a few.

    How to get there
    Brunswick Heads is about 17km north of Byron Bay (10km if you walk along the beach). You can  hire a kayak or kayak, SUP, canoe or boat from Brunswick Buccaneers  or go on a guided tour with Byron Eco Cruises and kayaks (Cruise only $40 or cruise and kayak / SUP for $80pp)

  6. Walk the Brunswick Heads fairy Trail

    fairyBrunswick Heads fairies abound, and if you look in nooks and crannies their wee houses can be found.

    How to get there
    Brunswick Heads is about 17km north of Byron Bay. You can catch a bus or drive there. Fairy Trail maps are available at the Brunswick Heads Visitor Centre on Park St.

  7. Crystal Castle

    crystal-castle-tour-2There is something for everyone at the Crystal Castle  nestled in the Byron Bay hinterland near Mullumbimby. They have face painting, a playground and a quest to entertain the kids and meditations and walks to relax the parents.

    How to get there
    You can drive to Monet Drive, Montecollum, the entry fee is $22 per adult and $18 kids), or Vision Walks Eco Tours, have a Crystal Castle Tour that includes transport, entry fee and 10 min orientation (Groups of 3 or more get the group rate $47 per adult and $32 per child).

  8. The Farm

    farmThe Farm provides a great opportunity for kids to learn where their food comes from.  Entry is free and the kids walk around the Farm and see the highland coos, pigs, chooks,  pick macadamias, plus see the market gardens. They also have a great playground and wonderful cafe.

    In the school holidays they run Farm Kids School holiday Workshops and Morning Farm Tours
    How to get there
    The Farm is on Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale, you can drive there or catch a bus.  Entry is free. or Vision Walks Eco Tours include the Farm on their Byron Bay Tour, they include a tea/coffee/juice, plus a guided walk around the Farm (Groups of 3 or more get the group rate $42 per adult and $28 per child including transport, guide, , morning tea, plus Lighthouse, Byron Bay Cookies and galleries).

  9. Swimming/snorkelling in the Brunswick River

    snorkelThe Brunswick River is a great, safe spot for the kids to swim and snorkel. We suggest you go on or near the high tide, as the river is tidal, but at high tide, the water is crystal clear. Simpsons Creek or Torakina are the best options.

    How to get there
    Brunswick Heads is about 17km north of Byron Bay. You can catch a bus or drive there.

  10. Picnic at Crams Farm

    hippy-trail-tour-crams-farmCrams farm is an awesome picnic spot near Uki, if you have a kayak you can also bring it for a paddle on Clarie Hall Dam, there is plenty of room to play cricket, frisbee, or kick a footy. There are no shops there, but it does have great picnic table and electric BBQs.
    How to get there
    You can drive there, it is off doon doon rd, off Kyogle rd, about 20 mins south of Uki
    Vision Walks Eco Tours, have a picnic there on their Hippy Trail tour which also vistits the markets, Nimbin, Main Arm and Mullumbimby . (Groups of 3 or more get the group rate $99 per adult and $80 per child including  transport, guide, and picnic lunch).

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