Tag: fun

32 OF NORTH QUEENSLAND'S BEST CAMPING SPOTS

32 OF NORTH QUEENSLAND’S BEST CAMPING SPOTS

One of the many beauties of North Queensland is that you don’t have to travel far to find an amazing camping spot. We are truly spoiled for choice; choose to camp on the beach and wake up to a sunrise over the ocean, sleep under the rainforest canopy in the Daintree or opt for a farm stay experience to see a different side of life. There isn’t much in life that beats going to sleep and waking up beneath the night sky in paradise. Here are some of North Queensland’s best camping spots.

Cairns

1. Daintree Rainforest Village – Camp in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, in the middle of the Daintree Rainforest.

2. Ellis Beach – North of Palm Cove, Ellis Beach offers a location relatively close to Cairns while not being too touristy.

3. Lake Tinaroo – A number of campsites are available around the lake. If you love watersports, you’ll love Lake Tinaroo.

4. Eureka Creek, Dimbulah – Free camping area besides Eureka Creek.

5. Upper Davies Creek, Tablelands – Offering camping spots along Davies Creek in tall open forest, great for swimming.

6. Woodleigh Station, Ravenshoe – Sitting on the border of civilisation and the outback, camp on a working cattle farm at Woodleigh Station.

7. Undara Lava Tubes – Explore a delicate ecosystem. The lava tubes were created when lava spilled through into the river many years ago, making for a spectacular sight to see now.

8. Russell Island, Frankland Islands – Bush camping is available on High and Russell Islands, both of which are part of the Frankland Islands group.

9. Babinda Boulders, Babinda – Free camping area located near the beautiful Babinda Boulders, ideal for swimming.

10. Malanda Falls – Malanda Falls Caravan Park is located right by the beautiful Malanda Falls and fringed by rainforest. 

11. King Reef Resort, Kurrimine Beach – Camp in a stunning location just steps from the beautiful Kurrimine Beach.

12. Kurrimine Beach Holiday Park – Offering plenty to do for families, including a waterpark, playroom and swimming pool with giant inflatable pool toys.

Townsville

13. Wallaman Falls – Camp nearby the spectacular Wallaman Falls, Australia’s highest permanent single-drop waterfall. Adjacent to Stoney Creek, which is great for swimming.

14. Crystal Creek – A gorgeous camping spot in the middle of the rainforest, popular with swimming.

15. Lake Paluma – Lake Paluma is a drinking water storage and offers unique opportunities in a diverse rainforest environment.

16. Balgal Beach, Rollingstone – This free beachside camping area is located next to an estuary, popular for fishing.

17. Magnetic Island – camping at Bungalow Bay Koala Village offers the perfect base to explore Magnetic Island. Spend your days snorkelling, lazing by the beach, spotting koalas or hiking.

18. Saunders Beach, Bluewater – A small beachfront camping area north of Townsville. There is a playground nearby.

19. Keelbottom Creek, Hervey Range – Camp beside a creek lined with paperbark trees, providing plenty of shade.

20. Alligator Creek – Alligator Creek has it all, from gorgeous views to swimming spots and camping, too.

21. Broadwater Creek – This camping area provides a large, open grassy setting surrounded by tall, open eucalypt forests.

Mackay and Whitsundays

22. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island – Camp at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – the dreamy Whitehaven Beach, which has some of the whitest sand in the world.

23. Oh Deere Farm Stay – Stay on a beautiful working cane farm and learn all about sugar cane farming.

24. Cape Palmerston – Cape Palmerston Holiday Park is adjacent to a secluded beach, providing a unique getaway isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city. Spend your time away exploring the national park.

25. St Helen’s Beach – Camp on a beachfront location at the beautiful St Helen’s Beach. picnic tables, barbecues and fireplaces are available for use, as well as toilet and shower facilities.

26. Lake Elphinstone – A free campground great for boating, fishing and bird watching.

27. Keswick Island – Camp on a gorgeous island surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna.

28. Smalley’s Beach, Cape Hillsborough A shady campsite just a stone’s throw from the beach. Keep your eyes peeled for wallabies and kangaroos.

29. Ball Bay Camping Ground, Cape Hillsborough – Offering secluded camping on a small grassy campground, with the beach close by.

30. Broken River, Eungella – Camp by the gorgeous riverside. You may even be able to spot a platypus!

31. Orkabie Downs, Sarina – Spend the night at a family owned working cattle farm. Give the kids a taste of the farm life by helping collect the eggs and feed the chickens, pig and sheep.

32. BIG4 Whitsundays Tropical Eco Resort Only a few minutes’ drive from Airlie Beach, this location offers a swimming pool, obstacle course, jumping pillow, kids’ playground and regular family friendly activities.

Camping tips

Pack for all kinds of weather. Ahh, North Queensland – a place where it can be bucketing rain, and clear blue skies ten minutes later. Bring a variety of clothes, including rain gear, jumpers and singlets.

Before you leave home, check the park alerts. Closures are sometimes in place, and weather conditions (such as lots of rain or fire risk) can make camping potentially dangerous. Check the www.parks.des.qld.gov.au website for the latest information. You can also check www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au for traffic info and www.bom.gov.au for weather info.

Leave the iPad at home. Camping is a great opportunity to reconnect with each other, ground yourself and immerse yourself in all the region has to offer – go out there and have fun!

12 MIND-BOGGLING FACTS ABOUT NORTH QUEENSLAND

12 MIND-BOGGLING FACTS ABOUT NORTH QUEENSLAND

From the Great Barrier Reef to the ancient Daintree Rainforest, North Queensland is a fascinating place. Here are some facts that may surprise you!

1. The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world. It’s thought to be over 165 million years old, meaning it has probably co-existed with dinosaurs. This also means it is tens of millions of years older than the Amazon Rainforest.

2. There are 3,000 vascular plant species in the Wet Tropics, including the world’s most primitive flowering plants. The Wet Tropics is home to about a third of Australia’s 315 mammal species as well as 370 bird species. Some of these species aren’t found anywhere else in the world, such as the ringtail possum, quoll, tree kangaroo and more.

3. North Queensland has many big ‘things’. Check out the big cassowary in Wongaling Beach, the big marlin in Cairns, the big gumboot in Tully, the big mango in Bowen, the big banana in Mackay or the big cane toad in Sarina.

4. Thirty species of whales, dolphins and porpoises have been recorded in the Great Barrier Reef, along with six species of sea turtles, 215 species of birds, 17 species of sea snake and more than 1,500 species of fish.

5. The Great Barrier Reef is the size of a whopping 70 million football fields, or roughly the same area as Italy, Japan or Germany.

6. The Cairns region is home to the tallest mountain in Queensland – Mount Bartle Frere measures 1611m high.

7. Cassowary babies are raised by males. Females breed with several partners, lay eggs and abandon them. A male will then incubate the eggs as well as raising and defending the chicks for nine months.

8. Eungella is home to some animals that aren’t found anywhere else in the world, such as the Eungella dayfrog, Eungella spiny cray and Eungella honeyeater.

9. Cape Tribulation, north of Cairns, is the only place in the world where two UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites meet; the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.

10. Cairns is home to the world’s largest lava tubes. Found in Undara National Park, these lava tubes are thought to be roughly 190,000 years old and were created when lava spilled into a river bed.

11. Cairns became a recognised city in 1923, having grown initially out of gold mining. However, it received its name in 1876, when it was named after the governor of Queensland at the time – William Wellington Cairns.

12. Charters Towers, 150km south-west of Townsville, is home to a record-breaking bull. Johnny Reb (JR) is a Texas longhorn steer with a horn span almost three metres long, and a Guinness World Record to prove it. You can visit him on a wagon ride at Leahton Park on a Texas Longhorn Tour.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN MACKAY THIS NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER

TOP THINGS TO DO IN MACKAY THIS NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER

Porters STIHL Family Day

When: Saturday 9th November from 9.00am
Where: Porters Mitre 10 Mackay, Cnr Brisbane & Gordon St, Mackay
More info: www.porterscando.com.au

Your Local Porters Mitre 10 is the region’s newest destination for STIHL garden power tools. They’re celebrating with a grand opening family day at the Mackay Store! Head on over for live STIHL product demos, get prepared for storm season, enjoy a sausage sizzle, jumping castle and much more.

Porters will also be hosting Christmas Craft Activities on Wednesday 18th December and Friday 20th December from 10.30am – 11.30am. Cost is $10 per child, bookings required.


Needleworx Christmas Class

When: December School Holidays
Where: Needleworx Mackay, 118 Sams Rd, Mackay
More info: www.needleworx.com.au

Looking for something for the kids to do this festive season? Sign them up for Needleworx’s awesome Diamond Dotz Christmas class. Get creative, have fun and get into the festive spirit, and take your creation home at the end of the class. Get in touch with Needleworx to enquire about this awesome Christmas activity.


New Year’s Eve

When: Tuesday 31st December, 6.00pm – midnight
Where: Bluewater Quay, 10 River St, Mackay
More info: www.mackay.qld.gov.au

Kick off 2020 under the stars by the riverside and welcome in the New Year in the beautiful Mackay. There will be markets, rides, food stalls, free face painting and more.

Baby Shark will get things swimming with live performances at 6.00pm, 7.30pm and 8.30pm, with some talented local stars lighting up the stage between your doo-doo-doo’s. Don’t forget to stick around for the spectacular fireworks display at 9.00pm and midnight.


Stable on the Strand

When: Wednesday 18th December – Sunday 22nd December, 5.30pm – 9.30pm daily
Where: Strand Park, North Ward
More info: www.stableonthestrand.com

North Queensland’s Christmas Festival, Stable on the Strand, will be an amazing place for families to relax, have fun and experience Christmas in story, song and festivity. 1,000 volunteers will join together to bring the event to over 40,000 guests from Townsville, North Queensland, Australia and the world.

See Shepherds minding their sheep, wise men and their camels, King Herod and his soldiers and of course Mary, Joseph and a real baby Jesus. Children will love dress-ups, hammering nails at the carpenter’s workshop and ‘fishing’ in the pond.
New this year is a fabulous Puppet Show sharing the Christmas story in a most unique way. Stable on the Strand is a FREE event.

WHAT'S ON IN MACKAY THIS NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER

WHAT’S ON IN MACKAY THIS NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER

FRIDAY 1 NOVEMBER

140th Celebration
Glenella State School
Fb Glenella State School
4.30pm / Free / Family

Practically Perfect – The Music of Julie Andrews
MECC
www.themecc.com.au
11.00am / $13.50-$15 / Family

Jack-O’-Lantern Parade
Ron Searle Park
Fb Orchard Heights Homeowner’s Association
5.30pm / Free / Family


SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER

Santa Arrival Show
Caneland Central
www.canelandcentral.com.au
9.00am / Free / Family

Santa Photos
Runs until 24 December
Caneland Central
www.canelandcentral.com.au
Check Website for times and pricing / Family

The BeachBoyz
Souths Leagues Club Mackay
Fb Souths Leagues Club Mackay
8.00pm / $35-$45 / Family


SUNDAY 3 NOVEMBER

Car Boot Sale and Free Community Breakfast
Flourish Mackay
Fb Flourish Mackay
7.30am / Free / Family

The Highwaymen, Outlaws of Country
MECC
www.themecc.com.au
1.30pm / $28-$60 / Family


TUESDAY 5 NOVEMBER

Melbourne Cup Race Day
Ooralea Racecourse
www.mackaytickets.com.au
10.00am / Check Website / Adults

Melbourne Cup
The Dispensary
Fb The Dispensary Mackay
11.30am / $48.56-$69.66 / Adults

Melbourne Cup
Souths Leagues Club
Fb Souths Leagues Club Mackay
9.00am / Check Website / Family

Melbourne Cup
Harrup Park Country Club
Fb Harrup Park
11.00am / $49 / Adults

Melbourne Cup Luncheon
Magpies Sporting Club Mackay
Fb Magpies Sporting Club Mackay
11.00am / $69-$79 / Adults


FRIDAY 8 NOVEMBER

Airlie Beach Festival of Music
Whitsunday Sailing Club
www.airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au
9.30pm / Check Website / 18+ Yrs

Birth Information Night
Lanai Riverside Apartments
Fb Ignite Your Glow Hypnobirthing
5.30pm / Free / Family

Dogs on Parade at RSTM
Greater Whitsunday Farmers’ Market
Fb Greater Whitsundays Farmers’ Market
5.00pm / Check Website / Family

Norfair 2019
St Joseph’s Church North Mackay
Fb St Joseph’s Church North Mackay
5.00pm / Free / Family

Brittany Elise, Something Else Tour
MECC North Foyer
www.themecc.com.au
7.30pm / $25-$35 / Family


SATURDAY 9 NOVEMBER

Christmas Fair
Victoria Park State School
Fb Victoria Park State School – P&C Association
5.00pm / Free / Family


THURSDAY 14 NOVEMBER

Fitzgerald Spectacular Concert
MECC Auditorium
www.themecc.com.au
6.00pm / Check Website / Family


FRIDAY 15 NOVEMBER

Twilight Christmas Markets
St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School
www.sfxmrok.catholic.edu.au
5.00pm / Free / Family

Share the Dignity – Donate a pre-loved bag with toiletries
Caneland Central
www.canelandcentral.com.au
Daily / Free / Family


SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER

St Patrick’s Fair
River St, Mackay
4957 6767
6.00pm / Free / Family

Kids TRY-Triathlon
Bluewater Lagoon
www.tri-activ8.com.au
8.00am / $10 / Family

Showcase Gala 2019
MECC Auditorium
www.themecc.com.au
6.00pm / $18-$43 / Family


TUESDAY 19 NOVEMBER

Keeping Baby Cool, Travelling & Socialising
Mackay Women’s Centre
Fb Mackay Group Australian Breastfeeding Association
10.00am / Free / Family


THURSDAY 21 NOVEMBER

Mumlife Community Meet
Kidz Life Play Centre
Fb Mumlife Stickers
10.00am / $4-$5 / Family


FRIDAY 22 NOVEMBER

Dance, Dance, Dance 2019
MECC Auditorium
www.themecc.com.au
6.00pm / $27-$44 / Family

Ruthless, The Musical Comedy
Ocean International
Fb Mackay Musical Comedy Players Inc.
7.00pm / $60 / Adults


SATURDAY 23 NOVEMBER

Mackay Woodturners Christmas
Runs until 24 November
Snow Wright Court
Fb Mackay Woodturners Club
9.00am / Free / Family


SUNDAY 24 NOVEMBER

Kids Afternoon at the Movies
Souths Leagues Club Mackay
Fb Souths Leagues Club Mackay
3.00pm / Free / Family

Sensitive Santa Photos
Caneland Central
www.canelandcentral.com.au
8.00am / Check Website / Family

Abundance Day: Pumpkin Feast
Whitsunday Organic Community Gardens
www.whitsundayocg.org.au
10.00am / Free / Family

Let’s Dance 2019
MECC Auditorium
www.themecc.com.au
10.00am and 2.30pm / Check Website / Family


FRIDAY 29 NOVEMBER

The Beggars Christmas Favourites
MECC
www.themecc.com.au
11.00am / $13.50-15 / Family


SATURDAY 30 NOVEMBER

Breakfast with Santa
Mount Pleasant Centre
www.mountpleasantcentre.com.au
8.30am / $5 / Family

Dynamite Dancing 2019
MECC Auditorium
Fb Roby Rogers School of Dancing
6.00pm / Check Website / Family


SUNDAY 1 DECEMBER

Kasey Chambers – The Captain 20th Anniversary Tour
MECC Plenary Halls
www.themecc.com.au
7.30pm / $52-$72.65 / Family

It’s Showtime 2019
MECC Auditorium
www.themecc.com.au
10.00am and 3.00pm / Check Website / Family

All About The Gut Workshop
Souths Leagues Club Mackay
Fb Souths Leagues Club Mackay
9.00am / $30 / Adults


TUESDAY 3 DECEMBER

Souths Christmas Kids Toys & Hamper Giveaway
Souths Leagues Club Mackay
www.southsmackay.com.au
6.00pm / Free / Family


FRIDAY 6 DECEMBER

Loose Ends – International Day for People with a Disability
MECC North Foyer
www.themecc.com.au
6.30pm / Check Website / Family


SATURDAY 7 DECEMBER

4MK’s Carols in the City
Bluewater Quay
www.4mk.com.au
3.00pm / Free / Family

Shop & Drop Childminding Service
Caneland Central (Next to Santa)
www.canelandcentral.com.au
10.00am / Free first half hour, $5/30min after / Family

Hollywood’s Walk of Fame
MECC Auditorium
www.themecc.com.au
2.00pm and 7.30pm / $15-$44 / Family


SUNDAY 8 DECEMBER

Breakfast with Santa
Whitsunday Plaza
www.whitsundayplaza.com.au
8.30am / $5 / Family


MONDAY 9 DECEMBER

That’s Entertainment 2019
Runs until 10 December
MECC Auditorium
www.themecc.com.au
6.30pm / $18-$45 / Family


THURSDAY 12 DECEMBER

Tummy Time Class
Move and Play Paediatric Therapy
Fb Move and Play Paediatric Therapy
9.15am / Check Facebook / 0-6 Months


SATURDAY 14 DECEMBER

Legoland Day
Souths Leagues Club
www.southsmackay.com.au
9.00am / $2 / Family

The Handmade Expo Market Mackay
PCYC Mackay
Fb The Handmade Expo NQ
9.00am / Free / Family


TUESDAY 17 DECEMBER

Weaning, Breastfeeding & Fertility
Mackay Women’s Centre
Fb Mackay Group Australian Breastfeeding Association
10.00am / $2 / Family


WEDNESDAY 18 DECEMBER

Stable on the Strand
Runs until 22 December
The Strand, Townsville
www.stableonthestrand.com.au
5.30pm / Free / Family


FRIDAY 20 DECEMBER

Farm to City Christmas Twilight Market
Greater Whitsunday Farmers’ Market
www.greaterwhitsundayfood.org.au
4.00pm / Free / Family


SATURDAY 21 DECEMBER

Hawaiian Christmas Race Day
Ooralea Racecourse
www.mackaytickets.com.au
11.00am / $5-60 / Family


WEDNESDAY 25 DECEMBER

Christmas Lunch
Magpies Sporting Club
www.magpiesmackay.com.au
12.00pm / $59.99-109.99 / Family


SUNDAY 29 DECEMBER

Kids Afternoon at the Movies
Souths Leagues Club Mackay
Fb Souths Leagues Club Mackay
3.00pm / Free / Family


TUESDAY 31 DECEMBER

1920s New Years Eve Party
Hotel Mackay
Fb Hotel Mackay
8.30pm / Free / Family

New Year’s Eve Celebration
Bluewater Quay
www.themecc.com.au
6.00pm / Free / Family

10 TOYS FOR FINE MOTOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

10 TOYS FOR FINE MOTOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

Fine motor skills involve the use of the smaller muscles in the hands. Developing these skills is crucial because these muscles are used for everyday tasks you probably don’t even stop and think of.

Dressing, eating and keeping up with personal hygiene are all easy tasks, thanks to your fine motor skills. They are essential for performing everyday tasks, and a child’s self-esteem can suffer if they lack the ability to do so.

We all know that the best way to learn is through play, and there are plenty of toys out there that can help your child develop their fine motor skills. Let’s look at a few.


LEGO Duplo Gentle Giants Petting Zoo1. LEGO Duplo Gentle Giants Petting Zoo

Little dinosaur lovers will LOVE visiting the Gentle Giants Petting Zoo. Young children will build fine motor skills through building and rebuilding the baby dinosaur enclosure. Buy it here.

First Learning Wooden Puzzle

2. First Learning Wooden Puzzle

Ideal for young children learning to recognise shapes, colours and animals. Through fun shapes and bright colours, your little one will learn to match each puzzle piece to its designated spot. Buy it here.

3. Make It Real Block & Rock Charm Bracelets

3. Make It Real Block & Rock Charm Bracelets

Make beautiful bracelets using this kit’s pretty charms, colourful beads and alphabet beads. Your child will develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they create pretty jewellery to their heart’s content. Buy it here.

4. Barbie Fashionistas

4. Barbie Fashionistas

Each Barbie Fashionistas doll has her own look and style, inspired by the latest trends. Dressing the doll will help your child with their fine motor skills. Buy it here.

5. Toot-toot Drivers Racing Rampway

5. Toot-toot Drivers Racing Rampway

Rearrange the tracks to create a dual raceway, stunt track or super raceway. Race your cars through exciting courses with cars designed for little hands. Buy it here.

6. Tooky Toy 50Pcs

6. Tooky Toy 50Pcs

A classic and playroom staple, you can never go wrong with building blocks. This mixture of brightly coloured blocks can be built into anything you can imagine – a house, a castle, a city? It’s all up to you. Buy it here.

7. Play-Doh Letters and Language

7. Play-Doh Letters and Language

Learn all the letters of the alphabet by moulding them with Play-Doh. Included in the set are 26 letter stampers, two double-sided play mats, six tubs of Play-Doh and sculpting tools to introduce your child to the exciting world of reading. Buy it here.

8. Pip & Squeak’s Cheese Stack Game

8. Pip & Squeak’s Cheese Stack Game

Stack, flip and build with these uniquely-shaped wooden cheese wedges in three fun games. Rippled pieces make them easy to grip, ready for stacking. Comes with two wooden mice, 22 wooden cheese wedges and rules for three games. Buy it here.

9. Tooky Toy 5 in 1 Play Cube Centre

9. Tooky Toy 5 in 1 Play Cube Centre

This 5 in 1 Play Cube Centre will provide endless entertainment for your child, including an abacus for counting, labyrinth and maze and much more. Buy it here.

10. Fisher Price Baby’s First Blocks

10. Fisher Price Baby’s First Blocks

These chunky, colourful blocks introduce colours and shapes to your little one. Stack and drop the blocks through the slots in the bucket lid, and carry the bucket for more fun again and again. Buy it here.


You may also like:

15 Ideal Toys for Kids Who Love Building

The Arts, The Key To Developing Great Life Skills

TOP 10 WAYS TO PASS TIME ON A PLANE WITH KIDS

TOP 10 WAYS TO PASS TIME ON A PLANE WITH KIDS

Trying to keep a child sitting in one spot for many hours on end can be quite a nightmare. But on a plane, there’s really no other choice! Here are the top 10 ways to pass time on a plane with kids.


1. Make use of the in-flight entertainment

This one is pretty obvious. If the flight you’re on has in-flight entertainment, make good use of it. They always have family-friendly and kids’ movies, perfect to keep them entertained for an hour or two.

2. Listen to a podcast

There’s a huge variety of podcasts out there, and surprisingly, a fair few for kids too. From educational shows to story-telling sessions, these podcasts encourage your child to explore their imagination.

3. Write a journal

This is a fantastic way to documents your thoughts and feelings on travelling. If your little ones are old enough to write, this is a fun idea for them, too; and they’ll love to look back on it years down the track.

4. Write a letter to yourself in 5 years

Where are you? Who is with you? What are your dreams? This is a fun way that really puts life into perspective a few years down the track.

5. Colour in

Colouring books are just as popular with adults as they are with children nowadays, and once you give it a go you can see why. It’s relaxing, creative, and leaves you with a beautiful piece of art.

6. Write a short story

Encourage the kids to let their imagination run wild. Let the story take place on a plane, or your travel destination; when you’re finished, swap stories and read the others’ creation.

7. Find shapes in the clouds

Look out the window with the kids and see what shapes you can make of the clouds as they drift past. That cloud over there might look like a dog to you, but a lion to your kids. Have some fun with it!

8. Surprise them with a toy

The element of surprise never gets old. Hide a new toy in your bag and present it on the plane.

9. Bring a Workbook

Bring a book full of find-a-words, sudokus, mazes, and other brain-puzzling activities to ensure some quiet time. They may even learn something, too!

10. Bring a sticker book

These are so much fun and come in all sorts of themes, including dress-up, numbers and letters, farm animals, and even holiday scenes.

Long story short, don’t stress too much. There are many ways to pass time on a plane with kids, but sometimes even if you try them all, your child ends up feeling upset. Other passengers are generally pretty understanding if kids become upset during a flight. Kick back, try to relax, and you’ll be at your destination in no-time.