Recently Hubby and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary in a very unorthodox way. We decided to go on a family-versary. Yes, you read right. A family-versary (a family wedding anniversary), somewhat similar to the familymoon (family honeymoon) we had last year. Don’t get me wrong Hubby and I would love to have and will hopefully one day have a real honeymoon or wedding anniversary with just the two of us, but with a lack of support around and young kids it makes the whole thing a bit tricky so for now instead of fretting about not celebrating the way everyone else does we just improvise and make different kinds of memories.
So for this family getaway I went to Hubby’s bucket list and picked Yamba. It’s only 1.5hrs drive from the beautiful Byron Bay or 2hr from the Gold Coast. We had been told that it was very family friendly and they weren’t wrong. We decided to stay at the Blue Dolphin Resort. It has 2 swimming pool areas, one with a swim up bar, the other with 2 waterslides. There are also playgrounds, a giant jumping pillow, games room and a tennis court and that’s only the start of it.
The Blue Dolphin Resort was really easy to find. It’s just off the main road that leads you in to the town center, a further 2kms up the road. It also has a Service Station and General Store conveniently located right out front of the Resort and the beautiful Clarence River at the back of the resort.
The drive down was easy as was check in and finding our villa. We chose the Waterfront Spa Villa. Hubby wanted to be near the water and I wanted the spa bath. Picking the villa meant that the kids had their own room (which had 2 sets of bunks in it) and we had our own room (with a double bed-seemed bigger). The additional TV in our room was a nice touch but we never used it. The Villa was a great size and I instantly feel in love with it and didn’t want to leave, but no longer did we arrive we were back out the door exploring what the resort had to offer.
The kids loved the sandy foreshore that was immediately out the front. We could have just stayed there for the rest of the afternoon but we were also eager to see the rest. We wandered around the resort grounds to familiarise ourselves. The pool was calling our name, for hubby and I nothing sounded better than cocktails at the swim up bar but it was getting late and a cool change was coming in so we gave it a miss. We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon at the playground and jumping pillow and the kids couldn’t have been happier.
The next day we woke to a complete weather change. It was cold, wet and miserable. Despite the miserable weather it was still a wonderful day. The soft play room and jumping castle were a huge hit as was the arcade games. The kids were worn out, so we do what we do best and improvise. I had packed our favourite board games and new movies the kids hadn’t seen (always good to have a back up plan and something different other than the games and toys they had packed themselves). After lunch and board games we ended with snuggles (on one of the comfiest lounges I have ever sat on) under a blanket watching kid’s movies.
The next morning we went exploring around Yamba. Had brunch at a café, explored the town itself and went and saw the lighthouse. Back at the resort it was game on. We hired the go karts and cruised around the resort in them for a while and then ended the day with a couple of games of air hockey. There was never a dull moment. When we weren’t out and about we were relaxing in the villa. The kids were content as were we, even if it was the pool and water activities that drew us there in the first place, there was still so much to do.
The last day was much the same, cold and wet. I had collected and read brochures on the local area the night before and stumbled upon the Yamba Bowling Club. I was so glad I did. We had a ball there. Tenpin bowling, a rock-climbing wall, a small indoor play area and arcade games. By the time we were done there we were all ready to head back to the Villa for a quiet afternoon much the same as the last one with board games and movies.
We had a great time away. Was it the most amazing wedding anniversary? No not really, but we did make memories and have some fun and we will certainly go back to try the things that drew us to the resort in the first place like the pool, the swim up bar and the kayaks when it gets a bit warmer.
It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. It’s not what you see, it’s how you look at it. It’s not how your life is, it’s how you live it. – Unknown
For those of you who are heading to Yamba or Blue Dolphin Resort here are a few tips you might find helpful:
- Thai Payu – Great Thai. We got take away from there twice in the four days we were there. The Yamba Special (No. 37) and BBQ Chicken (No.35) were our favourite.
- Thai Payu Restaurant (Home delivery, Take away, BYO) – 3/18 Coldstream St, Yamba (02) 6646 9156
- Leche Café (27 Coldstream St, Yamba NSW 2464) – Amazing café, delicious food and great coffee. We found this on the last day in Yamba. I’m sure if we found it on the first day we would have gone every day. It also has a cute little courtyard out back perfect for families.
- Caperberry Café (25 Yamba Street, Yamba, NSW, 2464) – Oh my goodness their burgers are massive. Caperberry Cafe have a kids menu and an all day breakfast and are well priced. We had a hiccup with our order which meant it was very delayed but the food was great and they were nice people.
- Medical Centre – Our little girl was sick towards the end of our getaway and so we needed to find a medical centre. Family Practice at Yamba (2 Providence Crt, Yamba. 02 6646 1800) is where we went.
- Things to do in Yamba – If you wanted to leave the resort to go exploring the local area there is so much on offer:
- Clarance River Ferries (0408 664 556) (From Yamba to Iluka – return)
- Bowlo Leisure Centre – Soft play area, Mini Golf, Traverse Climbing wall, Ten Bin Bowling
- Yamba Cinema – 13 Coldstream St, Yamba
- ‘Salty Cove’ Waterpark @ Big 4 Saltwater Yamba Holiday Park (Suitable for 3yr old up). Open to those not staying in the park in non-school holiday periods.
- SUPYamba – Hire Stand Up Paddleboards (02 6646 3465)
- Yamba Kayaks – Kayak Tours on the Clarence River. (02) 6646 1137
- Yamba – Angourie Surf School – (02 6646 1496)
- Wifi at Blue Dolphin Resort – The resort gave us an 8hr wifi credit when we arrived. I am not sure if it was bad weather but the wifi didn’t work for us initially and when we went back to try the next day it had expired. We ended up hot spotting from our phones but did see you can purchase additional wifi whilst staying there. $10 for 8hrs, $20 for 24hrs & $50 for a week.
- Hiring Equipment at Blue Dolphin Resort – In case you are wondering the Go Karts are $15pp for 45min hire. Bikes are $10 for ½ day and $20 for a full day. Tinny (boat) hire $65 for 2hrs, $95 for 4hrs & $125 for 7hrs (9am-4pm). Single kayak hire $20 for 3/4hr or $25 for 3/4hr Double.
- Facilities at Blue Dolphin Resort – Although we didn’t use all the facilities on offer at the Blue Dolphin Resort (our villa had everything we needed). There are no issues with the shared facilities at Blue Dolphin Resort their showers, toilets, washing machine and dyers and BBQ areas were all available and in good order.
- Accommodation Styles – Blue Dolphin Resort cater for everyone’s accommodation needs from unpowered sites, to ensuite sites, to cabin and villas. For an idea of the accommodation types and location of sites click here.