My friend and I were recently discussing the downside of living in, what we call paradise. Sounds a little bit like an oxymoron doesn’t just? You see, we were both city slickers (both from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney) and both now live in a semi rural area just outside of Byron Bay. Our first children were both born in Bondi and we now had/having our third here…
The biggest difference and challenge with semi rural living compared to city living is the amount of time we now spend in our cars. Pre and post pregnancy I would walk everywhere. To yoga, to swimming, to a café for a coffee… My morning walks post birth with Miss M could easily be 10-20km a day up and down the hills of Bondi. Here we need to drive everywhere. Our lifestyles have changed. We are used to bulk shopping and the fact we have acres of land means the kids no longer nag us to go out.
As a result, you can easily find that your fitness levels decrease and that you don’t go out or do as much ‘activity wise’ as what you would have previously done both as an individual and as a mother in the city.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it here and there are so many positives that come with living here. It’s just that if you are not careful you could easily get stuck in a rut or isolate yourself without even trying to. Facebook memories also like to remind me of all the fun and unusual activities I did with Miss M in and around both Sydney and Melbourne.
For example, when Miss M was little one thing we did on a regular basis was walk to the local Rose Bay Ferry stop. We’d catch the Ferry into Circular Quay and then catch the next ferry across to Taronga Zoo. We’d spend the morning at the chimps & elephant’s enclosures before having lunch and catching the boats home.
After sitting with it I’ve decided it’s time I make a list of all the things around the local area that I keep saying we (our little family) should do one day but we never get around to doing.
Maybe I’ll do them with the family or maybe with the other mama’s in the same situation as I. Either way, it’s time to venture out a bit more. Let’s see what our gorgeous local area has to offer mama’s and their young preschool aged kids.
So I will be creating a “NSW Northern Rivers Family Fun Bucket List”. here are the first 6 things that immediately come to mind.
I will continue to add to this list over time and use it as a checklist. If you have any suggestions please feel free to share them with me by commenting below.
Info: 6 acres of family attractions, Café, Nut Bar, Retail store, Animal Park with over 150 Native and Farmyard Animals, Birds and Reptiles, 18 Hole Mini Golf, educational talks.
Address: 419 Hinterland Way, Knockrow NSW 2479
Hours: Open: 7 days (8am -5pm)
Phone: (02) 6687 8432
Tropical Fruit World
Info: Plantation Safari, Plantation Pavilion and park safari, fruit tasting, Fauna park, Wildlife Boat Cruise, Island recreation area and playground, miniature train, fruit market, gift market, Café.
Address: 29 Duranbah Rd, Duranbah NSW 2487
Open: 7 days (10am -4pm)
Phone: (02) 6677 7222
Info: 5 hectares of botanical Shambhala Gardens and rainforests, rare and amazing crystals, Children’s playground with free face painting on weekend & school holidays
Address: 81 Monet Drive, Mullumbimby
Phone: (02) 6684 3111
Open: 7 days (10am -5pm)
Byron Bay Lighthouse Walk
Info: Approx.: 4km hike through rainforest and across cliff tops with stunning views of the ocean and hinterland. Cape Byron lighthouse (22m high – constructed in 1901), Lighthouse café (Open: 7 days (8am -6pm)
Address: Cape Byron State Conservation Area
Byron Community Centre and Byron Theatre
Info: Amphitheatre style auditorium with 260 tiered seating, air- conditioning, a cinema-size screen and state-of-the-art audiovisual facilities. Theatre shows include, Children, Comedy, Ballet, Circus, Films, Dance, Discussions, Magicians, Performances etc.
Address: 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Phone: (02) 6685 6807
Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Info: The Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre situated on 125 hectares of beautiful bushland bordering the Tweed River at Tweed Heads South. Aboriginal tour guides offer tours through the museum and site, telling you about its relics, plants and animals. BBQ & picnic and toilet facilities available.
Address: Kirkwood Road, Tweed Heads South NSW 2486
Phone: (07) 5524 2109
Open 10am-3pm Monday to Thursday
Not sure what to do with your kids this school holidays? Why not check out our List of School Holiday Programs in the Byron Bay area