There are so many creative, wonderful ways for families to enjoy Winter across the Illawarra! Parents Guide Illawarra have collated free and cost effective 'family QT' ideas - so your family can enjoy the changing of the seasons together...
Getting out and about creates a sense of family well being and you'll further cultivate your kids appreciation of how just lucky we are to live here...
With the ocean still warm(ish!), the mornings crisp and the slower pace of life regained as the summer tourism and traffic slows, here are ways to make the most of the diverse beauty of the Illawarra in Winter:
1. Loving our escarpment, sunset adventures, night views, star searching and possum spotting!
This is great for younger families whose evening activities can be restricted by earlier bedtimes. The routine slog of dinner, bath, bed can be broken up nicely with this adventure.
After an early dinner, grab your coats and torches and head off to one of these stunning Illawarra vantage points (tip - if your little ones are scared of the dark, dress them in their fave super hero costume for a dose of extra courage!):
As the sun sinks behind the escarpment, watch the first stars appear, find the ubiquitous Southern Cross and search the trees above for possum spotting!
2. Family Bush & Beach Walks
The cooler days of Autumn are great for bush walking.
Illawarra Family Walks - best for under fives
Choose Low tide and wander down the beach between Thirroul and Austinmer (start at either, both have cafe's if you need cafe related treat incentives to get little ones walking!). Jump the creeks, explore the rock pools and the beautiful mini cliff formations.
Or, Robertson lookout in Wollongong offers wheelchair and pram friendly paths and you'll all be rewarded at the top by stunning views across the Illawarra! Show your little ones where about your house is from the view so they start to develop their sense of perspective.
Illawarra Family Walks - age five plus
Minnamurra Rainforest is stunning and there are two walks, one of which is around 20minutes and is pram friendly or if you are feeling energised then hike on to the viewing platform by the waterfall at the top. The flora and fauna of the rainforest is just beautiful.
Listen out for the large Lyre birds that mimic your sounds and learn more about the ecosystems of this remnant rainforest as it comes to life in front of you. The cafe and shop at the end is a great reward for your hiking efforts. Park fees apply.
Illawarra Family Walks - age 10 plus
Macquarie Pass National Park has two beautiful walks, 2km or 6km for those who fancy a grade five hiking challenge. Check the park websites before you set off as poor weather can limit access
Wodi Wodi Walking Track around Stanwell Park offers a 6.5km trek so allow the majority of the day to tackle those inclines. Pack a picnic as the picnic areas offer stunning vantage points.
3. Get snuggly around a back yard fire pit!
Crack the marshmallows (kids) and mulled wine or your best warming red (parents!) and enjoy some family QT around a peaceful fire in your back yard. Try telling some silly stories and just be drawn in by the warmth. Bunning's sell a range of firepits, some of which has safety lids.
4. Get planting - watch your kids delight in growing their own herbs and veggies this Autumn and maybe it will inspire them to eat more of them too!
These plants and herbs can still produce well in Autumn if you pick a sunny spot and remember to water frequently:
- Bok Choy
That wraps up our Autumn inspiration for now, enjoy the cooler nights, fresh mornings and bright blue skies so typical of Autumn in our stunning Illawarra!