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Nothing strikes panic into a parent’s heart than the words ‘winter school holidays’. While we’re (half) kidding, finding a way to fill the days when beach trips and pool days aren’t an option can be pretty challenging. Luckily, haven has done the hard work for you! Here are three pre-planned day trips around south east Queensland and northern New South Wales – try them in one day, or spread them across the weeks, or share them with a friend or babysitter to get the kids out of your hair when you have to work!

Brisbane

Bright and early:
The shady tracks of Mt Coot-tha make for a perfect hike on a sunny day, and with so many starting points to choose from you don’t have to worry about getting up at the crack of dawn to beat the crowds!

When the clock strikes noon:
Brisbane certainly has no shortage of lunch spots, and every suburb has something to offer. After your hike hit up the child-friendly Chapter IV café in Paddington, or head over to Greenslopes’s Monkey Bar Café, which, true to its name, overlooks a popular playground.

In the arvo:
There’s always something on at South Bank. Whether it’s bustling markets filled with foreign food or carefully crafted goodies, or a Sunday session on the green, it really is the place to be. And if the weather’s being kind, you might even fancy a dip at Streets Beach.

Sundowners:
There’s nothing better than sitting down on the grass with a tastebud-tingling takeaway after a jam-packed day. Grab some grub from one of the dozens of restaurants at South Bank before watching the sun as it sets over the city on the other side of the river.

Gold Coast

Bright and early:
Being at the beach in the colder weather doesn’t have to be depressing! Make the most of the Gold Coast’s beautiful beachfront and embark on a group bike ride, or hire a cruiser from a bike rental store. No matter how many times you think you’ve seen the Gold Coast, there’s nothing like exploring from the back of a bike!

When the clock strikes noon:
All that fun will have little tummies famished so check out some of the many child-friendly spots around Surfers Paradise. The Greek Street Grill is known for its amazing kids meals (for amazing value) and they have tons of tempting platters to share – or not!

In the arvo:
If you’re after something a bit weird and very wacky, Ripley’s Believe It or Not has it all. Seriously. Their massive ‘Odditorium’ is filled to the brim with incredible illusions, magic and mystery, games and movies, and life-size figurines of crazy characters that actually lived!

Sundowners:
Make your way back to the beachfront as the sun sets for the Surfer’s Paradise Beachfront Markets. On every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night, the market boasts treats and trinkets from more than 120 stalls, all set to the tunes of the live performers.

Byron

Bright and early:
What better way to start the day than to hike to the most easterly point of Australia, seeing migrating whales and other wildlife as you go? The Byron headland makes for a great morning walk, and if you set your sights on the famous lighthouse you can treat yourself to a coffee or a smoothie at the nearby Lighthouse Café!

When the clock strikes noon:
Grab fish and chips or a mouth-watering burger and settle in on the grass in front of Main Beach. There’s plenty of grass and even a playground to keep energetic kids entertained while you sit back and relax by the beachfront.

In the arvo:
It may be too chilly for a dip in the ocean, but the water will heat up quickly once you get your heart racing with some water sports! Heaps of surfing lessons and sea kayaking tours are on offer around town, making for a super fun way to spend an afternoon.

Sundowners:
Slow things down a bit in the evening when you head back to Main Beach. While there are loads of great restaurants around the area, nothing quite compares to the local talent. Walk off your dinner and enjoy some free entertainment from buskers and fire-eaters, and everything in between.

haven

haven  

haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.