Kidspot’s Top 50- Blog Your Way To Dunk Island

by Lori Dwyer on August 22, 2010 · 13 comments


You may recall me blowing my own trumpet a week or so ago about the KidSpot Top 50 and the chance to win a holiday to Dunk Island.

Ohhhhh yeah. I my head, I’m already there.

Whatever. Between fantasies that smell of cocktails and suntan lotion, and the fact that it’s halfway through 2010 and we haven’t had a holiday since March 2009, the topic of the Annual Purple House Family Holiday came off the domestic back burner and into the crystal clear blue pool. So to speak.

The residents of the Purple House (that’s us by the way- the Man and I, the Bump and the Chop) generally take our annual vacation in March, when it’s still warm enough to be enjoyable but the teeming school holiday crowds that swarm the coastline have departed back to suburbia. We missed the ’10 vacation due to a (still-kind-of) new baby and rampant disorganisation. (Mine. *Ahem*).

So March 2011, you have been warned. The residents of the Purple house are debunking to a holiday destination near you.

Anyways. The Man and I have been arguing deliberating over what kind of family holiday to take this year.  There are a few basic varieties of family holidays to choose from, as detailed below. I’ve even listed the pros and cons of each, taking into consideration all the necessary.. erm.. considerations. Such as our budget, time constraints, two small children, our budget, my own sanity threshold, and, of course, our budget.

 Tourist attractions: Dorky.

Option one : Camping Holiday.
Pros: Experiencing the great outdoors! Site costs are relatively inexpensive, so we could stay up to two weeks. Somewhat relaxing, provided everything runs to plan.
Cons: Constant vigilance is required, with two toddlers in tow. The outdoors is great, but it may just bite you on the bum with it’s creepy crawlies. Unless you can be bothered setting up your tent again and again and again, (not likely) you’re stuck in the one place.And while site costs are cheap, purchasing allllllll the necessary camping gear will be expensive. Especially if that camping gear ends up rotting in the garage for the next 25 years. (Highly likely).
Verdict: Nuh uh. As they say, camping may be tremendous fun, but it’s not for the faint of heart. And if nothing else, I am most certainly faint of heart.

Option Two: Driving Holiday
Pros: No flying required (I freaking hate flying, have I mentioned that before? Yes, I think I have). If boredom sets in and the natives children get restless, you just move on. And if you happen to run out of funds, you come home. A driving holiday means you get to see lots of different touristy things, and explore the back roads, if you’re adventurously inclined.
Cons: Driving long distances with small children may affect parent’s mental stability. And while in-car DVD players are a God-send, there is only so much PlaySchool one can take. Living in Sydney, your driving options are either north-coastal or south-coastal unless you have really good air conditioning and a tolerance for flies. And while there is theoretically plenty to do on the coastal trails, once you’ve been to every beach and met every koala between Batemans bay and the Sunshine Coast, it all kind of looks the same.
Verdict: Again?! Seriously?

Driving holidays: Coastal.

Option Three: Luxury Holiday
Pros:Ahhh, luxury. Activities for the children. And possibly somewhere we can lock them away for a few hours daycare.Beautiful rooms, beautiful scenery. Pina coladas in the pool. Let’s stop there, shall we?  I have tears coming to my eyes. And Barry Manilow playing in my head.
Cons: Dear Lord in heaven, I would have to fly. In an real actual tin can plane. I’m not sure I’m up for that. There is always a chance of tsunamis, sunburn or death by relaxation. And really, given our current budget, we’d be able to stay all of two and a half days before turning around and (hail Mary full of grace) flying home again.
Verdict: In my wildest dreams.

Option Four: Holidaying at Home.
Pros: Relatively inexpensive. No travel required. Money that’s saved on travel and accommodation can be used to hire a cleaner for a week, do fun things every day, eat out every night and still have some pennies left over.
Cons: The photos will be very boring. And idle hands make the devils work. If you do manage to switch off from your domestic duties (not likely!) life is still there to deal with at the end of the week, but you generally don’t have a tan and that “I’ve just had a change of scenery” attitude to help you cope.
Verdict: It might be fun! But…uh… I’m not sure that counts as a holiday?

Child free holiday? Not impressed, Mum.

Option Five: The Child-Free Holiday
Pros: The kids will love staying with the grandparents for a few days! (Right…? Right!) The Man and I get relax and do adult things. Like sleep. Everything is less expensive without children involved.
Cons: Hold on, wait, I know there has to be some cons here. Ah, that’s right, I’ll miss the kids. Yes. I would miss my little angels like crazy. And explaining to them when they are fifteen why they’re conspicuously absent from that particular batch of holiday photos may be difficult. But not impossible.
Verdict: When do we leave? No, really, I don’t think I could do it. They haven’t pushed me that far. Yet.

So there you have it. Given my paranoid fear of flying and my body’s inability to tolerate Valium, we normally go for Option Two: Driving Holiday. And, yes, we have met every koala between Australia Zoo and Mogo Zoo. Here’s one I prepared earlier. To protect his anonymity, let’s call him Frank.

 Frank the koala- Sleepy.

But I have promised the Man I will try and get over that this year- the fear of flying, not the Valium intolerance or the koala obsession, I stand by those- so our horizons are far broadened. Or something. As the budget allows.

Anyways, the point here is, what do you think, faithful blog readers? Do any of these options sound even remotely appealing? Or should we just say “Stuff it all” and start the new trend of Option Four: Holidaying At Home? Any ingenious options I’ve neglected to put on my list? What do you do for your annual holidays? Is it possible to overcome a fear of flying in just six short months? Do I even want to take that risk? If I am taking that risk, should we leave the kids at home, just in case?

Or am I really just kidding myself, and the residents of the Purple House are destined to take yet another coastal driving holiday, patting koalas and being driven insane by the competing technological wills of the in-car DVD player and GPS?

Obviously, I need some input here.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Koh lanta holiday January 31, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Thank you for sharing these pictures of your vacation.


River August 23, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Lucy and Tenille said what I was thinking. A semi-camping holiday. Find a touristy destination that has cabins for hire and kids activities available. No tent or camping gear necessary and decent shelter from any unfortunate weather. If you can get there by train that's even better. No driving, no flying.


Cate P August 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I don't do camping and I don't particularly like flying either. But if I HAD to fly to Dunk Island… for free… well…


Sarah August 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Drive away from the coast! Blue Mountains is good for bushwalking etc. We're planning on going to Western Plains Zoo in a few weeks, it's like 4hrs drive I think. Otherwise head to Melbourne, it's no longer to drive than the Gold Coast. Or Canberra, lots of touristy things to do there.


Brenda August 23, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I am not a camping person. At all. So there.; )


x0xJ August 23, 2010 at 11:22 am

Pop a tent out in the backyard and make the hubby and kids have a "camp out" whilst mummy has a glass of wine and long hot bubble bath?…


Thea August 23, 2010 at 11:11 am

I love flying.
I hate camping.
Does that help?? hehe


Tenille August 23, 2010 at 9:28 am

I don't camp. I have strict guidelines; if I am required to wear thongs in the shower, it's camping.

My suggestion is to jump on Google Maps, find somewhere within reasonable driving distance that has one of those holiday cabin set-ups, and spend some time there. Or look up a farm-stay in the southern highlands?


Lucy August 23, 2010 at 7:49 am

Is there one of those caravan park type places within a close drive? Comfort campaing in a "chalet"?


The Frantic Mother. August 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I haven't been on a holiday in years. I may just have to take me one. LOL. Wait I have to have the green stuff called money that used to rain on me. Yea no holiday for me. What ever you decide good luck,


lacochran’s evil twin August 23, 2010 at 12:26 am

Any train options?

If you are going to tackle your fear of flying, why not start with a short flight with just the husband and see how it goes? Maybe a long romantic weekend while the kids visit the grandparents?


Jodie at Mummy Mayhem August 22, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Lori – pardon me, but are you, ah, scratching that poor koala's bum?!

I'm not a huge fan of flying either. A bit better about it these days, but i get it!

Good luck, hon. xxx


Eva Gallant August 22, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I hate to fly, so I would opt for the driving holiday. But then my kids are in their 30s and wouldn't be coming along.


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