We took the Aussie Edition of the Getting Lost Game to explore New South Wales and found camel rides along the sand dunes, swimming pools with sharks and rays, snakes to pet, campgrounds with waterslides and mini golf and wild wallabies. What a country to get lost in!
We took the Aussie Edition of the Getting Lost Game, 3 kids (aged 5 – 9) and two parents in need of a break to see just what we’d find in New South Wales without any plans. We were expecting great things but I’m not sure even we expected camel rides along the sand dunes, campgrounds with waterslides and mini golf, swimming pools with sharks and rays, snakes to pet and wild wallabies. What a country to get lost in!
We allocated two full days in our travel plans to just get lost playing the Aussie Edition of the Getting Lost Game and discover random things rather than plan our adventures. We started out in suburban Newcastle. After we followed a blue car for a while, then turned left and right, we pulled the “head to the highest point you can see” card.
Well, what is higher than a lighthouse! So, we headed to Nobbys Beach. The kids were so excited to see a ‘real-life’ lighthouse. It was an easy walk from the carpark up to the lighthouse with the most incredible views out over the ocean and the kid’s fav part, you could actually see the lamp inside the lighthouse.
On the way back to the car, we even saw a locus, which for the Australians in our group was not that exciting, but for us Kiwi’s, it was fascinating.
We hit the road again and one thing we found with playing the game in Aussie vs New Zealand, is the distance you can cover with just a few cards! We were heading north, and let the cards take us pretty far as we had the whole day to explore (an alternative if you don’t want to go so far is to set a time limit for each card).
We ended up in Anna Bay, on the most beautiful beach with the craziest activity right in front of us. Camel riding. Yup, actual camels. We were beyond excited and had to give it a go. Thankfully, being a weekday and during school term there was space for us to hop straight on.
This was incredible. These huge gentle animals were so sweet and friendly. We learnt that Australia has the largest population of camels in the world!! Who knew!
After a magical ride along the dunes and through the shoreline water, It was time to head to some accomodation for the night. We followed a white car to the next bay over and stopped at the amazing campground at One Mile Beach.
We got a cabin to fit all of us, and the kids were super stocked to see there was a pool with a water slide, huge jumping pillow, mini golf and even a pet cockatoo named George. As we settled in for the night, all of us were fast becoming accustom to all the amazingness Australia has to offer.
The next morning we packed up, had one more swim in the pool and jumped in the car for a full day of getting lost. We had to make our way back south to be in Woy Woy for dinner, so we had a general direction to head in, but we had the whole day to get there.
After a few directional cards and a flip of a coin we got the “stop for a treat” card. Convenient that this had made it to the top so soon, thanks to the kids drawing the cards. We seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, tree lined fields on either side of us, when we saw a sign for a Shark and Ray rescue centre. Perfect, although probably not the chocolatey treat the kids were thinking.
What we didn’t know is that we had just found the most incredible place, in what felt like someone’s backyard, down a long long driveway, away from any other house or building. We were welcomed in by the friendly staff who took us straight in, told us to roll up our sleeves and pant legs, and hop in the big paddling pool like tanks with the sharks and rays!
After a full safety briefing, we were given some shark food and long sticks with pegs on the ends, and then were left to it. Fair to say I did not get in the water, but the kids and Chris sure did! They had rays swimming over their feet and were patting sharks as they swam past. It was incredible.
We were then ushered into the next section, a butterfly house and underwater café, where the rays we were just feeding were now above us. They made us gourmet hotdogs (all included in the tickets) and then brought out a selection of small snakes for us to hold. I can’t express how this was the best mix of both bizarre and amazing, and just when we thought the rays, sharks, butterflies and snakes were it, our morning was topped off with news of an Avery with turtles!
With our minds slightly confused by what we just experienced, and our tummies full of the best hot dogs I’ve ever had, we jumped back in the car.
We wound our way through the small rural towns just inland from the amazing beaches of yesterday where we found that even ‘turn right’ was pretty hard when we were on long country roads, so we put a minute timer on each card, before the next one was pulled.
We ended up in a little town called Tomago. Among all the farmhouses and windmills we found this amazing old chapel that dates back to the 1860s. We all came up with what we think it was used for over 160 years ago. While weddings and funerals were a common thought, the kids thought it fit better in the books of fairytales, maybe the house of little red riding hoods Grandma, or the Hansel and Gretel candy house.
Following the cards instructions, we got on the M1 freeway and took the third exit. Here we found ourselves in the beautiful lakeside suburb of Toronto. We stopped for a swing on the playground and a quick drink before continuing south.
We pulled the turn left card, so took the next exit off the freeway, which tuned out to be this random road with a big power station on. This alone was cool to see, but as we spun the car around to get back on the M1, we saw a wallaby on the side of the road. An actual, wild wallaby. Absolute highlight for all of us.
After stopping at a lookout to take a pic, we headed off to find a signposted natural attraction and ended up at the Australian reptile park.
Here we got to pat kangaroos, koalas, echidna, and snakes. They had a huge playground for the kids to burn off some steam, a café for us to grab some food and the shows they had in each enclosure were amazing.
The perfect place to end our day of exploring and our two days of Getting Lost in Australia.
This Getting Lost post is written by our wonderful Jo McDermott – Getting Lost Operations Manager (and also the best sister ever!)