First family holiday with four kids

Two years we have stayed within one state. Two long years. So, when a family member announced a wedding in another state we were thrilled! A reason to leave Victoria!

 

Most Australians know of Gundagai, in part due to the song, Along the road to Gundagai. Others know it as a good halfway spot on the long drive between Melbourne and Sydney. A pit stop in a small country town, that happened to have a statue of a dog on a tuckerbox.

My three kids at the lookout in Gundagai, exhausted after a big day.

It is a beautiful part of Australia, and as soon as we arrived at our accommodation, I wondered why I hadn’t spent more time in that part of the country. Set near the junction of two major rivers, the Tumut and the Murrumbidgee.

 

We found a beautiful farmhouse on Airbnb to stay at, around 25 minutes out of Gundagai, down a long winding road through paddocks and herds of sheep and cattle. This farmhouse was 120 years old, a classic old Australian farmhouse, bullnose veranda, surrounded by gardens, old tyre swing hanging from the gum tree, and two resident Guinea Fowl roaming the fields.

 

Tarrabranda Fishing Retreat, not just for those who like to fish!

We were invited to explore the property as much as we wanted, so we wandered down the dirt track towards the river, searching for a good place to paddle around for the kids. We came to a lovely little slow spot in the river, shallows, a bit of mud, and the kids stripped down. Nothing like jumping in the river in your jocks to really seize the day. It was such a simple thing, the kids spent a solid hour running backwards and forwards through the mud and then turning themselves into mud monsters. Lewis was not a fan of the cold water, but 3 out of 4 isn’t bad.

The owners of the property were nice enough to let us see a little bit of farm life too, taking us to one of the paddocks to help feed the cows. They drove us down on the back of a ute, such a simple country thing to do, but totally new for the kids. They loved it, especially for our eldest Owen who can be quite cautious sometimes!

The kids helped push a bale of hay off the back of the ute and helped push it down the hill to unwind for the cows.

The cows weren’t too keen on being hand fed, so the kids just watched from a distance. Paige also learnt about watching out for Bathurst Burrs after running through a bush and ending up with a burr in her leg. 

As the house is situated near one of their equipment sheds, the kids got to meet around 8 sheep dogs. They loved meeting them, spending plenty of time patting them and playing with them.

Gundagai has a great local playground on the main street too. I took the kids up to the lookout, but after a solid session at the playground they were only interested in it about 32 seconds before they hit the wall and needed to head home.

The property also featured many rolling hills, one of which we climbed at sunset to enjoy the views. It was incredible. Miles and miles of uninterrupted farmland, dotted with cows and sheep, just nature at its finest.

Owen (8) and Ethan (6) came up the hill with us. Simple things like letting the kids sit on the back of the car with the boot up to drive across the paddock lit the kids up like nothing else. It was beautiful to see!

I can officially say that our next holiday will be at a farm stay. I loved showing the kids a different way of life aside from the suburban life they know. This stay might have only been 4 nights but it has me wanting to move further out into the country (and we already live in a semi-rural location!)

We then capped our holiday off with a 5-night stay at Merimbula. A place we have been a few times before and love. We stay at the NRMA Holiday Park on top of the cliff. Complete with pool and waterslide, art and craft activities and killer views over the cliffs and beach.

The first time we went to Merimbula, Ethan was 4 weeks old and it was the place I worked out I was struggling with Post Natal Anxiety and Depression. The second time we went there I was 33 weeks pregnant with our 3rd baby, and we spent my 33rd birthday there.

Going back to Merimbula with all 4 of our kids was so nice. It felt like an emotional return to show the place how beautiful our family has become. To show myself how far I’ve come since those first days with our second little baby, a shell of a person suffering, to now, with 4 kids, recovered and loving life with our crazy circus.

Looking back at the photos of our first trip to Merimbula, a feeling of sadness just washed over me. I don’t have one photo of myself from that trip. I remember so strongly how hard it was to go to the beach, to go to the pool, to act like I was relaxing on holiday when I was struggling more than I ever had before. 

 

This trip to Merimbula was a world away from that first one. I actually enjoyed this trip. I made sure to slow down and go for a swim without a timer on it, I splashed around on the beach and had fun with the kids. But most importantly I felt like I could breathe on this trip.

This part of our holiday was more just to spend a few days in the pool and relax. We didn’t do any sightseeing; we didn’t go to magic mountain, we didn’t drive out to Bega, or Eden. We just relaxed. The kids loved scootering around the caravan park and swimming and playing at the water slide. We did enjoy dinner out one night. It’s been so long since we went out for dinner, we weren’t sure how the kids would go with it. We loaded up on colouring books, reading books and prayed the kids would behave and thankfully they did well.

 

This was the holiday we needed after the last few years. Doing something new, but easy going, slow paced, laid back. The perfect holiday for us. I know this kind of holiday isn’t for everyone but for us, for now, this was perfect.

I will be sharing more about our trip including things that made our lives easier, that helped us pack, and helped us get through those long drives with four kids in the car.  So keep your eyes open!

Kate Made It

I am the coffee-loving, crocheting Mum of Kate Made It. I am a stay at home Mum to 4 mini-humans, and I crochet every day to save my sanity and give me purpose outside of being a Mum. If I can spend all my days fondling yarn, then I will be happy! I hope you find something here to treat yourself with, either yarn, an accessory, or a pattern. Happy Hooking and Yarn Fondling!

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