The time has swung around once again. The family holiday. Instead of packing the kids into the back of the car, plying them with electronic games and portable DVD players, avoiding their pleas of stopping here and pausing there (or fielding petulant requests to just take them home already), discard your plans for another cross country/state/town trip and inject a little excitement into their lives. Once we reach a certain age, we stop being adventurous, favouring caution instead, but what if I told you that adventure will bring everybody closer together? No more forced bonding moments or tense discussion about stuff or school or friends you don’t like, actual mutual discovery and affirming moments. Sound fun? Great, keep reading.
|image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid - FreeDigitalPhotos.Net|
The Great Barrier Reef, AustraliaTake a dive Down Under and revel in the beauty of an underwater wonderland, bustling with life and colourful corals. The kids won’t have time to get bored, spoiled for choice with water sports, adventure experiences (swimming with sharks/dolphins/sea turtles anybody) and educational seminars where visitors don’t realise they’re learning. While the younger members amuse themselves and frolic with the fish, take a break on the sand, grab a massage and catch some rays under the Australian sun.
Queenstown, New ZealandWhat? A small island nation in the middle of the ocean, off the east of Australia’s great mass? What could there possibly be you can’t get anywhere else? Everything. Queenstown is not only one of the most trendy little sprawls in the Southern Hemisphere, your kids will be torn between adventure 4WD across the rugged, though stunning landscapes; throwing themselves head first into a gorge or exploring Lord of the Rings sets on horseback. Not enough? Try white water rafting some of the toughest channels or losing the ability to breathe on-board the eponymous jet-sprint boats. Are we there yet will be replaced with, do we have to leave without a sentence to spare.
|image courtesy of Rosemary Ratcliff - FreeDigitalPhotos.Net|
Andalucia, SpainThough there isn’t a 99bikes.com.au depot in sight, you can be assured that the Spanish hills wills tantalising your intrepid spirit with down-hills and cross country tracks, challenging the kids to navigate difficult terrains with their parents, drawing everyone closer together. Mountain biking as a unit is all about communication, stamina and recognising the limitations of your weakest rider, helping everyone get better by the end, or at least more comfortable in accepting the advice of other around them. If you’re worried the kids will leave you behind as they soar down the declining sections and swoop over the gentle valleys, maybe it’s a good idea to enrol everybody into a class to learn the rudiments of local mountain biking. Give yourself a fighting chance, even if they have youth on their side; at night, enjoy the fine cuisine and fresh wines of the balmy climate, never failing to amaze or relax.
Escaping an ordinary world with the kids in tow doesn’t need to be a hassle; though you might want to police their expectations before you leave, particularly regarding how much you’re willing to spend. Adventure doesn’t need to come with an exorbitant price tag.