Most of the activities at Treetops quite literally take place among the treetops in the Ourimbah State Forest. Not only is there a giant obstacle course with flying foxes, cargo nets, Tarzan swings, tightropes, suspended rafts, trapezes and twisted ladders, thereís also the Crazy Rider rollercoaster zip lines, which are the longest of their kind in the world.
While kids as young as three can participate in the activities, they canít do everything as some of the obstacles have height restrictions. Kids under fifteen must also be supervised by an adult. Prices start at $28 for three to nine year olds and $38 for ten to fifteen year olds. Additional costs are involved to ride the Crazy Riders. Sessions run for two to three hours and will have kids exhausted by the time their session is over. Thereís also a Treetops Park in Minmi near Newcastle.
Younger kids will love to explore the grass mazes in the park before moving on to see the farm animals and the bird sanctuary. Kids can pat bunnies, sheep and goats, and groom the ponies. They can also ride in a horse and cart, play in the playground, play giant board games and ride bikes on the track.
You can purchase lunch at the on-site cafe or bring a picnic. Itís located in the Wyong Creek area and open for some of December and most of January. Entry is free for children under three, $12 for three to sixteen year olds and a family pass is $50.
Thereís plenty to do in Glenworth (located in the Central Coast hinterland) including horse riding, quad biking, kayaking, abseiling, stand up paddle boarding and even laser skirmish. You can even camp there if you want to or rent a cabin. Age limits and prices for activities vary but horse rides start at $90 and $55 for guided pony rides for kids aged three to ten years old. If you book multiple activities youíll receive discounts.
There are also school holiday workshops held there for older kids, for all of the activities.
This bushwalk is more fun than the usual hike because youíre walking down instead of up for the first half, and because thereís a number of lovely waterfalls to see at the end, all along Floods Creek. The falls are located in the Brisbane Water National Park near Gosford, and the best time to visit is the day after thereís been rain so that there will be plenty of water splashing down the rocks. However, donít go when itís raining because the path down to the falls is steep and it will be slippery!
Kids over seven will be fine to walk on their own but younger kids may need some help, and toddlers and babies would have to be carried or worn. Once you reach the bottom, kids can paddle in the water. If you start at the top at the picnic area the walk should take 20-30 minutes each way. The only thing you might need to pay for is parking and entry fees, depending on how you enter the park.
This is a really special outdoor space on the Coast (in Kariong) for families, with twelve different types of gardens to explore, sculptures, a small waterfall, ducks to feed and on hot days kids can run in the water fountains. You can eat lunch at the cafe or have a picnic or barbecue.
If you have kids nine and older though theyíll want to ride on the segways around the gardens, so they can move fast and race one another as they go. Segway Mount Penang runs the rides which are open on weekends and public holidays from 10 to 3pm. Instructors supervise everyone so kids are kept safe as they ride. Prices start from $50 for a 30 minute ride.
The gardens at Mount Annan take a little longer to drive to than the other parks above (about an hour and a half from Gosford, heading towards Sydney) but they cater to children really well, running lots of different workshops during the school holidays such as an under fiveís bush playgroup, and gardening, science, craft and animal workshops for older kids to get up close with nature. These sessions usually require a small fee to be paid, and these vary, but entry to the gardens is free is you are accompanying your kids.
Thereís also a playground and a bike track, and little ones will love wandering all over the gardens to smell the flowers that are blooming in the warm months of the year. Itís open every day from 8am to 5pm and hours are extended in summer.