Plenty of fam­ily play on leisurely get­away

Central and North Burnett Times - - EXPLORE - The writer and his fam­ily were guests of Novo­tel Ho­tels.

Time is no is­sue when granted a 5pm check­out, as Greg Dawkins dis­cov­ers

SOME­TIMES you just need to get out of the house.

It had been a while since my fam­ily had an op­por­tu­nity for a hol­i­day, a weekend get­away, or even just a day trip.

But with a young fam­ily (two un­der fives) you want to avoid long dis­tances and the on­set of “are we there yet?” syn­drome. Rest­less ras­cals are enough to negate any sort of break.

Bris­bane is a one-hour drive for us and there’s plenty of spots I have been keen to take the kids, but do we take a day trip or stay the night?

Ei­ther it is a very long day to cram ev­ery­thing in and then turn for home or a night’s stay can be some­what wasted when you are on the streets by noon.

When of­fered a weekend get­away at the Novo­tel Bris­bane with late check­out (5pm on Sun­days), I knew it would be the ideal trip for us.

The late check­out al­lows you to make the most of your weekend – a good night’s rest, Sun­day break­fast at leisure, more time to ex­plore and then still the op­por­tu­nity to freshen up be­fore the trip home.

One thing that I love when we do get to stay in a ho­tel is my son’s re­ac­tion to his new sur­round­ings – want­ing to ex­plore the room, try out his new bed and of course check what TV chan­nels the room has. Our room was big enough for our fam­ily, and for larger fam­i­lies there is the op­tion to get a sec­ond room at 50% off as part of Novo­tel’s fam­ily-friendly fo­cus.

We checked in and en­joyed ex­plor­ing the ho­tel and had a quick swim in the pool. We walked down to Bris­bane’s Queen Street Mall to take in a movie (The Mup­pets Most Wanted) and checked out the shops.

Af­ter a fun af­ter­noon we re­turned to the ho­tel for din­ner. I liked that we could get a kid-friendly menu – with var­i­ous op­tions – and not have to ven­ture too far away for our tir­ing munchkins to find a nu­tri­tious meal. Nuggets and chips fans, they tuck into the grilled chicken strips and chips. It’s just nice for mum and dad to not have to worry about the oil-drip­ping, fat-soaked chicken and chips that you of­ten get when you try to grab some­thing quick when on hol­i­days.

We were also able to both en­joy a lovely “adult meal” and wine with great ser­vice and then re­tire to our room.

Sun­day morn­ing started back down in the ho­tel restau­rant for a great break­fast – we are again treated to a lot of de­li­cious and nu­tri­tious op­tions for both the kids’ and adults’ taste­buds.

We then set off to spend most of our day at South Bank, which is within walk­ing dis­tance of the Novo­tel, even for the kids. The Wheel of Bris­bane gave us a great view of the city and what kid doesn’t love a big fer­ris wheel.

An­other high­light for our kids was the di­nosaur dis­play at the Queens­land Mu­seum.

But you know it is of­ten the things us adults might take for granted that the kids most love, like a ride on the Ci­tyCat or just ex­plor­ing new sur­round­ings.

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