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This is a list of our 2016 incredible family travel experiences. Around the New Year we were super inspired by people’s #bestof2016 favorite things, best experiences, photos and destinations. Now one-quarter way through 2017, the post that started amidst the weeks of Summer school holidays is finished!
This is a family travel blog that we do for ‘fun’, and in our spare time (huh, what’s that?). Folks with kids know that there is never a spare minute. For us, the kids have to come first.
So, this is our 3 months late, list of our #bestof2016 incredible family travel experiences
I toyed with the use of “Best Family Travel Experiences” vs “Incredible Family Travel Experiences”
but kept coming back to “it was incredible”! That is, for our family each one of these was incredible experiences.
This post may contain affiliate links, from which we would earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. More info in my disclaimer.
Our 2016 Incredible Family Travel Experiences
Wave Rock, Hyden, Western Australia
We visited Wave Rock on one of the coldest days of the year. Huge storms and freezing temperatures didn’t diminish awe of this fantastic rock formation in the middle of the Wheatbelt. We didn’t get the sunset pictures we’d hoped nor did we go for a several kilometers walk, but we did love it. Truly one of Western Australia’s icons and one of our incredible family travel experiences! Check out our full post 6 Tips For A Visit To Wave Rock With Kids.
Lake Ballard, Menzies, Western Australia
This place will soon be one of Western Australia’s icons. An art installation in the middle of a salt lake, quite literally in the middle of nowhere. It was muddy, messy, and challenging – and unforgettable. This was one of our Top 9 Things For Kids In Kalgoorlie And The Goldfields.
Thinking about a visit? Check out our tips to visit the Lake Ballard statues.
Ubud Bali Restaurants
We ate exceptionally well for our last week in Bali, going from one culinary delight to the next. After reading Janet O’Neefe’s memoir Fragrant Rice, Casa Luna was definitely on the list. We just love this picture, not of the restaurant itself, nor it’s food, not of the interior; but of our hungry traveling band intent on getting across the road to eat! Here is our review of Best Ubud Restaurants For Families.
For a first-time visitors review of what we did and our perceptions, take a look at How To Travel To Bali With Kids.
Alpaca Farm, Denmark, Western Australia
Our daughter talks about this all the time. She ALWAYS wants to visit again. A truly incredible family travel experience! With baby animals – not just alpacas but baby sheep, rabbits and chicks, and KANGAROOS you can understand why. We have been three times and it’s still on the top of her list. And a happy kid makes us content, so this one has to be on our #bestof2106 list (Yes, it’s an un-edited photo)!
If you are going to focus on just the Denmark area, take a look here 11 Great Things To Do In Denmark With Kids If you have less time to spend, check out our highlights in the South Coast of Western Australia For Kids.
Western Australia’s Wildflowers
Springtime in Western Australia is amazing, as the state’s abundant natural reserves and National Parks burst into color. We ventured south of Perth to do some bush walks to enjoy these gorgeous blooms, only to be kept inside for days at a time with plenty of rain. Still, we didn’t let that stop us and got out for plenty of invigorating walks. Our Best Things To Do In Walpole For Kids includes some walks in this area.
Araluen Tulip Festival, Perth Western Australia
Mumma traveler’s grandmother always talked about Araluen, but we had never gone there. Perhaps the most wonderful aspect of Mumma rediscovering her love of photography during 2016 has been the desire to go and photograph everything! So glad we made the trip out to the Araluen Botanic Garden to see the tulips blooming in celebration of spring! Araluen was an incredible family travel experience while being extremely beautiful as well. Check out our Top Tips For A Visit To The Araluen Tulip Festival.
Up Close With Elephants In Bali
We consider ourselves ethical travelers, so we checked out the story of The Elephant Safari Park Lodge and liked the fact that they were rescued Elephants. It was an experience that surpassed all expectations, from bathing the elephants to dining under the stars with them feeding nearby. Since then, we’ve read on social media that elephants shouldn’t be ridden which has somewhat tainted Mumma’s memories of the experience. Like with everything in life, we genuinely didn’t know! Now that we are better informed we will make our decisions accordingly!
Given that social media can impact people we were also unsure whether we should include this on our #bestof2016 experiences. However, given it is currently the reason that Little Miss wants to be an “Elephant Vet” when she grows up, we think that it was an incredible family travel experience and should be included. For more information on where we recommend staying in Bali read The Best Bali Family Hotels.
Rice Terraces Of Bali
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces were a late addition to our itinerary. We vaguely looked on the map on the day and thought it would be a good idea. It was a lot of driving to get there but it was truly stunning! We thought that it was a World Heritage site when we were visiting (due to the signage) but the internet seems to say it is not! Wikipedia says “Once a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site candidate, Jatiluwih rice terraces comprises over 600Ha of rice fields. These are well-maintained by a traditional water management cooperative is known as ‘subak’, which dates back to the 9th century.”
The Swimming Pools Of Bali
This picture makes this list because the pools of Bali were an absolute highlight for the whole family. Did you know that 85% of Australians choose their holiday destination partially because of what the pictures will look like on social media?
Well, we chose to visit Jungle Fish due to Instagram pictures! Jungle Fish is an open-air restaurant and pool bar perched on the side of a ridge overlooking the Osh River Valley. Jungle Fish is located 10 minutes north of Ubud. It is part of the Chapung Se Bali Resort & Spa, a luxury resort known for its airy, designer, private pool villas.
Our hotels were NOT inspired by Instagram, but many of them were Insta-worthy. Take a look at our list of the Best Bali Family Hotels.
Visiting a Shipwreck, Mandalay Beach, Walpole Western Australia
We had little time left in Walpole and had heard that the wreck of the Mandalay is revealed after storms, only about once in a decade. Mumma headed off by herself with the kids in the late afternoon. For those that don’t know this area, it is an isolated area and there are few people. As she reached the end of the gravel road leading to this beach, the storm clouds began to roll in, and she wondered at the wisdom of the expedition. Her reward: stunning skies, an empty beach, and crashing waves.
Pounding surf meant it was hard to see the shipwreck of the Mandalay, the Norwegian barque which beached on the south coast of Western Australia by the captain in treacherous conditions in 1911 some 108 years ago. This was a pretty cool place to visit, but especially with a storm rolling in.
Our Things To Do In Walpole Western Australia For Kids includes this beach.
Enjoy Our Best Of 2016 Incredible Family Travel Experiences?
We would love to hear your thoughts, comments or questions about these incredible family travel experiences. We are also always happy to provide any ideas on how to visit these places, based on our experiences.
Who We Are
We are a family of 4 –1 born in Nicaragua, 1 in Peru, and 2 in Australia. We believe adventure can be found globally, and locally. You can read more about us here.
In October 2016 our Instagram account was selected by Eric Stoen, of Travel Babbo, as one of the 25 Best Family Travel Accounts in the world. Read about our inclusion in the 25 Best Family Travel Instagram Accounts.