Switch out your Easter holiday plans with these at-home alternatives.
With all non-essential excursions on hold until further notice, Easter activities around the country have been shot to shreds. There will be no annual caravan and trailer pilgrimage down the coast, and campsites around Australia will remain closed to the public on what is one of the biggest weekends for local travel. It’s all a bit surreal.
But, it’s not all doom and gloom. Sure, the road trips and camping weekends may be canned but, never fear, there are plenty of ways to keep yourselves entertained on an at-home holiday. Try reimagining your easter trip with these family-friendly virtual and real-life alternatives.
Instead of: snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef
Tune into SEA LIFE Melbourne‘s Facebook live streams
While you might not be swimming with the creatures of the deep, you can still experience ‘what lies beneath’ through the aquarium’s daily videos. Sit down with the kids for a live Q&A session with lead divers at the aquarium, watch a fish feeding frenzy, or tune in to catch some penguin antics. If kids + time management + self-isolation isn’t an equation that adds up for you, you can always hit play on the live streams at a later stage or attempt some of the free downloadable activities in your own time.
Older kids can have a bit of fun tracking different marine animals living on the Great Barrier Reef on Reef Tracks by Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s not as visual as the live feed at the aquarium, but it’s super cool to see just how far your favourite manta ray can travel in a month, or how much of the great barrier reef the turtles frequent. All the animals’ movements are tracked in real-time, giving you a minute by minute blow of where exactly they are in the ocean. Any aspiring marine biologist will be truly fascinated!
If all else fails, grab some popcorn and put the Pixar classic ‘Finding Nemo’ on the screen. Set on the Great Barrier Reef, the feel-good animation is a fairly good depiction of the marine life you would see if you were really there.
Instead of: camping in The Grampians
Set up camp in your own backyard
For the wee ones, camping’s novelty is all in the tent sleepover. It doesn’t matter where that tent is – the beach, the bush, or your backyard – if they can sleep in it they’ll be stoked.
Make it as cosy as can be by throwing a whole bunch of pillows and doonas in, roast some marshmallows over the fire pit (or the stove if you don’t have one), and spend the night playing board games, just like you would if you were out bush. Sure, pitching a tent in The Grampians is a little more extravagant than setting up in your suburban backyard, but kids get a thrill out of it all the same. If it’s any consolation, at least you don’t have to cart the tent and bedding very far!
Instead of: heading inland to the Aussie Outback
Visit Uluru virtually via Story Spheres
Take the kids to see Australia’s great monolith without having to endure the complaints about the heat, the flies, sore legs, needing the toilet, or being hungry. The Story Spheres website not only gives you a 360-degree view of different spots around the sacred site but, it accompanies them with music, sound, and storytelling in the local tongue. It’s a great way to learn more about the outback and Aboriginal culture.
If you’re looking for some lighter entertainment set in the outback, flick on the TV and log into Stan. It might not quite get you as far as Uluru, but the family-friendly film ‘Red Dog‘ will take you on a cinematic journey through Western Australia’s red-tinged Kimberley region. The film follows the loveable nomad Kelpie – aptly named ‘Red Dog’ – on his adventures through the North West. The kids will absolutely love it.
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Instead of: taking the ferry to Rottnest Island
Take Rottnest’s most popular mode of transport – the bike – on a virtual tour of the island.
Jump onto the Tourism Australia website to go for a cycle on Rottnest Island. Check out Thomson’s Bay, Geordie Bay, the town centre, and the salt flats in 360-degree vision, all from the comfort of your couch. Seeing as you can’t stop and get your quokka selfie or go for a dip as you virtually ride through, challenge the kids to a game of iSpy, or start a quokka spotto tally, for a bit of extra fun.
Instead of: doing the Valley of the Giants treetop walk
Scale the trees in your own backyard
Lower the kids’ screen time and get them playing outdoors just like the good old days. Climbing trees never loses its charm, and the kids are bound to love it. The view from your treetop might be a little different to the view of Denmark and it’s towering trees, but it sure beats having the kids stare at another episode of Bluey. If trees aren’t readily available in the backyard, set up your very own obstacle course to keep the kids climbing and clambering, and hopefully wearing themselves out.
See more: Australia travel
Featured image: familytravel.com.au