I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity of having a getaway at any Discovery Park of my choosing. Choosing stuff is one of my very favourite things to think about doing. Unfortunately when it gets down to the nitty gritty of the act of ‘choosing’, I actually suck at it. The weighing up of the pros and cons, and all the agonizing as to whether I am choosing the right thing. It is exhausting.
There are over 30 Discovery Parks spread across 7 states. Arrghh! Well, to be honest, the first elimination was easy. Because my budget is tight (saving for other adventures), I knew that I had to narrow the options to those Discovery Parks that are relatively close to Canberra. That left 3. I then eliminated the park that wasn’t near the beach. What won me over about Pambula Beach was its splashy water fun feature, the Sapphire Soaker Water Park. I knew that the 11 yr old would go nuts over it.
I thought I knew Pambula Beach well, but it turns out I have actually never been there; I was confusing it with its neighbor,Tathra..
Pambula is approximately 3 hour from Canberra if you drive like me. Fastish.
We stopped in at the Bredbo Christmas Barn on the way; my first visit there. I strategically left my wallet in the car before we got out. No more wasting money on Christmas decorations from me, no siree Bob! And then, I walked inside…..That place is like Christmas on steroids. I gazed wide-eyed at the first part you see when you enter: the section on the right.
10 minutes later I walked across to the magical winter Wonderland that is The Section On The Left. Blew my mind! It was a true feast for the eyes. I have been to some amazing Christmas stores in Germany, but what stood out with the Bredbo Christmas Barn is how exquisitely each section is color coordinated. I wanted to get down on my knees and ask if I could photograph everything. And, yes I did the walk of shame back to my car to retrieve my wallet.
A second stop, a stop that has become a tradition, was to see Piper’s lookout on
Brown Mountain. We were the only ones there and the 11 yr old practiced his new skill, ‘stepladdering’, which is when you approach a fear (heights for example) by facing it in small doable bits. He proudly looked down over two of the lookout points.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was not having any traffic on the road at all. Not having 3 hours of trying to overtake slow vehicles…. woohoo! Hurrah for having a holiday when everyone else is still at school!
We arrived at our location late afternoon. Our ‘bush villa’ was the closest unit to the water play park, which we were stoked about. Literally across the drive! Besides the fun stuff, the first thing that stood out here was the wildlife. Lorikeets fluttered down on the veranda to say hello and ‘please feed me’.
An entire kangaroo village sprawled lazily across the park, sharing the space with us.
Of course we cannot feed them but it was a thrill to see them up close. I still cannot get over being close to such amazing creatures. They are just so cute, those little joeys learning how to hop in a coordinated manner.
Our digs were basic but comfy.
We weren’t here for the sitting around, anyways, right? Just after we unpacked the car, the impending electrical storm struck. There was no way we could do any of the activities we had driven past, besides the indoor pool. It was rather exhilarating to swim in there, watching the storm crackle overhead through the glass roof. The lightening was striking close by.
Once we had swum the 11 yr old’s little heart out, I left the him with Kara and headed out to nearby Merimbula in search of pizza and snacks. After dinner we snuggled up, cozy and full- bellied as the rain and lightning continued through the night.
Tuesday dawned grey and gloomy with a bit of a drizzle. We woke early and ambitious. We had a lot to cover today activity-wise. I won’t bore you with the details, but we spent 5 hours in the pool,
played 2 games of mini-golf
and had over a half hour jumping at the trampoline park and jumping pillow.
As we were walking along to the jumping pillow, the 11 yr old said ‘Mum, there is something here for everyone to do. No-one would be bored!’
I broached the idea of going in to see a movie that Kara was keen to watch, but he said ‘We can go see a movie anytime. Let’s stay here and enjoy all the activities’. Wise idea!
I’d been hoping for a nice sunset, but we got nothing but bland cloud cover. Not even slightly interesting or foreboding clouds. The only misadventure was the tick I felt biting my head when I was in the pool Tuesday afternoon. The lovely lady at reception extracted it from my scalp, telling me that it was the biggest tick she had ever seen. She hasn’t seen African ticks!
I felt a strong stinging pain in that location for a couple of hours and I still have a lump there. Later when I was walking along a tropical path towards the beach at Merimbula, I thought I felt something drop into my head. I halted and felt a lump on top of my head. I frantically tore through my hair until I had grabbed it and pulled it off me. It lay there on the sand; another tick!
So just be aware of ticks here on the coast if you are walking through bush or foliage, and be diligent about checking through your hair and body crevices.
So now, I am just waking up to sunshine pouring through the window on our last morning and the melodic echoing chimes of bell birds. Two hours until checkout. We have time for a final swim, then more mini- golf and a turn on the go-karts. Thanks so much Discovery Parks and Social Soup for the perfect start to an 8 week holiday. <3
Pambula Beach Discovery Park has accomodation that ranges from powered sites for campers and caravans to deluxe ocean view villas and apartments that sleep 6 people. I was very happy with our ‘somewhere in the middle’ accomodation.