Family Travels

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Central Coast adventure land

Central Coast adventure land

I'm standing in Treetops Adventure Park craning my neck and squinting against the sunlight, trying to give encouragement to my partner as he attempts the 'black run', which I (wisely) chickened out of.

It's harder than he thought it would be. Harder than I thought it would be — and it's very, very high. Of course the kids proclaim that they could easily master it if only they were over 16 and allowed to. Easy for them to say having already completed the green, blue and red runs but I'm fairly certain they all found the whole course quite challenging.

We're here on the Central Coast in search of adventure, and haven't really had to search very hard to find it. So far we've checked out the 'Kids to Keepers' program at the Australian Reptile Park, gone quad-biking at Glenworth Valley, and while the kids were occupied with all the Kids Club activities at Ocean Beach Holiday Park, even managed to squeeze in a wreck dive. Phew.

The Central Coast is so accessible to Sydney — just over an hours' drive — I wonder why we don't come here more often.

The drive up is surprisingly smooth. For once the traffic-jam gods don't conspire against me and I'm rather grateful to be driving a Ford Mondeo which, like a fatherly back seat driver, beeps at me when I absent-mindedly let the speedometer hover a little too high. It's a fairly handy feature when taking on a smooth six-lane highway with no traffic to slow me down.

Ocean Beach Holiday Park is massive, with everything the kids love on order; a swimming pool, complete with slide, not one, but two giant jumping pillows, a playground and a games room.

The kids spend the morning checking out the many activities while we check out what is in my opinion, Australia's best wreck dive. The most accessible wreck dive in any case — the Ex-HMAS Adelaide — only five minutes off Terrigal beach where we meet our dive master Bob Diaz of Pro Dive Central Coast.

It's manageable for even for the most novice of divers — it's well set-up with a guidelines to follow from anchor line to sunken top deck, has wide open doors to swim through without fear of getting stuck — and then there's Bob himself who explains things so well.

After a rather hurried lunch we head off to the Australian Reptile Park. We're splitting up here, with the younger kids checking out the 'Kids to Keepers' program, while the older kids (I'm including my partner in this group) head off to Glenworth Valley to hoon around dirt tracks on quad-bikes.

The younger kids emerge from the reptile park a few hours later with wide-eyed descriptions of feeding snakes and alligators and "enriching" Tasmanian devils. Older kids emerge with several layers of dust welded to their sweaty bodies and enormous grins.

The next day we test our coordination and upper body strength at Treetops Adventure Park — certainly a challenge for me. It's an exciting and well-designed course with plenty of challenges (even on the green course), and a number of flying foxes to whiz along at high speeds on.

Our weekend is rounded off nicely with lunch and a swim at the Mingara Recreation Club in Tumbi Umbi. Here you'll get a top-notch feed and great service to boot, and as my 10-year-old daughter put it (channelling Kath & Kim), "I like this place! It's fancy and it's classy. Which I like."

For more info on the Central Coast visit

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