When you think of Fiji you probably picture the beautiful beaches and fabulous coral reefs. The diving and beaches are amazing and definitely what draws visitors to Fiji. One of our family’s favorite experiences while visiting the Yasawa Island’s was taking a tour of a local school and meeting the children. Dressed in purple uniforms the children shared music and dances with us and gave us a tour of the school. It doesn’t take long for kids to bond and friendships to be made. The children of Fiji are learning english and were happy to try it out with their new friends. Visiting schools in a different country is always a fascinating glimpse into daily life of a different culture.
“It looks like were on the moon” That’s the first words my son said when he looked out to see the red rocks that surrounded us on our way to Arches National Park. You really can’t imagine how unique the landscape is from anywhere else in the USA until you see it. Arches National Park is home to over 2000 natural stone arches and and hundreds of stone pinnacles. It is breathtaking. Take lots of water, go for a drive and hike the trails. It’s a red rock wonderland.
While driving up the eastern coast of Australia, we discovered the most beautiful little towns of Agnes Water and 1770. These small little towns are fantastic stops to take in the Australia coastline and just stay a few days. The beach was close to erfect. The water was a perfect swimming temperature. There were no crowds. No stingers. and a perfect small break for beginning surfers. There were beautiful views and both towns offered lots of history for the rare moments we left the beach.
The local surf school was fabulous and had both kids learning to surf really quickly. They were both standing up on their boards on the first day!
We stayed right on the beach in a raised tent (chalet) in Agnes Water. It was like an african safari tent with A/C, TV, ensuite bathroom and room for four. It was an ideal setting for several days on the beach in small town Australia.
Scuba diving is such a great family activity. Bonaire is one the most beautiful and accessible diving communities in the world. Shore diving is the way to go here. Rent a truck, pick your dive center, load your gear and map, and away you go! There are dozens of dive sites alone the western coast of the island – all marked as part of the National Marine Park system. The water is clear, the coral is healthy, and the marine life is abundant. If you feel better with dive-master and guides there are plenty of guided dives and boat dives available too. Bonaire is a diver’s paradise. Take the plunge!
#73 Visit The Ferrari Museum, Maranello, Italy
My son and husband love cars. It was a dream come true when they got to visit the Ferrari Museum (Museo Ferrari) in Maranello, Italy. Full of race car history and more cars than you can imagine, it was truly a dream for these boys. I have to say, I enjoyed it too. The museum takes you through the history of an Italian auto empire and the cars are as beautiful as they are powerful. Kids, young and old, will like the F1 driving simulator. The nearby town of Modena has some amazing restaurants including the one owned by Luciano Pavarotti’s family called Europa 92. In rural Modena and adjacent to the late maestro’s home – it provided one of the best meals we had in all of Italy. Home to rival auto manufacturer, Maserati and the 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) there is much to see and do in this part of Italy.
Bangkok in a busy city and there are lots of things to do and see. Take some time away from shopping, temples, and the palaces to see one of Thailand’s most famous sporting events- kickboxing. Muay Thai boxing is like nothing you have seen before. There is live music, raucous crowds, and lively betting. It’s loud and rough but something to take in. Traffic is quite horrific in Bangkok so leave plenty of time. My son loved it and has his own Thai boxing shorts as a souvenir – cheaply available on the streets of Bangkok.
Cape Town South Africa is a great place for families. Ascend Table Mountain for a great view of the city and oceanfront from above. Jump on a boat tour and view Cape Town from sea level while spotting whales, dolphins and other sea life. Visit Robbins island where Nelson Mandela spent 28 years in captivity. Back on land take a city tour to get an understanding of the layout and history of this interesting place. The Victoria and Albert waterfront provides shopping and dining options.All of this in a city that provides a gateway to the wonders of South Africa. Travel in different directions to cage dive with Great White Sharks, follow the Garden Route and travel through wine country, or enter Kruger National Park and the adjacent properties on a multi-day safari.
My ten year old is a daredevil. When he saw this opportunity he begged us go. My husband doesn’t like heights but we all said we’d give it a try. This activity is terrifying and exhilarating! I felt quite safe (as I triple checked the harness straps) but there is still something that doesn’t seem quite right about leaning off the side of a 192 meter tower! They run you through a series of activities as you make your way around the edge, like walking to the edge or leaning off forwards and backwards . As we grew more accustomed to the experience of being outside at extreme height, some of us become more brave. We spent about an hour outside circling the building on a metal grated walkway with no handrails. They take lots of pictures too. In addition to the sky walk you can take the fast route down to the street. The Sky Tower offers an option to jump off the side and descend to the sidewalk below! Very memorable and kids will love it!!!
Every day right in the middle of Munich, Germany you can find surfers hitting the waves – just venture into the city’s Englischer Garten. The Eisbach river, home to the world’s best known river surf spot, has a huge stationary wave where surfers jump in taking turns on the wave. Up to 100 surfers a day hop in the river where the water temperature typically runs about 15 degree celsius (59 degree Farenheit!). It is quite a show to see. Our kids had learned to surf in Australia but this wave was above any of our ability. But it was so much fun to watch!
#79 Ride the Sand Dunes outside Dubai: 100 Family Travel Experiences
Dubai is an exciting city with lots of shopping and luxury. For a fun adventure with the kids, go outside the city into the desert. There are two fun ways to take on the dunes. First is by four-wheeler and the second is by SUV. The four-wheelers are fun because you have so much open desert, the sand dunes are huge and you are driving. Our family raced each other over sand hills and through valleys at thrilling speeds. Tackling the dunes in an SUV is different because you are a passenger. Although the vehicle is familiar the surroundings and experience are not. The drivers deflate the tires before venturing into the sand. Then brace yourself for a wild and bouncy ride! I think I laughed hysterically for a full half hour of extreme riding in the dunes. I’m not sure if it was out of real fear or just fear of being car sick. It’s a fun way to experience the desert and kids will love it!