Wednesday 5 November 2014


Chloe Brookman knows a thing or two about adventure. Two years ago she left the security of life in London to move to Australia with her husband and two young children. Since settling into Sydney, Chloe has maintained her adventurous spirit with regular weekend getaways. Here the co-founder of Olli Ella, a nursery accessories business, shares an unforgettable recent family trip to Culburra Beach and nearby Honeymoon Bay. 

Why did you decide to go on this family adventure? We wanted a weekend away, somewhere within driving distance that didn't involve too much planning, where we could explore, cook, and experience something new.

Where did you visit and why? We wanted to explore the NSW South Coast, where we have never been. Being recent transplants from the UK we loved the idea of going when it was winter. So we chose Culburra Beach, which is about 2.5 hours south. We went with friends and their kiddies and rented a house right on the beach. I love the romance of bundling up for beach walks, coming home to a hot fire - and just a change of pace.

How long was the trip in total? We were gone for two nights - left Friday returned Sunday. It was 2.5 hours each way, but we stopped in Berry, which is about 40 minutes outside of Culburra Beach. 

What did you pack? It was a bit embarrassing really. We took full advantage of bringing our seven-seater car and packed the boot to the brim - our poor dog was not happy with his portion of car real estate! We brought food - as Culburra Beach has only a very small town, with just a few shops - lots of warm clothes, flashlights, marshmallows for roasting on the fire, and good friends.

What were some of the highlights? Without question, it was the day trip we took to a little place called Honeymoon Bay, about 20 minutes from the house we were renting. We had to drive down a long windy dirt path but at the end was one of the most magical beaches, which was almost deserted. We brought a blanket and a picnic and within five minutes we were joined by three kangaroos, who stood within meters of us, perhaps hoping for a lone piece of peanut butter sandwich to head their way? After they hopped off - haha, sorry, couldn't resist, we went for a little walk on the rocks and watched as a pod of dolphins swam by - I don't think we will ever forget that day, ever. At least I know I won't. Waking up to the call of kookaburras watching the sun rise over the water with my husband.

What was unexpected about your adventure? Unexpected, beyond crossing paths with wild kangaroos and dolphins in the same hour?

What tips would you give to other parents going there? Pack lots of changes of clothes, and food as supplies aren’t readily available. 

Can you recommend any places to eat or stay in that area? We stayed at Pavilions on the Beach in Culburra. One of our friends who we went with cooked an amazing meal both nights so we were very spoilt.

What do you enjoy most about travelling as a family? Being together, slowing down, having a change of pace and breaking routine. Watching how my boys thrive in new environments but also love seeing how glad we all are at the end of a great adventure to come back home to our own beds.

Any other trips on the horizon? Yes! I'm whisking Tennyson, my five-year-old away to London in three weeks for a special mama-son trip. We are going to go to all the museums, maybe see a show and if I can swing it, a day trip to Paris.

images courtesy of chloe brookman

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