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Capital City Weekend Away/Special Event Ideas for DD's 13th Birthday
at end of March - Brisbane/Melb etc?

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Moneypenny2014

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:17 PM

Hi everyone
DD is turning 13 on 28 March and DH & I thought we might do something a little different/special for her birthday.
She loves planes and shopping so my first thought was an overnight trip to say Brisbane (we live 1.5 hrs from Sydney). Flights are often cheap as is accommodation via Wotif and I'm sure she'd love to shop in a city she's never been to before and have dinner out somewhere. We would be taking our 4 y/o DD as well so any event would need to be conducive to her as well (ie wouldnt want to go to a show that finished at 11pm or anything).
We did this type of birthday present once before about 3 years ago and took her to Canberra - did Questacon, stayed in a fancy Hotel and had a special dinner and she still raves about it. Canberra is still on the cards for this as one of her closest friends lives there and she'd love to see her and for her to spend the day with us (what we did last time) but at the same time I thought a new city would also be exciting.
Can anyone recommend any places (preferably capital cities that we can fly to from Sydney for a reasonable price and don't need to hire a car once there), or even some shows or events that might be on in some of these cities to go to?
Looking at dates from circa 20 March to first week April.
Considering Brisbane as its nice and warm (!), Melbourne or maybe Hobart if anyone can suggest some places that would interest her there.

#2 *LucyE*

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:51 PM

Well, I'm a Brisbanite from waaayyy back, so I'm biased.

Brisbane hotels are stupidly overpriced due to the shortage of rooms. If you are beachy people, I'd almost recommend flying into the Gold Coast and spending a weekend there.

Brisbane for a 13 yr old, 4 yr old and doting parents original.gif

I'd suggest Quay West in the city because it's an apartment style hotel.  For just a weekend, I don't tend to use the kitchen or laundry but it is good to have the bedrooms with children rather than interconnecting hotel rooms.  The extra space of the lounge room is good as well for unwinding.  It has great views, easy walk into the Queen St mall, or the City Cat ferry terminal, or the Riverside centre which hosts a weekend market.

The Sofitel is another good hotel but I'm not keen on any of the other 5 star places. Across the river at Southbank is Rydges which is a 3-4 star place. I was impressed with it when I stayed last year. The finishes of the place are not 5 star but the staff more than make up for it.  They are friendly and helpful to the point where it was the first time I've tipped an Australian concierge. The location is great because it is in the heart of Southbank so the fake beach is within a few hundred metres, the art gallery, gallery of modern art, state library and the performing arts centre are practically next door. There are also heaps of restaurants to choose from in the area suited to varying budgets. The big Ferris wheel is there as well for a bird's eye view of the city and the city cat terminals are easy walking distance. We could easily spend a weekend at Southbank and not drive anywhere. There's a Lego education centre a street back if you're kids are into that.  If you're sick of walking, take a green cab (basically a modern rickshaw) for a tour of the area.

It's roughly an $80 cab fare from the airport into the city. There's also a train service that takes you into Roma St Station from the airport as well as the usual shuttle buses.

The other area that may be diverting for kids, would be to catch the city cat to new farm park. There's a farmer's market there on Sundays I think, and a massive kids' playground. Mosey on up to  Merthyr Villiage or the James St (my preference) precinct for some lunch and a bit more shopping. Window shopping around James St should take most of the afternoon and then you could catch a cab down to the old Woolstores area (about 5 mins away) and have the best gelato at Passione. The owner is a northern italian and absolutely passionate about good food.  He also does good coffee and delectable treats to take away for later.

Then you could catch a city cat back to where you are staying to relax before going out to dinner lol. There are some great restaurants
coming along in Brisbane these days and it just depends on what you're in the mood for.

If you want any more suggestions, just ask original.gif

#3 Moneypenny2014

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:17 PM

Thank you SO MUCH LucyE they were absolutely fantastic ideas!
Off to google them all now.
If you happen to think of any other attractions for the children I'd love to hear.
Thank you again
PS good point re apartment vs hotel as separate bedrooms much better

#4 mez70

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

The other thing to factor is the time fram you are looking at will be part of school holidays in some states which will impact of fares and acomodation costs. Term 1 in Vic Ends on March 28 and Good Friday is March 29 so Easter as well..

To be honest I think maybe even just a Girls weekend away with just you would be awesome, you could go and get a manicure and pedicure together, perhaps take her to get a teen facial and shown skin care etc, High tea etc.. Just something the 2 of you.

My DD does Calisthenics and one of her comps is 2 hrs away and due to the timing and nature of it, that comp becomes a 2 night trip away. Well my DD loved just having that time with ME.. Her dad and brothers stayed home and we had some great just the 2 of us time when she wasn't training and competing. The morning of the comp we even had time to go and hit the shops (she had all her birthday money) and it was really nice. She still talks about and can't wait til Ballarat this year so she just has me to her all weekend again

#5 Jo_P

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:53 PM

My daughter and I went to the Gold Coast for her 13th Birthday, we are only a 2hr drive away though.
We stayed at Q1 and went to Dreamworld, bought nail polish and did our nails, went shopping and just "hung out'. It was fantastic and she still talks about it now 18mths later.
I actually don't think it matters where you go, it's how you spend the time together that counts original.gif

#6 Rencros

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:00 PM

Hi, I hope i am not too late to reply. I would recommend you to go to Canberra as I had gone there with my niece who is 12 years old and had enjoyed it thoroughly.

Check out an itinerary below. This could be a great help to you. You could also check out Things to do in Canberra.

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