It may not be the first place that comes to mind if you’re considering a day out with the family, but there are a few secret gems hiding in the Medowie/Raymond Terrace area to interest families with children of all ages. If you feel like something a little different, venture outside your regular play zone and discover some or all of the following:
Watch the fighter jets take off and land at Williamtown RAAF Base.
Turn at the Medowie Road roundabout, off Nelson Bay Road you’ll find a great spot to park your car and watch the planes and fighter jets taking off from Williamtown RAAF base.
Tip: On the way, see if the kids can spot the emu who frequents the paddocks in this area. He (or she?) is often spotted just south of Williamtown McDonalds.
Enjoy a Macadamia Milkshake at Medowie Macadamias
Medowie Macadamias, alone, is worth the drive to Medowie. The café and gift shop is filled to the brim with delicious treats and gifts, including many Macadamia products. Outdoors, sit at the undercover tables that overlook the Macadamia trees and a great kids’ play area. Open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 3pm for breakfast, lunch or morning or afternoon tea, complete with a great kids’ menu, the whole family will enjoy Medowie Macadamias Farm.
Tip: Call ahead and book a farm tour, which demonstrates the growing and processing of macadamias, it’s suitable for all ages. Alternatively, learn all about macadamias from the signs posted around the farm.
Extra tip: Located opposite Medowie Macadamias at 637 Medowie Road is The Little Tin Shed, a fantastic place to stock up on seasonal fruit and vegetables fresh from the farm.
Get active at The Bower Reserve Playground
The Bower Reserve Playground located in The Bower Estate at Medowie is great for all ages. With two large playground areas, a half netball/basketball court and fitness stations, all kids from bubs to teenagers will enjoy it here. Read Newy with Kids review of Bower Reserve Playground.
Enjoy the view of Grahamstown Dam from Finnan Park
Spacious, with big, beautiful, shady trees, Finnan Park, located at the southern end of Grahamstown Dam, is a lovely spot to stop for a picnic. With a small playground, toilet block and plenty of undercover tables, Finnan Park is also a popular spot for birthday parties. Grahamstown Dam is the Hunter’s largest drinking water supply dam.
Tip: The gates to Finnan Park are open during daylight hours and locked at dusk. As the dam is a drinking water supply source, no dogs or other pets are allowed.
Take a dip at Lakeside Leisure Centre
Driving further along Richardson Road towards Raymond Terrace, you’ll pass Lakeside Leisure Centre, one of our family’s favourite public swimming pools. With a 50 metre outdoor pool heated to 24-25 degrees plus an indoor heated pool featuring a beach area suitable for babies and toddlers, remember to pack swimmers for the whole family.
Tip: The indoor pool at Lakeside Leisure Centre has easy access in and out for disabled visitors and the pool has equipment available to assist in access.
Be tempted by the sweets on offer at King Street Confectionery
Situated on King Street, the original main street of Raymond Terrace, King Street Confectionery is a sweets shop, chocolate shop and coffee shop in one.
They also serve the most delectable Danish pastries and Gelato, all made fresh on site. The building itself has a beautiful ambience with its historical and timber features and the outside tables are a lovely place to enjoy a coffee or milkshake.
Wander across the road to read all about the signposted ‘marriage trees’, but before leaving, treat the kids to a takeaway bag of lollies and grab some handmade chocolates for yourself.
Tip: Older kids will love checking out the ‘flood pole’ located inside the shop. Before relocating the main street after the devastation of the 1955 flood, the building was flooded six times.
Little kids will love Grounds Kitchen and Play
The menu at Grounds Kitchen and Play, on Sturgeon Street at Raymond Terrace, is to die for. From homemade cakes and slices to acai bowls, the hardest part will be what NOT to choose. With a great kids menu and a fenced, foam play area for small children located towards the back of the building, Grounds Kitchen and Play is super kid-friendly and a must-visit if you have little ones and are in the Raymond Terrace area.
Tip: Check out Grounds Kitchen and Play on social media as they often post their cake of the day and weekly specials.
Meg is a stay-at-home mum whose interests include gardening, reading, writing poetry and not staying at home. A born and bred Novocastrian, Meg enjoys camping and travelling with her family and weekend road trips to discover new and interesting places. Meg has two energetic kids and is passionate about kids having the opportunity to be outdoors as often as possible.