Canberra long weekend getaway

As I said on Monday, I work 3 days a week and Hubby works full-time. These school holidays we both decided to work through and arrange care for Miss 5 so that we could save up our annual leave for the summer school holidays.

We also wanted to get away for a few days so we decided to head down the Hume Highway/Federal Highway to Canberra, a 3 hour drive for us.

We only made the decision to do this trip on the Monday prior to going. We had thought of it earlier but with car rego due the same week and the need for two new tyres, we thought we should be responsible with our finances. And then we decided not to be!

The main purpose of our visit was to go to Corin Forest. You can read my post on that here. That took care of Friday. We went from Corin Forest to our accommodation, Forrest Lodge in Forrest.

Forrest Hotel:

Forrest Hotel is a 3 star hotel. Because we left the booking so late, the only room option available to us was the Forrest Queen Room. We booked a single foldaway bed for Miss 5 and took the portacot for Mr 3. We only spent from 6pm til 9am in our room on both days as we were out and about so the cramped quarters were completely fine for us.

The hotel was very clean, beds were very comfortable and the room very warm. We would only have the air conditioning on for about 30 minutes and I would have to turn it off.

The hotel is also in a fantastic location. A few streets back from Parliament House and a few streets from Manuka and all the eateries it has to offer.


We stopped by Parliament House for a couple of photos then headed over to Gold Creek to visit Cockington Green. I haven’t been there since I was in year 6 on a school excursion. The area has changed a lot in those 20 years and there are now shops and real estate all around it. We took a little drive around and then parked. I thought we should get the kids some morning tea before starting Cockington Green and I saw this…


I am a major tea lover. I don’t drink coffee at all. I love the smell but hate the taste. I gave my hubby the look of “Please! Let’s go there!” and he agreed. He likes coffee.

When we walked in we were greeted by lovely staff members and shown to a table right by the play area. As we walked by I noticed the detail on the chairs.

So cute!

We were presented with the menu and there are well over 50 different tea options available! I chose a black tea called Lovers Leap.

I also chose the chocolate tart caramel sauce macaron. Hubby has the mortal sin choc cheesecake with chocolate milkshake. Miss 5 had the banana bread bites and Mr 3 chose the gingerbread man.

It was all very yummy! With our tummies full, we headed to Cockington Green.

Cockington Green:

Whilst the suburb of Gold Creek has changed, Cockington Green certainly hasn’t, and I think that is a good thing!

Still the charming old British inspired scenes and buildings representing many of the Countries of the world.  Miss 5 and Mr 3 dubbed Ukraine’s St Andrij’s Church, as being Anna and Elsa’s castle!

We enjoyed a trip around on the train and I grabbed some sandwiches from the café to enjoy out in the playground.

Entry cost us:

  • Adults – $19.50
  • Children (4 to 16 years) – $11.50
  • Train ride – $3.00

National Dinosaur Museum:

Hubby took the kids over to the National Dinosaur Museum whilst I had a (very) quick look around the shops. With so many dinosaurs to look at/climb on/play on we just did that and looked in the gift shop and didn’t pay the admission fee. My understanding is that it is a great exhibition but far to detailed for a 3 year old who just wants to roar!  Although, at the time of taking the below photo, Mr 3 was not in the mood!

It was time to get back in the car and make our way to the Arboretum.

National Arboretum:

My mother-in-law brought Miss 5 here recently and we knew we had to visit too! The playground is amazing!

Miss 5 and Master 3 were in there so fast I couldn’t keep my eyes on them. Although a little scared at first, the kids loved going through the acorn pods and netting and finally down the slide. We had to drag them away so we could go an have a look at this beautiful view!

There are some food options available at the National Aboretum. You can either grab a quick bite at the Sprout Café or a sit down meal at the Conservatory Restaurant.  It would be lovely to go back sometime with hubby and enjoy a meal with that view!

From the Aboretum we headed to Manuka for dinner at an Italian restaurant called Le Rendezvous.

Le Rendezvous:

I googled “kid friendly restaurants Canberra” and came across a page called Her Canberra. It listed 75 restaurants around Canberra. I tried a few but being a Saturday night, in the school holidays and 4.30pm, no luck. We managed to get a table at Le Rendezvous in Manuka – very close to our accommodation.

The food was delicious! Kids meals are $15 each and come with a bowl of pasta and a bowl of chips, a drink and icecream. I only wish they’d brought out the pasta first, and not the chips. Her Canberra advised that colouring in was on offer so we didn’t pop back at the hotel to gather supplies. When Miss 5 went to ask they said they didn’t offer it anymore. The kids were tired and restless so Hubby ducked back to go and get it whilst I ordered dinner and tried to remain calm, cool and collected in public with two very tired kids! Technology won out and Ben and Holly came on my phone to keep the piece. I am not perfect!

Hubby and I enjoyed Garlic Prawns and Caesar Salad for our entree and Pumpkin and Ricotta Gnocci with Burnt Butter, Sage and Bacon and Mushroom, Chicken & Crispy Pancetta Risotto. All of it delicious. All of it very filling. We couldn’t eat dessert!


Old Bus Depot Markets:

It had been a few years since we had been and I was excited to have another walk around. I bought a gift for a friend at the first stall I saw! There was lots of fresh produce on offer, timber goods, fashion, jewellery and art. It seemed like there were less stalls available but that was also a good thing as it meant there was more room to walk around. We sat down and enjoyed some poffertjes and tea and coffee and then made our way to a playground for the kids to burn of some energy and make our way home.

It was a lovely weekend away!

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