I have often wanted to blog about places we have visited but then I get overwhelmed by the feeling that I need to include all sorts of details and reviews.
As my word count on my Vietnam book increases and I start to think that I might actually write a book, I’ve started to research travel writers and especially those writing memoirs. Last week I came across this post, about how this travel writer was no longer going to blog, and it struck a chord. I do want to share stories about the places we visit but I don’t want to feel I need to provide pricing or details or tell you why I liked the food or the wine. She made the point – and I think this goes for all of us when we share about our holidays, that we can’t miss being in the moment and enjoying the holiday just because we’re too busy recording and writing down details. I have always taken lots of photos, even back in the days of film that cost precious savings to get printed, but I definitely take way more on my iPhone now, and I need to make sure that I don’t miss the experience of the holiday because I’m too busy recording in – and as another aside – must get myself in more photos – no matter how I look.
So with that in mind, I wanted to share a bit about our week in Normanville towards the end of the school holidays. We went as friends have been visiting there a lot and I loved her photos. My sister and her family were also joining us for a week and so I wanted us to have options if the weather was bad.
We were able to book 2 side by side cabins at the Beachside Caravan Park, and while it’s a little out-of-town, it was super quiet and our back corner position gave us lots of space. Our cabins backed onto the sand dunes so we also had some great views
Here are some of the we did during the week:
– lunch at the Victory Hotel on the way down to Normanville from the Barossa
– beers and chips at the beautiful Normanville Surf Life Saving Club high above the beach (run by volunteers, it’s always great to be able to support an organisation that keeps us safe in the water)
– dinner at the Normanville Kiosk and Cafe right on the beach – great wine list and enormous (and tasty) meals with a fantastic kids option
– cloudy cool day adventures visiting Second Valley climbing over rocks, Rapid Bay and then to Victor Harbor to watch the Tour Down Under
– snorkelling with friends at Second Valley – and discovering the great work Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries are doing. Free, guided snorkel tours with all equipment provided teaching people about the local marine life in various parts of South Australia
– A couple of visit to McLaren Vale that included Paxton Wines, lunch at S.C Pannell (the best duck curry, great wines, more good kids options and fantastic service), d’Arenburg (saw the almost complete cube and had a great tasting) and Beach Road Wines (excellent pizza).
– lots of sand castles and beach walks
– a crazy windy walk along the beach felt like a scene from Star Wars
– watching the horse riding groups passing past the cabin window and along the beach
– totem tennis and games on the deck
– awesome cousin time (and a few late nights spending some quality time with my sister)
– delicious treats from Yankalilla bakery, op shops galore and great coffee from 21 Junk Street and One Little Sister in Normanville (must go back for a meal)
– first run in months to Carrickalinga and then back along the beach with my sister
It was everything a beach holiday should be. Lots of relaxing, exploring and just hanging out together. The cabins were simple but all we needed and worked well as my sister and her family were only there for 3 of the 7 nights. I think Normanville will definitely be a regular holiday spot in the coming years, especially as it’s an easy two hour drive away.
What did we miss? Any recommendations for next time?
I’d love you to leave your comments below. What makes a truly great beach holiday? Where are your favourite beach destinations?
I like a beach holiday where 4-wheel drives aren’t allowed on the beach – I can’t relax when I’m worrying about the kids. My favourite beach holidays have been when we’ve been with my brother & sister-in-law and all the cousins are together.
Definitely agree having the cousins together is pretty special – especially as I don’t have cousins myself.
Coming from NSW, the idea of cars on a beach was a bit of a novelty. We had a great day at Aldinga with friends, and fortunately had a few extra grown-ups, but definitely was something extra on top of the surf to worry about. On the upside, great not to have to cart food, beach equipment and towels.
For a beach holiday to be ‘truly great’, you need to be within walking distance of the ocean. Able to wander down with all your gear, or back to your digs if you’ve forgotten something. Beach fishing is also a highlight, as are sunsets with a nice bottle of wine – all best enjoyed if you can stroll back home at the end of the day. A few hours south of Perth (Bussleton, Dunsborough, Yallingup) provide spectacular beaches – both calm and roaring.
Agree completely Marie. Our cabin on this last trip was a 5 minute walk into the beach so we had a few evening sunset walks.
We had our honeymoon in WA and visited some of those amazing beaches although was a little cool in early November for swimming.