This Mamma knows Melbourne.
Hi, I'm Belle! Professional photographer and mum to two boys; Rupert, the fun-first 4-year-old, and Casper, our fearless 1-year-old explorer.
Melbourne’s been my stomping ground for as long as I can remember. We've scoured every nook and cranny of this city, from its hidden gems to its shiny landmarks, and we’re still not tired of it! We're the ultimate local family explorers, on a mission to unearth the best-kept G-rated secrets of Melbourne.
This mum's goals: I'm here to make every moment count with my boys, and bring my trusty camera along for the ride too; capturing our escapades and inspiring other families to embrace their inner explorers.
This mum’s kids’ goals: to find Melbourne's Holy Grail – the finest babycino in the land.
No foam too frothy, no sprinkle too sparkly – it's an epic caffeine-free quest.
I think we could make this work.
Availability: flexible weekdays and weekends.
Please scroll for some more of my words and photos.
Strawberry-stained fingers incoming.
Surf Coast Strawberry Fields, Mount Duneed
Get ready to strut your strawberry-picking stuff because it's that time of year again! The Strawberry Fields are calling, and they want you to grab life by the punnet.
If you’re thinking of a weekend galavant around the Bellarine Peninsula, then heading to the Surf Coast Strawberry Fields is a must! Punnets are supplied in kid and adult sizes, and you can even bring them back to reuse on your next visit. There’s no doubt you’ll be whipping up a strawberry storm in the kitchen with the number of berries you’ll be carting home.
Even the tiniest explorers will have a blast because these berries practically beg to be picked. They're conveniently close to the ground, eye catching, and easily plucked by eager fingers. If you want to dress for success; sun hats and gumboots would be a winning combo on this farm.
Once your punnets are full, reward all your hard work with a farm fresh ice cream at the cafe. They also sell hot and cold drinks, and a tantilising selection of jams.
Strawbs are usually pickable and plentiful from October through to late April.
Hop, skip, and jump over to Hop Temple.
Hop Temple, Ballarat
Nestled away in the oh-so-colourful Umbrella Laneway, Hop Temple is home to some of Ballarat’s best pub grub and libations. This is a laid back venue that welcomes all, including the family pooch. Whether you’d prefer to find a cozy spot inside, or bask beneath the enchanting festoon lights outdoors, Hop Temple is a great place to rest your feet after exploring all that Ballarat’s CBD has to offer.
With an extensive mouthwatering menu, you’ll be sure to find something that big and little people alike will enjoy. Special mention to the fan faves; one of the best Margheritas this side of Carlton, and a Mac and Cheese that’s cheesier than this mamma’s Netflix recommendations. A good ol’ scoop of vanilla ice cream with toppings will always go down a treat too!
There’s always something happening at Hops, so head on over to their socials to catch all the upcoming gigs and special events.
Super-soaked summer fun.
Lillydale Lake Splash Pad, Lilydale
Don’t be like this mamma, who forgot to bring a change of clothes on a scorcher of a day in Lilydale. Rookie mistake.
When the sun comes out, Lillydale Splash Pad is where all the action is. This little water wonderland is conveniently attached to the epic playground at Lillydale Lake, making it the ultimate destination for whiling away those sun-soaked hours.
Spread out your picnic rug, sit back, and watch as the kiddos become unsuspecting targets of water shooters and overhead showers. The big kids won't want to budge – and can you blame them? There's plenty of space for the little ones to dip their toes amongst some calmer jet streams too. Oh, and if luck’s on your side, you might even spot a food van or two, dishing out a dynamite trade of ice cold treats and deep fried delights.
If you need a breather from the splash park shenanigans, take a leisurely stroll along the track that wraps around the lake. Or, when in Rome, join the sandcastle crowd as they build their kingdoms on the shore. Who needs a beach when you've got this sandy oasis right here?
Summer days sorted - just remember those togs! Or if you're anything like me, you'll know that stripping them off for the car ride home works just as well too.