This quaint village within Canberra is full of fun for young minds, from dinosaurs roaring to life through to gardens dotted with scenes from around the globe. A 20-minute drive from the city, the aptly named Gold Creek Village in the north Canberra suburb of Nichols is a winner with families, stealing first place for weekend destinations where the whole gang is invited.

DO

Enjoy a trip around the world at Cockington Green Gardens, home to miniature displays of hand-crafted buildings from more than 30 countries. Marvel at the attention to detail in every creation from Scotland’s Braemer Castle to Peru’s Machu Picchu. Take a miniature steam train ride through the gardens and keep an eye hidden humour in each display, including a streaking cricketer and The Stig visiting a famous landmark.

Dinosaur fans and future archaeologists will love the National Dinosaur Museum that celebrates the prehistoric. Discover how dinosaurs evolved, take a selfie in the sculpture garden and test your nerves staring into the eyes of a 20m long animatronic T-Rex that can move, roar, blink and breathe.

WHERE TO GO

Come face to face with some of Australia’s largest, deadliest and most colourful reptiles at the Canberra Reptile Zoo. Enjoy a hands-on opportunity with a friendly python, learn about reptiles from different environments, and see fossils illustrating how these creatures have evolved over the centuries.

Be surrounded by beautiful bird song and colourful feathered-friends at the Canberra Walk In Aviary. With over 250 parrots and 250 finches, quails and pheasants, snap a picture of the flocks and feed the free-flying birds as they explore the large planted aviary.

Big kids might like to wander through the Aarwun Gallery or the Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery, both long-time galleries at Gold Creek.

SLEEP

Check in to a poolside unit at Gold Creek Tourist Resort in Gold Creek Village and enjoy short walks to the village’s many attractions. Dine within the resort at the Lassiters Restaurant or grab a cold drink at the Lassiters Sports Bar.

Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Gold Creek Village, you’ll find self-contained apartments welcoming you at Abode Gungahlin. With everything you need to enjoy a stress-free holiday with the whole family including kitchenettes, laundry facilities, and sofa beds this affordable accommodation on the doorstep of Gungahlin’s shopping and restaurant precinct.

EAT

Taste buds young and old will be delighted by the fare in offer in Gold Creek Village. Destined to bring out the Willy Wonka in you, the Lolly Shop sells a sweet selection of all your childhood faves including freckles, Dutch salted liquorice, Reece’s pieces and the entire range of Jelly Belly jelly beans. Follow dessert with more dessert at Stripey Sundae, an idyllic little ice-creamery with lots of homemade flavours.

After the sugary goodness, grab a relaxing cuppa at Adore Tea and choose from one of their 300 blends of quality loose tea. They have a kids menu with good old fashioned favourites like frog in the pond and there’s play equipment where the kids can work off their sugar hangover. For a hearty  meal head to the old English pub, the George Harcourt Inn. Featuring Tudor décor, grab a seat in the outdoor beer garden and enjoy your favourite pub classics cooked to perfection. Long-time favourite Café Injoy is also a popular café, renowned for its hearty brunch options and Devonshire tea. You’ll need to book on weekends.

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