Castles You Can Stay In With Kids In Australia
It’s safe to say that nearly all kids fantasise about being royalty, whether it’s a princess with long hair, beautiful dress and her own tower or a brave knight slaying dragons with a sword. For wannabe knights and princesses what could be more thrilling than staying in a real castle complete with turrets and a drawbridge?
We've rounded up the top 5 castles to stay in Australia fit for even the littlest princes and princesses.
Thorngrove Manor, SA
Thorngrove Manor is one of the world’s most beautiful, romantic and artistic castles with distinctive baroque towers and turrets, creative and unique architecture and boutique accommodation. It’s hard to believe that such a whimsical property is on our very own doorstep in South Australia, less than twenty minutes from Adelaide city.
The minute you step foot anywhere near this castle you will be transported in time. The property’s artistic detail is exquisite from the stonework to the ornate plasterwork, the stained glass windows to the gold leaf - it’s no surprise Thorngrove Manor is a recipient of many awards and a unique Small Luxury Hotels of the World property since 1995.
Each suite is designed and decorated to different themes, with dedicated entrances to ensure total privacy: the elegant Queens Chamber; the country manor-style King’s Room; the cavernous and rustic Castle Chambers; the Observatory Suite complete with fairytale tower and panoramic views; and the creative Tower Room.
There are plenty of dining options on-site and if reserved, the private candlelit dining room is a fabulous experience as is the traditional Afternoon Tea. Thorngrove is also well located to explore the restaurants and wineries in the surrounding Adelaide Hills. All guests receive complimentary undercover onsite parking, daily newspaper and use of the DVD library.
Rates start from $990 for the Tower Loft Room per night, including privately served continental breakfast. Suites start from $1399.
The Rift Estate, NSW
The Rift Estate is a grand old late-nineteenth-century Italianate mansion and retains many original character features that reflect its rich history. Nestled in Bowral In the Southern Highlands, a leisurely 90-minute drive from Sydney, The Rift is surrounded by picturesque gardens and the lush, rambling countryside.
Here, you can stay in The Coach House, a luxury six-bedroom guesthouse featuring contemporary country furnishings, gorgeous fireplaces and original foundry floors. The Coach House is fully equipped with a gourmet kitchen and outdoor entertaining area with BBQ. There’s also high chairs, infant cots and games and toys for the kids.
The kids will love keeping themselves busy with a host of fun outdoor activities. They can choose from croquet and bocce on the lawn, wandering down to the field for a game of cricket or football or enjoying picturesque garden walks amongst the fruit, vegetable, herb and flower gardens. For the older ones, there are fabulous bushwalking trails and scenic paths to explore nearby.
Catering is available on request and it's a short drive to the verdant Southern Highlands food and wine trails and weekend markets at quaint villages such as Bundanoon and Exeter. For those who don't wish to stray, the owners can even organise gardening lessons and classes in cooking or yoga!
You can have the entire home (up to 13 people with 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms) from $990 a night.
Aquila Nova Retreat, VIC
Nestled in the tranquillity of beautifully landscaped gardens and situated in the heart of the Dandenong Ranges National Park, the Aquila Nova Retreat is a gorgeous chalet with a drawbridge entrance and castellated stone balconies featuring newly refurbished suites where the charm of the Tudor style is intertwined with a modern flair.
Accommodation consists of two boutique suites adorned with rich fabrics, hand-painted wall murals and gilt mirrors. Tired parents can enjoy the ambience of an open fireplace while soaking in a spa, have a glass of wine or BBQ on the balcony whilst admiring the views of the rainforest, and complimentary port, chocolates and breakfast hamper on arrival.
The kids will love strolling through the flowering garden, stargazing at the glass-covered conservatory or venturing into the surrounding mountain villages for great restaurants, picnic areas, galleries, shopping and iconic tourist attractions.
Each unit features a fully equipped kitchenette and a continental breakfast is available each morning at the lodge. Nightly rates start from $390.
Kryal Castle Ballarat, VIC
Kryal Castle is a Medieval Adventure Park and Resort that offers loads of action and excitement for the entire family located eight kilometres east of Ballarat, at Leigh Creek, in the foothills of Mount Warrenheip.
The castle features a moat, drawbridge, maze, towers, stocks, and an armoury. The kids can get their faces painted at the Fairies and Goblins Wonderland, or experience the Jester’s Theatre Show involving jousting, juggling and fire-eating. Other attractions include a Torture Dungeon & Museum and the Dragon’s Labyrinth.
Mount Xavier Golf Course, Ballarat Town Centre and Ballarat Wildlife Park are all within 15 minutes’ drive of Kryal Castle Adventure Park. The on-site Mountain Inn Bakery is open daily during park operating hours.
You can stay in one of 21 on-site Castle Suites – they offer Queen Suites, King/Twin and Family Suites. There is also a Commander’s Quarters which can accommodate up to 10 people. All themed suites have been designed with arched doorways and decorated with hand-woven French and Belgium tapestries. They include a microwave, refrigerator and toaster. Some feature a spa bath.
The Adventure Park is open on weekends and Victorian school holidays. Rates start from $127 a night. Please note: Kryal Castle's accommodation is currently open for essential travel, however, Kryal Castle Adventure Park is temporarily closed.
The Castle, NSW
The Castle is a magnificent Irish style castle set on 14 acres of lush landscaped gardens in Robertson in the Southern Highlands, one hour and 45 minutes from Sydney CBD and only 12 minutes from Bowral.
The estate and its gardens have been lovingly maintained and retain its period charm, providing the perfect environment for the kids to explore the beautiful and serene outdoor landscape. The Castle is generously equipped with 2 pianolas, a grand piano, vintage radiograms and gramophones as well as a 45rpm Wurlitzer juke-box for lots of family fun. There is also an open fire and an abundance of antique furniture, paintings, and curios to look at.
The Robertson has two guest accommodation rooms available and each can accommodate up to four guests. Rates are from $200 including afternoon tea on arrival and daily cooked breakfast.
Historical Church At Kempton, TAS
The Historical Church at Kempton is set in a historical village on the northern route to Launceston, with handsome old buildings and 19th-century charm and a landscape of rolling hills and sweeping plains. The property is set on lush gardens and there’s a tavern next door for ale and great meals.
You can exclusively book the whole building which accommodates up to 9 people and includes double glazed windows, underfloor heating, en-suite for each bedroom, indoor fireplace, contemporary kitchen and mood lighting to showcase the beauty of the internal architecture. Rates start from $220 per night.
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