Children staying at Mobys Beachside Retreat are among the most enthusiastic users of its conference centre. But the kids don’t hold conferences – they watch movies.
During school holidays, the resort at Boomerang Beach in the NSW Great Lakes region holds supervised film nights in its upstairs conference rooms, charging $10 per child. This gives parents time to dine in Mobys Restaurant, savouring fare such as oysters in vodka – a great starter! – followed by confit duck with braised red cabbage, sweet potato and candied hazelnuts.
Children eating with their parents can tuck into homemade fish fingers, grilled sausages and the like for $12 a meal, rounded off with lashings of ice cream and soft drink.
Built in the 1960s as Moby Dick’s Caravan Park, Mobys has recently transformed itself into a luxury resort of 75 one-, two- and three-bedroom beach houses spread over 3.2 hectares. The resort (a three-hour drive north of Sydney) has kept its laid-back, coastal holiday feel. People who used to go there as kids in the 1970s and 1980s return today with their own children.
Mobys’ general manager, Alan Porteous, has ready-made help in looking after children on holiday. His two charming little daughters, 7-year-old Sara and 9- year-old Jade, provide an impromptu meetand- greet service, scooting around to say hello to young arrivals and make them feel welcome.
Beyond Mobys lie some classic Great Lakes attractions: Boomerang, Blueys and Elizabeth beaches, nature walks in national parks and kayaking on Wallis Lake. Gasp at the Grandis (tallest tree in NSW, already big when Captain Cook sailed up the coast) and maybe head for Seal Rocks, with its lighthouse and cliff formations. A resident Seal Rocks beachcomber runs a makeshift stall selling interesting, curly shells – a bargain at just 50 cents each.