Feb 4, 2013

Sydney's best beaches for kids, by Seana Smith


As someone who loves to explore family-friendly (and free) places, I'd earlier chanced upon Seana Smith's website, a treasure trove of information. Seana is a blogger and author of "Sydney for Under Fives."

So it was a pleasant surprise when Seana wrote and asked if I'd like to have a look at her latest book, "Sydney's Best Beaches for Kids", and review it. As a former journalist, copy editor and editor, I have reviewed many books and learnt to never turn down information!

When I first moved to Sydney, I was unprepared for its beaches. The beaches in Malaysia pretty much fall into two categories - dirty or clean. You don't worry about dangerous sea creatures, violent surf waves or frigid temperatures. There aren't any facilties like rock pools or showers anyway, so it's not something you'd consider. Sure, I googled "best beaches in Sydney", but after some trial and error, I discovered that the best beaches in Sydney, weren't necessarily the best beaches for young kids.

So the book's first paragraph connected with me right away :
"A trip to the beach without children is an entirely different experience from a trip to the beach with your own personal nippers in tow. The contrast is as sharp as that between Tamarama and Bronte beaches; short in distance but a huge leap apart in lifestyles. When the kids arrive, pack away the surfboard for a few years and dust off your old bucket and spade. Steer clear of the surf
and settle into splashing in the shallows."

My favourite parts of the book :
1) Descriptions of the beaches highlight things that kids would enjoy, such as exploring crevices, running along boardwalks, and available bike paths.  She also sometimes highlights what would be suitable for younger kids vs older kids.
2) The information that families need: Is there a playground? Shade? Toilets? Rockpools?
2) The 'mum reports' which feature personal tips from Seana.

I would have loved :
1) Photos to go with the beaches - they really are worth a thousand words. You can find some photos at the website (www.seanasmith.com) and of course, you can find them on the Web, but it would have been nice to see the beaches as they are being described.
2) A list of her (top 5?) favourites. The beaches are grouped according to general geographical area, but I'm not sure whether there is an order to the list within each group.

The weather's been a bit yucky these  past two weeks, but hopefully we get to squeeze in one more beach trip before summer's done. I've already got an idea from the book on where to go for our next beach outing, so thanks Seana!

Note : The e-book retails here for $7.99

1 comment:

  1. Oh thank you! That's lovely.

    You're quite right, I think it does need photos so maybe that's something I can do for next summer. My plan is to update the book once a year.

    I think I could do a Top Five North, Top Five East and South and Top Five Harbour. That's an idea I could work with!

    Many thanks, do appreciate your review.

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