School holiday ideas for all the family

Looking for something different to do these Easter school holidays? From head-spinning mazes to autumn nature trails, try this National Trust (NSW) adventure list to keep everyone in the family entertained.

Explore Harper’s Mansion maze

Where? Berrima

Harper's Maze
The maze at Harper’s Mansion has lots of twists and turns for kids

High on a hill overlooking Berrima is the beautiful and historic Harper’s Mansion – home to one of the largest hedge mazes in Australia. The great thing about this maze is it’s big enough to give little explorers a twisty garden adventure, but not too big to get lost.

Kids will also enjoy wandering the long hazelnut walk and discovering a large pond that’s home to native frogs. Make sure to bring a picnic to enjoy among the heritage roses, then take a turn through the extensively restored mansion for a peek into what life was like in 19th century Berrima.


9 Wilkinson Street, Berrima, NSW

Open first and third weekend of each month, 11am – 3pm

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Mix art with nature at Retford Park

Where? Bowral

Retford Park frisbie
The stunning grounds of Retford Park

Autumn is one of the best times to visit Retford Park. There are over thirty hectares of gardens to explore, art trails and galleries, plus a perfectly pink Victorian Italianate homestead.

First stop is the art and nature trail for kids, where they’ll find statues and surprises around every corner. Round off the trail with a visit to Ngununggula, the new regional art gallery housed in the former dairy at Retford Park. If you’re visiting on the weekend, you can also take a guided tour of the house to learn about the fascinating history of its original owner, James Fairfax AC.

Families with dogs, good news: you can even bring along the dog for a pet-friendly adventure.


1325 Old South Road, Bowral, NSW

Gardens open Friday to Monday, 10am – 4pm

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Go wild in the Everglades gardens

Where? Leura

Everglades Gardens
Children in the art deco gardens at Everglades House

Families love this beautiful European-style garden, which was designed and built in 1923 by Danish-born landscape gardener, Paul Sorensen.

Set in the crisp Blue Mountains, there’s a real secret-garden feel to Everglades. Winding paths, little waterfalls, and even a grotto pool are all here for kids to explore. Bring a picnic if the weather’s good, or a brolly and gumboots for wetter autumn days.


37 Everglades Avenue, Leura, NSW

Open Wednesday to Monday, 10am – 4pm. Last entry 3pm.

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Follow the clues at Miss Porter’s House

Where? Newcastle

Looking for clues
A game of Clever Detective for the kids

If you’re in Newcastle these holidays, drop into Miss Porter’s House – a freestanding Edwardian House Museum that’s a perfect time capsule of pre-1950s life in Newcastle.

Adults can browse over 100 years of collectables, while the kids will have fun with a “Clever Detective” activity that leads them around the property with mysterious clues to solve.


434 King Street, Newcastle West, NSW

Open the 2nd Sunday each month (Feb – Dec)

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Get creative with convict history 

Where? Parramatta

Create your own shadow portrait

One of the mysteries of Old Government House is the identities of the convicts who built it. While we know some of their names, no portraits or images of them have survived.

In honour of these convict artisans, Old Government House is running a special school holiday event where children can trace their own shadows with chalk on the courtyard pavement, and colour them in to create their own unique artwork.

While you’re there, visit the new Making Good exhibition to find out more about the convicts connected to Old Government House.


Parramatta Park, Pitt Street Entrance, Parramatta 2150 NSW

Open Thursday to Sunday, 10am – 4pm

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