Emerald City in the Land of Oz

We lure the children to Emerald with stories of bright green gems that will soon augment our collection – only to discover that the town is named after some “emerald coloured” mountains and the fossicking options are … nil. But there’s Australia’s Biggest Easel to see, some botanical gardens with hedge maze and train-track to play in, a man made lake to paddle in when we get, as Benji says, too “fweaty” – and some overdue home maintenance and elaborate bicycle repairs to attend to as well. Enough to keep us all out of mischief.

Benji turns a cartwheel beneath the Giant Easel, his favoured expression of spontaneous joy. Jack is inclined to skip, Rikki to sing out loud. It's our best indicator by far on whether an activity is a winner.
Jack and Benji on the pedal powered monorail at the Emerald Botanical Gardens.