My Dutch Australian children have spent a few years of their life in Australia, but we have now settled in The Netherlands. When we left Australia in 2012, our girls were aged 3 and 5. They still remember a lot of things about our life there, but it’s sadly fading fast.

While in The Netherlands, we still try to hold on to the Australian side of our identity. I speak English with them, we observe days such as ANZAC Day and Australia Day and I provide some tastes from my homeland from time to time like Milo, Vegemite, Tim-Tams and Lamingtons.

We’re very fortunate though to have regular holidays to Australia. So on our holiday here last Christmas and now again this Christmas, I’ve made a very conscious effort to “top up” on those experiences in Australia, many of which I had in my childhood.

Here’s what we’ve done so far, have you got any other suggestions?

Seen a snake

Thought I’d get this one out of the way immediately!  We saw a snake in the Buderim Forrest Park – then watched him catch and start to eat a baby goanna.  Pretty unique Australian experience for the girls!

Dutch Australian - Snake eating a goanna

Slip, Slop, Slapped

I grew up learning the importance of protection from the hot summer sun, now my daughters are learning to make sure they (and papa and mama) are slathered in sunscreen!

Helping papa with his sunscreen

A video posted by Renèe Veldman-Tentori (@zestee_renee) on


Dug a deep hole in the sand

Remember the simple pleasure of digging a hole in the sand near the shoreline and “discovering” water there?

Digging hole in sand

Chatted to a wallaby

At Couran Cove resort on South Stradbroke Island, we found several friendly wallabies to chat to.

Dutch Australian wallaby

Devoured mangoes

Yum!  Though you can find mangoes in The Netherlands, they are nothing like the delicious, sweet, juicy Bowen Mangoes in Queensland – we’ve been having one a day!

Dutch Australian Mango

Bomb-dived

Jumping in the pool over and over and over again!

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Run up and down a sand-dune

The beautiful blue sky is a lovely backdrop for this pristine sand-dune on South Stradbroke Island that the girls just couldn’t resist covering in footprints.

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Watched Bananas in Pyjamas

I grew up with a different version of this but the theme song is the same!

Bananas in Pyjamas

Ridden a bike with a helmet on

Though the girls are regular bike riders in The Netherlands, they need to wear a helmet here which they find very hot.

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What other Australian experiences should I work on adding?

Renee