Nat Gunn and her hubby Dave are childhood sweethearts who were drawn to Byron Bay over a decade ago for their love of the waves, the ocean and the community. Byron is where they call home and where they are raising their two little ones, Daisy and Cruz, but this family love to travel and this year they hit the road for their latest adventure to the Californian desert oasis of Palm Springs and the renowned Joshua Tree National Park. As we continue to explore corners of the world with little ones in tow, Nat shared with us a little about her tribe’s latest adventure state-side.
Who’s in your tribe?
David aka Gunny, Nat, Daisy, 7 and Cruz aka Cruzer, 5
What inspired your trip to Palm Springs & Joshua Tree?
We love Palm Springs and the architectural concepts that give the town its history. If we could, we would pick up a dozen houses and bring them home with us. The Joshua Tree landscape feels like an alien planet and each time we go it feels completely new. We love dry, beautiful features of the Mojave Desert; it’s such a contrast to our coastal home of Byron Bay.
Tell us about where you stayed?
In Palm Springs we stayed at The Ace Hotel & Swim Club, a former mid-century motel completely transformed into chic hotel with a laid-back but super cool vibe. The décor and styling give it a real 70’s bohemian feel.
In Joshua Tree, we stayed at the Joshua Tree Inn, a hacienda style motel steeped in history with a nod to 70’s rock music. It's the perfect location, only minutes to the entrance of the National Park.
Share your Top Tips for families travelling to Palm Springs...
- Even in September after the peak of summer, it is hot! Try and stay somewhere with a pool. We couldn’t get the kids out of the water and Dave & I loved indulging in some serious pool time, kicking back with a drink in hand.
- Breakfast is great and the atmosphere is fun at Cheeky’s, but get in early before the rush.
- Explore the architecture and all of the amazing bright doors, there’s even the option to take a tour by bike.
And your Top Tips for Joshua Tree...
- Head into the National Park and avoid the heat of the day. There are some short walking trails that suit young families. Skull Rock has really cool rock formations and even though Hidden Valley is the busiest, it’s completely magic and kid-friendly being a short 1 mile looped walk,
- Sunset is pretty spectacular. The locals gave us a great insider’s tip that the best spot to watch the sunset is at Keys View.
- Go star-gazing after dark. Mother Nature puts on an incredible show. You may even see something extra terrestrial.
Favourite family-friendly place to eat?
In Joshua tree Sam’s Indian & Pizza is a must. The Indian food is amazing and the pizza is even better. This is where all the locals go so you can practice your American accent.
What do you hope Daisy & Cruz take away from their latest adventure?
That even amidst dry of the desert, you can always find an oasis. By experiencing environments that are so far from what is familiar to them, we can seem them really appreciating the magic that comes with discovering and exploring new places.