Australia is not just about cuddly Koalas, surfing beaches and hopping Kangaroos. We have our fair share of great family vacation destinations that are packed with fun-filled activities for the young or the young-at-heart.
So with this in mind I am setting the record straight and exploring some of the great holiday spots for families in the land downunder.
Firstly I will start with my own home city, the gorgeous Gold Coast in Queensland. Stretching along 70 km’s of coastline with 26 kms of golden beaches the Gold Coast is renowned for its bounty of water activities, thrilling theme parks and non-stop attractions.
You can rent a holiday apartment right on the beachfront for the entire family for as little as $200 AUD per night. Most attractions on or near the Gold Coast offer transport to the venue, but otherwise the public transport network is very accessible and affordable.
The must sees when visiting the Gold Coast include:
- Theme Parks – Dreamworld, Seaworld, Movieworld and Wet n’ Wild
- Attractions – Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Infinity, Skypoint Climb, The Wax Museum and Timezone
- Nature – Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary & Adventure Parc , Rainforest Adventure Tours, Tamborine Mountain Skywalk, Tropical Fruit World and Evening Glowworm Tours.
- Water Activities – Jetski Safaris, Jetboat Extreme, Whale Watching Cruises, Fishing, Tropical Island Cruise, Learn to Surf and Standup Paddle Boarding.
The most populous city in Australia is located on the east coast of Australia in the state of New South Wales. It boasts the world’s largest harbour and has two iconic landmarks: the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But it also has some of the most famous beaches such as Bondi, Manly, Bronte, Coogee and Palm Beach.
Sydney is packed with kid-friendly things to do and it is very reasonable getting around from point A to point B. You can explore the city and nearby regions on buses, trains, ferries and light rail for just $2.50 per person.
- Attractions – Luna Park, IMAX Theatre, Sydney Tower Eye, Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk, Australian Museum, Powerhouse Museum, Australian National Maritime Museum, Madame Tussauds, Circus Arts and Sydney Harbour Ferry Ride.
- Nature – Sydney Observatory, Taronga Zoo, SEALIFE Sydney Aquarium and Manly SEALIFE Sanctuary
In the south east of Australia in the state of Victoria is Melbourne, Australia’s hub of sport, style and culture, with stately 19th-century buildings and tree-lined boulevards. It is a city chock full of fun and excitement for all the family.
There are many cultural activities available such as museums, art galleries and live theatre, but it also offers an abundance of nature and adventure activities. A great way to get around Melbourne is by riding on a tram (or cable car).
Attractions – Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, Scienceworks, Old Melbourne Gaol, Clip ‘N Climb, Melbourne Museum, Puffing Billy Steam Railway, National Gallery of Victoria and Luna Park.
Nature – SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne Zoo, The Enchanted Adventure Garden, Collingwood Children’s Farm, Royal Botanic Gardens and Werribee Open Range Zoo.
If you hire a car for the day you can take the family to explore the nearby beautiful beaches of the Mornington Peninsula or the Bellarine Peninsula, or drive along the picturesque Great Ocean Road.
One of the best and most rewarding ways to see a bit of Australia with a family is hiring your own campervan (or RV) and selecting a road trip along the coastline of Australia. A road trip from Sydney to the Gold Coast is easily doable in two weeks with stops along the way at some of the great seaside villages dotting the Pacific Coast.
The legendary Pacific Coast drive will take you to the Central Coast towns of Terrigal and Avoca; the Myall Lakes area and the city of Lake Macquarie; the yachstmen’s paradise of Port Stephens; the fishermen’s favourite Forster/Tuncurry; the timberland area and city of Port Macquarie: the magnificent sub-tropical Coffs Coast and Coffs Harbour; the North Coast surfing meccas of Yamba, Angourie, Evans Head, Lennox Head, Broome Head and Byron Bay; and finally to the green cauldron of the Tweed Coast which takes you across the border into Queensland and the Gold Coast.
Each coastal town or village has its own personality and local attractions which usually involves being either above the sea or in the sea enjoying the warm sea water temperatures that they have all year round.
This is only a small sample of great kid-friendly holiday destinations in Australia. We have so many more fabulous vacation spots that will keep the kids wanting to come back for more! Australia is a big wide island full of beauty and wonder and a whole lot of natural and man-made attractions for the entire family.