Guardian Childcare & Education

Top Aussie Holiday Destinations for Families

10th November 2017

Having children might mean that your days of wine tasting in the Hunter and swimming with Whale Sharks are behind you (for now), but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some worthwhile adventuring on an Australian holiday. Welcome to the world of family-friendly travel. It’s a fun-filled realm of port-a-cots and collapsible strollers, but you know what? Nothing beats seeing and doing new things with your children.

Here are a few of our favourite Australian holiday destinations for families.

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Paul Keating might have referred to the nation’s capital as “a great mistake” but Lonely Planet just named Canberra the third best city in the world to visit in 2018. And with darn good reason! With a rich history and diverse range of activities, this Australian holiday destination offers something for everyone. The children will love Questacon and can take a lot from landmarks like the Australian War Memorial and Parliament House. There’s also quite a happening food scene, including The Hamlet (a very delicious collection of food trucks) and Jamie’s Italian.

With so many super spacious, self-contained, and ultra affordable apartments in the area (especially when Parliament isn’t in session), Canberra is an easy sell for bigger clans.

Cape York Peninsula, Queensland

Located in tropical far north Queensland, Cape York is one of the last remaining unspoiled wilderness areas on the planet. It might sound a little too rugged for the little ones, but there are plenty of tours and itineraries for families looking to explore one of Australia’s last frontiers. There’s the historic town of Cooktown, filled with Aboriginal history, horse riding trails, and beautiful beaches. You can indulge in a bit of camping or a farm stay in the Hopevale and Elis Beach areas or take a room at a number of hotels and motels around Lakeland. There are even some quirky and cute rainforest retreats couched in the Northern Wet Tropics.

Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

This natural paradise is great if hand-feeding fish in crystal clear waters and snorkelling on the coral reef is your thing. A wonderful mix of sandy beaches, rugged walking trails, and subtropical forests, Lord Howe Island strikes a great balance between getting out in nature and kicking back on the shore.

There are only 400 beds on this entire island, which means that you really are escaping the crowds. Despite its reputation for exclusivity, this tiny island offers a good variety of accommodation, ranging in price from luxe resorts to cabin-style rooms that can be had for under $100 per night.

Broome

The gateway to Australia’s breathtaking Kimberley region, Broome isn’t all outback adventuring. In fact, this tropical town is home to some of Australia’s best beaches (sorry, Bondi) and indulgent holiday resorts. Cable Beach is comprised of more than 20km of soft white sand and warm flat water, perfect for younger swimmers. Families can also enjoy sunset camel rides before heading back into town for dinner and a spot of pearl shopping.

As far as accommodation goes, there’s Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa, which is great for families but definitely costs a pretty penny. For the more budget conscious travellers, Broome boasts a good variety of hotels, motels, and serviced apartments.

Gold Coast, Queensland

We know fun parks often feel like the very place where parenting dreams go to die. But bear with us because a bit of Wet’n’Wild might be just what your family needs to break from the monotony of everyday life. Not only is it easy to travel and stay on the Gold Coast (there’s plenty of family and budget-friendly accommodation options), there are also ready-made theme park packages to keep the children happy during your stay.

Once you’re done with roller coasters and water slides at Sea World, Movie World, and the famed Wet’n’Wild, you can relax on the pristine beach at Surfers Paradise or head inland to swim beneath the waterfalls in the Gold Coast hinterland.


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