7 Australian experiences that will change your child's life

Vast and spectacular, Australia offers amazing experiences for younger visitors. 7 Australian experiences that will change your child's life
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7 Australian experiences that will change your child's life

Vast and spectacular, Australia offers amazing experiences for younger visitors.


By Jac Taylor

Some childhood holidays are remembered forever. The astounding landscapes, amazing wildlife and just plain fun to be had throughout Australia mean there is never a dull moment for travellers irrespective of age.

FIND NEMO AND DORY IN REAL LIFE!

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

The impossibly vibrant fish and sea life of the Great Barrier Reef, which stretches 2600 kilometres (1615 miles) along the coast of Queensland, are famous with little movie fans worldwide. The residents of this natural wonder are just as colourful in real life as one would hope, with adorable clownfish (Nemo) and blue tang fish (Dory) commonly seen throughout these warm waters. The smallest visitors might enjoy a glass-bottomed boat tour, available at many places along the Great Barrier Reef, including Green Island off Cairns. Older families can choose to watch, swim or snorkel from live-aboard boats such as Spirit of Freedom, which floats right over the reef on tours lasting two, three and five nights.

SEE THE GALAXY AT ULURU

Uluru, Northern Territory

Australia's Red Centre is far from city lights, making it an incredible place to see the stars. Right beside the monolith of Uluru, you can take an Astro Tour at Ayers Rock Resort. Use a telescope and iPad technology to see constellations, planets and even the Milky Way, while learning about our place in the universe from the resort's resident astronomer.

MEET WILD DOLPHINS AT MONKEY MIA

Monkey Mia, Western Australia

One of the most reliable locations in the world to interact closely with a wild dolphin, Monkey Mia draws both tourists and scientists to see its marine visitors. A pod of bottlenose dolphins swims up to this scenic spot, jutting out into the Indian Ocean from Western Australia's Coral Coast, up to three times every day. Park rangers supervise and help visitors feed fish to the dolphins in a free experience (apart from the small fee to enter the reserve).

STAY ON AN OUTBACK STATION

Bullara Station, Coral Coast, Western Australia

Experience Australian life in the bush on one of the country's cattle, sheep or even camel stations. They are just like farms but often on a very grand scale (for example Anna Creek Station in South Australia is roughly the same size as Rwanda). Stations such as Goodwood Station and Pimpara Lake Station, both in outback New South Wales, offer the chance to stay in wool shearers' cottages, campsites or lodges, and allow family visitors to help feed the animals. Bullara Station, near the town of Exmouth in Western Australia, even has an outdoor bathroom so you can shower under the stars.

WALK THE FAMOUS LARAPINTA TRAIL

Razorback Ridge, Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory

Perhaps Australia's most renowned walking trail, the 223 kilometre (139 mile) Larapinta Trail, which goes from the outback town of Alice Springs through the West MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia, may not seem like an obvious family holiday activity. However, several tour operators offer luxury guided multi-day hikes along the track. Take a three-day to a 14-day trek with World Expeditions and enjoy well-appointed semi-permanent campsites along the way.

LEARN TO SURF IN BYRON BAY

Byron Bay, New South Wales

Surfers from all over the world are drawn to Byron Bay, just over an hour's drive south from the Gold Coast. Beginners are welcome to try some time on a surfboard, with plenty of surf schools welcoming children and families for a fun lesson. It doesn’t matter even if you’re not a strong swimmer - our operators such as Soul Surf School and Let's Go Surfing can teach children over seven years of age, or families wanting a lesson together.  

BIKE DOWN THE MOUNTAIN IN THREDBO

Thredbo Pump Track, Thredbo, New South Wales

Thredbo, a Snowy Mountains resort in New South Wales, is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. But over the warmer months (mid-November to May 1), adventurers swap their snow gear for two wheels. The chairlift takes riders every day to the top of 25 kilometres (16 miles) of trails, including cross-country, downhill and BMX-style tracks. Hire a bike and sign up for lessons and tours at Thredbo MTB, or practise in Snowgums Skills Park. This is definitely a great way for kids to enjoy the Australian outdoors!

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