Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, Queensland © Destination Gold Coast
Guide to family holidays in Australia
With a little know-how and some insider tips, planning your family trip can be easy and fun!
By Allie Metz
With everything from big city excitement to quiet beach getaways that appeal to all ages, holidays in Australia are fun for the whole family. There are incredibly unique experiences that can help shape a child’s appreciation for history, culture, nature and adventure, all right on your doorstep. With so much to see and do, it can be tricky creating the right itinerary for your family, but rest assured - you can’t really get it wrong. Here is some useful information to help get you started
Planning your trip as a family
When travelling as a family, a bit of planning can go a long way to ensuring a truly memorable break. One key consideration is time of year. With most families scheduling trips during the school holidays, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure you have access to your first choices for accommodation and experiences. You may also wish to research free activities that are available for kids, options for transport and experiences that have to be booked in advance.
Things to do with kids
From discovering natural wonders to exploring our exciting cities, you won’t find any shortage of fun things to do with your kids while on holiday. Nearly every corner of the country is suited to kids of all ages, but a bit of research will help you find the places with attractions and experiences that align to your child’s age and interests. Whether you want to explore museums, learn to surf or have an outback adventure, you’ll find family-friendly destinations where you can do any (or all!) of these things.
Family-friendly resorts and accommodation
Hotels and resorts are available at every price point, and offer families incredible convenience in the form of central locations, great amenities and concierge services. Some have special rooms designed with kids in mind (like East Hotel in Canberra), kids’ clubs and babysitting services. Many also offer deals for kids to stay or eat free. Some home-grown Aussie hotel chains are great for families, including Design-led Art Series (most properties provide bicycles and Bugaboo prams for hire), and QT Hotels which combines five-star service with quirky décor loved by kids big and small.
If you’re hitting the road with your brood, there are fantastic campgrounds, caravan parks and even farm stays in stunning locations that are perfect for nature-loving families. BIG4, Discovery Parks, RAC and NRMA are some of the most common.
Road trips for families
If you do decide to do a road trip, there are some incredible options (both short and long) that will allow you to discover some lesser-known destinations. Whether you caravan, camp or stay in hotels along the way, there are countless family adventures to be had. Be sure to plan your trip with frequent stops (every two hours is recommended) to avoid fatigue.
Whether you’re raising a wildlife warrior, citizen scientist, culture vulture or adventure-seeker, you’ll find no shortage of extraordinary experiences in any region you visit. Start by exploring our cities and introducing your child to the history and culture of Australia through its museums, galleries and historic landmarks. Little animal lovers will enjoy a visit to any of our great zoos or wildlife sanctuaries, and if you’re visiting Queensland, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef is a must. If your child loves adventure, try a surfing lesson, kayaking or even rock-climbing. Finally, in every place you visit, consider booking an Aboriginal experience. Children will love listening to Dreamtime stories, tasting bush tucker and learning how to throw spears and boomerangs.
Best restaurants for families
With a menu designed to please everyone, the local pub is always a great option for a family dinner. But don’t forget to explore some of the more unique dining experiences designed with little ones in mind. Places like The Farm in Byron Bay will keep the kids busy as they meet resident farm animals and explore the paddocks. In Sydney, little ones and teens alike will love getting lost in the decorative laneways designed for Instagram at The Grounds of Alexandria. Or take the family to an orchard or berry farm to pick your own fruit before settling in for a classic takeaway fish and chips dinner on the beach.