As long as you can survive the long flight, you won’t have any regrets about your family vacation to Australia. The country is known for its adventurous outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery, and we can pretty much guarantee that there will be plenty to do for visitors of all ages. Classic tourist attractions like The Great Barrier Reef and wilderness hikes can be modified to perfectly suit your youngest travelers, and there are plenty of fabulous opportunities to see the nation’s unique animal species. Read on for a list of some of Australia’s best family-friendly destinations.
Where to Go in Australia for Your Family Vacation
1. The Great Barrier Reef
No trip to Australia would be complete without a visit to Natural Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Heritage site, The Great Barrier Reef. As the world’s largest coral reef system it is magnificent, measuring about half the size of Texas and containing 3,000 coral reefs. It is undeniable that this remarkable site is something that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. One of the most personal ways to get up close with thousands of different marine life species is by snorkeling. If your kids are very small or there are non-swimmers in your family, you can choose a glass bottom boat tour as an alternative. Regardless of method, visitors of any age will not be able to escape the awe of this iconic place.
Fun Fact: It is the only living organism that can be seen from the moon.
2. Lamington National Park
If you cannot get enough of Australia’s natural beauty, Lamington State Park in the City of Gold Coast has a lot to offer. It is part of The Gondwana Rainforests and features extensive hiking trails ranked by difficulty so you can easily choose the right one for your family. You will traverse wilderness that allows you to view some of Australia’s unique wildlife, along with creeks and beautiful waterfalls. One especially unique feature is the Tree Top Walkway, which consists of nine suspension bridges about 50 feet above the forest floor. This activity is entirely free and there are no age or height restrictions.
3. Kangaroo Island
When kids think of Australia, they think of kangaroos; and what better place to make sure your children don’t leave disappointed than an island named after Australia’s famous marsupials. Kangaroo Island is located off the mainland of South Australia and can be reached by ferry. Once you’re there, you cannot miss a visit to one of the country’s top parks, Finders Chase National Park, which spans 200,000 acres. You can take a self-guided driving tour through the park and try to spot the native animals such as kangaroos, wallabees, and koalas. Without leaving the island, you can also switch gears and go to Seal Bay Conservation Park, where a walk along the beach will treat you to a viewing of a sea lion colony.
Bonus Tip: You can purchase a Kangaroo Island Tour Pass and gain access to both parks (plus more) for just one fee.
4. Sydney Harbour
When you are ready to spend some time exploring a city setting, head over to Sydney Harbour, which is one of this city’s main tourist hubs. Take a walk to the world famous Sydney Opera House for a family photo opportunity, or see it from a harbour cruise boat. Other kid-approved attractions in this area include a visit to the Australian National Maritime Museum, were you can tour a submarine moored in the harbour, and a walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The island state of Tasmania is a great place to visit if your family likes spooky adventures and the supernatural. There are multiple ghost tours so you can choose your own haunted experience. For example, the Lanceton Ghost Tours have a 90-minute walking tour that specifically caters to children, and the Port Arthur ghost tour shows you the scary side of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Make sure that your Tasmania visit includes at least one Saturday so you can experience the Salamanca Market. This once-a-week attraction features more than 300 vendors and is the perfect place for the whole family to find their perfect souvenirs.
Queenland’s capital always keeps the kids in mind and features weekly children’s activities that they adorably refer to as “Little Days Out.” The scheduled events range anywhere from soccer workshops to science experiments and dance classes, and they happen all year long. You should also book a ride on the epic Wheel of Brisbane, a giant Ferris wheel with stunning views of the Brisbane River. There are discounted tickets for students and children, and kids three and younger ride free.
This article was written by Paula Ashlee Berg.