When it comes to exploring our backyards, Australians are spoilt for choice. We’re surrounded by incredible coastlines, vibrant cities, breathtaking landscapes, rainforests, deserts, and wildlife. With so much to explore, one can say there’s no need for a passport. Our temperate climate means you can take a holiday at any time of the year. Best of all, Australia is a family-friendly place to visit whether you’re a local or visiting from overseas.
With some states of Australia being the same size as a small country, most likely, you haven’t seen it all. And even if you explored a good portion of your home state without kids, visit again and see it through your kids’ eyes. The beauty of not leaving your state is that you can save on the high cost of airline tickets and make it a budget-friendly road trip. Hook up a camper trailer or caravan, and accommodation will be one less thing to plan.
While you can cross the state border in the car, not everyone fancies a long drive with the kids (it’s not for the faint-hearted, let’s be honest). If that’s you, it’s time to book the flights and jet off interstate. The beauty of flying interstate is you enjoy a change of scenery and weather. If you live in a southern area of the continent, July could see you escape the dreary weather and head north, or in January, head south and enjoy a less sweaty holiday.
Best Family-Friendly Destinations in Australia
If you’re asking yourself, ‘Where should I go on holiday with my family?’, read on to find your ideal location. When deciding where to go, consider the age of your kids and their interests to ensure you can all enjoy your time away. Let's face it, if the kids aren’t having a good time, no one is!
Gold Coast (QLD)
The Gold Coast is a kid’s paradise - featuring wild rides, favourite characters, and animal experiences. One theme park might be your limit, or spoil yourselves and visit them all. Dreamworld is the largest theme park, with over 500 Australian native animals and a wide range of rides and attractions to fill in the day. For movie and superhero lovers, head to Warner Bros Movie World and enjoy the rides. If it’s marine wildlife you want to see, SeaWorld will be your go-to - it'll be an educational and fun day out. Learn about dolphins, penguins, polar bears, and sharks. Last but not least, Wet’N’Wild is a water theme park with water slides, swimming, and wave pools. WhiteWater World takes water rides to the next level.
South Coast (NSW)
The South Coast is a popular destination for families. Only two hours south of Sydney, Jamberoo is a mecca for kids with tobogganing and water slides at Jamberoo Action Park and the country’s longest zipline at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures. If you want to discover wildlife offshore, check out fur seals, penguins, and birds at Montague Island. Take a guided boat tour, then swim or snorkel in the clear waters. There are plenty of educational attractions in Wollongong, such as the Science Space with its live science shows and SciFri Cinema and the Early Start Discovery Place, which is a dedicated children’s museum with interactive, play-based experiences.
The Hunter Valley (NSW)
Just three hours north of Sydney you'll find the Hunter Region, which encloses the cities of Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Maitland, and Cessnock. Spend time on the lake boating, swimming, and fishing during the warmer months, or take in some of Newcastle's history by visiting Nobby’s Lighthouse and Fort Scratchley with its cannons and tunnels.
Cradle Mountain (TAS)
If the family enjoys spending time in nature, Tasmania won’t disappoint; be sure to find anything from short walks to long hikes through ancient rainforests and around stunning lakes, mountains, and river gorges. Ronny Creek is the best place to spot an array of wildlife, including wombats, echidnas, wallabies, and the occasional platypus. Take a guided walking tour, horseback trail ride, canoe ride, or canyoning tour for older families.
Bay of Fires (TAS)
For kids who like venturing over rocks, the Bay of Fires on the east coast has unusual red lichen-covered granite boulders to discover, and the Wineglass Bay Lookout offers stunning views of the picturesque national park. Take a closer look at the beautiful coastline with a walk along the boardwalk or kayak tour.
Great Ocean Road (VIC)
Famous for its 12 Apostles, the Great Ocean Road offers so much more for the whole family to see and do. Just one hour from Melbourne, you'll find stunning walks with waterfalls, the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures, Cape Otway Lightstation, the Flagstaff Hill maritime village, national parks, wildlife, and quaint towns to discover. With little driving between each place to stop, this becomes an ideal location for kids who don’t like long car drives.
Kids love an adventure, and scrambling over rocks is pure joy for many. What better place than to climb the peaks of The Grampians? The natural attractions include the Pinnacle, Boroka Lookout, Reed Lookout, and the Balconies. Visit Aboriginal rock art sites, Silo Art Trail, and enjoy the stunning sunrises, sunsets, and views from the peaks. Pretty historic towns and villages are dotted throughout the Grampians.
Rottnest Island (WA)
Take a short ferry ride from Fremantle or Hillarys to enjoy an island holiday. Rottnest is family-friendly in so many ways, like the fact that bikes are the main mode of transport around the island. Explore dozens of beaches and bays where you can swim, snorkel, fish, or boat. Take a walking or segway tour around the island, and don't forget to take a photo with the famous quokkas.
Margaret River (WA)
Margaret River is a popular spot all year round, just a few hours south of Perth. Travelling through the south-west, you’ll find some stunning beaches, perfect for swimming or learning to surf. There are also mountain bike trails, mini golf, bush walks, climbing over rocks, fishing, and an abundance of sweet and savoury snacks to enjoy.
Whether you’re a local or from another state, there are plenty of activities for kids to enjoy all year round. Many of them are educational and fun. Canberra is home to many national museums, including the National Dinosaur Museum with its skeletons and life-like fibreglass models and the Australian War Memorial with its replica WWI trenches and home front.
The Australian Institute of Sport offers tours run by elite athletes with a chance to use the sporting facilities, while the National Portrait Gallery has family-friendly programs. The Parliament House is worth a visit, even if it’s only for the kids to roll around on the lush grass roof as well as the Museum of Australian Democracy in the Old Parliament House. The National Zoo and Aquarium will fill plenty of hours with the kids learning what it’s like to be a zookeeper and so much more. Finish the educational experience with a trip to Questacon, the interactive science and technology wonderland.
There’s no shortage of things for kids to do in the Northern Territory capital. Darwin’s Waterfront is one big playground with a wave pool, an aquapark on the man-made beach, and a recreation lagoon. A short walk back into the CBD, the whole family can see the world’s largest display of saltwater crocodiles and reptiles. Rich in history, there are plenty of museums and historic sites around town to visit and learn about the important role Darwin played during WWII.
Litchfield National Park (NT)
You don’t need to travel far from the city centre to experience some of the incredible nature that the top-end of the country has to offer. Litchfield National Park is a 90-minute drive from Darwin on sealed roads to enjoy the waterholes and stunning waterfalls. Take a pool noodle or their floaties and cool off in the various swimming spots dotted around the park.
Don’t Leave Home Without Travel Insurance
Whether you’re flying or driving to your holiday destination, you’ll be making memories with the kids that will last forever (even more so when you’ve forgotten the difficult parts). Staycation in your backyard or tick off another Australian state on your bucket list. Just don’t forget to organise a travel insurance policy so you can enjoy a safe and worry-free holiday. You can have an online quote in minutes.