Put away the school uniforms and drop the lunch box, school holidays are just around the corner. If you’ve run out of ideas to keep the kids entertained, we have a few family vacation ideas that everyone will love.
1. The Gold Coast, Queensland – Theme Parks and Night Life
Known worldwide for its long, white postcard-esque beaches and family friendly theme parks, this stretch of paradise is a popular family vacation destination. The kids can spend days at the theme park stretch with Sea World, Movie World, Wet n’ Wild World and Dream World just a short drive away from one another.
In a hurry? If your time in the Gold Coast is limited and there is a 60 minute queue for each ride, get a Q4U Q-Mobile – a virtual queuing system which holds your spot in line without requiring you being there. When you reach the front of the queue, your Q-Mobile will notify you to head over to the selected ride.
Where to Stay: Paradise Resort on the Gold Coast has interconnecting rooms for families. The staff are friendly and helpful and the place is well maintained. It is a short drive to the theme parks and walking distance to restaurants and the beach.
For the adults: Need a night cap? Visit Jupiters for Comedy Night, available every Wednesday night. If you love live entertainment, be sure to catch the Cabaret De Paris which is on from 26-28 June.
2. The Hunter Valley, New South Wales – A Country Escape
Well known as wine region, this quick getaway from Sydney offers more than a hangover. Fresh country air, the Hunter Valley gardens and a round of golf are only some of the things wine country has to offer.
Hunter Valley Highlights for Kids
-Visit the new arrivals at Hunter Valley Zoo and meet a pair of Serval (they can leap 3 metres vertically in the air!). Pack an esky to save lunch costs.
– Plan a day of golf, adults can hit the courses while the kids get stuck into Mini Golf and Aqua Golf.
-Skip the hot air balloon ride (a visitor highlight) and explore Hunter Valley on a scenic bike ride. You’ll still catch a spectacular sunset, at a fraction of the cost.
3. Kangaroo Island, South Australia – For the Nature Loving Animal Lovers
Australia’s third biggest island can be reached via a 45 minute ferry ride from the coast of South Australia. This is a holiday destination for animal lovers. From Koalas to Echidnas, Wallabies to the Platypus, animal sight-seeing here is so Australian you’ll want to whip out some Vegemite and throw some prawns on the Barbie. The nature hikes are extensive with a rugged land to explore. If the kids are a little older consider scuba diving off Kangaroo Island.
Tip: Taken in some Australian history and explore one of three historical light houses on the island
4. Perisher, New South Wales- Sport and Snow Adventures
When the cold weather hits it can be tempting to escape the low temperatures and run for the beaches. If you can embrace the cold, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied at Perisher, New South Wales’ most popular ski resort. With an extensive range of ski fields and over 50 lifts, Perisher has options for beginners through to advanced skiers. With the most advanced slopes of any ski field in the country, those with experience will have no trouble filling vacation time. Kids can enjoy skiing lessons to get them started or even just play in the snow for as long as they like (or as long as you let them).
Tip: -If you or the kids don’t ski or snowboard, check out Tube Town. It’s a low cost snow experience with downhill tobogganing that will keep the family entertained for hours. A single ride is about $6
Tip:Book your life tickets during off season to get a better deal
5. Ship Wreck Coast (Great Ocean Road Drive), Victoria – Scenic Drives and Road Trip Games
What would a family holiday list be without a winding road trip? You can reach Ship Wreck Coast via the Great Ocean Road. This stretch of the Bass Strait in Victoria is said to have claimed up to 700 ships, earning its sombre name. Despite this there is beauty everywhere with the twelve Apostles jutting out from the waves, a sight that your family will never forget. Be sure to see the limestone formulations east of the Loch Ard George.
Settle down for a picnic and let the kids unleash their tireless energy while adults can enjoy a round of clifftop golf or enjoy a beer in Bourke’s Pub. For a quiet place to rest, look to Port Campbell.
Tip: Don’t try to see everything in a day. Stop by a few towns along the way. Stop for a surf at Torquay‘s Bell’s Beach or have lunch in Lorne.
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