Fun with the family

Keep the kids entertained and get busy adventuring this holidays

Another long, hot Australian summer is upon us and with it comes school holidays and a collective course of ‘I’m bored!’ heard around the country. Most parents of school-aged children are no doubt currently on the hunt for holiday destinations to keep the kids entertained while maintaining some semblance of sanity themselves. Fear not; there are many wonderful destinations within our vast and beautiful country which are designed to cater for the whole family.

Margaret River, Western Australia

One of Australia’s top wine regions may seem like an odd choice for a family-friendly holiday but don’t be fooled. There are so many great activities here for kids, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been here before. From colouring-in supplies to giant chess and Jenga, giant playgrounds and beautiful surrounds to explore, most wineries and popular breweries have something to keep the kids entertained while grown-ups indulge in a little tasting or take in a brew or two. Margaret River is renowned for its spectacular beaches; drive directly west of Margaret River township too take in a west coast sunset or head a little further south to Hamelin Bay and marvel at stingrays boldly swimming close to shore. The area is also famed for it million-year-old limestone cave system that lies beneath the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge; a number of the caves can be comfortably accessed with little ones in tow. Finally, be sure to check out the famous Busselton Jetty, only a short drive from Margaret River township.

Gold Coast, Queensland

A list of family-friendly holiday destinations wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the Gold Coast. While some of the more well-known areas like Surfers Paradise are famous for nightlife, there is a smorgasbord of activities waiting for the kids along the south Queensland coast. Be sure to visit one of the many theme parks open this summer; most are conveniently located within easy driving distance of each other and the Gold Coast’s main beaches. Of course, there’s the golden sands and panoramic beauty of the beaches themselves; head south to Burleigh and Currumbin for less busy and more family orientated locations.  While you’re in Currumbin, stop off at the Currumbin Wild Life Park and let kids tap into their inner nature warrior. For those looking for a break from beach life, head inland to Binna Burra and Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast hinterland. Experience the rugged beauty of the area with hikes of various lengths and difficulty, and be sure to stop off at the natural playground complete with mazes, obstacle courses and a flying fox.

Adelaide and surrounds, South Australia

Another iconic Australian destination known primarily for its wineries, Adelaide is also a top location for family-friendly holidays.  Clever purveyors of wine know that parents are more likely to come along and indulge in a drop if kids are well-catered for, with a number of wineries set up for this; there’s playgrounds, beautiful gardens, treasure hunting and fantastic kid-friendly menus to be had at a number of vineyards in the region. Haigs Chocolate Factory is well worth a visit, where you can book a free guided tour and see how chocolatiers create the delicious treats Haigs is famous for (check operating times over the busy Christmas season). Jump on a tram from the city and head to the beach side town of Glenelg, where kids will enjoy the impressive foreshore playground with its waterplay area and adventure theming while you soak in panoramic views of Glenelg’s famed beach. Stop in at the Beachouse, a child’s paradise of games and entertainment spread over a whopping five levels of fun and conveniently located close to the  beach itself. While you’re in Adelaide, be sure to make the journey out to Kangaroo Island. Check out wildlife sanctuaries and education centres before refuelling at Dudley Wines Cellar Door. While you’re there, head to Seal Bay, home to a large number of friendly (but stinky) sea lions, scramble over the Remarkable Rocks and visit Vivonne

Words by Rebecca Walker - Published 16 December 2018
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