6 amazing ways to have family fun that won't break the bank
We've found the top activities to do with the family – that won’t cost you the earth.
- September 2019
The best way to get kids off their screens? An action-packed family fun day out! Here are our tried-and-tested picks for adventures they will never forget.
Hop across the treetops in Queensland
Just when you thought The Big Pineapple couldn’t get any juicer, this year, the nearly 50-year-old Sunshine Coast opens in new window attraction has added to its pineapple parfaits, pineapple train and glorious collection of Big Pineapple stationery Australia’s highest treetop adventure course opens in new window as part of its redevelopment plan. You’ll face 100 climbing challenges and 12 zip-lines at more than 25 metres above ground. It’s AUD $45 for kids and AUD $55 for adults (OK you got us, but once that adrenalin kicks in, you won’t notice that the adults have tipped over the AUD $50 budget).
Go berry-picking in Victoria
Strawberries are the Miss Congeniality of fruit – they’re universally loved and the most popular source of vitamin C on any fruit platter. At Sunny Ridge berry farm opens in new window, you can spend a day in the sun picking your own haul fresh from the shrub. Located in Main Ridge – an Instagram heaven – on the Mornington Peninsula just a one-hour drive from Melbourne, admission is AUD $10 for adults and includes a 500-gram take-home punnet of the deliciously sweet berry.
Spot dolphins in Western Australia
There’s no greater moment of amazement than witnessing fluttering fins and cheeky grins from Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. An hour south of Perth opens in new window is Mandurah Estuary – a natural habitat for the smartest mammals outside of the ape family. For AUD $32 (or AUD $18 for children), you can witness baby dolphins nuzzling their mums on an hour-long scenic cruise opens in new window. Throw in AUD $12 extra to get a fish and chip lunch – or chicken nuggets for the kids.
Head to the hills in New South Wales
The whole family will have a blast looking (way) down through the glass-bottomed skyway as it passes over the Blue Mountains’ verdant and magnificent Jamison Valley, just a 90 minute drive from Sydney opens in new window. From AUD $44 for adults and AUD $24 for kids, grab an unlimited day pass for all Scenic World opens in new window attractions, including the world’s steepest incline railway, skyway, cableway and Jurassic rainforest walkway.
Rev up the retro in Queensland
Nostalgia doesn’t come any more picturesque than this. Head to Yatala, nestled between Brisbane opens in new window and the Gold Coast opens in new window (and famous for its pies), to get your retro fix at one of the few surviving drive-in movie theatres opens in new window in Australia. Stock up on snacks at the 50s-style diner, before enjoying a flick for only AUD $35 a carload (up to six people).
Look up at the stars in Western Australia
Venture out after dark and be rewarded with stunning, inky starlit skies on a Night Sky Tour at Perth Observatory opens in new window (AUD $45, or AUD $20 for kids). Once you escape the light pollution of the city and head 40 minutes east of Perth’s CBD, constellations illuminate with a cosmic intensity. Eager volunteers with a passion for the skies above are at hand to guide you on the telescopes – ready to help spot all the planets, nebulas, star clusters and dying stars. You also get to check out the museum with its astronomical exhibits, including the Atlas Coelestis, a groundbreaking book of the stars from 1729.