Where to enjoy the best family holidays in Australia

From beach breaks and wildlife to all the Lego you can handle, Australia has family holiday fun in spades. Here are the best places to take your kids for a break from the routine.

Kids enjoying theme park ride with their guardians.
  • Jane Ormond
  • July 2018

When it comes to planning a holiday for the whole family, Australia really is the lucky country. Beach breaks, skiing holidays, adventure activities and urban exploration are all on the menu here. Not sure where to take the kids next? Check out some of these top Aussie spots to take the family.

Gold Coast

With its instantly heart-slowing blue skies and sparkling beaches, the Gold Coast is a prime holiday destination for people of any age, but it’s the famed theme parks that make the Gold Coast number one when it comes to kid-friendly travel. With parks like Warner Bros Movie World and Seaworld opens in new window, there’s plenty to adventure to be had.

If your children are more into fun of the fluffy, furry variety, an excursion to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary opens in new window, set within lush forest, should do the trick. Get up close with dingos and devils and even watch the vets at work. For a juicy alternative, make a day trip of your visit to Tropical Fruit World opens in new window, where you can take a guided tractor tour through the fruit trees and taste all kinds of exotic, tropical fruit that you may not have tried before, or head to the Broadwater Parklands opens in new window for a relaxing picnic amidst the play equipment and Rockpool water playground.

Perth

You could spend an entire holiday soaking up those coastal beaches around Perth. While some beaches are beacons to surfers, there are plenty of gentle waters for the smaller water babies. Try Hillarys Boat Harbour Beach opens in new window, which is patrolled by lifeguards, has a playground in the sand and good dining nearby. The famous Cottesloe Beach (also patrolled) is another family favourite, with its surrounding cafes and lush grassy areas.

Away from the beach, Synergy Parkland, within Kings Park, is peppered with enormous dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, while Hyde Park has a water playground running from November to April, complete with water cannons, sprays and buckets. And for culture kids, the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, within Pioneer Park, puts on amazing puppet shows and puppetry classes.

Melbourne

Compact and easy to get around, Melbourne opens in new window can offer families a heap of fun within easy reach. A trip to Luna Park and its historic carousel is a perfect excuse to explore the seaside suburb of St Kilda. Follow the bay around for the pretty beaches of Brighton and Black Rock. If your kids are into animals, they’ll love time spent at SEA LIFE aquarium, the sprawling Melbourne Zoo, the hands-on Collingwood Children’s Farm opens in new window and, further afield, the picturesque Healesville Sanctuary.

If the weather turns (and it can), you can head inside to Scienceworks opens in new window for techy, science-y fun, dip into the NGV opens in new window which often has kid-friendly activities related to the current major exhibitions, or take the ultimate selfie at ArtVo opens in new window, an immersive gallery full of larger than life optical illusions that you can actually star in.

For little Lego fans, head out to Legoland opens in new window at Chadstone Shopping Centre for all the plastic-brick-building you can handle in a day.

Sydney

Sydney is a feast for the eyes and a fun-fest for the kids opens in new window. Often it’s simply the scenic beaches that can provide entertainment enough, but there’s even more fun to be had on the water by jumping on a ferry at Circular Quay and heading over to Taronga Zoo opens in new window, or to the northern beaches of Manly. You can also ferry over to Cockatoo Island opens in new window to explore its convict history.

You’ll find the gleaming Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) opens in new window at the Powerhouse (an old power station), with 250 interactive exhibits covering science, technology, creativity, decorative arts and Australian popular culture. Kiddie book-lovers might like a trip to Nutcote opens in new window, May Gibbs’ museum and budding performers might enjoy a junior adventure tour opens in new window of the Sydney Opera House.

Adelaide

Adelaide is famous for its natural beauty and local produce, and kids can make the most of both there. Jump on a tram to the beach at Glenelg or go strawberry-picking in the Adelaide Hills. Clamber up to Mount Lofty Summit for incredible city views, then walk back down to Waterfall Gully.

If the words ‘free chocolate’ send your kids (and you!) into raptures, take a tour of Adelaide’s famous Haigh’s opens in new window, that delicious chocolatier. See how they make those addictive truffles and sample chocolates on the way.

For the aspiring ninja in your family, check out the aerial obstacle courses at Mega Adventure opens in new window and for that classic Australian holiday experience, tick off all those ‘big’ icons on your travels – the Big Lobster, the Big Pelican and the Big Olives.