TOP 5 HOLIDAYS WITH KIDS IN AUSTRALIA
By Rebecca Mason, author of Holiday Dreaming: The Expert’s Guide to Large Family Travel and owner of Mr Chocolate’s Travel, a travel agency specialising in large family travel
As a mum of six and a travel agent specialising in family travel, I have seen firsthand the magic of a family holiday.
In Australia, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to holiday destinations but some places are better geared towards families or offer that X-Factor that really excites kids.
Here are five of my favourite family holiday spots in Australia.
Sydney, NSW is a playground for children, with ferries, double-decker trains, the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and beaches. Throw in some Darling Harbour fun, an aquarium housing ‘PIG the Dugong’, the unique Taronga Zoo with its dazzling views, the Powerhouse Museum, and all the fun of Luna Park – this city is a family’s dream. A historic morning at The Rocks pretending you’re Abigail following the mysterious Beatie Bow is so much fun, and a day trip to the gorgeous Blue Mountains and Scenic World via the Candy Store in Leura completes the adventure.
Apollo Bay, VIC is perfectly situated along the Great Ocean Road and is a picturesque location to ‘plop and drop’ at a family-friendly resort or private holiday home. Daily adventures might include discovering waterfalls, rockpools, beaches, lighthouses, forests, indigenous culture, glow-worms, and awe-inspiring natural landscapes with a zip-lining and treetops excursion thrown in. Day trips down the coast to Torquay and Lorne, and up the coast as far as Port Campbell, Warrnambool, and Port Fairy are also recommended.
Airlie Beach, QLD is a place to relax and explore a World Heritage listed marine park and pristine beaches. The access point to the Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach is home to world-class family resorts, offering a relaxing family getaway mixed with day trips to Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island, Daydream Island, the Great Barrier Reef, Palm Island, and perhaps a ride on a JetBoat or a guided adventure to search for local crocodiles. Other QLD top spots for families include the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Cairns.
Glenelg, SA is a fun, scenic and trendy location for the entire family to hang out. Walk to the local shopping precinct, play in the water, make sandcastles on the beach, venture out on the jetty, find fun at the action-packed “Beach House” and catch the tram into the city of Adelaide. Day trips from Glenelg may include Historic Hahndorf or Victor Harbour. An extra two days would allow time to detour to Kangaroo Island.
Uluru, NT is emerging as a new family favourite. An unforgettable cultural experience, this sacred place is home to THE famous red rock – Uluru – and Kata Tjuta is also close by affording plenty of hiking opportunities. Uluru is a place to delve into our indigenous history, discover nature, view spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and the children can run free. The Field of Light outdoor exhibition, which spans an area larger than 7 football fields, is a must see. Five days is the perfect stay.
Rebecca Mason is the owner of Mr Chocolate’s Travel, an independent Melbourne travel agency which is the culmination of her travel dreams and experience. After many years organising her own family’s holidays and learning every trick in the book, in 2017 she put her passion and knowledge to good use with a travel agency that she runs from home with help from her family, who are all involved in the business. As a large family expert, a feature of her business is finding accommodation for big family groups and making Disney affordable to families. In 2019, Mr Chocolate’s Travel was listed among the Top 10 Sellers of Disney Destinations in Australia & New Zealand. www.travel.mrchocolate.com.au