Pack up the rugrats and get ready to rumble with this ultimate kids holiday guide. Including family-friendly activities and places to stay that both parents and kids can enjoy, look no further before booking your next family getaway.
Bored teenager: a parent's worst nightmare. But any suggestion that comes from Mum or Dad's mouth is usually greeted with instant contempt. Marriott Hotels in four Australian cities, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, are now aiming to rectify this age-old conundrum by employing 'teen concierges' over holiday periods: Felicity Light, 18, (Sydney) Hannah Davies, 17, (Brisbane), Isabelle Clarke, 14, (Melbourne) and Emma Campbell, 15, (Surfers Paradise). Here we've asked these teenage teen 'experts' to give their suggestions on where the cool kids are hanging out, from vintage markets and mega skate parks to cool places to lap up...
Want to get the kids off their butts, away from the iPad and into the Australia's seriously great outdoors? These family holiday ideas will get them into the fresh air and make you the hero at the end of the day... (from Natural Australia: 16 Ultimate Escapes) 1. Snorkel with salty the seal Snorkel with whiskery Australian and New Zealand fur seals, renowned for their playfulness and aqua-batics. Day tours to Montague Island, nine kilometres from Narooma, NSW, can also include a walk to a historic lighthouse and fairy penguin spotting. See: Ultimate Escapes: Coastal Wilderness 2. Paddle with...
If you have an active (or competitive) family, why not kick things up a notch and enter one of the many ocean swims held around the country each year? You can train together and motivate each other, and be there to prop each other up when you emerge gasping from the ocean at the end. Some events even cater to young children, with short courses to get them into the (ahem) swim of things. You can even plan your family holiday around a destination event, such as the Great Barrier Reef Ocean Swim, which takes over beautifulHeronIslandwith multiple events for...
Outdoor cinemas have been around for decades, but our love affair with them only grows stronger. There’s something very cool about watching a movie outdoors, and the experience becomes all the more magical when you add a beautiful backdrop of water to admire, seagulls flying overhead as the sun bids you goodnight and the movie starts. It takes the act of viewing a movie out of the darkened, overly air-conditioned cinema and makes it a communal celebration of the great outdoors and great weather. Pack a picnic, bring cushions and a blanket, and settle in under the stars for a...
It’s a universal traveller’s truth that there are hotels, and then there are hotels. This truth inspires even more meaningful head-nodding when you have a family on board. While self-catering accommodation often becomes the go-to option with kids in tow, sometimes it’s nice to hand over the hard work (and the housekeeping) to someone else for a while. But there are conditions that must be met. We’re talking the trifecta here: the location must be both scenic and conveniently located for family-friendly activities; amenities must tick the ‘I’m spoiling myself’ box while remaining comfy enough for kids; and service should...
Holidays are the perfect time to take learning out of the classroom and into the real world. Surrounded by the staggering beauty of our coastline, seeing the wildlife and the pristine beaches, suddenly all the background noise about the need to protect our habitat becomes resoundingly clear. More and more tourism operators are providing opportunities to combine precious time off with the chance to make a difference. Naturewise Conservation Holidays offers a range of ways to give back to our beautiful coastal environment, from monitoring the turtle population on Eco Beach in Western Australia to helping clear marine debris in...
Flying a kite yourself on a deserted beach, controlling its arc as it swoops and swerves in the seabreeze, is one kind of special. But attending one of the spectacular kite festivals held on beaches around the country is another. At events like the Festival of the Winds at Bondi Beach, the Adelaide International Kite Festival, the Rosebud Kite Festival in Victoria and the Kirra Kite Festival on Queensland’s Gold Coast, huge crowds flock to the beaches to crook their necks and marvel at the sky as it’s taken over by a riot of kites in all shapes and sizes....
This one’s easy – simply pick a national park, pack your gear and get exploring, for a day trip or a week-long adventure. Some of our most beautiful and ecologically diverse national parks are located along the coastline, blending isolated beaches with dense forest, amazing rock formations, waterfalls, walking trails, campsites, and many opportunities to get happily lost in the wilderness. From coastal hikes to surfing, camping or fishing, each national park is a world unto itself. Popular options include Innes National Park on SA’s Yorke Peninsula; Wilson’s Promontory, Vic; Bournda National Park on the NSW South Coast; Mt William...
Being one big island means our history is inextricably linked to the ocean that surrounds us. The delightfully quirky seaside museums dotted around our coastline are a fabulous way to add a bit of variety to your holiday routine of swimming, sunbathing and swimming again (and a great wet-weather option). Examples include Portland, Victoria’s first colonial settlement, where the kids will love riding the vintage tram along the waterfront before stepping inside the ribcage of a sperm whale at the Maritime Discovery Centre. At Albany, WA, you can delve into navy history at the Princess Royal Fortress and check out...
Ok, so it’s a little cheesy, but why not embrace this unique side of our culture – a strange desire to immortalise certain local produce and other random objects in the form of giant roadside statues? You will find the greatest concentration of Big Things on the East Coast of Australia, though they’re dotted all around the country (it’s thought there are over 150 of them in total). Some of these once-loved icons have fallen by the wayside when it comes to upkeep, but they still retain a quirky sense of Australiana. Try ticking the icons off your list, starting...
Special wedding anniversary? 40th birthday? Birth of first grandchild? What better excuse to book a big coastal retreat for a group of your nearest and dearest? If you’re in an island kind of mood, Bedarra Island Villa is your ticket. The whitewashed, rustic-chic villa consists of a main house and a studio, each sleeping four. Day-trippers aren’t allowed on Bedarra, and you’re bang on a private beach, so privacy is guaranteed. An outdoor shower and bath add to the luxurious Robinson Crusoe vibe. On NSW’s South Coast, the four-bedroom Myer House overlooks the estuary at Bithry Inlet in Mimosa Rocks National...
Children will never cease to be amazed by the experience of ogling the mystical creatures of the deep as they glide silently around and above you, within the ‘will-they-hold?’ glass walls of an aquarium. It’s a particularly great option when the weather’s acting up and jumping into the sea itself is out of the question. Try these The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA), WA Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, NSW SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, Vic Underwater World, Sunshine Coast, Qld 90<< Cooktown colonial history tour Canoe Noosa everglades >> 92 Back to 101 Unforgettable Coastal...
Some days, it seems impossible to keep everyone happy. On those days, we suggest making a beeline for one of our proudest traditions: the great Aussie beer garden. The best family-friendly ones have facilities, playgrounds or entertainment to keep the kids occupied while mum and dad take a breather or catch up with friends over an icy-cold beer or bottle of wine. There’s a wonderful conviviality that hums in the air of a great beer garden in the summertime, and particularly those blessed with a prime coastal position. Fresh seafood and kids’ menus round out an easy-peasy, crowd-pleasing option. Try...
Hannah Davies, 17, works at Marriott Brisbane as a ‘teen concierge’. Here the self-confessed foodie and ice cream lover shares her simple ideas for teens to explore Brisbane. Markets The West End Twilight Markets (fourth Saturday of each month from 4 to 9pm in the Reclaimed Hanger) has a friendly community feel and is a great place for those who love of a good vintage find. The Suitcase Rummage (first and third Sunday of every month from 12 to 5pm), promises the best handmade art, vintage and seconds, bric-a-brac and records. If you're looking to get rid of some old...
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