Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

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If you are looking for the best holiday destinations in Australia for families then look no further!  We know that the land down under is absolutely huge! It also has an amazing range of things to do and see.  So we’ve narrowed your options down with these, the best family holidays Australia has to offer!

Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

In order to give you the best family holidays, Australia has to offer we have included at least 1-2 different destinations in each state. We know that if you are booking a family trip to Australia you will want to make good use of your time researching and then while in Oz.   So all the places listed here are truly destinations.  These are places you can spend a minimum of 7 days or even longer.

This post may contain affiliate links, from which we would earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. More info in my disclaimer.

Western Australia

Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

Broome

Broome, sitting on the remote north-west coast of Western Australia, was a childhood favorite destination of mine.  It was somewhere I could not wait to take my kids too as well.  It’s best to visit during the dry season April to October where you should experience no rain and lovely warm days of around 28 to 32c.

From the calm (and very tidal!) waters of Roebuck Bay to the endless sandy shores of Cable Beach, this is a spectacular outdoor destination for families.  It’s quite the task to get there by road (2,200kms north of Perth)!  However, many will include this as a major stopping point on an around Australia trip.  Alternatively, it’s easiest to fly – around a 2.5-hour journey from Perth.

Families come to Broome primarily for the glorious beach weather and wonderful chilled vibe of this tropical town.  Broome was founded during the pearling boom of the 1880s.  Beyond the beaches though, there’s plenty to do from deep-sea fishing to pearl farms, wildlife experiences including the Malcom Douglas Wilderness Wildlife Park and exploring the dinosaur’s footprints at low tide on Gantheaume Point.

In town, enjoy wandering the streets of Chinatown and enjoy a movie at Sun Pictures, the world’s oldest outdoor theatre that’s still operational today!  Weekends bring the popular Courthouse Markets for crafts, local produce and lots of fun kids activities.

The best places to stay in Broome are either close to Roebuck Bay and the center of town, or around Cable Beach.  If the luxurious Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa is beyond budget, then try nearby Cable Beachside Villas great for family groups, or the RAC Cable Beach Holiday Park.  The July school holidays are always the busiest so expect prices to rise and accommodation to book out fast.

One date worth lining your trip up for is the monthly occurrence of Stairway to the Moon.  This is a natural phenomenon in Roebuck Bay that happens around full moon.  At any time of year, the crowning glory of Broome is the sunsets, we’d argue some of the most stunning you will see in the world!

Keri from Our Globetrotters

Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

Perth and Rottnest Island

Perth is famous for its relaxed and outdoorsy lifestyle which makes an ideal destination for families traveling with kids of all ages.  The warm and sunny climate means that you can make the most of the myriad outdoor activities year-round.

One of the best things about traveling to Perth with kids is that you can enjoy the many parks and amazing playgrounds for free.  Some of the best playgrounds are in Kings Park, including the Rio Tinto Naturescape Playground where kids can make cubby houses, play in the creek and let their imagination roam free.

Another memorable family-friendly destination in Perth is Rottnest Island.  The amazing beaches and encounters with the quokkas, the world’s friendliest animal are a hit with small and older kids.  An added bonus is that Rottnest Island is car-free which makes it a safe place to explore on bicycle.

For an urban adventure, take a trip to the port city of Fremantle.  Kids can explore the maritime and shipwreck museums and end the day at the fishing boat harbor for a fish and chips dinner.

For family-friendly accommodation in Perth, we recommend the Scarborough Rendezvous Hotel for amazing views of the coastline and easy access to the beach and the newly developed Beachfront Esplanade with skate park and playground. The hotel is reasonably priced and has one of the best lagoon-style pools in Perth.

 Nina from West Australian Explorer

Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

Margaret River Wine Region

Just 3 hours south of Perth the Margaret River Wine Region offers a compact yet “wow” family holiday destination.  With stunning beaches, beautiful forests and lots of easy to do walk trails, Margaret River offers a lot for the outdoor family to do.   For those who love their food and wine: look no further.  Margaret River has world-class wineries and a growing number of artisanal breweries, including one of our favorites, the Cheeky Monkey Brewery.

You can comfortably visit Margaret River in 3 days, but once you have arrived you will never want to leave as there is a great vibe and so much to do, that we describe in Things to do in Margaret River with kids.  To the north beachside, a more typical family holiday destination is Busselton, for a full roundup take a look at Things to do in Busselton with kids.

In Margaret River, there is a true wealth of accommodation options from 5-star resorts to glamping in the bush.  Our kids love animals, so by staying in Farmstay we tick off two boxes in one, Margaret River Hideaway & Farmstay is great.  If you would prefer a beach retreat the Pullman Bunker Bay gets rave reviews.

Tasmania

family trip to australia - Tasmania

Hobart

When I’m asked about the best places to take kids in Australia, I normally receive a curious look when I mention Hobart, Tasmania.  Before visiting ourselves, I was not sure there would be enough to see and do in Hobart for our travel-loving family.  I can now say that Hobart is one of our favorite cities and exceeded our expectations.  Hobart retains its heritage charm while offering visitors modern-day experiences with incredible sights and attractions nearby.

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There are many iconic places to visit in Hobart that are family-friendly starting at the Salamanca Markets.  The famous market is open every Saturday and is where you can find the best local produce and delicacies.  For those who want a birds-eye view of Hobart, make your way to the Mount Wellington Summit.  It stands an impressive 1270 meters in the sky, offering views of Hobart and the River Derwent.  For a slower pace, you can’t look past the Royal Botanic Garden in Hobart. There are many different displays in the garden boasting a variety of plants.  What you’ll come to love about Hobart, is that it’s also the perfect hub for sightseeing around the area.  Take a day trip to the old town of Richmond, learn about the convict past at Port Arthur, and see the wildlife at Bruny Island.

For somewhere to stay in Hobart, I highly recommend an Airbnb.  When searching I found them to be the most reasonably priced.  They give you extra space if you are staying for a longer time.  Also, the kitchen facilities will help reduce your spending costs.  If you are planning a family trip, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what Hobart has to offer.

Sharee Middleton Inspire Family Travel

Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

Bay of Fires

The Bay of Fires on the east coast of Tasmania is the epitome of what makes Tasmania so special.  It is rugged, wild and stunningly beautiful.  Long a favorite of locals, it has gained international attention recently for its unique orange-colored, boulder-strewn beaches set against bright turquoise waters.  It was the highlight of our Tasmania road trip as it really is just as beautiful as the photographs show.  This makes it a worthy addition to this list of family holidays in Australia.

Our kids spent hours climbing the rocks and checking out every little cave and nook and cranny.  There are tours available to spot whales, dolphins and albatross and incredible locally sourced produce for foodies.  The Bay of Fires is best visited in the summer (Jan-March) when the ocean temperature reaches its highest, albeit a chilly 16-20 degrees.  The water is calm and safe for swimming, although the kids will appreciate a wetsuit to stay warm.

Pelican Point Sanctuary is a great place to stay when visiting the Bay of Fires.  Located just north of St. Helens, it is quiet with the sea and nature right at your doorstep.  If you are camping, there is a great free campground, Cosy Corner South with waterfront sites.  You should be self-sufficient and come early because it is very popular.

Dawn from 5 Lost Together

Southern Australia

Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is the best place in Australia to spot wildlife in their natural habitat and this makes it an unmissable destination for families visiting Australia. Kangaroos are plentiful on Kangaroo Island and your family will see them almost everywhere you go.  We were lucky to get pretty close to some!

And it’s not just Kangaroos that you can spot on the island.  Seal Bay Conservation Area is another really special spot.  If you take a tour you are able to get within 10-20 feet of these playful creatures.  They truly are the owners of the beach and the conservation of this seal colony is an important part of the attraction.  Your kids will love how cute and playful they are!  If you want to see koalas, they can be spotted all over the island.  En route to attractions and within Flinders Chase National Park we spotted some in the crooks of eucalyptus trees.

For a really unique wildlife experience, head to the Platypus Waterholes Walks at Flinders Chase.  Along the path, there are plenty of viewing platforms where you and your little ones can try to spot a platypus.  They are notoriously difficult to spots but those that do won’t soon forget it.

When you and the little ones have had enough of wildlife you will still have a blast exploring Flinders Chase National Park.  It is the second oldest national park in Australia and the landscape at Remarkable Rocks is particularly impressive!  You’ll want to dedicate a whole day to exploring the park.

If you are looking for somewhere to stay, the Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge is a family-friendly option with a pool, tennis courts, and picnic area onsite.  It is located on the American River with hiking trails connecting to the property.

Oksana & Max from Drink Tea Travel

Northern Territory

Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

Darwin

Darwin has it all – adventure, wildlife, nature, history, and culture.  It’s a perfect family holiday destination that both parents and kids will love!

The kids will love getting up close with the jumping crocs on Adelaide River, or at Crocosaurus Cove in the heart of the city.  Cool off in one of many beautiful places to swim – the wave pool at the Waterfront is lots of fun but you can’t go past a natural swimming hole like Berry Springs.  Take a day trip to Litchfield National Park where you can hike and swim at stunning rock pools or waterfalls and enjoy a picnic.

For the parents, we recommend heading to the Ski Club or Trailer Boat club for a drink at sunset while the kids play on the lawn.

You must not miss the Mindil Beach markets where you will experience the true Darwin culture – relaxed, balmy nights eating delicious food overlooking the sunset will sitting on the beach.

The best time to visit is the dry season which runs from around May to July.  This is when the city comes to life with festivals and the weather is wonderfully warm but still dry and comfortable.

We lived in Darwin for many years with my stepchildren and have returned twice with my son who was 6 months old and 18 months old at the time.  He was fascinated by the animals at the Territory Wildlife Park and loved the large playground on the esplanade.  We all enjoyed watching him squeal with delight as he fed the fish at Aquascene Fish Feeding.

There are plenty of accommodation options in Darwin – we recommend a self-contained apartment at the waterfront, or The Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter both close to the CBD.  There is also plenty of AirBNB’s perfect for families, or a number of family holiday resorts with cabins just out of town.

Stephanie from  Navigating Adventure

family holiday destinations australia

The Red Centre Way

Australia is a land of extreme contrast and there’s nowhere that shows that better than the Red Centre in the Northern Territory.
Consisting of the iconic destinations of Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, the West MacDonnell Ranges, and Alice Springs, the Red Centre Way is a must-see on your Australian itinerary.
Our favorite experiences throughout the area were riding bikes around Uluru, hiking through Kata Tjuta, watching the local Anangu artists create traditional paintings, doing the incredible dawn hike along the Kings Canyon Rim Walk, and swimming in the waterholes throughout West MacDonnell Ranges.  Plus I can’t forget the helicopter flight at Kings Creek Station.
Other highlights for my boys who were aged 9 and 11 were the interactive Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Tour at Kings Canyon.  Meeting other kids from all around the world, and playing at the waterpark at the Big 4 MacDonnell Range in Alice Springs.
I’d allow at least 7 days to see the highlights of the Red Centre.  You drive the 1135km loop (or 690km if you have your own 4WD- no rental cars on that road).
If you’ve got plenty of time, stamina and fuel you can drive there.  We did it as a 10,000km round trip from Brisbane with our own 4WD and a hired off-road caravan.  But your only other option is to fly into Alice Springs and hire a car or campervan.  There isn’t a huge array of accommodation outside of Alice Springs. Make sure you book ahead, even if you’re camping or caravanning.
Nicci O’Mara from  Trip Chiefs

Victoria

family holiday destinations in Victoria Australia

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is not only the most famous drive in Australia, but it is also a brilliant road trip to do as a family.  The drive is renowned for its incredible scenery.  It also has fabulous beaches and lots of fun things to do along the way.

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The Great Ocean Road follows the coast for 244km from Lorne to Warrnambool.  Its most famous sight is the Twelve Apostles.  Other highlights for us included walking through the rainforest to the Erskine Falls, visiting the Cape Otway Lighthouse, spotting koalas in the trees at Kennet River and zip lining through the trees at the Otway Fly.

It is possible to do the Great Ocean Road as a day trip from Melbourne.  However, I would definitely recommend taking your time to get the most out of the trip.  We did it as a 4-day trip, with our kids who were aged 5 and 7 at the time.  We could easily have taken a few more days and spent a couple of days playing on the beaches.

The Great Ocean Road we did during the summer.  It is obviously the best time of year if you want to spend time on the beach.  However, be aware that this part of Australia is known for its fickle weather.  Be prepared for any weather no matter what time of year you visit!

Marianne from Mum On The Move

Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

Melbourne

If you are traveling to Australia with your family, you can’t beat Melbourne as a family-friendly destination! Soon to be the biggest city in Australia, Melbourne is home to a huge array of family attractions. From an amazing zoo to a great science museum to many parks and free kids’ activities, there is plenty to keep everyone occupied and interested.
We live in Melbourne with our three kids and there is something no matter what age your kids are. If you are traveling with a baby, look for baby rhyme time in a nearby library. For toddlers, the Werribee Open Range Zoo on weekdays is perfect with special toddler tours on a bus where you sing songs while driving around roaming animals.
School-aged kids will love all the sporting challenges and more in the Scienceworks science museum.  Older kids will love Luna Park amusement park or trying out the new virtual reality rooms.  They have popped up everywhere or something more adventurous like a kite surfing lesson.  And of, course, there are always playgrounds and the beach close by.  Melbourne winters are mild and you can visit at any time of year.  It’s known for having 4 seasons in a day so always pack an umbrella and sunscreen!
Our favorite place to stay (we do many staycations!) is Ovolo Laneways.  These are apartments.  They include breakfasts you can collect and eat in your room, free minibar, free happy hour and a super handy free lolly bar.  We promise our kids they can choose a lolly on return if they are good while we are out.
No matter what you like, you will find it in Melbourne. Don’t miss it!
Josh from Australian Dad

ballarat australia for kids

Ballarat

You won’t see Ballarat listed on many lists of family holiday destinations in Australia.  However, we are here to tell you that it is a true kid-friendly place to learn more about Australia.

Located a short drive of one hour from Melbourne, Ballarat ticks lots of boxes for a family-friendly destination.  You can drive to Ballart in the morning, and then take advantage of Kryal Castle’s summer opening hours in the afternoon.  Did I just say, Castle? That’s right, you can visit Australia’s own medieval castle, watch real knights in action – and best of all for kids, and get totally hands-on.   From potion-making to archery battles, our kids loved the hands-on nature of Kryal Castle.

The other major attraction in Ballarat is Sovereign Hill, which again captivates the children’s interest due to its interactive nature.  You really do step back in time, and the children really do get a living history lesson.

Other attractions in Ballarat include the new Eureka Centre.  Located in central Ballarat next to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and near Victoria Park, Lake Wendouree offers a wide range of attractions.  It offers recreational activities both on and off the water.

We stayed at Kryal Castle and it will be something that the kids will always remember; who can say that they spent a couple of nights in a castle.  If you are looking for something a little less regal, we met a family who was staying at the Big 4 Ballarat Windmill Holiday Park and loved the pools and overall facilities.  Without doubt, Ballarat definitely holds its own as one of the best holiday destinations in Australia for families

Queensland

Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef

the great barrier reef for families

Cairns is a perfect destination for a family holiday as there is so much to do in the city itself as well as in the surrounding area. The main attraction of a trip to Cairns is the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef.  Multiple companies run trips to different parts of the reef where you can snorkel or dive into this natural wonder.  Families with younger children can opt to visit a floating pontoon enabling easier access to the open ocean for snorkeling.  Alternatively, join a tour on a semi-submersible submarine or glass-bottomed boat.
Cairns is a family-friendly city with fun waterfront playgrounds and a fantastic open-air swimming pool.  Our three kids (aged 11, 9 and 6) spent hours in this pool! Kids will love the scenic two-hour train journey from Cairns to the pretty village of Kuranda.  It includes a stop at majestic Barron Falls or enjoy a coastal drive north of Cairns to pretty Port Douglas which is a quieter departure point for reef trips.
For something completely different, head inland to the stunning rainforest at Mossman Gorge.  It offers hikes to suit all abilities and ages. An underrated destination in the Cairns region is the beautiful, rolling landscape of the Atherton Tablelands, just over a one hour drive from Cairns. This agricultural region is packed with cascading waterfalls, swimming holes, and charming small towns. We enjoyed an unexpected trip to a tea plantation at Malanda (where we saw Tree Kangaroos!) and at nearby Yungaburra we were lucky enough to catch a rare sighting of a wild platypus.
There are several hostels in this region with budget-friendly family rooms such as JJ’s Backpackers in Cairns and the excellent on The Wallaby Lodge in Yungaburra.  For those looking for a more resort-style experience, there are many places to stay in Port Douglas.  Port Douglas is another awesome place for the best family holidays in Australia.
Sinead from Map Made Memories

The Gold Coast

Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

One of our favorite Australian holiday destinations with kids is the Gold Coast and Gold Coast Hinterland.  There are so many family-friendly attractions to suit all ages and weather types.  It does not matter what time of year you visit.  Although the warmer seasons are great to enjoy the beautiful Gold Coast beaches and water activities.

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The Gold Coast theme parks are always a popular choice.  They were a favorite for our children, right from when they were toddlers.  They are now aged 4 and 7 and love being old enough to enjoy more of the rides and waterpark slides.

For indoor fun or rainy weather days on the Gold coast, visit Infinity or Ripley’s Believe It Or Not for something that will amaze all ages.  Or head to Timezone in the middle of Cavill Mall for gaming fun.

For a chance to enjoy the outdoors, the Gold Coast hinterland is perfect for rainforest walks and impressive views. And only a short drive from all the beaches and activities of Surfers Paradise.  Another experience the kids will love is exploring the rock pools at Currumbin or Burleigh Heads.

We recommend staying at Seaworld Resort or Big 4 Gold Coast Holiday Park with kids.  Both have their own waterpark and activities for kids, plus situated close to theme parks.

Holly from Four Around The World

New South Wales
new south wales vacation guide

Sydney

As far as family-friendly cities go, Sydney is hard to beat.  The unofficial capital of Australia seemingly has it all; wonderful weather, beautiful beaches, fantastic food and lots of opportunities for time in the great outdoors.  It easily makes the list for the best family holidays in Australia!

We were lucky enough to spend three years living in Sydney and it’s where my eldest child was born.  To say that we love Sydney would be an understatement! Given that the sun shines for most of the year, you’ll find that you spend most of your time in Sydney outdoors.  Days happily drift by exploring the beaches.  From Bondi and Bronte in the Eastern Suburbs to Palm Beach in the north and swimming in one of the many ocean pools.  Our favorites include Icebergs and the Fairy Bower Pool.  Sydney also has plenty of parks including Bicentennial Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens, where you can have a picnic looking out over the Opera House.

When the weather cools in Sydney – and it does have a winter season – there is still plenty to do with kids.  Taronga Zoo is excellent as is the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.  The hands-on exhibits at the Powerhouse Museum will keep everyone happy.  If you’re visiting with older kids make sure to go to Lunar Park and, if you’re feeling brave, walk along the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge!  A place we like to stay in Sydney with the kids is the Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour.

Contributed by Katja from Globetotting

Blue Mountains & Surrounds

blue mountains australia family holiday
Many people attempt to see the Blue Mountains on a short day trip from Sydney.  However,  there are so many hiking trails, waterfalls, lookout points and other activities that you could easily fill a whole week here.  The Blue Mountains is often thought of as a winter destination.  If you are coming for a skiing holiday then obviously June to August is the best time to visit.  There are also some festivals at this time of year that are a lot of fun for the whole family, such as Yulefest and the Winter Magic Festival.

But the mountains are also a great destination during the warmer months, particularly if your family wants to enjoy hiking and other eco-tourism activities in the Blue Mountains.  One of the most famous viewpoints is Echo Point, from where you can view the Three Sisters rock formations.  It’s an easy 30-minute walk from Katoomba.  Even more spectacular is Govetts Leap, near Blackheath.

At Wentworth Falls, you can follow an easy, two-kilometer trail along Jamison Creek to reach the falls themselves.  Another easy hike goes from Echo Point to Scenic World.  It is part of a longer seven-kilometer trail called Prince Henry Cliff walk that more active families will enjoy.  Another must-do activity is the Jenolan Caves, which are always a big hit with kids!

Sky Rider Motor Inn in Katoomba offers family rooms and makes a good base for exploring the area.

Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan

Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families
Sovereign Hill Ballarat, just one of the best family holidays Australia

The Verdict – Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

In a country as vast and diverse as Australia, it is hard to narrow down the best places for a family trip to Australia.  You might have another family-friendly Australian destination in mind – please drop us a message in the comments.  What we are sure is that if you are planning family holidays in Australia you are spoilt for choice.  Australia is a truly awesome family holiday destination.

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Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families

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About Us

Hi! We are a multicultural family from Peru, Nicaragua & Australia. We believe adventures can be global – and local – and are one part of our sustainable lifestyle, and raising children who are global eco-citizens.