The 10 Best Vacations for Kids in Australia

Australia may be one of the most remote countries in the world, but it is also one of the most popular destinations, especially for those searching for the best vacations for kids in Australia. Because of its distance in relation to the US, not many Americans tend to book a long, expensive flight when there’s really only a short time span for vacation. Nevertheless, the lengthy venture across the Pacific is more than worth it. With gorgeous white-sand beaches, majestic mountain ranges, thrilling caves and theme parks, and amazing wilderness adventures, nature-loving families will never want to leave.

1. Kangaroo Island

best vacations for kids in australia
Kangaroos relaxing on Kangaroo Island. Photo: Andrea Izzotti

Perhaps South Australia’s most underrated destination, Kangaroo Island entices animal-loving kids! With 509 kilometers of coastline containing native bushland, an array of wildlife, and adventure and exploring for all ages, the pristine beaches and rugged, natural beauty will take your breath away. There’s no doubt, Kangaroo Island is one of the best places to see Australian wildlife. Probe the sand dunes as you head to the Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park, a kid-favorite. Explore wildlife parks, pelican-feeding sessions, honey farms, fishing jetties, the Seal Bay Conservation Park, and so much more!

Where to Stay:

Australia’s first true luxury lodge, Southern Ocean Lodge contains breathtaking, spectacular views and an experience of a lifetime. Located atop a secluded cliff on a rugged coast, the lodge’s views of the wild Southern Ocean and pristine wilderness is unmatchable. Kids will love the bird life in the coastal heath outside your window or the wallabies sunning themselves by the beach, and the hotel even offers guided island excursions that allow guests to encounter wildlife in a ‘zoo without fences’ and discover the magic of nature.

2. Sydney

best vacations for kids in australia
The Harbour Bridge is the world’s widest long-span bridge. Photo: Jongjet Klieanthong

Australia’s biggest city, Sydney contains natural wonders like beaches, such as the Coogee and Bondi, and the Royal Botanical Gardens that are perfect for families. On a rainy day, head to the Sydney Aquarium or the iconic harbor-front opera house. Just be sure to jump on a ferry to Sydney Harbour, where you can check out the photogenic waterway. Then check out Sydney’s Tower, a 268-meter glass viewing platform called the Skywalk that offers a remarkable 360-degree view of the city.

Where to Stay:

The Four Seasons, located just steps away from Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, is perfect for even the youngest of guests. With babysitting services, complimentary amenities for children, and activities for kids of all ages, families will be more than comfortable. Relax in the heated outdoor pool, whirlpool, and calming spa with all-Australian treatments. Stay at the luxurious lodgings at Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains for a jaw-dropping experience. Wilderness spanning 4,000 acres is great for horse riding, mountain-biking, and kid-friendly wildlife tours and activities.

3. Great Barrier Reef

38718249 - wonderful and beautiful underwater world with corals and tropical fish.
Beautiful underwater world with corals and tropical fish. Photo: Brian Kenney

Located on the shores of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef if well-known for its mind-blowing snorkeling. The world’s largest coral reef system (and largest living thing on Earth), the Great Barrier Reef contains scenes that many children only ever encounter in Biology class. Sun seeking families will love exploring the countless and diverse marine habitat across hundreds of islands, with waters that are warm all year. Launch your expedition from Cairns or Port Douglas to explore the pristine outer reef, and explore one of the thousands of beaches lining the coast.

Where to Stay:

Often called heavenly, One & Only Hayman Island is a superior property in the southern region of the Great Barrier Reef. The hotel offers kids only activities and adventures for little ones to keep them learning and entertained, such as a rock wall, game room, and more. Renew and revive at the spa, large pool, or golf course while the kids play.

4. South West

best vacations for kids in australia
Sunset on Mandalay Beach near Walpole in Western Australia. Photo: ianwool

Similar to Tasmania, the South West region is a bite-sized zone full of fun for children. Full of natural enticements, this region offers surfing at Ocean Beach or near Walpole, hiking to lookout spots in Walpole Nornalup National Park, climbing the 68-meter-tall Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree in Warren National Park, beachcombing along the Great Ocean Divide near Esperance, and exploring underground wonders at CaveWorks & Lake Cave near the Margaret River or Ngilgi Cave near Yallingup. Don’t forget to head to the Valley of Giants near Denmark to walk 600 meters through enormous tingle tress. Parents will love being in wine country, relaxing after a day of adventure with a glass of the region’s world-renowned wine.

Where to Stay:

Retreat at Acacia Chalets, located in the natural bush setting of the Leeuwin National Park within walking distance of Surfers Point and Margaret River town. This area is close to caves, beaches, and world-famous wineries, central to everything the area has to offer. The modern, open rooms complete with a kitchen area and generous bedrooms makes this location perfect for families, and the large windows allow you to take in the serene, peaceful views and even spot some kangaroos.

5. Brisbane

best vacations for kids in australia
Brisbane skyline with a different view. Photo: Thomas Sztanek

The capital of Queensland, Brisbane is a modern city located on the Brisbane River and Australia’s most populous city. Take a ferry to explore central Brisbane or ride the slow-spinning Wheel of Brisbane, then enjoy a family BBQ at the riverside South Bank Parklands. Be sure to stop by the Lone Koala Sanctuary to learn about Australia’s lovable furry friend, and cuddle with them of course. On hot days, cool off at the Parklands at South Bank, a man-made swimming lagoon with colorful gardens and even an observation wheel where you can see for miles. Then, check out one of the thousands of exquisite and stunning beaches. Or, delve into the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, or the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.

Where to Stay:

Stay at the New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites to be wowed! From the moment you step through the front doors to checking out, you will be comfortable and feel luxurious. The staff is a pleasure, the food is delectable, and the décor is absolutely beautiful. Plus, the hotel is a short walk into town and the hotel offers a wide range of accommodation packages.

6. Gold Coast

best vacations for kids in australia
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Andrey Bayda

Children will love the Gold Coast for two reasons: theme parks and beaches. Dreamworld, Seaworld, Movie World, Wet ‘n Wild, and WhiteWater World are all located here, offering guests a thrilling ride and a fantastic adventure. Plus, miles upon miles of surf and protected beaches are perfect for families who want to kick back and relax on the beach, or even those that before Jetski Safaris, Jetboat Extreme adventures, or whale watching cruises. Don’t worry about rainy days, check out the weirdest of the weird at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, meet the stars at The Wax Museum, or play some games Timezone, the largest indoor family entertainment center in Australia.

Where to Stay:

Kids will have the time of their lives at Surfers Paradis Marriott Resort and Spa, enjoying fish feeding in a beach pool and cascading waterfalls. Located amongst perfect white sand beaches, this resort has quiet pool zones, unique aquatic experiences, and a Kid’s Club. The amazing service, pampering spa, and restaurants filled with tempting, delicious foods make your stay complete.

7. Canberra

best vacations for kids in australia
The Australian Parliament House in Canberra. Photo: Christopher Howey

A great city for younger kids, the nation’s capital has plenty of picnic spots and space to run around, like the grassy dome of the Parliament House, making it one of the best vacations for kids in Australia. Investigate the Australian War Memorial, or let loose in the trees at the National Arboretum Playground. Older kids will enjoy the Questacon, also known as the National Science and Technology Centre, which houses fun and stimulating exhibits.

Where to Stay:

Immerse yourself in luxury at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra. With a combination of the 1920’smystery and modern Art Deco design, glamorous dining options, beautiful garden and park views, you’ll know what it means to stay at Canberra’s finest international hotel. Enjoy afternoon tea complete with cakes and finger sandwiches, relax with a nice massage at the spa, play tennis at the Clubhouse, or go for a swim in the heated swimming pool.

8. Darwin

best vacations for kids in australia
Kakadu National Park on the yellow waters river cruise at dusk. Photo: Christopher Howey

Because Darwin can be quite hot, cool down in the Wave Lagoon at the Waterfront Precinct or head an hour down the highway to splash around in the waterfalls of Litchfield National Park. While you’re at it, head to the enormous biodiverse nature preserve, Kakadu National Park, for a completely unique experience. There, little ones can view wetlands and rivers, sandstone escarpments, over 2,000 plant species, and numerous animals, such as saltwater crocodiles, wallabies, Flatback turtles and hundreds of different types of birds. Truly unique rock-art paintings dating back to prehistoric times can be seen at Nourlangie, Nanguluwur, and Ubirr.

Where to Stay:

Known as one of the leading hotel chains in the world, the Hilton Darwin offers fabulous Esplanade views and an ideal location in the heart of the city, overlooking Darwin Harbour. With large, spacious rooms and a friendly staff, you stay will always be comfortable. Skycity Darwin, on the other hand, is set among tropical beachside gardens and offers the most beautiful and luxurious pool overlooking the beach. Perfect for those searching a beach vacation, parents will also love the lagoon day spa and casino while kids will enjoy playing in 30 meters of private, white-sand beach.

9. Tasmania

best vacations for kids in australia
Hobart waterfront photographed at night with city skyline and fishing boats. Photo: Steven Lovegrove

For families that love being outdoors (with older children), try camping at Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park, kayaking in the sea at Cole’s Bay, or mountain biking down Mt. Wellington. This remote island is magical, laid-back, and full of natural beauty. With rugged mountains, shimmering waters, and ancient forests, the whole family can enjoy nature and take in the beauty of the landscape. If you have older children, hiking, treetop adventures, and cave exploring is an absolute must. Younger children will love Tasmazia, housing eight mazes and kid-oriented attractions. Hobart’s multiple museums are perfect for rainy days, inspecting either history, Antarctica, or even maritime.

Where to Stay:

Just a 30-minute drive from Hobart, Woodbridge on the Derwent is a grand Georgian mansion on the banks of Tasmania’s Derwent River. Complete with spectacular views, unique wilderness, supper made from fresh local produce, and an exclusive collection of some of the finest wines in the world. Or, stay at Saffire Freycinet in Cole’s Bay for an unforgettable vacation with stunning views of the mountain ranges and great activities, including a rough boat ride to Schouten Island. The six-course dinner is sure to dazzle your taste buds.

10. Melbourne

best vacations for kids in australia
Night view of the city skyline in Melbourne. Photo: Daniil Peshkov

If your family adores nature and animals, Melbourne, Victoria’s coastal capital, offers the best vacations for kids in Australia. View giraffes at the Werribee Open Range Zoo, watch the penguin parade in Philip Island Nature Park, and ski the slopes at Mt. Buller, Falls Creek, or Mt. Hotham. Head to the waters of St. Kilda Beach, the city’s most popular shoreline or the great cultural events along the Yarra River. Before you leave, learn about Australian and Indigenous art at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Where to Stay:

Park Hyatt Melbourne offers their guests luxurious amenities, spacious and comfortable rooms, and amazing views. The hotel overlooks St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fitzroy Gardens, and a fantastic mix of Victorian and modern architecture. An award-winning restaurant and bar, day spa and indoor aquamarine pool, and action-packed family activities are only the beginning.

There you have it – the best vacations for kids in Australia

There’s no doubt: Australia is travel heaven. Home to bronzed bodies and open skies, Australia is a beautiful city perfect for families and one of the most interesting continents around. Known for being some of the happiest, friendliest, and most down-to-earth folk, your stay in Australia is sure to be a dream come true. The best vacations for kids in Australia wouldn’t be complete without the majestic, jaw-dropping tropical reefs, sandy beaches, snowy heights, and breathtaking views. Explore nature, learn about animals, and check out some of the most stunning scenes in the world. The flight may be long, but visiting Australia is the experience of a lifetime.

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