With its fantastic cities, stunning beaches, wild outdoors, and countless animal encounters there is something for the whole family when exploring Australia with kids.
1. Melbourne Australia with Kids
Melbourne is a laid-back, calming and relaxing city with a wide variety of things to do and places to see. There is a combination of art galleries, world-class dining, favourite televised sports events and a home-grown fashion following. Its no wonder why this city is so popular with tourists and Australians alike.
Melbourne is also such a vibrant fun place to explore with kids, and its excellent public transport system makes it easy to visit. There’s a variety of activities to do and sights to see, many of which are free- which means more money to spend on lunch in the famous Federation square or delicious cakes and pastries in St Kilda to name but a few.
A favourite for many is just riding the free Melbourne CBD trams. They are completely free within the CBD and a great way to get around the city to see the sites. The Tourist Tram provides you with commentary on your journey to the various places around town which adds even more worth to this free activity.
Exploring Melbourne CBD via foot is also an excellent free activity to be enjoyed by the family. Turning down any busy main street in the CBD leads you into the fun maze of little laneways full of fab boutiques, fantastic artwork, and funky cafes all the while being entertained by very talented uplifting buskers.
Docklands is an excellent place for entertaining the kids, located just 2 kilometres from the centre of the CBD. Take the 30-minute ride on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, for the younger ones visit Wonderland Junior fun fair, while the older kids may enjoy ice skating at O’Brien’s Arena, the arcade style games at Tunza Fun or the Grand Prix simulators at Simulator World. For the entire the family there is the interactive 3d art at ArtVo and Glow Golf.
2. Family Friendly Noosa
Situated on the Sunshine coast amongst many other beach suburbs, Noosa is by far one of my favourites; it has a ‘draw factor’ about it. This term is perfect when describing Noosa with the clear crystal waters of the Noosa River or the beautiful vast main beach or the many beaches situated in little coves of the Noosa National Park.
Noosa National Park offers many options for family fun. You can stay along the Noosa River in Noosaville, near the tourist strip of Hastings Street or the area of Noosa Heads surrounding the lush Noosa National Park.
The Noosa River is probably the best area for families as here you will find value priced self-contained accommodation, plenty of cafes and along the Noosa River, you can also hire kayaks, SUP boards and boats.
The Noosa National Park is also a fantastic place to explore. Here you will find the most beautiful beaches in the world! Lush trees surround the ocean – easily the most picturesque beaches I have ever come across.
3. Family Friendly Great Barrier Reef
One of the natural wonders of the world, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef stretches more than 2,300 km along Queensland’s coastline, beginning at the tip of Cape York Peninsula in the north and extending down to Bundaberg in the south. Far North Queensland is the area where most people come to experience the Great Barrier Reef; most choosing to visit Cairns as it is the ideal place to base yourself to explore all the wonderful attractions available in the region.
There are a variety of options when exploring the reef; you can
- spend the day snorkelling; some tours will take you to a pontoon platform stationed out in the reef where you can join in a glass bottom boat ride as well as snorkelling.
- Or join a tour which combines a snorkelling trip with some time on one of the stunning islands.
- You can also rent a car for a day or two and explore the area called the Daintree. The Daintree region covers almost 900,000 hectares of tropical north Queensland and is home to the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park. Here you will find lush, dense rainforest, crocodile infested waters, cool refreshing freshwater streams, pristine beaches as well as the Great Barrier Reef.
4. Uluru Australia with Kids
Did you know that Uluru is also known as Ayers Rock; created over 600 million years ago, and the Aborigines have been in the area for the last 10,000 years? It’s understandable why so many tourists flock to the heart of Australia’s ‘Red Centre’ to get up close to this famous landmark.
To visit this famous sight, I would recommend a Northern Territory road trip, as this is such a great experience for families. To travel hundreds of kilometres’ without passing a single car, and sometimes down dirt roads which has such a sense of freedom about it. Not to mention seeing other iconic Australian sights, such as Kings Canyon, Alice Springs, Katherine and Darwin and the fantastic landscapes of national parks such as Litchfield and Kakadu.
You will also have an excellent opportunity to learn about the country’s history, Aboriginal culture, and discover how locals live in the harsh environment of the Australian outback.
5. Family Friendly Kakadu
Apparently, there are over 100,000 wild crocodiles in Australia’s Northern Territory, and around 10,000 of them live in Kakadu National Park.
One of the best places to see crocodiles is from the 2-hour Yellow Water River cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong. Seeing these prehistoric creatures anywhere from 1-metre female crocodiles to giant monsters at over 5 metres is an experience you will never forget. The experienced guides also educate the passengers about crocodile safety in Kakadu as well as explain crocodile behaviour.
During our cruise, we also saw wild brumbies, ducks, various bird species and snakes. The Yellow Water River Cruise was one of the highlights of our entire trip in the Northern Territory.
We have barely touched the surface here with regards to the various places to visit in Australia, but hopefully, this gives you a little insight to the wonderful experiences your family can have in Australia.
Guest author Melissa Delaware is the writer/creator of Thrifty Family Travels, which details her family’s travels both locally and across the globe. Experiencing new cultures, indulging in local delicacies, and exploring every corner of the world in the hopes that they inspire other families to travel and explore the fantastic places the world has to offer.