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3 Must-Try Road Trip Excursions With Your Child

Posted by elizabethbailey , 19 February 2013 · 686 views

You've lived in Australia your whole life, but you haven't explored a lot of the country. That's OK. Now's your chance. Children and parents often come together on a long road trip. Spending hours on end together is, oddly enough, a bonding experience, not a death sentence. Here are three epic road trips that you absolutely must try.

Tropical Drive

Make your way to Cairns. It's a laidback, yet vibrant city. Whether you decide to drive straight through or stop is up to you. Tip: you want to stop here. There's a large, man-made lagoon at the Esplanade, a lot of shops and places to eat, and the Night Markets.

From Cairns, you'll be traveling to the village of Kuranda. Here's you'll find quaint little market stalls, some shops, and a few art galleries. There's also the World Heritage rainforest - a 100 acre nature park where you can hike and experience Aboriginal culture.

Once you're finished with the rainforest, take a trip to Port Douglas. It's just 67 KM north of Cairns and home to some really charming seaside villages.  If you've ever wanted to take an ocean drive, this is the trip for you. Port Douglas has Four Mile Beach and over 100 day tour options.

Port Douglas to Daintree

If you want to continue your adventure for a few more days, head north 1 hr from Port Douglas to Daintree and experience an authentic Australian outback experience: Mossman. From there, travel to Mareeba. If you love coffee, you'll love this place. it's Australia's premier coffee-producing area. Once you're satisfied, head home.

Nature Tour

Who doesn't like a nature tour? Australia has plenty of places you can drive through that showcase the country's natural beauty. First stop: Darwin. Start your road trip at the Territory Wildlife Park. If your kids would enjoy a day at the museum, you can try the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT but, honestly, you might be pushing your luck on that one. The wildlife park is an hour outside of Darwin and it offers you a close-up encounter with a really cool aquarium complete with a walk-through tunnel.

From Darwin, you have quite a trip ahead of you. Window on the Wetlands lets you experience the famous crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River. Once you've scared your children half-to-death, head on over to Kakadu National Park for something a tad bit more relaxed: bird watching. If you're not into birds, never fear. Kakadu is also home to Aboriginal rock art sites and awesome waterfalls. You can also a special flight that takes you over the park so you can take in all its majestic glory.

After you're done with the park, consider traveling through Katherine to Litchfield where you can explore the Katherine Gorge in a boat, canoe, helicopter or by foot. Don't forget to take in Edith Falls while you're here before you head home.

Kangaroo Island

Most kids love kangaroos, breathtaking scenic views, and a chance at adventure. Start this road trip by heading to the Adelaide Hills. You'll be greeted with some pretty epic panoramic views of the city centre and surrounding area. There are a few other things you can do here, like pick strawberries (at Beerenberg Farm), but the kids might not be too much into that.

Once you're satisfied with Adelaide Hills, start the long trek to McLaren Vale and Victor Harbour. From there, it's a long scenic drive to Cape Jervis. Board the SeaLink vehicle and passenger ferry to Kangaroo Island. Now, here you have two choices: you can rent a vehicle or you can bring your vehicle by ferry. Once you're here, have fun on one of the guided tours or go it alone.

Regardless of what kind of road trip you decide to go on, remember that you're doing it to have fun with your child. Set your expectations accordingly and try not to get too stressed out about the little things that are bound to come up on your trip.

Elizabeth Bailey is a travel consultant. She enjoys blogging about her travels with her kids and the exciting places she visits. Visit Expedia Car Hire for more travel ideas.


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