Travelling as a family unit is a whole world of difference to travelling solo. Late nights and adventure sports may not be on the agenda but family travel has its own set of rewards.
Seeing the delight in your child’s eyes as they see their first dolphin in the wild, throw their first snowball or ride their first rollercoaster is a priceless experience.
If you’re ready to start planning a family getaway, here are a few suggestions.
Where to go
The Gold Coast, QLD.
The resorts, beaches and theme parks of Australia’s Gold Coast have seen it remain a playground for families for generations. Sea World is the pick of the bunch for families with younger children. The kids will love close encounters with marine life and the water play areas including Sesame Street beach.
You can stay right at the resort, which means less stress in getting around each day.
More on Queensland holidays.
NSW Northern Rivers
From Grafton in the south to Tweed Heads in New South Wales’ far north, the Northern Rivers is blessed with a beautiful climate and stunning scenery including green rolling hills, meandering rivers and magical beaches.
The Northern Rivers is somewhat of an aquatic playground for water babies of all ages. Try the sedate surfing and fishing town of Yamba, the laid-back splendour of Byron Bay or explore the hinterland rainforest.
Victorian and NSW snowfields
Families looking for a bargain should know that, during low or shoulder season, some Australian ski resorts (particularly Thredbo) offer kids free accommodation, ski hire and lift/lesson tickets. Generally these dates are during June and September and accommodation can be extended into neighbouring towns like Jindabyne.
Other popular places for families include perisher Valley, Mt Selwyn, Charlotte Pas, Falls Creek and Mt Buller. Most resorts offer child care facilities as well as children’s ski and snowboarding lessons.
More on family holidays at the snow.
New Zealand is known around the world for its natural beauty and as an adventure playground. Only a short flight away from Australia, The Land of the Long White Cloud offers a wealth of new experiences for families. From discovering bubbling mud pools at Rotorua to watching the majestic whales swim at Kaikoura, there is something for every age group. Children can run bare footed along white sandy beaches, visit ancient kauri trees around 2000 years old, touch a glacier or sail through the majestic Milford Sound.
The stunning islands of Fiji are known as family central when it comes to the South Pacific.
Fiji is a land of beauty and tranquillity, of blue lagoons and coral gardens. Most resorts are extremely well set up for families, offering kids clubs, nannies and family accommodation.
If you’re not keen on boat travel, stay on Viti Levu’s Coral Coast or on Denarau island – both in driving distance from the airport on Fiji’s main island.