With regular offers of affordable airfares and accommodation, a family vacation to popular Asian destinations like Bali, Phuket, Langkawi, Boracay and Singapore becomes an easy option to spend time with the kids. Australia is also an excellent destination with plenty to see and do for both adults and kids alike across states and cities. Here are 10 popular family holiday attractions in Australia to get everyone excited and raring to go.
Berry Springs Nature Park, Northern Territory
Berry Springs, Northern Territory, Australia / Photo by Chris McGaw of Flickr
There are plenty of freshwater lagoons and rock pools for the family to safely chill out in the Northern Territory. One of most popular swimming holes about an hour's drive from the Territory's capital, Darwin, is Berry Springs. There is a small waterfall with a shallow paddling area and 3 pools. You and your family can enjoy a picnic by the pools and a refreshing bath under the falls. Located nearby is also Buley Rockhole where you can dangle your feet or recline in the freshwater pools and cascades. The park has a ranger station, drinking water, barbecues, kiosk and a wheelchair accessible toilet.
Part marine zoo and part theme park, Sea World on the Gold Coast is home to sharks, dolphins, rays, seals, penguins, polar bears and plenty more marine life. It is also home to thrilling rides and shows for everyone in the family. In 2015, the park will unveil a multi-million dollar African jungle exhibit which includes gorillas, hippos and crocodiles. You and your family can purchase the VIP Magic Pass which allows you to visit Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast as many times as you like until 30 June 2015. For a limited time you can Buy 3 and Get 1 Free.
An easy 80 minutes drive from Melbourne will put you and your family in the open arms of Silverwater Resort. This fully self-contained property, set on the hills of San Remo, is the holiday gateway to the surf and swimming beaches, greenery, vineyards, golf courses, koalas and penguins on Phillip Island. Everything the family needs for a holiday is onsite including the choice of 1 to 3 bedroom apartments with bay views, indoor/outdoor restaurant, lounge bar, in-room entertainment, high speed internet, 7 acres of landscaped gardens etc. Designated school holiday activities are also available for children age 5 and up.
Tasmania's must-see forest experience will take you and your family on cantilevered walkways 45 metres above the ground of the Huon Valley. Located 90 minutes south of Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, the Airwalk offers an aerial view of the state's southern forests that is rarely seen by people. There are extensive picnic areas in the surrounds of the Airwalk with gas barbecues, shelters, toilets, the Huon pine walking track and a visitor centre with a licensed café if you decide to do some camping or stay overnight in the campervan.
A great way to put the kids to work is to spend time on a farm. Hanericka Farmstay offers your family a real working farm experience, complete with accommodation, food and chores. Kids can enjoy feeding the farm animals like ducks, chicks, turkeys, pigs, horses and alpacas. Then there's washing and sweeping out the pens, putting down fresh straw for nests, milking the goats, chopping wood and many more. Other activities include horse riding, picnics, yabbying, bushwalking and even barn dances in the evenings. There's plenty to do around the farm to keep everyone entertained.
Location 40 minutes from Adelaide is a 1000 hectare open range zoological park and natural wilderness sanctuary that exists to save animals from extinction. Monarto Zoological Park is a great day out for the entire family with plenty of wildlife including rhinos, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, monkeys, zebras, antelopes, ostriches and many more. A shuttle bus runs through the zoo providing you access to various habitat exhibits and walking trails including the Asian Steppes, arid North Africa, African plains and Asian grasslands. As a centre for conservation, your kids can also learn more about endangered species like the Mongolian wild horse, Scimitar oryx and the Tasmanian devil.
Take your family for a ride on a unique century- old steam train through the scenic Dandenong Ranges of Victoria. The Puffing Billy Railway is Australia's oldest steam railway and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. It is still traveling on its original mountain track from Belgrave to Lakeside and Gembrook. You and your family can enjoy a journey through a scenic corridor of bushland, native wildlife and historic landmarks.
Leave the hustle and bustle behind with a family trip to Rottnest Island in Western Australia. A ferry ride from Perth or Fremantle will take you to this natural reserve with unspoilt beaches and an abundance of indigenous flora and fauna. With plenty to see and do, "Rotto" is especially popular with campers, surfers, snorkellers and cyclists from Perth and interstate. To protect this ecological attraction, no public vehicles are permitted on the island. You and your family will get plenty of fun exploring by bicycle and the many trails are also a great reason to walk.
Take the family underground on a holiday with a difference in the natural sandstone surrounds of the South Australian town of Coober Pedy. For starters, your family can sleep underground in the Desert Cave Hotel. You can visit an underground Serbian church and travel deeper into the subterrain of a former opal working mine. Armed with a hard hat, torch and handpick, you and your kids can also go fossicking for your own opal fortune in the mine www.desertcave.com.au/
Kids and dolphins make great company and the best place to bring them together is in the Coffs Coast region of New South Wales. An hour's flight from Sydney, Dolphin Marine Magic is the only zoological park in the state exhibiting dolphins and offering educational 'hands-on' experiences. It is home to Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, seals, little penguins, green sea turtles, fresh water turtles and a variety of endemic fish species. You and your kids will be able to swim with a dolphin or a seal and receive free kisses from both.