Planning a family vacation abroad? Check out Australia’s Queensland. It has plenty of gorgeous beaches, lush tropical rainforests, national parks, pristine hinterlands, amazing animals, and of course, it’s home to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Partner this with a mostly subtropical climate, and you’ve got the perfect vacation destination. To help you with your itinerary, check out our favourite things to do here with the kids for a fun and exciting family holiday.
1. Spend a fun afternoon at Rocks Riverside Park
This park is perfect for kids and kids at heart. Start your day right with a morning ride along any of the bike paths that snake across the park. Watch your kids have the best time of their lives as they climb, build forts, play in the sand pit, and giggle in delight as they burn off energy at the playground. Break a sweat with your older kids at the basketball court, or catch a show at the amphitheatre. End the day with a yummy barbie and picnic—the park’s got plenty of picnic tables and open spaces for a family-sized feast.
2. Get an adrenaline rush with water activities at Somerset Dam
Want to teach your kids how to fish? Or maybe you need to practice your angling skills since you’re getting a bit rusty. Then Somerset Dam should be on your list. Get an adrenaline rush as you and the kids brave the waters with these activities: waterskiing, flyboarding, wakeboarding, and kayaking. Set up camp for more fun outdoors and let your kids learn more about constellations as you star gaze the night away. If you want to rough it out without saying goodbye to daily comforts such as plumbing and access to toilets and outdoor kitchens, you’ll love Somerset Dam’s camping and caravan facilities.
3. Spend a few days in the countryside at the Cedar Glen Farmstay
Want the kids to say goodbye to their gadgets even for just a few days? Hire a car and take them on a farmstay in Cedar Glen. It’s a charming homestead that’s just 90 minutes away from Brisbane CBD. Along with the kids, milk the cows, feed the farm animals, and collect eggs for a busy yet fun morning. If you and the little tots want to explore the lush country side, join a one-hour horse ride. Gallop across the Lost World Valley foothills and breathe in all that fresh air. The entire family will enjoy the gorgeous views of the Albert River and the lush surroundings. For an afternoon snack, make a damper with the kids and learn how to “boil the billy” (boil tea over a campfire with a tin can). Nothing beats a bit of damper with jelly, syrup, and a cup of tea.
4. Enjoy wild encounters at Australia Zoo
Australia is home to plenty of incredible animals you won’t find anywhere else. From the cuddly koala to the cute kangaroo, you won’t run out of amazing wildlife encounters here. For a fun-filled holiday with the kids, take the entire gang to Australia Zoo. This popular tourist spot was made famous by the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, and currently houses a variety of animals. Head to the Kids Zoo and enjoy watching cute baby animals play around and learn how to survive in the wild. Make sure you have your camera with you. You’ll want to take plenty of selfies with the zoo’s furry, slippery, and cheeky residents.
5. Have a picnic with a view at Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Enjoy an afternoon with the family at Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Because of its unique location, you get to enjoy a sweeping view of nearby areas as you eat and drink the afternoon away. You’ll be happy to know that the upper and lower terraces come with electric barbecues, toilets, and plenty of picnic tables. Then take the tots for a stroll to stretch out the limbs as you enjoy the beautiful view of Brisbane. Head to the Captain John Burke Park and let the kids run around the playground that’s located under the famous Story Bridge.
6. Snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef
A trip to Queensland wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Pack your snorkeling gear and get underwater to see a variety of marine animals. Many local guides and boat operators offer kid-friendly tours, so you don’t have to worry about your kids’ safety. Just make sure they have basic swimming skills. Want to teach your kids how to snorkel? The reef’s shallow parts provide the perfect training grounds for future snorkelers and adventurers. If you have older children who are confident with their swimming skills, you can take them on snorkeling trips on the open ocean.
7. Swim at Main Beach, Noosa QLD
Is your little tot a water baby? Head to Noosa’s Main Beach and let your kid frolic at the beach’s shallow waters. The beach’s location provides gentle waves, so it’s the perfect swimming spot for families with small children. Let your curious kids wander among the rock pools and learn more about the beach’s marine residents. Got older kids? Enroll them in a surfing lesson so they’ll learn how to ride the waves like a pro.
With so many things to do in Queensland, you and your family are sure to have a good time. So pack your bags, book that flight, and let the Sunshine State show you how to have an awesome family holiday Aussie style.
Katrina Daez is a travel writer and budget traveller working with Alpha Car Hire, a Brisbane-based car rental company with branches in Gold Coast, Melbourne, and Sydney. When not writing about fun things to do in Queensland, Australia, she’s busy looking for seat sales and discount travel deals.