Australia has it all. Beaches, surf, mountains, countryside, animals, wine and so much more. It’s a fabulous country to visit with babies, toddlers, kids, and teens. With so much on offer, it’s hard to decide where to go and what to do. For those looking for the must-do things with kids in Australia – we have you sorted. Here are some of our favorite attractions and best places to see and do with kids in tow, no matter where you are in Oz. Be sure to bookmark this one for your next itinerary!
Travel To Australia
Starting 6 July 2022, travellers to Australia no longer need to:
Masks are still required while in flights.
More information on entry to Australia HERE.
Want more? Check out these more in-depth city guides for family travel to Australia!
SYDNEY WITH KIDS:
PERTH/MARGARET RIVER WITH KIDS: (not open for VTL yet)
CANBERRA WITH KIDS: (not open for VTL yet)
MELBOURNE WITH KIDS:
BROOME WITH KIDS: (not open for VTL yet)
*This guide will be continually updated with the latest travel requirements and restrictions in light of the COVID-19 situation.
Sydney Harbour is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Home to the Sydney Opera House, the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens, and the ferry pier at Circular Quay, it’s a place to have fun with kids in tow. We recommend taking one of the many ferries to Manly, Watson’s Bay or Rose Bay - the ferry ride alone is breathtaking. Stroll through Circular Quay and watch the buskers, or grab an ice cream and enjoy the view. The Opera House is worth walking around, and there are plenty of spots to have a bite to eat before heading to the Botanic Gardens. Check out the architecture and watch the tourists milling around for that all important selfie. If you’re there for New Years Eve, make sure you get a good spot to watch the fireworks. On the western end of the harbour, The Rocks area offers a glimpse into Sydney's fascinating history, while the Museum of Contemporary Art is a must for a bit of culture and kid-friendly interactive exhibits. Looking for adventure? Then climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The view has that amazing wow factor.
There are many national parks in Australia, so no matter where you travel to there’s one you and your family will love. We like the Blue Mountains, a short one-hour train ride out of Sydney. When you get there, take the Scenic World Cable Car Ride. You will get a spectacular view of the valley below and see the famous Three Sisters rock formation. Stay the night and go camping and enjoy all the outdoor adventures on offer. The small towns in the mountains also offer a great selection of luxury boutique hotels and some amazing gourmet food year-round.
Blue Mountains, www.us.sydney.com/destinations/blue-mountains
Far North Queensland is full of family-friendly spots but Cairns is probably the most accessible, with its international airport and plethora of accommodation options. The city is home to bustling markets, the Cairns Skyrail, and great beaches only a stone's throw from the world’s largest coral reef. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef stretches for over 2000 kilometres along the north-eastern coast of Australia. As well as being one of the most famous snorkelling and diving spots in the world, it's home to thousands of species of marine life - many of which you won't find anywhere else on Earth. To explore the reef you can stay in Cairns and book a day trip, or set yourself up on one the many islands, from The Whitsundays to the Northern Islands. While many like to get up close and personal with the reef, one of the best ways to appreciate its vastness and sheer beauty is from the air.
Great Barrier Reef, www.cairnsgreatbarrierreef.org.au
There are plenty of fun things to do for families in Canberra, Australia’s Capital city. Whether it’s visiting one of the many museums, a simple pleasure like rolling down Capital Hill and seeing the parliament buildings, or treating the whole family to brunch at one of Australia’s best concentration of cafes. You can take a tour of Parliament House and see where all the country's important decisions are made. But this little city offers more than just politics. As the nation's capital Canberra is also home to the National Library, The National Gallery of Australia, and the National Science and Technology Center, each with great facilities for families.
Parliament House, www.aph.gov.au/Visit_Parliament
Outdoorsy kids will love it here! Considered one of Australia’s best wildlife experiences, Kangaroo Island offers miles of striking natural landscapes and pristine scenery, brilliant local cuisine, small batch wines and a leisurely way of life. The kids will love the baby sea lions and the Koalas! Stay the night in one of the island's amazing accommodations, and watch the stars at night twinkling above.
Kangaroo Island, www.tourkangarooisland.com.au
Phillip Island is a magical place where you and the kids can watch penguins in their natural habitat. Take a hike around the main headland and watch the birds and penguins on the mountain side. The view is quite spectacular. As dusk comes in, go to the beach and simply wait. You’ll start to see these amazing little animals come in from the sea, follow them as they waddle down the beach to the edge of the mountain, looking for a place to sleep for the night.
Phillip Island, www.visitphillipisland.com
St. Kilda, www.stkildamelbourne.com.au
Melbourne Zoo, www.zoo.org.au/melbourne/wonder
Weribee Open Range Zoo, www.zoo.org.au/werribee
Top Family-Friendly Hotels, www.littlestepsasia.com/all-cities/articles/travel/top-family-hotels-melbourne
If the main attraction you're looking for is the beach, then head to Noosa. The shire of Noosa is located in Queensland on the Sunshine Coast. It offers amazing beaches, a national park, boutiques, restaurants and bars, and plenty of family-friendly things to keep the kids and grown-ups happy. Feed the pelicans at Tewantin, stroll down Hastings Street for some of the region's best food and shopping, hike in the national park, or seek out Noosa's best kept secret Little Cove to escape the crowds.
Get ready for an amazing adventure at Bundaberg, a city located just a 4.5-hour drive away from Brisbane. For starters, you can watch turtles hatch and take their first steps towards the ocean at Mon Repos. It’ll be a spectacular site for the children, and they’ll be in awe of the experience. The family can also take a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef and catch a glimpse of sea animals while snorkelling. For the more active members of the family, why not head for a surfing lesson at the Agnes Waters Main Beach and pick up the basics of riding some easy waves.
Animal lovers, you’re going to love Rottnest Island. Here, you get to meet the adorable quokka up close! They’re curious creatures, so chances are they’ll come up to you, but do remember to keep a respectable distance so as not to scare or stress them. They’re generally roaming all around the island, so it’ll be pretty easy to meet some of them and snap a quick pic! If you’re at Rottnest Island during September to November, it’s primetime for whale watching as well. For something more active, the family can go glass bottom kayaking, where you can spot and admire all the vibrant corals and marine life living in those crystal clear waters.
Rottnest Island, www.australia.com/rottnest-island
Got a family full of adrenaline junkies? Why not take a trip to the Gold Coast, where you can visit some of Australia’s best theme parks! Spend at least one full day at Warner Bros. Movie World, a film-related theme park where the kids can say hi to character mascots and take pictures together. Besides the usual roller coasters, the park also has attractions that educate guests about the process behind filmmaking. Dreamworld is also located at the Gold Coast, and is an amazing place to try out thrilling rides and the tallest drop tower.
Gold Coast, www.destinationgoldcoast.com
Enjoy a range of different activities within Cairns. Start the day with a hot air balloon ride for the family, with tours that start before dawn so that you can all watch the sunrise during the hot air balloon ride. It’s an amazing experience with and amazing view of the Antherton Tablelands, and you can snap some awesome photos while suspended in the sky. For a more adventurous activity, hit the rapids and try white water rafting on the Barron River. Feel the thrill of working your way through grade three rapids with your raft mates and instructor, and laugh and scream to your heart’s content while you’re at it! End the day with a more relaxing activity at the Cairns Aquarium, where you’ll get to see 15,000 marine and land animals from the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest.
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, why not do a short stay at Montague Island? It’s serene and peaceful, making it the perfect getaway if you need some quiet time. There’s a nature reserve that’s home to penguins, seals and other marine life, and they provide tours so you can get up close to them. During September to November, you can even whale watch as part of the tour. You can also go out to sea and learn how to fish with the team at Charter Fish Narooma, made up of passionate locals with decades of experience on the water.
Montague Island, www.montagueislandadventures.com.au
If winter resorts and holidays are your thing, you might want to consider staying at Mount Hotham. They have a range of activities to keep you and the family occupied throughout your stay, including private skiing lessons and helicopter rides over snowcapped mountains. If you just want to try something more relaxing, snowshoeing is a unique and great way to explore the area together as a family. After a fun day of activities, wind down at the All Terrain BBQ for an exclusive dinner experience at a picturesque eco-village.
Mount Hotham, www.mthotham.com.au
Experience a lovely, scenic coastal drive that snakes along the Southern Ocean. Besides the amazing view, you can also visit the 12 Apostles, the iconic limestone pillars along the route. Enjoy the sea breeze and snap a few family photos against the stunning view. Rejuvenate in the later part of the day at Deep Blue Hotel & Hot Springs, a sanctuary where you can opt for the afternoon bathing session or even salt therapy in the sanctuary’s relaxing salt room. For water activities, why not swim with marine animals? See All Dolphin Swims offers tours where you get to swim side by side with seals and dolphins s well as the opportunity to get up close and personal with other incredible wildlife without even getting wet!
Great Ocean Road, www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au
Explore nature and the wilderness at Cradle Mountain, where you can hike the Overland Track, an iconic six-day alpine hike that is recommended for more experienced hikers. You can also explore the canyons on a tour, where you can even jump off waterfalls and abseil down cliffs. Sounds exciting, right? For animal lovers, get to know the Tasmanian devil and other threatened species at Devils@Cradle, a conversation center that you and the family can visit.
Cradle Mountain, www.discovertasmania.com.au/cradle-mountain
Get aboard the Ghan Train and spend 3 days enjoying the sights while it travels from North Australia to South Australia (or vice versa). It stops by places like the Red Centre, an extraordinary landscape of desert plains where you can learn more about Aboriginal culture and dine under the outback stars. You’ll also be passing by an outback town called Alice Springs where there are beautiful views of the mountain ranges and you can take part in activities like camel rides or experiencing the magic of the Milky Way.
The Ghan Train, www.australia.com/the-ghan-train