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!
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, http://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/
Nature lovers will love exploring Western Australia. From Exmouth you can explore the region's underwater treasures, which include world heritage listed Ningaloo Reef, where you can swim with whale sharks, turtles and manta rays. Feed the dolphins at Monkey Mia or just enjoy the pristine white sand and turquoise waters of the coral coast before heading to Margaret River and Perth. Rottnest Island, a short ferry ride from Perth, is a must. A nature reserve where cars are banned, this little island is home to the adorable quokka. You can get up close and personal with the native wildlife, swim, snorkel, cycle or take a tour to learn more about the island's history. There's so much to see and do in Western Australia. Check out some of our guides here.
Perth With Kids, www.littlestepsasia.com/all-cities/articles/travel/perth-kids
Margaret River With Kids, www.littlestepsasia.com/all-cities/articles/travel/margaret-river-kids
St. Kilda, http://stkildamelbourne.com.au/
Melbourne Zoo, www.zoo.org.au/melbourne/wonder
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.