Australia is one of the world’s most family-friendly destinations and kids of all ages are captivated by the country’s unique and delightful sites. The land down under is brimming with weird and wonderful wildlife, world-class museums, premier theme parks, and spectacular natural wonders, making it an ideal place to create family memories that will last a lifetime. Australians travel widely with their own kids, so facilities for families like apartment-style accommodation and family passes to attractions are common. Though Australia’s seasons are opposite to North America’s, June, July, and August bring warm and sunny weather to Queensland and the Northern Territory, making it an ideal time to take the whole clan on a journey through the sunburnt country.
Here are seven family-friendly experiences to try in Australia this summer:
1. Dive Into The Great Barrier Reef
Show your children underwater treasures that other kids only read about. The Great Barrier Reef is teeming with magnificent marine wonders including whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea turtles and heaps of colourful tropical fish. In July and August, the days are warm and sunny, there is little rainfall, and the reef waters are a deep clear blue colour, creating ideal diving conditions. Embark on an unforgettable marine adventure and explore the world’s largest coral reef system by snorkel, glass-bottomed boat, catamaran or helicopter.
2. Beat the Heat at Ayers Rock
Venture into the outback to Australia’s Red Centre. Australian winter is the best time to visit Ayers Rock (Uluru), with average daytime highs of 20ºC in July and August (compared with temperatures upwards of 40ºC in November and December). Catch a magical sunrise or sunset at the iconic site and watch the colour of Uluru change in a striking way. View fascinating Aboriginal rock paintings and check out the nearby Olgas – 36 domes which literally spring up from the desert earth.
3. Channel the Crocodile Hunter at Australia Zoo
Cuddle with koalas, hand-feed kangaroos, and take a walk on the wild side with a tiger in the Australia Zoo, living legacy of Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. Located north of Brisbane, the famous zoo is a hands-on, exotic wildlife extravaganza that’s ideal to visit any time of the year. Step aboard Steve’s Safari Shuttle and explore all that Australia Zoo has to offer, including a new Africa exhibit with giraffes, rhinos and zebras. Don’t miss the legendary crocodile feeding and snake handling demonstrations.
4. Catch Some Culture at City Museums
Australia’s city museums rank among the world’s finest, so why not keep your kids’ minds active during the school holidays? Whether you’re visiting Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns or Darwin, choose from an array of first-class art, natural history, science and cultural exhibits. The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, which features a dedicated children’s gallery, topped TripAdvisor’s list of 2014 Travellers’ Choice Awards. In the Sydney Observatory, kids can take a virtual tour to the moon, planets, or another solar system. The kid-friendly Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin has over a million natural history specimens and cultural artifacts sure to excite young minds. With outstanding museums located across the country, it’s easy to find something your kids will get excited about.
5. Revel in the Rainforest
One of the earth’s oldest and most breathtaking tropical ecosystems occupies 12,000 square kilometres north of Cairns. With mountain ranges, fast flowing streams and waterfalls, deep gorges and dense, breathtaking rainforest, this section of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is sure to captivate your children’s imaginations. Watch your wee ones’ eyes light up as they catch a glimpse of Australia’s bizarre and curious creatures – from flying foxes, Estuarine Crocodiles, and forest dragons to swamp wallabies, platypus, and rat-kangaroos. Australian winters are the best time to visit the rainforest as they bring more comfortable temperatures, drier days, and fewer insects.
6. Get Original With Aboriginals
Delight in the timeless art, dance, myths, and music of Australia’s 50,000 year-old indigenous peoples, and let Aboriginal Australians help your family understand their ancient land and spirituality. Enjoy the seasonal warm weather in Alice Springs and browse Aboriginal art where the Arrernte people have lived for 20,000 years. See magical Aboriginal dance performances in the cities or head to the outback and listen to Dreamtime myths of creation by the campfire. Learn how to throw a boomerang and catch a spear-throwing demonstration. It’s an experience that your family will never forget.
7. Enjoy a Sun Day at the Whitsundays
The Whitsunday Islands are a jaw-dropping collection of 74 subtropical islands off the central coast of Queensland in the Coral Sea. During the Australian winter, temperatures on the Whitsundays average around 24ºC to 25ºC. Spend some downtime with your family in this luxurious tropical paradise and sunbathe on pristine beaches made of 99% fine white silica. Stroll through the islands’ national park while taking in breathtaking hilltop views. Plunge into azure waters and savour every last moment of your once-in-a-lifetime Australia family tour.
Want more family friendly travel ideas Downunder?
Goway’s Australia tours are tailored to families of all ages, with spacious apartment style accommodations and a special Goway Downunder activity backpack for kids under eleven years. For more information on Goway’s Australia Family Tours, visit www.goway.com.