Australian holidays can be great for the whole family. When you are going on holiday with the whole family, there is much to consider making sure that everyone will have fun. Last week, we told you about family fun holidays in the Selwyn Snowfields, Daydream Island, Kangaroo Island and Hobart, Tasmania in part one of our Family Getaways throughout Australia. There was still so much to cover so in part two, we took you to family destinations in Cairns, Ballarat, Sydney, and Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island.
For more Kid Friendly Holiday Ideas that we previously covered on our travel blog, check out:
These family fun vacations all are for great places with kid friendly options, plenty of space and then we have safe and roomy vehicles for you to hire for your family holiday together.
Today, we will be visiting Darwin, the Australian Capital Territory, Phillip Island, and the Gold Coast Theme Parks.
View of Darwin from Charles Darwin National Park Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Crocosaurus Dive Experience Photo Credit: Australia.com
Leanyer Recreation Park Photo Credit: YMCATopEnd.org.au
Katherine Gorge Panorama in Nitmiluk National Park near Darwin Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Igniwalam – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Katherine_gorge01.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3489493
Darwin is located in Australia’s Top End. It is the capital city of the Northern Territory and it is very tropical. So even in winter, the weather is warm and humid, ranging between 19 °C and 24 °C. The dry season is the best time to visit Darwin, and that is during the winter and spring. So while most of the rest of the country is quite cold and chilly, Darwin is warm and sunny! Perfect family holiday for swimming and crocodile watching (not at the same time though)! One of the reasons why Darwin is a kid-friendly city is because it has the best free Water Park in Australia. The Leanyer Recreation Park is run by the YMCA and has 3 giant water slides, a pool & wet play area, open grassed area with BBQ’s, cafe & catering, toilets & change tables, shaded playground, skate park, and basketball court. Of course, that’s not all. Darwin’s beaches are great tropical getaways and at night there are the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets and Deckchair Cinema. Then, there are all the intriguing national parks in the Top End of the Northern Territory including Charles Darwin National Park, Djukbinj National Park, Mary River National Park, Howard Springs Nature Park, Howard Springs Hunting Reserve, Nitmiluk National Park (with 13 gorges), Litchfield National Park, and Kakadu National Park (Australia’s largest national park). The Top End is known for being crocodile territory and you can go on boat tours to see them, but only at Crocosaurus Cove near Darwin can you actually get in the water, and safely swim with them; behind safety glass of course.
Hiring a 4WD to get around the Northern Territory
Northern Territory Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
You will need a four wheel drive vehicle to get around the Northern Territory and the Top End. You can hire a 4WD vehicle in Katherine, or you can hire a car in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory. There are two car rental options in Darwin. Either hire a vehicle at the Darwin Airport or rent a 4WD in Darwin City. All of this remote and rugged terrain driving means taking precautions and being prepared. Travellers should always have updated maps with you and plenty of emergency supplies, petrol, and drinking water. Let someone know where you will be, when you will return, and what your exact itinerary is. Consult with our friendly and knowledgeable representatives and they will help you find the right vehicle for your needs and offer up safety tips and local travel ideas. While travelling through Australia’s Top End, check out these other blog posts about this region:
Road Trip Adventures in the Northern Territory:
Canberra in Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Australian National Botanic Gardens Photo Credit: ANGB.gov.au
Canberra Balloon Spectacular Photo Credit: BalloonSpectacular.com.au
Questacon Photo Credit: Questacon.edu.au
Australian War Memorial Discovery Zone Photo Credit: AWM.gov.au
You might have a preconceived notion about the ACT, thinking that it’s all about politics and business. However, there are plenty of museums and fun attractions for kids in Canberra. Plus, there’s Namadgi National Park nearby. If you like to go on walks as a family, Canberra and the ACT has some of the best walking trails try the Jerrabomberra Wetlands or the Australian National Botanic Gardens for easy walks for kids of all ages and some of the more kid-friendly scenery. When it comes to the museums, checkout Questacon at the National Science and Technology Centre, the National Arboretum Playground, the Australian War Memorial’s Discovery Zone, the Australian Institute of Sport, the mint, or the Parliament House.
Hiring a Car in Canberra
Canberra Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
The Australian Capital Territory is located within New South Wales Territory. Situated 280 kilometres south-west of Sydney and 660 kilometres north-east of Melbourne. There is plenty to see and do within the city and surrounds, so hiring a car is the best way to be able to get around and see the sights on your own time. Parking is ample, so that makes getting around with your rental car even easier. There are Budget car hire locations in Canberra City, the Canberra Airport, as well as places to hire a car in both Sydney or Melbourne. Canberra is located in the northern part of the ACT and is one of the largest cities in Australia. Check your maps and consult with your car rental agent for driving tips for the locations you plan on driving to since many areas just outside of the city can be rugged and rural. You want to make sure you have the right all-terrain vehicle. While in Canberra, check out from our blog:
Phillip Island’s Little Penguins Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com
Wildlife Coast Cruises Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com
Nobbies Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com
Grand Prix Course Go Carts Photo Credit: VisitVictoria.com
Phillip Island is a popular destination on the coast southeast of Melbourne. It is a great island vacation for families because there are unique a memorable things to do here. Phillip Island is famous for their Little Penguins. The well-known Penguin Parade includes different tour options from self-guided viewing to ranger-guided tours and underground viewing. You can also visit the Koala Conservation Centre and take different wildlife coastal boat charters including the exciting Wild Ocean EcoBoat Tour ‘fast-boat’ adventure. The Nobbies are the headlands on the tip of Phillip Island where you can walk along the boardwalks, see Australia’s largest colony of fur seals on Seal Rocks, and take an interactive virtual Antarctic Journey. The Phillip Island Grand Prix Visitor Centre is a great stop if you love cars and want to ride the go-carts or you can hitch a ride with a race car driver at draw dropping speed around the track. Other things to do on Phillip Island include scenic Cape Woolamai, Panny’s Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, Rhyll Trout & Bush Tucker Farm, Churchill Island Heritage Farm, and A Maze’N Things.
Hiring a Car to get to Phillip Island
Melbourne Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
Phillip Island is about a 90 minute drive from Melbourne. You can hire a car at one of the many car rental locations in Melbourne. Be sure to tell our car rental agents your travel plans so that they can help you in any way they can with travel routes, tips, car recommendations and more. Click the link to get a great quote from one of Budget’s car hire locations in Melbourne. Here are some other Victorian holiday ideas from our blog:
Movie World Superman Roller Coaster Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Dreamworld Photo Credit: Queensland.com
Sea World Photo Credit: SEA WORLD Gold Coast
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Photo Credit: VisitGoldCoast.com
We can’t end a series on kid-friendly holiday spots in Australia without covering Gold Coast. It is definitely the amusement park capital of Australia, so a big attraction for families with kids. There are a total of five big theme parks in Gold Coast: Dreamworld, Sea World, Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild, and WhiteWater World. You can spend an entire day at each theme park. However, those aren’t the only things for your family to do on vacation in Gold Coast. There are kid-friendly beaches where you can do whale-watching (during season), go sea-kayaking, and jet skiing. For young animal lovers, the famed Australia Zoo is just a two hour drive north of Gold Coast and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is right in Gold Coast. For a bit of unique Australian variety, visit the Tamborine Rainforest where you can see the canopy from the skywalk and take a trip to the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre where you can learn about Aboriginal history and culture.
Hiring a Car in Gold Coast
Gold Coast Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
The Gold Coast is located on the east coast of Australia in Queensland. Gold Coast is 69 kilometres south of Brisbane, or about an hour long trip by car. If you are up for an even longer road trip, Gold Coast is about a 9 hour road trip north of Sydney. There is also an airport located in nearby Coolangatta. You can hire a car at a number of different locations because you will want to be able to have the freedom to travel around on your own schedule. While in Gold Coast, check out all of the family friendly things to do in Gold Coast. While you are close to Brisbane, you can also check out these other travel ideas from our blog: