Some of the best childhood experiences are enjoyed on family holidays. Exploring the world as a family is the best way to create those treasured memories. Massive and open-skied, Australia offers more than anywhere else when it comes to travel.

Animal Encounters in Sydney

Feeding kangaroos at Taronga zoo

Taronga Zoo is home to around 4,000 native and international animals. A must-visit is the Wild Australia section where you can meet native wildlife such as kangaroos, emus and wombats. Free daily keeper talks and encounters allow kids to learn more about the resident zoo animals and the seal and bird shows are a great fun. Make sure to let the kids cuddle a koala!

Where to fly into: Sydney

Flight time: 9 hours (direct flight)

Theme Parks in Gold Coast

Gold Coast Theme Parks

Gold Coast is a top spot for family fun and for good reason. More than 200 days of sunshine throughout the year means perfect weather to enjoy the dazzling coastline and thrilling theme parks. There are many to choose from: Dreamworld, Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet ‘n’ Wild… to name a few. Themed lands are home to live shows, roaming movie characters, animal attractions and – of course – some of the tallest, fastest, biggest and scariest thrill rides in the world!

Where to fly into: Gold Coast

Flight time: 9 hours (direct flight)

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Find Nemo (or Bruce) in the Great Barrier Reef

diving in Great Barrier Reef Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is home to hundreds of tropical islands, thousands of golden beaches and a wealth of marine life, set to a backdrop of warm, clear water and sparkling blue skies. Thousands of species of coral provide shelter for tropical fish, rays, dugongs, turtles, crustaceans and the occasional shark. Teens will appreciate getting to the outer reef to view the multi-coloured coral and creatures. There are also pontoon tours available for younger kids, providing multiple reef-viewing opportunities.

Where to fly into: Cairns

Flight time: 7 hours 10 minutes (direct flight)

Learn How to Surf in Sunshine Coast

Surfing on Sunshine Coast, with kids, Australia

The Sunshine Coast is a popular day trip from Brisbane, and rightly so. Take a drive up to the coastal beauty spots of Caloundra for family day at the beach, Mooloolaba or Noosa for surf and sand. Noosa and Mooloolaba are good for beginners; kids can also try their hand at the more sedate Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Noosa has a number of hip restaurants and bars also worth visiting.

Where to fly into: Brisbane

Flight time: 8 hours (direct flight)

Immerse the Kids in Nature in Tasmania

rocky beach in Tasmania

Tassie is a known for its wild natural beauty and historic sites. This island state was settled as a penal colony and contains both preserved convict ruins and World Heritage areas. For nature lovers, Bay of Fires is a secluded coastal spot providing the opportunity for a range of outdoor pursuits. With many national parks including Tasman, Freycinet and Cradle Mountain, introduce the kids to the natural wonderland.

Where to fly into: Hobart

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Flight time: 2 hours from Sydney

Family Road Trip on Great Ocean Road

rock formations on beach on Great Ocean Road Australia

A road trip down Great Ocean Road is a great option if you’re looking for a side trip from Melbourne. You can stop wherever and whenever along this coastal stretch. The route boasts rugged cliffs, stunning views of the Southern Ocean, pristine beaches, lush rainforests, quaint seaside towns and awe-inspiring rock formations.

Where to fly into: Melbourne

Flight time: 9 hours 15 minutes (direct flight)

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