Finding a great destination for the next family holiday can be a tough ask. Whether it’s just you and the kids packing your bags or the whole gang from Grandma through to your second cousin once removed, there are a lot of different tastes and logistics that need considering. To help you plan your next family getaway we’ve done our research to present you with five foolproof options.
With its iconic architecture, beautiful beaches, endless array of activities and delicious food, Sydney has something everyone will enjoy. We suggest setting up camp in the CBD, putting yourself within walking distance of all the good stuff. The city’s best shopping lives in Pitt Street mall, its most picturesque landmarks (i.e. the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House) congregate around Circular Quay, restaurants and bars adorn every corner and you’re in the city’s best serviced transport hub should you feel like venturing further afield. You’ve also got a world-class selection of galleries (such as the MCA), museums and theatres (like the Capitol Theatre, Roslyn Packer and Belvoir) at your doorstep for any family members who feel like getting cultured. Kids will love riding the ferry across the harbour, meeting the animals at Taronga Zoo and testing out the huge array of equipment at the Darling Quarter Kids Playground.
While Melbourne in general is a wonderful destination, St Kilda in particular is suited to expeditions of the family kind. Boasting a beach, fairy penguin colony, delicious markets and reliably good coffee, it’s the perfect spot for families who like to explore. Spend a day roaming the neighbourhood, poking your noses in shops along the bottom end of famous Chapel Street and drinking and dining your way down Fitzroy Street to your heart’s content. Keep the kids entertained with a trip to iconic Luna Park or the suburb’s Adventure Playground. Stroll the Esplanade Market every Sunday from 10am, loading yourself up with goods for a seaside picnic. Once the sun goes down the adults can head to one of many trendy neighbourhood bars or the whole family can be entertained at Palais Theatre, which hosts a constant stream of live music, dance and comedy.
Canberra entertains visitors with some of the country’s best dining, such as Pialligo Estate, historic highlights like the Australian War Memorial and up and coming wineries like Lerida Estate. Of course those interested in the workings of government can visit Parliament House and sit in on question time but the appeal of modern-day Canberra sits in its options. Take the family to Westside Acton Park for the morning - a precinct made entirely of shipping containers that boasts some of the city’s best street food and free sporting facilities, all with the beautiful backdrop of Lake Burley Griffin. Follow it up with a stroll along one of the lake’s picturesque walking tracks, settle in for a picnic and, if you’re in town for any of major festivals or events, stay near the lake for a spectacular fireworks display.
As the only one of our capital cities to hug Australia’s western coastline, Perth is a great option when you and the family feel like venturing further afield without going overseas. And it does feel different over here, with the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean lapping at the shores and the sun setting over it in spectacular fashion every evening. If you venture out into its waters you’ll discover the gem that is Rottnest Island, alive with adorable little quokkas and offering a plethora of outdoor activities including hiking, fishing and snorkelling. Back on the mainland the kids can also get up close and personal with animals at the zoo or at the state’s aquarium. Big kids might enjoy exploring the drinking and dining options in the CBD, losing hours to some of the city’s famous wine bars. Setting up a picnic in beautiful Kings Park is always a great option, with plenty of elevated hills offering extensive views over the city. The park also plays host to a number of festivals and events throughout the year so why not check what’s on when you’re in town.
Spectacular wilderness, abundant Aboriginal culture, sunset markets and a distinct absence of winter chills ensure Darwin is the perfect package for family holidays. Take the clan on a day trip to Litchfield National Park, just over an hour’s drive from the city, or venture further afield to Kakadu National Park and experience Australia’s most iconic slice of outback first hand. Back in the city, indulge in delicious bowls of Laksa at the Mindil Beach Markets, sample the food trucks on Nightcliff foreshore or pull up a deck chair at the Darwin Ski Club and watch the sun set below the water. As an added bonus, there’s plenty of grass for the kids to play on and an enticing drinks menu for the adults. You can also spend some time at the Darwin Waterfront, enjoying the cool waters of the swimming lagoons and the famous fish and chips at Stokes Hill Wharf.