Whether you’re looking for an adventure holiday, a beachside holiday or something completely out of the ordinary for your next family vacation, Australia has it and so much more. With such diverse topography, climate and history, Australia is a veritable wonderland of holiday opportunities, with so much on offer no-one could possibly see it all in a lifetime. No matter what your budget, time frame or holiday preferences there’s a plethora of amazing destinations within Australia waiting to be explored.
Byron Bay, located on the far North Eastern corner of New South Wales, has been a popular holiday destination for many years and attracts thousands of both local and international tourists annually. Popular with backpackers, families, the rich and famous and everything in between, Byron really does have something for everyone. Spectacular coastline and beaches are the main draw card of the area, although the inland hinterland area is also growing in popularity. The Bryon Bay Lighthouse is the most Eastern Point in Australia and visitors can enjoy an ice cream while enjoying the spectacular views and watching the nimble native mountain goats navigate the steep cliffs of the headland with surprising ease. During whale migration seasons, the playful humpback and sperm whales can be seen breaching on their way up or down the coast. Local restaurants specialise in fresh, local produce with a range of cuisines to rival any major city. The surf breaks throughout the region have a reputation for great waves and the beaches are all patrolled providing safe swimming for children. The local pub is child friendly with an outside beer garden/bistro suitable for families and offering a kids menu at reasonable prices. Accommodation in Byron Bay is often quite expensive. Choice Hotels has two properties in nearby Ballina and Lismore, both ideal bases to explore Byron Bay and its surrounds.
Comfort Inn All Seasons – a 4 star Ballina hotel
Comfort Inn Centrepoint – centrally located Lismore accommodation
The Gold Coast will always be one of the most popular family destinations due to its abundance of theme parks. Sea World, Movie World, Dream World, Wet ‘n’ Wild World and White Water World are all within a short drive of Surfers Paradise and all offer an exciting day of fun for families with children of all ages. Along with the theme parks, the Gold Coast is located on a very pretty stretch of coastline with long white beaches and pristine sparkling water, and its warm climate allows for swimming almost year round. There are a number of other attractions aimed at families and children including a wax museum, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Infinity World (a psychedelic, futuristic, maze-like world), mini putt putt, Ripley’s Believe it or Not and the list goes on….. and on! There are more restaurants, cafes and bistros in the Gold Coast than you can poke a stick at and the competition ensures that the quality of food remains high. Families can enjoy pizza, fish and chips or hamburgers or splurge and enjoy some fine dining. For families looking for some thrills, there is zorbing (giant blow up balls you can jump inside and roll down a hill in), a full day stunt academy, Kart racing and a jet flight simulator. For something different visit Thunderbird Park, an amazing wildlife and geological oasis with the longest and highest adventure rope course in Australia. Horse trailing, bush walking and laser skirmish are other activities available in the park. There are three Choice Hotels on the Gold Coast, Comfort Inn & Suites Mari Court in Surfers Paradise, Quality Hotel Mermaid Waters in Mermaid Waters and Comfort Inn Bayswater in Tweed Heads.
If you’re the sort of family who likes a lower key holiday, Lake Macquarie is only a short drive from Sydney but a world away from the hustle and bustle. The largest coastal saltwater lake in Australia, Lake Macquarie offers a huge range of water sports including fishing, water skiing, swimming, surfing, wake boarding, kayaking and boating. If this isn’t enough to keep you occupied there are also indoor activities such as ten pin bowling, ice skating and cinemas. Horse riding, Go Karts and bike hire are other great family activities available in the area. Choice has five hotels near Lake Macquarie that are a great base for a Lake Macquarie holiday.
Similar to Lake Macquarie but this time only a short drive from Melbourne, Sale in Victoria is located on the vast coastal Gippsland Lakes which feed into the ocean at Lakes Entrance. Sale is an ideal holiday destination for families who enjoy the great outdoors. Surrounded by National Park that is home to spectacular Rainforest, Wet Lands and nature walks, Sale is also rich in water sports. The large lake system is ideal for sailing and boating activities, swimming, kayaking and swimming and nearby Lakes Entrance has beautiful stretches of great surf beaches. The Tarra Valley Rainforest Walk meanders through lush fern glades, beneath towering ancient mountain ash trees and is home to spectacular lyre birds and an abundance of other native wildlife. The Wetlands walk takes you through a completely different environment with freshwater marshes and an enormous array of birdlife visible from the winding timber walkways. There are two Choice hotels in Sale, the Econo Lodge Hacienda International , a well located Sale hotel close to most Sale attractions and the Comfort Inn & Suites King Avenue, a four star hotel with a wide range of rooms including two bedroom self contained apartments.
Most families don’t think of inland Australia when they’re thinking of places to holiday, but it offers a unique look at a part of Australia that is unlike anywhere else in the world. Broken Hill with its rich mining heritage is a fascinating town. Located beside the iconic Line of Lode, where more than 800 miners have lost their lives working in the mines, Broken Hill is still an active mining town. The Line of Lode Memorial pays tribute to the lost miners and is a moving place to see. Visit an old mine in nearby Silverton and see the pub where scenes from the original Mad Max movie were shot. The artist community in Broken Hill is very lively with the Living Desert Sculptures a must see. Native emus are often spotted along the roadsides along with kangaroos, echidnas, wombats and a variety of birdlife. There is a good variety of accommodation available including a number of caravan parks ideal for families along with hotels, apartments and bed and breakfasts. The Comfort Inn Crystal offers comfortable, well located Broken Hill accommodation suitable for families.