Best Family Vacations in Australia and The Pacific
If you and your crew can endure (and afford) the long flight to this part of the globe, you'll encounter a wealth of family-friendly destinations. The big cities are surprisingly manageable for small groups and boast a large amount of green space. The more rural places offer either rugged terrain for hiking and camping or soft beaches for unwinding and sand-castle building. In general, more active family travelers will enjoy these spots. Check out the best family vacations in Australia and the Pacific.
Why Go: New Zealand's adventure capital may frighten families with its daredevil reputation, but don't listen to what you hear. Queenstown has a variety of fun activities for very active families. You want life-long memories? Try rafting down whitewater rapids with your loved ones, or ski down the steep Remarkables. This city on the edge of Lake Wakatipu is full of surprises. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Queenstown
Why Go: Sydney's proximity to beaches, like Coogee and Bondi, make it an excellent place for families: When the urban hustle starts to overwhelm you, just head to the shore. That said, downtown Sydney definitely has some kid-friendly charms. The Sydney Aquarium and the Royal Botanic Gardens offer glimpses of Australia's natural wonders in a tame environment. Sydney's only drawback is the expensive cost of hotel rooms. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Sydney
Why Go: Melbourne has something that will excite both young and old. At the Melbourne Cricket Ground, you'll marvel at the display of athleticism in Aussie Rules football, while your kids admire the game's likeness with Quidditch. If you are traveling with animal lovers, you must visit the Werribee Open Range Zoo for a giraffe-sighting, the Melbourne Zoo to bounce along with the kangaroos, and the Phillip Island Nature Park for the penguin parade. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Melbourne
Why Go: Kiwis are famously friendly, and New Zealand's most populous city is packed full of them. Not only will you and your family encounter these amiable residents, but they'll also give you the best piece of advice for visiting this city: Get outside! Head to child-friendly activities, like the Auckland Zoo, or check out nearby Bethells Beach, Cornwall Park, and Waitakere Ranges. Be sure to pack snacks, water, and lots of sun block. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Auckland
Why Go: Just the promise of visiting the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary should keep your kids calm during the long flight to Brisbane. At this park, you can get up close and personal with these adorable creatures. If your cute animal quota isn't filled, you can go to the Tangalooma Wild Dolphin resort to feed Flipper. Should the weather get too warm for outdoor activities, head to the Queensland Museum or the Queensland Police Museum, which both have hands-on exhibits.
Why Go: Once you've exhausted the national parks in the U.S., venture to Kakadu for a completely foreign experience. This massive nature preserve features a variety of terrain, ranging from sandstone cliffs to floodplains. Within the boundaries of Kakadu, you'll see numerous creatures, including crocodiles and wallabies. Facilities in the park are limited, so you should take a trip with a guide, unless you have experience camping in remote places.
Why Go: Like the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef makes jaws drop with its sheer size and intricate beauty. Visiting this natural monument is most enjoyable with loved ones. However, this experience won't be cheap or easy to achieve. You've got a water voyage from Cairns, the closest city. Plus, to truly appreciate the reef and its inhabitants, you should submerge yourself beneath the waves, and scuba diving requires a high level of maturity and physicality that young children usually don't have.