These are the ones they rave about and that we’ll return to time and again.
1. BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort
For years, I have been hearing about the amazing waterslides at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort. The Airlie Beach holiday park has cemented itself in my son’s memories ever since we first visited when he was three. The fact there are pools, playgrounds, jumping pillows and go-karts means this one-stop-fun-shop is a firm family favorite. We’ve returned a few times, and whether we stay in our caravan or in one of the modern cabins, our days are always filled with squeals and laughter – and plenty of time in our swimmers.
2. The Old Telegraph Track, Cape York
For rough-and-ready families, one of the best places in Australia is Cape York, where little wildlings thrive on driving through creeks, down muddy banks, and along sandy trails. My son loved helping us build campfires, and swimming in waterholes and under waterfalls. This is the kind of trip where getting dirty is embraced and children relish seeing Mum and Dad embracing the mess too.
3. Perisher ski resort
Whether we’re in the highs of summer or the troughs of winter, the snow is never far from my six-year-old’s mind. He’s been learning to snowboard since he was two, and it’s not the windy days and the cold fingers he remembers but instead sliding on the bunny slopes at Perisher, in the NSW Snowy Mountains. Ski gear for birthdays has fuelled his fire and now he wants to spend every celebration building snowmen, having snowball fights, and chasing Dad down Front Valley. He talks about it so much that his three-year-old sister also now has the snow bug.
4. Yagon campground
Camping is big in our family and, regardless of the weather, my children jump at every chance to sleep in our vintage caravan. One of our favorite places to spend a long weekend is Yagon Campground, near the seaside village of Seal Rocks, NSW. Here, the kids run along coastal tracks, play on empty beaches and get to know the wildlife. With nothing more than composting toilets, this is bare-basics camping and they thrive on it.
5. Kangaroo Island
A trip to Kangaroo Island is a bucket-list holiday for many families, with the journey kicking off as soon as you drive your caravan onto the SeaLink ferry at Cape Jervis, South Australia. Once you’re on the surprisingly large island, days are filled with encounters with echidnas, koalas, and sea lions. A highlight for my kids is Raptor Domain, where they’re blown away by the birds-of-prey flying past their faces and resting on their arms.
6. Rottnest Island
It’s no surprise children adore quokkas, with their smiley faces and cute stature, which is why making the crossing to Rottnest Island is a must-do when you’re near Perth. Watching the tiny marsupials dart about the scrub is entertaining for young and old while cycling around their island home is a hoot too. It’s worth staying overnight at Discovery Rottnest Island to ensure plenty of quokka encounters.
7. Spirit of Tasmania
Okay, so it’s not a destination per se, but my son loved catching the Spirit of Tasmania from Melbourne to Devonport. The excitement started with towing our caravan onto the ship and it continued as we enjoyed the restaurant on board and slept in bunk beds in our mini-cabin. It was his first time on a ship and he still talks about it.
This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com