Planning an east coast holiday for the whole family that will generate plenty talk about at Show and Tell?
Read on for our list of four great getaways the kids will love.
1. Farm stay
Cedar Glen at Beaudesert, approximately two hours drive south west of Brisbane, is a cattle property that has been in the Stephens family for 100 years and a farm stay with current owners Nigel and Sabrina is a step into their daily lives. The working farm is home to a menagerie of horses, cows, pigs, sheep, turkeys, ducks, peacocks and chickens which all need feeding every day – and guests pitch in. That means early morning rises to milk the cows and making sure the animals are fed morning and evening before you are!
It’s an action-packed stay with lessons on boomerang throwing and whip cracking before an afternoon tea of damper and billy tea, twilight 4WD tours for the best views of the surrounding Lost World Valley and Lamington National Park or choose to go horse riding, bushwalking, birdwatching, swimming and fishing. Accommodation is in historical cottages on the farm.
2. Wet and wild adventure
Sea World at Main Beach on the Gold Coast, approximately one hour drive south of Brisbane, has got plenty going for it as a family getaway, great rides, shows, beach across the road, a resort on the spot and plenty of activities to keep kids occupied. For youngsters there’s an interactive splash zone, Nickelodeon-themed playground and lots of cute animal activities. Teenagers aged 14 and over are more likely to be interested in going behind the scenes and be a Trainer for a Day, learning about not just dolphins but polar bears, seals and the rescue program at Sea World, or just get up close and personal with the penguins.
Waking up to a giraffe peering over the fence is something you’d be more likely to expect in Africa than Australia but it’s all part of the experience during a sleepover at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.
Zoofari Lodge accommodation overlooks the paddock where giraffe, zebra, buffalo and eland (antelope) roam. While they can be viewed comfortably from the deck, the highlight of an overnight stay is getting up early for the sunrise safari.
Or there’s an option to stay at the Billabong Camp tent site and head out at night on a nocturnal tour to view native animals before settling in around the campfire to toast some marshmallows and enjoy a supper under the stars – and spot some free-ranging animals.
4. Beach holiday park
Red Rock is a little beach village at the end of a long stretch of undeveloped coastline on the edge of a national park at Coffs Harbour and the local Holiday Park is a family treasure. Who needs a pool when you’ve got the South Pacific Ocean to play in?
The biggest decision here every morning is whether to go surfing, swimming or snorkelling, tackle the 10km Angourie Coastal Walk (and see how Red Rock got its name), explore the pristine Corindi estuary by canoe or fish from the beach or river.
There are plenty of powered and unpowered camping and caravan sites, some cabins and a cottage on site but the beach tents (for a family of four) are the pick of the park – complete with ensuite, fresh linen and an outdoor patio – and they book out quickly so plan well ahead for this one.